The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Jerk

January 9, 2006 | 73 Comments

Some jerk who apparently wanted to give the godless a bad name wrote a nasty letter to a Connecticut newspaper last Friday. Fortunately, another reader set him straight:


I’m more disturbed by the letter titled “False miner story extra false because of God.” The letter writer is apparently an atheist. He takes issue with the fact that so many people put their faith in God during this tragedy and belittles them for doing so. He then uses the sad outcome of this disaster to imply that God does not exist. I’m disturbed that the writer would use such a tragic loss of human life to defend his atheistic agenda.

In defense of God, I saw plenty of evidence that he was involved in this tragedy. One miner miraculously survived. Hundreds of people in West Virginia came together to help one another, which is the cornerstone of Christian teaching. To say that God was “misidentified as a key participant in their rescue” is ignorant.

Due to the paper’s intrusive registration process, I didn’t read the atheist’s letter. No loss, because it’s probably even more sickening than it sounds. Why do respectable publications give such crackpots a forum in the first place?

Comments

73 Responses to “Jerk”

  1. Kamikaze189
    January 9th, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

    For a Guy who is said to be all powerful and all good he sure lets a lot of people die.

  2. Lily
    January 9th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    RA: You are pushing your luck here. I tell you, as a cyber buddy, slink into the night on this one.

  3. Jason Malloy
    January 9th, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

    Use BugMeNot RA:

    http://www.bugmenot.com/

    Premature To Run Story On Trapped Miners
    Published on 1/6/2006

    Letters To The Editor:
    I picked up The Day on Tuesday and was thrilled to read the Associated Press article about the miraculous rescue of 12 trapped miners in West Virginia. (“A ‘miracle’ in West Virginia,” Jan. 4.) Imagine my shock minutes later when I heard a news report that all but one of those miners had perished.

    The Day staff completely dropped the ball on this story. It looks like in a rush to get a great story to print, you disregarded basic news reporting procedures. Nowhere in the article is a confirmation of details from any official. The only hint of doubt about the miners’ fate is buried several paragraphs in the report when it states that company officials “did not immediately confirm that the 12 other men were alive.”

    The reading public relies on The Day to provide accurate news. You failed in this case. To make matters worse, on Thursday you ran another Associated Press front-page story blaming the mine company officials for the false report when in the original story it stated the mine did not confirm the miners’ fates. (“Mine owners criticized for misleading information,” Jan. 5.)

    The bottom line is, The Day is responsible to readers to provide accurate news. It failed to do that and ran an unconfirmed, sensational story.

    Instead of questioning the mine company, The Day should question how it allowed this, and apologize to readers for the error.

    Editor’s note: On Wednesday, The Day published two Associated Press wire stories concerning rescue efforts at a West Virginia mine. The stories were by different authors and appeared in our two zoned editions.

    Each stated that all but one miner had been saved. The first story quoted relatives, a mining official, and a Red Cross volunteer, who relayed a statement of confirmation by Gov. Joe Manchin, and it described celebrations.

    A later story quoted relatives and the governor directly, confirming the information. It also stated that the mining company did not immediately confirm that the workers were alive.

    While the news reports were obviously flawed, it would have been very difficult for editors on a copy desk to discern the level of inaccuracy. Usually such errors are caught within minutes, but nearly three hours lapsed between the initial report and the company’s announcement that 12 miners had perished, and only one was alive.

    Hundreds of newspapers published inaccurate reports, among them The Day. We were alerted to corrected information at 2:57 a.m., seven minutes before our press run was complete. At that point, nearly all papers were on the road for delivery. The story was updated and corrected on theday.com.

    The Day regrets that inaccurate information was published.

    Chris Newell
    Oakdale

  4. r-m
    January 9th, 2006 @ 7:28 pm

    They print the most outrageous writings of people who explicitly label themselves as atheists specifically to partray us as lunatics. The only thing we can do about it is to consistently present our message(s). That means easy to understand, logical, and present the case that only humans can solve human problems.

    Atheism is the only defensible, consistent, and encompassing worldview available. Our only truth claim is that there is only evidence and reason to guide us and people can break free of mysticism to have a more fulfilling and peaceful life.

  5. Choobus
    January 9th, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

    come on, those day reporters probably spent hours writing their stories. I say god bless them for having the courage to print it, even though it was slightly inaccurate.

  6. Spuds
    January 9th, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

    Choobs has been neutered by the PC elite. I am no longer a fan, and will be returning to stale Maddox articles for straight-shooter truth.

  7. Matt
    January 9th, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

    No, don’t slink into the night – keep pushing your luck.

    If one or more is saved, it’s a miracle from god for saving life; if everyone dies, it’s a miracle from god for bringing the living together in prayer or communion. A god who can mean anything ends up meaning nothing.

  8. Choobus
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

    What! I was referring to the original article that said the miners were alive. In fact I was alluding to RA and his “fuck this shit mofo, I spent an hour writing this bitch and I’m fucking posting it even if those guys are dead” argument. Finally, I was hinting that Lily should go sit on a tumble dryer for a long spin cycle because she clearly has some frustration issues and has no other way to vent them othe other than typing giberish about dead miners. She’s pushing her luck for sure.

  9. Lily
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

    Choobus:
    I just realized you have it bad for me, don’t you? But keep in mind that Internet romances never work.

    Still, it is gratifying to see that you partly got it. You and I (ah, doesn’t that thought bring tears to your eyes?) at least understood that RA was bringing up his dratted parody again. Heaven only knows what you thought I was saying. I was merely warning RA not to start another huge cyber war over his lack of empathy, taste, whatever.

    Ok, everyone, run for cover!

  10. Choobus
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    Lily,

    maybe you’re right. Maybe I do have it bad for you. Whenever I read one of your posts I get this twisted feeling in my stomach. I can’t think clearly, and I feel my IQ plumetting faster than your panties at happy hour. Sure sounds like I’ve got it bad, I just wish I knew what it was.

  11. Matt
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

    Lily – forget him. I was posting to you, thought he was replying to me, and ahhh, if only this were properly threaded, then I’d show you an internet romance…

    Seriously though, it’s important that nothing is out of bounds, that people like RA can posit what some see as tasteless. I studied this stuff years ago, and decided to stop, feeling that arguing about this kind of thing is pointless in an intelligent civilisation (and that a phd in the subject would not really help pay my debts). Since then it has become increasingly apparent that there are few intelligent civilisations here, and I admire those who keep arguing.

    Ford Prefect’s “They care. We don’t. They win.” is truly fightening. It’s stuff like this that is starting to make me care again, enough to rejoin the fight.

  12. baric
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

    NOT A JERK

    The letter is below. RavingAtheist did a disservice to his site and the dirty work of the Bible Thumpers by not spending two minutes to check the original letter before jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

    The letter:
    ———
    The Associated Press story titled “A ‘miracle’ in West Virginia,” published Jan. 4, was a sad but understandable falsehood. The world of publishing occasionally makes a mistake in the effort to get to press, such as in 2000 when Fox news prematurely announced George W. Bush’s election victory, causing a domino effect in the media.

    In this case however, the miners can’t be resurrected by the Supreme Court. These moments of error, despite the embarrassment they can cause, can be revealing in terms of how a story is characterized, because once the story is proven false, the characterizations used in its deployment cease to make sense.

    In the story about the trapped miners, God is misidentified as a key participant in their rescue. The eight mentions of God’s role in this disaster were avoidable. The problem starts in the headline with use of the biblical term “miracle,” continues in the first paragraph with “praise the Lord” and gets truly weird in the fifth paragraph with the phrase, “how great thou art.” People degrade into nostalgic old English when trying to give the credit away from a decent rescue effort.

    No national disaster story would be complete without our commander-in-chief using the opportunity to flash his religious credentials. Mr. Bush’s two cents were, “May God bless those who are trapped below the Earth.”

    We can only hope God gets equal blame in future corrections of this mistake. Somehow, I doubt it. The faithful may, however, choose to blame a robot which got stuck in the mud during the episode. God, in the meantime, will no doubt be busy blessing the American troops in Iraq who accidentally bombed an innocent family of nine recently. Good luck with that one, God.

    Editor’s note: The writer is co-publisher of The Scope newspaper.

    Chris Kepple
    Ashaway, R.I.

  13. Viole
    January 9th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    Be careful, Lily, and make sure to provide us your full legal name when you post. It’s now illegal to make anonymous annoying comments on the internet.

  14. Lily
    January 9th, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

    Matt: OK, now I get it. Will it surprise you to learn that I mostly agree with you? But I have a robust sense of humor.

    I was kinda amusing myself by teasing RA about opening that can of worms again!

    Now, Viole, don’t be catty; it isn’t like Choob is much of a catch. By his own admission my effect on him has reduced his IQ to that of a diet coke. That is strangely offputting, even as I revel in my power…

  15. Viole
    January 9th, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

    I assure you, Lily, I’d rather have you than Choobus.

    Speaking which, I could use a bit of fun. You interested? I might be able to take your mind off our mutal friend, here, which it sure seems to me like you need. You might have a few prayers to say afterward, though.

    Just send me an email, tell me where you’d like to meet, and we’ll go from there.

  16. Lily
    January 9th, 2006 @ 11:02 pm

    From catty to boastful, eh? I think you may be a tad too temperamental, Viole (or do I mean tempestuous ?), for someone of my placid disposition…!

  17. boobsarefake
    January 9th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    Damn, all this online lesbian action made me so hot I had to get an online sex change.

  18. Viole
    January 10th, 2006 @ 1:06 am

    You do me great wrong, pretty one. Tempestuous fails to descibe me, for I too tend toward placid. If I seem boastful, it is because my mockery of you is founded on self-respect. I’ve no need, and no desire, to pretend to be something I’m not. Unfortunately, self-assuredness often comes off as arrogant. It cannot be helped, or, at least, I have not the skill to help it.

    As for catty, you wrong me again. I merely sought to educate those who might not have heard about an idiotic new law passed by our esteemed government, while making a point about its inanity at the same time. All the same, I do think you aught to be careful; you never know when Choobus might turn you in, just to hear the metaphorical sirens, for he, at least, finds your posts annoying, regardless of my opinion.

    I am, however, willing to overlook your–if I may say it–cattiness. My offer still stands.

  19. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 7:56 am

    Ah Viole: Always so thoughtful. My dear, you are worrying needlessly. I am above the law; I am …. a republican.

    And boy, do I know what you mean about self-assurance coming off as arrogant! I have that problem, too.

    Hmm. I do believe that in a mere 6 short posts, we have hijacked this thread. Surely this must be a record?

  20. Alpha Male
    January 10th, 2006 @ 9:37 am

    Viole and Lily, get a chat room, will ya?

  21. Frank
    January 10th, 2006 @ 10:41 am

    r-m, regarding your post in #4 where you said, “They print the most outrageous writings of people who explicitly label themselves as atheists specifically to partray us as lunatics.”

    Sounds like you are making the “not-a-true-atheist” argument?

  22. Viole
    January 10th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    I would argue, Lily, that this thread needed to be hijacked. You’d even be surprised what a thread will come back from, though I have high hopes for this particular one.

    Speaking of illegality, Lovely Lily, there’s another line looming we’d better not cross in public. The menfolk are going crazy enough as it is. You must remember, though, that only powerful Republicans are immune to the law. Peons such as yourself are expendable, and must often be sacrificed in the name of law and order. During your stay in prison, remember that I, and indeed any leftist, hold you at fault only for voting for them.

    Still, you deserve the same pleasures as anyone else, and I would surely be a hypocrite to withdraw my offer merely because of your political affiliation.

  23. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    “I am above the law; I am …. a republican.”

    Damn, Viole beat me to it. I was going to say: ha ha ha –for now, maybe. I’m going to love hearing you guys whine about your “rights” if we still have those quaint little election things in a couple more years.

    Viole’s right though, under the new paradigm, everyone who isn’t part of the ruling elite is expendable. See you in prison Lily –if they aren’t prying a gun from my cold dead fingers.

  24. Alfredo
    January 10th, 2006 @ 11:03 am

    Lily, of course, is the same moron who referred to the Crusades as “Muslims getting what they deserved”, and who protests about coarse language (gasp!) while avoiding any attempt to pin her down on a topic.

    Clearly, therefore, she’s a top. If you ever get her cornered, you’ll have to report back, Viole… I’ve always said she’d be a real kitten-with-a-whip.

  25. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Alfredo:

    Are you Jim? He said that same thing, too. Or are you merely parroting that foolish line without actually knowing anything? If RA wants to give me blog space to write a little something about the Crusades, I would be glad to do so. The ignorance displayed about them here is matched only by your (corporately speaking) actual ignorance of Christian theology, the Bible, etc.

  26. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    Let’s go back to bashing RA for his tasteless parody, shall we? I have no patience with conspiracy theories nor can I work up a lot of outrage over keeping an eye on potential terrorists, etc. This is not a promising topic, of conversation, in other words.

    I know, let’s talk about the humor potential of Teddy “the Swimmer” Kennedy writing about a dog named “Splash”.

  27. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    Conspiracy theories? What on earth are you talking about? We have a president who is an admitted felon and faces no consequences. The official position of our current government is that the president is above the law, and he signed the anti-torture Bill passed by Congress saying he would violate it whenever he saw fit. On December 1st, Yoo, one of the administration lawyers, said in a debate, that Bush could legally order a child’s testitcles to be crushed in front of his parents in order to extract information from them in the “war on terrorism.”

    Of course, I don’t expect you to be outraged Lily, I’m sure this all falls under “keeping an eye on “terrorists'”. All Viole and I are doing is reminding you that once your hero has destroyed the rule of law, it’s ultimately going to bite you on the ass along with everyone else. Thomas More had something very eloquent to say on the subject to another despot. If people like you actually followed the principles you pretend to preach, your religion might actually deserve some respect.

  28. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    Hermesten:

    I am perfectly aware of what is going on. Not agreeing with you does not make me careless of our liberties nor does your opinion make Mr. Bush a despot. What Mr. Yoo said in a debate is hardly binding on the president.

    You have got to learn to resist identifying the current state of your digestion with the way things are. There are more credible watchdogs out there than the denizens of Kos or this blog. You (all) can’t rant and rave in mostly one syllable curses and expect to be taken seriously as political thinkers. The two things just don’t go together.

  29. Viole
    January 10th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    Dearest Lily!

    I think now we see you clearly. Shall we debate, for your comfort, the cuteness of kittens? That, I’m sure, would be a promising topic. We could go on for hours, and I’m sure there is no way you could lose. Yes, let’s not talk about about abuse of executive power or the illegal wiretapping of American citizens. Let’s not talk about anything important, just work up our fabricated outrage over a fabricated issue. You’re just like FOX News. I am truly saddened, disappointed, and disgusted.

    Go back to your pathetic little life, young one. Listen to you preacher, your god, and your president and surely nothing wrong will ever happen to you.

    Meanwhile, those with courage and conviction will protect you from your own cowardice and ignorance, even while you condemn them. You have my pity.

    You will get nothing more.

  30. Alfredo
    January 10th, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    Lily:

    You’re far more perceptive than I gave you credit for, and I’m certainly willing to give your skills with the lash a try whenever you’re up for it. Catholic girls are always the best, neh?

    As for your pathetic “watchdogs” statement, the only watchdogs approved by the people of the United States, and the Constitution, have been declared null and void by the Chimp himself, and their advisors. How exactly is that *not* despotism?

  31. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

    Oh dear, I guess our date is off, huh, Viole?

  32. Choobus
    January 10th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    for the record Lily, do you agree with the statement that the Crusades was “muslims getting what they deserved” or not?

    I don’t read posts here all the time so I had no idea that you were a big fan of Dubya. However, it is about as surprising to learn this as it would be to open a packet of 6 month old kippers and be greeted with a foul stench. It’s hilarious that reactionary jeezuz lovers all over the country think that the Bushmeister is one of them when he actually despises almost all of them because they are not part of his “base” (that is to say, the so-called elite). Doesn’t shrub fit many of the criteria of the antichrist as depicted in Revelations? Just sayin’

  33. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    “What Mr. Yoo said in a debate is hardly binding on the president.”

    Ha ha ha. You guys kill me. No matter what this administration says or does you make excuses. It’s particularly funny because those of us with memories that go back ten years or so remember what people like you said about Clinton, so it doesn’t require much imagination to know what you and Fox “News” would be saying if Slick Willie was prez and this guy was part of his administration.

    It’s also beside the point. In fact, the contention of this administration is that NOTHING is binding on Bush –and lest we forget, whoever succeeds him– NOTHING. Not the courts, not the Congress, not the law, and not the constitution. His power is unlimited. Yoo’s remarks are merely an illustration of what this administration believes it can do. If Bush can do this: legally order the torture of an innocent person, and especially a child, then he can do ANYTHING. And if this concept of presidential power isn’t categorically rejected; if this criminal and immoral monster isn’t impeached, then eventually, he, or one of his successors, WILL use this power.

    I’m not nice like Viole though. I want you to have what you asked for, so if it gets to the point where they come for someone like you, I’ll continue to be the law abiding citizen I am now and kindly point them to your door. I’ll be too busy taking care of my own to waste any sympathy on people who made excuses for the evil and helped bring it down on all of us.

  34. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Did Muslims get what they deserved? It is a non-question, Choobus, posed by the historically illiterate, who assume that peaceful Muslims were attacked unprovoked by horrid, violent Christians. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were a serious military power and aggressively conquering territory and expanding throughout what had been the Roman empire.

    The Muslims were militarily the stronger and, therefore, mostly the victorious for most of the Middle Ages, with a few setbacks, until they were finally defeated and the siege lifted in 1683 outside the gates of Vienna. It could easily have gone the other way and you might be speaking Turkish. I don’t suppose that would stop you from asking your favorite question.

    To disabuse you all of one of your favorite fables is simply not gonna happen in a combox. Dr. Helen Nickerson has provided a nifty FAQ for those who would like more information:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nigel.nicholson/hn/indexFAQ.html

  35. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    “It could easily have gone the other way and you might be speaking Turkish. ”

    I don’t know about “easily,” but I do find the thought amusing. Then we’d have Christians blowing up buses and crashing planes into buildings.

  36. Viole
    January 10th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    Herm, you forgot;

    We’d also have Lily, talking about how the vicious Christians got what they deserved for their upstart crucades, not to mention begging Mohammad and Bush to protect her from the Jesus-worshipping terrorists.

  37. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

    Excerpts from the FAQ referenced by Lily:

    “The loss of the holy places of Palestine to Islam in the late seventh century had been a heavy ideological blow to Christendom, although the Muslim rulers generally allowed peaceful pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the other Christian holy sites. Until the late eleventh century, Western Christendom was not sufficiently united or economically strong to conceive of any united, sustained counterattack on Islam to recover its holy sites and the territory which had belonged to the ancient Roman empire. However, by the late eleventh century, greater political stability and economic growth meant that a large expedition to assist the Byzantine emperor to recover the old Byzantine territories in the Middle East had become feasible.”

    “Other conditions combined to bring about such an expedition: the struggle between emperor and papacy in western Europe for effective secular and spiritual control of Latin Christendom, together with the unexpected weakness of the Muslim states in the 1090s.”

    “… in the 1090s a series of deaths of leading political figures in both the Fatimid and Seljuk empires resulted in power-struggles in both empires, leaving these Muslim powers internally divided and less able to resist external attack. ”

    “The Byzantine emperor seized the opportunity to ask for western European aid to recover his Middle Eastern territories. Pope Urban II took up his request for aid. He probably wanted to promote better relations between eastern and western Christendom, and possibly hoped to present the papacy as the true leader of western Christendom.

    In short, the result was the First Crusade. ”

    In other word, the Muslms looked like an easy target, and the guys in charge had something to gain. Sound familiar?

  38. Choobus
    January 10th, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

    Lily,

    are you kidding! Back door sex is very popular amongst these filthy, jesus-denying, heathen muslims; if we were “speaking Turkish” as you put it my “favourite question” (as you also put it) would be printed on the currency.

  39. Lily
    January 10th, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

    Hermesten: You are being selective in your quoting. A favorite tactic of liberals and atheists who never seem to be able to deal with the truth that life is messy and doesn’t fit into nice neat, black and white categories. This is endearing (sort of) in high schoolers; less so in people old enough to vote. Let’s quote a little more from Prof. Nicholson, shall we?

    The Christians of Europe had perceived Islam as a serious military threat to Christendom since the beginnings of Islam in the seventh century. The rapid military expansion of Islam under Mohammad and the caliphs had resulted in the conquest of the Middle East, North Africa, most of Spain and the western Mediterranean Islands. These areas had all been part of the Roman Empire and had been officially Christian since at least the fourth century. Muslim generals led their armies into Gaul (now France) and reached as far north as Poitiers, a few days’ ride from Paris, where they were defeated by Frankish forces under Charles Martel (‘the Hammer’) in 732.

    This was not the end of the Muslim threat, and even when the Muslims had retreated south of the Pyrennees they were still regarded as a serious danger by the Frankish rulers of southern Gaul. Not only their land forces but also their naval forces harried the Christian territories of south west and central Europe. Although driven back in Gaul, they captured Sardinia, Sicily and part of southern Italy.

    In the bit you were quoting you left out that the Eastern Emperor appealed to the Pope to raise an army and try to take back his conquered lands from the Muslims. So no, it doesn’t sound familiar in quite the way you want it to. It sounds familiar to me as a historian/medievalist as the story of warfare and clash of civilizations in human history.

  40. hermesten
    January 10th, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

    Yep, your citations came from the first part of that particular answer, and it doesn’t change a thing. Oh, wait, yeah, you’re a Bushchick, image is everything. Sort of like Saddam not having WMD’s: doesn’t matter as long as we thought he did, or at least claim we thought so. Doesn’t matter that Christians “had perceived” Islam as a threat THREE CENTURIES before. Anyway, regardless of what semantic games you want to play with past tenses and perceptions, YOUR source says:

    1. Loss of the Holy places was an “ideological” blow –get it, ideological?

    2. The Muslims allowed peaceful travel to Christian Holy sites.

    3. Christian Europe was too weak to attack the Mulsims prior to 1090.

    4. They were “recovering” terrorities based on a centuries old claim from a completely different State, that no longer existed, and that had been acquired through conquest in the first place. Last time I checked, anyway, Rome was in Europe, not the Middle East.

    5. They didn’t actually take any action until they thought the Muslims were weak enough to beat, and were internally divided.

    6. It was a power play to increase the power of the Christian ruling elites. It had absolutely nothing to do with improving the life of ordinary Christians.

    In other words, the same bullshit reasons all wars are fought: because people in power think they’re going to benefit, and the people without power don’t have a choice.

  41. Lily
    January 11th, 2006 @ 7:50 am

    Keep reading Hermesten. You still don’t have the full picture.

  42. hermesten
    January 11th, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    Sorry Lily, either those six points are factual statements by your source or they aren’t. If they are, it simply does not matter what else is in the picutre. The Titanic was going too fast for the conditions and hit an iceberg. Is that the “full picuture?” Not quite. I can fill out the picture with all kinds of other interesting details, but they won’t change the fact that the Titanic is at the bottom of the Atlantic because it was going to fast and hit an iceberg.

  43. Lily
    January 11th, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    Hermesten: even though I think you are very intelligent, you force things into categories of black and white, like so many liberals. You are even trying to force the Crusades and the whole evolution of the Western world into tidy little Kos slots.

    Let’s see what I mean, when I say “keep reading”:

    1. Loss of the Holy places was an “ideological” blow –get it, ideological?

    What ideology would that be? What did it mean to the West to lose them? Why? What was the practical outcome of losing them?

    2. The Muslims allowed peaceful travel to Christian Holy sites

    You misquoted. Dr. Nicholson wrote “mostly allowed”. So when didn’t they allow it? Why? What was the meaning of that? What was the practical outcome of not allowing it?

    3. Christian Europe was too weak to attack the Mulsims prior to 1090.

    True. Why would they have wanted to? Why did they feel that it was necessary? Was it necessary?

    4. They were “recovering” terrorities based on a centuries old claim from a completely different State, that no longer existed, and that had been acquired through conquest in the first place. Last time I checked, anyway, Rome was in Europe, not the Middle East.

    Oh dear. Back to history class for you. The Roman Empire didn’t completely cease to exist until Constantinople fell in 1453 (do you remember to whom?) It was made up of many Christian states to which Christian Europe did feel kinship.

    5. . They didn’t actually take any action until they thought the Muslims were weak enough to beat, and were internally divided.

    So, rather than go off to be slaughtered for sure, they prudently waited until they had a fighting chance. Those animals!

    6. . It was a power play to increase the power of the Christian ruling elites. It had absolutely nothing to do with improving the life of ordinary Christians.

    What ahistoric nonsense. Talk about looking at the past through the lense of the present! Since the Muslims had a nasty habit of killing or enslaving everyone they conquered, it was a prudent course of action to try and keep them from further military victories in Europe. Seems like an improvement to me.

    In her essay on “Church justification for violence…” which is also on Dr. Nicholson’s website you will find this about the Crusades:
    The war was to stop the Muslims of Palestine oppressing the native Christians, and to recover the lands where Christ had trodden, which were regarded as Christ’s inheritance. So, a holy war, which replaces penance. … And, in the crusade, it seems that the struggle is a constant battle against evil; there will never be peace until the Muslims are exterminated, because they will not stop attacking Christians. They are not just sinners, as in Augustine’s writings, but agents of the devil.

    In other words, before drawng other conclusions, first understand the times on their own terms, not as a democratic talking point against the war in Iraq.

  44. Viole
    January 11th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    Yes, this is good, isn’t it?

    Never once, in the entire history of the world, has a war been waged for reasons other than profit. From the conquests of Rome, to the Second World War, the driving motive behind every leader has been the same. Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, all conflicts driven by greed.

    Except for the Crusades. They were entirely just and righteous, fought by good men to hold back the barbaric Muslims.

  45. Lily
    January 11th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Simplistic, moon-bat poppycock.

  46. Viole
    January 11th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    Tell me, Herm, did the independence and courage I once associated with the American people ever exist, or is it too a lie, created for the benefit of us grunts?

    Is this really all we have ever been? Nothing more than pathetic, barely-evolved monkies who fling dung at each other while a few heroes, fighting against our own masters, protect us from our ignorance and stupidity?

  47. Choobus
    January 11th, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    War isn’t all bad. When the population gets too full of dangerous simpletons like Lily a war is a good way to purge them. At least, it would be if these right wing idealogues were as interested in going to war themselves as they are in talking about it and sending others to do their dirty work. Also, Jesus has made it quite clear that muslims must die, and anyone who can’t understand that is asking for a smiting. Look at little bushy: he loves war, but he’d rather put his manhood in the paws of a grizzly bear in a bad mood that show up for his national service.
    Rumsfeld: likes to stand up all the time, but takes a back seat when it comes to serving in the military. Lon, err, I mean Dick Chaney: would like to serve but a full battallion of medics would be tied up just dealing with him so it really wouldn’t be fair. Here’s the really shocking thing though: there are some filthy falafel munching jesus hating muslims serving in the US army RIGHT NOW. What on earth are they up to? We need the intellectual powerhouse that is lily to sort that one out.

    Praise Him.

  48. hermesten
    January 11th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    Viole, I think the answer is too complicated for a simple yes or no. I think the combination of men and circumstances that produced the US Constitution was unique. I’d say that generally speaking, the majority of people have always been a bunch of dung flinging monkeys, and that what has changed from time to time is the number and quality of the exceptions. If the current crop of our criminal elites were allowed to draft a constitution today, we’d be doomed in short order.

    This country is over as any kind of lighthouse for the world. The country and its institutions are now too corrupt to be recovered. We are well on our way to becoming a fascist police state. Hell, we’re essentially a police state already. Our only remaining liberty is a function of what is left of judicial power, and restraint bred from political uncertainty –if the Bushies thought they could get away with a coup and subsequent dictatorship, there’d be a coup.

    The neocons know that Congress is irrelevant and that the only remaining restraints on power come from the courts. This is why they have conducted a full court press to marginalize judicial power and fill the bench with political flacks. Once the bench is stocked with empty robes, like this clown Alito, who have never met a corporate or government transgression they didn’t like, things may begin to unravel pretty fast. Slowing this process is the only benefit I can see to a Democratic administration: they’re likely to appoint a bunch of statists too, but a few of them do think there should be limits to State power.

  49. hermesten
    January 11th, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

    “…you force things into categories of black and white, like so many liberals.”

    “…first understand the times on their own terms, not as a democratic talking point against the war in Iraq.”

    This is pretty funny stuff. It’s interesting that the people who accuse others of thinking in black and white are the very ones who subscribe to the simplitistic left/right, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican dichotomies used to limit and control political discourse in this country. I find it particularly amusing when I’m accused of being a “liberal,” since I’m about as “liberal” as Bob Barr, and most of the people with whom I have made political affinities are principled Christian fundamentalists, or evangelicals.

    I stopped paying attention to these labels years ago. They are generally used for only one purpose: to limit discussion. I look for character. I don’t care whether Noam Chomsky is a “liberal” or Charlie Reese is a “conservative Christian.” I pay attention to what each has to say and form a decision about their character and integrity. I’ll take a principled communist any time over an unprincipled conservative or libertarian. I don’t have a team or a party. I completely ignore anyone who identifies themselves primarily as a democrat or republican. I am as turned off to Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton and Al Franken as I am to Rush Limbaugh, the excreable tranny pretending to be a woman, Ann Coulter, George Bush and Condi Rice, and that flack of flacks, Alan Simpson. In fact, I can’t take anyone who is serious about party politics, seriously.

    Now I can understand and accept the practical reasons for someone supporting Bush or Kerry, or whomever, especially in this endemically corrupt country. But when I see people with a Bush or Kerry bumper sticker on their cars, I can’t help but think I’ve seen another idiot. I can understand someone like you thinking Bush is better for the country than Kerry, but what I can’t understand or accept is the mentality of party politics, teams, sides, and nationalism exemplified by the old canard: my country, right or wrong, but my country (or my religion, or my State, or my team, or my company).

  50. Lily
    January 11th, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

    Hermesten: You must be one skinny dude. You jump to so many far out conclusions at the slightest provocation that you must burn up many more calories per day than you could possibly eat. Do you suppose that I have a single bumper sticker on my car? You would be wrong. Bumper stickers are the stupid man’s substitute for thought.

    “My country, right or wrong” makes about as much sense as “my mother, drunk or sober” and isn’t something I subscribe to.

    I wish I could take credit for that line but I can’t. That is pure GK Chesterton. It is also a pretty good way of describing how I and many Christians feel. But, though he didn’t say so, I will– if my mother is a drunk, I will try to help her. I will not abandon her and sit around bad mouthing her. Well, I am not going to press the simile too far but us Repubs would find people like you a whole lot more convincing, if you, in fact, demonstrated some mere inkling that the issues we deal with in our civic lives are complex and not amenable to slogan solutions.

    You claim to be open minded and to listen to a variety of viewpoints but you sure don’t talk that way. I see nothing but black and white just in what you have written in this thread. If I go back and look at others, will I see anything else? Nope. You have labelled me a Bush lover and, in fact, I respect him a great deal. But to suppose that I am happy with everything he has done (and left undone) is pure ideological blindness on your part. You have got me pegged and, by gum, nothing I say is going to change your mind because you know how all us Republican, Christians think and so much better than we do.

    Far be it from me to remove your blinkers.

  51. Lily
    January 11th, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

    Well, Hermesten, I wrote a response to the above, so elegant in style and so profound in meaning that it would have brought tears of repentance to your eyes. Unfortunately, it is in cyberhell. I guess I shouldn’t have written it at someone else’s pc.

    In any case, until it shows up, let me take the low road and say that you are so full of it, it is a wonder that your lungs can expand enough to sustain your life.

    But for the proof, we will have to wait for my kidnapped post to appear.

  52. Viole
    January 11th, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

    The tree of liberty must, on occassion, be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots?

    For all my pity and disgust, I cannot condemn people like Lily. I credit my own escape from the dichotomy to a few key people and events, without whom I would be her, except the banner I marched under would bear a donkey(I find great irony in the fact that people like Lily march unquestioning under a red banner, which even ten years ago they would have rejected without question). Can we really expect them to escape? The answer, I suppose, is yes, the future of the human race depends on their escape.

    I don’t know if there’s any hope left for us. I do know, however, that willing ignorance and apathy is the surest path to failure.

  53. hermesten
    January 12th, 2006 @ 10:09 am

    Lily, actually, what I said was that I could understand why someone like you would consider Bush a better choice than the alternative. I know and respect many people who held their nose and voted for Bush, but such an action hardly qualifies one as a Bush supporter. Obviously, since I know nothing about you, the bumper sticker remark was intended to illustrate a type.

    Lily: “You have labelled me a Bush lover and, in fact, I respect him a great deal. But to suppose that I am happy with everything he has done (and left undone) is pure ideological blindness on your part. ”

    This is perhaps the funniest line I’ve ever read here, bar none. To see just how funny this is, substitute any of the following names for Bush: Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Stalin, Saddam, Pol Pot, The Shah, Castro, Mao, and of course, Hitler. Now that’s a real hoot. Sure, Bush is mass murderer, an admitted felon, a draft-dodger, a liar, and a crook heading the most corrupt administration in American history, but otherwise he’s a nice guy who may even love his dog. Really, Jon Stewart and the people at the Onion couldn’t do better pardody than your unintentional self-parody.

    Thanks though, not only for that, but for your indignation at being labeled a Bush lover and then admitting that your are one. In the blogosphere, it simply does not get any better than this. So, in fact, I do have you pegged.

    However, I wouldn’t call myself “skinny.” Buff would be more accurate. And it’s funny how all these conservative women like you prefer a buff “liberal” to all those pudgy right-wing couch atheletes. I’ve never found an easier lay than a self-righetous Bible beating Christian woman. Sometimes I almost want to say, “get these bitches off me,” but hey, if they’re regulation hotties, I’ll still give them a go even if they do have a Dubya bumper sticker on their car. If you’ll send me your picuture –full body shot– I’ll let you know if you qualify; and if you qualify, I’ll see if I can work you in.

  54. Jahrta
    January 12th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    Lily,

    Even though I disagree with your ideological background to the Nth degree, you still compose your thoughts with the air of one who has been educated in some higher capacity.

    That having been said, how can you possibly say the following and actually mean it?

    “You have labelled me a Bush lover and, in fact, I respect him a great deal. But to suppose that I am happy with everything he has done (and left undone) is pure ideological blindness on your part.”

    How can anyone with two brain cells to rub together have any respect for this miserable excuse for a human being? You say you don’t agree with everything he’s done. Would you mind telling us all what he HAS done that you think redeems him on any level whatsoever? I share your views on bumper stickers for the most part, but mainly because it raises my blood pressure when I see a car with one of those insipid “W04″ stickers meant to make politics “cool” to the JLO lovin’ young’ns, and others who are too mentally deficient to spell out the words they type on instant messaging devices. Lily, R U A QT? ;) I also can’t comprehend how anyone could still have one of those stickers on his or her car, considering everything this asshat has done to this country. I wonder if it’s pride or apathy that keeps them from scraping them off.

  55. Jahrta
    January 12th, 2006 @ 10:30 am

    Dammit, herm – you beat me to it.

    I do however find it surprising that you’d bang a conservative bible-beater, though. I thought you were more principled than that :)

  56. Lily
    January 12th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Way to go hermy. Lose an argument, become vulgar. Typical male trick to start talking about sex, denigrating my (and other women’s) morals and questioning whether I could possibly meet any low standard you might set for someone you might “lay”, as a way of shutting this woman and others like her up. Honestly, do you ever listen to yourself? I have a flash for you. No matter how buff you might be, you and others like you are of no interest to me. I prefer men who actually respect women.

    But don’t worry, there is always Viole, who seems to pant for your approval. I guess, given her proclivities, she’d have to hold her breath and think of England but she seems to respect you enough to consider it.

  57. EvilAngel
    January 12th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    “Typical male trick to start talking about sex, denigrating my (and other women’s) morals and questioning whether I could possibly meet any low standard you might set for someone you might “lay”, as a way of shutting this woman and others like her up.”

    Typical theist trick to focus on a non-issue to divert attention away from the fact that you cannot properly answer or otherwise address an actual question or issue brought before you.

  58. "Q" the Enchanter
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    I miraculously recovered from a cold the other day. Unlike in the miner’s case, no humans played any role in my convalescence. I didn’t even use antibiotics!

    God be praised.

  59. "Q" the Enchanter
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    I miraculously recovered from a cold the other day. Unlike in the miner’s case, no humans played any role in my convalescence. I didn’t even use antibiotics!

    God be praised.

  60. "Q" the Enchanter
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    I miraculously recovered from a cold the other day. Unlike in the miner’s case, no humans played any role in my convalescence. I didn’t even use antibiotics!

    God be praised.

  61. "Q" the Enchanter
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    I miraculously recovered from a cold the other day. Unlike in the miner’s case, no humans played any role in my convalescence. I didn’t even use antibiotics!

    God be praised.

  62. Viole
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    Careful, Lily! Feminism is the destroyer of civilization. If you wish to restore America to the great nation it once was, you must obey the men in your life, deflate your ego, and bear many children. Have fun.

    Oh, and I like bumper stickers. Pins, at least, which are like bumper stickers for one’s clothing, with more conversation. After the last presidential election, I walked around with a “I Voted Nader ’04” pin on my jacket for the entire winter. If you want to annoy a Democrat, don’t vote Republican, vote Green. I actually got told that, “People like you are the reason Kerry lost,” as if we somehow made him dull and indistinguishable from the opposition. Sometimes, I felt more threatened than someone who walked up to the alter in a Southern Baptist church and shouted “I am an atheist, mindless godidiots!” during sunday worship.

  63. Choobus
    January 12th, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

    don’t do it herm. I think it is becoming more and more obvious that Lily is in fact Ann Coulter, or a defective clone thereof (although how one is supposed to identify the defective one is a bit of a mystery).
    In any case, my sixth sense tells me that if you stick your dick into a defective clone that loves dubya, you’ll never be the same again. Some things cannot be undone….

  64. hermesten
    January 12th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    “I do however find it surprising that you’d bang a conservative bible-beater, though. I thought you were more principled than that :)”

    Oh come on Jahrta, you’re a guy, you know, as they say, that a stiff prick has no conscience. But the real reason is that my wife only lets me bang conservative Bible beaters because she knows I won’t get attached.

  65. hermesten
    January 12th, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

    “Way to go hermy. Lose an argument, become vulgar. Typical male trick to start talking about sex, denigrating my (and other women’s) morals and questioning whether I could possibly meet any low standard you might set…”

    Vulgar? Nah. I just got tired of taking your insults and thought I’d be insulting myself.

    Still, morality has nothing to do with it. Also, my physical standards for a sexual liason are very high. I have no idea whether or not you’d pass. Neither do I care, since I live in the Bible Belt and there are more regulation hottie Christian chicks prostrating themselves at my feet than I could ever squeeze in between blog replies.

    More significantly, I didn’t lose an argument, just let you submerge yourself in unintended self-parody.

    Lily: “But don’t worry, there is always Viole….” (I’m too much of a gentleman to repeat the rest).

    Really, are you sure you’re not Jon Stewart making fun of religious people? You pretend offense, based on feminist principles you don’t believe in, then in violation of those principles, accuse another woman of the very thing you objected to for yourself. If you’re not Jon Stewart, you’re a real hoot.

    Anyway, Viole clearly has principles and high standards, and I probably couldn’t meet those standards even if she wasn’t a lesbian. Even if I could, my wife would never let me hook up with Viole, because she knows I’d get attached.

    Viole has read enough of my postings here to know that I respect all people worthy of respect, especially women; and, that I am a supporter, and advocate, of homosexuality. However, I do think respect has to be earned, and what intellectual respect you’ve earned you’ve obliterated with your insults and contempt for others, and your respect for the immoral monster in the White House.

  66. Lily
    January 12th, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

    Excuses, excuses. Sexist bullying is sexist bullying. The fact that it doesn’t scare me, doesn’t excuse you. Like I said, you see only in terms of black and white. Your denials are hilarious. Let’s try this one on for size:

    Sure, Bush is mass murderer, an admitted felon, a draft-dodger, a liar, and a crook heading the most corrupt administration in American history, but otherwise he’s a nice guy who may even love his dog. Really, Jon Stewart and the people at the Onion couldn’t do better pardody than your unintentional self-parody

    Yeah, that’s sure a measured response. And talk about self-parody–

    Do tell us what the practical reasons for supporting or accepting a mass murderer, an admitted felon, a draft-dodger, a liar, and a crook might be. They’d have to be damned good ones. You did say: Lily, actually, what I said was that I could understand why someone like you would consider Bush a better choice than the alternative. I know and respect many people who held their nose and voted for Bush, but such an action hardly qualifies one as a Bush supporter.

    Poor Mr. Gore! Poor Mr. Kerry! Never, ever have I said or thought that they were worse than mass murderers, felons, etc.

    And unless disagreeing with you is insulting you, that is a charge that won’t stick either. You just don’t like losing arguments, plain and simple.

  67. Viole
    January 12th, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

    Herm is a bulling sexist? Now wait just a moment here, sweetie. Earlier in this thread, when I joking brought up the new anonymous annoying post ban, you accused me of wanting to sleep with Choobus. When I proceeded to make my tastes known, you called me boastful.

    Then, because of a comment made by Herm, you suggest I should prostitute myself to him? You surely deserve a place beside such woman-haters as Kate O’Beirne, Laura Bush, and Ann Coulter. I personally find Herm’s comments rather off-putting, and perhaps uncalled for, but sexist? His bragging carried it’s own point, which I’m sure you could find if you try hard enough(it has to do with sexual repression). And if bragging about one’s attractiveness were declared sexist, we’d have to lock a good three-quarters of the male population behind bars for repeat offenses.

    For the record, my standards aren’t high, they’re just exclusive. So far, I’ve only found one woman who meets them. It isn’t Lily. Herm’s right, though; I’m too principled to sleep with one person while I’ve committed myself to another.

    Oh, and Lily? Suggesting that anyone is winning this debate is like suggesting you could knock down a well-constructed stone wall by beating your head against it.

    Well, maybe your head…

  68. Choobus
    January 12th, 2006 @ 5:36 pm

    Lily get’s all nervous when sex is mentioned so cut her some slack. In any case, she is only using the tactics of her beloved bushmeister. He talks about Iraq until you no longer care that he lied to start a war for his own nefarious purposes. She claims she is winning an argument every time she has an argument. In her mind, she actually is, but sadly her mind is a very lonely place. Herm and I actually use it as a landfill to store rancid trash, but she doesn’t mind, that’s what she uses it for as well.

  69. Lily
    January 12th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    Viole:
    To a certain point I found your endless snark and your endless insults amusing. But it has gotten tiresome and I decided to simply ignore you. But you are good. You did force me to respond to this latest transcript of the voices in your head.

    To suppose that I accused you of wanting to sleep with Choobus (gad what a horrible thought) is not even in the universe of possible ways to read what I wrote, if you are actually sane. I already knew what your tastes were. What I intended you to understand was that I found your oh so smooth snark about my annoying Mr. Anal and your boasting about your “talent”, amusing. Well, I guess somebody else took it seriously too, since you felt compelled to reassure one and all in the forums that you were not actually interested in me.

    Since you and the herm are such good cyber buddies, do please carry on in any way you like. But when he turns to sexist bullying and I still have to put up with your catty snark, nope. That is too big a mouthful of rotted tripe for me to munch on.

  70. hermesten
    January 12th, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

    Viole, sorry you’re offput, since I’m not really bragging, but joking. Geez, in the first place, I’m an old man. In the second place, it was intended to be insulting to Lily (though the part about pious Christian women being promiscious is true in my experience).

  71. hermesten
    January 12th, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

    “Do tell us what the practical reasons for supporting or accepting a mass murderer, an admitted felon, a draft-dodger, a liar, and a crook might be.”

    1. Ignorance which allows one to believe that the Democrat will be “better” than the Republican, or vice versa. Also, most people will not do what Viole did, and support someone like Nader, because they believe it is “wasting” their vote. You’re a good example of someone, apparently educated, who has fallen for the left/right paradigm.

    2. Ignorance which allows one to believe that the system works on the whole, and that the bad things are just aberrations that get corrected.

    3. A willing suspension of disbelief that allows people like you to ignore all the evidence, not just about Bush, but about the system as a whole. For example: We’ve been lied into every war in the past century, not just Bush’s war. The system has been corrupt for a long time, not just since Bush got elected.

    4. Partisianship, essentially driven by the desire to belong and the fear of not being accepted, and sometimes real fears, like losing out on promotions or being fired for refusing to play the game. Where I used to work, you didn’t get promoted if you didn’t contribute to the Republican PAC.

    5. Personal gain, rationalized by the belief that the other guy is just as bad or worse, so one may as well make the best of things for himself.

    6. Manipulation by others.

    7. Powerlessness.

    8. Realpolitik.

    9. Bush wasn’t a mass murderer the first time he ran.

    10. Bush wasn’t an admitted felon until last week.

    11. His crooked deals in Texas weren’t widely publicized; and the attitude that everybody does it (my own father had that attitude before Bush’s first term). I still meet people who don’t know about them.

    12. His lies weren’t manifest until after he got elected; and the attitude that all politicians lie –which is, of course, true– so it becomes a more complicated matter of sorting out which lies matter.

    13. Indifference, in the sense of going along to get along.

    Then there is the fact that for some of the above reasons, some people may claim to have held their nose and voted for Bush, when they really didn’t.

  72. Viole
    January 12th, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

    Don’t worry about it. I do realize you weren’t being serious. Truthfully, though, I find bragging related to sex(prowess, promiscuity, or attractiveness) unattractive, especially in women(I rather expect it from men). I have never claimed to be beautiful or skilled, only that I am loved for who I am.

    In any case, what offense may have took to your comments was negated by your response to Lily, when you acknowledged that I’m way too good for you.

    Now, Lily, the above would be a good example of self-parody, though in this case intended.

  73. Lily
    January 16th, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

    hermesten: I am still not impressed. You said I know and respect many people who held their nose and voted for Bush, but such an action hardly qualifies one as a Bush supporter

    So, you respect people who are ignorant (1,2), partisan (4), manipulated (6), indifferent (13), driven by personal gain (13), etc.

    I don’t.

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