Thaelman Urgelles This is an interesting topic. I trust in historic rigorous research though. Maybe Menzie's thesis is not so well received because it doesn't match research standards. But I think this article misses the point. The discovery of America by Columbus means the discovery of this continent for what matters to Europeans. If we want to be purely logical, America was discovered by the first migrants who crossed the Bering Straight in the Pleistocene 50,000 years ago. Chinese and Viking expeditions didn't mean a radical change in those cultures' world outlooks. However, for Europe it meant a profound change in politics, economics and thought. European civilization was dramatically changed by Columbus voyages. That's what we celebrate.
Thaelman Urgelles I follow you, but it's a maladise suffered by all great empires. The Brits thought they were spreading civilization by throwing tribes of africans into concentration camps. The French would subdue all Europe in the name of freedom, the Russians in the name of Christianity.The Romans would enslave entire nations in the name of law and order, the Chinise in the name of peace, the caliphate in the name of God. I mean, that's how empires behave. Hipocrisy or not, pointing out the inevitable is unhelpful, like asking the ostrich to fly.
Thaelman Urgelles Let me see if I get this straight. Are you suggesting that the US should cut all diplomatic relations with all other governments that are undemocratic? Is that even feasable with a world which is mostly undemocratic? Are you suggesting that the US should interfere in every country of the world to enforce democracy the way you see it? The way neocons saw it? The president of the US meets with some dictators. So what? Is in the interests of your country to keep friendly relations with as much governments as possible, especially in times of war. This article is a call for empire. It's unrealistic, especially de FDR-Stalin and Nixon-Mao pictures. You don't understand how foreign relations work. Give me a break.
Thaelman Urgelles Everyone pretend to agree on this issue, and the media is helping this bias. Unfortunately, it's not so common sense as this article shows http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/
Thaelman Urgelles This is why I like to set the difference between liberty and license. I don't see how people are entitled for self destruction. The right to sodomy and the right to consume cocaine and the right to kill the unborn are not deduced from the rights of political participation, religious freedom and private property. You can't have a right that damages the moral and physical stature of the holder. That is license: the deranged desire to experience something that damages the person experiencing it. Enjoy freedom as freedom goes. When you want to take the step of liberty to self destruct, we can't agree, and I favor a paternalist state that tells people where they can't go for their own good.
Thaelman Urgelles 1) the Church condemns the death penalty under all circumstances. Besides, reading the Bible literally and out of context like you are doing it is something that is not practiced in the Church. 2) the Church has a policy of helping the suffering, not to punish them. It includes gays. Russia is an Orthodox Christian country, not Catholic. 3) It's part of the Church's debate whether gays are more easilu pedophiles than not. Benedict was worried about it, Francis is more skeptic. There is no doctrinal standard. 4) if you dislike Catholic doctrine, then don't be a Catholic. Chastity is the true moral way. 5) read humanae vitae and John Paul II' tjeology of the body.
Thaelman Urgelles Walid, if we follow your reasoning for America, for example, George Washington and the Continental Congress were a bunch of terrorists. The term was not used back then, but surely for the Crown and Parliament of Britain the rebels of America were not legitimate. Just the same for the Muslim Brotherhood, now called terrorists by an autocratic regime imposed by the use of military force. Too bad you take sides with the autocrats.
Thaelman Urgelles Well, the difference is that we have the Bible backing us. You just have your opinion and the opinion of the judges backing you. I understand that you pay more attention to the judges' opinions because it better serves your purpose, just as the Bible better serves ours. The question is, morally speaking, between the Bible and the judges, where is the more authoritative source of moral knowledge. Not legal knowledge but moral knowledge, because we already know that the constitution does not ban gay marriage so why not having it. The point, independetly of what the judges and the constitution say, where does the good lies. In personal opinion? Or in the Word of God?
Thaelman Urgelles The purpose of the Pope is to make the message of the Chuch as universal as possible. In this Catholicism is very different from Protestantism. Many Protestants are sectarian, enclosed in community life, while Catholicism is expansive and inclusive. Many people are exctied about recent statements from the Pope. But I think many would be dissillusioned, because he won't make the Church more liberal. Liberalism is antithetical with Christianity. What the Church will do is adapt to today's needs and offer a different path toward the good than the liberal path. This Pope seems to be aiming at that.
Thaelman Urgelles When did the Supreme Court became known as philosophers? Not because they say it's a right, it is a right. For practical legal reasons it might be considered a right, but conceptually speaking I haven't read the first compelling argument demonstrating that marriage is a right, regardless of what SCOTUS says or not. You might have scored victories in the legal battle, but the philosophical battle is way more demanding. SCOTUS might have authority over the interpretation of the law, but they have no particular authority in determining what is right and what is wrong. And what is law does not mean it is right.
Thaelman Urgelles That reasoning works just as well for Adolf Hitler. He is created in the image of God just the same, so he can do pretty much whatever he wants. If we follow that, a killer created in the image of God can perfectly kill because of that. Your reductio ad absurdum works against you. God told humans how to behave (minimally). If they don't, they are punished. There's a lot of sacred written evidence of this. Quoting it would take a very extensive post. Secular society needs to get rid of religion, for otherwise its idea of liberty cannot be fully fulfilled. Even individual liberty has its limits.
Thaelman Urgelles No, I understand that perfectly clear. What you don't understand is that you have to think in a relativistic and individualist frame of thought in order for that to apply. I don't think on that frame of thought because it denies any possibility of orthodoxy. And because I believe that ultimately an orthodoxy must be reached, I deny the fact that morals apply to people just when they believe in them. In a relativistic frame of thought, a moral law applies only for those who believe in it. That's what you ar saying, and it implies that no moral truth is possible. I disagree. I believe in moral truth outside the opinion of individuals, so morality holds for believers and unbelievers alike, for God does not judge us differently.
Thaelman Urgelles Fine it looks insane to you. But you must realize something, both Michael and George. You keep pointing out to MINE and to ME, as if what I personally think is relevant. I'm not a Catholic because it's my opinion. I'm a Catholic because I believe its tenets are universally true. That means, it applies for all, believers and unbelievers. This, of course, is not a political conversation, because to a certain extend I also hold that governments should let other religions be practiced freely. In the purely abstract world of ideas it doesn't matter what individuals like you and I think. What matters is what God told us to be true independent of personal opinion.
Thaelman Urgelles Michael, tht Christ teaches tolerance is only one side of the story. Christ was also very severe in that following him demands moral austerity, especially on sexual issues. When he saved the prostitute he didn't do it so that the she would keep living her debauched live. He did it so that she reforms her ways. The liberal reading of Christ is so convenient. Christ taught tolerance, but he did not condone sin. Tolerate the sinner, not the sin is the primordial teaching. Nobody reasobable is fingering sinners here. What is questioned is the condoning of practices that are morally questionable as if they were neutral. The New Testament abounds with ideas that question sexuality as a not neutral thing.
Thaelman Urgelles I don't think we will ever agree, so it's better, for the purpose of reaching an overlapping consensus, to point out that many religious people no longer have and issue with open gayness. That doesn't mean we agree, it means we simply tolerate. And as we tolerate you guys, you should start tolerating us as people that simply will always disagree with you, and that will disagree with how liberal thinking operates. That means, stop trying to bully us with public opinion, and stop pretending that we should shut up for the sake of scularism. I don't mean you personally George, I mean mainstream media. Even if we cannot win the battle for public opinion, we still want to have a say.
Thaelman Urgelles George, I don't think there are personal faiths. Personal faiths are devaluations of an originally true faith. Wethere that's Catholic Christianity or Islam cannot be gauged, but it is morally imperative that whatever we believe, we believe it's true. Otherwise out faith becomes pure personal opinion without consequence. What's true is that we have democracy because, given that the truth cannot be gauged, if religion should or should not interfere with other's lives is left to the public, and that's my point. We have democracy so that the majority decides whether your or mine rule applies. You want an absolute truth regarding marrige to apply. That's why you went to SCOTUS and "we" went to the ballot box in California.
Thaelman Urgelles Well you see, here is where our cultures depart. I'm a Catholic. I do not believe in a personal, individual and private relation with Christ. I think that's impossible. I believe in a collective relation with Christ, where his chosen people (the Church), not as persons taken individually, are subject to God's sovereignty. I do believe religion intereferes with other's lives. Otherwise it's self help nonsense. The point of religion is preaching and conversion. No true faith remains in the heart of the individual. You have to go outside and preach and convert. That makes it public. The secular agenda wants to bully religion inside the individual's privacy, hence attacking it.
Thaelman Urgelles And George, determining marriage is not establishing religion because that would mean no legislation can exist. Inevitably most legislators build their moral judgments based on religious morals and practices. Not because the origin of an idea comes from religion it makes the idea a religious institution. So no, determining marriage is not establishing a religion. It has to come with the name God, Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary to make it religious. If it doesn't name any of them, then it's not. Your reasoning is a method to curtail our freedom of expression.
Thaelman Urgelles George, wether you like it or not secularism destroys religion by reducing the religious experience to the private, while religion has always being public. No, I can't enjoy my religion fully if I live in an environment destructive of religion. So yes, we are under attack. And yes sodomy is also that. It's also morally questionable, as with most of the things that have to do with sexuality. Just as we have learned to live with open gayness, you are going to have to learn to live with people who disagree with the type of society you are creating. We will not disappear and most likelyy we will not change our minds.
Thaelman Urgelles I think you are mistaken. CIA involvement was never proved in Venezuela. It's just speculation. Even so, the CIA is not so powerful or inluential. Is a myth Americans tend to believe frequently. Endogenous causes determined the outcome in Venezuela. Not CIA involvement. Besides, we don't know if American intelligence agencies has anything to do with Egypt. They might.
Thaelman Urgelles Well put. The biggest drama for contemporary conservatives is that the party that claims to be conservative is on a crazy journey. People who think like us don't really have a party platform to move our interests. We are on our own fighting main stream culture, big government and big business alike.
Thaelman Urgelles Let me leave something clear for Michael and Chloe. You can't use the 1st amendment to curb political participation to those that do not think like you, i.e. to those that do not think within a secular phrame of thought. For some people there is no difference between religion and morality, and not because of that you can use the amendment that protects religious freedom against religious people. Is blatant sophistry. Secularism goes as far as religious servants (priests and bishops) not being able to hold public office. But a lay person who thinks religiously can perfectly hold public office and legislate according to her own judgment, even if it's coming from a religious background, and that does not betray secularity of the gov.
Thaelman Urgelles No it's not. Of course that's how you prefer to read it, denying almost all the political history of your own country. It says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. It's clear that the intention is to avoid a particular Christian congregation to impose its views on any other Christian congregation. It doesn't say anything about secularism anywhere. Establishing the meaning of marriage is not establishing a religion. You can't use the first amendment to exclude people just because they can't think on moral terms outside the cultural phrame of religion. You are using the 1st amendment against itself in a misingenuous reading that betrays its real meaning.