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Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 76
Condoning Atheism.Page 4 of 25    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)

That's why I learned to avoid political discussions with subjects of crowns.

Anyone from the UK can correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe the Queen in England is more of a figurehead than anything else at this point. Parliament makes the laws there, just as Congress does here. In fact, it's been like that for a long time. When Elizabeth I was queen, everything she did, every law she wanted passed, every change she wanted made, anything like that had to be OK'd by Parliament and her advisers. They have the same sort of representative democracy that we do.
 Happily Ever...maybe
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 77
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/15/2009 7:54:18 PM
OP, I wholeheartedly applaud you for endorsing your daughter's first steps into finding her place in the world. When I was 10 I first became an atheist (I was a precocious and inquisitive child), after seeing Erik von Daniken's "In Search of Ancient Astronauts", and deciding that his ideas made a lot more sense to me than anything I'd heard so far in a Catholic school or church. Of course most of his theories have since been discredited, but still, it helped make me see it was alright to question, and set me on a path. My mother, who was a regular church goer, to her ever lasting credit always stuck up for my right to my own beliefs, even if they didn't coincide with hers or many others. Including a Franciscan priest she once told flat out that, "as long as I wasn't a problem in class I was entitled to my opinion." I've encountered dismissal, hatred and plain old prejudice all my life because of that atheism though, because so many people fear it. Look up members of the US Congress and their affiliations; even today you won't find a self avowed atheist in that membership. Freedom of religion is all well and good usually, as long as you don't check the "none of the above" box.

I won't join into the whole debate on the validity of religion here. Just know this however, from someone who has been an atheist since he first learned to reason, to help you encourage your daughter regardless of which direction she heads off in. People who are atheists aren't "people who believe in nothing." Atheists have very strong belief systems, in science, and reason, and the human spirit, just not in some divine being who watches over the human race. For me at least, what that means most of all is that life doesn't give people meaning, but rather people give life meaning. As Carl Sagan once said, "The universe is neither malevolent or benign, merely indifferent."
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 78
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/15/2009 8:53:22 PM
Sorry, but I fail to see what homosexuality, child molesters & the like have to do with a belief in God. Organized religion, and strict adherence to such, are apart from the belief in a higher power, aren't they? Isn't that what this topic is about?
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 79
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 8:03:59 AM
I seriously don't have the time to look at everything that has transpired on this thread but in reading snippets and more closely reading the OP and first couple of reposts I have this tool for you if you choose to try to get the harangue to die down more quickly than it eventually will.

These people love your daughter so it is difficult to just brush them off, tell them to f off or whatever. From their standpoint, perhaps you should remind them that whether your daughter practiced Christianity or Judaism from the cradle, there would come a time in her life when she would have to choose if deep down in her heart she really believed what she was taught. The fact that absolutely every person brought up in a religion undergoes this process at some point is something that most people forget if the kid goes to church, synagogue or mosque and is going through the motions.

You have also not told her that it is okay to be an Atheist in any way other than to tell her that whoever she chooses to be is okay, and that's the message we want to give our children. God gave us free will, which includes deciding whether we believe in Him. I wouldn't be doing myself, God or my kids a service if I tried to make them believe something they did not. If I tried to stop them from asking the questions that I logical person does and should ask and from that point deciding whether they wanted to make that leap of faith.

I didn't go to church for 13 years, didn't make me less or more Christian than I am today. When I began attending as an adult, it was largely because of my children and really only later did I find myself a more intentful person I think is the best way to describe it. It was more than something I just did every Sunday although I think I always tried to employ the good teachings about Christianity when I thought little about religion.

I think if I were in your shoes I would have told her that it was okay for her to not believe in God just as you hope she keeps an open mind and considers what she learns in the future about other people and the way they embrace spirituality to entertain the possibility that there is a God. That imo isn't advocating atheism but giving your daughter what she needs from you.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 80
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 8:05:22 AM

I fear the day that Willie's mug shows up in our change and on our $20 bill. It'll destroy the economy! All the chicks who think he's so hot will be hoarding all their cash.

Economies are strengthened by savings ergo if they can keep those notes in the bank, Willie will be a really good thing, lol.

Nobody is saying homosexuals have to sit in the back of the bus. Nobody is denying them the vote. Nobody is trying to sell them, or beat them and force them into slavery. Etc.

And yet, I suspect that millions of heterosexuals, if they were denied marriage, would have been entirely pissed at being forced to live in sin if they could not cohabitate within the confines of a religiously and secularly recognized union, in daily living not from a legal standpoint, and the legal issues remain very sticky even when people adequately document who they want making decisions for them, etc.

Banning same sex marriage will not hold up when it is brought before the Supreme Court, if the premise were Constitutional, whites and blacks would still not be able to marry, and it really wasn't that long ago that we nixed that. After it works its way through the court system, people will learn to live with it, just as they have other issues they don't agree with. Now, they can protest gay marriage by hanging out at the Court houses and churches but that hasn't been all that effective at curbing unwanted pregnancies.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 81
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 11:42:11 AM

Men and women have been married as far back as recorded history.

And tomorrow a law could be passed that no one could marry, period, I bet again, people would be pissed that hold marriage in high esteem whether their attitudes come from a religious perspective or not.
Joined: 8/26/2009
Msg: 82
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a lesson in American history... and clarifying socialism
Posted: 11/16/2009 1:30:57 PM
ouch!!! , haha. Your butting heads with the wrong woman about history.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 83
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 4:53:58 PM

The sodomites of the world can get their benefits without intruding upon the institution of marriage ...

So is it okay for lesbians to marry then?
Joined: 1/25/2009
Msg: 84
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 6:14:50 PM
Why does there have to be God? and why is the Flying Spagetti Monster any less real then so called God?
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 85
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 6:40:42 PM
Marriage and laws regarding such came about as a way to ensure procreation, and property rights, as wives were considered property. Surely, there is nothing wrong with the changes that society has made! The fact that two people, man & woman, are unable, or even unwilling to procreate doesn't make them ineligible for marriage, so that may not be a valid argument against same sex marriage. Truth is, as far as legality, it boils down to money, as do most major changes that require changes in statute. Truth is, much of the arguments based on allowing same sex marriage are also based on money, insurance coverage, tax status, etc. Valid "slippery slope" arguments could ensue as well. For example, as the ONLY group of people who DUE TO their sexual orientation, engage in the behavior most risky as far as contracting aids, are homosexual men, insurance companies could refuse to cover their treatment. It may seem ridiculous, but it could well end up a valid legal argument. The arguments presented thus far do not address the money issue. Arguments based on religious beliefs are no more or less effective than those based on personal feelings due to upbringing aside from religion, either.

In any case, what does any of this have to do with Atheism?!?! There are plenty of homosexual, as well as heterosexual Christians, who believe that God loves everyone, just as HE made them. If YOUR God doesn't believe that Muslims, or Catholics, etc., are deserving, does that mean no one else gets into heaven? or that no one else deserves to marry? Seems a bit ridiculous, at best, and very unchristian, if you ask me. Lest we not forget, Jesus consorted with sinners, and promoted "love thy neighbor as thyself" as second only to loving God. He also said "judge not". Belief in the word of God is no argument against those who don't believe as you do, any more than choosing to disbelieve results from not acting in accordance with those who make one feel as if they have 'sinned" for living a lifestyle outside of the norm. It is a conscious choice, but unless it is made after a personal study of what God is, rather than religious organizations, is about, it is no more intelligent than any opinion based on personal experience without thought.
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 86
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Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 7:55:50 PM
I love you, conscioussoul, and you know it, but the reason same sex marriage is not yet legal in most states IS because of money & politics, NOT the fundamentalists. This country is more liberal than ever, generally speaking.

Everyone argues based on feelings & personal experience, but laws are enacted to either produce income or save money. Our officials are elected, and one would do well to take a look at their historical economic behaviors prior to voting. Our president is a Keynesian, yet many who are disappointed with his intervention programs voted for him on the basis of his "youth" and Liberal" nature, all the while ignoring his economic stance. Long has there existed a political lobby advocating medical care for the elderly based on ability to pay, yet we complain about the inability of our seniors to care for their own medical needs given the current government structured intervention. One can say that they believe anything, but unless you support those who act in such a manner to actually pursue it, you are just as responsible for the failure to enact & support your beliefs. The inability to recognize that any change is money driven in a capitalistic society leads to that failure, and blaming it on religion, or anything else, is simply a copout, if you ask me. Zealots are not the majority, and they don't run the country, and the only religious group I know of that votes as a bloc is the Hasidom (yes, they are quite powerful within their influential areas). The truth is, neither conservatives nor liberals have their basis in religious beliefs, but rather the almighty dollar.

As for socialized medicine, I am convinced that there are changes to be made, but I am undecided as to the specifics. There are far too many noncitizens who travel to this country for adequate care, and I personally have known residents of Massachusetts who, suffering from serious health problems, have relocated.

So again, I will say: "what does this have to do with Atheism, the topic of the original post?"
Joined: 5/16/2006
Msg: 87
Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/16/2009 11:33:13 PM

I have tried to discuss this with family and close friends, but ended up bombarded by everyone from my mother in law from from the teacher to her estranged bio-father on how im poisioning her by telling her it is ok tio be an atheist.

The only person you should be discussing this with is the girl's father (estranged, or not), everyone else should keep their nose out.
Joined: 7/2/2008
Msg: 88
a lesson in American history... and clarifying socialism
Posted: 11/17/2009 1:28:35 AM
Sorry, I'm the one who got communist mixed up with socialist and I think openheart was going off of that. I'm kinda still confused because there was outcry against 'commies' in about the 1960's and I learned that most of accused for supporting communism were actually supporting socialism. I think I read once that Cuba was communist but not actually communist but socialist.

I don't bother to look up to the two terms to find the difference and didn't feel it necissary for this thread. I just go on bits and pieces that I heard or read. So the definition I have (without looking it up, just from the top of my head)

Communism - when one person, a dictator, tries to run an entire country.

Socialism - when a contry's government has control of all available resources and tries to divide all available resources (or the GDP) between all people, thereby limitting or eliminating the 3 social classes (middle, wealthy, poor). There usually are a lot of social programs run by the government to help the poor or those who them became poor (as the wealthy lost of lot of it's wealth).

If the definitions I have are even remotely true then I can see why a lot of people got it mixed up, including with Cuba (and Russia? I thought that communist at one point but it was called a 'Socialist Republic').

I brought up capitalism for America because that thwarts any type of want for a socialism regime here. We like the term 'moberly upwards' and like to think anyone can go from poor to rich either at the drop of hat or through hard work. It gives 'hard working americans' something to look farward too.... and also somebody to scapegoat (the poor and any type of social welfare programs for them). Also the rich likes any chance of getting richer and keeping their wealth - so while socialism may benefit the poor, it would be a detriment to the rich. Maybe that's why many socialist supporters in the 60's were called 'commies' before.
Joined: 7/12/2009
Msg: 89
Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/17/2009 2:09:07 AM
Hmmmm... so who's seen Zeitgeist?
Joined: 7/2/2008
Msg: 90
Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/17/2009 2:25:31 AM
I am also a supporter of those policies in government/laws of the land that "forces" inclusion because their existence make it more difficult to affect another with your racist/sexist/religious views.
Totally agree. Those who oppose it usually site ‘on the basis of merit’ but Affirmative Action laws came about because many POC and women weren’t getting passed on the basis of merit because of skin color and gender (being a woman) or some other slight. But even that has some issues I’m forced to consider – like the case with the firefighters. Several firefighters took test to become fire chiefs (I think). 11 people passed and all but one were white. I think 1 Latino passed. The test was scapped because it was deemed unfair to blacks and other POC who did not pass the test. Whites said it was unfair – if they (POC) can’t pass then surely it’s about their intellectual and academic ability, not because the test was unfair based on race. I think this case is ongoing but so far I think the whites have a point. However, I know the SAT has been considered racially and class bias and I agree with that. So maybe the test was bias. It’s hard to tell since I don’t know what specific questions were on the test. The questions should have been reviewed thoroughly before scapping the entire test as unfair.

There are many who see political correctness as a bad thing...I am not one of them. Being politically correct is all about ensuring that as a society we respect others. Without PCness, my son might be called a n*gger and sorry, I can't stand for that. Without PCness, a gay man might be called a f*ggot, I can't stand for that either. PCness teaches acceptance and tolerance of that which differs from us...that is not a bad thing at all. Has it gone too far? Nope...but as with all things, it can get distorted and abused by "man" ...the "premise" is good...the application may need some work.
Political correctness... well gee golly whiz what I can I say about that???

No comment.
I totally understand and agree with the parts in bold and take no issue with it. But I know that I use very un-pc terms to make a point or to make a mocking commentary of many things – and that has apparently been an issue on the board (I was recently accused by a mod of ‘race-baiting’ which even tho I may want to deny – it’s probably true). There have been complaints I’m told… and probably a bit of jealousy because I do tend to do that (making un-pc mocking commentary) rather well IMHO and take certain liberties with being up-pc because I am black. Not that it’s fair, only that I tend to do it and will continue to do it (tho less on the board). So to admit to being un-pc when I support PC correctness makes me hypocrite. OK, I’m over being a hypocrite by any means; but that’s why I said ‘no comment’ and gave a laugh.

But your point Sallinthesoul may be that what one does or says in their personal life or home is not the deal – but the deal being what you do or say in government or in business (where people have the authority to hire, fire, give loans, educate, incarcerate, rent out, etc) – that makes all the difference and where Political Correctness has all the more meaning. Here’s the rub with that – many people (whites especially) bring their discrimination and prejudices from the home and into government and business. I know that just because I use 'nigg@r' or the term ‘half-breeds’ or ‘f@ggot’ or any other offensive term in my personal life, there is no place for hearing or being subjected to that type of offensive commentary and terms in government or in business where people are discriminated against daily and often. I can usually curtail that the door. But many people do not and it starts in the home and makes its way into government and business - leading to discrimination.

Thanks for sending me a note on it and I didn’t mean to avoid this for discussion. I was just trying to avoid calling myself the hypocrite I’m sure to be

Hmmmm... so who's seen Zeitgeist?
I have. Loved it. Liked 1 better than 2 but 2 was good.
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 91
Condoning Atheism.
Posted: 11/17/2009 4:35:54 AM
Since we have taken a political turn, here is a good C and P on Liberalism:

This lawyer, himself recipient of an Honorary Degree, is obviously opinionated, but to say what he does, in a commencement address a couple of weeks ago, in front of a class of Texas A & M graduates, and especially the faculty, is amazing. I would have loved to have been there just to see the faculty reaction.

Commencement Address (Texas A&M). Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 0432 +0000 This should be considered must-reading for every adult in North America. It is extremely rare that anyone speaks the truth like this at any College or High School Commencement Address.

Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas AGGIE (Texas A&M), and now a nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta. His commencement address to the graduates of this year's A&M class is far different from what either the students or the faculty expected. His views are thought provoking:

"I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in.

Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast... including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then, compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. >From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." >From the Liberals you will hear references to groups -- The Blacks, the Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.

Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives, I among them I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job!

You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, but in your earnings.

Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist, but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent or tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million- dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease its share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

First is that favorite buzz word of the media and academia: Diversity! You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes, it's that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.

Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.

You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky. It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."

That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims o f discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S. O. B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.

The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.

Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it. The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and a million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas , or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my PhD. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth So, get over it.

Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

* You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

* When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

* Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the country. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.

* Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

* Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

* Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

* Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

* Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,

"1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.

2. Use wisely your power of choice.

3. Go the extra mile .. drive home in the dark.

Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can. Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.

Class dismissed"
Joined: 7/2/2008
Msg: 92
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 8:19:17 AM
Can some of the backlash and resistance to homosexuality and marriages be based on that heterosexuals consider themselves and their sexuality superior to homosexuals and their sexuality? I did not consider this and thought the resistance was totally political or religious (people taking a moral high ground). Not finacial because if that were true then it would be a case for homosexual marriage - since it adds to the booming economy of weddings (and even divorces).

This idea of heterosexual superiority was presented on another forum and it bears some consideration. White-on-white marriage was at one point looked upon as being superior to black marriage and a white who married a black therefore 'lowered' himself from his privilege position as a white.

Homosexuality is considered a flaw. I try to choose my words carefully for some subjects because I think it makes the utmost difference in term and definition, so I chose 'anomaly' instead of 'flaw' or 'being wrong' because anomalies aren't always about flaws. It's just means something different and out of the ordinary. But if homosexuality is considered a flaw, then it is negated and therefor less than heterosexuality. You can definitely see that in how homosexual men are treated. They have lost their 'manhood' and most specifically their masculinity. They become 'sissies' or 'pu$$ies' which means they have become feminized - and to many being a woman is a lot less superior (or inferior) to being a man. In Christian and religious heirachy, man is 2nd to god, man is head of household, man makes the decisions, man rules over his family. A feminized or homosexual man takes a woman's role. And lesbians are good only if their lesbianism can be perverted to a man's pleasure - again it about men and hetersexuality taking forefoot. So-called 'butches' don't follow that line and lose their womanhood or 'feminity' and are seen as 'flawed' and 'inferior' to 'real women.'

So in regards to marriage, marriage is a term reserved for the heterosexuals (no matter how we abuse it or trivialize it) and can not be 'sullied' by allowing those of inferior sexual taste and behavior to do it have that specific term. That's why homosexuality is often lumped with the mating of beast, pedophilia, or bestiality - to debase homosexuality as flawed and inferior to heterosexuality and therefore not worthy of what the heterosexuals have. This is also why sodomy and PDA for heteros are accepted, whereas sodomy for homos is not and any form of PDA they have is considered 'throwing it in one's face.' It makes sense but for someone to admit this would mean they are openly declairing discrimination and their right to discriminate - something most people are loathe to do (not discriminate - but to admit to being discriminitory. Most people think they are NOT discriminating or discriminitory when in fact they are. It goes against what they believe about themselves - that they are tolerant and do not practice discrimination).

I think marriage should be reserved for a man and woman specifically, and I think the term 'civil union' would suffice, but I did not think I was endorsing hetersexual superiority (or homosexual inferiority) by stating or thinking that. So my delimma (not that I quite see this as a delimma on my part, but for the sake of argument) - should I just accept that I'm preaching heterosexual superiority (or homosexual inferiority) and discrimination by believing in and stating that marriage and the term 'marriage' be reserved for a man and woman?

Or should I just scrap what I feel and say 'hell with it, marriage for EVERYBODY (consenting adult homos) so I don't be perceived as endorcing discrimintion and hetero superiority/homo inferiority?

So here is how I'm going to reconcile that within myself for now. I'm going to stick with the notion that marriage is for man and woman specificially, not man and man and woman and woman.

On the other hand - I don't give a dam what happens or which way the wind blows. If homosexuals get the right to marry to use that term - it's not going to change anything about anything in my life, including marriage and my views on it. Wish 'em all the luck with that.

Just don't ask me to vote on anything right now because I'm still working that out as we speak (write/type). As a matter of fact I just went from 'I'd vote YES to homosexual marriage' before I wrote this to 'No, I don't think so' after writing this because my own stance on marriage just became clear to me (that it be between a man and a woman). Years ago I was adamentaly 'NO' and against the subject of homosexual marriage because I opposed homosexuality. Then I allowed myself to delve into my own sexuality and came up with 'I'm primarily straight with a bi-attraction' - meaning I loved some men and hetero sex but could definitely be attracted to (and possibly romantically love) a woman, which caused me to change my views on on some other issues and to favor marriage and other rights for homosexuals.

It can change again. My stance on anything and everything can change depending on the information I get and which way I get screwed up (pun intented). It's an on-going process.
Joined: 7/2/2008
Msg: 93
a lesson in American history... and clarifying socialism
Posted: 11/17/2009 8:24:36 AM

Socialism is a system in which civil liberties are recognized, so long as they do not go against the common good. Common good is a concept that SOME things - such as the access to clean water, ancestral land on which native people grew, a minimal standard of living, health care, etc. are things every citizen is entitled to. In order to provide it, everybody participate and the risk is alleviated. Social programs are run in order to do prevention, because investing some of the collective money in prevention costs less than paying for treatment and remedy for various problems after the fact. Socialism, in every country where it has been used, has consistency offered the highest standard of living, the highest life expectancy and the lowest crime rate. Socialism is on the left of the spectrum.

let me correct your definions:

Communism as defined by Karl Marx was never achieved anywhere and is not (at least currently) possible and will probably never happen. It is an utopistic ideology in which everyone owns everything collectively and only takes as much as they need. Do not confuse this with a term "communist coutry", which refers to totalitarian regimes which use communist and socialist propaganda and various demagogy and oppression, for the use of the party in power - called Communist Party. Such regimes really do have lot in common with other types of totaliarism, just the propaganda is different and so are other particulars. This includes Cuba, and formerly so called eastern block, now sometimes still called "postcommunistic".

Socialism is an even more complex term because it has been used to describe various theories, systems and regimes. Communistic countries as per definition above never referred to themselves as "communistic", but as "socialistic". It is difficult to define it comprehensibly in just a few lines, but basically the gist of it was/is supposed to be that its a "step towards communism", for the time being, until true communism is possible. Of course the fundamental problem with this is taking away personal freedoms and property and killing economy.
Socialism is also a political orientation, as in left wing.
As far as i am aware, currently the entire Europe is capitalistic, inluding post-comm countries and Sweden. Sweden was mentioned in connection with policies being more left wing. But the underlying system is democracy and capitalism.
Also you can easily have rich people who are left-wing/socialist contrary to some statement in this thread.
Thank you both. I will try to keep these def (or some variation of it) if mind for any future debates on the subject.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 94
view profile
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 9:28:13 AM

^^^^^^^ The biggest load of bullcrap and partizan brainwashing propaganda I have seen about political affiliation in a long time. You really have to be a freshmore studient to even start to believe in any of this.

Yes and no on the commencement speech. I believe that a society without a social safety net is not a society within which I would like to live and yet, Americans have flat out become a nation of lazy people no matter how much we rush around acting like we have no time to take a leisurely bath or something else you might want to tarry over in the bathroom. And a huge swath of the population has an entitlement attitude that is normal before one reaches adulthood but this never evaporates, they always seem to believe that society or people owe them something whether it is monetary or emotional.

I do believe there are people that are hard-working, etc. that wind up in difficult situations. Not every homeless person is there by choice, directly. People with lower incomes often do not pursue higher education because they are undereducated to grade 12 even if they receive a diploma and do not have the means or the motivation to pursue a college education. This limits their choices. Someone who marries young and has no skills and starts a family further limits their choices. When this person loses a job and there are no jobs to be found, I have no problem with that person seeking assistance. And realistically, while some people do get out of the poverty track, I don't really blame someone that really doesn't know how to go about doing that.

I was hospitalized a couple of years ago, my ability to work after I got out of the hospital was limited and I have spent over a year trying to dig out of that financial hole and there are also other things in my life I need to take care of that were back-burnered during that period. I had always worked hard, paid my taxes, paid my own way so had I been aware of some of the community services I could have used at the time to help me pay basic bills like rent and utilities I would have without a qualm taken advantage of those opportunities for help. I did receive financial assistance from friends and a family took my kids for a month when I couldn't care for them, they had to be fed, bathed, etc. so I am sure that was an investment beyond the time and attention required considering gas, utilities and food. By the time I found out about the services to help pay rent, etc. I had been out of the hospital several months and while I could still have applied for the services, I just did not feel right about it, so I chose to struggle when I could have coasted or nearly so on someone else's dollar.

Now, it is easy to say that I had not planned on the illness, could not have forseen it or the consequences but wouldn't I have been in a much better position if I had been more of a saver? If I had had money squirreled away I would have weathered the divorce in better financial shape and I would have had X amount of operating expenses in the bank to cover my butt during that period. So was I to blame for getting sick? Nope, was I to blame for not being in a position to take care of myself when I couldn't really earn more than incidental cash? Yup.

<div class="quote">Can some of the backlash and resistance to homosexuality and marriages be based on that heterosexuals consider themselves and their sexuality superior to homosexuals and their sexuality?
I don't think that is entirely the reason whether it is religious or just that they are homophobic. I think there are people that are not necessarily opposed to homosexuality believing that whatever people do in their own homes is their business but they still see homosexuality as a choice, deviance, rather than something that is biologically determined so to allow marriage in the homosexual community would make them as good as heterosexuals, and people do for whatever reason, wish to prevent that.

If the laws about marriage were economically based, it would make more sense to make gay marriage legal because aren't married couples taxed at a higher rate than singles unless they pop out enough kids to have enough deductions to even it out? Sorry my sarcasm doth floweth.

It is kind of like the legalization of marijuana. People have adopted the attitude that it is morally wrong but if it were legalized, huge amounts of enforcement money would be saved, it would be a source of tax revenue, would be harder for children to obtain because someone would have to buy it for them rather than getting it on the street corner, and there would be a huge decline in the number of people housed in prisons. It has less deleterious physical affects than alcohol used regularly over many years....And yet, the status quo is maintained because of societal attitudes about marijuana which was also considered a superior pain medication until we had to start saying no. It can be prescribed in the dose needed and has none of the negative side-effects of other pain medications.

During the era of the ancient Greeks, homosexuality was considered favorable and heterosexual relationships existed primarily to procreate. Society is often much less ready to accept change that moves what the society is supposed to be like which is why in some thing like the civil rights movement, the laws change before social norms have an opportunity to catch up with it. I suspect 50 years from now people will be somewhat boggled that so much time was spent debating this situation just like it is astounding to many young people that 50 years ago it was illegal for a black and white person to marry. Realistically, the debate is already moot.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 95
view profile
Condoning Atheism
Posted: 11/17/2009 2:24:06 PM
Open Heart, why does it matter to you so much that same-sex unions are not called marriage?

If your assertion that they can do whatever they want with the legal unions that are btw, not allowed in all states, but they should not be able to be considered marriage, it is a distinction, not a legal one, but a social one.

If it is not depriving them of a right then we should discontinue the use of the word marriage and not allow heterosexuals to marry either.

I'm not trying to be antagonistic with the question I just don't get it. If you supposedly are not opposed to homosexual unions being legally recognized why is it important to differentiate the exact same relationship with the exception of the shape of body parts and how sexual acts occur relative heterosexual and homosexual union?

It doesn't make sense to me and I think this is why people that are not opposed to gay marriage cannot understand the position of those that are who say the same things you have in this discussion.
Joined: 8/26/2009
Msg: 96
view profile
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 6:23:22 PM
This thread has become rediculous, but here's my 2 cents

Atheism, Parenting, God, Satan, Nature, Weed, Your Mind, Rational Thought, LBGTQ, Gay Marriage, Marriage, Equality, Political Ideology, Freedom, Socialism, Communism, American Sucks, Europe Rules, and Other Assorted Stuff Like That, Plus Whatever Else We Start Talking About

Atheism: Is a choice not to be judged
Parenting: Ajob that serves to benifit your kids
God: A higher power that some believe helps them through life and a choice not to be judged
Satan: A belief that tempts evil thoughts and actions
Weed: Fun when I was a teen but not needed in my life and a choice that should be left to the individual.
Your mind: lost in a list a chours and work
rational though: rare on POF
LBGTQ: not even sure what that all stands for and is a choice to be made by a person and not my place to judge
Gay marriage: Not something I would encourage but I'm not judging
Marriage: maybe someday
Equality: someone will alway feel like they aren't being treated equal
political Ideology: I'll leave that one to Jenn
Freedom: Slowly being lost in America
Socialism: something that America would benifit with more of
Communism: not for me
America sucks: if some changes aren't made, this will be true
Europe Rules: Have no clue
Other stuff: was Steve Erwin wrong to expose Bindy to the dangerous life style that ended up killing him? 8 left Open Heart
Joined: 8/26/2009
Msg: 97
view profile
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 6:40:52 PM
The sixtys were an awsome time period for cars here, lol

Oh, with the cat novel and 60's cars that brings us to 5 more, lol
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 98
view profile
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 8:56:31 PM
what is "left open heart"?!?!?!
Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 99
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/17/2009 10:01:23 PM
How about ghosts and other supernatural phenomena?

No normal parent hopes their child will grow up to be a homosexual. Why? Because they want a normal kid, like every other normal family.

Back to the off topic though, I don't think most parents actually really consider that when their child is first born. I don't think it really enters their mind until the possibility of it actually happening shows. And then I don't think it's because they want their child to be "normal." I think it's more that they want to protect their child from all harm and being homosexual automatically brings with it certain dangers, such as random beatings and assault. Or discrimination for their lifestyle. And I think parents just don't want to see their child hurt in any way.

I know if any of mine turned to be gay, I would still love them and support them to the best of my ability. And I would worry about them being hurt or even killed because of their sexual orientation. But I would not consider them abnormal.
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 100
Homosexual Rights and Marriage Continued.....
Posted: 11/18/2009 5:02:33 AM
I dont think this thread is controversial or diverse enough, we have not even had a good ole Republican vs. Democrat, or pro-life vs. Pro-Choice, or which way the toilet paper roll should hang yet!!! Step it up folks!!!

Waits for banned camp.
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