18th January 2008

“Britain is still, mercifully, very far from being like the US, where issues such as abortion and stem-cell research are a staple of political debate. For all the brimstone sermons of the Catholic Church, Britain remains a country resistant to dogmatism.”

The Independent Newspaper

14 Responses to “18th January 2008”

  1. Chris Says:

    The complete article from Dec. 24, 2007:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20071224/ai_n21173058

    Nice timing! 🙂

  2. Roland Says:

    Nice, thanks for the extra Chris!

  3. Critic Says:

    Yes Chris, thanks for the additional info.

    I hope that here in the US we can someday reach the same position – although without anti-religion laws. It is possible that through enlightenment the religious will come to see the true wonder of existence and drop the silly beliefs in stone-age fairy tales of religious mythology. Although, I fear that the dogmatists are running largely unchecked through society spreading their intellectual poison. However, I do find comfort in this from the article,

    “The way to respond to any assaults – religious or otherwise – on medical or scientific freedom is through cool and reasoned debate, not panic.”

    I will strive to keep that idea in mind as I daily witness the ignorant dogmatist’s assualts on reason, intelligence, and intellectual freedom. As Douglas Adams, a wounderful atheist, famously wrote, “DON”T PANIC.”

    Now, where did I put my towel……

  4. Chris Says:

    Critic – well put. I think a libertarian position with respect to religion is closest to the intent of our founding document. I don’t mind if people want to pray to invisible people or want to thank saints for their own accomplishments. Pray to a rock if you like. But try and teach my kid that the rock made the universe 6-10 thousand years ago or try and divert my tax money to rock worshipping organizations and I begin to get very very upset. Jefferson had it pegged and he knew it. That’s why, of all of his accomplishments, he directed only these to be listed on his grave stone:

    “HERE WAS BURIED
    THOMAS JEFFERSON
    AUTHOR OF THE
    DECLARATION
    OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
    OF THE
    STATUTE OF VIRGINIA
    FOR
    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
    AND FATHER OF THE
    UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA”

    As we know, the Statute served as the basis for the 1st ammendment to the constitution. His prodest accomplishments: Declared our independence, separated church and state (for the first time in human history) and founded an instituion of learning. If atheists have saints, he’s at the top of my list. Where are those “strict constructionist” judges the religious right yammer about when it comes to defending that? Sorry for the rant.

  5. Critic Says:

    *Where are those “strict constructionist” judges the religious right yammer about when it comes to defending that? Sorry for the rant.*

    No apology necessary.

    I am always appalled by the religious right’s insistence that the founding fathers were setting up a Christian nation. Perhaps an argument that they intended a “Deist Nation” could be made, but, it is ever so clear that religion was to be separate from government and that Jefferson was not in support of any religion. Hopefully Jefferson’s genius will save this country once again as we fight to keep ALL religions our of government.

    These days we have wackjobs like Huckabee proposing to put god in the US Constitution

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2008/01/18/huckabee/

    Huckabee would be someone who would love to tell your kid that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god created the earth 6-10K yrs ago. That he has gotten this far in the presidential race and is supported by so many people is cause for great consternation. But, I keep telling myself not to panic…..

  6. Terence Meaden Says:

    “Britain is still, mercifully, very far from being like the US, where issues such as abortion and stem-cell research are a staple of political debate. For all the brimstone sermons of the Catholic Church, Britain remains a country resistant to dogmatism.” The Independent Newspaper.

    Yes Britain is fortunate in this respect. At election times no politicians go around shouting out Christian beliefs although many are Christian. One of them, labour parliamentary minister Ruth Kelly, was ‘outed’ as belonging to the crazy catholic Opus Dei.
    In Britain several prominent politicians have openly declared their atheism, and have gained huge respect for it. I used to dream that the British, in getting better and better educated, would mostly all become atheists–after all we are all born atheists, every single one of us, but some of us are unlucky in having religious parents and schools who try to distract our brains away from the scientific truths that so beautifully explain the origins of the universe and mankind.
    “Goddidit is the easy option for those unable, incapable or unwilling to learn science deeply enough. Atheism is for those with the commonsense to know indoctrination when they encounter it. ” T.M.

  7. Thunder Says:

    * I am always appalled by the religious right’s insistence that the founding fathers were setting up a Christian nation. *

    For different reasons I agree. There is only one christian nation and can only ever be one. However, what they were NOT DOING was dictating a wall of separation between church and state (or local) government. This fact can be illustrated by the adoption of at least four state religions INCLUDING Massachucetts, among the first 13. It`s a fact. Look it up before you choose to contest me.

    * Perhaps an argument that they intended a “Deist Nation” *

    You couldn`t say that. That would be in contravention of the establishment clause.

    * it is ever so clear that religion was to be separate from government *

    The constitutions sole purpose was to frame and empower the federal government to a measurable finite degree. It is a MISUSE of that document to place limits on religion. Religion isn`t any of the fedreral governments buisness. The founding fathers knew to limit government power over the people. You atheist have contorted the origional intent.

    * Jefferson was not in support of any religion. *

    Jefferson was NOT against religion. He just didn`t happen to believe. He NEVER intended that his position stand in the way of what others believed or practiced. You want us to start calling him king jefferson the way the catholics postumously appointed peter their pope?

    * Hopefully Jefferson’s genius will save this country once again as we fight to keep ALL religions our of government. *

    You don`t give a damn about Jefferson. He`s misquotable and that is his interest to you. Jefferson is DEAD! He isn`t here to straigten you out pertaining to his positions. It`s just like so many people running around professing Jesus but NOT knowing his testament that he left pertaining to his positions.

    * These days we have wackjobs like Huckabee proposing to put god in the US Constitution *

    Well, if he`s the only anti-infanticide candidate he`s got my vote. I don`t care about the other issues until this one is straigtened out. If we can`t get this right then piss on us we`re garbage and don`t deserve to last.

    * That he has gotten this far in the presidential race and is supported by so many people is cause for great consternation. *

    I`d like to tell you that he isn`t going to win but I don`t know. I said the same thing about clinton before he won. And my worse fears about him were realized in somolia as well as the part he played in the inception of this present war.

  8. Critic Says:

    The rest of your post I will let die the quiet death it deserves. However, I feel I must respond to this little outburst.

    *You don`t give a damn about Jefferson. He`s misquotable and that is his interest to you. Jefferson is DEAD!*

    This statement is untrue. Jefferson did some great things that cause me to have great respect for him. He has attained the only type of immortality that can be attained. He still lives, in a purely figurative sense, through the institutions of this country that he put in place in it’s infancy. Hopefully, we will maintain the separation of church and state that he established.

    Here is what he thought of religion and the religious.

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

    Please take the time to read the link above and try to understand it.

  9. Thunder Says:

    * Please take the time to read the link above and try to understand it. *

    So I reproach you about misquoting him and your response is to reference someone elses editorializing about him? Maybe you don`t understand exactly what I was saying….

    * This statement is untrue. *

    Like it or not it`s true. Jefferson was more tolerant of other positions than you atheists are. but with a little snip here and a slash there and you can make him say exactly what you want him to say to steal his authority for your own self-centered purposes. It is the same process that you atheists allude to where certain sects misuse scripture. I don`t discount that happens but at different times you take contradictory positions on the issue. All christians can be lumped into the same basket where you are concerned regardless of their convictions or lack there of……

    * Jefferson did some great things that cause me to have great respect for him. *

    And I have respect for him but I stop short of deifying him as you do. The facts bear it out that he was NOT perfect.

    * He has attained the only type of immortality that can be attained. He still lives, in a purely figurative sense, through the institutions of this country that he put in place in it’s infancy. *

    This is the that famous process of man making god in his image (you atheists accuse others of) in progress.

    * Hopefully, we will maintain the separation of church and state that he established. *

    He didn`t establish a thing by himself! There wasn`t just a group of people who met and he was the only one that spake and everyone rah rahed all his ideas unmodified. If that was the case they could have had the constitution written in one night. If I remember right (and I probably don`t) it took them three years to frame the constitution (in addition to the time it took for ratification by the states).

  10. Thunder Says:

    * The rest of your post I will let die the quiet death it deserves. *

    Fella(or whatever) you do not even approach having this issue buttoned up in your thought process.

  11. Roland Says:

    “Well, if he`s the only anti-infanticide candidate he`s got my vote.”
    When you did this overblown statement, where you talking about the pro-choice vs the pro-life?
    Scientifically it takes a 5th grade student [who learned science in a science class, lol] to figure out when this group of cells is capable of feeling any pain. Anyways, if the government strives to the separation of Church and state, it should leave the choice to the women [scary, huh?]. The only reason that the pro-life is so strong is because of Christianity trying to scare people off with the wrath of god. Look at countries that are pro-choice, their populations aren’t in a steep decline, god is not using its wrath like in Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Coming to think about god’s wrath, what was his role in 2004 tsunamis? I also wonder if this is not an act of god, then Sodom and Gomorrah where not destroyed by god. And if god was incapable of destroying the Nazi regime, the or the evil muslims perhaps he didn’t do squat. Who is to say he really did?
    I know, I know it is not up to me whether he does or does not. He just does.

  12. Thunder Says:

    * Scientifically it takes a 5th grade student [who learned science in a science class, lol] to figure out when this group of cells is capable of feeling any pain. *

    Again….. the christian position is not predicated on only how one relates to others but also how they relate to God. To you it is a matter of the babies pain. To me it is a matter of Gods pain (as well as the babies). And you need to stop with all the dispursions about my level of education. One thing I can tell for sure is that whatever level of education you have has not stopped you from being foolish in your pretenses.

  13. GJK Says:

    “Well, if he`s the only anti-infanticide candidate he`s got my vote.”

    Another hang-up from your Catholic indoctrination Thunder?

  14. Thunder Says:

    * Another hang-up from your Catholic indoctrination Thunder? *

    I`m not a catholic. I don`t know how many times I have to tell you that.