Tennessee needs your input »« Why I am an atheist – Erik Abretske

Rick Warren’s Libertarian Jesus

Have you heard Rick Warren’s Easter message?

Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor….But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness." Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You — you rob them of dignity.

So it’s come to this. Modern Christians happily interpret away the egalitarian message of the New Testament — perhaps the one salvageable bit of compassion in the whole Bible — to now denounce charity as robbing the poor of dignity. Even a wicked atheist like myself can see how Warren has completely distorted his own holy book.

On the other hand, though, Warren does believe in giving more to the rich, as you discover in his letter to his congregation, in which he reaches out his hand and begs them to donate a million dollars.

He is right about one thing. Rick Warren has no dignity.

Comments

  1. hexidecima says

    love when such “good Christians” as Warren ignore their own bibles and supposed “savior”. JC said that one was to have nothing and to trust in this god to give one everything one needed. It’s only when his claims failed that Paul and everyone after him had to change the message and call for more and more self-sufficiency. And hiliarous about robbing anyone of their dignity. JC certainly didn’t seem to think that way. This type of Christian seems to hope that other Christians will never ever actually read their bibles but only listen to him.

  2. unbound says

    It is amazing how xtians (which, by definition are supposed to be followers of JC) get sucked into the messages that are the very opposite of what was supposedly conveyed by jebus. His message was very clearly about helping the poor and giving up everything. Yet the xtians seem to think that abortion, contraception and homosexuality were his big messages.

    But, I guess it really shouldn’t be any surprise, xtians are told to follow the priest without question. As long as the priest can spin a good yarn, it’s all good…

  3. karmakin says

    I’ll take off my atheist hat and put on my politics/economics hat for a second. There’s actually a big question here, and I don’t know the answer to it.

    Does Warren actually want to create jobs or is he lying? If he does want to create jobs, he’s ahead of the curve really. Yes, he has a different take on it, but at least his heart isn’t completely cold. However, I suspect that he’s lying and he really doesn’t want to create jobs, because that will result in “inflation” meaning that rich people’s money is worth less.

  4. says

    I’ve heard this before. I don’t know why i do, but occasionally I listen to talk radio. Sean Hannity was talking about the verse, “Give to Caesar that is Caesar’s; Give to God what is God’s” as Jesus telling us that we should not pay taxes. Because everything is God’s.

    The bible says what you what it to say.
    Famine and the Stegotetrabelodon

  5. John Hinkle says

    I heard this meme on Moody Bible Radio a few months ago. You help the poor by growing the economy. For those who are truly desperate, they can receive charity from churches, not handouts (wealth redistribution) from the government. The government is the wrong entity for helping people, presumably because they can’t proselytize (and oh yeah, that’s MY money they’re giving to those lazy bums – I mean, it’s not Christian, or something).

  6. I'm_not says

    It reminds me of Mrs. Thatcher’s take on the good Samaritan parable – if the Good Samaritan hadn’t been rich he wouldn’t have been able to help the poor sod who’d been robbed. That’s the meaning it’s meant to have, see? H’mmm?

  7. cartomancer says

    They were complaining about people like him in the fourteenth century too. And well before. It came to this a very long time ago…

    Manus ferens munera
    pium facit impium;
    nummus iungit federa,
    nummus dat consilium;
    nummus lenit aspera,
    nummus sedat prelium.
    nummus in prelatis
    est pro iure satis;
    nummo locum datis
    vos, qui iudicatis.

    Sunt potentum digiti
    trahentes pecuniam;
    tali preda prediti
    non dant gratis gratiam,
    sed licet illiciti
    censum censent veniam.
    clericis non morum
    cura, sed nummorum,
    quorum nescit chorum
    chorus angelorum.

    etc.

  8. mnb0 says

    “When you subsidize people, you create the dependency.”
    That’s what socialists have been saying for decades and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s a perfect argument for a strong governmental policy of economy. Give everyone, no matter his/her social class, the same opportunity to learn and make a career.
    This is not in the New Testament of course.

    Ephesians 6:5
    Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

    And it’s correct – subsequently begging to donate without specifying is a disgrace.
    I have been begging too – for other people’s causes, on another continent (anti-apartheid broadcast), but never for myself.

  9. interrobang says

    Rick Warren hasn’t got a lot of things; frankly, I think on the list, “dignity” is pretty far down, after, oh, say, a functioning ethical compass, a conscience, some perspective, the ability not to act like a bigoted shitweasel…those kinds of things. I really despise him, and even though I’m not American, I was quite upset when he spoke at Obama’s inauguration.

    For a country that yammers on endlessly about how you have de jure separation of church and state, why do your heads of state/government begin their terms of office with a religious ceremony?

  10. julietdefarge says

    In 1905 America we had plenty of jobs. So many jobs that everyone over the age of 10 could work 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. They were still cold, hungry, and sick.

    Warren had rubbed elbows with enough elites to know that we already have massive wealth redistribution and wealth creation- for the 1%. He’s simply a liar, and I’ll bet he’s also got sermons on the virtues of the “simple life,” a.k.a poverty.

  11. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Dignity? DIGNITY?

    This coming from a belief that thinks that groveling to an immortal tyrant forever is the ultimate reward.

    Wait, dignity is the working poor groveling to their bosses to that they can keep their jobs.

  12. says

    I like the assumption that we all start out equal. The oppurtunities for a kid from an impoverished family are exactly the same as the oppurtunities for a kid from a wealthy family, right? That rich kid has no special advantages of schooling or living in a safe neighborhood or access to healthy food– that would mean that the “American dream” was a lie!

    *spits*

  13. joed says

    Basically, if god likes you alot then you will have alot of wealth. If he don’t like you then you will not have wealth. Atleast that is what I got from the book.
    I think socialism/fair distribution of wealth is the only way humanity can survive with any sort of dignity. Just being a human is all needed to gain food/shelter/etc.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protestant_Ethic_and_the_Spirit_of_Capitalism

    The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a book written by Max Weber

    In the book, Weber wrote that capitalism in northern Europe evolved when the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism. This idea is also known as the “Protestant Ethic thesis.”[2]

  14. Sastra says

    My understanding of Jesus’ injunctions to help the poor is that this had much less to do with believers helping the poor for the sake of the poor themselves, and much more to do with believers giving up the things of this world in order to demonstrate their readiness for the next one.

    The New Testament is not designed to be a blueprint for human progress. “The poor are always with us” — and this isn’t a state of affairs we need try to correct. Poverty, misery, abuse, and oppression are the natural lot of Nature. It’s inescapable: the world is corrupt and corrupted. The end is near, however, and otherwise permanent hardship is permanently escaped by those who reject the Kingdom of the world and seek instead the Kingdom of God. So give up everything, that you may demonstrate your commitment to God and store up treasures in Heaven. That’s the real message.

    And as for the poor who gained your treasures through your act of charity — screw them. Forget them. They may be better off financially, but they’re still damned and what little they’ve gained through your benevolence will soon be lost. The point — the whole fucking point — was a demonstration to God of your humility, your submission, your eagerness to renounce the world and all that’s in it because it’s going to pass away. And in the new hierarchy, those who have the least because they gave it up for God will now have the MOST.

    That’s not real charity or concern for the poor. Not in the normal, everyday secular sense, as I understand it. It looks like it on the surface, but it’s actually a sort of ritual, an act not of love for humanity, but of love for God before humanity.

    If Warren fails to understand this, then perhaps he needs to reread the NT. Or, perhaps he does understand this, but thinks this underlying message of the best way to die works just fine with his political strategy of the best way to live. I don’t think so. There seems to me to be a real conflict here.

  15. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    If Warren fails to understand this, then perhaps he needs to reread the NT. Or, perhaps he does understand this, but thinks this underlying message of the best way to die works just fine with his political strategy of the best way to live. I don’t think so. There seems to me to be a real conflict here.

    But why would Rick Warren want to give up his illusion of being a king maker. He summons and presidential candidates come forth.

    Ah, the dignity.

  16. Alverant says

    “not to subsidize wealth”
    So does this mean he’s against tax breaks for rich people and corporations? Maybe he should focus on that first. As for dignity, dignity doesn’t pay the bills or keep you from getting kicked out of your home or is something you can eat or keep you from getting sick. As the Ferengi say, “Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.”

  17. Gregory in Seattle says

    This lack of compassion on the part of “devout” Christians is not exactly new: look to Victorian England as a recent example, or the grinding poverty of most people throughout Christian history where “charity” was interpreted as buying solid gold altarware and silk brocades for a private chapel while the mere peasants died of starvation.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même merde.

  18. Ogvorbis say, "Get outa my house!" says

    And I thought I was joking the other day when I referred to a troll as a Randian Christian.

  19. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    It was shit like this that broke my faith in the mainstream flavor of Christianity.

    I asked (naively), “In the Bible, Jesus says that we are to give all our worldly goods to the poor. Why don’t we?”

    Silly me, I was fooled into thinking that socialism and actually listening to what the supposed Son of God™ says was the way to go. Obedience to authority is the important thing!

    I went awhile agreeing with people like Jim Wallis and started running with Quakers. It worked for awhile, but the seed for my eventual disillusionment was laid.

    I must admit, it depresses me. If people who are devout, who claim to know, read, and understand what they call divine can ignore the blatant commands that they disagree with, then what will work to get people to recognize the fellow humanity of those “lesser” than themselves?

  20. says

    @Sastra Applause. Yes, that’s the message. Also reflected in the Pauline notion that celibacy (not marriage) is the ideal state. Leave your family and follow me. Let the dead bury the dead. Render unto Caesar the things (i.e. worldly, material wealth) that are Caesar’s (the Kingdom of the world’s). God will take care of you like he does the lilies of the field. All that practical work you’re doing to provide real worldly benefit, Martha? Not important. Mary’s doing the right thing by ignoring the world and listening to me. The world and the people in it don’t matter a whit because it’s all going to end any moment.

    Christians do not buy into the gospel message anymore. If they did, they’d live as celibate mendicants.

  21. craigrheinheimer says

    Popa Cubby sums it up nicely.

    “… yes my son, if you yearn for absolution, just turn out your pockets. Make a contribution to the Preacher Man.” – Preacher Man, Stealing the Devil’s Guitar, 2006.

  22. says

    I have to wonder if you’ve deliberately misused the word “libertarian” in order to provoke a response. In any case, I’ll give it to you: Rick Warren isn’t a libertarian and his Jesus isn’t either.

  23. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    1. This is timely, given the small conflagrations that have erupted around here about the historical existence of Jesus. I think the question is completely moot, because even if we accept that he was a real person and we accept that the gospels represent the best historical record of his life and teachings, we find little that we can say about the Big Jeeze that is supported unequivocally, except for these:
    a. He came from the north of Israel
    b. He was a follower of John the Baptist
    c. He died in Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans
    d. He fucking hated rich people.

    2. I’m not going to take any time explaining why I think Rick Warren is the largest splayed asshole in the lower 48, and in the top ten worldwide. However, I would like to address the degree to which Warren sucks. He is a pustule on the anus of a zombie skunk. He is the shit that the other shits avoid in turd hell. He is the very elixir of putrefaction, a cocktail of puke and pink slime, and thirty gallons of bog sludge from the hold of a Carnival Cruise Ship overtaken by an outbreak of gastrointestinal distress so intense that CC offered full refunds to all aboard and paid leaves of absence to crew members in a ten gallon hat. Fuck Rick Warren.

  24. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Dustin,
    What “libertarian” means in theory and practice is not necessarily the same thing. Is Rick Warren a true libertarian in the sense of obeying the theoretical construct? No, but then I’d argue that there are maybe 5 such libertarians in the world.
    Is he a libertarian in the sense of how libertarianism is usually practiced? YES.
    Libertarians, by and large, tend to be middle-class or above cis, straight white Christian men who see appeals to “freedom” as the best way to preserve their privilege by preventing poor(er) people, PoC, women, LGBT people, etc from acquiring power and wealth.

  25. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Yeah, Audley, I could tell that it was coming, so I pretty much had that comment pre-written.

    In my experience, scratch the surface of a libertarian and you’ll find a racist, a misogynist, a classist, etc.

  26. says

    I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

    Buy low, sell high.
    What are the cost of goods that Rick Warren is selling? $0. Talk about a “high margin” business!

  27. Brownian says

    Oh! The No True Libertarian™ argument has shown up! That was quick.

    If True Libertarianism™ was more successful in the marketplace of ideas, its cheap knock-offs wouldn’t have gained so much ground.

  28. erichoug says

    I always find this sort of thing funny. It really seems that Mr. Warren doesn’t know the early origins of his own Church. The early christinas before Constantine were essentially communists and new members, in some areas, were required to give all their posessions to the church. Something that modern Christians tend to forget. Along with early Christians pacifism and their extreme desire for martyrdom which led one Roman governor to explain “Are there no high cliffs in this province?”

    But, I suppose if you’re just making it all up anywat it doesn’t really matter.

  29. says

    Brownian,

    If True Libertarianism™ was more successful in the marketplace of ideas, its cheap knock-offs wouldn’t have gained so much ground.

    Ha!

    I would say that Libertarianism is like the Coach bags of the policial/economic world, but Coach bags are at least useful. Libertarianism? Not so much.

  30. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Indeed. A knockoff Coach bag will hold my lunch. Libertarianism tells me that it is my fault that society’s oppression of me is my own fault.

  31. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Rick Warren endorses a massive new federal jobs program with high wages and good benefits! News at 11!

  32. says

    Especially Penn now that I think about it for dedicating a whole episode to attacking the AWDA and moaning how fucking unfair it is to put in a handicap ramp while saying scientology was off limits. Wow its almost as if you are ok with literally attacking kids in wheel chairs but hesitate when it comes to people with money and lawyers.

    Edgy my ass

  33. kreativekaos says

    @ Sastra: Interesting perspective and insight on a view of charity that I would think that these ideas doesn’t occur to many theists.

    @Ibis3: “Leave your family and follow me” (Ibis3)

    My older brother had pointed this out in our discussions many years ago– to the chagrin of of some family members listening to our conversation and the time.

    There is that thread of an idea– ostensibly contradictory to the ‘Christian sense’ of many theists– that Jeebus Crisp spoke of dumping family, friends, responsibilities in favor of following him and his rhetoric. That idea probably doesn’t go down well with at least some their idea of Christian ideals.

  34. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    “Blessed Are The Job Makers?”

    Hmpf. And there was I thinking that that Jesus was some sort of Jewish communist… Oh wait.

  35. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Brownian

    And what wealth does Warren create, exactly?

    His own, obviously, therefore he isn’t a hypocrite. Honest.

  36. kreativekaos says

    Corrections to #41:

    “…that I would think doesn’t occur to many theists.”

    “That idea doesn’t go down well with at least some of their Christian ideals.”

    [Damn fingers and crappy computer...]

  37. erichoug says

    Why do people put so much stock in job creation. Talk about a low bar, we aren’t concerned with standard of living, or community, or environment or education or peace, or health or longevity or savings, or quality of life, NO! the only thing we are concerned with is whether or not Starbucks will hire you for $8.50 and hour. If we have full employment and 99.9% of us are working for minimum wage, living in tennements and dying before age 50 is that good?

    Sad commentary not only on Mr. Warren but on our society as well.

  38. chigau (違う) says

    It is not true that there is dignity in all work. Some jobs are definitely better than others.
    -Fran Lebowitz

  39. says

    Warren has created jobs and wealth. The mega church he’s the pastor of presumably needs janitors, after all. Although you never know, I can imagine members of the congregation doing janitor work for no pay to “serve the Lord.”

  40. Snoof says

    And what wealth does Warren create, exactly?

    Well, he… uh… he…
    He encourages people to work harder! And by working harder, their productivity increases. So he is a net positive for the economy, and not in the slightest a parasite feeding off the sweat of the working classes.

  41. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    I’ve even seen talk of people taking unpaid internships just so they’re “employed” because it’s harder to get a job if you don’t already have a job. Because you’re lazy, I guess, if you don’t grind out productive labor every day regardless of compensation.

  42. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Au contraire, timgueguen: Warren has redistributed wealth from his congregants to his employees. The creation of wealth requires innovation…the production of something valuable from less valuable components, or the modification of an existing process to do that more efficiently.

  43. says

    Warren’s Wikipedia article claims that his activities beyond being pastor of his church have been so successful that in 2005 he gave back 25 years of his salary, discontinued taking a salary, and that he and his wife now live on just 10% of his earnings, donating the other 90% The obvious question is how much he makes. 10% of 10 million bucks a year is a lot different than 10% of 50 grand a year.

  44. firstapproximation says

    “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21, NIV

    What a commie!

  45. says

    The whole idea of giving people opportunities rather than subsidies, and the chance to be self-sufficient and independent rather than dependent, is a good one, and one I’d take more seriously if the people most fervently promoting it were doing anything at all to actually create those jobs and opportunities rather than devoting all their efforts to policing everyone’s sexual organs.

  46. says

    Dusty’s FB page includes not only all sorts of lolbertarian interests, but “abusing telemarketers” as a hobby. Obviously, if telemarketers were Ubermenschen and Captains of Industry like Dusty, they’d not only be able to go out and get jobs in the worst economy in 70 years, but they’d be able to start companies and hire other people, too. Since they’re not, it’s OK for Dusty to abuse them.

    What a shitlord.

  47. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Amen, Martin. The Rick Warrens of the world are the first to line up behind the Koch truck and vote for the Scott Walkers of the world.

  48. raven says

    Rick Warren believes in the redistribution of wealth. It’s so obvious.

    He wants YOU to send your money to HIM. Warren is always begging for more millions of dollars.

    Some of these fraudsters make tens of millions per year. Pat Robinson is a billionaire. Harold Camping raised millions of dollars predicting the end of the world three times, and he was wrong three times.

    The latests is the Crouches of Trinity Broadcasting. They have apparently converted tens of millions of dollars to their own use including private jets, mansions, and a $100,000 doghouse.

  49. raven says

    The whole idea of giving people opportunities rather than subsidies, and the chance to be self-sufficient and independent rather than dependent, is a good one, and one I’d take more seriously if the people most fervently promoting it were doing anything at all to actually create those jobs and opportunities rather than devoting all their efforts to policing everyone’s sexual organs.

    QFT. The Bush Catastrophe wrecked the US economy for a generation (at least) and cost millions of people their jobs in the Great Recession, scheduled to end in 2018.

    Bill Clinton left us with a budget surplus, low unemployment, and an economy running just fine.

  50. raven says

    Rick Warren’s god/jesus is a sockpuppet.

    If your god hates what you hate and wants you to have what you want, you can be sure that you created It in your own image.

  51. Brownian says

    Why do people put so much stock in job creation

    Culturally, we revere the idea of labour overcoming hardship, and the more individualistic our perception of the labourer and the harder the hardship, the better the story. From the North American ‘Protestant work ethic’ to Tolstoy’s “A Confession” to the Nazi’s odious Arbeit macht frei, we’re fascinated by the concept of salvation through toil. Note: this doesn’t mean that we actually toil—just that we revere the idea of it.

    As a contrast, I can think of the paluwagan at the GF™’s workplace, started by her Filipino coworkers. Paluwagan is a (I think) Tagalog word meaning “ease up”, “loosen”, “make less tight/firm”, and it’s essentially a savings scheme: each employee puts a small amount of cash into a pool, and everyone gets a turn receiving the entire pool some designated month. As I understand it, you get out what you put in it, but community and cultural ties are strengthened through the process. Again, this is not to imply that Filipinos are any more or less hard-working than anyone else, just that workplaces and work are seen solely as ends in themselves, but also as places for the expression of cultural values.

    North American culture expresses its values through work and workplaces as well, but North Americans value work as an end in itself. And of course, all cultures struggle with their own internally inconsistent values, which is why we love to adorn our workspaces with slogans like “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” or “No one ever said on their deathbed, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” These are messages of dissonance.

    Just my thoughts, which include a smattering of anthropology and two decades of internal struggle with my own dislike of ‘work’ as a concept. If this makes no sense*, blame the fact that I’m writing this at work when I’m supposed to be Producing Wealth™.

    *I may also be blatantly wrong. If so, I expect I’ll be corrected.

  52. says

    Daisy,

    Dusty’s FB page includes not only all sorts of lolbertarian interests, but “abusing telemarketers” as a hobby.

    One would think that Libertarians would be all about telemarketing*, since restricting business in any way is bad for the economy. Advertisement is part and parcel to capitalism, after all.

    I’ll also note that Dusty’s a Ron Paul fan, too. It seems as though he’s not our One True Libertarian™. Shame.

    *Has he never heard of the “do not call” list? What a buffoon.

  53. Brownian says

    *Has he never heard of the “do not call” list? What a buffoon.

    In fairness to Dustin, the most entrepreneurial of telemarketers simply ignore the DNC list, changing their numbers as needed. (At least, that is the case here in Canada.)

  54. says

    Also, I’ve gotta say, Dusty’s favorite books don’t make any sense. A couple of Ayn Rand books, then 1984? Is he too stupid to realize that Orwell was anti-totalitarian and a socialist?

    (His movies don’t make much more sense.The Fountainhead and Fight Club?? *headshake*)

    It’s as if all he can is parrot back the party line, while at the same time not understanding a word of it.

  55. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I’ve even seen talk of people taking unpaid internships just so they’re “employed” because it’s harder to get a job if you don’t already have a job. Because you’re lazy, I guess, if you don’t grind out productive labor every day regardless of compensation.

    You must be reading my mind. I haven’t even sent that application yet! But yes, I am ready to work for free just so that I wouldn’t seem like a lazy ass (and so that I would gain experience that I need to get a job. You know, the kind for which you actually gain a salary.)

    I’m not in US, so it’s not an example of US going to shit, but I’m frustrated so I use any excuse to vent.

  56. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    I got a telemarketer on my cell phone the other day! At least, I think that’s what it was. Recorded voice asking me if I wanted to answer a short survey and then be entered in a contest to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise.

  57. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    the most entrepreneurial of telemarketers simply ignore the DNC list

    Ahh, the free market in action.

  58. Matt Penfold says

    Here in the UK cold-callers can be fined. Which is why the free-market has largely driven them off-shore.

  59. Brownian says

    Which is why the free-market has largely driven them off-shore.

    Please, won’t someone think of the job creators?

    Anyway, being an asshole to people in entry-level positions marks you as kind of a shit human being.

  60. Brownian says

    So does being a libertarian.

    Some aren’t shit. Some are just stupid and privileged.

  61. anuran says

    To be fair to religion, there are many sorts. While plenty of religious people pay lip service to the idea of charity and others like Warren are simply entitlement-drunk pigs there is a genuine imperative towards charity in the Abrahamic traditions. Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, really do take tzedakah seriously. There are plenty of Christians who will literally give you the shirt of their back because of a deep and abiding belief that their god requires charity freely given. And observant Muslims are well known not only for paying zakat but giving above and beyond that to charities.

  62. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Anyway, being an asshole to people in entry-level positions marks you as kind of a shit human being.

    Think of it as encouraging people to move up the job ladder. If you treated them with respect, they just might stay at that job.

  63. says

    . While plenty of religious people pay lip service to the idea of charity and others like Warren are simply entitlement-drunk pigs there is a genuine imperative towards charity in the Abrahamic traditions.

    Horseshit. There is a genuine imperative towards charity in PEOPLE.

    You do not get to fucking claim charity as your own, asshole. You do not get to flat out deny that I am charitable, while claiming that your religion makes you so so super special awesome generous and nice.

  64. says

    Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

    All the believers joined together and shared everything in common; they sold their possessions and goods and divided the proceeds among the fellowship according to individual need.

    I once got into an argument with a minster over that last passage. He was arguing that we are supposed to emulate the behavior of the early church in every way possible but we don’t have emulate that particular passage because it was during an “emergency.” There’s not one hint in the Bible that this was an emergency. Of course they fact that they mistakenly thought the world was about to end may have colored their judgment but most modern Christians don’t preach that we should emulate a bunch of people being wrong.

  65. tapetum says

    Dr. Audley – also in fairness, not restricting telemarketing and then abusing the telemarketers who call is entirely in keeping with this mode of thinking. Restricting telemarketing is restricting the business, and therefore bad. Abusing the telemarketers is giving shit to the peons, and thereby entirely copacetic. If they can’t take it, they can just quit and the next peon in line will be hired for him to abuse.

  66. unclefrogy says

    people like the a fore mentioned “pastor Warren” are followers of the status quo, toadies and suck asses to the powerful, nothing new ever comes from them they are always supportive to the masters.
    What we see is the attempt by warren to continue to be taken seriously all these preachers have ever been about is posing as deeply religious with all the statements of piety while in practice following the rich and powerful.
    I have no problem with any religious who simply live the life but that is not what we see.
    to all those who preach this hypocritical bullshit, who are waving the flag of god and the job creators. and the rest of the “rugged individual” and “american work ethic” god rewards the righteous. They would be wise to read history with an eye to how change comes about and were it starts. There are only two ways that the established order can be maintained when the majority are increasingly displeased one is to give them more power and security or use force to enforce order.
    I think I know what this preacher would advocate. History seems to indicate that force only works for a while and requires increasing repression unless the grievances are seen to be addressed.
    The powerful rulers only govern by the sufferance of the governed , the people.
    uncle frogy

  67. DLC says

    In Right-Wing-Ese, “job creator” is anyone who can afford a Bentley, lives in a McMansion and sends their kids to “you can’t get in if you have to ask how much it costs” preschool.
    If you are all those things, congratulations, you are a Job Creator. Somehow, your desire for the trappings of wealth will magically create jobs. Yeah, I’ll bet. anyone fancy putting that education to use as a gardener ? maid ? laundry worker ? stable hand ? (hey, they got horses, too, ya know).
    If these jobs all look to you like 19th century servile-class work, then you’re correct. a recent study in Britain said that wealth inequity was at a level not seen since the Victorian era.
    Ultimately, this is what they want of you. to be stupid, ignorant and most of all subservient. So, be sure and lift your cap as the master passes, and mind your manners ’round your betters!

    (Google-Fu returns a hit from The Guardian. not necessarily the best source, but here it is: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/may/16/high-pay-commission-wage-disparity )

  68. raven says

    Of course they fact that they mistakenly thought the world was about to end may have colored their judgment…

    Nothing has chanaged in 2,000 years.

    Every few months the world is ending. The latest is by some guy named Weinland, a follower of HW Armstrong (who predicted the end twice wrongly) who claims it will all end on May 27, 2012.

    40% of the US population thinks jesus is coming back by 2050. Of course they rarely walk their talk. If they did, they wouldn’t even bother to go to work every day. Why bother when it all ends someday “soon”.

  69. Louis says

    1) Telemarketers: I try to be nice to them, bring a little sparkle into their day. Their job is not a good one. I confess I enjoy myself as I do this. If that makes me a bad person then so be it. My favourite method is refuse to buy anything unless they sing me a song. This method has yet to fail to generate a good feeling across the phone between us, and I’ve had a few songs (and some interesting purchases) out of it.

    2) Naked Bunny With A Whip #50,

    If I were ever to be made redundant, I’d take an unpaid “job” in a heartbeat to stay in chemistry. Erm, would you mind not letting my boss know that? The state of my industry at the moment is such that I think a few more of us will be doing it. I know it goes on already. Seriously. People with PhDs and some savings are trying to weather the storm doing unpaid work.

    Louis

  70. unclefrogy says

    don’t get me started on telemarketers!

    I have tried to get on the no call list with no luck. I even tried calling back to the robot-caller I used to get once or twice a week it was really stupid because it was about extending my factory warranty which was about to run out which was ridiculous cause my truck was 35 years old! all I managed to do was piss’m off apparently so I just gave up. now I just hang up mostly though when the contractors call I some times ask if they are hiring which usually gets a laugh.
    uncle frogy

  71. crowepps says

    Of course they want *charity* to be administered by the church, that way they can use the threat of withholding that charity to extort the kinds of behaviors they prefer from those who fall under their control: go to sermons, get ‘saved’, praise Jesus, stop having sex, give up your baby for adoption, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t have fun, don’t tell jokes, don’t laugh, don’t be happy because nobody deserves to be happy when God died for you.

    The Catholics already did this. It created horrible suffering.
    The Puritans already did this. It created horrible suffering.
    The Lutherans already did this. It created horrible suffering.

    Why would anybody intelligent and sane suggest a rerun?

    Oh, wait –

  72. Brownian says

    The more you believe, the richer you’ll be.

    Jesus said as much, saying that with sufficient faith, one could tell trees to uproot themselves and throw themselves into the sea (Luke 17:6) or tell mountains to uproot themselves and throw themselves into the sea (Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23; he had a thing for things throwing themselves into the sea).

    I guess Rick Warren and company prefer being rich to watching inanimate objects drown themselves.

  73. carlie says

    unclefrogy – ah, but by having a warranty, you’ve bought into their scheme. The do not call registry only works for cold calling; if you’ve had any relationship with the company at any point in time, then it falls into a different category and isn’t subject to the DNC list.

  74. kevinalexander says

    Reminds me of the old joke: ‘How do you know Jesus wasn’t a Catholic? He cured the leper. A Catholic would have said “You have a wonderful gift from God! Everyone, gather around and enjoy this man’s gift”

    ‘How do you know Jesus wasn’t a Protestant? He fed the hungry multitude. A Protestant Jesus would have told them to get a fukin job’

  75. raven says

    I suspect many Americans think Orwell was an American and a member of the Republican Party.

    They really do use Orwell’s 1984 as an instruction manual.

  76. says

    The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs.

    Unless those jobs are low paying, entry-level jobs, which don’t really get people out of poverty, access to higher education tends to be required in order for people to qualify for those jobs. And if the entry-level jobs being created are in China, or being done by prisoners in this country, not only is no one lifted out of poverty, but you are actively redistributing the wealth toward those already wealthy.
    Libertarians aren’t big on details like that, though.
    The re-branding of the one per centers as “job creators” is particularly galling to me; roughly five years ago, one of those Richie Rich types bought the company I had spent a dozen years with. His first move was to shut down two production lines and lay off about 50 out of 90 employees, much of that against the advice of the financial people and management he inherited. Within two years, another 30 jobs had been eliminated or outsourced, including mine.
    Things haven’t gotten better. At this point, the best retirement plan I’ve come up with involves committing some horrible crime and going to prison for the rest of my life.
    The American Dream lives.

  77. Just_A_Lurker says

    Of course they want *charity* to be administered by the church, that way they can use the threat of withholding that charity to extort the kinds of behaviors they prefer from those who fall under their control: go to sermons, get ‘saved’, praise Jesus, stop having sex, give up your baby for adoption, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t have fun, don’t tell jokes, don’t laugh, don’t be happy because nobody deserves to be happy when God died for you.

    QFFT. They do this today. I have been coerced under threat of CPS or kicking us out of the shelter if I didn’t let them threaten my child with hell. At different places run by different religions. Fuck their charity because it isn’t really charity. It’s a set up to convert you and your child whether you like it or not.

    —-Ancedote, rather long rant…———–

    One shelter called CPS on me two days before I was moving out into my own apartment. The shelter made my life hell before I had enough to move. They failed me for every random weekly room check. You fail if you get 3 or more things checked on their list. They check you off if you have trash in the trash can. Seriously, not a full trash can or anything but just trash in the trash can. They expected you to take out the trash every single day, several times a day so you could pass your room check. Everyone made complaint that they cannot afford to throw out trash bags like that. It was just too much. They didn’t fucking listen. It was a way to make you tow the line. Those that submitted did just fine on their room checks.

    So CPS shows up the day before I’m officially gone from that hell hole. Some things have already been taken to the apartment because we had to move on the bus. 3 buses to get there so obviously we started early and had to take small loads. So some stuff gone, some stuff packed, some stuff to be packed and yes there was trash in my room. I was cleaning out shit as I packed up. I planned on cleaning after everything was moved and taking the cleaning stuff as the last load. The Little One was with Grandma so I could do stuff unhindered.

    CPS workers chewed me out because of the TV placement being too high and having chords where Little One could grab them. I told them the TV wasn’t on the dresser usually, it was on a little end stand I had but had taken to the apartment already. They refused to listen and chewed me out for threatening the welfare of my child and arguing with them. I explained to them about moving but they said my past failed room checks where proof that I lived like a slob and was neglecting my child. So had I to shut up and listen to them. They brought up the fact that my “issue” with the shelter over religion was proof of my negative, rebellious, selfish attitude that I was displaying by arguing with them.

    CPS told me that if I wasn’t moving out the next day they would have taken my child away from me. They told me some other couple should have my beautiful child that would take care of her in every way, including spiritually. They took pictures so indeed it looked like I was neglecting my child because my room was trashed that day. I dealt with them for 6 fucking months over this. The worker did not look pleased every time I passed their random checking in.

    I seriously fear anyone coming to my house because of CPS. What if they don’t understand its normal wear and tear from a 4 year old and call CPS? Fuck that too much of a risk. Nobody sees my house and I always feel guilty about the state of my house. This is just the last incident that happened. I had to tow the line before because it was literally that or live on the streets.
    —–
    Note:I keep saying them because there were 2 workers, one male and one female that I had to deal with.

  78. anuran says

    #76 Ing

    Horseshit yourself, you ignorant fuck. Charity is not an imperative in Hinduism or Buddhism. It isn’t an important part of Shamanic traditions. And it wasn’t essential to Greek or Roman religion to mention a few.

    And just to underline your stupidity, try looking at the source material. Talmud, Sharia, Christian scriptures. They all spend an lot of effort emphasizing just how important it is.

    But fools like you are proof that not believing in a god is no guarantee of intelligence, clear thought or even reading comprehension.

  79. coyotenose says

    Timgueguen @ #52 wrote

    Warren’s Wikipedia article claims that his activities beyond being pastor of his church have been so successful that in 2005 he gave back 25 years of his salary, discontinued taking a salary, and that he and his wife now live on just 10% of his earnings, donating the other 90% The obvious question is how much he makes. 10% of 10 million bucks a year is a lot different than 10% of 50 grand a year.

    The second obvious question is how much of that 90% is “donated” to his own church and his other organizations; you know, the ones that pay for his trips, meals, gas, parties, publicity, chauffeurs, personal assistants, wardrobe, vacations…

  80. coyotenose says

    Amphiox at #98,

    That’s more than fair, since nothing in Ing’s unwarranted abuse was a valid rebuttal to anuran’s post.

  81. Ze Madmax says

    coyotenose @ #100

    Technically, Ing did present a valid rebuttal. anuran claimed that the drive for charity was at the core of Abrahamic religions, and provided examples of it. The issue (as Ing points out) is that this charity has little to do with religion, and more with individual tendencies towards engaging in charitable acts.

    Essentially, anuran’s initial post can be construed as a defense of religion based on the idea that it “makes people charitable”. Which, as Ing points out*, is horseshit. People’s inclinations towards charity can be influenced by a myriad of reasons, and religious teachings per se are not an explanation for such.


    * Or rather, as I read Ing’s post. Not trying to put words on anyone’s mouth.

  82. 'Tis Himself says

    Just as an aside, the reason why governments got involved in welfare is private charities couldn’t handle the load.

  83. unclefrogy says

    carlie
    the thing is I bought the truck in 1972 with a 30day used car guarantee from a Chevy dealer I had put a new engine myself in the late 80’s I had no relationship with any dealer or manufacturer I told them that and the truck was a 68 PU and they said they could not warranty it but I still got the calls about at least once a week for 2 or 3 years!

    uncle frogy

  84. says

    Charity is not an imperative in Hinduism or Buddhism.

    You’re bigotry is noted.

    That’s more than fair, since nothing in Ing’s unwarranted abuse was a valid rebuttal to anuran’s post.

    I’m sorry you failed to understand my point. Do you want to try reading it again?

    Technically, Ing did present a valid rebuttal. anuran claimed that the drive for charity was at the core of Abrahamic religions, and provided examples of it. The issue (as Ing points out) is that this charity has little to do with religion, and more with individual tendencies towards engaging in charitable acts.

    Essentially, anuran’s initial post can be construed as a defense of religion based on the idea that it “makes people charitable”. Which, as Ing points out*, is horseshit. People’s inclinations towards charity can be influenced by a myriad of reasons, and religious teachings per se are not an explanation for such.

    That’s correct.

  85. mnb0 says

    Which is a good reason to debunk religion. Charity sucks. It robs people from their dignity.

    I don’t want kids holding their hands to people like anuran, begging for charity. I want them to have all the chances to become adults who can take care of their own.
    Charity means abuse of power. I see it right where I live, in Suriname. American missionaries set up health care centres and treat people for free. Hurray! Charity! But the patients have to be regular visitors of the nearby church or they can travel some 15 miles.
    I repeat: charity sucks. In a major way.

    I prefer structural solutions.

  86. mnb0 says

    quote fail. My reaction is directed towards

    anuran’s initial post can be construed as a defense of religion based on the idea that it “makes people charitable”.

  87. Stacy says

    The people who receive the most subsidies in the U.S.A. are the super-rich. (e.g. Free Lunch by David Cay Johnston.)

    I doubt those are the people whose dignity Warren is worried about, though.

  88. Brownian says

    My pantry is empty. Will trade dignity for a sandwich.

    No, that will only foster your dependency on charity and the government.

    Instead, follow the lead of the Christian politicians and prostrate yourself before the job creators. We all live by their blessing, and as such there is no debasement too low should it be necessary to win back their benevolence.

    Use mouthwash should you find the taste of rich taint sweat unappealing, though in the spirit of multiculturalism I should note that Republicans practically celebrate the taste as a national dish.

  89. raven says

    Charity is not an imperative in Hinduism or Buddhism.

    This is false at least for Buddhism. In some forms of Buddhism, charity is a huge deal, it is how you build up good Karma.

    Hinduism, I don’t know enough about one way or another.

    I’ll add here that xian charity is at a pretty low level. I once ran the numbers. The churches take in around 90 billion USD. 88% of that is used internally to pay the utility bills, mortgage, and payroll. The pass through is used to support the national organization, for missionary activities, and charity.

    If you look at where the small percentage that is xian charity dollars go, much of it is part of converst gaining schemes, some of it is undoubtedly skimmed for personal use, and a lot of it goes for administation.

    The actual amount left over for charity is really low. It is not zero by any means but not a lot. The local churches here have a coalition that runs a soup kitchen for the homeless and I know it makes a big difference to them.

    For various reasons, I refuse to give anything to any religious charity. Why should I, quite a few xian sects want the worst for me and people like me, the normal educated people. And my impression is very little of that money would end up helping anyone that really needs it.

  90. KG says

    I don’t want kids holding their hands to people like anuran, begging for charity. I want them to have all the chances to become adults who can take care of their own. – mnbo

    Two points:
    1) “Charity” is an ambiguous word. It can have the meaning you are using – gifts which the recipient has no legal right to receive, and the giver no legal obligation to give; or it can refer to a property of a person, meaning something very like generosity or compassion.
    2) There are many people who will never “become adults who can take care of their own”, or who, through illness, have ceased to be so. I agree that such people should not have to depend on charity, but they should have a legally guaranteed income sufficient to support them in reasonable comfort.

  91. rogercolby says

    As a Christian I am first of all opposed to Rick Warren and his self-help theology. On page 48 of his best selling book “A Purpose Driven Life” he strips the prayer of salvation down to a universal, powerless phrase. ”Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.'” He then promises, “If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God! You are now ready to discover and start living God’s purpose for your life.” The problem with saying that is that even an atheist (and I hold nothing against you guys) can believe that Jesus or Yeshua was a real person who walked this earth without believing in who the Christians believe that he was. The second part “receive” could mean anything, namely following the guidelines for life taught by him. According to the bible, this does not merit salvation. Salvation comes through faith that Jesus was the son of God, that he was sent to earth as a sacrifice for sin so that all of us who believe that can have salvation through grace.

    My point is that if you want to know what “real Christians” think, stop looking at the “leaders” of the faith who are popular and earthly people who are at their base sinful and start looking to Jesus. None of these people represent me. I disown all of them. American Christianity is a joke and is false and is something that is a mishmash of self-help philosophy, used by the GOP as a mule, and is mostly something people do on the weekend.

    About the poor, I think the confusion here is that most of the bible says to give to the poor unconditionally, but there is a verse Deuteronomy 24:19:”When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.” This verse commands that people should leave some of the harvest for the poor, but the implication is that it is not a handout but that the poor should work to bring it in. There is also 2 Thessalonians 3 which is about working for what you get. It even says “those who don’t work don’t get to eat.” The principle in this chapter is discussing the work of God and that people need to work for what they get, but it isn’t discussing generosity. All systems of government are flawed. There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth. Trying to meddle in governmental philosophy and using the bible as a springboard is wrong. All I am saying is that government and faith issues are so foreign to each other (because sinful man runs government) that it is like comparing apples to oranges. Those people who do this need to read Romans 13:1-7. Paul wrote that when Nero was in power and was burning Christians in his garden for night-lights.

  92. KG says

    Salvation comes through faith that Jesus was the son of God, that he was sent to earth as a sacrifice for sin so that all of us who believe that can have salvation through grace. – rogercolby

    Here we see the moral rottenness of your form of Christianity: making salvation dependent on a belief. Even if this belief were not an absurd one, this would be vile.

  93. carlie says

    None of these people represent me. I disown all of them.

    Tough. Who died and made you leader of Christianity? Nobody. They’re just as much Christians as you are, and have just as much right to use the name and identity as you do.

  94. w00dview says

    I personally find the term “job creator” unsettling in its blatant tone of randian wealth worshiping. When did this term start getting used? The amount of Orwelian newspeak in American politics creeps me the hell out.

  95. says

    Warren’s Wikipedia article claims that his activities beyond being pastor of his church have been so successful that in 2005 he gave back 25 years of his salary, discontinued taking a salary, and that he and his wife now live on just 10% of his earnings, donating the other 90% The obvious question is how much he makes. 10% of 10 million bucks a year is a lot different than 10% of 50 grand a year.

    I happen to be an accountant and can tell you that many highly paid people have no salary at all. Warren makes money from speaking fees, book royalties, radio shows and probably a lot of other things I don’t know about. These are not normally considered salaries but rather self-employment income.

    Even if he publishes his own books or produces his own radio, there are tax advantages to structuring his income so that it is not a salary. For example he could form a Rick Warren corporation, have the churches or distributors that buy his products pay the corp, not him, and take a share of the corporate profits but pay himself little or no salary.

    He probably sees the church as an advertising expense and justifies it by saying he’s doing the work of God every Sunday. I’m sure he has a tremendous (salaried) support staff that minimizes the amount of time he actually has to spend dealing with church business. Most small church ministers spend many hours dealing with the fire codes and backed up plumbing.

  96. Brownian says

    My point is that if you want to know what “real Christians” think

    I was one for approximately half my life. I can play the True Christian™ game as well as you can.

    The reality is that whatever it is that True Christians—are and think, they don’t seem to have a real problem with right wing leaders appropriating the name.

    It’s nobody’s fault but you’re own that you’re all but invisible. And by being so, you let real fucking assholes cause real fucking harm.

  97. Josh, OSG, Abortia N'ondemande says

    It’s nobody’s fault but you’re own that you’re all but invisible. And by being so, you let real fucking assholes cause real fucking harm.

    Thank you. And they’re all but invisible because they waste their time spewing bullshit complaints at people like us (whom they claim share their values if not their religion) rather than shouting down the theocrats. It’s perfectly obvious where your tribal loyalties actually lie when the chips are down.

  98. Brownian says

    There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth.

    Oh Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick. And you’re different from Rick Warren how?

    Oh, that’s right; both of you think you and you alone understand the bible, but only you are right.

    Fuck. Right. The. Fuck. Off.

  99. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    I think it would be highly entertaining to listen to Rick Warren explain the following bile verses away:

    Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

    Deut. 26:12. When you have finished paying the complete tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.

    Lev. 19:19ff. Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

    Prov. 31:8ff. [Commandment to kings.] Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

    Is. 58:66ff. Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

    Jer. 22:3. Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

    Luke 12:33. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”

    Luke 3:11. And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”

    Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

  100. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Sastra @ 18

    The New Testament is not designed to be a blueprint for human progress. “The poor are always with us” — and this isn’t a state of affairs we need try to correct. Poverty, misery, abuse, and oppression are the natural lot of Nature. It’s inescapable: the world is corrupt and corrupted. The end is near, however, and otherwise permanent hardship is permanently escaped by those who reject the Kingdom of the world and seek instead the Kingdom of God. So give up everything, that you may demonstrate your commitment to God and store up treasures in Heaven. That’s the real message.

    Bravo, well said. This is also the explanation for Mother Theresa as outlined by Hitches in the Missionary Position. MT didn’t give a shit about actually helping the poor and sick out of poverty and to better health. What she did was a personal sacrifice to live amongst the wretched as a proof of her personal rejection of this world and worthiness for the next.

    That’s using other people; letting them suffer and die, as an act of personal devotion to an imaginary deity.

    My vocabulary isn’t up to describing how loathsome and revolting that is.

  101. carbonbasedlifeform says

    I’d ask Warren to preach on Matthew 25:31-46, in which Jesus is saying that feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and so on is necessary for salvation.

  102. Louis says

    Actually I understand the Bible* better than anyone. You lot are all reading it wrong. It’s meant to be printed on soft paper and stored in the toilet.

    A bible can last a week if no one gets the Calcutta Splutter after a particularly nifty vindaloo.

    Louis

    * See also Qu’ran, Guru Granth Sahib, Torah, Talmud, anything written by Piers Morgan or Jeffery Archer, various Buddhist texts, the Vedas, those Norse things, that one by those blokes in South America that were fond of human sacrifice and volcanoes or something, and any book where the author’s second name is larger than their first, takes up half the cover of the book and is in large, embossed, gold print next to an advert claiming it is “now a major motion picture” as if this is somehow an endorsement. What’s a “major motion picture” anyway? Major? That word is entirely superfluous and whoever first inserted it should be killed. Thoroughly. With some prejudice aforethought.

  103. Louis says

    Oh and I challenge any religious person to prove my “anal reading technique” for the Bible and sundry religious texts is not exactly what god intended. He revealed it to me in a dream. I’m right, it’s all very mysterious and you cannot prove otherwise so nyah nyah nyah nyah.

    With knobs on.

    Louis

  104. Brownian says

    I think it would be highly entertaining to listen to Rick Warren explain the following bile verses away

    I’d ask Warren to preach on

    Really? Have you ever heard any believer do anything more interesting than appeal to personal revelation?

    “What you think those passages mean is not what those passages really mean. I’ll tell you what those passages really mean, and what they really mean is blah-blah-blah and so on and so forth and therefore Jesus himself would want you to give me all your money/go burn in a lake of fire/sing kumbaya with me at my yogic solstice celebration.”

  105. says

    A wild Scotsman appears!

    “Real Christians,” Roger, are all people who claim to believe in the divinity and resurrection of jeebus. That’s it. Squabbles between Protestants and Catholics, between Anglicans and Lutherans and Baptists, between “American Christianity” and whatever you adhere to… mean precisely jack and shit to the rest of us. It’s all imaginary sky friends and mental masturbation.

    I think the confusion here is that most of the bible says to give to the poor unconditionally, but there is a verse Deuteronomy 24:19…

    So:

    1. Your Wholly Babble is self-contradictory.
    2. Most of your Wholly Babble urges you to give to the poor unconditionally, but you give a few contradictory verses undue weight versus the rest of the verses on the subject.

    There is also 2 Thessalonians 3 which is about working for what you get. It even says “those who don’t work don’t get to eat.”

    Therefore, it’s perfectly OK to let people whose disabilities prevent them from working starve. Or people who can’t find work. Right, Roger?

    All systems of government are flawed. There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth.

    The difference between all other systems of government and the only “form of goverment” that will satisfy you is that the others are all real, whereas the one you prefer is a pipe dream.

    Trying to meddle in governmental philosophy and using the bible as a springboard is wrong.

    Then get the fuck out of it and let humanists, who aren’t content to let everything rot until jeebus “comes back” (as if he ever really existed), run the show.

  106. Brownian says

    Then get the fuck out of it and let humanists, who aren’t content to let everything rot until jeebus “comes back” (as if he ever really existed), run the show.

    Works for me.

  107. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    All systems of government are flawed. There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth.

    Personally I’d prefer government by polar bears. They’d be sure to stop global warming, and there’d be plenty of salmon for all.

  108. Brownian says

    It even says “those who don’t work don’t get to eat.

    You mean, lazy non-working fucks like Jesus Christ and his disciples?

    Do words mean anything at all to Christians? Any fucking thing at all? You’re all self-serving con artists.

  109. says

    This verse commands that people should leave some of the harvest for the poor, but the implication is that it is not a handout but that the poor should work to bring it in.

    ah. someone who’s never been poor is having opinions on “handouts”.

    let me tell you something: surviving on “handouts” is really fucking hard work; surviving when poor is really fucking hard work. stop spreading the lie that poor people are lazy, when it’s really fucking obvious you don’t know any actually poor people.

  110. Brownian says

    I googled Luntz (turns out he’s a ball of shit and sleaze that his parents named ‘Frank’), and it turns out he’s the William Lane Craig of the Republican Party. This is a paragraph from Wikipedia:

    Additionally in his January 9, 2007, interview on Fresh Air, Luntz discussed his use of the term, “energy exploration” (oil drilling). His research on the matter involved showing people a picture of current oil drilling and asking if in the picture it “looks like exploration or drilling.” He said that 90 percent of the people he spoke to said it looked like exploring. “Therefore I’d argue that it is a more appropriate way to communicate.” He went on to say “if the public says after looking at the pictures, that doesn’t look like my definition of drilling—it looks like my definition of exploring—then don’t you think we should be calling it what people see it to be, rather than adding a political aspect to it all?” Terry Gross responded: “Should we be calling it what it actually is, as opposed to what somebody thinks it might be? The difference between exploration and actually getting out the oil—they’re two different things, aren’t they?”

    And on another other blog we have John Cole referring to the GOP (or at least, not the Dems) as standing up for what they believe.

    I think that’s why Christians and the GOP are such good bedfellows: they don’t have an ounce of honesty in either of them—basically, if they can string together a handful of words that allows them to justify whatever fucking small-brained thing they were going to do in the first place, everything’s just hunky-dory.

  111. says

    re: JAL’s #96

    holy crap, that’s some incredibly horrid shit. from everyone invovled

    reason #1234324534 to either never spawn or move out of the US the moment I found out I was pregnant. No way I’d pass a “room check”, since I actually am a slob. an atheist slob. and sure, i’ve never used shelters before, but that’s because sleeping in your car/on public transportation is ok when you’re single and only have to do that for a few days, couple weeks at most. not with a kid; with a kid, it would have to be shelters.

    this country is fucking rotten to the core, and the fucked up libertarian christianity that predominates in it is a huge reason why

  112. Brownian says

    this country is fucking rotten to the core, and the fucked up libertarian christianity that predominates in it is a huge reason why

    Read that, Roger “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Colby?

    You’re a big part of the fucking problem, no matter how many times you try to wash your hands clean of your brethren, you Pontius.

  113. w00dview says

    Read up on Luntz. Found this little gem on his Wikipedia page interesting.

    Luntz was awarded the 2010 PolitiFact Lie of the Year award for his promotion of the phrase ‘government takeover’ to refer to healthcare reform, starting in the spring of 2009. “‘Takeovers are like coups,’ Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. ‘They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.'”

    I am aghast at the utter lack of a conscience these fuckers possess.

  114. raven says

    All systems of government are flawed. There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth.

    I don’t see why. The god of the bible is one of the dumbest and most malevolent ficitional characters ever invented.

    1. He created humans in his own image. We promptly screw up with a lot of help from god. Who left that smart ass talking snake in the garden with the Tree of Knowledge anyway. The so called omniscient fairy who knows everything before it happens?

    2. He kicks us out. We screw up some more. God invents genocide and kills all but 8 people.

    3. Humans cooperate to build a tower. God freaks out, scared to death of humans piling mud bricks on top of each other and confuses their language. A few thousand years later, we have robots on Mars and around Saturn. Incompetent flake.

    4. During the heyday of the Chosen People, they genocide the Canaanites and steal their land, women, and stuff with help from the deity. Women were property. Slavery was common. A male could have as many wives as he could chase down and as many sex slaves as he could afford.

    5. While god is a real champion at genocide and theft, he is unable to protect the Chosen people. They are overrun by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and finally the Germans. To this day there are only 14 million Jews worldwide and 1.4 billion Chinese.

    6. God tries once again to fix his and our mistakes by sending himself down to get murdered on a cross. It didn’t work either.

    7. God’s final plan is more of the same. Jesus is going to show up 2,000 years late, destroy the earth, and kill 7 billion people. Typical diety, his solutions frequently involve killing just about everyone.

    The xian god’s best point is that he is as real as the Easter Bunny, Tinkerbell, or Bigfoot.

  115. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    :”When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.” This verse commands that people should leave some of the harvest for the poor, but the implication is that it is not a handout but that the poor should work to bring it in.

    I’ll be lenient for a while (to show that Sith Lords can be merciful) and assume that you don’t know this:

    The vast majority of people on earth, who happen to be poor, work a tad more that all the rich fucks on earth.

    The people who are getting the “handouts” of food pantries and other charities are often working (one, two, often three) minimum wage crap jobs where you’re forbidden to rest your feet, drink a sip of water or pee when on the job, in addition to being treated like garbage by your bosses (and clients – those crappy, tiring, worthless and demeaning jobs often involve serving customers).

    And I wonder how one can even talk of “dignity” when a boss has every employee take drug tests, as if all poor people were automatically “unthrustworhty”, or as if what they do on their days off was your motherfucking business.

    And I’m not even speaking of how the poor in countries like China or India toil away in ways that are difficult to comprehend for the average westerner. I’m talking about people that you see everyday in Wal-Marts and Starbucks.

    So if a person decides that no, he/she won’t play the ridiculous three-crap-jobs game that americans seem to love so much, and take some money from the government for a while, so that he/she can turn around and rearrange his/her life, I’m not going to begrudge them that. I expect them to be just as understanding if it happens to me – because it can happen to anyone.

  116. rogercolby says

    I find it interesting that people who hate Christianity or religion so much have to use such profanity and vitriol to prove they are “right” and rudely slap others with their ham handed verbiage. Not once did I call anyone out. I was simply commenting on my own belief system. I am terribly sorry that some of you on here did not get the point of it.

  117. KG says

    rogercolby,

    According to your vile belief system, we are all damned because we don’t believe as you do, and we deserve it. The fact that you eschew “profanity and vitriol” doesn’t make you any the less of a hate-filled scumbucket.

  118. rogercolby says

    Wow, KG (and I will leave it at this). From your post there you come off as a very judgmental person. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. I am not phased by your claim to “free thought”.

  119. Weed Monkey says

    rogercolby, I find it interesting (although not at all surprising) that you don’t even try to refute, but instead complain about tone.

    If you have trouble selecting something worthy of a refutation, there’s a nice numbered list #139 by raven for starters.

  120. says

    This verse commands that people should leave some of the harvest for the poor, but the implication is that it is not a handout but that the poor should work to bring it in

    I disagree. The technology of the day (sickles) was such that an efficient harvest worker would leave a fair amount of grain in the field. If you wanted every last wheat stalk you could send in a low-skill, low-pay worker to pick it all up but the usual practice was to let poor people glean it. It didn’t really cost the rich landowner anything because the cost of paying someone to pick it up was close to what you could sell it for. Persons who didn’t allow gleaning were seen as penny pinching and selfish. That’s what the passage is getting at. It is not a plea to give work to poor people.

  121. says

    Roger, the fact that you’re here, bitching at us, instead of doing what you should be doing (making yourself visible at gatherings of Tea Partiers and those rabid wankers who have taken over the public face of Christianity in the USA to make it known that they DON’T represent you), invalidates any complaints you may have about the language used or the general rudeness.

    The worst you can say about the commenters here is that they are rude and use rough language. Meanwhile, you are doing nothing to represent that faith you claim to hold against people who are using it as a club to destroy civil liberties in this country.

    Anyway, if you had bothered to look around here, you would see that the rough language and rudeness is how everybody treats everybody here. This is, to quote some FAQ somewhere, a rude blog.

    In conclusion, Mexico is a land of contrasts and you can go fuck off.

  122. Brownian says

    I find it interesting

    The internet’s favourite contentless weasel opener.

    C’mon, speak up: what, exactly, do you find interesting about your little observation? What, exactly, is the conclusion you’re drawing?

    that people who hate Christianity or religion so much have to use such profanity and vitriol to prove they are “right” and rudely slap others with their ham handed verbiage.

    “Have to?” I suppose I could be nice, but you’d be just as stupid. Might as well get to the point: are you not your brother’s fucking keeper, Colby?

    Not once did I call anyone out.

    Yeah you did: you disavowed Rick Warren and his type of Christian, as if that means something. Again, do words mean anything to you people?

    I was simply commenting on my own belief system.

    Oh, isn’t that wonderful. Well, here’s a tip: the next time you, or any fucking Abrahamist for that matter, decides that what the world needs now is yet another clueless shithead who thinks that s/he, and s/he alone holds the key to what the Bible really means, kindly wait until you’re dead and have Jesus vet it before inflicting it on the rest of us.

    From your post there you come off as a very judgmental person. You don’t know me. I don’t know you.

    From your posts you come across as a fucking moron and an asshole. But, you’re right; I don’t know you and you don’t know me. I’m sure in your private life, when you’re not on the internet using the bible to justify why those fucking lazy poor people all need to get jobs, you’re probably not using the bible to justify why those fucking lazy poor people all need to get jobs, and therefore we’re all entirely wrong about you.

    Seriously, fuck off. Nobody cares that you think you’ve got the Bible right and everybody else has it wrong. Every Christian thinks that, and the only thing the fact that you needed to tell us this actually tells us is that you’re not very clever and not very self-reflective.

    As I said, you’re part of the fucking problem, no matter how earnestly you want everyone to believe you’re not a bad guy.

  123. raven says

    rogercolby the passive aggressive troll:

    I find it interesting that people who hate Christianity or religion so much have to use such profanity and vitriol to prove they are “right” and rudely slap others with their ham handed verbiage.

    OH!!! Another passsive aggressive troll. Show up, say some really stupid things, and then tone troll when he is called on it.

    Roger, no polite way to say this. You are really dumb.

    BTW, most of us including myself, are ex-xians. We know.

    You are also boring. Dumb is boring. Try threatening us with your invisible friend in the sky. Or just make some death threats like the lower of the xians always do. They are always good for an easy laugh.

  124. Brownian says

    About the poor, I think the confusion here is that most of the bible says to give to the poor unconditionally, but there is a verse Deuteronomy God, if he exists, was too fucking stupid to forsee that that languages change and oral traditions are really piss-poor ways to preserve information over time, and entrusting vital instructions (say, like how to avoid being fucking tortured forever) to word-of-mouth is about the least responsible way to possibly do so, and any so any supposedly omniscient, omnipotent deity who indulges in such stupidity cannot be considered as anything but negligent to the point of evil.

    FIFY.

  125. coyotenose says

    #101, 104:

    Anuran wrote:

    While plenty of religious people pay lip service to the idea of charity and others like Warren are simply entitlement-drunk pigs there is a genuine imperative towards charity in the Abrahamic traditions.

    Ing responded:

    Horseshit. There is a genuine imperative towards charity in PEOPLE.

    You do not get to fucking claim charity as your own, asshole. You do not get to flat out deny that I am charitable, while claiming that your religion makes you so so super special awesome generous and nice.

    I went back and checked, and I understood it just fine the first time. Anuran made a pretty innocuous comment, apart from IMO exaggerating the charitableness of those groups through generalization.

    Ing took the statement that Abrahamic religions emphasize charity (true, though they contradict themselves many times about it) and that some of those religions’ followers focus on that emphasis to mean that anuran was claiming that Ing himself was uncharitable, that charity has a religious basis and that it makes religious people better than atheists. And he got cussed out over that nonsense. It’s illogical and a severe overreaction*.

    That rebuttal lacked validity because it didn’t relate to what anuran actually wrote or even implied.

    Anuran’s rebuttal WAS also unconnected, and throwing Hinduism and Buddhism under the bus strikes me as unnecessary to the point of asininity, but it isn’t bigoted. He didn’t say or imply a belief that Hindus and Buddhists are uncharitable, but that the basic tenets of the religions don’t emphasize that. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but do we SERIOUSLY need to explain that the label does not define everything about the individual? If so, I will now let you know that in fact, some Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Politicians, Atheists, Americans, Scientologists**, Astronomers, Doctors, and Fucking Furries are charitable despite the lack of a specific note about that issue in any of their charters.

    *Suspiciously Disarming NB: I have my share of online overreactions also. They’re not in and of themselves a big deal. We feel strongly about this shit, which is a good thing.

    However, calling someone a bigot based on THAT lack of evidence? Dick.

    **Maybe Scientology does actually say something about charity. Hell if I care, though.

  126. Amphiox says

    All systems of government are flawed. There is only one form of government that will satisfy me and that is when God comes to set it up on earth.

    And when that shiny glowing deity figure appears, setting up that government and asking for your fealty, how will you know that it really is God, and not Satan deceiving you?

    How would you know?

  127. says

    I am terribly sorry that some of you on here did not get the point of it.

    Nah, we got it, Roger. You feel Rick Warren and his ilk have misinterpreted the gospel, and are twisting it to justify their own desires. Christianity, they’re doing it wrong.
    What we’re not sure you understand is that Rick Warren would almost certainly say the same thing about you–and it brings up one of the central problems of religion: how does one decide between competing ideas, between contradictory interpretations of scripture? You can’t use the real, physical world as an arbiter, as science does, because once you legitimize things like internal revelation as a way of knowing anything, you’ve disabled that sort of test. It’s hard to compare the voices in your head with those in others’. Millions of people in this country want nothing more in their lives than to talk to Jesus, and understand God’s will. They pray incessantly. And they end up disagreeing.
    Because religion, by its very nature, has no way to test competing hypotheses. So it continually diverges.
    .
    That’s my nice post, with nary a fuck or shit to be found. And I didn’t call you an idiot even once.
    The hard part was not making any Roger Corby Star Trek jokes…calculate…transmit…

  128. Amphiox says

    This verse commands that people should leave some of the harvest for the poor, but the implication is that it is not a handout but that the poor should work to bring it in.

    You know, I am not aware of any major government entitlement anywhere in any major nation-state that does not require the citizen to take the initiative in order to get it. Even in the utopian socialist paradise that is Saskatchewan, Canada, you have to find out for yourself how to get a hold of the proper application form, fill it out, and mail it (paying for your own postage) to get your health card.

    This is directly analogous to having the poor come to the fields of their own initiative to pick up the gleanings.

    There’s no big government department whose purpose is to actively seek out all the poor, track them down, and hand them their entitlements.

  129. Brownian says

    Even in the utopian socialist paradise that is Saskatchewan, Canada

    Surely you mean Dauphin, Manitoba (Google Manitoba Mincome Study, or start with this link.)

    Anyways, it turns out that both Rick Warren and Deuteronomy are wrong on the effects of ‘handouts’, but no surprise there.

  130. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not once did I call anyone out.

    No, you were just stupid presuppositional, non-thinking, and trolling.

  131. Louis says

    I feel Rick Warren is getting being a human wrong.

    Does that mean Rick Warren is not human?

    Does that mean I am not human?*

    It means neither.

    No need to thank me Rogercolby, I just demonstrated the point for you without saying “fuck” once.

    Well, apart from that “fuck”. And that one. In fact I did it using only three “fucks”, including that one, one “arsehole”, one “cunt” and a pair of “dickheads”, dickhead.

    HTH HAND.

    Big kiss.

    Louis

    * Jokes on a postcard to the usual address.

  132. Weed Monkey says

    Even in the utopian socialist paradise that is Saskatchewan, Canada

    Surely you mean Dauphin, Manitoba (Google Manitoba Mincome Study, or start with this link.)

    Anyways, it turns out that both Rick Warren and Deuteronomy are wrong on the effects of ‘handouts’, but no surprise there.

    May I ask what this is all about?

  133. carlie says

    let me tell you something: surviving on “handouts” is really fucking hard work; surviving when poor is really fucking hard work. stop spreading the lie that poor people are lazy, when it’s really fucking obvious you don’t know any actually poor people.

    Yep. The middle and upper class get their government handouts in easy ways like little checkboxes on their income tax forms: mortgage deduction here, capital gains reduction here, “not really income” there. It’s the poor who have to go out and stand in actual physical lines and file paper after paper and get signatures in office after office to get a fraction of that much money.

  134. Brownian says

    Weed Monkey:

    From 1974 to 1979 the provincial government of Manitoba and the federal government of Canada ran a study to see if a guaranteed income really did reduce the incentive to work. The data were never formally analysed, but a preliminary analysis showed that the only people who chose not to work were mothers of newborns (lazy slatterns) and teenagers (who chose to graduate instead of earning an honest buck). Hospital visits were reduced by 8.5% during that time.

    However, since conservatives are entitled to their opinions, all of the above did not in fact happen, but rather homosexuals colluded with the Soviet Union to drain the testosterone from Reagan’s balls and poor people stopped polishing the Koch brothers’ gold-encrusted golf cleats, leading to the end of civilisation as we know it and now everybody’s dead and there will therefore never be the big war in Jerusalem that prompts Aryan Jesus to come to Earth and declare that angels do indeed root for college football and it sounds exactly like country and western music.

  135. says

    From your post there you come off as a very judgmental person.

    This from someone who’s okay with letting the poor die of starvation.

    You don’t know me.

    The eternal cry of they who can be known to an internet forum only by their words, yet somehow choose the words that will make their readers least likely to ever want to know them in physical space.

  136. Brownian says

    This from someone who’s okay with letting the poor die of starvation.

    I’m not entirely sure, but after multiple readings I think rogercolby may have been trying to explain why Rick Warren mistakenly thinks that the Bible does not endorse charity, rather than actually agreeing with him.

  137. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @rogercolby

    Since I’m bored, I’ll give you a quick response, and I’ll even do it nicely!

    You claim to be a Christian, so I’m wondering: does your belief system include a belief that people of other faiths, and no faiths, and people of your own faith who don’t “act correctly” (however you define that) go to Hell? In other words, do you believe the vast majority of humanity deserves eternal torment? And do you recognize that that would include most, if not all, of the commenters here?

    If you encountered someone and they told you, while being sweet as pie, that they wanted you to be waterboarded forever, would you find them nice? Is their tone enough, or does the content matter?

    Do you see what I’m getting at yet?

  138. kreativekaos says

    Brownian @ #61:

    Bravo, bravo. I think you’re ‘right on the money’ (no pun intended) with your analysis and insight on this point.

  139. says

    I went back and checked, and I understood it just fine the first time. Anuran made a pretty innocuous comment, apart from IMO exaggerating the charitableness of those groups through generalization.

    Your mistake is thinking that this bullshit is innocuous. it’s ubiquitous but not innocuous.

    Ing took the statement that Abrahamic religions emphasize charity (true, though they contradict themselves many times about it) and that some of those religions’ followers focus on that emphasis to mean that anuran was claiming that Ing himself was uncharitable, that charity has a religious basis and that it makes religious people better than atheists. And he got cussed out over that nonsense. It’s illogical and a severe overreaction*.

    Oh thank goodness I have a new nanny to tell me when my feelings are wrong!

    Your concern is noted.

  140. says

    And when that shiny glowing deity figure appears, setting up that government and asking for your fealty, how will you know that it really is God, and not Satan deceiving you?

    How would you know?

    Satan will come first and make everybody tattoo a barcode on their foreheads and yell at people not to be Christians. Satan will be so much like the Emperors Nero and Domitian that it will be obvious to any reader that he is, in fact, Nero reincarnated into Domitian (as opposed to Obama, the Pope, or the Dalai Lama). It will be pretty obvious when it happens, except that only Christians will recognize Satan/Nero/Domitian for what he is and all us nonbelievers will turn into persecutors and bullies despite having no motivation to do so.

    Although I’m being funny I have had people tell me just this and if they weren’t 100% serious I was fooled. Of course I can be pretty gullible.

  141. says

    While I loathe Rick Warren, I think he’s correct on this point, at least to a degree.
    (I didn’t read the source)
    It is far better to help the poor by helping them get jobs, so as to provide for themselves, rather than just giving them food or money, etc.
    This is why I recommend and support programs to (re-)train the poor and/or jobless and assist with job placement.

    Also, I’ll never understand PZ’s apparent irrational hatred of the libertarian point of view.
    Michael Shermer and Penn Jillete are libertarians.
    Does PZ think they are idiots?
    I understand disagreeing with libertarians on various points of view, but PZ seems to take delight in insulting them, as do many people here.
    It greatly saddens me to see this.

  142. kreativekaos says

    peter…@ #166:

    Frankly, I tend to find it irksome at the Libertarian position that some of these guys take.

    I respect Shermer, and although he recognizes the reality of human-caused global warming, he has mentioned (mildly) that he thinks ‘the marketplace’ should be allowed to work to slow/halt/reverse it, rather than come up with regulation that would direct society to institute actions and technologies to abate CO2 build-up. I don’t see any effective market mechanism that would apply to something like global warming, certainly not in the relatively short window of opportunity we have to act.

    Penn Gillette? Grandstanding blowhard; big fucking deal if he’s an atheist.

    And then there’s ‘The Thinking Atheist’ ( with a color glossy of him posed next to PZ at the Reason Rally). He has YouTube videos and a audio blogcast.
    The guy is staunchly atheist in position (like some, he’s an ex-EEEEEEEvangelical preacher/radio personality), but is very much in the camp of supporting gun-lovin’, health care reform hatin’, welfare denyin’ Libertarianism–all of course because there’s too much spendin’ of our tax dollars’. It’s been noted that, very generally speaking, atheists tend to align on the left.

    (Another exception to the ‘left-hand rule’, Robert Price; I’m sure there are many more.)

  143. Weed Monkey says

    Also, I’ll never understand PZ’s apparent irrational hatred of the libertarian point of view.
    Michael Shermer and Penn Jillete are libertarians.
    Does PZ think they are idiots?

    Good fucking lard.

    peterbollwerk, this blog isn’t one where you take your baby steps in liberturdism. You will be eaten alive.

  144. kreativekaos says

    ( As a progressive radio host in my region has informally characterized Libertarians for a few decades now,… they’re just Republicans who want to smoke dope.
    [since that was one of the major factors--if not the MAIN factor-- motivating the Libertarian position a few decades ago.] )

  145. says

    Libertarianism is like communism in that it fails to account for the limitations of human cognition. Market solutions aren’t always sufficient because humans often don’t act rationally nor think longterm. That’s why I think anyone who calls himself a libertarian is, yes, a bit stupid. Penn Gillette definitely falls under that. Schermer, he’s a smart guy, just wrong about a lot oof politics.

  146. Matt Penfold says

    Michael Shermer and Penn Jillete are libertarians.
    Does PZ think they are idiots?

    When it comes to their libertarian views, yes.

    Why ask a question you already knew the answer to ?

  147. KG says

    Also, I’ll never understand PZ’s apparent irrational hatred of the libertarian point of view.
    Michael Shermer and Penn Jillete are libertarians.
    Does PZ think they are idiots? – peterbollwerk

    There’s nothing irrational about hating the combination of selfishness, stupidity and self-righteousness that makes up glibertarianism. Penn Jillette is most certainly an idiot, as he’s shown quite comprehensively in his position on climate science. Shermer isn’t stupid, but has simply substituted one irrational faith position for another; there are plenty of intelligent Christians, but it doesn’t make Christianity any less idiotic and repulsive.

  148. KG says

    rogercolby,

    Wow, KG (and I will leave it at this). From your post there you come off as a very judgmental person. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. I am not phased by your claim to “free thought”.

    I didn’t make any such claim, and it’s “fazed”, not “phased”. You made it quite clear that “salvation” is dependent on believing as you do. So all who do not believe as you do are damned. You’re evidently OK with this. So you’re OK with seeing the commenters here damned. If that doesn’t make you a hate-filled scumbucket, why not?

  149. raven says

    dumb troll:

    Also, I’ll never understand PZ’s apparent irrational hatred of the libertarian point of view.

    1. Who says PZ’s hatred of gibbertarianism is Irrational? You are making a huge assumption here.

    2. Who says PZ even hates looneytarianism? You are making another assumption here. IMO, it is simple minded nonsense that only immature nonthinkers believe. But I can’t bother to actually hate it any more than the Flat Earthers, far more effort than it is worth.

    The current libertarian paradise is Somalia. Lifespans are 47 years and falling, violent death is common, but there is no government and you can get as rich as you want to. The leading occupations are pirate and warlord.

    3. In practice the looneytarians in the USA are the Tea Party. The party of hate, racism, misogyny, lies, idiocy, and failed economic politicies that have resulted in a lost generation. For all their talk of small government, they mostly try to outlaw abortion and contraception while heading on back to the Dark Ages.

    I like living in a free, progressive democracy. The Tea Party destroys that if and when they can. Just look at what they did in Wisconsin.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, I’ll never understand PZ’s apparent irrational hatred of the libertarian point of view.

    We’ve looked extensively at the liberturdian point of view. They are supreme and selfish egotists, looking out only for themselves, and it is reflected in their pathologically selfish and self-serving political theology, that has no basis in historical reality. There are the creationists of the political world, spewing theology devoid of contact with reality.

    Care to play some more?

  151. Matt Penfold says

    We tried libertarian policies in the US and the UK, and to a lesser extent in the rest of Europe, during the C19th. The results were not good.

  152. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Libertarianism is like communism in that it fails to account for the limitations of human cognition. Market solutions aren’t always sufficient because humans often don’t act rationally nor think longterm. That’s why I think anyone who calls himself a libertarian is, yes, a bit stupid.

    It also rewards psychopathic behaviour on an individual and group/corporate level even more than our current system does.

    I had a lively conversation with my band’s other guitarist at rehearsal last night. He was thinking that Ron Paul sounded like the best candidate for US Prez*… I’ll admit that some of RP’s policies (esp. on non-intervention) are fairly attractive but 1) he’d have to get in bed with the xtian right wing to get elected and 2) libertarianism as he’d promote it would pretty much fuck everyone over.

    *As we’re in the UK we don’t have as much to go on wrt US politics. He’d heard a lot of the soundbites but not the back story. He hadn’t realised that the Republican party has, basically, gone insane over the past couple of decades.

  153. KG says

    As we’re in the UK we don’t have as much to go on wrt US politics. He’d heard a lot of the soundbites but not the back story. He hadn’t realised that the Republican party has, basically, gone insane over the past couple of decades. – Hairy Chris

    Come off it. Anyone in the UK who doesn’t know this simply hasn’t been paying attention.

  154. Louis says

    Matt,

    My (UKian like me) younger brother is basically a (g)libertarian. Whenever he starts on one of his tirades about the evil people on benefits robbing him of his hard paid taxes etc and sundry libertarian/right wing joys I like to point to the 19th century too. His riposte: we have the internet now, it’s different.

    It’s usually at this point I leave the room and start drinking heavily.

    Louis

    P.S. He once advanced the notion regarding people starving in Ethiopia: “Why don’t they just move to somewhere with food”. I wept.

  155. says

    Nonintervention sounds good until you realize Paul a)presumnnably thinks the Rwanda genocide was handled correctly and b) would lead to more poverty and death as Paul wants to end forign aid. Goodbye aid hello AIDS. He doesn’t care how many people may die because its not his problem. Selfishness induced ignorance=libertarianism.

    Might I also point to the old debazte on a lib forum where they seriously needed tol debate the ethics of using taxes to save humanity from a meteror? Iirc they came down on Dits nore moral to let the mass extinction come because no ones rights are being violated by doomsday rock.

    I also specifically said why idiot aside I think Penn is both a/immoral and lazy/cowardly

  156. says

    Nonintervention sounds good until you realize Paul a)presumnnably thinks the Rwanda genocide was handled correctly and b) would lead to more poverty and death as Paul wants to end forign aid. Goodbye aid hello AIDS.

    THIS!

  157. w00dview says

    Iirc they came down on Dits nore moral to let the mass extinction come because no ones rights are being violated by doomsday rock.

    This explains nicely just how shite libertarianism would be with dealing with environmental issues. They genuinely think environmental regulation is a greater threat to their survival than environmental degradation. They are single minded buffoons with a blind obedience to ideology every bit as bad as fundamental Christianity. Is it any wonder that the combination of these two fucked up worldviews in the Republican Party is precisely the reason they are so scary to have in power to any sane person?

  158. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    It is far better to help the poor by helping them get jobs, so as to provide for themselves, rather than just giving them food or money, etc.
    This is why I recommend and support programs to (re-)train the poor and/or jobless and assist with job placement.

    The problem with this, once again, is:

    1) you assume that having a job, any job, makes poverty go away.

    2) you assume that everybody can be trained and/or is capable of doing a lucrative job.

    Both of these assumptions are false. And I speak from personal experience for #1, and from helping people learn things for #2.

    Was that polite enough ?

  159. says

    “Job training”? Are you fucking kidding me?

    There have to be jobs available for job training to have any impact. I didn’t realize that we had a glut of jobs on our hands! Fucking idiot.

    (That’s not even mentioning the fact that plenty of the people in the US living below the poverty line have jobs already- our fucking minimum wage is so fucking low that no one can live off of it.)

  160. FilthyHuman says

    @Ing
    #180

    Iirc they came down on Dits nore moral to let the mass extinction come because no ones rights are being violated by doomsday rock.

    You know, that reminded me of this.

    “Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon.”

  161. Brownian says

    Well, so far we’ve got one No True Libertarian™ and an absolute clueless shit with an evidence-free claim about getting jobs for the poor and an appeal to authority* (that’s you peterbollwerk, on the justified assumption that reading is hard for you.)

    While it might be the case that actual, Sophisticated Libertarianism™ is the magic solution that we’re all waiting for (apparently it only works in a pure state, since no real world application has), 99.99999999% of self-described libertarians are indeed stupid, selfish, privileged fucks.

    *I can show you a list of 100 scientists who believe in Intelligent Design, Peter. Do you think they’re idiots? What does that tell you about Intelligent Design? What does that tell you about your argument?

    Do you think it’s possible that the idiot in this case is you?

  162. Brownian says

    Goodbye aid hello AIDS.

    THIS!

    Well, without all these liberty-reducing handouts maybe they’ll have the incentive to be born in Pittsburgh to a Freemason owner of a dairy farm next time, instead of nasty ol’ Africa.

  163. raven says

    P.S. He once advanced the notion regarding people starving in Ethiopia: “Why don’t they just move to somewhere with food”. I wept.

    Starving people do move for food if they can.

    A guy at Harvard once did a study of what societies undergoing famines do.

    They always start raiding if they can. Starving humans raid.

    Humans just don’t sit quietly and starve if they have any other choice. That is one reason why we have a welfare system and food stamps. If the poor got hungry enough, they would steal for food or even kill for food.

    You would end up paying for more police and more prisons. That costs a lot of money too. There is no free lunch here. FWIW, in libertarian countries, much of the third world, that is exactly what they do. Rich people always hire armed security guards. And you can always get a job as an armed security guard. The rich have to hire the armed poor to protect their stuff, capital assets, and themselves.

    One of my friends is from a ruling family in the Philippines. They hire armed guards to protect things like their rice fields. From what I don’t know, hungry people stealing rice I guess. They also spend as much time as they can in the USA. One of her relatives was assassinated in some sort of dispute with the peasants.

  164. Brownian says

    raven 189:

    Exactly. Every thing you wrote.

    I’ve toured a house in Nairobi where the owner proudly showed off the security features of the house he had built in (panic rooms behind every real room, four-inch thick steel doors built to withstand grenade attacks). Sadly, he built all of these because his doctor brother was killed in his own house by thieves. The take-home message was that you can never, ever, pay your security people enough to ensure their complete loyalty.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with starving people: they never seem to accept that they played by the market and lost, and they refuse to abide by the rule that the only coercion they must never use is violence.

    It’s almost as if that, when face with death and starvation, humans will put more trust in a real hand wielding a machete than they will in invisible ones.

  165. raven says

    P.S. He once advanced the notion regarding people starving in Ethiopia: “Why don’t they just move to somewhere with food”.

    We’ve seen exactly this in the USA for decades now.

    It’s no secret there have been millions of Mexicans and central Americans migrating north to the USA, illegally and legally.

    And just why are these millions of Latinos who don’t even speak our language migrating north across a hazardous border where some of them just die, evading the immigration police, and taking hard, low paying jobs that gringos won’t do while enduring a lot of mindless ethnic discrimination?

    So state the obvious, even that is a step up for them.

    If the starving Ethiopians shared a border with the USA, you can bet we would have millions of Ethiopian farm workers.

  166. Brownian says

    How can the free market solve food riots, assholes?

    It doesn’t. It can’t possibly. The fear of failure and the lack of safety nets is the incentiviser necessary for the market to work: I’ll only have an incentive to work harder to keep my job if I’m afraid of unemployment in the first place, and for that fear to exist, unemployment has to. And what’s to fear from unemployment? Well homelessness and starvation for example. Social safety nets remove the fear of homelessness and starvation from unemployment (or attempt to), and that’s what libertarians generally wish to remove.

    You cannot have a system that relies on such incentives to foster innovation and productivity, and then explain that the system itself will somehow do away with these incentives on its own. It doesn’t even work rhetorically, nevermind the historical reality of food riots.

  167. Brownian says

    Hell, even when Shermer tries to defend historical periods of piracy, he only pillages strawmen. No, pirates weren’t wanton anarchists, he reassures only those people stupid enough to think so, they developed their own codes and rules for their in-groups. Yes, yes, Michael, but what of the, y’know, piracy they were so famous for? Oh, well, that had to happen for pirates to gain any respect, but it happened a lot less than the media portrayed, then or now.

    Well thank you very much, Michael Shermer, for laying to rest any illusions about those who operate outside the bounds of law for those of us who’ve never bought an ounce of pot or an eight-ball of coke and buy into the media myths that such people are uniformly trigger-happy chaotic neutral villains. (Rather, it’s the people afraid of criminals, the self-apppointed watchmen of neighbourhoods, say down in Florida, that behave as trigger-happy chaotic neutrals when freed from legal restraints and become terrified of the poor and desperate.)

    So no, Shermer’s not an idiot, but I’ve heard and read some very idiotic things from him.

  168. Brownian says

    Social safety nets remove the fear of homelessness and starvation from unemployment (or attempt to), and social safety nets are what libertarians generally wish to remove, because they eliminate the incentives.

    FIFM.

  169. Brownian says

    Social safety nets remove the fear of homelessness and starvation from unemployment (or attempt to), and social safety nets are what libertarians generally wish to remove, because they eliminate the incentives my taxes!

    FIFMA.

  170. says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.
    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    Carry on…

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    Since we’ve had liberturds infesting the blog continuously since before Obama was elected, your statement is refuted by the facts. Just like your economic theology.

  172. Amphiox says

    This is why I recommend and support programs to (re-)train the poor and/or jobless and assist with job placement.

    And of course you know where this will lead, don’t you?

    The libertarian rich will soon be up in arms about their tax dollars spent to fund programs that help the dirty, unwashed, undeserving poor compete with them and their children for their jobs.

  173. raven says

    Peter the idiot looneyrarian:

    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    You mean True Real Gibbertarianism, not those heretical Fake Looneytarians, don’t you.

    We know. They are a common form of rather stupid trolls.

    In practice, US libertarians are just Tea Party christofascists who want to oppress anyone not a rich, white, old, male and have a civilization and nation state without they themselves paying for it. Same old christofascist hate nonsense we’ve seen for a century now.

    I myself was a Libertarian once. For a few weeks as a teenager after readying Rand’s The Fountainhead. It took me that long to realize it was simple minded and cuckoo. That put me aa a child ahead of a whole lot of adults.

  174. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.
    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    You’d be surprised how many of us (a) understand philosophical libertarianism, (b) understand the modern political incarnation of libertarianism in the United States, and (c) are horrified at the implications of either philosophical or political libertarianism.

    Has anyone else noticed that libertarians, as well as theists, seem to have this idea that the only way any sane person could possible reject their theology is that we don’t understand it? How many times have we been subjected to, “Oh, if you just understood Christianity, it would all make sense and you would join us?” Or, “None of you want to join me in my crusade to implement libertarianism, therefore you must not understand what it acutally is?” Which is, of course, bullshit. I understand libertarianism, communism, socialism, fascism, and other isms. And, for most of them, the more I understand the more I recoil in horror.

  175. says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.
    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    Carry on…

    Very cute, peterbollwerk, very cute indeed.

  176. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I’d love to hear the libertarian explaination for those*.

    I’ve one liberturd specimen tell me that stealing food from your starving children was immoral. So the explanation for food riots is that the participants are immoral and sin againt the Free Market(TM).

    *Oh wait. No I wouldn’t.

    Oh, sorry.

  177. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    crap.

    from = for

    Stealing food from your starving children in indeed immoral.

  178. says

    Hey now, I asked a question about food riots! I can’t get an answer to that from the libertarian*?

    Trust me, buddy, we understand libertarianism and we know exactly how bankrupt it is. Any system that relies on idiological purity is bound to fail (and increase suffering in the process).

    *Thanks, kemist. Even though the answer was awful.

  179. KG says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.
    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism. – peterbollwerk

    Thanks for proving once again that liberturds are almost invariably doubleplusgood duckspeakers.

  180. Brownian says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.

    Are you five fucking years old? Honestly, if you’re so fucking dumb as to think this argument works anywhere outside of an Xbox Live pissing contest, you do not want a libertarian society because you will end up as a pack mule for some local warlord, you fucking dumbshit.

    Has anyone else noticed that libertarians, as well as theists, seem to have this idea that the only way any sane person could possible reject their theology is that we don’t understand it?

    I referenced Sophisticated Libertarianism™ above, because the claims are exactly the same.

    Of course, one of the claims of libertarianism is that the Nanny State™ treats people as if they’re too dumb to make decisions for themselves and that people are actually much smarter and more rational than we assume (whether this is True Libertarianism™ or just what every self-described libertarian I’ve ever heard from claims, I honestly don’t give a fucking shit—if I wanted to fap over ideological purity, I’d be a goddamn Marxist), but if this is indeed true then we can safely assume that the lack of a libertarian state is that the rational population that libertarianism posits is aware of and has rejected libertarianism. Either that, or people actually do need state protection from others and occasionally, themselves.

    As for the shit-for-brains’ little “It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism”, I’ll direct him to my comment #32:

    If True Libertarianism™ was more successful in the marketplace of ideas, its cheap knock-offs wouldn’t have gained so much ground.

    To whit: how the hell are fucks like you going to make it in the Free Market if you cannot even successfully market your own idea?

    It’s not our fucking fault you’re oily, shitty salesmen. Go cry to the nanny state that no-one’s smart enough to realise that you know what’s best for them, asshole.

  181. raven says

    Stealing food from your starving children in indeed immoral.

    Well it is.

    So what do you call those piles of starved to death children in camps for the poor.

    Sacrifices to the free market? Collateral damage? Somebody else’s problem.

    There are bigger moral crimes than stealing food to feed your starving children.

    Being a Looneytarian troll is one of them.

  182. Anri says

    Thanks to those of you who just proved my point that the majority here are unwilling to engage in thoughtful discussion without resorting to insults.

    And here is your chance to prove your innate superiority by ignoring those you consider beneath you and engaging with the others – whoever those may be.

    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    Carry on…

    It consistently amazes me that libertarians appear to be able to simultaneously believe that all people are essentially rational actors, fully capable of working out what is best for their long-term interests
    -and-
    that libertarianism is clearly and unambiguously the best economic system, offering the greatest good to the most people,
    -while recognizing-
    that libertarianism has not been adopted successfully on a large scale anywhere.

    So, I for one am listening. Politely (for the time being).
    Explain away.
    Tell me of the True Libertarianism, which all other self-proclaimed libertarians have somehow gotten wrong.

  183. says

    people who hate Christianity or religion so much have to use such profanity and vitriol to prove they are “right”

    we’re right regardless of profanity; the profanity is extra.

    I was simply commenting on my own belief system.

    which includes shitting on the poor because you think they’re lazy. which makes it contemptible.

    I am terribly sorry that some of you on here did not get the point of it.

    I’m sorry, were you under the erroneous impression that just because something is your own belief system”, it somehow becomes magically forbidden to criticize it when it’s wrong both empirically and ethically?

    It is far better to help the poor by helping them get jobs, so as to provide for themselves, rather than just giving them food or money, etc.

    and another fuckweasel with opinions about poverty who has never experienced it.

    honeybunch, the poor have jobs. two or three of them at the same time sometimes. and no one “just” gives anyone anything, actually getting the government to provide the services I paid taxes to provide is fucking hard work.

    This is why I recommend and support programs to (re-)train the poor and/or jobless and assist with job placement.

    oh honeycakes, there are no jobs to be had which require “(re-)training”; those were lost in the last two recessions, and were replaced with unskilled labor. have you not noticed?
    hell, even a college education doesn’t get people a good job anymore, ffs.

    Michael Shermer and Penn Jillete are libertarians.
    Does PZ think they are idiots?

    on the subject of economics? of course they are. being an atheist hardly protects against dumbosity on other topics.

    It also amazes me how many clearly do not understand libertarianism.

    *rolleyes*

    it’s rather evident that we understand it quite a bit better than you do, having actually thought through the consequences of it for a variety of systemic issues and people other than upper middle-class whites.

  184. says

    It consistently amazes me that libertarians appear to be able to simultaneously believe that all people are essentially rational actors, fully capable of working out what is best for their long-term interests
    -and-
    that libertarianism is clearly and unambiguously the best economic system, offering the greatest good to the most people,
    -while recognizing-
    that libertarianism has not been adopted successfully on a large scale anywhere.

    oh, that’ one’s fairly easy: people will always vote themselves more handouts, because there are more lazy poor people than industrious rich people, and rational actors will absolutely do what’s easiest, which is to vote every 4 years to give themselves money, food, and housing, instead of going out every day to earn it.

    Hence the only good government is a wee tiny one with almost no powers, since everything else leads directly down a slippery slope to socialism.

    see how that works?

  185. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    which is to vote every 4 years to give themselves money, food, and housing, instead of going out every day to earn it.

    Sounds like a good government to me. Why don’t we have one of those?

  186. Brownian says

    It consistently amazes me that libertarians appear to be able to simultaneously believe that all people are essentially rational actors, fully capable of working out what is best for their long-term interests
    -and-
    that libertarianism is clearly and unambiguously the best economic system, offering the greatest good to the most people,
    -while recognizing-
    that libertarianism has not been adopted successfully on a large scale anywhere.

    That’s my argument, anri! Clearly, we’re the True Libertarians™!

  187. says

    Libertarianism isn’t in effect because people are short sighted and will slight themselves for short gain…but Libertarianism most definitely does not have to worry about the problem of people being short sighted and slighting themselves for short gain?

    you forgot the invisible hand of the market, which fixes that problem.