How radical is the “radical” right?

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Given that the political season is in full swing, I’m noticing an increase in the number of “extremist” labels hurled at conservatives in general and Tea Partiers in particular.  Apparently that is easier then addressing the issues and arguments themselves, but it seems more like a concession speech to me.

Those who hyperventilate about the “radical right” (or “extremists,” “fundie nutjobs,” “wacky fundies,” or other eloquent terms of endearment) are either disingenuous or really bad at math, because the majority of Americans share our views on the most controversial topics.  Consider this by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason:

A poll of readers of the L.A. Times once showed that, in the area of abortion, prayer, in school, homosexuality and traditional family values, the majority of Americans agree with so-called “extreme fundamentalists.” 70% of Americans believe that the traditional family structure is always best; 76% favor prayer in public schools; 55% are against legalized abortion; 61% think that homosexual relations are always wrong. These are the views of the “radical right,” but these are also the views of a majority of rank and file Americans.

Let that bolster your confidence, the next time you’re being marginalized for your conservative moral values. The “radical right” isn’t so radical. It’s actually mainstream.

If they think we’re so extreme, why don’t they just use their faux majority to elect legislators to legalize partial-birth abortion and such?  Then they wouldn’t need judges to ignore their duties and make up their own laws.

It appears to me like the “radical” label is just a cheap way to attack the person and not the arguments, just like they do with the passive-aggressive “intolerant” label (Because whoever yells intolerant first must be the kind, tolerant one – right?).

I submit that if the media, entertainment and education establishments weren’t so outrageously biased the numbers would shift even further to the right.  For example, consider that 90% or more of the media are die-hard pro-choicers and they do everything in their power to spin stories in their favor.  Yet the population is still split pretty evenly on the topic, and the more clearly survey questions are worded the more pro-life the results are.

The only way you can categorize majority views as the radical right is if you are perched comfortably on the radical left.

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0 thoughts on “How radical is the “radical” right?”

  1. “If atheism is the belief that there is no God or gods, then that is a belief about God or gods, and that is a belief about religion, which is a religious belief — which is religion.”

    HAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH!! ROFLOL!!!!

    Anyone here who can honestly believe that is whacked.

    So I believe that God does not exist and somehow that is a religion. BWAHAHA! Very funny. You’d better get that lawer, ER and Kristine. I believe that rape is a vile act. Does that make me a worshiper of rapists? LOL. I believe that violent criminal activity is abhorant. So now I guess I’m a worshiper of violence, or criminals. Come on! Give me a real break!

    Just because they have an organization means nothing whatsoever. By your very loose definition, Moose Lodges, Bowling Leages, Hunt Clubs, Chess Clubs, Gaming Guilds, the entire pleathora of business organizations, etc. etc. etc. could all be classified not only as religious organizations, but as religions! whew! My stomach hurts from laughing so hard.

    Stop putting forth rediculous arguments. Where oh where has common sense gone? You guys are better than this.

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  2. Neil, about the Surpreme Court. The claim that secular humanism can be considered a religion for legal purposes was finally considered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Peloza v. Capistrano School District. In this 1994 case, a science teacher argued that, by requiring him to teach evolution, his school district was forcing him to teach the “religion” of secular humanism. The Court responded, “We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or secular humanism are `religions’ for Establishment Clause purposes.” The Supreme Court refused to review the case; they refused to reverse a ruling that secular humanism is not a religion.

    So, in fact, the Supreme Court has not ruled on secular humanism, but they did agree – by refusing to review the case – that it is not a religion.

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  3. About the fouding of the United States of America. In 1797, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Treaty of Tripoli. This treaty states, and I quote, “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

    A unanimous vote!

    The remarkable thing about the USA is precisely that it was created as a secular republic organized around the rights and freedoms of its citizens – not around a specific set of religious beliefs. Ours was the first country – the only country to date – that was founded on the rights and freedoms of its citizenry. That’s what makes us so great.

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  4. Mark,

    To repeat, if Scientology can be called a religion, anything can be called a religion. On a different note:

    “So I believe that God does not exist …”. Interesting statement. By inference you must have knowledge of everything that exists in the universe to make such a blanket statement.

    I know what you mean by stomach hurting from laughing.

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  5. “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    Talk about out of context statements, read the entire article above. My reading suggests that what the treaty says is that the laws of our Nation do not discriminate against any other nation based on religion & the necessity of a Christian belief system isn’t required for the functioning of our system of government.

    If you’re going to pull out quotes at least have the decency to quote the entire passage, not just the part you think supports your beliefs.

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  6. Glad I could give you some aerobic exercise, Mark!

    Elks, Mooses, ball clubs and the like aren’t concerned with religious questions. Atheism is concerned with a religious question. Isn’t it?

    I guess the question is: “Is ‘God does not exist’ a religious idea or not?’ ”

    I say it is. I say I, myself, could convince a jury that atheism is based on “atheology,” and is as much a belief as any other religious belief.

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  7. Perhaps it would be a fair statement to say that we all have belief systems. Some belief systems include a belief in a god or gods, some belief systems may elevate other ideals or things to the level of a god (ie, making money or entertainment your source of comfort, reasoning, dependence) and some belief systems may make no room for any god.

    Although, it is a fair point, I think, to remember Dylan’s words, “we gotta serve somebody”/something.

    Given the definition:
    religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

    One could make the argument that just about any belief system could be called a religion. As Thomas Paine noted, “The world is my country, and to do good my religion.” I understand a-religious people objecting to the title of “religious,” but it may be mostly a matter of semantics.

    To be gracious and avoid confusion, I tend to refer to Belief Systems, instead of insisting that the a-religious are religious.

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  8. WOZ – My saying that I don’t believe God exists doesn’t infer I “must have knowledge of everything that exists in the universe to make such a blanket statement” any more than you saying that you DO believe God exists infers the reverse. Please don’t use twisted logic.

    WOZ – My quote on the treaty is not out of context at all. Your reading is correct, it just doesn’t go as far as it should. So I guess that makes it partially correct. Your reading: “…suggests that what the treaty says is that the laws of our Nation do not discriminate against any other nation based on religion and the necessity of a Christian belief system isn’t required for the functioning of our system of government.”

    Close, but not close enough. I’m afraid you have to add “because our government is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” It is stated very clearly. For you not to add it is an omission of convenience to your weak argument.

    ER – So the question is: “Is ‘God does not exist’ a religious idea or not?’ ” You say it is. I say it isn’t. It is an itellectual question about the existence of a supreme being. That does not make it a religious idea. It makes it a question *about* a religious idea. Again, don’t use twisted logic.

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  9. Mark,

    Talk about twisted logic, a belief in something’s existence requires nothing more than simply that-belief. Doesn’t really matter what the basis of belief is. Whereas, a belief that something doesn’t exist must require knowledge of everything that does exist. Without that the best you can do is say that God doesn’t exist in your limited knowledge of the universe. With that statement I would agree 100%.

    Of course that then brings up the question – could He exist in some part of the universal knowledge you don’t have?

    As for the Tripoli Treaty, I stand by my analysis & will let others decide whether I should have added something. We can just agree to disagree.

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  10. WOZ – A belief is a “conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence.”

    An opinion is “a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.”

    The two are practically interchangeable and are, in fact, synonyms.

    In my opinion, God does not exist. Therefore, I believe that God does not exist. Does that make you happy?

    To you “a belief in something’s existence requires nothing more than simply that-belief. Doesn’t really matter what the basis of belief is.” Now I get it, your belief isn’t (or doesn’t have to be) based on evidence or feelings of any kind. You just have to believe for belief’s sake. Yet my belief system requires complete knowledge. Wow!

    I hesitated to say it before this, but now I’m convinced of your pride. You’re are being solidly blown away here and refuse to admit it becuase your too proud to admit to even a smidgen of being wrong.

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  11. WOZ – You’re getting scarry! So I guess the “mothership” really was behind the comet Hale Bopp. I mean, no one could prove it wasn’t there… None of our instruments are up to the task of seeing anything that might be lurking directly behind a comet – what with all the ice and debris. Maybe Marshall Applewhite was right and the 38 people belong to Heavens Gate are the only ones ever getting to heaven!

    I guess reincarnation exists, too. Since I can’t prove that it doesn’t exist – then it must. Maybe when ants die, they come back as birds. Maybe when birds die, they come back as people! It must be true because you can’t prove it isn’t!

    You’re beginning to bore me.

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  12. Mark,

    I reread my last comment & realized that I didn’t respond to your accusation about my pride or unwillingness to admit I’m wrong.

    So there is no mistake about what I’m saying let me be perfectly clear; whenever I talk with some who claims to be an atheist there is no chance in the universe that I am wrong about the existence of God. ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA. If this makes me guilty of pride so be it. I am extremely proud to be a person that believes in GOD.

    “Now I get it, your belief isn’t (or doesn’t have to be) based on evidence or feelings of any kind.”

    I never said that – you did. I specifically said it didn’t matter what the basis for belief was. That’s different than saying there doesn’t have to be any basis. All beliefs or opinions have some basis.

    Back to my original question which you conviently ignored. Isn’t it possible that God exists in some area of universal knowledge that you don’t have? What is the basis for your “opinion”?

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  13. WOZ – It’s no more possible than the mothership behind the comet. It’s no more possible than ants reincarnating into birds.

    I’m sure that sounds just as silly to you as your belief in the supernatural sounds to me.

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  14. WOZ,
    For the record, I agree with your interpretation of the treaty in question. You may just have to punt trying to get this guy to agree with you.

    His reasoning has some major flaws, that even I who stinks at logic and appologetics notice. Since he doesn’t believe in God, then what is he basing his idea that pride is a sin upon?(IF you indeed do struggle with that here, which I seriously doubt. ) He rejects man’s authority to call certain “sins” a “sin” because there is no basis for truth. It’s all relative. If he has come up with this idea that pride is a sin, then he must then be placing himself as judge over you, damning your sin and calling you to repentence to seek his forgiveness. Hm. This sounds a little like a religion to me. He’s put himself, his rules, and his judgements in place of God.

    Mark,
    If you do not believe in God, and reject the Bible, why are you dialoging with Christians on this blog whom you see as sinners, fools, uneduacted fanatics, and psychos? What is it that you need and are seeking from us?

    If He doesn’t exist, what are you losing besides time in learning and believing in Him?

    What if God really does exist and you are fighting against Him and attacking His children all this time?

    You have all these people on this site, in churches across America and the rest of the world, historical figures, as well as those in the Bible who testify to the truth that there is God and He has a Son their Savior. You have all these testimonies of His working and making Himself known to them. (I’ll be glad to share how He became a part of my life, if you’d like.) How many witnesses does a court of law require to prove a case? How many witnesses do you require?
    (Honestly, you need but One. When the Holy Spirit testifies to your soul, you cannot BUT believe. If He does not testify to you, no great number of witness will MAKE you believe, just beat your argument.)

    I’m not looking for you to answer these questions, just think about them.

    If the truth is that you’ve been hurt by some back stabbing, lying, hypocritical, Pharisaical, sinfull Christian, I am so sorry. That sometimes does happen, regretfully. Christians acting poorly is never a reason not to believe in God or trust in His Son, believe in His Word. Believe because of who He is, not because Christians haven’t become what they’re supposed to yet.

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  15. What I like about Neil is his application of logic to his arguments. He reads the bible and intreprets it – based on his belief in God – with a logic that most people do not have. I am also here because I happen to like debate. It keeps the mind sharp and educates me (and hopefully some of you) at the same time. I don’t expect to change your beliefs. And I don’t think Neil expects to change mine.

    While I do not believe in God, I find religion interesting. I read this blog to better understand the people around me. What I find is that there are just as many religious “whack-jobs” as non religious “whack-jobs” (just to be clear: not because of the people that post here, but because of the items in Neils posts) The majority of religious people are just like the majority of non religious people in that we’re looking to make this world a better place and to make a better life for ourselves.

    I am not fearful of an afterlife, one of our differences. That does not mean I cannot live a moral life. I believe morality and meaning come from humanity and the natural world, not from God. It is our natural human values that give us rights, responsibilities, and dignity. We value our rights (to property, privacy, life, liberty, etc.), so we have a responsibility to protect those rights. It is natural to want a peaceful, healthy existance. All of this is the basis for morality. I believe that morality should bring out the best in people. Morality must be based on our knowledge of human nature and the real world.

    I do not see religious people as “sinners, fools, uneduacted fanatics, and psychos.” I’ve never described anyone here in that manner. I respect people like Neil who find comfort in their religion. I don’t think his beliefs are correct, but his beliefs don’t interfere with mine so it’s no big deal. I do, however, appreciate his thought process.

    Do I believe the bible is worthless? Absolutely not. I believe that there are great lessons to be learned from it. The repectful treatment of yourself and others are paramount in the bible. I just don’t believe the supernatural stuff – it doesn’t compute.

    That said, when I see something I consider to be way off base or ignorant or foolish, I’ll call you out. I have been proven wrong plenty of times and I freely admit it when it happens. Some people, I find, will not admit to error even when it’s clearly (and I do mean very clearly) explained to them. This perturbs me.

    For example, I never said that pride was a sin. I implied that it could be hurtful. That it could impede otherwise good judgment. I don’t need God to help me figure that out. You put the word “sin” in my mouth and then proceeded to assume I was trying to be godlike. At the same time you try to explain to me that without God there is no basis in truth!! Oh brother.

    Kristine, you said: “…what is he basing his idea that pride is a sin upon? … He rejects man’s authority to call certain “sins” a “sin” because there is no basis for truth. It’s all relative. If he has come up with this idea that pride is a sin, then he must then be placing himself as judge over you, damning your sin and calling you to repentence to seek his forgiveness. Hm. This sounds a little like a religion to me. He’s put himself, his rules, and his judgements in place of God.” Kristine, this puts you in my whack-job column. It is no wonder you don’t understand anything I say – you don’t even try.

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  16. Mark,
    I do understand you. I don’t concur or follow your “logic.” When you stoop to “name calling” and accusing me of not trying to understand, there’s not much else that I can do to dialogue with you.
    I do understand faithlessness. I’ve been there. I remember.

    Dialogue with whom you choose. After that bite, it won’t be me.

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  17. This was posted yesterday but got caught in the filter for some reason, so I am bumping it to the top. Hope it doesn’t throw off the thread.

    Dan:

    You will notice that I neither quoted nor referenced your obviously facetious comment about running for president, at 4:30 pm. What I quoted was from an earlier comment of yours, from 8:01 am.

    When you imply that your philosophy, principles, and positions come from a theologically conservative view of the Bible, it’s NOT off-topic to question that implication when, not too long ago you implied that God didn’t actually command what was recorded in Deut 21:10-14. We’re not just talking about horrors in stories of the Old Testament, but about whether there are horrors in what God commanded in the Old Testament.

    Your approach to the Bible is in many ways unconventional, to say the least: in order to ignore what Scripture clearly teaches about human sexuality and our being made male and female for marriage, you apparently deny scriptural infallibility, and you base that denial in part on the idea that the Old Testament records God as having commanded evil acts, your usual litany including accusations of commands to rape, kidnap, and commit genocide.

    It’s not off-topic for me to bring these things up when you want to claim to be theologically conservative. It is inconvenient, but it is not off-topic.

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  18. Bubba, I don’t mind talking about this stuff at all, but this is not my site and I’ve been told to stay on topic. So I am trying to avoid contributing to the wandering of these threads.

    When you imply that your philosophy, principles, and positions come from a theologically conservative view of the Bible

    Where did I imply that? My philosophy, principles and positions come from a SERIOUS reading of the Bible, certainly. But certainly not a traditional theologically conservative view of the Bible. I don’t believe I’ve indicated that anywhere, but you can correct me if you’d point to what you’re talking about.

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  19. Ah, the Treaty again. I had this discussion on another blog. Going just from memory of my research at the time (sounds like I really labored, doesn’t it?), the perior in question was a time with no Naval protection for our merchant ships. Just like now, Islamofacist scumbags were attacking Americans, taking the crews hostage, and scuttling the ships. They were demanding steep ransoms and we were paying huge sums for several years in order to lessen the incidence of attacks and hostage taking. It’s called “dhimmi”-hood and we were paying the jizya tax. In an effort to forestall as we develop a Navy to repel these Barbary Coast pirates, the Treaty was enacted to stroke the egos of the Muslim thugs. At the same time, while the Treaty states that our government was not formed on Christian principles, to say that it wasn’t heavily influenced by them is a stretch of remarkable proportions. It was the Christian Enlightenment of people like John Locke that helped to develop the sense that our rights are inherent and something with which we are born, like hereditary traits passed down from parents to child. And of course, we are endowed with these rights by our Creator. And I might be mistaken here, but I believe all of our founding documents are date “in the year of our Lord”. Our government IS secular, but WE THE PEOPLE, as Dan Trabue likes to say, are mostly Christian, at least in name, and as such we are a Christian nation. Christianity very much was a factor in the formation of our form of government, even though it is a secular government.

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  20. I wonder if the Treaty of Tripoli was an 18th century version of Bush’s silly PC appeasement – e.g., “Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims go to Heaven via a different path” type sayings.

    Mark, thanks for the court info. I wasn’t aware of the more recent rulings.

    Re. atheism in general – I need to post on this in more detail, but there are two ways these discussions seem to get off track rather quickly (I’m not saying that happened above, as I was reading the comments in reverse order in my email and didn’t completely follow the back-and-forth).

    1. The claim that atheists don’t have a foundation for morality (a true statement in my view) is often miscommunicated or misinterpreted as saying they don’t have morals (a typically unfair and inaccurate statement).

    2. While atheists can’t prove their isn’t a God, that isn’t a sufficient argument for theists to make. Proving a negative in a rather sizable universe is somewhat difficult. We can’t prove there isn’t a pink unicorn somewhere in the universe, either, but that is hardly a reason to believe it is true.

    I think it is more fruitful to look at the evidence for and against the existence of God the way we’d make decisions on a host of other issues. I can’t prove God exists in the sense that I can prove that 2+2=4, but I can point to a whole bunch o’ evidence that I think it rather compelling. We make lots of important decisions in life based on less than 100.00000% surety.

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  21. I can’t prove God exists in the sense that I can prove that 2+2=4, but I can point to a whole bunch o’ evidence that I think it rather compelling.

    Now THIS, I think, is an entirely fair and accurate point. One with which I concur.

    I would probably disagree a bit with your point that atheists don’t have a foundation for morality. I think a logical case can be made for a natural or common law outside of a God. It’s just that I prefer the case for a natural law within the constructs of a God. My position might be that I think there is a stronger case for morality within a Theist point of view than within an atheist point of view, but I wouldn’t argue that there is no foundation for morality within that worldview.

    Thanks, Dan.

    The “molecules to man” approach has no foundation for morality. They try to read one in, but if you pay close attention you’ll see that they always sneak some kind of moral framework in the back door. I don’t mean “sneak” in the pejorative sense, as I think they usually do it unwittingly.

    For example, I’ve seen the line of thinking that says such-and-such is moral because it is good for the perpetuation of the species. But note how that assumes a universal moral good of perpetuating the species. But where is the materialist proof for that? Who cares if the species is perpetuated if we are just a bunch of molecules? Lots of species have gone extinct. I’m not denying the innate desire to live and help others, and I’m not denying that atheists don’t have the same feelings. I’m just saying that materialistic philosophy can’t provide that foundation.

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  22. Neil, I may have taken the conversation off track a little. I was commenting on the few sentences in your original post about electing legislators and rogue judges. Fun conversation, though.

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  23. Wow!! This post stirred up a hornet’s nest :)!! I’m with you 100% on this issue. It irritates me when logical, thinking conservatives are marginalized as “radical” when, as you point out what we believe is pretty main stream. It is the media that is a part of the radical left and tries to paint us as the radicals.

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  24. Perhaps I need some definitions, here.

    By “radical left” do you mean people with the following beliefs:

    *That we ought not pollute our air, ground or water, as a matter of personal responsibility and morality, as well as corporate responsibility and morality?

    *That gov’t has a right and responsibility to protect us from the pollution of those who’d act irresponsibly?

    *That gov’t ought not be so militarily adventurous, taking part in wars around the globe, placing our soldiers in nations around the globe?

    *That we ought to spend our money responsibly not frivolously, and if a program that costs $1 million, shows that it ultimately saves taxpayers $2 million, we should invest in that program, as a matter of fiscal responsibility if nothing else?

    *That free speech should be guarded and respected?

    *That attacking nations unprovoked and disregarding our own war crimes laws is not acceptable behavior?

    Is that the radical left?

    Because I’m often called radical left for exactly these reasons, even though I think the evidence shows these are pretty mainstream thoughts.

    Hi Dan – I’ll stick with the definition implicit in the original post: If you think mainstream views are the radical right, then you must be on the radical left. My guess is that those who think you are in the radical left would characterize their reasons for doing so differently than you did above. Or maybe not. I don’t find it productive to argue other people’s positions – especially without all the facts.

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  25. Frankly, Dan, there’s a bit more to your list that it implies. For example, and this is the most common from the left, the idea that conservatives love big business and care nothing for the poor. Conservatives wish to protect big business from over-regulation, over taxation, and over anything that inhibits it’s purpose, which is to be profitable and successful which has an incredibly positive impact on society and it’s people and economy. Conservatives care every bit as much about the poor if not more so. When business is booming, there are fewer poor because more are working. Successful and expanding business helps the poor better than taxing the hell out of those very businesses and their owners. Conservatives believe that real charity comes from each individual in direct donations to the charity or poor person of one’s choosing, not through force by stealing money legislatively and re-distributing it to anyone based on numbers rather than true need.

    So, your list, which is basically a list of platitudes, is damning of conservatives by it’s implication that we’re not down with the basic concepts, but the actual implementation of strategies to resolve the issues, as well as how they are prioritized is the real difference between the camps. On that note, the left is quite buffoonish on each of those points.

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  26. My point is not that those on the Right are deserving of the term “radical.” My point is that the Right does the same thing to the Left on many of their mainstream points. As Marshall just demonstrated.

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  27. 1. When one is opposed to the targeting of civilians, and thus condemns the 9/11 attacks AND Hiroshima, one is accused of being a radical lefty who would stand by and do nothing to stop the death of your fellow citizens.

    2. When one is opposed to pollution and in favor of personal responsibility, and therefore advocates that we have higher CAFE standards for our cars or that we have policies that encourage biking, walking, mass transportation and discourage cars, one is call a radical Lefty and a socialist.

    Are those the sorts of examples you want?

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  28. Yes, thank you. And now here’s why it’s radical:

    9/11 and Hiroshima don’t compare. 9/11 and Pearl Harbor do. Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima don’t compare, either. We can lament the bombing of a civilian target as in the Hiroshima example, but to simply condemn it without an examination of the facts surrounding the decision to do it is what makes you radical. 9/11 and Pearl Harbor were actions by a malevolent force. One would not be simply radical, but insane to think otherwise. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were against a malevolent force and one would have to be radical to dismiss the distinction. As I’ve said, you can argue and debate the necessity of Hiroshima, but to equate it to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor is what makes you radical.

    I don’t know that you could find anyone who is in favor of pollution, since everyone suffers as a result of it, but the means by which one intends to reduce or eliminate it is what makes you radical. Market forces can, and most likely will if left alone, reduce pollution. But if we tried to rush it a bit, it must be done with regard to the impact of such actions on the economy, the job situation and other factors. Environmentalists don’t much care about those things and believe they are insignificant compared to the effects of pollution. And yes, discouraging the use of cars and forcing (you like to say “encourage”, but it needs to be forced to make people give up their cars) the use of mass transit IS radical. The only encouragement that makes sense is to encourage change to how industries do their thing, if it’s possible at all. You can boycott industries that pollute if you want. Encourage others to do so as well. If there is enough, the corps will change. Some are in the process of changing on their own due to their own concerns about being responsible. These are “mainstream” ways of effecting change, but increased regulations that stifle the economy and the productivity of corporations that employ citizens is radical.

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  29. “The only encouragement that makes sense is to encourage change to how industries do their thing, if it’s possible at all. You can boycott industries that pollute if you want.”

    You are free to think thusly, of course. I don’t find anything radical at all about expecting people and corporations to behave responsibly. You wouldn’t want me dumping my garbage in your backyard (never mind that my garbage isn’t even toxic). I am merely saying that I expect people not to dump their toxic garbage in my backyard, or in our common air. It’s not “their” air in which to dump.

    I don’t think this sort of thinking is out of the mainstream at all. I don’t think encouraging (and yes, encouraging is the correct word) less driving through public policy is that radical. In fact, right now, we do just the opposite. We encourage driving at irresponsible speeds and in irresponsible amounts by our public policy.

    We can and do one or the other (encourage or discourage more driving/more pollution) by our policies. I don’t think it out of the mainstream (ie, “radical”) at all to vote for discouraging more pollution.

    And I think it radical in the extreme today to think that targeting civilians (a la Hiroshima) is okay. I think you are WAY “radical” on that point, Marshall. I could be wrong. I don’t think so. Not according to the latest polls I’ve seen.

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    1. “And I think it radical in the extreme today to think that targeting civilians (a la Hiroshima) is okay. I think you are WAY “radical” on that point, Marshall. I could be wrong. I don’t think so. Not according to the latest polls I’ve seen.”

      You think this because no one today is at total war with their adversary. There are a few fringe revisionist historians who agree with you. Their views are not mainstream, and regardless of what polls tell you, the majority of people alive are fairly ignorant of World War 2 history and military theory, thus their views are based in ignorance and can (and should) be ignored. Yes, you are wrong. The distance between a soldier and a civilian in total war is merely the distance between them and the front line. When civilians are picking pine needles to ferment into a very poor substitute for gasoline to use in kamikaze attacks against their enemies they are actively part of the war effort, and thus legitimate targets to attack and end that war effort. As the Japanese say, Wakamirasu ka?

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  30. Dan,

    The CAFE atandards are a significant factor that has caused the proliferation of trucks and SUV’s, which, according to the left are the primary cause of pollution. Ethanol, is a joke to everybody but the farmers and people who own ethanol plants. Mass transit does not lower pollution, and ends up requiring a huge government subsidy, which could be used for other things that actually work. (or just give it back to the taxpayers)

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  31. 1. CAFE standards assertion: you have a source?
    2. Most environmentalists in my circles are highly critical of ethanol as a solution.
    3. If we succeed in changing our policies from one that encourages the individual auto to one that discourages the individual auto, mass transit would be one key in lowering pollution.

    For the record, I’m all for some capitalist solutions. For one thing, for capitalism to work well, prices must reflect True Costs. Our gas policies have the effect of making gas artificially cheap. If True Costs were factored in, gas would cost closer to $5-15/gallon and the Free Market would have the effect of reducing driving. IF we allow prices to reflect True Costs.

    Sources for True Costs of Gasoline can be found
    here, for one place. Or just google, “true costs gas.”

    But I’m off-topic.

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  32. Dan,

    My source is the CAFE regulations themselves. Cars hels to a higher standard than trucks. Therefore auto makers are encouraged to reclassify more vehicles as trucks (minivans, SUV’s) becasue they will not affect the CAFE average. Therefore car makers can build what the market wants, build it in a way that classifies it as a truck, and keep their CAFE average lower.

    As to mass transit: First you would need to restructure the entire suburban/urbanmix in most cities. Second, as long as the left insists on light rail (as they are here, with subsidies that make gas look like a bargain) as a solution rather than making the highway system more efficient at handling current and projected traffic volumes, we will never see improvement.

    Finally, as soon as the envoronmental movement will get serious about banning the real issues (cows and volcanoes) this will continue to be a futile discussion.

    I’m off topic to, sorry.

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  33. Actually, I think you guys are ON topic. These issues, and the manner with which they are dealt, is an indication of radical postures. As I stated, everyone wants a cleaner environment, but if industries are belching fumes as a part of what it is they produce, to simply make them stop requires having a way of dealing with the employees that might be out of work in the meantime, the other businesses with which they deal that will be adversely affected, and other things along those lines. The question is HOW do we reduce the emissions in a manner that will satisfy our environmental goals WITHOUT destroying the economy or businesses that employ thousands (at least) at the same time.

    I will say that mass transit is a radical idea when placed against the individual’s desire to move about as one chooses. It’s not for you to say that anyone should give up their private means of transportation, so to do so would require force and that’s very radical.

    Radical lefty environmentalists played a large part in the costs of fuel as different parts of the country demanded unique blends for which added expense was incurred to produce.

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    1. Your worldview can only support “rights” in the sense of whatever the group in power gives you, which renders them meaningless in any universal sense.

      And I’m guessing your “rights” of women are directed at the legal right to crush and dismember their unwanted children in utero (for now . . . Peter Singer is working on the right to kill them outside the womb).

      And I’m guessing your “rights” for homosexuals include the oxymoronic right to a same-sex union of a man and a woman.

      Not sure what you mean by religious minorities . . . I support religious freedom for all.

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      1. Well consider this, is it okay to abort a child if it’s threatening the life of the mother? Or if it is a rape case? If that is murder surely couldn’t it be considered murder to turn down a date if it might lead to conception? Or to turn down extramarital sex (hopefully we can agree on this being immoral)?
        It is bad to restrict the writes of homosexuals to be with who they love, I support it (as long as any STDs (Why did god create STDs anyway, surely it is evil to allow someone to rape a woman well having HIV and then having it passed on to the child)) are announced before any relationship (part of normal law as I understand it).
        The radical right often does not you just have to look to some of the leaders of the radical right such as Ann Coulter:
        “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”

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      2. Well consider this, is it okay to abort a child if it’s threatening the life of the mother?

        Yes, that is consistent with the pro-life ethic. I don’t know any pro-lifers who disagree.

        Or if it is a rape case?

        Wow, you must be super-duper pro-capital punishment. The death penalty for the innocent child? Ouch! Hey, if you want to entertain the death penalty for the rapist I’d consider that.

        If that is murder surely couldn’t it be considered murder to turn down a date if it might lead to conception? Or to turn down extramarital sex (hopefully we can agree on this being immoral)?

        Are you equating not creating a human being with destroying a human being? That doesn’t compute.

        It is bad to restrict the writes of homosexuals to be with who they love, I support it

        That’s a straw man. I’m not restricting their rights of association in any way. I’m saying the gov’t has no need to regulate their relationships.

        (as long as any STDs (Why did god create STDs anyway, surely it is evil to allow someone to rape a woman well having HIV and then having it passed on to the child)) are announced before any relationship (part of normal law as I understand it).

        They often don’t know they have the STDs, especially with the rampant promiscuity of many gays. And how do you think you can enforce that?

        The radical right often does not you just have to look to some of the leaders of the radical right such as Ann Coulter:
        “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”

        Yeah, because there is no way she was using hyperbole, right? I assume Ann knows that you can’t force anyone to convert to Christianity.

        Like

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