March 8th, 2010


(no subject)

You know what? I've been won over to the side of free market capitalism! Let's remove all govt regulation and oversight from businesses.

Screw the 40 hour work-week. Let employers decide what, if anything, overtime should start at.

Let's allow children to work long hours; let's allow stores to pay people any wage they want--hell, let's allow them to pay them in company credit. Maybe farmers can start sharecropping again. I am absolutely fantastically certain that this will result in a better and more vibrant economy for everybody....who owns a mega-business.


Religion and the death penalty.

I'm pretty religious and also pretty liberal (in the American sense of the word) I became liberal (I used to be a Libertarian when I was younger) gradually as I've gotten older and generally been impressed with how well liberal institutions work. I regard politics as more practical than moral and don't think I have any right to have my own religious notions of morality enforced on others. Like many liberals, I object to the death penalty because if its long history of racist, classist and anti-male** application and its inherent imperfections (a single innocent being executed invalidates the whole institution.)

But, unlike other political positions I have, my disdain for the death penalty coincides with my religious beliefs on the matter. Mainly, that God's justice is perfect, God will send the sinners to hell and the righteous to heaven and it's not really possible for us, as mere mortals, to tell which is which. As such, justice as in retribution is a matter for God. We would do best to respect life and ensure our safety by locking up people who hurt others.

Yet I find that many people who are religious have no problem with the death penalty-- since religion tends to intersect of conservative politics more often. Or is there a religious connection there as well?
  • Roman Catholic Church says that the death penalty is "lawful slaying" and basis this on it being a necessary deterrent and prevention method, but not as a means of vengeance. So, if it is ineffective as a deterrent (there is some evidence that this is true) --would they reject it? Recently they have though not very vocally.
  • Anglican and Episcopalian bishops condemned the death penalty.
  • Southern Baptist Convention updated Baptist Faith and Message. In it the convention officially sanctioned the use of capital punishment by the State. It said that it is the duty of the state to execute those guilty of murder and that God established capital punishment in the Noahic Covenant. This is different from the Roman Catholic take on it-- no mention of it excluding vengeance.
  • Other Baptists reject the death penalty, my church does!
  • Like Christians, Islam and Buddhists and Jews do not have a united stance on the matter.
  • Atheists also have many views on the matter.

So, based on all of that, do we find no guidance in religion? I wonder how I would feel about the matter if the religious teachings I have encountered didn't match with my philosophical notions-- Is it always the case that one must shape the other? Is there anyone who thinks the death penalty should be allowed, though they suppose it is sinful or against their religion? Is there anyone who wants to stop the death penalty though they think it might not be a sin?

**We could talk about how believing it is wrong to kill a woman still further dehumanizes her-- the global effect of this furthesr sexism against women, the local effect is unfair to poor, mostly minority, men.
Godzilla, default

Putting the "mental" in Fundamentalism:

One thing that puzzles me about the contemporary Fundamentalisms, regardless of the religions they come from, is that all claim a heritage as ancient as the particular religion. And all of them, to put it crudely, are talking out of their asses when they say so. Collapse )

Yet somehow these movements obscure that they all have roots no earlier than the 19th Century (and in truth with Islamic Fundamentalism in the early 20th Century thereby making it the youngest of the big three) and claim a heritage that they do not. So, to use another crude statement, if ever there were damned liars......

Repent! The end is near.

Check out the map over at Repent Amarillo. It shows all the hip place to go in Amarillo Texas. Here's a comment about Andrew's Episcopal Church:
Referred to on OUTstanding Amarillo's ( Homosexual activists) website as a "gay friendly" church. In other words, they do not tell homosexuals who attend this church that they must repent of the sin of homosexuality. This a serious violation of scripture.
Collapse )

This kind of "spiritual warfare" comes across as self-parody. Some people are concerned that the target map is an incitement to violence. What do you think? Is this a terrorist Web site?

In my personal opinion, I simply hope the people involved realize the error of their ways before something bad happens and they are held responsible for inciting violence.

Weekly Topic

It's time to announce the Topic of the Week (08.03 / 14.03).

And the winner is...

Religion & moral; creationism

Let's simply call it Religion Week.

This could get controversial, so i urge everyone who would like to engage in a discussion on this subject, to please try to stay on topic and refrain from going uncivil as much as possible. Our religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and our moral values are a very personal thing which should be respected.

Collapse )

Collapse )


Freedom of Religion: How Much Freedom Is Too Much?

Theme post time. In the United States, a Federal law was enacted preventing female genital mutilation in 1997. It cannot be legally performed even on the basis of religious grounds.

Not too shabby, eh? I think this is an example of good policy. In general, I'd have to say let religious folk do whatever they want as long as it doesn't pose a clear and present danger to the rights and well-being of other people. You can sacrifice as many chickens as you want to Groucho Marx. You can chant hymns to Cthulhu all you want. And you know what? If you want to cut off your own dick to appease ancestral spirits, I'd even let you do long as my tax dollars don't pay for your medical care.

Collapse )