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Actually, the Founders (who probably weren't atheists, but weren't exactly pure "Bible-believing" fundamentalists either) already rejected part of the Ten Commandments by substituting, the First Amendment mandating freedom of religion (with NO specification that only Christians were to have freedom of religion) and no establishment by government of religion, for the First Commandment "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". As far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned, you can have whatever god or gods you choose, or (as least as I see it) none. Of course, there doesn't have to be a contradiction, if you accept that awful "separation of church and state" and recognize that it is not government's job to enforce the First Commandment, nor to give special favor and promotion to Christianity or "Judeo-Christianity" over other beliefs.
In response to:

Choose Dialogue Over Name Calling

WRH Bill Wrote: May 19, 2014 10:11 AM
I agree with Paulson that avoiding name-calling, and trying for dialogue with people we disagree with, are bettr than listening only to those we agree with and insulting the others. However, there is a limit to what such "dialogue" can achieve. A common line of liberals is, "we need a real conversation" on guns, race or other topics. However, they usually make it clear that their ideas of a "conversation" is more like a one-sided "lecture" or "harangue", with the liberals doing all the talking and the other side's role limited to confessing their sins and coming to agree with the liberal point of view in total. In my own attempts at "dialogue" (on other online forums, mostly) I try to remind them that a "real conversation" involves more than one person and one point of view, and that a "real conversation" may well end which each side understanding the other side's point of view bettre, but with the sides still "agreeing to disagree".
In response to:

'Pro-Choice' Is a Tool for Propagandists

WRH Bill Wrote: May 17, 2014 12:55 PM
I seriously doubt whether many people (other than anti-abortion activists) are drawing a logical connection between the acceptability of abortion and the cultural of violence against already-born human beings in the inner city. You could probably make a stronger case (though I'm playing a bit of "devil's advocate" here-- some of you would say literally) that the inner--city problems stem in part from *not enough* abortions, as women have babies, in order to collect more benefits or "have someone to love them," and then have no means or ability to raise and discipline those children properly as they grow up.
In response to:

A Left-Right Convergence?

WRH Bill Wrote: May 16, 2014 10:54 AM
As a libertarian, I can see joining forces with the Left on some issues, particularly those having to do with reducing foreign meddling and avoiding war; but I'd want to be very carefully selective about it. I haven't seen all of Ralph Nader's proposed 25 points of right-left agreement, but I very much doubt that I could agree with all of them.
In response to:

'Pro-Choice' Is a Tool for Propagandists

WRH Bill Wrote: May 16, 2014 10:46 AM
I don't like the terms "pro-choice" OR "pro-life" They're both weasel words intended to obscure the real issue and make the respective causes sound good. If it were up to me, opponents of legal abortion would be consistently referred to as "anti-abortion" and supporters of keeping abortion legal would be called "pro-abortion" or maybe "pro-legal-abortion". Pro-abortionists have something of a point when they complain that so-called "pro-lifers" are often inconsistent in opposing abortion while supporting capital punishment and military actions that cost lives. I think drawing a distinction between abortion on one side and war and capital punishment on the other can be rationally defended, but it does kind of weaken the blanket description "pro-life". On the other hand, I think the majority of abortion proponents who call themselves "pro-choice" are even more inconsistent and hypocritical, considering that most of them support restrictions on individual choice in a multitude of other areas such as whether to buy health insurance and what kind, whether to own a gun, what kind of light bulbs to use, whether to buy foods with trans fats or large-size sodas, etc., etc., etc.
A question for Jonah Goldberg (whom I often agree with, but not so much here): Suppose it were some OTHER country that developed the "secret super drones" and decided to target them at people in the United States of America because they didn't like what was going on here. For example, perhaps fervent "global warmists" in another country might send in the drones to kill prominent American "deniers" and fossil-fuel-using industrialists, because their "moral compass" tells them that such people are evil and endanger the planet.. On what grounds would Mr. Goldberg raise an objection to that, or would he? Is it OK for us to do it to anyone else, but not OK for anyone else to do it to us?
Years ago, I heard on a Christian radio station a similar story about a small town (I forget where) where a court forbade the placing of a "Jesus Saves" sign in the local city-owned park. The local Christians responded by putting up over 200 "Jesus saves" signs in yards and on businesses all other town. The moral of the story was supposed to be how cruel and bigoted the court was and how brave the townspeople were to resist "tyranny". I drew a different lesson: if the Christians can find over 200 venues, on private property but within public view, for their message, they were hardly being stifled or silenced.
From my "secular right" point of view, the problem with "godless Communism" was the "Communism" part, not the "godless" part,. Indeed an argument can be made that Communism caused so much damage not so much because it was irreligious but because it was so much *like* a religion, what with prophets (Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao), sacred texts, prophecies of a glorious future, and the belief that it was possessed of Absolute Truth and therefore entitled to impose that truth on everyone by force.
As a non-militant non-theist i see no grounds to prevent ab individual student from choosing to read the Bible during a "free reading" period. On the other hand, I wonder in how many schools a student would have gotten in similar trouble for reading in class "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, or any of several books that have been written to introduce the idea of atheism to children and youth.
*Saluting* the flag, as a symbol of the country and its underlying principles, makes sense to me. Actually pledging allegiance to the flag, the symbolic piece of cloth, rather than to the country and the principles, not so much. If this makes me a "moron" in your view, so be it.
Fair enough. I would be unhappy if I heard of a student being punished for declining to say the pledge (or just the "under God" phrase) but I don't call for everyone being prevented from saying the pledge because one student objects.
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