America: Land of the Unfree…Are We Still the Home of the Brave?

Reading that headline, you might think that what I’m on about is the NSA and IRS scandals – and that does play a role, here, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve been worried about the erosion of our liberties for quite some time.  I just happen to have concluded, as of today, that we are simply an unfree people.

Scanning our emails, etc is just a symptom of a larger problem.  If we were a free people it wouldn’t be that our emails weren’t scanned but that no one in government would dare to even suggest it, let alone carry it out.  Free people keep the government on its toes – these days, fellow Americans, it is government which keeps us on our toes.  We can’t even turn around without first obtaining a “by your leave” from the government.

Do you think you own property?  Paid the mortgage and the title deed is in your hand?  Ha!  You don’t own it.  You’re just renting it from the government – they call it “property taxes”, but rent it is…and if you don’t pay the rent, you’re off the property.  And, worse than that, if the government figures that someone else can pay more rent than you, then they’ll take “your” property from you and hand it over to the other guy.

Do you think you’ve got freedom of speech?  Go to a college campus or corporate break room and merely state the Catholic position on homosexuality.  You’ll be lucky if you’re only fired from your job or escorted off campus by the police.

Do you think you’ve got freedom of assembly?  Tell that to all the groups with “patriot” in their name back in 2012 – the IRS deliberately oppressed them for the simple fact that patriots wanted to gather together and petition their government.

Do you think you’ve got free exercise of religion?  Oh, for crying out loud – try to maintain a cross in honor of fallen soldiers of even mention God at an official function at school.  You’ve got the ability to go to Church – but if you take what the pastor preached and try to apply it in the public square, you’ll swiftly learn just how free you are to exercise your religion:  hardly at all.

To be sure, there is a vestige of freedom left – more from a force of habit than anything else.  Because until rather recently we were free it hasn’t become entirely ingrained in us to knuckle under, nor ingrained in government to immediately wipe out all dissent.  The tattered remnants of liberty are still left to us – and therein lies the question: are we brave enough to seize our freedom back from those who have usurped it?

That, quite honestly, I don’t know.  But we do have the capability – while government is still yet weak enough that it can be forced back in to its proper role.  We can, if we are brave enough to face the hatred and spite of our rulers and their misguided followers, simply vote out the oppressors and pass the necessary laws to restore freedom and restrict government.  If we are brave, then we will do it – and we will be, once again, the land of the free as well as home of the brave.  Time will tell what path we choose – the brave path to freedom, or the cowardly path to slavery.

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50 thoughts on “America: Land of the Unfree…Are We Still the Home of the Brave?

  1. Jeremiah June 12, 2013 / 10:22 pm

    Very good post, Mark.

    It’s good that you bring these things to peoples attention, because the average American is unaware of just how little freedom they have, they only go along to get along, while those who want to exercise their freedoms must pay the tab for the rest of society’s ignorance.

    I do believe that there is still a segment of society, however small a segment they may be, that are waiting for the government to push the wrong button before they start to fight. And when they do, it will sweep the nation. Then and only then will we see some semblance of government restored to its rightful place.

  2. tiredoflibbs June 12, 2013 / 10:57 pm

    “Do you think you’ve got freedom of assembly? Tell that to all the groups with “patriot” in their name…”

    I know of areas in Virginia, it was difficult for the TEA party or other conservative groups to get a permit to hold a rally, but the Occupy groups had little or no trouble.

    This leftist government has attacked our First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth (just ask the guy who allegedly made the video which, as the liars go, caused Benghazi), Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Many are willing to trade liberty for PERCEIVED security – and they are naive.

    • Jeremiah June 12, 2013 / 11:07 pm

      “Many are willing to trade liberty for PERCEIVED security – and they are naive.”

      The TRUTH, tiredoflibbs. That is the truth.
      The “new age” of liberal indoctrination has finally caught up with the entirety of society, and the government is taking full advantage of they society they’ve created. Or that we allowed them to create.

    • neocon01 June 13, 2013 / 6:51 am

      tired
      it was difficult for the TEA party or other conservative groups to get a permit to hold a rally

      BINGO!!……a freeking PERMIT REQUIRED from the state to hold a RALLY…..!!

      did the race hustlers al and je$$AH with their union thugs and rent a mobs have permits for a rally and marches in Sanford Fla?
      Did the black panthers from chi cago have permits to incite riot and threaten an innocent man with death in Sanford?
      did the OWS have permits?
      do anarchists have rampage, smashing and burning permits?
      do the muslims in dearborn have permits to intimidate Christians and have them arrested fo handing out tracts on PUBLIC property?

      No No No not in abmanation………only US veterans and those pesky TEA party “PATRIOTS” re required to have steenking permits.

  3. Retired Spook June 12, 2013 / 11:58 pm

    I think it depends a lot on where you live. I don’t really see much loss of liberty around northeastern Indiana. Our local Tea Party Patriots group, of which my wife and I have been members since the first meeting in February, 2010, is alive and well. I talked with the secretary-treasurer at the last meeting, and she said they had no problem getting tax exempt status back in 2010. We meet in a church, and the pastor and his family are members. We’re not, and have never been one of those in-your-face type groups, holding rallies and carrying signs calling Obama a Fascist or Communist. We’re more of a grass roots political and educational group. In 3 years we’ve handed out hundreds of pocket Constitutions at local festivals and parades, as well as participated in get-out-the-vote efforts. When we have speakers, they are almost always educational and/or historical in nature.

    My granddaughter just graduated from a high school about 40 miles south of us where the first half of their Christmas choir program is all religious music, and “may God bless us and and this great country” was part of several of the speeches at graduation. And it wasn’t done out of spite or in defiance of anyone, and, if anyone took offense, they didn’t show it.

    • M. Noonan June 13, 2013 / 12:34 am

      Spook,

      Its probably like that up in parts of northern Nevada, as well. But I work for corporate America and I know that if I were to merely have a causal conversation with someone in the lunch room and I brought up Catholic teaching on homosexuality, I’d at the very least be called in for a reprimand. On the other hand, if I proclaimed something in opposition to Catholic teaching on that very subject, I’d face no trouble, at all. I have to walk on egg shells all the time, lest something I say offend liberal sensibilities and risks my job. To be sure, work is not the place for politics, etc…but at work politics gets talked up frequently, as long as it is liberal politics, and no one is the worse for it (heck, back in 2009, they even turned on all the televisions at work so that we could all watch the glory of Obama…and people stopped work to stare in awe at the Moment of Supreme Hopey-Changeyness; who wants to lay a bet with me that if we’re swearing in Bobby Jindal on January 20th, 2017 that the TVs will be firmly off?).

      We know that our property isn’t our property because we have to pay property taxes and can forfeit our property for non-payment – and, of course, the Supreme Court has ruled that if government figures it can get more revenue by someone else owning our property, then it may take it from us and hand it over.

      We’re hearing stories of soldiers being told to cease being public with their faith – even off duty; because that offends the sensibilities of those who are non-Christian…no word from our liberals about how it offends the sensibilities of Christians to disobey Our Lord’s command to make disciples of all the nations.

      We can, thank God, still speak our mind in some forums these days – and we still have the vital power of voting. We can still restore freedom in our nation – but if we don’t do it pretty quick, then we will in just a decade or two find ourselves living in The Servile State predicted long ago by Hilaire Belloc:

      THE SUBJECT OF THIS BOOK

      THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN TO MAINTAIN and prove the following truth: That our free modern society in which the means of production are owned by a few being necessarily in unstable equilibrium, it is tending to reach a condition of stable equilibrium BY THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPULSORY LABOUR LEGALLY ENFORCIBLE UPON THOSE WHO DO NOT OWN THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION FOR THE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE WHO DO. With this principle of compulsion applied against the non-owners there must also come a difference in their status; and in the eyes of society and of its positive law men will be divided into two sets: the first economically free and politically free, possessed of the means of production, and securely confirmed in that possession; the second economically
      unfree and politically unfree, but at first secured by their very lack of freedom in certain necessaries of life and in a minimum of well-being beneath which they shall not fall.

  4. Cluster June 13, 2013 / 8:44 am

    The progressive movement led by the Democratic Party and Barack Obama are well on their way to establishing an oligarchical nation state. You hear and read that in the media, and you see that expressed everyday here at B4V by our resident progressives when they eagerly tout Hillary Clinton as the next President. You also see it in the 20+ and 30+ careers in the Senate and House which has become commonplace. We as a country have lost sight of how our representative republic formed by the Constitution was meant to govern and as time has transpired we now have a largely uneducated, ignorant populace led by an elitist few so I am not sure if I believe that we have the “courage” to fight as Mark has asked, and if we do it will be fought by the very small minority of educated, freedom loving and brave Americans.

    Honestly, I have come to believe that independent minded, freedom loving, God fearing people who accept personal responsibility are the exception not the norm. And if that is the case, we have lost America as we all knew it.

    • Retired Spook June 13, 2013 / 9:14 am

      and if we do it will be fought by the very small minority of educated, freedom loving and brave Americans

      That was the case during the Revolutionary War, so nothing has really changed. I’ve always been a firm believer in the 80/20 rule. 20% of your customers provide 80% of your revenue. 80% of the people sit by while 20% do most of the work. It applies to all sorts of situations, and is basically just a reflection of human nature. When the time comes, I have complete faith in the fact that 20% of Americans will stand up and take the country back, but we haven’t quite reached the tipping point yet. Too many people are still too comfortable to complain.

    • neocon01 June 13, 2013 / 2:49 pm

      Honestly, I have come to believe that independent minded, freedom loving, God fearing people who accept personal responsibility are the exception not the norm. And if that is the case, we have lost America **Germany** as we all knew it. 1939.

  5. Retired Spook June 13, 2013 / 10:26 am

    Some, maybe most of you will remember a post at Black Five back in 2004 about sheep, sheepdogs and wolves. It was actually extracted from the book, “On Combat: by retired army Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. Long, but excellent read. Lt. Colonel Grossman was recently a guest on Glenn Beck’s TV show on Blaze TV. A truly fascinating guy, and I hope, when the time comes, there will be lots of Dave Grossmans stepping up to defend freedom. If I can still stand on two legs and God willing, I’ll be one of them.

    • neocon01 June 13, 2013 / 2:46 pm

      Spook
      If I can still stand on two legs and God willing, I’ll be one of them.

      count me in …… (not to be confused with our “count”) 🙂

  6. M. Noonan June 13, 2013 / 7:55 pm

    Sarah,

    Corporate break room, not a corporate board room. I choose my words with care – pity you can’t read them with the same diligence.

    Of course, at the end of the day, only a Christian or a Jew (or at least someone deeply instructed in such matters) understands the concept of liberty, anyways.

  7. Cluster June 13, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Sarah,

    I truly feel sorry for you. Thinking that restricted liberties, group think, and one party rule is a virtue is sad beyond any measure. That’s what exists in North Korea, Arab states, Cuba, etc.. What happens Sarah when that one party rule and group think starts to oppose your ideals?

    What do conservatives have to offer? I would like to think that you are kidding but knowing how ensconced you are into blind ideology, I know that you are not. Conservatives offer equal opportunity, smaller, less intrusive government, and a chance at a more full, robust, financially and spiritually rewarding life. Sadly, I don’t expect you to understand that.

    • Retired Spook June 13, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      The comment I made was about what will happen politically in America if the GOP does not come to the center.

      And, of course, if the GOP DOES move closer to the Dems, the same things will happen, just not as fast. I personally don’t see the upside to that.

    • Jeremiah June 14, 2013 / 12:12 am

      I agree, Spook.
      I call bull butter on Ms. Bloch’s predictions.
      Saying there will be “no chance” of another Conservative presidency after 2014. Nah.

      Polls are now agreeing that a majority of Americans do not trust the government, and for good reason considering the latest developments concerning the IRS, the NSA, and Benghazi.

      As far as her statements regarding religion, she is just repeating the liberal mantra cooked up by the likes of Bill Maher, and her other handlers.

      I do believe that at the rate we are going that America will be a majority Islamic nation in 20 years considering how fast it is infiltrating our colleges and universities. Some predict that in 20 years there will be enough Muslims in America to elect an Imam for President. But even that is questionable if America has a major turning point in a more positive direction.

      All of this prediction poopy by the likes of the far-left libs who visit here get kind of old. They like to make those predictions here to make themselves feel good about their side, and their hopes for an America to the liking of Germany when it was controlled by the Nazis and Hitler in the 1930s, yet thinking they will not be the target of such a type of government. While true that Christians, Jews, and other ethnicity groups would be targeted by such a regime in Washington, those advocating for such a takeover do not realize the repercussions for such a regime change. Most of those advocating for such a type of government in America reside in other countries, and are immune from such a catastrophic regime…though they are lucky, because they have escaped the sword of the Muslims in their own country.

      While it wouldn’t surprise me to see the American flag replaced by such as say, a Chinese flag, or Muslim flag…I still have faith that America won’t allow it to happen. If it were to transpire that America comes under such tyranny, I can only say that it is because Americans failed to follow God’s Word. And if such a time were to come, we can only hope that we are following Jesus Christ, because without Him we won’t stand. I mean, how can we expect to stand without Him?

      • M. Noonan June 14, 2013 / 1:43 am

        There was that California special election which went for the GOP – a district 2/3 Latino with a 22 point Democrat voter registration and a white, middle-aged male GOPer bested a Latino woman. Then there’s that Connecticut State house seat which has been held for 40 years by the Democrats just going to a pro-2nd Amendment GOPer. Two small items, to be sure, but I’m beginning to detect the same start of a conservative wave that I detected in late 2009. The results in VA this November – they are holding a gubernatorial campaign – will crystalize things a lot. Obama carried VA in 2012 and there is a heavy amount of Democrat voters in the northern part of the State around DC. If the GOP wins in VA in 2013, then Democrats better hold on to their hats in 2014/

  8. Cluster June 13, 2013 / 8:32 pm

    Sarah,

    Lets just tap into one little piece of your just astonishing ignorance (and I mean that in a nice way)

    I am shocked that Neocon1 hasn’t called these people “moochers” since they sought to dodge their tax requirements to do work that was clearly political and yet they call social welfare

    First of all, tea party groups were delayed for years in acquiring tax exempt status, while someone like Malik Obama, the Presidents brother, was approved within weeks. Secondly, there are strict requirements to be met by 501C4’s and these requirements are part of the submission process detailing their educational outreach and non political activities which need to comprise the bulk of their activities, so your “assumption” that they are “clearly political” would be not only wrong, but just thick headed as well. And as just an aside, you do realize that Media Matters is a 501C 4 right?

  9. M. Noonan June 13, 2013 / 11:14 pm

    Sarah,

    You pretend to respond but actually just drag in your own, little axe to grind. You paid not the least attention to anything I said and neither questioned nor commented on my post. You’re just filibustering your own views. Well, I think you’ve got a blog, so go do that there. Here, either answer what I write or stay away.

    This is precisely why those from the Pitchfork have been listed as not allowed to post here. Years of experience have shown that their only goal is to disrupt the blog with constant repetition of their own noise with no regard for anything said by anyone else. Yet people insist on responding to them. // Moderator

  10. pelirrojito June 14, 2013 / 12:41 am

    Theres a question thats been bugging me for a while, and perhaps people here could give their opinions on it. How do you define religous freedom? The main point im looking for is at what point do we say religous freedom no longer applies?

    • M. Noonan June 14, 2013 / 1:38 am

      Pel,

      A fair question.

      Religious freedom means that anyone who holds to a body of theological thought is able to exercise that body of theological thought without let or hindrance from anyone. Now, of course, we all have to be reasonable. We Catholics, for instance, cannot insist that the free exercise of our religious requires us to be allowed to, say, hold a Mass on the National Mall any time we please – but it does mean that if we want to, then reasonable accommodation must be made. Furthermore, some bodies of theological thought enjoin their followers to preach the theology to all and sundry. Specifically, we Christians are commanded by Our Lord to preach the Gospel to all the nations – remember, in our view God, himself, while he was physically present in the world as a man told us we must do this. To freely exercise our religion, we must be afforded the opportunity to spread the Gospel everywhere. Once again, we all have to be reasonable – it would be inappropriate for a Christian to insist that in the middle of English Lit class to start preaching a sermon…but it is just as unreasonable to ban that same Christian, made class Valedictorian, from speaking of his religious beliefs. To round this off, we Christians do make up a majority of the population of these United States – and this means that we pay the majority of the cost, in blood and treasure, to maintain it. It is rank oppression to say that the public lands our blood and treasure provide cannot be used for expressions of our religious beliefs – once again, with reasonable accommodation to be made to all and sundry. If we Christians want to erect a cross in memory of fallen patriots on public land, then that is altogether right and just. To be sure, we have to be fair – and even though outright atheists are a tiny minority, if they wish to erect some symbolic item honoring fallen patriots, then reasonable accommodation must be made…what this would amount to, I have no idea, really…if you don’t believe in God and an afterlife, then what on earth are you doing memorializing the fallen? But, be that as it may, if they want to do so, they can have it…

      The picture I’m drawing here is one of “you can’t stop me”. If I want to exercise my religion, then that is my God-endowed right and while reasonable accommodation must be all and sundry, at the end of the day I must be allowed some means of doing what I wish in the exercise of my religion in the public square. It not wrong to tell me, “you can’t hold a Mass here, today”; it is wrong to tell me “you can never hold Mass here, at all”.

  11. pelirrojito June 14, 2013 / 2:02 am

    Thats the normal definition that most people hold. Although in your example you are stating something on private land. Free speech tends to end once you are on someone elses property, and if you offend them then they should have the right to remove you. The public square of course is a very interesting situation. I assume you would be happy for a muslim to erect whatever they wanted as well? and lets say some people believed in the force, and they wanted to erect a statue to a jedi, I assume this would be allowed? (of course there are such insane religion, ie scientology)

    But ignoring that, the reason I asked has more to do with safety than anything else. Lets imagine for a moment that the state has required every parent to give their child a life saving drug because a virus is spreading. If your religion said you cannot have vaccines, for whatever reason, should you be afforded the right to prevent your child from recieving it?

    Then the other important question is raised. How does one define a religion?

    • M. Noonan June 14, 2013 / 1:01 pm

      Pel,

      No one believes in the force – and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if I went through a heavily Muslim area of the United States (say, Dearborn, MI) I’d find Muslim symbols attached to public property…because Muslims don’t give a darn about liberal theories and liberals are too chickensh** to challenge Muslims. But, be that as it may, it will tend to be that if there is a large enough body of people believing a certain way in a certain area, then that area will start to have symbols of that belief system. I don’t care if a Muslim neighborhood wants to erect a Muslim emblem on their town square…that is their business and they are free to do so. You see, as a Catholic Christian Conservative, I actually understand what liberty is and insist upon it for all.

      As for how religion is to be defined – any group of people who identify with a particular theology regarding God: that is a religion. Doesn’t matter if their idea of God is that he is made of green cheese and lives under a rock in the back garden…if they have a defined set of beliefs about this Deity, then they are a religion. And whomever subscribes to a defined set of beliefs has an absolute, endowed right to the free exercise of that religion.

      • pelirrojito June 15, 2013 / 2:23 am

        Mark, and can you answer the 2nd question? Its the most important one. You can’t cry that a freedom is being lost if you can’t define this freedom.

        To me any freedom must stop when it infringes on a freedom of another person. Ie a child should expect a right to healthcare (ignoring public healthcare, if a parent can’t provide it then they’re not a fit parent). Thus if the parents have religous objections to a certain kind of healthcare for the child, their freedom to religion ends there and the child must get it.

        Do you agree with that?

      • M. Noonan June 15, 2013 / 10:31 am

        Pel,

        It is your mere opinion that certain things are wrong – and the campaign against circumcision being waged by some of the left is frighteningly similar to Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda in its crudest form. You’ve no business telling parents how to raise their child, period.

      • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 8:53 am

        To me any freedom must stop when it infringes on a freedom of another person

        And herein lies the biggest objection to abortion.

      • pelirrojito June 15, 2013 / 9:55 pm

        Amazona, no its not. A clump of cells has no rights. I’ve stated my position on abortion before. Up to a certain point the clump of cells has no rights. When it becomes a baby (im not a doctor, i can’t and wont say when that is) then it should be illegal.

        Mark, you’re avoiding the question. When does your right to “freedom of religion” end? or are you saying that parents should have the right to refuse vaccines for their children, refuse medical treatment, and pretty much anything else in the name of religion?

      • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 10:05 pm

        In other words, your “position” is infinitely flexible, allowing you to lay claim to the Moral High Ground by making a declaration in favor of freedom and then backing off into Leftist support for abortion by simply choosing a convenient definition for a person, or an individual, or life.

        I can’t believe you hauled out that old “clump of cells” canard. We are all just a “clump of cells”—just a bigger and more complicated “clump”. It’s a sad and transparently silly effort to justify the ending of a human life, by resorting to all sorts of semantic games.

        1. It is human
        2. It is life

        The rest is nothing but ethical tap-dancing around just how long that life has to exist, and under what circumstances, to be afforded the “right to life” guaranteed by our Constitution, and then we get into discrimination based upon age, which is when you people scurry back into the “clump of cells” cave where you can pretend abortion is not the most blatant violation of human rights.

    • Amazona June 14, 2013 / 4:43 pm

      I define “religion” as a belief system which is based upon a belief in a Higher Power, with a discipline of prescribed and proscribed behavior, which is focused on spiritual redemption and salvation.

      I have an increasingly harder time considering Islam a religion as it has so mingled salvation with world conquest it has become more political than religious. It does have a HIgher Power, it does have both prescribed and proscribed behaviors, but its definition of salvation is based upon the forceful submission of others to its dogma, not just upon the actions of those seeking redemption.

      To me, salvation and redemption are what an individual goes through, in his or her own heart and life, not upon whether he or she has been able to force others into submission, or kill those who do not submit.

      As for the question about whether or not it would be OK to force someone to have a child vaccinated, or treated, my response is much the same as it is for abortion—the right of an individual ends with that individual. When another life is in the balance, the right of one person cannot be extended to cover that of another. If the child is old enough to make a reasoned decision based upon understanding and acceptance of religious doctrine, then the child has the right to decide, for himself, if he wants treatment. Short of that ability, his parents should not be allowed to make that decision for him, not if his life is at risk.

      Use another example. For instance, as my skies are full of smoke and I am hearing of hundreds of homes destroyed by fire, let me suggest a scenario in which officials approach a house in the path of a raging fire, and demand that the residents leave with them, immediately, in their vehicle, as the fire is minutes away. If the parents have a religious belief that prohibits riding in a motorized vehicle, would the officials be required to leave children in the home to be burned to death?

      Personally, I think any public square would be improved by the addition of a statue of a jedi.

      • pelirrojito June 15, 2013 / 2:27 am

        Amazona, thats actually a better example than the one I gave. The reason I posed the question is because more subtle versions happen at times. Ie children being refused a blood transfusion due to their parents beliefs. And there was an example I read about a while back that was sickening. I cant remember what disease the kids got at the moment, but theres a jewish practice where they finish the circumcision by removing the foreskin with their mouths. Not only should that be illegal (for obvious reasons) but some of the kids got STDs. But the right of the rabbi to do it was defended by “freedom of religion”

      • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 8:25 am

        Red, sorry you are so easily flustered by some religious traditions. Not quite sure what “sickens” you about the Orthodox circumcision ceremony you mentioned, or for what “obvious” reasons you think it should be made illegal.

        I think it is clear that this is a practice that evolved in an era when the human mouth was cleaner than anything else that could be used to stop blood flow. I happen to agree that the practice should be stopped, as do many Jews including many Orthodox Jews, but there is no need to overreact to the practice itself or try to read anything else into it. It is not fellatio.

        And not every single thing done to or with children in the name of religious belief—-circumcision being one—-should be prohibited.

      • pelirrojito June 16, 2013 / 2:41 am

        Amazona, the reason for using that example is that its the perfect example of taking away someone elses right (both the right to choose whats done to their body, since the child didnt ask for it, and the right to not be harmed) because of your own religous beliefs. So whos right is greater, the parents religous one or the childs?

      • Amazona June 16, 2013 / 9:35 am

        Red, not sure just why you are so intent on going on about this circumcision thing. As they say in court, “asked and answered”.

        Let me invent a scenario. Let’s say that in the old days the drops of blood were touched with a scrap of lamb’s wool—not a piece of woven cloth, but of the wool on a scrap of hide. OK, we can understand that——they couldn’t run down to Walgreens and buy a bag of cotton balls, so they did what they had to do.

        Now, however, they CAN run down to Walgreen’s, so the question would be, is the use of the scrap of hide from a baby sheep (unsanitary and hard to get) absolutely essential to the ritual itself? Would the religious ritual be materially altered by touching a clean Q-tip to the blood drop instead of a piece of fleece?

        So you can get into a whole long drawn-out squabble that involves religion, symbolism, semantics, and so on. You can obsess about where the line would be drawn, between actual interference with the practice of religion and the simple modernization of one of the tools used in the practice. And some people are so stridently anti-religion that they would happily do this, if it would allow them to take swings at something they do not like or respect.

        I’m not one of those people. I answered what I thought was a reasonable, though loaded, question, seeing an agenda underneath it but answering it anyway. Then I realized that you have no interest at all in the welfare of the child or even life of the child, as your focus seems to be exclusively on what a religious practice MIGHT incidentally do to a child rather than what a pathologically selfish female and her accomplice abortionist WILL do to a child, with full intent.

        I find the hypocrisy offensive.

      • M. Noonan June 16, 2013 / 10:26 am

        Pel,

        You should take care here in the circumcision debate – I’m not kidding when I point out that a lot of Nazi-like anti-Semitism is getting wrapped up in that debate. I’m talking real Der Sturmer stuff, ok? Have a care that you are not falling for this anti-Semitism which is being dressed up as a matter of either the rights of the child or the requirements of sanitation…

        The fact of the matter is that parents do have authority over their children, and the younger the child the stronger the authority. Included in this authority is the power to raise the child as they see fit with the only restrictions being in extreme things. It is a violation of the human rights of the parents for you to even question their desire to circumcise their child – you have no business there. It is no office of your to tell parents they are doing it wrong.

      • pelirrojito June 17, 2013 / 11:23 am

        Amazona, I never said circumcision itself should be banned. I said this particiular practice should be (as an example where freedom of religion should not apply). In the same way that parents should not be allowed to refuse blood transfusion for their children (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and should not be allowed to refuse education to their daughters (I’m assuming some Muslims would like to).

        Mark, theres nothing anti semitic in what i said.

      • M. Noonan June 18, 2013 / 12:27 am

        Pel,

        Just warning you off a certain thing – the overwhelming bulk of those who are actually trying to regulate or ban circumcision are engaging in anti-Semitism. Its none of your business, at all. Its a religious practice going back 3,000 years. Mind your business and move along.

      • Amazona June 18, 2013 / 9:38 am

        And Pel, I never said that you did. You are thinking of Mark, who is focusing on an anti-circumcision movement which he rightly believes to be a violation of our 1st Amendment rights as well as anti-Semitic.

        I spoke merely of one aspect of circumcision which is used by only a very very small number of ultra-Orthodox Jews, and my position is that modernization of one small aspect of this procedure, based upon knowledge not available to people when this was adopted—that is, knowledge of viruses and bacteria—–would NOT be an undue infringement upon religious freedom, as it does not materially affect the procedure itself.

      • pelirrojito June 18, 2013 / 9:57 am

        Amazona, in that case we agree. What I’ve been trying to get at is that Mark needs to define what “freedom of religion” is quite clearly before he can complain that its being taken away. He needs to define the limits, given all freedoms have limits. That he’s failed to do.

      • M. Noonan June 18, 2013 / 10:06 am

        Nonsense – I defined it clearly.

      • Amazona June 18, 2013 / 11:20 am

        No, Pel, what you are “….trying to get across…” is that for some reason you feel entitled to make demands of others. But no, Mark does not NEED to do anything just because you like to drag people into anti-religious rants.

        Mark had the courtesy to respond to you, and so did I. But you need to mind your manners and realize that neither of us NEEDED to do a damned thing, and you do not and never have had the right to demand that anyone do or say anything.

        The arrogance of the Left never ceases to amaze.

    • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 9:07 am

      I just don’t understand why the Left is so terrified of having people exposed to different religious symbols. It’s not as if a cross or a Star of David or tablets showing the Ten Commandments can reach out and grab passers-by and force them into a new belief.

      Religious symbols, like monuments to historical figures, simply send the message “Many of us find it important to be reminded of this and to honor it” and from that point on, the observer can take it or leave it, be impressed by it and even want to learn more about it or he can ignore it.

      I’m not sure how this idea that no one should ever be exposed to something he does not already believe has managed to take over this country. But now we have atheists complaining about families marking roadsides with crosses to memorialize the spots where loved ones died. We see hissy fits over the use of red and green colored lights at Christmas, not because they actually mean anything in and of themselves but because they have been part of Christmas celebrations for so long that they might remind someone of those hated religious holidays. I once saw a hysterical screed objecting to Civil War cannons on a courthouse lawn, the theme of the hysteria being “As a pacifist I have the right to never ever see anything that is or was associated with a war”.

      What a weak and silly nation we are becoming, when we can’t handle the sight of passive expressions of the beliefs of others.

  12. Jeremiah June 14, 2013 / 2:31 am

    How does one define a religion?

    Pelirrojito,

    Anything that does not adhere to truth.

    How does on define truth?

    In the words of Jesus Christ, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father except through me”

    Christ’s followers do not tout religion…but are conveying Christ’s message to this lost world, shedding light on this dark forest of many. And what good is it if you can’t take this message to where the lost souls are? In the public square! Jesus taught us to go into the multitudes and the streets taking His message with us. And preach it unto all the world. This is what the left wants to stop from happening, worse off they want their message taught to the masses, rather than something of substance and hope in it. The Apostle Paul was one also persecuted the Church at one time, until one day on the road to Damascus, he was blinded by the Lord, and it was revealed to him that his purpose here on earth was not what he thought it was, but his purpose here was to spread God’s message, not only spread it, but live it…from there after he was one of the Greats. One of the greatest soldiers for Christ the world has ever known. And many were saved and healed because of his witness for the Lord.

    Defining religion itself is full of the many misperceptions, and secular thought processes/beliefs of those who define themselves as “theologians”. This infusion of secularism is of the enemy, and does nothing to advance the kingdom of Our Lord. Look at Joel Osteen, it’s extremely rare that you hear him mention Jesus, or sin, or hell. Any preacher that uses this type of message, are doing just that, preaching religion, instead of what people really need – Jesus Christ the Lord.

    • neocon01 June 14, 2013 / 7:39 am

      I see the TROLLS have flapped back onto BFV SAD!!

    • neocon01 June 14, 2013 / 7:40 am

      Jer

      dont toss our pearls in front of swine, they will trample them into the dirt….

      • Jeremiah June 14, 2013 / 9:29 am

        Neo, okay, bro.

      • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 9:12 am

        Yeah, right, neo—–anyone who believes there is any religion other than Christianity is a pig.

        “Pearls”??? Give me a break.

        Bigotry is always ugly, “bro”. Smug self-satisfied ego-based bigotry is smug self-satisfied ego-based bigotry whether it is tied to race or religion or political ideology. I find it interesting that some have dealt with the issue of smug self-satisfied ego-based bigotry by simply having a concept of God that approves of such bigotry, applauds it and promises to reward it.

        That’s convenient.

    • Jeremiah June 14, 2013 / 9:24 am

      This is why there was Pentecost.

    • Amazona June 15, 2013 / 8:49 am

      Well, Jeremiah, there happen to be many religions which do not fit your narrow and rigid example, which are still valid and legitimate religions. Judaism is the first that comes to mind.

      And defining religion as “Anything that does not adhere to truth” makes no sense even if you are trying to say the opposite. Because religion is based upon faith. I am always amused by people whose religion is about faith and who are still so dependent on ‘proofs’ because faith is simply not enough for them.

      And this is just silly, too—-Defining religion itself is full of the many misperceptions, and secular thought processes/beliefs of those who define themselves as “theologians”. This infusion of secularism is of the enemy, and does nothing to advance the kingdom of Our Lord. Look at Joel Osteen, it’s extremely rare that you hear him mention Jesus, or sin, or hell. Any preacher that uses this type of message, are doing just that, preaching religion, instead of what people really need – Jesus Christ the Lord.”

      For one thing, religion and secularism are not the same thing. You just choose to believe that anyone who does not share YOUR religion is, therefore, by your definition, not religious at all, and therefore “secular”. I can tell this makes you feel very special, but it is simply not true. You have taken all religions throughout the history of man and dismissed them, instead claiming that only your own is a “real” religion and all others are or were fake, “secular”.

      I have never been fond of a Trickster God, who convinces people of different faiths that theirs is legitimate, who then jerks the rug out from under them on Judgment Day and proclaims
      “Gotcha, Suckers!!!! Even though you believed, were faithful, obeyed the discipline of the religion you followed, none of it matters because though I gave the same message to all religions—that theirs was a true path to Me—–it was just a joke, and the joke’s on you.”

      Good thing for you, that you were born in this time, in the place of your birth. You’d really be screwed if you had been born somewhere where Christianity was not known, and you had diligently followed all the rules and laws of the religion to which you were born, and had absolute faith in its concept of God. You’d end up on Judgment Day out in the cold—-or, rather, on your way to the opposite of cold, confused and even bitter at the betrayal——while the Jeremiahs of Christianity are smug and prideful at having chosen the Only True Way. (Though in fact very few of you have chosen it, but were simply born into it and stayed with it.)

      Some people are drawn to a Trickster God, some to a tyrant God, and some to a kind and loving God who looks into the hearts of man and responds to the truths therein no matter where or how he worships.

      • Jeremiah June 17, 2013 / 9:59 am

        Amazona,

        Well, I’m sorry that you are so distressed about how I believe, my belief in the God of the Bible and so forth.

        I am of the firm belief that, not only is God a loving God, and rewards those who show kindness to their fellow mankind, I believe that can only come from a firm understanding rooted in a complete acceptance of Scripture, the whole Bible.

        God also, in the same way that He reciprocates kindness with rewards, He is also a Just God and punishes those who disobey Him. Strange as it may seem, that is the mystery of God. He rains on the Just and on the unjust, the Righteous and the unrighteous. The righteous to test their faith, and the unrighteous to see what they are missing in their life.

        People were aware of the God of the Bible well before He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to be born and provide the example and atonement that mankind needed. What meant the most to Him in that, was the saving of souls. Jesus came for sinners, not the righteous. Before His departure back to the Father, He brought the Holy Spirit from on High to anoint His disciples, giving them the talent of speaking in different languages so that the message could be brought to the entire world. So see, He was thinking of me…so yeah, I would be in bad shape had God not cared enough to find workers for His kingdom that would travel with His message, and bring it to the world. Had He not done that, we could count on the rest of the world perishing except the Israelites.

        I think what you need, and I don’t say this to criticize you, but I think you need a more complete understanding of the Bible before criticizing others about their beliefs, and strong adherence to the Bible. Just remember, if you don’t remember anything else, just remember – we can’t separate the loving God from the just God, because He is a just God.

      • Amazona June 17, 2013 / 3:58 pm

        Jeremiah, I am not “distressed about what (you) believe”. I also do not criticize what you believe, regarding the basic beliefs of Christianity.

        What is it about you and neo inventing things I never said?

        I am not only not “distressed” by what you believe, I am indifferent to it, in that it is your own personal belief and it has no impact on me whatsoever.

        I do find the smug assumption that only your own personal view of life, God and religion is the one that counts to be offensive when you try to expand it to include or exclude people from government.

        I have said this before and I will say it again, one more time, and then not discuss it again because nothing is more tiresome than trying to talk reason with zealots. I think the Bible is a wonderful book, an inspirational guidebook for living a Christian life. I think it was divinely inspired. Having said that, I also realize that it is, in the version you take as absolute certainty of literal meaning, a document that has gone through many many linguistic translations as well as many hundreds of human filters.

        When I read the Bible I find the core to be the teachings of Jesus, but much of it to be quite contradictory to those core teachings, and this I feel is more the result of human input of human foibles, prejudices and opinions than the true Word Of God.

        It is human nature to, when encountering a translation problem in which there is no literal translation but only a choice of words that could be used to mean approximately the same thing, to choose the version that most closely mirrors your own personal belief.

        Therefore, when I read something that is harsh and, quite honestly, hateful, I find it hard to attribute that to Jesus Himself. Yet it is these very passages that so many “Christians” quote, ad nauseum, to support and validate their own foibles, prejudices and biases.

        I believe one has to be quite careful when quoting the Bible to support ideas that are unkind, ungenerous, prideful or hateful. Many evil men have been able to pick through the Bible to find things that have, on the surface, supported and validated their own agendas.

        I also note that God, being infinite in nature, was with the world long before Jesus came to earth, and I believe that He did not abandon those before that time to eternal damnation, nor has He done so to all people who have not followed the Biblical version of His teachings. I believe that God has revealed Himself to people in many ways, and that each of these ways is important and valid and a truthful exposure to His will.

        When I look at the billions of people who have believed, with all their hearts, that their beliefs are true and valid, and then I read something like what you say that says only those who believe in Jesus Christ as He appears in your Bible will be saved, all I can think of is to wonder why you have chosen a Trickster God, a deceiving God. You choose, you NEED to choose to satisfy your own inner needs, to believe that you are so special that only you and people like you deserve to be saved. And I find that offensive.

        I believe in a God who has the wisdom and generosity to appear to people as they need to be approached, in the way they can most easily understand and relate to.

        I do not “criticize” your Christian beliefs but I do criticize your dismissal of any other belief as not valid. This does not “distress” me. You can believe any old thing you want, and I really don’t care. I just don’t agree. What I am not interested in is your determination to impose your beliefs on politics. Speak for yourself but not for all conservatives.

        And please do not misquote or misstate me again.

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