Coining a Phrase: “Christian Victim Front”

Since we seem to be talking about it here today, allow me to coin a phrase for the type of Christians who irrationally believe they and their values are constantly under attack and that they are the underdog in some vast moral scuffle here in the United States, even though 8 of 10 Americans identify as Christian, Christians comprise the vast majority of elected positions in the United States at the local, state and federal level, and the wide majority of the members of the US military consider themselves to be Christian, and the United States Constitution guarantees them the perfect right to practice their religion (although not to foist their religion on others, which, frankly, seems to confuse a great number of them):

Christian Victim Front. Perfect for the Christian with an overdeveloped sense of moral persecution in the absence of actual persecution.

Mind you, this is not to say there is the occasional example of Christians erroneously being told they can not practice their religion as they see fit; ironically, an aggrieved Christian’s best friend in this regard is the ACLU, who has a history of making sure Christians get their rights under the Constitution. This probably makes members of the CVF turn an apopleptic shade of purple. But as to a systematic, orchestrated war against Christian relgious expression and practice here in the US? Well, apparently it’s possible to believe it, but its ironically something you have to take on faith, because the facts are not in evidence.

It’s also not to suggest that every Christian is a member of the Christian Victim Front. My personal experience is that most Christians are perfectly sane on this subject, as they are on every other subject one might care to name, and joyously practice their faith secure in the protections of US Constitution and in the assurance of the tolerance and good wishes of their neighbors, even the ones who don’t share their faith (or have no faith at all). As with so many loudmouthed paranoids, the Christian Victim Front is not especially representative of the group it claims to represent.

What the existence of Christian Victim Front shows is an institutionalization of the victim rhetoric and a willingness by members of comfortable majority groups to use the rhetoric of groups who have been legitimately victimized over time, and use it to prop up their unearned privileges, even at the expense of the genuine rights of others. Christians aren’t the only one to use this trick, of course; there is also a Male Victim Front, a Caucasian Victim Front and a Wealthy Victim Front as well. In each case, it’s a more than a little unseemly. But it’s useful to use the rhetorical tools of the opposition against them, and with one’s base of support, it’s easier to keep people in line if you can give them the illusion that they’re constantly under attack.

The best way to combat this is to point out its inherent silliness. Thus: Christian Victim Front. Use it. Love it. Share it.

Also, it would make a kickass name for a punk group.

79 thoughts on “Coining a Phrase: “Christian Victim Front”

  1. There are two parts to the CVF – those members of the VRWC who intentionally mislead the gullible into believing they are the victims (i.e. Tom DeLay), and those who fall for it. Unfortunately, exposing the former as charlatans and false prophets only gives ‘proof’ of the ‘persecution’ to the latter.

  2. Oh, the flashbacks I’m having to my post-high school years, when my mother, God rest her soul, watched with adoration Pat Robertson, who told of how Christianity was under attack and the big bad government – the one run by Ronald Reagan, who counted himself as a Christian – was out to get them. Well, us. I identified myself as a Christian back then.

    Now I consider myself one of Jesus’ drinking buddies. Why? I have absolutely no problem with Jesus whatsoever. It’s his franchisees I have a problem with.

  3. I’d also like to offer my favorite new phrase: Christsploitation.

    Defined in my own mind as the nakedly commercial use of Jesus to make a buck (as in Left Behind), I think it could also be extended to include the invocation of Christ to achieve or secure political power.

    You know, as I think about it, I’m wondering if this isn’t the true meaning of the Second Commandment–that whole “don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.” Seen in that light, it makes a simple “goddamn” positively minor.

  4. An important part of CVF-think is doctrinal stuff that makes the rest of us who claim to be Christian but don’t agree with them *not really* Christian, thus putting them in the minority again and allowing them to feel persecuted even within the church. Excuse me: make that the *so-called* church.

  5. This argument is well past its prime…and esentially is the mental masterbation of the dying left.

    I suggest a better one…or two in fact.

    How about an atheist who doesn’t hate christians, but in fact finds the christian moral system not only benifitial to his/her lifestyle but the historical foundation of the liberal democracy that created the prosperity and freedoms that he/she enjoys so much.

    or

    A christian that belives that the only way to heaven is through the free choice of an individual, and any attempt by goverment to impose a christian life style would be detrimental to this ideal. You have to be exposed to the devil to choose Christ as it were.

    Anyway one only has to attend an 8th grade health class circa 1986 to empathise with the christian possition. As an athiest and a libertain I find it absolutly absured that christian parants not only have put thier children into classes they fundementaly disagree with but to force them to pay for it is beyond the par.

    Anyway the argument that christians are the majority so they are not the opressed is wrong headed….unless of course you have never heard of an apartide.

  6. Joshua Corning:

    “This argument is well past its prime…and esentially is the mental masterbation of the dying left.”

    So, Joshua, did you cut and paste this from the knee-jerk conservative quote book, or did you think it up yourself? I mean, speaking of mental masturbation.

    “Anyway the argument that christians are the majority so they are not the opressed is wrong headed….unless of course you have never heard of an apartide.”

    Comparing the position of Christians in the United States with the position of the apartheid-era Blacks in South Africa is undoubtedly the stupidest thing I’ve read this week, Mr. Corning, so I want to thank you for that moment of levity. Also, quite clearly you missed the part where I noted that not only are the Christians in the majority, they are also the majority of the members of the government and military; the same of course, could not be said for South Africa (at least not during apartheid). Ignoring entirely relevant pieces of information to make a fatuous and poorly-reasoned point isn’t nearly as clever as you apparently seem to think it is.

    Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

  7. I’m stilll digging on the word you coined earlier: Leviticans. As a big Christian dyke, I also love the term Jesus Chrispies as a word to describe those crazy right-wing holier-than-thou folks who have hijacked a perfectly decent set of guidelines for living (that guideline being: Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. Period.)

    Yes, Mr. Scalzi, this is why we love Whatever. :-)

  8. I’m stilll digging on the word you coined earlier: Leviticans. As a big Christian dyke, I also love the term Jesus Chrispies as a word to describe those crazy right-wing holier-than-thou folks who have hijacked a perfectly decent set of guidelines for living (that guideline being: Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. Period.)

    Yes, Mr. Scalzi, this is why we love Whatever. :-)

  9. Scalzi, don’t you realize that putting children into spelling classes that their parents fundamentally disagree with, and forcing the parents to pay for it, is just another form of oppression?

  10. “As an athiest and a libertain I find it absolutly absured that christian parants not only have put thier children into classes they fundementaly disagree with but to force them to pay for it is beyond the par.”

    Want to hear something even crazier? I have to pay for public schools, and I don’t even have kids! Apparently this has something to do with needing an educated populace to sustain democracy and commerce. Or some such nonsense.

    And another thing: what the hell are they doing with the money that I earmarked for teaching spelling?

  11. Forsing me to follow your outmoded and supersitious beliefs about the “proper positions of letters” is absurd and a violation of my Frist Amendment Rites as an American. If I waz black, you’d forgive it as “ebonics,” but since you know I’m a white, hetrosexual man, it’s just another way for you to opress me and my people.

    Dam the man!

    K

    (Apologies for stealing Brennan’s idea.)

  12. Think of it this way: if everyone spelled correctly with abandon, it would be harder to spot those whose arguments are shoddy constructs. Granted, it’s not a one-to-one correspondence between those who cannot spell and those who cannot reason, but it’s enough of a correspondence that I’m willing to take it as a useful emperical standard.

  13. Stephen, I tend to see misspellings as a lack of attention to detail, and I assume a fractal nature to the world. If I see a lack of attention to detail in the expression of the idea, I assume there’s such a lack in the formulation of the idea.

    That being said, I think we’ve all made one or two misspellings in our time, and it’s not something I’d normally harp on. (I think it’s something of an ad hominem attack.) However, since Joshua’s post had absolutely no logical argument – indeed, no logical cohesion – I don’t feel too bad about it in this case.

    K

  14. I personally make enough spelling errors as a matter of course that I dare not criticize; however, at some point spelling errors intrude on actual communication. This is when spell-check is one’s friend.

  15. You know, I think I would definitely give any punk group named Christian Victim Front at least a listen. (It really would be a cool name for a punk group.)

    As Joshua Corning has unwittingly pointed out, we really have evolved into the kind of society where the wants of an individual trumps what is beneficial to the society as a whole. People used to take the time and effort to grow olive trees from seedlings even though first fruit wouldn’t arrive for another 12-15 years. The next generation would get the benefit of the hard work.

    As for the inability to distinguish the difference between practicing one’s religion and foisting it on other people, I suspect it’s because there are certain sects for which foisting their religion on other people is practicing their religion. Or so they claim. I guess that would make those religions the original viruses.

  16. Indeed, JC, Neal Stephenson had a ball of fun exploiting that very idea in Snow Crash. Man, I love that book.

  17. I’m stilll digging on the word you coined earlier: Leviticans.

    I’m afraid that term bugs me. Because the so-called “Leviticans” don’t actually follow Leviticus. They may think they do, but I doubt many of them have actually read the book. There are people who follow much of the laws in Leviticus, but they generally don’t wave around signs with Leviticus 18:22 on them.

  18. Anyway one only has to attend an 8th grade health class circa 1986 to empathise with the christian possition. As an athiest and a libertain I find it absolutly absured that christian parants not only have put thier children into classes they fundementaly disagree with but to force them to pay for it is beyond the par.

    Why would a libertine have a problem with sex-ed? j/k. Seriously, children really have to be a special case in any sane libertarian theory. Are you arguing that children are property of their parents? What gives parents the right to keep their children ignorant? Your argument could use a little illumination. As for paying for public education, yeah I can easily see the libertarian objection. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that point.

  19. With Christians like Delay, I see why the Romans kept lions.

    But such a hard, slimy, disagreeable little man. Poor lions.

  20. Nah, I don’t think it’ll catch on. “Christian Victim Front” sounds too much like an organization that might arise in the Sudan or the Middle East, where being a Christian is a much more dangerous state of affairs than in the States.

    I suppose a word along the line of “hypocrite” would serve, but then everybody calls everybody else hypocrites anyway, and so the word has become a cliche in political/religious discourse and therefore lost all meaningful power.

    A Biblical-based pithy insult might work better. Something along the lines of “whitewashed tomb” or “lukewarm vomit”, but with more panache.

  21. Nah, I don’t think it’ll catch on. “Christian Victim Front” sounds too much like an organization that might arise in the Sudan or the Middle East, where being a Christian is a much more dangerous state of affairs than in the States.

    I suppose a word along the line of “hypocrite” would serve, but then everybody calls everybody else hypocrites anyway, and so the word has become a cliche in political/religious discourse and therefore lost all meaningful power.

    A Biblical-based pithy insult might work better. Something along the lines of “whitewashed tomb” or “lukewarm vomit”, but with more panache.

  22. “Christian Victim Front” sounds too much like an organization that might arise in the Sudan or the Middle East

    Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    Reg: Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea

  23. “Christian Victim Front” sounds too much like an organization that might arise in the Sudan or the Middle East

    Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    Reg: Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea

  24. John:

    So, Joshua, did you cut and paste this from the knee-jerk conservative quote book, or did you think it up yourself? I mean, speaking of mental masturbation.

    thought it up myself…one does not need to be a conservative to critisize the left. In fact horror beyond horrors, I find it hard to consider myself a liberal without doing so on a regular basis.

    Also, quite clearly you missed the part where I noted that not only are the Christians in the majority, they are also the majority of the members of the government and military; the same of course, could not be said for South Africa (at least not during apartheid).

    I belive others here pointed out most polititions (Delay) are christian in name only…as to the military I would say that adding irrelevent information is just as much a sin as ignoring relevent information. You are also ignoring the lack of Christians in many other seats of power. How many work at the New York times? How about the publishing companies that published your books? (not a dig at your writing…i enjoyed the one I read, just a point that needs to be made)

    But these points are supurfulous to the main point which is bashing christians, or religion for that matter, is a tired point. How about something different? Like my two examples that you ignored perhaps? Bashing Christians here just seems a bit like asking 6th graders if they like pizza or puppies.

    Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

    I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.

    JC:

    As Joshua Corning has unwittingly pointed out, we really have evolved into the kind of society where the wants of an individual trumps what is beneficial to the society as a whole. People used to take the time and effort to grow olive trees from seedlings even though first fruit wouldn’t arrive for another 12-15 years. The next generation would get the benefit of the hard work.

    Those same people grew trees they owned on property they owned for thier own children. It was done by individuals for thier own benifit. Society benifited but that is just an inate characteristic of free market capitalism. The individuals were not intentionaly acting in that compacity. Read Adam Smith sometime you might find it intersting…after that read Edward O Wilsons “On Human Nature” to help you with the biological nature of religion.

    Why would a libertine have a problem with sex-ed? j/k. Seriously, children really have to be a special case in any sane libertarian theory. Are you arguing that children are property of their parents? What gives parents the right to keep their children ignorant?

    Personaly I have no problem with sex ed (well I did have a problem with my sex ed teacher who spurned me for saying that in the future we could just grow our babies in geneticaly modified chimps…she didn’t make the point that there would probably never be a need or desire for humans to do so or that it was off subject and to please focus on the work at hand, instead she made the point that it would never be technically possible, also she taught typing and computer class and when she lost her disk for a pirate program she acused me of stealing it becouse i was the only one in class smart enough in computers to even know what it was for. She made me feel guilty for being smart and that pissed me off), and i would probably choose to put my kids in a voluntary sex ed class. But the christians have the exact same point that you make. I mean you do not own your son’s imortal soul do you? Why should you have the right to condem him to ever lasting soul to hell?

    Another point is if you think parants are not the ones who have the best interests of their children then who does? The State? If you Honestly think the state has a better interest in John’s daughter’s welfare then he does then I say you are a complete idiot.

    As for paying for public education, yeah I can easily see the libertarian objection. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that point.

    Actually I am softer on that possition then I have been acting. I say vouchers, choice of schools in a district, choices of classes in those schools…esentially allow markets to do thier trick with market choice. Let parents choose what they want thier children to learn and let schools compete to meet those choices. Public schools, the way they are run now, are far to expensive and far to ineffective to allow them to keep the status quo.

    I would rather my tax dollors went to teach a child to love christ and do calculus then to teach her to be an athiest and illiterate (and a bad speller :) ).

  25. John:

    So, Joshua, did you cut and paste this from the knee-jerk conservative quote book, or did you think it up yourself? I mean, speaking of mental masturbation.

    thought it up myself…one does not need to be a conservative to critisize the left. In fact horror beyond horrors, I find it hard to consider myself a liberal without doing so on a regular basis.

    Also, quite clearly you missed the part where I noted that not only are the Christians in the majority, they are also the majority of the members of the government and military; the same of course, could not be said for South Africa (at least not during apartheid).

    I belive others here pointed out most polititions (Delay) are christian in name only…as to the military I would say that adding irrelevent information is just as much a sin as ignoring relevent information. You are also ignoring the lack of Christians in many other seats of power. How many work at the New York times? How about the publishing companies that published your books? (not a dig at your writing…i enjoyed the one I read, just a point that needs to be made)

    But these points are supurfulous to the main point which is bashing christians, or religion for that matter, is a tired point. How about something different? Like my two examples that you ignored perhaps? Bashing Christians here just seems a bit like asking 6th graders if they like pizza or puppies.

    Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

    I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.

    JC:

    As Joshua Corning has unwittingly pointed out, we really have evolved into the kind of society where the wants of an individual trumps what is beneficial to the society as a whole. People used to take the time and effort to grow olive trees from seedlings even though first fruit wouldn’t arrive for another 12-15 years. The next generation would get the benefit of the hard work.

    Those same people grew trees they owned on property they owned for thier own children. It was done by individuals for thier own benifit. Society benifited but that is just an inate characteristic of free market capitalism. The individuals were not intentionaly acting in that compacity. Read Adam Smith sometime you might find it intersting…after that read Edward O Wilsons “On Human Nature” to help you with the biological nature of religion.

    Why would a libertine have a problem with sex-ed? j/k. Seriously, children really have to be a special case in any sane libertarian theory. Are you arguing that children are property of their parents? What gives parents the right to keep their children ignorant?

    Personaly I have no problem with sex ed (well I did have a problem with my sex ed teacher who spurned me for saying that in the future we could just grow our babies in geneticaly modified chimps…she didn’t make the point that there would probably never be a need or desire for humans to do so or that it was off subject and to please focus on the work at hand, instead she made the point that it would never be technically possible, also she taught typing and computer class and when she lost her disk for a pirate program she acused me of stealing it becouse i was the only one in class smart enough in computers to even know what it was for. She made me feel guilty for being smart and that pissed me off), and i would probably choose to put my kids in a voluntary sex ed class. But the christians have the exact same point that you make. I mean you do not own your son’s imortal soul do you? Why should you have the right to condem him to ever lasting soul to hell?

    Another point is if you think parants are not the ones who have the best interests of their children then who does? The State? If you Honestly think the state has a better interest in John’s daughter’s welfare then he does then I say you are a complete idiot.

    As for paying for public education, yeah I can easily see the libertarian objection. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that point.

    Actually I am softer on that possition then I have been acting. I say vouchers, choice of schools in a district, choices of classes in those schools…esentially allow markets to do thier trick with market choice. Let parents choose what they want thier children to learn and let schools compete to meet those choices. Public schools, the way they are run now, are far to expensive and far to ineffective to allow them to keep the status quo.

    I would rather my tax dollors went to teach a child to love christ and do calculus then to teach her to be an athiest and illiterate (and a bad speller :) ).

  26. I would also point out that raising general academic levels have a far stronger corillation with lowering teen pregnancy then does the presence of sex ed classes.

  27. Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

    I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.

    And then he voted.

    Sorry, just had to interweave that last bit of Scott Adam’s philosophy into the discussion. I think that last statement pretty much makes all of his other arguments much clearer. Especially that whole “having to learn things you don’t want to” part. Why waste time getting ed-u-macated beyond your comfort zone when you can just settle for being inflammatory. Works for lots of Republicans, too.

  28. Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

    I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.

    And then he voted.

    Sorry, just had to interweave that last bit of Scott Adam’s philosophy into the discussion. I think that last statement pretty much makes all of his other arguments much clearer. Especially that whole “having to learn things you don’t want to” part. Why waste time getting ed-u-macated beyond your comfort zone when you can just settle for being inflammatory. Works for lots of Republicans, too.

  29. I loved the “war on Christmas” last year. It was so fun telling the fundies who were ranting about it, that Olvier “posterboy for puritanism” Cromwell actually banned Christmas and if they were real puritans they shouldn’t be complaining. I got a lot of flames, insults and threats of violence. But it was fun.

  30. Also, Mr. Corning, while making the occasional spelling error is to be expected in online communication, making as many as you have in a single posting is a bit excessive.

    I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.

    Indeed. I got this far (and I assure you it was a struggle) and decided I wouldn’t bother to expend anymore energy deciphering your virtually unreadable prose. Here’s a hint for you, though. If you want people to read what you have to say -and to take it seriously- you might want to make the effort to run your spell check. And you may be interested to know that doing so will require no learning of any new craft on your part, especially for someone who’s “smart in computers”. Your ability to punctuate could use some help as well. Clarity of thought is useful when you want to present an argument.

    She made me feel guilty for being smart

    Like shooting fish in a barrel, really.

  31. Joshua Corning:

    “But these points are supurfulous to the main point which is bashing christians, or religion for that matter, is a tired point.”

    First, I’m not bashing Christians as a class, I’m bashing the members of the Christian Victim Front. I like Christians just fine; I’m rather less impressed with members of the CVF. Second, bashing the CVF in particular isn’t tired; I just coined the phrase yesterday.

    Third, even if it was, so what? Bashing liberals is equally tired, yet it didn’t stop you from doing so at your first available opportunity — yea verily, even as you were declaring Christian bashing passe. I’m not in the least bit impressed with the sort of rhetorical stylings that attempt to perform the same sort of argument that one is simultaneously trying to deny others, so you can take this portion of your roadshow and leave it at the door, if you please.

    In any event, it’s an unfathomably stupid argument to say that one should not criticize something because it’s “tired.” I’m not obliged to ignore the stupidity and hypocrisy of any group or individual simply because that person or the members of that group just can’t learn, nor am I obliged to follow the opinion of those who think I should. There’s a word for the sort of person who stops criticizing the stupidity and hypocrisy of others, particularly those in power: Sheep. If you are content to be a sheep, Joshua, by all means, move along, baa baa baa. I prefer to do otherwise.

    “I belive others here pointed out most polititions (Delay) are christian in name only…As to the military I would say that adding irrelevent information is just as much a sin as ignoring relevent information.”

    As to DeLay and “other politicians,” what you or I or anyone else thinks of them being Christian is aside to whether they believe they are Christian, and I assure you they do. As for the military, aside from the the recent Air Force Academy dust-up suggesting that issues of religion in our armed forces are not negligible, noting the religious composition of the military is rather on point to explaining why Christians in America are not in the same position as blacks in the Apartheid era of South Africa, which is to say that when a group is the majority of the population, and comprises the majority of the civil and military government, it’s not exactly defenseless against the predations of others, particularly when no predations exist. I would agree that adding irrelevant information is not a good thing, however, in this particular case, just because you appear to think it irrelevant does not in fact make it so.

    “I could learn to make bully whips too but why spend the energy on a worthless craft.”

    The term you’re looking for is buggy whips, Joshua. Although I suppose you might consider actually knowing the phrases you wish to use in order to communicate an idea a “worthless craft” as well.

  32. No, no, Christians aren’t a majority, John! That’s why I can buy alcohol on a Sunday in any state I want (because there’s no LOGICAL reason for those laws, just some Sabbath bullshit), and that’s why I have floating holidays to take as my religion or vacation sees fit instead of having some Christian holiday I don’t celebrate, and that’s why…

    Oh wait.

    The CVF wants to whine about how they’re being oppressed. Why aren’t they looking to Minnesota where the Republicans in charge are trying to make it impossible for single women to get birth control. Because, you know, having sex before marriage is IMMORAL, and heaven FORBID a woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant should be allowed to have sex.

    *sigh*

  33. Emily:

    The point you want to make to them is that there’s a non-sexual benefit to birth control pills: the reduced risk of cervical cancer. So not only do you want to regulate the sexual behavior of others, you want to forbid them from reducing their risk of cancer.

    That usually throws ‘em for a loop for a good two minutes; long enough for you to get the (expletive deleted) out of there.

  34. I’m afraid I don’t see how Joshua Corning’s response adequately addresses my arguments. (Given that “We’re spending our kid’s inheritance” is an acceptable attitude these days, I completely fail to see how exactly for whom the olive trees were planted is relevant. Likewise, he has not demomstrated any actual knowledge with which to answer my question about some religions. But maybe I’m just the ignoramus that Joshua’s poorly spelled response attempts to imply that I am, incapable of comprehending his sophisticated and subtle response.) So I’m afraid that argument will have to end there.

    I am curious though how On Human Nature compares with Breaking the Spell : Religion as a Natural Phenomenon or Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought. Both of those are on my List of Books To Read.

  35. Joe, you can also throw at them “So if a virtuous married woman is raped, or her husband has an affair, you don’t care if she contracts cervical cancer because of someone else’s sexual immorality?”

    What they really will want to respond with is an assertion that it’s the married woman’s fault she was raped or cuckolded, but they know that doesn’t play well, so they will sputter.

  36. I think the two sides of this argument (ignoring the third side: spelling) seem to agree.

    Christians are a large majority in this country. They are, generally speaking, not persecuted. They also, generally speaking, don’t claim to be.

    The right-wing, fundamentalist faction of Christians are not a majority in this country, are regularly persecuted, and are often the ones complaining about it.

    I’ll leave it to others to decide whether Tom Delay is a member of that right-wing group, or just defending them publicly in hopes of garnering their votes…

  37. Joe Hass said:

    The point you want to make to them is that there’s a non-sexual benefit to birth control pills: the reduced risk of cervical cancer. So not only do you want to regulate the sexual behavior of others, you want to forbid them from reducing their risk of cancer.

    Except they’re the same people trying to block the HPV vaccination even though it has been shown over and over again that women who don’t have HPV don’t get cervical cancer (either at all, or nearly the numbers, I forget which).

    Dan Savage wrote about it in Savage Love:

    The GOP’s message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines… And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that’s too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.

    I know he’s exaggerating for effect, but this is horrifying. They’re trying to stop something that HELPS people not get CANCER because they don’t want single women to have sex.

  38. Funny everyone’s talking about this! I just got my ID card for the Wealthy Male Caucasian Victim Front in the mail today!!!

    So if we form one “Victims Front” (drop the modifiers) and everyone joins…well I guess anyone who doesn’t join would then be an oppressor and would have to die. Dang, that was simple after all!

  39. Brian Greenberg:

    “The right-wing, fundamentalist faction of Christians are not a majority in this country, are regularly persecuted, and are often the ones complaining about it.”

    Crap. The fundamentalists in this country certainly are not persecuted, unless your definition of “persecuted” is “occasionally frustrated in their attempts to foist their belief system on others who don’t want it.” If you can show me examples a systematic, persistent attempt by government to suppress the Constitutional rights of fundamentalist Christians, then we can talk persecution. Otherwise, it’s fundamentalists having to deal with what everyone else has to deal with, and I don’t see why they should have it better than anyone else. Their sense of entitlement being thwarted does not rise to the level of genuine persecution, and I think it does not a whit of good in buying into the argument that it does.

    Also, let’s also be aware that the folks in the CVF don’t say “There’s a war against certain sorts of Christianity,” they says there’s a war against Christianity, full stop.

  40. I mean you do not own your son’s imortal soul do you? Why should you have the right to condem him to ever lasting soul to hell?

    I do not have that right, simple as that. My (hypothetical) son, due to entirely normal lack of maturity, should not be allowed the same rights over his own life that any adult has. This is why children really have to be a special case in any sane libertarian theory. The simplest solution, and the one that is closest to the libertarian paradigm, is to simply transfer his rights over to me and his mother. But that is not a good solution. (I’ll elaborate more on this later).
    Now, to perform my duties as a guardian for my son, I have been granted certain powers/rights regarding my son that may in fact let me keep him ignorant for a time. And sometimes that is even appropriate. But those powers/rights are (appropriately) less than my own rights to self-determination. In fact as my son matures, I expect that the restrictions I will place on him will be far less than the law allows.

    Another point is if you think parants are not the ones who have the best interests of their children then who does? The State? If you Honestly think the state has a better interest in John’s daughter’s welfare then he does then I say you are a complete idiot.

    I am not a complete idiot and I would not so suggest. I am sure John has both the interest and the skill to raise his daughter well. Tragically, this is not true for all parents. Hence, institutions such as CAS. And hence various laws requiring children to be educated and not allowed to be dumb as mud. And while this is not really their job, schools can provide a nurturing environment when parents do not.
    More than that, this is not an exclusive or situation. As an exclusive guardian for children, the state frankly does a crap job. This is true in Canada, this is true in the United States, and though this can and should be improved, it will probably continue to be pretty much universally true. But as a supplement to parents when it comes to caring for children, the state can do a very good job.
    So this is one reason why it makes sense to limit the control of parents over their children; for the benefit of their children. There is another reason:
    Children do have some rights to self-determination. Perhaps not in law, but certainly in the practice of good parents. Children, not having the maturity of adults, should not be granted the full rights of adults, but this does not mean no rights are appropriate, particularly as they mature. To get back to your question, if my son decides to accept Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, I will not be stopping him. I’ll disagree with his decision certainly, but it will be his decision. If my son wants to read the Bible, I will not be stopping him, heck I’m going to encourage it. (I take a dim view of ignorance). If my son wants to attend services, I’ll have a say in what services he can attend in his younger years, but in his older years I will allow him to attend pretty much any service he wishes. (The Scientologists will have to wait until he’s 18 though). Now, of course, I would have to discuss such decisions with his mother so this may not be exactly how things work, but the person who I am likely to have children with (and is, incidentally, a Christian), does have similar views on these matters. In fact, my (hypothetical) son will likely be spending at lesat his first years attending the United Church. Of course, “the christians” may still think my son is destined for hellfire (along with many of their fellow Christians), but eh, screw em.

  41. joshua corning wrote:

    I would also point out that raising general academic levels have a far stronger corillation with lowering teen pregnancy then does the presence of sex ed classes.

    I am unaware of any such correlation, but in any event I am all for better educating our populace. But this does not in any way mean that sex-ed is useless.
    There are, with teenage pregnancy, in addition to contraception knowledge, two major misconceptions that really need to be fought. The first is that child-rearing is easy and not a serious matter. Kids are not barbies for playing dress-up with. Scalzi’s comment threads are rather dumbass unfriendly, so dumbasses spouting such views don’t show up much here, but woah, are they ever out there. The second is that you are somehow less guilty if sex “just happens” (without contraception) due to getting carried away, rather that being planned (and having contraception). Regardless of the “less guilty” part, having sex “just happen” is a stupid, dumbass, irresponsible way to have sex and should be strongly discouraged. It is notable that countries that don’t go insane at the thought of teenage sex have much lower teenage pregnancy rates than the United States. This is easily explained by the teenagers making responsible decisions when it comes to sex. (Since abstaining from sex is a responsible decision, their teenage sex rates are ironically comparable to the United States despite the lack of opprobium.)

  42. Crap. The fundamentalists in this country certainly are not persecuted, unless your definition of “persecuted” is “occasionally frustrated in their attempts to foist their belief system on others who don’t want it.”

    Their sense of entitlement being thwarted does not rise to the level of genuine persecution, and I think it does not a whit of good in buying into the argument that it does.

    Point #1: Agreed – “persecution” is probably too strong a word for it. They’re routinely persecuted in the realm of public opinion, but that’s not the same thing. You’re the word guy, not me – maybe “ridiculed?” “ostracized?”

    Point #2: Let it never be said (again) that I buy into any of their bullsh*t. Nor do I suggest that they don’t deserve what they get. It’s just that I wouldn’t expect a fringe group that feels persecuted to acknowledge that the persecution is limited in some way. To use a rather harsh analogy, Jews that didn’t live in eastern Europe during World War II had it much better than those who did, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone calling the Holocaust a persecution of ALL Jews…

  43. Crap. The fundamentalists in this country certainly are not persecuted, unless your definition of “persecuted” is “occasionally frustrated in their attempts to foist their belief system on others who don’t want it.”

    Their sense of entitlement being thwarted does not rise to the level of genuine persecution, and I think it does not a whit of good in buying into the argument that it does.

    Point #1: Agreed – “persecution” is probably too strong a word for it. They’re routinely persecuted in the realm of public opinion, but that’s not the same thing. You’re the word guy, not me – maybe “ridiculed?” “ostracized?”

    Point #2: Let it never be said (again) that I buy into any of their bullsh*t. Nor do I suggest that they don’t deserve what they get. It’s just that I wouldn’t expect a fringe group that feels persecuted to acknowledge that the persecution is limited in some way. To use a rather harsh analogy, Jews that didn’t live in eastern Europe during World War II had it much better than those who did, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone calling the Holocaust a persecution of ALL Jews…

  44. Brian Greenberg:

    “You’re the word guy, not me – maybe ‘ridiculed?’ ‘ostracized?’”

    “Mocked” would probably work. And as I noted before, that makes ‘em pretty much like anyone else. However, while I can’t speak for anyone else, I don’t mock the CVF for their belief in Jesus Christ, or how they choose to express that belief. I mock ‘em when they push their moral instruction set, people push back, and their response is to cry discrimination.

  45. Brian Greenberg:

    “You’re the word guy, not me – maybe ‘ridiculed?’ ‘ostracized?’”

    “Mocked” would probably work. And as I noted before, that makes ‘em pretty much like anyone else. However, while I can’t speak for anyone else, I don’t mock the CVF for their belief in Jesus Christ, or how they choose to express that belief. I mock ‘em when they push their moral instruction set, people push back, and their response is to cry discrimination.

  46. I mock ‘em when they push their moral instruction set, people push back, and their response is to cry discrimination.

    The problem with this is that they are having a moral instuction set being pushed on them. The example being sex ed in schools I point this out and you along with a few others choose to ignore it and instead pick at spelling errors and “buggy whips”.

    There is an elephant in the room and I don’t mean the republican kind.

  47. I mock ‘em when they push their moral instruction set, people push back, and their response is to cry discrimination.

    The problem with this is that they are having a moral instuction set being pushed on them. The example being sex ed in schools I point this out and you along with a few others choose to ignore it and instead pick at spelling errors and “buggy whips”.

    There is an elephant in the room and I don’t mean the republican kind.

  48. I think you’d be better off passing fourth grade English before commenting on eighth grade biology, but what “moral instruction set” do you believe is being “pushed” on students by giving them factual biological information about the possible consequences of their actions?

  49. Joshua Corning:

    “The problem with this is that they are having a moral instuction set being pushed on them.”

    Well, no. They are having the US Constitution pushed on them, and they don’t like that it allows for things not allowed by their moral instruction set.

    Oh, and Joshua, other people did respond to your comments, if you bother to go back and read through the thread. Whether you like the responses is another matter entirely. Unfortunately for you, you may choose to state something, but you do not get to choose how people respond to it.

    As for myself, I’m not in the slightest bit sympathetic to people who believe that their religious beliefs require their children remain woefully ignorant of the biology of sex, nor am I convinced that their desire for their children to remain ignorant means that other children should remain ignorant as well. Given that teen pregnancy rates are higher in states with conservative populations, and there have been studies that show “The percentage of a state’s population that belongs to fundamentalist religious groups is positively associated with adolescent birthrates,” I’d say there’s a substantive national interest in useful sex education, even in places where people are morally opposed to it — because, clearly, the kids in those states are not morally opposed to having sex.

    Now, Joshua, if you wish for people to respond to the substance of your arguments (such as they are) rather than your exhibitions of poor spelling and general ignorance, then I suggest that you improve your spelling and not show yourself to be generally ignorant. Like it or not, poor spelling and exhibitions of general ignorance are signifiers that you haven’t the slightest clue what you’re talking about, and it tends to make people take you less seriously than clearly you wish they would.

    Allow me to commend you to my writing tips for non-writers, because clearly you could use them.

  50. The problem with this is that they are having a moral instuction set being pushed on them.

    I suppose so. Don’t kill, assault or harass people, pay your taxes, and don’t keep your children ignorant as mud. I suppose that’s a moral instruction set, certainly it’s incompatible with the child sacrifice practices of Baalists, but it’s not exactly opressive. “They” are subject to it sure, but that doesn’t exactly make them victims. And their inability to impose their moral instruction set on others, that sure as hell doesn’t make them victims. Not being able to deprive others of contraception, that doesn’t make a “Christian” a victim. Yes, perhaps they can’t follow a moral code that instructs them to so restrict others, but tough. It is well worth mocking those who cry victim because they’re not being allowed to victimize others.

    There is an elephant in the room and I don’t mean the republican kind.

    I’m assuming your referring to the interference with the “right” to keep one’s children ignorant as mud. Alright, let’s continue to talk about this elephant. I hereby acknowledge that our societies place some restrictions on the actions of the members thereof. I further acknowledge that our societies make it hard to keep kids ignorant of the mechanics of sex. (But not, I believe, impossible. Do not parents have the ability to have their children excused from sex-ed?). I believe all cases mentioned in this thread have consisted of restrictions of the ability of “Christians” to impose their moral code on others (in some cases their children). And in the particular case of sex-ed, unless your sex-ed class was very different than mine, abstinence isn’t even discouraged. What is impaired is ignorance. Tough.
    When the moral code of a “Christian” includes policing others, the ability of a “Christian” to follow their own moral code may thereby be compromized. Tough. And when “Christians” try to impose their will on others, the recipients may not take it very well. Again tough. It is the tendency for “Christians” to then cry victim that I believe Scalzi is mocking, as well he should.
    And as a note, I keep putting Christians in quotes. That is because while all Christian citizens are subject to our laws, as indeed we are as well, only a small subset are behaving in the risible manner that Scalzi is mocking. Ignorance is not a general Christian virtue, nor indeed is being a moral busibody.

  51. You know Andrew there is a third way. One group does not have to force another group to do what it thinks is right. Simple school choice is not as burdonsom as you make it out to be.

    Anyway as to the “Keeping children as ignorant as mud” I belive I have adressed this issue:

    ..christians have the exact same point that you make. I mean you do not own your son’s immortal soul do you? Why should you have the right to condem his ever lasting soul to hell?

    Another point is if you think parants are not the ones who have the best interests of their children then who does? The State? If you Honestly think the state has a better interest in John’s daughter’s welfare then he does then I say you are a complete idiot.

    I think secular absolutism is clouding your judgement…and saddly this view is effecting the quality of our public schools.

    again:

    I would rather my tax dollors went to teach a child to love christ and do calculus then to teach her to be an athiest and illiterate (and a bad speller :) ).

  52. I believe Andrew responded to much of what you’ve written here upthread, where you wrote this earlier. Are you under the impression that by repeating yourself you might get different results?

  53. joshua corning:

    “I think secular absolutism is clouding your judgement…and saddly this view is effecting the quality of our public schools.”

    Head…Hit..Keyboard!

    Are you honestly stating that the declining quality of our public schools is a direct result of not teaching religious views as fact? Wow.

  54. Peter:

    Head…Hit..Keyboard!

    Are you honestly stating that the declining quality of our public schools is a direct result of not teaching religious views as fact? Wow.

    No. They are symptoms of the same problem…kill two birds with one stone as it were.

    John:

    Are you under the impression that by repeating yourself you might get different results?

    There were many complaints about lack of clarity and people claimed to stop reading what i wrote becouse of missspelling. I thought he and others might have missed it.

    Also I am a little stunned at the rigidity of andrews post. I would think a serious examination of christain claims of discrimination would not be all that out of bounds as it has aparantly become.

    I mean there are aspects of say the Pat Robertson crowd that i find repugnant but Andrew’s post seems to put them in the same class as say the Camp dividians. I think that is a bit of a stretch.

    I don’t feel as oppressed or fearful of christians I guess.

  55. Joshua Corning:

    “There were many complaints about lack of clarity and people claimed to stop reading what i wrote becouse of missspelling. I thought he and others might have missed it.”

    Huh? Given that he responded at length, this answer makes no sense at all. You might not like his answers, but simply repeating your questions as if he didn’t respond to them is not the way to go about having a discussion.

  56. As a devout Christian (and a relatively conservative one)I can understand some of the people who think christianity is under attack. Certainly those people overstate things, are perhaps paranoid, and sometimes do want to force their beliefs on others, but at some levels Christian beliefs are under attack.

    Don’t get me wrong, the US isn’t the Middle East, where, being Christian is grounds for murder, but at a more subtle level attacks on Christian beliefs do occur.

    Catholic Charities, for example, is shutting down some of its adoption facilities because it is being forced in some places to consider gay couples. Now you can have an opinion on gay adoption that is different, and that’s fine, but Catholics do not think it is right.

    Anyone who reads most newspapers can very easily see attacks on religion, and religious beliefs (though perhaps living in New York, and seeing the NY Times everyday, I may be more exposed to this than some).

    Universities are often extremely anti-Christian. This, I suppose, has to do with the high amount left wing professors there are in academia. Everyone here who has been to college knows what I’m talking about. The extreme left wing profesors stifle debate, as if you do not agree with they will (and this has happened to me) give you a lower grade. This happened to me at Fordham University, a Jesuit school no less, so I can only imagine what it is like in a school with no religious affiliation.

    What Joshua said was right. Many of Mr. Scalzi’s points were irrelevent to whether or not Christians are, in some ways, limited as to how they can practice and live their faith.

  57. If you can give me a single example of discrimination of christians that is not either:

    a) Failure to create legislation that enforces their beliefs
    b) A direct result of the unconstitutionality of the implementation of their beliefs

    I will concede that you have a point worth further exploration. At this juncture, though, I see nothing of the kind.

    As an aside, I firmly beleive that the only difference between the followers of Pat Robertson and the Branch Davidian is numbers and political power derived thereof.

  58. You know Andrew there is a third way. One group does not have to force another group to do what it thinks is right. Simple school choice is not as burdonsom as you make it out to be.

    It’s not burden exactly that I’m worried about. My worries are:

    Children being left ignorant. It’s bad for the republic (or constitutional monarchy as the case may be), and it’s bad for the children.
    Children being indoctrinated in intolerance. I haven’t brought this issue up before in this thread. Our societies can survive, nay they can thrive with a diversity of values. But there are a few values that are quite harmful and we cannot be so accepting of. And ironically, intolerance is one of them.

    I would point out that our public school systems are already a “third way”. Some values are indoctrinated in school (politeness in the classroom, tolerance, a love of learning), but many others are left to the parents. Ideally, sexual morality would be one of these. (Well, except for the public health aspect). Ironically, Fundamentalist Christians have been fairly successful at having their own version of sexual morality being advocated in schools.
    Now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to force public school education. But I do think it is appropriate to strongly encourage it. (I must admit I have not thought about school choice when it comes to poor parents.) I do think it is appropriate for the state, and others, to insist that children be educated.

    Another point is if you think parants are not the ones who have the best interests of their children then who does? The State? If you Honestly think the state has a better interest in John’s daughter’s welfare then he does then I say you are a complete idiot.

    I’ve already answered these questions.

  59. PeterP

    My point, which I apologize for perhaps not making clear, isn’t that there is some kind of government crackdown on Christianity, but that certain elements in the US, like the media and universities, are attacking Christian values and morality.

    I Should say that I don’t agree with what Delay said, that there is a “war on Christians”, in this country. I think him saying that belittles what Christians in many parts of the world are going through because of their faith.

  60. Anonymous:

    “Catholic Charities, for example, is shutting down some of its adoption facilities because it is being forced in some places to consider gay couples. Now you can have an opinion on gay adoption that is different, and that’s fine, but Catholics do not think it is right.”

    Actually, it’s the Catholic Church that does not think it is right — I don’t think anyone has polled American Catholics on the subject. Certainly we’re aware of several other examples of where American Catholics by their practices disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church; for example, contraception which the large majority of Catholic couples in their child-bearing years use.

    Catholic Charities is choosing to halt adoptions in Boston archdiocese because the state law there allows gays and lesbians to adopt. The state has not said Catholic Charities cannot place adoptees in the state; it has merely said that gays and lesbians can adopt. You need to explain to me how a church pre-emptively choosing to stop doing something because it prefers to discriminate against a particular group of people is somehow a case of Catholic values under attack. If the Catholic Charities were forced to continue to be in the adoption business, and thus to cater to gays and lesbians, then you might have recognizable grounds to complain.

    In any event, Catholic Charities running an adoption service (or not running an adoption service, as the case may be), does not impede the right of any Catholic to free worship as he or she chooses a single jot or tittle, unless you wish to explain to me how adoption has suddenly become a sacrament in the Catholic Church.

    If you felt as if you were being discriminated against in the classroom due to your religion, you could certainly have filed a suit — no doubt the ACLU would have helped you if you had had a legitimate case. However, I note this with the caveat that simply having ones’ assumptions challenged does not constitute discrimination, although a number of students on both the right and the left have felt this way. When I was in college, smack dab in the era of “political correctness,” it was the whiny liberal kids who felt as if the universities were against them; these days it seems to be the whiny conservative kids. I personally wonder how many of them in either era just didn’t like their ill-constructed world view kicked to bits by a professor with rigorous training in the Socratic method.

    “Many of Mr. Scalzi’s points were irrelevent to whether or not Christians are, in some ways, limited as to how they can practice and live their faith.”

    Bullshit. Christians are not limited in the slightest in the ways they can practice and live their faith, save to the extent that those practices impede on the Constitutional rights of others. As I’ve said before, show me concrete examples of persecution of Christians, or Christians being denied their Constitutional rights, and then we’ve got something to talk about — and indeed I’ll be happy to stand beside those Christians to make sure they have the right to worship as they choose. But a general feeling that you’re under attack, fed by cynical manipulations of groups which want Christians to feel persecuted when they are not, does not, in fact, equate to persecution.

    George M:

    “My point, which I apologize for perhaps not making clear, isn’t that there is some kind of government crackdown on Christianity, but that certain elements in the US, like the media and universities, are attacking Christian values and morality.”

    That damn Fox News and Liberty University! They have to be stopped!

    I could equally and correctly say the certain elements in the US, like the media and universities, are attacking liberal values and morality — it simply depends on which media and universities one chooses to consider. Lord knows there are hundreds of Christian colleges and universities in the country, From Liberty to Oral Roberts to Azusa Pacific, which shy away from the “liberal” point of view. As for the Media war on liberalism, just watch Fox News and listen to AM talk radio sometime.

    The difference between the attack on Christian values and liberal values at this point is that the liberals aren’t in charge of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government, while one could clearly argue that Christian conservatives are.

    That being the case, excuse me if I’m rather less than worried about “certain elements” of the media and the universities. There are enough “certain elements” at work all the way around to make everyone paranoid. As I’ve said, the members of the Christian Victim Front are, in this respect, just like everyone else.

  61. (note that Anonymous comment was by me)

    I didn’t say that Christians are being persecuted. In fact I think I went out of my way to say that they are not. That last bit that you quoted was just something I threw in there at the end because your points, as they were, are in fact irrelevent to the argument you were trying to make.

    Again my point is that there are elements within this country that try to demonize Christians and Christian belief, and that that is where some of the beliefs that there is a war on Christians stems from.

  62. George M:

    “Again my point is that there are elements within this country that try to demonize Christians and Christian belief”

    There are also elements within this country who try to demonize liberals and their beliefs, too. Welcome to freedom of expression!

    People who demonize Christians simply for being Christians are morons who deserve to be stomped. However, these people are different than the people who point out when certain Christians have their desire for cultural hegemony confused with a genuine right to impose their beliefs on others.

  63. George M:

    “Again my point is that there are elements within this country that try to demonize Christians and Christian belief”

    There are also elements within this country who try to demonize liberals and their beliefs, too. Welcome to freedom of expression!

    People who demonize Christians simply for being Christians are morons who deserve to be stomped. However, these people are different than the people who point out when certain Christians have their desire for cultural hegemony confused with a genuine right to impose their beliefs on others.

  64. Also I am a little stunned at the rigidity of andrews post. I would think a serious examination of christain claims of discrimination would not be all that out of bounds as it has aparantly become.

    That is not at all my position! That I did not come to conclusions you like in the case you presented does not mean I did not examine it seriously. Not at all! And I did not mean to trivialize the concerns of Christians in that particular case when I concluded they are out of luck.
    What is out of bounds is to claim a “systematic, orchestrated war against Christian relgious expression” when there is in fact no such war. (It’s called lying). If such a war did in fact exist (as it does in some countries), claiming it exists would, of course, not be out of bounds. It is fairly easy to determine that this particular claim is a fantasy, but that does not mean all Christian claims of discrimination should be so quickly dismissed: Some of them will undoubtedly be legitimate. On rare occasion discrimination is in fact necessary and “justified in a free and democratic society” (as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) (which doesn’t mean it’s not significant!), but more often the discrimination does in fact need to be redressed. In any event, claims of discrimination should be examined and not dismissed out-of-hand.

    I mean there are aspects of say the Pat Robertson crowd that i find repugnant but Andrew’s post seems to put them in the same class as say the Camp dividians. I think that is a bit of a stretch.

    Pat Robertson is an evil man (look him up on Wikipedia sometime), as is the ideology he espouses. And having heard a sermon from Falwell, I’m pretty sure he’s a bully. But let it not be said that I lump all Fundamentalists in with them; public figures, by their very nature, are very rarely representative. I make no secret of my intense dislike for parts of the Christian Fundamentalist belief system. But, and I am no means perfect in this, I do distinguish between the believers and their faith. I am quite sure that many Fundamentalist Christians are quite nice people despite their faith. Unfortunately I do not knowingly know many Fundamentalist Christians. Certainly many of the conservative Christians I have met over the years are entirely decent people, though I would not want them writing laws.

  65. @Anon:
    Catholic Charities, for example, is shutting down some of its adoption facilities because it is being forced in some places to consider gay couples. Now you can have an opinion on gay adoption that is different, and that’s fine, but Catholics do not think it is right.
    And? You don’t get a free pass to be a bigot because you’re religious. Charities that discriminate against homosexuals should be treated the same way as charities that discriminate against African Americans or Muslims.
    Anyone who reads most newspapers can very easily see attacks on religion, and religious beliefs (though perhaps living in New York, and seeing the NY Times everyday, I may be more exposed to this than some).
    I read the NY Times everyday and somehow miss these attacks on religion. What kind of articles does this Christian bashing occur in?
    Universities are often extremely anti-Christian. This, I suppose, has to do with the high amount left wing professors there are in academia. Everyone here who has been to college knows what I’m talking about. The extreme left wing profesors stifle debate, as if you do not agree with they will (and this has happened to me) give you a lower grade.
    Wrong wrong wrong wrong. Bad professors stifle debate and give you a lower grade if you don’t agree with them. Bad liberal political science professors do it, bad conservative political science professors do it, bad opinionated English and Sociology and Anthropology and History and Psychology etc etc do it. I personally haven’t found these bad professors to be centered around any specific departments, although obviously some schools will have less bad professors than others. Also, you’re generally safer in the Science and Math type departments since they work off more objective standards, though you can still get into trouble with bad professors if you question your favorite paradigm. But this isn’t a liberal thing or a conservative thing or an anti-religious thing.
    And @Joshua:
    Most if not all public schools allow people who want to keep their children ignorant to keep them out of sex ed classes. It is absurd to suggest sex ed classes shouldn’t be taught at all because some parents want to keep everyone’s children ignorant. Also, the false dichotomy you express in “I would rather my tax dollors went to teach a child to love christ and do calculus then to teach her to be an athiest and illiterate (and a bad speller :) ).” is simply hilarious. Personally, I would prefer my tax dollars went to teach a child nothing about religion but calculus, some basic science, how to write well, and yes, some competent sex ed. And if you have to agree with me because the only other option is that my tax dollars go to teach a child how to do heroin and that the sun goes around the earth.

  66. @Anon:
    Catholic Charities, for example, is shutting down some of its adoption facilities because it is being forced in some places to consider gay couples. Now you can have an opinion on gay adoption that is different, and that’s fine, but Catholics do not think it is right.
    And? You don’t get a free pass to be a bigot because you’re religious. Charities that discriminate against homosexuals should be treated the same way as charities that discriminate against African Americans or Muslims.
    Anyone who reads most newspapers can very easily see attacks on religion, and religious beliefs (though perhaps living in New York, and seeing the NY Times everyday, I may be more exposed to this than some).
    I read the NY Times everyday and somehow miss these attacks on religion. What kind of articles does this Christian bashing occur in?
    Universities are often extremely anti-Christian. This, I suppose, has to do with the high amount left wing professors there are in academia. Everyone here who has been to college knows what I’m talking about. The extreme left wing profesors stifle debate, as if you do not agree with they will (and this has happened to me) give you a lower grade.
    Wrong wrong wrong wrong. Bad professors stifle debate and give you a lower grade if you don’t agree with them. Bad liberal political science professors do it, bad conservative political science professors do it, bad opinionated English and Sociology and Anthropology and History and Psychology etc etc do it. I personally haven’t found these bad professors to be centered around any specific departments, although obviously some schools will have less bad professors than others. Also, you’re generally safer in the Science and Math type departments since they work off more objective standards, though you can still get into trouble with bad professors if you question your favorite paradigm. But this isn’t a liberal thing or a conservative thing or an anti-religious thing.
    And @Joshua:
    Most if not all public schools allow people who want to keep their children ignorant to keep them out of sex ed classes. It is absurd to suggest sex ed classes shouldn’t be taught at all because some parents want to keep everyone’s children ignorant. Also, the false dichotomy you express in “I would rather my tax dollors went to teach a child to love christ and do calculus then to teach her to be an athiest and illiterate (and a bad speller :) ).” is simply hilarious. Personally, I would prefer my tax dollars went to teach a child nothing about religion but calculus, some basic science, how to write well, and yes, some competent sex ed. And if you have to agree with me because the only other option is that my tax dollars go to teach a child how to do heroin and that the sun goes around the earth.

  67. Bah, bunch of posts in between when I started and finished writing that. Just to be clear, I wrote it without having read anything after the post I’m quoting (incompetently… used the wrong HTML tag). And since then other people said what I said but they said it better.

  68. George M:

    Again my point is that there are elements within this country that try to demonize Christians and Christian belief,

    That is quite true. In my experience such demonization is quite common in atheist circles, and many of us lefties are far to casual when it comes to stereotyping Fundamentalists. (Yeah, I’m not the person to be pointing fingers on that score, but there it is).

    and that that is where some of the beliefs that there is a war on Christians stems from.

    That, and a lack of a sense of proportion. This is not to say there are legitimate complaints that should be addressed. Sometimes as serious as the complaints of those in traditionally oppressed groups. But Christians, men, the wealthy, Caucasians, basically any group that is “on top”, have a bad habit of crying victim over the truly trivial.

  69. “I’m stilll digging on the word you coined earlier: Leviticans.”

    I prefer Pharisees or Laodiceans (See Revelation, Chapter 3).

    Regardless, I think something a lot of people miss in discussing the right-wing “christian” persecution complex is just how anti-Semitic it is. Look at the “war on Christmas”. The reason people started saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in the first place is because of Hanukkah. Moreover, when the fundies go looking for people to blame for all this “secularization”, they usually point the finger at lawyers and the ACLU. And the lawyers they have in mind don’t look like John Roberts; they look more like Alan Dershowitz.

    It’s a form of dog-whistle politics, speaking in a code so dense that only true believers will hear it, while everyone else just thinks they’re a little weird. But if you look closer, the conservative stereotype of a liberal is almost indistinguishable from the stereotype of a Jew. They’re rich, urban, they control the media and the universities, they’re after your children, they’re hostile to Christian values, they have power well beyond their number despite the fact that they’re locked out of nearly every institutional lever of influence, they’re undermining the country from within, etc.

  70. If in some alternative universe there were an actual Jewish cabal that controls the US I think the first thing I would do is thank them for the freedoms and prosparity I enjoy every day.

    Of course there isn’t one…but acording to you there is a Christian one.
    why arn’t you thanking them?

    ;)

  71. I don’t see where he implied that there’s a Christian cabal running the country from behind the scenes, which would be unnecessary since Christians do actually run the country. Instead he said that he thinks the persecution rhetoric spouted by fundamentalists reeks of anti-semitism.

  72. joshua corning wrote:

    If in some alternative universe there were an actual Jewish cabal that controls the US I think the first thing I would do is thank them for the freedoms and prosparity I enjoy every day.

    Heh. I remember one message board where a neo-fascist was blaming the Jews for democracy. What the heck can you do at that point except start putting in requests? Flying cars please! World Peace! … I don’t mean to minimize their danger, but anti-semities can be pretty weird.

    Of course there isn’t one…but acording to you there is a Christian one.
    why arn’t you thanking them?

    That would be Pierre Trudeau up here. He was a Catholic if I recall correctly. And while Jean Chretien’s administration was corrupt and arrogant, they actually ran the country fairly well. But that’s nothing the current group in power can claim credit for. As for Bush and Co, they’re a bunch of incompetants and the full force of the damage they’ve done to your economy will not be felt for some years yet. Mostly Christian “cabels” made your country great, but they sure as heck weren’t the current cabel. As for the founding fathers, that cabel is practically revired in your country. And appropriately so, though I do think y’all are a bit to attached to the current revision of the Constitution.

  73. Visiting the Project Gutenberg homepage to find a choice quote from Jules Verne, I instead immediately ran into a choice quote from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary that somehow seemed apt:

    Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.”

  74. [Deleted because 500 words in all caps is annoying]

    Steven, if you want to repost in something besides all caps, that would be fine.

Comments are closed.