W AWOL from the TANG, but the military loves him. Hmmmm.

Expect plenty of disagreement. Just keep it civil.
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Patrick M
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Postby Patrick M » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:37 pm

I wasn't being sarcastic; I think W and Ashcroft are really fundamentalist Christians. It's not artifice. W is too simple to put on that kind of act, and Ashcroft is just plain nuts.

http://www.snopes.com/critters/gnus/calico.htm
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 109802.DTL

However, if you asked me if I think Rove plays up the religious angle to cater to the religious right...absolutely.
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Postby Rspaight » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:10 am

Yes, Ashcroft is definitely on the other side of the "rational" fence. I mean, here's a guy that has himself "anointed" in a weird ritual before assuming a new job.

http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/electi ... .121,.html

And he's protecting us from "Islamists." Hoo boy.

And as Patrick's montage indicated, W's "born again" status is definitely a big deal to him and his fans. The whole "I didn't ask my father what to do about Iraq, even though he had actually fought a war against Iraq, I asked a 'higher father'" bit from the Woodward book was revealing.

Ryan
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Postby Dob » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:48 am

Patrick M wrote:I wasn't being sarcastic; I think W and Ashcroft are really fundamentalist Christians. It's not artifice.

It probably isn't artifice, in the sense that they're secretly disciples of Satan or some such. Perhaps in their confused minds they believe that they really are "walking the walk."

But allow me to try and clear up some prejudices and misconceptions, without turning this into a religious thread.

The term "fundamentalist" has become commonly used (by the media, especially) to refer to any religious group that is consided to hold radical, even violent views. For example, Islamic fundamentalists have been associated with acts of terrorism. And Christian fundamentalists have been associated with bombing abortion clinics, despising rational thought, misogynist behavior, condemnation of any other faith, religion, or lifestyle, and espousing an "end justifies the means" philosophy...best summed up by the phrase "full of hate."

The Christian view is that a "fundamentalist" is someone who strives for a literal interpretation of the Bible, whenever possible -- similar to those who take a "fundamentalist" view of the constitution. Just as those scholars believe that the framers of the constitution "said what they meant, and meant what they said," fundamentalist Christians treat the teachings of Jesus in the same way.

A true fundamentalist tries to live his life by the literal principles and teachings of Jesus...best summed up by the phrase "full of love." He wouldn't be a lying, vengeful, warmongering, power-hungry politician. Not that I'm trying to judge anyone. :)
Dob
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Postby Patrick M » Sat Sep 11, 2004 12:13 pm

I was thinking along the lines of a funamentalist being a creationist, etc. Along those lines, I believe Ashcroft has said he believes in creationism and W has said he believes "the jury's out" on evolution.
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Postby Rspaight » Sat Sep 11, 2004 5:18 pm

Same here -- when I hear "fundamentalist Christian," it means someone who believes the Bible is literal history as opposed to metaphor or illustration. So, an anthropomorphic God really ripped a rib out of Adam and made a woman named Eve who really got tempted by a snake who was really Satan and so on and so forth.

What someone *does* with that belief is beyond that definition, at least for me.

FWIW, my handy AP Stylebook and Libel Manual says about "fundamentalist":

The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernst controversy within Protestantism. In recent years, however, fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups that stress strict, literal interpretations of Scripture and separation from other Christians.

In general, do not use fundamentalist unless a group applies the word to itself.


Ryan
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Postby Dob » Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:30 pm

PatrickM wrote:I was thinking along the lines of a funamentalist being a creationist...

Rspaight wrote:Same here -- when I hear "fundamentalist Christian," it means someone who believes the Bible is literal history as opposed to metaphor or illustration. So, an anthropomorphic God really ripped a rib out of Adam and made a woman named Eve who really got tempted by a snake who was really Satan and so on and so forth.

Yes...those beliefs are definitely a part of fundamentalism.
Dob

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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:13 am

Dob wrote:Yes...those beliefs are definitely a part of fundamentalism.


You see, this is why I think they have now come up with "Islamist" (surely a word created by American news people in the past year because I had never heard it before). Previously, the same "Islamists" were known as "fundamentalist Muslims". This was (pre 9-11) used to describe either certain terrorists or the mullah clerics in either Iran or associated with the Taliban. Basically, "nutjobs". Well, in the US, evangelicals are often described as "fundamentalist Christians" (basically "nutjobs" to those of us who aren't). I think by creating "Islamist" you now have a new word soley dedicated to Muslim crazies that excludes Christian crazies. Because if you were to take a close look at many of Ashcroft's beliefs and what he would hope to institute as Attorney General given the opportunity (school prayer, no abortion, no stem cell research, probably no football on Sunday's!!), he's about as rigid as the Taliban.

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Postby Rspaight » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:52 am

Personally, I try to avoid equating "fundamentalist" and "nutjob" if I can help it. I find "extremist" works well for the nutjobs.

The distinction? Someone who has severe, literal religious beliefs is a fundamentalist. Some who wants to force everyone else to share his or her severe, literal religious beliefs is an extremist, or nutjob.

I tend to agree with Cliff that "Islamist" has gained in popularity (I don't know how long it has actually existed) to avoid the unpleasant task of comparing the views of extremist Muslims and extremist Christians.

Ryan
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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:40 am

Rspaight wrote:Personally, I try to avoid equating "fundamentalist" and "nutjob" if I can help it. I find "extremist" works well for the nutjobs.

The distinction? Someone who has severe, literal religious beliefs is a fundamentalist. Some who wants to force everyone else to share his or her severe, literal religious beliefs is an extremist, or nutjob.

Ryan


Ryan makes a good point and I should stand corrected. There are "extremists" of several religions who are anything but "nutjobs", in that they practice the extreme lifestyle themselves without forcing it upon anyone else.

People like Ashcroft, however, are in positions where they can make it thus and so for other people. Bush, while still trying to define his born-again position, knows that he can make great political gains by appeasing those who are "nutjobs" (and thus that makes him as fundamentalist as Ashcroft, given his Presidential power to evoke change).

Cliff

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Postby Dob » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:55 am

Gee Oh Are Tea wrote:...if you were to take a close look at many of Ashcroft's beliefs and what he would hope to institute as Attorney General given the opportunity (school prayer, no abortion, no stem cell research, probably no football on Sunday's!!), he's about as rigid as the Taliban.

Yes, the Taliban is "rigid" in their beliefs. But there are also rigid Jews, Catholics, Democrats, and Liberals. It's not something that's confined to the "right wing" or to Muslims.

It's easy to accuse someone as being rigid if they aggressively push beliefs that are contrary to your own. If they push beliefs that are the same as your own, however, you tend to think of them as commendably "clear thinkers" and as someone who should probably run for office. It's tough to say "Hey, I agree with you, but you're pushing this too far."

And thank goodness that America was founded as a constitutional republic, not a democracy (as is commonly believed). For those of you that are a bit fuzzy on the difference, a CR has inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by a majority vote. Democracy, however, is "majority rules" (which can quickly deteriorate into "mob rules"). The best definiton of democracy that I've ever heard is "two wolves and a sheep voting on 'what's for dinner'."

So, even if Mr. Ashcroft's views are supported by a majority of voters, the constitution and the bill of rights will stop them from infringing on our inalienable rights (hopefully).
Dob

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Postby Dob » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:01 am

Gee Oh Are Tea wrote:There are "extremists" of several religions who are anything but "nutjobs", in that they practice the extreme lifestyle themselves without forcing it upon anyone else.

Jehovan's Witnesses can be classified as "extreme". And although they do go door to door, they don't use force. They seem to be decent people and I certainly wouldn't be "afraid" if they moved in next door to me.
Dob

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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:27 am

Dob wrote:Yes, the Taliban is "rigid" in their beliefs. But there are also rigid Jews, Catholics, Democrats, and Liberals. It's not something that's confined to the "right wing" or to Muslims.


Actually, you're saying precisely the ame thing as me (perhaps you've articulated it better). I use Muslims and the Taliban as examples, not because I'm singling them out, but because in the US these days they are seen as the "religious bogeymen" of the world, when in fact all of the above groups practice a form of religious extremism (I'll leave out political beliefs).

Here in Toronto, we have a sizable Muslim minority (actually we're really a city of many sizable minority groups). It's no big deal to see women wearing hijab (headscarf) or even a burqa (only the eyes showing). But we also have streets in Orthodox Jewish areas that are deserted on Saturdays, Pentecostal churches where people speak in tongues (I've seen it myself at a friend's church), etc. All of these people are different from me and I find none of them harmful.

Now, if we had an Orthodox Jewish mayor who passed a law then that outlawed driving on a Saturday, I'd be concerned. But this suggestion is proposterous, so I'm not concerned. However, in the US, where the sitting President can nominate Supreme Court judges of his chosen religious persuation, then it much more threatening. And really, outside of some liberal centres on the two coasts, would people really flinch in the US if abortion rights were curtailed or school prayer forced upon them? As a non-resident of the US, my views are only formed by what I see (and not where I live) but it appears to me that most Americans accept that Christianity is the foundation of the nations and "others" can stuff it if they don't like. Thankfully, you have a constitution or laws that protect minority rights. But I don't think your everyday American would be concerned if those rights were taken away (just as there is very little fuss over the human rights violations at Guantanimo, given the right spin).

We in Canada knew we'd seen it all when a Canadian citizen was on his way back from India to Canada via Chicago. He was detained in Chicago as a potential terrorist and then sent back to India, his place of birth. He then flew directly back to Canada. Do you think most Americans would care about something like this? I don't think so because it's being done in the name of "homeland protection".

Cliff

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Postby Dob » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:18 pm

Gee Oh Are Tea wrote:But I don't think your everyday American would be concerned if those rights were taken away (just as there is very little fuss over the human rights violations at Guantanimo, given the right spin)...Do you think most Americans would care about something like this? I don't think so because it's being done in the name of "homeland protection".

Giving up basic rights that protect freedom in exchange for security is a very bad trade. And it's a trade that's almost impossible to "take back" later. Our elected officials, the ones that want to "temporarily suspend" these rights "under certain circumstances" say "Just trust us. We won't abuse this power."

Oh man, they have got to be kidding. Wait, it's worse than kidding -- it's actually a cruel taunt...like Lucy promising Charlie Brown that, after pulling the football away a hundred times, this time she'll let him kick it.

At the close of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked by the anxious public what sort of government had been chosen. He replied "A republic," and then he added something which may have puzzled many -- "if you can keep it."

I'd very much like to keep it, thank you.
Dob

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Postby Rspaight » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:57 pm

And thank goodness that America was founded as a constitutional republic, not a democracy (as is commonly believed). For those of you that are a bit fuzzy on the difference, a CR has inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by a majority vote. Democracy, however, is "majority rules" (which can quickly deteriorate into "mob rules"). The best definiton of democracy that I've ever heard is "two wolves and a sheep voting on 'what's for dinner'."


This can't be stressed enough. It's likely that many if not most Americans are completely unaware of it, and would probably in favor of changing it if they were.

BTW, Cliff, my wife and I had a short vacation in Toronto earlier in the year and loved it. Nice city you've got there.

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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:10 pm

Rspaight wrote:

BTW, Cliff, my wife and I had a short vacation in Toronto earlier in the year and loved it. Nice city you've got there.

Ryan


Ryan, Glad you enjoyed it here. It's not perfect but it suffices.

It's funny because over on SH.tv I've often stated that I've travelled quite a bit throughout the world and without exception, as individuals, no one is nicer than Americans (on their own soil). You generally get the best service, people are helpful, they want to know about where you're from. My heritage is originally from India but I tend to look more Middle Eastern. I have crossed the US border several times since 9-11 and I've never been hassled once by the border patrol.

So it amuses me a bit that some people and many Gorts at SH.tv think I'm so anti-American because I despise the current Administration (and some previous ones) yet I've stated that I love the actual people that live there.

Cliff