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Outis
02-20-2014, 02:44 PM
On the Matthew Hagee show "The Difference," Tom Delay asserts that all of our problems are due to secularism. He accuses Americans of forgetting "that God created this nation [and] that He wrote the Constitution, that it's based on biblical principles."

While I normally take the website (Right Wing Watch) with a large grain of salt regarding their analysis of events, they do at least include the source video: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/delay-americans-have-forgotten-god-wrote-constitution

Dominionism may not be as dead as some think.

Zymologist
02-20-2014, 03:03 PM
Someone should ask him, "Did God write the Amendments, too?"

seanD
02-20-2014, 03:16 PM
On the Matthew Hagee show "The Difference," Tom Delay asserts that all of our problems are due to secularism. He accuses Americans of forgetting "that God created this nation [and] that He wrote the Constitution, that it's based on biblical principles."

While I normally take the website (Right Wing Watch) with a large grain of salt regarding their analysis of events, they do at least include the source video: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/delay-americans-have-forgotten-god-wrote-constitution

Dominionism may not be as dead as some think.

I assume that your underlying point here will be that you're troubled about religious influence on western politics, which is why such statement concern you. But let me first preference my response by saying that contrary to erroneous belief among non-theists, Christians have very little influence in political matters other than minor ones. If they had as much political power as is assumed and feared by some, abortion would be illegal, prayer and bibles would be allowed in public schools, and we'd most likely see less raunch in the media. Point being, in the big picture, they have no influence at all when it comes to major issues. And before you mention the Iraq/Afghanistan wars because of your assumption that Bush was somehow influenced by Christian ideas (and I say this because it's something always brought up in these discussions), many influential voices on "the left" were just as adamant in pushing those wars as well as wars and military actions that are occurring after Bush. And it's not like Christianity is making any sort of dramatic comeback; if anything, it's on the decline. So, after considering all that, why would that statement bother you one way or the other?

Outis
02-20-2014, 03:36 PM
Christians have very little influence in political matters other than minor ones.

This is not a matter of Christians having "influence." This is a matter of desiring, and of working towards, an electoral victory by dishonest means--and of using Christians as the unwitting rubes in such a plan.

Delay does not want a theocracy or a theonomy. Delay wants political power: he has been a dirty politician from the beginning; has repeatedly, misused federal power, and sold influence; and has stopped bills that actually matched his stated Christian worldview, but that were politically inconvenient. He is willing, able, and eager to spout a line of hogwash to sell to the rubes, but is not willing to act on his promises. For Delay, his stated "Christian" principles take a distant second to personal and political power.


So, after considering all that, why would that statement bother you one way or the other?

Because there are Christians who want to do precisely the things I mentioned in the paragraphs above. And because money talks, and some of these people have a lot of money, and are willing to spend it to achieve their goals.

(To dispense with the other possible counter-argument that you brought up, no, I quite agree that attributing the Iraq war to Christian thought is ludicrous in the extreme.)

Cow Poke
02-20-2014, 03:43 PM
Tom just doesn't know that the US Constitution REALLY came from the Iroquois Confederacy Articles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRP8C2xpyEQ). :yes:

Seriously, Tom Delay has been a very big disappointment to a lot of us in Texas. :shrug:

seanD
02-20-2014, 03:48 PM
This is not a matter of Christians having "influence." This is a matter of desiring, and of working towards, an electoral victory by dishonest means--and of using Christians as the unwitting rubes in such a plan.

Delay does not want a theocracy or a theonomy. Delay wants political power: he has been a dirty politician from the beginning; has repeatedly, misused federal power, and sold influence; and has stopped bills that actually matched his stated Christian worldview, but that were politically inconvenient. He is willing, able, and eager to spout a line of hogwash to sell to the rubes, but is not willing to act on his promises. For Delay, his stated "Christian" principles take a distant second to personal and political power.



Because there are Christians who want to do precisely the things I mentioned in the paragraphs above. And because money talks, and some of these people have a lot of money, and are willing to spend it to achieve their goals.

(To dispense with the other possible counter-argument that you brought up, no, I quite agree that attributing the Iraq war to Christian thought is ludicrous in the extreme.)

Politics as usual. So, again, what's the issue with what he said?

Outis
02-20-2014, 03:56 PM
Politics as usual. So, again, what's the issue with what he said?

On the specifics of what he said, he's wrong--we can get into the reasons why he's wrong, if you like, but to my mind that's less important. Compared to his dishonest purposes (seeking power, and willing to try to play Christians for the fool), his false statement quoted above is of minimal importance.

seanD
02-20-2014, 03:59 PM
On the specifics of what he said, he's wrong--we can get into the reasons why he's wrong, if you like, but to my mind that's less important. Compared to his dishonest purposes (seeking power, and willing to try to play Christians for the fool), his false statement quoted above is of minimal importance.

I agree that he's wrong, it never was specifically a Christian document that benefited just Christianity. I'm just trying to understand why we should care that he said it.

Outis
02-20-2014, 04:24 PM
I agree that he's wrong, it never was specifically a Christian document that benefited just Christianity. I'm just trying to understand why we should care that he said it.

Should you care that Christian sentiments are being dishonestly played with in a bid for secular political power? Do you care that in the eyes of some non-Christians, the dishonesty of Delay (and others like him) is being treated as representative of "real Christianity"? Do you care that by pretending to advocate for Christian values, Delay is prostituting the Gospel for his own profit?

If the answer to those questions is "No," then I guess all is well in your world. :smile:

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 05:11 PM
On the Matthew Hagee show "The Difference," Tom Delay asserts that all of our problems are due to secularism. He accuses Americans of forgetting "that God created this nation [and] that He wrote the Constitution, that it's based on biblical principles."

While I normally take the website (Right Wing Watch) with a large grain of salt regarding their analysis of events, they do at least include the source video: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/delay-americans-have-forgotten-god-wrote-constitution
:doh: (Ex-)Politicians do not good theologians make.



Dominionism may not be as dead as some think.
Meh. The religion of the left (the state is god) is much, much more influential in today's politics. Which doesn't stop the left from crying "wolf!" every chance they get. :duh:

Outis
02-20-2014, 05:16 PM
Meh. The religion of the left (the state is god) is much, much more influential in today's politics.

Content-light (or content-free) derision ill suits you, OBP. :wink:


Which doesn't stop the left from crying "wolf!" every chance they get. :duh:

Do you believe I'm crying "Wolf"?

seanD
02-20-2014, 05:27 PM
Should you care that Christian sentiments are being dishonestly played with in a bid for secular political power? Do you care that in the eyes of some non-Christians, the dishonesty of Delay (and others like him) is being treated as representative of "real Christianity"? Do you care that by pretending to advocate for Christian values, Delay is prostituting the Gospel for his own profit?

If the answer to those questions is "No," then I guess all is well in your world. :smile:

I care about it in a religious sense, but not in a political sense for reasons I explained in my post. Do I care that Chrstians say things that makes us Christians look bad? Yes. Do I care that someone like Benny Hinn misrepresents Christianity for his own gain, dupes other Christians and makes the rest of us look bad? Yes. But as a non-theist, why do YOU care? That's what I don't get.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 05:30 PM
Content-light (or content-free) derision ill suits you, OBP. :wink:
What derision? When the religious right and the state tangle, who most often wins? What does that tell you about where the real power lies?


Do you believe I'm crying "Wolf"?
Not so stridently as your source, but yes. Tom Delay's political career is over. Yes, there are people who advocate dominionism or theonomy. Politically, they have at best limited access to regional power.

Outis
02-20-2014, 05:31 PM
I care about it in religious sense, but not politics. Do I care that someone like Benny Hinn misrepresents Christianity for his own gain, dupes other Christians and makes the rest of us look bad? Yes. But as a non-theist, why do YOU care? That's what I don't get.

Because even though I'm not a Christian, I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who are (and who actually walk the walk), and for Christianity. I would be opposed to perverting any religious faith for political purposes. I cannot say "equally opposed," and I am not unbiased: I live in a largely Christian culture, benefit from many of the cultural elements that have been influenced from Christianity, and tend to view Christianity favorably.

Outis
02-20-2014, 05:46 PM
What derision? When the religious right and the state tangle, who most often wins? What does that tell you about where the real power lies?

I was referring to the slur against the left, that they worship the State as a god.


Not so stridently as your source, but yes. Tom Delay's political career is over. Yes, there are people who advocate dominionism or theonomy. Politically, they have at best limited access to regional power.

Dominionism and theonomy honestly frighten me, and have for many years. For one thing, I have NEVER believed that the leaders who promote these concepts are actually motivated by religion. For another, while the leaders are willing to lie, cheat, and steal for political power, a few of their more radicalized followers are more than enthusiastic regarding the use of force to achieve their goals. While such use of force would doubtless not be successful, it would be tragic.

Carrikature
02-20-2014, 05:59 PM
I assume that your underlying point here will be that you're troubled about religious influence on western politics, which is why such statement concern you. But let me first preference my response by saying that contrary to erroneous belief among non-theists, Christians have very little influence in political matters other than minor ones. If they had as much political power as is assumed and feared by some, abortion would be illegal, prayer and bibles would be allowed in public schools, and we'd most likely see less raunch in the media. Point being, in the big picture, they have no influence at all when it comes to major issues. And before you mention the Iraq/Afghanistan wars because of your assumption that Bush was somehow influenced by Christian ideas (and I say this because it's something always brought up in these discussions), many influential voices on "the left" were just as adamant in pushing those wars as well as wars and military actions that are occurring after Bush. And it's not like Christianity is making any sort of dramatic comeback; if anything, it's on the decline. So, after considering all that, why would that statement bother you one way or the other?

There's a really important factor that you're missing here. Christians DO hold political influence, given that they're far and away the largest demographic of voters. The factor that you're missing is that most of them don't believe (or vote) quite as you think they should. Even with the numbers dwindling, the number of Christians remains much greater than the non-theists and alternate faiths.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 06:04 PM
I was referring to the slur against the left, that they worship the State as a god.
Oh, they don't, literally, and would never admit to such. However, for the left, the state always has the answer, if only more people would submit to its all-encompassing embrace. It's a soft totalitarianism a la Brave New World, but it is what it is.


Dominionism and theonomy honestly frighten me, and have for many years. For one thing, I have NEVER believed that the leaders who promote these concepts are actually motivated by religion. For another, while the leaders are willing to lie, cheat, and steal for political power,
Alas, very few political leaders (of the left or right) are unwilling to do so.

a few of their more radicalized followers are more than enthusiastic regarding the use of force to achieve their goals.
On the left, more than a few of the more radicalized followers are not only enthusiastic regarding the use of force, they actually use force. Examples: The Weathermen, Black Panthers, Earth Liberation Front, those upstanding individuals who cause street closures in my area every time the International Monetary Fund or World Bank meets, etc., etc., ad nauseaum.

ETA: Keep in mind your recent admonition elsewhere:

When you speak of the culture as a whole, yet only refer to traits found in the minority, you are most certainly defining the culture as a whole based on minority traits.
Most on the religious right would rightly reject violence as a means to the desired end.

While such use of force would doubtless not be successful, it would be tragic.
Indeed it would.

KingsGambit
02-20-2014, 06:20 PM
An unfettered belief in capitalism to solve everything and an unfettered belief in governments to solve everything are both ideological pitfalls to avoid.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 06:25 PM
An unfettered belief in capitalism to solve everything and an unfettered belief in governments to solve everything are both ideological pitfalls to avoid.
Yes. And?

Outis
02-20-2014, 06:31 PM
However, for the left, the state always has the answer, if only more people would submit to its all-encompassing embrace.

And for the right, the answer is always the same: shrink the state until it is small enough, and powerless enough, to drown in a bathtub. I'd say our recent examples of the fruits of deregulation (from the pollution of waterways in West Virginia and North Carolina, to the financial crisis that we're still digging our way out of, to ... well, you know the litany as well as I do) quite well illustrates that the situation is far too complex for either extreme of sentiment, and that a case-by-case evaluation and a politically centrist view is probably the best option.


Alas, very few political leaders (of the left or right) are unwilling to do so.

There have been a few. Jimmy Carter is the last who occupied the Oval Office, but his term as president was marred by other matters.


On the left, more than a few of the more radicalized followers are not only enthusiastic regarding the use of force, they actually use force. Examples: The Weathermen, Black Panthers, Earth Liberation Front, those upstanding individuals who cause street closures in my area every time the International Monetary Fund or World Bank meets, etc., etc., ad nauseaum.

To which I could reply with a list of those on the right. OBP, this is not an issue where the Left is guilty and the Right innocent. Only calling out one side for guilt is only speaking half the truth, and half-truths are often a more pernicious form of dishonesty than outright lies.

KingsGambit
02-20-2014, 06:43 PM
Yes. And?

I genuinely get the impression that the former is fallen into more often; I hear rhetoric that a market solution exists for any conceivable ill. If people do believe this about the government, the claim is not made so bluntly.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 06:50 PM
And for the right, the answer is always the same: shrink the state until it is small enough, and powerless enough, to drown in a bathtub.
Hyperbole does not become you, Outis. For the last decade (at least), the right is reduced to begging for a reduction in the rate of growth, and rarely manages even that.

I'd say our recent examples of the fruits of deregulation (from the pollution of waterways in West Virginia and North Carolina, to the financial crisis that we're still digging our way out of, to ... well, you know the litany as well as I do) quite well illustrates that the situation is far too complex for either extreme of sentiment, and that a case-by-case evaluation and a politically centrist view is probably the best option.
The financial mess is largely the result of over-regulation, not deregulation. Big companies like regulation because they have deep enough pockets to cope with it while their smaller competitors do not. Then companies get "too big to fail" and government bails them out of the mess its own laws created in the first place. I don't know enough about the pollution to which you're referring to comment much either way, but I don't recall deregulation having anything at all to do with the EPA.


To which I could reply with a list of those on the right. OBP, this is not an issue where the Left is guilty and the Right innocent.I never said it was. I was counter-balancing your fears of the right.

Only calling out one side for guilt is only speaking half the truth, and half-truths are often a more pernicious form of dishonesty than outright lies.
Keep that in mind yourself next time. :tongue:

Outis
02-20-2014, 06:50 PM
I genuinely get the impression that the former is fallen into more often; I hear rhetoric that a market solution exists for any conceivable ill. If people do believe this about the government, the claim is not made so bluntly.

I would agree. Current Democrat policy is not "leftist"--it is actually slightly right of center. Obama in 2008 was slightly right of center, and has sifted more to the right as he has been in office. Yet people accuse him of being a "leftist", and that's not even taking into the account the fact-free accusations of "Socialism" or "Communism" coming from some Republicans. (Cite 2008 (http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008), 2012 (http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012))

seanD
02-20-2014, 06:52 PM
There's a really important factor that you're missing here. Christians DO hold political influence, given that they're far and away the largest demographic of voters. The factor that you're missing is that most of them don't believe (or vote) quite as you think they should. Even with the numbers dwindling, the number of Christians remains much greater than the non-theists and alternate faiths.

I understand they're a large political demographic, but it's apparently irrelevant when it comes to political influence on larger issues (at least issues that non-theists should be whining about), and I explained why it's irrelevant by giving a few examples in the post you quoted. But I don't understand what you mean by "how they should vote," or what relevancy that has to the post you quoted.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 06:59 PM
I would agree. Current Democrat policy is not "leftist"--it is actually slightly right of center. Obama in 2008 was slightly right of center, and has sifted more to the right as he has been in office. Yet people accuse him of being a "leftist", and that's not even taking into the account the fact-free accusations of "Socialism" or "Communism" coming from some Republicans. (Cite 2008 (http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008), 2012 (http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012))
This is a load of bovine fecal matter. I have not doubt you believe this is so, but it is largely fantasy. Obama is no communist, but he's socialist through and through. He moved toward the center in some respects as he was campaigning in '08, but his actions have belied those words.

Further, he's more than willing to blatantly lie to get his way, which you just decried a couple posts ago.

My views are admittedly colored by Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism (which I'm currently reading), but it's eerily prescient of what Obama has been doing as president, and his policies are right in line with what the left has been preaching for the last 100 years or so.

Outis
02-20-2014, 07:00 PM
This is a load of bovine fecal matter. I have not doubt you believe this is so, but it is largely fantasy. Obama is no communist, but he's socialist through and through. He moved toward the center in some respects as he was campaigning in '08, but his actions have belied those words.

And he's more than willing to blatantly lie to get his way, which you just decried a couple posts ago.

This is not based on his statements, but on his actions. And OBP, if you consider Obama to be a "socialist," then you are utterly and completely ignorant of what Socialism actually is.

One Bad Pig
02-20-2014, 07:13 PM
This is not based on his statements, but on his actions. And OBP, if you consider Obama to be a "socialist," then you are utterly and completely ignorant of what Socialism actually is.
Outis, President Obama's signature "achievement", Obamacare, is aimed squarely at putting 1/6 of the US economy more firmly under the control of the federal government. How is that not socialism? Granted, he's forced to work within the constraints of a republic, but he's used his pen to enormously expand the regulatory burden on the means and production of goods. And he'd do more if he thought he could get away with it.

Outis
02-20-2014, 07:28 PM
Outis, President Obama's signature "achievement", Obamacare, is aimed squarely at putting 1/6 of the US economy more firmly under the control of the federal government. How is that not socialism?

Time for you to go back to school.

* Socialism, broadly defined, is social ownership of the means of production. "Social ownership" can be defined as cooperative ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership (where all citizens are deemed owners of public property), or the like.
* Regulation is not ownership. Regulation has NEVER been ownership.
* Those people who have been telling you that regulation of an industry is the same as ownership of an industry are lying through their teeth.

If the ACA is "state ownership of the means of production," kindly point out to me what hospitals, doctor's offices, insurance companies, or medical goods manufacturers are now owned by the government, rather than by their previous owners or shareholders? Tell me what the USGS pay grade is for a GP, a specialist, a surgeon, or a professor-level physician? Show me how doctors are now getting their paychecks from the government, rather than from the accounting department of their various practices or hospitals.

And if you can't show me those things, then your statement that the ACA is socialism is not just false, it is so false that it should shame you either at the thought of participating in such dishonesty, or of falling prey to such dishonesty.


Granted, he's forced to work within the constraints of a republic, but he's used his pen to enormously expand the regulatory burden on the means and production of goods.

Show me any EOs that "enormously expand the regulatory burden," WITH a quantified example of "enormously," or admit that you've been played for a fool.


And he'd do more if he thought he could get away with it.

Now you're simply making wild accusations, OBP--every bit as wild as the Truthers.

Show me the facts and figures, or admit that you have been played for a dupe. Refusal to do either indicates the latter.

Darth Executor
02-20-2014, 07:35 PM
The Democrats are not socialist. Nor do they want socialism because that would kill any shred of plausible deniability of guilt that they have. They do want more of a mixed market, but calling it socialism muddles the issue since they don't want any overt power and the responsibility that comes with it.

They also aren't "right of center" and anyone who seriously believes the latter is such a colossal imbecile that pretty much anything he has to say should be summarily dismissed without a second thought. What the Democrats are good at is playing the long game. They infested schools and media (both news and entertainment) while conservatards were busy picking themselves up by their bootstraps and sliding around aimlessly. The Republican party exists for the sole purpose of pretending there is a second choice.

Darth Executor
02-20-2014, 07:43 PM
* Regulation is not ownership. Regulation has NEVER been ownership.
* Those people who have been telling you that regulation of an industry is the same as ownership of an industry are lying through their teeth.


Ownership = control (http://thesaurus.com/browse/ownership?__utma=1.150149099.1365303075.1392607569 .1392953751.138&__utmb=1.37.8.1392954035827&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1382721945.85.2.utmcsr=ask|utmccn=(organi c)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=Triple%20Entendre&__utmv=-&__utmk=259717002).

Since regulation (and taxes) are both forms of control it can be accurately said that a state that regulates and taxes property is part owner. Might wanna be careful with throwing around accusations like "lying through their teeth" around. It's possible (and in this case, actual) that they're smarter than you and/or have actually thought this through.

One Bad Pig
02-21-2014, 06:16 AM
Time for you to go back to school.

* Socialism, broadly defined, is social ownership of the means of production. "Social ownership" can be defined as cooperative ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership (where all citizens are deemed owners of public property), or the like.
* Regulation is not ownership. Regulation has NEVER been ownership.
* Those people who have been telling you that regulation of an industry is the same as ownership of an industry are lying through their teeth.

If the ACA is "state ownership of the means of production," kindly point out to me what hospitals, doctor's offices, insurance companies, or medical goods manufacturers are now owned by the government, rather than by their previous owners or shareholders? Tell me what the USGS pay grade is for a GP, a specialist, a surgeon, or a professor-level physician? Show me how doctors are now getting their paychecks from the government, rather than from the accounting department of their various practices or hospitals.

And if you can't show me those things, then your statement that the ACA is socialism is not just false, it is so false that it should shame you either at the thought of participating in such dishonesty, or of falling prey to such dishonesty.
DE already covered this, but I will concede that "fascism" (which is right only in comparison to communism) is a better descriptor for it than "socialism."


Show me any EOs that "enormously expand the regulatory burden," WITH a quantified example of "enormously," or admit that you've been played for a fool.
I'll admit that I unfairly placed the blame on Executive Orders. However, the regulatory burden has indeed grown enormously (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/red-tape-rising-obama-era-regulation-at-the-three-year-mark) under Obama's watch (despite his stated intentions otherwise).


Now you're simply making wild accusations, OBP--every bit as wild as the Truthers.

Show me the facts and figures, or admit that you have been played for a dupe. Refusal to do either indicates the latter.
Outis, a man who boasts that he has "a pen and a phone" isn't going to be limited by much else. Do I really need to explain that to you?

ETA: Sorry for dragging this off-track.

Outis
02-21-2014, 06:35 AM
DE already covered this, but I will concede that "fascism" (which is right only in comparison to communism) is a better descriptor for it than "socialism."

First and foremost, if you're agreeing with DE, you're probably headed down the wrong road already.

Time for more schooling. Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism. The closest we have ever come to fascism are the fringe groups, all on the right of the political spectrum, all (rightly) rejected by the mainstream. Economically, fascism relies on a unified industry in service to the state, and uses protectionist and expansionist military and economic policy to achieve the goal of utter self-sufficiency. Fascism is a word that has a very specific meaning, not just a random insult that you can throw at politicians you don't like.

Obama is not fascist.


I'll admit that I unfairly placed the blame on Executive Orders. However, the regulatory burden has indeed grown enormously (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/red-tape-rising-obama-era-regulation-at-the-three-year-mark) under Obama's watch (despite his stated intentions otherwise).

Look at the list. Who passed these regulations--Obama, or Congress.

More than that, look at the list of Obama's executive orders. They're readily available on the internet (http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders). Point me out one EO, just one, where he exceeded his constitutional authority.


Outis, a man who boasts that he has "a pen and a phone" isn't going to be limited by much else. Do I really need to explain that to you?

Yes. You need to explain why you are either (a, and unlikely in my opinion) dishonest enough to repeat known falsehoods, or (b, and more likely) foolish enough to be a dupe for the talking points of the liars who are pushing known falsehoods.

Unless you can point to where Obama has exceeded his constitutional authority, the only person in this conversation who is spewing a " load of bovine fecal matter" is YOU.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 06:38 AM
I understand they're a large political demographic, but it's apparently irrelevant when it comes to political influence on larger issues (at least issues that non-theists should be whining about), and I explained why it's irrelevant by giving a few examples in the post you quoted. But I don't understand what you mean by "how they should vote," or what relevancy that has to the post you quoted.

I think it depends on what you consider larger issues, nor is it irrelevant even then. Science education is a common sore point for a lot of non-theists, and it's one area where the Christian demographic shows up in force. However, other issues are not so cut and dried. The pro-life/pro-choice debate is not cleanly split along religious views. That's why the huge demographic isn't immediately obvious. It's still present, but it's not clearly acting for one side alone.

You said, specifically:

Christians have very little influence in political matters other than minor ones

and


they have no influence at all when it comes to major issues

Both of these statements are absolutely false. The influence is the same for all issues. The difference, as I noted, is that the demographic isn't unilaterally in favor of one side or the other. This is why I said that they aren't voting the way you think they should be.


In other words, your claim that


abortion would be illegal, prayer and bibles would be allowed in public schools, and we'd most likely see less raunch in the media

is indicative of how you think they should be voting. It's not how Christians actually vote in practice. This in no way negates their political influence.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 06:41 AM
First and foremost, if you're agreeing with DE, you're probably headed down the wrong road already.

Careful with that. I have him on ignore, but this is pretty close to poisoning the well.

Darth Executor
02-21-2014, 06:52 AM
I think it depends on what you consider larger issues, nor is it irrelevant even then. Science education is a common sore point for a lot of non-theists, and it's one area where the Christian demographic shows up in force.

This only happens in a small number of heavily fundamentalist areas (http://io9.com/a-map-showing-which-u-s-public-schools-teach-creationi-1515717148). It's pretty small considering nearly half the US is creationist.


However, other issues are not so cut and dried. The pro-life/pro-choice debate is not cleanly split along religious views. That's why the huge demographic isn't immediately obvious. It's still present, but it's not clearly acting for one side alone.

It's only not clear cut because atheists and liberal Christians (but I repeat myself) are part of the same infernal coalition. It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 06:58 AM
It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists.

OUCH. But, yeah.

Outis
02-21-2014, 07:01 AM
Careful with that. I have him on ignore, but this is pretty close to poisoning the well.

You are correct. OBP, I withdraw that part of my statement.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 07:03 AM
It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists.

Accuracy is always pointless.

Darth Executor
02-21-2014, 07:13 AM
Accuracy is always pointless.

Broad accuracy that gives the opposite impression of what is actually happening is pretty pointless, yes.

rogue06
02-21-2014, 07:30 AM
Tom just doesn't know that the US Constitution REALLY came from the Iroquois Confederacy Articles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRP8C2xpyEQ). :yes:

Seriously, Tom Delay has been a very big disappointment to a lot of us in Texas. :shrug:
The influence that the Iroquois Confederacy Articles had appear to be exaggerated (http://hnn.us/article/12974).

And I agree that Tom "I am the Federal Government" Delay was at best a disappointment

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 07:33 AM
The influence that the Iroquois Confederacy Articles had appear to be exaggerated (http://hnn.us/article/12974).

nuh unh! The man in that video was talking very slow and serious in a low voice -- it HAS to be true. Besides - it's on the internetz!


And I agree that Tom "I am the Federal Government" Delay was at best a disappointment

He's a classic example of the type of politician I love to point out "on the other side", but am embarrassed to admit was (cough sputter) on "my side".

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 07:36 AM
Broad accuracy that gives the opposite impression of what is actually happening is pretty pointless, yes.

What's actually happening is that you, seanD, and now CP clearly espouse the idea that True Christians(TM) only act (or vote) a certain way. The broad brush is all yours.

Darth Executor
02-21-2014, 07:39 AM
What's actually happening is that you, seanD, and now CP clearly espouse the idea that True Christians(TM) only act (or vote) a certain way. The broad brush is all yours.

That sounds like a pretty narrow brush to me.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 07:41 AM
What's actually happening is that you, seanD, and now CP clearly espouse the idea that True Christians(TM) only act (or vote) a certain way. The broad brush is all yours.

That's just downright goofy, C, and not true. You're sounding bitter. :sad:

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 07:51 AM
That's just downright goofy, C, and not true.

DE specifically said, "It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists." To which, you agreed. Tell me what I'm misunderstanding.



You're sounding bitter. :sad:

Do you mind explaining how I sound bitter? I'm not being facetious. If I'm coming across as bitter, it's unintentional, and it's definitely not how I feel.


In an effort to clarifty: I think people, by and large, expect those who share some major classification to be in general agreement in nearly every matter. That seems to ignore everything else that goes into worldviews, though I expect it's ignorance or lack of imagination (or simply not having thought about it) rather than something more malicious. This expectation manifests itself a lot in politics as evidenced by the liberal/conservative and democrat/republican labels (which are largely meaningless).

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 07:54 AM
That sounds like a pretty narrow brush to me.

Right. Claiming that "large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists" is a narrow brush...

Darth Executor
02-21-2014, 07:56 AM
DE specifically said, "It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists." To which, you agreed. Tell me what I'm misunderstanding.




Do you mind explaining how I sound bitter? I'm not being facetious. If I'm coming across as bitter, it's unintentional, and it's definitely not how I feel.


In an effort to clarifty: I think people, by and large, expect those who share some major classification to be in general agreement in nearly every matter. That seems to ignore everything else that goes into worldviews, though I expect it's ignorance or lack of imagination (or simply not having thought about it) rather than something more malicious. This expectation manifests itself a lot in politics as evidenced by the liberal/conservative and democrat/republican labels (which are largely meaningless).

How do you swing from "functionally indistinguishable from atheists" to "must agree with me on everything"? You're right, I do expect Christians to share quite a few traits. I further expect other Christian subgroups to share even more. Otherwise there's no point in bringing up the label if it has no relevance. That's not the same as expecting Christians to all vote the exact same way.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:04 AM
DE specifically said, "It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists." To which, you agreed. Tell me what I'm misunderstanding.

You INFER from that that I believe Christians need to "act" of "vote" a particular way. That's a huge leap. My "ouch" was in reference to the fact that I admit that a lot of people (even in my own congregation) are "functionally indistinguishable from atheists" -- their vote is none of my business, but the Bible has many things to say about how they should act.


Do you mind explaining how I sound bitter? I'm not being facetious. If I'm coming across as bitter, it's unintentional, and it's definitely not how I feel.

I should have kept that comment to myself. I apologize.


In an effort to clarifty: I think people, by and large, expect those who share some major classification to be in general agreement in nearly every matter. That seems to ignore everything else that goes into worldviews, though I expect it's ignorance or lack of imagination (or simply not having thought about it) rather than something more malicious. This expectation manifests itself a lot in politics as evidenced by the liberal/conservative and democrat/republican labels (which are largely meaningless).

Can it be ignored that, generally speaking, liberals tend to be for things Christians oppose? And it's complicated by the fact that Democrats didn't used to be the "liberals" that seem to dominate their party today. I know quite a few Democrats (mostly older ones) who are quite "God and country", and oppose abortion and homosexuality, but they've "always voted Democrat". So, yeah, the labels "Democrat" and "Republican" are, to me, pretty useless, and "liberal and conservative" depend on the realm being discussed -- social, fiscal, military, etc.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:06 AM
How do you swing from "functionally indistinguishable from atheists" to "must agree with me on everything"? You're right, I do expect Christians to share quite a few traits. I further expect other Christian subgroups to share even more. Otherwise there's no point in bringing up the label if it has no relevance. That's not the same as expecting Christians to all vote the exact same way.

I really do hate it that I'm agreeing with you. :glare:

Outis
02-21-2014, 08:07 AM
Can it be ignored that, generally speaking, liberals tend to be for things Christians oppose?

Is it that, or is it that you concentrate on a few hot-button issues and ignore the rest of the platform?

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:09 AM
Is it that, or is it that you concentrate on a few hot-button issues and ignore the rest of the platform?

What makes them "hot button issues"? And how do you know how many of these I "concentrate" on? There are a BROAD range of issues I personally disagree with from labor unions, education -- the hypocrisy of claiming to be the "party of choice" but refusing to allow school vouchers....

rogue06
02-21-2014, 08:10 AM
And for the right, the answer is always the same: shrink the state until it is small enough, and powerless enough, to drown in a bathtub. I'd say our recent examples of the fruits of deregulation (from the pollution of waterways in West Virginia and North Carolina
It seems that some of the worst examples of pollution can be found in areas where communism (where the government/state planned and ran the economies) held sway. For instance when East and West Germany were reunified we discovered that in the east over 40% of the rivers and canals were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water and nearly half of their lakes were so polluted as to be unable to sustain fish or other forms of life.

In Hungary, the Danube (which Strauss accurately called the "Blue Danube" in his waltz) becomes black with petroleum and other waste.

So government control is definitely not the answer for pollution. As CNN reported in 1992 about conditions in the former Soviet Union:




Under the socialist system, Soviet industry was built with little or no regard for the environment. Cars still use leaded gasoline. Manufacturing consumes more than four times as much energy per unit of GNP as in the U.S., reports the Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The sad irony is that this enormous waste has contributed significantly to global warming and other environmental problems without making life easier for the country's citizens. Russian households consume 90% less energy than their Western counterparts (they have smaller homes and fewer appliances), but this savings is rendered meaningless by the colossal wastefulness built into the inefficient military industrial complex.



The People’s Republic China is no better. It has been reported that over 70% of China's rivers and lakes are polluted while underground water in 90% of Chinese cities is also affected. Further, more than 300 million people nationwide have no access to clean water. A full third of the Yellow River is deemed unfit for drinking or agriculture.

Likewise, among Third World countries with state controlled and planned economies, the air and water in many of them is so filthy that they aren't just capable of causing cancer or other diseases down the road but are actually considered to be immediately life-threatening.

At least in the west the free market itself is a major force behind cleaner environmental conditions.

First companies have to respond to a public that won't buy their products if they are seen as destroying the environment forcing them to clean up.

Second, it encourages businesses to reduce costly waste which reduces their expenses and makes them more competitive.

Third, allowing people to own property gives them an incentive to maintain it (they have a vested interest) rather than making it common property with the government as caretaker which produces as attitude of let someone else take care of it.

Mini tirade over.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:13 AM
It seems that some of the worst examples of pollution can be found in areas where communism (where the government/state planned and ran the economies) held sway. For instance when East and West Germany were reunified we discovered that in the east over 40% of the rivers and canals were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water and nearly half of their lakes were so polluted as to be unable to sustain fish or other forms of life.

In Hungary, the Danube (which Strauss accurately called the "Blue Danube" in his waltz) becomes black with petroleum and other waste.

So government control is definitely not the answer for pollution. As CNN reported in 1992 about conditions in the former Soviet Union:




The People’s Republic China is no better. It has been reported that over 70% of China's rivers and lakes are polluted while underground water in 90% of Chinese cities is also affected. Further, more than 300 million people nationwide have no access to clean water. A full third of the Yellow River is deemed unfit for drinking or agriculture.

Likewise, among Third World countries with state controlled and planned economies, the air and water in many of them is so filthy that they aren't just capable of causing cancer or other diseases down the road but are actually considered to be immediately life-threatening.

At least in the west the free market itself is a major force behind cleaner environmental conditions.

First companies have to respond to a public that won't buy their products if they are seen as destroying the environment forcing them to clean up.

Second, it encourages businesses to reduce costly waste which reduces their expenses and makes them more competitive.

Third, allowing people to own property gives them an incentive to maintain it (they have a vested interest) rather than making it common property with the government as caretaker which produces as attitude of let someone else take care of it.

Mini tirade over.

yeah

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 08:25 AM
How do you swing from "functionally indistinguishable from atheists" to "must agree with me on everything"? You're right, I do expect Christians to share quite a few traits. I further expect other Christian subgroups to share even more. Otherwise there's no point in bringing up the label if it has no relevance. That's not the same as expecting Christians to all vote the exact same way.

The bolded is your addition, not mine. The swing is your own creation. Your claim has effectively been that they are functionally indistinguishable from atheists because of how they vote (lest we forget the context). It's not me who is expecting Christians to vote the same way (even on major issues) but those who expect "Christian influence" to mean "abortion would be illegal, prayer and bibles would be allowed in public schools, and we'd most likely see less raunch in the media."

Outis
02-21-2014, 08:29 AM
What makes them "hot button issues"? And how do you know how many of these I "concentrate" on?

Because you spend a great deal of time complaining about them. :hehe:


the hypocrisy of claiming to be the "party of choice" but refusing to allow school vouchers....

That's not hypocrisy, CP. That's refusing to pull even more funding from the schools.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:33 AM
It's pointless to claim that Christians have a lot of influence when large groups of Christians are functionally indistinguishable from atheists.

C - THIS is the part of DE's statement that I actually QUOTED, and responded to. It says NOTHING about voting. From that, however, you assume....


What's actually happening is that you, seanD, and now CP clearly espouse the idea that True Christians(TM) only act (or vote) a certain way. The broad brush is all yours.

YOU said vote, and included me in something you had no right to assume. :shrug: The "clearly espouse" is only in your mind, and quite an overreach. :shrug:

Outis
02-21-2014, 08:33 AM
It seems that some of the worst examples of pollution can be found in areas where communism (where the government/state planned and ran the economies) held sway.

Apples to oranges, Rogue. You cannot compare a direct state-run economy (especially one renown for the level of corruption, inefficiency, and sheer stupid of the former Soviet Union) with the mostly laisses faire with some mixed elements of the US. The cultures are too different to make a comparison meaningful.

Instead, compare within the US. See what party argues for deregulation, then look at the specific results of those deregulatory policies. It's the only way to make an accurate analysis.

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:36 AM
Because you spend a great deal of time complaining about them. :hehe:

Yeah, like you know the TOTALITY of my thoughts and beliefs based on some posts on a Christian website. :glare:


That's not hypocrisy, CP. That's refusing to pull even more funding from the schools.

Ah, so the hypocrisy is based on the excuse "we'd pull more funding from the schools"... so.... let's keep funding schools that perform miserably, and refuse the FREEDOM OF CHOICE to take their kids to schools that generally operate more efficiently financially, and perform better academically, because we have a loyalty to the UNIONS who run those government schools. :thumb:

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 08:39 AM
You INFER from that that I believe Christians need to "act" of "vote" a particular way. That's a huge leap. My "ouch" was in reference to the fact that I admit that a lot of people (even in my own congregation) are "functionally indistinguishable from atheists" -- their vote is none of my business, but the Bible has many things to say about how they should act.

I did infer as much, yes. I'm not sure how it's that big of a leap. I don't understand how you can say that you don't believe they need act or vote a certain way while simultaneously saying their actions are functionally indistinguishable from atheists. Help me understand.



I should have kept that comment to myself. I apologize.

You've done nothing wrong. It's good that it was said if for no other reason than that I could try to clarify. There are things I'm bitter about, but I don't think this is one of them. I could be wrong, though. For all I know, you've picked up on something I couldn't see myself.



Can it be ignored that, generally speaking, liberals tend to be for things Christians oppose? And it's complicated by the fact that Democrats didn't used to be the "liberals" that seem to dominate their party today. I know quite a few Democrats (mostly older ones) who are quite "God and country", and oppose abortion and homosexuality, but they've "always voted Democrat". So, yeah, the labels "Democrat" and "Republican" are, to me, pretty useless, and "liberal and conservative" depend on the realm being discussed -- social, fiscal, military, etc.

I think the part I've bolded is the root of the problem. Christians don't divide cleanly. There are Christian liberals just as there are Christian conservatives. In the case of abortion, Christians still largely oppose it. The difference is that they don't all agree it should be illegal in every circumstance. That's a pretty big nuance with very different outcomes for a basically similar belief. Even those ardently in favor of abortion generally don't approve of it after a certain stage. My own leanings are anti-abortion for reasons that don't quite justify outlawing it.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 08:40 AM
That's not hypocrisy, CP. That's refusing to pull even more funding from the schools.

More like reallocating the funding to people who will actually use it wisely.

Outis
02-21-2014, 08:40 AM
Yeah, like you know the TOTALITY of my thoughts and beliefs based on some posts on a Christian website. :glare:

CP. let's be honest ... based on some of your sillier posts here, I still have doubts that you think at all! :hehe: You must make those before you've had coffee.


Ah, so the hypocrisy is based on the excuse "we'd pull more funding from the schools"... so.... let's keep funding schools that perform miserably, and refuse the FREEDOM OF CHOICE to take their kids to schools that generally operate more efficiently financially, and perform better academically, because we have a loyalty to the UNIONS who run those government schools. :thumb:

You can spin it that way if you like ... but just because it spins comfortably does not make your analysis accurate.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 08:42 AM
C - THIS is the part of DE's statement that I actually QUOTED, and responded to. It says NOTHING about voting. From that, however, you assume....

YOU said vote, and included me in something you had no right to assume. :shrug: The "clearly espouse" is only in your mind, and quite an overreach. :shrug:

The context was voting. It was in reference to voting that DE responded to my posts, and it was in reference to voting that I originally responded to seanD. If you weren't talking about voting then it wasn't clear. :shrug:

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 08:49 AM
The context was voting.

The statement which I CARVED OUT, and to which I responded, said nothing about voting. :glare:


It was in reference to voting that DE responded to my posts, and it was in reference to voting that I originally responded to seanD. If you weren't talking about voting then it wasn't clear. :shrug:

I did not respond to the entire post, C -- I very purposely singled out the statement to which I was responding. I think you, at times, just seem to be looking for a fight that's not there. :shrug: If you really cared about what I thought, you could ASK instead of ACCUSE. :idea: You just lumped me together with the others because it fit your agenda.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 09:10 AM
The statement which I CARVED OUT, and to which I responded, said nothing about voting. :glare:

What did you think that "influence" was referring to?



I did not respond to the entire post, C -- I very purposely singled out the statement to which I was responding.

I did see that.



I think you, at times, just seem to be looking for a fight that's not there. :shrug: If you really cared about what I thought, you could ASK instead of ACCUSE. :idea: You just lumped me together with the others because it fit your agenda.

:sigh:

If there's one thing that's been pretty clear in all of our interactions over the years, it's that you truly do not have a clue where I'm coming from or why I post. I don't know if it's just with me, but you're readings are almost always way off. Perhaps we can work on this, but this thread is not the place to do it. Will you join me here (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?913-Carrik-vs-CP&p=18829#post18829)?

Cow Poke
02-21-2014, 09:19 AM
If there's one thing that's been pretty clear in all of our interactions over the years, it's that you truly do not have a clue where I'm coming from or why I post. I don't know if it's just with me, but you're readings are almost always way off.

Yeah, entirely my fault. :thumb:

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 09:41 AM
Yeah, entirely my fault. :thumb:

I wasn't trying to place blame.

seanD
02-21-2014, 01:02 PM
I think it depends on what you consider larger issues, nor is it irrelevant even then. Science education is a common sore point for a lot of non-theists, and it's one area where the Christian demographic shows up in force. However, other issues are not so cut and dried. The pro-life/pro-choice debate is not cleanly split along religious views. That's why the huge demographic isn't immediately obvious. It's still present, but it's not clearly acting for one side alone.

You said, specifically:


and



Both of these statements are absolutely false. The influence is the same for all issues. The difference, as I noted, is that the demographic isn't unilaterally in favor of one side or the other. This is why I said that they aren't voting the way you think they should be.


In other words, your claim that



is indicative of how you think they should be voting. It's not how Christians actually vote in practice. This in no way negates their political influence.

You've veered away from the point I was making. But Outis clarified his intent of the thread in post #14, so my point is now irrelevant -- assuming of course that Outis didn't just move goalposts from his initial intent of the thread.

Carrikature
02-21-2014, 02:24 PM
You've veered away from the point I was making. But Outis clarified his intent of the thread in post #14, so my point is now irrelevant -- assuming of course that Outis didn't just move goalposts from his initial intent of the thread.

Fair enough.

seasanctuary
02-21-2014, 03:13 PM
There's a really important factor that you're missing here. Christians DO hold political influence, given that they're far and away the largest demographic of voters. The factor that you're missing is that most of them don't believe (or vote) quite as you think they should. Even with the numbers dwindling, the number of Christians remains much greater than the non-theists and alternate faiths.

Yep. It would be like a conservative minority in a majority Islamic state complaining that Muslims don't have real voting power because women are allowed to drive when an adult man is in the vehicle.

One Bad Pig
02-21-2014, 07:11 PM
First and foremost, if you're agreeing with DE, you're probably headed down the wrong road already.

Time for more schooling. Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism.
I know.

The closest we have ever come to fascism are the fringe groups, all on the right of the political spectrum, all (rightly) rejected by the mainstream. You couldn't be much farther wrong here. Perhaps you need a history lesson. Mussolini got his start as a communist; while he eventually broke with communism, he remained a radical leftist. The first Fascisti party platform contained these notorious right-wing proposals: Lowering the minimum voting age to 18, universal suffrage (including for women), the 8-hour workday, a minimum wage, reform of the pension system, and a large progressive tax on capital. Mussolini was quite popular among progressives in the US until his invasion of Ethiopia. Muckraker Ida Tarbell gushed over him.

Over here in the US, during WW I the left was advocating things like Prohibition, eugenics, and loyalty oaths. Thousands of people were jailed merely for voicing anti-war sentiment. Woodrow Wilson railed against "hypenated-Americans" who had been born abroad and moved here. We had state control of industry (the War Industries Board) and a full-fledged propaganda ministry (the Committee for Public Information).

The WIB, run by progressives appointed by their progressive president, was described by Grosvenor Clarkson as "an industrial dictatorship without parallel - a dictatorship by force of necessity and common consent which step by step at last encompassed the Nation and united into a coordinated and mobile whole." The CPI was run by George Creel, a progressive journalist.

Sinclair Lewis, another progressive, in his novel It Can't Happen Here about the very possibility of a fascist takeover here, had his protagonist argue that it had already happened - under Woodrow Wilson.


Economically, fascism relies on a unified industry in service to the state, and uses protectionist and expansionist military and economic policy to achieve the goal of utter self-sufficiency. Fascism is a word that has a very specific meaning, not just a random insult that you can throw at politicians you don't like.
Fascism does not require an expansionist military. An expansionist military and war are useful means to the end of getting everyone to pull together for the good of the whole, but they are not the only means. Any crisis will do.


Obama is not fascist.
He is a liberal fascist, in the words of H. G. Wells (who advocated it). Wells railed against "the dilatory indecisiveness of democracy" - much like Barack Obama's obvious disgust with Congress's unwillingness to go along with what he wants. Wells was a big fan of FDR, calling him "the most effective transmitting instrument possible for the coming of the new world order." FDR, the man who tried his own end-around of Congress in his attempt to pack the Supreme Court.


Look at the list. Who passed these regulations--Obama, or Congress.
Obama campaigned for them and signed them (in the case of the ACA, without an iota of support from the other party - what's that about him being a "centrist" again?) He is the leader of his party, yes.


More than that, look at the list of Obama's executive orders. They're readily available on the internet (http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders). Point me out one EO, just one, where he exceeded his constitutional authority.
As far as I'm concerned, pretty much every EO, issued by whatever president, is an arrogation of powers properly belonging to the legislative branch.


Yes. You need to explain why you are either (a, and unlikely in my opinion) dishonest enough to repeat known falsehoods, or (b, and more likely) foolish enough to be a dupe for the talking points of the liars who are pushing known falsehoods.
:ahem: How magnanimous of you. And you have the chutzpah to castigate me for demonizing my ideological opponents.

Outis
02-21-2014, 07:14 PM
And you have the chutzpah to castigate me for demonizing my ideological opponents.

If the shoe fits, wear it. You simply need to decide which shoe it is, which you can do at your leisure.

One Bad Pig
02-21-2014, 08:21 PM
If the shoe fits, wear it. You simply need to decide which shoe it is, which you can do at your leisure.
Yes, it's much easier to cast aspersions than deal with contrary evidence (from fellow liberals, no less).

Remind me to stick to spam discussions with you, because I like you even though we don't see eye to eye on much.