Abe Foxman Has Company

Oy. The leader of American Reform Judaism, the largest branch of Judaism in the country, wants you to know that he’s pissed.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, said “religious right” leaders believe “unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person.”

“What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?” he said during the movement’s national assembly in Houston, which runs through Sunday.

He used particularly strong language to condemn conservative attitudes toward homosexuals. He said he understood that traditionalists have concluded gay marriage violates Scripture, but he said that did not justify denying legal protections to same-sex partners and their children.

“We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations,” Yoffie said. “Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry.”

The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million people. Of the three major streams of U.S. Judaism — Orthodox and Conservative are the others — it is the only one that sanctions gay ordination and supports civil marriage for same-gender couples.

Yoffie said liberals and conservatives share some concerns, such as the potential damage to children from violent or highly sexual TV shows and other popular media. But he said, overall, conservatives too narrowly define family values, making a “frozen embryo in a fertility clinic” more important than a child, and ignoring poverty and other social ills.

Oy squared. I thought I wouldn’t hear a major religious leader angrier than Abe Foxman for another week at least. Yoffie’s religious pluralim reflects what I remember of Reform Judaism, which the more conservative branches think of more or less as circumcised Unitarians, but the anger seems like something new. It means something when a leader of one of the most easygoing religious branches in America comes out sounding more like a blogger, or like one of the frothy fundy types that he’s railing against. Has fundamentalism really pushed America this close to open religious war? Yes, I guess it has.

On a practical level, for maximum message effectiveness I still think that the critics need to bring on some other mainline religion such as the UCC. It makes even more sense when you remember that the UCC has no problem stepping into the right side of the gay debate. The Dalai Lama seems to be on board as well, for whatever good that does. At the very least, in today’s religion wars it’s great to see another organized squad playing defense.

***

On a side note, you have to wonder how the internet will react to this story. In one short blurb you have scrambled together some of the greatest flamebait in internet history: gay rights, the religious right, joooooos and a Hitler reference that would make Godwin spin circles in his grave (assuming that he’s dead, which he’s probably not). Have at it, but try not to melt the server.






90 replies
  1. 1

    Godwin’s law isn’t that you can NEVER say Hitler’s name or bring it into a conversation. The main point is that you shouldn’t just bring Hitler up casually since it has a tendency to end up becoming a flame war. The point is that invoking Hitler can be legititimate. However too often people use it illegititimately which leads people to discount when it’s actually brought up in a meaningful context.

    Another aspect of it is too many people whenever they see Hitler’s name go “That can never happen we aren’t like him”. So people end up shutting themselves off from the rest of the argument. The funny thing being that thinking “this can never happen. Hitler was such an aberration” is the type of thinking that will eventually lead us right back to something similar, and everyone will be sitting around going “how the hell did this happen?”.

  2. 2

    The ADL has done some great work over the years, but Abe Foxman has a lot of explaining to do over that spy operation his organization ran in the SF Bay Area (and in other cities, I think Portland for another) a decade or so back. They spied on hundreds of organizations. Not just anti-Semitic white power groups, but anti-apartheid groups, public television stations, bookstores, unions, student groups, things that had nothing to do with Jews, anti-Semitism or Israel. A look at the people who were spied on, though, and you’ve got a good match with “political subversives” to the Reagan/Bush I regime. They went through people’s trash, put undercover people into meetings, etc. One of the guys was an SF cop who’d done some work with American trainers down in El Salvador and who had pictures of black hoods and people strapped to chairs in his locker, found when he disappeared off to the Philippines. In short, Foxman made the ADL an off-the-shelf domestic spy organization at a time there was heat on the Republicans and their spies.

    So fuck Abe Foxman. He should be retired.

  3. 3
    demimondian says:

    For what it’s worth, Mike Godwin, the coiner of Godwin’s law, is very much alive. He’s with the the Electronic Freedom Forum, the EFF.

  4. 4
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Godwin’s Law stuff aside, Rabbi Yoffie could not possibly be more correct in his assertions.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    Ah, so George Will, Krauthammer and now Abe find themselves mentally constipated about the political bedmates they’ve made with various pop-evangelical groups over the last 20 years…

    They see the winds a changing, and are steering towards the center, dropping the socialcons like a hot potato. Nice that their own morals and values are defined by whatever keeps their interests in power.

    I keep laughing at my left-Israeli friends who vote Likhud and hold their noses. “Do you really, really, know who you’re making friends with in this country?” I’d ask them. These socialcons are the same ones I grew up with who ranted about the jews in private, and now just love them! Love them, because like Delay says, Christ is coming soon. As in, get that damn 2nd Temple built in my lifetime so you jews can die in the Apocolypse and I can get raptured…

  6. 6
    Caroline says:

    The thing that I find interesting w/r/t the Hitler debate is that I only recently learned about Hitler hauling off gays first. I saw it a traveling Anne Frank tribute. I certainly wasn’t taught it in school. Perhaps this needs to be said by the Rabbi to start a conversation about how we treat gays in our society.

  7. 7
    M. Scott Eiland says:

    Exactly what gay organizations existed in 1933 Germany for the Nazis to ban?

  8. 8
    demimondian says:

    Mark Twain once said “If you sup with the devil, it’s best to use a very long spoon.” I can only assume that the GOP didn’t understand that there’s truth in the saying — otherwise, why would they have been willing to line up right next to Robertson and Dobson?

  9. 9
    Ancient Purple says:

    Exactly what gay organizations existed in 1933 Germany for the Nazis to ban?

    1. The Wissenschaftlich-humanitres Komittee (Scientific Humanitarian Committee) which was founded in 1897 for the purpose of repealing Paragrahp 175 of the German code which outlawed “lewd and unnatural behavior” and was used specifically against gays.

    2. League for the Protection of Mothers and Sexual Reform – an advocacy group alliance between women and gays fighting for equal rights in Germany.

    3. Institute for Sexual Science which was a pro-gay organization in Berlin that provided outreach to gays and lesbians and fought for reform of the German penal code.

  10. 10
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Look for anti-semitism to become a little more acceptable in rightwing circles.

    Maybe Michelle Malkin will ask for them to be put in concentration camps–their lack of loyalty to our nation is evident.

  11. 11
    Otto Man says:

    Exactly what gay organizations existed in 1933 Germany for the Nazis to ban?

    Hitler also used anti-gay paranoia to kill off rival Erich Röhm (who was gay) in the “Night of the Long Knives” attack. He used the assassinations to consolidate his power over the SA, the first Nazi militia. The Gestapo and Himmler’s SS both had anti-gay campaigns later on, leading to the arrest of about 100,000 men. About half were committed to prison sentences, with others committed to mental institutions and/or castrated.

    And then later, of course, tens of thousands were in the concentration camps. I can’t remember the numbers, but I do recall something that suggested they were the second largest group in the camps, behind Jews and ahead of the gypsies.

    Incidentally, this is when the pink triangle as a symbol of homosexuality first arose. As a distinguishing marker applied by the Nazis, it was the gay equivalent of the Jewish yellow Star of David.

  12. 12
    ppGaz says:

    3. Institute for Sexual Science which was a pro-gay organization

    There is nothing like the aroma of a good fact bomb. Good work.

  13. 13
    Steve S says:

    Interesting.

    People forget that the Nazi’s used the churches to spread their propaganda. And like that memo from Michael Scanlon, it wasn’t because they believed in religion, it was simply that they knew they could use the churches to get people to follow them.

    It is unfortunate how little we have learned. Well actually, I believe Karl Rove has learned a lot from Goebbels, but our country should know better than to fall for the same tricks.

  14. 14
    Al Maviva says:

    Well, speaking as a Catholic, I’m relieved and pleased that it’s the Jews declaring war on us social conservatives – which Catholics must be by definition – for a change. It makes a nice switch, kinda like a changeup pitch from Randy Johnson.

  15. 15
    Otto Man says:

    Well, speaking as a Catholic, I’m relieved and pleased that it’s the Jews declaring war on us social conservatives – which Catholics must be by definition – for a change.

    Well, speaking as another Catholic, I don’t understand how you can claim that all Catholics “must be” social conservatives. Yes, the Church has taken strong stands against abortion and homosexuality, but it’s taken equally strong stands against the death penalty and in favor of social justice. Any political wing who claims to speak for the Church is sadly mistaken.

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    Absolutely OM, as a lapsed Catholic myself, I concur. It’s pretty difficult for either political party to align themselves with a Catholic platform across the board. Serious religious devotion shouldn’t be an a la carte affair, yet that’s what is nearly always true of Republicans (and Dems) who hypocritically try too hard to pose as “churchier” than thou…

  17. 17

    There’s much discussion about the Nazis attack on gays in the book THE HIDDEN HITLER. The book’s theory, and the German author made a strong case for it, was that Hitler was homosexual and his eventual purging of the Nazi Party and subsequent roundup of gays was the ultimate closet. The author documented how several old lovers and others who would have been privy to Adolf’s proclivities were either jailed or outright murdered in order to keep it a secret.

    I guess the lesson here is that if you were a college pal of Georgie Bush and knew him by his nickname (“Lips”) you better keep your passport up to date, because I think his anti-gay motivations may arise from the same place Hitlers came from.

  18. 18
    bigd504 says:

    On another note just in time for the ‘holiday’ season-the Rev Fawell, etc has declared that his Liberty group will be suing those companies, schools that do not promote the correct celebration of christmas (courtesy of the SF Chronicle 20 Nov 05

    Now as a BAP (born-again pagan) & Taoist by belief, doesn’t the so-called Reverand know that the Christian celebration of Christmas was grafted on to the Winter pagan tradition & that of the Roman celebrations at years end in order to control the over-consumption of food, drink and other delights? Now I can’t have a quiet & calm holiday season while worrying about how someone greets me. The (early) Scrooge is alive & well.

  19. 19
    DaveC says:

    Maybe Michelle Malkin will ask for them to be put in concentration camps—their lack of loyalty to our nation is evident.

    I think the anti neo-con movement, is far more of ant anti-Jew movement than the right could muster up. Ramsey Clark is no friend of Jews.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    OM & Mr. F,

    Alas, Al Maviva is more politically correct. What’s left of the ‘proper’ American Catholic Church is going to have alot more in common with the socialcons than catholics of the past. I personally have nearly a dozen Irish relatives who wouldn’t vote for Gore or Kerry just because of abortion. These are FDR dems.

    As my mother said – “John Paul thinks of us as Episcopalians who keep sending the checks by mistake to Rome”.

  21. 21

    Tim: Actually Godwin isn’t dead. He is teaching at A&M and recently reviewed one of my White Papers on interest group theory. I did quite well- whew! (On a break finishing my thesis for another masters degree which is due tomorrow – this sure gets harder when you get as old as Methusela. I am in so much doodoo from fooling around online all week here and there instead working on this thing! Thank goodness I did all my research, annotations, and everything early this year.)

  22. 22

    Are half you people preternaturally assholes or what? Get over you patriotic and cultural hatred nonsense. Grow up. It’s boring.

  23. 23
    Shut Up says:

    I see we have our typical left-wing loon attack on Michelle Malkin. FYI, her husband is Jewish.

  24. 24
    Steve S says:

    On another note just in time for the ‘holiday’ season-the Rev Fawell, etc has declared that his Liberty group will be suing those companies, schools that do not promote the correct celebration of christmas (courtesy of the SF Chronicle 20 Nov 05

    I’ve been thinking about putting up a website with some title like Christmas Is Dead?

    And there I shall post pictures of all the christmas stuff I see around me.

  25. 25
    Ancient Purple says:

    Here’s the link to the SF Chronicle article about Falwell.

    I particularly love this part:

    At one local Target, in Colma, most of the in-store advertising offers a generic “Gatherround.” One of the few advertising mentions of the C-word is above a Christmas card rack that says, “Celebrate Christmas.”

    That’s not good enough for American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, who wants to see “Merry Christmas” signs displayed prominently “if they expect Christians to come in and buy products during this so-called season.”

    Ah, the rationale of a theocrat stuck in a secular society.

  26. 26
    Mike S says:

    I think the anti neo-con movement, is far more of ant anti-Jew movement than the right could muster up.

    One of my favorite talking point from Pravda FOX/Talk Radio. They think people are stupid enough to believe it.

    Obviously some people are.

  27. 27
    Pb says:

    That’s not good enough for American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, who wants to see “Merry Christmas” signs displayed prominently “if they expect Christians to come in and buy products during this so-called season.”

    Wait, so we’re supposed to be pandering to Christians now? Well why stop there? Why not put up crosses? How about crosses with Jesus crucified on them? Maybe we can even get some new slogans in there, like “Merry Tortured Jew Day”… oops, did that bring us back to Hitler already?

  28. 28
    Brian says:

    I’m sure their church is just like the Episcopal Chruch I attended 2 weeks ago for a baptism: Plenty of room in the pews for everyone, since no one is there.

  29. 29

    Look for anti-semitism to become a little more acceptable in rightwing circles.

    Hahahhaah. Oh, how true.

  30. 30
    Mike says:

    “Geek, Esq. Says:
    Look for anti-semitism to become a little more acceptable in rightwing circles.

    Maybe Michelle Malkin will ask for them to be put in concentration camps—their lack of loyalty to our nation is evident.”

    Well it’s already acceptable in Leftwing Circles. I just saw the results of a recent study that found that anti-Semitism and anti-Isreal is rampant within the halls of those oh-so-tolerant bastions of free thought – American Universities.
    Gee, what a surprise…

  31. 31
    Rob says:

    Reading this post, I was thinking “Wow, John great post”. Then I got to the bottom and saw it was from Tim.

    Oh well.

  32. 32
    Birkel says:

    Since Hitler used churches to spread his hatefulness maybe we should just ban churches to demonstrate our tolerance!

    /sarcasm

    Do you guys even consider how close you come to sounding exactly like that you claim to despise?

  33. 33
    TM Lutas says:

    The vast majority of protestants including the religious right recognize that other denominations have part of the truth. The churches that don’t generally are tiny, walled compounds like the Branch Davidians who, much as they didn’t deserve to go up in flames, were nuts. The idea, on the other hand, that there’s no real difference between the quality of the deposit of faith in your own church and others is something out of the loony left of monotheism, uncircumsized Unitarians indeed.

    Same sex partners do not fit into the class of people that deserve marriage benefits because the rationale for providing said benefits doesn’t apply to them. The real problem is that we’ve been coasting on fumes for decades and have forgotten why we have marriage benefits in secular law. Sorry, I’m not going to give you tax benefits so you can feel accepted and socially fulfilled. But being accepted and socially fulfilled is the heart of the gay marriage case. Other than that, what is there, really?

    We’re balanced on a knife’s edge in this society between having a sustainable social order that can survive the next 10 generations or not. Gay marriage doesn’t help back us away from the cliff that the EU has already walked over.

    Eventually, the liberal tide will wane because, frankly, conservatives are out-reproducing liberals and the negative effects of marriage changes will become evident in a few decades. Rolling back is going to be very hard, as hard as the Victorian reforms. I wouldn’t want to have to go down that road.

  34. 34
    Ancient Purple says:

    The vast majority of protestants including the religious right recognize that other denominations have part of the truth.

    Nonsense. My denomination (Congregationalist / United Church of Christ) has been under attack by the religious right for years as being “not Christian.” They don’t even give my church the leeway of saying that we have some of the truth.

    Same sex partners do not fit into the class of people that deserve marriage benefits because the rationale for providing said benefits doesn’t apply to them.

    You do realize that marriage law/benefits has changed dramatically since the days of overlords and peasants, don’t you? Like all things, it changes to adjust to the attitudes of the times. This is why women don’t have to submit to sex simply because their husbands say so, and they are not chattle.

    Marriage was instituted solely as a property rights issues that favored men. Please tell me you don’t want to go back to that.

    Sorry, I’m not going to give you tax benefits so you can feel accepted and socially fulfilled. But being accepted and socially fulfilled is the heart of the gay marriage case. Other than that, what is there, really?

    It really isn’t up to you to decide, TM. Society will determine if gay marriage will become law or not. There are many of us who support gay marriage because we believe in equality for all American citizens. Being accepted and socially fufilled is simply icing on the cake.

    We’re balanced on a knife’s edge in this society between having a sustainable social order that can survive the next 10 generations or not. Gay marriage doesn’t help back us away from the cliff that the EU has already walked over.

    Ooops. You forgot to mention how the Roman Empire fell because of homosexuality.

    /snicker

    Eventually, the liberal tide will wane because, frankly, conservatives are out-reproducing liberals and the negative effects of marriage changes will become evident in a few decades. Rolling back is going to be very hard, as hard as the Victorian reforms. I wouldn’t want to have to go down that road.

    Perhaps they are reproducing more, but the trick is trying to make absolutely certain they are destine to become conservatives like Mom and Dad. Good luck on that one.

    As for American society rolling back to Victorian-like reforms, if that is what is meant to be, then so be it. I will at least take great solace in laughing at the “moralists” who talk about how sex is the Devil, while they engage in the activities they so roundly condemn.

  35. 35
    Krista says:

    Same sex partners do not fit into the class of people that deserve marriage benefits because the rationale for providing said benefits doesn’t apply to them.

    Before I jump to conclusions about your statement, I’d be interested in hearing what you feel that the “rationale” is for providing marriage benefits, and why this rationale excludes same sex partners?

  36. 36
    rs says:

    “a recent study that found that anti-Semitism and anti-Israel is rampant…”-David Horowitz has a recent study?

  37. 37
    Faux News says:

    Christ is coming soon. As in, get that damn 2nd Temple built in my lifetime so you jews can die in the Apocolypse and I can get raptured…

    Ah yes, the dirty little secret of the Christian Fundies TRUE aim of their “alliance” with Israel. Glad someone on BJ is paying attention :-)

  38. 38
    Cyrus says:

    Birkel Says:

    Do you guys even consider how close you come to sounding exactly like that you claim to despise?

    Do you guys even consider that there’s a difference between thinking an instance of something is bad or morally wrong, and wanting to use the law to enforce those beliefs?

    The closest thing I have ever seen in this country to a serious and genuine proposal to punish churches, was an attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status of those that preach blatantly partisan politics. If you actually want to argue that we need to be careful of a slippery slope from there to concentration camps and yellow crosses pinned on Christians’ shirts (involuntarily that is, some Christians treat the cross with about as much respect as people who wear American flag socks treat the flag), then be my guest, but I reserve the right to laugh.

    TM Lutas Says:

    We’re balanced on a knife’s edge in this society between having a sustainable social order that can survive the next 10 generations or not. Gay marriage doesn’t help back us away from the cliff that the EU has already walked over.

    Eventually, the liberal tide will wane because, frankly, conservatives are out-reproducing liberals and the negative effects of marriage changes will become evident in a few decades. Rolling back is going to be very hard, as hard as the Victorian reforms. I wouldn’t want to have to go down that road.

    Wait, I thought the world was going to end because of climate upheaval caused by global warming? Isn’t New York City going to get covered by a wall of ice so quickly that people are frozen in place, like in that crappy movie “The Day After Tomorrow”? I’m so confused. Damn, I should have known it would be the sodomizing anarchists that would get us.

    I’m glad to hear you don’t want to go back to the Victorian days. I’d feel even better about it if that sentiment wasn’t shared by only a minority of right-wingers, though. /snark

    You’re correct that a certain problem exists in the EU and to a lesser extent here as well. Our culture and way of life – secular, liberal, Westernized democracy – is better than the clannish, authoritarian and/or theocratic cultures that most of the world’s population lives in. But there are two things we can do to prevent potential regression. We can try to breed faster than them so when it comes down to a life-and-death struggle we have the numbers to win, or we can spread our quality of life to them by any practical means so it doesn’t have to come down to a fight at all. If you choose the first option, then you aren’t in this culture to begin with.

  39. 39
    Krista says:

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, said “religious right” leaders believe “unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person.”

    Thank you, Rabbi Yoffie, wherever you are!

    It’s not just the leaders who feel that way, sadly. It’s pervasive in our culture. So many people seem to feel that if you’re religious, you have better morals. Even my non-church-attending mother made a comment recently about how my boyfriend is a really good person with strong morals, “even though he’s an atheist.” I was able to point out the fallacy to her, but it’s just so pervasive in our society.

  40. 40
    Steve S says:

    Since Hitler used churches to spread his hatefulness maybe we should just ban churches to demonstrate our tolerance!

    /sarcasm

    Do you guys even consider how close you come to sounding exactly like that you claim to despise?

    What!? How!?

    BEcause I think Religion is a personal private matter, and you should not need state recognition to validate your faith?

    How is this at all like saying we need to ban something?

    You moonbats are all alike.

  41. 41

    Well it’s already acceptable in Leftwing Circles. I just saw the results of a recent study that found that anti-Semitism and anti-Isreal is rampant within the halls of those oh-so-tolerant bastions of free thought – American Universities.

    Gee, what a surprise…

    Well considering that I’ve seen comments such as “we should reevaluate our blind relationship with Israel” called “anti-semetic” by those on the right, I’ll take your “results” with a grain of salt.

    The vast majority of protestants including the religious right recognize that other denominations have part of the truth.

    Ahh but there in lies the problem. They recognize they have part of the “truth”. You see, when ones starts to view their religious beliefs, as knowledge, problems arise. It is fundamentalists, who most often are extremists, that believe their version is not a belief but rather the “truth”. Therefore, when they fight political issues –most often abortion and same sex marriage–they feel that they are doing “god’s work”. People who think they are doing the work of a higher being are more willing to take extreme measure to get their results. Their faith blinds them into an “ends justify the means” type of thinking. We not only see this in the religious right, we see it in Islamic extremists as well.

    The similarities are striking, to say the least.

  42. 42
    Birkel says:

    Many of those who comment here want the fundy, social conservative types to get out of politics altogether. They actually argue, as “Steve S” seems to do, that it’s a matter of separation of church and state.

    Well, that’s one way to frame the issue. The other is to say that American citizens have every right to bring whatever biases they wish to the public forum and that religion is no different. Those of you who wish to silence the “Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalists” (scare quotes used for purposes of mocking you) and get them out of government altogether are just as guilty of viewpoint discrimination as the fundies.

    IOW, it’s one thing to have policy disputes — on abortion, gun ownership, intelligent design (which is not science, to be sure), etc. — but it’s another to attack the basis of those beliefs due to some other factor. For example, it would be just as wrong to think poor Republicans stupid for supporting the “Party of the Rich” as it would be wrong to think blacks stupid for supporting a party that’s never delivered on its promises. It’s the attachment of the non-important factor (poor, black or religious fundamentalist) that show your disagreement is with more than policy. IMHO, of course.

    Can’t see it? Can’t help you.

  43. 43

    Many of those who comment here want the fundy, social conservative types to get out of politics altogether.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the people, but I can speak for myself. I don’t want them out of politics. I just want them to realize that it is not the US government’s job to legislate morality. Therefore, certain issues–such as abortion, same sex marriage, “illegal” drugs–are actually non-issues.

    If they want evidence of this position, I suggest they read the US Constitution.

  44. 44
    Geek, Esq. says:

    I see we have our typical left-wing loon attack on Michelle Malkin. FYI, her husband is Jewish.

    Yet she’s the pin-up girl for the Pro-Concentration Camp Right. Irony abounds.

  45. 45
    Birkel says:

    Geek,

    Write your own book that defeats Malkin’s arguments instead of mischaracterizing her position on WWII Internment Camps. (P.S. Does all that “reframing the issue” stuff really work anywhere in the world?)

    TDV,

    Yeah, it’s not government’s job to regulate morality. Whatever you say. I suppose you’ll argue that representative democracy is not meant to represent the will of the majority on most matters. So long as we can find some aggrieved minority it’s okay to trump what most people want from the deomcratic process.

    Beside that, the lack of morality is itself a choice about morality.

  46. 46
    Birkel says:

    Whoops.

    Let’s try democratic.

  47. 47

    I suppose you’ll argue that representative democracy is not meant to represent the will of the majority on most matters.

    Not when the “will of the majority” is unconstitutional and therefore against the founding ideals of the nation.

    Then again, I guess you would be fine and dandy if the will of the majority was to outlaw the ownership of firearms? Who cares about the second amendment–we must listen to the will of the majority!

    Heh.

    So long as we can find some aggrieved minority it’s okay to trump what most people want from the deomcratic process.

    If that “aggrieved” minority has the Constitution as the basis for their beliefs then what most people want is irrelevant.

    This isn’t meant to sound condescending but are you fairly young, Birkel? I get the impression that you are and it would explain your lack of understanding when it comes to Consitutional Law if so.

  48. 48
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Write your own book that defeats Malkin’s arguments instead of mischaracterizing her position on WWII Internment Camps.

    Her book has been shredded by the historians who have looked it over.

    And her book was “In Defense of Internment.” She supports the decision to round up American citizens based on their ancestry. That means concentration camps, brainiac. If you don’t like the word, don’t advocate the policy.

  49. 49
    Birkel says:

    Geek,
    I don’t recall advocating her policy. Rather I was hastening you to save it for your book. See how that works? I was encouraging you not to waste space in this comment section responding to other people who make silly comments. Too clever by half, I suppose.

    TDV,

    Please find the text of the Constitution that supports your pet issues while I go run and try to find same for the idea that gun ownership is protected. Get back to me on that one, K?

  50. 50

    Please find the text of the Constitution that supports your pet issues while I go run and try to find same for the idea that gun ownership is protected. Get back to me on that one, K?

    Heh, Okay…

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    That sure was easy.

  51. 51
    Geek, Esq. says:

    I don’t recall advocating her policy. Rather I was hastening you to save it for your book. See how that works? I was encouraging you not to waste space in this comment section responding to other people who make silly comments. Too clever by half, I suppose.

    You took me to task for ‘mischaracterizing’ her book. I did no such thing.

  52. 52
    Otto Man says:

    For example, it would be just as wrong to think poor Republicans stupid for supporting the “Party of the Rich” as it would be wrong to think blacks stupid for supporting a party that’s never delivered on its promises.

    Let’s see: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, aggressive HEW enforcement of school desegregation, War on Poverty, Office of Equal Opportunity, Fair Housing Act of 1968, multiple Voting Rights Act extensions (several blocked by Republican presidents), continued support for affirmative action programs in employment and education, party reforms that guarantee minority representation in conventions and platform creation, appointments (first black cabinet secretary, first black UN delegate, first black presidential contender, etc.), close alignment with civil rights groups (unlike Bush who hasn’t met with the NAACP) and strong distancing from old segregationists (who rushed to join the GOP). Yeah, it’s a real puzzle why blacks would continue to support the Democratic Party.

    Can you come up with a similar list of economic achievements from the GOP that would warrant poor Republicans’ standing by their party? No?

  53. 53
    Birkel says:

    TDV,
    So #9 gives the rights to the people, not the government? Hmmm… Okay.

    And #10 reserves powers to the states or to the people. Got it.

    It’s that Constitution of our quite the majoritarian document? Guess that means, according to the Constitution, the majority can impose the morality you so want to deny them. Not looking good for you so far.

    Geek,
    Taking you to task is another mischaracterization, IMO.

    Otherwise, to win an argument you must engage the other people on their ground. To put her in the pro-CC crowd is a charge I think she’d deny. Therefore, I think you should save your arguments for your book.

  54. 54
    Birkel says:

    Otto Man,

    The fact that you would list “The War on Poverty” as a success makes it obvious that we can’t have an honest discussion.

    P.S. Does that make it two wars from which LBJ had no withdrawal plan?

  55. 55
    Birkel says:

    It’s that Constitution of our quite the majoritarian document?

    should read

    Isn’t that Constitution of ours quite the majoritarian document?

    Darn it.

  56. 56
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Birkel:

    How is a book entitled “In Defense of Internment” that supports the rounding up of American citizens SOLELY on the basis of their race and locking them up in camps NOT Pro-concentration camp.

    You realize that “internment camp” and “concentration camp” mean exactly the same thing, right? If not, I suggest you read up on the Boer wars.

  57. 57
    Shygetz says:

    Birkel–We have a Constitutional Democracy, which is quite different from a straight Democracy in that it is not majoritarian at all, but reserves rights for the minority. The Constitution (or more appropriately, the Amendments to the Constitution) is strictly NOT a majoritarian document. If my morals say that you must pledge loyalty to someone or something, the First Amendment says you cannot force me to do so, and my First Amendment rights cannot be abridged by simple majority rule.

    Malkin was in favor of internment camps, not concentration camps. Both are morally reprehensible, the only difference is degree.

  58. 58
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Shygetz:

    I think you’re conflating “concentration camps” with “death camps.”

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

  59. 59
    Otto Man says:

    The fact that you would list “The War on Poverty” as a success makes it obvious that we can’t have an honest discussion.

    First, I didn’t list it as a success, I simply listed it as proof that the Democrats had a proven record of trying to help African Americans of all stripes.

    Second, just because Charles Murray insisted that the war on poverty was a failure doesn’t make it so. The poverty rate in this country was at 17% when the War on Poverty began and down to just 10% five years later at the end of LBJ’s term. Not perfect, but an incredible dent. (Compare it to Reagan’s first term, where poverty rates rose by 2 percentage points.)

    Third, as most histories of the War on Poverty show, the problem with the program was actually a measure that conservatives normally love — the money was spent through block grants given to local communities, but the locals (Democratic city bosses, for instance) often interfered with the funds’ allocation because they resented the end-around on their local control.

    But please, don’t let facts get in the way of an otherwise snide argument.

  60. 60
    Otto Man says:

    Oh, Birkel, you might want to look at this set of Census Data, too. It tracks annual poverty rates by race.

    You’ll see that between 1965 and 1969, the poverty rate for African Americans fell from 65.6% to 39.5%. If that’s not proof that LBJ had success in combatting the problem of black poverty, I don’t know what is.

  61. 61

    TDV,
    So #9 gives the rights to the people, not the government? Hmmm… Okay.

    No. You aren’t reading it correctly. The 9th Amendment is simply a statement that other rights aside from those listed may exist, and just because they are not listed doesn’t mean they can be violated.

    And #10 reserves powers to the states or to the people. Got it.

    It’s that Constitution of our quite the majoritarian document? Guess that means, according to the Constitution, the majority can impose the morality you so want to deny them. Not looking good for you so far.

    That’s funny. The last time I checked, drug laws were federal, and religious conservatives wanted a federal amendment against gay marriage and also abortion made illegal.

    I was specifically talking about the federal government, as I thought you were as well.

    Now if you want to talk about states’ rights…that is a whole ‘nother issue.

    And you see, when we let things up to the states this part of the Constitution would come into play:

    Article IV

    Section 2. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Otto Man says:

    Birkel Says: Yawn.

    Aww, do facts make your brain tired?

  64. 64

    Aww, do facts make your brain tired?

    I would guess that both facts and Constitutional ass whippings do. Sorry I had to do that to ya, Birkel.

    Wait a minute, no I’m not. :)

  65. 65
    Pb says:

    Otto Man,

    That first number in the dataset looks spurious–for it to be accurate, the black population would have had to have risen by 23% in one year–which is just not believable when taking the other data into account. You might be able to convince me that it went from 53% to 39% in 4 years, though, or fell by 11 percentage points in 3 years, which would still be substantial–it took Clinton 5 years to do that. Then again, 275,000 African Americans served (and 7,241 died) in Vietnam.

  66. 66
    Otto Man says:

    Not sure why you think the starting point is spurious, Pb.

    It might be, of course, but that’s the official count of the U.S. Census.

  67. 67

    “Godwin’s law isn’t that you can NEVER say Hitler’s name or bring it into a conversation. The main point is that you shouldn’t just bring Hitler up casually since it has a tendency to end up becoming a flame war.”

    You’re misinformed; it says none of that stuff. As well, it’s descriptive, not prescriptive. This is Godwin’s Law:

    Godwin’s Law: prov.

    [Usenet] “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin’s Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely- recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin’s Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful. Godwin himself has discussed the subject. See also Formosa’s Law.

    “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    That’s all.

    HTH. HAND.

  68. 68
    Pb says:

    Otto Man, given the number of people below the poverty line and the percent of people below the poverty line, it’s trivial to extrapolate the total number of people in a given group. Doing this with African Americans gives you a result that says that ~1.8 million new African American families (children?) entered the population in 1966 from the ether. Comparing against whites and all races, this also means that the population would otherwise hold steady, but that at the same time when the ~1.8 million new African American families enter the population, ~1.6 million families of other races (neither white nor black) leave. That’s just not believable. It’s far easier to assume that that number is spurious, and in fact holds much closer to the subsequent numbers for African American population in the US.

    However, don’t take my word for it–there’s always more census figures to compare against! There you will find that the African American population rose by approximately 370 thousand from 1965 to 1966, precluding the disappearing-reappearing family hypothesis.

  69. 69

    “…it’s the Jews declaring war on us social conservatives….”

    Indeed, I got the memo last week. We Jews always act according to our commands, and in unison, you know.

    “I just saw the results of a recent study that found that anti-Semitism and anti-Isreal is rampant within the halls of those oh-so-tolerant bastions of free thought – American Universities.”

    Hard to take alleged defenses of Israel seriously from people who can’t even spell it.

    “Reading this post, I was thinking “Wow, John great post”. Then I got to the bottom and saw it was from Tim.”

    Neat trick, since John and Tim’s names are at the top of their posts, not the bottom. Presumably this means the commenter reads with his monitor upsidedown. (Is John really a great post, though?)

  70. 70
    Steve S says:

    Well, that’s one way to frame the issue. The other is to say that American citizens have every right to bring whatever biases they wish to the public forum and that religion is no different. Those of you who wish to silence the “Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalists” (scare quotes used for purposes of mocking you) and get them out of government altogether are just as guilty of viewpoint discrimination as the fundies.

    I don’t have any problem with Religious values impacting decisions on public policy.

    What I have a problem with is two things:
    – Religious groups trying to validate their faith by forcing state sponsorship. (i.e. the war on Christmas crap, simply because the city hall can’t have a Manger out front, but can have a wreath)
    – Political groups abusing religious groups not for values, but for votes. i.e. Michael Scanlon’s memo

    So now how is that an attack on Christianity?

    If you lack faith, and you think you need validation by the state, then you’ve got problems. And if you think it’s a great thing to be used and abused, well, you’ve still got problems.

    If you think it’s wrong for me to point these things out, then well I don’t know what to say to you.

  71. 71
    Otto Man says:

    However, don’t take my word for it—there’s always more census figures to compare against! There you will find that the African American population rose by approximately 370 thousand from 1965 to 1966, precluding the disappearing-reappearing family hypothesis.

    Well, the white population rose by about 1.8 million that same year. The 1966 number for blacks was 1.017 times the 1965 number, while the 1966 number for whites was 1.010 times the 1965 number. What’s the big deal?

    If you’d like to quibble over that 0.007 difference, guess what happened in 1965? The Hart-Celler Immigration Reform Act was passed, repealing the 1924 National Origins Act and vastly increasing the number of nonwhites who were allowed entry into the United States from places like the Caribbean and Africa. I suspect that’s where you might see some of the gain. (It’s also plausible that minority reluctance to answer federal surveys changed as they came to believe the government was actually doing something for them.)

    Again, I think the numbers speak for themselves.

  72. 72
    Otto Man says:

    Otto Man, given the number of people below the poverty line and the percent of people below the poverty line, it’s trivial to extrapolate the total number of people in a given group.

    Wait, did you think I was extrapolating? The numbers of African Americans below the poverty line was counted by the census bureau, not extrapolated from the general population or calculated based on some sort of formula.

    I’m sorry, but your argument just seems to be “I don’t trust the government’s count.” That doesn’t do much to sway me.

  73. 73
    TM Lutas says:

    Ancient Purple – You do realize that in a world where jews are recognized as having some of God’s Truth, being labeled not a christian does not equal not having some legitimate connection to God. Jews aren’t christians but nobody’s going around saying that their Covenant with God is a false one. Go get another straw man.

    Marriage was never solely about property rights for men, at the very least since the time of the Old Testament. At best, you’re just misinformed. I notice that you didn’t actually supply a reason why the state should provide tax benefits for gays on the basis of a homosexual marriage.

    If I announce that I won’t feel accepted and socially fulfilled unless I’m exempted from tax, do I get to stamp my feet and pout until I’m off the hook for paying tax? Why or why not? Saying that society will decide and not me is just another way of saying that I’m not part of society. That’s something *you* have no right to say.

    I wasn’t going to get into the Roman empire but they certainly did get into trouble because of a low number of live births from a number of causes. Homosexuality was one of them, infanticide was another, the casual acceptance of suicide was a third. Of all of them, homosexuality probably didn’t rank above lead poisoning in causing that low TFR problem. You do seem to be fond of those straw men.

    Krista – The rationale for providing secular benefits for marriage is generally twofold. First there’s procreation and raising the next generation. Both fertile and non-fertile heterosexual marriages have a role to play in raising the next generation, though by definition only the fertile couples birth it. The problem of gender relations is critical to society. Women and men are very much different from one another and it’s important for there to be as many successful examples of women and men getting along properly (not killing or hurting one another, acting in love and friendship and understanding). Women dealing with women and men dealing with men, with or without actual procreation, doesn’t give you that teaching example that a heterosexual relationship gives you.

    Frankly, I think that the low numbers of homosexuals in society means that they’re much more a threat as a wedge precedent for future marriage changes than they are likely to overturn society themselves. The polygamists are gearing up and since keeping a harem is such a common male fantasy, that’s going to have the numbers to mean real trouble.

    Fair’s fair, Krista. What’s your rationale for raiding the public treasury on behalf of same sex couples?

    Faux News – Piker. The “Wailing Wall” is what’s left of the 2nd temple. The nuts are all hot and bothered about the building of the 3rd Temple.

    Cyrus – The reference of being on the knife’s edge was about our Total Fertility Rate hovering right at replacement. If you drop below (as the EU is finding) bad things happen to your society. The end of the world is optional.

    Now homosexuality per se is not all that good for TFR but the problem in gay marriage isn’t so much the gays but the precedent. Once you throw the institution open for revision, we just don’t have the defenses available to keep monogamy as a feature in the law. Blacks are offended that gays use civil rights language and memes to hitch a ride on their struggle. Ten years after gay marriage passes, gays will join the blacks in being offended as the polygamists do the very same thing.

    The Disenfranchised Voter – If you think that another denomination has all of the Truth and you’re not with them, that makes you a heretic. Every single monotheist claims that their denomination has the Truth, or at least the greatest measure that any denomination has. It makes no sense to separate out into another Church unless yours offers something you can’t find elsewhere.

    Elsewhere, you’re citing the 9th and 10th amendments. That’s just bogus. Gay marriage is not prohibited anywhere. If you can find a preacher who will consecrate it, you can do it. The question is state recognition, contractual rights, and tax benefits. For that, you’ve got to come up with a secular justification for it. There is no legitimate government purpose to it.

  74. 74
    Pb says:

    Otto Man, riddle me this. How can you increase the black population by 370,000 *people* in a year, and yet increase the number of black *families* by 1.8 million? My argument is, “something doesn’t add up”. I suggest that you stop bickering and start digging out your calculator. That is all.

  75. 75
    Otto Man says:

    Otto Man, riddle me this. How can you increase the black population by 370,000 people in a year, and yet increase the number of black families by 1.8 million?

    I’m sorry — where did you see the claim that black families increased by 1.8 million?

  76. 76

    Elsewhere, you’re citing the 9th and 10th amendments. That’s just bogus. Gay marriage is not prohibited anywhere. If you can find a preacher who will consecrate it, you can do it. The question is state recognition, contractual rights, and tax benefits. For that, you’ve got to come up with a secular justification for it. There is no legitimate government purpose to it.

    I think you misunderstood why I was citing them. I was citing the 9th and 10th amendments as opposition to a federal law banning gay marriage.

    Personally, I think the government should get the hell out of the marriage business altogether. It would resolve the issue quite nicely.

  77. 77
    Otto Man says:

    Otto Man, given the number of people below the poverty line and the percent of people below the poverty line, it’s trivial to extrapolate the total number of people in a given group. Doing this with African Americans gives you a result that says that ~1.8 million new African American families (children?) entered the population in 1966 from the ether.

    This is the only place I see your claim of a 1.8 million increase. It’s nowhere in the actual census data as near as I can tell. So since you made the number up, perhaps the burden of explanation lies with you, and not me.

  78. 78
    srv says:

    Steve S. says:

    If you lack faith, and you think you need validation by the state, then you’ve got problems. And if you think it’s a great thing to be used and abused, well, you’ve still got problems.

    Well said. That’s the nut here. All of these things, like ID, are really about the weakness of their faith. Their very behavior is anti-Christ.

    TM Lutas says:
    Faux News – Piker. The “Wailing Wall” is what’s left of the 2nd temple. The nuts are all hot and bothered about the building of the 3rd Temple.

    My fault. He’s quoting me and I always get the count wrong.

  79. 79
    Krista says:

    Women dealing with women and men dealing with men, with or without actual procreation, doesn’t give you that teaching example that a heterosexual relationship gives you.

    Sure it does. It teaches tolerance and openmindedness. And why should the public treasury be “raided”? Well, if the numbers of homosexuals are as low as you say, then why is it a big deal? That notwithstanding, it’s a matter of fairness. If you have a hetero couple together for 1 year, they get the tax benefits, they have say in each others’ medical care, should one of them fall ill, they basically have all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being in a committed relationship. Two friends of mine just got married…they’ve been together for over 35 years, and were not allowed to get married prior to that.

    Use your imagination for a second, and picture what it would be like for you if you were with someone, in love, for over 30 years, but were told that your relationship was less legitimate than Britney Spears’ marriage du jour. Imagine if your partner, the love of your life, fell ill, and you were given absolutely no say in his or her care. You’ve been with this person for years, but the say in his or her care falls to a distant relative who doesn’t give a shit about them. Imagine how frustrated and marginalized you would feel. Gays don’t want to be treated better than other people, and they don’t want to force the churches to perform weddings for them — they just want to be able to have what we take for granted: the ability to speak wedding vows to the person they love, and the legal ability to be able to follow through on the implications of those vows.

    Believe me, there are much more damaging things on which the government spends taxpayer money.

  80. 80
    Pb says:

    Otto Man,

    It goes back to knowing how to use a calculator.

    given the number of people below the poverty line and the percent of people below the poverty line, it’s trivial to extrapolate the total number of people in a given group

    If you can’t figure it out, then I can’t help you. However, I’ll give you a hint: it involves division.

  81. 81
    Cyrus says:

    Cyrus – The reference of being on the knife’s edge was about our Total Fertility Rate hovering right at replacement. If you drop below (as the EU is finding) bad things happen to your society. The end of the world is optional.

    Now homosexuality per se is not all that good for TFR but the problem in gay marriage isn’t so much the gays but the precedent. Once you throw the institution open for revision, we just don’t have the defenses available to keep monogamy as a feature in the law. Blacks are offended that gays use civil rights language and memes to hitch a ride on their struggle. Ten years after gay marriage passes, gays will join the blacks in being offended as the polygamists do the very same thing.

    The institution of marriage has never been constant and unchanging. Today, marriage is “between two people of the same gender–and it always will be!” But fifty years ago, marriage was “between two people of the same race–and it always will be!” 100 years ago or so, marriage was “between a man and the woman he has a legal right to beat and make all decisions for–and it always will be!” And 2,000 years ago, marriage was “between a man and as many women as he wants, including but not limited to his brother’s widow–and it always will be!” So why should I take it seriously when someone says that all those changes were good, ethical and did more good than harm, but this next one is terribly destructive to the very fabric of society?

    I don’t have any statistics handy about the importance of the TFR (but that’s OK because you didn’t offer any either, just the assumption that certain problems in the EU are caused by it and that a TFR increase would be the best way to fix them). But what you’re talking about here is the kind of meddling, control-freak, the-government-knows-better-than-you social engineering that drives some people apeshit when progressives try to use it to improve, say, race relations. Why is it OK for the government to try to influence the TFR, but not hate crimes?

    There is no legitimate government purpose to it.

    If you think so, then you must be clamping your hands over your ears and singing “I can’t hear you, la la la!” Here are some of the legitimate government purposes for it:

    1. Gays will have and raise kids whether their marriages are sanctioned by the government or not. Allowing them to get married will make things infinitely easier for all – either parent could make medical decisions for the kid, either parent’s insurance carrier could cover the kid, the child might not be as stigmatized growing up, etc.

    2. One secular benefit of marriage, namely the legal and financial partnership that spouses can form, applies just as well to gays as straights. The safety net of a partner, the external validation and reinforcement of a commitment, all the stuff mentioned in the above point applied to the spouse instead of the kid… they all have nothing to do with breeding.

    3. It’s irrelevant if you stamp your feet and pout. The government marginalizes and excludes individuals all the time – throwing them in jail is just the easiest example. But a liberal democracy has an interest in not creating marginalized and excluded groups. They can’t and shouldn’t do it to Protestants, they can’t and shouldn’t do it to the disabled, they can’t and shouldn’t do it to blacks and Hispanics and Asians, and they shouldn’t do it to gays either. (And please don’t try to argue that gays aren’t discriminated against right now because they can marry whoever they want as long as it’s of the opposite sex. It makes my head hurt.)

  82. 82
    Otto Man says:

    If you can’t figure it out, then I can’t help you. However, I’ll give you a hint: it involves division.

    Yeah, I’m sorry I can’t read your mind to pull out the numbers that are springing from your head.

    I cited actual census numbers and percentages, and you’ve claimed they’re wrong. You’ve offered no proof at all, just a blanket claim that your quick calculations somehow refute the year-long work of the entire U.S. Bureau of the Census. You can get as snide as you’d like, but I’m going to trust the Census reports over the math you did in your head.

    Feel free to show your work, or else kindly stop the snide accusations that I’m somehow the one misreading the data.

  83. 83
    Pb says:

    Otto Man,

    I feel that I’ve explained myself quite well, and I’ve pointed you to yet more data that you can use to verify the data you pointed to. However, since you do seem to be honestly bewildered here, I’ll explain a bit more.

    I’m assuming you’re taking your numbers from this chart:

    __________________________________________________________
    All people Related children in families
    _______________________________ _______________________________
    Below poverty level Below poverty level
    Year and _____________________ _____________________
    characteristic Total Number Percent Total Number Percent
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    BLACK
    […]
    1969…… (NA) (NA) (NA) 9,290 3,677 39.6
    1968…… (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 4,188 43.1
    1967…… (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 4,558 47.4
    1966…… (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 4,774 50.6
    1965…… (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 5,022 65.6

    Note that the data for the totals are absent in years previous to 1969. However, these can be simply computed by dividing the Number of people below the poverty level by the Percent of people below the poverty level.

    For 1966-1968, this yields a number roughly consistent with the population trends (9,435, 9,616, 9,716), and for 1969, serves as a check (9,285 is close to 9,290). However, for 1965, you get 7,655 (5022/.656 ~= 7655) — which is way off! As I have already mentioned, this is not consistent with other census data.

    Do you have some idea of what I’m talking about yet?

  84. 84
    Otto Man says:

    Pb, thanks for actually addressing the issue with something other than snark. I wish you’d done that two hours ago; we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and confusion.

    You’re absolutely right that the first percentage seems to be off. I’m not sure if there’s a rational explanation for that, or if there’s a genuine mistake in the percentages. (Again, as I pointed out in an earlier comment, in October 1965 Congress repealed the National Origins Act and opened the floodgates to new immigration from the Caribbean and Africa for the first time in four decades. The first time those new immigrants would be counted would be in the 1966 census, the data for which was recorded in March 1966.)

    Regardless, even if we discard the 1965 percentages and start with 1966, it doesn’t change the whole point of this exchange. Birkel insisted that the War on Poverty was a failure, both in general and for blacks in particular. Even if you lop off the starting year and concentrate on the 1966-1969 block, you still have poverty rates for African American families dropping by 11 percentage points.

    That’s the most significant rate of decrease in the percentage of black families under the poverty line and thus, in my mind, effective proof that the War on Poverty did a great deal to address African-American poverty.

    Unless you take issue with that, we’re not disagreeing on anything important.

  85. 85
    Pb says:

    Otto Man,

    I agree, sorry I wasn’t more clear. I mentioned the 11% in three years figure before as well (which is quite good). Now there’s a bit of a drop between 1968 and 1969 as well, but that’s nowhere near as odd as the 1965 data. My best guess–a typo. Maybe it was supposed to be “55.6%” instead of “65.6%”.

  86. 86
    Otto Man says:

    That’s certainly a possible explanation. Short of searching the census bureau archives for the original data, I doubt we’ll figure it out.

  87. 87
    rs says:

    If Rabbi Yoffie is critical of the religious right,and the religious right endorses the ultimate incorporation of the occupied territories by Israel,does that mean that Rabbi Yoffie is an anti-Semite who has crossed “the line” on Israel?Stormy70,can I get a ruling?

  88. 88
    Ancient Purple says:

    Ancient Purple – You do realize that in a world where jews are recognized as having some of God’s Truth, being labeled not a christian does not equal not having some legitimate connection to God. Jews aren’t christians but nobody’s going around saying that their Covenant with God is a false one. Go get another straw man.

    It isn’t a straw man. You are playing a semantics game. The religious right in this country has continually attacked my denomination as “not Christian.” If you take issue with that, complain to them, not me.

    Marriage was never solely about property rights for men, at the very least since the time of the Old Testament. At best, you’re just misinformed. I notice that you didn’t actually supply a reason why the state should provide tax benefits for gays on the basis of a homosexual marriage.

    Wow! Talk about being blind. If you don’t think that women were not considered chattle or breeding stock, you are a fool. Up until about 20 years ago, most states allowed husbands to rape their wives with no consequences. If women were not considered property, then why did the concept of a dowry only die out within the past 100-150 years?

    If I announce that I won’t feel accepted and socially fulfilled unless I’m exempted from tax, do I get to stamp my feet and pout until I’m off the hook for paying tax? Why or why not? Saying that society will decide and not me is just another way of saying that I’m not part of society. That’s something you have no right to say.

    I never said you didn’t have a voice. However, your voice is not above anyone else’s in society. Society will move with consensus. If you think your voice is more important than anyone else’s, then you are either an egomaniac or insane.

    I wasn’t going to get into the Roman empire but they certainly did get into trouble because of a low number of live births from a number of causes. Homosexuality was one of them, infanticide was another, the casual acceptance of suicide was a third. Of all of them, homosexuality probably didn’t rank above lead poisoning in causing that low TFR problem. You do seem to be fond of those straw men.

    Right. Because we know that the application of homosexuality in the Roman Empire mirrors the application of today’s gay and lesbian communities.

    You really are one hell of a pseudo-intellectual.

    Cheers to you and your ignorance.

  89. 89
    ATS says:

    Any religion that boasts Jackie Mason as a spritual leader has a very big tent indeed.

  90. 90
    TM Lutas says:

    The Disenfranchised Voter – If government got out of the marriage business, would TFR in the US be at, above, or below 2.1? I’m all in favor of the state getting out of the marriage business right after it removes all legislation that depends on TFR being at or greater than 2.1 .

    There goes Social Security, Medicare, government infrastructure spending… the list goes on and on and on. That’s the problem with the marriage debate. People don’t realize how fundamental that TFR number is to everything else. They don’t understand how every modern 1st world state has to fundamentally recreate itself if it changes state from over to under 2.1 and stays in that new state for a prolonged period of time. The debate over TFR, creating and raising future generations is fundamentally what the marriage debate is about and we’re not having that debate. Instead it’s all about whether we’re being appropriately or inappropriately mean to the people having icky sex. Grow up!

    Krista – It is absolutely not true that your friends could not get married. They could not get a state certificate or state benefits but they could have gotten married. They just didn’t care to because state recognition and state benefits were the only kind of marriage that they were interested in.

    Were marriage an entirely private affair, I would have gotten married in the same Church and celebrated my marriage on the same anniversary date as I do now (the Sunday after Easter). We were married, according to the state of NY, sometime in January the same year. We never celebrate it. That was just legal paperwork, as meaningless as the discontinued practice of requiring blood tests.

    The differences in male and female behavior are profound and range from small to large. Mishandling the male/female relationship on a societal basis is a big reason why the muslim societies continue to fall behind. Women and men, in general, understand other women and men respectively. What we have more difficulty with is in understanding each other across the gender boundary. We can learn tolerance and respect for diversity without gay marriage and have done so for centuries.

    The problem is that once you’ve opened the barrier to gay marriage, there is no viable defense against polygamy and scarcely one against incestual marriages. Like the France of the Maginot line, once the line’s been turned and surrounded, all is lost. This has got to be fixed but it takes time to educate people as to the stakes.

    Your point three, saying that we shouldn’t create marginalized groups. Do you really want to destigmatize NAMBLA or the polygamists? You just said you did. Do you really want pro-incest organizations to spring up and demand recognition? You said you did. Some things should not become accepted whether they’re on an individual or group basis. I don’t think you intended to endorse all these things but your blanket idea that no group should be marginalized means just that, no group.

    The line has to hold until we have a society that understands what’s at stake and the precedent that we’re setting if we decide to change things and what we’ll have to give up if we give up encouraging >2.1 TFR.

    Ancient Purple – I won’t comment on your denomination other than I don’t know enough about it to comment on. What I’ve heard was that absurd commercial you had bad mouthing other denominations as memebers only clubs. That doesn’t encourage me to like your church but it also doesn’t tell me one way or another whether you’re christian. If you think I’m just playing word games, you are not being very serious yourself.

    As for women being property, property can’t be tried in a court of law. Women can, were, and are. Owners of chattel are tried for the destructive acts of same. If a married woman poisons the neighbors, when was her husband put on trial? If the man’s dog bit the neighbors, you don’t put the dog on trial. When did chattel ever inherit? Women have always inherited as a general rule though the details varied. In other words, you’re pursuing a line that just isn’t justified by history.

    You’re still going after the straw men re Rome. You’re the one that brought them up and now you’ve got your favorite bone to gnaw over. Unfortunately, you’ve got to misstate my arguments to do it. Rome had a TFR problem. Mucking about with marriage the wrong way could create a TFR problem in the West. TFR problems have the capability of collapsing the entire society having them.

    Homosexuality is practically incidental to the argument but you want to delve into the depths of comparative homosexual subcultures across the centuries. No thanks, it’s not my cup of tea.

Comments are closed.