Speaking of Science and Religion

Make sure you check out this Red State post on Frist’s ‘betrayal’ over stem cells and Bill Ardolino’s response.

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38 replies
  1. 1
    ppGaz says:

    Aw, John. First you make me read the transcript from the day room at the local mental hospital, always good for a laugh … and then ….Boom! Tenactin! … oh wait, that’s John Madden …. a dispatch from the reality based world.

    That’s like going from the steam room to an ice bath.

    My nerves, my nerves!! How am I supposed to know what to think ?

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    Bring back Trent Lott. At least he’s honest about being a RINO. I should have known Frist was a traitor when he let Terri Schiavo be murdered.

  3. 3
    Mike S says:

    RedState, like the rest of the GOP, is now under complete control of the religious wingnuts.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    Umm. I don’t think the folks at Red State are crazy. Just passionate about their causes. And they certainly aren’t running the GOP.

    I do think it is unwise to be branding the Senate Majority Leader a ‘traitor.’ But if they feel betrayed, I would rather they come out and say it, as they did.

    I don’ agree with some of the issues that motivate soe of the guys at Red State, but they aren’t crazy or evil.

  5. 5
    Mike S says:

    Evil? I don’t think most wingnuts are evil. Not even sure I’d call them crazy, well most of them at least.

    But the moderate voice in both the party and redstate is non-existant. And contrary to the Talk Radio wing of the GOP, the same can’t be said for the dem party. As hard as they try, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Joe Biden and many other visible dems can’t honestly be described as libs.

  6. 6
    ppGaz says:

    I do think it is unwise to be branding the Senate Majority Leader a ‘traitor.’ But if they feel betrayed, I would rather they come out and say it, as they did.

    Unwise. We have elevated word-mincing to the level of art here. We have invented the Ronco Word Mincer, I think.

    Unwise? It’s called browbeating. It’s abusive.

    Betrayed? As if the nuts on the right are not betraying the basic ideas of Americanism on a daily basis. Hell, even if I only knew what I read about their exploits in your blog, I’d have to conclude that. Frist, in his fealty to these lunatics, has betrayed his medical education with his behavior in the last year. He’s betrayed the traditions of conservatism. He’s used his position as majority leader of the United States Senate to advance a set of narrow, religious views disguised as political views.

    Calling a spade a spade has its advantages. For example, you don’t have to dance quite so hard.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    Well, if you look at things from the perspective of those who think that embryonic stem cells are a life, there is nothing to be moderate about. They believe it is a human life, period. To be ‘moderate’ on the issue is, in their viewpoint, to support killing innocent life.

  8. 8
    ppGaz says:

    Well, if you look at things from the perspective of those who think that embryonic stem cells are a life, there is nothing to be moderate about.

    Well, you are giving them more credit than I do.

    First of all, AFAIC, they’re wrong. Just plain wrong. I know what a human life looks like, and it doesn’t look like a stem cell. I have a brother who thinks like they do, and he is totally irrational. The grotesque contortions he has to do has him backed into a corner to the point where he almost thinks a hard on should be treated as a life. I exaggerate only very slightly, believe me.

    Second, even if you think these people are sincere, I don’t think that’s a given. My gut tells me that there is a little bit of OCD about “life” and a lot of resentment about sexual freedom and loss of church authority going on, which gets morphed into “concern for life.” I haven’t observed that these “life-lovers” are any more committed to “life” than anyone else is. I have observed that they like to take their precious technical “life” concern and leverage it into every manner of holier-than-thou horseshit. In short, I neither trust them, nor believe them.

  9. 9
    gswift says:

    Well, if you look at things from the perspective of those who think that embryonic stem cells are a life, there is nothing to be moderate about. They believe it is a human life, period. To be ‘moderate’ on the issue is, in their viewpoint, to support killing innocent life.

    When I start hearing these same people speak out against all the embryos being destroyed by the in vitro process, I’ll be more inclined to take their position seriously.

    What’s with Frist and this “life begins at conception”, then endorsing stem cell research anyways? I’m a left leaning agnostic. What am I missing here? How are these embryos not post conception? Is this a common position position on the right?

    It’s the same reason I really detest the “no abortion except for rape, incest..” crowd. Either it’s a human life or not. I fail to see how terminating a rape pregnancy is somehow not killing an innocent vs. the termination of a fetus with a birth defect.

  10. 10
    KC says:

    PPGaz, while I don’t totally agree with the way you phrase things, I think you make a good point. When I was in the Christian right crowd, I saw a lot of that holier-than-thou “horseshit” and it grew to really bother me. A lot of it was really about the loss of the institutional power of churches/Christianity. That’s why if you read a lot of the Christian prophecy books you’ll see the sixties, seventies, the Reconstruction, the Warren Court, the New Deal, basically times, institutions, and programs that took power away from organized religion, beat up pretty badly. On the other hand, I knew plenty of good people (in the sense that they were solid family people, nice, fed the homeless, etc.) who really did think abortion was murder and that being gay was a choice. It’s impossible for me to write them off as insincere even though I don’t agree with them.

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    Frist is condoning the murder of young cells as surely as he condoned the murder of Terri Schiavo. Life is precious, life begins at conception, life must be protected.

  12. 12
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, I think the leading Redtate.orgers do their (sometimes woefully inadequate) best to reach consistent conclusions from their (to my mind often absurd) premises. No doubt there are plenty of result-driven people of the sort you describe out there, but in this case I think you’re doing a group of true believers a disservice.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    “As hard as they try, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Joe Biden and many other visible dems can’t honestly be described as libs.”

    It would be more accurate to call them communists.

    And hardly any Republican Senators can be described as conservatives either. The vast majority are nothing but RINOs, with a few notable exceptions: Santorum, Allen, Inohofe, Cornyn, and a few others.

  14. 14
    ppGaz says:

    I think you’re doing a group of true believers a disservice.

    I think they’re doing me a greater disservice. I think they’re doing the country a disservice. I think they are a bunch of self-centered thugs who practice meddling with others and then paint it up to like sanctimony. I have no respect for them whatsoever.

    “True believers?” I’m a true believer; I truly believe that they are lying hypocrites.

  15. 15
    ppGaz says:

    I knew plenty of good people (in the sense that they were solid family people, nice, fed the homeless, etc.) who really did think abortion was murder

    Good for them. That doesn’t make them right.

  16. 16
    Sojourner says:

    They don’t deserve to be taken seriously until they’re screaming at the top of their lungs about every child, in this country, who lives in poverty and has no health insurance.

    Otherwise, I can only conclude that their only goal is to control women’s lives.

  17. 17
    d says:

    I’d have an easier time believing these people were sincere about being “pro-life”, if there was more convincing evidence they cared about the people who are already here.

    I realise there is some. Evangelicals, on average, give twice the national average in donations to charity.

    I don’t buy the Rapture rubbish though – John Darby was a douchebag.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    “I don’t buy the Rapture rubbish though”

    I guess you’ll be left behind then :(

  19. 19
    d says:

    DougJ – Thanks for your thoughts, I’ll add that frown-icon to the weight of the charity evidence.

    However, I’ve got bad news for you. The Swift Report announced that the Rapture was last Feb.

    http://swiftreport.blogs.com/n.....index.html

    better start studying up on those Zombie-movies.

  20. 20
    Sojourner says:

    The Swift Report announced that the Rapture was last Feb.

    Dang! I missed it.

  21. 21
    KC says:

    PPGaz, you’re doing a good job of making DougJ sound reasonable.

  22. 22
    norbizness says:

    The only interesting aspect of the Redstate thread was the re-evaluation of their charter (from “a community in support of Republicans” to “a community in support of Republicans who are conservative 100% of the time”) that transpired as a result of that remarkable post. I have a feeling that, given the hyper-defensiveness of the site owners, the charter will be further narrowed down to “a community in support of that fucking nutcase, Senator Coburn.”

  23. 23
    KC says:

    Since we’re talking about science, creationism, and religion generally, it’s probably worth it for everyone to check this NYTimes article out. For those of us not on the more fundamentalist side of things, I think it’s high time we realize that religion in education is growing. I have to ask too, would it really be that terrible if religion was part of education? For many years, students read bibles in class. Our country still made positive advances. What are the concrete dangers of this sectarian religious agenda?

  24. 24
    ppGaz says:

    PPGaz, you’re doing a good job of making DougJ sound reasonable.

    Sorry, I missed it. When did “reasonableness” become part of this subject?

    The Dobsonites are not interested in being reasonable. When they are, call me.

  25. 25
    Geek, Esq. says:

    I wonder why the folks at Redstate suffer the presence of apologists for mass murder such as yourself, John.

    Newsflash to Augustine et al: Your position is a FRINGE position rejected by a wide margin in the United States and an even wider margin in the rest of Western society.

    Stem cells are minute pieces of goo on a petri dish. Yeah, they’re human life. But so are the cells in the hair follicles of Fidel Castro’s beard.

    A stem cell is not a human being, and it is only superstition that would have us believe otherwise.

  26. 26
    BoZ the Rider says:

    You know, I don’t see them going after the company that makes Lysol Antibacterial Disinfectant stuff! Do they cry when someone swats a fly? Do they demands a bill of rights for spiders? Do they pretend their dog is as good as they are and let him sit in a chair at the dinner table?

    No, they aren’t talking about life. Yes, life is an amazing thing from a biological standpoint. How did it come about? How do you define it? I would consider life to be a precious thing, but I also agree with Darwin in that it’s survival of the fittest, and I’m perfectly ok with killing a fly, cleaning my toliets from bacteria, and putting spiders outside where they should go. But my dogs don’t sit at the table…

    They’re trying to pull some half-hearted attempt to be philosophical, but the only problem is that according to ethical philosophy (Kant, Hume, Hobbs, Rousseu, those folks), the only thing that deserves continued existence is a person. Not a human exactly, but anything personhood status. A dog could have personhood status, as well as a robot.

    While the idea of defining who is a person varies from philosopher to philosopher, there is some sort of general consensus that persons have the right to continued existence because they have intrinsic value; they have value in and of themselves. According to Emmanual Kant, a person is anything with rational thought. A sentient being.

    Lets say you have a dog, and the dog gets injured to the point that he’ll never run or walk again. You’d probably have the dog put down out of pity. But then you turn around and demand to keep someone in a persistant vegitative state alive, Terri Schavio for example. A dog isn’t on the same level as a human, you say. This is true, but it was your sense of pity that ended the dogs life while it’s your blind selfishness to keep Terri alive. It wasn’t keeping Terri alive that was important, it was preserving their faith in God and imposing some dogmatic control upon a situation humans could no longer do anything about.

    Thats all fine and good, if it’s your life. But the Schavio family struggle should have never, ever, have left the state line of Florida or even their district!

    Perhaps we should remember every person that protested to keep Terri alive so that should they end up in the same situation, or perhaps conscious and in pain but unable to live without machines, we can go protest that they be kept alive…

    Either way, it’s all hypocracy, and whats worse is there is more outrage over Terri Schavio’s body than there is over the lies told to go to Iraq where 100,000+ people have lost their lives.

    It’s hypocracy that at the same time that Terri was being kept alive, a young boy who also was in persistant vegitative state in Texas, was forcibly taken off life support (as in despite his mother’s wishes) because of a bill cutting healthcare costs signed by govenor GWB.

    Yes, life is precious, but only if it’s got human DNA and doesn’t cut into the annual state budget.

    Hypocracy…

  27. 27
    KC says:

    PPGaz, alright, but check out the article I link to in my comments above. As I said, I think it’s time non-fundamentalists ask themselves what the result will be if and when religion enters the realm of public education. Obviously, in some places, it has already happened. In more places, there are attempts to make it happen. If our country continues in its present direction, it’s likely that it will happen. How bad will things actually be? Will things really be that different? Given students read the bible in public schools for many years and our country still progressed, would it really be that big of a crisis?

    Just curious.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    Given students read the bible in public schools for many years and our country still progressed, would it really be that big of a crisis?

    1. How did we go from stem cells, to “right to life/privacy”, to Bible in schools?

    2. A Bible in school is not a crisis. A school, a public school that is funded with my property tax revenue, that is an instrument of government, pimping the Bible … that’s a crisis. The government is not to pimp the Bible, or to talk to citizens about “sanctity,” or otherwise be in the Bible business. Those are church activities. The government is not a church.

  29. 29
    KC says:

    Well, I guess I slipped on number 1 after reading that NYTimes article on bible education in public schools. But, as for number 2, I guess religion in school could mean even less support for stem cells. In that sense you answered my question about what could/would be the result of a more religiously based public education. But overall, these people are not going away. Given the direction our country is heading, it’s possible religion in education could become an everyday thing again. The question is is how are non-fundamentalist people going to deal with it?

  30. 30
    ppGaz says:

    it’s possible religion in education could become an everyday thing again.

    Then you’ll have two Americas, constantly at war with each other. Because my side is not going to stand for it. Don’t underestimate the depth of committment on the other side. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that there is going to be a tyrrany-of-majority in this country.

    People who want to pray and read the Bible are quite free to do so. They are free to have their children pray and read the Bible every waking minute that they are not in public school. They are free to build their own buildings and surround them with carvings of the Seventeen Commandments.

    They are not free to employ the government to do these things for them, and to impose them on other people. And trust me, they won’t.

  31. 31
    albedo says:

    For many years, students read bibles in class.

    (Christian) students still read Bibles in class, during their lunch break, and before and after school in self-organized prayer meetings. No one’s stopping them.

    I’m with ppGaz, though, on the hypothetical of bible classes being reintroduced to public education. It would be tantamount to declaring war on non-Christians and would basically destroy the country.

  32. 32
    capelza says:

    First, to address the Bible in the class room…came from a Southern State where prayer was a part of the morning ritual in the class room. Problem was, the prayer was from a Protestant perspective, as a Catholic kid in a predominately Southern Baptist area, I was uncormfortable to say the least. Catholics were an exotic thing at best, and idol worshin’ non-Christians to many.
    How do you think a kid who is an evangelical or a fundamentalist would feel in a classroom where the majority is Catholic and the prayer had a decidely Catholic flavour. Or a Mormon or even Jewish? Whose Bible would get read? Bad idea.

    Red State is certainly narrowing their constituency from the time I first started going. There aspects of conservatism I am drawn to, and that is what brought me to places like Tacitus, Red State anf this fine blog. As time has gone on, however, the “pro-life” agenda seems to be overtaking a lot of other issues over at RS. And while I realise that there are a few women posters, for the most part it is a bunch of men hashing out and defining something that they will never experience in their lives.

    When, as in one topic, they went on and on about “the uterus”, the uterine wall, in expert and clinical yet completely disconnected terms , I was very nearly tempted to post, pointing out that the “uterus” is not a separate being, but a part of a woman’s body and until they got one, they might want to refrain from the debate. But I didn’t, though I have not gone there as much as I used to.

    I do believe they are sincere, probaly very fine men (for the most part), but are becoming a fringe site. Fortunately for them it is still a small enough site that they can control it. If it grew as big as DKos, they’d have a hell of a time.

  33. 33
    Defense Guy says:

    The loss of embryos during the thawing or implantation procedures are accidental, it is not the intent to have them die anymore than it is the intent to kill sperms during a normal attempt at pregnancy. The use of embryonic stem cells requires the death of the embryo as part of the process. The comparison of the loss in both cases is not equivalent.

  34. 34
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Latest Red State diary refers to stem cell research as “slicing and dicing children.”

    So stupid it hurts.

  35. 35
    Sojourner says:

    The loss of embryos during the thawing or implantation procedures are accidental, it is not the intent to have them die anymore than it is the intent to kill sperms during a normal attempt at pregnancy.

    So manslaughter is acceptable but premeditated murder is not?

    And given the fact that these losses can be anticipated, at what point does it become murder?

  36. 36
    albedo says:

    Just read the Red State link. What a bunch of loonies. I love how hair-trigger they are over there – always dishing out dire “warnings” and threatening people with expulsion, as if there aren’t 100 billion other reactionary republican sites people can go to. Although, I guess you can’t post comments at most of them…

  37. 37
    SeesThroughIt says:

    t what point does it become murder?

    When we’re actually talking about killing a person.

  38. 38
    Sojourner says:

    When we’re actually talking about killing a person.

    That’s what I thought but I was starting to get confused. Thanks for the clarification!

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