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Old 07-26-2002, 03:54 PM   #1
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The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba


First, conservatives are not monolithic. That should be obvious, given that the "Christian Right" and near-libertarians strongly disagree about whether government should legislate morality. That two NROnline writers could so strongly disagree is icing on the cake.

Dear Bubba, interesting post.

Could you tell me more about this issue?

I guess (dunno, correct me if Iīm wrong) that the "Christian Right" is for legislating morality. I guess that the set of principles should be, in their opinion, defined by themselves (not by communists, for example, right )

How can a set of "moralities" be implemented into a (so-called) democracy without getting (even) less democratic? Societies are opened systems... they change, they are flexible. Morality is not flexible.

My personal opinion on that matter is that "Right Christians" should get their own fucking country and try their shit there and then see that it wonīt function, even with them who are so perfect and have all the clean blood, those motherfuckers.

The human race is not perfect and it seems there will always exist "evil" things like torture, terrorism, rape, arms sales, wars, greed, and so on. I absolutely, totally, fail to understand the "Christian Right". In my opinion, in their wish of ultimate control over all peoples minds, and in their egoism to think to know whatīs best for everyone, they are close to the extreme views of national socialists around 1933 (even though there are lots of differences in what they believed, too).

Oh, I forgot that this may not be politically correct - fuck that!

I donīt believe the reason the "Christian Right" is that opinion bc they want to make the world a better place. I think they simply want control, power, money. Just like every political direction.

So, Bubba, back to what I want to know:

You are an objectivist. You think there is good or bad or mediocre. Donīt you think that things can be good and bad at the same time? Like it also can be none of the two, neither good nor bad, just without any effect (What is a spider? Good or bad?
From my point of view: bad because I donīt like this animal, but good for the garden; bad for the flies, etc. - from the spiders point of view: nothing, because a spider doesnīt think in dualistic categories).

Another example, those "moralities" (I am writing this "" not because I condemn morality - the contrary, my friend! - just because I have other, and I believe, stronger moral principles than the "Christian Right") - can you describe some? Donīt you think they would be good for some people and bad for others? Or good for a week and then bad because the world has changed?

If I would live in the U.S., and they would legislate morality, how could I ever be safe? I would be thrown into prison I guess, for being immoral. Or maybe tortured, hmmm? How can a set of moral principles, controlled by law, executed by the police f.e., not lead to the total destruction of Americas beloved freedom?
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Old 07-26-2002, 05:24 PM   #2
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Re: The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Dear Bubba, interesting post.

Could you tell me more about this issue?

I guess (dunno, correct me if Iīm wrong) that the "Christian Right" is for legislating morality. I guess that the set of principles should be, in their opinion, defined by themselves (not by communists, for example, right )

How can a set of "moralities" be implemented into a (so-called) democracy without getting (even) less democratic? Societies are opened systems... they change, they are flexible. Morality is not flexible.

My personal opinion on that matter is that "Right Christians" should get their own fucking country and try their shit there and then see that it wonīt function, even with them who are so perfect and have all the clean blood, those motherfuckers.

The human race is not perfect and it seems there will always exist "evil" things like torture, terrorism, rape, arms sales, wars, greed, and so on. I absolutely, totally, fail to understand the "Christian Right". In my opinion, in their wish of ultimate control over all peoples minds, and in their egoism to think to know whatīs best for everyone, they are close to the extreme views of national socialists around 1933 (even though there are lots of differences in what they believed, too).

Oh, I forgot that this may not be politically correct - fuck that!

I donīt believe the reason the "Christian Right" is that opinion bc they want to make the world a better place. I think they simply want control, power, money. Just like every political direction.

So, Bubba, back to what I want to know:

You are an objectivist. You think there is good or bad or mediocre. Donīt you think that things can be good and bad at the same time? Like it also can be none of the two, neither good nor bad, just without any effect (What is a spider? Good or bad?
From my point of view: bad because I donīt like this animal, but good for the garden; bad for the flies, etc. - from the spiders point of view: nothing, because a spider doesnīt think in dualistic categories).

Another example, those "moralities" (I am writing this "" not because I condemn morality - the contrary, my friend! - just because I have other, and I believe, stronger moral principles than the "Christian Right") - can you describe some? Donīt you think they would be good for some people and bad for others? Or good for a week and then bad because the world has changed?

If I would live in the U.S., and they would legislate morality, how could I ever be safe? I would be thrown into prison I guess, for being immoral. Or maybe tortured, hmmm? How can a set of moral principles, controlled by law, executed by the police f.e., not lead to the total destruction of Americas beloved freedom?
Um, one of us needs to stick his head in a bucket of ice water.

There are plenty of moral issues that are encoded into law. Wanton killing is wrong. Rape is wrong. Theft is wrong.

The principal issues over which the Christian Right receives criticism are that it believes that same-sex marriage and abortion are morally wrong and are not strictly private issues, and that they should therefore be legislated appropriately.

If lawmakers of the "Christian Right" have enough votes and popular support, they may succeed in enacting and/or preserving such laws at the state or federal levels. If not, they won't.

The only comparable example I can think of is the abolition of slavery. Today, we think it kind of sad that the abolition of slavery had to be written in as a separate amendment to the Constitution, but that's really irrelevant for us today...the salient facts are that at one point in time enough of the general population thought slavery wrong that an amendment was passed, and that since then no one has ever thought of reversing it.

150 years from now, Americans may shake their heads and wonder how in the world people could ever have thought that homosexuality was wrong. Or they may shake their heads and wonder how in the world people could ever think that it was okay to terminate a fetus because the mother didn't feel like having a baby at a particular time. Or they may be arguing the issues as people do now.

That is all.
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Old 07-26-2002, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars



The human race is not perfect and it seems there will always exist "evil" things like torture, terrorism, rape, arms sales, wars, greed, and so on. I absolutely, totally, fail to understand the "Christian Right". In my opinion, in their wish of ultimate control over all peoples minds, and in their egoism to think to know whatīs best for everyone, they are close to the extreme views of national socialists around 1933 (even though there are lots of differences in what they believed, too).

Oh, I forgot that this may not be politically correct - fuck that!

I donīt believe the reason the "Christian Right" is that opinion bc they want to make the world a better place. I think they simply want control, power, money. Just like every political direction.
I honestly don't think I know that much about the "Christian Right's" political agenda. But with my current knowledge, I tend to believe that their motives are good. You obviously disagree. Can you give me some examples of how the Christian Right will get power and money from their legislated morality? For example, banning abortion...limiting marriage to 1 man and 1 woman...I don't know what else do they want to do...ban pornography...cover up naked statues...whatever...how do these things make Christians rich and powerful? I'm not being sarcastic, just trying to get educated here - looking for real examples.

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars

My personal opinion on that matter is that "Right Christians" should get their own f***ing country and try their s**t there and then see that it wonīt function, even with them who are so perfect and have all the clean blood, those motherf***ers.
(ok, now for the sarcasm)
Yeah, right on! In fact, everyone who doesn't agree with you should have to get their own country! They shouldn't have a voice in how this country is run. If we don't like 'em, they should have to get out. Now that's democracy in action!
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Old 07-26-2002, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: Re: The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
Can you give me some examples of how the Christian Right will get power and money from their legislated morality? For example, banning abortion...limiting marriage to 1 man and 1 woman...I don't know what else do they want to do...ban pornography...cover up naked statues...whatever...how do these things make Christians rich and powerful? I'm not being sarcastic, just trying to get educated here - looking for real examples.
Well, one could argue that by controlling all of those things, then they gain power... they're controlling the country... that could be considered power.

The actual things don't make them powerful... if they were able to change and regulate the nation according to their beliefs, then that would make them powerful.

Not to say that I agree with whenhiphopdrovethebigcars. I don't, for the most part.
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Old 07-26-2002, 10:09 PM   #5
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The "Christian Right" does not dominate America entirely. New England and the West Coast are enough evidence of that. But even in these areas, they certainly try.

Quite honestly, though, I'm not bothered that they have different beliefs than I. What bothers me is that they insist on legislating and shoving their beliefs onto me, which I will fight until the day I die. Even Jesus had to challenge the Pharisees, who took upon themselves as being the most "pious" of Jews and tried to monopolize the religion. I see the "Christian Right," who wish to monopolize Christianity by mob rule, as no different.

A happily "defiant" radical Catholic,

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Old 07-27-2002, 07:25 PM   #6
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Re: The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

I believe that any post that makes a serious attemt at connecting the "Christian Right" with Nazi's (National Socialists, c. 1933) is little more than baiting.

That said, I will give a bit of a response.

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
I guess (dunno, correct me if Iīm wrong) that the "Christian Right" is for legislating morality. I guess that the set of principles should be, in their opinion, defined by themselves (not by communists, for example, right )

How can a set of "moralities" be implemented into a (so-called) democracy without getting (even) less democratic? Societies are opened systems... they change, they are flexible. Morality is not flexible.
Speedracer nailed it very well: there are lots of things, such as killing and rape that can be made illegal and can be more-or-less enforced. Morality IS absolute and unchanging, and laws are not, but they can still reflect morality in a limited scope.

The problem is not then, technically, legislating according to what you think morality is, but OVER-legislating. It's right for the government to make illegal murder, but it's probably too far to say that they should, say, make divorce illegal. It encroaches too far on individual liberty, it's probably unenforceable, and it certainly wouldn't bring about the desired effect: the sustaining of healthy marriages.

THAT's what I mean in particular in terms of legislating morality: you can make murder illegal, but not hate. You can keep people from doing serious harm to each other, but you cannot use laws to make them morally good.

(And it's not just this faction of the right that does this: the left wants to legislate its own moral code, through the creation of "hate crimes," the V-chip, and taxes on tobacco.)

Either way, a government that implements more laws in an attempt to legislate morality does NOT become less democratic. Democracy (or small-r republicanism) is the system by which laws are passed: it says nothing about the laws themselves. You could have a country where LITERALLY everything is codified, but as long as a majority of the people approved every bill, it would still be democratic.

Quote:
My personal opinion on that matter is that "Right Christians" should get their own fucking country and try their shit there and then see that it wonīt function, even with them who are so perfect and have all the clean blood, those motherfuckers.
THIS is the baiting to which I was referring, some sort of insinuation about - I suppose - racists with eugenic intentions. This has NOTHING to do with Christian conservatives, and it's frankly repels that you would think otherwise.

Quote:
The human race is not perfect and it seems there will always exist "evil" things like torture, terrorism, rape, arms sales, wars, greed, and so on. I absolutely, totally, fail to understand the "Christian Right". In my opinion, in their wish of ultimate control over all peoples minds, and in their egoism to think to know whatīs best for everyone, they are close to the extreme views of national socialists around 1933 (even though there are lots of differences in what they believed, too).
I agree with the first half of this paragraph; the second half is a bit extreme.

Yes, certainly, bad things will always occur, but I doubt that the most within the Christian Right want to control people's minds. At most, they want to pass laws that encourage others to do the right thing. I admit, it's a fool's errand, but I don't think that makes them Nazis.

Nor do I think it's egotism on their part to think they're right. First, they have two millenia of Christianity (and an even longer history of Judaism) to back up their beliefs. And, ultimately, a LOT of what the Christian Right wants to achieve has proven to be successful. Their methods may be wrong, but look at what they want: They want most families to have fathers, a tradition that has worked for most cultures (those who disagree are the ones who believe they know better than history). They want smut kept out of the hands of minors and faith to be encouraged. MOST of their ideas have served mankind quite well for centuries.

Quote:
I donīt believe the reason the "Christian Right" is that opinion bc they want to make the world a better place. I think they simply want control, power, money. Just like every political direction.
That's awfully cynical, though understandable. Honestly, there are probably a few within every political movement that are motivated by power. But it's hard to say that all people in all groups are thus motivated - particularly when politcal groups (like some in the 60's) pushed so hard for something as noble as civil rights.

Quote:
You are an objectivist. You think there is good or bad or mediocre. Donīt you think that things can be good and bad at the same time? Like it also can be none of the two, neither good nor bad, just without any effect (What is a spider? Good or bad?
From my point of view: bad because I donīt like this animal, but good for the garden; bad for the flies, etc. - from the spiders point of view: nothing, because a spider doesnīt think in dualistic categories).
My beliefs?

Yes, some things are morally neutral, but they are objectively netural.

No, they can't be simultaneously good and bad.

Quote:
Another example, those "moralities" (I am writing this "" not because I condemn morality - the contrary, my friend! - just because I have other, and I believe, stronger moral principles than the "Christian Right") - can you describe some? Donīt you think they would be good for some people and bad for others? Or good for a week and then bad because the world has changed?
There are, as C.S. Lewis summarized from the works of other philosophers and theologians, four cardinal virtues - "those which all civilized people recognize."

* Prudence, or common sense.
* Temperance: all things in moderation.
* Justice, which means being fair and honest.
* Fortitude: simple courage.

(The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and love, but I'm mentioning only the basics.)

I believe these virtues are universally and timelessly good: good everywhere and at all times. In fact, I cannot imagine the opposite - a "civilization" that encouraged foolishness, excess, injustice, dishonesty, and cowardice; I certainly can't imagine such a society would long survive.

(Though, to be honest, we seem to be sliding from the virtues to their opposites, crystalizing moments like 9/11 notwithstanding.)

Quote:
If I would live in the U.S., and they would legislate morality, how could I ever be safe? I would be thrown into prison I guess, for being immoral. Or maybe tortured, hmmm? How can a set of moral principles, controlled by law, executed by the police f.e., not lead to the total destruction of Americas beloved freedom?
I'm not sure how torture would come into play, and I think you would actually be quite safe, assuming you followed the rules. You're right that freedom would be, I think, compromised too much - but I don't think that justifies the really negative, inaccurate comments about Christian conservatives.
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Old 07-29-2002, 04:28 AM   #7
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Re: Re: The U.S. "Christian Right" and its morality set

Oh, wonderful, so I seem to stand corrected.

Itīs obvious that things like killing and rape have to be forbidden. I thought they wanted a new set of moral principles (like, f.e., you have to be "politically correct", you have to report the police when you see sth. illegal going on, demonstrations should be made illegal,... more the mix-into-others-peoples-lives-attitude and reducing the potentionally harmful civil society that right parties in Europe often use).

This is why I needed a little more information. Morality is, in my opinion, not absolutely and unchanging, but I admit there are some things you donīt need to discuss about (killing is bad, stealing is bad, etc.) I am with you, too, when you say that it shouldnīt be forbidden to divorce.

What is the V Chip?

I absolutely agree with you when you say a family should have a father. I think it is the best solution. I donīt think it should be forbidden that two men or two women raise some children, but I believe a family with a father and a mother is the best form to give good education and examples (also psychologically).

The cardinal virtues are nice, but leave a lot of room for interpretation. F.e., if temperance means all things in moderation, we are in the old discussion of if, and how much, capitalism should be regulated (because I donīt believe capitalism to be moderate). Temperance may be good as a general rule, like "Donīt exaggerate"; in our world, where society tells and is told that you have to be bigger, faster and better (the "cut up your brother or heīll get you in the end" - rule), sadly enough, only some follow some cardinal virtues.

Anyway, thanks for the update, everyone. I really didnīt know much about the principles af the "Christian Right". Needless to say that I believe abortion should not be forbidden (especially in cases like rape), because every child has the right to have a loving mother. Anyway, given that the number of abortions is relatively high for our developed society, there should be more care about the life of the child and people should be more educated about protection.


Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba

Speedracer nailed it very well: there are lots of things, such as killing and rape that can be made illegal and can be more-or-less enforced. Morality IS absolute and unchanging, and laws are not, but they can still reflect morality in a limited scope.

The problem is not then, technically, legislating according to what you think morality is, but OVER-legislating. It's right for the government to make illegal murder, but it's probably too far to say that they should, say, make divorce illegal. It encroaches too far on individual liberty, it's probably unenforceable, and it certainly wouldn't bring about the desired effect: the sustaining of healthy marriages.

THAT's what I mean in particular in terms of legislating morality: you can make murder illegal, but not hate. You can keep people from doing serious harm to each other, but you cannot use laws to make them morally good.

(And it's not just this faction of the right that does this: the left wants to legislate its own moral code, through the creation of "hate crimes," the V-chip, and taxes on tobacco.)

Either way, a government that implements more laws in an attempt to legislate morality does NOT become less democratic. Democracy (or small-r republicanism) is the system by which laws are passed: it says nothing about the laws themselves. You could have a country where LITERALLY everything is codified, but as long as a majority of the people approved every bill, it would still be democratic.



THIS is the baiting to which I was referring, some sort of insinuation about - I suppose - racists with eugenic intentions. This has NOTHING to do with Christian conservatives, and it's frankly repels that you would think otherwise.



I agree with the first half of this paragraph; the second half is a bit extreme.

Yes, certainly, bad things will always occur, but I doubt that the most within the Christian Right want to control people's minds. At most, they want to pass laws that encourage others to do the right thing. I admit, it's a fool's errand, but I don't think that makes them Nazis.

Nor do I think it's egotism on their part to think they're right. First, they have two millenia of Christianity (and an even longer history of Judaism) to back up their beliefs. And, ultimately, a LOT of what the Christian Right wants to achieve has proven to be successful. Their methods may be wrong, but look at what they want: They want most families to have fathers, a tradition that has worked for most cultures (those who disagree are the ones who believe they know better than history). They want smut kept out of the hands of minors and faith to be encouraged. MOST of their ideas have served mankind quite well for centuries.



That's awfully cynical, though understandable. Honestly, there are probably a few within every political movement that are motivated by power. But it's hard to say that all people in all groups are thus motivated - particularly when politcal groups (like some in the 60's) pushed so hard for something as noble as civil rights.



My beliefs?

Yes, some things are morally neutral, but they are objectively netural.

No, they can't be simultaneously good and bad.



There are, as C.S. Lewis summarized from the works of other philosophers and theologians, four cardinal virtues - "those which all civilized people recognize."

* Prudence, or common sense.
* Temperance: all things in moderation.
* Justice, which means being fair and honest.
* Fortitude: simple courage.

(The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and love, but I'm mentioning only the basics.)

I believe these virtues are universally and timelessly good: good everywhere and at all times. In fact, I cannot imagine the opposite - a "civilization" that encouraged foolishness, excess, injustice, dishonesty, and cowardice; I certainly can't imagine such a society would long survive.

(Though, to be honest, we seem to be sliding from the virtues to their opposites, crystalizing moments like 9/11 notwithstanding.)



I'm not sure how torture would come into play, and I think you would actually be quite safe, assuming you followed the rules. You're right that freedom would be, I think, compromised too much - but I don't think that justifies the really negative, inaccurate comments about Christian conservatives.
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