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Author Topic: Glen Beck's "Restoring Honor" march
Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm asking what you think, in light of what you've written here.
The overall question is: why are people detecting racist over- (and under-) tones in this little stunt of Beck's? The question presented to me, following my reminder that Beck himself has said that he intended his event to "reclaim" the Civil Rights movement (for his fans), is whether someone can think the Civil Rights movement needs reclamation without being a racist.

I submit that this followup question is the wrong followup question. More importantly, I submit that every person that has asked that followup question here has both the intelligence and the ability to connect the necessary dots between my reminder and the original question.

So: what might be perceived as racist in Glenn Beck's desire to reclaim the Civil Rights Movement for the Tea Party, symbolically starting from the last place before that movement went wrong?

Well you've gotta reclaim the civil rights movement sooner or later. Otherwise people like me might start getting rights [Smile]
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Al Wessex
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==>"Al, your striking leap of logic from honor to religion to racism is strikingly reminiscient of Beck's own show:"

So you agree with me about Beck...

==>"Or is it Beck that's scaring you by using techniques that race and gender fearmongers on the Left have used for decades, and thought that they owned? "

But then you toss in a gratuitous strawman to say that people who "oppose" him are like people who (allegedly) have said and done bad things in the past. Why do you of all people rush to defend a man who says the black President hates white people and repeatedly compares things he says and does to Nazism and Hitler's propaganda techniques? My favorite example of that was when Obama praised Sotomayor for her empathy. Beck pointed out that "empathy" (he used air quotes) was a code word Hitler used (he didn't, AFAIK) at the beginning of his march of extermination against the Jews. Where do you think Beck's "march" (air quotes because they didn't, you know, march anywhere) is headed?

For those of you who say this was not a political rally, at least own up to it being an ideological reinforcement of the Christianization of the political right. FOX provided the two dominant speakers, both of whom spend time virtually every day demonizing elected officials and candidates whose views are to their left. Palin never retracted her characterization of a part of Obama's health care initiative as death panels where the government will choose who lives and who dies. Let's see, Obama hates white people and he gets to choose who lives and who dies...

Remind me, these speakers are just delivering Good News how?

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Jordan
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quote:
Viking:
It's one thing to presume a pundit has a political agenda, it's another to imply that agenda is based on an evil motivation like racism.

I'm not seeing the "racism" subtext either. I am seeing an implication that the civil rights movement went wrong when people started expanding it to anyone other than African Americans. Inviting Alveda was a strong statement; as I have said, she does not hesitate to announce her family connections to the great MLK, yet has strongly condemned his widow for being insufficiently conservative in her campaign for social justice.

Alveda and Palin were chosen because they support a particular agenda that Beck also supports. The timing and location are unlikely to be coincidental. It is nice that injured soldiers or their families may receive some assistance from the fundraising efforts, but the event did not need to be heavily politicised to achieve this goal.

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sfallmann
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quote:
Originally posted by Jordan:
quote:
Viking:
It's one thing to presume a pundit has a political agenda, it's another to imply that agenda is based on an evil motivation like racism.

I'm not seeing the "racism" subtext either. I am seeing an implication that the civil rights movement went wrong when people started expanding it to anyone other than African Americans. Inviting Alveda was a strong statement; as I have said, she does not hesitate to announce her family connections to the great MLK, yet has strongly condemned his widow for being insufficiently conservative in her campaign for social justice.

Alveda and Palin were chosen because they support a particular agenda that Beck also supports. The timing and location are unlikely to be coincidental. It is nice that injured soldiers or their families may receive some assistance from the fundraising efforts, but the event did not need to be heavily politicised to achieve this goal.

From the snippits I catch of him, I think he believes it went wrong because people are not being judged by character these days. We should all be just Americans not hyphen-Americans, pitting white vs black, etc. Individual liberty, freedom, and adherence to constitution whether you personally like what it may allow - can't enforce the rules just for the issues you like. But it has nothing to do with expanding civil rights outwards (if you meant to other groups).

Believing his sincerity is another matter.

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Aris Katsaris
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There was one American who wanted everyone to be Americans together and fight for ECONOMIC JUSTICE together. Some other American killed him.

Now certain people argue instead that his message means that everyone can be "just Americans" by having nobody fight for economic justice or think fit for society to take care of the unprivileged.

And that's I guess, how people choose to murder his ideas after they murder his person.

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RickyB
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Thank you Aris. That was brilliantly succinct.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Do you have any evidence that the man is actually manipulative and dishonest that isn't attributable to being inconsistant and fickle?

What, things like using eye drops to help create big, dramatic tears on camera?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by sfallmann:
That would be racist in what way? Emphasizing not judging people by color but by their character and thinking that's no longer the case is racist?

Trying to pretend that serious racial inequity doesn't exist and actively trying to convince people that they should stop trying to address it in favor of "just judging by character" is a strongly racist position that tries to use a veneer of equality to deflect attempts to show how it only serves to continue or worsen existing problems.

Imagine if you were going to play checkers with someone, and they set up the board normally for you, and then made all of their pieces kings. When you complain about how that makes for an unfair game, they respond by saying "Okay, we'll both follow the rules as written from here on out". They then proceed to tell you that the rules don't have any provision for turning kinged pieces back into regular ones when you point out that they still have the kings they made before they so generously agreed to play by the rules.

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Jordan
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quote:
Fallmann:
From the snippits I catch of him, I think he believes it went wrong because people are not being judged by character these days. We should all be just Americans not hyphen-Americans, pitting white vs black, etc. Individual liberty, freedom, and adherence to constitution whether you personally like what it may allow - can't enforce the rules just for the issues you like. But it has nothing to do with expanding civil rights outwards (if you meant to other groups).

Believing his sincerity is another matter.

Fallmann, that sounds like a premise that everyone should be able to get behind, liberal or conservative; and of course, it's impossible for me to gauge how sincere he is. The problem is that it is impossible to overlook his choice of highly polarised speakers, especially combined with the timing of the event. At the very least, his selections contribute to politicised interpretations of the event's premise, something he could have alleviated by choosing speakers from across the board.

The main thing that sticks out in my head is that he arranged for Alveda King to talk at the site of MLK Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech on the anniversary of the day that it was given, and the significance was certainly not lost on Alveda or Glenn Beck themselves. Alveda's opinions on more recent civil rights agendas are a matter of record, and inviting her to speak at a historically resonant time and place implies a lot of respect for those views.

[ August 30, 2010, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: Jordan ]

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kmbboots
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I think that when Glenn Beck talks about "reclaiming the civil rights movement" the unspoken rest of that sentence is, "for white people."
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JWatts
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Glenn Beck is a partisan, conservative speaker and a bit of a demagogue, but clearly very popular. The rally was large, peaceful and will probably have a ripple effect on the upcoming November elections.

Most liberal pundits seemed to be unable to do anything but hurl insults and make biting comments targeted to their base. There is nothing wrong with a rally on the Washington mall with a "Restoring Honor" theme, anymore than there was anything wrong with Barack Obama's "Hope and Change" themed campaign.

Any liberals who are stuck in the monodrone that:
Conservatives = Racists,
aren't going to be successful selling their message to the voters in November. It's acceptable if that's your personal belief, but don't expect it to be very persuasive.

Nor are conservatives going to be successful with the:
Obama = Communist/Muslim,
but I don't see many conservatives pushing that line for the fall elections.

To be honest, I don't expect Democrats can hold the House at this point in time and it's unlikely they'll loose the Senate, so maybe liberals don't feel the need to act with any moderation at this point.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Thank you Aris. That was brilliantly succinct.
The only thing "brilliant" about it was that he told you what you wanted to hear. It was no more "brilliant" than any **** that Sarah Palin spouts, but admittedly it was succinct.

This whole thing is much ado about nothing. Beck admitted that he didn't even realize the connection to the MLK date when he organized this rally, and I believe him. He's managed to spin it now by creating a specious connection with MLK to score some kind of propaganda victory (like a big stick in the eye of the NAACP), but one thing would seem to have little to do with the other.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Beck admitted that he didn't even realize the connection to the MLK date when he organized this rally, and I believe him.
So do I, actually. It's the spin he put on it later that I consider offensive, not least because it's clearly calculated to offend.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
I think that when Glenn Beck talks about "reclaiming the civil rights movement" the unspoken rest of that sentence is, "for white people."
No, I think the rest of the sentence is "from liberals and Democrats." I think he believes the civil rights movement has been abused by the Left and should be "taken back" by conservatives.

Of course, how successful he is by this hope (of reclamation) will be easily seen by how many minorities showed up, or paid attention, to this rally. If it was primarily attended by caucasians, it will have practically no influence on those personally concerned with civil rights.

It may have some influence on those concerned with the abuse of civil rights, but that really is another issue entirely.

So really, when he says he wants to "reclaim the civil rights movement," I suspect he really wants to redefine it from ensuring that the rights of minorities are protected to ensuring that the rights of the majority are not abused. [Smile]

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threads
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quote:
Most liberal pundits seemed to be unable to do anything but hurl insults and make biting comments targeted to their base. There is nothing wrong with a rally on the Washington mall with a "Restoring Honor" theme, anymore than there was anything wrong with Barack Obama's "Hope and Change" themed campaign.
"Restoring Honor" seems to be a code phrase for "Restoring God". It should be scary when Beck says "Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice". That's a terrible way to go about making important decisions and reflects an unfortunate tendency among fundamentalists to disbelieve expert opinion and rational decision making processes.

edit: replaced distrust with disbelieve. It's fine to be skeptical of expert claims. It's wrongheaded to disbelieve the majority of the ones with expert consensus.

[ August 30, 2010, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
The only thing "brilliant" about it was that he told you what you wanted to hear.
No, it was not "what he wanted to hear." It was what he believes to be true.

Big difference.

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Jordan
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quote:
Jason:
Beck admitted that he didn't even realize the connection to the MLK date when he organized this rally, and I believe him.

I see no reason to doubt him. Like Tom says, it's the manner in which this fortuitous timing was exploited that does not sit well.

quote:
This whole thing is much ado about nothing.
You're absolutely right, Jason: the whole thing was spectacularly charged and supremely vague. Glenn Beck has got the liberatsia buzzing with crazy rhetoric and unsubstantiated guesswork by doing something so simultaneously portentous and pointless that nobody can put a finger on what he was up to. There were some funny, historically charged awards, some carefully worded speeches from divisive partisan personalities that stopped short of saying much that anyone could consider objectionable, and a whole lot of big words and phrases like "honour" and "character" and "moral courage" and "God". In short, a crash of political power chords with a bring-your-own melody.

It reminds me of how, when my sisters wanted to wind me up after a spat, they'd go and start having a tea party outside my bedroom door. It was just coincidence they were there—they just felt it was time for a tea party, and who doesn't like tea parties?

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Paladine
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quote:
"Restoring Honor" seems to be a code phrase for "Restoring God". It should be scary when Beck says "Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice". That's a terrible way to go about making important decisions and reflects an unfortunate tendency among fundamentalists to disbelieve expert opinion and rational decision making processes.

edit: replaced distrust with disbelieve. It's fine to be skeptical of expert claims. It's wrongheaded to disbelieve the majority of the ones with expert consensus.

There really isn't much room for "expert" opinion in politics except with respect to a few technical questions. Most political issues boil down to ideas which a bunch of technical training doesn't necessarily better equip you to answer. When "experts" start telling me what to think of gay marriage or abortion or racism, I have to confess that I'm not overly interested in their opinions or their credentials.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
I think that when Glenn Beck talks about "reclaiming the civil rights movement" the unspoken rest of that sentence is, "for white people."
No, I think the rest of the sentence is "from liberals and Democrats." I think he believes the civil rights movement has been abused by the Left and should be "taken back" by conservatives.

Of course, how successful he is by this hope (of reclamation) will be easily seen by how many minorities showed up, or paid attention, to this rally. If it was primarily attended by caucasians, it will have practically no influence on those personally concerned with civil rights.

Like liberals and Democrats.
quote:


So really, when he says he wants to "reclaim the civil rights movement," I suspect he really wants to redefine it from ensuring that the rights of minorities are protected to ensuring that the rights of the majority are not abused. [Smile]

Like I wrote.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by threads:
It should be scary when Beck says "Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice". That's a terrible way to go about making important decisions and reflects an unfortunate tendency among fundamentalists to disbelieve expert opinion and rational decision making processes.

Is this substantially different than any other national political figure? Or is it scary because Beck's a conservative?

President Barack Obama

quote:
One piece features photos of Obama praying with the words "COMMITTED CHRISTIAN" in large letters across the middle. It says Obama will be a president "guided by his Christian faith" and includes a quote from him saying, "I believe in the power of prayer."

A second piece, which like the first doesn't mention the Muslim rumor, includes photos of Obama with his family and a caption that says they are active members of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. It explains how as a young man Obama "felt a beckoning of the spirit and accepted Jesus Christ into his life."

MSNBC

quote:
Barack Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn't have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed. Obama turned down lucrative job offers after law school to return to Chicago, leading a successful voter registration drive. He joined a small law firm, taught constitutional law and, guided by his Christian faith, stayed active in his community.
Official Bio
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Paladine
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quote:
Glenn Beck is no more a person of faith than Al Sharpton is.
Putting aside the fact that there's *no* earthly way for you to know that, Beck's personal faith isn't really what the argument's about. The Civil Rights Movement and the abolition movement before it drew tremendous strength from religious ideas and communities, and dealt very heavily in religious language. They reaffirmed the idea that rights are derived from God, that fundamental human equality is a divine rather than a human mandate.

That political heritage is being driven from our culture by historical revisionists who deny simple truths about how most Americans from the Founding to the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement understood their rights, where they thought those rights came from and what compelled them to lay down their lives to fight for the rights of others.

"As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free."

That's what many of us want to take back. We're tired of being told that belief equals oppression and secularism equals liberation. We're trying to reclaim our history and our culture, the idea that religion and the morality it inspires should be a part of our public life.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
quote:
Glenn Beck is no more a person of faith than Al Sharpton is.
The Civil Rights Movement and the abolition movement before it drew tremendous strength from religious ideas and communities, and dealt very heavily in religious language.
Whoa there cowboy! The next thing you'll be alleging is that the early Civil Rights Movement was lead by a clergyman and strongly backed by Republicans! [Eek!]
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hobsen
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Reporters asking the organizers why this date was chosen were told that it was coincidence. And in truth, this gathering had to be on a weekend, so the calendar could have made honoring the MLK anniversary impossible. Naturally Beck and others referred to MLK once they started discussing the planned event and writing their own speeches.

Otherwise Beck deleted a closing sentence in his speech asserting that Americans had an opportunity in November to change the course of this nation, as he realized that would be overtly political. (Presumably Democrats do not want to change the course of the nation radically.) And as for racial issues, so far as I have heard anyone could attend. The fact that the choice of speakers appealed more to a white audience, and that some who attended were probably racists, does not make that the fault of the speakers. Of course the United States is racially divided, and racial divisions will be very important in the coming election, but it does not appear this gathering was either intended to or had the effect of increasing those divisions very much. Probably it did not have much effect at all.

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Al Wessex
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==>"We're trying to reclaim our history and our culture, the idea that religion and the morality it inspires should be a part of our public life. "

Problematic words highlighted.

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Paladine
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Why are those words problems for you, Al?

JW- [Smile]

[ August 30, 2010, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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RickyB
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Because they are divisive.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
We're trying to reclaim our history and our culture, the idea that religion and the morality it inspires should be a part of our public life.
I'd like to know what morality, specifically, is inspired by "religion."

You could always ask Mostafa. [Wink]

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
quote:
"Restoring Honor" seems to be a code phrase for "Restoring God". It should be scary when Beck says "Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice". That's a terrible way to go about making important decisions and reflects an unfortunate tendency among fundamentalists to disbelieve expert opinion and rational decision making processes.

edit: replaced distrust with disbelieve. It's fine to be skeptical of expert claims. It's wrongheaded to disbelieve the majority of the ones with expert consensus.

There really isn't much room for "expert" opinion in politics except with respect to a few technical questions. Most political issues boil down to ideas which a bunch of technical training doesn't necessarily better equip you to answer. When "experts" start telling me what to think of gay marriage or abortion or racism, I have to confess that I'm not overly interested in their opinions or their credentials.
The crap:quality ratio can be high for some social sciences but it would be silly to use that fact to ignore all of the work produced from a field of study. Personally speaking, I find that the more that I read expert opinions (as in from peer-reviewed publications) the less committed I am to any one sweeping ideology. When experts constantly disagree on an issue (ex: economics), it's a good indication that the issue is hard and that it's premature to commit to one school of thought and plow ahead. My primary issue with Glenn Beck is that his opinions are heavily weighted towards the "plow ahead" kind. According to him, "progressivism is the cancer in America" and our worries will be satisfied if only we turn back to God. That type of opinion is simplistic and ignorant and, unfortunately, people lap it up like its their job (this phenomenon is observable for pretty much any ideology).
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
We're trying to reclaim our history and our culture, the idea that religion and the morality it inspires should be a part of our public life.
I'd like to know what morality, specifically, is inspired by "religion."

You could always ask Mostafa. [Wink]

The Golden Rule comes to mind.

quote:

The Golden Rule has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated the above four forms of the Rule in various ways.

The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others.

Link
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Wayward Son
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And if it were limited to the Golden Rule, that would be fine by everyone.

But "religion and the morality it inspires" usually turns to school prayer, anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, pro-military (for some unknown reason [Confused] ), anti-non-Christian religions, and other such "moral" stances. At least when conservative Christians use it, which is why everyone else is suspicious of it in politics. [Mad]

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TomDavidson
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And, of course, the origins of the Golden Rule predate any modern religion and, more importantly, lack any doctrinal basis.

If your defense of religiously-underpinned morality boils down to giving people the answer "because God says so" when they ask "why," I'm afraid you're not really helping.

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
The Civil Rights Movement and the abolition movement before it drew tremendous strength from religious ideas and communities, and dealt very heavily in religious language. They reaffirmed the idea that rights are derived from God, that fundamental human equality is a divine rather than a human mandate.

Were the opponents of the Civil Rights Movement any less religious?

I would be more willing to give religion (in this case Christianity) credit for the movement if it didn't take nearly 2000 years since its discovery (creation) for the movement to come about. It's disturbing that the book that is supposed to be the basis for our morality is so ambiguous that it literally takes hundreds of years for progress to be made when the answer could have been left completely unambiguous.

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kmbboots
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There were abolitionists inspired by their faith for as long as there were slaves on this continent. And non-religious ones just as deeply committed as well, I am sure.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I would be more willing to give religion (in this case Christianity) credit for the movement if it didn't take nearly 2000 years since its discovery (creation) for the movement to come about.
LOL. Yeah: Christianity was born. Over 1900 years later, the civil rights movement was born in America. How can there be a clearer case of a causation between the two? :-)

I'm betting that 50 years from now, the movement for gay rights will also be attributed to Christianity by Christians.

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Paladine
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quote:
Because they are divisive.
How about these?

quote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights....And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
If what I wrote was divisive, then the Declaration must be double-plus divisive.


quote:
I'd like to know what morality, specifically, is inspired by "religion."

You could always ask Mostafa.

In terms of public morality, Mr. Jefferson laid out the basic argument for you, Tom. People are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. Governments exist to protect those rights in a lawful, orderly way. When government becomes destructive of those ends it needs to go.

quote:
The crap:quality ratio can be high for some social sciences but it would be silly to use that fact to ignore all of the work produced from a field of study.
I simply can't agree. I have a lot of respect for expertise when it comes to technical issues. If an engineer tells me that a building of certain dimensions won't stand or a doctor tells me that a certain medicine is required I'll respectfully listen. When someone tells me that their technical expertise better enables them to say whether God exists or what racism is or what marriage should mean, I'm going to tell them where they can shove their PhD. If that makes me a science-hating anti-intellectual fundamentalist then so be it.

I'm not saying that I won't consider their arguments as I would anyone else's, but to imply that they should carry more weight than my arguments or yours is just silly to me. It's sillier to me now than it was before I went to school for political science and psychology, as my experience with undergraduates, grad students, and professors in both fields served to confirm my negative opinion as to the intellectual capacity of those who populate the social "science" fields.

quote:
When experts constantly disagree on an issue (ex: economics), it's a good indication that the issue is hard and that it's premature to commit to one school of thought and plow ahead. My primary issue with Glenn Beck is that his opinions are heavily weighted towards the "plow ahead" kind.
He's not the "plow ahead" kind; he's the "take a few steps back" kind. Social liberals are the ones trying to "plow ahead" by transforming society in fundamental ways, but I don't see you aiming much criticism at them. If you really believe what you're saying here, you should be quite the conservative: human society is immensely complicated and we're not sure how it works or what the effects of big change are going to be, so let's stick to what's worked for a long time and make small, incrimental, well-considered changes.

Instead we're having the federal government take over vast swaths of the economy and print trillions of dollars in funny money while redefining gender roles and marriage. We're replacing families and communities and churches as the primary means of social support with government programs. Basically we're undoing millenia of evolved social and economic structures and replacing them with things liberals find more fair and equitable.

Who's "plowing ahead" here? I don't much care for Mr. Beck and I don't often have occasion to defend him, but he's not the one doing the plowing.

[ August 30, 2010, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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Pyrtolin
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Actually, I'd give the religious element more credit if Beck wasn't, at the same time, impugning Liberation Theology, which was pretty explicitly the branch of religious philosophy that drove the Civil Rights Movement.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:

If what I wrote was divisive, then the Declaration must be double-plus divisive.

Very explicitly so. It's fundamental intent was to declare a division.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
When someone tells me that their technical expertise better enables them to say whether God exists or what racism is or what marriage should mean, I'm going to tell them where they can shove their PhD. If that makes me a science-hating anti-intellectual fundamentalist then so be it.
What if, instead, what they're saying is that you have no business dictating those things to other people who disagree with you?

I'll add- that that's a wonderfully convenient position to pontificate from when it's your particular belief that's already pushed on others by the law.

[ August 30, 2010, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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MattP
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quote:
In terms of public morality, Mr. Jefferson laid out the basic argument for you, Tom. People are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights.
Sure, but Mr. Jefferson's conception of that Creator was quite a bit different than Mr. Beck's. It's also unclear who added "Creator" to the Declaration, as that word is absent from the original drafts.

[ August 30, 2010, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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MattP
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quote:
He's not the "plow ahead" kind; he's the "take a few steps back" kind. Social liberals are the ones trying to "plow ahead" by transforming society in fundamental ways, but I don't see you aiming much criticism at them.
I assume you're referring to SSM here. Beck has recently espoused a "meh" attitude about SSM and, as a result, has taken a fair amount of flak from anti-SSM folks.
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