From The Mind of Thomas Sowell

Here is a recent article written by Thomas Sowell that speaks to the systemic failure of leftism, and something of which individuals on the left either choose to ignore, or choose to blame other external factors on for that failure. I believe it is the latter. Remember when Obama partly blamed the Japan tsunami for having a negative impact on his brilliant economic policies? How about the left’s penchant to blame the gun? In my opinion, there is simply no possible way to objectively look at the current state of our economy, our country, and our world, and claim that leftism is a success. The following is a very poignant excerpt of the piece, and I do hope this makes it over to the new rebuttal blog. Enjoy:

Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept? The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions. But what if the problem is internal? What if the real problem is the cussedness of human beings? Rousseau denied this in the 18th century and the left has been denying it ever since. Why? Self preservation. If the things that the left wants to control — institutions and government policy — are not the most important factors in the world’s problems, then what role is there for the left? What if it is things like the family, the culture and the traditions that make a more positive difference than the bright new government “solutions” that the left is constantly coming up with?

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45 thoughts on “From The Mind of Thomas Sowell

  1. Norma Stitz July 2, 2013 / 11:16 am

    Proof of the failure of the Left is the fact that, other than Ughbamacare, they have passed very little of their agenda successfully through Congress?

    Why can’t they get laws made? Because their proposed laws are meritless. It is the only explanation…

  2. M. Noonan July 2, 2013 / 1:18 pm

    One can never read Sowell without coming away smarter and better informed. Sowell is correct to point back to Rousseau as one of the progenitors of the modern problem. To be sure, he wasn’t alone, but he was vitally important in getting people to believe that Original Sin does not exist and that our problems stem from human institutions, rather than human nature. From Rousseau it is a straight line to enormous evils – ranging around in disaster from Stalin to Hitler to Eugenics (and its long term effect, abortion on demand), etc. Rousseau asserted the “noble savage” myth – that prior to priests and politicians, we were in a state of nature and everything was swell and all we have to do is get rid of all these things. The long term effect of this, however, was to convince an elite that they have figured out what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it – and if the benighted masses don’t agree, then they must be compelled to do so. We, the people, are just so many blocks of wood to be reshaped as necessary.

    And as Sowell points out, the left can’t let it go – even if the facts show them wrong, they’ll just hang on to their ideology. For the simple reason that if they let go of the ideology then there’s no reason for them to be in positions of wealth and power.

  3. Jeremiah July 2, 2013 / 8:46 pm

    “he was vitally important in getting people to believe that Original Sin does not exist”

    That’s the only thing I disagree with Mr. Sowell on. Sin is entirely the problem of mankind, individually and collectively, therefore, he (man) degrades the institutions he creates, by trying to run them his own way without biblical guidance.

    Whether it be the individual (mother, father, child), the collective (nations), to the institution (husband and wife, schools, churches, state, local, and federal governments etc, etc) without a biblical plan, he and they have no foundation.

    • Amazona July 2, 2013 / 9:48 pm

      Except you are not reading this correctly. Mark is stating that Rousseau ” ………………was vitally important in getting people to believe that Original Sin does not exist and that our problems stem from human institutions, rather than human nature….” not Sowell.

      I strongly suggest that you start to read Sowell. I don’t think you will find yourself in disagreement with much that he says.

    • Jeremiah July 3, 2013 / 1:24 am

      “Mark is stating that Rousseau”

      Mark, she’s right, I misread your comment. Please forgive me!

      Thank you for pointing that out, sweetheart!

      Your humble, loyal reader, Jeremiah.

  4. tiredoflibbs July 2, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    Watson set up his own blog called rebutblogs4victory. He even has a thread for “rebutting” this very topic on Thomas Sowell.

    What is strange is that watty whines that his comments are deleted for just disagreeing with this blog, and yet, my comment there is “AWAITING MODERATION”.

    Typical yet oh so pathetic.

    • watsonthethird July 2, 2013 / 10:03 pm

      lol. Thanks for the plug, tired. The reason your comment was in moderation is because it was the first that you posted. There is another user whose comments are landing in moderation even after approving the first one. Not sure why that is, but your comment is up there. (The B4V moderators will no doubt delete this comment. I wonder if they’ll delete yours, too.)

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 6:22 am

        waspy

        too late, they already do that ( “rebutting”) at the pitchfork. There are now TWO anti B4V out there…….WOW keep up the good work boys and girls (at B4V) soon maybe jimmah and bmitch the KID, watty and the forkers will have their own mamas basement network.
        MBN? I like the ring!

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 7:21 am

        “Thanks for the plug, tired”.
        LOLX10,000
        a sneak preview into the lunacy of leftism. (Not as insane as the fork- yet) yet but hilarious none the less.
        the ole vacuum powered “pile it” B-the KID doing a full monte of hate, vile, & drivel, and class warfare.His drunken insanity appears to be getting worse after his rejection from here….poor KID!!

      • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) July 3, 2013 / 12:51 pm

        soon maybe jimmah and bmitch the KID, watty and the forkers will have their own mamas basement network.

        LOL!! What a bunch of complete and total losers!

    • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 6:10 am

      Tired
      What is strange is that watty whines that his comments are deleted for just disagreeing with this blog, and yet, my comment there is “AWAITING MODERATION”.

      O-M-G…………ROTFLMAO………these people are insane!!

  5. GMB July 3, 2013 / 4:06 am

    Human beings are the wildest animals in existence. Trying to tame people like me got George the Third a rebellion and ultimately the loss of a great deal of territory. The problems only started after generations when we started forgetting what we fought for in the first place.

    I do believe it is time for another rebellion.

    • Retired Spook July 3, 2013 / 7:42 am

      I do believe it is time for another rebellion.

      Not yet. If we give them enough rope, they’ll hang themselves. With any luck, we’ll just get to sit back and watch. As luck would have it, my grandsons’ Boy Scout troop is selling popcorn.

      • GMB July 3, 2013 / 9:40 am

        “Not yet. If we give them enough rope, they’ll hang themselves.”

        Ummmmmm, respectfully disagree with you here Sir. When you have people like Watson and Thomas making the rules there is never enough rope.

        Please tell me I am wrong.

      • Retired Spook July 3, 2013 / 9:55 am

        When you have people like Watson and Thomas making the rules there is never enough rope.

        GMB, you give loser, useful idiot foot soldiers like Sasan and Watson waaaaaaay more credit than they deserve.

      • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) July 3, 2013 / 4:44 pm

        Neocon,

        With one side singing “Amazing Grace” while the other chants “hail Satan”, is there any doubt left that we are beyond the point where we simply disagree with each other?

      • Amazona July 3, 2013 / 6:19 pm

        And to think, when the Left was talking about people ‘coming out of the closet’ we thought it would just be homosexuals openly admitting to their sexual orientation. Who knew it would be celebrations of anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-human, anti-decency degeneracy on levels not seen since the fall of Rome?

      • M. Noonan July 3, 2013 / 10:23 pm

        Amazona,

        Well, some did – and they were just shouted down as bigots. But, remember, people were shouted down as bigots each step of the way in the dissolution of morality…once upon a time, you were an ignorant bigot if you were against birth control…the thing is to learn the lesson: never take that first step in pretending that wrong is right. Its one thing to understand that wrong will happen – heck, it can even be expedient to tolerate wrong if terminating it would cause more social damage than tolerance. But what is wrong should always be called wrong – even by those who are doing it. Attempts to make people feel good about their sinful nature on theory of “don’t judge” are the worst thing to do – much worse, in my view, than those doing the actual wrong. Someone wants to have gay sex? Fine. Its wrong. Someone wants to use birth control? Fine. Its wrong. Someone wants to get a divorce? Fine. Its wrong. We might let all these things happen and, indeed, out of Christian love continue to embrace them and give them a place at the table…but we still have to say, “what you did was wrong”, or we are just helping bad people make things worse.

  6. neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 6:12 am

    GMB

    I do believe it is time for another rebellion.

    a Few Good Men?? Semper Fi brother 🙂

    • GMB July 3, 2013 / 9:42 am

      “a Few Good Men??”

      As long as you promise not to hog the headlines, take all the glory, and leave some of the pretty girls to us G.I.’s you have a deal

      🙂

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 1:04 pm

        GMB

        a deal, and we will save one for our fellow Squids also……LOL

      • Amazona July 3, 2013 / 6:07 pm

        neo, do you mean “squid” as in Navy man, or “squid” as in the terrified squid shooting ink all over the place in the tortured metaphor of one of our trolls who fancied himself as quite a literary light?

      • neocon01 July 4, 2013 / 11:19 am

        We Marines referred to our Navy brothers as Squids…….(an endearing term) as we were referred to as Jar Heads by them 🙂

      • M. Noonan July 4, 2013 / 8:03 pm

        Well, Jarheads can get annoying – I know, I lived with one for years.

      • Amazona July 4, 2013 / 11:51 am

        I know about the use of “squid” for Navy guys, but I started referring to Mark as “Squiddy” (in only the most affectionate way, of course) after one of the verbose Loony Lefties, who is addicted to convoluted purple prose, described something Mark said as (and here I must paraphrase a bit…) “..like the ink shooting out of a terrified squid..” He used more words, of course, but the whole thing was so bad on so many levels, from the pompous effort to appear intelligent by using a metaphor to the primitive way it was phrased to the image it created of a SpongeBob Squarepants kind of thing, it stuck with me.

        But only as an example of the utter cluelessness combined with delusions of adequacy we see from the now-banished trolls.

  7. Retired Spook July 3, 2013 / 8:57 am

    And another.

    The hits on the Progressive agenda just keep on coming. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.

    • GMB July 3, 2013 / 9:35 am

      MSNBC drops another notch. soterocare gets delayed for his biggest contributors another year.
      You might think that the second event might just give boehner a spine to start the defunding process.

      Then I woke up and realized that I just do not understand how D.C. works and the topography of D.C. is perfect for boehner and his stooges. No hills there in D.C. No chance in hell they might have to choose one to die on.

    • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 1:02 pm

      Spook, GMB

      ok help me out here……CONGRESS passes a law, now the pResident dictates WHEN that LAW takes effect and postpone it at will? Haiti? anyone?

      • GMB July 3, 2013 / 1:21 pm

        Like I said a few comments ago. We have a combination of Watson and Thomas occupying our White House. There never will be enough rope because of the ball less opposition of the repub party. Not only will they not oppose him, they turn around and give him every verdamt pfennig he wants.

        auf Wiedersehen Gelbe Ziegelstein Straße?

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 1:35 pm

        and (kerryesque) Bmitch as secretary of state…LOL
        airstrikes seared in his mind AFTER the war was over.
        ROTF

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 1:42 pm

        GMB

        Im DONE with the GOP in Fla and ready to ditch them in general……third party?
        TEA party? Run Sarah and Col. West?

    • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 1:58 pm

      Channeling Jeff Foxworthy In A Country Founded By Geniuses And Run By Idiots

      If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

      If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

      • bardolf2 July 3, 2013 / 2:35 pm

        From a Libertarian Comic

        They say if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish…. then he’s gotta get a fishing license, but he doesn’t have any money. So he’s got to get a job and get into the Social Security system and pay taxes, and now you’re gonna audit the poor guy, ‘cause he’s not really good with math. So he’ll pull the IRS van up to your house, and he’ll take all your stuff. He’ll take your black velvet Elvis and your Batman toothbrush, and that all goes up for auction with the burden of proof on you because you forgot to carry the license ‘cause you were just worried about eating a fish, and you couldn’t even cook the fish ‘cause you needed a permit for an open flame. Then the Health Department is going to start asking you a lot of questions about where are you going to dump the scales and the guts.

      • neocon01 July 3, 2013 / 2:37 pm

        Dr. B.
        He’ll take your black velvet Elvis
        OUT of my cold dead h…..Ooh Wait!!

  8. M. Noonan July 3, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    With liberals turning themselves in to slaves of the Enemy just so they can have something to chant against Christians singing Amazing Grace (nice hymn, but does have a touch of heresy in it, btw), I think we’ve reached a real breaking point – a point where at least some of our liberals are willing to become actually diabolical. Chesterton noted this about nature worshipers – eventually they all go wrong like that: and as our liberals have been worshiping nature since Carslon wrote her mendacious nonsense in the 60’s, I guess its just time for them to start calling upon demons…after all, demons do get the job done, in a certain sense, don’t they? All they ultimately require is child sacrifice…and, oh yeah, our liberals are already in to that.

    • Jeremiah July 4, 2013 / 4:38 am

      They’ve been calling on demons for time immemorial, way back.
      Paganism is very prevalent in America today. You see people who have these psychic readings, tarot readings…all that stuff…they’re callin’ on Satan’s demon forces. This is why we see demonic oppression and possessions on the rise. I was reading a study recently where it said that “1 in 3 people would be possessed by a demon who read that study” … I said, “I’m gettin’ the heck outta here, fast!” I’m gonna put the metal to the petal. But it don’t matter where we go, er how fast we try to run from trouble, if our heart ain’t right, Satan’s got free reign to do havoc with it. And my he’s sure got millions under his spell across this country.

      It’s the people that tells us to look to Jesus that truly helps us. Jesus is our protector, our buckler, our shield, and our weapon, is His Word! It’s sharper than any two edged sword, dividing marrow from bone even. N what that’s sayin’ is, is that it is such a powerful light (the Word) that it exposes every wrong-doing, every sin, every deceipt. It’s like this, it’s like a person’s house sinking and going under the house without any light to see where the problem is…oh he can guess at it, feel around with his hand, listen with his ear, and smell with his nose, but without his eyes, he cannot clearly identify the problem…so he says, let me go back and get a flashlight and go back under there to see if I can see the problem…he goes back under there, flips the switch, and bingo, things looks way different … he sees the wooden pillars to his home have little tunnels going through them, he pulls back a small chunk of wood and he finds a major mining operation going on, thousands of tiny wood-mining insects, termites. Something so tiny, yet in such numbers able enough to weaken, and undermine an entire home.

      That’s what liberals are, their termites, boring through and undermining the pillars to our country.

      America needs the Orkin man in a bad way.

      • neocon01 July 4, 2013 / 3:12 pm

        Jer

        do you think these people chanting belonged to the party that removed the term God from their national platform and BOO’d when it was placed back in?

      • Jeremiah July 4, 2013 / 11:57 pm

        Neo,

        It’s indeed, very possible. I will say this, that is the freedom they have, they have the freedom to go down to the local bar, get drunk, and then get in their car and drive down the road, crash into a tree and kill themselves…they have the freedom to have elicit sex and get an incurable std, they have the freedom to take drugs and burn their minds up, and you see where I’m going with this…….they have the freedom to make those choices, but the thing we have to remember is, is that we don’t have to be a part of their lifestyles. And while people have the freedom to make bad choices, they also have the freedom to make good choices, they have the freedom to turn their life over to Christ, and give glory to Him. But once they die they don’t have that choice. And while some may believe that to be a “trickster” God, that’s just not so. The choices we make on this side of eternity, are what determine our destination into eternity….while God is ultimately the Judge, He has given us the ability to choose who we will serve, we just have to be prepared to live with the consequences and/or rewards. And preparing for eternity is the most important decision we will ever make in our life. The Most Important.

        So, I think, looking at people from a perspective of faith-based vs. non faith-based might be a better way of looking at people rather right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, because their moral choices are a better way to determine who or what kind of people they are as opposed to the labels “conservative & liberal.” I’ve seen a lot of people registered as Democrats, but their philosophy and lifestyle choices would place them more firmly in the categories of Conservative and followers of Christ. While others claim to be “Conservatives” but their lifestyle choices and philosophy would place them firmly in the category of Liberal Atheists.

        Sorry to be so repetitive in my words and examples, but that’s the only way I know to convey my opinion, the only way I’m good at.

        Well, hope everyone had a good 4th!
        Keep the faith!

      • Amazona July 5, 2013 / 2:40 pm

        Jeremiah, you say “…looking at people from a perspective of faith-based vs. non faith-based might be a better way of looking at people rather right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, because their moral choices are a better way to determine who or what kind of people they are as opposed to the labels “conservative & liberal.”

        That may be so, if you are thinking in terms of who you would like to spend time with, who you would trust with your children, etc. But when it comes to politics, this is just more of the fuzzy-think the Left promotes.

        Who really cares if a person is a good God-fearing Christian who lives a good life, if he also is politically illiterate and a sucker for the phony-baloney pseudo-Christian “Biblical demand to help the poor by confiscating the property of some to have the State redistribute it to the poor” rhetoric that has sucked in so many good people?

        His moral character is certainly important, but if he is also sucked in by Leftist rhetoric and proceeds to put into power people who are determined to shift this nation away from its moral underpinnings, it seems to me that his actions go a long way toward canceling out his creds as a good person in his personal life.

        What we need to get across is that people are accountable for what they do, and this not only extends into the wide arena of government, it has more impact there. When we say to someone “What really matters to me is if you fit into my own personal identification as a good person, no matter who you vote into office” we are basically abandoning some of our principles for others.

        Clearly you think that the principle of sharing your own religious point of view is the most important, but I think that when someone does share your personal religious point of view and also votes in vile and corrupt people who then proceed to “fundamentally change” our very nation he has to be held accountable for that and not patted on the head and told “The damage you have done to our country is OK, because you sit next to me in church”.

      • Jeremiah July 5, 2013 / 10:26 pm

        Amazona,

        Most of the people I spend my time with are Conservatives, and likewise Christians, and they vote accordingly. Yet, some of them have not changed party affiliation, their voter ID card still says “Democratic party.”

        You say, “Who really cares if a person is a good God-fearing Christian who lives a good life, if he also is politically illiterate and a sucker for the phony-baloney pseudo-Christian “Biblical demand to help the poor by confiscating the property of some to have the State redistribute it to the poor” rhetoric that has sucked in so many good people?”

        Who cares? God cares. And if someone is a God-fearing Christian, their choices will reflect, they will understand that taxation without representation is a non-biblical idea. Most God-fearing Christian Conservatives are responsible people who don’t rely on the government, because relying on the government goes against their faith. Relying on the government places the government on a pedestal as your god. And that’s paganism. Placing man or any of his earthly institutions above God is paganism. But most people who rely on the government don’t really care because their needs are being met through government assistance. And that’s how the government has conned them into worshiping them. Surprisingly, they live much better than most people who work for a living. All they have to do is wait on their monthly welfare check to arrive.

        As far as my religious point of view being the most important thing to me, ultimately it is, yes. Because I think I would rather spend eternity with my Creator, than to be in separation from Him in total darkness. Forever and ever.

        As far as your insinuation that my faith being the most important to me is a poor way to educate people politically. Maybe so. But reflecting on my faith is my political/philosophical point of view. If I were not a Christian, and lived my life like those examples I provided in my last post, I most likely would not vote Conservative, because in order to live that lifestyle one has to rely on government and other peoples money that the government confiscates and redistributes to others who don’t work in the form of a welfare check, food stamps, etc.

        So, my point here, is, I guess, there is no responsibility required in relying on government…but there is responsibility in relying on one’s own ambition through the help and blessings of Almighty God. In order for us to be truly blessed it can be found in no other way than through serving God. So yes, we can hold people accountable…but in order to help them understand, we can’t do it without a biblical worldview, because are ultimately held accountable to God. Not to us. All nations that turn their back on God will not inherit God’s blessings. The free market is a part of biblical worldview, because in such a worldview there is no dependence, and no tyranny by government to control the citizenry’s monetary assets. There is freedom through obedience to the Almighty. As opposed to slavery to the government through dependence on them.

        I could spend all night talking to you, trying to explain to you why I think I’m right in what I believe, because I believe what I know….but if it just goes in one ear and out the other, I don’t know what else to do. No way would I try to force you to believe me, because that’s against what I believe. I’m just a strong believer in what I believe, and I believe my view is a very valid point of view. Even despite the fact that my point of view will never be taken into consideration, I mean God forbid my point of view make it into the halls of Congress, even completely oblivious to the fact that it was the Founding Fathers POV over 250 years ago.

        This all may seem like “emotional ego-driven pride” on my part, but I’m not like that, trust me. The only conundrum I find here, is why my point of view has to be labeled “invalid.” Perhaps it would be better if I kept to myself? Maybe that would make you feel better? Maybe the world doesn’t need to hear my voice. I don’t know….

      • Amazona July 6, 2013 / 11:13 am

        Jeremiah, I knew when I wrote my post that your response to my “who cares?” comment would be “God cares”. This is why I went on to say that if a person has all these attributes you (and I) find so important, and then turns around and puts evil and corrupt people into power where they can harm others and the nation, these wonderful Christian attributes have to be weighed against the harm they are doing.

        You go on to say “…if someone is a God-fearing Christian, their choices will reflect, they will understand that taxation without representation is a non-biblical idea. ..” Well, this is just a way of saying that people who vote Dem are not good Christians, which is why I included the observation that many are sucked into the lie that it is our Christian duty to care for the poor and that the best way to do that is to have the government do it so they vote Dem. I strongly disagree that only good Christians vote against the Right. I contend that millions of very good Christians, including millions of Catholics, vote FOR the Left for what they believe are Christian reasons.

        Just as Jesus instructed us to give to God what is God’s and Caesar’s what is Caesar’s, I think it is important to make judgments, if this is your thing, about religious belief purely on the basis of religious belief, and political evaluations based purely on political ideology.

        Your post is an excellent example of what happens when people are so entirely focused on their religious beliefs that they want to apply them to areas where this belief can actually cause great harm. As I said, if one’s entire life is guided by the Biblical injunctions to be his brother’s keeper, he can be a hard-core Lefty promoting, with all his might, the confiscation of wealth (“…for it is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, etc…..”) to give to the needy.

        The labels “conservative” and “liberal” have nothing to do with religious belief or conviction, any more than “blonde” does. They are legitimate, and important, distinctions between conflicting political ideologies, and must be identified and understood as such, and not muddled up with the idea that “…looking at people from a perspective of faith-based vs. non faith-based might be a better way of looking at people rather right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, because their moral choices are a better way to determine who or what kind of people they are as opposed to the labels “conservative & liberal.”

        I think I have just made a very cogent argument about why this particular point of view of yours is “invalid”.

        As for what you think I do or do not believe, you are only speculating, because I have been very careful to keep my personal religious views quite separate from this blog, and no one here knows. So do not flatter yourself that you have some insight into my personal belief system because you don’t.

        I spent decades praying, studying, and searching, and I am firmly convinced that I am on the path GOD WANTS ME ON. You seem convinced it is the wrong path. Fine. You just tell God that. I’m sure there are many like you who are smug in their conviction that of all the billions of people in the world, you are one of the relatively few God has not lied to, and that YOUR message is the only true one. As for me, I trust in the wisdom of God, and accept what He decrees, and that means many people taking a different path to Him, and many people having to deal with different sexual orientation, and so on.

        So when you declare that your words, which I am sure you consider words of wisdom, would “go in one ear and out the other” you have the wrong imagery. They would merely flow around me, as so many others have done over the years, when people like you are determined to convince me that for some reason THEY have been chosen for the One Truth.

      • Amazona July 6, 2013 / 11:50 am

        I understand the position of believing that one’s personal religious choice is the right one. How silly it would be to say “This is what I believe but I don’t think it’s right”?

        What I comment on is the associated assumption of this giving someone the right to instruct OTHERS on how they are wrong, and should admit it and change.

        I congratulate all who have found a religious home and comfort there. I admire people who try to live according to the rules of God.

        I am just offended—deeply offended—-and put off by people who are not content to simply live their own lives, happy and content in their own beliefs, but who feel compelled to then look outside themselves and criticize others for not being in the same place, with the exact same beliefs to the exact same degree.

        And I often sense a degree of insecurity in people who are compelled to constantly parade their religious beliefs and insist they are the only correct ones. Not only does it remind me of the Pharisee, it has a strong taint of a need to validate one’s own belief by convincing someone else it is right. I’m quite confident and comfortable in my own beliefs, which is why I don’t need to convince anyone else of their validity. And I don’t need to posture about how devout I am.

        I once saw a fundamentalist church split, bitterly split, by a conflict based on whether people could approach God directly or had to go through the preacher. A parishioner visited a sick man in the hospital and knelt with the man’s wife to pray for his return to health, and this created an uproar, as some claimed that these prayers were supposed to go through the pastor.

        Really? God cares about silly bickering like this? Little people need little rules. God is big, and doesn’t need petty little rules like this.

        This insistence on being in the Only Right Place, according to God, reminds me of Islamic extremism, where to an extremist it is not enough to merely be Muslim, one has to be the RIGHT KIND of Muslim, and to an acceptable degree, so we see Muslims killing other Muslims.

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