So Much for ‘Judeo-Christian’

I’ve always found the phrase “Judeo-Christian” to be utterly nonsensical. The religious right loves it, of course, because they think it makes them sound diverse and makes it sound as though Jews were on their side. That is rarely the case, other than sometimes when it comes to support for Israel. Here’s a situation that demonstrates the absurdity of that phrase:

A Jewish lawmaker in Florida approached the Speaker of the House this week on behalf of other Jewish legislators who state that they are offended and insulted by the practice of praying in the name of Jesus during House sessions.

Jim Waldman of Coconut Creek contacted Speaker Will Weatherford to explain why what he called “the J.C. moment” presents a problem.

“This year more so than others, every time the prayer comes up, it’s in Jesus’ name,” he said. “This is my seventh year talking about it, and it’s getting to be too much. It would be nice to have an inclusive prayer.”

Waldman noted that some Jewish representatives will not enter the room until the invocation is finished so that they do not have to hear the name of Jesus.

“Some lawmakers don’t go until after the prayer,” he explained. “I go in because I want to be prepared and ready to go. But I stand there and all I do is wait there for what we politely call, ‘The JC moment.’ All the members know, they look at me and say, ‘Got JC’d again.’”

Waldman stated that Representative Kevin Rader, whose wife serves as a rabbi, is among those that steer clear of the prayers because of references to the triune Godhead.

“There’s just statements about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” he explained. “It’s just not non-denominational. I don’t care that it’s optional. That shouldn’t be the litmus test. It should be inclusive. And it’s not inclusive.”

But I doubt Waldman would accept the same argument if made by an atheist (or anyone else) in favor of not having prayers at all. After all, not everyone is a theist. So if you’re worried about being inclusive, why are you only worried about you being included while also advocating for the exclusion of others? Every single legislator is, of course, free to pray on their own, or in groups before the session begins. Why is it so important for many theists to force others to sit through their religious exercises?

62 comments on this post.
  1. John Pieret:

    Why is it so important for many theists to force others to sit through their religious exercises?

    The whole purpose of religious affilliation is as a public display of membership in the group and, therefore, presumptive trustworthiness. It may be more important to politicians than most people that they get that marker, since trustworthiness is (at least supposedly) one of their job descriptions and they need to get support from people who largely don’t know them personally.

  2. fifthdentist:

    More accurate term: “Pam Gellero-Christian”

  3. heddle:

    The whole purpose of religious affilliation is as a public display of membership in the group and, therefore, presumptive trustworthiness.

    Wow. The whole purpose. Incredible. Have you published this amazing anthropological result in an academic journal?

  4. slc1:

    The blog’s resident physics professor is so predictable.

  5. David Hart:

    If we could all just train ourselves to say ‘Judeo-Christo-Islamic’ every time we talk about the supposed shared religious values of the USA, what’s the bet that that meme will soon disappear all by itself?

  6. fastlane:

    heddle, when practiced by state/local/federal legislators, yes, 99.99% of the purpose is to promote ‘in group’ thinking to get everyone else to go along because they’re part of the group, or go along because they’re intimidated at being a tiny minority.

    Now fuck right off.

  7. heddle:

    fastlane,

    So you too have amazing (though, again, unsubstantiated) insight. You too should publish your findings.

    Now fuck right off.

    No, I think not.

  8. Anthony K:

    The blog’s resident physics professor is so predictable.

    True, but he’s not wrong in this instance. One could easily replace ‘religious’ with ‘skeptical’ in the line in question and it would be more or less as true.

  9. Taz:

    I would like to see people like Waldman refuse to participate in these prayers. And by participate, I’m including things like

    But I stand there and all I do is wait there for what we politely call, ‘The JC moment.’

    They have no right to preempt this person’s time like this. I don’t think he should go out of his way to be disruptive, but he should go about his business. If they don’t like it they can find a private place to hold their prayer session.

  10. dugglebogey:

    The ironic part is that Christianity is rooted from Greek religions, not at all Judaism.

    But I think I’ve said it before, if someone outside of academia uses the phrase Judeo-Christian, what follows is almost always full of shit.

  11. laurentweppe:

    If we could all just train ourselves to say ‘Judeo-Christo-Islamic’ every time we talk about the supposed shared religious values of the USA, what’s the bet that that meme will soon disappear all by itself?

    Abraham isn’t going anywhere

  12. Homo Straminus:

    heddle,

    I’d ask you to publish your disputative assertions, but I’m pretty sure no journal would accept them. “Arguing against the obvious” is not the most interesting paper title.

    /end of conversation with heddle

  13. Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    The ironic part is that Christianity is rooted from Greek religions, not at all Judaism. – dugglebogey

    The Greeks were monotheists who wrote the Old Testament? Who knew?

  14. heddle:

    Homo Straminus

    Arguing against the obvious

    I understand “proof because it is obvious.’ However, if you think

    The whole purpose of religious affilliation is as a public display of membership in the group and, therefore, presumptive trustworthiness.

    is obvious and requires no substantiation then you don’t know jack.

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    The Greeks were monotheists who wrote the Old Testament? Who knew?

    I had exactly the same thought. I am glad you said it, or SLC would come back with his 48536th rendition of “heddle is so predictable.” He (SLC) of course is not. Who could say how he’ll respond if the subject of Israel comes up?

  15. NitricAcid:

    I like the phrase “Judeo-Christian”, because it reminds me of the Judean People’s Front. Splitters!

  16. composer99:

    I concur with Anthony K and heddle.

    The whole purpose of religious affilliation is as a public display of membership in the group and, therefore, presumptive trustworthiness

    is an oversimplification of overtly religious behaviour. Certainly acting as a signifier of in-group membership is one reason to be overtly religious; however the expectation that believers will generally align their conduct (both private and public) with religious expectations, and the fact of Christian privilege in large parts of the US, both strike me as far more important reasons. Especially when considering State lawmakers in Florida.

  17. John Pieret:

    Heddle:

    Wow. The whole purpose. Incredible. Have you published this amazing anthropological result in an academic journal?

    No, but others have:

    http://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Natural-Selection-Evolutionary-Comparative/dp/1594515654/

    I could have been clearer, however. When I said “religious affilliation” I was talking about public displays of the acceptance of particular beliefs, such as politicians attending (usually multiple) churches and having prayers before government functions.

  18. composer99:

    More on topic, “Judeo-Christian” has been a term I have heard used as a description of the basis of modern (North) American society. This notion, has of course, been deconstructed numerous times here and elsewhere, from what I have seen (one of the most common deconstructions being with regards to the Old Testament ten commandments).

  19. heddle:

    John Pieret,

    I could have been clearer, however. When I said “religious affilliation” I was talking about public displays of the acceptance of particular beliefs, such as politicians attending (usually multiple) churches and having prayers before government functions.

    Fair enough.

  20. daniellavine:

    Nick Gotts@13:

    Googling “greek thought and christianity” will give you no end of results. The wikipedia article looks pretty worthless but here’s a free book on the subject.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/27571

    To answer your questions: no, the Greeks did not write the old testament but a great many were monotheists — especially by 0AD. You may have heard of a monotheist philosopher named Plato. He’s had a rather large impact on western thought. Including Christian philosophy.

    Claiming Judaism has nothing to do with Christianity is a bit of a stretch but Christianity as we know it did most of its development between, say, 30 AD and 300 AD — and much of it in Greece. The documents that made it into the new testament were mostly in Greek. Armenia (linguistically, culturally, and geographically close to Greece) was the first political entity to adopt Christianity as an official religion.

  21. democommie:

    Oh, Jud-AY-o-Christian.

    You just KNOW that there’s a whole bunchothem good ol’ boys down to the feed’n’grain that were confused enough when theu thought it was JUDO christian and are now completely dumbflummoxed/.

  22. iknklast:

    It would be nice to have an inclusive prayer

    The inclusive prayer is as mythical as Bigfoot. To be truly inclusive, this prayer would have to include Christians of every possible persuasian, all groups of Jews, every possible type of Muslim that might be in the country, Hindus, Buddhists (also not monolithic), Wicca, Pagans of all sorts, various tribal religions, Norse gods (I have some students who claim to worship the Norse gods – whethey they do or don’t is irrelevant ,as I’m sure some in this country probably do), Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons (which might be Christians, but no one seems to agree on that), atheists, agnostics, humanists, the merely spiritual, Jedi knights, Pastafarians, and Westboro Baptist Church! (Apologies to any I’ve left out; the fact that I missed some is just a clue to how very diverse religious belief in this country really is).

    Inclusive does not, cannot exist, because a non-sectarian prayer is an affront to the fundamentalists. Any prayer leaves out atheists, agnostics, and all other secularists, plus non-praying religions. There is no such thing as an inclusive prayer, and the sooner people learn that, the better.

  23. bullet:

    Christian news killed the page. No wonder, seeing how those lovely xians were responding in the comments.

  24. d.c.wilson:

    Why is it so important for many theists to force others to sit through their religious exercises?

    Because it’s easier than pissing on all the trees.

  25. Marcus Ranum:

    Since the Koran acknowledges that Mary was some kind of holy something or other and that the Jews were also people of the book, shouldn’t it more rightly be termed: “judeo-christian-muslim“??

  26. timberwoof:

    Wow, that site is dozens of case studies in spin management. They do live in a totally different world than we do.

  27. Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    daniellavine,

    You may have heard of a monotheist philosopher named Plato.

    I can do without the condescension, thanks all the same. It’s by no means clear that Plato is correctly described as monotheistic. This is from wikipedia on monotheism:

    “The One” (Τὸ Ἕν) is a concept that arises in Platonism, although the writings of Plato himself are still cast in polytheistic terminology. The Euthyphro dilemma, for example, is formulated as “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” But Plato prefigures monotheism by looking for the absolute Truth, as in the allegory of the cave, and the absolute Good, as in the Form of the Good. Later, Hellenistic religion, including Hellenistic Judaism, and especially Neoplatonism, formulate monotheism explicitly.

    The development of pure (philosophical) monotheism is a product of the Late Antiquity. During the 2nd to 3rd centuries, early Christianity was just one of several competing religious movements advocating monotheism.

    Claiming Judaism has nothing to do with Christianity is a bit of a stretchload of crap

    FIFY.

  28. slc1:

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #25

    In addition it is the Islamic position that Yeshua ben Yusef of Nazareth was one of the prophets and thus an important figure in Islam. He is put on the same plane as the prophets of the Hebrew Bible.

  29. shouldbeworking:

    Those in favour of public prayer should read their holey book, especially Matthew 6:6.

    6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    Gives a new meaning to come out of the closet.

  30. Michael Heath:

    David Hart writes:

    If we could all just train ourselves to say ‘Judeo-Christo-Islamic’ every time we talk about the supposed shared religious values of the USA, what’s the bet that that meme will soon disappear all by itself?

    I think the most popular descriptive is the Abrahamic religions. I do like using that term when describing an attribute common to all. It’s also accurate because all these religions are worshiping the god of Abraham as Abraham is portrayed in each of their respective holy books, no matter how how many Christians are in denial about that fact.

  31. Michael Heath:

    fastlane writes to heddle:

    Now fuck right off.

    The left does itself no favors when it seeks to suppress speech it doesn’t like. And I point this out as I increasingly perceive far too many on the left don’t give a shit about free speech. Where those who are effectively anti-speech in private venues are also clueless on why so many of us advocate government not restrict speech.

  32. No One:

    This Jesus Christ character was Jewish. I don’t see why the Jews would be offended.

  33. heddle:

    This Jesus Christ character was Jewish. I don’t see why the Jews would be offended.

    Really? You can’t see it? Amazing.

  34. No One:

    heddle @ 33

    Actually I get it. They are not Israeli Jews, there are those trouble making Commie Jews that have infiltrated America.

  35. pacal:

    Michael Heath says:

    fastlane writes to heddle:

    Now fuck right off.

    The left does itself no favors when it seeks to suppress speech it doesn’t like. And I point this out as I increasingly perceive far too many on the left don’t give a shit about free speech. Where those who are effectively anti-speech in private venues are also clueless on why so many of us advocate government not restrict speech.

    Just how is telling Heddle to “fuck off” an attempt to suppress his speech. Vicious criticism is hardly speech suppression. If you want to go that route you could argue that your criticism is an attempt to suppress free speech by objecting to that speech.

  36. laurentweppe:

    “Fuck off” is not criticism: it’s giving an order with an extra serving of insults, it’s implying “If this was not the internet I would beat you fucker into submission”, it’s what rises the blood tension of every bullied kid turned adult when they read of hear the expression.

  37. Scientismist:

    Why is it so important for many theists to force others to sit through their religious exercises?

    The purpose of public prayer at government meetings is not for the benefit of the individuals involved, but is part of the more general American political habit of ceremonial deism. It has the same purpose as the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the US Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God we Trust” as a motto on US currency.

    And there, the purpose has been clearly stated by no less an expert on the subject than SCOTUS Associate Justice Antonin Scalia: They serve the governmental purpose of countering the excesses of democracy, such as those he sees in what he calls “post-Christian Europe”. He argues that in Europe government is seen as a creation of the public will and consent, with its actions being subject to judgment according to the same moral and ethical criteria as are those of individuals. But in the US, these displays of governmental public piety serve to remind the public that government derives its power not from the people, but from God, and wields the Divine Sword of God’s justice.

    This is why the death penalty is acceptable, even though executions of the innocent are inevitable. It should be seen as God’s Will, rather than as government misconduct, and those executed should be grateful that they are being delivered into the Presence of their Lord by the actions of His chosen agents on Earth. Indeed, he writes longingly of the times when monarchs were chosen through trial by combat, thus making more clear the Divine Will behind the rule of government.

    So such government ceremonial piety is, according to one of our own Supreme Court Justices, a necessary reminder that America is ALREADY a theocracy.

    (See Scalia’s article: God’s Justice and Ours in “First Things”.)

  38. matthewhodson:

    I seem to recall a certain character in the bible recommending private prayer over the pious public prayers of the Pharisees.

  39. No One:

    @ 37

    Indeed…. Don’t blame us, it’s God’s will.

  40. John Pieret:

    iknklast @ 22

    The inclusive prayer is as mythical as Bigfoot.

    This comes pretty close (especially since it is attributed to Robert Ingersoll):

    Oh God, if there be a God, save my soul if I have a soul, from hell, if there be a hell!

    laurentweppe @ 36

    “Fuck off” is not criticism: it’s giving an order with an extra serving of insults, it’s implying “If this was not the internet I would beat you fucker into submission” …

    You mean like saying that gays are “gong to hell” is “giving an order” and implying their imaginary friend will beat you fucker into submission?

    You have a strange idea of what the constitutional right of “free speech” if you think that that criticizing someone, even by telling then to fuck off, is a violation of a constitutional right.

  41. raven:

    Why is it so important for many theists to force others to sit through their religious exercises?

    This again.

    It’s territorial marking. That many animals do.

    On walks around the yard, my old male cat sprays important bushes. Important to him anyway. This tells other cats that this is his territory. Dogs do the same thing.

    Xians are simply spraying on the shrubbery or a slightly more grown up version.

    Why should god care that they make other people listen to them babble on about nothing much in particular?

  42. raven:

    Agnostic’s Prayer from Creatures of light and darkness. A great book and a famous prayer. Roger Zelazny

    Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to ensure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

    Madrak is a godlike being himself with some resemblance to Odin.

  43. jameshanley:

    @Scientismist:

    And there, the purpose has been clearly stated by no less an expert on the subject than SCOTUS Associate Justice Antonin Scalia: … in the US, these displays of governmental public piety serve to remind the public that government derives its power not from the people, but from God,

    I prefer Jefferson’s interpretation:
    Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    I imagine Scalia desperately wishes he had been around in 1776 so he could have wrested control of writing the Declaration of Imdependence from Tom the Heathen.

  44. jameshanley:

    There’s also that whole “We, the people…do ordain and establish…” business in the preamble of the Constitution. I don’t really begrudge Nino his own beliefs, but I do object to a Supreme Court justice inserting his view of the founding in place of that of the actual founders.

  45. Michael Heath:

    fastlane writes to heddle:

    Now fuck right off.

    My response:

    The left does itself no favors when it seeks to suppress speech it doesn’t like. And I point this out as I increasingly perceive far too many on the left don’t give a shit about free speech. Where those who are effectively anti-speech in private venues are also clueless on why so many of us advocate government not restrict speech.

    pacal responds:

    Just how is telling Heddle to “fuck off” an attempt to suppress his speech. Vicious criticism is hardly speech suppression. If you want to go that route you could argue that your criticism is an attempt to suppress free speech by objecting to that speech.

    Sarah Palin’s argument that criticism is suppression is to be ridiculed; not emulated.

    Nothing I wrote argues fastlane should stop writing. I was in fact arguing the exact opposite, where the text I wrote is quite clear. We shouldn’t suppress speech, even that we don’t like.

    fastlane’s quip on the hand, was an argument that heddle should suppress his speech in this venue, by going away. So I criticized pacal’s speech; I didn’t demand pacal shut up as Palin claims when she’s criticized. Criticism does not equal suppression, no matter how frequently you, Palin, and your collective ilk claim otherwise.

  46. laurentweppe:

    You have a strange idea of what the constitutional right of “free speech” if you think that that criticizing someone, even by telling then to fuck off, is a violation of a constitutional right.

    Fuck Off” is not a criticism. “Fuck Off” always carries the implied “Or else“.

  47. No One:

    @46

    No it doesn’t. Fuck you, Fuck off, Fuck that. All variants all with their own contextual nuances.

  48. llewelly:

    The inclusive prayer is as mythical as Bigfoot.

    No it’s real! Roger Zelazny composed one:

    Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

    The Agnostic’s Prayer from the novel Creatures of Light and Darkness (1969)

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Roger_Zelazny#Quotes

    (You may argue over whether the funeral theme is appropriate to a legislative session.)

  49. democommie:

    “Fuck off” is not criticism: it’s giving an order with an extra serving of insults, it’s implying “If this was not the internet I would beat you fucker into submission”,”

    I find it hard to believe that anyone who’s been coming here for any length of time seriously believes that there is an implied threat in “Fuck off” (or that, if there was, it would deter heddle in the least). Right here, on this blog, I have BEEN threatened with physical violence by at least one person. I will say that the threat was considered and then laughed at, when the source was considered.

    Dr. heddle knows, I’m fairly certain, where I stand on the subject of GOD and religions of all persuasions. I know that he has a very different set of beliefs than I do. Neither of us is likely to change. I quit arguing with him (almost always) because it’s absolutely futile. I think I can say from personal experience that telling others to “fuck off” or being told by others to “Fuck off” has rarely, if ever been seen as a threat or an attempt to silence anyone.

    ” imagine Scalia desperately wishes he had been around in 1776 so he could have wrested control of writing the Declaration of Imdependence from Tom the Heathen.”

    Tony Ducks isn’t fit to sharpen Mr. Jefferson’s quill. And no, that is not a weak attempt at a little sexual innuendo, implying that Scalia lusts after Mr. Jefferson in a homosexually fantastic way. I wish it were, but I just didn’t think that at all, while I was writing it. Now, of course…

  50. Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    On a recent thread, democommie told me to “fuck right off”. I wish to record that I most certainly did not regard that as in any way as either a threat, or an attempt to suppress my free speech. Michael Heath, as so often when he gets on his high horse with regard to “the left” and the alleged “tribalism” of just about everyone except himself (tribalism for St. Ronald is just fine, of course), is just being a pompous puffball.

  51. laurentweppe:

    I find it hard to believe that anyone who’s been coming here for any length of time seriously believes that there is an implied threat in “Fuck off”

    Sure, on the internet, the implied threat is empty virtualy everytime time, but playing dumb and pretending you don’t see the order and implied threat does not make them go away.

  52. John Pieret:

    laurentweppe @ 46

    “Fuck Off” is not a criticism. “Fuck Off” always carries the implied “Or else”.

    You might make a case that a 300 pound Hell’s Angel, standing over you fingering a tire iron, was “suppressing” speech by saying “fuck off” but it would not be a violation of your right to speak … it would be a potentially illegal threat of violence which, last time I looked, is not a problem in a comment section of a blog.

  53. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!:

    Fuck this fucking, fucked discussion of whether “fuck off” is fucking threatening or fucking not, its all just fucken fucked up so, fuck, fuck it!

    (Can I have a chorus of what the fucks?)

    The f word still one of the most versatile and common parts of the human language albeit somewhat fucking excessively overused.

    Really fucking should be an implied treat for close intimates if anything but, hey, language. (Shrugs.)

    PS. pardon my French, which, of course, is not parlez francais at all,mon dieu!

  54. Michael Heath:

    I’ve never understood, “fuck off”, on its own as was the case with fastlane, to be any sort of threat – implied or otherwise.

    “Fuck off’s” meaning seems quite clear in this context, it’s Person A ordering Person/people B, whom they have no authority over, to leave. It’s equivalent to, “shut up” in regards to the intent.

    Person A exclaims “fuck off” or “shut up’ because they’re weak and perceive themselves as impotent to control events,where they can’t handle speech or other stimulus from others they don’t like. It also argues Person A is no respecter of rights, not convincingly since there are defensible incidents, though it is evidence like it is here.

  55. Michael Heath:

    Nick Gotts writes:

    Michael Heath, as so often when he gets on his high horse with regard to “the left” and the alleged “tribalism” of just about everyone except himself (tribalism for St. Ronald is just fine, of course), is just being a pompous puffball.

    Punching oneself in the face by illustrating my exact point is not pretty.

    The fact you reveal you don’t like criticism of the left while depending on misrepresenting me to defend your position is a perfect example of a tribalist in action.

    In this case I’m not, nor have I ever been, in some tribalist camp for Ronald Reagan. I merely accept who he was and his record as its generally understood by mainstream respected historians and economists. The fact a group on the left exists who can’t accept Mr. Reagan had successes is in fact a great example of defective thinking no different than YECS or other religionists.

    Science also validates such fierce partisan political ideology is based on the same defective thinking we encounter from religionists who also attempt to avoid cognitive dissonance.

  56. democommie:

    “Sure, on the internet, the implied threat is empty virtualy everytime time, but playing dumb and pretending you don’t see the order and implied threat does not make them go away.”

    Ah, no. I have been told to “fuck off” many, many times in meatworld. I’ve never perceived the words to be a threat. Body language or additional words might be, but “fuck off”? nah.

    “On a recent thread, democommie told me to “fuck right off”.”

    I don’t recall the word, “right”, being part of the phrase, but we are in substantial agreement. {;>)

    “Person A exclaims “fuck off” or “shut up’ because they’re weak and perceive themselves as impotent to control events,where they can’t handle speech or other stimulus from others they don’t like.”

    Sometimes true, Michael Heath; otoh, sometimes the “Fuck off”ee is simply a twitroll who is recycling some tired argument for the umpteenth time (think any of various assertions made by former resident troll, “The threadpirate mroberts”).

  57. dingojack:

    ‘An implied threat’? ‘Always containing the implied “or else”‘?
    Really? Pffft, fuck off*
    Dingo
    ——–
    * is this a threat, containing an implied ‘or else’? Or do you get the feeling that it might just be an expression of disbelief or rejection of an idea?

  58. So Much for 'Judeo-Christian'- Dispatches from the Culture Wars | Church Ministry:

    [...] Church Ministry Source- Google Blog Search- Prayer Ministry [...]

  59. anteprepro:

    “Fuck off’s” meaning seems quite clear in this context, it’s Person A ordering Person/people B, whom they have no authority over, to leave. It’s equivalent to, “shut up” in regards to the intent.

    Person A exclaims “fuck off” or “shut up’ because they’re weak and perceive themselves as impotent to control events,where they can’t handle speech or other stimulus from others they don’t like. It also argues Person A is no respecter of rights, not convincingly since there are defensible incidents, though it is evidence like it is here.

    So “shut up” also intends to suppress free speech? Neither of these statements could be, like, an expression of displeasure? They can’t be a very broad, oblique kind of criticism? They are done done because the person feels like they are not in control or feel weak instead of,you know, just angry, frustrated, or disgusted? Heddle, where are you? This is the real statement that requires “Wow. The whole purpose. Incredible. Have you published this amazing anthropological result in an academic journal?”

  60. pacal:

    Michael Heath said no. 45:

    Sarah Palin’s argument that criticism is suppression is to be ridiculed; not emulated.

    Just how did I say it should be emulated frankly I think that sort of argument is just stupid.

    Nothing I wrote argues fastlane should stop writing. I was in fact arguing the exact opposite, where the text I wrote is quite clear. We shouldn’t suppress speech, even that we don’t like.

    So you have no objections to fastlane telling Heddle to “Fuck off”. Well neither do I. Nor did I think you have any objections either. And yes I agree speech should not be suppressed even offensive speech.

    fastlane’s quip on the hand, was an argument that heddle should suppress his speech in this venue, by going away. So I criticized pacal’s speech; I didn’t demand pacal shut up as Palin claims when she’s criticized. Criticism does not equal suppression, no matter how frequently you, Palin, and your collective ilk claim otherwise.

    So you really do think that fastlane telling Heddle to “fuck off and go away” was an argument for Heddle to suppress his speech. Well that is just dumb. Its an insult. I also fully agree that criticism does not equal suppression. My point was that arguing that the comment of “fuck off and…” was speech suppression made about as much sense as arguing that your criticism of that comment was speech suppression.

    And no I wasn’t arguing that criticism is speech suppression so I am not in the you or collective ilk you are referring to. In fact the “cure” for offensive speech is virtually always more speech. (I am of course reserving the old established limits such as personal libel, slander and the hoary chestnut of yelling fire in a crowded theatre.)

  61. Michael Heath:

    Me earlier:

    Sarah Palin’s argument that criticism is suppression is to be ridiculed; not emulated.

    Pacal responds:

    Just how did I say it should be emulated frankly I think that sort of argument is just stupid.

    Ahem. I was responding to you writing:

    If you want to go that route you could argue that your criticism* is an attempt to suppress free speech by objecting to that speech.

    I concede you weren’t arguing we should emulate this form of speech. I’m sorry about that. But I am correct you’re clearly claiming, like Palin, that criticism is the equivalent of suppression, at least in some cases like what I wrote that had you replying. It’s not, and that’s what I was condemning. Criticism is more speech, it’s not an effort to supress speech. “Fuck off” is the attempt to suppress speech in the context it was used here; it’s demanding another leave the venue.

    pacal writes:

    So you really do think that fastlane telling Heddle to “fuck off and go away” was an argument for Heddle to suppress his speech. Well that is just dumb. Its an insult.

    The words fastlane used are plain and unambiguous, especially within the context they were used. Heddle’s response, “No, I think not“, was also a direct response within that very meaning and context. And the response that’s often the optimal one.

    I realize that in this venue, some leftists are using tribalistic arguments, e.g., misconstruing what others write, attempting to suppress speech like impotently demanding their opponents go away as in this particular case, or shutting up. I also realize such idiocy is increasingly being defended by one’s political allies. That many leftists defend the very behavior of some leftists they ridicule when it’s done by the those on the right. But the increasing popularity of this type of thinking in this venue doesn’t make it defensible.

    *My criticizing fastlane’s attempt to suppress speech by telling heddle to, “fuck off”.

  62. slc1:

    Just to make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding, I personally don’t want MH or Prof. Heddle to go away.

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