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Christianity is not religion? It’s a philosophy?

My gob, but Bill O’Reilly is an idiot. He had an argument with Dave Silverman tonight, trying to argue that the government has a perfect right to promote Christmas because Christianity is not a religion.

Right. Believing in a dead god who rose again to redeem humanity from sin is only a “philosophy”. Believing in prayer is only a “philosophy”. Believing in an afterlife with a heaven and hell is only a “philosophy”.

The only raving lunatic in this segment is O’Reilly.


Cuttlefish celebrates BillO with a poem about the war on Christmas.

Comments

  1. Stacey C. says

    He drives me nuts because he clearly is an intelligent person. I don’t think he’s a good person but he’s not actually dumb. But watching his show is just an exercise in making me want to start screaming at the computer screen.

  2. Doc Bill says

    That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen! I think it even beats Bill O claiming that nobody knows how the tides work!

    Christianity is not a religion, Bill? Srsly???

    Clearly he was just trying to provoke Silverman and it was also astounding how Bill O leaped across the table and shouted “Don’t tell me what I think!” Just plain nuts.

    Pure theater.

  3. bunkie says

    Fox News’ war on the nonexistent war on Christmas is almost as consistent as the winter solstice itself. The only war is the one Christians are waging against those evil “holiday” trees.

  4. brianalligood says

    Have to admit, it was not Bill’s finest hour. Incredibly stupid position to take. I also liked the finger pointing in the guest’s face, and his uttering of Jesus Christ while supposedly defending Christmas. What a tool.

  5. Cuttlefish says

    Tide goes in; tide goes out
    War on Christmas starts; War on Christmas wanes

    You can’t explain that!

  6. edwardseedhouse says

    I’ve had this argument slung at me several times over my life as a more or less atheist, and I have read it in several books.

    Some extremely intelligent people are believers, and being intelligent they can find very clever ways of supporting their beliefs because they are driven by the fear of losing them. They are better than stupid people at rationalizing their irrational beliefs.

    Well, once you have decided to believe, high intelligence allows you to defend your decision to believe better, at least superficially.

    And if you are fairly smart and very pigheaded, like O’Reilly, you can really go off the deep end.

  7. mesh says

    In that case I say we strive for a little bit of consistency here. If Christianity is just a philosophy then that means Christian churches are just philosophy schools, and last I checked those aren’t supposed to be tax exempt.

  8. dogfightwithdogma says

    I’m not surprised by his claim. One should not expect much in the way of intelligent, informed commentary from a man who doesn’t understand the cause of Earth’s tides nor how the moon came to be where it is.

    An intelligent man? Surely you jest Stacey C.?

  9. grumpyoldfart says

    Don’t worry, the leaders of the mainstream religions will soon put O’Reilly in his place. They’re not going to let right wing extremists talk a whole lot of nonsense and get away with it. The mainstreamers have too much respect for the truth to allow that to happen.

  10. says

    I first encountered the “Christianity isn’t a religion” meme when I was in High School, from a girl who I was discussing religion with. When I asked for clarification, it was explained that all the other belief systems were religions, but Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus.

  11. devotions says

    Christianity is not a religion.
    Any atheists who claims religion is just a belief in god has much to learn about their own philosophies. This is about as stupid an argument as arguing over what side the gov. Chooses to agree with calling a freaking tree. Who cares. Live your lives! Let people celebrate whatever the heck they want. Atheists get a bad name from insane atheist extremists! How will true freethinkers ever be taken seriously with nut jobs like Silverman?

  12. footface says

    So I guess Islam isn’t a religion either. Sure, Sunniism is a religion. Shia is. Wahhabism is. But Islam? That’s a philosophy. And Bill wouldn’t object to the government observing Islamic holidays, and so on.

  13. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Whatever you say devotions.

    Just run on back and read your little book of laws and prayers of your “not a religion”.

  14. Cuttlefish says

    Christianity *isn’t* a religion. That’s actually true!

    It’s, like, roughly 2,000 religions. Each of which may or may not admit that the others are their kin.

    Fortunately, the SCOTUS has held that promoting religion over a lack therof is every bit as problematic as promoting one particular religion over others.

    So, it doesn’t matter that Christianity is a hydra rather than a serpent. It’s still something we don’t want cozying up to the kids.

  15. Charlie Foxtrot says

    QUICK! Tax those churches! Don’t forget to backdate it a bit as well!
    Then explain it to Billy…

  16. StevoR says

    Did anyone else notice on the headline scrolling bar there that the Egyptians have just sentenced filmakers to death in absentia for making an anti-Islamic video?

    Plus that Silverman and O’Reilly seem to say that Judaism is a sect of Christianity?! (2 mins 10 secs to 2 min 15 secs mark.)

    If Cuomo (sp?) puts a sign saying “Happy Solstice’ on his door O’Reilly won’t mind? I’d like to see that experiment tried.

  17. mesh says

    Christianity is not a religion.

    So basically the Christian “churches” achieving tax exempt status was just the greatest scam in history is what you’re saying. Funny how ol’ Bill is all too happy to rail against a woman for supporting insurance coverage of contraception because of tax funding, but not a peep out of him over the fact that everyone else has to foot the bill for “philosophy” discussions. And here I was thinking conservatives didn’t like moochers.

  18. Suido says

    It’s videos like this that make me think that he is really intelligent and has chosen to go deep cover for the money and fame.

    The sheer stupidity of this argument beggars belief, along with the infamous tides comment, making me think that he’s laughing all the way to the bank at how stupid his audience is and what he can get away with saying.

    This would just make him doubly vile for his hypocrisy, of course.

  19. devotions says

    Pretty freaking sad when an obvious n00b gets owned on Bills show. Lol and u dork wads support silverman? Lol

  20. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Pretty sure that “…religion is just a belief in god…” is good enough to qualify for the tax exemptions. Even if the god in question is a dodgy sci-fi character called ‘Xenu’.

  21. devotions says

    Welp silvermans org is nonprofit so suppose he promotes atheisim as a religion? Tis why I cant stand the dork

  22. footface says

    Devotions: you really mean to say you watched that and thought O’Reilly came off looking good?

  23. microraptor says

    He drives me nuts because he clearly is an intelligent person. I don’t think he’s a good person but he’s not actually dumb.

    He’s out to make money, and like Rush Limbaugh, he’s figured out that he can be as outrageous, offensive, and blatantly dishonest as he wants and it will only help his income as long as he doesn’t piss off the people who advertise on FAUXNoise like Glenn Beck did.

  24. mesh says

    Pretty freaking sad when an obvious n00b gets ownz0red on Bills show!! Lolz!! and u dork wads support silverman?! Roflsaurus!!!11111!1onezors

    Aren’t you late for a debate in the YouTube comments?

  25. Charlie Foxtrot says

    “Tis why I cant stand the dork” – well, that’d be a philosophy then.
    If, however, you maintained and supported some revealed dogma regarding the super invisible sky-daddy of ‘not standing dorks’, then that’d be a religion.

  26. StevoR says

    He had an argument with Dave Silverman tonight, trying to argue that the government has a perfect right to promote Christmas because Christianity is not a religion.

    Which is a very stupid thing to say and an obvious falsehood.

    But there is arguably a case that Christmas, whatever its origin is actually now pretty much a secular event? It has become a day for families to gather give presents, spend time together, celebrate the past year and all without necesarily or even usually having much religious connection.

    It involves various traditional tales that are generally derived from pagan mythology and even commerical inventions (eg. Santa Claus.)

    I don’t think victimless crimes should be considered crimes and being consistent this I think would include unconstituitional religious displays on public land including Xmas and nativity ones.

    What harm would do these do? Who do they hurt in tangible rather than merely ideological hurt fee-fees ways?

    Frankly, I think atheists lobbying to remove Christmas displays are being a bit mean spirited and intolerant. Not a lot, certainly not fascists – no one who isn’t actually a member of the fascist party should be called a fascist – but a bit petty and mean.

    Just my opinion and perspective for whatever little it may be worth.

    Of course, the whole war on Christmas thing isn’t a big issue at all here in Australia. Yet -and long may it stay that way.

    Plus I’ve only ever seen small doses of Bill O’Reilly and his show mainly here where he’s seemingly viewed as a figure of mockery and dislike for being a political / cultural antagonist to most folks views here and an interview with him on the Letterman show where he came across as quite a reasonable person plus a couple of his youtube clips where again, he came over as not too bad a person with fairly moderate right wing views.

  27. devotions says

    @footface nah they both are dorks and dont do either of their causes justice…… @ mesh boobtube is overrated tends to rot the brain……open a book.

  28. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Welp silvermans org is nonprofit so suppose he promotes atheisim as a religion? Tis why I cant stand the dork

    Whelp the Penninsula Amateur radio club is a non profit, so they must be promoting it as a religion.

  29. Akira MacKenzie says

    Christianity is not a religion.”

    Merriam-Webster would seem to indicate otherwise. Christianity fits just about every one of those definitions.

    Any atheists who claims religion is just a belief in god has much to learn about their own philosophies.

    Sooooo… since Christianity is more than just a belief in a god, then it IS a religion? Please make up your mind.

    Also, atheism is technically a philosophical position on ONE question (i.e. “Is there a god?”). Beyond that, it is not a “philosophy” or a set thereof.

    This is about as stupid an argument as arguing over what side the gov. Chooses to agree with calling a freaking tree.

    I’m sorry, but would you care to translate that into English? None of us speak “semi-literate Christ-troll” around here.

    Who cares.

    Assuming that was supposed to be a question, we do, as should anyone else who cares about reality.

    Live your lives!

    Says an apparent follower of a religion that makes it its business to tell us who to live our lives, especially on matters involving genitalia.

    Let people celebrate whatever the heck they want.

    Now one is stopping them, on their own property and their own dime. It’s just that some of use who are not members of the majority faith want our government to obey it’s own rules and not recognize or otherwise endorse anyone’s particular brand of supernatural bullshit.

    Atheists get a bad name from insane atheist extremists!

    Name one.

    How will true freethinkers ever be taken seriously with nut jobs like Silverman?

    What constitutes a “true freethinker?” An atheist who grovels before Christian privilege? (e.g. S.E. Cupp)

    Also, what makes Silverman a “nut job?”

  30. StevoR says

    @23.devotions

    Pretty freaking sad when an obvious n00b gets owned on Bills show. Lol and u dork wads support silverman? Lol

    Not overly. (Shrug.) Not ahuge fan of Silvermans but I don’t have a lot of familiarity with who he is and what he does – about as much as I’ve seen of Bill O’Reilly really.

    I also thought Silverman stood his ground pretty well and did a remarkable job of not laughing and responding to B’O’R’s farcical “Christianity is NOT a religion!” claim with “What the Fuck!” aloud then.

    Both of them got shouty with each other in that confrontational interview. Both like us all, are flawed humans who sometimes say silly things. BO’R’s there was a real doozy!

    Welp silvermans org is nonprofit so suppose he promotes atheisim as a religion? Tis why I cant stand the dork.
    – #25 devotions, 28 November 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Not for profit does NOT equal religious necessarily.

    (And religious does NOT necessarily equal “not for profit” either!)

    Also atheism is a religion in the same way that bald is a hair colour and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    (Hmm.. there’s even a blog about that someone plus a very good youtube series.)

  31. Akira MacKenzie says

    EDIT: No one is stopping them, as long as it’s on their own property and their own dime.

  32. devotions says

    @foxtrot if I as an atheist support tolerance for my beliefs i logically can not attempt to gain any support through anyone who believes in a dogma, let alone attempting to impose intolerance on their dogma and expect change. so why try. I am perfectly happy believing what i believe and it does not bother me one bit to look at a cross or scripture or a freaking CHRISTmas tree. Arguing dogma gives them more power. People like silverman are nut jobs who have yet to accept their is truth beyond indocrination. Tbey are yet free of their religious chains. I chose to show people i expect tolerance because i am respect and tolerant.

  33. bastionofsass says

    Ah, all this whining that Catholic bishops and the fundamentalist are doing about Obamacare is because it infringes on their philosophy against abortion and contraception. This needs to be widely publicized.

  34. Charlie Foxtrot says

    “Also, what makes Silverman a “nut job?””

    Maybe consistently agreeing to enter dialogs with O’Reilly?

    (@Ing: an “ellipsis”)

  35. StevoR says

    @36. Akira MacKenzie :

    “Who cares.”
    Assuming that was supposed to be a question, we do, as should anyone else who cares about reality.

    Who cares = the Doctor of the Doctor Who series fame cares!

    So if Who cares I’d be very worried if I were you!

    Who cares? = However, equals a question and the answer is generally that at least a few people will plus quite often the person asking the question although this clearly depends on the context.

    (Not that I can talk when it comes to poor grammar either.)

    In this context considering the whole “war on Christmas” issue /storm in a teacup / meme / confected outrage & misinformation campaign, tonnes of people clearly do care or you wouldn’t be seeing this thread.

    Whether they are right to do so, care too much or could better spend their time is another (meta?) issue again.

    .. as should anyone else who cares about reality.

    Again, why? What specific tangible harm does it do (to reality or other humans) if a few places have nativity scenes where they’re not technically allowed to be provided it is safe and posing no actual physical danger?

    Is it that bad if the occasional display is irritating a few people whilst bringing happiness to many more? (Appeals to the common good and general pleasure over the grinches.)

  36. Rey Fox says

    open a book.

    I refuse to believe that anyone who has ever read a book would write as terribly as you do. Seriously. Observe what you read. Notice how people who write books construct their sentences in a way that is easy to follow. Try to absorb some correct spelling and grammar. Focus on one thought at a time. Type with your fingers, not your elbows. This is not difficult.

    Oh, and please explain how Christianity is not a religion. I would love to hear it.

  37. frankarmstrong says

    I can just see Bill O’Reilly sitting under the Philosophy Tree on Secularmas Day, joyfully rubbing falafel all over Andrea Mackris…it’s enough to make me, eh, uncomfortable.

  38. Akira MacKenzie says

    Devotions:

    First of all, to quote the sage, Samuel L. Jackson: “ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT!?”

    I doubt anyone here can make head or tail of your barely coherent babble. If you can’t figure out what capitalization or a question mark is for, kindly refrain from polluting written discourse further by laughably attempting to communicate with those of us who at least tried to pay attention during grammar school.

    Now, as for “tolerance,” why the fuck should I tolerate someone who is demonstrably wrong, bigoted, believes ridiculous, things, or just plain stupid? What grants any religion the privilege of being immune for having its very obvious shortcomings pointed out to them and the rest of the world?

    Much like respect, tolerance has to be earned. If its 2000-or-so year history of superstition, violence, and tyranny is anything to go by, Christianity deserves not our tolerance, not our respect, but our utter contempt.

  39. Charlie Foxtrot says

    @devotionz

    What Silverman is attempting to argue here, despite O’Reilly’s derailing, is that religious displays (in this case Christmas) are not appropriate in areas where they appear to indicate a preferential decision being made by the secular government.

    If the followers of any particular dogma can grasp that basic premise of impartiality written into the US constitution, then they should be easily able to support Silverman’s side of the argument.

    Trying to redefine CHRISTianity as a philosophy and not a religion is a pretty sad attempt as misdirection, really.

  40. StevoR says

    What if we all agree that Christmas has lost whatever religious meaning it once had and is now a secular event?

    Could that work?

    (Hmm .. ‘twould be nice if someone would actually y’know answer some of the questions I’ve asked in my comments here,please)

    Ironic (?) to note that last thread referred to “cool Christmas tree decorations” perhaps?

  41. nogods4me says

    StevoR – from your first comment, neither were implying that Judaism was a sect of Christianity. Silverman was stating that Methodists, Roman Catholics, and others were sects while BillO the Clown was throwing out different sects/religions. They were talking at the same time, which is why I hate all shows like this. Host asks a question, guest starts to answer, host starts talking over guest, guest tries to talk over host. If you can’t let each other talk then just STFU and don’t invite them onto your show or don’t accept that invitation.

    As to why atheists do this here, I guess you would have to live here. In an effort to be more inclusive, people pushed for a Holiday Tree rather than a Christmas Tree, a greeting of Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, and other gestures to not exclude Jewish people, Muslims, atheists, etc who do not celebrate the birth of Jesus. These attempts always result in Christians here screaming bloody murder and that they are being persecuted. Saying Happy Holidays (which would include Christmas, Hannukhah, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc) is offensive to them. They must be greeted with Merry Christmas, even if it means the people who don’t believe in Jesus, or that he was just another prophet must be wished the same greeting they would find offensive.

    There have been many examples where an overtly religious display on government ground (and paid for by the government) was okay, but a simple display trying to educate people regarding the Winter Solstice was denied and found offensive. As Silverman said, it’s a fight for equality.

    I don’t know how it is in Australia, but here the Christians are out to let everyone know that this is THEIR holiday and you either celebrate the birth of Jesus or you are a heathen beneath contempt.

  42. bastionofsass says

    devotion contends that Christianity is not a religion, and OTOH, that nonprofits are religions. So, therefore, Christianity must be a for-profit…philosophy. Well, nothing new about the for-profit motivation.

  43. Akira MacKenzie says

    What if we all agree that Christmas has lost whatever religious meaning it once had and is now a secular event?

    Could that work?

    Sure, just as soon as we no longer see the gorram nativity scenes, the “JESUS: The Reason for the Season” yard signs, and name the stinking celebration something other than CHRISTmas. Until then, it’s still a fucking religious holiday for the fucking Christians.

  44. StevoR says

    @ nogods4me : In Australia Christmas is certainly not like that. certainly not in my experience.

    Here we pretty much make what we want of the day. Religious peopel focus on the religious side, non-religious just enjoy the holiday and especially teh food, gifts and most importantly company – and teh beer! Course teh main event in my family and for me is always the day after – the Boxing Day Test (cricket match) but then that’s my “religion” of choice!

    I was trying to suggest a reasonable compromise. Always hard to achieve if you’re dealing with unreasonable people. But perhaps with time and the seemingly inevitable waning religiousity?

    from your first comment, neither were implying that Judaism was a sect of Christianity. Silverman was stating that Methodists, Roman Catholics, and others were sects while BillO the Clown was throwing out different sects/religions. They were talking at the same time, which is why I hate all shows like this. Host asks a question, guest starts to answer, host starts talking over guest, guest tries to talk over host. If you can’t let each other talk then just STFU and don’t invite them onto your show or don’t accept that invitation.

    Yep. I don’t think either individual looked really good there. People abusively shouting past and not listening to each other. Yay. (Not.) B’o’R came across much worse though for his really ridiculous “fascist” name calling especially. Plus, well pretty much everything he said past the “I don’t think you’re a pinhead” point.

    The implication was accidental I’m sure but somewhat amusing at nearly the same WTF level as B’O’R’s “XNty non-religion” gaffe.

  45. nogods4me says

    Also StevoR,

    You don’t hear from people telling you that your nation is a Christian Nation because a) The Declaration of Independence mentions a Creator one time (document has no legal standing in this country, just a letter to King George and the world why we were splitting up), b) our money says “In God We Trust” (added to coins in 1866ish, paper money in 1957ish), c) our Pledge of Allegiance has “One Nation, Under God” (the Under God was added in 1957) d) soon there be people supporting this argument with the newly added “One Nation Under God” engraving to our Capitol building.

    So where’s the harm in a few (if you think it is only a few, you have definitely not ever seen it here at Christmas time) religious displays on government property? Just that every win in these areas gives them more fuel for the “This is a Christian Nation and if you do not like it you can leave (or go back to the country you came from)” argument.

  46. StevoR says

    D’oh. Italics fail, sorry.

    One last thing from the clip in what seemed a reasonable start :

    B’O’R : ” If you want to be an atheist that’s why we have America!”

    It is?

    America was created an Athiest nation Bill?

  47. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Yeah, there’s a lot less people in oz screaming “My holiday! Mine!” than you guys get.
    As an example, the xmas window display at Myers (a big dept store) will be about 8 big windows of animated dolls (a story like the nutcracker, or pepper pig, or something with elves) and then the last window (the smallest) will have a small static nativity scene.
    And no one seems to cmplain (noticeably) about that.
    The city square just has a big Xmas tree put up by the local council.
    Oh, and “xmas” gets used a fair bit, too.

  48. JCfromNC says

    Charlie Foxtrot@17 sez:
    QUICK! Tax those churches! Don’t forget to backdate it a bit as well!
    Then explain it to Billy…

    Oh, no! Didn’t you listen? BillO left himself an out on that one. Unless you can find a church that just advertises itself as “Christian Church” as opposed to “Methodist” or “Baptist” or whatever, then it’s part of a religion. It’s just based on a common philosophy with all those other religions.

    Also, I’m not sure I agree with StevoR@37 that Silverman did a good job in not laughing in his face when he made that statement. Laughing at such a baldfaced lie is one of the best ways of address it, by showing it as worthy only of contempt.

  49. Akira MacKenzie says

    I don’t know how it is in Australia, but here the Christians are out to let everyone know that this is THEIR holiday and you either celebrate the birth of Jesus or you are a heathen beneath contempt.

    Try being the black-sheep left-wing atheist in a family of very right-wing Catholics sometime. It’s this time of the year in particular when my father brow-beats, guilt-trips, and outright insults me most for no longer believing in Holy Mother Church.

    I only challenged my father once about the “War on Christmas” bull a few years back when we were driving home one snowy night from a restaurant. He was complaining about one of the chain stores using the horrific phrase “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” I calmly and politely pointed out the fact that not everyone was a Christian and that “Happy Holidays” was meant to include their celebrations. My father turned on me and shrieked–yes, literally shouted at the top of his lungs–“FOR WHOM? THE KIKES AND THE KWANZA NI**ERS?!” He pulled over the car and ordered me out. It was only after a hasty apology that I avoided having to walk home.

  50. bastionofsass says

    Today one of my neighbors posted her annual rant on Facebook that Christmas was a Christian holy day, and how dare anyone steal the Christians’ special day by saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” And the comments that followed all said that she was absolutely right, Christians need to take back their holiday. Er, holy day.

    So now I understand that December 25 is merely a celebration of a group’s philosophy. Dare I break this info to my neighbor?

    It did always seem odd to me that a religious holy day should be “merry.”

  51. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    devotions:
    Tell you what, I will stop worrying about what theists choose to believe when they quit using said beliefs to trample on the rights of queers, women and people of color. Oh and when they quit trying to force intelligent design nonsense into classrooms. Oh and when they stop making apologies for child raping priests. And when they stop granting more rights to a fucking fetus than a woman.

    So basically, I am going to keep criticizing stupid, delusional beliefs until I die.

  52. devotions says

    @Akira I normally dont engage with petty atheist who copy paste EVERY sentence as if they REALLY need me to laminate. However, for arguments sake. NO. Religion beyond dictionary terms is not just a belief in a god. Giving it that definition you are also saying asserting the belief in no god is asserting their is something to deny,also making it a belief in a god. I digress. Truth is there is no one single “Christianity” which is true that all other then through denominations. No one denomination holds the same dogma or even Christ to the same level as the next. So one can critique a particular form of the philosophy of christianity but Christianity itself obviously is mkre then a belief in a god or it would be much simpler to use logical approches to persuade those who hold such beliefs. Oh and fuck you. Appreciate i take my time to basically blog for your dumb uneducated ass, on an adroid yet. If you want a war against religion open a fuckin theology book. Thumping the Constitution like your old bible is useless. Now give mommy her computer back you have school tomorrow.

  53. StevoR says

    @56. nogods4me :

    Also StevoR, You don’t hear from people telling you that your nation is a Christian Nation because a) The Declaration of Independence mentions a Creator one time (document has no legal standing in this country, just a letter to King George and the world why we were splitting up), b) our money says “In God We Trust” (added to coins in 1866ish, paper money in 1957ish), c) our Pledge of Allegiance has “One Nation, Under God” (the Under God was added in 1957) d) soon there be people supporting this argument with the newly added “One Nation Under God” engraving to our Capitol building.

    Nope – but then I’m an Aussie so none of those ridiculous “arguments” apply.

    OTOH, I suppose Australia does have an established religion, kinda, sorta, maybe, given we’re not-so-loyal subjects of Her Madge the Queen of England and she’s the official head of the Church of England and “Defender of the Faith” officially. That gets totally ignored by well, everyone really but technically still there. (Long story short – we couldn’t be bothered with a revolution, the Aussie Republicans* lost with a rigged question adding the dread “politicians” word back about ten years ago.)

    So we have our own different set of issues but not so bad I think. I can see what you mean a bit though.

    So where’s the harm in a few (if you think it is only a few, you have definitely not ever seen it here at Christmas time)..

    Visited the USA once in August 2001 for a week. So no, you’re right I haven’t.

    .. religious displays on government property? Just that every win in these areas gives them more fuel for the “This is a Christian Nation and if you do not like it you can leave (or go back to the country you came from)” argument.

    Yeah, very different from our Xmas culture and experiences.

    But seems the problem isn’t the displays so much as the crap that’s being ideologically pushed with them?

    Saying Happy Holidays (which would include Christmas, Hannukhah, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc) is offensive to them. They must be greeted with Merry Christmas, even if it means the people who don’t believe in Jesus, or that he was just another prophet must be wished the same greeting they would find offensive.

    Yeah, that is fucked up and wrong.

    If they stopped doing that, if the temperature of the debate dropped and people moved on to more the “make what you want of it, have fun and a good day” approach then could everyone just go to just a relaxed approach where different Xmas displays were enjoyed as decorations for people’s aesthetic enjoyment and atmospheric in a good way not a politics / religion pushing one could we leave ‘em?

    &&&

    * Republican meaning literally favouring an Australian republic with an Aussie head of State and no figure head Monarch not the US meaning of the word natch. Will be quite embarrassing for us if England becomes a republic first!

  54. nogods4me says

    I live in Oklahoma…

    My family accepts it, so it’s not quite so bad, bud probably as close as anyone can get to that situation without being in that type of family.

  55. says

    What harm would do these do? Who do they hurt in tangible rather than merely ideological hurt fee-fees ways?

    The most obvious would of course be the tax monies spent thereon which could have gone to a useful service. More broadly, however, it is an element in the marginalization of non-Christians and a reinforcement of the meme that this is a ‘Christian Nation’

    What if we all agree that Christmas has lost whatever religious meaning it once had and is now a secular event?

    Could that work?

    No. It couldn’t. Do you know why it couldn’t? Because the Christians would go apeshit to a degree not previously witnessed, including many ‘moderate’ or even ‘liberal’ Christians (I mean those not in a political sense but in a scale of fundisim sense).

  56. says

    Oh lord it wants us to appreciate its incoherent babble. Whoever told you that you were smart did you a disservice. Protip: That denominations thereof disagree does not then strip Christianity of its status as a religion. It didn’t suddenly become a philosophy either, although each religious tradition maintains its own philosophies.

    I do see why you find the ignorant babbling of O’Reilly insightful though. XD

  57. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Akira:
    That is horrible. I am so sorry.
    Has your relationship with your father improved since then?

  58. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Ummm… A red jellybean is a lolly, and a green jellybean is a lolly, but jellybeans are just a description of lollies – therefore I can eat as many as I want! Yay!

    Explain that, O’Reilly!

  59. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    How the hell do you turn-I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD
    into-I BELIEVE IN GOD?
    Can someone *other* than the resident fuckwit-devotions-explain that?

  60. StevoR says

    @62. Akira MacKenzie : Yikes! Yeah, that’s awful on your father’s part. What the .. ! Plus a big dose of anti-Semitism and racism too. Scary.

    Totally not what the “season of goodwill for all” is,in principle, supposed to mean too.

    @61. JCfromNC :

    Also, I’m not sure I agree with StevoR@37 that Silverman did a good job in not laughing in his face when he made that statement. Laughing at such a baldfaced lie is one of the best ways of address it, by showing it as worthy only of contempt.

    Well it’d look pretty bad if he was rolling around on the floor and pissed himself laughing! ;-)

    Silverman did a good job of not losing emotional control and saying WTF or words to that effect. Whether laughter would’ve worked there, dunno.

  61. raven says

    Christianity is not a religion.

    Assertion without proof.

    Hitchens rule: An assertion without proof or data may be dismmissed without proof or data.

    You are wrong.

    BTW, how many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg. Four, calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    Troll: Who cares.

    Can we have our tax exemption back now? Will you fruitcakes stop trying to destroy science, sneak your mythology into our kid’s science classes, and destroy the USA?

    Let people celebrate whatever the heck they want.

    Yes!!! The traditional lie and claim of persectuion. No one is stopping you from celebrating Xmas. If you notice, our entire retail sector is in full throttle Xmas shopping right now.

    I shouldn’t be surprised. The trolls very nym is a lie. Devotions who doesn’t believe xianity is a religion.

  62. raven says

    It’s videos like this that make me think that he is really intelligent and has chosen to go deep cover for the money and fame.

    Almost certainly. You don’t have to be very smart to know claiming xianity isn’t a religion is a lie.

    O’Reilly is just a paid liar.

    but Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus.

    That lie has come and gone. It’s so obviously wrong that even morons don’t believe it. It doesn’t explain why that personal relationship with jesus requires big church buildings, huge amounts of money and has its own political party and TV stations.

  63. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Charlie foxtrot:
    Sounds like a disease. One cannot catch that over the intertubes I hope…

  64. StevoR says

    @68.Dalillama, Schmott Guy :

    “What harm would do these do? Who do they hurt in tangible rather than merely ideological hurt fee-fees ways?”

    The most obvious would of course be the tax monies spent thereon which could have gone to a useful service.

    Well, perhaps. Guess the money could be better spent sure. Although, as long as they’re not spending too much on them, I think something that is seasonally decorative and cheers people up can be nice and help make the community, a pleasant positive place to live. Its like having a bowl of fish in government offices really or pot plants or giving easter eggs and valentines when its those days.

    More broadly, however, it is an element in the marginalization of non-Christians and a reinforcement of the meme that this is a ‘Christian Nation’

    Yeah, that’s definitely wrong and unjust.

    But that’s the message that some (too many clearly) push ideologically with the displays not something that’s necessarily intrinsic to the displays themselves isn’t it?

    Its probably the culture gap and maybe I just don’t get it but it appears sometimes that the atheists are being “fun police” here and not letting others just have fun in their own way. I’m all for tolerance and letting people do what they want as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. I’m not religious but I enjoy it and don’t mind seeing the occassional nativity displays, don’t feel strongly that they’re aimed at promoting any religious ideology just part of a tradition that’s a bit of fun.

    But if its not like that for many others over in the States then, yeah, that’s really sad and wish it weren’t that way. Dunno. I don’t think we should ruin others enjoyment of a festive day for petty legalities but also they shouldn’t be marginalising and demeaning and attacking others also.

  65. nogods4me says

    Are these little gems like “Christianity is not a religion” worth giving this clown the attention he wants and the fodder for his followers that appearing on his shows gives him?

    The little bit that Silverman is actually allowed to speak is hardly enough to convince anyone.

  66. StevoR says

    ‘it’ = Xmas.

    Our atheist family usually has had a Christmas tree plus tinsel up and especially as kids celebrated with Santa and all that stuff so, well where I’m coming from here. Have also been to the occassional carols by candlelight events held in public often by the riverbank or creek bank and , just nice , not really religious or political but community and meditative focused if you understand /imagine that.

  67. Akira MacKenzie says

    Devotions:

    Truth is there is no one single “Christianity” which is true that all other then through denominations. No one denomination holds the same dogma or even Christ to the same level as the next. So one can critique a particular form of the philosophy of christianity but Christianity itself obviously is mkre then a belief in a god or it would be much simpler to use logical approches to persuade those who hold such beliefs.

    Bullshit, and badly written bullshit at that. (Is English supposed to be your eighth language?)

    It doesn’t matter if you Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Coptic, or Orthodox. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the trinity, transubstantiation, pre-or-post-tribulation, or an other of the silly minutiae that divides the various sects of your religion. I doesn’t matter if you think your lord would want national healthcare and the welfare state, or would oppose same-sex marriage or gun control. I don’t care if you think your “Messiah” was born of virgin or stepped off the gangplank of a flying saucer. As long as the central figure of your religion is this divine, supernatural character named “Jesus Christ” who allegedly lived 2000 years ago in ancient Palestine, then it’s Christianity no matter what semantic games you want to play. (Emphasis mine.)

    Until any of you can provide testable, reproducible, falsifiable, and objective evidence that your religion is true–staring with the existence and moral authority of your deity–it’s still ALL bullshit.

    Oh and fuck you.

    Thanks! I’ll sure try.

    Appreciate i take my time to basically blog for your dumb uneducated ass, on an adroid yet.

    Oh, forgive me for not bowing to your ego. However, if English skills are anything to go by, I’d willingly wager my level of education (poor as it is) against yours any day.

    Thumping the Constitution like your old bible is useless.

    Considering that the Constitution actually pertains to something that demonstrably exists (i.e. The U.S. and its government) I’ll put more trust in that albeit flawed document than any book of theology you could name, cupcake.

  68. mildlymagnificent says

    StevoR, you’re also forgetting the occasional ‘cultural’ pushback in Australia. “Happy Holidays” is too American, boo, hiss – from people who send cards with snow covered landscapes and won’t accept any version of Father Christmas other than the jolly red-cheeked product of aforesaid American culture.

    And other faiths people here generally are OK with the idea of “Merry Christmas” and cards and gifts, and happily tell, or even invite, neighbours and workmates when it’s their own special events.

    Maybe it’s the climate. It’s a bit hard to be all uptight about chrissie purity (despite the routine pursed lips letters to the editor about the ‘true spirit of Xmas’) when you’re mopping a sweaty brow while you barbecue the obligatory mountain of prawns (shrimp for USAnians) on a 35C+ day. Even if you go to midnight carols services for the ‘cultural’ experience, the doors are wide open and a few hefty blokes are always ready, willing and able to carry out anyone who faints in the heat.

  69. bastionofsass says

    It doesn’t explain why that personal relationship with jesus requires big church buildings, huge amounts of money

    Jesus is a kept man.

  70. John Morales says

    [OT]

    devotions, you reckon Jesus got to use his penis for anything other than masturbation and micturation?

    (I think story-Jesus died a virgin. What a shame, eh?)

  71. StevoR says

    @74.raven :

    The trolls very nym is a lie. Devotions who doesn’t believe xianity is a religion.

    Well, you can be devoted to things other than religions. I’m very devoted to my family and pets for instance. Plus I’m a devoted fan of the Aussie cricket eleven, astronomy and reading this blog among other things.

    Mind you, I’m pretty sure that’s not the sense of the word Devotions is meaning in xhir name.

  72. nogods4me says

    StevoR, it’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t live here. I do not feel persecuted as an atheist, I am very open about it and it has led to some discussions, but nothing bad. However, our local, state, and federal government spends so much time and money on religious based legislation, erecting religious monuments (like the 10 Commandments monument recently erected at my state’s capitol building), limiting our ability to teach real science (look where we rank in the world regarding belief in evolution), and so many religious issues that is all so wasteful that we have to fight for this idea of separation of church and state, which is the basis of these lawsuits.

    You have an openly atheist Prime Minister. We have one person out of 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, a Vice President, and a President who may be atheist, but she has backtracked from it and refuses to use that word to describe herself (though I’m sure there are several who are atheists, just not openly).

    We don’t want to take away the Christians’ fun, we just don’t want to live in Iran or any other theocracy.

  73. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    SteveoR:
    What you propose might not be so bad if religious privilege were not running rampant in the US. Taken on its own, religious sentiments on money, or mangers at xmas might not be so bad, but they’re part of an entire Christianized culture of privilege. Until that privilege is worn down significantly, any angle of attack (by which I mean non violent discourse) is justified.

  74. Akira MacKenzie says

    Has your relationship with your father improved since then?

    Ha! I wish.

    My father would make the perfect stereotype of the modern American conservative: racist while insisting he was not racist, paranoid of anything new or different, sexually repressed and repressive (that goes with being Catholic), and hypocritical as they come. For instance, my father will accuse me “not paying a dime of taxes” because I got a refund check while only making a fifth of what he does, but he doesn’t seem to think a thing about the thousands he get’s back from the government each spring–even under the supposed “socialist” tyranny of Obama. For him, his religion isn’t about love or charity as his fellow Christians claim, but enforcing the moral authority of Holy Mother Church upon the rest of humanity. He constantly waxes wistfully about how things used to be: how families used to stay together and would never dream of getting a divorce, how teenage mothers were rightfully shamed for having a child out of wedlock, how people did not question our government when it went to war, even how TV advertisers would never dream of broadcasting tampon or condom ads!

    If I’ve learned anything from living with him it’s this. Try to keep your mouth shut when he starts going off on his Drudge-and-Limbaugh-fueled rants. Any sign of disagreement will get you thrown out of his house. Sometimes that is not possible since even silence is seen as quiet dissent against anything that should be obviously “true” in his eyes.

    I just stay out of his way and keep trying to find a better job that will allow me to finally afford to move out of HIS house and away from HIS rules.

  75. mesh says

    Am I the only one who is heavily amused at the fact that even religion doesn’t want to be religion? Hell, just look at how these people react to anything which can be traced back to their religion – no no no, Intelligent Design isn’t a religious movement, religion-based policy had nothing to do with Savita’s death, child rapists were acting on their own within the churches and weren’t being shielded by religion, CHRISTmas has absolutely nothing to do with religion! As soon as religion exerts its power the PR pastors arrive to explain how religion isn’t in any way involved.

  76. bastionofsass says

    Am I the only one who is heavily amused at the fact that even religion doesn’t want to be religion? Hell, just look at how these people react to anything which can be traced back to their religion

    “In God We Trust” is either non-religious or religiously meaningless.

    The cross is a secular symbol when used as part of a war memorial.

  77. raven says

    christofascist troll:

    I find it confusing that you would promote the taxation of churches. This would maximize church involvement in state affiars.

    No it wouldn’t.

    BTW, the churches are already involved in state affairs as much as they can. The fundies own the GOP.

    If the IRS followed the clear law about political involvement of the nonprofits including the churches, they would have already lost their tax exemptions.

    I don’t want to subsidize the churches but I’m forced to anyway.

    Troll lying:

    Allowing public displays of religious expression, and association, including speech or symbols, which does not Interfere or infringe on another individuals expression is protected.

    You are lying. It’s a xian thing. The issue isn’t public displays of religious symbols. It’s public display of religious symbols on public lands.

    The law is that public religious displays on public lands are illegal. Unless any and all religions are treated equally.

    What the xians want and demand is preferential treatment. The xians demand to put up their nativity scences on public land but go ballistic if the pagans want to put up a Solstice display or the atheists want to put up their display. They usually vandalize atheist displays if they can get away with it.

  78. says

    I am no lawyer, but for a group of individuals so “devoted” to the seperation clause, I find it confusing that you would promote the taxation of churches. This would maximize church involvement in state affiars.

    Nit that I really care whether churches are taxed, but they’d get no more say than they do now: Political commendations to the faithful. Not that they have the legal right as is, but hey.

    Allowing public displays of religious expression, and association, including speech or symbols, which does not Interfere or infringe on another individuals expression is protected. The gov. has no power to decide religious issues, nor can they promote one over the other.

    Ah, another refugee from the alternate universe: In a World where Christmas is outlawed and Giant Robots enforce the End of Christmas…

    In the real world, the holiday memorials allowed on government property IS seen as promotion, not just by secularists, but by their defenders as well:hence this ridiculous dialogue that implies we’re not permitting personal observances.

  79. nogods4me says

    “Furthermore the 10th Amendment which states gov. ‘has now power to prescribe religious excersise.'”

    What Constitution is this from? Not from the United States Constitution.

  80. raven says

    xian troll:

    For anyone to claim they are patriotic defenders of the constitution, history sure evades all logic you claim to posess.

    Yes, another xian Xmas tradition!!! The insult from an atheist hater. It wouldn’t be xianity or Xmas without atheist haters. Because jesus loves you and hates everyone else.

    You would be the last to know about logic. Because you are too busy babbling like an idiot and lying.

  81. nogods4me says

    jencare, have you ever actually read the Constitution? Not the one your pastor or your ultraconservative friends/relative say is there, but the actual Constitution? It’s pretty easy to read, and it’s pretty easy to go check to see if something is in there when someone claims it to be. It really is a pretty short document, you could read it entirely in a few minutes. Maybe you should give that a try? Now would be a good time.

  82. raven says

    jencare the troll:

    “Furthermore the 10th Amendment which states gov. ‘has now power to prescribe religious excersise.’”

    What color is the sky on your planet? It doesn’t say that at all.

    But it is true that the government has no power to prescribe religious exercise but they do it anyway. Try serving peyote in your pagan church and see what happens.

    What the government does have the power to do is prescribe what happens on lands that they own. Such as public parks and squares. The law is, no preferential treatment of one religion over another. And they can prohibit public religious displays if they want to.

    This is the law, no matter how much you lie about it.

    wikipedia:

    The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.[1] The Tenth Amendment states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.

  83. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Jencare:
    Taxing churches would not grant them any power or influence over government affairs. They would be treated just like any other public institutions. In fact, giving them tax breaks is showing them favor. Removing those tax breaks would result in the loss of special priviledge not the granting of extra power.

    Who cares if personal observance is tolerance and respect if the beliefs being observed are vile? I do not…I will not EVER respect beliefs that treat queers or women as second class citizens. Not all beliefs are equal. Many beliefs have resulted in demonstrable harm.
    Slavery was justified on religious grounds. Should that belief have been respected?
    What respectful belief justified preventing women from voting?
    Religious teaching on the sanctity of a fetus over an existing human led to the death of Savita Halappanavar. Not a respectable belief.
    Religious teachings treat women as unclean and dirty. That leads to negative opinions of women. Why should those beliefs be respected?
    Religious teachings have resulted in the deaths of children, by their parents, whether by corporal punishment or refusing blood transfusions. What is respectable about beliefs that result in the death of children?
    Religious beliefs lead people to think that bullying gays to the point of suicide is justified. Why is that respectable?
    If you think all beliefs are worthy of respect, you are entitled to have that stupid belief. I don’t have to, nor do I, respect that.

  84. nogods4me says

    Can you answer simple questions, like where did you find that 10th Amendment BS or do you lack basic comprehension?

  85. raven says

    I am unsure about valid arguements of whether Christianity is a religion or not, but it appears to be philisophical.

    Xianity is a religion. Belief in and worship of a invisible, all powerful sky fairy.

    Why are you lying? I realize that thanks to xians, religion has gotten a bad name. But xians like you are just digging your hole deeper by lying some more.

    ….Jencare, meaningless, incoherent word salad…..

    You are not very different then your Christian counterpart. Both views are based on emotionalisim. Do some research and tests on the psycology of anger and obsession.

    Jencare is pretty dumb. There aren’t two worldviews. There are thousands or millions of different worldviews. Even the xians disagree on everything among themselves to the point where they have fought wars that killed millions.

    And no atheism isn’t a religion. Neither is science.

    These are assertions without proof and just wrong.

  86. nogods4me says

    Most of us say we see no reason to believe there is a god (no evidence, no proof) so we do not believe. No counter claim was put up.

  87. nogods4me says

    Christians will probably be too busy fuming about that evil Silverman guy and his war on Christmas to even notice the Christianity is not a religion bit.

  88. says

    Jencare

    Not one of us can say we have not experienced religion.

    Yes, actually, I can say that. I have never believed in any religion, I have never had a religious experience, I was not raised in any religious tradition, and I have never been a part of any organized church. I think that pretty much covers not experiencing religion.

  89. raven says

    Do you people have updated social skills or are you the result of a frozen 2nd century genome gone wrong? Most civilied people in the 21st century do not need to call names everytime someone disagrees with them.

    More insults from the mindless troll. This is boring.

    Jencare, amuse us. What color is the sky on your planet? Do you have cats there? Did you even graduate from grade school?

    I am an agnositic.

    Doubtful. You can’t even spell agnostic.

    What is your point. So far you are just babbling incoherently and making assertions that are wrong. Hate atheists? Xian Dominionist? Drunk and lonely? It’s OK to hate atheists. We get that constantly. On a good day, PZ Meyers has gotten up to one hundred death threats.

  90. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    jencare:
    If people are going to posit the existence of a god who intervenes in the lives of humanity, who helps people win the lottery, who created a worldwide flood that killed untold fetuses, who answers prayers, who sends natural disasters to kill the gays, who helps Tim Tebow win football games, who created everything Last Thursday…if people posit this god, it is a god that affects reality. That god should be detectable. Or he should leave evidence of his handiwork to be analyzed. That is what atheists ask for. Working within the framework of religion, show us the evidence that your god is real, since you believers think he has an effect on the world around us. You cannot do that. No one has done it yet. If your god is invisible, untestable, undetectable, whether we can disprove him or not (I can no more disprove your genocidal petulant god than you can disprove Loki) he has no noticeable effect on the world. He therefore chooses not to reveal himself-ever, is powerless, or does not exist.

  91. raven says

    you are stumped about the claim theory you claim but can not claim because there is no claim which actually is a counter claim to another claim you claim you do not have to claim.

    I’m not stumped. This is gibberish.

    This is boring. I don’t see that jencare has any point. She is just posting gibberish for reaons we can only guess at. Probably drunk or stoned.

    I’m not going to bother with this thread any more, it’s too bumb to be interesting.

  92. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    jencare:
    Here’s the thing cupcake–here in the 21st century at Pharyngula, we often call people names. Especially if they are fuckwits like yourself. If you cannot deal with that you should trot along elsewhere.
    You should also learn what an ad hominem attack is.
    Hint: it is not calling someone names.

  93. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I’ll take incoherent wordsalad @111 for $500 Alex.
    Jencare, you clearly believe in a god. That is a positive assertion that need evidence. The burden of proof is on you. We are making NO claims. We have no burden of proof. Got it? Good.
    Now kindly answer the question posed about the 10th Amendment.

  94. tacotaco says

    Whelp the Penninsula Amateur radio club is a non profit, so they must be promoting it as a religion.

    Have you ever met an amateur radio operator? You’re not far off…

  95. mesh says

    I wonder how many Christians will be annoyed by this.

    Ha! At least one thing that Christianity is consistent in is its exploitation of privilege, especially when it comes to circumventing separation of church and state. Of course its “philosophical” state will suddenly disappear as soon as, say, atheists try to put up their own holiday display alongside the Christians’ on public grounds. At that point Christianity will magically transform back into a religion so that they can bleat about religious persecution while its former state is conveniently forgotten.

  96. John Morales says

    jencare:

    We live in many dimensions.

    Well, four — three spatial and one temporal.

    (You subscribe to the ‘one, two, three, many’ school of numeracy?)

    I do not have the ability to test those dimensions.

    You are to be pitied — the rest of us aren’t so feeble as to fail to perceive width, height, length and time.

    (What does any of this guff have to do with Christianity’s religious nature?)

  97. Beatrice says

    Tony,

    You must be really bored if you’re willing to play with jencare.

    She can’t say anything about anything because thinking about anything is hard since we can’t be really really sure about anything. Stuff is, like, complicated.

  98. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I think RAVEN has the right idea. JENCARE is one hot mess of incoherent babble. Until xe can arrange some thought into an orderly pattern for people to comprehend it is probably useless engaging hir.

  99. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Beatrice:
    Yeah, you’re right. I am getting tired though and this troll has no meat to chomp on.

    To quote Willow before she flayed Warren alive in S6 of Buffy– “bored now”

  100. says

    Do you people have updated social skills or are you the result of a frozen 2nd century genome gone wrong? Most civilied people in the 21st century do not need to call names everytime someone disagrees with them.

    See, if i were going to take this tone trolling seriously, you’d have to respond seriously to challenges that don’t call you names, but that’s not what you’re really doing in this context, so troll fits.

    You made the troll claim first

    And you’ve supplied the evidence now, even if those claims were made prematurely.

    I am an agnositic. And yes when someone makes a counter claim they as well need to provide proof.

    Do you demand this level of rigor when I tell you there aren’t unicorns, or are only deities subject to this nonsense?

    But I will take that as an adhominem cause

    Because you want to, not because it’s true. Hint: Ad hominem requires one not to address your arguments, such as they are.

    You ask someone to prove the unprovable and claim because they can not you win by default.

    YHVH is totally provable, in the forms presented for more than a millenia. You could start with an eternally burning bush shouting stone age morality at people, for instance. Ditto pretty much any other God except the Deist God. They all supposedly act on reality.

    Yeah, the game is rigged against them in practice, in that we have every reason to believe they’re wrong, but that doesn’t mean the game precluded their winning because of the rules. YHVH only truly became transcendent and unknowable in its entirety when we stopped having gaps for it.

  101. says

    Unless you can travel magically to places the rest of us can not.

    So I have to travel to Dannan to prove the Tuatha de Dannan don’t exist?

    Isn’t that begging the question?

  102. says

    we have no clue what a god is, is not,

    Hornswaggle. Deities have been discussed for the overwhelming majority of human history, and we have some idea of their supposed traits, they just have never been born out by reality.

  103. says

    I really do not care as much as you, but the whole social upheavel of war on religion is just as bad as the bible thumpers.

    Oh word, really? You mean I’m trying to force the entire government into atheism and make every hetero gay marry?

    Because that’s the only way I could be as bad as a fundamentalist.

  104. nogods4me says

    Forget the dimensions, universes, gods etc. Let’s get back to things that can be known. You came on here with a quote from the 10th Amendment that you apparently pulled out of your ass. You were asked where you got it, but you never answered. Is it indeed your ass that produced this excrement, or was it from an unknowable dimension?

  105. StevoR says

    @128.John Morales

    jencare: “We live in many dimensions.”
    Well, four — three spatial and one temporal.

    Didn’t I read somewhere that there are a lot more than that wrapped up in quark superstrings or something? That have been calculated mathmatically by physicists and should exist but we don’t really know much about them?

  106. StevoR says

    Okay jencare – I’ll ask politely for you please what is your source for your 10th Amendment claim?

  107. bradleybetts says

    I have literally never come across this line of reasoning before. I’ve heard it argued that Buddhism is a philosophy rather than a religion, and I can see where they’re coming from with that line of reasoning even if I do disagree, but Christianity!? Really?

  108. says

    Rutee, sorry but I am too full to eat an ad hominem served with a side of red herring

    ‘Hornswaggle’ stopped you. Really. That was the ‘ad hominem’ too horrible?

    fyi: Not only is calling your argument balderdash *NOT* an attack on your character (An argumentum ad hominem), but even if I did insult you, as long as I maintained a seperate line of argument for your argument, I wouldn’t commit an argumentum ad hominem; the fallacy doesn’t refer to every insult, but to character assassination in place of arguing the virtues or merits of an argument.

    And gay marriage isn’t a red herring; you specified we were ‘just as bad’. Well, that’d have to be what we do. Put down the babby’s first logical reader.

  109. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Ok nice false equivalence there. Atheists are just as bad as believers? Yeah. We are fighting so hard to keep gays as second class citizens. Our struggle to deny women reproductive rights is known the world over. We also bully people to the point of suicide. And we have tremendous influence on public policy. Yup, atheists are just like believers.
    Trolls have actually gotten even more stupid, as personified by jencare.

  110. says

    10 to one you read it from the historian hack who edits Jefferson’s words to pretend he was okay with the establishment of religion, especially since you can’t cite it.

  111. nogods4me says

    Jencare: you had an exact quote from the 10th Amendment to the US
    Constitution, but now it’s something you read a long time ago about Thomas Jefferson which you can’t remember the source now? So, basically everything you said was made up?

  112. nogods4me says

    I’ve read both the letter the Danbury Baptists sent to Jefferson and his response to them. It is a source of a very popular atheist quote that doesn’t quite mean what atheists thinks it means, but it is still not part of the US Constitution.

  113. says

    @NoGods: Doesn’t matter to intentionalists. If we can just divine what the founders TRULY meant, then we can enact a utopia, which will look just like my political beliefs if I look at it through enough funhouse mirrors.

    Of course, those of us who don’t inherently care about the opinions of dead, racist misognists will not be nonplussed.

  114. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    jencare:
    Again, here is the text of the tenth amendment. Try answering the question posed.

    ” The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  115. bradleybetts says

    @jencare

    “I am an agnositic. And yes when someone makes a counter claim they as well need to provide proof.”

    Russel’s Teapot; look it up. You cannot prove a negative and therefore logically it must be up to the claimant to prove their claim, not to the denier to prove it is wrong.

    To use Russel’s example, I claim that there is a china teapot which is too small for any of our telescopes to see orbiting the sun between the Earth and Mars. Prove me wrong.

  116. says

    Whatever you think you just said, you contradicted yourself entirely and said nothing. Type coherently if you want your ‘brilliance’ to be understood by others.

  117. bradleybetts says

    Sorry, left out an important part of my argument; we are not making a counter claim, we are denying a claim. A counter claim would go like this:

    “There is only one God and his name is Yaweh.”

    “No, you’re wrong. There is only one God and his name is Allah”.

    What we’re doing is this:

    “God exists.”

    “No, he doesn’t.”

    [Then the bit about Russell’s Teapot].

  118. nogods4me says

    @Rutee – I agree. The Founding Fathers thought slavery was okay (at least they counted them as 3/5 a person), women were not smart enough to vote, and so forth. While they did some very good things, they were far from infallible. Both sides quotemine them to present their view, but still I have no doubt that they did not set up a Christian Nation and we have to fight those that say they did.

  119. says

    Also, regardless of what Jefferson said (And it’s not kind to your argument, but), I don’t care. The founding fathers are dead hominids. Not only were they not omniscient, they also didn’t annotate the constitution. Nothing in the constitution prevents this, and it has the right to do so, so long as it doesn’t promote one religion in effect.

  120. bradleybetts says

    Rutee

    “Whatever you think you just said, you contradicted yourself entirely”

    Yes, I did it to demonstrate my argument, the point being that you can’t prove that claim wrong and that therefore it is illogical to ask someone to try. Apologies for not being clear on that front.

  121. Beatrice says

    I’m wondering now, what does jencare think about police and the justice system dealing with rapist priests? Should we let religious leadership handle it amongst themselves, since government shouldn’t interfere with religion?

  122. says

    Yes, I did it to demonstrate my argument, the point being that you can’t prove that claim wrong and that therefore it is illogical to ask someone to try. Apologies for not being clear on that front.

    Yes, I know I can’t prove gibberish wrong.

    Are you still laboring under the impression that this isn’t about public soil or something? Because last I checked, I can’t build a church on government ground either, so there’s no reason for a holiday plaque or a christmas creche or whatever.

  123. nogods4me says

    I’m not arguing with you. I agree. The wall of separation quote from Jefferson still means separation of church and state. I just mentioned it seemed to have a slightly different connotation when read with the preceding letter, but still church-state separation.

  124. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    bradley:
    I don’t think Rutee was responding to your @157, but rather jencare’s @155. At least thats how I read it.
    ****
    Beatrice:
    Couldn’t stay away, eh?
    Pulled in by the sheer gravitational pull of jencare’s stupidity?

  125. bradleybetts says

    @Rutee

    “Are you still laboring under the impression that this isn’t about public soil or something? Because last I checked, I can’t build a church on government ground either, so there’s no reason for a holiday plaque or a christmas creche or whatever.”

    …I think we’ve got our wirses crossed here. My argument was directed at jencare and was intended to deal with her claim that “when someone makes a counter claim they as well need to provide proof”, presumably meaning that we need to justify atheism by proving there is no God. Russell’s teapot is a well-established argument aimed at dealing with this fallacy, which I paraphrased. I don’t what the hell you think is going on here but your replies make absolutely no sense to me. Public soil? What are you talking about?

  126. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    jencare:
    Ok that’s fucking it.
    I was prepared to treat you like a silly little fuckwit but now you’ve gone too far.
    I don’t know what kind of scum you are, but you need to shut the fuck up with your ableist slurs you shithead.
    We insult here, but do not engage in ableist slurs fuckwad.

  127. nogods4me says

    Wow, jencare. I am blown away by your eloquent and cogent argument in #168. I stand in awe of your debating skills. All bow down to this magnificent creature who has shown us the true art of debate. Thank you for this gift.

  128. AshPlant says

    Question. Is ‘boobtube’ a common enough derogative for youtube that using it doesn’t automatically mean jencare and devotions are the same person?

  129. Beatrice says

    jencare,

    Treat them as any offender.

    Good.

    It is kind of confusing I am sure when little boys are told gay bashing is a crime but giving a priest a blow job is wrong it is a social problem not a religion promoting sodomy.

    Huh? Whatheverlovingfuck did you just write there?

  130. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    nogods4me:
    The little shitstain appatently was not here to argue, which is borne out by hir comments. Pharyngula is not the place to come and present your opinions and expect to not face arguments.

  131. bradleybetts says

    @Tony

    “bradley:
    I don’t think Rutee was responding to your @157, but rather jencare’s @155. At least thats how I read it.”

    Oh, in that case this may all be my fault :-/ So is Rutee now under the impression that I’m supporting jencare’s arguments?

    @Rutee

    Just to clear things up, I am in no way supporting jencare’s arguments.

  132. says

    …I think we’ve got our wirses crossed here.

    A thousand pardons for the lack of clarity, that was directed at the little troll.

    Lets get this straight obviously the document is not dead if you want to utilize it to stop street preachers

    The Constitution itself says nothing to help your position. I said the dude was dead, not the document.

    Also, I don’t really have an opinion on preachers themselves in public spaces, but nice job setting up and burning down strawmen.

    Refrain from involving yourself in any thought provoking conversation which requires contextual formatting.

    Conversation with you is not what I would call ‘thought provoking’.

    Not everyone who disagrees with religion decides to turn into a retarded asswipe like yourself.

    Just because you can’t type for shit doesn’t make me developmentally challenged; you are a living testament to the dunning-krueger effect. You are also a piece of shit for hurling those particular kinds of words out.

    Honestly, some people’s children. I’m a published writer, and you still can’t even consider that maybe your writing is unclear and can be refined.* What a fucking jackass.

    *And no, this doesn’t mean I proofread shit I type in internet comments. Work’s work, this ain’t it XD

  133. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Ya’ll can have the shartface. I’m done engaging someone who flippantly insults those suffering fr.om mental illness.

  134. says

    Question. Is ‘boobtube’ a common enough derogative for youtube that using it doesn’t automatically mean jencare and devotions are the same person?

    Considering it used to mean ‘tv’ I can see how that linguistic change might come about, but I’m sure PZ will check anyway now that you raise the possibility XD

  135. nogods4me says

    I know. I don’t comment much on here, but I couldn’t resist the clearly fabricated 10th Amendment quote.

  136. says

    Makes as much sense as people trying to distinguish between knowledge and belief as having one but not the other.

  137. vaiyt says

    If Christianity is not a religion, it’s not protected as a religion.

    Goodbye tax exemptions, and I think you don’t have any use for freedom of religion anymore…

  138. bradleybetts says

    @Rutee

    No worries, I’m glad we cleared it up.

    I notice jencare has made no attempt to actually challenge my argument, but in her defence she appears to be very busy destroying the English language and insulting those with learning difficulties…

    @jencare

    “It is kind of confusing I am sure when little boys are told gay bashing is a crime but giving a priest a blow job is wrong it is a social problem not a religion promoting sodomy.”

    What exactly does this mean? Are you saying it is contradictory to tell children that they cannot beat people up because of their sexuality but it is equally wrong to allow some filthy old pervert to take advantage of you? Because I’m not seeing the contradiction.

  139. escuerd says

    It also annoyed me how O’Reilly kept sticking to the “You’re trying to stop us from celebrating Christmas!” narrative, and obfuscates when called on it.

    E.g.
    O: “[Blah blah] fascists! [blah] therefore they should banish Christmas trees!?”

    S: “I did not say banish Christmas trees!”

    O: “From the public square!”

    In gopspeak, “the public square” seems to refer to everything funded by a government and nothing else. Or perhaps they’re blaming atheist groups for the secular trend in private businesses’ treatment of holidays.

  140. nogods4me says

    I think jencare may be a Catholic priest:

    From #173, he clearly thinks priests getting a blowjob from a little boy is okay (“it’s a social problem”) but speaking out against gay bashing is wrong and actually the worse of the two “evils”, like speaking out against homophobia could even be considered to be a bad thing.

  141. bradleybetts says

    @jencare

    “boobtube is mentioned when a poster annoys you and you place them in the french army.”

    What? That makes no sense. When another poster annoys you, you mention the word “boobtube” and then they are automatically signed up to the French Army? I just assumed it was some sort of porn site…

  142. nogods4me says

    Oh yeah…Christianity is not a religion. Atheism is a religion. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is power. The sky is green. The grass is blue.

    I forgot the main topic. Billo is an idiot that will talk over his guests and will only let his view be heard. There are others (Chris Matthews), but Billo is the worst.

  143. randay says

    Just when you thought that Billo couldn’t be more stupid, he surprises you and lowers the bar. He didn’t go to defend the country and Christianity in Vietnam even though he got number 72 in Nixon’s lottery. Men up to 190 something were called up, me included. So how did he dodge the draft?

    Anyone going on his program should ask him about his draft status at that time.

  144. Beatrice says

    jencare,

    You make no sense. Gay bashing has absolutely nothing to do with priests raping kids. You made some sort of connection between the two.
    What’s interesting is that religionists are the ones who love to make connections between homosexuality and pedophilia. Coincidence? Doubtful.

  145. consciousness razor says

    What I do know is there are other dimensions and other universes

    How do you know that? Are you a fan of popular science books and TV shows on string theory? They’re fairly interesting and entertaining (not to mention loaded with eye-popping computer graphics), but a high “gee-whiz” factor is not a replacement for fact.

    and we have no clue what a god is, is not, could be, or could not be.

    Who is “we”? Not everyone is a clueless incoherent asshole like you.

    Therefore, logically I can hold no judgement if there is or is not a god or gods.

    No, that doesn’t follow. You couldn’t justifiably claim there is a god if you didn’t know anything about what gods are supposed to be, or what they logically could or couldn’t be. But without any such knowledge, by default, you can be perfectly justified in not claiming there is a god. However, if you know well enough what gods are supposed to be to deal with some of the logical constraints on them, you could justifiably claim certain kinds of gods could or could not exist on those grounds at least. And given the lack of evidence for all of them, you could justifiably claim there are no gods, even those which are logically possible.

    So you’re completely wrong. And you’re clueless. I suppose you’re wrong probably because you’re clueless, but either way you should fix that.

    I really do not care as much as you, but the whole social upheavel of war on religion is just as bad as the bible thumpers.

    As they say, “don’t know, don’t care,” you clueless asshole.

    What social upheaval are you talking about, and what war on religion?

    Your incoherent rambling is bad enough, but is that better or worse than all the shit you’re making up? I don’t know. I guess it might be better, since probably no one can take much away from incoherent rambling.

    Also, while we’re on the subject of you being wrong and making shit up, like the clueless asshole you are: try reading the 10th Amendment before you tell other people what it says.

  146. John Morales says

    {OT]

    jencare:

    There are 11dimensions in the multiuniverse steve.

    Nope.

    (String theory (M-theory in particular has 11 but there are many others) postulates more dimensions to try to reconcile GR and QM, but these are supposedly compactified and have not been empirically-determined)

  147. carlie says

    And another thing – have you ever stopped to think about why these Christian groups are fighting so hard to do this? They have their own churchyards to put up nativity scenes. They have their own houses to put up nativity scenes. These displayes cost a fairly significant amount of time and energy to set up. Why do you think they’re fighting so hard to do this in the public space? It’s because they know that it sends a message that the government backs their form of God. They know the message is “our word is the one that’s law around here”. If it was completely innocuous and meaningless from a political point of view, they wouldn’t bother to do it.

  148. sambarge says

    Bill O’Reilly: “Christianity is a philosophy, not a religion!”

    SamBarge: “Hm. I know somebody who’s getting a dictionary for Christmas.”

    Perhaps Bill can sit around in his pajamas on Christmas morning and look up the following words: religion, philosophy and semantics.

  149. Q.E.D says

    StevoR @ 31

    Frankly, I think atheists lobbying to remove Christmas displays are being a bit mean spirited and intolerant.

    Please see Carlie @ 200 for why you’re wrong.

    You know what’s mean spirited?

    Christians aggressively asserting that the December/solstice season belongs to them exclusively.

    Christians actively marginalizing hannukah, kwanzaa, pagan,non-theist and every other type of solstice celebration as some sort of offence against christianity.

    Christians purposefully putting christian religious symbols and markers on public, tax payer paid, constitutionally protected commons, federal and state property, public monuments and parks.

    Christians fighting against the right of any other religions and groups to put up equivalent markers, signs, symbols and messages on the same public property.

    Christians claiming they are being persecuted when they are not given exclusive, preferential and deferential treatment.

    Christians claiming they are being oppressed when their historic, un-earned, undemocratic, unconstitutional privileges are questioned.

    Christians demanding that everyone be greeted with a their religion-specific greeting “Merry CHRISTmas” and taking massive umbrage when the well wisher includes other religions and none by saying “happy holidays”

    That’s mean spirited

  150. StevoR says

    Dimensional wiki check reveals :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimensions#Additional_dimensions

    There are theories that try to unify different forces and such—these theories require more dimensions. Superstring theory, M-theory and Bosonic string theory respectively posit that physical space has 10, 11 and 26 dimensions. These extra dimensions are said to be spatial. However, we perceive only three spatial dimensions and, to date, no experimental or observational evidence is available to confirm the existence of these extra dimensions. A possible explanation that has been suggested is that space acts as if it were “curled up” in the extra dimensions on a subatomic scale, possibly at the quark/string level of scale or below. An analysis of results from the Large Hadron Collider in December 2010 severely constrains theories with large extra dimensions.[6]

    Wonder if there’s been any further news on that front? Guess if so, it hasn’t shown up on wiki yet.

  151. opposablethumbs says

    Akira, I’m really sorry your dad is the way he is. And that you had (have???) to put up with his crap.

    I hope that he may grow to be a better person – more like you – or that you (if not yet, then very soon) get to live far enough away from hin that you no longer have to deal with that kind of bullying behaviour. My dad was pretty fucked-up sometimes, but I’m fortunate to be able to say he never pulled shit quite like that.

    Oh, and devotions you’re either a total idiot or someone doing a brilliant impersonation of a total idiot. I doubt that you actually have a point to argue, but if you do then please get on with it and adduce something more substantial than the incoherent rambling bullshit you’ve laboriously typed out so far.

  152. says

    @ jencare

    We live in many dimensions.

    That comes across as a bit flat. Kinda like saying the earth is round.

    I do not have the ability to test those dimensions. So therefore how can I have knowledge in what does or does not exsit?

    Er, do you have any idea of what you are spouting? GAWD is hiding in “hidden dimensions”? Very likely. In the old days GAWD hid “beyond the moon”.

    John Morales has given an overview of what we usually mean by (the Newtonian) dimensions. “Dimensions” is a human-made concept. A dimension is simply a register that contains a value. It is something seperate from what is being studied.

    If you go to Ikea they may give dimensions as width x length x height. Each of those can have a numeric value to describe certain properties of the object in question. That much we all understand, though it is worth restating in your case. “The new fridge is 600mm x 65omm x 700mm.” It is just one of many ways to speak about this new beer laden box of joy.

    But. We can describe pretty much anything dimensionally. In engineering, we could happily use five dimensions to describe heat flow through an insulated metal plate. We use w x l x h to describe the plate’s size, and then add the dimension temperature, which we can visualise with colour coding. The numbers aren’t the object itself and the colours are not the temperature. But all this can be a sufficiently good mapping of the reality of the object to understand and work with it mathematically/conceptually.

    Psychologists can use vast numbers of dimensions. I can plot pain, excitement, frustration, fear….. all on seperate axes to gain a (subjective) snapshot of my current emotional state.

    Unless you can travel magically to places the rest of us can not. Russel’s Teapot?

    Really? Here on Pharyngula? You are right to state your ignorance. (I see someone beat me to pointing this out. More importantly: Do you understand the principle? You have the opportunity to learn something here, even if you remain generally ignorant.)

    Rutee aka Dipshit ( aka “retarded asswipe”)

    You came here as a tone troll. At least you have change one of your silly life-principles. Now we must just wean you off your ableist slurs, you bigot.)

  153. Anri says

    Its probably the culture gap and maybe I just don’t get it but it appears sometimes that the atheists are being “fun police” here and not letting others just have fun in their own way. I’m all for tolerance and letting people do what they want as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. I’m not religious but I enjoy it and don’t mind seeing the occassional nativity displays, don’t feel strongly that they’re aimed at promoting any religious ideology just part of a tradition that’s a bit of fun.

    But if its not like that for many others over in the States then, yeah, that’s really sad and wish it weren’t that way. Dunno. I don’t think we should ruin others enjoyment of a festive day for petty legalities but also they shouldn’t be marginalising and demeaning and attacking others also.

    Imagine, if you will, that every image of people produced by your government – every picture of helpful civil servants, every military commercial, everything from court system information to drivers ed manuals – only ever included white people. There was never any mention of white people versus black, or of anything racial, but just no images of anything other than what was taken to be the majority position.

    Would you find anything wrong with that?

    What if it were restricted to just a single month – say June – all government publications and images become lilly-white just for June. Would that make it ok?

    A nativity scene is not interfaith. It is specific to a single religion. In placing displays strongly linked to one specific faith, the government is defacto expressing an opinion over the value of one faith over another. That’s not only illegal, it’s stupid. We find it quaint (I would assume) that the Roman Senate felt itself authorized to vote on the question of Caesar’s divinity. But in allowing nativity, we’re giving the current government a vote into Jesus’s divinity. It’s no less wrong today.

  154. StevoR says

    @199. carlie : No. I’m no Christian apologist and I’m not saying that. Definitely not.

    I’m just not sure I see a connection there or any real harm coming from seeing a few nativity scenes or Xmas trees around the place but hey, maybe that’s the Aussie-US culture gap. For me Xmas is mainly about getting together with the family, eating and being happy with the rest of the stuff in the background. very much secular.

    @200. carlie :

    And another thing – have you ever stopped to think about why these Christian groups are fighting so hard to do this? They have their own churchyards to put up nativity scenes. They have their own houses to put up nativity scenes. These displayes cost a fairly significant amount of time and energy to set up. Why do you think they’re fighting so hard to do this in the public space? It’s because they know that it sends a message that the government backs their form of God. They know the message is “our word is the one that’s law around here”. If it was completely innocuous and meaningless from a political point of view, they wouldn’t bother to do it.

    Maybe.

    OTOH, it couldn’t be because they just want to celebrate the day their way could it? Do you ever think you might be reading too much into it?

    I dunno. I’m no expert on this, granted. I’m just saying how it comes across to me and sure I could be wrong. I suspect it means a whole lot of things to different people and for some extremists maybe its taken on a meaning and an importance that’s wa-aay out of proportion perhaps?

    For me Xmas has always been about the three ‘f’s – family, food and fun. For others, well up to them.

    @ 203. Q.E.D :

    Agreed. All of what you rightly called out there is indeed bloody mean-spirited and I’d even dare suggest “un-Christian” in the better idealistic sense of how that word might once have been intended to be read too. No argument there from me, peace okay?

    Its just that the whole Watron Xmas thing strikes me as exasperatingly outof perspective and saddening s’all.

  155. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, and to think I missed jencare’s delightful attempt to imply that child abuse = consensual gay sex. Way to go, jencare. If you can’t tell that there’s a difference between consensual sex and rape, I’m glad I’ll never meet you.

  156. says

    Too many posts for me to read through to see if anyone else has made this point before.

    I think we should all take the point that Christianity is a philosophy and not a religion very seriously, unless of course philosophers get the same sort of tax breaks on where they live and work that ministers of religion do.

    Do they?

    David B

  157. carlie says

    OTOH, it couldn’t be because they just want to celebrate the day their way could it?

    What does “celebrate the day their way” even mean to you? What is celebratory about taking over public space for one sectarian group? They have their own spaces. Those spaces are in full view of the public. Hell, there are churches on the town square right across from City Hall in a large percentage of cities in the US – they already have their own space in the very same space the public spaces are in, so any displays they want to put up on their own property would be seen by the same number of people as if it were on the public space. How can anyone argue with a straight face that “forcing space that belongs to everyone to be given over solely to us for a month” is a way of celebrating anything?

  158. hexidecima says

    Hmmm, can anyone else hear a cock crowing? Seems like Mr. O’Reilly is denying his supposed savior in his desperate attempts to excuse a theocracy.

  159. says

    So if O’Reilly Christianity isn’t a religion thinks Christianity isn’t a religion for the purpose of the establishment clause, that means he also thinks it shouldn’t be protected under the free exercise clause either, right?

  160. StevoR says

    @209. strange gods before me ॐ :

    Okay. Cheers for the link and info there. From your linked article :

    In the end, it’s not necessary for Americans to debate what religious “persecution” really means, for the Constitution has made it clear. According to the Establishment Clause, persecution consists of the government’s imposing a religion on unwilling citizens, or endorsing a religion and thus excluding those citizens from full inclusion in public life. According to the Free Exercise Clause, persecution also consists of the government’s forbidding religious persons from following their own religious beliefs in private and, in some cases, public settings.

    Recognizing religious diversity — as the Court’s cases do — hardly entails persecution. The alternative, denying religious diversity — as those who support crèche-only government displays do – is a betrayal of what is best in this country’s heritage.

    Yep. I fully agree with and support that. I’m not sure how it contradicts anything I’ve said or argued for here.

    What I’m saying to atheists is just : “Relax F.F.S. its just festive season decorations, not that big a deal in my view!”

    Whilst what I’m saying to the Christians is also : “Relax F.F. S., and don’t try and impose your no one is trying to impose your ideology and religion on everyone, Xmas is now a secular festival anyhow with goodwill supposedly for all religious or not, in my view.”

    I’d like to see both sides forget the bullshit and just chill out, enjoy then day, make of it what they will and let others do the same.

    Is that not reasonable?

  161. vaiyt says

    l3 m aew4e ikdf ki xdq n e43,kjAQRTF53W JHU43NJMHDFW43’SW STRFGYHUJLEWR BYUMN RTF567PÇINM FTGR WKLYN M NY BEWLNBWQSA.L

    (let’s see if I can replicate jencare’s style by typing with my elbows)

    Nope, still making too much sense.

  162. carlie says

    I suspect it means a whole lot of things to different people and for some extremists maybe its taken on a meaning and an importance that’s wa-aay out of proportion perhaps?

    Sure, it means a lot of things to different people.

    What does it mean for an abused woman, going into court to get a restraining order against the husband she’s finally left, over the objections of her pastor who tells her she should submit to her husband and if she loved God more he would be all the protection she needs, to have to walk past a nativity display on the way into the courthouse?

    What does it mean for a town secretary, grateful that he landed this job because he’s just graduated from high school and his parents kicked him out of the house and refused to pay for college because he finally told them he’s gay, to have to walk past that display every day on the way in to work all month?

    What does it mean for a recent immigrant, who’s still a little unsure about how the legal system works here, but knows it took almost a month just to suss out the one other Hindu family in town, when she has to walk past that display to take her driver’s license test?

    Which one of them is taking it out of proportion to have a feeling of unease, and some anxiety about whether their needs will be properly protected by their government? Which one of them is taking it out of proportion to worry that the people in legal charge over their livelihoods might not quite understand or accept them?

  163. StevoR says

    @213. carlie :

    What does “celebrate the day their way” even mean to you?

    What it says. They enjoy and celeberate the day as they wish to and let other people do exactly the same thing.

    What is celebratory about taking over public space for one sectarian group?

    Sectarian? Christmas isn’t just one denominations thing y’know. Hell, I don’t think its even really a Christian thing more jsut a modern mixture of pagan and commercial and individual and yeah some Christian syncretism too. What’s celebratory about it? Well its an atmosphere that’s fun, happy, non-partisan, least it is here. I’ve already admitted it may not be where you are and I find that sad and wish it were otherwise.

    How can anyone argue with a straight face that “forcing space that belongs to everyone to be given over solely to us for a month” is a way of celebrating anything?

    What if the government used the same public squares to host a display praising feminism or civil rights leaders or soldiers or NASA heroes or suchlike? Its a public space, the relevant government can say if something goes there that brings joy or information or recognition of item X, Y or Z surely?

  164. carlie says

    Sectarian? Christmas isn’t just one denominations thing y’know. Hell, I don’t think its even really a Christian thing more jsut a modern mixture of pagan and commercial and individual and yeah some Christian syncretism too.

    You do realize we’re talking about nativity displays, right?

  165. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Religion beyond dictionary terms is not just a belief in a god. Giving it that definition you are also saying asserting the belief in no god is asserting their is something to deny,also making it a belief in a god. I digress. – devotions

    The word you needed there is not “digress”, but “drivel”.

  166. StevoR says

    @218. carlie :

    In front of courthouses? Do they put nativity scenes there? Yeah? Okay I find that a bit weird but I guess they have the right to celebrate Xmas same as everyone else.

    (Xmas trees would be better and less religious ditto Santas inmy view but I ‘spose if we’re talking natiovity scenes specifically. Are we?)

    As for your examples there I don’t know. Depends on the individual in question I’d say.Why should it mean anything other than its that time of year?

    Oh right the whole self-sustained over-hyped “war on Xmas” stuff. Sigh.

    To mis-quote Freud : Sometimes a Nativity display is just a nativity display.

    Just a bit of local colour marking a particular tradition at a particular time of year. Does it really, really have to mean or symbolise anything? Can we not give it whatever meaning we want whether that’s a little or a lot?

  167. bradleybetts says

    @SteveOR

    “Christmas isn’t just one denominations thing y’know. Hell, I don’t think its even really a Christian thing more jsut a modern mixture of pagan and commercial and individual and yeah some Christian syncretism too.”

    That pretty much sums up Xmas here in the UK, and from what you’ve been saying in Aus as well, but I get the feeling it’s different in America.

  168. carlie says

    In front of courthouses? Do they put nativity scenes there?

    You seriously didn’t realize that’s exactly the topic that’s been under discussion re: Christmas displays and the separation of church and state? Dear fucking god. It’s times like this that I honestly want to put up a huge sign that says “If you’ve never spent a Christmas season in the US, please do not give your opinion on the subject. At all.”

  169. Quodlibet says

    “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a philosophy”

    That contortion merits a gold medal in the Mental Gymnastics Olympics.

    And isn’t it interesting that he chooses a pagan image (christmas tree, as shown in still at OP) rather than a cross or other overtly christian image.

  170. StevoR says

    @222. carlie :

    …and you realize that Christian groups actively oppose any other type of holiday displays?

    So I’ve heard and I disagree with that opposition to other cultural and religious holiday displays and think that’s petty and mean-spirited and downright stupidly wrong on their part too.

    @ 220. carlie : No, not sure of that to be honest, seems to vary.

    Nativity isn’t overly denominational though is it? I know the Russian (Serbian and Greek and Armenian etc ..?) Orthodox mob think it happened on a different day – and are probably equally wrong given the lack of snow mention, lambing time etc .. in the relevant buybull verses and so on but, meh, pretty sure there’s at least a great deal of overlap among the Christian sects on this point.

  171. says

    @StevoR:

    It’s the nativity scenes in front of government buildings at the exception of all other possible religious displays. That’s what’s being argued. Not Christmas trees (I’ll accept they’re a secular symbol, fine.) It’s preferential treatment of one religion (Christianity) over all others.

  172. carlie says

    Nativity isn’t overly denominational though is it?

    IT IS A DISPLAY WITH A BABY JESUS IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.

    I know the Russian (Serbian and Greek and Armenian etc ..?) Orthodox mob think it happened on a different day – and are probably equally wrong given the lack of snow mention, lambing time etc .. in the relevant buybull verses and so on but, meh, pretty sure there’s at least a great deal of overlap among the Christian sects on this point.

    CHRISTIANITY IS NOT THE ONLY RELIGION.

  173. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Yep. I fully agree with and support that. I’m not sure how it contradicts anything I’ve said or argued for here.

    You’ve been accusing US atheists of ‘being “fun police” here and not letting others just have fun in their own way’ and ‘ruin[ing] others enjoyment of a festive day for petty legalities’.

    Your accusations are not based in the facts of any case, nor even a basic understanding of US law. The fact is that Christians are allowed to have a fucking nativity display iff it is accompanied by other religions’ and atheists’ displays. That’s it. They can’t only have a Christian display.

    Nothing you’ve said makes any sense in light of this fact.

  174. says

    Well, if the US is in the business of federally recognizing days to honor particular philosophies, I’d like some public displays in honor of Cynicmas, when all devoted Cynics masturbate in public and go searching by lamplight during the day for honest men.

    And of course, on Cynicmas Eve we set our jars out on the streets in hopes that Diogenes Claus might stuff them full of defaced currency.

    This is just philosophy and so requires the full support of the federal government, as the US has a lengthy and proud history of making federal holidays and public displays in honor of all philosophies.

  175. StevoR says

    @225. carlie : No I didn’t realise that.

    Thought twe were talking about the clip of the Bill O’Reilly-Dave Silverman interview specifically – with the discussion broadening out onto the whole war on Xmas issue from there?

    Courthouse nativity scene is news to me and yeah, I’ve already said there’s stuff that is alien to me with the US-Aussie cultural divide. (Shrug.) That supposed to rob me of the ability to put my thoughts on what I have seen via the clip PZ has provided and how I feel here? Are non-Amercians who maybe don’t get it not allowed to say so and give what their perspectives too?

  176. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Are non-Amercians who maybe don’t get it not allowed to say so and give what their perspectives too?

    No. Not until you educate yourself. Shut the fuck up for a while and stop lecturing us. Don’t just ramble on about your preconceptions.

  177. says

    Are non-Amercians who maybe don’t get it not allowed to say so and give what their perspectives too?

    Of course they are, but they shouldn’t expect to get a cookie for showing their ignorance.

  178. says

    @StevoR:

    You miss the context. You saying it’s not such a big deal is in ignorance of the multitudes of court hearings on the matter of Christianity in the United States having a CLEARLY preferential treatment by the government. Christmas displays are only one part of the entire thing.

    As far as the War on Christmas – this is a manufactured controversy by Christians. We want the government to FOLLOW THE FUCKING LAW and that want to include others by not using sectarian language (companies saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” are frequently boycotted by Christian groups.) The War on Christmas is nothing more than Christians saying how persecuted they are because the entire fucking month isn’t devoted to Christianity and its specific belief system.

  179. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Fucking creationists show up here expecting to be educated without doing any of the work. They are scorned.

    Fucking misogynists show up here expecting to be educated without doing any of the work. They are scorned.

    Fucking Australians show up here expecting to be educated without doing any of the work. They are scorned. Suddenly this is unfair.

  180. carlie says

    SteveoR – that’s a central part of the War on Christmas – that cities are being made to either not have the nativity displays on public property, or being forced to add equal space/opportunity for other kinds of displays (including athesist).

    Also central to the “War on Christmas” is any stating of “happy holidays” or any of those other nice pagan intersectional secular sentiments you waxed on about. The “War on Christmas” people have active boycotts of any retailer that doesn’t specifically use the word “Christmas” when referring to anything that happens from November and January.

    That supposed to rob me of the ability to put my thoughts on what I have seen via the clip PZ has provided and how I feel here? Are non-Amercians who maybe don’t get it not allowed to say so and give what their perspectives too?

    Depends. If your feelings and perspectives are “that’s not such a big deal where I live” or “I don’t get it, what’s going on there?”, fine. If your feelings and perspectives are “You’re all overreacting and need to get a grip”, without any understanding of the context at all, then no. That’s uninformed judgment, which is frowned upon by anyone who likes basic thought constructions like logic. Most people eventually grow out of the assumption that everyone else in the world is just like them and everyone’s environment and experiences are exactly the same as theirs. If you haven’t, then you’re really not contributing anything to the discussion but noise.

  181. strange gods before me ॐ says

    [StevoR:] I don’t think victimless crimes should be considered crimes and being consistent this I think would include unconstituitional religious displays on public land including Xmas and nativity ones.

    [StevoR:] In front of courthouses? Do they put nativity scenes there?

    [carlie:] You seriously didn’t realize that’s exactly the topic that’s been under discussion re: Christmas displays and the separation of church and state?

    [StevoR:] No I didn’t realise that.

  182. StevoR says

    @229. carlie :

    Jesus is kinda anon-denominational figure shared by all the very various Christian groups &, yeah, very well aware the Christianity isn’t the only religion thanks.

    @230. strange gods before me ॐ :

    You’ve been accusing US atheists of ‘being “fun police” here and not letting others just have fun in their own way’ and ‘ruin[ing] others enjoyment of a festive day for petty legalities’.

    And so? That contradicts the quote in #2156 how exactly?

    Look, I’m not arguing for exclusive displays at all. Just saying I don’t see why the occasional Christmas one is such a big deal. Aside from the politics and for pity’s sake can’t we all just occassionally,once in fucking while, drop the fucking socio-cultural politics from things and let things be and let people enjoy themselves as long as it hurts no one else?

    Petty legalities – yeah, that’ be victimless crimes. I’d like to see a legal definition where if something hurts no one its not a crime. I don’t think nativity or Christmas displays actually hurt anyone thus I don’t think they’re a crime. Yeah, I know the US constitution technically bars them from public grounds. Ok. Could be the US constitution is, gasp, imperfect. I think this whole debate is overblown and could benefirt from to get put in a better perspective. Yeesh.

    Enough for tonight. I’m going to bed, will respond after work tomorrow if i have to.

  183. Beatrice says

    StevoR

    I like to wave my “Hey, non-Americans have opinions too” banner, but you are really showing some ignorance here. Also, shouldn’t we all agree that government allowing a nativity display on its ground is favoring a single religion? Christmas trees and similar decorations have become something more cultural than religious, but a nativity is a pretty obvious religious symbol.

    Don’t give other atheists so little credit to believe that they are honestly getting upset about a decorated tree. It’s the religious displays that are the problem, and those who pretend that atheists are arguing about anything Christmasy instead of just those.

  184. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Then you are claiming that those who make the claim have to prove to you that they have no claim because you do not claim it? Shounds like a bunch of horse shit to me. – jencare

    You’re right, “Then you are claiming that those who make the claim have to prove to you that they have no claim because you do not claim it?” is indeed a bunch of horseshit. But why did you feel impelled to produce it? Are you a horse with the trots?

    First “devotions”, now “jencare” – I think we’re suffering a troll invasion from the Incoherence Institute.

  185. nogods4me says

    @StevoR-
    We have been telling you that it is the demand of the Christians here that it be their holiday and no one else’s. Akira mentioned the Jesus – the Reason for the Season displays. The animosity if someone wishes them Happy Holidays, not knowing if they maybe celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa, some other holiday, or nothing at all. If you wish many of them Happy Holidays, they will very spitefully wish you a Merry Christmas. Again. It is their holiday and no one else’s. And then they use it to perpetuate the Christian Nation myth.

    We really can’t play nice. It’s a losing strategy on our part.

  186. carlie says

    can’t we all just occassionally,once in fucking while, drop the fucking socio-cultural politics from things and let things be and let people enjoy themselves as long as it hurts no one else?

    What I tried unsuccessfully to do in 218 was to give you several examples of where those displays DO hurt people. You have an incredibly blinkered view of what “hurts no one else” means. It means “doesn’t hurt you”. Not everyone is you. Not everyone is like you. Christianity in particular hurts an awful lot of people in an awful lot of ways. Not just feelings hurt. Real, measurable negative consequences. Those range from small things like being passed over for a promotion because you don’t go to the same church as your boss, to larger things like not getting custody of your child because you don’t go to church, to being forced to die slowly in a hospital because your doctors think God won’t let them do the procedure that would save your life.

    And those nativity displays? They are the embodiment of the religion that teaches people to hurt others that way. On public property, they are a statement that the government in charge over you and everyone else will act that way, and be proud of themselves for doing it.

  187. says

    @StevoR:

    Yeah, I know the US constitution technically bars them from public grounds.

    No, you don’t know that, because it’s not true. The US government can either open its public grounds for all, or it can open it for none. They can’t open it to some, and deny others, based on religious preference. It’s really not that difficult. Even if you’re not from the US.

  188. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You’ve been accusing US atheists of ‘being “fun police” here and not letting others just have fun in their own way’ and ‘ruin[ing] others enjoyment of a festive day for petty legalities’.

    And so? That contradicts the quote in #216 how exactly?

    If you’d pay any attention, you’d already understand that US atheists are not trying to stop Christians from having Christian displays on public land if they are accompanied by other religions’ and atheists’ displays.

    Therefore the whole “problem”, as you’ve imagined it does not exist. You are making up a fantasy and then lecturing us about it.

    Look, I’m not arguing for exclusive displays at all.

    Then you don’t have a point which is related to reality, since no one here is arguing against inclusive displays. You are engaging a strawman.

    Just saying I don’t see why the occasional Christmas one is such a big deal.

    Do you mean a Christmas display accompanied by other religions’ and atheists’ displays? That is not a big deal. Nobody thinks it’s a big deal. The notion that anybody thinks it’s a big deal is pure bullshit that you invented in your ignorant head.

    Do you mean a Christmas display not accompanied by other religions’ and atheists’ displays? Then that would be an exclusive display, which a moment ago you claimed you weren’t arguing for.

    How about you shut the fuck up and educate yourself instead of talking? That’d be nice.

  189. says

    Do you mean a Christmas display accompanied by other religions’ and atheists’ displays? That is not a big deal. Nobody thinks it’s a big deal.

    Well, Christians do…

  190. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Agreed. I hope my meaning was clear enough, but yeah, it’s worth pointing out that it is indeed certain groups of Christians who are opposed to religiously diverse and atheist-inclusive holiday displays, while pretty much no one else is.

  191. =8)-DX says

    It was obvious that Bill’O was pissed off from the start – even mentioning the “pinhead” phrase from his previous fail with Silverman.

    He should’ve said: “I don’t think you’re pinheads, I think you’re fascists.” straight out.

    I fail to see how anyone can consider this man intelligent. It’s even suspicious that he came up with the whole “Christianity is not a religion” idea himself. But then he seemed so smugly happy with that little (stupid) idea of his that I guess it must’ve been his own (one of few).

  192. Ogvorbis says

    It’s even suspicious that he came up with the whole “Christianity is not a religion” idea himself.

    Prediction: For the next year or two, this meme will crop up anytime that a church-state case is considered in any form. “Well, we didn’t do a Methodist prayer, or a Seventh Day Adventist prayer, we did a Christian Philosophy prayer to open our school board meeting so those dirty atheists need to just shut up and let us enjoy our philosophy which says that they will burn in a fiery lake for eternity because they have not freely accepted the love of the one true Lord.”

  193. anteprepro says

    If Christianity isn’t a religion, then there is no such thing as religion. The only way one can argue that Christianity isn’t a religion while pretending that this isn’t radically redefining religion out of existence is with massive double standards and special pleading. Which, obviously, is par for the fucking course.

  194. says

    When O´Reilly hasn´t anything intelligent to say he simply reverts to name-calling or telling people to shut up. He said that Christianity is not a religion but Judaism is – forgetting the Judaism is also divided into different sects. He will say anything for the ratings.

  195. anteprepro says

    I’m struggling here to work out how StevoR thinks that nativity displays on public land are a “victimless crime”.

    Because the Baby Jesus doesn’t pop out of the creche to punch the nearest non-believer. I’m pretty sure that is all StevoR needs. His “just let them have their nativity, stop being such a party pooper” argument is exactly how Christians are able to plead and whine their way into having their foot in the door. Pretending that “God” doesn’t mean the Christian God while they stamp it all over everything, pretending Christmas is really really secular. And then, after suckering the government into agreeing to these on the pretense of “ceremonial deism,” the theocrats inevitably point to the words “God” and “Christ” in things supported by the government and say “A-ha, the government really DOES support Christianity” and use that an excuse to demand that the government submit itself to Christian authority. The problem with letting them get away with this shit is that it sets precedent. It is a death of a thousand cuts. They have already put cracks into the wall of separation and are trying their damndest to say “well, there’s already a few cracks, so do you mind if I make another one? Come on, it won’t make much of difference! Pretty please?” The game they are playing should be obvious. It apparently isn’t, but it should be.

  196. bradleybetts says

    @carlie

    #37

    “The “War on Christmas” people have active boycotts of any retailer that doesn’t specifically use the word “Christmas” when referring to anything that happens from November and January.”

    Great, so all US retailers should start saying Happy Holidays and we can all laugh when the fundies have nowhere to buy Christmas presents from :D

  197. says

    A flash of philosophical pain crosses Bill O’Reilly’s face when Silverman uses “celestial event” to define winter solstice. It looks like Bill thinks that “celestial” should be reserved for Christian events.

    In addition to O’Reilly swearing, “Jesus Christ!,” we also have him interrupting Silverman with, “You listen to me!” and “I ask the questions!” Power-tripping christian white male. Arrogant stone thrower.

    Loved, loved the poem by Cuttlefish. Inclusion of Glenn Beck was cleanly executed, sharp and funny.

  198. says

    @ Ogvobis

    Prediction: For the next year or two, this meme will crop up anytime that a church-state case is considered in any form.

    I don’t doubt it. The subtext though: They are floundering and they know it.

  199. vaiyt says

    Jesus is kinda anon-denominational figure shared by all the very various Christian groups

    Bolded for emphasis. What about the non-Christians, idiot?

    very well aware the Christianity isn’t the only religion thanks.

    Your very previous sentence disproves this assertion.

  200. says

    I can’t help but notice the parallels to the people who claim that their special beliefs are different because they don’t believe in organized religion. They don’t seem to understand that this doesn’t make them immune to any critique of their actual beliefs.

    I don’t care whether you call Christianity a religion or a philosophy (beyond caring about clarity of language). I care about whether it’s true. It’s not. Case closed.

  201. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    SteveoR @216:
    Now you’re starting to come across patronizing. You have admitted to being unfamiliar with the level of religious privilege in the US. You have been given examples why it is bad. Yet you still insist on telling many of us to chill out; that its not that bad.
    It is that bad. Religious privilege is rampant in this country. Specifically xtian religious privilege. At this time of year, Christians expect their beliefs to take precedence over other religions. They expect to have preferential treatment. CARLIE helpfully explained how wrong this is, yet you still insist on telling her and the rest of us that this isn’t a big deal. My advice, unless and until you have a deeper understanding of how insidious religious privilege in the states is, please don’t tell us to relax.

  202. Akira MacKenzie says

    And then they use it to perpetuate the Christian Nation myth.

    It’s the same thing with the “Under God” phrase in the pledge and “In God We Trust” as our motto. The spineless high courts hand-wave it away as “public deism;” that all mentions to “God” is merely a reference to a vague, nameless, ecumenical, deity that everyone is supposed to believe in (except atheists, of course, but we don’t count). Of course, this ignores the historical fact that these phrases where mainly shoe-horned into place at the behest of Right-leaning Christians who had a very specific god in mind at the time: their own. Nor does it change the fact that America’s Bible-beaters will point to the pledge or whip out a bill from their wallet and proclaim, “SEE! It says ‘God!’ That makes America a Christian Nation! Now shut up, and get to Chruch or I’ll stone you along with the rest of the Hell-bound sinners!”

  203. Sastra says

    Long thread, haven’t read the comments. But:

    O’Reilly is obviously wrong when he says Christianity isn’t a “religion,” it’s a “philosophy.” Oh, come on. A philosophy which has to do with the belief and worship of God is known as a religion. He’s confusing the term with “sects,” as Silverman rightly points out.

    Not so obvious a point, but I’d agree with O’Reilly (and disagree with Silverman) that Christmas, since it is a national holiday and has many origins and features from ancient pagan celebrations, is actually a secular holiday, and isn’t exclusive to Christians. The “Christ” in “Christmas” is no more meaningful than the “Hallow” in “Halloween,” the “Saint” in “St. Valentine’s Day,” or the “Estre” in “Easter.” It’s not a strictly religious holiday.

    Unless it’s promoted and used that way. And the government can’t do that. If they have a manger on government land, they have to acknowledge and display other ways of celebrating Christmas. Otherwise, they’re saying “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and “Keep the Christ in Christmas.” That’s a religious establishment. “Merry Christmas” (and Santa and trees and snowmen) aren’t.

    I understand Silverman’s (and AA’s) strategy, but I prsonally think it would be wiser in the long run to take O’Reilly’s suggestion that Christmas (NOT Christianity) is not about Christ. Oh really, O’Reilly? Why, thank you very much. Take the Christ out of Christmas and we’re all happy and united. Christmas for everybody.

    They should be careful what they wish for. Christians who promote Christmas as a secular holiday aren’t then going to be able to sneak Christianity in as a secular “philosophy.” That’s a completely different issue. What they’re really going to do is what atheists and freethinkers and liberal pagan-y spiritual separation of church and state allies have been trying to do: make those who choose to celebrate a religious Christmas a minority — a fringe group similar to Wiccans using Halloween as a sacred day. That’s great. They lose the mainstream — and we get it. Less Jesus, more Santa.

    Silverman should have taken O’Reilly’s “middle” position and run with it. So should we all; Merry Christmas. Ho ho ho.

  204. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Lykex:
    What does it even mean when someone says ‘I don’t believe in organized religion’? Does the person not go to church? Do they not belong to a denomination? Do they believe in god, but have cherry picked what beliefs to follow? Do they reject religious institutions in favor of some vague spirituality? It can’t mean they literally don’t believe in organized religion. It is clear there exists organized religions around the world. To deny their existence would be to deny reality.
    My parents told me years ago that they don’t believe in organized religion. They assert that they follow the teachings of Jesus, but they go to non denominational churches. I need to ask them about this one day. I am glad to know that my parents consider the Catholic Church to be an evil organization.

  205. NotASaint says

    I could only watch a couple minutes of that. The stupid that comes out of that man’s mouth is just too painful. Then the smug “I said it, so I win” expression. Ow.

  206. Ogvorbis says

    What does it even mean when someone says ‘I don’t believe in organized religion’?

    For my parents, it means they are Unitarian Universalists.

    But for most, I think your cherry-picking is closest.

    And some non-demoninational churches make the Southern Baptists look really liberal. Many of them were created in the 1970s when the SBC apologized for supporting slavery. A lot of Baptist churches dropped out of the SBC and become either independent baptist churches, or bible baptist churches, or non-demoninational churches. (This is from a limited perspective, specifically the Cumberland Valley of western Maryland in the 1980s, so I’m not sure how true that is elsewhere and elsewhen.)

  207. consciousness razor says

    Jesus is kinda anon[sic]-denominational figure shared by all the very [sic] various Christian groups &, yeah, very well aware the Christianity isn’t the only religion thanks.

    Fuck, then what was your point? Why did it just fucking disappear? It doesn’t fucking matter whether multiple denominations of Christianity believe in Jesus. The only way that would be relevant is if you want to peddle the same ludicrous bullshit as O’Reilly. I’m sure he can smell his own bullshit, but you, I can hardly tell. Being fucking Australian certainly doesn’t give you an excuse to be this dense.

    I think this whole debate [which you’ve shown you know nothing about] is overblown and could benefirt [sic] from to get put in [sic] a better perspective [like your ignorant one].

    Your concern is noted.

    Also, learn how to fucking write.

  208. bastionofsass says

    Just wanted to address something jencare babbled about back in post #93:

    Furthermore the 10th Amendment which states gov. “has now power to prescribe religious excersise.”

    I can’t figure out what jencare’s point was. However, there is a 10th Amendment argument often made by those who are anti separation of church and state.

    The claim is that, although the First Amendment may perhaps prohibit the federal government from establishing a national religion, under the 10th Amendment, individual states retain the right to do so. So, say, if Connecticut wanted to re-establish a state religion, the U.S. Constitution would allow it.

    The problem with this argument is a little legal barrier called the 14th Amendment. Courts (including the U.S. Supreme Court), using the legal doctrine of incorporation, have held that the First Amendment applies to the states as well as the federal government.

    The 14th Amendment was adopted 42 years after Jefferson died, so his opinions on whether the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments) applied to the states are hardly determinative.

  209. Rey Fox says

    The “Christ” in “Christmas” is no more meaningful than the “Hallow” in “Halloween,” the “Saint” in “St. Valentine’s Day,” or the “Estre” in “Easter.”

    Well, the trouble is that none of those three holidays are actually recognized by the government.

    The idea of making Christmas into an entirely secular holiday, as it sort of is now, seems like a good idea, but I recognize that I’m talking from a privileged “culturally Christian” standpoint when I say that.

  210. bastionofsass says

    What does it even mean when someone says ‘I don’t believe in organized religion’?

    It means they believe in the Ununited Church of the Untidy. Mess is celebrated at no set time on random days.

  211. says

    Well, the trouble is that none of those three holidays are actually recognized by the government.

    The idea of making Christmas into an entirely secular holiday, as it sort of is now, seems like a good idea, but I recognize that I’m talking from a privileged “culturally Christian” standpoint when I say that.

    My spouse and I are starting a movement to combine it with Thanksgiving and New Years into an end of year holiday two weeks.

    We replace Santa with a present giving Abe Lincoln

  212. bastionofsass says

    Rey Fox wrote

    The idea of making Christmas into an entirely secular holiday, as it sort of is now, seems like a good idea,

    My local public school district also currently closes not only for a “Winter Break” and, therefore, *ahem* purely secular school vacation, but also for certain Jewish holy days.

    The reason schools are closed for say, Yom Kippur, isn’t because of some earnest desire to be multicultural, or because of First Amendment concerns, but because a number of schools have large populations of Jewish students. When they all took off school to observe their holy days, school absentee numbers messed up the mandated attendance standards.

    The way to not have Jewish students counted as “absent” was to not open schools on their holy days. Problem solved.

    Or not.

    Now Muslims and Sikhs are asking to have school closed on their holy days.

    Will be interesting to see if there will be 180 days left to hold classes after the schools close for the holy days of all the students.

  213. says

    Don’t you see? Christianity is a philosophy, all the sects are religions. There’s nothing that says there can’t be a state-sponsored philosophy! So we are a Christian Nation™ afterall!
    /sarcasm

    I never thought of it that way before…

  214. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Tony,

    They assert that they follow the teachings of Jesus, but they go to non denominational churches.

    I am under the impression that this is a fundamentalist/evangelical thing. Is that off-base in your parents’ case?

    +++++
    bastionofsass,

    The way to not have Jewish students counted as “absent” was to not open schools on their holy days. Problem solved.

    Or not.

    Now Muslims and Sikhs are asking to have school closed on their holy days.

    Needn’t be a problem. Long summer breaks make kids not learn good, and but for a couple weeks should be eliminated regardless. This can more than offset minority religion holiday requests.

  215. nohellbelowus says

    David Silverman just went up a notch or two in my book. And although it’s understandable that he would overlook one of O’Reilly’s comments in such a heated enounter, I believe David missed a prime opportunity to make O’Reilly squirm. O’Reilly said “He was just a man!” (Meaning Jesus, of course. Did anyone else catch it?)

    Too bad Silverman didn’t run with that one. “Oh, really, Bill? A man born of a virgin, correct? No? Well, then who knocked-up the blessed Mother Mary?”

    Alternatively, Silverman could have asked O’Reilly to explain the “tenets” of this Christian “philosophy” of his, and then point out that “Do unto others” had actually been around since the time of Confucius.

    Bill O’Reilly isn’t stupid, however, and I believe he already senses the unsustainability of the Christian/religious argument. He’s beginning to hedge his own position with this “Christianity is a philosophy” and “Jesus was just a man” crapola, so that he doesn’t end up marginalizing himself in the future.

    Religion is dying a slow death, but DAMN it will not go quietly, that’s for certain!

  216. Kristof says

    Oh, so for how long Christian sects were scamming US government for tax exempt status, exactly? :)

  217. Ogvorbis says

    Oh, so for how long Christian sects were scamming US government for tax exempt status, exactly? :)

    Yes.

  218. Alverant says

    @Sastra #266
    Since Christmas is a combination of christian and pagan traditions, why don’t we see more pagan displays on public ground? Why do we only see Jesus and not Saturn or the other pagan gods? Why is christianity given exclusive rights?

    That’s the issue here.

  219. says

    Sastra @266, Thanks for that.

    A cogent assessment of the issues, and of the consequences of O’Reilly’s “philosophy” argument should it be taken to its logical conclusion.

    Christmas is already a secular holiday for more people than will admit it. For some, the problem is not that christmas is a secular holiday, but that it is considered impolite or politically incorrect to say so.

  220. says

    I have an uncle who I swear was hatched from the same nest as B’O’R. He’s particularly annoying in a way I’d be willing to bet O’Reilly is, in that while this day he will make this argument that christianity isn’t a religion, tomorrow will chastise me for using the word “christmas”, since as an atheist I don’t believe in Christ so shouldn’t be allowed to use the term. Of course then I ask him if he believes in Thor. Puzzled he answers “of course not”. I then tell him that based on his own logic, he is henceforth forbidden to call the day following Wednesday “Thursday”. He hasn’t spoken to me since. I think it’s because he still doesn’t get it.

  221. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jencare, next, please use your own words or give credit to where you got it from.

    Yes, I suspected something was up because your latest post was much better written than what you posted earlier.

    I entered this into Google.

    To demonstrate the problems created by a simplistic interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the same logic might be applied to the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

    This is what I got.

    Here is the homepage of that jencare plagiarized. It is a state’s right site.

    Jencare, you are fucking scum.

  222. says

    If I had a nickel for every law student that’s come into this forum over the years proclaiming an understanding and interpretation of the constitution and the bill of rights that far surpasses the 200+ years of SCOTUS rulings we have on hand… I wouldn’t have felt compelled to waste my money on a Power-ball ticket last night.

    I swear I’ve seen jencare’s argument on the 14th amendment made here before some several years ago…

  223. Sastra says

    Rey Fox #272 wrote:

    The idea of making Christmas into an entirely secular holiday, as it sort of is now, seems like a good idea, but I recognize that I’m talking from a privileged “culturally Christian” standpoint when I say that.

    I’m not so sure about that. I mean, I think the “culturally Christian” standpoint is that everyone knows that Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus. Jews and Hindus and Muslims and other religious groups who object to “Merry Christmas” as applying to them are doing so from the culturally Christian standpoint.

    The secular standpoint seems to me to be the view that doesn’t buy into the Christian co-option of the traditional winter holiday. They don’t just insist that the manger scene represents the “true meaning of Christmas,” they get all weird and stupid and try to talk about how the candy cane symbolizes “Christ’s blood” and giving presents is a re-enactment of Jesus’ “gift to humanity on the cross.” They make pictures and statues of Santa Claus praying to Baby Jesus. The Christmas tree is because the evergreen, like Jesus, doesn’t ‘die.’ And so forth, ad nauseum.

    This is not right. This is not fine. This is not going to be granted to them because it’s culturally recognized that of course Christmas is about the birth of the Savior, and thus everything in Yule-tide needs to be force-fit into this scenario.

    At least, not by me.

    I wasn’t raised Christian and I grew up celebrating the traditional Christmas — the real one, without any of the Jesus crap, but with everything else. People who were brainwashed into thinking that no, the worship our Lord is at the center of the celebration would be surprised at how natural that seemed to me, and still does. I suspect it will seem just as natural to the next generation of nones, as it grows and evolves into new generations. Maybe one day the Biblical aspect will be included in Fun Facts: Did you know that the word “Christmas” contains a reference to a god who presumably came down to earth and was born in a manger? Really! It’s the word “Christ.” Amaze and amuse your friends!

  224. says

    Ah! Plagiarism! That explains why I knew I’d heard that same argument before, almost verbatim. Thanks, Janine!

    Now please excuse me while I attempt in all sincerity to apply my “shocked and appalled” face… Umrrrhmrrrmpp…. nope… can’t manage it.

  225. says

    I could immediately tell that what she posted had been copied-and-pasted from another source. I was just about to ask her where from. Jencare: You DO realize Google exists, right? And that we’re not completely fucking brain-dead (no offense to the truly brain-dead)?

  226. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    (An aside. I was talking about how poorly written jencare’s post were. It is a good thing I had actual content because what I wrote was pretty badly done.)

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The “separation of church and state” is intended to protect freedom FOR religious belief it is not intended to promote religion’s exile from public life.

    Wrong fuckwitted idjit. It means the government, including the states with the 14th amendment, is neutral toward religion. It is either totally inclusive of all religions (an SCOTUS includes atheism in that list while acknowledging it isn’t a true religion) or ignores religion. There is no middle ground without defact establishing a religion.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, that should be de facto, not defact, in my last sentence in #293.

    Jencare went to a states rights site for a copypasta? What a RWA/literturd shallow end fo the intelligence pool loser.

  229. Sastra says

    Alverant #281 wrote:

    Since Christmas is a combination of christian and pagan traditions, why don’t we see more pagan displays on public ground?

    The Christmas tree is pagan; one could also argue that Santa Claus came from pagan traditions (which were fleshed out by Clement Moore, Robert May, and others.)

    I think that, compared to the above, manger scenes are less popular for holiday displays on public property. Frankly, I’d like to see them disappear from government land and kept politely to private homes, businesses, and churches, but iirc the law currently states that they can be in front of city halls or in public parks only if they’re accompanied by displays of what-was-once-pagan but is now secular (because it’s no longer sincerely believed to be connected to a real supernatural reality.)

    jencare #282 wrote:

    The “separation of church and state” is intended to protect freedom FOR religious belief it is not intended to promote religion’s exile from public life. And this is exactly Atheists intention when filing suit or use threats of suit.

    Question for you: do you think the State (a state) ought to call for a vote on what religion will be considered official? In other words, is God and God’s nature something that is determined by the will of the majority? Is it a good idea to pretend that it is?

    And please — drop the phrase “public life.” That implies that we’re talking about what is done out in public. We are not. We are talking about land and buildings which are funded by taxpayers as common ground.

    Atheists would like to see less religion in “public life,” but we deal with that through argument and persuasion. The law is only brought in when government is used to wield power over minority citizens. I’m surprised you want to grant state governments that right, against individual liberty.

  230. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Here is the homepage of that site jencare plagiarized. It is a state’s right site.

    Complete with racist Confederate flags! Wooo!

    Hey jencare!

    Next time you plagiarize, try really studying some law. Don’t seek advice from websites that try to tell you the “Confederate States of America” were supposed to have been allowed to secede from the USA, and “the Union’s invasion and subsequent military occupation of the Confederacy were illegal.”

    That’s just a handy guideline. If a website is telling you that the Supreme Court has been ruling illegitimately since Marbury v Madison and the proto-fascist CSA was the true, legitimate government, you’ve found an unreliable source.

  231. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jencare, explain why you don’t follow Jesus’ admonition to “go into a closet to pray” (Matt. 6:6-6:8), which means avoid ostentatious public prayer, with ostentatious public prayer at public meetings and gatherings like football games. Or aren’t you a true Xian, but rather a Paulian? In which case, why don’t you be honest, one way or the other?

  232. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    SGBM:
    In the case of my parents, that doesn’t hold. I was never raised in a strong religious house. We almost never went to church. Not on Sundays. Not on holidays. I went to a church for a wedding @ age13 and a funeral while in high school. My sister and I never had the threat of hell held over us. My parents taught me the value of thinking critically and were supportive when I questioned authority, especially when those authorities made decisions that seemed unfair (I once told my art teacher in high school-in front of the class-that it was unfair to deny one of my classmates the chance to use the restroom; she needed to go, but we were stuck drawing a still life; in a meeting between the teacher, the principal, my mother ,and I , my mother sided with me). Jesus was invoked at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or when times were rough, they would pray. Overall, I’d say my parents lay on the other end of the religious spectrum from fundamentalists. Hell, when I came out, they didn’t use any biblical arguments (dad used the icky gay sex complaint and mom weeped for no grandchildren).
    Having a much better understanding of religious belief now, I see that my parents are progressive, nominal xtians. They believe in equality for all, no exceptions. They believe fully in a womans right to choose. They do not appear to view the Bible as gods wisdom, but rather a collection of writings passed down through the ages, possessed of great wisdom (::eyeroll::), but not infallible. My father has been in healthcare all his adult life, so he focuses more on scientifically proven methods of healthcare (though he is leaning toward more woo as he gets older).

  233. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Janine:
    Thanks for catching that.
    That is a clear case of plagiarism.
    So JENCARE is stupid and pondscum.
    Perhaps the Slymepit is a better place for this one.

  234. Sastra says

    @Janinie #296:

    I know she didn’t write it, I saw your link. But she repeated it and presumably supports it (or what she understands of it, at any rate.) So I’d like to hear her answer to my question.

    And I’d like her to drop the whole “atheists want religion out of public life” deepity. Heh, one of the books I often recommend is Austin Dacey’s The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. An atheist, Dacey is careful to separate the church/state issues from the claim that religious belief is or ought to be “private.” That latter one is not just unworkable, but a popular way to protect religion from analysis, mockery, and the rough and tumble of secular criticism.

    Jencare, we WANT religion in public life — because it’s easier to attack out in the open. My guess is that you only want religion “in public life” if there’s a cultural agreement to respect it as private commitment. Not gonna happen.

  235. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Nerd:
    jencare is agnostic, dontcha know? Yeah, I don’t buy it either.

    ****
    Janine:
    Another _tell_ that jen didn’t write that
    “The cases thus far that I have reviewed…”
    Whatever the heck xe was posting before was NOT a review of any cases.

  236. strange gods before me ॐ says

    jencare,

    Here’s some more reading for you to study some law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education

    That was 1947. It is, by now, settled law. Let me quote the ruling for you:

    The First Amendment, as made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth, Murdock v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 , 63 S.Ct. 870, 872, 146 A.L.R. 81, commands that a state ‘shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ […]

    Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment did not apply as a restraint against the states. […]

    The meaning and scope of the First Amendment, preventing establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, in the light of its history and the evils it was designed forever to suppress, have been several times elaborated by the decisions of this Court prior to the application of the First Amendment to the states by the Fourteenth. The broad meaning given the Amendment by these earlier cases has been accepted by this Court in its decisions concerning an individual’s religious freedom rendered since the Fourteenth Amendment was interpreted to make the prohibitions of the First applicable to state action abridging religious freedom. There is every reason to give the same application and broad interpretation to the “establishment of religion” clause. The interrelation of these complementary clauses was well summarized in a statement of the Court of Appeals of South Carolina, quoted with approval by this Court in Watson v. Jones, 13 Wall. 679, 730:

    ‘The structure of our government has, for the preservation of civil liberty, rescued the temporal institutions from religious interference. On the other hand, it has secured religious liberty from the invasions of the civil authority.’

    The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.’ Reynolds v. United States, supra, 98 U.S. at page 164.

    Your argument is 65 years too late. It’s over. You lost.

  237. Vicki says

    It’s not just tax exemptions. If Christianity isn’t a religion, people can’t invoke Christianity to refuse to work on Sundays, and employers can legally refuse to hire Christians.

  238. Rey Fox says

    Ho ho yes. States’ rights. Got to fix a typo I found on that web site.

    The Confederate flag, though once associated with slavery, is a symbol of Southern unity and a part of United States history.

    Considering how much people complain about their state legislatures, I have to wonder why states’ rights are so popular. Then I remember that “states’ rights” is basically code for theocracy and segregation.

  239. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Tony, I appreciate the explanation at #299. Thanks for indulging my curiosity.

  240. Akira MacKenzie says

    Back when I used to hang out at the JREF,forums–before the organization became a wretched hive of religion-snuggling Accomediationism–we had a Fundy poster named DOC (we assumed it was short for “Defender of Christ,” or some such) who’d post David Barton-esque screeds defending the “Christian Nation” myth. Once I was able to trace a bunch of his “quotes” to a Christian Identity movement website. Of course, he claimed that he had noooooo idea the site was run by a bunch of Bible-beating racists; however, this was a guy who’d praise the Christian European conquest of the New World because they brought the heathen, human-sacrificing, natives to JEEZ-us. So, we didn’t buy it.

  241. nogods4me says

    Ignore jencare for the troll s/he is. They will not respond to your questions or statements except with some confusing nonsense iff they see an opening for their preselected “argument”. I’m still waiting for an answer from last night that will never be answered.

  242. magistramarla says

    Hey Guys,
    Is anybody up for some extra fun and pharyngulating?
    I visit the website of the San Antonio Express News to keep up with what’s going on down there.
    In the commentary of the Letters to the Editors, there are a group of real wingnuts. I enjoy reading the silliness that they write. There are some real dingbats there calling themselves Bookmark,Ricco and Texasconservative, among others.
    There are also a couple of brave liberals called DanielMiller and AnnPW who are fighting the good fight.

    There is a discussion there today about this same show, but with a very different spin.
    I would love to see some of the horde descend upon them and teach them a lesson.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/article/Your-Turn-Nov-29-2012-4074807.php

  243. vaiyt says

    so, jencare stops with the non-gibberish and posts something readable… I would give them a pat, but I was already warned that it’s copypasta, so whatever.

    The prohibition on Congress from making any law establishing religion cannot be directly applied to the States, because a law, in and of itself, will not abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens, and the States, unlike Congress, are not expressly forbidden from establishing religion.

    I’m not American, so my perspective may be off… but what kind of useless piece of shit is a Constitutional provision that purports to separate church from state but allows the state to become a theocracy at local level? It’s completely illogical. If member-states can disrespect a constitutional principle at will, then why have a fucking Constitution?

    The “separation of church and state” is intended to protect freedom FOR religious belief it is not intended to promote religion’s exile from public life.

    You’re stupid. Being free to worship how you please is not the same thing as making the government endorse your religion.

    The ludicrous example is little different from Court interpretation of the Establishment Clause, which has followed a path of similar absurdity, the Court ultimately equating a student at a graduation ceremony with Congress, and his verbalized prayer as the establishing of religion by government.

    Falsehoods. College students can pray whatever they want by themselves. What you can’t have is the professors or the college itself promoting sectarian prayer. That’s abusing their authority to impose their religion on the students.

    The Fourteenth Amendment extended the protections given to persons, by the Constitution, to the States, granting them unrestricted safeguards for the free exercise and other rights. This was the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment. At that time, persons were free from United States religion, but not States’ religion, just as they were immune from restrictive federal but not State law concerning speech and other constitutional rights..

    Again, this is ridiculous. Your Bill of Rights is completely useless if it allows individual states to curtail basic rights at will. You might as well use it as toilet paper.

    The prohibition on Congress from making any law establishing religion cannot be directly applied to the States, because a law, in and of itself, will not abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens

    Oh, a law can’t abridge rights by itself? That means we can make “agnosticism” illegal by law? I’m sure you won’t mind? *snicker*

    A yet to be written law cannot be declared unconstitutional, but the Court does exactly that with a precondition that the States cannot establish religion, because the prohibition must be derived from supposition that a law establishing religion will abridge citizen privileges and immunities..

    Establishing one religion automatically excludes the others, or lack thereof. It’s logically inevitable.

  244. says

    What does it even mean when someone says ‘I don’t believe in organized religion’?

    Damned if I know. When questioned, these people often turn out to believe many of the same things as their “organized” counterparts.

    That’s why I think it’s a relevant comparison. It’s a change of labels, not of content. Whether Christianity is a philosophy or a religion doesn’t change the fact that it makes claims it can’t support.

    But I see it as positive that they feel the need to distance themselves from the “religion” label. It’s just like when creationists start pretending to do science: Whether they realize it or not, it’s an implicit admission that they’re wrong.
    If they had the facts on their side, they wouldn’t need to borrow legitimacy elsewhere.

  245. says

    What does it even mean when someone says ‘I don’t believe in organized religion’?

    In my experience it generally means “I believe in all that goofy shit I’m just too lazy to go to church, and like to claim I have an ‘open mind’ while being too intellectually dishonest to defend those beliefs in the stark light of contradiction between belief and rationality… so I’d rather just pretend I don’t really care and not talk about it. It’s just easier that way.”

  246. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Basically, you should never use the reasoning “that would be a stupid way for something to operate, therefore that must not be how it operates.”

    If member-states can disrespect a constitutional principle at will, then why have a fucking Constitution?

    It’s a consequence of the way the country was formed: by states opting in to a federation. Sometimes it might not be a “good idea” but there’s nothing logically incoherent about stipulating that a federal government will be limited in ways that lower governments will not be.

    For example, as an intermediate, hopefully temporary measure in the Truce On Drugs, we might want to make it so that the federal government has no power to regulate psychoactive drugs (except, perhaps, for purity testing by the FDA) while state governments could legalize or criminalize as they see fit.

    Falsehoods. College students can pray whatever they want by themselves.

    Nothing was said about college students in particular, and in any case it is not clear that any student may pray at any time. There are certain times when a high school student clearly may not pray; see Santa Fe v. Doe. It is unlikely but not inconceivable that a prohibition could be decided to apply to publicly funded college graduation ceremonies. (I am not aware of any example, and I assume jencare’s source is mistaken, since it’s a demonstrably unreliable site.)

    The Fourteenth Amendment extended the protections given to persons, by the Constitution, to the States, granting them unrestricted safeguards for the free exercise and other rights. This was the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment. At that time, persons were free from United States religion, but not States’ religion, just as they were immune from restrictive federal but not State law concerning speech and other constitutional rights.

    Again, this is ridiculous. Your Bill of Rights is completely useless if it allows individual states to curtail basic rights at will.

    The first two sentences in jencare’s paragraph there were incorrect; the rest was correct. As noted above, the Establishment Clause was not applied to the individual states until 1947.

    Some others have been incorporated against the states very recently. For instance, only in 2010 was the Second Amendment decided to apply to lower governments. The Third Amendment has only been incorporated in the Second Circuit, and only since 1982. The Fifth Amendment’s right to a grand jury is not incorporated at all. You can read more here. It can be interesting to brainstorm when you would prefer that certain rights not be incorporated, as well as when the individual member states might.

  247. kayden says

    Silverman should forgo going on Bill O’s show again. The man is an idiot. I can understand why PZ and Dawkins don’t debate these blowhards.

  248. speed0spank says

    For the non-Americans: a glimpse into my holiday season.
    I work in customer service around the holidays at a business that doesn’t have a policy about holiday greetings. As long as we’re polite, they don’t really care what we say.
    I always stick with Happy Holidays, not because I’m an atheist, but because I have no way of knowing the religion of the person I’m helping. I would need more than my fingers and toes to count the times that someone has yelled at me or said something rude after I wished them a “Happy Holiday!” with a smile.
    The whole idea that we need to chill out and let other people have their fun is pretty absurd when I AM chilled out and letting people have their stupid religious fun, and still getting screamed at for trying to be polite because it’s my fucking job to do so.
    Also, as a person who mainly lurks in atheist blogs/forums and deletes whack-a-doo Christian/Republicans from my Facebook I am not exposed to very many religious folk in general. Still, the main source of “war of Christmas” BS comes from those few religious folk. I rarely see atheists going bananas about manger scenes and the like, but every year I hear the ignorant rants from religious people in my life about holiday trees and their persecution.

  249. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Kayden, Dawkins has been on Billo’s before. Look up The tide comes in and the tide goes out and never a miscommunication.

  250. says

    I have developed a rather… less than positive outlook on “philosophy”. To me, it was a useful starting point, upon which we later placed reasonable constraints, so that it would be possible to derive useful information from it. Put simply, if it where math problem:

    1-1/0 = unknowable and/or ‘infinity + 1′. <- science.
    1-1/0 = 0 <- philosophy. Without the fundamental rules that define what patterns of logic actually result in usable conclusions, you can reach entirely, completely, and totally wrong conclusions, using what 'seems to be' perfect logic.

    So, yeah, if you want to define Christianity as "philosophy", then fine, it just means that you are describing it as, "Something that, due to basic failures in its basic premises, will, with perfect seeming logic, go so far off the rails as to resemble nothing remotely connected to any feasible reality." And, I would be perfectly happy with that definition. lol

  251. Sastra says

    Kagehi #317 wrote:

    I have developed a rather… less than positive outlook on “philosophy”.

    It probably depends on how you define it. In the broad “love of wisdom” sense, “the discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology” would include empirical science as well as scholastic theological navel-gazing and armchair reasoning. Christianity is a philosophy, sure — but it’s a religious philosophy — a religion. I think O’Reilly is trying to sneak it over as some sort of common-sense secular world view which stands even with science or reason-based world views.

    I wish Silverman had thought to ask him if it was a “faith-based philosophy.” I wonder if O’Reilly would have been quick to throw faith out of Christianity.

    Of course, he probably would just have tried to make the tiresome argument that all beliefs are faith beliefs.

  252. bastionofsass says

    I don’t understand why anyone goes on TV shows where the “host” habitually rudely interrupts and/or talks over the guest.

    Why not just say to the host, “I thought you wanted me to come on your show to discuss the issue. Do you want to hear what I have to say or not? If “yes,” then let me say what I have to say without interruption before you start talking again. If “no,” I’ll just leave.

  253. says

    I think I was fairly clear on my “definition” of philosophy. Calling science a philosophy is about as reasonable as saying, “Alchemy and chemistry are both methods of figuring out how elemental substances combine to produce new products.” There is, however, a difference. While one can argue that, without alchemy, it might have taken a bit more time to get *to* chemistry, the two do not fundamentally result in the same things, nor is it more than a superficial observation that one may have, at some point, been derived from the other.

  254. says

    Oh, and.. One can still read some old alchemical texts, and by shear accident, derive something functional from them. Its just that… the rest of its observations where utter gibberish, and nothing new can be derived from any part of what remains, once you remove the stuff that coincidentally happened to fall within the realm of, “This is actually something that works, not navel gazing.”

    Not that this is 100% fair. Its possible to derive non-existent things out of such methods, then apply what does work, in an attempt to produce as close an approximation of that as feasible. But, to get there, you still have to abandon the process of recursively applying failed premises to the intended result, and deal with the reality of what *is* possible, and does work.

  255. Ichthyic says

    For example, as an intermediate, hopefully temporary measure in the Truce On Drugs, we might want to make it so that the federal government has no power to regulate psychoactive drugs (except, perhaps, for purity testing by the FDA) while state governments could legalize or criminalize as they see fit.

    or legalize/criminalize gay marriage.

    or slavery.

    or change what textbooks get used.

    yeah, as a general argument, the whole “it’s best left with the states” thing doesn’t tend to work too well, even if we personally like the results of a specific case. In fact, BECAUSE we might like the results of a specific case.

    It’s a dangerous road to travel to decide to let individual states decide what to do on a great many matters, especially given how people in the US apparently are literally segregating themselves more and more to “like minded” states.

  256. strange gods before me ॐ says

    yeah, as a general argument

    Nobody should be so stupid as to use it as a general argument.

    or legalize/criminalize gay marriage.

    Currently the alternative to letting states decide would be to uphold DOMA, which is a worse outcome.

    or slavery.

    This is why we have the Thirteenth and Fourteenth.

    or change what textbooks get used.

    It does seem to be an opportune time to push for national standards.

    In fact, BECAUSE we might like the results of a specific case.

    It’s not clear how this could make any difference one way or the other.

    It’s a dangerous road to travel to decide to let individual states decide what to do on a great many matters

    Indeed, and not dangerous on other matters.

  257. Ichthyic says

    Jencare, we WANT religion in public life — because it’s easier to attack out in the open.

    I would amend that personally to say that once it finally becomes clear that all of religion is useless fiction, it should indeed naturally disappear from public life.

    so, no, in the end I don’t want fictional bullshit to be part of public life. I’d prefer we’d just grow the fuck up already.

  258. Ichthyic says

    Currently the alternative to letting states decide would be to uphold DOMA, which is a worse outcome.

    so, not having passed DOMA to begin with would be??

    Nobody should be so stupid as to use it as a general argument.

    good thing it was so clear you weren’t then, right?

    This is why we have the Thirteenth and Fourteenth.

    which we wouldn’t have if we let states decide the issue.

    It’s not clear how this could make any difference one way or the other.

    because it is very tempting to attack federalism on issues we don’t personally like, and support it on things we do, and vice versa, without objectively identifying what the long term damage would be to weakening federalism.

    for example, I like the idea of the feds not controlling national drug standards, but I can clearly see where if one were to attack federalism on this issue, it would weaken it on others that would be just as, if not more, disadvantageous.

    Indeed, and not dangerous on other matters.

    and you can’t see where that would go?

    if you use drugs to weaken federalism in one area, it will be tremendously difficult to argue in favor of federalism in another.

  259. Ichthyic says

    …I’ve often wondered if Cato’s support of state initiatives to legalize marijuana is more related to their overall effort to weaken federalism itself rather than any humanitarian benefit that might acrue from legalizing pot.

    It would fit MUCH better with what their overall strategies and positions have been over the decades.

  260. strange gods before me ॐ says

    so, not having passed DOMA to begin with would be??

    Would be what?

    good thing it was so clear you weren’t then, right?

    Yes, it is a good thing I was so clear. Everyone who comprehended ‘It’s a consequence of the way the country was formed: by states opting in to a federation. Sometimes it might not be a “good idea” but there’s nothing logically incoherent about stipulating that a federal government will be limited in ways that lower governments will not be’ comprehended me.

    which we wouldn’t have if we let states decide the issue.

    Sort of. I mean, states did decide that issue. Then the losing team was not permitted to not vote for ratification.

    because it is very tempting to attack federalism on issues we don’t personally like, and support it on things we do, and vice versa, without objectively identifying what the long term damage would be to weakening federalism.

    Again, it’s not clear what this could actually mean.

    for example, I like the idea of the feds not controlling national drug standards, but I can clearly see where if one were to attack federalism on this issue, it would weaken it on others that would be just as, if not more, disadvantageous.

    What might “weaken federalism” mean here? There are a lot of ways for the federal government to deal with Colorado and Washington’s new recreational cannabis laws, for instance. They are likely to follow similar practices as are currently used with regard to states’ medical cannabis laws.

    and you can’t see where that would go?

    What a strange question.

    if you use drugs to weaken federalism in one area, it will be tremendously difficult to argue in favor of federalism in another.

    You seem confused. Federalism isn’t one thing which has a particular strength. To simplify, it involves various methods of enforcement, at various bureaucratic levels, of various standards of judicial review (rational basis, intermediate scrutiny, strict scrutiny).

    If the federal legislature were to decide to repeal legislation regarding some psychoactive substances, or the executive were to decide to stop enforcing laws federally or in certain areas, there is no particular reason to suppose that they could not later decide to do differently on the same subject, or that that decision would somehow cause them to do similarly on another subject. And it’s not clear how any of that would entail “weakening” federalism (nor how reversing such a decision would entail “strengthening” it). No contest is implied of the federal government’s authority to make any of these decisions.

  261. strange gods before me ॐ says

    …I’ve often wondered if Cato’s support of state initiatives to legalize marijuana is more related to their overall effort to weaken federalism itself

    Except for the fairly important fact that such state initiatives don’t weaken federalism.

  262. Ichthyic says

    Except for the fairly important fact that such state initiatives don’t weaken federalism.

    you have a very backwards way of arguing your point, you know that?

    because, yes, they do.

    If the federal legislature were to decide to repeal legislation regarding some psychoactive substances, or the executive were to decide to stop enforcing laws federally or in certain areas,

    but… that’s still federalism deciding the issue, not states.

    so, again… DOMA?

    you seem tremendously ambiguous on this.

    maybe you could try arguing with Ed, too, and take the opposite position just for fun?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/11/29/the-convenient-federalism-of-conservatives/

    because I really can’t see you have a consistent point on this.

  263. Ichthyic says

    To simplify, it involves various methods of enforcement,

    you really are a condescending, but ignorant, ass.

    really.

  264. strange gods before me ॐ says

    you have a very backwards way of arguing your point, you know that?

    because, yes, they do.

    Well, no, they don’t. And they don’t, because, as I already noted:

    No contest is implied of the federal government’s authority to make any of these decisions.

    but… that’s still federalism deciding the issue, not states.

    This is such a weird thing to say. Indeed, everything I’ve advocated (which is very little) is compatible with federalism. What else did you think was being proposed?

    so, again… DOMA?

    What about it?

    you seem tremendously ambiguous on this.

    I think you’re predisposed to read me uncharitably (i.e. ignoring, again, the meaning of might not be a good idea but isn’t nothing logically incoherent). I’ve never been ambiguous about my hardon for LBJ.

    maybe you could try arguing with Ed

    Oh, no thanks.

    because I really can’t see you have a consistent point on this.

    Generally I advocate pragmatism in regard to legislation and jurisprudence.

    you really are a condescending, but ignorant, ass.

    It might be helpful if you would specify what I’m ignorant about, and what I could be learning from you.

  265. StevoR says

    @264. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞

    SteveoR @216: Now you’re starting to come across patronizing. You have admitted to being unfamiliar with the level of religious privilege in the US. You have been given examples why it is bad. Yet you still insist on telling many of us to chill out; that its not that bad. It is that bad. Religious privilege is rampant in this country. Specifically xtian religious privilege. At this time of year, Christians expect their beliefs to take precedence over other religions. They expect to have preferential treatment. CARLIE helpfully explained how wrong this is, yet you still insist on telling her and the rest of us that this isn’t a big deal. My advice, unless and until you have a deeper understanding of how insidious religious privilege in the states is, please don’t tell us to relax.

    Okay, sorry, not my intention to be patronising just trying to give my outside perspective opinion on this FWIW. I find it hard to believe things are this bad but I will take your (& others here) word for it.

    @270. consciousness razor

    “Jesus is kinda anon[sic]-denominational figure shared by all the very [sic] various Christian groups &, yeah, very well aware the Christianity isn’t the only religion thanks.”
    – StevoR

    Fuck, then what was your point? Why did it just fucking disappear? It doesn’t fucking matter whether multiple denominations of Christianity believe in Jesus. The only way that would be relevant is if you want to peddle the same ludicrous bullshit as O’Reilly. I’m sure he can smell his own bullshit, but you, I can hardly tell. Being fucking Australian certainly doesn’t give you an excuse to be this dense.

    “I think this whole debate [which you’ve shown you know nothing about] is overblown and could benefirt [sic] from to get put in [sic] a better perspective [like your ignorant one].”
    – StevoR

    Your concern is noted. Also, learn how to fucking write.

    Well my excuse is that I was half asleep at the time. Never have been able to type well either, sorry.

    So what’s your excuse? I’ve read and reread that first paragraph of yours there and it still makes no sense to me.

    No I do NOT agree with B’O’R. Hell no. All I was saying was I thought too much was being made of this, I found it hard to think it really mattered that much and think there are higher priorities for atheists generally than telling people they can’t have nativity scenes, fucking nativity scenes in spot X because, really, where’s the real harm?

    Now okay, these displays are symbolic and being misused to push an exclusive unwelcoming Christian message and ideology. Well that sucks I agree. I’m not part of your culture and parts of it baffle me – the whole war on Xmas is one of those parts. So (shrug) okay, uncle, fair enough mate.

    @262. vaiyt :

    “Jesus is kinda anon-denominational figure shared by all the very various Christian groups” -StevoR

    Bolded for emphasis. What about the non-Christians, idiot?

    Um, what about ‘em? We’re not talking about ‘em here. Quite happy to see hannukkah and Kwanaza displays too as long as they’re not hurtinganyone.

    “..very well aware the Christianity isn’t the only religion thanks.”

    Your very previous sentence disproves this assertion.

    Wha..? How?

    Saying Christians have various denominations (almost?) all of which celebrate Christmas is saying absolutely nothing at all about whether any other non-Christian religions exist or aboyut how they work.

  266. StevoR says

    Corrections – take II :

    @262. vaiyt :

    What about the non-Christians, idiot?

    Um, what about ‘em? We’re not talking about ‘em here. Quite happy to see Hannukkah and Kwanaza displays too as long as they’re not hurting anyone.

    Also I’m not insulting you, please do me the courtesy of doing likewise.

    “..very well aware the Christianity is’nt the only religion thanks.”
    – StevoR

    Your very previous sentence disproves this assertion.
    – vaiyt

    Wha..? How?

    Saying Christians have various denominations (almost?) all of which celebrate Christmas is saying absolutely nothing at all about whether any other non-Christian religions exist or about how they work. Is it? I sure don’t see how.

    PS. Sure wish we could edit our comments here. Yeah, okay, we have preview but too easy to miss stuff there in my experience.

  267. StevoR says

    @256. anteprepro

    “I’m struggling here to work out how StevoR thinks that nativity displays on public land are a “victimless crime”.

    Because the Baby Jesus doesn’t pop out of the creche to punch the nearest non-believer. I’m pretty sure that is all StevoR needs.

    That’s about right yes.

    Its along the exact same line as the “guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people” truism.

    A nativity display is an object or collection of objects, nothing more.

    What meaning it has lies in what we or others choose to give it.

    In xer comment #218 carlie gave examples of how it symbolises the unfair discrimination and problems associated with the Christian ideology and the power Chrsitianity has over others.

    Okay. I agree Christians can persecite and make life worse for non-Christians in especiallyreligious communities in America. Which is fucking terrible and wrong. But that';s not the nativity display’s faults but those of the people who set ‘em up. There are separate issues or so I’d think.

    Fight the Christian mistreatment of others? Of fucking course yes. Stop the gaybashers and Hindu immigrant haters and slutshamers, fuck yeah. What has that to do with the nativities besdies being symbolic and something theycare about?

    If say, 8 out of ten people find a nativity scene just a pleasant backdrop that means, well precious little but makes them a small bit happier should we hurt them by taking it away because it bugs or makes another 2 out of those ten people feel uncomfortable?

    His “just let them have their nativity, stop being such a party pooper” argument is exactly how Christians are able to plead and whine their way into having their foot in the door. Pretending that “God” doesn’t mean the Christian God while they stamp it all over everything, pretending Christmas is really really secular. And then, after suckering the government into agreeing to these on the pretense of “ceremonial deism,” the theocrats inevitably point to the words “God” and “Christ” in things supported by the government and say “A-ha, the government really DOES support Christianity” and use that an excuse to demand that the government submit itself to Christian authority. The problem with letting them get away with this shit is that it sets precedent. It is a death of a thousand cuts. They have already put cracks into the wall of separation and are trying their damndest to say “well, there’s already a few cracks, so do you mind if I make another one? Come on, it won’t make much of difference! Pretty please?” The game they are playing should be obvious. It apparently isn’t, but it should be.

    Isn’t that a slippery slope type argument and generally considered a logical fallacy?

    Oh well, what do I know? I’m just seeing things my way and probably not understanding and how dare I actually give my outside opinion here?

    Yeah, you’re probably right, I just find the whole situation baffling, exasperating and sad.

  268. Emrysmyrddin says

    It’s coming across that you’re pulling a bit of a ‘Dear Muslima’ here, StevoR. I’m in the UK, we’re under the same established church system as you lot, obviously – and the C of E generally inspires apathy and ridicule in the majority of our populations, possibly because of its established nature.
    .
    This is completely different to the US situation, and Americans are getting pissed off that you’re telling them that they should have different priorities, or that you ‘can’t see the harm, so they’re killjoys’. It’s a different culture, mate, one that we’re not in: just because you can’t see the harm, doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  269. microraptor says

    SteveR, the problem with having nativity scenes on the lawns of our government buildings in the US is because the people who want to put them there are trying to use them as a mark of ownership over the rest of us: it’s their government- Christians only, everyone else need not apply. They are trying to institute a theocratic regime here, and sticking religious ornamentation on supposedly secular grounds is one of the ways they’re doing it- got to get everybody used to seeing it.

    You want to ask questions about what it’s like in America because you’re not familiar with it, fine. But get a clue and realize that things aren’t the same in the US as they are in Australia. And if that’s too much of a hassle, stick some jack jumper ants into your underwear or something.

  270. StevoR says

    @86.John Morales

    [OT] devotions, you reckon Jesus got to use his penis for anything other than masturbation and micturation?
    (I think story-Jesus died a virgin. What a shame, eh?)

    Of course, Jesus not using his penis wouldn’t *necessarily* mean he was a virgin if he was actually gay which is one reasonable~ish speculation.

    He did hang around prostitutes (and, even worse, tax collectors!) and had quite a large almost all male following after all!

  271. StevoR says

    @336. Emrysmyrddin & #337.microraptor : Alright, alright.

    Well, except for sticking the ants in my pants on the grounds of animal cruelty!

    Message received.

  272. carlie says

    If say, 8 out of ten people find a nativity scene just a pleasant backdrop that means, well precious little but makes them a small bit happier should we hurt them by taking it away because it bugs or makes another 2 out of those ten people feel uncomfortable?

    YES. Ever hear the phrase “tyrrany of the majority”? You’ve just supported it, right there.

    And again, nobody’s saying “take it away” from them. We’re saying put it up on your own property, not property that also belongs to those two people who don’t want it there.

  273. Anri says

    StevoR:

    Um, what about ‘em? We’re not talking about ‘em here. Quite happy to see hannukkah and Kwanaza displays too as long as they’re not hurtinganyone.

    And what about a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa display being taken down in favor of the Christian one? What about all of them being taken down in favor strictly Christian ones?
    Still convinced that’s a religion-neutral issue?

    If say, 8 out of ten people find a nativity scene just a pleasant backdrop that means, well precious little but makes them a small bit happier should we hurt them by taking it away because it bugs or makes another 2 out of those ten people feel uncomfortable?

    And if those same 8 out of 10 people think that the other two, darker-skinned people should sit at the back of the bus (which means precious little but makes them just a small bit happier), should we hurt them by taking it away because it bugs or makes the other 2 out of those ten people feel uncomfortable?

  274. anteprepro says

    All I was saying was I thought too much was being made of this, I found it hard to think it really mattered that much and think there are higher priorities for atheists generally than telling people they can’t have nativity scenes, fucking nativity scenes in spot X because, really, where’s the real harm?

    Yes, Christians in the U.S. often say that those evil atheists complaining about nativity scenes in spot X (also known as: GOVERNMENT LAND) are taking things too seriously. Ironically, it is not taking things too seriously when they desperately, desperately fight to get that nativity scene on state property. Because personal or church property just ain’t fucking good enough for them. But atheists are the evil ones fighting over something trivial for daring to fight back against fundies fighting FOR something trivial.

    Um, what about ‘em? We’re not talking about ‘em here. Quite happy to see hannukkah and Kwanaza displays too as long as they’re not hurtinganyone.

    No, you’re not talking ‘em here. The fact that not everyone is Christian is exactly the fucking point regarding explicitly Christian holiday displays.

    Its along the exact same line as the “guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people” truism.

    A nativity display is an object or collection of objects, nothing more.

    Are you seriously presenting the “guns don’t kill people” argument favorably ? A comparison between your own argument should be the beginning of an admission of error and possibly an apology.

    Okay. I agree Christians can persecite and make life worse for non-Christians in especiallyreligious communities in America. Which is fucking terrible and wrong. But that’;s not the nativity display’s faults but those of the people who set ‘em up.

    You don’t seem to understand that having a religious display on state property is a tacit endorsement of the religion display. You don’t seem to understand how that is taking those people who aren’t as in love with that particular religion as the general public, and throwing them under the fucking bus. You don’t seem to understand that this is actually illegal . You don’t seem to understand why it should be. I don’t quite understand why you don’t understand. Is this subject like Islam, in that you are simply immune to reason regarding it?

    If say, 8 out of ten people find a nativity scene just a pleasant backdrop that means, well precious little but makes them a small bit happier should we hurt them by taking it away because it bugs or makes another 2 out of those ten people feel uncomfortable?

    I mean, the majority of people are straight, so why not put a billboard saying “KILL THE GAYS” in front of the courthouse? I mean, sure, it might technically be illegal, but I’m sure the majority of the community approves, and only a small segment are actually directly intimidated by it, so why not? And for those that are uncomfortable, the sign itself isn’t the problem, but rather the people who actually kill the gays. Change those people first, and then worry about the signs that most people in that small, godfearing town approve of. Why are you such a domineering killjoy?

    Isn’t that a slippery slope type argument and generally considered a logical fallacy?

    It’s not a slippery slope if we are actually observing it happen . Do you not understand that my description there is what actually happens in the U.S.? That some politicians will use all sorts of elaborate arguments to get the government to approve of allegedly watered-down religious sentiments, and then the crazier, Christier politicians will come in, point to the precedent of government approval of those allegedly watered-down religious sentiments as proof that the government supports Christianity, and use that as a pretense for even more support of Christianity.

    I’m just seeing things my way and probably not understanding and how dare I actually give my outside opinion here?

    Don’t give us this passive-aggressive shit. You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about, you’re spouting off, and you’re continuing to dig your hole deeper in the face of fairly decent explanations. You really are a dumbfuck sometimes.

  275. Sastra says

    Kagehi #120 wrote:

    I think I was fairly clear on my “definition” of philosophy.

    Yes — and I hope I was fairly clear that my objection is that your “definition” of philosophy is wrong: it’s too narrow and doesn’t fit how it’s defined by the experts in the field (i.e. philosophers themselves.) I agree with everything else you’re saying, so that’s not the issue.

    You seem to be equating “philosophy” with something like pseudoscience. If you do this, then you will be misunderstood and castigated for being a troglodyte when you’re not. You’re making a good point which is in danger of getting lost and sidetracked by the way you’re making it. Not a good idea.

    It’s hard enough arguing with people who do fundamentally disagree with us. Splitting up our side through semantics and putting all the people who’ve studied philosophy against you is probably not wise. Your real problem is with certain kinds or types of philosophy, not philosophy itself — of which empiricism is a subset. Be clearer about that.

    It’s almost never a mistake to be clear.

    StevoR #333 wrote:

    All I was saying was I thought too much was being made of this, I found it hard to think it really mattered that much and think there are higher priorities for atheists generally than telling people they can’t have nativity scenes, fucking nativity scenes in spot X because, really, where’s the real harm?

    Read microraptor’s post at #337 and keep in mind that we’re making our objections only to displays on government property here — not nativity displays. Constitutional issues tend to run very deep — even if they seem ‘petty’ on the surface. It’s very easy (too easy) to trivialize a problem if you simply look at how it “really” affects someone in their day-to-day lives. I mean, can’t you just eat at some other lunch counter which allows colored people? The food is lousy at that one anyway.

    And again, manger scenes as part of a larger, diverse display are much less problematic than a government-and-taxpayer-supported message of “Keep the Christ in Christmas.”

  276. anteprepro says

    Corrections:

    “No, you’re not talking about ‘em here.”
    ” A comparison between that argument and your own argument..”

  277. anteprepro says

    I am awaiting StevoR’s endorsement of teacher-led prayers in public schools. I mean, really, why are we mean atheists preventing kids from praying to Jesus? Most of them are Christian anyway, so why not, right? And prayers rarely lead to broken bones or even so much as bruises. Really, why do we atheists continue to get up in arms over such a trivial issue? And let’s not get started about a public school teacher’s rights to teach, and the religious student’s right to hear, that Jesus might have created the world 6000 years ago!

  278. anteprepro says

    Jencare? Where are you?

    Guess: Trying to see if there is anything relevant she can copy and paste here from Stormfront.

  279. moralnihilist says

    By all accounts, Bill O’Reilly isn’t an idiot. Even Dave Silverman has attested the Bill is an intelligent person. Bill O’Reilly is an intelligent man who is paid to say idiotic things.

  280. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Janine:
    It’s all your fault. You ran poor jencare off. You were so mean calling hir out for plaigarizing. I mean seriously, all that was done was taking credit for someone else’s work. Sheesh. Not like it’s unethical or something. You get a D- in plays well with fuckwits.
    ::hey, how did I get the snark hat?:,

  281. anteprepro says

    By all accounts, Bill O’Reilly isn’t an idiot. Even Dave Silverman has attested the Bill is an intelligent person. Bill O’Reilly is an intelligent man who is paid to say idiotic things.

    He would be even better paid if he defended idiotic things intelligently. Really, he is a man of above average intelligence (definitely no genius) who has heavily compartmentalized some subjects, such that he is a complete, drooling, spittle-flecking ignoramus in those arenas. It really isn’t that uncommon, and doesn’t need to be explained with a money trail.

  282. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Tony, I am not arrogant enough to think I was the only one to notice that jencare did not write that, the change in writing styles was too jarring. I just happened to be first this time.

  283. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Guess: Trying to see if there is anything relevant she can copy and paste here from Stormfront.

    Took me long enough to remember this.

    A few years ago, one troll was using language that reminded me of how Margaret Mead was discussed on the racist site VDARE. So I did a little digging and found that the troll was a member of Stormfront. He made it easy enough, he used the same moniker there as he did here.

    So I outed him. In response, he doubled down on his racial realist bullshit and a few of his friends came over. PZ hit him with the banhammer.

    Perhaps jencare is just a bit embarrassed to be caught and will not come back. Or jencare will be come back and be more honest about the christian supremest (And perhaps white supremest.) line that was initially implied. I am kind of hoping it is the later.

  284. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    SteveoR:
    Every time you defend your cultural ignorance, that hole gets deeper. Let’s create a scale of religious privilege. On this scale, we would place actions like:
    Religious beliefs being used to support refusal for blood transfusions leading to the deaths of children
    People fighting to put creationism in schools and get rid of evolution
    Atheist parents facing tremendous difficulty getting custody
    Atheists being fired from their jobs
    Atheists being treated as the equal of rapists
    Believers getting offended over signs that say atheists exist
    Social stigma attached to being atheist
    Underrepresentation of atheists in politics
    Appropriating government land for the use of religious imagery
    People crying foul when asked for support for their religious beliefs
    The taxes of atheists helping fund churches
    Churches getting tax breaks
    Endorsement of religion on currency
    Attempts to force children to recite UNDER GOD in the pledge of allegiance
    Attempts to revise history to make the US a xtian nation retroactively
    Indoctrination of children from extremely young ages into a delusional system of beliefs
    Bigotry and persecution of queers
    Endorsement of rigid gender roles
    Religious beliefs that force women to be submissive to their husbands
    People covering up for child raping priests
    People thinking that confessions to a catholic priest are more important than bringing child raping priests to justice

    I could go on, but thats enough.
    Every one of those items I listed has religious privilege in common. This shit is infused into our society. They do not exist independent of one another. They feed of and gain power from each other. Taken on their own, sure, some of them are not as bad as others. So some actions like those that result in the death of children woukd likely be on a different point on the scale than underrepresentation of atheists in politics. Atheists being treated akin to rapists is probably not as serious as denying a father custody of his child. However, the sum of their parts adds up to a powerful whole. Fighting against any of them chips away at the religious privilege that supports them all.
    Even the seemingly most minor of them, a nativity scene. Which btw, is illegal (until all belief systems are allowed; and we all know xtians won’t let other religions pu displays up).

  285. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Gah. Sorry for the typos, my phone is not suited for typing long comments.

  286. Sastra says

    Tony #355 wrote:

    Even the seemingly most minor of them, a nativity scene. Which btw, is illegal (until all belief systems are allowed; and we all know xtians won’t let other religions pu displays up).

    Actually, it seems to me that most Christians are fine with public-property holiday displays which either include secular and other religious elements (like menorahs) along with a manger scene or which consist only of standard non-religious fare like decorated trees, Santas, snow men, etc. That is, this is fine as long as this has always been part of the tradition for that particular city or village.

    What usually drives them nuts and makes them rage furiously and froth at the mouth seems to be any suggested change. They need to add in some reindeer because otherwise it’s too Christian. They need to take away a nativity scene because otherwise it’s too Christian. And now they react as if someone has actually come into their home and told them what they can and can’t do as Christians. Really! When this is how they’ve been doing it for years and years and it bothered and hurt nobody! When this is how IT’S BEEN! And is SUPPOSED TO BE!!

    It’s like someone flipped an Outrage Switch.

    When it starts out without the nativity you can have fights and arguments about putting one up, sure. But woe betide those secularists who want one of them removed — or even changed to be ‘more inclusive.’ The battles are worse, I think. I wonder if the situation has become less like switching a train track to save the lives of more people and more like pushing a fat man onto the track in order to stop the train from killing more people. Different part of the brain operating in evaluating a moral situation. That might explain why you get non-religious people going all accomodationist and supportive of letting the poor Christians keep their status quo. The status quo is a powerful position.

  287. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    PS. I got other responses on here I see. I’ll determine if I’ll answer them later. I don’t respond to cynicism or assholes. Time is too limited to be mindless entertainment. Watch Bill if that’s what you want.

    I see you also do not have the time to to answer the charge of plagiarism leveled against you.

    Just who is the cynical asshole here?

  288. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    anteprepro? Stormfront? WTF? You know what? Ya better fix your post up or you will be causing LEGAL trouble for your friends blog here. Double check your skills friend.

    So, you are a gasbag as well as a plagiarist.

    Please, by what legal mean will you get this blog in trouble.

    Also, use your own words.

  289. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jencare, answer the charge. Why did you cut and paste from a states’ rights site?

  290. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Judea God’s will is innate,

    How can something that doesn’t exist have a will? Until you show conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, all it is is a delusion existing in your mind. Where is your eternally burning bush or equivalent?

    The babble per se proves nothing. It is a book of mythology fiction written to maintain tribal identity. Prove otherwise with solid and conclusive evidence. Presuppostions are not allowed.

  291. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    is intended to protect freedom FOR religious belief it is not intended to promote religion’s exile from public life.

    Unevidence allegation, so *POOF* dismissed as fuckwitted irrational OPINION.

    Where is your analysis of Matt. 6:6-6:8. Why do you support ostentatious public prayer when Jebus says no to such displays public piety?

  292. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    jencare:
    You are in luck. Here, we DO respond to scumbag lying, plagiarizing assholes like you. Where the fuck do you get off threatening legal actions with your unethical copypasta?
    I am glad to see you are not drunk anymore and can string together coherent sentences.
    Now hear this: you may want to drop the use of the ableist slur you seem fond of using. The use of such a word has not worked out too well for others in the past.

  293. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Janine:
    What do you think…jencare @359…original or stolen?

  294. chigau (無) says

    jencare
    If you type
    <blockquote>paste quoted text here</blockquote>
    this will result.

    paste quoted text here

    It will make your comments easier to read.

  295. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Tony, jencare is actually addressing a question. I also just ran a couple of paragraphs through google. I think this is jencare’s words. Just laughing that the fool is ignoring the charge.

  296. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Ok. I’m going to second guess any halfway intelligible posts by hir in the future though.

  297. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You should second guess jencare. Jencare has should that every word has to be questioned.

  298. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I’m rather curious what ‘crazy antics’ atheists have done that jencare is referring to. One would have to be an idiot or a believer to not see how badly athesists are trested in this country by theists.
    And as for the charge of intolerance, atheists are not the ones oppressing minorities. Atheists aren’t dumbing down our scool systems with attempts to inject creationism.
    Atheists are the ones that get fired or compared to rapists bc we do not believe on a genocidal sky daddy.
    Gotta love how jencare criticizes atheists for doing nothing more than talking or applying science, logic and reason, to tackle the problems of religious belief.

    Maybe jencare is another Stedman.
    An accomodationist.

  299. says

    That DAMN Pledge of Alligence.

    I find it ironic that FREEDOM’s greatest defender doesn’t see a problem with an involuntary pledge of allegiance. well, no, I don’t find it ironic, that’s entirely normal.

    Ya better fix your post up or you will be causing LEGAL trouble for your friends blog here.

    Oh no, not anonymous legal threats to ‘sue’ over slander! Especially not a slander charge that can be dismissed pre-emptively by any sitting judge because there’s no harm whatsoever!’

    I want to laminate on the first question in my last post.

    Elaborate. The word is Elaborate you ignorant cretin.

    ~ The “separation of church and state” is intended to protect freedom FOR religious belief it is not intended to promote religion’s exile from public life.

    Indeed. That’s why the government can prevent such displays on its own land, and not land operated by private citizens or churches.

    Personally, I believe this is exactly why religion has survived.
    Then you’re ignorant of reality. Plenty of religions have survived – and flourished – from positions of power.

    I will continue to use “public life”.

    You’re free to be wrong. We only challenge the religious’ right to use public lands, not their own private lands, regardless of publicness.

    As far as the legalities of the “land” you speak of…. I will be getting to that in a bit.

    I see you haven’t actually done that.

  300. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The government can not nor do I think it should ever cater to every and any “religion” or specific personal belief,need, aversion, or perception.Proving with your own words you can’t think….Excluding anyone is favoring the rest. As long as the only one left is Xian, you don’t give a shit about the others you would exclude.

    Atheists realized this problem, and want the government to be either all inclusive or to ignore all religions, with the latter being preferred. That is the only way government can be truly neutral.

  301. Sastra says

    jencare #358 wrote:

    “Question for you: do you think the State (a state) ought to call for a vote on what religion will be considered official?”

    1. No. I am not proposing using the 10th amendment to do that at all.

    But when the majority can vote in the exclusive right to display only their religious symbol (the nativity) on government property, this is essentially what has happened. The message is clear: “This city is a Christian city.” Or “This city is a Muslim city.” Or even “This city is an atheist city.”

    When we the people refuse to have this take place, we are not having religion “exiled from public life.” We are protecting individuals from having their government tell them they are outsiders because they do not believe the right things about God.

    I will continue to use “public life”. Here is why. Do you retain a the same principles you have in public as you do in private? …

    This argument does not address the point I’m making, and looks like it continues to confuse different meanings of the word “public.” The issue of church/state separation is not about whether we act the same in public as in private. It has to do with whether government should be used as a vehicle to express personal religious convictions.

    If all people own public land, then it is only logical we all respect each others beliefs equally.

    Wouldn’t that entail that holiday displays on government land are either “free speech” zones open to all, or remain neutral and secular (decorated trees, reindeer, Santa, and so forth)?

    Any group who rides the back of anyone to gain power and to ride a wave(a teeny tiny wave mind you) is despicable.
    You seriously claim you use gov. as a last resort? You fucking argue over a word, the name of a tree and treat today’s Christianity mind you like it’s the god dam Spanish inquisition! I lost respect.

    Atheists here are riding on the back of the Constitution — and you should not find that despicable, even if you disagree with our interpretation. I personally don’t care if it’s called a “Christmas tree,” since I think the holiday of Christmas has lost (or never had) an exclusive relationship to Christianity. But I understand and respect Silverman’s point, and would be happy to call it a “holiday” tree as well. I think doing otherwise — insisting it MUST be called a “Christmas” tree — is petty and small.

    This issue is not about how we are “treating Christianity.” Not if this country was founded as a nation with a diversity of citizens of all religious viewpoints instead of a church with a lot of guests. As I said before, Constitutional issues run deep. It’s the people fighting to make their religion seem like the American Standard who are guilty of the moral flaws you apparently find in those who rightly dissent.

  302. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the blockquote in #378. The first sentence is Jencare the babbling plagarist.

  303. Ogvorbis says

    I want to laminate on the first question in my last post.

    Laminate? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  304. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I want to laminate on the first question in my last post.

    Well, first, you have to print out the first question…

  305. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jencare, take some time and answer why you plagiarized from from the former site of the States’ Liberty Party.

  306. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You are not having an honest conversation, santorum for brains. Plagiarism is a fucking serious charge. This is not a red herring.

    And, yes, I want you to fucking choke on your stolen words.

  307. says

    Nobody is “voting” on public land use. It’s open to public use to EVERYBODY.

    Try grazing cattle or building a WacDonald’s on public land, see how far you get.

    The land is regulated and protected for specific use.

    …which doesn’t deny that religious displays of all types can be stopped, fyi.

  308. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Funny how this works. First fuckface threatens legal action and now fuckface is whining about how atheists are good at going to court.

    You are not doing a good job of presenting your case.

    And all of your hand waving does not dismiss the fact that you have proven yourself to be extremely dishonest. As well as show your rather slimy political leanings.

    But, please go on. You are quite amusing.

  309. carlie says

    The government can not nor do I think it should ever cater to every and any “religion” or specific personal belief,need, aversion, or perception

    Great! So they should NOT cater to anyone’s belief that they need to put a religious display up on public property, yes?

    I bought this month’s National Geographic and wanted to laminate that great tree poster, but we don’t have a laminator at work. :(

  310. Sastra says

    jencare #387 wrote:

    What you are disagreeing with is that there aren’t enough “humanists to “vote”. And that vote would not be fair? However,it is not the “land” which is being argued for by its use, but what is placed on the land. Unless it harms the land then it should not be an argument. There is no way to “vote” on it’s use.

    I’m having trouble understanding your point here. Are you saying that the right to use public land to promote a religious viewpoint by placing something on it IS open to everybody — it’s just that you have to be in the majority? When atheists are in the majority, then it’s our turn?

    I don’t want to comment further until I understand the argument better.

  311. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Celtic Evolution @288

    If I had a nickel for every law student that’s come into this forum over the years proclaiming an understanding and interpretation of the constitution and the bill of rights that far surpasses the 200+ years of SCOTUS rulings we have on hand…

    I like to call that 1L Syndrome.

    I don’t respond to cynicism or assholes. Time is too limited to be mindless entertainment. Watch Bill if that’s what you want.

    Did jencare just say we can watch BO to replace the comments xe’s not going to make?

    You seriously claim you use gov. as a last resort? You fucking argue over a word, the name of a tree and treat today’s Christianity mind you like it’s the god dam Spanish inquisition! I lost respect.

    But without the torture and with a lot of due process. The point is, we only invoke the government when the government is invoked against secularism. That is, when Xians inject their religion into government, we use the mechanisms of the government to get it back out again. How hard is that to grasp?

    The problem is Atheists don’t have opposition.

    Wut?

    How to tell jencare isn’t plagiarizing: it’s word salad.

    Jencare can spell plagiarist but can’t sort out the definition.

    You were right, Janine, this is amusing.

  312. Matt Penfold says

    jencare,

    Some advice. If you quote from a source, you need to acknowledge that source. Can you you explain why you are not aware of this pretty basic standard of polite behaviour ?

  313. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just plagiarized ALL persons who signed the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Nope, you lied and bullshitted, but then, what else is new for someone who plagarizes and doesn’t have the honesty and integrity to admit it? Original intent died with the first amendment, and continues to this day. The constitution is a living document, unlike your mythical/fictional babble with its imaginary deity.

  314. Brownian says

    The problem is Atheists don’t have opposition.

    Wut?

    Don’t be such assholes. Jencare clearly meant “[American] Atheists don’t have apposition” (i.e. next to, nearness), which obviously means that the HQ of AA, in Cranford New Jersey, is too far away for her to visit. An odd way to describe a case of geographic distance to be sure, but not unintelligible.

    Not to worry, Jencare, they have a website reachable by most anyone with an unrestricted internet connection.

    Now do go on, Jencare.

  315. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Brownian, you must have spent a lot of time among idiots to be so skilled at translation from Idiotese.

  316. Brownian says

    Brownian, you must have spent a lot of time among idiots to be so skilled at translation from Idiotese.

    Well, I was raised Catholic.

    In Alberta.

  317. Brownian says

    In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

    I just plagiarized ALL persons who signed the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Paradoxically enough you didn’t really in this case, as you cited the sources and their authors, however unorthodoxly you did so.

    You’re not very good at this. You’ll have to meet me halfway if you want me to continue to help you.

  318. Brownian says

    Time is too limited to be mindless entertainment.

    Exactly right. Time, limited to being time, is not entertainment.

    A little obvious and circular, but good enough.

    Now do go on, Jencare.

  319. Brownian says

    I want to laminate on the first question in my last post.

    What Jencare means by this is that xe wants to add layers to hir question for improved strength and durability. Also because actual hardwood isn’t easily installed by a DIYer, probably.

    What I find interesting about Jencare’s renovations is that devotion seemed to be engaged in exactly the same time of work:

    @Akira I normally dont engage with petty atheist who copy paste EVERY sentence as if they REALLY need me to laminate.

    I must say I’m glad to see the American housing market has bounced back enough that the flippers are again plying their trade.

  320. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Hey at least there’s a greater chance xe actually wrote that.

    Brownian, good luck with all that.

  321. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Hey look! it’s the word salad version of Dear Muslima!

  322. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Claiming government establishment for living a public religious life is unconstitutional.

    It is, due to the fourteenth amendment. And you provide no evidence, just your fuckwitted, and therefore *POOF* dismissed, OPINION.

    Why is actual evidence such an anathema to liberturds, RWAs, godbots, and other anti-intellectuals who can’t think there way out of a torn wet paper bag with a rip, a map, a GPS, and book of clues?

  323. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sorry jencare but I do not smoke pot.

    You sling insults as well as you use words.

    Also, just so you know, that would be THC.

  324. John Morales says

    [meta]

    jencare:

    What is most sad is there are people in other countries who yet have [sic] the ability to deny or have a choice in religion, if any.

    <snicker>

    (No worries, by your cogency I see your brain hasn’t been damaged by tender loving care)

  325. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Fuckface, I am not the one who brought drug use up.

    Not that consistency is a strong suit for you. You are the one who threatened legal action before you declared that atheists are quick in going to court. And that was despite the fact that I did not call for legal action for your case of plagiarism.

    I feel safe in saying that you are not a particularly intelligent person.

  326. carlie says

    et Atheists in America arguing over FREE land.

    What in the Sam Hill do you mean by “free land”????? We settled the west a long time ago – you can’t just go get 160 acres for claiming it any more. If you mean government owned property, then what we’re saying is that government owned property is supposed to be there for the good of all, not for sectarian groups to seize and use to broadcast their message under the banner of government approval.

    As was mentioned earlier, if you really think it’s no big deal, then how do you explain the ferocity and effort the Christian groups are putting into trying to keep those displays there? If it’s no big deal, they’d shrug and say “oh well” and go back to putting the displays on their own property.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The pope told me the reason the Church don’t allow birth control or abortion is because YOU FAILED the test!

    Utte and total non sequitur, typical of liars and bullshitters.. That must be why you can’t acknowledge the constitution is a living document, and will change with the will of the people. Unlike your mythical/fictional babble and imaginary deity….

    Your opinion don’t count.

    Look the mirror delusional evidenceless fuckwitted idjit….

  328. carlie says

    Janine laminated jencare.
    Laminated jencare real good.

    I sense another term entering the Pharyngula lexicon.

  329. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    jencare, I just popped in and have only read the last few comments. I don’t need more than that to realize that you are outclassed and out of place here. Give it up and go away, please.

  330. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but the amount of you email accounts do?

    What the fuck does that non-sequitor even mean. Showing you need to look in the mirror…

  331. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    made myself clear, or I won’t respond.

    Your responses have never been clear. Only bullshit, lies, and propergander from obnoxious web sites that are idiotic bigots.

  332. chigau (無) says

    jencare

    Genius, Janine I now choose to remain silent cause your comeback is brilliant! I have no more to say cause you are so fucking brilliant.

    What did you mean by this?
    [note the use of blockquotes]

  333. broboxley OT says

    jencare out up you sad flag zombie football jeebus on any private land in america, keep the crap off of land that is shared by people who don’t give a rats ass about your religion

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and jencare, not sticking the flounce proves you are doing nothing but trolling at this point….

  335. carlie says

    What the fuck does that non-sequitor even mean.

    I believe she is accusing you of being a sockpuppet of everyone else here. Or everyone else is a sockpuppet of you. Or something. I’m not really sure. But you won’t get severed if you don’t take a number, that’s for sure.

  336. Sastra says

    jencare #436 wrote:

    I am not going UP the thread. Post like how I responded in length to others, made myself clear, or I won’t respond.

    I’m assuming this is a response to #435. Of course, even if this is so, you won’t go UP the thread to tell me if my assumption here is correct. Or not.

    I will be both dull and brief:

    I don’t understand your argument any better; therefore, I won’t comment any further.

  337. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jencare, you prove my point you are a fuckwitted idjit with every post. especially when you embed a video in such a stupid and trollish fashion. Go back to your jerking off to the babble.

  338. Jessa says

    Wait. devotions and jencare both used the word “laminate” incorrectly instead of “elaborate” (I’m guessing that’s the word they meant to use)? I smell a morpher.

  339. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I smell a morpher.

    Since PZ hates morphers, I’m sure he will check out your suspicions.

  340. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jencare, the fact that you would post that in response to Sastra, the one person who bent over backwards to give the benefit of a doubt, who worked at parsing out what you were saying, shows yet again just how stupid you are.

    But please, kept going. Go on like this and I will predict that PZ will ban you for slagging and for being insipid.

  341. chigau (無) says

    I don’t think it counts a morphing with no ‘intent to deceive’.
    I think it was just a ‘nym change.

  342. carlie says

    Jencare, do you realize that all of your embeds look like grey squares with a little puzzle piece in the middle? Not even the title shows up, so whatever inane message you’re trying to get across, it’s not working.

    *flashblock makes me happy*

  343. carlie says

    Janine – but, but, care is right there in his/her name! False advertising, is what that is.

  344. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Who cares what jencare posts if it isn’t hard evidence to back up its delusions of adequacy. Which it never does. Just attitude that pure losers always use when they know they have lost the intellectual battle….

  345. Rey Fox says

    Nah don’t do drugs.

    Are you sure? You write like you’ve been huffing stove gas for an hour.

  346. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    This is reminding me of that obsessed troll who filled threads with lyrics from German pop songs.

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And posting nothing but videos is admitting defeat, and that your ideas are nothing to be taken seriously…..

  348. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nerd, the ideas of jencare could not be taken seriously even before the videos because no could understand what was being said.

    When Sastra gives up, that says something.

  349. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When Sastra gives up, that says something.

    Point, set, match.

    Yawn, time to killfile the idjit. Not even worth looking at.

  350. carlie says

    Jencare, you maybe might have one last chance to say anything of substance, not that you’ll take it. Are there any actual thoughts in your head you’d like to share?

  351. Jessa says

    This is reminding me of that obsessed troll who filled threads with lyrics from German pop songs.

    Ah, good times.

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, good times.

    And IIRC, PZ banhammered the twit without the usual warning….bye-bye jencare…

  353. cicely (fair-to-partly-cloudy) says

    White chocolate is a cruel lie.

    I haven’t read the wholedamnthread, but…

    This “it’s a philosophy!” thing seems to be a more-or-less current “talking point”, very much in the way of the Repub “talking points” that would be released in a burst, endlessly repeated. I’ve recently seen this particular one on the message boards of several churches.

    And I have to wonder: Do we actually have a “Freedom of Philosophies” right? Can any organized group of philosophers, or holders of a particular philosophy, get tax breaks on income and property? ‘Cause this looks like an interesting scamloophole.
    -

  354. cicely (fair-to-partly-cloudy) says

    Oops! Sorry; the white chocolate comment was meant for the [Lounge].

    But is still true, here, as well.
    -

  355. says

    The world’s collective hard-on for Queen’s less-good songs never ceases to amaze me.

    They are murdered and jailed, just like in the Roman Empire

    Point of order, the romans didn’t generally give two measley shits who you worshipped as long as you paid your taxes. Christians have vastly oversold how much they were persecuted by the Roman Empire (Although some emperors really did do it).

  356. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    Problem here is that it requires a modicum of skill to not embed YouTube videos when linking to them on this platform.

  357. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jencare—>killfile. What part of that doesn’t understand. Oh, the part where nobody is reading its idiocy and fuckwittery…

  358. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    See how edgy jencare is.

    Plagiarized from sites that revere the confederate flag and puts up Eminem and Charlie Manson videos.

    Let me know when jencare moves on to GG Allen videos.

  359. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    roblem here is that it requires a modicum of skill to not embed YouTube videos when linking to them on this platform.

    Gee, if I can avoid the embedding, anybody can….

  360. bastionofsass says

    Yeah it’s like take a number or you don’t get severed!

    Jencare, may I suggest you sever your relationship with whatever it is that you’ve been using for your laminating. The chemicals seem to be having an unfortunate effect on your cognitive functioning.

  361. bastionofsass says

    i may not run up a post but I know what I say and I say through what was already done.

    You may know what you say but, except for Brownian, I suspect that no one else knows. If you really do have something you want to communicate to us, then you need to write in an understandable way and not toss us a word salad.

    Unless you’re trying to communicate that you’re someone who can’t write anything comprehensible unless you steal the words from another site.

  362. says

    This is another one of those threads that is making my inbox look like its been bloated with half the spam on the internet. How about this, I personally don’t know which combination of word salad will bring it up, but ***someplace*** out there has to be statistics on how many cases, with respect to government violation of church/state separation, there have been, and what percentage of those ****including the ones that first started such cases****, where brought by religious groups, versus atheist. Its my understanding that, despite the idiot claims by some people that the ACLU is some bastion of liberal atheism, a rather high percentage of them are brought by religious people, against other religious people, not by atheists.

    And, the reason? Because, from at least some polls, at least 67% of the population of the country seems to think that, yes, in fact, the government cannot go exclude people from displays, or let people lead prayers in government institutions, etc. That, in other words, letting these things happen *is* promotion of a religion. And, I don’t see that number doing anything but growing, every time some asshole decides that its OK to put an ad on a bus saying, “You will burn in hell, more or less, is you do X.”, but bans adds saying, “You can be good without God.”, on the same thing. And, that isn’t even government being the assholes. The governments reaction, when ever such a situation comes up, is invariably, “We refuse to take any position that would result in both messages being places side beside, so… we will just deny all of them.” A bit chicken shit…, but, hardly unexpected, since, in those rare places they are stupid enough “to” take a stand, its almost always, “We are a Christian nation, and, BTW, the president bombed Libya to help Al-Qaeda!” In other words, not just illegal, but blatantly anti-anything non-Christian, and more than a little bit of insanity.

    Not that this fool would believe any statistic, or evidence, about who is actually bringing such cases, but… at least it would be marginally more productive, for visitors, than simply calling them, how ever justified, an idiot.

  363. Brownian says

    This would be a good thread to note as a rebuttal to those who think PZ’s banhammer policy is draconian.

  364. says

    Christians have vastly oversold how much they were persecuted by the Roman Empire (Although some emperors really did do it).

    Some of them **after** having converted to it, and deciding they needed to kill off the competing cults. In general, prior to the
    “empire”, when they still had something resembling an actual republic, Christianity was just the newest bunch of people, with some new god no one had heard of before. They probably, at worst, thought he was the second cousin, twice removed, of Apollo, or something.. lol

  365. Jessa says

    This would be a good thread to note as a rebuttal to those who think PZ’s banhammer policy is draconian.

    Come on, admit it. You’re enjoying the embedded Youtube clips that make absolutely no point.

  366. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I cannot figure out what the point to all the spamming videos was.
    ****
    Can someone explain to our resident fuckwit that we are leaving comments on a blog, not sending emails. I know our education system is jacked up but come on.
    ****
    I thought PZ eliminated the idiotic videos. Jencares post are all gone. I pity someone who tries to read this thread for the first time. It will make as much sense as…jencare’s posts.

  367. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Who was jencare? I am assuming that this was an already banned troll because of the fact you removed all of the posts.

  368. microraptor says

    A troll gets deleted (whose posts were really reminding me of a series of phone calls a former coworker of mine once received from his ex-wife over the course of an evening in which she was drinking heavily), and a new one has immediately popped up.

    Oooooh, it’s soooo spoooky.

  369. says

    Mr. Myers,
    You have been warned. It is more a warning then you have given jencare.

    *delurks to just laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh*

    Holy balls, I think s/he’s serious. Suing over being blocked from a website? Really?

  370. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Informed there was a user who used the very same media to provide a dissenting point to personal questions and then was censored accordingly.

    Censoring can only be done by the government. Anybody who posts on a private blog, which this is, does so acknowledging the rules of the blog owner. Either obey those rules or go elsewhere, as nobody is censoring you. Just telling you to take your fuckwittted OPINION elsewhere. And you know that, so quit lying.

  371. bastionofsass says

    So a new legal expert arrives. Will we hear about how PZ violated jencares’ free speech rights next?

  372. says

    I have been banned. The owner of this site has banned me for “spam”. He has erased all my post considering law and fun. We do not have that here in America. Sorry. I can not discuss any more with you unless I legally force him to replace my posts. I suggest with this site to copy paste and save and do not auto email because the email will spam you! The author can ban you for spam if you reply too much even if you are personally addressed.

    The authors here on this website use various names and are protected under non-US college. So that here in the US is being investigated and reported. This will take time but as I post I get info. If you post and get info give it to http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime. Sub. the URL.

  373. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I
    Am
    Loving
    This!!!!

    It is so funny I am in tears.

    The fuckwit is threatening PZ.
    OMG.

    I don’t think I can breathe. This is some funny shit!

  374. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Ing, I think this person has been banned in the past. It would be nice if PZ would let us know just who this fool is.

  375. says

    strange gods before me

    Here in the Us we have open access to the government for everything from lawyers to grievances to Head of State. We have open petitions when we are concerned. Which perhaps bring litigation for the public but they too are regulated as being frivolous. It is at discretion but we have a level on where and how they can be heard. If countries have “deals” and most do for certain crimes and such they appoint the proper courts or injunction which can stop things. In America a secondary school is held regardless to a higher standard. The professors or students can be sued individually, most are not gov. supported. So here in America then dependent on the crime and clause our Gov. or lawyers will cross state, or national lines.

    It is a shame I can not share more because here this is widely debated. It opens my view to where my children would go abroad.

  376. says

    We do not have that here in America.

    Really. Then how can it have happened?

    I can not discuss any more with you unless I legally force him to replace my posts.

    Good luck with that, jackass.

    The author can ban you for spam if you reply too much even if you are personally addressed.

    You do realize that posting videos, and only videos, for 10 or more posts isn’t generally intelligent conversation, yes?

    But yeah, it’s his blog. He can ban you for literally any reason he bloody well feels like.

    If you post and get info give it to http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime. Sub. the URL

    Yet you whine that atheists cry to the government too much? This is rich, and also not cybercrime.

  377. says

    @Ing: As I have Mad Science on the brain, I assume that Drastikmeasurez is in fact a robot duplicate, clone, mirror universe twin, or brain-tape containing Jencare’s mind. Because zie would surely not sockpuppet.

  378. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    How can someone this moronic be real? Were JENCARE and DRASTIKMEASURES figments of someone’s imagination, made flesh…er you know.

    This moron actually thinks it is against the law for a blog owner to delete posts.
    This fuckwit also thinks xe was presenting ‘dissenting opinions’, when really xe was displaying how deep the stupid runs in hir veins.

    Oh and lest we forget,
    THIS IS THE SAME SCUMBAG WHO GOT CAUGHT PLAGIARISING. And xe really thinks the law is on hir side.

  379. John Morales says

    drastikmesurz, do you have anything to say regarding the post about which you are supposedly commenting?

  380. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Laminate motherfucker!
    Can you define it!

    (Do I even have an inner Samuel L Jackson that I can release?)

  381. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Is anyone else wondering what draztik/jencare’s first language is? The butchering of the english language, the horrible grammar, the severe inability to convey a coherent thought, and DAMMIT–>laminate…it all makes me wonder.

    Like Arsenio Hall used to say: ” things that make you go hmmmmm.”

  382. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Where the ever lovin fuck is Brownian???
    I needs a translator for post # 469…& #464…& #460…

  383. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    This blog was doing fine before you ever stopped in to fling shit about. It will be fine once the clean up is done.

  384. bastionofsass says

    PZ severed jencare’s posts and took away all of jencare’s numbers. And those numbers were laminated!

  385. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Someone please show this email to draztikmesurez I want hir to laminate more on hir points. This time with less show, more tell.

    ****
    I’m beginning to wonder if xe is deliberately fucking with us. No one can be this, this…ummm (I need a word here)

  386. bastionofsass says

    Who is the rat who emails Myers slaves?

    Slaves? PZ doesn’t pay his vast staff of assistants?!

  387. strange gods before me ॐ says

    drastikmesurz,

    I’m trying to not take you too seriously, as I get the impression that you are, largely, just fucking around.

    But just in case you are partly serious, I will give you some free legal advice. Here it is:

    You do not have a case. Do not pay any lawyer one single cent, for a consultation fee or anything else, concerning your grievance against PZ. You will only be throwing your money away. Don’t bother trying to pursue this pro se, either. You will end up being forced to pay all of PZ’s legal expenses when you lose, and you may even be branded a vexatious litigant, which would limit your ability to bring lawsuits against anyone in the future even if one day you do have a good case against someone.

    Your best option is to forget this discussion, move on with your life, and don’t come back here. I hope you’ll take this advice. If you do, then: goodbye, take care, and all that.

  388. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Jencare, you’ll find this is a very rat friendly blog.
    I’m partial to Pearl…

  389. Rey Fox says

    I continue to be amazed at how the trolls turn downright psychopathic in the presence of Janine.

    Does #484 count as a dogwhistle? Because it’s pretty loud in my ears.

  390. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Ok, the fun is about over for me. Whoever that person is they reached the apex of parody with the threat to sue PZ, but now it’s descended into unfunny stupidity.

  391. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I continue to be amazed at how the trolls turn downright psychopathic in the presence of Janine.

    Let me tell you, Rey Fox, that is a talent that is cursed with suck.

  392. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Ing:
    And here I thought I was good at grasping balls…ah well must get more practice
    ****
    For a short time, that troll was massively entertaining. Are we left with joe4060 and christtestter now?