In response to Rockinawsome (#119)
Rockinawsome wrote:
I push for my ethics, I protect my religion, and I question my religon. I see nothing wrong in ensuring the 10 commandments or otherwise, I can respect your opinion...Also look at your money, look at the pledge of allegience, look at a number of religous sayings and symbols, they cover many of the founding documents of our country. Morals can be found outside of religion, but it is a rare person who does. As for your Salem Witch trial theory...do I even need to argue that? That's so stupid - what's the point? How many founding fathers do I have to point to? How many Christian presidents have there been? Consider yourself lucky a violent strain of Islam didn't shape this country, consider yourself fortunate that the ideals fostered in this country have all helped to shape an easier life for yourself.

Not to nag but, the Pledge never used to include the words "One nation under god." until 1954, in a failed attempt to try & battle Communism. So, scratch that one off. As for the dollar - all the god stuff hadn't appeared also until the 1900s. And, as for your remark "Morals can be found outside of religion, but it is a rare person who does.", if you haven't guessed - I'm not a very religious person, and I and many of my friends who aren't religious have morals - probably more so than many "devout" Christians. And, to justify that statement - look at how many "good religious" people are popping out kids & having sex before marriage, that is a whole other story in it self for another day. But, for now - I stand by my decision that any body could lead this country better than Bush. And, it's not because, he's a Republican - it's because, he's a damned idiotic fool!
In response to Teh Governator (#120)
...And I'll let it go at that.
In response to Rockinawsome (#119)
Rockinawsome wrote:
How many founding fathers do I have to point to? How many Christian presidents have there been?

A very good point. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was so religious he even wrote his own version of the Bible--which flatly denied the divinity of Christ (he removed all reference to anything miraculous or supernatural, attributing these segments of the Bible to later insertions by over-zealous followers seeking to "sex up" their teacher's ethical precepts). Not content to merely seperate religion from politics, he one-upped his fellow founders and attempted to seperate religion from religion.
In response to Leftley (#122)
Yeah, he was genius, and a bit nuts. Everyone knows that. My point still stands though, this nation has its roots in Christianity. The Mayflower voyagers came over for religous freedom, contrary to the popular secularist theories that they came for wealth or some other nonsense.
In response to Loduwijk (#82)
Bush should have never gotten into office in the first place. How come all our good presidents get shot, and the terrible ones survive?

Life is screwy.
In response to Rockinawsome (#123)
Rockinawsome wrote:
Yeah, he was genius, and a bit nuts. Everyone knows that. My point still stands though, this nation has its roots in Christianity. The Mayflower voyagers came over for religous freedom, contrary to the popular secularist theories that they came for wealth or some other nonsense.

You had a very elegant case up until you started veering into history. The "freedom" that the Puritans came to America looking for was largely the freedom to oppress religions different than their own. That's a somewhat harsh way of putting it, but that's essentially what it was: their freedom to practice their own religion was never at stake, but they were so disturbed by the more traditional Protestants (even--*GASP*!--Catholics!) living around them that they just had to get away. When colonies like Connecticut and Rhode Island started to get founded with ideals of religious freedom and toleration, the freedom they were seeking was freedom from the Puritans of Massachusetts.

This isn't revisionism and it's not Christianity-bashing, any more than discussions of slavery constitute bashing on America or the South. The Puritan founders came from a very ugly time in the history of Christian European religion and of European politics, and an especially ugly time in the history of Christian European religion as it affected European poltiics. Compared to what other people were doing in Europe at the time, sailing thousands of miles away and starting a new society so that you can have absolute control over the religious practices of everyone around you was the very pinnacle of peaceable religious toleration. The nation's roots were buried in the dirt--it is not the roots themselves that are impressive, but the great nation that grew from them. While it's important to recognize the roots for having borne such a nation, that doesn't mean that the roots themselves represent an ideal.
You all know how I feel about Bush, and I'd like to debate this lively topic, but I'll just let the facts speak for themselves.

http://www.cronus.com/newyorker/
http://www.bushfiles.com/bush_toc.html

As for the other guy, well, I don't like him either. I mean, they're both Skull and Bones. Kerry was just a Blue Bush.

~X
In response to Rockinawsome (#95)
Evolution is as close to a fact as anything can be. And if you start going on about "It's just a theory!", I'm going to tell you to find out what a theory is, in scientific terms, because newtonian mechanics was just a theory.

Why do I think Bush is uneducated? Do people who've graduated from Yale say things like "The illiteracy level of our children are appalling"? That's not a simple mistake, that's a huge grammatical error. And quite ironic too.

What about that interview, where he was asked what his favourite childhood book was? He replied with "The hungry hungry caterpillar", which wasn't published until he was about 18. If you're reading "The hungry hungry caterpillar" at eighteen, there's no way you got through university.

I don't fear christians. I bloody hate people that go off spouting christian mythology, and attempt to teach it in schools, and generally believe in the existance of a greater power with no apparent evidence. I don't give a damn whether they're Hindu or Christian or Buddhist, I still think the belief is stupid. Most of the values are fine - and I'm talking about "Love thy neighbour" here, not whatever... stuff... Bush has been spouting lately with regards to gay marriage.

I'm quite alright with people who quietly believe and don't try to convert people. That's fine, even if I think they're deluded. But I hate the creation myth, which is most certainly NOT a theory.

Incidentally, Darwinian evolution has been superseded by a couple of new theories of evolution. They go by the same basic idea, i.e. that beneficial mutations survive, but they're slightly different in some way that a non-specialist, like me, can't understand yet.
In response to Jaredoggy (#88)
Jaredoggy babbles:
If any American is asked if they live in an oppressive country they would likely say no.

I *am* an American for 37 years (although I currently live and work in Germany) and there is a fair amount of 'oppressive' behavior by the American government- but I would say that is not so surprising since most other governments in the world have similar behaviors and various levels. It just depends on what you believe you are being told by various media choices.

So I don't understand why foreigner's like to spin a tale that we are indeed oppressed and that something must be done.

Having lived in Europe for 5 years, I see how much of the world sees the U.S. The perspective is refreshing, and probably more accurate *and* neutral than what most locals may enjoy. There is very little spin needed when Bush does a good job of providing the comedy for the rest of the world. There is no doubt that he's made some really bone-headed decisions during his 'reign of terror'.

Also, I love my freedom of speech. It can create some polarization but largely it is beneficial to help address the will of the people.

Unfortunately 'the will of the people' gets ignored since the U.S. treats most of its constituents like sheep.
In response to Nick231 (#80)
I'm not quite sure how many Iraqis (and I'd like to clarify there, I'm referring to CIVILIANS, which was, I thought, obvious from my phrasing.) Saddam killed, but here's some statistics for how many America has killed:

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6596

And that is from several months ago. How many do you think have been killed now? How many do you think will continue to be killed as a direct result of the US invasion? How many will be killed because of depleted uranium used in Iraq? (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg17823910.300)

I'm willing to bet that the end result will be far far higher then Saddam ever killed.

Power and water was not kept in working order. What the hell do you think happens when you fire missiles into a city? What happens is you blow up stuff, even if it isn't what you're aiming for. How many schools were accidentally bombed by US pilots? I'm not sure if you'd hear about it if it happened, given the quality of the media in the US, but it happened a significant number of times. Bombings of weddings occurred too. The reason? "They had guns and were shooting them in the air!", bomb half of Texas if that's a problem.

Under Saddam people were killed for no apparent reason? Does getting hit by a piece of shrapnel ejected by a missile strike have an apparent reason? What about leukemia caused by DU?

I'm not sure what you're problem with "insurgents" is. If you invade a country, expect to get shot at. In fact, the "insurgents" are on higher moral ground then the US, it's the difference between a legal and illegal war (as specified by the UN).
In response to Rockinawsome (#87)
History will someday be the judge, and hopefully people then will see the strategic move to be gained in attacking Iraq's deadly regime, and then the terrorists who reside and/or are trained there.

Bovine fecal matter. Terrorists? Well, they're there NOW, aren't they? There never were any terrorists in Iraq, and any link implicated between Saddam and Osama is complete poppycock. They hated each other, one was a religious fanatic and one was a secular leader.

Weapons inspectors found no current plans in progress to develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. They did find a small, ten year old vial of botulinum toxin. Maybe Saddam was worried about his wrinkles?

In response to Rockinawsome (#97)
And you aren't? You mocked evolution, sounds deluded to me.

Furthermore, propaganda from whom? Propoganda generally entails that political parties are behind it, and yet, both of Australia's major political parties are practically American. I want my voting rights! :P.

All of the things I've been saying here I have arrived at after my own reasoning. That isn't propaganda, that's this thing called thought. It is quite possible to arrive at this idea without being told it by someone.
In response to Jaredoggy (#88)
And, of course, nobody else has freedom of speech.

1 - I have no inferiority complex. Why?
1a) I hate my government. There is no reason for me to feel bad for it beause it's smaller then the US' government, and especially not for the way it has become a branch of it.
1b) That presumes that you are, in fact, superior, which is the main reason I dislike America - YOU THINK YOU'RE SUPERIOR.

2 - Of course, gay people aren't discriminated against, that's why they can't marry other... umm...
In response to Deadron (#83)
Can you marry another gay man? Possibly, in the state you live in, but not in all of them, and if Bush has his way you'll lose that right anyway.

Of course, gay people can't get married in Australia either, currently, but I blame that on our prime minister being stuck up George's rectum.
In response to Rockinawsome (#119)
Because, you know, christianity is all love and happiness. We LOVED those "witches". We LOVED the people we inquisited in Spain. We LOVED Galileo.

I do believe America was originally founded by people escaping religious persecution. Isn't what's currently happening somewhat ironic, then? I call the government hindering the rights of a minority due to the wishes of a religious institution religious oppression.

Who gives a damn what the history of your country was? That has no respect to whether or not you should follow your own consitution with respect to religion. Just because you didn't do it in the past isn't an excuse.

Oh, of course, it's rare to find morals outside religion. Which is, of course, why I'm arguing using moral terms. I'm an atheist, I have morals. They are not derived from a religion. Atheists don't run around murdering and stealing. Why? 'Cause morals aren't just religious.
In response to Rockinawsome (#118)
Because it's entirely logical to accept the truth of something without any evidence, deductive or inductive, to support it.

Of course, there are some assumptions that you need to have for any deduction or induction, but the difference between the assumption "If thing A is a X, and all Xs are Ys, then A is a Y" and the assumption "There is a greater power" is fairly obvious.
In response to Rockinawsome (#94)
THEY AREN'T BEARS FOR GODS SAKES! LEARN SOME TAXONOMY BEFORE CALLING THEM THAT!

With that out of my system:

So if we were screwed and then tryed to ban guns, we would know its wrong, but because we weren't screwed it's okay?

Banning guns results in less guns all around. Even if that means a higher proportion of said guns are illegal, there's still less guns. And less guns means less gun-related death. Simple enough?

Anyway, people tend not to shoot other people. Killing somebody isn't an easy thing to do. Hell, I can barely HIT somebody, let alone kill them. But if the person you're possibly going to kill is carrying a weapon, all of a sudden it's not "Me vs unarmed person", it's "Me vs possible threat: which unfolds in a completely different manner.
In response to Rockinawsome (#98)
No it isn't. Socialism refers to a political ideology where you give people things if they need it. So increasing welfare, leave, that sort of thing. Similar to communism, except communism takes it to the point where the government gives you everything you need, as opposed to giving you some things you need. Both of which are admirable political systems, so I have no idea how come people in the US consider it pretty much a swearword.

Reminds me of an amusing anecdote:

My mother and father went travelling the world a few years before I was born, and they went to America at some point. They were describing Australia's welfare system, and somebody said "I didn't know Australia was a socialist country!". Much hilarity ensued, although the numbskull concerned probably didn't know why.

Of course, this is the same country were people were asking what the name of our kangaroo was, and why we didn't speak like crocodile dundee.
In response to Jp (#136)
Banning guns results in less guns all around. Even if that means a higher proportion of said guns are illegal, there's still less guns. And less guns means less gun-related death. Simple enough?

I suggest reading the article Leftly linked to in his post [link] .
In response to Jp (#133)
Gay marriage is a hot topic right now, sure, but only because of the religious beliefs of those in power. A good majority of the population have no issue with gays, and probably less with people who wear turbans. I live in a really interesting town where gays, hippies, catholics, athiests, hindus and muslims all coexist peacfully in a small community. We're even home to Donald Rumsfeld. Imagine that.

That's what America really is, community without prejudice. When it fails, people point the finger and say it's all wrong, but they don't see how right it really is. They don't see the day to day successes of this country, only its faults. Our foriegn policy, on the other hand, is a train wreck.

I don't like my government, moreso now than ever, but I like my home and the friends I've made. I like the freedoms I enjoy, and the richness of this land. I like America, I'm not too thrilled with the United States.

Oh, and that last comment you made about your leader being up our leader's rectum was in very bad taste, especially considering the current topic, and who you said it to. Really. :\

~X
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