May 6, 2010

By proclaiming a National Day of Prayer, "the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience."

So wrote Wisconsin's own Barbara Crabb, in a lawsuit brought by Madison's own Freedom From Religion Foundation.

But the injunction won't go into effect unless the ruling is upheld on appeal, which is, I think, unlikely. Meanwhile, the nefarious violator of the Establishment Clause is none other than our friendly President, Barack Obama, who says:
"I call upon the citizens of our nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us."
It's that special day when the President pushes you to pray... or otherwise give thanks... depending on how you feel about these things.

There, now, has anyone been made to feel "that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community"?

174 comments:

david7134 said...

The person who wants us to give thanks for all that we have is trying as hard as he can to take all that way from us. Perhaps a good prayer would be, "God, please don't let Obama succeed in any of his grand plans". That might secure us a better future.

Oligonicella said...

Control in every area. That's so... What's the word I'm looking for?...

rhhardin said...

A day of apology is called for.

David said...

Exactly how can a court enjoin Barrack Obama from "calling" on people to pray?

Brian said...

Back in August '09, Obama was on a conference call with religious progressives, calling for passage of health care reform after quoting Genesis, and saying we needed health care reform because we are "our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper."

The moderator closed the call: "God has given us a spirit of love, justice and action. Let's put it to work."

The moderator closed the call: "God has given us a spirit of love, justice, and action. Let's put it to work."

Link

So maybe we can oppose Obamacare as an establishment of religion?

Gabriel Hanna said...

This is stupid. We have a secular government, not a secularizing one.

How is it violating the establishment clause to encourage every citizen to practice his or her religion, whatever it may be? Which religion is it exactly that is being "established"?

If the President had said "I want everyone to attend church this Sunday" I could see it. But there's nothing here.

Pastafarian said...

What exactly is the point to the National Day of Prayer?

Can't anyone who wants to pray do so on any day of the year? Are a large number of simultaneous prayers amplified in some way?

And this crap coming from President Obama is thoroughly nauseating. Obama is clearly an agnostic or atheist (not that there's anything wrong with that; other than the condescension and hypocrisy when he pretends otherwise). Anyone who's genuinely religious should be more offended by Obama's act than they should be relieved by his obsequiousness in continuing this pointless tradition.

And I'm a little surprised that Althouse decides to take this particular tack with respect to this issue. She's making fun of the plaintiff in the case, with a "poor baby, are your feelings hurt" routine. Why should the plaintiffs even have to make the claim to injury? Isn't the tradition (or stare decisis) of the wall of separation between church and state enough?

Pastafarian said...

Gabriel, how about religion in general? Isn't that being advanced by the government here?

Why would it have to be a particular sect of a particular creed to qualify?

shoutingthomas said...

I'm looking forward to reading Melanie Phillips' new book: The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power


The loss of religious faith in the West seems much more consequential than intellectuals imagined.

In the long run, it seems to have rendered the West incapable of defending itself.

former law student said...

Last month, Obama proclaimed a "National Day of Service and Remembrance for Victims and Survivors of Terrorism." Soon after he was inaugurated, Obama proclaimed a "National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation."

Obama proclaims National Days for a lot of things. Why must prayer be excluded? Wouldn't that constitute special treatment of religion, or discrimination against religion? Believers already felt left out last November, when Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first one in history to omit any mention of our Creator.

former law student said...

Sorry, only indirectly mentioning God.

Pastafarian said...

shoutingthomas said: "In the long run, it seems to have rendered the West incapable of defending itself."

Defending itself against whom?

The primary opponent at the moment appears to be several million religious fanatics. Rarely is the solution to a problem more of the cause. Should my barn catch on fire, I'll be sure not to call you, lest you bring your acetylene torch and 55 gallon drums of kerosene.

former law student said...

Can't anyone who wants to pray do so on any day of the year?

I feel the same way about Mothers Day. Can't children honor their mothers on any day of the year? Why make it impossible to eat in a restaurant this Sunday?

Salamandyr said...

As an atheist, I can naught one way or t'other, for a National Day of Prayer. If it brings a person solace to pray, I enjoin them to, as often as they feel their soul needs it. I am neither harmed nor helped by others calling me to pray, as long as they respect my wishes not to.

But what is up with all of the Facebook statuses claiming that Obama has "cancelled the National Day of Prayer"? I just got one today; even as the news is showing him presiding over it.

Pastafarian said...

fls, there isn't a wall of separation between motherhood and state. So I don't have a real big problem with Mother's Day.

Brian said...

Conservatives on this issue are all over the map. You have religious conservatives who think a morning prayer (or quiet time) at school (in class, or a prayer at a football game) should be no big deal, that as long as there's no official promotion of one religion over another it's OK. You have other conservatives who think George Bush's federal funding of faith-based initiatives was wrong-headed and unconstitutional. And the more apocalyptic who view the U.S.A. as the new Jerusalem that needs to Christianize the world.

My view is the Day of Prayer is benign and doesn't establish a religion. It doesn't require anyone to participate, and only acknowledges that there are people of faith who want to pray for those who lead this country to find wisdom and guidance from God (whoever that God is).

It reminds you there's more important things than who happens to be in the White House right now.

MadisonMan said...

Why is the government involved in inveigling people to pray anyway?

The history of the day makes me think its establishment was by Congresscritters eager to show they weren't Godless Commie Pinkos.

former law student said...

has anyone been made to feel "that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community"?

So what? Did this Barbara Crabb care when Obama dissed the Turks, by proclaiming March 25 Greek Independence Day?


US President Barack Obama on Thursday signed the annual proclamation issued by the White House to commemorate Greek independence day on March 25, the first successful national uprising against the dour Ottoman empire in the Balkans during the 19th century.

And where does the journalist get off calling the Ottomans "dour." They're tons of fun.

mesquito said...

Can't Our President invoke the free speech clause?

former law student said...

there isn't a wall of separation between motherhood and state

There isn't a wall of separation between church and state, either, Believers have to accommodate the state, and not the other way around. Just try to add onto the historic building you worship in, or take your holy sacrament of peyote, and see how far you get.

ricpic said...

Endorsing the religious is as unconstitutional as oppressing them. Prayer is none of government's business, pro or con.

Seven Machos said...

Crabb has made her decision. Now let her enforce it!

Pastafarian said...

Brian, I agree that this is relatively innocuous -- that it doesn't do any real harm to anyone specifically.

It just undermines the separation of church and state, just a wee bit. And no, it doesn't advance one particular religion -- but it does advance religion in general, and specifically, those religions that include prayer (I'm sure that some religions don't).

And it annoys me to no end to see someone like Obama engaged in this sort of thing, all the while thinking "bitter clingers", and all those bitter clingers out there lapping it up with a spoon, thinking "hey, that Obama fellow isn't so bad after all".

Jesus Christ on horseback, it makes me want to dick-slap some sense into these maxi-pad wearing pussies. (I missed "Talk like Rahm Emmanuel Day", so I needed to make up for it there.)

Brian said...

Believers have to accommodate the state, and not the other way around.

Don't I know it. I get an earful from the neo-Mayans who complain they can't practice their human sacrafice ritual.

WV: forin. Don't tell anyone from Arizona.

Seven Machos said...

Pasta -- This wall you cite between church and state isn't so thick and solid as you think it is, either in case law or reality.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

Gabriel, how about religion in general? Isn't that being advanced by the government here?

The Constitution forbids the establishment of a religion, i.e., the Church of England. It doesn't forbid any and all government expression or endorsement of nondenominational religious sentiment, as a cursory inspection of our nation's history should make clear.

And strictly speaking, it only enjoins the Federal government from doing so. There were STATES with established churches and religious tests for office well into the 19th century.

It's the difference between secular and secularizing. A national Day of Prayer, as FF put it, neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket. If my fellow citizens wish to spend their time communing with what I can conclude is only their own imagination, then they are free to do so. Certainly the government is doing much stupider things.

If you want government officials prohibited from doing or saying anything of a religious nature, then get a Constitutional amendment.

Pastafarian said...

fls said: "Believers have to accommodate the state, and not the other way around. Just try to add onto the historic building you worship in, or take your holy sacrament of peyote..."

You mean that believers have to follow the same laws as everyone else? Heaven forfend.

Lincolntf said...

"...has anyone been made to feel "that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community"?

Just the millions of Americans that the President derides as "Teabaggers".

The National Day of Prayer is fine by me. The Constitution provides specific protections for the expression of one's Religion. Generically encouraging prayer strikes me as similar to encouraging free speech, encouraging voting or, Gaia forbid, encouraging environmentalism.

The Christophobes and fundamentalist atheists have to complain about it because that's what they do, but nobody is harmed one whit by National Prayer Day. If only the same could be said for all the other crap that comes out of Washington.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

You are not being compelled to join in or even refrain from criticizing. You have no Constitutional ground on which to object. Your freedoms are not in any way being curtailed.

Congress and the President engage in all sorts of pointless, time-wasting, symbolic resolutions and declarations, and you have no more legal objection to the National Day of Prayer than a Turkish American has over the Armenian genocide resolution.

Pastafarian said...

Gabriel said: "The Constitution forbids the establishment of a religion..."

I realize that the "wall of separation" was constructed by activist judges. I didn't say that it was ever mentioned in the Constitution. However, there's a pretty extensive history, at this point, of adjudicating as if this wall actually existed. If stare decisis counts in some cases, then it should in all.

Re. the fact that the wording of the constitution mentions "a religion" and not "religion" in general: So could the government advance, say, Judeo-christianity, since it's comprised of many religions? Because that's what they're doing with their Day of Prayer: Advancing only those religions that include prayer as part of their traditions and rituals.

So if they can't advance a group or set of religions at the exclusion of a few...then can they advance religion in general? Many religious people claim that atheism is itself a religion.

Re. whether these rights can be applied at the state level: Isn't the freedom of religion an incorporated right? If the state government can advance one particular religion (or set of them), then how do I have freedom of religion?

And I think that something can be wrong even if it doesn't break a leg or pick a pocket.

Pastafarian said...

No, Gabriel, I'm not being forced to participate at gun point. So it could be worse.

But I am forced at gun point to pay the salary of the chump standing up at the podium and pontificating about it, in his official capacity, during his working hours. And for his secret service detail, and the helicopter he arrived in, and the podium itself.

So it's only the money that I make by trading vast swaths of my life that's being wasted; my rights aren't being curtailed one bit.

Seven Machos said...

Pasta -- The problem that your argument has is existential: religion is such a fundamental part of human life. This is one reason why atheism looks like a religion itself.

Religion helps people get through the day. Religious groups provide countless services at the community level.

Your position that any government can be freed from religion is a fantasy. It's not within the realm of possibility.

Pastafarian said...

So if President Obama declared a National Day of Prayer to Allah, would anyone have a problem with that?

I mean, he's not establishing a national religion. It's just one day. And it's not even one specific religion -- there are dozens of sects that worship Allah.

This would be just a little bit more specific than the National Day of Prayer.

Seven Machos said...

But I am forced at gun point to pay the salary of the chump standing up at the podium and pontificating about it, in his official capacity, during his working hours. And for his secret service detail, and the helicopter he arrived in, and the podium itself.

This argument goes nowhere, either. What about, just to use an example already cited, the Turks here who are happy about what happened to the Armenians? Or people who disagree with any position Obama sets forth for that matter -- why should they have to pay Obama's salary?

What about religion makes it off limits from government conversation any more than any other good or scourge, other than the fact that you don't like it?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

the fact that the wording of the constitution mentions "a religion" and not "religion" in general:

It doesn't use those exact words. Logically, you cannot establish "religion" in general. The establishment clause means that there is not to be a Church of America. You have to completely ignore the meanings of words as well as the relevant history to conclude otherwise.

Judeo-christianity, since it's comprised of many religions? Because that's what they're doing with their Day of Prayer: Advancing only those religions that include prayer as part of their traditions and rituals.

Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs don't pray? That will be news to them.

And what are the tenets of this "Judeo-Christianity" of which you speak? Do they accept the Risen Christ as their Redeemer and what day do they go to church on? Oh, you invented this religion just now?

Advancing only those religions that include prayer as part of their traditions and rituals.

How many religions have no form of prayer? Can you name one? I doubt it. Every religion I have ever heard of, ancient and modern, has some activity which can be called "prayer".

See my remarks about Screwtape in another thread. In a secularizing age, we worry about theocracy.

You are confusing your right not to have a religion with a right to force everyone else to your notions.

Pastafarian said...

But we don't have to worry about the National Day of Prayer to Allah...yet. President Obama will save that one for his second term, or maybe his third.

Seven Machos said...

So if President Obama declared a National Day of Prayer to Allah, would anyone have a problem with that?

This is hyperbole. It's no accident that the National Day of Prayer mentions no deity whatsoever. Why didn't you ask: So if President Obama declared a National Day of Prayer to Yahweh, would anyone have a problem with that?

Moreover, the god of Islam, the Jews, and Christianity is ostensibly the same god, according to all three religions.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

So if President Obama declared a National Day of Prayer to Allah, would anyone have a problem with that?

You're getting stupider. Allah is not the name of A god. It is the WORD FOR GOD in ANOTHER LANGUAGE. So, no, Obama wou;dn't be establishing a religion, he'd just be using words that an English speaker wouldn't use. Arabic Presbyterians pray to "Allah" in ARABIC in the name of his Son "Isa".

Ignorant and stupid people might find it objectionable, just like ignorant and stupid people think the National Day of Prayer is equivalent to the Church of England.

Pastafarian said...

"How many religions have no form of prayer? Can you name one? I doubt it."

Only if you distort the meaning of "prayer" to include something that you do to yourself, could you say that Zen Buddhists pray. I'm sure that there are other religions like this out there.

And if you consider atheism a religion...then there you go.

I think you misinterpreted what I said. I pulled "Judeo-Christian" out of my ass as a collection of religions (Judaism and the various religions within Christianity) as a subset that the government might choose to advance.

Can they advance a discreet collection of religions, if they can't advance just one? Because that's what they're doing here. They're picking and choosing.

mariner said...

shoutingthomas:

The loss of religious faith in the West seems much more consequential than intellectuals imagined.

I disagree.

It is exactly as consequential as the intellectuals hoped it would be. That's why they've been pushing it for decades.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@rdkraus:

OED: establishment: The ‘establishing’ by law (a church, religion, form of worship). (See ESTABLISH v. 7.) {dag}a. In early use, the settling or ordering in a particular manner, the regulating and upholding of the constitution and ordinances of the church recognized by the state. {dag}b. In 17th-18th c. occasionally the granting of legal status to (other religious bodies than that connected with the state). c. Now usually, the conferring on a particular religious body the position of a state church.


The Founding Fathers knew what this word meant. You don't.

Pastafarian said...

Gabriel said: "Ignorant and stupid people..."

Jesus, brother, chill out. You're getting yourself worked up into a tizzy.

Re. the substance of your comment: Oh, there wasn't any. Never mind then.

Seven Machos said...

I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people. They really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems. When they think of religion, they think about Catholics and Baptists, and that's pretty much the extent of it. They really don't believe that there are no gods. They just believe that one god in particular doesn't exist.

E.M. Davis said...

"Why make it impossible to eat in a restaurant this Sunday?"

Because the world doesn't revolve around your dinner plans?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

Can they advance a discreet collection of religions, if they can't advance just one? Because that's what they're doing here. They're picking and choosing.

Yes, they CAN advance religion in general. Because "establishment", by definition, is PRIVILEGING ONE RELIGION AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.

This proclamation DOESN'T EVEN USE THE WORD "GOD" and you're all bent up about it. People like you is why I have to hear about the "War on Christmas". Because that's what you'd do if given the chance. Don't think the Christians don't notice.

Chill the fuck out. You are not the boss of 300 million people.

reader_iam said...

Given my druthers, there would be only three "national" National Days: The Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Veterans Day (and maybe presidential election day, every four years). What is inherently "national"--or needs to be or should be considered inherently "national"--about all the rest?

(I'm not dissing the concept of national here by using quotation marks, to be clear, but rather making a distinction.)

Pastafarian said...

Seven Machos said: "Moreover, the god of Islam, the Jews, and Christianity is ostensibly the same god, according to all three religions."

Alrighty then: I'll put Seven Machos on the list of "All for that" with regard to a National Day of Prayer to Allah.

But in all seriousness: What if President Obama established a National Day of Prayer to some other deity? How about Satan? Or himself?

Again, it would be the same as the current National Day of Prayer, just a bit more specific.

Robert Cook said...

Barack Obama can shove his National Day of Prayer up his lily-white ass.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Seven Machos;

I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people.

Pasta and I are both atheists. Atheists are the proverbial herd of cats. Generalizations about them are futile. But like all people, they come in two flavors: puritanical and curmudgeonly.

Puritanical people want to boss everyone. The curmudgeonly wish only to be left alone.

If I'm not forced to pray, my rights are not violated, and my fellow citizens' religious expression is an exercise of their rights.

Seven Machos said...

But in all seriousness: What if President Obama established a National Day of Prayer to some other deity?

Pasta -- You are still missing a huge point. This existing National Day of Prayer makes no mention of any deity. If you wish to participate, you may pray to anything for anything you like.

You are seeing the word God with a capital 'g' where it simply is not.

AllenS said...

A National Day of Prayer is a good counter-terrorism idea. Write down the names of all those who are facing east when praying.

Pastafarian said...

Seven said: "I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people. They really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems."

That's me, just an Althouse hillbilly.

And yet I've stated that other religions might be so exotic as to exclude prayer from their traditions. That's odd.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

But in all seriousness: What if President Obama established a National Day of Prayer to some other deity? How about Satan? Or himself?


He didn't mention ANY DEITY AT ALL or NAME ANY RELIGION.

We can watch your IQ dropping by the second!

David said...

No, seriously, I don't understand the argument that the court can act here.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech....

Obama ain't Congress and a proclamation ain't law. This isn't an incorporation issues, so "Congress" should mean "Congress." But even if "Congress" somehow meant "government," then I still don't see how the Court can abridge Barrack Obama's freedom of religion or speech. The president doesn't give up his Constitutional rights just because he takes on the executive power of the United States.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Again, it would be the same as the current National Day of Prayer, just a bit more specific.

IF IT WERE SPECIFIC, it would be ESTABLISHMENT.

Jackass.

Since it IS NOT SPECIFIC, it is not ESTABLISHMENT.

Moron.

If Obama declares himself Pope of the Church of Obama and compels everyone to attend services and tithe, yes, that would be an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

Any other stupid questions?

Robert Cook said...

7 Machos said:

"I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people. They really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems. When they think of religion, they think about Catholics and Baptists, and that's pretty much the extent of it. They really don't believe that there are no gods. They just believe that one god in particular doesn't exist."

WFT? Have you ever spoken to an atheist, or are they just strange, exotic critters you've only heard about. This is about the silliest, most uninformed assertion about what atheists believe that I've heard.

Kirstin said...

Our friendly president??

The lawsuit was filed when George W. Bush was president. It was amended to substitute in Obama and Gibbs for Bush and Perino.

Bush used to hold a breakfast and prayer service on the National Day of Prayer. Obama issued a proclamation and stayed in his office last year. I'm not sure what he's doing this year, aside from his proclamation.

Pastafarian said...

Seven said: "You are still missing a huge point. This existing National Day of Prayer makes no mention of any deity."

Well, we seem to be talking around each other here.

What I'm suggesting is this: Suppose in his third term that Emperor Obama declare May 6 to be the National Day of Prayer to Obama (pbuh).

Would that be unconstitutional?

If it is, then why is it constitutional to have a less specific version of the same thing? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" doesn't really seem that complicated to me.

But I'm a simple hillbilly; I don't see layers of nuance in "shall make no law" and "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" either.

They're just including more religions in their promotion at the moment. But it isn't all religions, just the religions that include prayer.

AllenS said...

Good work, Kirstin.

Pastafarian said...

Gabriel said: "IF IT WERE SPECIFIC, it would be ESTABLISHMENT.

Jackass."

And then he proceeded to carry on as if it's still "Talk like Rahm Emmanuel Day".

Anywho: So, suppose, Gabe, that Obama declared it: National Day of Prayer to Either Obama or Satan.

Now, he's not specific there -- you have your choice, after all. Would that be establishment?

Because not all religions include prayer. Pastafarianism, for example (at least the sect to which I belong) forbids it. So they're advancing just a subset of all religions.

OK, now go ahead and call me names in all-caps. Because you're really winning the argument that way, dude.

rdkraus said...

Gabriel

You seem a bit full of yourself.

Or something.

c3 said...

Surveys suggest/indicate:
-80-90% of Americans pray
-80-90% believe in a higher power
-40% attend church on a regular basis

I don't need the National Day of Prayer to sustain my beliefs but please help me understand how a proclamation of a national day of prayer (not "belief in God" or the "National Christian Day) is
mak(ing)a law respecting an establishment of religion

Gabriel Hanna said...

What I'm suggesting is this: Suppose in his third term that Emperor Obama declare May 6 to be the National Day of Prayer to Obama (pbuh).

Would that be unconstitutional?


Yes. Why do you embarrass yourself like this, and by extension me (both for sharing your atheism and continuing to engage you)?

If it is, then why is it constitutional to have a less specific version of the same thing?

Because you can't give special privileges--which is what "establishment" means--in a non-specific manner without a LOGICAL CONTRADICTION.

Turn your goddamned brain on.

Anywho: So, suppose, Gabe, that Obama declared it: National Day of Prayer to Either Obama or Satan.

He is naming SPECIFIC RELIGIONS.

The CURRENT proclamation, of course, contains no such thing. Rather, it says, "Pray to anything in any way you want, or don't." Consequently, it CANNOT be an establishment of religion.

Pastafarian said...

David said: "Obama ain't Congress and a proclamation ain't law."

So I guess according to this rather narrow interpretation, that Obama can declare our national religion to be Islam. I, for one, welcome our new Muslim overlords.

OK, I have to get back to work now, and earn more money that President Obama can use to fuel up his helicopter so that he can make more important pronouncements about faith and prayer, all without curtailing my rights. (Is there nothing that this Son of Man can't do?)

paul a'barge said...

Isn't there anything we can say that will get the atheists to go away and leave us alone?

LarsPorsena said...

"But I am forced at gun point to pay the salary of the chump standing up at the podium and pontificating about it, in his official capacity, during his working hours. And for his secret service detail, and the helicopter he arrived in, and the podium itself."

First lets get rid of the Congressional and military chaplains.
God knows (snicker) what a pernicious influence they've been over the course of our history.

Gabriel Hanna said...

The point, Pastafarian, is that the idea of a National Day of Prayer offends you in some way, and so you are resorting to nonsensical readings of plain English words in order to stop other free citizens from doing things you don't like.

You simply have no such rights. The more you go on in this manner, the more you give credence to Christian persecution fantasies.

Because you are revealing what you would do if you had the power.

I implore you to stop and think.

Pastafarian said...

Gabey Baby said: "The CURRENT proclamation, of course, contains no such thing. Rather, it says, "Pray to anything in any way you want, or don't.""

Does it now? I'll have to read that proclamation. That seems unlikely. I suspect that this would probably piss some people off.

But I'm sure you're right -- you wouldn't make something like that up.

No, Gabe, they don't name one specific religion to advance, or even two; just the religions that include prayer as part of their rituals. And that's not all religions. And even if it were...

But back to work for me. Calm down, Gabe.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pastafarian:

So I guess according to this rather narrow interpretation, that Obama can declare our national religion to be Islam.

And you crank the stupid up to 11. Going back to work is not the best use of your time, I think.

David said...

Pastafarian:

Yes, that's what I'm saying. Barrack Obama has a constitutional right to declare Islam to be our national religion.

And then we would all laugh. Are you seriously suggesting that the only American without freedom of speech is the President?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pasta:

I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.

So, a National Day of Prayer that calls for prayer or the equivalent in whatever religion you might have, and is specifically couched as an "invitation" to "all people of faith", and this is somehow the same as Obama declaring himself God, or something.

LarsPorsena said...

If they are really serious about this, dis-establish the following holidays:

New Years - it's Christian new year..based on a calendar authorized by a Pope know less.

Thanksgiving - do I have to tell you why this day was established?

Christmas - Jesus birthday?...and Federal and State workers get this off? Are you kidding, get their asses back to work.

I also want the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier chiseled off. Imagine having that shit engraved on public property.

What nerve!!

reader_iam said...

So, let me try this again, putting it more bluntly this time:

What the hell does "national" have to do with praying or not praying? Why the hell ought it have anything to do with either in the first place?

edutcher said...

My dad had the 1939 update of the 1933 Webster's New World Dictionary (which, idiot that I am, I left behind in a move) which very clearly defined the word 'establishment' in the context of government and religion as a specific law and used the Anglican Establishment as an example (remember, the '45 Rising was within living memory of many signatories). If so, what truly constitutes an Establishment of Religion (remember antidisestablishmentarianism?) is a lot different than what the ACLU and the Leftists on the appellate courts would have us believe. Much as I hate to give The Zero props, he is much more in harmony with the First Amendment on this one than the court has been over the years.

(I know the Professor will probably nail me on this, but it has always seemed to me that the courts have willfully ignored what an Establishment of Religion truly is, preferring the practice of cherry-picking clauses and phrases to fit various agendas.)

Seven Machos said...

Hey, look! It'a Robert Cook, who believes that the United States is prohibited from declaring war and wants to put Obama in jail but cannot cite a single American law or even a treaty that backs up this asinine assertion.

What's up, Robert? Are you going to produce that citation today?

Seven Machos said...

Reader -- What does national have to do with anything? Religion is a part of life -- a much bigger part of most people's lives than anything you care about.

And, by the way, atheists, I never said I was religious. I just think that people who devote themselves to a belief system where having no god is so vital are really wasting time. Who cares what you think? Why are you always proselytizing and pushing your beliefs on everyone?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pasta et. al:

I've been a jerk, and I apologize.

And the text of the proclamation does have "God" in it, I was wrong to say it didn't.

I was, however, right to say that it calls for prayer or the equivalent for whatever religion people of faith have, and that it is explicitly worded as an "invitation".

I should not have resorted to name-calling, and the point about Rahm is taken.

former law student said...

You mean that believers have to follow the same laws as everyone else?

You mean that belief is the one form of human activity or expression that govenment cannot acknowledge, whose existence it must ignore? Why the disparate treatment of religion?

Obama ain't Congress and a proclamation ain't law

FWIW, Obama proclaims the National Day of Prayer at Congress's direction.

rdkraus said...

Takes a big man (or woman) to apologize.

;-)

This insulting each other is TOO DAMN EASY on the internet.

Me guilty too.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I just think that people who devote themselves to a belief system where having no god is so vital are really wasting time. Who cares what you think? Why are you always proselytizing and pushing your beliefs on everyone?

First, people who don't have "beliefs" cannot have a "belief system" and have nothing to proselytize or push on anyone. Secondly, the position of most atheists is better described as "people who say we should believe in God and do what God says have no evidence for their position and so we are not convinced, it sounds like fairy stories to us". (I'm aware of what the dictionary says an "atheist" is, and if dictionaries said that Catholics worship Mary or Christians worship the cross, they would be wrong in that case too.)

Atheism has no creed, no church, no set of morals.

traditionalguy said...

The solemn declaration of a day as a day for community prayer and humbling (i.e., fasting) were the nuclear weapons of their day. Since when do the Courts have the right or duty to unilaterally disarm us? The President and Congress still have the War Powers.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@rdkraus

Takes a big man (or woman) to apologize.

We're all big men in cyberspace, didn't you know?

Remember what Jack Handey said about big men?

Seven Machos said...

First, people who don't have "beliefs" cannot have a "belief system" and have nothing to proselytize or push on anyone.

That's an odd thing for someone who has spent several posts here (and even the post in which you say this) trumpeting atheism.

Of course atheism has a creed. There are no gods is manifestly a creed. Stop kidding yourself.

Original Mike said...

""I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people. They really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems. When they think of religion, they think about Catholics and Baptists, and that's pretty much the extent of it. They really don't believe that there are no gods. They just believe that one god in particular doesn't exist.""

Oh, for crying out loud!

Seven Machos said...

May 1 was Whale Awareness Day in Massachusetts. May 2 was Space Day. May 24-29 is Hurricane Preparedness Week.

I believe that all of these silly proclamations are hurting, respectively, the whaling industry, the Flat Earth Society, and people everywhere who don't want to be prepared for hurricanes.

Let's sue! Who is with me?

Gabriel Hanna said...

There are no gods is manifestly a creed. Stop kidding yourself.

Except that's not what atheists think. The question of God's existence is irrelevant to whether I believe in God. You may not believe I exist, but we won't settle the question that way.

I see no evidence for the existence of God. I see no evidence for the Tooth Fairy either. Most of what I see is explained satisfactorily without either.

I haven't been everywhere in the Universe and seen everything, there's all kinds of stuff that COULD exist. God and the Tooth Fairy could be somewhere out there. But until there's evidence I won't bother to worry about them.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- Now you are proselytizing against both God and the tooth fairy. Why do you continue to push these beliefs on others, who are merely trying to live their lives?

lemondog said...

National Obama Shut Up And Give It A Rest As We Are Plenty Sick Of Your Incessant And Never-Ending Blabbing Day

or

NOSUAGIARAWAPSOYIANEBD

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gabriel -- Now you are proselytizing against both God and the tooth fairy. Why do you continue to push these beliefs on others, who are merely trying to live their lives?

Interesting that Barack Obama can call for a day of prayer and to you it's not proselytizing, but I can say I see no evidence for the existence of God and that IS proselytizing.

My position is that neither is proselytizing. I rather think I've thought this through a little harder than you have. Also that I have access to a dictionary and you don't.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Proselytizing, my dear 7, is trying to convert someone to something.

I am merely expressing why I don't agree with another opinion.

I think you ought to read up on the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Original Mike said...

Seven: "[Atheists] really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems."

Gabriel: "I rather think I've thought this through a little harder than you have."

What was your first clue, Gabriel?

Seven Machos said...

When Obama proclaims a day of prayer to any god or whatever, that's not proselytizing. Obama isn't imposing anything on anyone. If you don't wish to participate, that's fine.

When people demand that there be no day of prayer because they want to impose their belief system on the rest of society, that's definitely proselytizing.

Of course you've thought things out better, though, Gabriel. You have a high IQ, whatever that is, so you are better at thinking than everybody else.

Ralph L said...

Also joining Barbara CRABB's lawsuit is Madison's St. Atheist Episcopal Church, led by the Rev. Ima Dick.

Seven Machos said...

Oh Jesus, Gabriel and Mike -- How many clues have you found that I am turning an argument around to make a point? Any? Any at all?

It's interesting that you don't seem to have found those clues, Gabriel, given your super-high IQ, whatever that is.

Original Mike said...

I don't know, Seven. I haven't read most of this thread. I just stumbled on your stupid statement.

For the record, I have no problem with Obama declaring a national day of prayer. Fine by me.

Gabriel Hanna said...

that's not proselytizing. Obama isn't imposing anything on anyone.

So, in the Seven Machos dictionary proselytizing = imposing--it's not the same dictionary the rest of use but lets' go with it.

In what sense am I imposing anything on anyone? You explicitly accused me of "proselytizing", but I actuallyy have been defending the National Day of Prayer and I'm not "imposing" anything merely by stating my opinion on someone else's blog. Otherwise, every Christian who mentions that they are a Christian is "prosyletizing".

You have a high IQ, whatever that is, so you are better at thinking than everybody else.

I actually never claimed this. You decided I must have, but that's a reading comprehension issue. I didn't mention here our previous argument on an unrelated subject, preferring to drop the curtain of charity over the scene...

How many clues have you found that I am turning an argument around to make a point? Any? Any at all?

It's interesting that you don't seem to have found those clues, Gabriel, given your super-high IQ, whatever that is.


Stupid is as stupid does, sir. Others will read what I have said, and what you have said, and draw their own conclusions.

I defended the same thing you are defending, and you the attacked me for something I didn't do and explicitly didn't agree with, because I'm not on YOUR SIDE.

Which means you are not arguing, but flinging feces. And furthermore don't know the meaning of words.

Seven Machos said...

Mike -- Let me spell it out. Atheists are as adamant that there are no gods as religious people are adamant that there are. The difference is that atheists constantly bitch and whine and file frivolous lawsuits whenever religion threatens to happen. Thus, the frequent complaint that people are "pushing religion" is nullified because atheists are just as strongly "pushing no religion."

Get it?

I will end with someone Althouse said just the other day: if you think I am saying something dumb, up your game and consider the fact that perhaps I am not dumb, that perhaps there is something more at work. I promise to do the same.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- Chill out, dude. Get some humor in your sad life.

DADvocate said...

Frankly, I can do without Obama's prayers and I'm sure others want to do without Bush's or other conservatives' prayers. I love the way Obama has failed to mention a drowning Nashville, TN yet. I visit Nashville regularly and the pictures I've seen of the devastation are far beyond what I ever thought possible. If this was George Bush twiddling his thumbs like Obama is, Keith Olberman would have had a stroke by now.

Matt said...

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."
-Richard Dawkins

Original Mike said...

"Mike -- Let me spell it out. Atheists are as adamant that there are no gods as religious people are adamant that there are. The difference is that atheists constantly bitch and whine and file frivolous lawsuits whenever religion threatens to happen. Thus, the frequent complaint that people are "pushing religion" is nullified because atheists are just as strongly "pushing no religion."

Do you also believe all black people like watermelon?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Seven Machos:

atheists constantly bitch and whine and file frivolous lawsuits whenever religion threatens to happen.

There you go with the generalizations. Christians constantly are molesting children, beating their wives, blah blah blah. Well, they ARE. Or rather, a tiny subset of them are currently engaged in these activities.

But because you are sympathetic to THEM, you don't generalize about them this way.

The frivolous lawsuits are coming from a subset of atheists and civil libertarians. The ACLU sues over all kinds of stupid stuff. I don't give them money.

Seven Machos said...

Mike -- I can't be more clear about the sarcasm. And, as your response shows, sarcasm spelled out is hard work.

I'm sorry you didn't get it and are so easily offended that you have to resort to racial stereotypes.

Seven Machos said...

If there's one thing I think this thread demonstrates beyond the shadow of any doubt, it's that all atheists are clearly humorless wretches.

Matt said...

DaDvocate

TN flooding.
I guess you want Obama to go in front of the camera and make political hay?
I prefer his actions to words.
So I guess you missed this?

May 4, 2010
President Obama Signs Tennessee Disaster Declaration
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes beginning on April 30, 2010, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. [...]

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- How is that different from what Bush did in response to Katrina? Are you really suggesting that Bush made no federal funding available immediately?

garage mahal said...

the gods offer no reward for intellect. And also why I can't be a Republican.

Gabriel Hanna said...

it's that all atheists are clearly humorless wretches.

All atheists have been posting on this thread?

And maybe we're not laughing because you're not very funny?

No, couldn't be...

So when you accused OM of resorting to racial stereotypes, were you lacking a sense of humor, or were you inronically demonstrating that we have no sense of humor by doing the same thing?

Wheels within wheels. Your IQ must be like a kajillion.

Seven Machos said...

I said that Mike used a racial stereotype because Mike used a racial stereotype. That is not an accusation.

Gabriel, you can't use "you're not funny" as a defense when you are clearly a humorless wretch.

If you wish to improve your ability to understand humor, my advice to you is start small because you are a grave case. A few knock-knock jokes, perhaps, or The Cosby Show.

Matt said...

Seven Machos

I'm not saying anything against Bush. Nor comparing Obama to Bush with regards to disasters. I am refuting DaDvocate's comment that seems to tell us Obama has done nothing about the flooding. He has done something. He just hasn't called a news conference [to my knowledge] about it.

Brian said...

the gods offer no reward for intellect. And also why I can't be a Republican.

Right. The smart Democrats got jobs on Wall Street at the big banks and investment houses, drove their companies (and the economy) into the ground, and got bailed out by Congress.

The CEO's have to go before congress, but still get paid. The management still gets bonuses. The gods don't reward intellect, but they do reward crass chicanery.

Original Mike said...

Well, I don't seem to be the only one who can't detect sarcasm.

So you don't believe all that tripe and I didn't get it?

My bad. I apologize.

Drew said...

I'm starting a new organization called "The Foundation for Freedom from the Freedom From Religion Foundation."

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- I see. I agree that Obama has done whatever Obama can to help with terrible natural disasters. Why is that enough all of the sudden?

Seven Machos said...

Mike -- As I am not a religious person myself, I can certainly understand the atheist point of view. I was trying to make a point in a way that I say, reading back through it, was abjectly funny.

I think that atheists aren't used to getting made fun of and are way too serious about, ironically, religion. And I think we've seen that demonstrated here.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gabriel, you can't use "you're not funny" as a defense when you are clearly a humorless wretch.

I can see that you could diagnose a lack of sense of humor, but how do you diagnose my "wretchedness"?

Isaac Asimov once pointed out that everyone claims to have a sense of humor; he maintained that his own father had none. When accused of this, his father would say "I have a sense of humor. I just never hear anything funny."

Once Asimov told his father the following joke:

Ms. Jones, proprietress of a well populated boarding house, awoke one morning at about 4 a.m. hearing the most terrible noises outside our bedroom. She threw open the door and outside she could see Mr. Smith, one of her borders, much the worse for drink and forcing a horse upstairs.
"Mr. Smith", she shrieked, "what are you doing?"
He said, "I am pushing the horse into the bathroom."
"But why?" "Because the other boarders are wise guys, that's why. In the morning, one by one, the boarders will go into the bathroom; and one by one, they will come out shrieking, "There's a horse in the bathroom!" Then it will be my turn to be the wise guy, for each time I will be able to say, in a calm and superior way, "Yes, I know."


His father said, "Isaac, you are a city boy so you do not understand. You cannot make a horse go up the stairs if he does not want to go."

I wish you'd said anything that funny.

Seven Machos said...

Also, Mike, my apology above was a lame non-apology. I am sorry, too. Truly.

I am not sorry to Gabriel. I find Gabriel a bit loathsome.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Original Mike:

Well, I don't seem to be the only one who can't detect sarcasm.

So you don't believe all that tripe and I didn't get it?


See, he says the opposite of what he thinks so he can satirize the opposite of what we say.

The meta, she spins my head. We've met our match.

Original Mike said...

I think that atheists aren't used to getting made fun of and are way too serious about, ironically, religion.

Actually, the thing I am sensitive about is getting lumped in with the Annie Gaylor crowd. I wish those people would shut up and go away.

Brian said...

A logical fallacy of atheists:

1. There is no God.
2. Faith in something you can't define or know is by definition ludicrous.
3. To know that #1 is true, you have to believe there is nothing beyond this life, or beyond the human's mind to comprehend.
4. To believe in #2, you have to have faith.

Brian said...

Er. I meant "to believe in #3". Sheesh, editing.

Seven Machos said...

Mike -- I can understand that. I mean, I am politically a conservative so I have to live with that same problem every day. We've all got demons on our side, so to speak.

Oligonicella said...

Seven Machos --

"I have always believed that atheists are really provincial people. They really don't comprehend the fact that there are multiple religions in the world with vastly different belief systems. When they think of religion, they think about Catholics and Baptists, and that's pretty much the extent of it. They really don't believe that there are no gods. They just believe that one god in particular doesn't exist."

Then you are hugely ignorant of atheists and what they don't believe and what they do understand. Perhaps we can get together sometime and discuss religions, their evolution and relationships.


paul a'barge --

"Isn't there anything we can say that will get the atheists to go away and leave us alone?"

Nope. You don't leave, we don't leave.

Original Mike said...

I think we've entered a temporal loop.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Brian, you might look up "logical fallacy". If something is "ludicrous by definition", it's a postulate. A logical fallacy is a conclusion that doesn't follow from the postulates.

So if I said "Socrates was a cat, all cats are invisible, therefore Socrates is invisible", then I have no logical fallacy, even though I've been talking obvious nonsense.

Atheists, as I've been trying to explain to 7M here, don't actually think "There is no such thing as God". That's a lazy shorthand for what they do think, which is "You talk of this thing called God which we see no evidence for and hence discount, much as we do the Tooth Fairy".

Do you need faith to know that the moon is not made of cheese?

Seven Machos said...

Oli -- We've been having a discussion about humor here, any how I contend that atheists so often don't have any.

I admit that the post you refer to was the least funny. I was slipshod and left out some crucial elements.

I think, though, if you read further, you'll see some comedy gold.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Do you need faith to know that the moon is not made of cheese?

Actually, a good analogy for religious faith is, someone who believes the Moon is really made of cheese, but that God has given it the physical and chemical properties of rock. And then when someone says "I think if it has the physical and chemical properties of rock, the odds are really good that it IS rock", he accuses that person of having "faith in rock".

former law student said...

In my life I have met two kinds of atheists: the live and let live atheists and the how can you be so stupid as to believe in a fantasy God and let's keep Nativity scenes off the courthouse lawn atheists. The second type are trying to impose their belief system on others.

Matt said...

Seven Machos
Why is that enough all of the sudden?

I know what you are saying. But I think these are two different disasters.
I don't know the timeline between Katrina and Bush's actions. Nor do I know the timeline for TN and Obama's response. But I do know that the aftermath flooding in LA was the real issue and that there was poor planning by FEMA as well as political leaders in LA.

So far it seems FEMA has done pretty well this time around in TN. At least from the reports that I have read.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- Gabriel here is the second type, no question.

Gabriel Hanna said...

On the other hand, Seven Machos would maintain that the Moon really is made of cheese but has the physical and chemical properties of rock. And when I say that anything that has the physical and chemical properties of rock probably IS rock by any meaningful standard, Seven Machos would say I have "faith in rock".

Gabriel Hanna said...

FLS -- Gabriel here is the second type, no question.

More of the Seven Machos signature hilarious satire, I assume.

I am pretending not to find it funny because I am mocking 7M's characterization of me as humorless.

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- I know what you are saying. However, the flood in Tennessee is pretty routine as far as natural disasters go. If FEMA can't handle that, then we're all fucked and FEMA should disband.

Katrina was an epic, once-in-a-century catastrophe of epic proportions because New Orleans was not prepared. It's not surprising that it took longer for the Bush administration to be effective.

However, we didn't see that in the zeitgeist at the time.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- You are flailing. Please stop.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I think, though, if you read further, you'll see some comedy gold.

This is as forthright an admission of trolling as one ever gets. The troll thinks he's smarter than everyone else; but he is the provider of the lulz, and not the recipient.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gabriel -- You are flailing. Please stop.

tl;dr

Brian said...

@Gabriel:
Thank you for taking me back to school on logical fallacies. You are correct that your logic can be impeccable if you buy the beginning premise. The dictionary however defines fallacy as a "mistaken idea." My logical shorthand was designed to show that if an atheist makes a statement "there is nothing beyond this life or that the human mind can comprehend" then it conflicts with the statement "faith in something you cannot know is ludicrous." Because to know there's nothing beyond this life or what the human mind can comprehend requires faith. By definition, if it's beyond human comprehension, it can't be known.

That doesn't rule out the agnostic argument that if there is a God, there's no evidence we can know him. We have no idea if he exists or not.

As to whether or not I have to have faith whether or not the moon is made of cheese, that was settled by Neil Armstrong.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- I don't you think you get what this particular haus is about. The best posters here are the most hilarious. I don't count myself among them, but I do try.

Oligonicella said...

Seven Machos --

"I think that atheists aren't used to getting made fun of and are way too serious about, ironically, religion."

I've spent over fifty years listening to exactly that from religious people. None of what you've written read like sarcasm to me. Oh, well.

Gabriel Hanna said...

if an atheist makes a statement "there is nothing beyond this life or that the human mind can comprehend"

"if" is exactly right. Find some atheists who say that, and then explain why I and all other atheists have to agree with them, and maybe then what you said would have some relevance to what atheists actually think.

If you prefer to argue with a caricature of what people think, don't be surprised when those people don't listen.

As to whether or not I have to have faith whether or not the moon is made of cheese, that was settled by Neil Armstrong.

Only to people without faith that the moon is made of cheese.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gabriel -- I don't you think you get what this particular haus is about. The best posters here are the most hilarious. I don't count myself among them, but I do try.

cool story bro

Seven Machos said...

Thanks, cunt.

DADvocate said...

I guess you want Obama to go in front of the camera and make political hay?
I prefer his actions to words.
So I guess you missed this?


I want Obama to perform at the level Bush was expected to. He's not. I did miss that because I was reading in a Tennessee newspaper about the damage and lack of response.

Brian said...

"if" is exactly right. Find some atheists who say that, and then explain why I and all other atheists have to agree with them, and maybe then what you said would have some relevance to what atheists actually think.

So atheists come in denominations, too? Interesting. Are you a Christopher Hitchens type who views religious folk as superstitious and malicious (of all religious stripes)? Or a Philip Pullman type who views his mission as undermining Christianity in particular?

You don't know the players without a program.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Thanks, cunt.

tl; dr

(See what I did there? I said a two-word post was too long to read! That's sarcasm and you're a humorless wretch if you say it's not funny.)

At this point I'm just wasting Ann's bandwidth, and descending further into assmonkeydom. I will leave the field to Seven Machos, who has clearly won many Internet arguments.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Brian:

So atheists come in denominations, too?

No, herd of cats. If you want to know what one thinks, you have to ask him, and not have conversations with your assumptions.

Interesting. Are you a Christopher Hitchens type who views religious folk as superstitious and malicious (of all religious stripes)? Or a Philip Pullman type who views his mission as undermining Christianity in particular?

Neither. A methodological naturalist. I do not find that religion adds to my understanding of the world around me; your mileage may vary. Religious people believe what they believe for all sorts of reasons. Mainly they think their religion is true, so that's why they believe it. So long as I don't have to pretend to believe it I don't much care what other people think. I'm not interested in ascribing motives to religious believers or diagnosing religious belief as a mental illness.

Hence my defense of the National Day of Prayer.

Matt said...

Seven Machos

I'm not so sure I would call this flood routine. Yes, it is underreported in the media. But many are calling it a "100 year flood". Maybe the general nature of this kind of flooding is routine as far as disaster relief is concerned.

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- I think one of the factors in the improved response was that FEMA has faced this general kind of thing before. I think another factor is the fact that the local communities were better prepared in the first place.

This oil spill, though...

Matt said...

DADvocate

I'll agree the MSM has not covered the flooding much. Or they have not as much as they have the oil spill and the terrorist bombing attempt. But I am not sure about Obama not performing where Bush was expected to. It seems you are trying to make political hay out of this. The bottom line is a flood has occurred and the area has been declared a national emergency and people can get Federal funding and FEMA is there organizing and helping.

What else do you want?

Lincolntf said...

Obama has repeatedly implied that Bush was malevolent in his "neglect" of the Katrina victims. That hateful and ignorant rhetoric from the President didn't do much to save the dozens of Americans in TN who just died on his watch, but who cares? The purpose of his stupid and deceitful remarks were never about improving anything, the purpose was winning the Oval Office. Now that he's there, he'd appreciate it if Americans would quit bothering him with their silly little problems. He's got an entire nation to transform, don't ya know?

c3 said...

Much conflict on this thread today....
I'll say a prayer for you all.

c3 said...

Or would you prefer
sending happy thoughts?

c3 said...

Or just silence...


Because I can do any of the three

Original Mike said...

"Much conflict on this thread today....
I'll say a prayer for you all."


Lord knows, I could use it.

DADvocate said...

Maybe, Obama would do better if he cared about Southern people.

Revenant said...

How is it violating the establishment clause to encourage every citizen to practice his or her religion, whatever it may be? Which religion is it exactly that is being "established"?

I don't want to get into the whole "what constitutes 'establishment'". Let's say, arguendo, that this doesn't qualify. That being said, a call to "join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection" is not a religion-neutral statement. It applies only to the Abrahamic religions -- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and related faiths. It excludes, among other things, Buddhism, Hinduism, the remaining animistic/pagan faiths (e.g. Shinto), and of course also excludes those people without a religion.

America, of course, is overwhelmingly populated with followers of the Abrahamic religions, so only around 10% of the population isn't covered by Obama's statement. It is more offensive when it discusses health care reform as if it was a universal desire. :)

Revenant said...

A logical fallacy of atheists:

This should be good...

1. There is no God.

"Strong" atheists believe there are no gods, "weak" atheists lack belief in gods, agnostics (a subset of weak atheists) belief that it is impossible to know if gods exist.

That being said -- so far, so good. "There is no God" is in fact something strong atheists believe. In fact, it is the only belief shared by strong atheists.

2. Faith in something you can't define or know is by definition ludicrous.

That is not a tenet of atheism.

3. To know that #1 is true, you have to believe there is nothing beyond this life, or beyond the human's mind to comprehend.

Logically fallacious. Just because "God" is defined as beyond comprehension doesn't mean that everything beyond our comprehension is God. There are plenty of things that are incomprehensible to us; it is just that none of them are divine in origin.

4. To believe in #2, you have to have faith.

I assume you mean #3, since #2 is a definition, not a belief. That being said, yes, the belief that there is nothing beyond this life is a matter of faith, at least in the sense that the belief that Barack Obama is not from Venus is a matter of faith.

So what's the fallacy, exactly? I'm not even clear on what the fallacy would be if claims 2 and 3 were true for atheism.

c3 said...

"weak" atheists lack belief in gods,

And that's why they're "weak"

:-)

Lincolntf said...

Strong Atheists and Weak Atheists have different views? Civil war will certainly result. Does getting hit in the face with a non-denominational pussy slap hurt? Soon, those "Weakies" will know!!!!

Duscany said...

Pastafarian" "Can't anyone who wants to pray do so on any day of the year? Are a large number of simultaneous prayers amplified in some way?"

Oh sure. It's a proven fact. Three years ago in Argentina a pastor held a religious revival in a football stadium and as a demonstration of the power of prayer he asked the groundskeeper to bring out a rabbit in a cage. Then he asked all 60,000 attendees to close their eyes and pray as hard as they could that the lord would take the rabbit home. When everyone opened their eyes again the cage was empty.

It was a miracle. That night the groundskeepeer's wife cooked with what everyone said was best rabbit stew she'd ever made, though I personally feel she added too many cloves.

reader_iam said...

Every once in a while, I wonder what would be the reaction if Congress and the President were to declare a National Day of No Prayer. Next, I stop wondering.

former law student said...

what would be the reaction if Congress and the President were to declare a National Day of No Prayer

Do mothers brood about being neglected on Father's Day? 364 days a year are official no-prayer days.

former law student said...

I like the inclusiveness of the Singapore public holidays. Celebrate diversity, don't suppress it.

New Year's Day
Friday
1 January 2010

Chinese New Year
Sunday*
14 February 2010
Monday
15 February 2010

Good Friday (Christian)
Friday
2 April 2010

Labour Day (Commemorates the Haymarket Martyrs)
Saturday
1 May 2010

Vesak Day (Buddhist)
Friday
28 May 2010

National Day
Monday
9 August 2010

Hari Raya Puasa (Muslim -- Eid alFitr)
Friday
10 September 2010

Deepavali (Hindu)
Friday
5 November 2010 **

Hari Raya Haji (Muslim -- Eid alAdha)
Wednesday
17 November 2010

Christmas Day (Christian)
Saturday
25 December 2010

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- What day is Cane the Spitters Day in Singapore?

reader_iam said...

364 days a year are official no-prayer days.

No.

reader_iam said...

Celebrate diversity, don't suppress it.

Oh, ha ha.

themightypuck said...

I don't agree with either seven machos or trooper york on much, but they are the best commenters.

reader_iam said...

And thank God for and amen to that--though the biggest kisses go to puck itself, of course.

Largo said...

And the Lord said into Cain,
Where is Abel, thy brother?

And he said,
I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"

And God did not say "yes you are", He did know what Cain had done: that he was evasive, and had blood on his hands.

We may be called upon to keep our brothers, but Gen.4:9 is not a proof-text for it.

Largo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

Endorsement sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders

Boo freakin' hoo. Living on this planet makes me feel like an outsider. Welcome to my world and suck it up.

AlphaLiberal said...

Former half-time Governor and full time idiot Sarah Palin said:

"I think we should kind of keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant. They're quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 Commandments. It's pretty simple."

No, dipshit. The founding documents did not say we would create law based on the 10 Commandments or the god of the Bible.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is something I do not understand about the conservative worldview.

They espouse both these views:

A) The government can't do anything right.

B) The government should get more involved in religion.

Conclusion: Conservatives hate religion.

Lincolntf said...

No Alpha, it's just that both of the premises you present exist only in your mind. Conservatives don't hate all Government. We understand the need for a civil society and fundamental Governmental functions like borders, treaties, a military, etc.
Also, we don't want the Gov't more involved in Religion. We want Gov't to allow people to worship as they please, so long as their practice doesn't infringe on the rights of others.
I suspect you know these things but are so incapable of understanding either conservatism or religion that you make things up in your head in order to justify criticizing them.