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The politicization of evil

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:37 pm - July 22, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias

Throughout human history, spiritual leaders, philosophers, scholars, poets and other artists have pondered the nature of human evil, why some individuals harm other individuals, particularly those whom they have never met and about whom they know nothing — or about whom they have heard only rumor.

Sometimes, as in Burgas, Bulgaria last week, a nefarious ideology motivates the killer to act against his fellow man.  In those cases, we can say that the evil is clearly politically motivated.

In all too many cases, as this past Friday in Aurora, Colorado and last January in Tucson, Arizona, the murderer did not act to further some cause, but instead sought to exorcize his own personal demons.

Despite the absence of evidence tying the killer to any causes, certain voices, particularly prominent in our culture, opine that he was motivated by some cause they suspect or insist on using his action to attack their ideological adversaries. Instead of helping us understand the killer’s motivations, these individuals only reveal their own prejudices.  They act as if their partisan opponents seek to further evil — or perhaps just promote violence.

There has been no evidence that Tea Party protesters advocate violence, yet some of our friends in the legacy media have been all too eager to tie them to violence and murder.  It is doubtful that these folks ever rushed to blame left-of-center or anti-Western groups for similar actions.

Some do believe, though, that all violent acts have conservative causes.

There was, however, Paul Mirengoff laments, a time

when no one attempted to tie mass murder by random sickos to politics. For example, I don’t remember anyone wondering about the politics of Richard Speck, the killer of Chicago student nurses, or Charles Whitman, the University of Texas shooter.

Perhaps, until recently, people appreciated that there are some things of which we simply cannot make sense.  It is only human to want to make sense of the world.  Indeed, the great Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung believed we could bear any suffering if we could find its meaning.

We may not be able to find meaning in the Aurora murders — or in the Tucson shooting.  And it is unfortunate that some would seek to give them a political gloss.

As have our forebears, we should instead accept the reality of human evil — as strive as did they (and as do many today) to overcome it.  And we must always bear in mind that that striving, when the cause of the evil is not political, but, as in the recent shooting, a, shall we say, “defect” in the human condition, is not a political one.

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138 Comments

  1. Isn’t that the basic difference between conservatism and liberalism (as discussed in this forum)?

    As have our forebears, we should instead accept the reality of human evil — as strive as did they (and as do many today) to overcome it.

    Liberals believe humans are born “blank slates” that can be perfected if just the right social conditions are present (or at least conditioned to behave correctly).

    Conservatives believe humans to be flawed (original sin and all that) and the goal for humanity is to learn to overcome our flaws not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others.

    At least that’s how I understand it. And that’s why liberals seize on these outrages in order to push their corrective agenda.

    There’s no telling what is wrong with the Aurora shooter. Was he born evil – a sociopath? Or was he psychotic (schizophrenia commonly manifests itself in young adulthood)? Or is he simply a mean SOB?

    I suspect time will tell.

    I read today of several notable acts of heroism in that theater. Chivalry still lives.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 22, 2012 @ 6:22 pm - July 22, 2012

  2. Who cares if he was a conservative or a liberal? It makes no difference. I think it was reasonable last year to talk about how much politics had to do with the Giffords shooting, but I couldn’t care less what this guy thinks. Some people just want to see some carnage. If he’s a conservative, I certainly wouldn’t hold it against any other conservative, and if he’s a liberal, I won’t feel compelled to defend my worldview in any way. It’s not like he was targeting churchgoers or abortion providers. Everyone goes to the movies.

    Comment by Levi — July 22, 2012 @ 6:43 pm - July 22, 2012

  3. There is a typo in this post. It is Burgas, Bulgaria, not Bugras.

    [Thanks for catching that, fixed! –Dan]

    Wow, a comment from Levi that is actually reasonable (except for the Giffords shooting part).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — July 22, 2012 @ 7:16 pm - July 22, 2012

  4. Who cares if he was a conservative or a liberal? It makes no difference.

    Comment by Levi — July 22, 2012 @ 6:43 pm – July 22, 2012

    What’s the matter, Levi? Get completely and totally humiliated yesterday by the fallout from your calling Dan a coward and claiming conservatives were guilty for the murders?

    Or is it because, like with Loughner, the evidence coming out is that Holmes was far more associated with Obama/OWS ideology and the like than anything else?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 22, 2012 @ 7:27 pm - July 22, 2012

  5. If one had to choose between response #3 and #4, #3 looks like the smart bet.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 22, 2012 @ 7:42 pm - July 22, 2012

  6. It’s worth noting, SoCal Robert, that “the personal is the political” was the rallying cry of feminists in the 1960s, and references a paper written by über-leftist radical feminist Carol Hanisch. Once again, it’s something we can lay at the feet of so-called “progressives.” And guess what? THEY HAVE TO OWN IT.

    We conservatives didn’t start this bullsh*t.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — July 22, 2012 @ 7:46 pm - July 22, 2012

  7. There really is a very basic “liberal” (or “Progressive”) issue involved in the politicization of evil. The issue is the concept of evil itself.

    First, liberals (or “Progressives”) are so dedicated to moral relativism and situation ethics that they will stretch their ideological perception of evil to cover every type of action that annoys them. Take rape as an example. Some liberals have stretched the meaning of “rape” to include all male penetration of a female under any circumstances including consensual sex between a husband and wife. “Hate” speech and “hate” crimes are the playground of liberals who want to control the rules of the game and the arena in which it is played. In other words, liberals (or “Progressives”) so water down evil that they can nail an opponent for a smirk when it serves their purpose or forgive gang rape when their ideological ox is being gored. (Think Reginald Denny.)

    Second, liberals are quick to ACLU anything that smacks (to them) of profiling or anti-diversity or being a cultural Neanderthal. The liberal principal is that if a fault in process can be leveraged against the “system” that there is no fault and no error. If the Aurora mass-murderer had narrowly escaped detention by Sheriff Arpaio, the liberals (or “Progressives”) would be off on a determined effort to blame Arpaio.

    Third, when a liberal (like Levi) says he will permit the Aurora murderer to be handled as a one of the “people (who) just want to see some carnage” you may rest assured that the liberal is washing his hands of liberal involvement in this particular instance, which is moral relativism in action. That is the wonder and utility of moral relativism. It is not unlike Pontius Pilate washing his hands and handing the sucker over to the local zealots.

    Fourth, the basic issue is whether the liberal (or “Progressive”) actually admits that evil exists. They certainly crawled down G. W. Bush’s throat when he talked of “evil-doers” and they still go out of their way to cut radical Islam all manner of breaks. Even today, Major Hasan is excused by liberals (or “Progressives”) for the “coincidence” of yelling “Allahu Akbar” as he mowed down people who came into the region where he was spraying bullets.

    Fifth, evil is not subject to modification by happy talk and Utopian pseudo-sincerity by which a kiss on the forehead can make the rainbows of goodness chase the dark clouds away.

    Sixth, the unreality and denial of the reality of evil become conjoined to create in the liberal (or “Progressive”) a world in which only the creation of a “beneficent” police state is the solution.

    Summary: liberalism (or “Progressive”) is cowardice incarnate.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 22, 2012 @ 8:01 pm - July 22, 2012

  8. Ah isn’t it funny how our resident racist sexist truther now wants to desperately take back his ‘smear of guilt’?

    Now hush Levi, the adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 22, 2012 @ 8:01 pm - July 22, 2012

  9. How many people did liberal icon Che Guevara murder? I bet it was a lot more than 12.

    Comment by V the K — July 22, 2012 @ 8:47 pm - July 22, 2012

  10. Helio – it’s not just rape. There’s also rape rape according to Whoopi Goldberg. For a prole, all sex is rape rape. For Roman Polanski, it’s just something we need to get over.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 22, 2012 @ 9:22 pm - July 22, 2012

  11. To the extent that contemporary Liberalism functions as a religion for many of its believers, and religions typically attempt to interpret all of reality, then the Aurora murders would be political because everything is. For Progressive True Believers, politics is the highest and most encompassing of categories; nothing is excluded from it or can escape from it.

    Comment by EssEm — July 22, 2012 @ 9:32 pm - July 22, 2012

  12. Liberals believe humans are born “blank slates” that can be perfected if just the right social conditions are present (or at least conditioned to behave correctly).

    Conservatives believe humans to be flawed (original sin and all that) and the goal for humanity is to learn to overcome our flaws not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others.

    I know what you’re saying. And yet it doesn’t ring true to me. I think that hardcore lefties (I dislike calling them liberals) only pretend to be optimistic about human nature as a marketing tactic, including marketing to themselves (self-deception). I think that, when you penetrate their mask of discourse, you find negative and angry people, people who want the cheap grace and/or the political power that leftism provides, as tools for ‘getting even’.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 22, 2012 @ 10:22 pm - July 22, 2012

  13. As for Levi’s new tune: NDT #4 nails it. If the Aurora shooter could be tied to the Right or the Tea Party, Levi would be singing another tune. “Who cares? … It makes no difference” must be the talking point they issued when they found that, like the Giffords shooter, he couldn’t be thus tied.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 22, 2012 @ 10:27 pm - July 22, 2012

  14. he couldn’t be thus tied

    the evidence coming out is that Holmes was far more associated with Obama/OWS ideology and the like

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 22, 2012 @ 10:56 pm - July 22, 2012

  15. #14 – as written; just quoting a couple true things and letting them stand – Best comment on the thread.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 22, 2012 @ 10:58 pm - July 22, 2012

  16. If the Aurora shooter could be tied to the Right or the Tea Party, Levi would be singing another tune.

    That is a good point. Even if this guy was affiliated with OWS, it wouldn’t change my opinion of OWS. The occupiers have earned all of the loathing they get without being murderers. And, unlike this murderer, they don’t deserve to be put to death (unless they also murdered someone).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — July 22, 2012 @ 11:11 pm - July 22, 2012

  17. Most reasonable people wouldn’t be that idiotic to automatically assume a psychotic mass murder is automatically a liberal or a conservative. However, the one political issue that does come up is why and how did this guy get a gun? He obviously is not mentally well and should not have a gun. We need some greater gun control laws. It may not be a cure all but it can only help.

    Comment by asjablonski — July 23, 2012 @ 12:42 am - July 23, 2012

  18. Even if this guy was affiliated with OWS, it wouldn’t change my opinion of OWS.

    Agreed. I do not need him and OWS to be tied; I have a low opinion of both already. But that’s been my tune all along; I did not need to change it, like Levi on finding that he couldn’t credibly tie the guy to the Right.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 23, 2012 @ 1:21 am - July 23, 2012

  19. Since gun ownership is a Constitutional Right, shouldn’t Congress pass a law mandating that everyone own a gun?

    (You know, like health insurance?)

    Comment by V the K — July 23, 2012 @ 7:44 am - July 23, 2012

  20. It would be an interesting social experiment.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 8:02 am - July 23, 2012

  21. In Switzerland, all men between the age of 20-30 must own a gun there as they are a part of the ‘Militia.’ I’m all in favour of making America a bit more like Switzerland. Ban minarets while you’re at it!

    Comment by Numberslucent — July 23, 2012 @ 8:59 am - July 23, 2012

  22. It should turn out about as well as Obamacare is going to. Which is why the government should NOT mandate the purchase of anything.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 23, 2012 @ 10:32 am - July 23, 2012

  23. Third, when a liberal (like Levi) says he will permit the Aurora murderer to be handled as a one of the “people (who) just want to see some carnage” you may rest assured that the liberal is washing his hands of liberal involvement in this particular instance, which is moral relativism in action. That is the wonder and utility of moral relativism. It is not unlike Pontius Pilate washing his hands and handing the sucker over to the local zealots.

    Oh, hi heliotrope! Say, are you still basing your alleged moral superiority on that shared hallucination of a cult you call Christianity? You know, that prescribes stoning rape victims to death in its holy book, the supposed word of God? I don’t suppose you’d like to go on and on about how people who have homosexual sex are going to burn in hell for all eternity, would you? Then I’ll be happy to hear you tell me all about what’s wrong with my morals….

    Comment by Levi — July 23, 2012 @ 11:34 am - July 23, 2012

  24. How many people did liberal icon Che Guevara murder? I bet it was a lot more than 12.

    You know what they say, V the K: one man’s murderous marxist thug is another man’s freedom fighter. Ask Michael Moore!

    Oh, and Levi: you have no morals. You’re a utilitarian at best, which makes you utterly vile.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — July 23, 2012 @ 11:40 am - July 23, 2012

  25. Say, are you still basing your alleged moral superiority on that shared hallucination of a cult you call Christianity? You know, that prescribes stoning rape victims to death in its holy book, the supposed word of God?

    Comment by Levi The All Knowing, All Seeing Wizard of Shangri-La (and BFF with the REAL creator, Karl Marx) — July 23, 2012 @ 11:34 am – July 23, 2012
    Hey, didn’t you not long ago post this comment on another thread a few posts downstream?:

    Jesus you people gotta learn your history.

    Look, which one is it?
    Do you believe in Jesus, or not?
    We’re all sitting around here with our thumbs up our asses amd you’re playing games….when our very existence depends on you supplying us with the answers to every question in life (and the universe, for that matter).
    Waaaaaahhhhhhh! That’s not fair!!!!!!

    C’Mon, EVERYBODY! SAY IT WITH ME!

    We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW! We wants answers NOW!

    We worship you, oh great and powerful Master of All That Was and All That Is and All That Will Ever Be?
    Why dio you treat us this way?
    Huh? Why?
    Please tell us why??
    (sniff!) (whimper!)

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 11:46 am - July 23, 2012

  26. Oh, and Levi: you have no morals. You’re a utilitarian at best, which makes you utterly vile.

    And from which invisible sky man do you derive your morality, so that I may have some idea about worthless is your assessment of my morality?

    Comment by Levi — July 23, 2012 @ 12:07 pm - July 23, 2012

  27. Comment by Levi — July 23, 2012 @ 12:07 pm – July 23, 2012

    No one has ever administered the thorough ass whuppin that you so desperately need.
    That’s too bad.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 12:11 pm - July 23, 2012

  28. Liberals believe humans are born “blank slates” that can be perfected if just the right social conditions are present

    That’s a very Jeffersonian POV.

    Since gun ownership is a Constitutional Right, shouldn’t Congress pass a law mandating that everyone own a gun?

    V, before the court decided on the ACA’s fate, I used that exact position when trying to get a few liberal friends to see why giving the Congress the power to mandate us to purchase something, anything, was not a good idea. It went right over the head of one, but kind of hit home a bit for the others. It didn’t get them to change their minds, as they said that would never happen (and healthcare is good, so this must be good) but it did at least give them pause.

    On the thread below this, when gun control came up, I was going to posit this. Most liberals are for the decriminalization of marijuana. One rational reason for the support of that position is “Hey, it’s already out there. There is no way you can stop people from getting and using the stuff anyway”. I’ve never understood why there is the disconnect between the rational of the on argument on one side, yet they are blind to their own argument when it comes to this issue. Yes England has gun control, as do other countries… But we are not other countries.Unlike all the other countries that are held up as an example for gun control, being able to own a gun, having that option, is as much a part of our national and personal culture of the average US citizen as being able to speak your mind freely, as we do on this blog. While it is certainly possible to talk and advocate gun control as a viable option, the extremely clumsy implementation of it in the past makes it a very hard sell for the average citizen.

    Before I form an opinion of our governments actions when when it exercises a new power or stretching and existing power to a new limit, I always ask myself would I approve of this if someone I didn’t like were sitting at the seat of government power, which is why I rarely approve of anything that stretches those limits. That also includes a lot of the GWOT policies. In my opinion (which I know many here will disagree with) is that we’ve already gone too far in sacrificing our personal freedoms in the name of security. As with myself and Instapundit, I expect more than a few commenters here I suspect are not big fans of red light cameras. Yet, I’ve yet to see much said on this topic.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 12:27 pm - July 23, 2012

  29. Oops, didn’t meant to hit Say It yet.

    Anyway. I always find it interesting when there is a lapse of continuity on the rational behind one POV verses another. And yes, I know I have a few of those myself, which take root in my libertarian political root verses realities on the ground, a situation common of all political ideologies.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 12:31 pm - July 23, 2012

  30. I read that item yesterday, sonic, and I’m against it 100%.
    I vote (R), but I don’t enroll or identify myself anytime as (R).
    I identify as conservative/libertarian.
    I’m as vociferously opposed to big government (R)epublicans as I am to (D)emocrats/Leftists, etc.
    I’m opposed to Big Government, anywhere, at any time.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 12:37 pm - July 23, 2012

  31. And from which invisible sky man do you derive your morality, so that I may have some idea about worthless is your assessment of my morality?

    Comment by Levi — July 23, 2012 @ 12:07 pm – July 23, 2012

    The funny part is, Levi, that you endorse and fully support the assessments of morality by someone who claims that invisible sky man speaks to him and tells him what is right and wrong, and you say that someone who believes in prayer and magic spirits is a super-genius who should be allowed to dictate what we should and shouldn’t eat.

    Furthermore, as we’ve seen here, you FULLY support and endorse judging morality on the dictates of an invisible sky man as long as he’s named Allah.

    So let’s just call you what you are, which is an anti-Christian bigot. Better yet, you’re a desperately hypocritical one, given your endorsement of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and anyone who speaks in the name of Islam.

    Meanwhile, we see clearly what your morality system is: you fully support and endorse people being killed over their political affiliation and calling for people who disagree with you politically to be tied to pickup trucks and dragged to death.

    Poor little puke. No wonder you are so desperate to have people disarmed. You and your fellow OWS pigs like your buddy Holmes wouldn’t be able to carry out your mass murder plans if people shoot back, would you?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 12:47 pm - July 23, 2012

  32. #26: “And from which invisible sky man do you derive your morality, so that I may have some idea about worthless is your assessment of my morality?”

    Whenever Levi gets on his (bigoted) high-horse about his alleged ‘morals,’ I like to pull out this charming quote of his from a debate we had a couple of years ago on abortion. It tells you everything you need to know about Levi and his ‘morals.’

    “I’m perfectly capable of recognizing that abortion is a tragedy. It isn’t something that anyone likes to happen and it’s obviously a great moral dilemma. But that doesn’t justify depriving a woman of the ability to determine for herself when she should and should not start having kids…I’m just going to be on the side of the full-grown adults in this one. I don’t like that a would-be human life has to be snuffed out, but I don’t like the idea of a woman being forced to raise children that she doesn’t want much, much more. And it’s not about shirking responsibility, it’s about being sympathetic to the peoples’ individual and complex circumstances.”–Levi

    Comment by Sean A — July 23, 2012 @ 12:58 pm - July 23, 2012

  33. Meanwhile, we see clearly what your morality system is: you fully support and endorse people being killed over their political affiliation and calling for people who disagree with you politically to be tied to pickup trucks and dragged to death.

    WOW! I had no idea Levi was actually Dan Savage! 🙂

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 12:59 pm - July 23, 2012

  34. Politicizing shootings on misinformation / political fantasy, has a sorry history – from the Left. Gabe Malor recounts it (via Andy at Ace):

    FLASHBACK: when Dr. Amy Bishop shot her colleagues, the Left speculated that she was a Tea Partier. In fact, she was an Obama donor.

    FLASHBACK: Discovery Channel hostage-taker was supposedly a climate change denier. In fact, he was an enviroweenie, D.Channel intern.

    FLASHBACK: the census-taker was supposedly hanged by extremist anti-tax Tea Partiers. In fact, he hanged himself.

    FLASHBACK: the Times Square Bomber was speculated to be upset about [Health Care Reform]. In fact, he was jihadi scum.

    FLASHBACK: the guy who flew his plane into the IRS in TX was supposedly a Tea Partier. In fact, he quoted from the Communist Manifesto.

    FLASHBACK: the guy who was stabbing NYC cabbies was supposedly an anti-Ground Zero Mosque Tea Partier. In fact, he supported the GZM.

    FLASHBACK: the Pentagon shooter was supposedly a Tea Party extremist. In fact, he was a 9/11 Truther.

    FLASHBACK: when the Ft. Hood shooting happened, the Left speculated that it was a “RWNJ.” In fact, it was a Muslim nutjob.

    FLASHBACK: When the Tucson shooting occurred, it was immediately blamed on Tea Party rhetoric. In fact, Loughner was a-political & insane.

    I doubt that the Right is perfect, but it would surprise me, if a credible list of the Right politicizing shootings (on misinformation / political fantasy) could be made one-third as long.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 23, 2012 @ 1:08 pm - July 23, 2012

  35. Thought I’d add that Levi would be upset that this guy defended himself. Just another ‘completely ineffective’ person according to Levi.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 23, 2012 @ 1:11 pm - July 23, 2012

  36. Comment by Sean A — July 23, 2012 @ 12:58 pm – July 23, 2012

    Of course, Sean.

    Levi’s belief system is very simple: you have a right to life if he wants you to live, and none if he doesn’t. You have a right to your own property if he doesn’t want it, and none if he does. You have a right to your own ideas if he agrees with you, but not if he doesn’t.

    Levi is not capable of recognizing a system as moral if it in any way inconveniences him. There is no such thing as a right to life for a child, for example, if that child being alive would limit Levi’s access to sex, require him to pay child support, or in any way mean he had to limit his own activities.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 1:22 pm - July 23, 2012

  37. “Most reasonable people wouldn’t be that idiotic to automatically assume a psychotic mass murder is automatically a liberal or a conservative. ”

    liberals do this all the time. I guess they are not ‘reasonable’…

    “However, the one political issue that does come up is why and how did this guy get a gun?”

    totally stupid question, people like those can find a way to get guns illegally and you can kill many people even with rat poison if placed in the right places.

    “He obviously is not mentally well and should not have a gun.”

    dumb and dumber. Not all people committing those acts are ‘not mentally well’ and you cannot mandate a psychiatric ward for the whole population (I know the left would love that, but still it is not possible).

    What purpose will have banning lawful purchase of guns when people like these can get them illegally. Plus with gun control, illegal market will flourish.

    Chicago has got the toughest gun control laws in the USA, and the highest murder rate, and your point is?

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 2:20 pm - July 23, 2012

  38. Susan >> Care to weigh in on Japan? Nobody else seems to want to touch it.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 2:31 pm - July 23, 2012

  39. ” I don’t suppose you’d like to go on and on about how people who have homosexual sex are going to burn in hell for all eternity, would you? Then I’ll be happy to hear you tell me all about what’s wrong with my morals….”

    Levi, not to reitaliate how dumb and ignorant you are but in ancient greece homosexuality was accepted and permitted only between grown men and pre-pubescent boys (the boys being ‘bottoms’), once the boy was old enough to grow a beard and he was known to still bottom it was considered utterly degrading for him so much to attract ridicule.

    This all happened before any christianity was ‘invented’.

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 2:35 pm - July 23, 2012

  40. Levi’s mahogany godling lets him down again:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/310332/president-wont-push-new-policy-response-aurora-patrick-brennan

    Too bad. My “Invisible Sky Man” never lets me down.

    Comment by V the K — July 23, 2012 @ 2:48 pm - July 23, 2012

  41. 38.Susan >> Care to weigh in on Japan? Nobody else seems to want to touch it.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 2:31 pm – July 23, 2012

    I will, gladly.

    Key points:

    The only type of firearm which a Japanese citizen may even contemplate acquiring is a shotgun. Sportsmen are permitted to possess shotguns for hunting and for skeet and trap (p.27)shooting, but only after submitting to a lengthy licensing procedure. Without a license, a person may not even hold a gun in his or her hands.

    The licensing procedure is rigorous. A prospective gun owner must first attend classes and pass a written test. Shooting range classes and a shooting test follow; 95 per cent pass. After the safety exam, the applicant takes a simple ‘mental test’ at a local hospital, to ensure that the applicant is not suffering from a readily detectable mental illness. The applicant then produces for the police a medical certificate attesting that he or she is mentally healthy and not addicted to drugs.

    The police investigate the applicant’s background and relatives, ensuring that both are crime free. Membership in ‘aggressive’ political or activist groups disqualifies an applicant. The police have unlimited discretion to deny licenses to any person for whom ‘there is reasonable cause to suspect may be dangerous to other persons’ lives or properties or to the public peace’.

    Gun owners are required to store their weapons in a locker, and give the police a map of the apartment showing the location of the locker. Ammunition must be kept in a separate locked safe. The licenses also allow the holder to buy a few thousand rounds of ammunition, with each transaction being registered….

    Civilians can never own handguns. Small calibre rifles were once legal, but in 1971, the Government forbade all transfers of rifles. Current rifle license holders may continue to own them, but their heirs must turn them into the police when the license-holder dies. Total remaining rifle licenses are 27,000. Even shotguns and air rifles, the two legal types of firearm, are becoming rarer and rarer, as few people find it worthwhile to pass through a burdensome gun licensing process. The number of licensed shotguns and air rifles declined from 652,000 in 1981 to 493,373 in 1989.

    Although there is no mandatory minimum penalty for unlicensed firearm possession, 81 per cent of sentences for illegal firearm or sword possession are imprisonment for a year or more, perhaps because most gun crimes are perpetrated by professional criminals. The maximum penalty is ten years in prison and a one million yen fine….

    Because gun crime still exists in tiny numbers, the police make gun licenses increasingly difficult to obtain. The test and all-day lecture are held once a month. The lecture almost always requires that the licensee take a full day off from work–not a highly regarded activity by Japanese employers. An annual gun inspection is scheduled at the convenience of the police, and also requires time off from work. Licenses must be renewed every three years, with another all-day safety lecture and examination at police headquarters.

    Go right ahead, Cinesnatch. We know you and your Obama Party want to impose that on Americans. Be honest for once and admit it.

    And if you won’t do that, then your whining about Japan’s gun crime rate is irrelevant.

    The problem is, Cinesnatch, that you actually don’t care about the crime rate; that is shown by your unwillingness to deal with why in the US the most restrictive locales have the highest gun crime rate. Your point is to disarm law-abiding citizens because YOU don’t like the thought of anyone else owning a gun and because you resent those who do own and know how to use them safely.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 2:56 pm - July 23, 2012

  42. “Susan >> Care to weigh in on Japan?”

    I am totally convinced it is not what you want to read but anyway…

    The followers of Shoko Asahara poisoned the Tokyo metro with sarin gas, killing 13 and injuring 5500. Permanently disabled are in the thousands.

    The wisemen of the orient however put Asahara to death.

    I suppose you don’t buy sarin gas at your local japanese tesco shop, however they managed to have bags and bags.

    And your point is?

    oh and the guru himself was never declared mentally unfit

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 2:59 pm - July 23, 2012

  43. still on japan

    why do you need guns when you can pull it off with a kitchen knife?

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

    At 10:15 that morning, 37-year-old former janitor Mamoru Takuma entered the school armed with a kitchen knife and began stabbing numerous school children and teachers. He killed eight children, mostly between the ages of seven and eight, and seriously wounded thirteen other children and two teachers.

    Oh and thanks for letting me check this because the sarin gas attacks were not ONE but TWO.

    And your point is?

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 3:08 pm - July 23, 2012

  44. Perhaps Cinesnatch is suggesting that we deport all the minorities and make the USA as monocultural and ethnically homogenous as Japan.

    Comment by V the K — July 23, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - July 23, 2012

  45. Oh, and this gets funnier by the moment

    The Akihabara massacre was an incident of mass murder that took place on Sunday, June 8, 2008, in the Akihabara shopping quarter for electronics, video games and comics in Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.

    At 12:33 p.m. JST, a man hit a crowd with a truck, eventually killing three people and injuring two; he then stabbed at least 12 people using a dagger (initially reported as a survival knife), killing four people and injuring eight.

    What’s your suggestion? that the japanese people were so superior because they do not have guns? They also have death penalty which probably clashes with your creed…

    As said earlier, they manage to mass murder with a swiss knife! Not even a precious Katana or a sushi knife!

    what do you suggest? a ban on all kitchen knives and scissors?

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 3:13 pm - July 23, 2012

  46. “Perhaps Cinesnatch is suggesting that we deport all the minorities and make the USA as monocultural and ethnically homogenous as Japan.”

    LOL and also that we follow their lead in the advance and visibility of homosexuality and consideration of gay marriage.

    It is always so fun to discuss with a lefty… when the solution is more damaging than the problem…

    Comment by susan — July 23, 2012 @ 3:16 pm - July 23, 2012

  47. You’ve made some valid points, Susan, and you’ve done so with the utmost class.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 3:44 pm - July 23, 2012

  48. The guy is bat-sh*t crazy. You can’t tie him to anything other than the nuthouse. The media tying him to conservatives is just another deceptive, hateful and sickening liberal tactic from the playbook of leftist hatred.

    Comment by Alan — July 23, 2012 @ 4:12 pm - July 23, 2012

  49. Vince,

    What is the point you wish to make about Japan and how would you have whatever that point is have a positive effect on the current culture in the United State?

    Comment by heliotrope — July 23, 2012 @ 4:21 pm - July 23, 2012

  50. Helio,

    I wanted to get a feel for what commenters thought about the country and gun violence in comparison to the U.S. That is all.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 4:43 pm - July 23, 2012

  51. Levi,

    You ask this:

    Oh, hi heliotrope! Say, are you still basing your alleged moral superiority on that shared hallucination of a cult you call Christianity?

    You allege that I pit my system of morality against your system of morality and that I claim mine to be superior to yours.

    I allege that you have no system of morality. I allege that you dabble in the amorality of moral relativism. That you base your code of right and wrong on what works for you and which your free will at the particular moment considers to be right or wrong under the circumstances.

    I have a system of morality which has been scrutinized for two thousand years and produced whole universities of scholars to debates its merits and weaknesses.

    Your Levi-centered and Levi-dependent non-system of moral relativism has not much stirred any debate of note. Your system will not outlast you, so it is of very little concern to much of anyone.

    So far as my system being superior to your non-system of moral relativism is concerned, I would image that I can get further in the courts and the acts of state with my system than to refer to what “Levi thinks.”

    That you reject the Judeo=Christian ethic on the basis of it deriving from a “cult” I can only suggest that your Levi-centered and Levi-dependent non-system of moral relativity is entirely focused on the cult of one: Levi.

    Why should anyone feel compelled to follow your messianic self?

    Comment by heliotrope — July 23, 2012 @ 5:32 pm - July 23, 2012

  52. Helio,

    Why should Christian morality trump that of Buddhist tradition? I only ask because I know you’re going to give an informed answer.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 5:36 pm - July 23, 2012

  53. And therein, Cinesnatch, you betray both your ignorance and bigotry.

    Buddhist philosophy does not support murder. Christianity does not support murder. In this particular case and relevant to this particular topic, it matters not.

    You, however, are not interested in what each philosophy actually says. You are interested in setting them off against each other. You are engaging in the typical amoral liberal game of trying to attack people for actually having standards and values.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 5:56 pm - July 23, 2012

  54. No, I am interested in how HELIO believes moral relativism relates to Buddhism. But, I’m sure he appreciates you (mis)interpreting my question directed towards him.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 5:59 pm - July 23, 2012

  55. 54.No, I am interested in how HELIO believes moral relativism relates to Buddhism.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 5:59 pm – July 23, 2012

    No, you’re not, Cinesnatch. THIS is what you said:

    Why should Christian morality trump that of Buddhist tradition?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 5:36 pm – July 23, 2012

    You tried the usual first dodge of the moral relativist by demanding that someone reconcile different philosophies – ergo, insinuating that if they didn’t both agree, they must be wrong; you got that thrown back in your face by having it pointed out to you that Buddhist and Christian philosophy both take the same dim view toward murder.

    Now, Cinesnatch, answer this question: why do you believe that, in every case, the end justifies the means, especially when the end is to your benefit?

    And if you try to babble and spin that that’s not the case, then what gives you the right to impose your moral beliefs on others?

    The game with relativists is to force people who have moral standards to defend them while the relativist skates. The easy way to deal with it is to point out that the relativist believes the ends justify the means in every situation, especially to their benefit, and then trap them in their own hypocrisy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 6:05 pm - July 23, 2012

  56. Hey, ND30, you’ve already tried shutting me up with “game over,” so take your own advice.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 6:22 pm - July 23, 2012

  57. NDT…. Cine wrote this

    Helio,

    Why should Christian morality trump that of Buddhist tradition? I only ask because I know you’re going to give an informed answer.

    His line of inquirey does not begin with the word “Why”, but with the name “Helio”, which directly asserts the question is specifically for Helio. That, my friend, is your classic trick of taking quotes out of context. It’s typical of you, but, since you left out the one preceeding word which show that the question is specifically asked of Helio, this lame arguing tactic is truly embarrassing.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm - July 23, 2012

  58. Or would you like to drop more information about my private life (real or imagined) like you did in the last thread?

    I suspect I won’t be getting an apology, either, for that one.

    Wow, ND30, trying to shut me up, blackmail me with information about my personal life. You’re a real piece of work, you are. What’s next?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm - July 23, 2012

  59. 58.Or would you like to drop more information about my private life (real or imagined) like you did in the last thread?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm – July 23, 2012

    Awww, do you suddenly not like tit for tat, Cinesnatch?

    Scream some more for us. Cry and whine and show how the little Cinesnatch brat doesn’t want to play by his own rules.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 6:45 pm - July 23, 2012

  60. His line of inquirey does not begin with the word “Why”, but with the name “Helio”, which directly asserts the question is specifically for Helio. That, my friend, is your classic trick of taking quotes out of context. It’s typical of you, but, since you left out the one preceeding word which show that the question is specifically asked of Helio, this lame arguing tactic is truly embarrassing.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm – July 23, 2012

    Anything to defend and help your fellow conservative-basher, huh Sonic?

    It’s OK. I understand that you and your bigot friend Cinesnatch are desperate at this point. Levi’s really laid bare how you think all conservatives are irrational, and you’re trying to whine your way back into some semblance of respectability.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 6:50 pm - July 23, 2012

  61. Awww, do you suddenly not like tit for tat, Cinesnatch?

    I look forward to the response from those who stand in the name of TRUTH and CONSISTENCY.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 6:50 pm - July 23, 2012

  62. But unfortunately, Cinesnatch, you’re just going to scream and cry that anyone who disagrees with you is a liar and inconsistent, so who cares?

    You are demonstrating how hilarious arguing with a moral relativist is. You literally can’t keep or hold a coherent thought because that would actually limit what you are doing.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 6:57 pm - July 23, 2012

  63. Anything to defend and help your fellow conservative-basher, huh Sonic?

    Nope, just pointing out you are demonstrably wrong.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 7:05 pm - July 23, 2012

  64. Levi’s really laid bare how you think all conservatives are irrational, and you’re trying to whine your way back into some semblance of respectability.

    Nope, I don’t think all Conservatives are irrational… just you. And I knew that long before Levi ever popped up in the comments here at GP! 🙂

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 7:07 pm - July 23, 2012

  65. Nope, I don’t think all Conservatives are irrational… just you. And I knew that long before Levi ever popped up in the comments here at GP!

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 7:07 pm – July 23, 2012

    Well, of course. You’ve long since established that anyone who disagrees with you is irrational in your mind.

    The rest of us just enjoy watching. 🙂

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 7:12 pm - July 23, 2012

  66. Well, of course. You’ve long since established that anyone who disagrees with you is irrational in your mind.

    Project much????

    The answer is a huge YES! 🙂

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 7:15 pm - July 23, 2012

  67. The rest of us just enjoy watching

    Who is us? Do you represent thirty people from North Dallas? Or, are you talking about GP commenters. Because I would REALLY like to know who “us” is.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 7:37 pm - July 23, 2012

  68. ILC in #12: you make a good point but I think the lefties really do believe that they can perfect humanity if given just a little more power. Since they are flawed humanity, the incoherency of their beliefs is set aside… isn’t that cognitive dissonance?

    The problem with perfecting people is that they run up against the reality that some people don’t want to be perfected in the way the left think they should be. The ultimate outcome of that battle has played itself out many times in history at the expense of millions.

    In the meantime, yes, they are nasty and unhappy people. They just know what’s best for the rest of us (but not the them) if we’d just shut up and agree.

    As an OT aside… I’m listening to Jonah Goldberg’s new book, The Tyranny of Cliches, and it is really good. Lot’s of history (the Crusades, the Inquisition) and lots of interesting discussion of various liberal cant like “violence never solved anything”, “ten guilty men”, &c. And some of the funnies you expect in Jonah’s work.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 23, 2012 @ 7:45 pm - July 23, 2012

  69. In #51 heliotrope said,

    I have a system of morality which has been scrutinized for two thousand years and produced whole universities of scholars to debates its merits and weaknesses.

    And after those two thousand years of scrutiny with all that brain power in whole universities of scholars, there still has been no evidence produced that a god exists. And without a god, your system of morality loses it’s entire basis for its presumed superiority.

    Comment by Richard R — July 23, 2012 @ 7:53 pm - July 23, 2012

  70. Vince,

    I am neither a Buddhist nor the child of a Buddhist informed society. I have spent extensive time engaged in the Monk Chat program in Chiang Mai in Thailand and I was honored to being taken in as a guest “Brother” at the Batuan Hindu temple near Ubud in Bali. Buddhism and Hinduism have many similarities. They both accept a variety of paths to a single truth. Buddhism has no creator God, while Hinduism is loaded with minor deities.

    There is much variety in Buddhism and I do not pretend to fully understand its extensive philosophy. While I have spent time in Lhasa, Tibet chatting with the monks, they are “employed” by the Chinese government and it is difficult to believe you are in touch with unfettered Buddhism.

    My formative experience has been in the West under the influence of the Judeo-Christian ethic. This is the same ethic which informed our colonial forebears and the founding fathers. English Common Law and the entire judicial heritage upon which we depend is informed by the Judeo-Christian ethic, not Buddhism.

    There are scads of similarities among the great philosophies of the world. If one is not of a spiritual nature, it is possible to pit the philosophies one against the other. But if one is of a spiritual nature, people of differing philosophical origins can understand one another without having to get into a pissing contest over who has got the “facts” on his side.

    The Judeo-Christian ethic is not about whether you must first buy the entire liturgy down to wearing a ring in your nose. Everything Jonathan Swift satirized about what causes some small regions to scrap with one another could be written about how Jews get along among themselves over basically silly stuff and how Christians scrap over not any more less silly stuff within their world.

    The ethic, however, guides us in how we handle our differences.

    If I actually were a Buddhist, I would be a conscientious Buddhist and I would honor its principles and measure myself against them.

    Is there something in Buddhism that we need to consider in judging the evil of the Aurora murderer?

    Are you prepared for the eightfold path to enlightenment in Buddhism?

    Right Understanding–the development and application of one’s intellectual capabilities for the sake of understanding and resolving the problems of selfishness and suffering.

    Right Thought–thoughts free from lust, thoughts free from ill-will and thoughts free from cruelty.

    Right Speech–to abstain from harsh language, lying and vain talk.

    Right Action–to abstain from killing, stealing, intoxicating drink and sexual misconduct. (For monks complete celibacy is expected; laymen are advised to abstain from adultery or other inappropriate sexual behavior.)

    Right Livelihood–the avoidance of any occupation which leads to harm or undesirable conduct such as dealing in intoxicating drinks, slavery or murder weapons.

    Right Effort–the exertion of one’s will and self-discipline to develop wholesome mental states and overcome unwholesome states.

    Right Mindfulness–This is probably the most important and profound aspect of Buddhist mental development and includes a variety of different meditation practices and psychological techniques. Such practices and techniques are varied according to one’s individual spiritual needs and personality structure and include developing awareness of unconscious motives and impulses.

    Right Concentration–the training of the mind to remain concentrated on a single object and not wander from thought to thought.

    If you can find moral relativism in this, I stand surprised. Buddhism is principled system.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 23, 2012 @ 8:08 pm - July 23, 2012

  71. Helio… Nice post.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 8:13 pm - July 23, 2012

  72. Thank you for that Helio. Much appreciated.

    If you address Richard R, are you going to use the cosmological argument?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 8:14 pm - July 23, 2012

  73. And without a god, your system of morality loses it’s entire basis for its presumed superiority

    Comment by Richard R Screeching, Squealing Atheist and Anti-Christian Jerk — July 23, 2012 @ 7:53 pm – July 23, 2012

    Sure enough, any mention of God here and Richie Rich comes running and drooling in predictable Pavlovian fashion.
    Pay attention, Richie: the morals, values and principles (Judeo-Christian values) have been tested over a period of 2,000 years and have been found through that time to be superior to firewalking, spoon and key bending, EST seminars, ‘undetectable magic rocks’ (ht – Livewire), and most superior to leftism, socialism, collectivism, Marxism, and in your case: atheism and stupidism.
    They are superior values with or WITHOUT a god as their basis, but you’re so irrational and emotional about the mere combination of the letters g, o, and d that you’re blind to that fact.
    I’m surprised that you’re able to conduct any personal financial transactions using U.S. coin and legal tender: all those ‘In God We Trust’ should have caused your head to explode years ago.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 8:17 pm - July 23, 2012

  74. And after those two thousand years of scrutiny with all that brain power in whole universities of scholars, there still has been no evidence produced that a god exists. And without a god, your system of morality loses it’s entire basis for its presumed superiority.

    Why? What exactly does the “fact” of God or the scientific proof that there can not possibly be a God have to do with it?

    Let us stipulate for the sake of argument that God does not exist and has never existed. For what reason does the Judeo-Christian ethic collapse as a result?

    Warning: you are up to your ears in Jesuit territory here. Metaphysical hyper-ventilating is no substitute for sound reasoning.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 23, 2012 @ 8:17 pm - July 23, 2012

  75. “undetectable magic rocks”

    Is the magic of the rocks undetectable… Or are the rocks themselves undetectable???? Because if it’s the latter, they could still exist, just like the undetectable Higgs-Boson… Oh… Wait! 🙂

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 8:23 pm - July 23, 2012

  76. to be superior to … [various political/market beliefs such as] leftism, socialism, collectivism, Marxism

    (you forgot one jman1961) pure, unregulated capitalism. That didn’t last either.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 8:25 pm - July 23, 2012

  77. I don’t know about the ‘magic rocks’, other than what Livewire explained earlier today.
    Better ask him.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 8:27 pm - July 23, 2012

  78. (you forgot one jman1961) pure, unregulated capitalism. That didn’t last either.

    1. I didn’t forget anything; I said it the way I thought it should be said.
    2. Capitalism (unregulated or not) hasn’t accounted for the deaths of innocents in the numbers recorded (in the tens of millions, at least) for the ‘isms’ I mentioned after the words ‘most superior’.
    3. It hasn’t ‘lasted’ because of the constant and relentless interference of people who reside (mostly) on the left side of the political divide, although there have been rat bastards on the right who have done great harm to it.
    4. What point are you trying to make, exactly? It’s not clear to me.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 8:34 pm - July 23, 2012

  79. jman1961 >> I thought you were compiling a list of ideologies that were either not time-tested and/or didn’t last. My bad.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 8:45 pm - July 23, 2012

  80. And without a god, your system of morality loses it’s entire basis for its presumed superiority.

    Oh my. This has to be one of the dumber comments I’ve ever seen. Based on my own observations, I would say Judeo-Christian morals (when applied as they are meant to) have produced quite successful societies, and those societies deteriorate when those morals are abandoned (look at what the collapse of the traditional family has done to inner cities). You don’t have to believe in God to recognize that Christian morals are quite pragmatic.

    As for “pure, unregulated capitalism,” has that ever even been tried? The closest thing to “pure, unregulated capitalism” that has been tried might have been in Hong Kong, but I’m not sure.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — July 23, 2012 @ 8:49 pm - July 23, 2012

  81. Vince, read the post again.
    I was making a list of ‘isms’ that are dwarved (did I spell that correctly? – too lazy to look right now) by the vastly superior morals and values systems embodied in Christianity and Judaism.

    Comment by jman1961 — July 23, 2012 @ 8:53 pm - July 23, 2012

  82. #75 in Levi’s case the only detectable rocks are in his head.

    Re: Higgs-Boson. I read some bit of the research. Apparently they think it might be the Higgs-Boson, but they can’t tell yet. It’s within 5 sigmas of the standard deviation, which is where the scientists can announce it ‘might’ be the Higgs-Boson.

    As I’ve said in the past, as things are discovered, they can result in my evaluating my beliefs. Levi, OTOH, has admitted he believes the Piltdown man is real.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 23, 2012 @ 8:56 pm - July 23, 2012

  83. I’m very grateful they are being cautious concerning Higgs. There is way way too much carelessness in the scientific community jumping the gun with stuff like this.

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 9:05 pm - July 23, 2012

  84. So it turns out he IS a druggy: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9419299/Batman-Colorado-shooting-James-Holmes-fixated-by-altered-states-of-mind.html

    Comment by Az Mo in NYC — July 23, 2012 @ 9:11 pm - July 23, 2012

  85. Project much????

    The answer is a huge YES! 🙂

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 23, 2012 @ 7:15 pm – July 23, 2012

    Projection is for movie theaters and narcissistic gays, Sonic.

    Which one are you?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 10:34 pm - July 23, 2012

  86. And after those two thousand years of scrutiny with all that brain power in whole universities of scholars, there still has been no evidence produced that a god exists. And without a god, your system of morality loses it’s entire basis for its presumed superiority.

    Comment by Richard R — July 23, 2012 @ 7:53 pm – July 23, 2012

    And yet it stacks up very well against the system of morality for gay liberals in which their heroes and leaders like Frank Kameny encouraged gays to lie and taint the blood supply with then-undetectable HIV, thus ensuring that hemophiliacs and other innocent people who happened to need blood got sick.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 10:40 pm - July 23, 2012

  87. Speaking of liberal systems of morality, here’s a fine example of Levi, Cinesnatch, and Richard Rush’s moral system at work.

    If Obama had a son, he’d look just like these three.

    Wonder why we haven’t seen any of the Obama Party media on TV talking about racist hate speech, talking about racist gang activity, talking about GAMES in which the goal is to knock another person out?

    Why haven’t we seen the disarmament experts like Levi and Cinesnatch demanding that laws be passed to prevent this from happening again?

    Guess they don’t care about human life as much as they claimed — just about their insane need to confiscate and ban all guns.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 23, 2012 @ 10:51 pm - July 23, 2012

  88. You are truly sick, [Cinesnatch]. And I hope everyone who comments here finally realized the depth of depravity to which you will go when you are blaming parents for the fact that you …. are molesting their children.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 15, 2011 @ 12:42 pm – November 15, 2011

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 23, 2012 @ 11:59 pm - July 23, 2012

  89. you … can’t keep your hands off children.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 15, 2011 @ 12:42 pm – November 15, 2011

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 24, 2012 @ 12:04 am - July 24, 2012

  90. Projection is for movie theaters and narcissistic gays, Sonic. Which one are you?

    And yet another fallacy presented by NDT, false choice.

    “Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.”

    Comment by sonicfrog — July 24, 2012 @ 12:12 am - July 24, 2012

  91. Ah, Cinesnatch, I see you missed what took place when you tried that last time.

    And just so everyone else can see for themselves, here’s the link.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 24, 2012 @ 12:32 am - July 24, 2012

  92. Really, ND30, you can’t stand having the words constantly returned back to you with your unwillingness to take responsibility and you rely on ILC’s “group-philosophy thing” that litigates, mind-reads, and misrepresents as a smokescreen for your libel. Yes, “everyone” can see for themselves. But at this point in the thread, I’m guessing most “everyone” has checked out.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 24, 2012 @ 1:14 am - July 24, 2012

  93. Really, ND30, you can’t stand having the words constantly returned back to you with your unwillingness to take responsibility and you rely on ILC’s “group-philosophy thing” that litigates, mind-reads, and misrepresents as a smokescreen for your libel.

    Which is, of course, why I provided ILC’s analysis and quote, as well as a direct link to the thread so that everyone could see for themselves.

    Yes, “everyone” can see for themselves. But at this point in the thread, I’m guessing most “everyone” has checked out.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 24, 2012 @ 1:14 am – July 24, 2012

    Or so you hope. Especially with the screaming fit you threw about how supposedly editing the remarks of others is dishonest and shows that you lack integrity.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 24, 2012 @ 1:24 am - July 24, 2012

  94. ND30 >> You’ve provided the original link. “Everyone” can now compare my “edited” reposts of your words to their “original state” and can judge for themselves if I am “truly sick.” I’d wager “everyone” is not going to come to the conclusion you believe they will. Mazel.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 24, 2012 @ 1:36 am - July 24, 2012

  95. You allege that I pit my system of morality against your system of morality and that I claim mine to be superior to yours.

    I allege that you have no system of morality. I allege that you dabble in the amorality of moral relativism. That you base your code of right and wrong on what works for you and which your free will at the particular moment considers to be right or wrong under the circumstances.

    And yet, I’ve never raped or killed anyone. I don’t steal from others. I work hard, I’d consider myself kind to others. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with a girl I met in high school for nearly a decade and we’re getting married in 3 months. Politically, I don’t think we should start wars, I don’t think we should torture people, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gay people getting married, I believe a woman should have a right to choose, and I think healthcare should be accessible by everyone.

    What am I missing that justifies your allegation that I have no system of morality? Oh, that’s right – the imaginary friend and its associated fan club, invented by illiterate desert nomads and widely adopted only to consolidate political power, in a time when superstition explained everything and science had yet to be devised. As far as morality goes, I guess that’s more important than leading a good life?

    I have a system of morality which has been scrutinized for two thousand years and produced whole universities of scholars to debates its merits and weaknesses.

    And your system of morality condoned and endorsed slavery for virtually that entire stretch. That’s something to be proud of, apparently? Gee, I supposedly don’t even have a moral system and I can guess correctly on the question of whether or not humans should own other humans. And Christianity had to struggle for 2,000 years over that one?

    Your Levi-centered and Levi-dependent non-system of moral relativism has not much stirred any debate of note. Your system will not outlast you, so it is of very little concern to much of anyone.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about your system. Virtually every religion in human history has gone extinct, and yours will, too. Someday.

    I’m no moral relativist, and I think my beliefs are far more durable than yours. I don’t subscribe to a religion that’s forced to reinvent itself constantly to stay relevant.

    So far as my system being superior to your non-system of moral relativism is concerned, I would image that I can get further in the courts and the acts of state with my system than to refer to what “Levi thinks.”

    That you reject the Judeo=Christian ethic on the basis of it deriving from a “cult” I can only suggest that your Levi-centered and Levi-dependent non-system of moral relativity is entirely focused on the cult of one: Levi.

    Why should anyone feel compelled to follow your messianic self?

    Morality existed for a hundred thousand years before people invented Christianity. Your religion was no pioneer on this front – civilizations the world over and throughout time have hit upon the fundamentals about not killing each other and treating one another well. Christianity contributed…. prohibition from working on Sunday? The aforementioned slavery? Stoning homosexuals? Again, if this is stuff you’re proud of, feel free, but don’t pretend like your theological forebears were the architects of civilization. It has been the rejection of religious authoritarianism and so-called morality that has brought about institutions like democracy and free speech.

    Comment by Levi — July 24, 2012 @ 2:47 am - July 24, 2012

  96. “I’d consider myself kind to others”

    No you aren’t

    Calling christianity a fairy tale is deeply offensive, bigoted, hateful. And i also bet everything i have you wouldnt dare saying the same of islam or whatever other hippy cred you come across.

    Comment by susan — July 24, 2012 @ 5:07 am - July 24, 2012

  97. I’m amused that the racist woman hating turther sees himself as a good and decent person who never would resort to imposing his will on others.

    Now hush Levi, the adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 24, 2012 @ 7:54 am - July 24, 2012

  98. Now hush Levi, the adults are talking.

    That might have been amusing the first time, but now it’s just lame.

    Comment by Richard R — July 24, 2012 @ 8:21 am - July 24, 2012

  99. That might have been amusing the first time, but now it’s just lame.

    Comment by Richard R Comment Critic for the Pissant Monthly — July 24, 2012 @ 8:21 am – July 24, 2012

    You just just captured the essence of everything you post here.
    Congratulations!

    Comment by jman1961 — July 24, 2012 @ 8:37 am - July 24, 2012

  100. I think we need to use CERN to find a particle small enough to measure how much Richard’s commentary matters to me.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 24, 2012 @ 8:51 am - July 24, 2012

  101. No you aren’t

    Calling christianity a fairy tale is deeply offensive, bigoted, hateful. And i also bet everything i have you wouldnt dare saying the same of islam or whatever other hippy cred you come across.

    Presumably, you’re a Christian, which means you have to believe that Islam, Buddhism, and Mormonism are fairy tales. Does that mean you’re hateful and bigoted, too?

    Comment by Levi — July 24, 2012 @ 10:01 am - July 24, 2012

  102. Levi @ #95:

    your allegation that I have no system of morality?

    Never said that. In fact I identified your system as Levi-centered, Levi-determined moral relativism.

    the imaginary friend and its associated fan club, invented by illiterate desert nomads and widely adopted only to consolidate political power, in a time when superstition explained everything and science had yet to be devised.

    Of course, you can easily point out the moral code that has had a greater influence on civilization and even the development of science and all other regions of human study and understanding. Amazing, isn’t it that illiterate desert nomads could write the books of the Bible. Where are these other ancient moral codes that have survived to unify codes of ethics?

    And your system of morality condoned and endorsed slavery for virtually that entire stretch.

    Hello? You are the great evolution enthusiast. Two thousand years does not seem all that long a time for people to evolve. Was there slavery before the Judeo-Christian era? Did slavery survive during the Judeo-Christian era? Is slavery supported as part of the Judeo-Christian ethic? Did the nation divide along the lines of slavery? Did the Founding Fathers compromise the slave trade out of the Constitution? Does the Judeo-Christian ethic demand the perfectibility of man or does it lay the groundwork for man to perfect himself? You would not know, because you reject it out of hand because of the imaginary friend stuff.

    Virtually every religion in human history has gone extinct, and yours will, too.

    Wow, where is this religion graveyard? Is there an encyclopedia of extinct religions? Do we know about them from their writings? Why didn’t they evolve? Is this Putz Darwinism or do you have the fossils to display?

    I’m no moral relativist, and I think my beliefs are far more durable than yours.

    If you are not a moral relativist, are you just plain amoral? You “think” your “beliefs” are more “durable” than mine. OK, wise guy, where can I go to get a copy of your moral code? Mine has been out there for a very, very long time. Where is yours? Or do we just have to “accept” that the Levi-centered, Levi-dependent moral relativism is more “durable” and more well thought out and debated than the Judeo-Christian ethic?

    don’t pretend like your theological forebears were the architects of civilization. It has been the rejection of religious authoritarianism and so-called morality that has brought about institutions like democracy and free speech.

    Civilization was not created out of whole cloth. The Judeo-Christian ethic is, in no small part, a reaction to what was broken and wrong in the “civilized” world.

    Levi, the basic building blocks of diversity, evolution, survival are “continuity” and “change” which work together as complements, not against one another as opponents.

    The U.N. is promoting the idea that prostitution be made legal throughout the world. OK. It seems there has always been prostitution and maybe we need to revisit the ethic of prostitution. I am very likely to be on “against” side, but perhaps you will be on the “heck, yes!” side. The Judeo-Christian ethic has room for the varying points of view. How do I know what the Levi-centerened, Levi-dependent moral relativism stands for?

    Your “religious authoritarianism” bugaboo is rather telling. The only religion that is on the theocracy track that I know of is Islam as we see it in the Middle East, Indonesia, and southeast Asia.

    Your fear and loathing of Jews and Christians is pathetic. Do you have so little knowledge of Shintoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. that you can’t work up some heavy duty bigotry against them?

    There is no one hiding behind a tree waiting to kdnap you and drag you into the torture chambers either the Jews of the Christians.

    Your certainty of how stupid others are for accepting religion is palpable. What great leveling feature of your Levi-centered, Levi-dependent moral relativism advises you to be a crusader charged with defeating faith?

    Your game of particularizing and focusing on the human flaws and foibles of people in the Judeo-Christian world is rather charming in its naivety. Apparently, you see “the imaginary friend” as the dictator of goodness and justice who vaporizes people in the “fan club” who step out of line. But, he didn’t vaporize Hitler or Pol Pot or so many others. Therefore, it would certainly seem that you are “safer” outside of the “fan club” than inside it where you are very likely to be bitched at.

    What you can not comprehend about faith is that there is great satisfaction in growing and learning and being at peace with the continuity and change. Have you bothered to read Marx on how his system handles inconvenient continuity or inconvenient change? Being the god of “social justice” one would think Marx would have been a little less ham handed.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 24, 2012 @ 10:35 am - July 24, 2012

  103. Actually, Levi, you lie, because we’re aware that your “progressive” ideology endorses rape and murder.

    So since you endorse this, you’re not moral by your own standards.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 24, 2012 @ 10:38 am - July 24, 2012

  104. Presumably, you’re a Christian, which means you have to believe that Islam, Buddhism, and Mormonism are fairy tales.

    Levi, your ignorance of faith and religion is pre-kindergarten.

    It appears that your bigotry is so deeply entrenched that you will brook no decency toward faith and religion. Be that as it may. But you invite the attacks against your intelligence by the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal drooling bile that escapes your lips when you rant about Jews and Christians.

    In this particular area, let it be known that you have no decency. Please don’t go full Westboro and start stoning Jews and Christians on sight. Attempt to maintain some level of tolerance.

    Good, grief, man you are seriously challenging the “sentient” measure of your comprehension.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 24, 2012 @ 10:46 am - July 24, 2012

  105. Levi >> I can’t speak for Susan, but Helio’s post #70 addresses your if/then fallacy in post #101.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 24, 2012 @ 12:00 pm - July 24, 2012

  106. Presumably, you’re a Christian, which means you have to believe that Islam, Buddhism, and Mormonism are fairy tales.

    That’s like saying because I chose to go to (e.g) Dartmouth, I assume all other colleges are teaching lies.

    Comment by V the K — July 24, 2012 @ 1:47 pm - July 24, 2012

  107. #106

    I think it says more about Levi’s inabilty to tolerate any belief system except his own.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 24, 2012 @ 4:05 pm - July 24, 2012

  108. I think it says more about Levi’s inabilty to tolerate any belief system except his own.

    Liberal Atheists … Theophobes, really… are deeply insecure people, which is why they have to:

    1. Relentlessly ridicule other belief systems.
    2. Live in a constant circle jerk of telling each other how smart and superior they are for rejecting religious faith.
    3. Throw dickish hissy-fits in response to any public display of faith.
    4. Refuse to learn anything about the beliefs they ridicule.

    Comment by V the K — July 24, 2012 @ 4:12 pm - July 24, 2012

  109. Presumably, you’re a Christian, which means you have to believe that Islam, Buddhism, and Mormonism are fairy tales.

    Since when is Mormonism not a denomination of Christianity?

    Comment by Rattlesnake — July 24, 2012 @ 6:56 pm - July 24, 2012

  110. Refuse to learn anything about the beliefs they ridicule.

    Through their ridicule, they are depersonalizing the person of faith in order to feel more justified in making their statist attacks.

    They can not learn anything about the beliefs they ridicule because will not try. To “learn” anything would be a sign of weakness in their certitude that faith is pure bull feathers.

    Since the ends justify the means to these people, anything open ended is to be avoided. Being certain is beyond humility. Everything must be reduced to numbers and probability. When the opponent is a “believer” he is automatically disqualified by the statist whose measurements are power and force. That is why they are certain that they will confront people who “will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.”

    It is tough work being a leftist superior, but they wouldn’t appoint themselves to the job if they lacked confidence.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 24, 2012 @ 7:27 pm - July 24, 2012

  111. And the hilarious part: Levi, Cinesnatch, and their fellow liberals are now calling for riots and rebellion against tyranny if Romney wins.

    I think we have to realize just how deluded these people are. Levi, Cinesnatch, and their ilk will not recognize as legitimate any election in which they do not win. They are openly stating that they will carry out riots, that they will block any and all actions in Congress, and that they will openly rebel against the government in the streets.

    Barack Obama truly is the last stand for these sick, sick leftists. They have no intention of allowing Mitt Romney or the Republicans to peacefully take control. They believe in their divine right to rule, and it sounds like they are willing to openly push and advocate for outright violence to get it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 24, 2012 @ 10:42 pm - July 24, 2012

  112. sf #57:

    the question is specifically for Helio

    (yawn) You have a small point there, but… smaller than you think. When people want 1-on-1 discussions, they take it to e-mail. Not many affectations are as empty as having a supposedly-1-on-1 discussion *for public viewing*.

    Having said that: When X tries to direct a question to Y on an open blog, X certainly has the freedom to ignore any replies that come from Z, A or B. All it takes is a little self-discipline. If X chooses to take the bait and engage such replies, it is further evidence that X’s directing the question to Y was but a pretense.

    As for this:

    your classic trick of taking quotes out of context

    Umm… did you see #88 / 89 from Cinesnatch, sf? Now *those* are quotes taken out of context; enough context removed to alter their meaning, creating a false impression of NDT’s original meaning. In other words, Cinesnatch lied. (And has repeatedly lied.)

    SCR #68, thanks for the Goldberg book tip. I will have to check that one out!

    jman #78 – Well said. There is a difference between something not lasting because it’s immoral/irrational to begin with, and something not lasting because it was attacked and torn down by people who are immoral/irrational. The former would be socialism. The latter would be capitalism.

    Indeed, we do not live under capitalism today, and arguably, we have not for at least eight decades. Nonetheless, capitalism is a moral and practical ideal, and the experience of country after country, in era after era, shows that the **extent to which they approach** capitalism improves their fortunes, while the extent to which they remove from it injures their fortunes.

    As for “pure, unregulated capitalism,” has that ever even been tried? The closest thing to “pure, unregulated capitalism” that has been tried might have been in Hong Kong, but I’m not sure.

    RS, the non-slave part of the U.S. from the 1790s to the early 1920s came pretty close – Not perfect, but closer than anyone had done before – producing the greatest explosion of progress in human history, wherein at some points the U.S. alone produced as much as 50% of the world’s GDP.

    As to whether capitalism can ever be “unregulated”, it depends what the word “regulated” means. Capitalism must always be “regulated” by criminal law and by the adjudication of contracts and torts; that is, by the impartial enforcement of authentic rights to life, liberty and property. That’s the core of the system. What lefties mean by “regulation” is, of course, different: that authentic rights to life, liberty and property should be systematically violated by the government, on the leftists’ behalf. Which is the opposite of capitalism.

    NDT #91 – Yup. Feel free to quote me and re-link me on that any time. I hereby say again:

    …I read the quotes the day NDT posted them, and not for one second did I take NDT’s words as a suggestion that Cinesnatch was personally a molester. Not one second… I had no problem, at the time and in context, in understanding that NDT was expressing personal opinion in assigning a general kind of moral responsibility to a group of people. I find Cinesnatch’s choice to personalize the matter interesting, and equally so, his reliance on ellipses to misrepresent NDT’s quote.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 25, 2012 @ 4:32 am - July 25, 2012

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  114. Since when is Mormonism not a denomination of Christianity?

    The list of things Levi is ignorant about is quite bottomless.

    Comment by V the K — July 25, 2012 @ 8:54 am - July 25, 2012

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  116. Never said that. In fact I identified your system as Levi-centered, Levi-determined moral relativism.

    You said those words exactly. I’ll let you find them.

    Of course, you can easily point out the moral code that has had a greater influence on civilization and even the development of science and all other regions of human study and understanding. Amazing, isn’t it that illiterate desert nomads could write the books of the Bible. Where are these other ancient moral codes that have survived to unify codes of ethics?

    Religion has stood in the way of the development of science and human understanding for thousands of years, and it continues to do so to this day. Certainly, there have been tremendous contributions by certain believing individuals, but as an organization, your religion eagerly intimidated, tortured, and killed many thousands of people over the years for the crime of not thinking correctly. As a species, we spent hundreds of years spinning our wheels because religion wouldn’t suffer any investigation into the natural world that didn’t confirm the existence of God. Scientific progress and our understanding of reality would be much further along if it weren’t for religion dragging us backwards.

    Hello? You are the great evolution enthusiast. Two thousand years does not seem all that long a time for people to evolve. Was there slavery before the Judeo-Christian era? Did slavery survive during the Judeo-Christian era? Is slavery supported as part of the Judeo-Christian ethic? Did the nation divide along the lines of slavery? Did the Founding Fathers compromise the slave trade out of the Constitution? Does the Judeo-Christian ethic demand the perfectibility of man or does it lay the groundwork for man to perfect himself? You would not know, because you reject it out of hand because of the imaginary friend stuff.

    What kind of answer is that? You’re the one claiming to have the one true set of morality in your back pocket, and you think it’s no big deal that your religion and its holy book endorses one of the most easily condemnable of human behaviors? The nation did divide along the lines of slavery – and the slaveholders waved Bibles in the air as justification. Again – real human progress is made not by embracing ancient desert religions, but by explicitly rejecting them.

    By the way, you’re the one claiming to know the shortcut. You can’t just say it took 2,000 years for us to evolve on this issue when you supposedly are in communication with the creator of the universe and he’s whispering in your ear about what’s right and wrong. And shouldn’t an objective moral code be consistent? If God doesn’t want us to own slaves, then why didn’t he put that in his book? Because he wanted us to figure that out on our own? Is that what you’re saying with these last sentences? What other parts of the Bible are we supposed to reject after two thousand years for us ‘to evolve,’ as you put it? How do you purport to know what the objective moral code of the universe is when the document that you rely upon is so unreliable?

    Wow, where is this religion graveyard? Is there an encyclopedia of extinct religions? Do we know about them from their writings? Why didn’t they evolve? Is this Putz Darwinism or do you have the fossils to display?

    Religions take hold because they happen to be in the right place at the right time. Every feature of the Christian myth, from the virgin birth, to the crucifixion, to Jesus being born on Dec. 25th and his resurrection, were popular superstitions that just so happened to be in vogue when Constantine needed ‘an opiate for the masses’ to consolidate his political power.There’s nothing all that special about Christianity aside from the fact that it was in vogue at a time when a world leader needed an in vogue religion. More people have lived and died believing whole-heartedly in what you would undoubtedly call false religions than you could count.

    And what’s with this ‘religions evolving’ thing? Isn’t the whole point that you have to follow certain rules? What are you supposed to do when the rules change?

    If you are not a moral relativist, are you just plain amoral? You “think” your “beliefs” are more “durable” than mine. OK, wise guy, where can I go to get a copy of your moral code? Mine has been out there for a very, very long time. Where is yours? Or do we just have to “accept” that the Levi-centered, Levi-dependent moral relativism is more “durable” and more well thought out and debated than the Judeo-Christian ethic?

    I’ve never felt a need to define myself in this way. I don’t need to go to meetings to be a good person. But I wouldn’t mind signing on as secular humanist. The opening paragraphs of its Wikipedia entry is good enough for me. Particularly the bit about our unique responsibility. It appears from what we can observe that sentience is an incredibly rare feature of the universe, and I like to thing we have an obligation to make good use of it, by discovering what we can of the universe and exploring as much of it as possible. We have a lot of baggage to overcome first, and the only way to do that is to cooperate with one another.

    It’s a philosophy that won’t change, by the way, which is what you think you’ve got in religion but don’t really have at all. As but one example, in the very near future, Christians will be forced to abandon all the ‘homosexuality is evil’ stuff in the Bible in the same way that they were forced to abandon the ‘slavery is good’ stuff in the past. You guys talk a big game about giving people a positive philosophy to live by, by it’s really just a propaganda campaign that gives lots of easily-manipulated able bodies to the powerful and influential. Every once in awhile, you need new propaganda, so you ‘evolve.’

    Civilization was not created out of whole cloth. The Judeo-Christian ethic is, in no small part, a reaction to what was broken and wrong in the “civilized” world.

    Levi, the basic building blocks of diversity, evolution, survival are “continuity” and “change” which work together as complements, not against one another as opponents.

    The U.N. is promoting the idea that prostitution be made legal throughout the world. OK. It seems there has always been prostitution and maybe we need to revisit the ethic of prostitution. I am very likely to be on “against” side, but perhaps you will be on the “heck, yes!” side. The Judeo-Christian ethic has room for the varying points of view. How do I know what the Levi-centerened, Levi-dependent moral relativism stands for?

    Your “religious authoritarianism” bugaboo is rather telling. The only religion that is on the theocracy track that I know of is Islam as we see it in the Middle East, Indonesia, and southeast Asia.

    Your fear and loathing of Jews and Christians is pathetic. Do you have so little knowledge of Shintoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. that you can’t work up some heavy duty bigotry against them?

    There is no one hiding behind a tree waiting to kdnap you and drag you into the torture chambers either the Jews of the Christians.

    Your certainty of how stupid others are for accepting religion is palpable. What great leveling feature of your Levi-centered, Levi-dependent moral relativism advises you to be a crusader charged with defeating faith?

    Your game of particularizing and focusing on the human flaws and foibles of people in the Judeo-Christian world is rather charming in its naivety. Apparently, you see “the imaginary friend” as the dictator of goodness and justice who vaporizes people in the “fan club” who step out of line. But, he didn’t vaporize Hitler or Pol Pot or so many others. Therefore, it would certainly seem that you are “safer” outside of the “fan club” than inside it where you are very likely to be bitched at.

    What you can not comprehend about faith is that there is great satisfaction in growing and learning and being at peace with the continuity and change. Have you bothered to read Marx on how his system handles inconvenient continuity or inconvenient change? Being the god of “social justice” one would think Marx would have been a little less ham handed.

    Faith is not a virtue. If you want me to believe something, prove it to me. Is that such an unreasonable request?

    I’ve said this before – I live in a country where most everyone is Christian. I’m talking to you, a Christian. That’s why I focus on Christianity. Islam and Buddhism are equally ridiculous. Assume I everything I say about Christianity applies to them, too.

    I don’t fear Christians or Jews dragging me into a torture chamber – brave men put a happy end to that viciousness a few centuries ago. What I fear is the effect that blind faith has on political decisions, and the worthlessness of this plane of existence (the only one we’ve got) that religion instills in people’s minds. Death isn’t something to look forward to, and that mentality means lots of work that needs to be done in the real world is ignored. Why worry about the environment when you’re going to be whisked away to paradise after 80 or so years? Why be averse to starting wars when biblical prophecy requires an apocalypse for salvation? If you people are so enthusiastic to join your god, then by all means – go jump into the Grand Canyon. But leave me out of it, kindly.

    Comment by Levi — July 25, 2012 @ 10:30 am - July 25, 2012

  117. That’s like saying because I chose to go to (e.g) Dartmouth, I assume all other colleges are teaching lies.

    Beg pardon, but I thought a pretty good chunk of the Ten Commandments was dedicated to telling people how there’s only one true god? That’s not important any more, I guess, since religions are no longer only competing for converts with each other, as when the Bible was written. Now religion has to contend with science and atheism, and since religion has no good arguments against these forces, they have to resort to numbers. It no longer matters what you believe in, so long as you have belief. “Everyone’s God(s) are real! We’ll all go to heaven!” Of course, that’s not what adherents say privately.

    Comment by Levi — July 25, 2012 @ 10:45 am - July 25, 2012

  118. Yes, it does, Levi.

    But the rest is your projection of your own desperate insecurity in your own amoral belief system and the need to eradicate any opposition.

    Meanwhile, blathering boy, as I showed above, your “secular humanism” justifies raping and murdering your political opponents. Clearly you cannot tolerate dissent or intellectual inquiry, even to the point where you kill those who think differently than you do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 25, 2012 @ 10:55 am - July 25, 2012

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  122. #117

    And Levi shows his ignorance again. Only the first commandment says anything about G_d, *and* says thou shalt have no other before me.

    Now anyone who can read (leaving Levi out) can see there must be ‘other’ for them to be put before Him. Reading failure = Levi.

    Now hush Levi, the adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 25, 2012 @ 1:53 pm - July 25, 2012

  123. Levi, congratulations, by the way, on your engagement.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 25, 2012 @ 2:25 pm - July 25, 2012

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  125. Levi,

    You.are.without.a.clue.

    All religion is an effort to help us to become better than were are.

    No religion hands you a cell phone to God who calls you as soon as you stray and vaporizes you when you really mess up.

    Read your own post. You go into a rant defining how my religion works, doesn’t work and fails all based on your definition of my religion, not mine.

    Let’s put it this way, Levi. You live in a culture overwhelmingly operating on the presumptions and assumptions of the Judeo-Christian ethic. You could not possibly escape the Judeo-Christian ethic and its constant effects.

    Therefore, you go along with the parts of the Judeo-Christian ethic that fit your needs and you have a snit-fit over anything that is judgmental in a negative way that goes against your grain.

    You are engaged in tailoring the Judeo-Christian ethic to please your agenda. That mean, you are not challenged by the ethic. That further means, that “your” ethic is based on whatever floats your boat. The term for that is moral relativism.

    All your claptrap about the “invisible friend” and desert nomads and religious corruption and human frailty infecting those of faith is just the babbling of someone on the outside looking in and claiming moral superiority.

    Once again, Levi, where do we Judeo-Christian ethic adherents go to access the highly enlightened ethic which informs you?

    Believe me, Levi, when you divulge your ethic, I will study it carefully and if it is superior to the Judeo-Christian ethic, I will be the first to say so, and, as best I am able, to explain to all who are interested why the Levi ethic out guns the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    But, since you.are.without.a.clue I am fairly certain you don’t understand very much, if anything, that I have written and asked of you.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 25, 2012 @ 2:54 pm - July 25, 2012

  126. Levi @ #23:

    1.) are you still basing your alleged moral superiority on that shared hallucination of a cult you call Christianity?

    2.) that prescribes stoning rape victims to death in its holy book, the supposed word of God?

    3.) how people who have homosexual sex are going to burn in hell for all eternity

    Levi @ #95:

    1.) the imaginary friend and its associated fan club, invented by illiterate desert nomads and widely adopted only to consolidate political power;

    2.) your system of morality condoned and endorsed slavery for virtually that entire stretch;

    3.) Virtually every religion in human history has gone extinct, and yours will, too;

    4.) I think my beliefs are far more durable than yours;

    5.) I don’t subscribe to a religion that’s forced to reinvent itself constantly to stay relevant;

    6.) Morality existed for a hundred thousand years before people invented Christianity;

    7.) It has been the rejection of religious authoritarianism and so-called morality that has brought about institutions like democracy and free speech.

    How in the world could any sentient human being including agnostics, atheists and nihilists possibly make such statements as facts, let alone base any argument on such hallucinations.

    Clearly, Levi has scant, if any, knowledge of philosophy or world history. He knows what he knows and what he knows is what he wants to know. Everything else is just dead air in his closed mind.

    I am particularly amused by this jewel of moral relativism written by Levi @ #95:

    As far as morality goes, I guess that’s more important than leading a good life?

    Translation: Levi-centered, Levi-determined moral relativism is above petty morality and directs him to assure himself that he is leading a good life.

    Yet, where have I ever said or implied that Levi is not leading a good life? His entire permanent snit-fit is over the utility and influence of the Judeo-Christian ethic because it is, by definition, faith based.

    Levi so hates faith that he must deny the very foundation upon which his entire life is grounded.

    Pathetic.

    Who can imagine the minutes of the meeting of the Union of Amalgamated Moral Relativists? Sort of like Nihilists United. Anarchists for Stability. Or the Fraternal Order of Atheists without Structure.

    What Levi has more than adequately displayed here is how far deeply ingrained bigotry will take the bigot in showing the evidence of his descent into the muck and mire of malignant depravity.

    I invite Levi to redeem himself by doing the following:

    1. Issue a clear, coherent, non-question begging revelation of how your ethic is sourced and based.

    2. Issue a clear, coherent, non-question begging revelation of how you test your intuition concerning the “right” from the “wrong.”

    3. Issue a clear, coherent, non-question begging revelation of your definition of moral relativism which will demonstrate the truth of your declaration that you are not a moral relativist.

    4. Issue a clear, coherent, non-question begging revelation of how you choose the parts of the Judeo-Christian ethic which you decide to ignore and why.

    No reason for anyone to hold his breath for any sort of meaningful response, because Levi does not begin to have the slightest understanding of the Judeo-Christian ethic. He sees “Judeo-Christian” and immediately goes off half-cocked. The poor lad is just wrapped up in his own sense of complacency and conceit.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 25, 2012 @ 5:01 pm - July 25, 2012

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  128. How can morality be more important than leading a good life? Morality is HOW you lead a good life. Morality is a code of values to assist you in making the best decisions.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 26, 2012 @ 10:29 am - July 26, 2012

  129. I overlooked Levi @ #116 where he is at his most convoluted:

    1.) Religion has stood in the way of the development of science and human understanding for thousands of years, and it continues to do so to this day;

    2.) Scientific progress and our understanding of reality would be much further along if it weren’t for religion dragging us backwards;

    3.) real human progress is made not by embracing ancient desert religions, but by explicitly rejecting them;

    4.) you supposedly are in communication with the creator of the universe and he’s whispering in your ear about what’s right and wrong;

    5.) If God doesn’t want us to own slaves, then why didn’t he put that in his book? Because he wanted us to figure that out on our own?;

    6.) How do you purport to know what the objective moral code of the universe is when the document that you rely upon is so unreliable?;

    7.) There’s nothing all that special about Christianity aside from the fact that it was in vogue at a time when a world leader (Constantine) needed an in vogue religion;

    8.] And what’s with this ‘religions evolving’ thing? Isn’t the whole point that you have to follow certain rules? What are you supposed to do when the rules change?;

    9.) I don’t need to go to meetings to be a good person;

    10.) But I wouldn’t mind signing on as secular humanist. (….) Particularly the bit about our unique responsibility. (…) We have a lot of baggage to overcome first, and the only way to do that is to cooperate with one another;

    11.) Christians will be forced to abandon all the ‘homosexuality is evil’ stuff in the Bible in the same way that they were forced to abandon the ‘slavery is good’ stuff in the past;

    12.)You guys talk a big game about giving people a positive philosophy to live by, by it’s really just a propaganda campaign that gives lots of easily-manipulated able bodies to the powerful and influential. Every once in awhile, you need new propaganda, so you ‘evolve.’

    13.) Faith is not a virtue;

    14.) If you want me to believe something, prove it to me;

    15.) What I fear is the effect that blind faith has on political decisions, and the worthlessness of this plane of existence (the only one we’ve got) that religion instills in people’s minds;

    16.) Why be averse to starting wars when biblical prophecy requires an apocalypse for salvation?;

    17.) If you people are so enthusiastic to join your god, then by all means – go jump into the Grand Canyon;

    18.) But leave me out of it, kindly.

    This entire tangled catharsis is to avoid acknowledging the force of the Judeo-Christian ethic, the advance of Western Civilization which was based and steeped in that ethic and the continued denial by Levi that he is a moral relativist who picks and choses the parts of the Judeo-Christian ethic he will follow and rejects sin, wrong, evil … call it what you will …. on no basis other than his “responsible” secular humanity.

    That is all very well and good. Levi is no threat to humanity. He prefers to be “good” by no particular ethic other than the entirely coincidental to him Judeo-Christian ethic.

    He indicates, strongly, that he would like peace and harmony among all the peoples of the planet. Who can argue with that? But then he goes hammer and tong at religion with a relentless attack on myriad aspects as he wildly interprets faith and religion in a most unharmonious way. It would appear that the reasonableness of Levi’s secular humanism and moral relativism suffer a bit of break down here.

    Faith is no virtue. Well, then, are there actually any virtues? Aren’t virtues just propaganda and mumbo-jumbo thrown out by clever secular humanists to herd “lots of easily-manipulated able bodies to the powerful and influential” “reasonable” secular humanists and moral relativists?

    Levi fears the effects of “blind” faith on the body politic. Never mind that that man-made global warming is consensus science doing a darned good imitation of “blind” faith.

    But Levi said that faith is no virtue. Obviously, “blind” faith would not be a virtue either. Yet, Levi certainly implies that Judeo-Christian faith is “blind” faith. You know, snake handlers and the end of days cults.\

    Which brings us to the point of all of this. Levi has defined hypocrisy out of his ethic. He has constructed a fail safe morality where he picks and chooses and walks away from imperfection.

    He can not study and expand his moral code, because it is momentary and fleeting and unwritten and undebatable and transitory. Amorphous is a good term. Nothing separates his code from that of Aurora murderer or the would-be Giffords attacker except his free will not to go that route. Good on Levi for that.

    Meanwhile, people across the world come together and support one another in trying to perfect the good and to resist temptation and to resolve to put evil behind them. This is what Levi attacks and clearly does not understand. People loving one another through faith, hope and charity. A grass roots effort that has survived the ages.

    For Levi, this is the work for secular humanist government and the elite minds that “should” be herding “lots of easily-manipulated able bodies to the powerful and influential” institutions of statist welfare.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 26, 2012 @ 11:12 am - July 26, 2012

  130. Nothing separates his (Levi’s) code from that of Aurora murderer or the would-be Giffords attacker except his free will not to go that route yet.

    FIFY, Heliotrope.

    Because, given Levi’s behavior, I see nothing in his past that would in any way restrain him from resorting to violence and murder if he felt he could get away with it in the name of the “progressive” cause.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 26, 2012 @ 3:43 pm - July 26, 2012

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