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The Erosion Of Scientific Thought


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In view of my rant yesterday on the "No child left behind and the military" thread on the board, I thought that it might be worthwhile to discuss the following article which appeared today on The Los Angeles Times website.

It contains several controversial issues that should be of importance to progressive Christians, and I believe that it lays bare the current regressive philosophies and attendant political activities that seem to be undermining this country's scientific progress and competitiveness that it has attained over the past decades.

 

flow....

 

September 20, 2005

Los Angeles Times

 

 

Bush and the mad scientists

The administration strikes again in its infuriating war against science.

 

By Chris Mooney, CHRIS MOONEY is Washington correspondent for Seed magazine and author of "The Republican War on Science" (Basic Books), which was published Sept. 9.

 

 

THE LAMENTATION in the forthcoming New England Journal of Medicine is typical of a growing genre: complaints about the misuse of science by the Bush administration. It is merely the latest jeremiad, from a group of distinguished experts, about the loss of reason by our leaders. This particular editorial, titled "A Sad Day for Science at the FDA," concerned so-called Plan B emergency contraception (the "morning after" pill), but it just as well could have been about the science of global warming or mercury pollution. Yawn. We've heard it all before.

 

There's an inherent difficulty when it comes to sustaining outrage over how science gets continually misused in the Bush administration. The complexity of scientific disputation, paired with the intricacies of bureaucratic decision-making, make for a truly soporific combination. It's tough to get past the latest scandal and see the big picture — even when, as in this case, three distinguished doctors are writing that the Food and Drug Administration has made "a mockery of the process of evaluating scientific evidence, disillusioned scientists both inside and outside the agency, squandered the public trust and tarnished the agency's image."

 

Still, let's try to muster whatever's left of our outrage, because the Plan B episode truly demands it. It may represent a historic low for science-based professionalism at the FDA. And it presents an instructive case study in how the political abuse of science plays out in practice.

 

By any stretch, this decision should have been a no-brainer. The "morning after" pill, which blocks or delays ovulation, had already been approved for prescription use; the latest move merely concerned its availability over the counter. (Six states, including California, have made it available over the counter, but women must request it from the pharmacist.)

 

Given that the pill's effectiveness in preventing a pregnancy depends on how quickly it is used after unprotected sex — and that it meets the safety and ease-of-administration tests for over-the-counter products — it makes obvious sense that simplifying access would help prevent unwanted pregnancies (and thus, presumably, abortions).

 

Two scientific advisory committees held a joint hearing to consider the issue. Committee members voted overwhelmingly (23 to 4) in favor of approval. The FDA expert staff was of a similar mind.

 

And yet in an extraordinary move in May 2004, the agency second-guessed its experts and its advisors and cooked up a dubious rationale for delaying approval of over-the-counter availability. More data were needed, the FDA claimed, on the pill's safety for women under 16. Or course, no evidence existed suggesting a unique problem for this age group, and such age-based data have not been required to switch other drugs to over-the-counter availability.

 

The FDA suggested that the maker of Plan B could reapply for over-the-counter status with the proviso that girls 16 and younger would have to get a prescription. But when the company did that, the FDA delayed again. Early this month it said it now had to check the legality of the age rule.

 

As it happens, the "morning after" pill has been strongly opposed by many religiously conservative interest groups. In fact, there's some evidence in the transcript of the hearings to suggest that the rationale cooked up by the FDA may have originally sprung from a controversial advisory committee member — "As Jesus Cared for Women" author W. David Hager — who provided one of the four votes against Plan B's approval. When the agency didn't like the overwhelming opinion of the advisory committees, it seems to have gone shopping for a more convenient scientific-sounding argument: "We need more data."

 

In the end, the scientific data indicate that Plan B contraception is one of the safest drugs ever considered for over-the-counter sale. FDA decisions about drug approvals are supposed to be based on just such scientific data. If you want to derail such a decision, you have to undermine the science. That standard has not been met.

 

The abuses in the Plan B case have fundamentally called the FDA's integrity into question.

 

"People who've been in the agency for decades say they've never seen anything like it," Susan F. Wood, the former assistant FDA commissioner for women's health who resigned over the Plan B decision, told me. The scientists writing in the New England Journal of Medicine agree. Although the FDA may previously have been accused of having too much bureaucracy or too close a rapport with the drug industry, they argue, it had at least "resisted political pressure to reflect a particular social policy or ideology."

 

But not any more — and that's the really nasty thing about the current war on science. If you can get past the complicated details, you'll see that it is undermining our government's most central mission: to serve and protect us. This mandate cannot be fulfilled without an abiding respect for professionalism, expertise and the integrity of scientific analysis.

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This popped up on the LA Times website and I thought that it might be appropriate to the issue here since it is a scientific study. Of course one must consider that a "liberal" California newspaper printed this, even though it is owned by one of the most conservative and capitalist-profit driven media companies in the country, The Tribune Corporation out of Chicago. I guess paradoxes still exist, even in today's world.

 

 

 

October 1, 2005

latimes.com : Print Edition : Editorials, Op-Ed

 

The dark side of faith

By ROSA BROOKS

IT'S OFFICIAL: Too much religion may be a dangerous thing.

 

This is the implication of a study reported in the current issue of the Journal of Religion and Society, a publication of Creighton University's Center for the Study of Religion. The study, by evolutionary scientist Gregory S. Paul, looks at the correlation between levels of "popular religiosity" and various "quantifiable societal health" indicators in 18 prosperous democracies, including the United States.

 

Paul ranked societies based on the percentage of their population expressing absolute belief in God, the frequency of prayer reported by their citizens and their frequency of attendance at religious services. He then correlated this with data on rates of homicide, sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, abortion and child mortality.

 

He found that the most religious democracies exhibited substantially higher degrees of social dysfunction than societies with larger percentages of atheists and agnostics. Of the nations studied, the U.S. — which has by far the largest percentage of people who take the Bible literally and express absolute belief in God (and the lowest percentage of atheists and agnostics) — also has by far the highest levels of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

 

This conclusion will come as no surprise to those who have long gnashed their teeth in frustration while listening to right-wing evangelical claims that secular liberals are weak on "values." Paul's study confirms globally what is already evident in the U.S.: When it comes to "values," if you look at facts rather than mere rhetoric, the substantially more secular blue states routinely leave the Bible Belt red states in the dust.

 

Murder rates? Six of the seven states with the highest 2003 homicide rates were "red" in the 2004 elections (Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina), while the deep blue Northeastern states had murder rates well below the national average. Infant mortality rates? Highest in the South and Southwest; lowest in New England. Divorce rates? Marriages break up far more in red states than in blue. Teen pregnancy rates? The same.

 

Of course, the red/blue divide is only an imperfect proxy for levels of religiosity. And while Paul's study found that the correlation between high degrees of religiosity and high degrees of social dysfunction appears robust, it could be that high levels of social dysfunction fuel religiosity, rather than the other way around.

 

Although correlation is not causation, Paul's study offers much food for thought. At a minimum, his findings suggest that contrary to popular belief, lack of religiosity does societies no particular harm. This should offer ammunition to those who maintain that religious belief is a purely private matter and that government should remain neutral, not only among religions but also between religion and lack of religion. It should also give a boost to critics of "faith-based" social services and abstinence-only disease and pregnancy prevention programs.

 

We shouldn't shy away from the possibility that too much religiosity may be socially dangerous. Secular, rationalist approaches to problem-solving emphasize uncertainty, evidence and perpetual reevaluation. Religious faith is inherently nonrational.

 

This in itself does not make religion worthless or dangerous. All humans hold nonrational beliefs, and some of these may have both individual and societal value. But historically, societies run into trouble when powerful religions become imperial and absolutist.

 

The claim that religion can have a dark side should not be news. Does anyone doubt that Islamic extremism is linked to the recent rise in international terrorism? And since the history of Christianity is every bit as blood-drenched as the history of Islam, why should we doubt that extremist forms of modern American Christianity have their own pernicious and measurable effects on national health and well-being?

 

Arguably, Paul's study invites us to conclude that the most serious threat humanity faces today is religious extremism: nonrational, absolutist belief systems that refuse to tolerate difference and dissent.

 

My prediction is that right-wing evangelicals will do their best to discredit Paul's substantive findings. But when they fail, they'll just shrug: So what if highly religious societies have more murders and disease than less religious societies? Remember the trials of Job? God likes to test the faithful.

 

To the truly nonrational, even evidence that on its face undermines your beliefs can be twisted to support them. Absolutism means never having to say you're sorry.

 

And that, of course, is what makes it so very dangerous.

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Hi!

 

If possible, please try to link to articles rather than copying them into your post. It is easier to follow the thread, and it doesn't get TCPC into any copyright troubles...

 

Thanks :)

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The dark side of faith

By ROSA BROOKS

IT'S OFFICIAL: Too much religion may be a dangerous thing.

 

This is the implication of a study reported in the current issue of the Journal of Religion and Society, a publication of Creighton University's Center for the Study of Religion. The study, by evolutionary scientist Gregory S. Paul, looks at the correlation between levels of "popular religiosity" and various "quantifiable societal health" indicators in 18 prosperous democracies, including the United States.

 

 

Very interesting.

 

One of the things that struck me while I was still participating in "church" was the general dis-ease of the brethren. The lack of connection with the rest of the world, with their own bodies and imaginations, as well as an abject fear of acting outside the "Will of God" to the point of moral paralysis, resulted in a loss of vitality that I found palpable. Perhaps the church I last attended was more extreme than some of you are used to. Small, non-denominational, spirit-filled and pastored by a man not formally educated who believed that he had the mind of God for his members, it may not represent "church" as most of you know it. Still, I have observed that those who maintain a radical split between "the saved and the unsaved"; who maintain that the "world" is intrinsically evil, including their own bodies, and await nothing more passionately than escape from both, are generally not any better for themselves than they are to the world around them.

 

If we follow the lead of Jesus and judge all manner of spiritual manifestations by their fruit and not by whether or not the bible says it or brother so and so preaches it, then we'll have to admit that some of the fruit of the teachings of "popular religiosity" are indeed rotten.

 

lily

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I've never liked the 'red state/ blue state" thing as I think it is quite artificial. Is NM, which was a blue state the last presidential election become a red state and suddenly much more conservative? I think the differences are quite small in many cases. OTOH, the red state blue state thing is a pattern of rural and urban that has been around for a long long time. We know that areas with many large urban areas are different in many ways. Funny thing about the murder rates as one would think that large urban areas like Chicago or NY would have higher rates than the deep south, say.

 

The guy who wrote the book The End of Faith makes a similar point-- countries with high rates of atheism (ie Scandanavia or the Netherlands) have higher literacy rates, less homelessness, etc. However, they are smaller, more homogenous nations. So I'm not sure how well they compare in population with, say, Britian or the US.

 

 

--des

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The guy who wrote the book The End of Faith makes a similar point-- countries with high rates of atheism (ie Scandanavia or the Netherlands) have higher literacy rates, less homelessness, etc. However, they are smaller, more homogenous nations. So I'm not sure how well they compare in population with, say, Britian or the US.

 

Just like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, etc, ad naseum.

 

The religiousness of a society as directly related to the destruction seems to to have a few compelling rebuttals, no?

 

jamesAMDG

 

Victory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart fo Mary

 

jamesAMDG.blogspot.com

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Re: "humanistic achievements", like higher literacy and lower homelessness in countries like

the Scandanavias or the Netherlands...

 

>Just like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, etc, ad naseum.

 

The religiousness of a society as directly related to the destruction seems to to have a few compelling rebuttals, no?

 

jamesAMDG

 

 

Well, though I wouldn't consider any of the above (Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, North Korea, etc) to have other social positives like tolerance of diverse opinion and I don't think you would consider them comparable to, say, Sweden. It is easier to achieve lower homelessness etc. in a controlled society but I don't ends justify the means.

 

The other point one could make about countries like Nazi Germany or USSR is that their politics have, in fact, created a kind of "religion" where the god is the state. You can really see this with North Korea where Kim Jong Il (sp?) has an almost god-like cult status.

 

--des

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Nazi Germany clearly did use Christianity as a justification for its abominable ways over and over again and most of the German Christians bought it hook, line and sinker. God and country. This is actually ominous since that's what seems to be happening here in the USA. Hopefully, our democratic heritage is strong enough to overcome the current madness.

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I also find the "my country right or wrong" "patriotism" frightening as well. The "don't question anything got us into Iraq" and could get us in somewhere else (like Iran).It can have us giving up our civil liberties becuase the government finds it necessary. (BTW, I found the vote in the Senate, 90- 5, I think, against use of torture a great thing-- a nice anedote to the "my president right or wrong" that's been going on.)

 

--des

Edited by des
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Nazi Germany clearly did use Christianity as a justification for its abominable ways over and over again and most of the German Christians bought it hook, line and sinker.  God and country.  This is actually ominous since that's what seems to be happening here in the USA.  Hopefully, our democratic heritage is strong enough to overcome the current madness.

 

 

While it's awfully nice of you to offer the argument that "everyone knows" it would have been nicer if you had backed it up with, say, evidence.

 

It is quite clear from what Hitler said and did that he had no love for Christianity, and if he did use it, it was not of Christian convinction, but crass opportunism.

 

It might be useful for you to consult the following sources, amongst others.

 

OSS profile of Hitler

 

Nazi persecution of Religion as War Crime - From the Rutger's Journal of Law and Religion

 

It might also be worth noting that when Hitler speaks "favourably" about Christiainity it is ALWAYS in the context of removing heirarchies, etc and doing away with so-called organized religion.

 

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. [Hitler's Table Talk p. 51]

 

The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity. [Table Talk, p. 75]

 

The decisive falsification of Jesus's doctrine was the work of St Paul....For the Galilean's object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that's why the Jews liquidated Him....The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore and a Roman soldier. [Table Talk, p. 76] ... Christ was an Aryan and St Paul used his doctrine to mobilize the criminal underworld and this organize a proto-Bolshevism.... Christianity is an invention of sick brains....The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life's final task will be to solve the religious problem. [p. 142-4]

 

So let's see, denies the Deity of Christ, hates Saint Paul, wanted to fight capitalism. Almost sounds like a TCPC'er.

 

Reference in the Jewish Source Library about the "incompatibility of National Socialism and Christianity"

 

All of this completely leaves aside the religion he was creating for the SS. This was particularly shown at the centre that Himmler constructed at Wewelsburg Castle.

 

But don't just take my word for it. In fact you could even consult a website, by "National Socialists" in which they describe the The Celebrations in the Life of the SS Family I wouldn't bother with the rest of the site, as it's full of Nazi dreck, but I use it as illustrative purposes to refute the assertions that Naziism had any sort of relation to Christianity other than lip service.

 

jamesAMDG

 

Victory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

 

jamesAMDG.blogspot.com

 

P.S. - As a side note, I'm curious which part of the ascent of National Socialism is cause for your statement about the "ominous" developments "here in the USA"

Edited by jamesAMDG
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I find it quite repugnent your likening TCPR's to Nazi's. I am a black man and hardly a Nazi. My people were butalized by men who could go to church in the morning and rape slave girls at night. Terrorized by people who could go to church in the morning and lynch and burn black men, often on the same day, even taking pictures of it like they were at picnic or at a ball game. One priest here in Chicago was radicalized in his youth by watching the same Catholics who said the rosary, and praying to the saints and Mary ,hurling the N word, and theatening Dr King's life when he came here to Chicago.

 

In the spiritual "Heaven Heaven" the slaves warned us that " everybody talkin' 'bout heaven aint goin there" .

 

 

MOW

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So let's see, denies the Deity of Christ, hates Saint Paul, wanted to fight capitalism. Almost sounds like a TCPC'er.

 

MOW, my apologies, I wasn't trying to draw an analogy between the evils of racial superiority theories and the goals of TCPC, but rather to draw the similarities in source material (although divergent ends) of heterodox/personalised versions of Christianity which eschew the Church which Christ established and legitimate authority therein.

 

My point being that neither leads to good, Holy places.

 

As a side point, you didn't interact with the main thrust of my argument at all. That being, principally, that Naziism has nothing more than lip service to do with Christianity.

 

jamesAMDG

 

jamesAMDG.blogspot.com

 

Victory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Edited by jamesAMDG
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I'm just trying to figure out where it is that mystictrek said "everyone knows." :blink: It's funny, I can't seem to find it.

 

Atheists want to blame Hitler on the Christians and Christians want to blame Hitler on the atheists. Good grief. He was an evil person, no matter what his theology (or lack of it) and he used both (religion and the lack of religion) when it suited his purposes.

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I'm just trying to figure out where it is that mystictrek said "everyone knows."  :blink:  It's funny, I can't seem to find it.

 

Atheists want to blame Hitler on the Christians and Christians want to blame Hitler on the atheists. Good grief. He was an evil person, no matter what his theology (or lack of it) and he used both (religion and the lack of religion) when it suited his purposes.

 

 

My bad, I meant that the lack of evidence implied it was an argument based on common sense. A sort of a priori reference to the general knowledge which people carry around.

 

I rescind the quotation marks for everyone knows.

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So let's see, denies the Deity of Christ, hates Saint Paul, wanted to fight capitalism. Almost sounds like a TCPC'er.

 

MOW, my apologies, I wasn't trying to draw an analogy between the evils of racial superiority theories and the goals of TCPC, but rather to draw the similarities in source material (although divergent ends) of heterodox/personalised versions of Christianity which eschew the Church which Christ established and legitimate authority therein.

 

My point being that neither leads to good, Holy places.

 

As a side point, you didn't interact with the main thrust of my argument at all. That being, principally, that Naziism has nothing more than lip service to do with Christianity.

 

jamesAMDG

 

jamesAMDG.blogspot.com

 

Victory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 

The apology is certainly accepted James in the spirit of Christian brotherhood.

 

In regard to the Nazi issue I believe it was D Bonhoeffer ,a Christian, who was frustrated with the leadership of the Christian church in Germany. As the Nazi's rose to power they looked the other way. Bonhoeffer had visited Dr King's church in Harlem and thought he could bring that kind of activism to Germany. He was finally executed by the Nazi's.

 

I know you might think that progressives are weakening the faith by questioning authority and by believing that Christianity is not the only way to God. Speaking only for myself I think we do this not out of narcissism but because of reason and experience.( My Methodism is showing here). Dr King was a Christian , but he was greatly influenced by Mohandes Ghandi , a Hindu. Buddhist monks visit Dr Kings gravesite on his birthday.

 

It would be difficult for many to believe that Dr King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer get to go to heaven because they are Christians but Mohandes Ghandi would have to be cast into Hell because technically he was not "saved" .

 

 

MOW

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MOW wrote: "In regard to the Nazi issue I believe it was D Bonhoeffer ,a Christian, who was frustrated with the leadership of the Christian church in Germany. As the Nazi's rose to power they looked the other way. Bonhoeffer had visited Dr King's church in Harlem and thought he could bring that kind of activism to Germany. He was finally executed by the Nazi's."

 

This needs correction.

 

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was a teenager when Bonhoeffer died. Did he ever serve a church in Harlem? I don't think so. You must have him mixed up with someone else.

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"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on

which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to

Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.

 

Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our

culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the

recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the

press -- in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has

entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess

during recent years."

 

Adolf Hitler. (in his first radio address to the German people

after coming to power July 22, 1933; from My New Order, The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, pp. 871-872, Oxford University Press, London, 1942.)

 

Scary, isn't it?

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MOW wrote: "In regard to the Nazi issue I believe it was D Bonhoeffer ,a Christian, who was frustrated with the leadership of the Christian church in Germany. As the Nazi's rose to power they looked the other way. Bonhoeffer had visited Dr King's church in Harlem and thought he could bring that kind of activism to Germany. He was finally executed by the Nazi's."

 

This needs correction.

 

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was a teenager when Bonhoeffer died.  Did he ever serve a church in Harlem?  I don't think so.  You must have him mixed up with someone else.

 

My mistake ( I'm too old to say" my bad"), Bonhoeffer often visited the African American Methodist church in Harlem . He also collected a large number of African-American spirituals which he took back to Germany.

 

MOW

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Wow! This has really been a good rant series. Congratulations all TCPC'ers involved!

I was going to post something after #9, but now I'm glad I waited. And, wasn't it Adam Clayton Powell who led the AME church in Harlem and later became a US congressman, if memory serves?

 

For a year or two in the 80's I participated in an advanced seminar on religion and science run by one of the more prestigious Lutheran schools of theology in the midwest. They brought in prominent scientists, theologians and writers of the caliber of John Polkinghorne, Langdon Gilkey, Andrew Greeley etc. It was fun being a frog on a log and be there to hear these people prevaricate on all manner of stuff. Lots of intellectual and spiritual goodies to chew up and digest! The discussions that took place regarding the terrible happenings at Waco ( we all referred to it as Whacko) were particularly enlightening. By the way, the Mt. Carmel compound was quite near Crawford, TX ( I believe I might just have entered The Twilight Zone!).

 

There were some very interesting discussions regarding the rise of facist powers in Europe and the far East in the 20's and 30's. Surprisingly a consensus was reached by several regular participants that the best description of what transpired in Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan during that period that gave rise to the vicious facist and militarist cults that tried and failed to destroy civilization, could best be described as "some sort of virulent infectious agent of the central nervous system of the national leaders in these countries". I kid you not!!!

 

But when you think about it and watch what's going on today when incidents like the "Schiavo" case occur, one gets a whiff of some sort of mass hysterical reaction taking place in the forums of our governmental leaders. When that fiasco was all over and done with, Jeb Bush still wanted to pursue an investigation of her husband's behavior when Terri became comatose to determine whether he had any culpability in it or not. I remember that Bill Frist gave a videotape diagnosis of the "favorable" aspects of her condition. This was all in a frenzied set of activities by conservatives to convince the US public that they were for "protecting life". It was very surreal.

 

Now comes the part I was going to post after #9.

 

Ummmm, I just don't know if our commitments to democratic principles are that strong anymore. My own personal opinion is that all that is way too monetized these days. If one does not play the political money game, one does not have voice in the process. The demonetized can only watch the spectacle as another form of entertainment, if they even have the means to do that. The tragedy is that it IS THIS SYSTEM that governs us all, rich,poor, and the shrinking middle.

 

It's been seventy years since the big Nazi propaganda flim flams about how great it was in the 30's. I do know that they had lots of facist sympathizers here, some very prominent Americans among them who openly advocated the "positive" attributes that Hitler and Mussolini were bringing to their people and their countries.

 

I believe it was Josef Goebbels that was the chief propaganda spinner for the straight-arms. He did clever things like creating animated film shorts that equated Jews with rats and other vermin. And the people bought it all, believed it, and later did the horrible things .

 

Of course not all. Some of the smarter ones, Einstein comes to mind, saw what was building and got out while they could. Goebbels perfected the key principle of hucksterism wherein if you created a believable enough lie and repeated it often enough in slick presentations, a critical mass of the people would end up believing it and would act upon its messages, obvious and subliminal. I think old Joe would be turning back flips if he could tune in to some of our channels in Hades and see just how well his ideas have held up over the last seventy years.

 

If we do not learn from our errors in history, we are doomed to repeat them. The only problem today is that we are so much more closely and effectively connected, and observed by each other. Both good and bad things seem to happen and get communicated worldwide almost instantly anymore. Which means that the message and its results are shoved together in shorter periods of time. There is little or no chance for reasoned reflection and action. More and more, emotionalized reactions seem to rule today's realities, and they all end up as entertainment.

 

Is that a good thing? :huh:

Edited by flowperson
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Bonhoffer and others were part of a group called the Confessing Churches. This group produced a statement called the Theological Statment of Barmen. Bonhoffer himself was not part of the writing of the statement, I think he was either in America or a German jail at the time. The statement addresses the Nazi use of religion and religious infrastructure, and makes strong statements against it.

 

The statement is written in a repeating pattern. First there is a Biblical quotation, then a positive theological statement. After that it has the words "We reject the false docrine, as though," followed by an assessment of a claim by the Nazi government or the portion of the church that was following it.

 

This statement has been adopted as part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and is found in the Book of Confessions on page 273 ff. (I couldn't figure out how to make the link go directly to page 273.) A lot of Presbyterians who have grave misgivings about the politico-religious situation in the United States today have found this statement to be helpful.

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