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Religion and the Constitution

Bill's guest Lori Lipman Brown of the Secular Coalition for America does a pretty good job of respresenting the atheist position. I was surprised however that she didn't mention what I thought was the most offensive thing Mitt said, namely that freedom requires religion. It's interesting that Bill thinks it no big deal if a presidential candidate ignores the diversity of our country, but is terribly offended if the old fart at K-Mart says Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas greeting customers. I also seem to recall last year that Bill was miffed when the White House used the word Holiday rather than Christmas.

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If school children were required to say the pledge of allegiance and recite "one nation, without a god...", people such as Billo would be whining and whining and whining...

"the founding fathers separated from england because of God; because God gives people inalienable rights to freedom... and you can make an argument that what Governor Romney said is perfectly accurate in the context of our history."

Unless you've actually studied history. In which case you might notice that the opposite is actually true.

It is the concept of the Devine Right of Kings that derived from religion. Rebelling against the sovereign was an act of heresy as much as revolution. The Emperors of Rome called themselves Gods; Popes were ordained by God. It was the culmination of thousands of years of humanity crawling on it's bloody knees from ignorance towards enlightenment that brought us to the realization that we could rule ourselves without the smoke and mirrors. That we might disarm a thug simply by knocking off his paper mache halo.


Wasn't taxation with out representation the final straw? I recently read a great article that talked of the many reasons for settling America. They came to become lad owners, gain religious freedom, political power for there home country and Jobs. Seems to me the fight for independence was a layered cause as well. Why separate the many reasons America was settled and then fought for independence when there are so many to choose from. I think we should get away form over simplifying things it only causes arguments. I would also like to bury the phrase "freedom of religion not from religion". Isn't that a redundant statement? Do you not have freedom from other religions, when you have the freedom of your own?

Does Bill go out of his way to look ignorant? As was mentioned to him a couple of times the Declaration of Independence is not a legal document.

Anyway, Bill complains that Atheists are whining about inclusion. Did Bill ever claim the creationists were whining? Or did he mention how the Christians were whining for wanting inclusion of their religious displays on public property? Or that Mitt Romney was whining?

Bill claims to respect Atheists but he quickly contradicted himself.

once again bill misses the point and argues the wrong issue. also, i don't understand how his whining about a 'war on christmas' is fundamentally different from the 'whining of seculars.' of course he did say he would never really get upset if the shoe were on the other foot, so which part is he lying about?

according to mitt:

  1. secularism is a religion
  2. we need tolerance of all religion


  1. there is to be no tolerance of secularism

makes sense to me.

according to mitt:

  1. secularism is a religion
  2. we need tolerance of all religion


  1. there is to be no tolerance of secularism

makes sense to me.

the only bi thing she said that i see that is bad is her implication that the only document that matters is the constitution is wrong. THere is nothing in the constitution about seperation of church and state, i believe that is in seperate letters

She says that if he lived in a country where most didn't believe in god, he would be upset. Bill says that she is wrong implying he would be tolerant and understanding?

What about this war on christmas in his christian dominated country? Does that give him licence to be upset? Why does anyone bother listening to this hypocritical gasbag?

Bill O is such a douche bag. It's not whining, its asking for fair representation. If he had his show on even 70 or so years ago, he tell Blacks to stop whining about equal rights.

Bill trashes his credibility early on in just about every segment he does. He didn't even bother to wait for his guest to take propagandistic shot: "...far-left Seattle Post Intelligencer..." Why? Because their columnist called out Bill-O for his phony war on Christmas schtick.


I'm torn between two desires.

First, sometimes I just think it best to ignore these shock jocks on Fox News. Obviously, these men and women are not lettered individuals. Maybe they slept during Poly Sci 101, it's usually an early class.

But then there is the other desire to ridicule these intellectual pretenders. How can O'Reilly cite original intent of the Founders and be so inaccurate? Did he attend Bob Jones University? The problem with ridiculing the Fox News personalities is they are not entering into an agreement to debate, it's not an equal exchange of ideas. Additionally, I assume the average Fox News viewer will not appreciate an enlightened discussion.

So I ask everyone here, what's the best strategy? Ignore them, or enter the lowest common denominator debate?

"nothing rules this country"

My god, anarchy in the U.S.A!

Mitt Romney does a fine "Gipper's pre-Altzheimer years" imitation, he must have watched a lot of the old videos to adopt a start of that styled hair wave, and pick up the speech and gestures.

Hmmm, gives us a lot to look forward to.

The godgiven right definedin the declaration existed before 1776. The reason for the war of independence was that the english king violated these rights, compare the dutch apologia.

Anyway, Billo won, as she failed to make clear why this is such an important point.

Entertaining to watch Bill try to make this one about free speech. Nobody is arguing with Romney's right to say what he said, we'd just like the opportunity to call him on his stupidity and bigotry.

Two-faced Bill is best demonstrated in this Daily Show clip Norm posted in 2005:

The critical 30 seconds starts at the 2:30 mark.

Bill#1: Bill says "...I think you're crazy if you're offended by the words 'Merry Christmas'."

Bill#2: Philip says "'Seasons Greetings' and 'Happy Holidays', Bill, does not offend Christians"

Bill responds "Yes it does. It absolutely does."

Hilarious. I can't get enough of Bill whining about whining.

No wait, yes I can. I can get enough.

It's so frustrating how good the Fox guys are at verbal sleight-of-hand; why don't people ever call them on the way they change subject mid-rebuttal?

It is a startling statement that "freedom requires religion" and I would have liked to hear Bill worm his way out of that one.

I'm going to take an unpopular position here. I also hope it is 100% clear than I am no fan of Mitt Romney or organized religion.

Having watched the full ~20 minute speech just a few minutes ago, I don't see what the problem is. Romney was offering a speech to define his own world view. If this world view doesn't mesh with your own, he's not the right candidate to vote for. Choice rules.

What do we want from our canididates? Do we want Romney to pander to atheists? Do we want him to display insincere respect, even though he doesn't honestly understand or relate to atheism?

Not me.

I want candidates to speak honestly, and treat me like an adult. If Romney believes that anyone name "Zap" is going to burn in hell, I want him to say so. I want to know who these people are, and I want to know BEFORE the tell-all books come out after years of chaos and corruption.

I'm not a fool. I understand this was a scripted performance designed by focus groups. It is far from sincere, regardless of word choice. Even so- this is the result of endless outrage. Rather than choose among leaders willing to speak their minds, we choose from irrelevant clones doing their best to avoid :offending: anyone.

You know what? Bombing innocent Iraqi children really fucking offends me. Paying for the bombs makes me feel sick. So why don't we knock-off this endless self-division and unite for a greater cause?

Three candidates, only three candidates, speak from the heart, rather than focus groups. Three, and only three, are going to end this war before the decade is out. Get behind one of them, and stop wasting this critical passion on irrelevant bullshit.

  • Kucinich
  • Gravel
  • Paul

Pick your horse and place your bet. May Zeus have mercy on us all.

  • Dennis "pocket constitution" Kucinich


And with America's track record for voting in left-wing Presidents, he should be a shoo-in! (Sarcasm)

There's no way he'll get on the Democrat ballot because then they'd worry (validly) about losing most of the swing voters. America is incredibly Right-leaning, and that's not going to change in the space of 1 year.

But, if you want to vote on principle alone, Kucinich is probably your man.

  • Mike "zero net worth" Gravel


A glance at his Wikipedia page shows me an interesting candidate, at least that's for certain...

  • Ron "the economic libertarian" Paul

Are you kidding?

If he gets in, we'll have to petition our government up here in Canada to open the border and let in all the starving refugees. We would have to hope Ron Paul will be quick to keep his word on reimplementing the Constitution and Bill of Rights; at least that way half the refugees won't be stopped on the American side of the border because they're "on the list".

This could be the Second Great Depression. You want a Hoover at least, an FDR if we're dreaming. A hardcore lassaiz-faire proponent like Ron Paul would doom the country and the economists would be the first people to run screaming out of the country.

~ ~ ~

So who, in your silly two-party quasi-democracy would *I* put on the list of recommended endorsements? Nobody, really. I honestly can't see any realistic way my friends below the 49th can stop their country's descent.

I have a notion Barack "went to terrorist school" Obama might slow the descent, but I can't say that with confidence, and so far he's miles behind Shillary in the polls.

Hah. This is awesome. He's high, and he actually bombs on the air. rofl.

(p.s. Applause for fdp.)

I think ron paul understands economics a little better than you. but please explain why he would be a financial disaster please...

Zaphod: What do we want from our canididates? Do we want Romney to pander to atheists? Do we want him to display insincere respect, even though he doesn't honestly understand or relate to atheism?

What do I want? Well, JFK about summed it up:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference... I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the first amendment's guarantees of religious liberty; nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection... I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation.


I understand 100%. Let me try to clarify myself with an analogy. In 2000, Bush promised a domestic foreign policy. I wish he had instead come out and said: "I intend to start shit with every arab state I can get involved in." I don't share that sentiment, but that sort of candor would have served to open my eyes far sooner than they did. Ditto for Romney- I hate the sentiment, and understand it is unconstitutional, but appreciate knowing why I cannot support him.


Despite the quality of my comments, I am not quite as stupid as you seem to think I am. I understand that it is extremely unlikely for Gravel, Paul or Kucinich to get elected. But there is more to politics than winning or losing the election.

Consider the cause of abolition, woman's suffrage, or even civil rights. ALL of these issues began on the fringes of American politics. ALL of these issues were extremely unpopular, and considered radical and dangerous, at some point in our shared history.

Even so: thanks to the tireless efforts of an unyielding minority, these ideas did not go away. They were eventually embraced by more mainstream politicians. Today we have black women who vote without poll taxes. Still a long way from perfect, but we've come a long way, baby.

If the Gravel, Kucinich and Paul supporters continue to scream and holler, eventually the other players will take notice. Here's a concrete example: Paul wants to phase out the IRS. As Huckabee now jumps ahead in the polls, he is now repeating this same anti-IRS position.

You may disagree, and favor the IRS, but that's not my point. The simple fact is this: Paul supporters made enough noise that another candidate began copying parts of the platform. The strategy worked: Huckabee is now jumping ahead in the polls.

Granted, I hate Huckabee, and I doubt anyone on this board is a fan. Again: not my point. The IDEAS of these candidates are gaining more attention every day, and an IDEA cannot be killed, destroyed or out-voted.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:1-2.

I'm callin you out, Romney.

I've produced a special Happy Holiday video message for Mr. O'Reilly on my show "The Frank Factor".


I couldn’t care less about what Bill O thinks about anything. I refuse to participate in what he defines as an open discussion and I think all reasonable people should also ignore him. Let him scream in his vacuum of conservative, brain-dead retards. The rest of us have better things to do with our time.

Despite the quality of my comments, I am not quite as stupid as you seem to think I am.

Hey, peace man! I don't think you're stupid. I was just putting in my two cents. I wasn't trying to be condescending; if anything, I was trying (but failing, apparently) to inject a little tongue-in-cheek humor in an otherwise dismal-sounding post.

I understand that it is extremely unlikely for Gravel, Paul or Kucinich to get elected. But there is more to politics than winning or losing the election.

The POV my last post was coming from was more in the light of how the current administration has, in the last 7 years, put America on a very dangerous course... one in which the abysmal diplomatic and economic effects are already being strongly felt, in America and elsewhere, by everyone who doesn't have their head up their ass.

For the long term, you make some excellent points, Zaphod. But, my worry is that there won't be a long term as we know it. Someone needs to grab the reins in 2008 and steer America away from the precipice, but that seems very unlikely. Another 4 - 8 years of Business As Usual could have terrible, terrible consequences for America and for the world. That notion is partly what compelled me to make that post.

~ ~ ~

As for Ron Paul, I think this blog already has a fair bit of content archived that presents some reasons why Paul would be a poor choice for President. As I understand it, Norm is rather anti Paul-for-Prez. On the other hand, aside from his Presidential aspirations, IIRC Paul does have some fairly sane stances on the fraudulent Terror/Drug Wars and on civil liberties.

Zaphod: I understand your reasoning on why it's so wonderful that Mitt-I-only-heart-christians-Romney didn't "pander to the athiests".

As you state it "I don't see what the problem is". Well, the problem, as I see it, is this: Anyone who comes out and says that this country was founded on Jebus SHOULD be laughed out of the presidential race. America's response to such a statement of "freedom requires religion" should be Mocked openly in polite conversation. America should treat someone with such a poor understanding of history and the constitution with indignation. Speeches such as Romney's need to become part of the zeitgeist of American political stupidity.

There needs to be an idealogical revolution among the electorate to say that we do not want a veiled theocracy. We do not want the type of freedom that requires us to be religious.

Romney's Support should have fallen immediately after this speech. Instead, we get gushing from the right calling it a "home run" and talking about how it could get mitt the nomination. Such an idea sickens me, and I'll openly say so. I need to openly say so and be flabergasted that a Presidential Candidate has such a poor understanding of what america has been, and what it should be.

Yes, Mitt Romney should say that he thinks America should be a Christian Nation, I just don't have to respect him for that view. We should treat his statements from the speech the same way the media treated Kuchinich's "UFO" statements.

The Magnolia Electric Co.

Anyone who comes out and says that this country was founded on Jebus SHOULD be laughed out of the presidential race. America's response to such a statement of "freedom requires religion" should be Mocked openly in polite conversation.

And, now that Mitt has made his speech, we can.

Jefferson & Franklin were not Christians by any modern-day definition of that word. Adams, quoted a few times in that speech, was hardly a roll model. Alien & Sedition Acts, following an undeclared war against France, former ally during the revolution. Boo to all the Federalists (IMO).


Peace, dawg. Just a little self-depreciating humor to help lighten an ugly subject. :-)

Ron Paul represents a century-old division in political ideology.

On one hand we have the New Deal, the end of the Great Depression, and the rise of the middle class- all great victories of "classical liberalism". Taken too far we get Johnson's Great Society and the politically correct society where Imus is fired for being an ass.

Frame of reference: I like FDR and Clinton, I despise Wilson and Johnson.

On the other side we have the Adam Smith turned Austrian Economics view of the world. We have the mandate of liberty, which says that individual liberty is more precious than equality. The "classical conservative" ideology which says that we are each sovereigns of our own life, or more coldly, every man for himself. This form of laise faire economic policy, coupled with rugged "American individualism" led to the unprecedented economic boom of the late (post Civil War) 1800's, and the westward expansion of the USA. Taken too far this ideology become very anti-free market, such as the current age of state-mandated monopolies and rampant crony-ism.

Frame of reference: I am pro-Eisenhower, Jefferson, Madison and Reagan (before he was shot). Nixon, Ford, Bush and Bush II have completely destroyed the meaning of "conservative".

I am still hoping we can form a "Moderate Party" before I die, and work on finding the compromise between two worthy, and dangerous if left unchecked, ideals.

Take NAFTA for example. Back in '92 Perot said that this treaty would lead to extreme off-shoring, and an immigration crisis. He was right. Both Kucinich and Paul oppose NAFTA. There is common ground, even between these polar opposites.

Kucinich opposes NAFTA because it fails to account for worker's rights. Paul opposes NAFTA because it threatens US sovereignty. I think both men make an excellent point. This is why my wet-dream is Paul/Kucinich on an independent ticket in '08. I honestly think that ticket would win. I also think it FORCES the concept of bi-partisan cooperation from buzz word to reality. President Paul is powerless to strip away the welfare state until he compromises with the "Kucinich Congress". Meanwhile, VP Kucinich will not override Dr. Paul's veto on universal healthcare until after the budget has been balanced and sound money reconsidered.

Best of all- both men "get" foreign policy, which is a freaking miracle.

I think most Americans like some parts of liberalism, and some parts of conservatism. I think very few people are genuine neo-cons or neo-libs at heart. I think that "pro-Bush 20%" and "pro-Hillary 20%" are BOTH retarded. BOTH groups are disengaged from the ideological element, and simply voting along with their "favorite team", or more likely, against the team they hate more.

I see two options: 1) compromise 2) civil war. Considering how nasty the last one was, I vote for #1.

And call me crazy, but I think compromise is possible. Let me get rid of the Fed Reserve, and keep my gun, and you can have universal healthcare, and education. Then we can smoke a joint together and chat about whether a fetus deserves any rights, and how best to compromise on that issue. Together we stand. Rah rah. USA!

Failing that, I'm moving to Peru.

* OMG you athiests annoy me! Always whining about inclusion! I would not be whining like you losers if it were the other way around!!!!

(15 minutes later)


OMG lets boycott all the companies that wont plaster MERRY CHRISTMAS everywhere!!!!

I like how it's whining when other people complain, but not when he complains.


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