The Right To Be You

I think that the ‘wall of separation’ between Church and State is critical to maintaining the democratic foundations of this nation.  If 100% of all people who vote and pay taxes in the nation were of the same religious beliefs, then it might not be critical, then a theocracy might be workable.  But in this nation where there are so many different religions, to form a theocracy would be to enslave a large portion of the populace.  Yes, I said ‘enslave’ and that is precisely what I mean.

Let me start out with an example:  What if I told you that there is a bill before Congress to ban the production and consumption of pork and pork products?  (No, there isn’t really such a bill … this is a hypothetical … bear with me here).  The reason?  Well, two of this nation’s major religions, Islam and Judaism, prohibit the consumption of pork and pork products, so in a nod to those two religions, the government must ban pork products.

“BUT … I’m neither Muslim nor Jewish!!!! I want my bacon!!!”

… you decry.  Well, you may have a point there.  But then … I’m not Christian, so why should I have to live under the laws of that religion?  Why should I be forbidden from having an abortion, or marrying a person of my own gender?  Do you get what I’m saying here?  Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

There is no single religion that is sanctioned by the government or by the United States Constitution, contrary to what some would have us believe.  ‘They’ claim that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but NO, it is NOT.  There are Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and in addition, some 23%, nearly a quarter of the population, are ‘unaffiliated’ atheists and agnostics.  We may not be Christians, but we work hard, we send our children to public schools, and we pay taxes just like the Christians do!  Why should we be treated as second-class citizens, as strangers in our own land?

There are many issues swirling around in the political maelstrom these days … divisive and controversial issues made more so by the white nationalist and white supremacist movements of the day.  But none, I think, is more important than this one, for the Supreme Court appears to be willing to sacrifice that ‘wall of separation’ in order to appease the right-wing evangelicals, even though said evangelicals comprise only about 25% of the populace.

One of the reason Europeans came to this country some 400+ years ago was to escape religious persecution.  And here we are, in the year 2022, trying to persecute women, Blacks, Muslims, atheists, and LGBTQ people in an effort to turn a democratic republic into a plutocratic theocracy!  Obviously, the lessons of history went straight over our heads.

I find it beyond worrisome when our elected officials make divisive comments like when Lauren Boebert refers to non-Christians as “the enemy”.  So … tell me, Ms. Boebert … if I am ‘the enemy’, why am I still paying taxes?  But she is not alone … numerous politicians and religious leaders are objecting to LGBTQ rights …

  • In response to the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) currently making its way through Congress, Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota says that “In many respects, passing a bill like this really sends a pretty strong message that religious beliefs don’t matter.”
  • Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel, a well-known evangelical group, said that the RFMA “has many far-reaching implications, including pedophile marriage, same-sex, child-bride, incest, polygamy and any other perversion of marriage.”

Lies, lies, and more lies.  But the lies are believed by the vulnerable.  The lies are the seeds that sow hatred and violence, that seek to exclude rather than include, that will lead to a nation forever divided if we allow it.

The biggest thing this country has had going for it is its diversity.  Theoretically, at least, we welcome people from all countries, people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions, but it seems that today, far too many shun that very diversity upon which the nation was founded.  Remember those words at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Do those words mean nothing today?  Should they instead read, “Send me only your white-skinned wealthy Christians”?

Separation of church and state is critical to a democracy.  Those who would claim otherwise have a different vision of what this country is, or should be, than the majority of us do.  It’s a shame that we have to pass laws to protect people’s right to be who they are, don’t you think?  I dream of a world where everyone simply accepts others as they are, no condemnation, no forcing people into boxes that all look alike.  But, until we have that world, we need laws … and in this case, we need to maintain that wall of separation between church and state.

134 thoughts on “The Right To Be You

  1. Seek – when you reply to someone’s comments, make sure you are replying to the right person. It’s been twice that you have replied to me with something intended for Professor Taboo. I do not have the time nor the pain (I am recovering from a broken left arm and broken right thumb) to engage in lengty discourse with you.

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    • A million thanks for this, Ben!!! I found I just couldn’t respond to him, for his comments were so far out in left field that it’s as if he didn’t even read my words, but made an assumption and based his comments on his assumption about me. Thanks again!


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  5. Just a couple of quotes from my all time favorite movie and the infamous and prophetic book series. If you d never read the books or seen the movie, I highly recommend it. So pertinent for today as well as the times of when it was written as the world was marching towards WWII.

    “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Lord of the Rings

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “ were of the same religious beliefs, then it might not be critical, then a theocracy might be workable
This would be a huge disaster as detailed in every community where religion had unfettered control. A community of virtuous child and women’s abuses is the historical norm from every town and hamlet—not just an occasional masochist but widespread in urgency for christs sake. And for your own good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Jill, it appears the poor victims are Christians from what Dave said in the comments. Of course Democrats and atheists are the bad guys, but not a mention of the orange cult leader and the worshippers that want to overthrow democracy that may be the massive prime motivation behind the scorn of Christians, their doctrines, conspiracies and lies by atheists and Democrats.

    If these so called good Christians are not sympathetic to these many thousands of Christian nutcases they would be on the streets in their thousands quietly demonstrating against the MAGA crowd to try and establish some credibility for themselves as Republicans, the country and Christianity.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I am a Christian and I believe in MAGA. Your description of these two does not match me, nor anyone I know. I do not want to be a victim. I am just standing up for myself and others like me.

      You and others make lots of charges but don’t back them up with my evidence.


      • What mass of evidence do you want, I guess you are standing up against the “Illuminati” and the “Deep State” or is it against the paedophile democrats such as the Clintons. Yes of course you want fair elections because of all the obvious evidence that exists that it was stolen and only your leader knows what it is, right? And who wants democracy? After all a few dead policemen are just collateral damage when your clan decided to overhaul the system with brute force. Are they going to use their guns next time? Can you not see where this is going, your country is being flushed down the toilet.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, sklyjd! I’ve long since come to the conclusion that the reasoning of the Trump-cult is beyond my understanding. For some, especially members of Congress, governors, and other elected officials, the reason they cling to him is for his endorsement, to further their power and wealth. But for the average Joe??? I just don’t get it. He can promise the moon, but he’s already proven that he cannot and will not deliver on his promises, and that once he gets their vote, he really doesn’t care. I think there is a determined effort by a few to undermine the core democratic principles this country is founded on, and they run a three-ring circus in order to get people to go along with them. I wish I could see 50 years into the future, for I believe this nation will look entirely different than it does today. The train keeps running faster and faster and is headed toward the cliff at breakneck speed.

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      • Trump is a vile despicable creature and those who support him are either unbelievably naive and ignorant or they are JUST LIKE HIM.

        His fanatical religious supporters trend towards LBGTQ haters, anti abortion rights, anti women’s rights in general and anti any other belief but Christianity.

        But others are the super wealthy that want to insure their tax breaks and power hungry, that are typically politicians and in today’s world, that means republicans, for the most part.

        Then the biggest group is driven by hate, anger, racism, nationalism (anti immigrant), climate change deniers, so anti environmental protection and bigotry of all kinds.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Your comments are eerily similar to mine. You do not understand why the Average Joe on the Right believes what he believes. I do not understand the same about the Average Joe on the Left. This is perhaps why discussion is needed.

        I do not think you are stupid. I think you are being lied to by institutions: by politicians, by government, by media, by academia, and by corporations. The Left controls all these institutions these days. You think I am being lied to by religious leaders, politicians on the Right, conservative media, and so forth.

        Who can see through the lies and who is fooled by them? Who can discern the truth and who cannot?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Perhaps so, Dave. Perhaps if we can engage in discussions, be honest about why we believe as we do, and most importantly … listen to each other with an open mind, willing to consider what the other says without letting our own preconceived notions get in the way … then maybe, just maybe we can learn and better understand each other. But … that’s difficult. A few years ago, I tried having an open discussion here on Filosofa’s Word with a couple of Trump supporters. It went okay for a bit, but I never felt we really scratched beneath the surface, and it fizzled out after a few days. But … I have an idea or two bouncing around in my mind … willing to give it a go?

          I do two things when faced with some issue: research and think. So, sure, people lie but I do my homework and then turn on the brain and think … what makes the most sense? Sometimes I’m wrong, but those times are usually when I rush through something or respond from the heart instead of the head. I try not to do that too often. I would invite you to read my Wednesday a.m. ‘good people’ posts and see the sort of people I most admire, the world I wish we could create for everyone. Perhaps it would give you a more rounded understanding of who I am.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “I do not understand the same about the Average Joe on the Left.”
          The average joe on the right and the average joe on the left are usually good people going about their business and not disrupting society, however I do have issues against the extremists from both sides with their raciest comments, conspiracies, lies and violence. On the extreme right we have many thousands of Trump supporters and the associated Proud Boys, QAnon, Ku Klux Klan, The Patriots etc. The left would mostly be Antifa and the Black Lives Matter rioters, active communists and those that want to change history by removing statues and condemn anything that they perceive as biased or raciest etc. The stark difference is the extreme left has not attacked the country’s democracy and not tried to hang a Vice-President.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think Jill that I am lucky that in 50 years I will not be around to see what happens. Unfortunately the best times for humans on this planet have been and gone.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I agree. I figure 15 years at best. Just enough time to see how crazy and dangerous and disheartening it will really get…or perchaps better and we will keep from falling of the proverbial cliff. We are at a pivotal time in our history. To me, more than any other time.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Ahhh … you’ve both got me beat … I’m figuring a year, maybe two. And yes, this DOES seem like the most chaotic, pivotal time in our history, but then … we weren’t alive to experience the Civil War, or the Great Depression and WWII, so … who knows? I just know I would love for this nation … the world … to find a way to live in peace and work together to solve such problems as the climate crisis, poverty & hunger, and a variety of global illnesses. Sigh.

            Liked by 1 person

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  10. I am no pleader for Joel Osteen and Pat Robertson. I don’t follow either on a regular basis. I was surprised to hear that Robertson is even alive. Are you saying they both want to create a theocracy in the US? They are white nationalists? They spout hateful things every day? They hate gay people? I had not heard any of that before. I think it would bigger news if it were true. I don’t doubt you, but I would like to hear a bit more before accepting this condemnation (dare I say “judgment” on your part).

    Can you provide any examples to enlighten me?

    I know the Catholic Church (my church) has been told it hates gay people too, but I also know that is not true. Gay people are welcome in our church. Gay people are no worse sinners than the rest of us. However, we do not affirm that gay sex is moral. We do not say that something which we consider a sin is good. We encourage people to confess all sins, and if there is a sin you cannot confess then the Church is concerned for your soul, no matter the sin. For that position, we are told we hate gays. These do not sound like hateful words to me.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    2357 tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Under no circumstance can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.

    2359 By virtues of self-mastery that teach them [persons with same-sex attraction] inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


    • Osteen and his ilk are in it for the money, as was going way back to Ernest Angley, Oral Roberts, then Jim and Tammy Fay Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, and the worst of all, Kenneth Copeland. All preying on the weak and the ignorant. No they aren’t Christian nationalists, just money hungry frauds. Hitler claimed to be a Christian. I mean after all they were just Jews. Some of the insurrectionists were busy waving their Jesus signs while they attacked the Capitol police and were ready to hang Pence. And trump a Christian..what a joke that is!
      If you support these kind of people and their ideology, you need to have a come to Jesus moment. This is not what your god would want.
      And true, most Catholics aren’t these kind of loons and you have a pretty decent Pope, but many don’t like him as they view he is too liberal and doesn’t condemn people enough.

      Believe what you want. Matters not to me. But understand religion is a tool used to control people. A pandering tool to make alot of people very wealthy and powerful. It has always been this way from way back to the days of Kings.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I agree many of the famous tele-evangelists are money hungry frauds. Many good people wanted to believe them and they paid the price for doing so.

        However, you jump quickly from money hungry frauds to Hitler to January 6. Where is the connection?

        I support an ideology which makes sense to me and aligns with my values. I support very few politicians because most of them are out for themselves, Left or Right.

        A lack of religion today seems to me to the bigger problem than too much religion.


        • Only that Hitler and these insurrectionists claim to be Christians, just like the TV evangelists. That’s the connection.
          And I support an ideology that makes sense to me too, and it’s certainly not Christianity.
          I’d be much more in alignment with Buddhism or Paganism, with wholeness of the universe and our connections to it, our home planet, the other non human life we share it with, and not fretting and killing over whose gods and so called proclamations are correct or even if there is a god, and who for some slight error in belief, ends up suffering for eternity. It’s a great waste of time.

          I think you need to find some inner peace and calm, so you don’t feel the need to argue so much and stamp your feet. I mean this sincerely.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Not much of a connection. Hitler was a Christian, so was Mother Theresa.

            I am very direct. Sorry. I am persistent, not just stamping my feet. I want to get to the truth and it bothers me when others believe things that are not true.


            • Does it dawn on you that it bothers other people when you believe things that are not true?

              I sense you are young or perhaps have difficulty feeling your beliefs could be wrong or misguided and that other people have points of view that come from actual research and a professional background and education, rather than purely from church doctrine. You are creating a very narrow world for yourself and probably not just with religion and it will damage you and your ability to interact with other people in a positive way. You really need to look inward.
              I say this with sincerity, as you seem …well, lost or you’d be out with friends enjoying life and all it has to offer and not here arguing unnaturally persistent on a blog with strangers you know nothing about.

              Liked by 4 people

              • It doesn’t bother me. I do listen to others and I do adjust my behavior or thoughts when I am convinced by their words. I am often wrong, as are you as well. When I am wrong, I say I am wrong and give you credit. That’s the only way to improve ourselves.

                I could converse only with those who agree with me. It would indeed be easier. However, there is so much I hear from the Left that makes no sense whatsoever to me. I would like to understand. I ask many questions because I want to draw out your thoughts–to help both me understand your thinking and to help you as well. If you believe something without being able to articulate why, maybe you are wrong.

                I find many people just follow the crowd and what to be told what to think. Perhaps that is not you, but it is true of many. People find a talking point they like and stick with it, without realizing why they believe it. People want to be told what to believe. That’s not me. I have to understand it first.

                There are many who agree with you and there are many agree with me. I think it is important to tell folks like me believe what we believe for good reason; our views are not arbitrary and we are not led by the nose by our religion or fealty to a political figure like Trump. You seem to have a hard time accepting that. You have a hard time seeing the humanity in your political opponents.

                Thanks for your concern for me. I have a full life. I am now 61. I have a full-time job managing a group of more than 20 people. It is very high stress and we take care of a very important aspect of our federal government’s work. I have a family and my kids keep me very busy. My faith is very important to me, but I do not do things because my religion or my priest controls my thoughts. I have been interested and following politics since a teenager. I research. I listen to others points of views. I debated my older brothers for years. I respect others views even when they are different than mine. I defend myself when others attack my motivations. I come to my views honestly, as I hope you do. However, I do think it is hard for folks like you to accept that I can have views different than yours and not be motivated by some sinister force.


                • Your quote from a previous comment of yours.

                  “I am a Christian and I believe in MAGA”
                  So what is one to think? I don’t mind the Christian part, but you can’t be a Christian and support trump. It’s simply not possible.

                  I’ve had enough discussion. I hope what you say about your life is true, as your comments often belay that sense.
                  Now go have a good day, be happy and be true to yourself, as long as it’s based on reality and truth…I wish you well.

                  Liked by 2 people

            • Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, aka Mother Theresa, was a terrible person:

              According to a paper by Canadian academics Serge Larivée, Geneviève Chénard and Carole Sénéchal, Mother Teresa’s clinics received millions of dollars in donations but lacked medical care, systematic diagnosis, necessary nutrition and sufficient analgesics for those in pain; in the opinion of the three academics, “Mother Teresa believed the sick must suffer like Christ on the cross”. It was said that the additional money might have transformed the health of the city’s poor by creating advanced palliative care facilities.

              One of Mother Teresa’s most outspoken critics was English journalist and antitheist Christopher Hitchens, host of the documentary Hell’s Angel (1994) and author of the essay The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (1995) who wrote in a 2003 article: “This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.” He accused her of hypocrisy for choosing advanced treatment for her heart condition. Hitchens said that “her intention was not to help people”, and that she lied to donors about how their contributions were used. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn’t working to alleviate poverty”, he said, “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I’m not a social worker. I don’t do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church'”. Although Hitchens thought he was the only witness called by the Holy See, Aroup Chatterjee (author of Mother Teresa: The Untold Story) was also called to present evidence opposing Mother Teresa’s beatification and canonisation.

              In 1994, Mother Teresa argued that the sexual abuse allegations against Jesuit priest Donald McGuire were untrue. When he was convicted of sexually molesting multiple children in 2006, Mother Teresa’s defense of him was criticised.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Hitchens was a smart guy, but an atheist and I think biased against religious. I would seek some other opinions before coming to final conclusions.

                She gave up a life of comfort to live among the poorest in our society. She did much good and she helped many people. She suffered far most than the rest of us would be willing to endure. Her example is an inspiration to others. Her words of wisdom will live on forever.

                Dedication her life to the Church and to God is something not so good in your opinion? What else would you expect from a nun?

                Supporting a priest who was later convicted may have been a misjudgment, not necessarily a failing on her part. I don’t know anything of this story, that’s just my initial reaction.


        • First, Jill… please excuse the length of my comment-reply to Seek-Truth. Bear with me please, as I think it quite important to share and what it portends for our U.S. democracy. Thank you Ma’am. 🙂

          To Seek-Truth…

          A lack of religion today seems to me to [be] the bigger problem than too much religion.

          Correction! The full contextual history of this personal opinion is unfounded and does NOT reflect our Founding Father’s intent in the birth of this nation.

          Any significant, toxic amount of mythical, unfounded, religious ideologies or superstitions wrongly forced into the U.S. federal government, its legislation, and the civic-social fabric of Americans, publicly or privately is unequivocally UN-Constitutional according to our Charters of Freedom and the intended “spirit” of this nation’s laws and governing by our six (6) Core Founding Fathers and framers of said charters. Period.


          “This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.” — John Adams, letter to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818

          Our Declaration of Independence’s 18th-century verbiage and historical-political context is too often misunderstood and maligned by modern-day Christians and Christian Nationalists. Thomas Jefferson wanted his DoI to be…

          “the signal… to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded [men] to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.” — Jefferson to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826, in Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 12, 477.

          All throughout human civilization’s history the “Divine Right” of monarchs has been in many cases grossly abused by men in power and birth-right. Even Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Algernon Sidney—all exceptional 17th-century English political philosophers—all wrote extensive, damning critiques of divine right abuses. All three agreed that the more religious a monarch or nation, the more likely he would act and think like a god who had assigned him special revelations as supreme ruler. The same can be said about an oligarchy or sociopolitical zealous minority.

          The idea that all people are created equal is not a religious idea; the idea that some people are special or chosen is one that various religious groups have embraced throughout history. The entire Hebrew Bible is about the Chosen people. Religion promotes elitism, not equality.

          In Jefferson’s DoI, he wrote that when a government or monarch becomes tyrannical (e.g. D. tRump & Jan. 6th):


          blockquote>“…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” — Preamble, Declaration of Independence, July 1776

          But unfortunately and despite modern-day Christian Nationalists’ erroneous propaganda for a Christian nation, IRONICALLY self-government and revolution against such tyranny are NOT principles derived from Christianity or its Bible. Period. As a matter of fact, Saul of Tarsus (Paul) is directly opposed to our DoI:

          Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2 NIV)

          Bringing this into the context of the founding of the U.S., Saul/Paul could not have been more clear. Rulers and Kings, like King George III of Great Britain, are to be obeyed as a matter of Godly Judeo-Christian conscience and faith. No ifs, ands, or buts. Why?

          “By me [God] kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly.” (Proverbs 8:15-16)

          But our six (6) Core Founding Fathers and Jefferson were not and did not create a strictly “Divine Right” Judeo-Christian nation. If our Founding Fathers had been Christian Nationalists in the sense of the American 21st-century versions, there would be no United States of America independent from Great Britain today. This is certain.


          From Thomas Jefferson:

          …And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. …error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. …I deem the essential principles of our government. ..[:]Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; …freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. (Thomas Jefferson, “First Inaugural Address,” March 4, 1801)

          Jefferson wrote voluminously to prove that Christianity was not part of the law of the land and that religion or irreligion was purely a private matter, not cognizable by the state. (Leonard W. Levy, Treason Against God: A History of the Offense of Blasphemy, New York: Schocken Books, 1981, p. 335)

          From John Adams:

          Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated. Adieu. (John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, January 23, 1825)

          The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses…. (John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-1788)

          We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions … shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power … we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society. (John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, as quoted by Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, compilers, The Great Quotations on Religious Liberty, Long Beach, CA: Centerline Press, 1991, p. 1.)

          Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and Dogmatism cannot confine it. (John Adams, letter to John Quincy Adams, November 13, 1816)

          From and About James Madison:

          “I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency of a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded by an entire abstinence of the Government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others.” (Robert L. Maddox, Separation of Church and State: Guarantor of Religious Freedom, New York: Crossroad, 1987, p. 39.)

          Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect. (James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774)

          Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents. (James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1788)

          From and About George Washington:

          Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the consciences of men from oppression, it is certainly the duty of Rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but according to their stations, to prevent it in others. (George Washington, letter to the Religious Society called the Quakers, September 28, 1789)

          Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society. (George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792)

          As President, Washington regularly attended Christian services, and he was friendly in his attitude toward Christian values. However, he repeatedly declined the church’s sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary…. Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative. George Washington’s practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian. In the enlightened tradition of his day, he was a devout Deist — just as many of the clergymen who knew him suspected. (Barry Schwartz, George Washington: The Making of an American Symbol, New York: The Free Press, 1987, pp. 174-175)

          From Benjamin Franklin:

          I am fully of your Opinion respecting religious Tests; but, tho’ the People of Massachusetts have not in their new Constitution kept quite clear of them, yet, if we consider what that People were 100 Years ago, we must allow they have gone great Lengths in Liberality of Sentiment on religious Subjects; and we may hope for greater Degrees of Perfection, when their Constitution, some years hence, shall be revised. If Christian Preachers had continued to teach as Christ and his Apostles did, without Salaries, and as the Quakers now do, I imagine Tests would never have existed; for I think they were invented, not so much to secure Religion itself, as the Emoluments of it. When a Religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its Professors are obliged to call for help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. (Benjamin Franklin, from a letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780)

          From and About Thomas Paine:

          As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith. (Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776. As quoted by Leo Pfeffer, “The Establishment Clause: The Never-Ending Conflict,” in Ronald C. White and Albright G. Zimmerman, An Unsettled Arena: Religion and the Bill of Rights, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990, p. 72)

          Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it. (Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, p. 58. As quoted by John M. Swomley, Religious Liberty and the Secular State: The Constitutional Context, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1987, p. 7. Swomley added, “Toleration is a concession; religious liberty is a right.”)

          The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonorable belief against the character of the Divinity, the most destructive to morality and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794-1795. From Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, eds., The Harper Book of American Quotations, New York: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 494)

          Furthermore, there have been at least fifteen (15) Landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions & positions over the last century and a half corroborating, supporting the above six Core Founding Fathers’ viewpoints of Church-State Separation and hence, Secular governing or neutral governing ‘of the People, for the People, and by the People.’

          Therefore, to conclude S-t-T, obviously by our nation’s Charters of Freedom, our Core Founding Fathers public and private views, and past SCOTUS decisions, “too much religion” is indeed a bad thing for all peoples’ belief-systems, especially if only or too much Judeo-Christian. And a lack of it/them—within tolerance, as defined by Thomas Paine—is actually a very good and stable thing! So I am in full agreement with these three above bodies regarding the dire need for more secularism in the U.S. of A and our Core Founding Fathers intentions.


          P.S. Should you like to read much more about these six Core Founding Fathers’ views about a Secular or Neutral U.S. government, then go to my May 2015 blog-post, found here:

          Liked by 3 people

          • Professor – I’ve skimmed your treatise above. It appears to me you are trying to convince of some things I already believe. I am not in any way advocating for more religion in government. I am saying many of problems stem from the fact that our people have become less religious. See my other comments. I am in no way in favor of a theocratic government. I think it would be a huge problem. But many here believe that is what is proposed by conservative and religious leaders today. They are flat out wrong on that point.

            John Adams, who you quote above, said: Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.

            As we become less religious, we become less capable of properly implementing and abiding by the restrictions of the Constitution. This is a very big problem today as the Constitution is routinely ignored or not followed Voluntary compliance is critical for ensuring an effective governing system. We have an out-of-control AG and DOJ in the current presidential administration. For example, in defending president Trump, I point out that his 4th amendment rights have been violated by what appears to be a general warrant to search his home. In support of his election claims, I point out that the (federal) Constitution gives the power of determining the election rules to state legislators, yet in Pennsylvania the executive and judicial illegally changed the election rules in 2020. They had no such authority, but they did it anyway. It was challenged, but it was not accepted by the Supreme Court for reasons that made little sense. It should have been adjudicated, but it would have created huge problems and they wanted to avoid that political mess of what to do about an election that was not properly administered. I find that Democratic leaders love to point to the Constitution when it supports their argument, but ignore it totally when it does not.

            Religion and government has not mixed well in the past. This is true. However, another point that I was making is that non-religious leaders have been far worse. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Hussein, and other secular (mostly communist) governments in the 20th century killed far more people, often their own people, than the Spanish Inquisition and religious wars of the prior centuries ever did. There were also no mitigating forces within their own countries capable of pushing back against such tyranny.

            You seem to want to engage in debates on topics other than what the post is about. You have also been rather dismissive of me and my thoughts (mocking, at times), but I am still willing to engage in a one-on-one with you if you would like to email me directly at:

            Liked by 1 person

            • Setting aside your first four paragraphs for perhaps a later time—there’s MUCH I could dissect from them & show a different POV or correction in some cases—but it seems from your last paragraph you are uninterested in engaging here, on Jill’s blog. Why is that?

              Nevertheless, I am going to take contention with your last paragraph. You wrote:

              You seem to want to engage in debates on topics other than what the post is about.

              “Topics other than what the post is about”? Huh? Umm, with all due respect S-t-F (Dave?), this is Jill’s blog-heading and opening sentence above:

              The Right To Be You

              I think that the ‘wall of separation’ between Church and State is critical to maintaining the democratic foundations of this nation.

              My treatise, as you correctly labeled, is precisely on the subject of Separation of Church and State, as conceived and drafted then ratified by our Founding Fathers and as Jill blogged. Secondarily and to Jill’s blog-topic, I pointed out 1) that our Core Founding Fathers did NOT design into our Charters of Freedom ‘lots of religion’ or Judeo-Christianity, much less a theocracy, into our federal or state governing. 2) #1 also addresses the erroneous American populous that (wrongly) believes this nation is and was founded as a Christian nation (Xian Nationalists). And 3) because you HAVE indeed stated that you support MAGA and tRump and many of their ideologies or platforms, BY DEFAULT you are implying that you are supporting their political agendas… which is to make this nation’s government ‘more religious,’ and especially so… this nation’s social fabric. In fact, the very quote I started my Treatise with is exactly that, I’ll repeat what you wrote:

              A lack of religion today seems to me to [be] the bigger problem than too much religion.

              IOWs, you are implying that MORE religion needs to be infused or incorporated into our nation. Yes? I merely showed an abundance of historical fact that our six Core Founding Fathers CLEARLY wrote and stated in recorded history that religion MUST be kept out of federal and state governments. Now, what you are unclear about or perhaps intentionally vague about, is that on your subject of “more religion,” I wanted to point out those same six Core Founding Fathers clearly surrendered religion or irreligion to individual private citizens ‘right to choose.’ Or as Jill entitled her blog-post: The Right To Be You. We can be religious or irreligious PRIVATELY, on private properties, but the people (as a majority) and the federal and state governments CAN NOT force us to be either of the two! That is the private domain of every individual American citizen. Period. But as I think then you and I agree on is that this is NOT the case in America’s current political climate; too much religion IS indeed being forced onto citizens via legislation and government. This there can be no doubt.

              Furthermore, the more rational, moderate nation knows, and certainly Jill knows, this is NOT what radical Republicans/Conservatives, MAGA, tRump, and tRump’s supporters want. The perfect prime example of this corruption of our Charters of Freedom is what Jill frequently voices herself about: the overturning and banning attempts of Roe v Wade on mostly religious grounds. That decision for a woman is strictly PRIVATE! Period. And Roe v Wade is merely ONE example of how specific political demographics in this nation are unlawfully trying to MERGE Church and State. There are many other current examples I won’t list here.

              You continue with…

              You have also been rather dismissive of me and my thoughts (mocking, at times)…

              Really!? If anything, I thought you were that way with me. Hah! Just goes to show us, we need to often have thick skin while engaging on the internet’s social-media sites. Ironically, said social-media sites are NOT ideal for exacting articulation in blogs, comments, discussions, debates, etc, because by their very nature they nurture haste, mostly personal opines in quick spurts of 5-mins to maybe 20-mins—ideal for Attention Deficit Disordered minds and/or laziness galore! 😉 However, I find WordPress to be less like typical social-media sites of extreme shallowness & speed like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.

              S-t-F/Dave, I suppose that if you and I met in-person, our engagements would be pretty different. I find this to be the case almost 95% of the time. I say this with confidence because I read quite a bit on your blog, particularly about your father’s military education and career. My Dad was USMC. Most all of my paternal family have served or are serving so I am intimately familiar with the (huge?) differences of military life, combat in particular, versus civilian life back home. They often don’t matchup due to entirely DIFFERENT M.O.’s, Rules of Engagement, and tactical execution. BWAAAAA! 😉

              On this note, I’ll pause and rest my case.

              Sincere regards

              Liked by 2 people

              • Ok. I suggested a private conversation as a convenience. I’ll engage here since that seems to be your preference. Also, I wouldn’t be an interloper on this blog without thick skin and lots of patience. On the three points above:

                1) Agreed. We were not intended to be a theocratic nation. We should not become one either.

                2) Many of the founders were religious and openly expressed religious thoughts and let religion influence their thinking. Today we have political leaders like Senator Feinstein who attack judges when they express any personal religious views (the dogma lives loudly in us, per Senator Feinstein, making it seem that anyone with religious views is unfit to serve). We also have civil law and we have religious law. They can overlap; both condemn murder, for example. On the other hand, adultery is condemned by religious law, but not by civil law. This is how it should be.

                Whether or not we were founded as a “Christian” nation does not seem an important point to me. It seems to be a touchy point for many of the Left, maybe because the Left is abandoning religion (and becoming anti-religious). I think people referred to us a Christian nation previously because in our early history our people were predominately Christian. It just seems practical more than anything, not something to be offended by. However, I would not call us a Christian nation today. We have lost the commonality of Judeo-Christian values (as well as the commonality of our Constitutional values). Those bound people together in the past. In fact, we have little to bind us together today, and this is a really big problem for our society and our nation. It will destroy the nation if not addressed. The gap between Left and Right today is very large. It can also be seen as a gap between religious and non-religious, although a significant number on the Left are still religious and many on the Right are not.

                3) The Right’s political agenda is not to make this nation more religious. My point was that religion and the religious values it brings are important for our daily lives, but I in no way want to make that a POLITICAL agenda. I also do not believe that Trump and others on the Right do either. Trump is not a deeply religious man as far as I can tell, certainly nowhere close to the extent that Bush or Reagan or other Republican presidents; those folks openly expressed their religious values. I think Trump is not motivated by religion in the least. The other Republican politicians are too cowardly to do anything like imposing their religion on others, not that they should in any case, but they couldn’t do it even if they wanted to. This belief by people on the Left is delusional.

                In other words, a deeper religion is important to our personal lives, but is not something to incorporate into government. This is the sentiment I meant to convey. Government is a problem when it tries to impose: religious values, social values, just about anything. Government should stay in its lane. I work for the government myself and I see how badly it is managed. Government today is far too intrusive. I want a smaller federal government with more control returned to the states, a return to the idea of federalism. I am in no way for government to expand its power by forcing religious (or any other social) views on the people. Given the state of our people today, I think that is not a popular position among very many, and politicians today have no interest in pursuing it. The Republican platforms have always been for a smaller government. Of course, that principle is ignored by virtually all Republicans, but it is in stark contrast to the Democratic platform which openly advocates for more government, more intrusive government, more spending, more control, more intrusion, etc. The Left too, while becoming less religious as a whole, has substituted government as their new idol. If we do not worship God, we will worship something and for the Left (and a fair number on the Right as well), government is the solver of all problems. It’s absolute rubbish in my opinion, but that’s what we have come to.

                Conclusion: You see the Right’s imposition of its religious views as the problem. I see the Left’s imposition of government and its perverted ideas of social justice as the problem. Further, I do not see the Right as imposing their religious views in the least. The Right has far more religious people for sure, but they respect your right to believe whatever you like. Do what you like in your bedroom or wherever else. We can’t and won’t attempt to stop you, however you choose to live your lives. You can ruin your lives and if you don’t want our help, we won’t impose. You gave only one example of religious imposition, which I tackle below. Give me more examples please. I just don’t see this religious imposition by the Right.

                Abortion: It’s nice that you have taken an interest (or at least perused) my blog. Perhaps you read my blogs in the “Life” category? You provided an example that the Supreme Court abortion decision is an imposition of a religious view. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it actually was. In the post below I explain it is a decision far more in line with our Constitutional principles than the Roe v Wade decision. Roe v. Wade was decided by nine people. Today, after it’s overturning, the decision of abortion is decided by millions in each of the states. Maybe you would have a slightly better argument if abortion was banned by the court, but it is not. They essentially returned to the decision to the people, something that a majority of Americans still do not understand (per polling), especially a large number on the Left. Roe v Wade was essentially un-democratic. The court erased an un-democratic, un-Constitutional decision and returned sovereignty to the people. I’m sure you see it another way, but I don’t see how you can.


                Further, my view on abortion IS influenced by my religious view. How could it not? Still, I make non-religious arguments against it as well. I don’t need to be a religious person to condemn Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews, nor do I need to be a religious person to condemn America’s holocaust of children. This is not about bodily autonomy. There are two lives here. There are twenty fingers and twenty toes, not ten of each. People attack me for my views on abortion by saying I don’t care about women or children after they are born as if I have no morals whatsoever and they can’t possibly see why I might interpret these actions as murdering millions of children each year. If you have any sense of fairness, you should at least acknowledge why people like me might be upset about such a thing instead of pretending we are misogynists’ who want to use our religion to control others.

                Pray tell what is s-t-F?

                Yes, my father’s views and his influence played a big role in my thinking. However, my father has been dead for almost twenty years, so obviously he is not driving my thinking today.

                I await your response.

                Liked by 1 person

                • 1) Agreed. We were not intended to be a theocratic nation. We should not become one either.

                  Can you (and all other Repubs/Conservs) PLEASE tell your fellow Conservative/Republican colleagues that and thoroughly explain why like I’ve spelled out and you know/agree!? 🙂

                  2) …and let religion influence their thinking.

                  Maybe, BUT not at the expense of the Greater Good of the country. They KNEW that sort of personal opinion and viewpoints HAD to be kept private/personal, for obvious reasons! That said, humanity has evolved and become more intelligent in the last 1-2 centuries in its academia, research, and sound critical-thinking—i.e. many/most have discovered/determined that myths, superstitions or religious dogma/beliefs are rabbit-trails and holes. There exist VERY good explanations as to why there are currently a minimum of EIGHT different religions of the world, all essentially claiming superiority or the supreme title of Right, Correct, or Most Righteous. Sorry, no disrespect, but I find that laughable in the sense of ‘supreme authority.’ 😄 It borders on self-delusion and self-absorption.

                  Whether or not we were founded as a “Christian” nation does not seem an important point to me.

                  Hah! I completely DISAGREE. But the fact that you are clearly stating you are NOT a Christian Nationalist is a bit more comforting Dave. Again, there are TWO public roles all of us must play in the U.S. We MUST all treat each other as EQUALS and keep totally private (unless solicited) our personal religious opinions. Those discussions between Americans are NOT suited for public formats, PERIOD! Why? Because religion or Faith is purely a matter of INDIVIDUAL preferences aside from Earthly and Cosmic realities! For example, my own Sasquatchianity is JUST AS TRUTHFUL and VALID as Christianity. I can’t prove to anyone that there is adequate evidence for my God(s) Sasquatch, but there is PLENTY of rumor, hearsay, myth, legend, to make Sasquatchianity a totally valid religion or Faith! But Dave/S-t-T, I am not going to cram it down your throat. That is NOT good for the Greater Good!

                  On the contrary then, keeping our U.S. nation true to our Core Founding Fathers, I think correcting Christian Nationalists is HUGELY important!

                  It seems to be a touchy point for many of the Left, maybe because the Left is abandoning religion (and becoming anti-religious).

                  Nope. Wrong. That is NOT a fair representation of the liberal, open-minded Left. That is YOUR personal opinion and maligned viewpoint of those different than you. Btw, I am not a Democrat. I am an Independent of over 25-yrs. Fyi.

                  We have lost the commonality of Judeo-Christian values…

                  Nah, I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. This nation’s censuses for the last 1-2 centuries has shown that Judeo-Christianity is NOT the primary national past time. Period. Sorry, with respect sir, your just simply wrong there Dave/S-t-T.

                  In fact, we have little to bind us together today…

                  Wrong. I completely disagree with your PERSONAL assessment there, unless of course you are referring to MAGA and tRump’s incessant divisiveness. But I’ve written/blogged a few times that there is much more IN COMMON between us than religious elitists want to admit:


                  And I have run out of time for further responses, so please hold off on YOUR replies/rebuttals if you can. I’d appreciate that. I will earnestly TRY to finish this response to you this weekend. Promise. 🙂

                  Till then…

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Continuing now from your #3) point above/below(?), you wrote:

                      The Right’s political agenda is not to make this nation more religious.

                      That is not how the non-Repubs see it or interpret the Right’s rhetoric and legislative maneuvers and agenda. I’m honestly surprised Dave/S-t-T you say that and believe that. Examples, this is straight from the website:

                      “The principles of the Republican Party recognize the God-given liberties…”

                      Bear with me a minute here please while I ask some (obvious) questions just about two of those eleven words. “God-given”? What God or which God? Or of which particular Faith and Followers? There are about 5-6 major Faiths or religions in the today’s world? Is the RNC referring to the ‘Higher power’ inferred by our Founding Fathers and in the Charters of Freedom they created, drafted, framed, and was ratified by the states? THAT particular “God” or Higher-power had no precise designation to any of the 5 or 6 major world religions; not even in 1781. Therefore, what exactly does the RNC mean by “God-given”? More importantly, if there IS no precise designation of what/which God in all the Charters of Freedom our Core Founding Fathers drew-up, then how on this green and blue Earth can our federal and state governments and officials remain truly NEUTRAL—as intended by our Core Founding Fathers—in matters of governing a people of several Gods, Faiths, or none of the former, i.e. the “irreligious” as mentioned above earlier!?

                      Given the reality of a more highly educated population in a 21st-century United States where half or perhaps two-thirds of its citizens have under-grad (post-grad?) educations in reliable, ever advancing scientific fields, in particular embryology, endocrinology, DNA-genetics, neurology, and critical advancements in sexology! And yet, the RNC lists this as one of their Committee Resolutions of the summer 2022:


                      WHEREAS, Males and females possess biological differences that manifest prior to birth; […]

                      RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee affirms that for purposes of state
                      and federal law, a person’s sex is defined as his or her biological sex (either male or

                      And yet in direct contradiction to these erroneous premises/resolutions the scientific data and evidence has shown for centuries how common intersex-births occur. From the Intersex Society of North America’s website:

                      Here’s what we do know: If you ask experts at medical centers how often a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia that a specialist in sex differentiation is called in, the number comes out to about 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births. But a lot more people than that are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations, some of which won’t show up until later in life.

                      Not XX and not XY one in 1,666 births
                      Klinefelter (XXY) one in 1,000 births
                      Androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 13,000 births
                      Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 130,000 births
                      Classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia one in 13,000 births
                      Late onset adrenal hyperplasia one in 66 individuals
                      Vaginal agenesis one in 6,000 births
                      Ovotestes one in 83,000 births
                      Idiopathic (no discernable medical cause) one in 110,000 births
                      Iatrogenic (caused by medical treatment, for instance progestin administered to pregnant mother) no estimate
                      5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency no estimate
                      Mixed gonadal dysgenesis no estimate
                      Complete gonadal dysgenesis one in 150,000 births
                      Hypospadias (urethral opening in perineum or along penile shaft) one in 2,000 births
                      Hypospadias (urethral opening between corona and tip of glans penis) one in 770 births

                      Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female: one in 100 births
                      Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance one or two in 1,000 births*

                      Btw, I strongly suggest you look-up and research the part above that I put in bold-face: 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency. It will probably surprise or shock you. 😉

                      This scientific biomedical data, evidence, and facts CLEARLY show that sexuality is NOT binary, NOT black or white, NOT purely heterosexual. It is a wide-spectrum on the genetic and biological systems PRIOR to birth and after birth. It is fluid. What scientific biomedical evidence and data does the RNC possess showing this is not the case? Or do they merely solicit up antiquated religious traditions and superstitions?

                      The scientific facts bear out that sexuality and gender ISN’T simply men or women or binary. Changing Nature’s Order (Disorder?) by intrusive governmental legislation, as the Conservative Right (RNC) wants to do, based upon erroneous antiquated religious dogma, goes AGAINST everything our Core Founding Fathers purposely implemented in our Charters of Freedom!

                      From the RNC’s 2016 Platform Preamble, last paragraph:

                      Every time we sing, “God Bless America,” we are asking for help. We ask for divine help [what precisely do they mean: divine?] that our country can fulfill its promise.

                      Does the RNC mean help from ALL the world’s major religions? HAH! Or do they mean an exclusive group, faith, and religion which would be in direct contradiction/opposition to what our Core Founding Fathers actually intended?

                      From the RNC’s 2016 Platform – Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary p. 19:

                      We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.

                      I found this pledge to be quite hilarious. My rhetorical question: What religion specifically are they defending, protecting, and promoting? All 5-6 of the world’s major religions EQUALLY, EQUITABLY and non-religious? Pfffft! Right. In this portion of their platform the RNC goes on to elaborate on the First Amendment: Religious Liberty. I found it to be hypocritical based upon the vitriol rhetoric and behavior by the political Right to non-Judeo-Christians and irreligious that our Founding Fathers speak about.

                      And in the portion of the RNC’s 2016 Platform entitled Great American Families, Education, Healthcare, and Criminal Justice, specifically sub-section “Marriage, Family, and Society,” …

                      Strong families, depending on God and one another, advance the cause of liberty by lessening the need for government in their daily lives.

                      This description of America’s families, relationships, and social activity under a massively VAGUE word as “God” I found utterly jokable! If the Conservative religious Right wasn’t constantly trying to thwart, harass, discriminate against (et al) Americans who are NOT Christian or like themselves, then we wouldn’t need so much refereeing, umpiring, authoritative mediating by government agencies! This platform by the RNC is so blatantly hypocritical it’s a wonder I didn’t have an aneurysm reading it!

                      Again, I know what is easily inferred by their use of the words “God,” “divine,” “Creator,” etc, but instead of intentionally avoiding and deceiving Americans (new ones included) with those vague terms, why not just be honorable, transparent and say EXACTLY what you mean by those religious/spiritual terms! JEBUS H. CHRISTMAS already! Quit the deceptive word-play and SAY IT: my own Christianity! Not your foreign religion! Which is again directly opposed to what our six Core Founding Fathers intended in our Charters of Freedom.

                      Continuing on with your #3) above…

                      …but I in no way want to make [religion] a POLITICAL agenda.

                      That’s debatable Dave/S-t-T, especially if you back/support the Republican Party and its tenets and 2016, 2020, and 2024 platforms. If you do, then you INDIRECTLY make that your political agenda even though you may not explicitly say it.

                      In other words, a deeper religion is important to our personal lives, but is not something to incorporate into government.

                      Eh, speak for yourself Dave/S-t-T. I personally believe now after near 12-years in a “deeper religion” of strict fundamental Christianity, i.e. 3 &half; years of Reformed Theological Seminary (and the Westminster Catechisms), over 6-yrs of missionary work/ministry, over 5-yrs of church deacon & Singles Ministry Directing, and 4-yrs at a Christian Liberal Arts university and Bachelor’s degree in History, Bible, and Philosophy… too much deep religion or more deep religion is BAD, WRONG today in a ever smaller world. We do NOT need to persist with religious exclusions or dividing apart religious peoples and irreligious peoples, the latter being a fast growing population along with Islam and Muslims.

                      Government is a problem when it tries to impose: religious values, social values, just about anything. Government should stay in its lane.

                      In a general sense I completely concur with you here. I’ve already addressed your first sentence here. But it deserves reiterating again: “If the Conservative religious Right wasn’t constantly trying to thwart, harass, discriminate against (et al) Americans who are NOT Christian or like themselves, then we wouldn’t need so much refereeing, umpiring, authoritative mediating by government agencies and more legislation to keep out religious-based laws!”

                      Government should stay in its lane.

                      Agree totally, until law-enforcement (not necessarily police officers or military personnel) and/or Congress MUST step-in to protect those who are non-Christian or irreligious when their rights and liberties are being infringed upon. Perfect example, women who should have the choice to an abortion within the first 5-7 weeks of pregnancy when there is no heartbeat or brain-activity by the fetus. But in this era of neo-Evangelism, neo-Fundamentalism, and Christian Nationalism invading and infringing upon private individuals by Right-leaning government is happening more often, too often. A lot more often than say 30-50 years ago!

                      The rest of that particular paragraph of yours I’ve essentially addressed. You go on and on about how liberals, Dems, and the irreligious want more and more government, but ONCE AGAIN, why is it that we need law-enforcement, Congress, and federal, state, county, and municipal entities… or as I metaphorically listed earlier, WHY are referees, umpires, field-judges, and sports governing bodies needed in the first place? Because if you didn’t have them Dave/S-t-T cheaters would abound, run amok, and constantly play unfairly and seek out all possible short-cuts, loop-holes, and unethical play to gain more advantages for themselves. To me this is OBVIOUS why Americans need to be and must be protected from those who seek to exploit others and push them into unfavorable disadvantages. Both Republicans and some Democrats are guilty of this, but in particular those with great wealth and power—we know what party a majority of those men (some women) belong to traditionally.

                      Continuing on…

                      Conclusion: You see the Right’s imposition of its religious views as the problem. I see the Left’s imposition of government and its perverted ideas of social justice as the problem. Further, I do not see the Right as imposing their religious views in the least. The Right has far more religious people for sure, but they respect your right to believe whatever you like. Do what you like in your bedroom or wherever else. We can’t and won’t attempt to stop you, however you choose to live your lives. You can ruin your lives and if you don’t want our help, we won’t impose.

                      Again, I’ve addressed most of this Conclusion paragraph already, but I will address one GROSS preconceived notion you’re making:

                      You can ruin your lives and if you don’t want our help, we won’t impose.

                      I’m sorry Dave/S-t-T, I found this hilariously rib-breaking! Wow! The audacity there by you is staggering. 😆 First of all, what on Earth makes you think I am “ruining my life”!? I am the happiest and at peace the most I’ve ever been in my life since I deconverted from bogus Christianity and left the political Right and Republican Party’s hypocrisy! I live my life now in total honor, integrity, and in full transparency! Hah! Wow what a gross presumption you make. Then you don’t stop there!

                      want [your] help, [so] we won’t impose”??? BWAAAAAA!!! 🤣 The fact that I left bogus Christianity and the political Right over 30-yrs ago and not once looked back or regretted it and still don’t… shows and proves #1, I didn’t ruin my life and still not ruining it, #2, I don’t need the Right’s help, still don’t need it, that’s why I left it in the first place: that sociopolitical lifestyle WAS ruining my life! And #3, you all are absolutely consistently “imposing” your unwanted “help” on me every 2- and 4-yrs politically AND THEN socially about every week here in the Hill Country of central Texas. It is about every other 3rd or 4th day here that I must constantly tell overtly religious Christians of the political Right, “No. I am not interested in your Cause.” And sometimes that STILL won’t shut them up.

                      Moving on quickly because I am running out of time again so I am going to leap-frog big time now, despite the fact I could and want to dissect everything else you continue with at this point. But alas… oh well.

                      Further, my view on abortion IS influenced by my religious view.

                      EXACTLY! And that is the case with most all Conservative Right Republicans. Their viewpoint is NOT based on the hard scientific facts and data. And yet, those same people do indeed wish to impose their particular religious views onto MY (Secular, Neutral?) federal, state, county, and municipal governments and it legislation enforcement. Why? Because as you imply here Dave/S-t-T with that statement, you and far too many Judeo-Christian Conservative Righters CANNOT keep ‘Church and State Separate.’

                      Alright, I must stop here. I’ve spent far, FAR too much time explaining in detail why “more religion” in our American social fabric and in our government legislation is bad, bad, BAD for this country. And sadly, the Conservative Right, the RNC, and most all fervent Judeo-Christians want to dismantle what our six Core Founding Fathers intended in our Charters of [Neutral, Secular] Freedoms.


                      — Source above on intersex-births:

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • Dear Professor: When you wrote this, you stepped on one of my pet peeves:

                    “Judeo-Christianity is NOT the primary national past time.”

                    I used to be a writing teacher, then a technical writer. The word you are looking for is “pastime”. “Past time” is duration that has elapsed, loke yesterday or last year.

                    I do agree, though, that Christianity in any form should not be the national pastime – that’s baseball’s job.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • Professor, you are even more prolific than I in your writing. The entire thread is almost 8,000 words. I have had complaints from others for far shorter essays.

                      I can normally bang out a response quickly, but I need a bit more time to absorb all you’ve said and make sure I don’t miss an important point. It is also late in the evening and I don’t want to rush through a response to your many points. I will make a few quick observations and expand later:

                      You are obviously anti-religious and that influences your thinking unduly.
                      You have not provided evidence to support all the claims made. I’ll address these in time.
                      We disagree on many points such as abortion, science, and what is gender/sex. I don’t need religious arguments to argue these points. I’ll address each of these separately.
                      The fact that I am person of faith influences my thinking, but the fact that you are not influences yours. Experiences in life, the people around you, your current situation, etc. all influence our thinking. You think my religion’s influence is harming you and others and is being directed against you and others, but I don’t agree. No, it is shaping who I am (we agree) and making me a better person (I hope), but I am not using it as a weapon against you or anyone else.
                      We agree that a theocratic government is bad. In fact, I see nobody who is arguing for it. Your examples do not support your claim. This is the weakest link in your argument. You have not proven this point because it is not reality. Perhaps there are a few on the fringes who advocate for theocracy. You can find examples of anything these days, but this is not a mainstream view in any way. You and the folks who agree with you are misinterpreting the points made by those on the Right. We argue for a moral society not a theocratic one. Theocracy is not advocated by only me, but is not endorse by anyone I can point to. I will dig in deeper in time.
                      You have obviously thought through your points and are articulate in expressing them. I respect what you have said and the effort you have made in reaching out to me. I will try to give you an adequate response.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Unsure if this comment-reply was intended for E.A. Blair or not, and for me. If it was intended for me (Professor Taboo), then it’s really now far too late for me to dissect and address its many falsities and mistakes. Hence, I’m letting this comment-reply slip down the drain. 🕳️🗑️😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Professor – I refer to my earlier posts for counters to your examples.

                      Kennedy v Bremerton:
                      On Life/Abortion:
                      On LGBTQ rights:

                      Be careful: your friends might say you are certifiably crazy if you read all of these. There’s plenty more if I hook you. Fat chance, right? What you see as imposition of religion, I see as implementation of basic logic. I don’t see how you defend your side. There is no sense whatsoever. I see people like me attacked and censored for inputting a small bit of logic into the discussion. It’s the whole problem we have today. There is no real discussion. At least you and I tried. I give you a great deal of credit for that.

                      I need to get back to my own posts. I have neglected them with these discussions. I will be writing about Martha’s Vineyard this week. Yes, it was a political ploy, but oh my how it so aptly demonstrated the hypocrisy of the Left. The Left is so angry at having its pants pulled down; they are lashing out at anyone who demonstrated this point. To quote Ms. Thunberg: How DARE you! It is indeed a serious issue and the people involved do matter, but the Left has been using these people for years as votes. They are just a block of votes to Left. This was demonstrated so well this week. Our side needs to remain civil and retain our principles while fight back in such a way. It is the only way to win the argument. It is so rare we so effectively fight back against the Left. I loved how we played the game this time! The Left uses any method at their disposal to win. Unfortunately, I am afraid little may change. There is no recognition whatsoever from the Left with regard to what is actually going on here.


                  • Jill, if you’d really prefer we took it private, then I will grant your wish Madame. 😉

                    However, the reason I thought it would be best kept here is because it is—in all honesty, and beg my pardon S-t-T for my blunt candor—well Jill, your blog gets A WHOLE LOT MORE traffic, comments & views than Dave’s/S-t-T’s blog. Simple. Sorry S-t-T/Dave. 🙏 I’m afraid that the value and exposure of our discussion/debate would cross the attentions of a bigger, better audience here. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • No … actually I very much enjoy the extended conversation here and … after thinking about it, I would rather you guys keep it here. Only thing is that you’ll need to understand I cannot possibly respond to every comment in this thread. I’m honoured that you think my blog is a good venue for this discussion and as long as it doesn’t get out of hand and everyone is respectful … I like having the discussion here. I’m just a bit overwhelmed at the moment with a couple of different threads going and being a bit under the weather healthwise as well, but … I’ll manage. Keep on keeping on, guys! Please!

                      Liked by 2 people

                • Continuing from your #2) point above, you wrote:

                  It will destroy the nation if not addressed. The gap between Left and Right today is very large. It can also be seen as a gap between religious and non-religious, although a significant number on the Left are still religious and many on the Right are not.

                  I strongly suspect that you are framing your argument about a ‘less-bound together America’ to favor your own personal (Catholic?) bias. But what you are probably not realizing Dave is that you are attempting to follow, abide in a Double Standard with your above words. In two examples and some sub-examples, let me explain why please.


                  In almost all Christian theologies, including Catholic and its Catechisms, the Old and New Testaments drive home repeatedly over and over and over how all of humanity NEEDS salvation. Salvation from what is another entirely different theological debate I am not going into here; it would take up WAY TOO MUCH time and Jill’s comments with likely no ultimate benefit for you Dave/S-t-T, myself, or anyone else reading & following this discussion. That said, Christian theology claims in many various precepts from Scripture that humans are BORN in sin and therefore must be ‘separated’ from it in order to gain God’s redemption and eternal salvation. I will presume you don’t disagree with me on that. But here is every Christians™ conundrum.

                  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6

                  Further still, once ‘saved’ through special Christian-Church procedures or sacraments, a newborn in Christ leaves behind their old life to take-up another in God’s Kingdom on Earth until heaven is reached. During this new journey, if you will, they are to SEPARATE themselves from sin and this sinful world as much as possible through faith in Christ and its Holy Spirit:

                  “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” — John 17:14-16

                  All this specific, detailed, procedures and multiple sacraments are CONDITIONAL to becoming a follower in Christ and to be legitimately called a bonified “Christian” (see Catechism of the Catholic Church #1275–#1289 and #1293–#1301). This is an elaborate initiation into a ‘select’ or separate or elite group of unworldly followers. Hence…


                  Same principle of exclusion, both Old and New Testament passages:

                  “Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, so that they do not die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.” — Leviticus 15:31

                  “Separate yourselves from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.” — Numbers 16:21

                  “It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by all who had joined them and separated themselves from the pollutions of the nations of the land to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.” — Ezra 6:21, also 9:1

                  “When the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.” — Nehemiah 13:3

                  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves to the Lord” — Numbers 6:2, also 6:5-6

                  “Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you…” — 2 Corinthians 6:17

                  “For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” — Hebrews 7:26

                  “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…” — Matthew 25:32

                  And then perhaps one of the most overt passages on ‘be separate and separate/divide up the world’:

                  “But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” — Philippians 3:20

                  You see S-t-T/Dave, you have an impossible M.O. to follow and it is perceived by us non-Christians (liberals?) as confusing, or to borrow your oft-used word earlier: delusional. 😉 Yes indeed Dave/S-t-T, if you, me, and the rest of the sane world do not address this persistent conundrum double-standard of political Conservatives and religious Judeo-Christians:

                  It will destroy the nation if not addressed. The gap between Left and Right today is very large. — Dave, alias Seek-the-Truth

                  Exactly! If this nation does not correct it, does not return the nation to a much more STABLE condition of daily life, without sociopolitical hyper-polarization by fervent Judeo-Christians and over-zealous Conservative Republicans, yep… ‘They [religious Republicans] will destroy this nation.’ No doubt.

                  I have run out of time again for today, but can pick this backup tomorrow. Apologies. And again, please hold off on YOUR replies/rebuttals Dave/S-t-T, if you can, until I’ve finished. I’d appreciate that sir. I will earnestly TRY to finish this full response to you tomorrow.

                  Btw Jill, thank you for your understanding and patience with all this and Dave and I. This is likely the ONLY way Dave can be engaged and challenged. He is well prepared with his personal viewpoints and their defense. I’ll give him that. 😉

                  Till tomorrow…

                  P.S. S-t-T = Seek-the-Truth… if you haven’t already deduced that sir.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Oh my. I thought you were done earlier. It is such an academic and not so practical an argument, but please continue. I will try to find more time to respond to all of this. Here’s another high level summary of what I see to this point.

                    Certainly most Christians and non-Christians don’t analyze the faith in the way you do. They don’t rely on analyses like you have provided. They have simpler, but not necessarily facile, understanding of their faith (or lack of faith), and of right and wrong. They do the best they can and their faith helps each in his/her own way. You seem to have wrapped yourself around the axle on a few of these points. What you say won’t matter to most people. It won’t make any sense to them.

                    In the comment above, you quote various bible passages to prove that Christianity is exclusionary. You also ignore all the evidence to the contrary, and then you suddenly jump to the Republican party as if they are the epitome of all this exclusionary doctrine. That’s a big leap.

                    You also seem to assume that Christians and Republicans overlap nicely. Republicans are the ones who are executing Christianity’s exclusionary policies? Democrats, many of whom are Christian as well, have overcome or ignored Christianity’s exclusionary policies? It is not a clear fit in the least. The Venn diagram would be a mess.

                    I should note before you continue that I am no apologist for the Republican party. I vote Republican often because the alternative is so much worse. However, I dislike the job most of our politicians have done, including most Republicans. I will not make a defense by pretending the Republicans are here to save us all. Still, I do not believe they are the evil bastards that our president has said they are. I wouldn’t vote for anyone who hated the Constitution, wanted undermine democracy, was racist, misogynistic, for “forced religion” or any of the other things the president and/or people on this blog have stated. , These are the points I have been trying to make on this blog. We are not who you think we are. We want what is good for this country as it seems most on this blog do as well.

                    I personally believe the country is going to Hell quickly. Hemmingway said change comes gradually and then all of a sudden. We are in the “all of a sudden” portion today. I do blame the Democrat party, especially its party leaders, for much of that, but I think the Republican party gets us there as well, just a tad bit more slowly. The “big red wave” this fall is not going to save us. The Republicans in Congress are unreliable. They wont fix all our problems. They won’t even address most of them, much less implement the scary agenda you think they are fiendishly poised to do. Mitch McConnell is probably secretly hoping he doesn’t get control of the Senate because then he will be on the hook to deliver something, and he would rather snipe at Democrat’s failed policies than be blamed for something he does or doesn’t do himself. When we have such dreadful Republican leaders, we don’t have much to brag about (of course, neither do Democrats who have raised the moronic AOC to grand heights). The Republican and Democrat parties should not represent us. They are not our saviors. They should not be determining our guiding principles. One of the problems I see is that many who follow the Democrat party have supplanted its precepts for the precepts of the religion that so many of them have abandoned. It has become their idol. This is a really big problem. I am happy to be an apologist for Christianity and compare its principles to the phony religious tenets of the Democrat party. That’s the contrast I often make in my own blogs and comments.

                    My faith takes center stage in my life. My family, the people I work with, friends, and other people I interact with matter. Their well being is important to me. Lost folks like those of you on this blog, matter to me. My political affiliation does not count for much. I want term limits; I want limited government; I want the government to assume its proper role. Government and self-interested politicians are central to the problems we have today. We need less of them, not more. Let’s have fewer Republicans to intrude in our lives and fewer Democrats and fewer bureaucrats intruding, fewer court decisions substituting as legislation (e.g. Roe v Wade). During the depression era, it was the churches and the local communities, not the government, who stepped in initially. Today, we think its government’s role to fix all our problems. 100 years ago we thought differently. We have out-sourced our charity to government and government does a lousy job at it. It does a lousy job at most everything. I have seen it first-hand my whole life.

                    To be continued…


                    • Professor, I am scrolling through your comments and making comments as I encounter a point of yours.

                      YOU SAID: Dave/S-t-T cheaters would abound, run amok, and constantly play unfairly and seek out all possible short-cuts, loop-holes, and unethical play to gain more advantages for themselves. To me this is OBVIOUS why Americans need to be and must be protected from those who seek to exploit others and push them into unfavorable disadvantages.

                      RESPONSE: But what about when the government becomes the dominant player in the game and cannot be trusted? What happens when the umpire is not held accountable? We have such a game today. The government has encroached on all areas of life. It has grown immensely since WWII until today it dominates so many aspects of our lives. And the umpire, the media, is totally corrupt and refuses to hold government accountable, at least it doesn’t when it has players it likes. Liberal government and liberal media are really one and the same. Look at all the people who have moved between the two, some of the Right, but many more on the Left. George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton’s senior advisor, has become the moderator at a presidential debate, really?

                      The idea is that government is a fair and dispassionate arbiter, but it has not been the case. I hear this defense of government all the time from progressives. No. The government is a corrupt and clearly a biased player. The government is in fact, a big part of the problem. Placing so much power in its hands allows government to do even more harm than it has already done. Limit its power. Cut the size of the government (eliminate agencies, cut budgets, fund only necessary departments), limit executive appointments, limit Congressional terms, limit Supreme Court terms, force a balanced budget, conduct a convention of states to draft amendments to the current Constitution, reform the hiring, firing, and promoting practices in the current government, eliminate public sector unions, make government agencies accountable, and more.

                      You would, in fact, use the power of government to restrict the people you see as problems today. Lord Acton said absolute power corrupts absolutely. That statement is never so true as it is today. Government is a dangerous behemoth. You want to use it to yield power against those you perceive as enemies of the people, yet don’t you recognize control of the government can shift and the power that was used to your advantage may then be used against you as well. I would rather neither side have that power. I trust neither side to use it wisely or impartially. Our founding fathers envisioned a role in government as public service; they never envisioned someone like President Biden who has spent his entire professional career in government. I see the same in my department, people who know nothing about nothing in IT, become executives and ruin what actually works.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • YOU SAID: but I will address one GROSS preconceived notion you’re making:You can ruin your lives and if you don’t want our help, we won’t impose. I’m sorry Dave/S-t-T, I found this hilariously rib-breaking! Wow! The audacity there by you is staggering.  First of all, what on Earth makes you think I am “ruining my life”!? I am the happiest and at peace the most I’ve ever been in my life since I deconverted from bogus Christianity and left the political Right and Republican Party’s hypocrisy! I live my life now in total honor, integrity, and in full transparency! Hah! Wow what a gross presumption you make. Then you don’t stop there!“want [your] help, [so] we won’t impose”??? BWAAAAAA!!!  I am saying nothing about you ruining your life.

                      RESPONSE: The accusation is often that the Right wants to impose in the bedroom. I am saying that it is a false claim. We have no interest in your personal life. Do what you like. Be a saint or a sinner. It is on you to act upon the help or advice provided to you. If you ignore me, so be it. That’s not between you and me; it is between you and God (or you and Sasquatch). I’ve done what I am supposed to do, which is to love my neighbor and seek to help if I can. I can do no more. I don’t want the bother if I know you don’t give a damn about my opinion. If that futile, I might not do anything. But the main point is I do not seek to control you. I do not seek to compel you to do better, say require you to get a vaccine that you might not need or want or something of that nature. I only seek to help you if I can make a difference.

                      I hate to parse words here and sound like an academic, but this matters. I have several degrees in Mathematics, so logic is an area I’ve studied extensively. An if/then statement has an hypothesis (the if part) and a conclusion (the then part). The whole statement is true only if the hypothesis is true. I am saying IF you are ruining your life and IF don’t want my help or advice or whatever, then I am not going to impose. If neither hypothesis is true, then the entire statement is irrelevant. If you don’t have a right triangle to begin with, you can’t apply Pythagoras’s theorem. It makes no difference. It doesn’t factor into the problem. If you were my neighbor and I knew you were cheating on your wife, I would be obligated to do something. Your wife might leave you; you might be risking financial ruin, or other bad things. If I can make a difference, I should do that thing. You might be furious with me for confronting you, but then again, my conscience would be troubled if I did nothing. It is risky to point out problems to your neighbor, family, or friends; you risk their enmity, but what they risk is even greater than what you risk.

                      I don’t know much about you, so I am not saying you need my help or that your life is ruined or anything of the sort. I am glad you have found peace with Sasquatch to lead you.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • My first initial response to this reply…

                      It [my response?] is such an academic and not so practical an argument…

                      HAH! Funny, I thought discussing academically (i.e. relating to scholarship), discussing these topics reasonably, rationally, and with supporting corroborating ACADEMIC data/evidence that you’d be more appreciative of it… rather than the typical constant, personal opinions, bias, and ill-supported claims liberally thrown out by social-media? And you attack those types of presentations every chance you get if they don’t align with YOUR political world-views. IOW, removing our personal EMOTIONS and individual bias from arguments via academic debates is in my humble opinion a more productive, logically sound format. You suprise me Dave with your penny-a-dozen social-media practicality—that far too often helps NO ONE in the end unite.

                      This is not a particularly good foot or start for us when you ALLOW personal emotions & bias to get involved. Ugh. Be that as it may, let’s read on…

                      Certainly most Christians and non-Christians don’t analyze the faith in the way you do.

                      That’s a matter of your personal opinion. I’d LOVE to hear what 50, 100, or 500 WordPress bloggers following this post and discussion have to say in their OWN words, not yours. Eh, that may not happen so we must both agree to YOUR personal opinion/perspective is very different than mine… and leave it at that. Oh well. 🤷‍♂️ Dave 0 – ProfessorT 0. Hahaha, we are both just expressing PERSONAL viewpoints and they blow in the wind. 😉

                      Certainly most Christians and non-Christians don’t analyze the faith in the way you do. They don’t rely on analyses like you have provided. They have simpler, but not necessarily facile, understanding of their faith (or lack of faith), and of right and wrong.

                      Again, this is YOUR personal individual assessment, not a consensus certainly, or even a majority. 🙂 Consequently Dave, you are NOT providing more objective support for your counter-arguments to mine. You must make this ACADEMIC to be pseudo-productive for us and anyone else following this thread. My Christian analysis and non-Christian analysis is PRIMARILY utilizing the 2nd-, 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-century CE Greco-Roman Canonical New and Old Testaments in contrast with the non-Roman world, like Yeshua’s (Jesus’) world in Late Second Temple Judaism/Messianism—which btw, reflects LITTLE of the centuries-later Roman Catholic Church’s versions of “faith” as you vaguely present it.

                      Do you see now at this point WHY this should be a primarily academic debate/discussion rather than what is typical, shallow, common-place, “practical” as you put it, and though you may have judged the common American citizen, Judeo-Christian as so shallow & unintelligent with their Catechisms… there MUST be a plum-line for precise degrees “of right and wrong,/i>” as you put it, in order to move forward within hard TRUTHS and FACTS. Yes? And regarding matters of Judeo-Christian religion and faiths, there HAS TO BE SOME baseline established.

                      Therefore Dave, I completely reject your opening paragraph here as erroneous and untenable for the rest of what you stated. Sorry.

                      Nonetheless, you venture on with your PERSONAL perspectives and I will indulge you for a limited time sir. 😉

                      Carry on…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • OMG. I am starting to deal with the context of the matter and you want to take us off on a tangent defending your honor as an academician. I assume with the title professor you must teach or do research at a university? What subjects? You do go on and on over small points. I made the observation that you need to make arguments appealing to a wider variety of folks. You won’t convince a large portion of the audience about anything because your argument is addressed to a very narrow audience, people who think like you. You don’t need a dozen quotes from the founding fathers or a dozen bible passages to make your points. Your points would have more oomph if you can make them more concisely. I will not be providing dozens of quotes in my rebuttal. I will point out where evidence is lacking, where you have addressed a point that is not in contention, and where you have just gone into the ether.

                      I was in the academic world for just a moment as a graduate student. During my time at school, I was asked to work with a few doctoral candidates and liberal arts professors. They wanted me to validate the statistics used in their research. It seems so many liberal arts/social science research now must use statistics to validate papers. I encountered people who were indeed very smart but didn’t understand statistics at all. I couldn’t always give them the validation they were looking for. A little bit of knowledge, an unproven theory, and a computer program which spits out impressive looking numbers in the hands of an academician are dangerous. You too use science above in a very suspect way above.

                      For all of my career I have been in IT, the last ten years as a manager of group of 20+ people. Our job is deliver a product, to deliver timely and accurately, to fix problems immediately, no matter if it is our fault or someone else’s. I also have to discipline problem people, assimilate people, to help them with their problems, and to create an environment for each as well as the team to be successful. It is a much more practical job than being an academician. I have to get things done. Excuses for failures don’t go over well. Academicians develop theories that might sound good on paper, but are often not practical in the real world. They don’t like having their theories tested, but what good is a theory if nobody can use it or apply it?

                      I spent the evening yesterday at my daughter’s tennis match and arrived home late. I have to work today and the rest of the week. You write so much it takes time to absorb it all. I wish I had more time to engage, but I will get around to it. Please let’s devote more time to the actual issues at hand.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Let’s pause a minute. After reading over your latest replies there are two points I’m inferring and deducing so far from our less-than beneficial engagements Dave/S-t-T.

                      #1) — I’m failing to understand why you keep alleging I go off-topic or onto tangents. It makes me chuckle. So please bear with me a minute Dave and I beseech (for now) your deepest best patience and interpretive-skills as I counter your claim of my supposed tangen-nitus. 😉

                      I believe the Principle of Causation ALWAYS exists when humans engage and interact. We humans have always been acting, reacting, acting, reacting to each other; or rather REACTING then acting, repeat. A flowchart can show this principle quite well. In this, human words and actions can be chronologically traced forward or backwards in time. This is EXACTLY what you and I have been doing these last many days—although, I am tracking on this flowchart perhaps much more closely than you. Maybe? And I personally see NO tangents or going off-topic at all but staying nonetheless on our flowchart. I am merely reacting/responding to what YOU stated prior—I put your words in “quotes.” I don’t see how me reacting/responding to what YOU write or bring up as me with tange-nitus, especially if I am the Initiator, or to be more exacting: Jill and her blog-post here are the first Initiator for all these causations, followed by comments to prior initiations. This is simply logic to me.

                      Please let’s devote more time to the actual issues at hand [that you/Dave bring-up and I put your words in quotes].

                      Therefore, once again I challenge and reject your allegations of me having tange-nitus. With due respect, I think you are wrong and forgetting our earlier “Flowchart” and what YOU wrote previously. 🙂 Moving on…

                      Finally #2) — There is one riddle you and I are not acknowledging and haven’t acknowledged or established as mutually correct/right. That is in a word: AUTHORITY. What do you consider in your knowledge and our discussions to be authoritative and without doubt, not dubious by a (very) large consensus of “authorities?” IOW’s, I think you and I need to firmly establish an agreed upon baseline of WHAT “authority” is and how we find it, obtain it. There is no point in using ourselves as sole authority, nor is it typically fair or conducive to productive political dialogue (and religious dialogue when it is about Separation of Church & State) and hopefully collaboration between a very divided people.

                      As I see it right now, if you and I cannot do this—a mutually agreed upon AUTHORITY—then we have very little chance, or none at all, of accomplishing anything worthwhile for each other and anyone here following. If the latter be the case, then we may as well end this here and now. Then “Live and Let Live” and part ways wishing each other goodwill and peace. Yes? 🙂

                      If YOU feel there is enough wiggle-room, flexibility, and patience between us to mutually agree upon WHAT, WHO, WHERE real “authority” is and where it can agreeably be found between us… then I humbly suggest you and I always keep at-hand as well as in the front of our minds WHO, WHAT, and WHERE this authority is being referenced and mutually agreed upon. Yes? This seems to me to be a good, constructive tweak to our touchy discussions/debates. Yes? 👍🏻

                      P.S. On a conciliatory note — Sorry that your/our busy schedules do not allow sufficient corroborating evidence/data to quote or cite. I feel doing so is very important to SHOW an amount of authority. But that’s me, always will be. You perhaps do NOT think it important or “practical.” Fair enough. I think your assessment of impracticality is perhaps a result of the base-nature of hasty, A.D.D.-ladened social-media coupled with everyone’s super incredible BUSY, other-prioritized lives. That’s fair too; I won’t blame you for that. Even WordPress has its faults and deficiencies. Who has the sufficient time to make it a life-long career to be well-informed, authoritative, and thus worthy of engaging? I understand your frustration Dave. Proceed if you like. 🙏

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Perhaps a flow-chart would be good to track this conversation. I started down a path of cataloguing your points and then addressing them one by one, not necessarily in order. I will try to get back on track and continue down that path. Time is certainly a constraint, but I have a good deal of patience and I always enjoy a conversation/debate like this. I see a chance still of making some progress on this conversation, perhaps coming to some agreements or clearly defining our points of disagreement, so I will proceed. I would, however, rather not extend the conversation into too many threads and try to limit the discussion on each point. Perhaps it seems like ADD, but there needs to be some balance in our lives.

                      You ask about authority. Perhaps you expect me to point first to God or the Church as an authority. You are not a religious person, so I don’t where see that would leave us. Let’s start first with parents; they are authorities over children, although we all know that authority wanes over time. Children should respect their parent’s authority, wisdom, experience, etc. and parents should properly use their authority to mold their children into adults. Ultimately, I see my role as a parent as preparing my children to be responsible adults. Teachers, coaches, mentors, tutors, scout leaders, and other experts are also authorities children should respect. I think parents should support these folks who are helping their children. Parents cannot possibly do everything needed to teach their children. They need to work in concert with others. There are other authorities we encounter on a regular basis: police officers, supervisors, umpires, priests, etc. Again, we should respect these authorities and these authorities should properly use that authority given them.

                      The ultimate authority is God. How we view these worldly authorities often influences our view of God. For example, a parent is a stand-in for divine authority. If a parent abuses that authority, the parent damages the child’s view of authorities in general, and God specifically. This is one reason why I talk so much about the value of families (the domestic church) and the importance of the roles of both mother and father. These authorities form the very foundation of our society. If this structure falters, as it has on a large scale the last sixty or so years, our culture is in trouble. We are in trouble today and the lack of strong, effective, and benevolent authorities is one of the reasons. Today, our culture disparages fathers, labeling their behavior “toxic masculinity”. We need that strength in our society and we confuse boys greatly when we do not encourage them to become men. Men can indeed be toxic, but you get much good along with the bad. Discourage their aggressive nature and you get weak, vacillating, and ineffective men, not something good for our society. Men need to learn to control their tendency towards aggression and violence, (and this has been done repeatedly throughout history) without encouraging them to turn away from their true nature and become more like women (and women to become like men, and other such nonsense spewed in academia today).

                      We have all experienced authorities who have been a poor influence at some time in our lives. The more bad experiences we have, the more petty tyrants we encounter, the worse we view authority in general. Our culture today has a pretty dim view of authority in general. It used to be that an authority like the president was respected simply for holding that position. That person started from a position of respect and could lose that position through his actions, but generally was given some initial deference. That respect seems to have been lost in our culture. I think perhaps this view goes all the way back to leaders like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc., leaders who abused their authority and subjected the world to so much evil, death, and destruction. We defeated these evil leaders, but the world learned not to trust leaders in general, even leaders who were far better. We looked for better systems, systems that could not be defeated by strong, malevolent leaders, systems that are fair and equitable. I think this is part of what Huxley was writing about in Brave New World. I think we’ve NOT come up with the right solutions today. Too many have turned to big government and socialism; they have supplanted God and the family as the authorities. They are very poor substitutes, and so we have new intractable problems, not better systems. These systems strip us of our humanity and individualism and we inaccurately believe we can overcome the failings of human nature. It’s a mess we have made in trying to find a better authority.

                      Is that sufficient on authority? I am not planning on writing a dissertation or a novel about it. I also hadn’t thought much about it recently. Is there enough common ground here or do you see our views as hopelessly unreconcilable?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I would, however, rather not extend the conversation into too many threads and try to limit the discussion on each point. Perhaps it seems like ADD, but there needs to be some balance in our lives.

                      As far as “too many threads,” that is exactly what I was pointing out is a deficiency or problem with WordPress’ blog-formats AND what each individual blogger prefers and sets themselves. These comment-thread formats are by WordPress & Jill. We’ll have to make do with what THEY have given us. Sorry. It may end up NOT being very conducive a format—you and I have no control of—for our detailed, scholarly debate/discussion… which unfortunately is too often the case with most all social-media platforms, WordPress included. So you and I may not be able to “limit the discussion on each point” as we both would like. But as I’ve stated, I merely follow what YOU write/reply with, and let that flowchart discussion go where it may until its appropriate death. 🙂

                      Let’s start first with parents…

                      Eh, 🤷‍♂️ yes. I don’t necessarily disagree with your starting point of authority from an individual familial level and incredibly SMALL sampling, BUT… that doesn’t solicit or demand as much weight to the kind of “Authority” you and I need here in these discussions/debates. You are right and spot-on Dave that I am “not a religious person” and it would be challenging for us/you to utilize THAT argument as YOUR ultimate source of authority. But obviously, as you rightly point out, that may be a dead-end for you and I here. Yet, and almost seemingly impossible, the biggest portion of contention between you and I, you and Jill, many of us on Jill’s blog versus you, and you and the general Left-of-Moderate and full Left-of-Left (the hyper liberals or Far Left)… is the major problem/issue of keeping Church separate from State! So how can we avoid what CANNOT be avoided when YOU and most all Conservative American Republicans and fervent Judeo-Christian Americans and Christian Nationalists… insist on merging or incorporating those religious beliefs, ideals, or church dogma/traditions INTO the very State that our six Core Founding Fathers explicitly and implicitly rejected and recorded such for all prosperity time and time again in their legal documents, the Charters of Freedom, and personal letters with fellow statesmen/colleagues? Furthermore, you’ve stated already previously that YOUR religious beliefs form and/or govern your specific politics as well.

                      Hence, I see a LOT of problems with YOUR pseudo-religious posture about politics or the State that SHOULD BE always ‘Separate from the Church,’ or religious superstitions, never-ending rabbit-trails & holes, and NOT representative of all Americans! Are you guilty of playing BOTH incompatible sides, two very different fiddles simultaneously? That’s a very, VERY hard jig to dance to my worthy Adversary. 😉

                      Nevertheless, using our own parents—because I know good-n-well you would NOT like my father’s beliefs nor my mother’s—as an ultimate source of Authority regarding this discussion/debate is if I’m honest, a poor choice sir.

                      The ultimate authority is God.

                      I completely and wholeheartedly DISAGREE with your gross presumption there. Surprise, surprise, right!? 😆 But allow me to cut past the endless rabbit-trails & holes of futile theology, religions, and faiths and remind you again, that FOR THIS VERY REASON our six (6) Core Founding Fathers created & drafted charters and Constitutional BYPASSES—via the concept of “Separation of Church and State”—to AVOID these OBVIOUS Catch-22’s and hopeless stalemates in our civic government! If I was an Authoritarian King/Dictator of this U.S. Kingdom, I’d remove all public religious conundrums, Catch-22’s, superstitions, dogma, and ideals COMPLETELY from the civic governing, the public forums and grounds! But privately? Do whatever floats your boat, but do it on YOUR private property or someone like-minded & like-acting’s private property. DO NOT impose it unsolicited onto someone else on a PUBLIC stage or format. THAT was what our Core Founding Fathers were implicitly (and often explicitly) proposing in the Charters of Freedom. Period.

                      How we view these worldly authorities often influences our view of God.

                      Wow! Another hugely GROSS presumption. This preconceived notion begs the question for you Dave, “Have you ever been outside of your state or the United States?” I will give you the benefit of doubt that you are wise enough and knowledgeable enough—thru world travels?—to know that there IS NOT just one religion, or one system of beliefs, or one faith, or one world-view (Catholicism) on this enormous Earth of now 7.97 billion humans. To this GENERAL narrow-mindedness I offer up Mark Twain’s profound explicit & implicit counter and dismantling of an incessant disorder known as ego-centricity of the magnitude of ONE-anything for everything and everyone:

                      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our [American] people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It, 1869

                      Therefore Dave, I’m sorry, but the remainder of your 3rd paragraph above/below(?) is unimportant to me when we are discussing the Core Founding Father’s creation and drafting of the NEEDED Separation of Church & State in the First Amendment and then much further elaborated upon in their personal letters of correspondence to Constitutional colleagues. Furthermore, your dooms-day like assessment about this nation’s 21st-century health or condition is… well, IMO unequivocally wrong and inaccurate. But on that note, we ARE INDEED at a massive downward precipice of LOST Constitutional democracy this coming November 2022 and 2024! This there can be no mistake about it! This nation MUST return to what it once was previously 30-yrs, 70-yrs, 241-yrs, even 247-yrs ago to our Founding Father’s core principles! Clearly this is NOT what tRump stands for or promotes, nor does the RNC or MAGA. This is crystal clear to approx. half the country.

                      [#1] Is that sufficient on authority? [#2] I am not planning on writing a dissertation or a novel about it. [#3] I also hadn’t thought much about it recently. [#4] Is there enough common ground here or do you see our views as hopelessly unreconcilable?

                      On #1 — No, not for me at least. “Authority” can be located in MANY various places that are NOT so religiously inclined—like our Core Founding Fathers opposed or ‘set apart,’ SEPARATED in our Charters of Freedom and the Separation of Church[religion] and State—or not so “Google It” inclined, or not so reliant on for-profit organizations or news media sources that are heavily biased and produce pure or near-pure self interested, self-biased propaganda, e.g. FOX News, NewsMax, National Review, The Federalist, et al… but instead there are several other institutions, foundations, non-profit think-tanks not puppets to corrupting money, and select universities of quality higher education than merely an insufficient, very limited, common-place high school diploma. A population sector of the American youth or young adults come from a ‘School of Explainers’ rather than Specialists or true acclaimed Experts who have spent their entire life-careers, many decades, to be exactly those Specialists in a particular field.

                      We’ve all met them. They’re our coworkers, our friends, our family members. They are young and old, rich and poor, some with education, others armed only with a laptop or a library card. But they all have one thing in common: they are ordinary people who believe they are actually troves of knowledge. Convinced that they are more informed than the experts, more broadly knowledgeable than the professors, and more insightful than the gullible masses, they are the explainers who are more than happy to enlighten the rest of us about everything from the history of imperialism to the dangers of vaccines. — Dr. Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise (p. 13). Oxford University Press 2017, and graduate of Boston, Columbia, and Georgetown Universities.

                      And not all intellectuals, experts, and highly qualified specialists are found in our nation’s public-funded universities. In the field of medical research and cutting-edge healthcare, the Mayo Clinic is one of America’s most prestigious and trustworthy institutions of medical education and research! It is NON-PROFIT as well, insulating it from corrupting, bias-producing misinformation or propaganda in the field. The Smithsonian Institute is another highly prestigious, trustworthy, reliable group of museums, higher education, and research for expert diffusion of proven and/or reliable knowledge. Two other non-profit organizations of profound expertise are the American Institutes for Research in Arlington, VA, and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

                      Adding to this very long list of highly qualified expertise and specialization, but that cannot be ignored are our many ELITE universities across the nation—begun btw by Thomas Jefferson—such as MIT, Cambridge, MA, Stanford in CA, Harvard in Cambridge, MA, John Hopkins University, Yale University, UCLA, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, to name just seven. These are ALL institutions of America’s proud long-standing bastions of top education, research, and knowledge to depend on as truly “Authoritative.”

                      But naturally it would be extremely naïve, as well as arrogant, of us to think that the U.S. is the ONLY nation who harbors highly qualified expertise, intellectualism, and specialization. No, there is the Max Planck Institute & Societies in Munich, Germany. Two of the most renown prestigious universities in Europe are easily Oxford and Cambridge and their exemplary list of graduates! There is the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft in Bonn, Germany, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid, and then in Asia there is the South Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, Pohang University of Science & Technology, also in S. Korea, as well as the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. These are just nine institutions of higher learning, innovation, and research not in the U.S.

                      I could make this list of “Authoritative” resources much, much longer, but I hope you understand my point. Authority is NEVER found in only one or two places, ESPECIALLY in individual families of parents who are often themselves products of church or religious puppeteering, or as we would always preach in public education on campuses and school districts not religiously affiliated:

                      Do not teach them WHAT to think, teach them HOW to think.

                      This is what I’ve seen develop in my own state of Texas the last 3-decades and across the Deep South and the Midwest. It is very disturbing.

                      But something has changed over the past few decades. The public space is increasingly dominated by a loose assortment of poorly informed people, many of them autodidacts who are disdainful of formal education and dismissive of experience. — Dr. Tom Nichols

                      And sadly for much of the average-to-poorly educated half or 45% to 60% of Americans today without an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree from a quality PUBLIC institution, the internet and specifically social-media sites that resemble old paper tabloid magazines than our long-established bastions of expert, specialized, reliable facts and unbiasedness journals from renown institutions and universities, America has become infested, over-run with “Explainers” carrying no real credentials of expertise or authority in a particular field of study or experience.

                      “If experience is necessary for being president,” the cartoonist and author Scott Adams tweeted during the 2016 election, “name a political topic I can’t master in one hour under the tutelage of top experts,” as though a discussion with an expert is like copying information from one computer drive to another. A kind of intellectual Gresham’s Law is gathering momentum: where once the rule was “bad money drives out good,” we now live in an age where misinformation pushes aside knowledge.

                      This is a very bad thing. A modern society cannot function without a social division of labor and a reliance on experts, professionals, and intellectuals. — Dr. Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise (p. 14). Oxford University Press 2017

                      I think I’ve also covered your #2 and #3 above in my response. Regarding your #4?

                      Is there enough common ground here or do you see our views as hopelessly unreconcilable?

                      Hmm, I don’t see perhaps as much hope as you do because of my extensive background in social & political science, history, philosophy, bible, and theologies—i.e. religious studies in Second Temple Judaism/Messianism, Early Christianity, Catholicism, and modern Christianity as well as our U.S. Founding Fathers and their Charters of Freedom. So sir, I’ll let you decide whether there’s hope or not. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I don’t agree with your defense of higher institutions. Judge them by their fruit and the fruit has been awful. It’s another thread to examine sometime. I do agree college especially is a place to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think. It appears not to be the case today.

                      I also agree that education in general is a massive problem. I THINK we are of the same mind on this. I was lucky to find good places to send my kids for 12 years of lower education. Do you also not agree that college institutions whether public or private are dominated by the Left? The Left tells us what to think not how. I could go into examples galore. This is another thread to examine later.

                      One question for you regarding this comment you made: YOU and most all Conservative American Republicans and fervent Judeo-Christian Americans and Christian Nationalists… insist on merging or incorporating those religious beliefs, ideals, or church dogma/traditions INTO the very State that our six Core Founding Fathers explicitly and implicitly rejected and recorded such for all prosperity time and time again in their legal documents, the Charters of Freedom, and personal letters with fellow statesmen/colleagues?

                      I have started clearly I do not agree in incorporating religious beliefs, ideals, or church dogma into the the state. You insist that I and so many conservatives do. I see zero evidence, and I do not see any evidence that you have provided that this is the case today. It is a point many believe, but then many believe many things which are not true. We have countless examples of this today and throughout history.

                      Could you please state plainly WHAT is your evidence for this? You started with the founding fathers, but what about the contemporary political leaders, conservative media, and conservative dominated institutions (are there any the Left has not taken over?)? How are they furthering this cause? I stated above that our Republican leaders lack the courage to do even what its base wants, much less something like infuse religion into government which would alienate them not only from their base but further alienate them from their political opposition, who they continually court. WHO is doing such a thing? HOW? WHERE? WHY? I don’t see it in my Church or the people I know. Nobody I know advocates for this.

                      I think this conversation is difficult is that I hear you make this claim repeatedly, but I don’t see any evidence. I asked for evidence from others and did not receive it from them either. That’s my gage for determining if I am on the right track. I ask a question and if it is ignored, not answered, I am cursed, or the topic changed I have hit the sweet spot .

                      I believe there is no evidence for this claim which is why I am not getting an answer which enlightens me. You did say the PERFECT example was abortion, and I explained why it is not the PERFECT example. Abortion is a moral issue, for people of all faiths and for people not of faith. Many people of faith AGREE with Roe v Wade. Further, Roe v Wade was a decision made by nine men. Today, abortion is ultimately decided by the citizens of each state, a return to a far more democratic process. If I were for a true theocracy, I would advocate for my pro-life position to be imposed on all. I have never advocated for this and I have written extensively about this issue in my Life posts.

                      I am sure you can provide something more, however, I wonder if it will be legitimate.

                      I did suggest a private conversation to overcome the problems of this forum.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jebus H. Christmas Dave! 😣🤦‍♂️ You certainly have severe reservations stepping out of your own self-perceived comfort zone of personal beliefs/viewpoints and those of YOUR OWN sociopolitical and religious kind. Ugh. I now see why you have so few Commenters engaging you over on your blog and no one really challenging you. Do you ever wonder why that is… that almost no challengers visit your blog? And it isn’t simply because your opponents sometimes/often don’t want to listen or dialogue—as BOTH sides too often do. Might it be your approach, your (bombastic) style of writing and offense? 😉 (long long sigh)

                      All that aside, I will try to stomach your first two or three paragraphs, addressing them, and then I need to take a (sanity?) break from you and your overly aggressive and narrow-minded debating style. Whew! Goodness!

                      I don’t agree with your defense of higher institutions.

                      Well THAT’S the shock of the century!!! 😄 I knew beforehand you’d immediately disagree because of your arguing approach, and the cookie-cutter Right-leaning or extreme Right(eous?) posturings and negations you throw at liberals, progressives, Independents, or anyone who isn’t aligned with your personal sociopolitical viewpoints. Or if you do concede little nibbles of middle-ground or affirm more Moderate tendencies, they are certainly few and far between! Hah!

                      Consequently, KNOWING full well the language, the terms, the concepts YOU would understand and be more receptible toward on this blog-post The Right To Be You, and our further arguments and controversies of Separation of Church & State, that in an effort to accommodate you… I began my challenge of your assertion of (implied and explicitly) MORE RELIGION in the sociopolitical fabric of this nation so we could perhaps make common ground.

                      Hence, I started out with two PILLARS of “Authority” I knew you’d embrace:

                      1) the original source(s), creators, authors of our Charters of Freedom. I didn’t throw back at you the convoluted, distorted arguments of 21st-century politics running rampant today. No, I went straight to THE ORIGINAL SOURCES; something which cannot be by its very nature… misunderstood or unfairly maligned, by any modern political group. And…

                      2) Old and New Testament Scripture passages, another ‘source’ you’d happily embrace as “Authority.”

                      And now you are asserting “I am sure you can provide something more, however, I wonder if it will be legitimate.” Are you suggesting we ‘throw out both the baby AND the bath and water?’ Everything!? DEAR GOD Dave! I guess you won’t be halfway satisfied until I do a world-wide Judeo-Christian Circus Tour and drive Christians (Catholics?) to a euphoric rapture! 😄 Must I give you dissertations and treatises 3-4 times longer about legitimate authority? I gave you easily THREE sources of Authority, that in reality trickle into many, many more. I’m pretty sure you are failing to extrapolate the fullest extent of what I’m saying and arguing.

                      But again, HERE is the very reason our Core Founding Fathers developed the precept of Separation of Church & State in applying our three Branches of government:

                      • The futile, never-ending rabbit-trails and bottomless holes in debating numerous theologies and Scriptural exegesis, hermeneutics, etc, within Christendom as well as a elusive unanimous, yet impossible, always controversial method of what the Holy Spirit’s purpose and meaning is at any given time. Why? Because of “God’s infinite transcendence” over all of time. Never interpreted the same by ALL believers/followers. And some denominations of Christianity (38% up to 58% according to The Gospel Coalition) don’t even believe the Holy Spirit is still alive or active! It is merely a symbol of “God’s power, presence, or purity.”

                      So think hard about the contextual history of what our Founding Fathers were dealing with in the 1770’s and 13 fairly diverse colonies, PLUS the Native Indigenous peoples, everyone with UNIQUE divergent spiritual belief-systems.

                      The leaders and immigrants of our pre-American Revolutionary Era (1775) were primarily from the British Isles (63.1%) and in significantly fewer numbers from other European countries, mostly Spain (7%) and Germany/Prussia (6.9%). Twenty percent were slaves from the African continent. All of our nation’s forefather’s who created and debated our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, had British and French heritage. Clearly the most influential forefathers of our country’s most hallowed documents have their roots in England and French-Huguenot civil history. A tiny lens when you ask 1,000, or 10,000, or even 500,000 Americans What is Christian? Ask the same number of Christian-believers outside of the U.S. the same question, and you will get various answers. Why different?

                      Simple. There are over 32,000 different denominations (from 6 primary designations) of Christianity that have different interpretations of the Canonical New Testament stories of the nature of Jesus and the authority of teaching his nature. Without getting neck-deep into that 2,000 year old mess that keeps getting messier, let’s focus on the English/French but clearly American forefathers and what they stated and inferred was supporting the Separation of State and Church.
                      — from my May 2015 blog-post, “The Mistaken Identity of the U.S.” with citations there

                      With all that in mind—hundreds of thousands, millions of North American peoples, their cultures and own spiritual uniqueness—would you not agree that AVOIDING at all costs the quagmires of religious, spiritual, church faiths, and various theologies in civically governing everyone is by FAR the best approach? I’ll assume you will completely agree with me there. Now…

                      Where else do you find mostly unanimous “Authority” to govern such a cornucopia of diverse peoples? You only offered your “God” and then, puzzling enough, parents!? 🤨 Those are two extremely WEAK offerings Dave and I think anyone here and elsewhere would agree “parents” as a source for other legal adults is ridiculous. And I’ve already adequately shown you how utterly futile using God’s and religions as a means of governing. I offered up two bastions of high authority: 1) the Core Founding Fathers public & personal documented ideals, precepts, and tenets… and 2) a vast amount of well-established, trustworthy institutions of true expertise, scholarship, and innovation both American and globally.

                      Now you on the other hand are NOT being entirely fair or inclusive of humanity’s greatest minds, past and present! You make a broad, blanket claim of…

                      Judge them by their fruit and the fruit has been awful.

                      But you offered no corroborating evidence to your wild claim. Without such supporting evidence/examples, this is merely YOUR personal opinion, something everyone and their uncle has to indiscriminately throw around. 😄

                      Let me give you a small sampling of earnest progressive endeavor, genius, and profound scholarship and expertise! And TRY please to be more open-minded Dave and less dismissive:

                      Here’s an easy one, a no-brainer:

                      • The Five Nobel (Prize) Committees – comprised of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, the Swedish Academy, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and the larger 50-member Assembly, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute. Now I’m quite sure you will try your hardest to discredit these five exceptional institutions, but the general consensus around the world and here in the U.S. is that these great institutions have brought phenomenal benefits to humanity than any miniscule amount of contention you try to muster against them Dave. Just being honest and preemptive with your predictable oppositions. 🙂

                      • The annual Breakthrough Prize – an international awards ceremony similar to the annual Nobel Prize ceremony, but with a bit more flair, showmanship, and business ventures to attract a different, wider viewing audience and consumer than a strictly traditional one of dull academics—an event of more limited exposure and much less profitable incentives and potential to greed-driven organizations. I particularly favor this exceptional institution of expertise, research, and top-notch scholarship!

                      The National Inventory of Humanities Organizations – the conceptualizations of the humanities developed by the Humanities Indicators (HI), which is based on the definition of the field included in the founding legislation of the National Endowment for the Humanities. NIHO encompasses not-for-profit, for-profit, and government institutions engaged in humanities scholarship and/or in bringing humanities knowledge or skills to various audiences. There are at least eight key category types in the Humanities serving under the NIHO.

                      The American Association For the Advancement of Science – the AAAS seeks to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.” The AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe. The formation of AAAS in 1848 marked the emergence of a national scientific community in the United States.

                      These are just four pillars of higher education, higher knowledge, and exceptional exemplary work and histories for the betterment of humanity—massive sources of trustworthy “Authority.” I challenge you directly Dave to find ANY type of “awful fruit” that even hints of entirely discrediting them. Please, do try!

                      It appears not to be the case today.

                      Big sigh. Again, your personal individual opinion. Why so gloomy and a persistent dooms-day advocate!? Can you please offer specific citations for this personal opinion of yours?

                      I also agree that education in general is a massive problem. I THINK we are of the same mind on this.

                      Yes, but HOW exactly public K-12 education is “a massive problem” and how to correct it, I’m sure you and I will disagree and diverge greatly. I am very confident that in this debate I can dismantle, disprove, and offer better solutions to the problem… knowing now your (predictable) approaches and arguments. But this is for some other time, if at all, and not for here. Oh well.

                      Do you also not agree that college institutions whether public or private are dominated by the Left?

                      Most likely, yes I do indeed disagree. Surprise surprise, right? 😉 But I would prologue my argument by first pointing out you are using a vague, general, too broad a term as “the Left.” You must dissect that down to the lower denominations. What precisely, in minutia, does it mean? And the PRIVATE college/university institutions are not at all dominated by what I extrapolate as your “Left” inclinations. Perfect example, my own now 28-y/o daughter graduated Cum Laude from Mary-Hardin Baylor University in Belton, TX, and she got heavy doses of evangelical-fundamental, charismatic, non-denominational Christianity all four years of her enrollment and curriculum. Look them up. You’ll see that are the farthest thing from a private Left institution. And Dave, here in Texas there are many, many more under-grad and post-grad “Christian” institutions that are anything BUT Left-oriented! And I know this to be the case in many of our other 49-states, some more than others.

                      The Left tells us what to think not how. I could go into examples galore. This is another thread to examine later.

                      BWAAAAA!!! You couldn’t be more wrong with that first sentence. Question: Have you ever spent any amount of significant time (years?) in the Left’s Camp, as an active and diligently working to advance their ideas? THAT’S how you actually immerse yourself, and learn intimately their ways, thoughts, and ideas? If you want to ask ME the same question about being in the Right’s Camp, etc, my honest truthful answer is ABSOLUTELY yes I have. Near 12-yrs fervently and deeply embedded in their Camp in several capacities.

                      Drawing to a close my current efforts with you and Jill’s blog-topic with Separation of Church & State, you go on in your 3rd paragraph…

                      I have started [sic] clearly I do not agree in incorporating religious beliefs, ideals, or church dogma into the the state. You insist that I and so many conservatives do. I see zero evidence…

                      Zero evidence? Do you not read, hear, or listen to OTHER news sources other than Right-leaning or Far Right ones? By admitting this it would appear you don’t. 🤦‍♂️ I’ll try to help you out with the widely known, popular “evidence” that Conservatives, Christian Nationalists, the RNC, and MAGA are directly and/or indirectly trying to merge/incorporate more Judeo-Christian religion into the State, not keeping it separate…

                      • I’ve already mentioned days ago the overturning of Roe v Wade by the Right and Far-Right, done almost entirely on RELIGIOUS grounds. And some states or religious organizations are trying to STOP and criminalize any abortions within the first 2-weeks of pregnancy and anyone who aides in abortions, including medical staff trying to SAVE THE LIFE of the mother!

                      • Radical Right Movement of Banning Books in schools and libraries. According to PEN America 100, the banning of books has been taken out of the responsibility of parents and PTA’s, and squarely taken up by state governments and their Boards of Education. It has gotten completely out of control! Simply go here to read all about it, especially the book’s-content the Right and Far-Right are banning:


                      • LGTBQ Rights & members are being suppressed and criminalized by the religious Right, which I offered a MAJOR counter-argument to you in my earlier section of Intersexed-births and how common they are. Did you see the hard-facts, stats from the ISNA. You seem to have ignored or overlooked the eye-opening hard-facts about gender and sexuality. Why is that?

                      • the Conservative Right Supreme Court in two cases is grossly undermining the First Amendment’s protection for religious or irreligious freedoms. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment protects against governmental endorsement and imposition of religion, and the Free Exercise Clause ensures the right to practice your faith (or no faith) without harming others. No more. This hyper Conservative Supreme Court has increasingly treated the Establishment Clause as a mere historical footnote, threatening both the independence of religion (or irreligion) and the religious neutrality of the State as plainly laid out by our Core Founding Fathers. Cases and points: Carson vs Makin and Kennedy vs Bremerton School District. Of all things unnatural and anti-First Amendment… this Supreme Court’s rulings in Carson and Kennedy clearly lead “us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation.” Pfffft! Unbelievable.

                      I could list several more current movements by the religious Right and the some 3,500 religious-based U.S. organizations trying to merge and incorporate more and more Judeo-Christian values, doctrines, and beliefs into our federal and state governments, but these four cases listed above are sufficient to show that your claim of “zero evidence” is simply wrong, unless of course you live under a rock and never read, listen to, or watch NON-RIGHT reporting entities, especially the non-profit or not-for-profit organizations! I’m sure you don’t. But I suspect Dave you just don’t want to be equitably well-informed about these sociopolitical and religious events attacking and infringing on our First Amendment’s Separation of Church & State. Isn’t that the ostrich head in the sand move? 😉

                      Anyway, at this point in time, I must take a serious break from you and your bombastic writing style, arguments, and pseudo-reliable personal opinions and claims. I’m losing interest in the mostly personal opinions you put forth real fast and your refusal to self-examine how your own religious beliefs dictate and form your political views a lot more than you realize or care to admit. With that I see very little hope in this being beneficial for us OR anyone else still following but who are silent.

                      We may, or I may pick this back up at a later time.

                      Best wishes to you Dave and your family. ❤️

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah, I was being a bit humorous there. Um … you ask if it’s possible to recoup those things … to the first two, I’d say ‘probably’, but to the “love of all Earthlings”??? I think probably NOT. I have a shirt my daughter bought me that reads, “I’m done peopling” and that is precisely how I feel most days of late. I’ve largely given up on the idea that humans can learn to stop fighting over superficial differences and just get along. Sigh.

                      Seek aka Dave has responded to you and I shall approve them directly, but Prof … do NOT feel obligated to respond, please! It’s time to put this one to bed for the sake of us all, so unless you just want to respond, please don’t.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • OMG. You make me chuckle so much in your characterizations of me an my writings. I’ll consider what you have to say about me personally. I always have room to grow. Some of your criticisms though make me think of Rick Flair jumping off the top rope in a wrestling match. Here take that!

                      You said: But you offered no corroborating evidence to your wild claim. Without such supporting evidence/examples, this is merely YOUR personal opinion, something everyone and their uncle has to indiscriminately throw around.

                      Yes, I indeed offered a personal opinion. I didn’t want to go down yet another rabbit hole. I said as much when offering it. I don’t have time for such excursions.

                      Yes, the Nobel Prize committee has tarnished itself along with so many others in so-called intelligentsia. Here are a few examples that I can think of the top of my head: 1) Nicole Hannah Jones wins the Nobel Prize for an ahistorical account of American’s founding, the 1619 project. 2) President Barrack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for talking a lot. He won it in his first year in office; they loved him so much, they just had to give it to him. 3) NY Times Paul Krugman wins the Nobel Prize for economics, a political hack who knows little about anything and is wrong everything. 4) Greta Thunberg wins “the alternative Nobel” for her work as an eccentric 16-year old emoting about her future. “And a child shall lead them”. Yes, there is a poor benighted child to lead to the Left. 5) The Briand-Kellog pact was signed in the 1920’s. It was the end of all wars according to its proponents. Frank Kellog, the American Sec. of State whose name is attached to the pact won the Nobel Prize for this groundbreaking work which mattered for about five minutes. 6) Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General wont the Nobel Peace Prize for leading an organization which has done far more harm than good in its 75 years of existence.

                      Your defense of higher institutions is laughable. Yes, there are a few conservative universities in the country, yet you would have me believe that the overwhelming majority of the university faculty is not ultra left leaning. Ok. Groucho Marx said: are you going to believe me or are you going to believe your lying eyes? That quote applies well here.

                      In any case, at the end of your latest treatise, you FINALLY get to some examples of why Conservatives are trying to infuse religion into government. Finally an end to the rabbit hole, but you’ve grown weary of the conversation. I suppose I could take your comments and rebut them in a post. These are not examples of the Right trying to take over government via religion.

                      Just today I listened to the news from Vanderbilt University about how they are making so much money from transgender operations on children. Isn’t it grand? I also saw today a man with massive prosthetic breasts teaching children in an elementary school. What’s the purpose of that behavior? The man has problems yet is being indulged. I’ve listened to quotes all week from doctors at Boston Children’s hospital defending the mutilation of children’s genitals. And if we object, we are the problem. I watched Matt Walsh’s “What is a Woman” and marveled at the African tribe who shook their heads in disbelief as Walsh described what passes for thought in America today. They are untainted by the absolute silliness emanating from our institutions in America.

                      You don’t need to be religious to see the insanity in all this. You need to have morality and ethics, not religion to understand the problem. Interestingly, I work the government and they provide us ethics training every year. I really need my employer to teach me about ethics. Bill Clinton started us on annual course of: Prevention of Sexual Harrassment. Isn’t that a hoot? We’ve been doing it ever since he left office.

                      Maybe we made some progress. I did enjoy it and you are a worthy opponent, just wrong about most things. You also made me chuckle and I enjoy your sense of humour. If you want to continue the debate on why the Right today is not trying to create a theocracy, I am still up for it–if we can stick to that one topic. Otherwise, I wish you well on your journey.


    • You know, I’ve read Jill’s post several times and I can’t find where she directly mentions either Osteen or Robertson, so why did you feel the need to defend them in particular? Because they are (supposed) icons in the religious world?

      In fact, there are numerous Christian leaders who loudly and boldly proclaim their desire for a theocratic nation … along with spouting “hateful things every day.” If you think otherwise, you must not read anything but your church bulletin.

      While Catholic leaders may not be as “vocal” as many others when it comes to condemning many of the social mores of today and they may not talk much about the current push for a theocratic nation, I would lay odds they (and you) would be more than content if the U.S. became a nation of True Christians™.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I didn’t bring Osteen and Robertson into the conversation. I was responding to someone else.

        WHO is loudly and boldly calling for a theocratic nation? I know of nobody. Please provide specifics. My guess is you are interpreting someone in the wrong way.


        • Yes it was I who brought the TV envangelists up, pointing out their being in it for the money. And they represented the second type of Christian I was referring to in my original comment about some Christians mainly just wanting to do good and the other type we are more familiar with. The trump far right white nationalist type. He was responding to me and didn’t originate it. I thought it was relevant to your original post, Jill. The difference between the two types…

          Liked by 2 people

          • And you are so right! I did a piece a few years ago about Osteen — I find these people to be the biggest hypocrites around, and I would add Franklin Graham to the list. My late mother-in-law used to donate $10 that she could ill-afford to her church every Sunday, believing it would be used to help the poor. And then one weekend the pastor wasn’t at the pulpit, for he and his family were vacationing in Europe. Trump isn’t even a religious person — his is all for show and I find it sickening. I agree, Mary … your comment was very relevant! There was just some confusion about how those two came into the conversation! As Dave said, sometimes it’s hard to follow the threads when there are so many comments. But, that’s what I love … a diversity of opinions, as long as they remain respectful!

            Liked by 2 people

        • Yep, I sorta’ noticed that later. I think it’s the way your comment order is set up with the newest on top whereas I’m used to the newer ones being added at the end. Mea Culpa.

          Liked by 2 people

  11. There are Christians, who mainly want to do good in the world, don’t judge and condemn others and don’t want to force their beliefs into law. And then there are the trump and far right white nationalist Christians who mouth off some hateful statement on a daily basis.
    John Pavolitz is an excellent example of the first type, but he is one of the few who will speak up against the far right type we see and hear so much from. And this doesn’t include the Olsteens, the Pat Robinsons , the Westboro Baptist Church types full of righteous hate for the gay community and TV evangelists who are in it strictly for the money, pandering to the weak.

    If there were to be a moral religious god, who created all this for the greater good, he would be horrified at the evil men do in his name and the empty pitiless hate, judging and greed that consumes so many of the second type. A mouth full of scripture and a heart full of hate.

    And this god would surely wonder why more of the first type fail to speak up for humanity, goodness and grace.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Pingback: Reblog: The Right To Be You – This, That, and the Other

  13. The Pilgrims didn’t come here to escape religious persecution. This is a myth. In fact, I was taught this way back in the 1970s, in MASSACHUSETTS. The Pilgrims were, in fact, complete jerks, & were kicked out of every place they tried to settle IN EUROPE & the only place they could go to was the New World … & of course, when they got here, they were complete jerks here.

    Nor did the Puritans come here to escape religious persecution. By the time they were coming to Massachusetts, the Puritans were in power in England, so they had nothing from which to escape. However, the Catholics who settled Maryland, were escaping persecution. Funny how nobody talks about this. Only the Pilgrims & the Puritans.

    If we are going to move forward as a nation, we have got to stop promoting these myths & tell the truth about how our country was settled. THE WHOLE TRUTH, every ugly bit of it … & all the beautiful parts, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re right … the Pilgrims and Puritans who followed were seeking a place they could practice their religion and ultimately convert everyone else to their way of thinking … after committing genocide and stealing land from the Indigenous people. However, there HAVE been many that came here to escape religious persecution in their own lands. This nation was founded on numerous freedoms, and in my book, the right to freedom OF religion must also include the freedom FROM religion. Otherwise, it is garbage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry to be such a nag, but I simply must address things I cannot accept. You make so many claims without substantiation.

        There is no freedom FROM religion. We all have the right to practice our religion. If our church is just around the corner from your home, must we be more discreet so you are not offended by our mere presence? This would inhibit our right to practice our religion which be a violation of our civil rights.

        I have often attended pro-life rallies with members of my church. I have walked through the streets of DC and I have stood on the street corner in my town carrying a sign. Many people have encountered me and others silently protesting. I have heard many hateful words from people who don’t like what we are doing, but we still have a right to protest peacefully, and are not deterred. It is a form of our religious expression. Do you have the right to be free from that expression of religion? Or perhaps, it is not a hot button issue like abortion, but it is a procession on the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe (look it up if you have never heard of this). Do we not have the same right that the gay pride parade has to march down the town’s street for something which matters greatly to us?

        With regards to indigenous people: I ask who are the indigenous people in the land of Judea? Is it the Jews or the Arabs? Who threw out who first? Stealing of land by one nation has been occurring since the beginning of time. It is how nations are formed. I’m not condoning such behavior in any way, but I am asking you to broaden your view of things just a bit and to stop saying that Europeans are the only ones who have taken (stolen, if you like) land from another group. Such actions are how history was written.

        Genocide is also a very harsh word. You should know your history better. The Native Americans died from disease more than from any other cause. The diseases from the Old world devastated them (90% died from diseases such as smallpox). This is the primary cause for the dissolution of Native Americans. It was not an intentional cause by any means. It sealed their fate forever. Otherwise, history would have been very different. Again, I am not condoning awful behavior (which did happen) from Europeans towards Native Americans. I’m just saying it has been quite common throughout history and among all people.

        I have been away for a while. Have you missed me?



        • OH …. so it’s OK that the natives were killed in warfare & slavery & being driven off their lands because MORE of them were killed by viruses? Really?

          & it’s OK because people in the Old World had been killing each other for eons before that? That’s your argument?

          I’m not bashing anyone. I am just pointing out that we need to TELL THE FUCKING TRUTH ALREADY about our history. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY & THE BEAUTIFUL. ALL OF IT.

          You seem to want to see nothing but bashing in these comments. Some of us have been reading & studying history for over fifty years (have degrees, etc.) & our politics, sexuality, identity, etc. have nothing to do with any of this. We just want a full telling of the story.

          Liked by 6 people

          • When did I say it is okay to kill, enslave, and drive people off their land? I quote what I said earlier:

            I’m not condoning such behavior in any way, but I am asking you to broaden your view of things just a bit and to stop saying that Europeans are the only ones who have taken (stolen, if you like) land from another group.

            I also did not say it was okay to kill and enslave anyone because they have been killed by viruses. I simply stated an irrefutable fact. Disease is what sealed the fate of the Native Americans. Yet again, I said the following:

            Again, I am not condoning awful behavior (which did happen) from Europeans towards Native Americans.

            Immunity to disease is also one of the primary reasons that Africans were enslaved in the New World. Both Native Americans and Europeans immigrating to the New World died at alarmingly high rates. Europeans attempted to enslave Native Americans but they died off at very high rates. However, Africans did not; they had a natural immunity to malaria and smallpox which enabled them to thrive (i.e. not succumb to disease) in the New World.

            Again, I am not saying it is okay to enslave people. I am saying that this is a reason why history turned out as it did. However, I am saying that it is not appropriate to blame people living today for the sins of their forefathers. These posts and comments are one long bash of the Right. The Right is to blame for every problem of today and the past apparently.


            • I never said that Europeans were the only groups to take from other people. The Americas weren’t the paradise that it’s often said to be before the Europeans came here; the Natives made war upon each other, like any other groups of humans. & people from every other part of the world have been warring with each other, taking slaves from one another, & killing each other off for centuries. Every culture; every part of the world. Didn’t I say that I have been reading & studying history for over fifty years, including classes taken in college? You must have missed that part.

              I do not care to continue this conversation. I have too many things to do to argue with someone who is obviously trolling me. Go ahead & keep arguing; I’m walking away.

              Liked by 4 people

              • I am interested in a discussion not trolling, insulting, or attacking. Other liberals/progressives I know are willing to debate the issues without raising their hackles and telling me how much they already know. Why do you shrink from a discussion? You are among friends on this site. I’m the interloper here.

                Sure you have credentials. I have been in the game a long time too and I have multiple college degrees myself. My mother is proud, but who else cares? Credentials don’t win a debate

                I originally complained about a blanket statement about white, straight, males. Jill has revised her post to remove her references to white, straight, males. My comment also has been removed. I am happy to see that the original statement is gone from the post. However, you did not see my lengthy comment which has been censored. I am a bit hampered in the debate when not all of what I say is posted. I saved my original comment and could re-post it, but it may be struck again.

                White, straight, males, people of European descent, are often blamed for so much today. There is white privilege and other attacks on whites are quite common. There is the 1619 project which claims everything in our history can be defined through the lens of race. You didn’t make such a claim and you didn’t mention Europeans, but there is a lot of that in these posts and comments.


              • Thanks for your efforts, Polly. I usually end up just walking away from conversations with Dave (Seek-the-truth) because he is often convinced that he is right, that his is the only way, and that it’s his ‘job’ to convince the rest of us poor, illiterates. Somedays I can deal with it, other days I cannot, so I walk away. Like you, I am well-educated in history, political science, et al, but my views are often treated as if they came from a six-year-old. Oh well … 🤷

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jill, after years of emotional, psychological & physical abuse within so-called loving relationships, & then years of domestic violence therapy to heal from all this, I don’t put up with anyone’s pretense of “debate” when all they’re doing is battering me with words. My problem is I want to win; I had to learn to let that go. Sometimes the only way you win is by not playing the game. One day I might even learn not to care about winning at all.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • I’m so sorry to hear about the abuse you’ve suffered, Polly. I can only imagine, for that is one area in which I’ve been fortunate in my adult life, not to have suffered abuse. But, there is no doubt in my mind that it leaves you stronger, less tolerant of many things, including the arrogance of others who believe theirs is the one and only ‘right’ way. I think that in many ways you’ve already won. Something I came to realize long ago … I have to listen to or be around others for limited periods of time, but I live with myself and my own conscience 24/7, so … who is it more important to please? I’m comfortable with the person I am. Could I improve? Sure. And I try. But, I am and will always be a ‘work-in-progress’.


        • I don’t know what you think it means, but thr freedom from religion is my right to be a nonbeliever in any form of superstition and not be coerced, whether by societal pressure or by civil law, to kneel to someone else’s deity. I don’t give a flying whatever what you do when you’re on yor knees, as long as you don’t do it o n my lawn or make me join in.

          Liked by 7 people

        • That’s where you’re wrong, Dave. There IS freedom FROM religion. I have the freedom not to believe in ANY religion or in ANY so-called ‘god’. I am a realist and I believe only what I see or what can be scientifically proven. I have that right, I do not have to choose from a laundry list of religions. I am not offended by any religion … I have close friends who are Muslims, others who are Christians, others who are Jews, and many who are atheists. None offend me. What offends me is people trying to force their religious beliefs on those of us who do not share them.

          Pro-life and anti-abortion are not necessarily synonymous. Do you believe in the death penalty? If so, you are not pro-life. Do you believe a woman should die from an ectopic pregnancy rather than have an abortion? If so, you are not pro-life. Those are just two examples, for I do have more to do today than respond at great length.

          I know little-to-nothing about your “land of Judea”, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here. We are talking about the Indigenous People, the tribes who were in North America long before white men came across the pond. We murdered them. We stole their land, forced them onto ‘reservations’, and murdered many of them. Yeah, genocide fits the circumstances.

          For the record … yeah, I noticed your absence and in some strange way, sort of missed you (I can’t believe I said that!) However, I do have to tell you that I cannot respond to all your comments because of a shortage of time and energy! But others will pick up the slack when I cannot. 😊

          Liked by 3 people

          • Ok. If you define freedom from religion in that fashion, then I agree with you. You do not have to engage in religion. Nobody I know would compel you or anyone else to take up religion. I incorrectly thought you meant something else.

            For the record, I am against capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia and any other form of the ultimate judgment. I have a consistent pro-life position.

            I looked this up: An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated. So, no I am not for forcing a woman to continue with a pregnancy which is not viable. Who would be? There was a question recently regard a pregnant 10-year-old. I would defer to a doctor in such an instance as it seems very possible 10-year-old could not survive a pregnancy. We shouldn’t discuss the outliers though. I am against abortion in 99.9% of cases.

            With regards to the Jews, I am saying that those who would deny the Jews a homeland in Israel are often the ones who talk about Native Americans having their homeland stolen. What happened to Native Americans is a tragedy, for sure, but what should we do now to set the record straight? Is this possible? Why keep on about it as if you are taking their side and I am not? I care about injustice as much as you. If you believe the Native Americans should have their homeland back, why don’t you give back your home to one of them? Set the example for the rest of us.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m curious, Dave. How did you think I was defining “freedom from religion”?

              You are so right about the ectopic pregnancy. To leave it untreated is a death sentence for the woman. But, let me quote something for you:
              “Some people say that these laws don’t cover ectopic pregnancy, since the embryo isn’t viable, but that’s not true. In these laws, the definition is to end a pregnancy, and even though the ectopic tissue is outside the uterus, it’s still a pregnancy,” says Dr. Louise P. King, surgeon and Director of Reproductive Bioethics at Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics.
              “We in the medical field consider ectopic pregnancy treatment to be abortion. The law considers it abortion,” King says.
              More than one state have passed laws forbidding doctors from removing ANY fetus. That 10-year-old you mention lives in my own state, and had been raped. She had to travel to Indiana for an abortion. You say let’s not talk about the outliers, but they are a far more significant cause of abortions than you think.

              I would not deny the Jews a homeland in Israel, but … neither would I deny the Palestinians a homeland as Netanyahu consistently tried to do. Now, about me giving my home to the Indigenous People … well, if I owned a home, I might consider that. As it is, I am 71 and on Social Security. My monthly medications take up fully 85% of my Social Security payment. I live in a rented townhouse with my daughter, Chris, and granddaugher, Natasha, and my financial contribution to the household expenses is almost nothing. Luckily, my daughter is a nurse with a decent job, although we are far from wealthy! We do donate to a number of causes when we can spare the money, such as local food banks, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and a local homeless shelter. The only thing I own of any value is my collection of hundreds of books I’ve accumulated through the years, and I have made arrangements to donate those to state prisons upon my death. So no, I cannot give away a home I don’t own, but … I do what I can.

              And on that note, I bid you good night, for it is after 2:00 a.m. and I am tired.


      • I agree that freedom from religion is important AND that freedom of religion is nothing without freedom from religion (as in there is no actual meaning to it if all you “get” to do is select from established institutions or so-called authorities). Meanwhile, an unaffiliated person might be a person of faith who sees no reason to submit to other humans.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Thanks, Marleen! You and I think alike on this one. I think some misunderstood my call for freedom FROM religion, but what I mean is that I, as a non-believer, should not have to follow laws implemented by religious groups based on their own religion. Let their beliefs and mandates be their own personal ‘law’ that they live under, but it cannot … must not … become the law of the land, for not all of us ascribe to their religion.

          Liked by 3 people

  14. It seems that politicians will do anything for votes these days and those chasing certain religious votes seem to be most immoral. I think it’s important to respect and allow religious freedom but it must be done so separately from the state. Otherwise things just go messily down a slippery slope.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, they will say almost anything to get votes, and pander to any group. That’s the status quo and we don’t usually even think much of it. But this embracement of white, evangelical Christians and their uber-bigoted notions is dangerous! They would, if they could, return Black people to slavery, return women to the kitchen, return LGBTQ people to the closet, and the nation would once again be in the hands of only the white, straight males. I don’t want to live in that world!!! I have no problem, although I am a non-believer, in religious freedom. Believe as you wish, attend whatever church you wish, but don’t shove it down my throat, don’t make laws that force me into that small box of narrow-minded beliefs! Sigh.

      Liked by 5 people

      • I am a white, straight, Christian (Catholic), male, and a Southerner to boot. I am one of those people you decry. You may believe your claims to be true, but I am the one you are describing and I know, without a doubt, that I do not want to enslave anyone, return women to the kitchen, create a theocracy, or put LGBTQ people in a closet. It’s not even a close call. I also do not know anyone in my circle, and I do not listen to any public figures who espouse such awful things. I don’t know who does except for a few nut cases who our media searches far and wide for and then links them to all the rest of us. You have created a bogey man that does not exist.

        You have made a blanket statement about white, straight, males. Is that not akin to making blanket statements about women, Jews, blacks, or any other group? I have two brothers who are also white straight males and they would agree with you, not me. Are they dangerous too because they might be more easily influenced by someone like me? Are they congenitally unfit somehow? Please live your life as you see fit. Make the claims you wish to make, but allow others (like me and other white, straight males) to express their views and live their lives as well.

        You make lots of claims. Your posts and your comments section continually bash those on the Right as if we are the source of all evil and all problems. Ok. If you believe that, please explain who is trying to enslave blacks or put LGBTQ back in the closet or do any of the rest? Please explain our plan for doing it. I think you cannot. That’s a challenge.

        I see a lot of evil in the world too. I see abortion as a great evil, but you see it as the Right’s mean to control women. You see people like me are the problem when it comes to abortion: we hate women or some such nonsense. I see children used as pawns in COVID policy (school closures, masking, vaccine mandates, etc.) for a disease that does not affect healthy young children or young adults. The number of deaths to children in the last 2.5 years is under 1,000, and the number healthy children who have died is almost zero, on par with lightning strikes. Yet, the harm that has come to them due to COVID policy is far greater. My daughter struggled mightily the next year because she lost three months of math instruction in 2020. Many others have suffered far worse than she.

        Perhaps you see COVID policy as necessary to save us all, but you also throw around the word plutocracy. Who is looking out for big pharma in this instance? Who is seeking to maximize their profits from vaccines that no longer are effective: white, straight, males or government health experts? Our COVID policy has been absolutely abominable. Ivermectin, which is an anti-viral, Nobel prize winning drug (in 2015), and on the WHO list of 300 essential medicines is trashed by Merck, so they can re-brand it and maximize their profit. Dr. Pierre Kouri testified to Congress and said it straight up: Ivermectin could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, yet it continues to called “horse medicine” by people who know nothing about anything. And who supports them in this regard? White, straight, males or government health officials? I could go on with examples, but this is enough to make the point.

        You started off with “separation of church and state”. This phrase is not even in the Constitution. It was written by President Jefferson in a letter to a Baptist Church. It has never been added to the Constitution. In any regard, our Constitution prohibits the establishment of a national religion. We are in agreement, I think, on this point. I believe, as does everyone I know in a non-theocratic Republic. We see the dangers of theocracies that still exist today in places like Saudi Arabia. Yet, I also see Christians and Jews as under attack from government and media. You justify attacks by painting us as theocrats and plutocrats. I think religion is under attack because the Left sees them as political opponents (as you appear to as well). I engage with many on the Left and I find some on the Left are religious, but that an increasingly large portion of the Left are not (and some on the Right as well, but far more on the Left). In fact, increasing numbers are anti-religious. I’ve been told all manner of unbelievable things about me simply because I practice my religion. Religious people who you want to paint as religious zealots are easy targets. They don’t fight back in the same way you do. We are all zealots in your view, right? You can’t be a religious person and oppose any of the views you espouse without being a zealot, right? You oppose religion as a tool of control. In terms of the public square, our religions is far more a restraint on our own excesses rather than attempt to control anyone else, but you probably can’t see that. You see us as a political opponent and that’s the problem. We oppose things you support, so we must be attacked.

        Our Constitution also allows the free exercise of religion and says it should not inhibited in any way. But this has not been adhered to. I was kept out of Church for a couple of months at the start of COVID until the NC Supreme Court overruled our governor and allowed us back. There is no exception to 1st amendment: for medical emergency or COVID or anything else. If you want an exception, do it the proper way by amending the Constitution. The governor’s order was a clear violation of our Constitutional rights, but you see yourself as practical and quick thinking in times of crisis. From my perspective, you seem willing to trade a short term goal while sacrificing a longer term principle. It is the story of Jacob and Esau if you know that one from Genesis: trade your half of the kingdom for a bowl of porridge today. In the long run, the cost of that bargain is always bad.


        • First of, I don’t ‘decry’ white, Christian males as a whole, but nor do I want them to be the only people who matter, as some would like to see. You’ve already, in my book, taken a stand against women’s rights with your anti-abortion views. I don’t hold the colour of your skin, nor your religion, nor your gender against you, but I do take umbrage at some of your views.

          You ask that I live my life as I see fit, and allow you to live yours as you see fit, and I am 100% in agreement with that. But … see, the thing is, you have already taken some of my rights away by your views on women’s rights such as our right to determine what is best for us.

          As re your ‘challenge’ … look no further than the resistance to teaching about slavery, Jim Crow, our genocide of Indigenous People 400 years ago. Rather than educate our young about the mistakes that have been made, there are those in power who wish to whitewash it, who see the teaching of bigotry throughout the history of this nation as unacceptable, who would doom us to repeat the mistakes of the past. You want specific examples? Look no further than Emmett Till, or more recently Trayvon Martin. Systemic racism DOES exist in this country and there are those … no, I’m not saying you … who still believe that Black people, Muslims, LGBTQ people, are of lesser value than white people. Can you deny that?

          Yes, I see abortion as a key part of women’s rights. ESPECIALLY given the various draconian abortion laws some states have passed since the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs. A woman with a tubal pregnancy, where the fetus will never be viable, but if it isn’t removed, the woman WILL die, must die, for the laws in many states now prohibit a doctor from saving her life by removing the fetus. But even in less dire circumstances, women do sometimes get pregnant when they are not able or prepared to take care of a child, to put their lives on hold for the next 18 years. It’s our body, our choice. To take that away from us is to say that women are slaves to the desires of men. Sorry, Dave, but that is how I see it. You claim that being anti-abortion is being “pro-life”, yet you care naught about the life of that woman being forced into parenthood whether she is ready, willing and able or not. And what about the child that results in a forced birth … are you willing to support the mother and the child for a few years, to ensure they have enough food, a roof over their heads, and medical care?

          The first amendment to the US Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Look again at my example of Congress considering a bill to ban the sale or consumption of pork. Would you like that? No, probably not one bit. Nor would I like it if laws were passed that controlled my behaviour in accordance with the religious beliefs of others. Take, for example, your own Catholic Church (I was born into a family with a Catholic mother and Jewish father, so I know a bit about each) … perhaps Congress might consider a bill to make eating meat on Fridays against the law. You can imagine how well that would go over. Or, a law against divorce! Can you even imagine??? I have nothing against people having the comfort of their beliefs, the belief that there is some higher power who ultimately is in charge, or some better place they can go when they die, but the rules and rituals of religion do not belong in our federal government, cannot be forced down the throats of everyone. I’m not trying to ‘inhibit’ anybody’s religion, just demanding that it not be shoved down my throat.

          As for COVID … vaccine & mask mandates … restrictions … you already know my thoughts. It is highly disrespectful to go into a public venue these days without a mask. However, since nobody seems to care, I just stay home, because with my heart and other health issues, I would die if I caught Covid … that’s a certainty. And no, my friend, Covid is not over. My daughter is a nursing supervisor at a local Urology Center, and last week she had 6 of her 25-member staff out with Covid. This week, two more already.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Outstanding reply Jill! BRAVO! 👏🏻

            Or should I emoji paste this skin-color?: 👏🏿
            Or this one?: 👏
            Or how about this one?: 👏🏽

            HAH! As if it even matters… especially online or on WordPress! Pffft. 🙄 Wouldn’t it prove the point if no one on WP even knew what skin-color, or ethnicity, or background anyone really was? But what it does show is the subconscious biases and prejudices that are only (falsely) TAUGHT throughout one’s life. Genetically, our real human differences are so miniscule they practically don’t exist at all. But it is falsities, blatant lies and unfounded superstitions that go unchallenged and passed on generation to generation without any or very little critical-thinking and determined curiosity… no matter its “unpopularity.” As the profound adage goes:

            Adapt or die.

            At the same time Jill, we Homo sapiens CANNOT evolve, learn anything or thrive if we continue to wallow in the Bronze Age of viewpoints, prejudices, and superstitions. We MUST know of each other in order to collaborate and survive as a species.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thank you, Professor! You’re right … the colour of the emoji doesn’t matter, nor does the colour of our skin, our hair, or the length of our toenails (remind me to clip mine tonight!). I fully agree with your point … genetically we are so similar that there really is naught beyond superficial differences. What do I care if your skin is black or you go to church??? I care how you treat people … and animals … and the Earth. Period. That, to me, is all that matters or should matter when I’m deciding whether I want to be your friend or not. Tribalism? To me, it sucks … it is simply an EXCUSE to discriminate against those who either do not look or act exactly as you do. Sigh. Y’know, Prof, some days I think I’ve spent enough time on this planet.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Perhaps more laughter is the best medicine, yes? 😉 Here you go; a reset/restart for you…

                “Life plays and swims in paradox while the kill-joys go mad.”
                Me, the Professor

                Keep plugging away Jill; don’t surrender or give up one-inch of your self-identity, as you see fit. ❣️

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks for the smiles, Prof! I did make one error in my comment, though, when I said that “there really is naught beyond superficial differences”, for I wasn’t considering cultural differences, and those are … well, they are why wars are fought, why there is bigotry in all its forms. Thanks for your encouragement, Professor … no, I won’t give up being who I am, for I’m quite comfortable with me. I’m not perfect, but then nobody is.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for a thoughtful response. I think you are being honest and it seems genuine; we just disagree on basics.

            Abortion: It’s not a woman’s body that is being violated; it is another’s body. We do not have rights over the bodies of others.
            Racism: Humans in general believe people in their own group are better than those in another. But I believe systemic racism ended in the USA around 60 years ago. Americans are very tolerant and the over-the-top claims that they are not are too much for me to bear. I think however racism is creeping back in in other forms. Dr. Kendi says we need racism today to address racism in the past. That’s a problem.
            Religious Laws: laws supporting distinct religious values can be made and can also be struck down. I would not support them, but they are possible. This has often been the case. We had laws like “separate but equal” which were upheld and then struck down. It is an imperfect system, but that’s how it often works. Sometimes the right decision and justice takes time.
            COVID: it is still a problem. Deaths have declined dramatically, but are still around 375/day the last five months. That makes it the 6th leading cause of death in the US. I break down the numbers in my latest COVID post. Deaths did NOT decline from2020 to 2021 despite vaccines, masks, and mandates.

            I am so sorry, I thought you had removed my original comment. I see now I made a mistake in that regard. It is hard to follow a thread sometimes.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you, Dave. Yes, I am being honest. Ideally, we should be able to express our opinions without vitriol, listen to each other, and think about the other’s point of view. Too often these days, ‘discussion’ turns into heated argument, as you’ve seen here. We are all on tenterhooks, I think, and it doesn’t take much to set off a spark that leads to a fire. I’m trying not to do that, but admittedly sometimes you seem to be talking down to myself and my readers, and that rubs me the wrong way, and then any hope of civil discourse is done.

              Responding to your specific points:

              Abortion: The woman is a person, the fetus is not yet.
              Racism: What you’re describing is ‘tribalism’ … a word I’ve come to despise. Why? Why must people believe their own “group” or “tribe” is better than another? They aren’t. And Dave … ask any Black person if racism ended 60 years ago in this country. Ask my friend Rob, who gets stopped by police for no reason at least once a month when he drives into the city on business. Ask my friend Maha who was threatened with her life if she didn’t stop wearing her hijab after she came to this country (she is a U.S. citizen now and still afraid to go in public in her hijab). Or ask the family of Breonna Taylor.
              Religious laws: Separate but Equal was racist, not religous. Question: If the Supreme Court decides next term to overturn Obergefell v Hodges, will you approve? That would certainly fall into the classification of a religion dominating the law.
              Covid: Our statistics differ, for currently I’m showing an average 535 deaths per day for the month of August. Either way, though … I no longer go out in public other than a quick in-and-out trip to the grocery if I forgot something on my weekly pickup order, for nobody seems to care enough to even put on a mask anymore, and I cannot afford to take a chance.

              Your comments are sometimes delayed, for I do moderate comments as I feel appropriate, but I have no intention of removing any unless they are disrespectful to another reader. Truce?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes. I don’t wish to attack others. I am confident in my own views and I have heard many of the arguments you make before. The basic problem I think still is the ubiquitious lies in the media and public square. A basic tactic of negotiation is to attack the problem not the people. We would all do well to adhere to that. I’ll come back to later and see what’s new.

                I really wanted to discuss climate change. That’s one that folks have been talking about for forty years. I’ve watched the debate for as long. There are some really big holes in environmental theory.

                I doubt we’ll agree on any of these issues, but perhaps it is possible to improve the tenor of the debate. That’s all I have time for now. I need to do calculus homework with my son.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Well, tell you what … I’ve been planning to do yet another post about environmental issues and will probably do so within the next few days, so there’s an opportunity to tackle climate change. Though I suspect we won’t see eye-to-eye, perhaps at least we can ask each other some pertinent questions and listen to each other, eh? Have fun with the calculus … better you than me!!!


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