Re: Backdoor Bans

1

Do you assume said applicants would endure training and certification in the practices they oppose ?


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 12-20-08 11:43 PM
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I'm not talking about the actual abortion providers. It could be as easy as a secretary who refuses to make appointments or a janitor who refuses to clean patient rooms used for abortion procedures or counseling for birth control. Under the new law, this is all allowed and the clinic has to keep paying them. Most health care agencies like this don't have the budgets to absorb dead weight -- one or two people like this and I imagine many would be in real financial trouble and either need to cut back on services or increase prices.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12-20-08 11:46 PM
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This sounds similar to a dystopia presented by people who oppose anti-discrimination laws applying to tax-exempt religious organizations. The idea is that a horrible homosexual or Hindu would be hired by the Salvation Army, and then reveal their true nature and dare the organization to fire them and therefore lose their tax-exempt status.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:01 AM
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Do you assume said applicants would endure training and certification in the practices they oppose ?

Well that's the plan, anyway.


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:18 AM
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It seems easy enough for PP to ask a few questions to prospective applicants to test their willingness to provide the services that PP is designed to provide, say like, "Do you support the following X Y and Z principles, and do you agree to carry them out?" And then, if the applicant were hired and refused to perform services, or was shown to have lied about his/her beliefs in the interview, he or she could be terminated for dishonesty.

Also, I doubt that significant numbers of people are willing to commit to spending their working lives in an environment that is anathema to their morals, and surrounded by people whose core values they oppose. Maybe a couple of crazies. I'm not too worried about it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:24 AM
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Fortunately, those same Republican fight hard for Right to Work laws, so you can fire these people for any reason, at any time.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:21 AM
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Can`t any organization drop out from the ambit of the law by simply refusing any federal largess? If this prompts some to do so, then aren`t we better off than having the federal government with a finger in everything?

If this kind of thing is evidence of government running amok, do we really want more of it, like new federal laws on hate crime, like some are asking for?

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/12/hate-crimes-its-time-to-finally-pass.html


Posted by: TokyoTom | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:39 AM
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I doubt that significant numbers of people are willing to commit to spending their working lives in an environment that is anathema to their morals

What I fear is that this becomes the new crusade of assholery. Wingers will be lining up for crap hospital jobs specifically so they can throw tearful hissy fits every time they are asked to sweep the room where a gay has been.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:50 AM
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Right, Tom. I also don't want government getting involved in my health care... because of Katrina.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:19 AM
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I think the bigger issue will be crappy employees claiming to have moral issues to avoid responsibility.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:31 AM
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5: And then, if the applicant were hired and refused to perform services, or was shown to have lied about his/her beliefs in the interview, he or she could be terminated for dishonesty.

They were honest during the interview, but the actual awful experience of being right there in the belly of the beast, so to speak, made them see the light, and they can now no longer in good conscience perform any activities that directly aid abortions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:32 AM
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I'm with jms on firing them, but if that isn't feasible, then re-write their job description, and adjust their pay/hours to match. No one can complain that tasks they think are immoral have been taken off their plate.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:28 AM
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Do you assume said applicants would endure training and certification in the practices they oppose ?

Medical schools don't necessarily teach abortion any more. There are lots of strongly anti-abortion MDs and nurses.

Also, I doubt that significant numbers of people are willing to commit to spending their working lives in an environment that is anathema to their morals, and surrounded by people whose core values they oppose. Maybe a couple of crazies. I'm not too worried about it.

Crazies are cheap and plentiful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:42 AM
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12 is brilliant.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:56 AM
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Hilzoy gets one big thing wrong, fortunately. She says that the rule would prevent employers from using willingness to provide services in hiring.

But the idea that it should be illegal for Planned Parenthood clinics to take someone's willingness to offer contraceptive services into account in hiring decisions is almost as absurd as saying that they should not be able to take into account that person's being a Christian Scientist.

But the rule says:

Similarly, we do not foresee that the health care conscience protection laws and this regulation would necessarily constrain employers in the health care field to hire individuals or accept volunteers who, due to their religious beliefs or moral convictions, refuse to perform job duties that comprise the significant majority or the entirety of duties required by the position. (p. 58)

So Planned Parenthood is off the hook. But I doubt drug stores and hospitals are all going to screen applicants for everything that might be covered. And you could definitely see a lawsuit coming out of the "significant majority" language. When it comes to nurses, understaffing is so severe that some hospitals and clinics might not be in a position to turn down applicants.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:10 AM
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Pharmacists are already doing this with the morning-after pill. As far as I know there's nothing to stop an independent pharmacist from doing this, and employers of pharmacists are under public pressure from both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups. In areas where anti-abortion sentiment is strong, and employer often wouldn't dare fire a difficult pharmacist, regardless of the law.

This might be a case where big national chains would be more responsive to pro-choice pressure than small local pharmacists. A California boycott might end up having an effect in North Dakota.

Pharmacy is very competitive, as I understand, and the little guys are in trouble. At the same time, an anti-abortion pharmacy could find a market niche simply by not providing the morning after pill, etc. "Everything the big pharmacies sell, and less!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:14 AM
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Pro-choice pressure worked on Walgreens and a few others I don't remember. But, yeah, huge problem at other pharmacies.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:23 AM
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CharleyCarp, IANAL, and I know you are, but the big change with this rule is that it changes the standard for religious discrimination in the work place *for health workers only*. The current standard is that employers must make "reasonable accommodations" for employees religious beliefs--a pretty low standard that is limited to things like allowing religious attire, switching shifts to accommodate the Sabbath so long as such switching does not adversely impact the business, etc.

The EEOC opposed this rule because it does not balance the rights of employers or customers against the right of the employee. Yes, employers wouldn't have to hire someone for a position that they refuse to perform a significant majority of the duties, what what's significant? 60%, 70%? There's a reason they didn't just write "majority". And so if someone is unwilling to do more than 31% of their job, you're not allowed to fire them?

Moreover, my understanding of workplace discrimination law is that it doesn't just apply to hiring and firing decisions, but any "adverse employment action" including reduction in work hours or pay, worsening working conditions, deliberately adverse shift scheduling, etc. So I'm not sure you would be allowed to decrease their work schedule and pay to match their willingness to work. Under current religious discrimination law, that's exactly what you are allowed to do, but under this rule, probably not.


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:54 AM
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"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way!" --The Untouchables, Brian De Palma, 1987, screenplay by David Mamet

"...[W]e shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

Seriously, what we need to do is to make it as uncomfortable to be a fundamentalist Christian moving through society as it is to be a Klansman or a Neo-Nazi. There's not a dime's worth of difference between the three groups anyhow. Fundies should be forced out of their jobs, their schools, their families. Their churches should be boarded up and their books and recordings unavailable through normal channels. They must be made into objects of derision and mockery, so that their little conclaves become toxic cesspits of backbiting and betrayal. To say "I am a fundamentalist" should be fighting words, and no decent person should be sorry for whatever happens to the fundy afterwards.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:28 AM
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I'm working on a post to be called "Evil Christians". Self-serving people who do harm under cover of religion.

It's transgressive, because fundamentalists think that they have a monopoly on good and evil, whereas many liberals and leftists refuse to use moral language -- partly is because the term "evil" in this country is so heavily sexualized and homosexualized. You really need to get to the place where bombing civilians is evil and gay sex isn't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:41 AM
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So Planned Parenthood is off the hook. But I doubt drug stores and hospitals are all going to screen applicants for everything that might be covered. And you could definitely see a lawsuit coming out of the "significant majority" language.

Yeah, I think this is actually more part of a plot to effectively ban any contraception method that requires the cooperation of a pharmacist. Abortion's just phase 1; banning contraception to the greatest extent possible is the ultimate goal.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:58 AM
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It's also hard for a non-religious person to explain any justification for doing something that boils down to "because it's the sort of thing that would be good to do, instead of bad."

Since when we hear that someone is motivated by "morals" or "values", we assume it means that their main concerns are to maintain gender inequity and ostracize sexual minorities.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:02 PM
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To say "I am a fundamentalist" should be fighting words, and no decent person should be sorry for whatever happens to the fundy afterwards.

Seriously? I don't actually feel this way about Klansmen and Neo-Nazis. I don't, for instance, think it should be legal to murder or torture them, and I don't think it's indecent to object to that.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:03 PM
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Fundies should be forced out of their jobs, their schools, their families. Their churches should be boarded up and their books and recordings unavailable through normal channels.

Otherwise a pluralist society will be impossible!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:15 PM
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23: I don't, for instance, think it should be legal to murder or torture them

But you see, this is how far they've been able to skew the discourse. It's not fundies who run the risk of being murdered or tortured, they're the ones doing the murdering and torturing. Fundies are at the top of the hierarchy right now. The point is not to substitute a new hierarchy where they are at the bottom, but rather to eliminate hierarchy and domination altogether.

24: Otherwise a pluralist society will be impossible!
When you find this so-called pluralist society, let me know. I've never seen one, but it sounds interesting. I'm not interested in seeing a thousand flowers bloom if 501 of them are fascist flowers bent on enslaving the rest of the flowers. We have to prune judiciously if we are to become successful, sustainable horticulturalists.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:24 PM
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20: I've suggested that before, and people seemed to get really pissed off about the idea. Maybe it will be better coming from you rather than me.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:35 PM
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MINNEAPOLITAN IS INTOLERANT OF MY INTOLERANCE

HE MUST BE THAT LIMOUSINE FASCIST, AL FRANKEN


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:37 PM
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Medical schools don't necessarily teach abortion any more. There are lots of strongly anti-abortion MDs and nurses.

There are plenty who don't perform abortions, but procedures is procedures. It's still a D&C.

I'm not sure this is the biggest worry, but the laws that allow a woman to sue up to ten years later for damage to the fetus might make it impossible for doctors to afford insurance. The pharmacy is still a bigger worry, I think, practically speaking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:40 PM
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Al Franken is from St. Louis Park. Cake-eaters.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:40 PM
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I'm just not sure how you manage to be non-authoritarian with all this ideological pruning going on.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:41 PM
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This is the paradox of liberalism: a dedicated enemy of liberalism basically has free reign within the liberal system.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:44 PM
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31: I like George Bernard Shaw's proposal for Stalinism with George Bernard Shaw in charge.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:48 PM
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31: In general, I'm a fan of the line between speech and action. So the fascist runs out of tolerance when actual moves are taken to harm others.

Minnie's proposal is a bit more complicated, because he's not actually proposing censorship, merely extreme shunning. Shunning may at times be necessary, but I don't see it as a main tool for anti-authoritarians. Its not violent, but its not nonviolence either. Not in the positive, satyagraha, sense of nonviolence.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:50 PM
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Rob, I admit it's been a while since I read in the theory of non-violence, but isn't shame a very important tool? It moves the foundation from "what can we get away with?" to "what should we be doing?" The right sets up a standard where anything they do that's legal must therefore never be questions or criticized, and anything they want to do will be made legal by whatever contortions it takes. But the essence of our criticism is, or should be, not fundamentally about whether it's legal but whether it's moral. Which is why I think Minneapolitan is on exactly the right track.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:14 PM
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It's going to take more than shame to make it illegal to buy "Left Behind" in Barnes and Noble. It's a numbers issue.

I absolutely agree that arguments in moral terms should not be left to the Christianists.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:19 PM
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Shame is a very important tool, but it comes from simply proclaiming the truth loudly and publicly. This seems different to me than forcing people out of their jobs.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:20 PM
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Fundamentalists do not feel pain, so the word "torture" is not relevant. They were placed on earth for our use, and we should follow the rules of good stewardship and clean up the abattoir after each use.

Having sex with fundamentalists, however, is an unforgivable abomination.

I'm looking at you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:20 PM
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I think we'd do very well to push the idea that it's shameful to want to collect a paycheck without doing the work, and an imposition on all those who are trying to be honest in living up to the standards set for licensed occupations - that it is freeloading, a form of welfare-queen-ism. We can and should encourage the decision that one's conscience requires stepping down from a job, but that trying to have it both ways is just slacker cheesiness.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:24 PM
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RR, I think it can be done. Carefully.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:29 PM
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39, etc. I think that the problem is that the employers can be pressured already, and this is just additional pressure. Pharmacies who had made the choice to brand themselves as woman-friendly and gay-friendly might be the only ones to care about this kind of thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:36 PM
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I'm not sure why shunning would be a poor tool for anti-authoritarians. Of course, it would be nice to live in a world where that kind of thing was not necessary, but we're not there yet. And I don't think shunning would be a panacea either, it would be one among the many weapons of the anti-authoritarian left.

One does rather tire of all this nonsense about dialogue with the enemy and seeing where the other side is coming from. I know exactly where the other side is coming from -- they'd like to make it impossible for me to live my life the way I choose. They want to prevent me from having sex with people of my own gender, and people I'm not married to. They want to make sure that every sexual act runs a high risk of resulting in a pregnancy. They want to make sure that pregnancies are carried to term as often as possible. They want to baptize every baby that's born and educate every child in their perverted dogma. I don't have to ask them what they want because they set up a constant barrage of propaganda, often supported by the state, to tell me. So yes, I shun them when I can, because there's absolutely nothing there for me to interact with them about. They are opposed to me, I am opposed to them. I ask no quarter and I will give none. Fundamentalist Christians are despicable people, and the rest of society has been far too lenient with them.

Now, all that isn't to say that we shouldn't be able to pull people from their grasp. The average suburban mega-church parishioner doesn't have much of a grasp on the underlying ideology. Just as the movement is large, so is it vulnerable. We can persuade people away from this evil, if we will but try.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 1:54 PM
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I don't exactly agree with minneapolitan's 19, but I do agree with a scaled-down version. Maybe .9 * 19? That's 17.1, and I approximately agree with Kraab's 17, so it all works out. Math, bitches!

Fundamentalism is the enemy of humanity. It's un-American. All of human history is the struggle to throw off the shackles of ignorance. If you like ignorance so much, why don't you move back to the Middle Ages and leave the antibiotics and the Internet to us.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 2:25 PM
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41 -- The movement draws strength and legitimacy from persecution. To the extent of constantly inventing persecution, when there isn't enough to justify the pose. This is a real problem with shunning.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 2:30 PM
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That's not to say the it can't and shouldn't be beaten back. I doubt the Dover school board is going to take another run at seeking to establish fundamentalism.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 2:34 PM
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The key thing for me is that I want to deny them dignity. Right now they get to be the hero of their own story, and a lot of people fall in line in the absence of a clear obvious alternative. I want them to come across as fools, bumblers, moochers, lazy bums, slackers coasting on others' hard work.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 2:44 PM
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Dover.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 2:46 PM
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In the opera Khovanshchina (recommended) the saintly fundamentalists, seeing their cause lost, lock themselves into their church and set it on fire as Peter the Great's troops approach. Perhaps we could sponsor showings in fundamentalist areas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 3:09 PM
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They would never do it. These are people who think martyrdom is not being wished a 'Merry Christmas'.

I say we make them have mandatory reading groups for Foxe's Book of Martyrs and at the end of each group make them answer a questionnaire.

1. Has anyone I know been whipped to death with iron rods?

2. Have I or anyone I know been confined in a loathsome prison?

3. Has anyone I know been burnt at the stake and remained cheerful during their immolation?

4. Have extremities been chopped from any of my family members for religious reasons?

It wouldn't work, but at least it would be a try.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 4:30 PM
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It's twenty years in the past, but I can answer "Yes" to #5. My brother's martyrdom was wasted on me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:07 PM
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5. Have you ever had to bike a super long ways to get to a bar you'd never drank in?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:15 PM
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#4


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:15 PM
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I spent the whole summer doing that. The farthest bar was 35 miles from home.

My bicycle barhop ended up 3 trips short of hitting every country bar within 25 miles. , and most of the town bars. There are six bars on the 500 block of Sinclair Lewis Avenue in Sauk Centre, and I've hit them all. One of them has the cutest 70 year old I've ever seen tending bar.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:19 PM
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There must be a lot of bars in Alexandria. What about the country clubs? What about the hotel bars?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:36 PM
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I didn't try to cover Alexandria. It's what we call a "city" around here, with over 10,000 people. If I'm around next summer, I'll have the area fully covered, except for Alex.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:45 PM
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And then, if the applicant were hired and refused to perform services, or was shown to have lied about his/her beliefs in the interview, he or she could be terminated for dishonesty.

But it's against my religion to be honest.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:46 PM
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Galloway dismembers my Senator, Norm Coleman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 5:47 PM
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41 made me smile. right on. it's high time we stopped walking on eggshells for these people. enough already.


Posted by: onemorephilosopher | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:17 PM
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I'm being all stodgy here (I've been doing that a lot lately), but I don't think there's any broad category of religious people who are theologically required to be assholes. It's perfectly possible to be a decent, kind, live-and-let-live type of person who considers themselves an evangelical Christian or a fundamentalist. I'll say everything hostile anyone else will about people campaigning politically to impose 'moral' standards I disapprove of on the rest of us through the political process, and Rick Warren can bite me, and I'm all over shunning people doing that, but I don't like talking about fundamentalists or evangelicals generally in those terms.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:35 PM
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55: Antisemite.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:40 PM
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Further to 41 and 43, to the extent the average mega-church member isn't in fact in touch and on board with the expansive ideology outlined by Minne, the idea of globally shunning "fundamentalists" basically risks driving people who could have been reached out of reach. The identification is with the church, even if that"s based on incomplete understanding. If the perception is then that the church is "under attack," the instinct will be to protect and defend.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:52 PM
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Can you make Matzo out of fetus blood? That sound yucky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:53 PM
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Or, what LB said.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:53 PM
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There's also the fact that fundamentalists vastly outnumber those who could be convinced to shun them.

"I'm shunning you, everybody!" said the hermit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:54 PM
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...live-and-let-live type of person who considers themselves an evangelical Christian or a fundamentalist

My knowledge of the theology here is sketchy at best, but I think you're wrong.

As Jesus said "none may come to the father except through me", there's a strain of Christianity that claims to be exclusive. That is, that their rules are the exclusive rules by which everyone must live, and their beliefs are the exclusive beliefs that anyone may hold. In other words, this strain believes that to live and let others live in ignorance a in error is a sin.

It may be that there are evangelical Christias who reject this interpretation, but my impression is that it's at the heart of the notion of evangelism: the duty to see that everyone follows the correct way. I'd bet that most evangelicals would say "Live and let live? that is contrary to what the Bible tells us to do, and anyone who says that is a heretic an not a real Christian. Anyone who wasn't several quarts shy of a full complement of bejeezus would know this."


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 6:54 PM
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The weakness is not in your knowledge of theology, Michael, so much as in your knowledge of people. Whatever may or may not be consistent with the theology, a very good many believers -- of any strain -- live lives and adopt philosophies not 100% consistent with theology.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:00 PM
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I think that there are distinctions. I think that the prosperity theology people are the most despicable. they don't even have to practice what they preach, because they know God will forgive them.

I hear that Bristol's daughter will be named "Weed Palin Johnston" if it's a boy and "Crystal Palin Johnston" if it's a girl. The "Johnston" is detachable in case Levi decides that fatherhood isn't right for him at this time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:01 PM
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64:My grasp of evangelical theology is weak to non-existent, but I think you're confusing a general requirement (which you may be right exists for evangelicals and fundamentalists) to do your utmost to bring other people to a relationship with Jesus, or whatever it is, with a general requirement to do your utmost to make the lives of people not living by your moral code difficult and unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:02 PM
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Tolerant findamentalists are invisible and will not be shunned. Easy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:03 PM
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68, see 60.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:08 PM
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I think shunning is a bit strong because it fits too well into their "Christianity is under attack" worldview. I think ridicule is a better way to go.

People will see nobility in belonging to a group that is considered oppressed; there is far less nobility in belonging to a group that's considered a laughing stock.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:14 PM
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64: But what does "through me" mean? Do we read that de dicto, so that you have to acknowledge, not just the prince of peace, but the particular person who is alleged to have uttered those words 2000 years ago in Palestine? Or do you read that de re, to refer to something that might actually be a channel for divinity?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:16 PM
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Right. Furthermore, when you attack religious people, of whatever sect, generally, as assholes, you've pre-emptively defined anyone who might be on your side politically as religious hypocrites -- if they're not being evil, then their religion must be bullshit. That's not a great way to make friends.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:16 PM
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72 to 69.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:17 PM
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... a general requirement to do your utmost to make the lives of people not living by your moral code difficult and unpleasant.

It's not a duty to make others' lives unpleasant as much as a duty to make sure everyone lives by the proper and correct rules.

The other place we've seen this is in the Catholic church's position on voting for candidates who support abortion rights. I thought I recalled the pope weighing in on the question, but my poor google fu is only able to find this site this site which at least supports the idea that in some circumstances official church policy holds that voting for a pro-choice candidate is sinful.

Yeah, lots of people may think of themselves as evangelicals or as Catholics and still allow for live-and-let-live, but the notion that there's a duty to enact Christian beliefs into law goes back at least to the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and is not just a fringe or borderline belief.

71: I dunno. I was merely pointing to it because I've heard it used as the textual justification for the belief that anyone who fails to accept Jesus in his heart is going to burn in hell for all eternity; that is, for the exclusivity of that belief.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:20 PM
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31: This is the paradox of liberalism: a dedicated enemy of liberalism basically has free reign within the liberal system.

43: 41 -- The movement draws strength and legitimacy from persecution. To the extent of constantly inventing persecution, when there isn't enough to justify the pose. This is a real problem with shunning.

Cool thread.

It may be true that Minneapolitan isn't a liberal.

LB and Di seem to be developing a view according to which it's all about political alliances, divorcing the political from the ethical, or moral. Well, this is a question.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:23 PM
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Exclusivity doesn't imply being a political dickhead. No one would care about evangelical influence on politics if all they did was worry that people were going to hell and try to spread the Gospel.

71: And wouldn't you believe there's quite a lot of Christians who take the line, basically, "through Me" means God died for everyone, even if they don't know it. (It's the sort of thing that results from suddenly discovering there's a whole continent of people you didn't know about.) There's a lot of flavors of religious belief out there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:23 PM
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74: The official Catholic position on pro-choice candidates is that you may not vote for someone because of positions that conflict with church doctrine, but you can vote for whoever you think is the best candidate in spite of any such positions they hold. So there's no problem at all with a good Catholic voting for pro-choice candidates, so long as they're not basing their decision on the candiates' positions on abortion. (I'll find a link if you really want one, but I'm sure.)

And I'm not sure where the concept of 'fringe' came in. I'm not arguing that religious right types trying to legislate their morality are a minor or unimportant group, just that they're not the totality of all evangelical or fundamentalist Christians.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:26 PM
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74: I hear that passage used all the time for that purpose, and I've never heard an attempt to put it in any sort of context. On the other hand, I've never bothered to look at the context myself.

Even now, when I could go to biblegateway.com or some such to investigate it, I am not. It really doesn't matter, because it is clear that simply citing the passage blindly gives you no authority


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:28 PM
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LB and Di seem to be developing a view according to which it's all about political alliances, divorcing the political from the ethical, or moral.

I don't recognize this at all in what I said, but I don't understand it very well either, so, maybe. Can you spin it out a little more so I can figure out if I agree or disagree?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:28 PM
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Ridicule fits their "Christianity under attack" worldview anyway.

The shunning is pretty mutual by now anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:29 PM
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70--ridicule is even better, esp. when done well and en masse. I would love to see the sponsors of such legislative nonsense as it at issue in the original post (and much else of its kind besides) made a laughing stock. The problem is that people on 'our' side keep pretending or acting as though people who would and do sponsor such nonsense care enough about what they do or do not have reason to do to be susceptible to the force of argument. They aren't-- and a good many of them don't even try and pretend that they are or would be responsive to force of argument. I'm weary of being one of the folks who pays for the fact that we (Liberals and liberals) keep pretending/acting as though they are. Bring on the ridicule and shunning and any other justified though non-rational force that might at least humiliate them into silence, if not move them.


Posted by: onemorephilosopher | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:30 PM
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I'm sorry, I'm not being clear, let alone eloquent. I'm reacting to this statement: I don't think there's any broad category of religious people who are theologically required to be assholes and claiming that there is a broad category of Christians, with textual support in the Bible, who do indeed feel required to be assholes. I don't know the numbers, I'm not conversant with the theological fine points, but it's not a fringe belief. It's found both among Catholicis and among Evangelical Protestants, and perhaps elsewhere.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:32 PM
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Hey, I was raised as a Christian and a liberal, and thankfully I've been able to shake off both sets of shackels.

Seems like we've basically reached comity here, except for some questions about specific tactics and the intensity with which they are applied.

What do you think most fundies would think of Prince Buster's "Ten Commandments" and "Thirty Pieces of Silver"? Someone should play both songs really loudly for them.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:33 PM
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Wall Street churning, Athens burning!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:35 PM
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... and the belief in the obligation to be assholes has historical depth (that was the reason for the reference to Spain 1492)


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:36 PM
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there is a broad category of Christians, with textual support in the Bible, who do indeed feel required to be assholes.

The bible is an incoherent text. It was written over many thousand years by many people with different agendas. While people may feel it justifies any kind of behavior, good or ill, there's nothing inherent in it that does that.

If you read it with an eye toward real goodness, you can find some nifty stuff in there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:38 PM
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82: Okay, I'm following you now. What I'm arguing is that the category of people you're describing, "people who believe themselves theologically required to be assholes", does certainly exist. But there isn't a theological/sectarian term that separates members of that category from people who don't belong to it. Not all fundamentalists are PWBTTRTBA, not all evangelical Christians, and not all serious Catholics. Using sectarian terms as if they were a reliable way of identifying PWB... is going to be overinclusive, in a way that's going to make it harder to build alliances with decent, respectable, pleasant people who want to work politically to reduce inequality or whatever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:38 PM
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the belief in the obligation to be assholes has historical depth

well, the belief in general that there is an obligation to assholery has historical dept. Our species has had assholes since the beginning.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:40 PM
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79: It came pretty straightforwardly from your 72:

when you attack religious people, of whatever sect, generally, as assholes, you've pre-emptively defined anyone who might be on your side politically as religious hypocrites -- if they're not being evil, then their religion must be bullshit. That's not a great way to make friends.

That is, it's about political alliances. I understand that both you and Di have been responding (in part) to Minneapolitan, who advocates utter shunning -- and he attacks -- while you counsel compromise and alliance, which is the liberal way.

I don't have a firm stance on this. There's a lot of discussion out there about it. It is, as Adam said upthread, a problem with liberalism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:42 PM
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86: no disagreement.

But there isn't a theological/sectarian term that separates members of that category from people who don't belong to it.

Okay I'll buy that. But I rather do wish there was an appropriate term, because I think that's the crucial group whose attitudes need adjusting. PWBTTRTBA is a bit too long for a protest sign, and it's hard to chant:

2 4 6 8
Who do we abominate?
PWBTTRTBA! PWBTTRTBA! PWBTTRTBA!

nope, can't hear it.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:43 PM
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liberalism doesn't require us to be doormats; there is such a thing as beyond the pale of reasonable pluralism.


Posted by: onemorephilosopher | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:47 PM
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Pwibittertba is the new swipple.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:48 PM
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89: But it's not about cynical political alliances, disregarding all thoughts of ethics and morality, it's about preserving the possibility of political alliances with genuinely decent people who really share some of my moral values and don't intend to impose the remainder of their values in a manner I consider harmful, but who nonetheless identify as fundamentalist or evangelicals.

90: The term you want is 'the Religious Right'. I think that covers it pretty neatly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 7:49 PM
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93.1: Yes, I get it: it's about preserving the possibility of political alliances!

No worries, I understand: they share politically liberal values (i.e., as you say, don't intend to impose the remainder of their values in a manner I consider harmful), and these trump their religiously motivated values.

Of course, when those two sets of values are in deep tension, you have a troubled arrangement. The alliance may be temporary at best. Liberalism comes with a built-in set of ethical precepts, and despite attempts in the Rawlsian arena to argue otherwise, certain ethical/moral stances are just not going to be compatible with it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:01 PM
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Huh. You do realize that for many religious people, a large part of their religiously motivated values are generally recognized liberal values? I'm not sure if you see an "deep tension" between liberalism and all religious beliefs other than atheism, or how that works for you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:08 PM
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In actual fact, we're outnumbered and outgunned, and in actual practice (as opposed to comment threads) I support a live-and-let-live policy in general, picking fights where necessary and practical. We live in a world of crazy people. (You guys are crazy too).

I do hate the genuflection a lot of seculars have toward belief as such, though, and the way that most seculars and many Christians allow the worst Christians to represent all of them, as though they were the realest Christians. But religions do have that internal dynamic. And it remains true that you can shit on unbelievers as much as you want, without penalty.

In my experience a lot of conservative Christians (a much better term than "fundamentalist) often are kindly, warm, and charitable within about a 20-mile radius of their homes, but are ignorant, fearful, and hateful about the world beyond that. And their hatefulness can be quite intense and significant.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:13 PM
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I'm not sure if you see an "deep tension" between liberalism and all religious beliefs other than atheism

No, I don't. Don't leap the conclusion that I'm arguing for an a-theistic state as the only one compatible with liberalism. I've said that I don't have an answer to this. The fact remains that moral traditions that call for private value systems to trump public ones (understood as liberal) are a problem for liberalism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:27 PM
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But LB, identifications are not fixed and eternal features. Attaching religion in general is obviously counterproductive, but certain forms of religious extremism are incompatible with liberal democracy. Fundamentalists are a vocal minority, but they are a minority. The average person doesn't want to be hectored about Jesus or using birth control any more than we do.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:29 PM
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97, 98: Huh. We seem to have gotten to a point where I'm arguing 'not everyone who identifies as a fundamentalist is someone a liberal is going to be necessarily in conflict with', and both of you are arguing 'there are some people whose religious beliefs are going to place them in conflict with liberal values.' Looks to me like we're all right! Yay!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 8:44 PM
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99: You refuse to consider the more-likely option that we're all wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:06 PM
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I do hate the genuflection a lot of seculars have toward belief as such, though

Yeah, definitely. Well, 'go big or go home' is my motto, so, you know: either piss or get off the pot, IYKWIM. That namby-pamby in-between is what leads us to Saddleback...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:13 PM
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I just ran across this. The GWB bits at the end are priceless.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:27 PM
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When we take over you can be our token Catholic, MC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:28 PM
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I'm going to display some SWPL cred and say that the This American Life episode, Heretics that recently aired covered some interesting ground on this at the end - some former evangelicals reflecting on how obnoxious their evangelism must have been, which they realize after their faith shifts a bit from the mainstream and causes the rest of the evangelical community to either shun them or start trying to re-convert them.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:34 PM
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Aw, thanks, John. I'm 110 percent behind gay marriage, btw, and will this interfere with my token status?

102 is quite excellent, thanks for posting.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:38 PM
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We'll probably make you the first lady Pope, MC. Except for Pope Joan, I mean.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:44 PM
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I loved that episode -- the guy is a very successful evangelical megachurch preacher, who has a religious experience converting him to universalism -- everyone's saved, no need to get tense about it. And he gets pushed out of the evangelical community for it.

He seemed like such a decent guy. It's funny, though, the kind of thing that makes me really realize that I'm not religious and don't genuinely empathize with religious people: I'd think that if you had the kind of faith that made you make serious life decisions on that basis, which this guy seemed to, and you believed that there was a God, and a heaven, and everyone was going there and there was no need to worry about it, you'd be more cheerful than he seemed to be. I mean, present day annoyances like losing your congregation and having your old friends snub you, sure, but you'd think there'd be more of an immediate emotional payoff in terms of carefreeness than he seemed to get out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 9:45 PM
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102: Carlin was right about education being a mess, but isn't that true only of public education, where parents have little choice and aren't in charge? SO shall we demand that government spend more money on things it does badly - or maybe give parents vouchers and a choice?


Posted by: TokyoTom | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 10:15 PM
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Government out of tone-deaf, off-topic trolling! Tone-deaf, off-topic trolling is rightfully the province of the private sector, who have a proven ability to be tone-deaf and off-topic!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 10:18 PM
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Tweety, thanks for supporting my tone-deaf, off-topic trolling by offering links to another fabulously successful federal program - use of taxpayer funds (borrowed, of course) to bailout those who are too important to take responsibility for their own mistakes.

19: I can see you hate the EEEVIL fundies, but what about the "bleeding heart tightwads" that Kristol writes about?

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, "Who Really Cares," cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals. Other research has reached similar conclusions. ...

The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans -- the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.



Posted by: TokyoTom | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:11 PM
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I admit it: I am hypocritical scum.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:20 PM
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"The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless," is misleading. At least some Democrats attempt to act on behalf of the hungry and homeless, aiming toward reliable and predictable support so that people with needs can plausibly expect them to be met rather than just hoping. The Republican approach is to encourage everyone in need to gamble. There is no equivalency once we look at what people are doing as well as saying.

There are, of course, far too many Democratic leaders quite happy to cut support and proclaim it a gift to strengthen those cut off. These people are also scum.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:28 PM
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Tell it to someone who cares, Tom. And next time, bring some pastries.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 11:35 PM
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re: 26

Yeah, me too, at various points in the past. Some people are really uncomfortable with condemnatory language altogether.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 12:36 AM
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I am currently very taken with IOZ's view of "What's The Matter With Kansas?" - that it consists of a bunch of progressive, liberal Democrats sitting round scratching their heads going "why on earth would people constantly vote for a party that has no respect for them and constantly chucks their key interests overboard? You working-class Republicans, please tell us liberal progressive Democrats why you would do such a silly thing!"


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 2:00 AM
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I will freely admit to having largely given up on the idea of persuading people with ideas really strongly different from mine at deep levels. I respect those willing to make the effort as long as they're not trading away important stuff from my side, but I kind of don't really care anymore. I am much more interested in strengthening ties with people I do share fundamentals with and getting things done, or at least trying, using our combined leverage to see how much we can offset all the purveyors of crap and evil.

I don't see that on the mass scale, efforts at conciliation have done any significant good at all, and I do see substantial harm that's come in catering to people who are not in practical terms open to major shifts of policy wishes. I think that insofar as it's ever going to work, at this point, it'll work on the level of individuals. And in the meantime, yeah, I'm going to be rude to people who avowedly wish to destroy the lives of many people I care about until we give up our wicked ways.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 2:42 AM
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I don't see that on the mass scale, efforts at conciliation have done any significant good at all

Yeah. I think some good decent things have come from gentle persuasion and the use of very soft power. But largely, I think, they've come from persuading the other side that you are considerably bigger and harder than them [or that you aren't bigger and harder but you are definitely crazy enough to go down in flames rather than give in].

The history of trade unionism, or votes for women, or universal emancipation, or progressive taxation, etc etc isn't one which largely involves the seeing of the other side's point of view and the search for conciliation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 2:50 AM
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117: Who amongst us would not throw themselves in front of a NASCAR race for universaL health care?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 7:01 AM
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IOZ is the David Broder of cynics.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 7:15 AM
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re; 118

Not me. But i might be prepared to give someone a sharp rap with my opera cane while peering peevishly at them over my spectacles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:00 AM
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Washington is worth a NAS.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:09 AM
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re: 119

I'm not even sure what that means. Am I missing some cross-pond cultural nuance?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:10 AM
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So this morning on the train a woman noticed my Heifer International catalog and exclaimed over it, wondering where I got it and saying she'd just seen them featured on the Today Show.

In talking them up, I did something that I never would have done five years ago: I cited my Quaker Meeting's history of fundraising for Heifer. Liberal Quakerism is one of the most evangelism-free environments I can think of (someone I know affectionately calls it a "do-it-yourself religion") and it certainly not common to the faith that you would go around in public proclaiming what you've done nor even that you are a member.

But watching my country's landscape of moral language and faith be taken over by one side's extremists in the last eight years has made me much more willing to use the language of faith and morals to illustrate other virtues. Being too unwilling to condemn or use moral language leads to humiliations like this, as the NYT Public Editor justifies why his paper will not agree that waterboarding is torture:

[NYT reporter] Shane said, "Historically, the United States and other Western countries have long considered waterboarding to be illegal torture. But the Justice Department under President Bush took a different view and supported it in a series of opinions, some of which are still in effect." That means there is an active debate, and even though the merits may seem to be heavily on one side, it is a legal question that has not been decided. Congress tried, but President Bush vetoed it.
Douglas Jehl, Shane's editor, said, "We always need to be very careful about taking sides in any debate."
Mazzetti and Shane made it pretty clear what waterboarding was - and that it is widely regarded as torture - without declaring an opinion on the matter by adopting the T-word as their own. I think that was the right thing to do, no matter what I may think of waterboarding.

We need ridicule, and we need shaming, but they can't be the only tactics and they shouldn't be primary. You need the ACT-UP folks willing to lie down in the street and be arrested over AIDS issues, but you need a much larger group of healthcare professionals who are able to move the science and the care forward when the activists have made room for the political possibility.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:12 AM
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I didnt know Witt was a Quaker.

Have we discussed Kiva.org? Anyone doing it?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:40 AM
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||
All hail the invisible hand. Every unit of demand is sacred.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:43 AM
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but isn't that true only of public education, where parents have little choice and aren't in charge?

No, not at all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:45 AM
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Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas" has been pretty much replaced with "Rich State Poor State Blue State Red State".

it's a pretty detailed book. What I remember is that in all states, the poor are more likely to be Democrats than the rich, but in poor states everyone is more likely to be Republican than in rich states, while in rich states only the rich are more likely to be Democratic than in poor states. There's no state where the poor are more Republican than the rich or the middle class.

The book also describes the culture war as a split within two parts of the middle and upper classes, one more urban, coastal, and collegiate/professional, and the other more exurban-rural, inland, and business-oriented.

I see the elitist theme as anti-college, anti-humanities, and anti-bureaucratic. Well off liberals often work for very large organizations, especially state-run or non-profit organizations.

The anti--elite Republicans can be very well off.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:47 AM
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I keep being tempted to respond to the trolling in 110, but then I re-read 109 and laugh.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:54 AM
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If this prompts some to do so, then aren`t we better off than having the federal government with a finger in everything?

I definitely would feel better off if the feds didn't have a finger in my back door.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:05 AM
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I've heard that charitable giving by the homeless is down this year.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:06 AM
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TT is cherry-picking that Kristof op-ed but good.

"It's true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:06 AM
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90: The term you want is 'the Religious Right'. I think that covers it pretty neatly.

I've been mulling that over, and while the term could be used I don't find it sufficiently perjorative. We need to include everyone from Rev Phelps' gang through Bin Ladin to the Mormon Church and Ric Warren - lump 'em all together. They all want to enact their particular religios beliefs into civil law.

I'm thinking 'theocrats'. B the term may be too unfamiliar for the majority of Americans.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:09 AM
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B = but.

One day I'll get a keyboard on which all the keys work the first time I hit 'em.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:10 AM
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God-botherers? I love that term.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:11 AM
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Being conciliatory has gotten a bad name because it was associated with Democratic surrender of principles and lack of clarity about them (still an ongoing problem). Conciliation is good when it's an attempt to see where shared principles can allow for building issue alliances.

But when it's a code word for throwing principles overboard, or beating yourself up for not having any then it sucks (as in the horrible stuff in 2004 about how Democrats needed to discover "values"...being against gay marriage showed "values", being against homosexual torture in Abu Ghraib showed you are out of touch).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:12 AM
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If we could split the evil Christians from the others and convince the Armageddonists that they are too good to soil themselves with politics, I'd be happy to be nice to the rest of them even if they were conservative on some points.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 9:43 AM
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It'll be hard to reach some people, but I think we should at least make an effort.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:04 AM
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OT -- although relating to evil Christians: Remember hat evil ex-best-friend of mine, the one who had UNG over for Christmas Eve last year and who invited me over not quite a year before that solely to get me out of the house so her realtor husband could do a market analysis of my house for UNG for purposes of determining how much I'd have to pay to buy him out? Apparently she left a gift in my mailbox over the weekend for Rory from her daughter. Am I being unreasonably bitter to construe dropping the gift in my box rather than delivering it through their best buddy UNG as passive aggressive bullshit?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:09 AM
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Am I being unreasonably bitter

Hard to say, but I'd just interpret it as a gift between the kids and not spend any effort trying to divine the hidden message.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:15 AM
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Rewrap it as from you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:24 AM
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138: All that shit belongs to the assholes who actually do it. Better to do your best to just let it go. OTOH steeping in a little bitterness from time to time can be cathartic. It's the lingering kind of bitterness that rots your soul.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:37 AM
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I was going to suggest testing it for nitrate residue before opening it. But I see now that that would not be in the spirit of the season.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 11:18 AM
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It's too late, Togolosh. My soul has turned to the spiritual equivalent of nước mắm already.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 11:51 AM
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Okay, cleansing breath. I have the luxury most of the year of forgetting these people exist. The reminder of their existence momentarily reminded me of my burning, burning hatred. All better now. I do wish I'd read 140 before giving the gift to Rory...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:02 PM
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144: You could always send a no-thank you note back....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:06 PM
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Man, this blog really has gone downhill. How is it that this thread has gone on this long without a Lawrence v. Texas reference?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:09 PM
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Complaining that no one else has come up with a joke is a cheap way to get the reference in without having to come up with a joke yourself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:33 PM
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147 is correct.

A good way to phrase these non-jokes has historically been "No love for [obvious reference]?" Another one, despite being bizarrely convoluted, is "Paging [obvious reference], please report to the white courtesy phone."

Or "[Obvious reference] reference in 3...2...1...", or simply "[Obvious reference] says hi."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:36 PM
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otoh, even some low hanging fruit should be left to ripen


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:39 PM
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However, waiting until 146 to make a non-joke reference is eminently acceptable.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:42 PM
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151

It's all fair game after Kobe shows up, sure.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 1:44 PM
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Complaining that no one else has come up with a joke is a cheap way to get the reference in without having to come up with a joke yourself.

Better to do it cheaply than to not do it at all.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 2:14 PM
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131: Apo, I offered the link to support the point that the religious fundies are more generous with their money than liberals. That seems a fair conclusion from Kristol`s piece.

Secular conservative may be scrooges AND evil, but they aren`t trying to force their religion down anyone`s throat. They`ve simply been willing to make use of fundies and religion for get out the vote purposes.


Posted by: TokyoTom | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 8:08 PM
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