Re: I hear we're going to make you read the dictionary AT GUNPOINT

1

No one is worried about "religion" in general -- they want their own religious group to have more power and recognition. Most minority groups recognize that power and recognition aren't in the cards and are pleased with secularism. Christians, however, are afflicted with a sense of wounded entitlement -- "we should be more powerful because we're bigger and we were here first! Wa!"


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:27 PM
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No one expects the DFH Inquisition.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:35 PM
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Sometimes I think Christianity would have been better off without the martyrs, because everyone else uses them as an excuse for developing a martyr complex. Your rights are not being violated if people protest you. This is not Rome. There are no lions.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:42 PM
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Oh yes there are fucking lions! Fierce chompy lions! Run away!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:47 PM
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The clue to understanding where "secular facism" came from is that the people talking about it are lying. On purpose. For their jobs. All the time.

So, yeah, take it with the supermassive salt planet Natrium IV careening towards you through the atomosphere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:50 PM
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I think that Habermas has an interesting take on the role of religion in the public square: he argues that politicians and those in positions of power need to make their arguments in a way that can be legitimately debated in a secular society (i.e. "because God said so" doesn't cut it) but individuals are free to use whatever argument they want. He points out that it's not reasonable for the liberal state to simultaneously allow religious life and exclude it from the public sphere - especially since religion _is_ totalizing in terms of its influence on how people think/reason.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 7:51 PM
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Sure. Habermas is right. On the other hand, part of the dues of being stupidly religious in the public sphere is other people pointing out that upper middle class whiny people aren't actually being eaten by lions, and they should adjust the scope of their arguments accordingly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 8:26 PM
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Is Newt Gingrich seriously making a comeback effort? What wife is he on, now? I think it would be great if he and Palin were the new co-leaders of the Republican party. They could lead the Republicans out into the weeds, where they could wander, lost and starving, until they stumbled on Emerson's hog pen.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 8:58 PM
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"Gay and secular fascism" somehow manages to sound like he's not talking about homosexuality, but about some kind of fascism that's both joyful and godless. I envision a lot of brass bands and lederhosen being involved.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 9:00 PM
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9: I think the term "secular" sort of clangs on the ear, in the same way "socialism" seemed to during the election. It's a paper tiger made of really old, fall-apart-y paper. That might be be wishful thinking, though.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 9:08 PM
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I think the term "secular" sort of clangs on the ear

In this case I think it's a signal that Gingrich is willing to crawl for the Evangelical right. As far as I can remember he didn't used to be religious, particularly. So that's good. As long as the Republicans keep pandering to their shrinking, aging, know-nothing base their chance of being swept away by history keeps getting better.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 9:36 PM
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Isn't there some Habermas-Rawls debate about that?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 9:42 PM
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Never take lessons in morality from a guy who divorced his wife while she was lying in hospital with cancer.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 12:06 AM
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1 has it right. The rhetoric shapes the power to act.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:19 AM
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(: I envision a lot of brass bands and lederhosen being involved

Or if Walt Kelly were alive, he'd come up with something like the Okefenokee Gay and Secular Fascism Euphonium Players Society, with Albert and gang dressed for the part.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 5:24 AM
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the weeds is a good place for the hogpen: it's where mcmanus's reason-addled wonks and process liberals also spend a lot of their time getting deep into


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 6:05 AM
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And they would dance Secular Fascist Gay Voodoo Limbo Tango and Wango Dance.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 7:33 AM
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They could lead the Republicans out into the weeds, where they could wander, lost and starving, until they stumbled on Emerson's hog pen.

mcmc, that made me laugh out loud.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 7:41 AM
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17: Don we now our gay apparel
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Liberal fascists they're, a-comin' for you.



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:06 AM
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"Gay and secular fascism" somehow manages to sound like he's not talking about homosexuality, but about some kind of fascism that's both joyful and godless.

Straight and religious fascism: (James Dobson) OK.
Straight and secular fascism: (William Kristol) OK.
Gay and religious fascism: (The airport guy) OK.
Gay AND secular fascism: Ernst Röhm!

max
['Berlin is burning!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:23 AM
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The good thing about secular fascists is that they don't have anything to burn on your lawn.


Posted by: Chris | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:32 AM
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21: They do 360s on your lawn in their Subaru Outbacks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:41 AM
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Okefenokee Gay and Secular Fascism Euphonium Players Society

OGSFEP?

The abbreviation of the Okefenokee Glee 'n Perloo Union was at least meaningful.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:19 AM
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23: Yes, my takeoff on the OGPU did not match the original in that regard, you little fascist.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:28 AM
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Back to my broken record: Authoritarian followers have been with us forever, and they are inherently fearful. They feel fearful even if there is no reason to feel fearful. Their fear is part of who they are, but in typical displacement they blame others for their fear and hence they can never seem to get their fear alleviated because they are trying to fix the wrong thing.

Sigh.

Sometimes the problem really IS in ourselves and sometimes the solution really IS in ourselves, but social dominators manipulate the fears of the authoritarian followers for their own means. Social dominators discredit simple psychology to keep their minions in the dark. Social dominators don't want to help the authoritarian followers, they want to use them.

In addition the GOP has coopted the word 'religion' so that it applies only to the authoritarian followers, to muddy the discussion and to hide their manipulations under the mantle of "religion."

Many of the rest of us play along and fall for the mislabeling trap, ending up by trying to 'fix' the wrong people and not recognizing where the problem really lies.

I see a similar thing in failing schools. Public schools know that there are no solutions to be found in broken homes and from bad parents, so they continue to try to 'fix' the problem with the limited tools they have, because by law they may not admit that in some cases they are powerless.

This situation is frustrating for everyone: teachers, administration, politicians, and well-meaning people who really do want to help the kids. No one has a solution, and no one is allowed to identify one of the root causes because we have no solution to that root cause.

What can society do for children that are raised by parents who see no benefit to getting an education? The answer seems to be "not much."


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:00 AM
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What does OGPU mean?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:13 AM
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26: It's the pet name given to our dearly departed partiarch by the BPL.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:17 AM
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Объединённое го?удар?твенное политиче?кое управление при С?К СССР


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:18 AM
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Pwned. Awesome, Di.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:19 AM
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27 pwned 28????


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:23 AM
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You're an empire now, Di, and when you act, you create your own reality. I am left just to study what you do.

Translation (my bureaucratese is not the best): United (Combined? Amalgamated? "All-State" is silly) State Political Bureau (Directorate, per Wiki) of the Union (Council) of People's Commissars of the USSR.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:36 AM
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Protests and people being, you know, *different*, counts as intimidation. I worried about this at the anti-8 rally last weekend, when we ended up across from the mission just as a what looked like a baptism was ending. The gays, ruining Our Baby's Special Moment by holding signs across the street asking to get married!!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:51 AM
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Perhaps it goes without saying, but Gingrich appears to suggest that the civil rights movement is evidence of black fascism—and whaddaya know, look who's about to move into the White House. I, for one, welcome our new Afro-totalitarian overlords.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 11:01 AM
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12: when Habermas presented a paper at the Dworkin-Nagel colloquium trying to say that Rawls was wrong about this issue, Sam Freeman rather convincingly smacked him down. Apparently Habermas had misread Rawls and that "Public Reason Revisited", in particular, makes room for precisely what Habermas wants.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 11:16 AM
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it's strangely heartening that habermas misreads stuff


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 11:47 AM
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But the notion of an highly organized, violent, militant, secular Left sounds like a Monty Python sketch.

Actually it sounds a lot less silly when you switch from "secular liberals" to "secular left."

It's not fun to admit, but the secular left includes Stalin and Mao, not to mention Western groups like the Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof Group. Many people would include the Weather Underground in that list, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 12:32 PM
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rob,

No offense but citing Stalin and Mao sounds an awful lot like citing Boss Tweed. It sounds very dated and out of touch.

And I'll repeat that these always fearful scaredy cats are born that way. The fact that some other people are different to them is an excuse, really, because I think in a society where everyone agreed with them about, say Christianity they would still find differences to explain their fears. Look at all the splintering and spin-off groups of Christianity there are.

I suspect someday there might be a pill for their anxiety complex. Whether they choose to take it, I dunno.

As an extreme example of this kind of thing, I personally saw a lady in a psych ward who was off the deep end, and her psychosis manifested itself by what a layman may call extreme religion, although that is insulting to most religions. I mean she was starting to think she was Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was fairly easily manipulated by her husband to get her to go to the psych ward because she was convinced she had to follow God's will, then the will of her husband, then the will of authority figures.

In the psych ward she would follow the rules when instructed by a Doctor or nurse.

This kind of psychosis is not as rare as one might think. I'm not saying in any way that this is what happens to most religious people. No. It is a matter of degrees, and I am simply showing an extreme example.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 12:45 PM
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No offense but citing Stalin and Mao sounds an awful lot like citing Boss Tweed.

Perhaps, but they are a huge part of historical left. Mostly, I just didn't want us to fall into the trap of thinking that our side is somehow immune to authoritarianism and violence. Leftism isn't always a picnic at the Unitarian Fellowship.

Another response to how dated the references sound is to simply say that there is no American *Left*. Liberalism is alive and well, even liberalism in the American, rather than the European sense. But there is no left.

Another data point in that argument: people here were wondering what would count as liberalism besides opposition to imperialism and oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. The idea that class struggle had anything to do with anything didn't register.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:01 PM
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It's not fun to admit, but the secular left includes Stalin and Mao

As used by the religious right, the term includes everyone who doesn't belong to the religious right.

Has Dobson denounced the Spanish Inquisition yet? If not, why not? Something funny going on there.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:19 PM
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It's not fun to admit, but the secular left includes Stalin and Mao

As used by the religious right, the term includes everyone who doesn't belong to the religious right.

Has Dobson denounced the Spanish Inquisition yet? If not, why not? Something funny going on there.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:23 PM
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Oh, dammit.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:24 PM
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Has Dobson denounced the Spanish Inquisition yet? If not, why not?

You can't trust Catholics, that's why not.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 1:25 PM
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38: people here were wondering what would count as liberalism besides opposition to imperialism and oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. The idea that class struggle had anything to do with anything didn't register.

People here? Was there a thread about that? (I'm not remembering one particularly.) The last notion -- that class struggle doesn't have anything to do with it -- doesn't surprise me, I guess, yet I am surprised.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 2:40 PM
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Perhaps, but they are a huge part of historical left. Mostly, I just didn't want us to fall into the trap of thinking that our side is somehow immune to authoritarianism and violence. Leftism isn't always a picnic at the Unitarian Fellowship.

That is why I am careful to use the term authoritarian follower instead of Limbot or whacko religious right.

For example, there were a lot of authoritarian followers in the 'Southern Democrats.' The thing is once you learn a bit about these people, and can spot them and what appeals to them, you'll be a lot more precise about what may work and whom to direct it at.

At the current time the AFs in the US are primarily in the Republican base. Personally I think that is why the Republicans seem to have so much party 'discipline' and the Democrats are like a herd of cats. I suppose it is fine for people to complain about this but those complaints are little more than whinging. We all need to understand that people are different and it is nearly impossible for people to change their fundamental personalities and it may be satisfying to imagine that people would change if we simply told them the right words in the right speech but that is not how people work.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 3:26 PM
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Actually, Dobson has probably denounced the whole Catholic Church since about 500 AD.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 3:39 PM
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45: Dude's like immortal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 5:17 PM
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My favorite trad conservative Daniel Larison points out that anyone in politics in America must be a follower of the religion of Americanism, which involves the belief that America is the awesomest place there can ever be, has a unique destiny, is a city on the hill, brings light unto the nations, etc. He considers this a heresy for any Christian. Hence all politicians are heretics. He calls it the Americanist heresy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 7:56 PM
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47: It's a heresy for any Christian because ... there is no heaven on earth? Because we cannot know God's mind? Because there are none more chosen than any others under God? Simply because it's arrogant?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:03 PM
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43: Parsi, see here.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:04 PM
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49: Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:12 PM
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I guess the civic religion appropriates church language of mission and faith and divine sanction. True that it never quite comes out and *says* it's idolatry, though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:19 PM
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51: Ah: God before country. That's interesting -- the sort of thing progressive churches might say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 8:26 PM
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