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Mark Levin hangs up on "intolerant" atheist caller

#11SSj4WingzeroPosted 3/21/2014 4:25:48 AM
Religious folks may currently be hampering us in some matters like stem cell research, but you need to look beyond the present day and look at ways people of great religiosity have influenced the country in very positive ways. The Progressive Era of the early 20th century, where the United States introduced unprecedented workers' rights laws, product safety laws, health laws, anti-corrupt business practices laws, and culminated in suffrage for women? Yeah, that was a movement largely led by religious folk - the "Social Gospel" peaked at roughly the same time, and it was only because of the attitudes of people at the time (largely based on religion) that all of those laws were passed.

The abolition of slavery? Chalk up another point for the religious folks. Most of the prominent abolitionists were devout Christians (in some cases, downright fanatical like John Brown), and at the time, the Civil War was largely viewed by many in the North (which was then the more religious part of the country) as a holy war against the Godless folk of the south who would allow such an abomination like slavery to exist.

The Civil Rights Movement? Another point in the religious column...just look at its most prominent leader, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I mean, I could go on and on about these things. I'm not saying that restrictions on freedom of religion are a good thing. Obviously, people should be free to believe in whatever they want to believe. But there's also a flip side to the argument, which is that in the social movements aimed towards better treatment and quality of life of the average citizen in US history, the ones leading the charge have been Christians motivated not by logic or reason but by their concept of justice and righteousness. I agree with you that we should not attempt to mandate that certain religious views get priority over others.

But at the same time, would you really call the influence of religion in the history of US politics a bad thing overall? Isn't it a good thing that religious folks stood up and helped to push the 19th amendment through Congress and the state legislatures? If you read some of the religious writings from early 20th century American history, you'd probably agree with everything the person said, because he clamored for wealth redistribution, equal rights, a livable minimum wage, and better treatment of industrial workers. Christians in early 20th-century America were the reformers against the big bad industrialists which sought to exploit small town folks.

When you mention that you want us to motivated by the sense of human betterment...frankly, for the bulk of American history, this sense of human betterment has come from the religious establishments which led the charge in freeing the slaves and giving women a voice in politics. Yes, today's religious right is sometimes irritating to deal with, but the association of Christianity with right-wing conservatism really didn't start until the 70's, and it's pretty important to also look at what religion has done in the past to make an accusation against it.

I don't know about you, but I'm sure as hell glad that religious leaders stepped up when they did in the past. It'd be short-sighted and ignorant of basic history to assert that people motivated by faith acting in politics aren't capable of doing absolutely extraordinary things - it's just been co-opted by a group of people you disagree with, but that doesn't make the very nature of it a unilaterally bad thing, so long as it isn't an attempt to force others to agree on theological matters.
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#12SSj4WingzeroPosted 3/21/2014 4:36:45 AM
I should probably clarify as well - I'm not against religious freedom, nor am I mandating that people should automatically consider matters of faith first and foremost.

But I'm just cautioning against your absolutely incorrect assertion that religion has been a barrier to progress in American politics - this is almost not the case, and more often than not, it has been a source of progress. The times in history where we have made the greatest progress in giving people basic rights have been the times during or shortly after great religious revivals in the United States. You criticize Levin for using his faith to justify cutting taxes and welfare, but religious leaders in the past have used their faith to justify dying for the sake of freeing slaves.

One of your criticisms of religion is that it forces people to see morality in terms of black and white. First of all, this isn't always a bad thing, since some things are just plain wrong, such as slavery or denying women the right to vote. I sure as hell hope nobody stands in gray areas on those issues. Second of all, isn't that what you're doing by unilaterally labeling religion's role in the US politics as negative? It's blatantly obvious that religion's history in the United States is not entirely bad, but somehow you've chosen to ignore that.
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#13Faust_8Posted 3/21/2014 4:50:44 AM
I think the point isn't that religion is ALWAYS a barrier to progress, it's just that it can be, and isn't exactly NEEDED for progress either. Sure, religion can point you away from slavery, but why can't secularism? How exactly can one justify slavery with secular arguments? It's impossible.

The abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, and things like that...I can't see how they wouldn't have happened anyway even if religion never existed at all. Especially since it can be argued that those heinous attitudes only existed because of religion in the first place, at least in part. (For example, the Bible is pretty "men are superior" a lot.)
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#14Hustle KongPosted 3/21/2014 5:02:10 AM
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You don't think people would be able to justify awful things without religion?
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#15SSj4WingzeroPosted 3/21/2014 5:12:37 AM(edited)
Would these things have happened in the United States without religion? Maybe.

But would they have happened at the time? Probably not.

Similarly, in Great Britain, the leader of the charge to end slavery was an MP named William Wilberforce, who, after converting to evangelical Christianity and seeing the light, so to speak, spent the remaining 48 years of his life campaigning against Slavery in Parliament, and died at the age of 73, three days after hearing that abolition of slavery would pass through Parliament.

Again, if religion has compelled people to do so many good things, why is it something that should be exorcised from government? (Note that I'm speaking about religion, not religious oppression of other worldviews).

If your argument that religion should be removed from politics and public life is based around the fact that religion can sometimes make people do bad things, then that's a pretty lame argument. We might as well start banning literally every single thing in the entire world that can be spoken, read, heard, or written, because there's not a thing (literally, any abstract object whatsoever) on this planet that can't be used for ill intentions.
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Not changing this sig until the Knicks win the NBA Championship! Started...4/23/2011? Or was it 2010?
#16C_MatPosted 3/21/2014 5:28:45 AM
Faust_8 posted...
How exactly can one justify slavery with secular arguments? It's impossible.


Simple. "I find my race is superior/more evolved than yours; we take authority over your people via forced enslavement. We'll treat you like animals because you're inferior to us."
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#17ave1Posted 3/21/2014 5:37:32 AM
Jonwood wrote: On a side note...wanna know why Rush Limbaugh denies global warming? Because he believes God would not create a world we can trash. This kind of thinking is dangerous, and not representative of the kind of America I want to live in.

You're wrong. He doesn't believe in man-made global warming because it's leftist propaganda that lacks enough evidence to give it validity. See: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ

Important info starts at 1:20- just watch five minutes of it or more starting there. Be aware that thousands of jobs and a gob of money are at stake when it comes to these scientists trying to ensure man-made Carbon-emission G Warming is taken seriously. The evidence is lacking.
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If a tree falls in a forest and you hear it, but your eyes are closed, how do you know it's not just fifty porcupines sliding down a hill?
#18ThuggernautzPosted 3/21/2014 5:58:15 AM(edited)
Oh look, it's ave. Every time you spout your nonsense you try to argue for a brief while before slinking away under the pressure of mountains of contrary evidence saying 'I'll get back to this later'. Will this happen again? Only time will tell...
#19DT2501Posted 3/21/2014 6:45:01 AM
ave1 posted...
Jonwood wrote: On a side note...wanna know why Rush Limbaugh denies global warming? Because he believes God would not create a world we can trash. This kind of thinking is dangerous, and not representative of the kind of America I want to live in.

You're wrong. He doesn't believe in man-made global warming because it's leftist propaganda that lacks enough evidence to give it validity. See: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ

Important info starts at 1:20- just watch five minutes of it or more starting there. Be aware that thousands of jobs and a gob of money are at stake when it comes to these scientists trying to ensure man-made Carbon-emission G Warming is taken seriously. The evidence is lacking.

http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/

97% of climate scientists don't think "the evidence is lacking." Sure, you can dismiss the opinion of every scientist who knows anything about the subject as one giant (incredibly implausible) conspiracy if you want, but who else are you going to get your info from? Even if you don't trust their word, no one else is in a position to know better.
#20ave1Posted 3/21/2014 6:57:03 AM(edited)
I share what I came to share and if you choose not to look into it, then so be it.

I'm here to get some people's eyes opened- if they'll only do the research.

http://m.newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/23/misleading-97-percent-scientists-claim-resurfaces-ny-times

All based on very subjective methodology and one needs to take into account the grant money that's handed over to scientists who wish to determine how climate is affecting everything from birdbeaks to butterflies.

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If a tree falls in a forest and you hear it, but your eyes are closed, how do you know it's not just fifty porcupines sliding down a hill?