February 28, 2012

"And is it really good policy for Santorum to fill young adults with suspicions about higher learning..."

"... which rightly exists to challenge — in a healthy sense — what parents and maybe pastors have poured into them?" asks Frank Bruni.
If their beliefs survive that, then those beliefs can be seen as genuinely earned and are probably all the stronger for it. Santorum’s did. He went not only to college but also to two graduate schools, getting an M.B.A. from one and a law degree from the other.

But to listen to him talk about universities is to get the sense that he doesn’t trust others to emerge from such an obstacle course of unsavory influences as uncorrupted as he did. For safety’s sake, he’ll bless a little ignorance.

He’ll also massage facts. In explaining his Kennedy-induced nausea, he claimed that the former president had said that people of faith had no place in public life. What Kennedy asserted was infinitely more nuanced than that. He said people of all faiths were welcomed, so long as they weren’t slaves to their creeds.
Apparently, Santorum used bulimia against those ideas that the academics attempted to pour into him. Others digest what they've been fed.

Speaking of pukeworthy: "infinitely more nuanced." What is it about nuance that liberals love so much? And infinitely more nuanced? Ironically, that's quite crude. Infinitely? Kennedy had oodles and oodles of nuance. Or is it that Santorum, in Bruni's book, has zero nuance, so anyone with any nuance at all has infinitely more than Santorum?

And I love the way Bruni modifies his idea of challenging family and religious values with the phrase "in a healthy sense." There's no assurance of healthfulness!

And if challenge is so good, college students who were raised in liberal families with liberal or nonexistent religions are being horribly deprived!

176 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Slaves to their creeds". Can't get much more nuanced than that!

Chip Ahoy said...

Man, your perspicacity sure is perspicacious sometimes.

You get right at those words that needle. I'm impressed.

Andy R. said...

But to listen to him talk about universities is to get the sense that he doesn’t trust others to emerge from such an obstacle course of unsavory influences as uncorrupted as he did.

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

Also, that there is anything wrong with blow jobs.

Robert Cook said...

Are young people paying any attention to Santorum?

Ken said...

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

What? College is one of the primary places pushing the fairy tale that you can get something for nothing. Just ask a lot of college educated people how social security, medicare, and medicaid isn't a fiscal problem for the country. It takes a college "education" to convince yourself of the fairy tale that government can spend and spend and regulate and regulate and you'll never run out of other people's money.

bagoh20 said...

Andy said "fairy tales".

That's funny.

machine said...

Anti-science, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-middle class, etc...

and now anti-education in general....

the tent is getting smaller and smaller...

traditionalguy said...

The goal of teaching college students away from home to start thinking for ourselves in their Freshman year has always meant teaching terrible off the wall theories.

But never countering that with a small amount of fair and balanced courses during the last three college years using traditional philosophers, such as found in a Harvard Great Books approach, leaves the student loan hostage students indoctrinated into a delusion land with no tools to find their way out.

But that may be the modern college's goal rather than thinking for themselves and possible thinking BAD THOUGHTS.

edutcher said...

I can understand warning kids to be wary of the Lefty indoctrination they'll get in most places, but Santorum's statism would be no better and would be unconstitutional.

Andy R. said...

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

Depends on the fairy tale. Most college profs believe in those of Karl Marx.

So does Hatman.

Wally Kalbacken said...

He’ll also massage facts. In explaining his Kennedy-induced nausea, he claimed that the former president had said that...

Now wait a minute. Kennedy was never a former President. He went from being President to effectively DOA in a microsecond. He was never a former President. I demand a correction!

MSG said...

Nuance is what people appeal to when they want to intimidate people who might otherwise point out that they are contradicting themselves.

Jon S. said...

Two decades in higher education has taught me this: what most academics say is that they wish to challenge the prejudices of their students. When they really mean to say is that they intend to replace the prejudices of the students with the prejudices of academics.

Revenant said...

I went to a pretty left-wing California university, and there was no shortage of religion on campus. You couldn't make it from the dorms to class without being invited to attend a Bible study or accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

The professors seldom brought up religion in class one way or the other, but the student body was another story.

Marshal said...

Translation:

Let's not talk about indoctrination. It works better that way.

Bender said...

Yes, can't have any of them damn Papists taking their orders from the Pope.

Nothing like embracing the false premises and irrational animus of the haters and bigots in order to promote yourself.

The creed of the Catholic faith is truth and to love one another, to respect and promote the inherent dignity of the human person, who was endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Yes, the idea that to subscribe to that is anti-American is repulsive.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Are young people paying any attention to Santorum?

They're certainly abandoning GodZero.

machine said...

Anti-science, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-middle class, etc...

and now anti-education in general....

the tent is getting smaller and smaller.


Yeah, that's why GodZero is sinking by the bow.

ricpic said...

That Santorum! All het up against moderate professors and moderate Bruni. Why, only a CRAZY PERSON would oppose such sweet reasonableness.

Sofa King said...

And if challenge is so good, college students who were raised in liberal families with liberal or nonexistent religions are being horribly deprived!

And they're depraved on account of they're deprived.

Matthew said...

"... which rightly exists to challenge — in a healthy sense — what parents and maybe pastors have poured into them?"

-- I wonder if he would want to challenge what liberal parents and liberal pastors have poured into them? I wonder if he'd be open to a challenge on a lot of the social justice stuff Catholics push for, for example [like more open borders and lighter sentences on illegal aliens.]

Steven said...

He said people of all faiths were welcomed, so long as they weren’t slaves to their creeds.

So, nobody who says to God, "Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven"? And no one who calls himself "one who submits to God".

Unless, of course, they're hypocrites, willing to act against what they profess to believe (their creed). Well, JFK certainly met that qualification of Mr. Bruni's, didn't he?

I'm an atheist, but I want to vomit.

Sigivald said...

I don't buy the "challenge" argument either - it's pretty much plain "those dupes need to be reeducated by our institutions".

Which is, well, at least honest for once.

I'd even be fine with it if higher education did a better job at actually teaching critical thinking rather than getting them to be dupes for the speaker's preferred dupery.

(OT: Little known fact about the catchas here? You only need to enter the FIRST word.)

Tibore said...

Oy. I love (*snerk*) how it's the formative experiences while growing up and parental lessons imparted along with the youth and adolescent influences that's supposed to be the "indoctrination". And how in contrast it's the college experience that's supposed to be free of any such bias.

Revenant said...

The creed of the Catholic faith is truth and to love one another, to respect and promote the inherent dignity of the human person, who was endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Sounds nice. Santorum should try doing those things sometime.

Anyway, it is certainly true that the vast majority of Catholics don't take their marching orders from the Pope. On the other hand, one has to smile when the same people saying "we don't take orders from the Pope" insist that telling them to ignore the papal ban on birth control is completely unreasonable and violation of their core faith.

What's the church's position -- or, for that matter, the position of conservative Catholics -- on Catholics who arrive at their own understanding of "respect and promote the inherent dignity of the human person" instead of accepting that of the church hierarchy? Phrases like "cafeteria Catholics" and "apostates" come to mind..

tim maguire said...

The "nuance" crowd has never had much use for nuance. The word, they love. The idea, they can't quite comprehend.

Santorum (who I don't like and will not vote for) was making a perfectly valid point that college is not for everyone and certain people really need to drop the arrogant BS that people who went to college are better than people who didn't.

wild chicken said...

I haven't watched Kennedy's address in awhile, but the whole thing was a joke because no one took him for a devout and thoughtful Catholic anyway. It was just a family-cultural thing, and very handy in Boston politics.

So IIRC he said that his "faith" would have no effect on him at all. And the American nuns and priests were still all gaga over him, basically selling out just to have their boy in office. It was not good for the Church.

That said, Santorum has to realize he's not running for Pope! He knows his doctrine but I fail to see how he manages to work it into his stump speedh so much. Or is the media baiting him?

Matthew said...

"On the other hand, one has to smile when the same people saying "we don't take orders from the Pope" insist that telling them to ignore the papal ban on birth control is completely unreasonable and violation of their core faith."

I believe there was an Op-Ed coauthored by a priest, a rabbi and another religious leader (I think it was an Evangelical pastor) about how their various faiths were being stepped on by the mandate.

It's almost like this is a deeper issue than we let on!

Henry said...

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I've always felt fairly fortunate that I went to two hugely different universities in the course of my education. One university challenged the fairy tales of the other. Frank Bruni is only half way to the goal. In order for a young person to really be challenged -- in a healthy sense -- they have to get at least two degrees and one of them should be from BYU.

To be really truly supremely challenged -- in a healthy sense -- the young person should always be going to a university. Until that young person becomes old and dies. In a healthy sense.

Alex said...

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

Yeah they swap out the Jesus fairy tale for the Karl Marx one.

Alex said...

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

Yeah they swap out the Jesus fairy tale for the Karl Marx one.

YoungHegelian said...

My very painful academic & post-academic experience has been that academics tend NOT to be folks who just LOOOOOOOVE to have their foundational assumptions challenged.

It's not pointed often enough that the life of an academic is a lonely life. One is surrounded by students, but students are always young & dumb and one just doesn't have much in common with them. And academics almost never work with their peers. They meet with them in faculty meetings and conferences, but they never WORK with them like folks who in a team environment do. In fact, many academics really don't care much for their faculty team-mates.

Academics are not people who are in a position to berate others on the joys of being open-minded.

Alex said...

Academics are not people who are in a position to berate others on the joys of being open-minded.

Their water carriers in the media tout them as the MOST open-minded people on earth.

Jay said...

What is it about nuance that liberals love so much?

They believe, incorrectly, that it is a sign of intelligence.

Bender said...

one has to smile when the same people saying "we don't take orders from the Pope" insist that telling them to ignore the papal ban on birth control is completely unreasonable and violation of their core faith

And, if that were true, what does it have to do with governing?

What relevance does what one Catholic might say to another Catholic on a matter of Catholic faith have regarding legislation or public policy?

Where, just point out just ONE PLACE where the Catholic Church in the United States has sought to outlaw and criminalize contraception. Just one place.

Revenant said...

Oy. I love (*snerk*) how it's the formative experiences while growing up and parental lessons imparted along with the youth and adolescent influences that's supposed to be the "indoctrination".

Um... for the most part it IS indoctrination. When a five year old smacks his four year old sister, you don't give him a detailed explanation of the moral philosophy underlying legitimate vs illegitimate uses of violence -- you tell him "hitting people is wrong" and you punish him.

Why do you think Christian parents' kids are overwhelmingly Christian, Jewish parents' kids are overwhelmingly Jewish, etc? Did all those teenagers out there look at the evidence and arguments and, by sheer coincidence, almost entirely conclude that the correct choice was the same one their parents had made?

Of course not. They were taught that was the right way to be before they had the ability to decide, on their own, what the right way to be *was*. How else are you going to raise a kid? If they were mentally ready to make their own decisions they wouldn't be kids anymore, they'd be adults.

Jay said...

machine said...

Anti-science, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-middle class, etc...

and now anti-education in general....


Yeah, that is a like a great depiction of Republicans.

HHS mandates = choice!

Robert Cook said...

"'Are young people paying any attention to Santorum?'

"They're certainly abandoning GodZero."


Are they? If so, this is not the same thing as "listening to Sanrotum.

Assuming they are abandoning Obama, I'd guess it's because they see him as just a continuation of the previous regime, and not the bringer of "hope" and "change" he promised he would be.

Well, we'll see next November whether we'll get the Democratic Republican back in office or a Republican Republican. Either way, we lose.

Jay said...

Speaking of Kennedy's:

New York (CNN) -- The nurses involved in a maternity ward scuffle with Douglas Kennedy should be investigated and disciplined, Kennedy's lawyers say.
Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's son, was arrested and faces misdemeanor charges over the melee at a New York hospital last month in which he knocked down a nurse while he was holding his newborn son.


Lovely people, those liberals...

Matthew said...

Indoctrination -- Teaching your kid what you believe.

Educating -- Teaching them what I believe.

Revenant said...

I believe there was an Op-Ed coauthored by a priest, a rabbi and another religious leader (I think it was an Evangelical pastor) about how their various faiths were being stepped on by the mandate.

Oh, I'm not disputing that the mandate is one of many ways in which the government violates freedom of conscience. On the other hand, people like Santorum don't believe in freedom of conscience, unless their conscience is the one being violated. They're all for big, intrusive government, provided it doesn't intrude on stuff they care about.

traditionalguy said...

The churches have seemed to be the most open to other ideas and refuse to condemn heretics so long as they also let both sides speak have been Catholics, Episcopalians and Presbyterians.

The strength of their faith traditions based upon reason must allow for others to express differing opinions.

Bender said...

Seriously, is it really a good thing for a politician to say that he will govern as if he has no soul or conscience? That he will not let basic fundamental principles ever influence him?

The Catholic Church has spoken out repeatedly and constantly against Communism and totalitarian government.

Should a Catholic politician say, well, I'm not going to let the Church's opposition to Communism and totalitarianism influence me in any way? Should the Catholic politician -- just to make sure that his backward and extremist religion doesn't control him -- instead adopt a position of complete neutrality on whether Communism and totalitarianism are good or evil?

Carol_Herman said...

It's way to late to fix anything. Santorum does not appeal to most kids in college. (Not counting, of course, schools that cater to the religious right. And, I remember reading someplace, once, that those colleges are not accredited. Yes. Nice kids go there. But it's not among the Ivy's. Or even "the party schools.")

Not that I care.

The GOP once had an opportunity to get republicans elected in November. But they chose another road.

It's also possible that insiders within the republican party are now in such a sweat ... they are looking at the rules they put into place to create this monster of "primaries."

It's a political Trifecta: Limiting birth control. Going against abortion. And, threatening to leave the Constitution behind.

It seems God wants Obama to have an easy victory. While the day after election day coming? How about the right saying the candidate wasn't right enough?

Bender said...

people like Santorum don't believe in freedom of conscience, unless their conscience is the one being violated

Cite to ONE occasion where Santorum or "people like him" have ever sought to compel you to act against your conscience or to otherwise do something that is inherently unconscionable.

DADvocate said...

Also, that there is anything wrong with blow jobs.

Depends if you're giving or receiving.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bender,

That he will not let basic fundamental principles ever influence him?

Sure, Bender, it goes something like:

"I'm a Christian, but don't worry it'll never affect my conscience or my actions".

In other words, phenomenologically exactly like an atheist.

Just like the liberals favorite Catholic --- J.F. "Do you wanna fuck?" Kennedy.

Revenant said...

Indoctrination -- Teaching your kid what you believe.

Educating -- Teaching them what I believe

Er, no. More like "many years of instruction from cradle to adulthood by people who control control almost every significant aspect of your life" versus "a dozen one-hour lectures from a guy you chose to listen to".

Anyone who can't stand up to the kind of "indoctrination" you get at college clearly had pudding for brains to begin with.

tim maguire said...

Blogger Revenant said...On the other hand, one has to smile when the same people saying "we don't take orders from the Pope" insist that telling them to ignore the papal ban on birth control is completely unreasonable and violation of their core faith.

Why? Is there something inconsistent about saying that I will decide for myself which of the Popes' edicts I will follow and yet objecting to the government telling me which of the Popes' edicts I am allowed to follow?

Please, expand on this idea. Why does one have to smile?

Chuck66 said...

Three Univ of Wisconsin system schools have been ruled by courts that they discriminate against Christians. That would be Madison (go figure) Eau Claire and Superior.

Mabye there is something wrong with Big Acedamia.

Have 3 Big Businesses in Wisconsin been convicted of discriminating against Christians?

dbp said...

"What good are ideas formed and fortified in a protective cocoon, without exposure to other ways of thinking? Or convictions that haven’t been tested by, and defended against, competing ones? "

When has Frank Bruni ever had his ideas challenged? Anybody who so much as watches TV is fully exposed to the mind-set of the left. But a liberal can blissfully sail through their entire life without ever coming into contact with conservative thinking,unless out of curiosity they seek it out*. Especially if they take up a career in academia.

*Even then, not so easy. At my university, TNR, The Nation and so forth were readily available, but National Review was always missing, including back issues.

DADvocate said...

Nuance is what people appeal to when they want to intimidate people who might otherwise point out that they are contradicting themselves.

nu·ance - [noo-ahns, nyoo-, noo-ahns, nyoo-; Fr. ny-ahns]
noun, plural -anc·es  [-ahn-siz, -ahn-siz; Fr. -ahns]
1. Word used by liberals to try and explain bullshit.
2. a subtle difference or distinction between reality and a liberals fantasy world

Marshal said...

"On the other hand, people like Santorum don't believe in freedom of conscience, unless their conscience is the one being violated"

I wonder why people keep saying this. There's certainly no evidence for it. Santorum spoke about his feelings on contraception. He hasn't advocated government action on it. Just to make up an example, has he announced he will issue an executive order prohibiting insurance companies from paying for contraception? No? So there's only one candidate trying to enforce his personal preferences via executive order? Who knew?

Carol_Herman said...

Santorum Home School's his kids.

Not exactly up to speed on what a "liberal" education actually IS. What he IS, is against it.

Let him find voters! You still need a majority of votes on election day, ya know, to win.

Revenant said...

Bender,

What relevance does what one Catholic might say to another Catholic on a matter of Catholic faith have regarding legislation or public policy?

When the person in question explicitly rejects this view:

that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues

... it has a hell of a lot to do with it. If you believe the government has a right to get involved in the bedroom -- and Santorum does -- then whatever nutty beliefs you have about bedroom activities become legitimate points for discussion.

Chuck66 said...

"Anyone who can't stand up to the kind of "indoctrination" you get at college clearly had pudding for brains to begin with."

Well, actually a lot of students do believe everything their wacky professors tell them.

There was the history professor in UW Eau Claire who would show the movie that had the audio of John Fucking Kerry's testimony before congress. The one where he talked about what war criminals our servicemen are. The students were convinced that our Vietnam vets are all wackos who were also war criminals. I tried to explain to them that they were victims of leftest propaganda. They got extremely angry that I dared to question their hippy freak professor.

Revenant said...

I wonder why people keep saying this.

We paid attention to what he said when he *wasn't* running for President.

There's certainly no evidence for it. Santorum spoke about his feelings on contraception.

Sure, he's toned it down now. If he went around rejecting the idea of personal autonomy today he could kiss the Tea Party vote goodbye.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Are young people paying any attention to Santorum?

They're certainly abandoning GodZero.


Are they? If so, this is not the same thing as "listening to Sanrotum.

Assuming they are abandoning Obama, I'd guess it's because they see him as just a continuation of the previous regime, and not the bringer of "hope" and "change" he promised he would be.

Well, we'll see next November whether we'll get the Democratic Republican back in office or a Republican Republican. Either way, we lose.


I don't doubt there's an idealistic crowd that hears what he says about the sanctity of life and marriage and likes it. Cook, like all Lefties, assumes all young people are alike.

PS Besides Cook, who's this 'we' he's talking about.

Revenant said...

Well, actually a lot of students do believe everything their wacky professors tell them.

Then how do you explain the fact that college graduates are no more likely to be leftists than college graduates of prior generations were?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I don't like nuance. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the old ance.

LordSomber said...

Infinite Nuance! Is that like a Vortex?

Bender said...

Cite to ONE occasion where Santorum or "people like him" have ever sought to compel you to act against your conscience or to otherwise do something that is inherently unconscionable.

OK, you're having trouble with that.

Instead of conscience, cite to one occasion, just one, where Santorum or people like him ever sought to compel you to act against your will.

Or, for that matter, cite where he or those like him have ever advocated legislation outlawing what happens in "the bedroom" or otherwise mandating as a matter of law that you do this or don't do that.

Because, from what I'm hearing, he is very much against government, as a matter of law, forcing me and "others like me" into your bedroom, where I have no desire to be.

cubanbob said...

Andy R. said...
But to listen to him talk about universities is to get the sense that he doesn’t trust others to emerge from such an obstacle course of unsavory influences as uncorrupted as he did.

It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.


Like gender studies, Marxism and the rest of the multi-cult nonsense? Liberals believe such amazing shit that no ordinary person could be dumb enough to believe.

Bender said...

Just to be clear, there is NO sign on the White House or the Capitol or the Supreme Court saying "Faithful Catholics need not apply. No faithful Catholics allowed."

In fact, the Constitution expressly prohibits it, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Art. VI

Bender said...

Regarding those religious extremist nut jobs, and about how faithful Catholicism is inherently incompatible with American values, someone cite to me any decision or opinion written by those extremist Catholics Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas where they impose their Catholic faith on people (Scalia especially since his son, Paul, is an actual extremist priest in the Diocese of Arlington).

Chuck66 said...

Bender...as AA will tell you, if you don't have a smoking gun (a letter from management that says don't hire any women), you use stats.

The Obama administration recently put a very very heavy fine on Cargill because, even though 88% of their employees at a plant in Arkansaw are minorities, they used stats that showed that it was the wrong mix of minorities. Too many Asians, not enough Mexicans.

So if not one true practicing and obedient Catholic is in a higher position in his administration, or appointed to a judicial position, that is evidence of discrimination.

traditionalguy said...

Free Speech is the basis of Free Thought.

The ability to politely speak back to a Doctrine of a Church, a belief of a Club, or a catechism of a Liberal Mind Control Gang without penalty of expulsion or financial damnation is what is needed.

Fight for that! Name calling Catholics is nonsense.

Pogo said...

It is the duty of all good men to fill young adults with suspicions about higher learning.

I can think of no more important first step in reforming the bloated, wasteful, and overfed leftist money pit that college has become.

Geoff Matthews said...

If Bruni is for students being challenged, then he should be for school prayer.

FedkaTheConvict said...

>That said, Santorum has to realize he's not running for Pope! He knows his doctrine but I fail to see how he manages to work it into his stump speedh so much. Or is the media baiting him? <<

I've heard several Santorum speeches and never heard him infuse his religious beliefs into them. This whole controversy was created by the Obama campaign and the media (one and the same); the media asks him questions and he answers fortrightly; but he never discusses religion in his stump speeches.

The irony of it all is that Santorum voted for Title X which provides contraception for low-income women.

Kirby Olson said...

Santorum is much more nuanced than Cain, who got very far by just repeating 9-9-9! At least Santorum has a larger repertoire of phrase. Do Catholics in general have a larger vocabulary than the crypto-Marxists who continually parrot "multiculturalism" "tolerance" and "redistribution" or whatever euphemisms of the day they have invented to hide their Marxism. At least Santorum comes out of a deep tradition instead of a tablet someone discovered in their backyard, or out of some pizza campaign, or after reading some economics treatises from Austria, or after perusing a letter from a Kenyan postcolonial. Santorum's got the deepest broadest most nuanced tradition. He can talk about many things. But then, I suppose, to a mathematician, 9-9-9 could bea more flexible and nuanced phrase than I ever guessed!

FedkaTheConvict said...

>>On the other hand, people like Santorum don't believe in freedom of conscience, unless their conscience is the one being violated. They're all for big, intrusive government, provided it doesn't intrude on stuff they care about.<<

How about citing one example, just one, to prove your point?

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

“Or, for that matter, cite where he or those like him have ever advocated legislation outlawing what happens in "the bedroom" or otherwise mandating as a matter of law that you do this or don't do that.

Because, from what I'm hearing, he is very much against government, as a matter of law, forcing me and "others like me" into your bedroom, where I have no desire to be.”

Bender,

What’s your thoughts on the bishops in Maryland calling on parishioners to act against the proposal and other measures that they say threaten "religious liberty" such as same-sex marriage?

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-11-09/news/bs-md-catholic-call-20111109_1_roman-catholic-bishops-religious-freedom-marriage-law

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Speaking well of religion. As the French king said, 'Paris is worth a Mass.' You know sometimes it might even have helped Paris.

Marshal said...

2/28/12 4:20 PM

Revenant said...
I wonder why people keep saying this.

We paid attention to what he said when he *wasn't* running for President."

Maybe you paid attention to what the NYT wanted you to believe.You certainly didn't pay sttention to what he actually said.

Bender said...

Any bishop anywhere is right to tell anyone -- Catholic or non-Catholic -- that it is right to resist when government seeks to compel you to act against fundamental liberty, including seeking to compel you to personally recognize as true that which is palpably false and impossible. An unjust "law" is no law at all.

Roger J. said...

Did not the word "nuance" emerge during John Kerry's campaign? the MSM pundits, not having any original thoughts, picked it up and ran with it. Rather like "gravitas" in the Bush v Dole race. The media pundits have no originality and sieze on phrases they dont create nor understand.

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

“Any bishop anywhere is right to tell anyone -- Catholic or non-Catholic -- that it is right to resist when government seeks to compel you to act against fundamental liberty, including seeking to compel you to personally recognize as true that which is palpably false and impossible. An unjust "law" is no law at all.”

Are you implying a law permitting same-sex marriage is an unjust law?

TobyTucker said...

Most high-schoolers aren't terribly political when they enter college, but most exit as flaming or near flaming liberals. There's something going on there and "indoctrination" seems an apt description of the process.

It's no wonder then that Democrats can claim that the "highly educated" support their policies. But that support is not due to the "intelligence" of said supporters but rather it is a result of spending four or more years in an environment that subtly and not so subtly encourages and rewards liberal thought and behavior.

Almost Ali said...

Twenty years from now Rick Santorum will shudder when he hears some of the things he said today.

Bender said...

The Catholic Church is not a political party nor does She endorse political parties or candidates. She does not take sides in elections and political debates as would an interest group or civil association. However, the Church does have a place in the public square, but Her place is unique. Her role is to inform public debate about the universal truths and principles of a just society rather than to make specific policies or to promote candidates for office.

The Church serves as a conscience for civil society. The principles that the Church defends in public life are not strictly religious principles knowable only through supernatural revelation, but are derived from the natural law, which can be known by right reason. These natural law principles can be discussed by all people of good will who are open to rational discourse and truth. Thus, the Church reminds voters and those in public life of the law written in their hearts and of that law’s necessary role in maintaining an equitable and harmonious society.

Often, the way that the Church contributes to political debates is by drawing upon basic principles about human dignity and the common good. For example, in the debate over undocumented immigration in the United States, the Church reminds all involved to balance the rights of national sovereignty and legal borders with respect for the dignity of each person and family. She does not propose specific political solutions to the problem, but calls for those deliberating these policies to be guided by humane principles as they strive to do what is best.

While most issues debated in the public square are matters of prudential judgment, there are others that touch on intrinsic evil and thus require the Church in Her prophetic mission to take an absolute stand against them. . . .

In a world that rejects such basic truths of life and existence, it is not surprising that Catholics, as adherents to the truth, have become targets of a new bigotry. This prejudice, born of a relativistic ethos which denies the existence of absolute truth, questions the capacity of Catholics to participate as societal leaders and rejects their views out-of-hand as religious and unreasonable. Bigotry is an unfounded prejudice that seeks to marginalize, discredit and exclude individuals because they belong to a particular group. There have certainly been attempts in politics to smear Catholics as unfit to lead because they profess their Faith in its fullness and to dismiss their positions without reasoned debate as irrational religious convictions.

However, the governmental principles proposed by the Catholic Church in the public square are based on natural law which, as we have discussed, is known through reason. These attacks are often subtle and may not always be intentionally bigoted. Regardless of intent, however, they are an assault against the truth that seeks to prevent a real dialogue based on reason.

This new bigotry is part of what our Holy Father has called the “dictatorship of relativism.” . . . As members of the Church, we need to challenge this bigotry when we see it in public life or hear it in private conversation. We need to challenge others who use these methods or agree with them. . . . We must seek to understand the truth that the Church teaches and then to uphold that truth by the example of our lives. This witness, however, must be visible not only in our private lives, but also in our participation in the public square. As citizens, we have the privilege and the responsibility to protect the common good. . . .

--Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Diocese of Arlington, Church Principles in the Public Square, June 29, 2011

Bender said...

Nice try 36. We're not going to keep having that argument ad infinitum with you pushing another 400+ comment box. Go back and read what was said before, and said again, and again, and again.

rcommal said...

Santorum Home School's his kids.

Not exactly up to speed on what a "liberal" education actually IS. What he IS, is against it.


I don't know if this is true or not. Is there any source out there telling us what homeschooling approach[es] and/or what curriculum or mix of curricula the Santorums are currently using? Or have used over the years, apart from the several years they had their kids enrolled in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (funded by taxpayers, by the way, requiring the fulfilling of state requirements and considered, for those reasons, a public school)?

I'd need more information before I could make the statement that Carol made.

There are various approaches (as well as mixed approaches) to homeschooling, and there is curricula from across the spectrum, including both "liberal" and "classically liberal--i.e., Great Books, the Trivium, and so forth" examples.

I'm familiar with many of them, having done a lot of research over the years, used a couple of different approaches and various curricula (mixed and matched) and regularly interacted with homeschooling families (of various flavors, conservative to progressive, religious to athiest) actively using different approaches and curricula--including the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.

Hell, one could even say that to use the word "homeschooling" is to embrace the concepts of ...

...nuance and even--dare I whisper it?--diversity.

P.S. Huh. Via mobile app, you can still get the box where you can opt to have responses e-mailed. But you can't here. Oh, Blogger, Blogger, Blogger.

36fsfiend said...

Bender,

It's interesting that Bishop Paul S. Loverde states the Catholic Church is not a political party nor does it endorse political parties or candidates and that it does not take sides in elections and political debates as would an interest group or civil association.

However, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spends millions each year to lobby on issues in D.C. All tax exempt by the way.

http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Lobbying-for-the-faithful--exec.aspx

rcommal said...

(Greetings from the phone app.)

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

"Nice try 36. We're not going to keep having that argument ad infinitum with you pushing another 400+ comment box. Go back and read what was said before, and said again, and again, and again."

I'm not interested in generating 400+ comments.

I'm only interested in keeping other people's religious beliefs out of my life.

rcocean said...

Everyone who has brain and is knowledgeable knows the University liberal arts are a joke. They've been a joke for 30 years.

They aren't interested in teaching Western Civilization (Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Civilization's got to go) - just in left-wing indoctrination.

Since neither the professors nor the students nor the parents are really interested, why not just pension off all the University English Lit, History, and Social "Science" professors and cut the time in college from 4 years to 3?

It'd be better for everyone.

Bender said...

Yes, the Church and faithful Catholics do have a place in the public square. We do not have to be pushed within the walls of the ghetto, silent and prohibited from being involved in civic society. Indeed, the Church and Catholic faithful have a duty to provide a voice of truth.

And the bishops' conference does expend money -- money that has been taxed, likely more than once.

The money was taxed when the individual Catholic contributor to the Church earned the money. And before that, it was likely taxed with his or her employer earned the money.

How many times should government demand its cut?

By what reason, other than simple authoritarian power, does government claim a right to take a percentage of those funds simply because it changes hands when the Catholic taxpayer gives a portion of his already-taxed earnings to the Church?

Where does this presumption come from, that all money belongs to the government first, that it is entitled to take a cut every time one person gives money to another, and that we may keep only what the government allows us to keep?

Larry J said...

And is it really good policy for Santorum to fill young adults with suspicions about higher learning, which rightly exists to challenge — in a healthy sense — what parents and maybe pastors have poured into them?

Several studies have shown that a large percentage of college students aren't engaged in "higher learning". In fact, they aren't learning very much at all. Even for those who manage to graduate, a lot of them have no useful skills to bring to the marketplace. Many of them have crippled themselves with debt at the same time. Perhaps it's a good thing to challenge the conventional wisdom that the best (or only) way to succeed in life is to go to college.

Bender said...

I'm only interested in keeping other people's religious beliefs out of my life

Then why do you insist on involving yourself in their religious beliefs? No one is knocking down your door demanding that you listen to their religious beliefs (not even the JW's distributing the Watchtower).

rcocean said...

College, of course, really has 4 purposes:

1) To start all the truly smart people on their way to becoming scientists, engineers, doctors, etc.

2) As a way to allocate jobs in law, education, and government.

3) To function as a job screener for corporate America.

4) To keep a lot 18-25 out of the job market and provide jobs for a lot of people in the Education industry.

Cedarford said...

FedkaTheConvict said...
>>On the other hand, people like Santorum don't believe in freedom of conscience, unless their conscience is the one being violated. They're all for big, intrusive government, provided it doesn't intrude on stuff they care about.<<

How about citing one example, just one, to prove your point?

Terri Schiavo

==================
In other news, Saint Rick has now backtracked on his comments that JFK's speech on separating religion from politics "nauseated him".

mesquito said...

I'm only interested in keeping other people's religious beliefs out of my life

Oh for Pete's sake. Quit emoting. You sound ridiculous.

Bender said...

You mean the same Terri Schiavo whose husband sought to sadistically kill by starvation and dehydration so that he could spend more time with his live-in girlfriend, against the protests of her family?

Synova said...

What is this "rightly *exist* to challenge parents and maybe pastors"?

"And if challenge is so good, college students who were raised in liberal families with liberal or nonexistent religions are being horribly deprived!"

Exactly so.

Somehow it is never presented as an inherent value of education to challenge, oh, evolution or atheism. See if those kids can stand up to some religious indoctrination! It's *healthy*.

Bender said...

This isn't the first time that Terri Schiavo's name has come up.

Why do you have such a death lust regarding her?

rcocean said...

Nobody even remembers who "Terri Schiavo" was, except some Left-wing wankers, and other Left-wing wankers who play at being Moby's.

36fsfiend said...

Blogger Bender said...

“Yes, the Church and faithful Catholics do have a place in the public square. We do not have to be pushed within the walls of the ghetto, silent and prohibited from being involved in civic society. Indeed, the Church and Catholic faithful have a duty to provide a voice of truth.

And the bishops' conference does expend money -- money that has been taxed, likely more than once.

The money was taxed when the individual Catholic contributor to the Church earned the money. And before that, it was likely taxed with his or her employer earned the money.

How many times should government demand its cut?

By what reason, other than simple authoritarian power, does government claim a right to take a percentage of those funds simply because it changes hands when the Catholic taxpayer gives a portion of his already-taxed earnings to the Church?

Where does this presumption come from, that all money belongs to the government first, that it is entitled to take a cut every time one person gives money to another, and that we may keep only what the government allows us to keep?”

Nothing is preventing individuals of faith in donating, campaigning and voting for candidates of their choosing. However, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops do not answer to their followers, they answer to Rome. If this organization wants to participate in U.S. politics, which I obviously don’t agree with, then they should be taxed as an organization.

Quaestor said...

askew hatguy wrote:
It's hard to convince people to believe in fairy tales once they've been to college.

Evidently he hasn't been paying attention. College is where fairy tales stop being tales and start becoming orthodoxy.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

dbp,

At my university, TNR, The Nation and so forth were readily available, but National Review was always missing, including back issues.

At mine, the biggest bookstore (that had a decent periodical section, I mean -- the late, great Cody's of Berkeley) stocked all the liberal political zines at eye level in the first rack you saw when you walked into the section. The conservative ones (National Review, The Weekly Standard, First Things, City Journal -- no, scratch that, I think they'd dropped City Journal by then -- and a couple of others) were about three racks further on, floor level, on a shelf labeled "Alternative Views" that they shared with zines about astrology and UFOs.

Classy, yes?

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

“Then why do you insist on involving yourself in their religious beliefs? No one is knocking down your door demanding that you listen to their religious beliefs (not even the JW's distributing the Watchtower).”

I’m not involving myself in anyone’s religious beliefs. However, the bishops want to get involved in legislation that impacts the lives of family and friends of mine.

Michael said...

36 "I'm only interested in keeping other people's religious beliefs out of my life."

And i would like the govt to stay out of religion. And my life. Buy your own goddamn condums.

Bender said...

non sequitur 36

By what rightful justification does the government (or you) feel that it is entitled to take yet another percentage of already taxed funds? How many times does the same dollar need to be taxed?

36fsfiend said...

Michael said...

"And i would like the govt to stay out of religion. And my life. Buy your own goddamn condums."

I guess religious organizations should get out of the public sector if they can't deal with the beliefs held by others not of the faith.

But, I doubt that will happen - too much money involved.

Revenant said...

Why? Is there something inconsistent about saying that I will decide for myself which of the Popes' edicts I will follow and yet objecting to the government telling me which of the Popes' edicts I am allowed to follow?

There's nothing wrong with it, it just doesn't describe a restriction on free exercise of religion. If "I do what the Pope says if I agree and what I say if I don't" counts as Catholicism, every atheist I know counts as Catholic.

What you're describing is self-determination and freedom of conscience, which the church has never been a friend of. For example, most of the Catholic groups now squawking about the mandate had no real problem with the idea of government mandates per se -- just with government mandates that made *them* do things they didn't want to do.

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

“By what rightful justification does the government (or you) feel that it is entitled to take yet another percentage of already taxed funds? How many times does the same dollar need to be taxed?”

Ah, I guess that would be laws concerning taxes. A dollar is taxed just about every time in changes hands in a financial transition, right?

Revenant said...

Just to be clear, there is NO sign on the White House or the Capitol or the Supreme Court saying "Faithful Catholics need not apply. No faithful Catholics allowed."

You're confusing the Constitutional right to run for President with a right to receive votes.

The government may not prevent members of a religion from running for office. Voters can and SHOULD refuse to vote for people with beliefs those voters consider odious, whether those beliefs are religious in origin or otherwise.

Which is why people like you (or me) had no trouble attacking Obama for the nutty church HE belonged to.

Synova said...

Is the purpose of higher education to challenge beliefs?

That, itself, is a ridiculous statement.

But I suppose it's right in line with the notion of "relevance."

Crimso said...

"It is the duty of all good men to fill young adults with suspicions about higher learning." Pogo

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Feynman

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Carol_Herman,

Santorum Home School's his kids.

Look, I'm not normally one for grammar flames, but we are talking about education here. Let me just say that I hope you are not homeschooling your own if you're going to fling apostrophes and caps around like that.

Not exactly up to speed on what a "liberal" education actually IS. What he IS, is against it.

Oh, you think?

Look, Carol, I went to public schools (K-12 and university both). But I was also "homeschooled," in the sense that between what my parents taught me and what I read on my own (both from their own stock of books and those I checked out of the local library), I got a "liberal education" much better than the public schools alone afforded. My folks are scientists, not literary types, so the literary and historical study was mostly mine, the scientific mostly theirs. I spent one summer reading one of my mom's old O-chem textbooks.

Santorum has been unbearably shrill on this subject, but he's right about this: "Everyone should go to college" is unmitigated bollocks. Everyone, right now, should consider very carefully whether they either need or want to go to college. Because a hundred thousand dollars plus in non-dischargeable-in-bankruptcy debt is not pretty if you cannot find work.

Revenant said...

How about citing one example, just one, to prove your point?

I already provided one earlier, but some choice bits from his 2006 NPR interview can be found here, along with some Reagan quotes to emphasize just how how far removed Santorum is from the Reagan ideal of small-government conservatism. Some other good examples can be found in articles here and here.

My personal favorite Santorum quote? "This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view".

Revenant said...

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Feynman

Taking advice from an atheistic left-wing college intellectual? Tsk! :)

n.n said...

They have only themselves to blame. They are determined to replace one faith with another, more sympathetic to their needs. They claim it is objective, but the evidence would suggest it is selective, that it regularly exceeds a constrained frame of reference, and is often justified by limited, circumstantial evidence.

Then, of course, there is the predisposition to propagate a selective history, selective dignity, selective science... in short, a selective reality. That is the contemporary secular faith, and it serves exactly the same purpose as the authoritarian central churches of the past, to consolidate wealth and power for its leaders.

Oh, the egos that must inhabit those ivory towers. They really believe that they are the sole source of knowledge in this world.

mesquito said...

Never have I felt the sense of liberation as when I left behind the insular University and its smug orthodoxies.

I ♥ Willard said...

Professor,

I hope you will blog about this very important issue of importance to all citizens of Wisconsin.

Bender said...

nonresponsive to the question, 36

Answer the question asked.

You did read the question, didn't you?
Do you remember the question?
Do you need for blogger to repeat the question back to you?

Bender said...

Sorry, Rev, once again you prove your ignorance.

I never attacked Obama over his church or Rev. Wright. In fact, the only comments that I made about it were with respect to wondering how many times that boob Sean Hannity was going to repeat the same screed against Wright.

Revenant said...

He answered your question, Bender: the tax law gives the government the rightful justification to apply those taxes to you.

If you mean what "rightful justification" in some larger metaphysical sense of "what gives the government the right to do things", you should probably first ask the question "what gives the government the rightful justification to tax you at all".

Rick67 said...

Bruni's dictum that universities are supposed to challenge what we've always been taught (what a fatuous assumption) does it apply to children of liberal parents and pastors?

Revenant said...

I never attacked Obama over his church or Rev. Wright.

I thought I remembered that you had. I will take your word that you haven't.

I apologize for implying you weren't consistently wrong on the propriety of attacking candidates for odious religious beliefs. :)

36fsfiend said...

Bender said...

“ nonresponsive to the question, 36

Answer the question asked.

You did read the question, didn't you?
Do you remember the question?
Do you need for blogger to repeat the question back to you?”

Bender,

As I responded, that would be laws concerning taxes. A dollar is taxed just about every time it changes hands in a financial transition. Unless it’s going into the collection basket, right?

So how about my question on same-sex marriage? You stated that you have no desire to be involved with what goes on the bedroom. Are you for or against same-sex marriage?

mesquito said...

I for one have never doubted that Obama was a sincere and ardent member of the First United Chruch of Christ of Chicago, Illinois.

Bender said...

He answered your question, Bender: the tax law gives the government the rightful justification to apply those taxes to you.

And the question I asked was --

"By what reason, other than simple authoritarian power, does government claim a right . . ."

We all know that "might makes right," it is one of government's favorite justifications. But thank you for clarifying that it is nothing but government thuggery that entitles it to jam its grubby hands in everyone's pockets and take whatever it wants whenever it wants.

36fsfiend said...

"We all know that “might makes right,” it is one of government's favorite justifications. But thank you for clarifying that it is nothing but government thuggery that entitles it to jam its grubby hands in everyone's pockets and take whatever it wants whenever it wants."

Government thuggery - you mean like the Constitution?

MadisonMan said...

People!

PLEASE stop using apostrophes to make a word plural. It is driving me to distraction in this thread.

rcommal said...

Don't you mean "people's"? Or folk's? Or youse guy's?

; )

Revenant said...

"By what reason, other than simple authoritarian power, does government claim a right . . ."

Which is why I suggested you ask why governments have a right to collect taxes at all.

The answer is "simple authoritarian power". Taxes are legalized extortion; governments collect them because they need money, and people put up with it because they need government (or at least think they do).

Hagar said...

Whatever your opinion of Jack Kennedy, he certainly was much smarter than Santorum and did not say anything even close to what Santorum claims he said.

Marshal said...

36fsfiend said...


"I guess religious organizations should get out of the public sector if they can't deal with the beliefs held by others not of the faith."

They're dealing with it fine. It's you who can't seem to deal with others having differnt opinions.

36fsfiend said...

Marshal said...

"They're dealing with it fine. It's you who can't seem to deal with others having differnt opinions."

Really? Then why the brouhaha about the federal contraception exemption which is actually less restrictive then that in the 28 states that require employers to cover contraception on their insurance plans?

There are also concerns that some medical procedures that run counter to Catholic doctrine may no longer be available or will be much more limited as more medical centers come under the influence of the Church.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/health/policy/growth-of-catholic-hospitals-may-limit-access-to-reproductive-care.html?_r=1

Marshal said...

They disagree with being told what they have to do, when it is none of the government's business what type of health insurance they offer their employees, that's what the brouhaha is. It's nice to see you admit yoou don't care about a religious organization's freedom, but I suspect your concern for everyone else's freedom ranks similarly. After all, we don't have to worry about whether it's right or wrong, it's already hapenned in 28 states, so it must be ok.


"There are also concerns..."

Ah, a concern troll. How lovely. Why not just write "These excuses I'm writing are so lame I'm not even willing to put my own name behind them, but can we please pretend they're important enough to justify rule by fiat?

Synova said...

Dratted Catholics, opening hospitals all over the place! The nerve!

(And even if it was a *plot*, nothing stops anyone else from opening hospitals if they wish, but just like education, it's better to win ideological battles with government control.)

36fsfiend said...

Marshal said...

“They disagree with being told what they have to do, when it is none of the government's business what type of health insurance they offer their employees, that's what the brouhaha is. It's nice to see you admit yoou don't care about a religious organization's freedom, but I suspect your concern for everyone else's freedom ranks similarly. After all, we don't have to worry about whether it's right or wrong, it's already hapenned in 28 states, so it must be ok.”

Marshall,

Do these religious affiliated institutions benefit from federal taxpayer dollars? Medicare maybe for one.

If so, don’t you think the taxpayer should have a say on what goes on in these institutions?

If they were truly segregated and not receiving any taxpayer money, then they can have all the exemptions they want.

“Ah, a concern troll. How lovely. Why not just write "These excuses I'm writing are so lame I'm not even willing to put my own name behind them, but can we please pretend they're important enough to justify rule by fiat?”

No, there are legitimate concerns regarding the access to medical procedures and treatment if these religious affiliated institutions are given exemptions.

Marshal said...

"Do these religious affiliated institutions benefit from federal taxpayer dollars? Medicare maybe for one."

Let's note this offering autocratic commenter and compare to critics assertions that Obamacare is a government takeover of healthcare. This was commonly met from Obamacare supporters with outraged denials and the claim that anyone who thinks such things is an extremist. Yet here we see exactly what those critics know will happen: in the end it is a takeover because supporters use the fact that the government is paying to justify government control of all decisions. As here, if you receive a dollar it's no longer from the patient, it's from the government.

Everyone with sense knows this is not how it should be, yet everyone with sense knows government will corrupt the process just as they are trying today. They sell the program as one thing, then immediately turn it to something else.

Notice also the bait and switch justification. He wonders if taxpayers should have a say? But is that the process? Since the justification here could apply to anything the solution he supports is for government bureaucrats - not taxpayers - to have complete say.

And we again see him playing the fantasy card as if somehow contraceptives are suddenly going to be hard to find. How big a fool do you have to be to believe this nonsense?

36fsfiend said...

Marshal,

I keep reading about how Obamacare is a government takeover of healthcare. Not even close. I had government provided healthcare for over 20 years while on active duty and it worked great.

My point with these religious institutions is that they seem to want to have it both ways. Funding provided through Medicare, Medicaid, federal and state insurance plans, grants and other subsidizes and yet they do not want to comply with public law.

Marshal said...

36fsfiend

Even if it were true that religious organizations want to have it both ways why would it be a problem for you? Your entire commentary is trying to have it both ways.

Further, you clearly illustrate your serf mentality. You say they do not want to comply with law, but the truth is that they object to the law. We're allowed to do that in a democracy. Your belief that objecting to laws should be cause to drive the objectors from the public sector might be welcome in Middle Age Europe, but even then only by reactionaries.

36fsfiend said...

Marshal,

I’m a big proponent of the First Amendment and the concept of separation of church and state. If these religious institutions want to practice business in the public sector, then they should be prepared to follow any and all public laws. You know that whole render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's concept.

These institutions can certainly object to laws, like I may object to paying taxes for programs that I don’t support, but they still must comply just as you and I must comply with laws that we may not necessarily agree with.

Again, individuals of faith are not prevented from donating money, campaigning for or voting for candidate of their choosing. However, in the case of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops being involved in politics, that organization does not answer to the people in this country. They answer to an authority in Rome. Allowing them to lobby and participate in the crafting of our legislation is disconcerting. Again, it’s a separation of church and state issue in my opinion.

David R. Graham said...

Healthfulness, in Anglicized Latin, is Salvation.

DEEBEE said...

Bruni's analysis / comments are couched in typicalliberal, grandparenty language. Sounds good, not filling and lacks any direction that comes from responsibility.

Michael said...

36. And the president's call on blacks to enlist their churches in the campaign to reelect him?

Robert Cook said...

"Is the purpose of higher education to challenge beliefs?

"That, itself, is a ridiculous statement."


I'd say the purpose of higher education is to convey information--to instill knowledge in students seeking it.

Intentionality is not necessary...acquisition of knowledge--new data--by definition, will challenge beliefs.

I cannot imagine any thinking human being who will not consider his or her beliefs in light of new knowledge gained, in order to evaluate whether those beliefs still stand up or whether they should be discarded outright, or, if retained, at least revised or enlarged or reinterpreted.

Marshal said...

36fsfiend,

You've allowed your dislike for religion to corrupt your understanding of the circumstances. Do you object to international humanitarian groups lobbying the government or expressing their opinion? If I search will I find your screed that Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International have no place discussing American policy?

Religious groups should be allowed to voice their beliefs just like any other group. The fact that you cannot distinguish between voicing an opinion that a law should not exist and actually breaking the law should have you in deep introspection trying to understand why this issue effects you to such a degree you're willing to say anything no matter how illogical to support your conclusion. Instead you're bouncing from one justification to the next trying to find something.

This idea that the Pope is some nefarious controller of minds is a sad remnance from the 40s. But to be clear, that's the 1640s. If that's what you go for knock yourself out. Don't expect anyone who can think to join you.

Robert Cook said...

"Most high-schoolers aren't terribly political when they enter college, but most exit as flaming or near flaming liberals. There's something going on there and 'indoctrination' seems an apt description of the process."

Hahahahahaha!

Baloney of the purest order.

Where is your evidence that "most" college graduates are "flaming liberals" (or nearly so)? For that matter, where is your evidence that "most" high school grads are apolitical? (Although, I'll grant you, this is probably true.) Where is your evidence that those college grads are are "flaming liberals" (or nearly so) were not already liberal (or nearly so) when they entered college?

Matthew said...

Speaking of faith in politics, Politico asks, what ever happened to that faith council President Obama put together:

http://www.politico.com/politicopulse/0212/politicopulse689.html

Synova said...

"I'd say the purpose of higher education is to convey information--to instill knowledge in students seeking it."

I might decide on some other "ultimate purpose of education" if I thought about it for a week, but this sounds good to me.

And there is a significant difference, I think, in how education is approached if the foundational concept is to instill knowledge over if the foundational concept is to challenge beliefs.

For one thing, it assumes, as you do, that people do adjust their beliefs when they learn something new. The "challenge" idea assumes that they need a shove.

Robert Cook said...

But where is this alleged aggressive challenging of beliefs occurring?

There is an assumption in the snark directed at educational institutions that our college campuses are places of intellectual tumult, where innocent young people are subjected to a coordinated and planned assault on their naive beliefs (in the goodness of America and our economic system, etc.), in an effort to create a new generation of liberals!

Baloney.

As I've said, I was a college student in the immediate post-60s period, a much more politicized time on our campuses than today, and I never had a class--not one--where the professors foisted their personal ideologies--Marxist or otherwise--on us.

Are there any professors who might do this? I'm certain there are. But where is there data to show they are s significant presence on college campuses, or that students are receiving for their high tuition four-year boot camps in leftist politics?

To the extent college students adopt new attitudes or belief during their college years, I'd suggest this is mostly a function of their being away from their sheltering family environments, where parental influence and the homogeneity of their hometown social milieus serve to preserve a more or less limited worldview, as well as a result of their acquisition of new knowledge.

Given that we are not a nation aflood with Marxist hordes, any suggestion our colleges are commie indoctrination centers is obviously ridiculous.

Marshal said...

"As I've said, I was a college student in the immediate post-60s period, a much more politicized time on our campuses than today"

The 60s was a diffferent dynamic. The students were the radicals, supported by a few professor sympathizers. After the failure of the direct revolution the radicals changed tactics. Their goal is to first enter and then control the academy, using it to spread their influence by driving competing ideas from the culture. While they don't control as much as they'd like (absolutely everything) they control more than all other groups combined. Maybe you were there too soon to witness the transition from old guard to political activism.

And its also true that the effect not universal. It's primarily driven by areas of the university not subject to outside standards. Business, science, and engineering programs have been able to resist the curriculum change by adhering to preexisting standards. Even leftists realize to allow these departments to degrade would ruin them, and you cannot hide it if your science graduates don't know thermodynamics because they spent their class time talking about why science is sexist. Even in those departments however the the culture is controlled by the left.

Revenant said...

They disagree with being told what they have to do, when it is none of the government's business what type of health insurance they offer their employees, that's what the brouhaha is

Sorry, but that's bullshit.

They had no problem with government mandates until those mandates started requiring birth control coverage. This is why they are demanding that the contraception coverage mandate be removed, but NOT demanding that ObamaCare be abolished.

Revenant said...

Most high-schoolers aren't terribly political when they enter college, but most exit as flaming or near flaming liberals

Reality check:

Of those Americans with only a high school diploma, 49% are Democrats and 35% are Republicans.

Of those Americans with a bachelor's degree, 43% are Democrats and 46% are Republicans.

36fsfiend said...

Michael said...

"36. And the president's call on blacks to enlist their churches in the campaign to reelect him?"

Reference please?

Secondly, I'm not in agreement if that is in fact the case.

36fsfiend said...

Marshal,

You’re conflating my support of the First Amendment and separation of church and state for a dislike of religion. As I stated, if these religious organizations want to remain truly segregated from the secular then they can have all the exemptions they desire assuming they are not hurting people.

I do think there is too much lobbying. It has corrupted our government but for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International that deal with humanitarian issues, you are missing an important point, religion. The Constitution specifically addresses religion and stipulates the government shall make no law respecting a religion. Providing an exemption for a religious organization that impacts many who are not members of that religion, which is what is happening in the case with the contraception rule, is in my opinion establishing or favoring a religion.

As far as religious groups being allowed to voice their beliefs just like any other group, again, in the case of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, they don’t answer to the people that they supposedly represent here in this country, they answer to the Pope. If the polls on the contraception issue are accurate, a majority of Catholics support the rule and around 98 percent of Catholic woman of child bearing age have used birth control. If these individuals communicate their beliefs to their representatives in Congress, who should the representatives listen to, the individuals or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops? I think they should be listening to their constituents. Who are they listening to? Apparently to the bishops who are a group of religious figures that answer to Rome. I don’t believe that is right.

You state the idea that the Pope is some nefarious controller of minds is a belief from the 1940s. So, are you stating that a bishop can act independently from the Vatican? Has any bishop sided with the Catholic Health Association which actually runs the Catholic hospitals and supports the revised rule that Obama announced to allow the insurance companies to provide direct coverage of contraceptives to the employees in these religious organizations? I don’t think so. Why not? Maybe because the bishops answer to the Vatican. That's where their true allegiance lies.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

36fsfiend,

The Constitution specifically addresses religion and stipulates the government shall make no law respecting a religion.

You know, I do believe you've (accidentally, I'm sure) elided something there.

"An establishment of religion" meant, and means, something quite specific. The Queen of England is the head of the Church of England. The King of England, at the time the Bill of Rights was written, was the head of the Church of England.

36fsfiend said...

Michelle,

My interpretation is that the government will not favor or subsidize any religion in this country. At what point do we say government is establishing a religion?

What if this was a Muslim organization pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law?

The howling from members in Congress, the bishops and other religious figures in this country would be tremendous, I’m sure.

Marshal said...

36,

I'm not conflating anything. You on the other hand believe that religious organizations alone have no right to object to the laws of this country. This is absolutely not part of the constitution or the evolution of case law, so to say you're a First Amendment supported is ridiculous. You're a bigot. Own it. Your obvious double standard that other international organizations shouldn't be held to the same standard is revealing to anyone with half a brain.

The rest of your nonsensical rationalization is so full of nonsense its hard to believe anyone of goodwill can espouse it. Providing medical service is "hurting people"? To tie threads together, this what indoctrination sounds like. This must have sounded slightly less idiotic when discussed among people whose only purpose was to decide how best to attack so no one actually pointed out the result made no sense.

And you're thinking is from the 1640s, you've missed quite a bit during those three centuries. A Bishop is part of the church's organization, and all entities coordinate their messages. Do you believe that because Amnesty International officers believe the same things they should be disqualified from public life? Has it ever ocurred to you to even think about what you're saying?

Marshal said...

Revenant said...
They disagree with being told what they have to do, when it is none of the government's business what type of health insurance they offer their employees, that's what the brouhaha is

Sorry, but that's bullshit.

They had no problem with government mandates until those mandates started requiring birth control coverage. This is why they are demanding that the contraception coverage mandate be removed, but NOT demanding that ObamaCare be abolished.

2/29/12 12:25 PM


It's true that pretty much everyone objects more when told to do things they don't want to do. That doesn't mean that isn't what they're objecting to.

Synova said...

"But where is this alleged aggressive challenging of beliefs occurring?"

Suppose, for sake of argument, it's not occurring.

The statement that the purpose of education is to challenge beliefs is still awful silly. And it does imply what it implies about priorities.

I most often have heard this sort of nonsense about education's purpose being to counter parents and churches in relation to homeschooling. In that case it's a matter of standing firm against coercive laws.

It's sort of amazing that no one seems to feel they ought to hide that particular motivation in relation to Other People's Children, but they don't.

When the same arguments are made for elementary school, a person has to wonder a bit.

36fsfiend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
36fsfiend said...

Marshall,

Well, I never stated anywhere in this thread that I disliked religion so what are you basing that assumption on? Please cite the post that I made. Again, I’m arguing for a separation of church and state, not for the abolishment of religion.

Also, I never stated that religious organizations have no right to object to the laws of this country. Certainly they can object to laws, but if they are going to conduct business in the public sector they should have to comply with public laws just as I may object to taxes for programs I don’t support but I’m still required to comply with the tax laws.

As far as being a bigot, general speaking, I’m neutral in regards to religion. You can believe whatever you want but don’t use the government to craft laws based on your beliefs that impact others who are not of the faith which is exactly what is happening in this case.

As far as your comment that I have a double standard regarding other international organizations not being held to the same standard as the church in terms of lobbying Congress, again you miss the point. This is, in my opinion, an issue of separation of church and state. And, as I already indicated, I don’t agree with all the lobbying that takes place in government.

My comment about “hurting people” is in terms of providing exemptions for religious organizations that actually remain segregated from the secular. For example, I don’t think the government should provide an exemption to a religious organization that allows child labor abuses such as was the case with the Amish:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92732&page=1

Regarding you’re point about the bishops being a part of the church's organization and that all church entities coordinate their messages, what happen with the Catholic Health Association? What bishop, by name, has sided with the Catholic Health Association which actually runs the Catholic hospitals and supports the contraception rule? Please provide a link.

As far as your comment about Amnesty International officers being disqualified from public life, what does that have to with the separation of church and state issue? Is Amnesty International a religious organization? Please explain.

Marshal said...

"Well, I never stated anywhere in this thread that I disliked religion so what are you basing that assumption on?"

Your demonstrated animus in attacking the Catholic Church for minor issues you openly accept from all other types of organizations. Foerien leadership is disqualifying, unless you're not a church. Your repeated and silly assertions that the church should have no second amendment rights, that they have somehow broken the law by objecting to it. Do you really believe stating something is the only way anything is understood? What about all those accusations of racism? Are we to believe no racism exists anywhere since the alleged racists didn't "state" they are racists? I'm sure you believe you're objective, but in fact you're an anti-religion bigot.

And certainly you did say the church could not object, in fact you referred to their objections as breaking the law.

"You can believe whatever you want but don’t use the government to craft laws based on your beliefs that impact others who are not of the faith which is exactly what is happening in this case."

This is just delusional. Churches have been providing medical services for centuries. Faith based hospitals provide millions of services, but because they don't want to offer more you believe they should be driven from public sector. They didn't push the government to change any law, radical leftists like you did.

36fsfiend said...

Marshall,

So you confirmed that I didn’t make a post stating that I disliked religion. Thank you.

As far as “attacking” the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through their lobbying power is leading the effort to get the rule in question changed not only for religious organizations but for all employers. So, consequently, they are the focal point of the discussion. If another religious organization was attempting to have a federal rule rewritten based on their religious beliefs and that exemption impacted individuals not of the faith, I would be against that as well.

I never stated that the church should have no second (sic) amendment rights (you mean First Amendment, right?). The church is free to practice its beliefs. But, if they are going to operate in the public sector they must be prepared to follow any and all public laws, especially if they are going to benefit from taxpayer money.

I’m not sure what you are trying to imply with the issue of racism. What does that have to do with the issue of separation of church and state and complying with public laws? And again, you keep stating I’m a bigot for arguing in support of the separation of church and state. Not very convincing. Do you believe in the Constitution? If a Muslim organization was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law, would you argue in favor of the Muslin organization?

You stated that I said the church could not object to laws and that I considered their objections as breaking the law. Please cite that post.

Why is my position that you can have whatever religious beliefs you want but don’t use the government to craft laws based on your beliefs that impact others who are not of the faith delusional? Again, would you support a Muslim organization if it was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law?

Although it is true that churches have been providing medical services for centuries, I don’t recall a similar issue as we are seeing today where a religious exemption adversely impacts individuals not of the faith in question. And again, I don’t believe religious organizations should be driven from public sector. I just believe they should comply with any and all public laws if they choose to operate in the public sector. If they remain segregated from the secular they can certainly have exemptions that only affect their followers.

I’m still awaiting an answer to the question on what bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception rule and an answer as to why you seem to think Amnesty International is a religious organization.

Marshal said...

"As far as “attacking” the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through their lobbying power is leading the effort to get the rule in question changed not only for religious organizations but for all employers."

So you admit they're not looking for a special exemption for religious organizations. There goes your entire argument.

Yes you're right, you never "stated" churches should have no first amendement rights. You stated that a church exercising them means they aren't "complying with the law". Whichever hair you want to split between those will convince only you, but knock yourself out.

You're cute when you pretend not to understand comments to avoid the dealing with the implications of your beliefs. But it must work better sitting in the smoking circle with the rest of the idiots, otherwise you wouldn't embarass yourslf by constantly employing it elsewhere.

Racism doesn't deal with the separation of church and state. It deals with your quaint little belief that something doesn't exist unless you admit it explicitly. It must be nice to compartmentalize to such a degree, but don't expect the rest of us to play along with your need to assert a standard of evidence rejected by every single person alive.

Similarly only you believe AI must be a religious organization. I chose a non-religious organization comparison to highlight your belief that only religious organizations forfeit their first amendment rights because they report to a foreign headquarters. That you think this must mean I believe AI is religious is bizarre. This has to be intentional, no one can be this dense.

"I don’t recall a similar issue as we are seeing today where a religious exemption adversely impacts individuals not of the faith in question. "

Not only have you not seen it before, you're not seeing it now. No one is adversely effected by the church offering medical services, except in the sense that any non-leftist institution denies leftists complete control. Given that many people will be adversely effected should these institutions close, or even merely lose the church or member funding you have to suspect the adverse effects on patients aren't driving the issue, getting the impediment to leftist control is.

36fsfiend said...

Marshall,

First, still waiting on answers to the following questions:

What bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception issue?

Would you support a Muslim organization if it was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law?

I stated:

"As far as “attacking” the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through their lobbying power is leading the effort to get the rule in question changed not only for religious organizations but for all employers."

You responded:

“So you admit they're not looking for a special exemption for religious organizations. There goes your entire argument.”

No. The bishops were initially looking for an exemption for Catholic institutions. After Obama announced his compromise, the bishops expanded the demand that the exemption apply to any employer based on their religious belief. My argument still stands.

You stated:

“Yes you're right, you never "stated" churches should have no first amendment rights. You stated that a church exercising them means they aren't "complying with the law". Whichever hair you want to split between those will convince only you, but knock yourself out.”

Thank you for confirmation. Again, they can freely exercise their religious beliefs in this country. However, once the practice of their beliefs begins to impact others not of the faith then we have a problem. No one is forcing these religious institutions to operate in the public sector. It’s their free choice. Hence, I believe this claim that their religious freedoms are being violated is disingenuous.

36fsfiend said...

(continued)

You stated:

“Racism doesn't deal with the separation of church and state. It deals with your quaint little belief that something doesn't exist unless you admit it explicitly. It must be nice to compartmentalize to such a degree, but don't expect the rest of us to play along with your need to assert a standard of evidence rejected by every single person alive.”

Please provide another example where a religious institution was granted an exemption to a rule or law that adversely impacted individuals who are not members of the faith in question.

You stated:

“Similarly only you believe AI must be a religious organization. I chose a non-religious organization comparison to highlight your belief that only religious organizations forfeit their first amendment rights because they report to a foreign headquarters. That you think this must mean I believe AI is religious is bizarre. This has to be intentional, no one can be this dense.”

Good. Then we agree no First Amendment issue is involved with Amnesty International lobbying, correct? Also, can cite where Amnesty International has lobbied to have a rule or law changed in this country? My understanding is they advocate for countries to adhere to existing laws such as the provisions of the Geneva Conventions against torture which this country has signed and ratified.

You stated:

“Not only have you not seen it before, you're not seeing it now. No one is adversely effected by the church offering medical services, except in the sense that any non-leftist institution denies leftists complete control. Given that many people will be adversely effected should these institutions close, or even merely lose the church or member funding you have to suspect the adverse effects on patients aren't driving the issue, getting the impediment to leftist control is.”

Individuals who work at these religious institutions who are not members of the faith in question are most certainly adversely affected by the exemption since they are denied a benefit provided under the rule. I’ll ask the question again, would you support a Muslim organization if it was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied a benefit of that law? And how about if the lobbying efforts of that Muslim organization where being supported by a foreign entity such as the leadership in Saudi Arabia? Would you be OK with that situation? And if not, why the difference in the case of the Catholic Church?

Marshal said...

"First, still waiting on answers to the following questions:

What bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception issue?

Would you support a Muslim organization if it was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law?"

Yes you are. I'm not in the habit of answering irrelevant questions on demand. The first has no bearing on anything except in your own mind. The second is both falsely stated (no one is denied anything) and not analogous to the current circumstance (the church has not requested an exemption only for itself). That your evidence is so incredibly weak you're grasping at these pathetic remnants should tell you to rethink your position.

That you think your argument still stands is evidence only of your animus and inability to reason. The church is not asking for a special exemption.

"However, once the practice of their beliefs begins to impact others not of the faith then we have a problem."

The practice of Catholic beliefs impacts millions of people not of their faith through their medical programs, virtually all positively. Their failure to offer abortions and contraceptives hurts no one any more than your not performing abortions does.

"Please provide another example where a religious institution was granted an exemption to a rule or law that adversely impacted individuals who are not members of the faith in question."

Why would I? This isn't relevant to anything.

"Good. Then we agree no First Amendment issue is involved with Amnesty International lobbying, correct? Also, can cite where Amnesty International has lobbied to have a rule or law changed in this country? My understanding is they advocate for countries to adhere to existing laws such as the provisions of the Geneva Conventions against torture which this country has signed and ratified."

Plus they advocate the US joining other treaties and agreements, and otherwise influence policy. But it's nice we agree you not only accept everything you object to when committed by the church, but consider it "good". Showing your bigotry again. The Church lobbing is bad because it's foreign. AI lobbying is good even though it's foreign, so explain why the Church lobby is bad again?

"Individuals who work at these religious institutions who are not members of the faith in question are most certainly adversely affected by the exemption since they are denied a benefit provided under the rule."

These people knew when they started what was covered and what wasn't. They were offered a compensation package including a,b, & c and not including x,y, or z. They accepted those terms. They're not being harmed, they're getting exactly what they agreed to. Until of course the government tried to interfere, which is the real problem in this circumstance.

36fsfiend said...

Marshal said...

“Yes you are. I'm not in the habit of answering irrelevant questions on demand. The first has no bearing on anything except in your own mind. The second is both falsely stated (no one is denied anything) and not analogous to the current circumstance (the church has not requested an exemption only for itself). That your evidence is so incredibly weak you're grasping at these pathetic remnants should tell you to rethink your position.”

What a dodge. From your post at 2/29/12 3:18 PM you stated that bishops are part of the church's organization and that all churches entities coordinate their messages so the question about what bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception issue is certainly relevant. If all the church’s organizations coordinate their messages why isn’t the Catholic Health Association on board with the bishops? The second question is a reflection of the situation at hand except I substituted a Muslim organization for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Christians for non-Catholics. Why do you hesitate to answer? Are you bigoted towards Muslims?

“That you think your argument still stands is evidence only of your animus and inability to reason. The church is not asking for a special exemption.”

They most certainly are, hence the kerfuffle.

“The practice of Catholic beliefs impacts millions of people not of their faith through their medical programs, virtually all positively. Their failure to offer abortions and contraceptives hurts no one any more than your not performing abortions does.”

The medical service the church provides is not impacting the ability of individuals in taking advantage of the benefits of a public law in accordance with their religious beliefs. The exemption the church is seeking in this case would inhibit the access to the contraceptive services and supplies for non-Catholic women who work at these institutions.

I stated:

"Please provide another example where a religious institution was granted an exemption to a rule or law that adversely impacted individuals who are not members of the faith in question."

You stated:

“Why would I? This isn't relevant to anything.”

Another dodge.

“Plus they advocate the US joining other treaties and agreements, and otherwise influence policy. But it's nice we agree you not only accept everything you object to when committed by the church, but consider it "good". Showing your bigotry again. The Church lobbing is bad because it's foreign. AI lobbying is good even though it's foreign, so explain why the Church lobby is bad again?”

You really don’t pay attention. I stated several times that I don’t agree with all the lobbying that goes on. That includes lobbying by religious and non-religious organizations. As far as religious organizations, the First Amendment specifically addresses the relationship between government and religion. Again, my question to you is would you support a Muslim organization if it was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law? Is a Muslim organization lobbying Congress OK with you? If not, explain why.

“These people knew when they started what was covered and what wasn't. They were offered a compensation package including a,b, & c and not including x,y, or z. They accepted those terms. They're not being harmed, they're getting exactly what they agreed to. Until of course the government tried to interfere, which is the real problem in this circumstance.”

This is a new rule. It was not in place when most of the people who work in these religious institutions were hired. Your point about agreeing to compensation packages in the past holds no merit.

Marshal said...

"What a dodge. From your post at 2/29/12 3:18 PM you stated that bishops are part of the church's organization and that all churches entities coordinate their messages so the question about what bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception issue is certainly relevant."

You're the one claiming the church follows the foreign pope and specifically identifed the bishops. Do you really believe that when you admit your own assertions don't make sense it somehow weakens the opposing aruments? Maybe you need to keep a scorecard, you keep forgetting who said what.

"The second question is a reflection of the situation at hand except I substituted a Muslim organization for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Christians for non-Catholics. Why do you hesitate to answer? Are you bigoted towards Muslims?"

As previously noted, this is a reflection of the situation you prefer we faced rather than that we do.

"Also, I never stated that religious organizations have no right to object to the laws of this country."

Yes you did. When the church exercised its first amendment rights you claimed they were not complying with the law.

Your comment #1: "As far as “attacking” the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through their lobbying power is leading the effort to get the rule in question changed not only for religious organizations but for all employers."

Your comment #2: They most certainly are [asking for a special exemption], hence the kerfuffle.

These two things don't fit. Now maybe you dont understand the terms. An exemption would be if the church requested the law only not apply to itself, not even for other similar entities. [Like Obama and Pelosi's exemptions from Obamacare for the politically connected]. But your own comment shows they believe the law should not exist at all. That's not an exemption.

"The exemption the church is seeking in this case would inhibit the access to the contraceptive services and supplies for non-Catholic women who work at these institutions."

This is a lie. These women can access contraceptives through myriad options.

"I stated several times that I don’t agree with all the lobbying that goes on. "

Yes, we've seen that you believe lobbying by a foreign based church is bad, and lobbying by a foreign based human rights organization is good.

"The second question is a reflection of the situation at hand except I substituted a Muslim organization for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Christians for non-Catholics. Why do you hesitate to answer?"

I don't bother answering because anyone who can think straight understands this isn't the issue facing us. I realize that leaves you out, but that's not my problem.

"This is a new rule. It was not in place when most of the people who work in these religious institutions were hired. Your point about agreeing to compensation packages in the past holds no merit."

It doesn't to you because you believe government can do anything it wants any time it wants any way it wants, and anyone who doesn't fall in line should be driven from the public sector. Thankfully most of the country disagrees with you.

36fsfiend said...

Marshal said...

“You're the one claiming the church follows the foreign pope and specifically identified the bishops. Do you really believe that when you admit your own assertions don't make sense it somehow weakens the opposing arguments? Maybe you need to keep a scorecard, you keep forgetting who said what.”

More prevarication. Why not simply answer my question?

“As previously noted, this is a reflection of the situation you prefer we faced rather than that we do.”

I suggest you read up on the issue.

“Yes you did. When the church exercised its first amendment rights you claimed they were not complying with the law.”

Please cite the post.

“These two things don't fit. Now maybe you dont understand the terms. An exemption would be if the church requested the law only not apply to itself, not even for other similar entities. [Like Obama and Pelosi's exemptions from Obamacare for the politically connected]. But your own comment shows they believe the law should not exist at all. That's not an exemption.”

The church originally wanted an exemption to the rule that would apply to their hospitals and colleges the same as it was applied to the physical churches, i.e., no insurance coverage for contraception for any employee. They are now supporting new legislation introduced by Blunt and Rubio in the Senate that would allow any employer, not just religious institutions, to deny insurance coverage for any medical procedures that the employer deems morally reprehensible.

“This is a lie. These women can access contraceptives through myriad options.”

You are missing the point. The issue is not whether a woman can go to a drug store and buy birth control pills. The issue is non-Catholic women working in these religious institutions would be denied a benefit provided under public law.

“Yes, we've seen that you believe lobbying by a foreign based church is bad, and lobbying by a foreign based human rights organization is good.”

More prevarication. Why don’t you answer my question about a Muslim organization pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law? Is a Muslim organization lobbying Congress OK with you? If not, explain why. I suspect that you are one of those people who are against the Park51 project in New York City.

“I don't bother answering because anyone who can think straight understands this isn't the issue facing us. I realize that leaves you out, but that's not my problem.”

Another dodge.

“It doesn't to you because you believe government can do anything it wants any time it wants any way it wants, and anyone who doesn't fall in line should be driven from the public sector. Thankfully most of the country disagrees with you.”

I never stated such a position.

Marshall, you don't appear to want to engage in a honest discourse.

craig said...

36fsfiend, it is you who is being disingenuous.

"The church is free to practice its beliefs. But, if they are going to operate in the public sector they must be prepared to follow any and all public laws, especially if they are going to benefit from taxpayer money."

What is your opinion of the Fugitive Slave Acts? Was it just for the state to compel persons against their conscience, under penalty of law, to assist in returning slaves?

Suppose that we, on the premise that pork is a public good, compel Muslim businesses that serve food of any kind to serve pork as well? By your stated logic, for the Muslim to resist is to deny the Christian a "benefit under the law". But any reasonable man can see that the sole point of the provision is to compel the Muslim to act against his conscience -- the Christian is free to obtain pork elsewhere.


"No one is forcing these religious institutions to operate in the public sector."

This claim is sleight of hand -- the whole point is that Obama has redefined any private action as belonging to the public sector when the state deems it so.

The taking of federal money has nothing to do with it. That is an intentional diversion, and one that the bishops initially fell for; their first public statements addressed only health care providers who accept federal reimbursements for Medicare/Medicaid patients. But any employer of any kind, not being in a line of business that involves federal dollars, is still caught under this mandate. A practicing Catholic-owned bookstore, school, resale shop, construction firm, etc. -- literally anything is covered.

Whether the bishops agree with the CHA or not is irrelevant. The bishops are authoritative over Catholic doctrine. For the state to declare that CHA speaks for Catholicism is no different than the state's deposing the bishops and appointing new ones, as Henry VIII did. If a religious body cannot internally determine its own doctrine, then free exercise of religion is gone.

"Individuals who work at these religious institutions ...are denied a benefit provided under the rule."

What right do they have to the benefit, or to any employer-provided health care for that matter? Could a future social-conservative president mandate that no health care plan may be offered unless it covers homosexual reparative therapy? Would the state have a fair claim that gay businesses are denying their employees' rights by failing to provide it?

36fsfiend said...

craig said...

“What is your opinion of the Fugitive Slave Acts? Was it just for the state to compel persons against their conscience, under penalty of law, to assist in returning slaves?”

craig,

What point are you trying to make with the Fugitive Slave Acts? How does this relate to the issue of separation of church and state?

“Suppose that we, on the premise that pork is a public good, compel Muslim businesses that serve food of any kind to serve pork as well? By your stated logic, for the Muslim to resist is to deny the Christian a "benefit under the law". But any reasonable man can see that the sole point of the provision is to compel the Muslim to act against his conscience -- the Christian is free to obtain pork elsewhere.”

Ah, the old pork defense being employed by the church. The alternative to the lack of pork access is to eat something else. And the alternative to safe, effective birth control is what?

“This claim is sleight of hand -- the whole point is that Obama has redefined any private action as belonging to the public sector when the state deems it so.”

Obama has not redefined anything. Twenty-eight states already had rules on the books concerning insurance coverage for contraception. Eight states have more restrictive rules than the federal rule, i.e. no religious exemptions. The federal rule, which provides for an exemption for churches and actual religious activities, is based on that used in New York and California which both have large Catholic populations and yet there was no howling from the church about the violation of “religious freedom” when the rule was implemented in those states.

“The taking of federal money has nothing to do with it. That is an intentional diversion, and one that the bishops initially fell for; their first public statements addressed only health care providers who accept federal reimbursements for Medicare/Medicaid patients. But any employer of any kind, not being in a line of business that involves federal dollars, is still caught under this mandate. A practicing Catholic-owned bookstore, school, resale shop, construction firm, etc. -- literally anything is covered.”

Taking federal money absolutely is a factor. If a religious organization voluntarily elects to do business in the public sector they need to be accommodating to the beliefs and needs of all their employees and not simply their own. As Justice Scalia, writing the majority decision in Employment Division v. Smith stated: “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.”

36fsfiend said...
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36fsfiend said...
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36fsfiend said...

(continued)

“Whether the bishops agree with the CHA or not is irrelevant. The bishops are authoritative over Catholic doctrine. For the state to declare that CHA speaks for Catholicism is no different than the state's deposing the bishops and appointing new ones, as Henry VIII did. If a religious body cannot internally determine its own doctrine, then free exercise of religion is gone.”

The issue concerning the bishops agreeing with the Catholic Health Association was in response to Marshal’s statement that the bishops are part of the church's organization and that all churches entities coordinate their messages. I was pointing out the falsehood of that statement since no bishops have sided with the Catholic Health Association in regards to the contraception issue. And it is relevant to this case since it highlights the fact that the bishops do not represent the opinions of all Catholics in this matter. Again, they answer to Rome and not to their followers in this country. Who should the representatives in Congress listen to, their constituents or a body of religious figures who take their orders from Rome? I think it should be the constituents.

“What right do they have to the benefit, or to any employer-provided health care for that matter? Could a future social-conservative president mandate that no health care plan may be offered unless it covers homosexual reparative therapy? Would the state have a fair claim that gay businesses are denying their employees' rights by failing to provide it?”

The employees at these religious affiliated institutions who are not members of the faith in question have the right to enjoy a benefit provided by a public law that passed by the Congress and signed by the President. If you were a home owner with a mortgage and if someone was able to deny you the benefit of taking a deduction for the mortgage interest on your tax return because of some personal beliefs you would most undoubtedly howl about that I’m sure.

Again, if religious organizations voluntarily elect to do business in the public sector, they need to be prepared to follow any and all public laws and to be accommodating to the beliefs and needs of all their employees and not simply their own. If they cannot do this in good conscience, than they may need to stay out of doing business in the public sector, in my opinion.

Bottomline, this issue is about doing business and making money. Not practicing religion. Here is an article discussing the billions of dollars involved with health care and the church:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/health/policy/growth-of-catholic-hospitals-may-limit-access-to-reproductive-care.html?_r=1

craig said...

36fsfiend said...

"What point are you trying to make with the Fugitive Slave Acts? How does this relate to the issue of separation of church and state?"

The abolitionist movement was largely religious. Abolitionists were appalled and enraged that the federal government mandated, under penalty of law, that all citizens must aid and abet the slave trade in their private capacity as individuals.


"And the alternative to safe, effective birth control is what?"

The alternative to employer-provided birth control is to seek other employment, buy birth control on your own, or do without. That's been the case since birth control was invented. It leaves all control in the individual's hands. You have not made a case why an employer mandate is warranted, other than 'Yes We Can' impose it by force.


"Twenty-eight states already had rules..."

Red herring. If Susie lets me feel her up, does that give me the right to feel you up?

I will grant you this much: Catholic bishops in recent years have been useful idiots for the Democrat party on most issues except for life issues, and because of that affinity for statism they have been slow to recognize their incoherence on this issue. They are the frog who has just discovered the water is hot.


"Taking federal money absolutely is a factor. If a religious organization voluntarily elects to do business in the public sector they need to be accommodating to the beliefs and needs of all their employees and not simply their own."

There you go again, begging the question about what is "public". Is merely being open for business "taking federal money" in your book? It sound as if, for you, one drop of commerce is sufficient to justify federal control of all aspects of a religious entity.

Why, if this ruling stands, could the federal government not then mandate that Catholic churches host same-sex weddings on the premises if they perform any weddings at all?

36fsfiend said...

craig said...

“The abolitionist movement was largely religious. Abolitionists were appalled and enraged that the federal government mandated, under penalty of law, that all citizens must aid and abet the slave trade in their private capacity as individuals.”

OK. Was there a particular religious organization, such as the Catholic Church in this case about contraception, that was lobbying Congress to craft this legislation about runaway slaves? Where there members of the slave holding community that didn’t agree with the community as a whole who also pushed for the legislation on runaway slaves like the Catholic Health Association did in this case about contraception? A good portion of Catholic women use birth control so I’m not sure your analogy is valid. Also, it is interesting that you used the word “mandate”. So the federal government, if fact, has used mandates in the past. It’s not a new issue with the Affordable Care Act is it?

“The alternative to employer-provided birth control is to seek other employment, buy birth control on your own, or do without. That's been the case since birth control was invented. It leaves all control in the individual's hands. You have not made a case why an employer mandate is warranted, other than 'Yes We Can' impose it by force.”

The issue is not whether a woman can go to a drug store and buy birth control pills. The issue is employees in the religious affiliated institutions who are not members of the faith in question would be denied a benefit provided under public law.

“Red herring. If Susie lets me feel her up, does that give me the right to feel you up?

I will grant you this much: Catholic bishops in recent years have been useful idiots for the Democrat party on most issues except for life issues, and because of that affinity for statism they have been slow to recognize their incoherence on this issue. They are the frog who has just discovered the water is hot.”

It’s not a red herring. You stated that Obama has redefined any private action as belonging to the public sector when the state deems it so. Obama was not the first to implement this policy, these 28 states were. Indeed, his rule is actually less restrictive than those in some of those states.

“There you go again, begging the question about what is "public". Is merely being open for business "taking federal money" in your book? It sound as if, for you, one drop of commerce is sufficient to justify federal control of all aspects of a religious entity.”

These religious organizations are taking millions in federal dollars. Health care and higher education are both lucrative business, that’s why these organizations are getting into them. As such, I believe the federal government gets a say. Again, if these religious organizations cannot comply with public laws, they are free to exit the public sector and then they can have all the exemptions they desire. But, realistically, that will not occur because of the amount of money involved.

“Why, if this ruling stands, could the federal government not then mandate that Catholic churches host same-sex weddings on the premises if they perform any weddings at all?”

No. Because the rule applies to religious affiliated institutions, not to churches or the activities that occur within those churches. Again, the issue is employees who work in these religious affiliated institutions who are not members of the faith in question would be denied a benefit for a service, permitted by their own religious beliefs, as provided under public law.

I’ll ask you the same question I asked Marshal. If a Muslim organization was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law would you support the Muslim organization? If not, please explain why the disparity in the position taken towards the Catholic Church’s efforts and the Muslim organization’s efforts.

craig said...

36fsfiend said...

"These religious organizations are taking millions in federal dollars. Health care and higher education are both lucrative business, that’s why these organizations are getting into them."

You have it exactly backward: health care and higher education were religious undertakings long before the government ever got into them.

But you have carefully ignored my earlier point. Consider the Catholic publishing house Ignatius Press, just to cite one example: they take no federal money, yet would have to subordinate their beliefs to the state's as a condition of doing business.


"...would be denied a benefit for a service, permitted by their own religious beliefs, as provided under public law."

You repeatedly fail to see the difference between the right of a man to do something himself, and the 'right' of a man to demand that other men do something for his benefit. The fact that your religion permits something does not obligate me to provide it for you.


"If a Muslim organization was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law would you support the Muslim organization?"

I don't think you can give me even a hypothetical example of that.

Since you obviously are parroting the same arguments in every post, regardless of the objections I raise, this is a tedious discussion and we might as well end it.

36fsfiend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
36fsfiend said...

craig said...

“You have it exactly backward: health care and higher education were religious undertakings long before the government ever got into them.”

Well, actually the government has been involved in health care since the earliest days of the country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Act_for_the_relief_of_sick_and_disabled_seamen

Similarly with land-grant universities:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land-grant_university

“But you have carefully ignored my earlier point. Consider the Catholic publishing house Ignatius Press, just to cite one example: they take no federal money, yet would have to subordinate their beliefs to the state's as a condition of doing business.”

Well, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, if Ignatius Press primarily employs people of their own faith they would qualify for the exemption:

http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/opeds/contraception_rules_respect_religion.html

Do they employ non-Catholic workers?

“You repeatedly fail to see the difference between the right of a man to do something himself, and the 'right' of a man to demand that other men do something for his benefit. The fact that your religion permits something does not obligate me to provide it for you.”

So, assuming you are a home owner, are you prepared to give up the benefit provided by law that allows you to claim your home mortgage interest as a deduction on your federal tax return? You don’t need the government’s help with buying and owning a home, do you? You realize that people who do not own a mortgage and who pay federal taxes are in effect subsidizing that benefit, correct? Same situation goes for people without children who pay taxes that support schools. How far do you want to go with this supposed “self sufficiency” argument?

I asked:

“If a Muslim organization was pushing for an exemption to a public law that resulted in Christians being denied benefits of that law would you support the Muslim organization?”

You stated:

“I don't think you can give me even a hypothetical example of that.”

Sounds like a dodge to me. Why do I have to give a specific example? Why won’t you or Marshal simply answer the general scenario and provide your rationale? Can you not bring yourself to stating you would support a Muslim organization in the same scenario as we have with the current "religious freedom" issue? Because if you answer that you wouldn't support the Muslim organization then your entire argument is shot.

“Since you obviously are parroting the same arguments in every post, regardless of the objections I raise, this is a tedious discussion and we might as well end it.”

Perhaps, since you haven’t convinced me that this matter is not a separation of church and state issue or that the bishops are actually representing the positions of the majority of the Catholics in this country and not the authority in Rome.

36fsfiend said...

craig,

One last post. You may be interested in the article at the link below which is about the Employment Division v. Smith Supreme Court case and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, both of which are applicable to this issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/back-to-first-principles-on-religious-freedom.html

From the article, Justice Scalia wrote in the court's decision that to “make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land” would have the anarchic effect of permitting “every citizen to become a law unto himself”.

I agree.

Cheers.