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November 22nd, 2011
05:50 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, November 22

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: British Muslims optimistic and proud, survey finds
British Muslims are more proud to be British than the population as a whole, and they are significantly more optimistic about the country's future, a new study released Monday reveals.

Do you have 50 minutes to spare?

NPR: Would The World Be Better Off Without Religion?
A rabbi, a descendant of Charles Darwin, a philosopher and a scholar walk into an auditorium. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but the group came together for the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate and faced off two against two on the motion "The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion."
(And if you have more time, you can listen to the entire one hour and 44 minute debate here.)

@CNNBelief’s follow of the day: Qasim Rashid, or @muslimIQ, is the National Spokesman for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA and an effective source on a wide range of religious issues.

Tweet of the Day:

From @DalaiLama: Compassion, along with love, is the face of altruism.

Enlightening Reads:

Washington Post: Bob Jones University questions ‘fundamentalist’ label
When Bob Jones III recently questioned whether President Obama is a Christian, it was a reminder not only that the fundamentalist leader is controversial but also how little the political world has heard from the man and the rock-ribbed Christian school that bears his name.

The Hill: Study finds five-fold increase in lobbying by religious groups
Lobbying in Washington on religious issues has exploded in the last four decades, according to a new study released Monday.

LA Times: Marine brass ponder removing cross at Camp Pendleton
After receiving a complaint from an atheists' organization, Marine brass at Camp Pendleton are reviewing whether to permit a cross atop a hill to remain.

Quote of the Day

The passionate kissing went on for five minutes and the winning couple was chosen by the loudest applause from the congregation, according to the Post. The winning couple received $50 to spend on a date night.

Christian Post reporter Alex Murashko wrote this about a New York pastor who held a kissing contest between married couples during a Sunday service. The contest was supposed to show that God wants humans to experience romance.

Today’s Opinion:

Slate: Rule of Lord: The Republican plan to nullify the courts and establish Christian theocracy.
Is the United States sliding toward theocracy? That’s what Republican presidential candidates have told us for more than a year. Radical Islam, they’ve argued, is on the verge of taking over our country through Sharia law. But this weekend, at an Iowa forum sparsely covered by the press, the candidates made clear that they don’t mind theocracy—in fact, they’d like to impose it—as long as it’s Christian.

Join the conversation…
Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi writes that in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Herman Cain is not seen as a candidate who wears his faith on his sleeve. But those who know Cain describe him as a devout Christian who leans on his faith in times of hardship. The article has almost 1,500 comments.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. david

    http://sightlikeaconstructionworker.blogspot.com/2011/11/newt-immigration-plan.html

    November 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  2. AtheistSteve

    "this year's delberately confrontational act of contempt by atheists"

    As opposed to the non-deliberate fuking tidal wave of religious Xmas carols, nativity scenes, ads, billboards and TV specials I have to face. Persecuted christains my a$$.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  3. julianpenrod

    The cowards in charge of the iReport section of CNN are afraid to place my comments on their blog because they're too truthful, so I will place it here.
    One of their entries is "Atheist Billboard Goes Up in [sic] Time For The Holidays", about this year's delberately confrontational act of contempt by atheists in the form of a billboard by American Atheists. For the second year, they are touting the line that God is a myth. Last year, it depicted the scene of the Three Wise Men and the Star of Bethlehem, this year, it shows pictures of Poseidon, Jesus Christ, Santa Claus and the devil and says "37 million Americans know MYTHS when they see them".
    Tellingly, as in all their doggerel, they never attack Judaism and Hanukkah as a myth. Last year, Hanukkah fell closer to the erecting of their billboard than Christmas, but they did not challenge the Jews! Just as, this year, they do not question how a lamp could burn for eight days on only one day's worth of oil! The atheists are craven, power mongering hypocrites. They attack Christianity and Islam only; they claim "religion is the cause of all wars", ignoring the economic and political power factors behind the Punic Wars, the Hundred Years War, the Spanish American War, the Mexican American War, the Thirty Years War, the Revolutionary War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq!
    And, it should be mentioned, to say athiests know such things as belief in Christ are myths is to say they definitely and definitively don't believe in them. But look to the article "The Mystery I'm Thankful For" on the NPR website. In reply to comments about the illegitimacy and hypocrisy in athiest pronouncements, a number of them are actually running for cover, saying they never said religion was false and God didn't exist! They insist now that they are only saying there isn't enough evidence to prove it one way or another. But that's agnosticism! Atheism says baldly that God doesn't exist, without proof! And that's exactly what the billboad is saying!
    Evidently, the atheists are as craven and cowardly as those running the iReport section of CNN!

    November 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Well now...I see the blowhards are out.
      Listen idiot...Atheism is about belief, agnosticism is about knowledge...the 2 are separate and I, like most other atheists on this board fall into both categories. Further not attacking judaism or islam isn't about a reluctance to face reprisal, it's about demographics. Like we hear all too often on this board "we live in a christain nation". Religion of any flavor is still garbage and jews or muslims are just as deluded as christians.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  4. AtheistSteve

    Off topic but too funny not to share. CNN just showed a clip of this.

    Band plays 'Lying A** B***H' as Michele Bachmann walks out on Jimmy Fallon's late night show....

    She was all smiles and had no clue she was being made fun of 🙂

    November 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • hippypoet

      not a fan of Jimmy Fallon..always laughing and screwing up everyone else, but thats damn funny! she is just beyond dumb.

      November 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  5. William Demuth

    DamianKnight

    Interesting, but I propose to you sir that ANY decision has negative impact on others.

    Even the choice to continue to exist or not to has them. (Shout out to WS for that one)

    It is all about risk. In any activity where the greatest majority of the risk falls on the individual engaging in the activity, freedom dictates they can make the choice. IE to hang glide or not hang glide.

    Sadly all freedoms impact others, ie smoking. Smokers create medical costs for society and die sooner. Non smokers live longer and pull more for Social Security than they put in.

    Isn't it then more moral to require poor people to smoke so they wont be a burden on SS by living longer?

    November 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Huh. Interesting perspective. It's absolutely true that all of our decisions impact others, because we do not live in a vacuum. But the question becomes, does the decision produce more harm than it does good?

      For instance, handing a two year old the loaded firearm. Whom does that benefit? No one. Who is it more likely to hurt? The child and others around them. Therefore, I would consider that given that there is no reasonable benefit to anyone AND it has the likelihood to seriously injure and/or kill someone, that handing a two year old a loaded firearm is a bad decision.

      That, sir, is where we have to judge where we make laws and where we don't. For instance, if you want to sell all of your worldly possessions in order to buy lotto tickets, I don't think there should be a law against that. It's your property, it's your life. However, if in your decision, you can no longer adequately care for your children (because you fantastically lost everything), then the law has the right AND responsibility to take those children out of your care and place them in a place more properly suited to a stable upbringing.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Agreed, but the devil is in the more complex cases like abortion.

      Few might argue giving a child a loaded gun is reasonable, but the abortion debate rages! Is birth always in the mother, or the child best interests? For most the question is a religious one, and their positions are intractable!

      What of global warming? Do I need to have a reduced quality of life so others may flourish?

      Suicide is the one that is easiest to delineate in. I for one am profoundly disturbed by those who might criminalize on religious grounds,

      Ethics is fascinating, and it is especially juicy when taken in the context of religion!

      As for me I find the idea of the republican candidates being trusted as the arbitrators of morality a sound a call to revolution as I have EVER heard! With one or two exceptions, I find them to epitomize immorality!

      November 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Answer

      The subject of morality in abortion, is in asking one question: "where do you define your moral point?"

      What do I mean by that? Simply this: In about nine months time to conceive a newborn which point or timeline (can you reach an agreement on) to abort? Is it during the 8 and a half months? 6 months? Don't like the months schedule – try the weekly schedule? How about the very moment when the point where the egg is fertilized by the entering s-p-e-r-m?

      If not even at that point – do you from the religious doctrine side then take onus that no one may even have s-e-x to release s-p-e-r-m? How about the point of just a man pleasuring himself – to ej-ac-ul-ate for his pleasure? It's the other half to life after all! Are you going to state that the man ej-ac-ul-at-ing is acting heinously by ma-st-ur-ba-ti-ng? Such questions are about "where is the control?"

      It all leads down to that – CONTROL. An opinion where one person who is taught the bible – tries to define for others their rights to their own body.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Answer,

      When it comes to abortion, it's really a tricky subject, at least with me. Morally, I believe it is wrong. However, simply because I believe it to be immoral, does that mean it should be against the law? Absolutely not. The law does not base itself on my morals or religious values.

      My personal belief is that life begins at conception. I believe that the fertilized egg has been gifted with a soul and that the taking of the life with no sound reason (i.e. as punishment for a capital offense) of it is wrong. As I have alluded to, this is my belief and cannot be substantiated by science, hence why I cannot see a secular (or intended to be) society, such as ours can make that call.

      To answer your further question, regarding eja.cul.ation, if done within the confines of marriage is acceptable. After all, we know that not ever se.xual encounter produces a child. As for self pleasuring, it revolves around the mental state. Really the act is not the sin, it is the mental and heart condition behind it. Generally, this involves lu.st. Lu.st is the sin. But, if said man is thinking about his spouse, then there is no sin, because one cannot lu.st after his spouse. He can desire her, which is what God intended. I know this may sound weird to many, but those are my religious beliefs, such as they are. Feel free to disagree with me.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  6. Nonimus

    Thanks for the link to the Intelligence Squared debate. I've watched others and they were well worth the time.

    On the Follow For the Day, while it may be an informative follow it was my understanding that the vast majority of Muslims, Sunni and Shi'a, don't consider Ahmadiyya to be "true" Islam, not that that makes any more or less "true" in a spiritual sense, just that it won't be "Orthodox" Islam.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  7. Intl Pol101

    Hippy, wow thanks for such a well thought out answer. Yes I did consider journalism back in my mis-spent youth 🙂 It does help to know one's background and family, we as Americans have been gypped on that one, blame it on bad record-keeping of past generations. I've been having food allergy and Christian holiday issues for many years now, and recently discovered through genealogical research that my family was at some point (centuries ago until around 1491) Sephardic Jewish, which clears up lots of medical and faith problems (I haven't figured out how to address the faith issues yet). I like that, "your spirit, your karma, and you are one." There are lots of theories floating around that the energies we expend, based on our choices, affect the universe. So you believe that divination and astrology are simply mathematical and astronomical calculations, and that's why they're always right? That's a very interesting concept. Kabbalah is also based on numerical calculations, and numerical manipulation is found to some extent in every belief from paganism on up. But do you think though, that people truly can recall from very young ages (age 3, for example) past life memories?

    November 22, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Intl Pol101

      Sorry, meant this to go under "reply"

      November 22, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • hippypoet

      no, i don't believe in past lives... the idea that particals retain memory of the thing they were last is not a very bright one – pun is coming... see, i believe we are what makes the stars, and vice versa.. i have no memory of being so bright! lol god i love puns – however... if we as humans were so high in our standings compared to other creatures, then i'd say its an interesting idea, but has little merit... some claim to have seen things or felt things, but as far as i'm concerned – thats a complete possiblity, but has nothing to do with what you are before... there are trillions of atoms that make us up, and to believe that they were all one something before you and will be after you and to not think that animals such as wolves or bears didn't dug up and ate our bodies at some point in history and therefore have us inside them is an ignorant thought! food is food, we are food to most , and if they could they would!

      November 22, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • hippypoet

      you said "So you believe that divination and astrology are simply mathematical and astronomical calculations, and that's why they're always right?"

      they are not always right, but they are right more often then wrong... and when wrong, its never off by much, unless the person providing the information is a lier, then everything is completely off!

      November 22, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • AnnaMaria44

      *

      November 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Hippy, changed my screen name, IntlPol101 was annoying and impersonal. I've tried to post the details about 5 times of something that happened to my daughter that explains some of my questions, but this website keeps messing up and won't let me post it 😦 I'll try again later.

      November 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sometimes the silliest of words gets stuck by cnn censors... they suck at life and so make it hard to type what you really wanna say. I think every blogger here agrees with that! 🙂

      November 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      More censorship, just what we need! Ok, I'll try this again. At age 3 my daughter began having vivid, recurring nightmares about a WWII battle, by age 7 we were recording every piece that she could remember. A few years ago the dreams resurfaced so we pulled out the journal and researched the details. We found the unit, village, date, matched up the names of people involved, and matched those names up to photos that we found on the unit website. Completely verified the information (no personal gain involved). We still don't understand it at all.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i'd say from experience that your daughter is clairvoyant... if she is only while asleep, then she is not alone – check out edgar cayce... also if you know anyone who is like she is, get them together... trust me! its a world we live in, you only look in from the window of your eyes...things are not as they appear.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Forgot to add that I was a strict mom, no war movies or violent games allowed when the kids were young. And this has been a lifetime process for her, of trying to remember details- she's 21 now.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      You know, a friend of hers recently told her that also. I've always been clairvoyant, all of the women in my family are, but it's frightening so we've never really discussed it. We've known for a while now that she's clairaudio, but I never related the dream to it for some odd reason. Thank you, will look into it more!

      November 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you are as well...do you get the tingle feeling? what about the almost sick feelings? or the headaches? when do you get them? does she get them as well?

      November 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Oh I believe you- yes to all the above! We both have a tingling feeling, like a shiver, then a bright flash, followed by nausea and headaches. My daughter is in the military and was recently diagnosed with migraines, but nothing was found through the scans and tests. You've always had it?

      November 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      It's really cool that you figured out your dream and are following the path! Odd that I recently also had a "3" dream-still trying to figure it out though.
      I can't believe that you directed me to Edgar Cayce, his foundation is right here in Va. Beach!

      November 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i can remember the day it started... it was my third birthday, it was marked in my memory by me moving out of my room and into my sister's old room... I started feeling wierd. went outside and sat in the gr@ss....then a headache... then i went off into thoughts, i'd like to think i never came back and i;m still sitting in the gr@ss outside triing to make the pain stop...

      November 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Answer

      ==full quote
      hippypoet

      you said "So you believe that divination and astrology are simply mathematical and astronomical calculations, and that's why they're always right?"

      they are not always right, but they are right more often then wrong... and when wrong, its never off by much, unless the person providing the information is a lier, then everything is completely off!

      ==end quote

      Hey Hippy.. just a note on that astrology and divination stuff. Most of that is clearly a method of cold reading and asking general Barnum statements. It works in a simple way. You may want to check up on Barnum statements doing a search on it.

      On clairvoyance, I do and can relate on some of it. Sometimes I myself have had deja vu moments flash before my eyes and at their moments of occurrence I can specifically recall that I had that exact same dream. I can never recall on having such a dream priorto said event. What I do is often is stop and try to recall the sequences in those dreams and try to break the deja vu cycles. It's like testing and breaking the predictions of the future. To really see if it is true or not that your dreams can foretell (predict) the future.

      It is an interesting topic to talk about – clairvoyance – simply because it asks about the future. If you really could record and recall your dreams in advance to the moments prior to a deja vu sequence then you would know that destiny is set.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @answer, i agree with much of what your saying, but there is more going on with astrology then divining, however... the most ancient of diviners have not used any other people, or math to get there answers – which have proven more arcuate then even i like to addmit – sybil, the cave chick from roman times, the orcale at delphi, these people got high on plants and natural gases then entered a world i have lived in for a month or so – love lsd – its a place of infinite, you are the center and the outter, the universe is you and you are the universe – its a beautiful place, i often cry when i think of it.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Wow, 3 years old-we were also 3 when it started- that must mean something? Yeah it's racing, unfamiliar thoughts, time seems frozen, and blinding pain, similar to a migraine. Most of our visions are at night or while we're dreaming, so we wake up frequently with headaches. My daughter was warned by her Wicca friend, a Muslim, and a Catholic priest not to join the military because they were afraid it might damage her psyche- she seems ok though, getting out soon

      November 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Meditation also seems to enhance the abilities, and I just read that maybe these abilities are actually being "unlocked" from the human DNA code.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yeah, 3 does seem to have meaning.. it was held in high reguard my the ancients and now modern day christians hold to the holy trinity.. there is 3 main Abrahamic beliefs... and yes i completely agree, meditation enhances all sensitivity. camomile tea helps the head too.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Answer

      @Hippy

      If we all could really find out everything about our reality and explain it that will be the greatest thing ever. I just know that I don't know that much. I know somethings and not some others. The ancients in however they saw their world and how they approached, I'd say, they weren't confined by too many developed dogmas. That is simply my opinion.

      When we look into the past and evidence of their lives they were really free to try things. Drugs .. alcohol and everything. Just in the name of finding answers. I'm not saying that I would want to live in that era though. I'm stating that I appreciate some of their conclusions.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Exactly- how far to take it? That's the question we've been wrestling with, that and how to consolidate so-called occult practices with the Christian faith- tough. I think that cave chick you were talking about, hippy, may have been the Greek Pythoness, whats-her-name?

      November 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @answer, i believe in tring everything, once. i have not done any major drugs nor will i ever untill very very old.. i personally can't wait to do alot, i'm waiting for 70 – 80 years old...i have done ALOT as of my current age now – 25, and i have found a great deal of answers... i still go into trances but less now then before – kids – i also need to make sure for there sake that i come back... i was gone once for too long, i was scared, i wrote a poem about it.. i will post it when i get home, its never finished because i am never finished in my exploring... but as i have always said – understanding is the key to every unlocked door!

      November 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      AnnaMaria44, how far to take it? well, before i had kids, i took it too far every time. now i feel as if i can't go far enough. truly a personal question.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Well I think it's time to get down to some serious research, can't live in denial forever 🙂 It's not like you can walk up to friends and strangers and say, "I see things, point me to some reliable information" or "I've had a couple of serious prophetic dreams." It's kinda creepy, like the "I see dead people" kid lol.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Answer

      @AnnaMaria44

      Back to quality and paid work is the best. 🙂 It's been fun reading your posts between you and Hippy.

      @Hippy

      The point of life is simple for me: "do something constructive with it, and don't kill myself over stupidity."

      November 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      do not do this if you have plans the next day but – if you really wish to do "research" buy pearly gate morning glory seeds, crush them and eat 3 grams, drink a cup of camomile tea, smoke a half gram of datura and then meditate – do not drink booze, it will one, kill the glory effect and doesn't mix well with datura! also try salvia, its intense thou, so be careful! only lasts about 5 – 20 minutes luckily.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Answer, thanks! I enjoyed reading your posts too.
      Hippy, thanks for he "recipe" lol but I'm an organic gardener, (no s...!) haha that was Extremely lame- seriously I grow all the plants you mentioned, morning glories and datura are in the same family and are very poisonous. Am going to sound like a mom now- please BE CAREFUL with that stuff! Read the posts with Chuckles, very interesting. Personally I think Atlantis is buried under the mud flat in southern Spain. Plato described the city, and he wasn't the kind of guy to joke around.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • hippypoet

      annamaria, here is a poem i wrote when going too far... its ent!tled "my poem"

      alone, dazed, cold, despairing, weak, sad,
      p!ssed off and angry,
      missing all the things i ever had,
      pearching eyes tear up,
      loved ones reluctantly give up,
      closest souls don't understand,
      that i'm alone in my own land,
      I live in darkness, alone,
      inside my head my thoughts roam,
      with nowhere to go they drive me insane,
      i try to get them out but i can't explain,
      few hear what i say, even fewer understand,
      when i started on my journey this wasn't planned,
      now i can't go back only straight,
      insanity's fishing with life as the bait,
      in a daze put there by my own,
      i did it to expand my sight and see whats to be shown,
      now, movements in my eye while the world is still,
      tears well up and i start to cry,
      if realitys dead, whats left to kill!

      November 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      That's a beautiful poem! Sad, and very moving. I hope you're keeping a collection of your writing.
      And I know you're not smug. We're all just learning, everyone on this planet wants some answers to our impossible, insatiable questioning.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i have a few books unpublished at home here with most of them.... more collections rather then a book. i am also writing 2 plays, working on a third but its falling apart – i have a number of other things going on... I have others if you'd like....poems i mean.. however thats the only one thats about me, all others are about people and me or other people/acts/events/ideas...

      November 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  8. Bo

    @Brad, there are already laws that regulate against bad choices. Seat belt laws, helment laws, smoke detector laws, light bulb laws are in the making, smoking laws, etc.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • William Demuth

      ALL law is based on morality.

      Always was, always will be.

      The only issue is who decides what is moral.

      I remember back in the day I had read "Helter Skelter" which discussed the laws about mental compotence and LSD.

      It specified what would legaly make a man mad in the eyes of the court, with specific dosages.

      That night I intentionally drove myself mad.

      Ergo: I am NOT bound by morality, because I am mad.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • J.W

      Well I would say laws are based on either morality or safety. It is not necessarily immoral to go 15 mph over the speed limit, but it is not safe. The problem with morality laws is just what you said Williams, who decides what is moral. Some morality laws are legislating things that are not unsafe or do any damage to society.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • JohnR

      Safety laws are strongly driven by the costs of picking up the pieces. When risk is collectivized, either voluntarily through insurance or involuntarily by state (either mandating insurance or running its own program), the many have a financial stake in just how stupid the individual is allowed to be. If you don't understand this dynamic, you won't understand a lot about modern state and the societies they govern.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Brad

      HI Bo

      We legislate against or in favor of certain actions. I wonder about the decision itself. Is Ron Paul suggesting that someone has or can assume the power and authority to allow or prevent someone from making a decision. If that is so, should anyone ever exercise such authority?

      Let's say Alice is on the verge of deciding she is an atheist. Let's assume that's a bad decision and she will take no action beyond completing that decision. Can and should anyone allow or prevent this decision? This is meant to examine this part of Ron Paul's statement: "people should be allowed to make bad decisions". It seems like Ron Paul believes someone could allow or prevent bad decision-making. Further, he thinks it should be allowed.

      November 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Brad

      Just wanted to add a quick word. Ron Paul is for all intents and purposes a libertarian running under a repub ticket so he's actually electable. Libertarian is just hyper republicanism to the degree that everything apart from national defense should be up to the individual (national defense also implying that we only react and in no way are proactive. Extremem isolationism). Ron Paul is not asking about the fundemental question of "bad" or "good", he's simply stating that an individual should be allowed to do whatever he or she wants as long as it doesn't cause harm to others. He's also very christian, so his morality of "right" and "wrong" are steeped in christian morality, so a bad decision can mean anything from becoming an atheist, to doing heroin. He's all for your right to do whatever you want even if he doesn't disagree with it.

      And that, my friends is why Ron Paul is an idiot and entirely unelectable.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Brad

      Chuckles

      I admit to over interpreting Ron Paul's statement. He probably didn't mean precisely what he said. The word "allowed" here is more suggestive than he realizes.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Bo

    In Biblical (coded) prophecy there will be a (false) religious organison that will gain a strong influence in this nation causing religious laws to be passed. I don't know when this will nappen, soon I hope, but perhaps not in my lifetime. I'm wondering how atheists will react to these laws. According to the prophecy, atheists and others will reconise these laws as benifical, but not regaurd them. If so, and I'm still here, I will be among the "others",: those who will not regaurd the laws.

    November 22, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      Ah, yes, the dreaded (coded) prophecy. Right up there with the words of the angel Moroni and the machines of Scientology. Or heck, the bible itself. And the Mayan calender and the predictions of Nostradamus. And my Magic 8 Ball and Ouija Board from my youth. And tarot cards. Let's not forget the tarot cards.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  10. IntlPol101

    Haha- great movie! Hey hippy, I researched Taoism last night, I have some questions. I think that (please correct me if I'm wrong on any or all points) you're a Philosophical Taoist Atheist (TM) in that you follow the path but you believe that the spirit consists of energy. What points in Taoism do you not agree with? I did read some things on ancestor worship, animal sacrifice, Tarot reading and divinity, so I'm guessing any of those, or do those practices fall under Religious Taoism? You said that you believe in karma- any particular reason? And do you also believe in reincarnation; have you ever had any past life memories or dreams?

    November 22, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • hippypoet

      well, thats an interesting string of questions... are you a reporter? lol Well, for starters i believe in karma for one reason only, i am a libra, i have found that in nature everything is in balance and when not if it changes it always changes back so over time there is still always balance – karma gives a sense of balance in this very uneven world that humans have built around nature – we consider ourselves to be outside nature even thou we are animals... if you ask a person what an animal is they most certainly won't answer with "we are" but thats the truth, we are... this can't be argued! The spirit i don't believe, we as warm blooded creatures give off heat, that is the aura that some people claim to see/feel and that is only as it is because of the speed of blood flow – which equates to outside pressures, like stress causing things in life....so one can tell how is person is by the "aura" but its nothing like they will make it sound – its far less whoa and a lot more earth science.

      As far as energy, that goes hand and hand with karma, its a balancing act, if you poke a sleeping tiger and don't expect to be bitten then your an idiot.. the energies put out into the world by you and all living things is just the same that makes up the stars and everything in the night sky – so in that sense, the spirit, your karma, and you are one in the same. Ancestor worship is a funny thing, i have often cried over the fact that i don't truly know where i am from... i know the land, the country, the county even... but i know more about Alexander of Macedonia then i do my great grand father – that makes me sick! I don't wish to know of him so i can worship him, i believe the idea of ancestor worship is a tool for teaching and for understanding the hardships that come with life – lacking these can impact the culture a great deal... i don't worship anything, but i strive to know... to do this one must understand that to know anything is to first accept that you know nothing. That is where ancestor worship comes from, the unwanting to not know of histories transgressions...some cultures have taken the ancestor worship too far, but thats them...others have practiced nailing people to giant wood things and then creating false forests of these, calling it art!

      Animal sacrifice..... well i sacrifice an animal all the time....whenever i get hungry! 🙂 i do say thanks to the animal while eating it, no joke there... i would like to believe if there was a creature higher in the food chain then us, it too would say thanks to me for providing it with a meal... its a kindness!

      I am a tad off put by tarot reading and divinity.. see, the real problem here is they work – i have been studing astrology for coming on 4 months now and i have been pleasantly surprised by what i found...using dates and charts, one can truly make, not guesses, but rather draw educated conclusions from the information at hand....and if they are wrong – they are never of by much! check out the supreme court of New York back in the early 1900's, there was a woman who was brought in to court for fraud.. she was proven correct by her skilles at chart reading so much so that she told the judge about the dates and info he had given her... he was blown away, the info was of his son who had drowned in a lake – she knew it by the chart! Very interesting yes? Now to finish off – reincarnation in my mind is very literal... the energy that makes you up is given off thru-out life, but when you die, the material energy gets eaten, your heat gives off for the last time... your entire body is nothing but energy, the stuff the stars are made of – so it makes sense to say thank you to your food, and to be kind to others, and to look at the stars for answers... we are all one in the same! One day i'll be a star, the next i'll be the boar running on the African plains… its life in all forms and its ignorance to think we are above anything in the chain… we are nothing but aware of our standings and it’s a choice to accept or not.

      i hope that answers your questions 🙂

      November 22, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • hippypoet

      i found the womans name who made Astrology legal in the state of New York... Evangeline Adams, check her out, then tell me if you don't believe in astrology! no saying you ever said you didn't....just saying in general!

      November 22, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • dudes and dudettes

      Hippy, I get what your sayin dude, i'm right there with you bro. I have a question thou, how do you get your answers from astrology?

      November 22, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • hippypoet

      well, imagine that the answers were there the whole time... you just have to find them – kinda like doing a goggle search to find something you know is there just can't find it. What you do is take all the cosmos everything you know off, galaxies, stars, planets, the sun, moons... take them all, then create a chart of where they were when you were born...thats your birth chart and it speaks volumes of who you are. truly! check it out, most people charge near 80 bucks.
      When i am done studying, i will open up shop and see what happens. 🙂 high hopes – love the pun!

      November 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      (formerly IntlPol101) Lol more puns! Wow that's amazing about Evangeline Adams. I do believe that some people have a natural affinity for divination, astrology, mediumship, ect. At age 13 a relative gave me a pack of Tarot cards and I always had the same terrifying outcome, so I never used them again. Also my mother says that I started meditating around age 3 or 4, even though I had never witnessed anyone meditating. Kind of what the Buddhists describe as a higher wisdom based on karma, linked to a deeper level of meditation. Good luck with the astrology venture, you'll probably get a lot of business

      November 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well, since we be sharing stories – i have always had the ability to read people, when they are lieing, scared, hiding things... its not exactly what i would call a gift being all it really does is p!ss people off. It works great on my kids thou....my daughter has said "how did you know" a million times now. Also, when i am in love, i just know things without being told...like a psycic link or something. And i have always been drawn to astrology, something i truly can't explain – its only recent that i chose to get into it... something has always held he back, (now this is true, if you don't believe me, no worries) about 5 months ago, i had a dream, like many of my dreams this one became true over time -but it only took a week – the dream was me walking into a room with a woman holding cards, the cards of life, i picked 3, they were all the same card – the diviner. Call me crazy, but when i hold the cards i feel something strange, like i have done this before – lol, past life maybe... maybe not – but who knows.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      I won't lie, a lot of what you're saying sounds like you're just really aware of people's change in breath, fa.cial expressions and body languages even if its only a sub.conc.ious level. I actually got a book on body language and its really incre.dible how much we actually project our innermost thoughts through our body language, like sometimes its scary. Ever since then not only is it easy to figure out when someone feels a certain way, but if you know them well enough you can even pred.ict exactly what they're going to say outloud before they do, it really cre.eps them out.

      As far as clairvo.yancy goes, I've had a couple of instances myself. Once was learning an entire unit in chemistry in my dreams the day before we began. It was the only time all year I actually a.ced the unit test and all the homeworks because I knew it down cold, I even got a lot of weird stares from people who didn't understand why such a bad student at chem (which I was) was doing so well on a chem unit. The second time was just over a year ago...well I mean, I had the dream about 5 years ago about the current apartment I live in, down to the exact room I currently occupy.
      The chemistry thing I usually explain away saying that my brain probably put 2 and 2 together while I slept and I was able to guess where we were he.aded by our previous work. As for my apartment thing now, well I say I remember the details of my dream incre.dibly clearly and the apartment I live in now is a manife.station of me believing that the "dream apartment" exists and I twe.ak my memory to fit my reality. Who knows though? I won't lie though, I find as.trology to be pretty much a giant load of sh*.t, maybe its my inner astronomer but I've read my birth chart and thought "oh my god, that's me!" and then I read my brothers and thought, "sh.it, maybe thats me!", keep in mind, I'm a leo and my brother is a libra.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, chuckles – i agree with the top part.. its like a person on the phone sounds different when they smile or frown. so i agree with that @ssesment. But as far astrology – there are few who do it properly and don;t cut corners, its possible that the chart was wrong as much as its possible you got it from bad source... i can't tell one way or the other, but i would keep the chart if i were you.. as i said only so recently, things are not as they appear, it could be right, just not yet... and by using more and more cosmic items in the chart, the chart is more acruate. so its also possibly the astrologer didn't gather enough stars and what not – i'm still learning it, so i have little answers...

      November 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      Like I said before, my inner astronomer just scoffs at astrology, it's like reading tea leaves on a cosmic scale. I mean come on, you really think that if mars is in the house of jupiter or we're in the age of aquarius that's going to have any bearing on my personality? I find that very hard to believe and frankly I'm pretty surprised that an atheist such as yourself actually takes it seriously. That's not meant to be mean, but from all of the posts I've seen from you towards believers, it would seem astrology is at the top of the list of things you would disregard.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, thats very true, it does seem completely bs.. but you have an understanding of gravity... just look at the moon, it controls the tides, the sun controls our orbit... this things are not just there to be looked at thru a scope. they have direct impact on us everyday, thru gravity. Look at thru that lense, and tell me your thoughts... and lets not forget that i have done lsd in large amounts so i exaimed more things in a shorter time then most, and to great detail.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @hippy

      I'm a little thrown by the question. Are you asking for physical efffects on me by the sun and moon or are you saying there is something greater at work than just gravity keeping my feet planted on earth, the earth in orbit, etc....? I'll say this, I don't live anywhere near a coast and generally avoid the ocean so the moon has a very very small impact upon my general existance other than looking pretty on a full moon. The sun has had a greater impact on my life because I'm acutely aware that I get a large amount of seasonal depression when the sun is out of sight for long periods of time. Because of this places in the far north would be great about 6months out of the year, but I would refuse to live somewhere that the son is hidden for 1/2 a year. Seattle is also out of the question from the large amount of rain it gets. This might point to my being a "Leo", then again everyone in my family feels this way, (one Leo, 2 Libras and a Pices) and I think its due to living in CO that gets over 300 days of sun per year.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Having lived on the ocean all of my life, I have great respect for tidal cycles. The rising and falling tides and the moon cycle affect every aspect of coastal life-
      Btw we've been getting hit by asteroids a lot here the last couple of weeks or so, they make a huge booming sound when they hit the ocean-

      November 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • hippypoet

      did you know that without our moon, we wouldn't be here. its true. But the gravitational pull on us by all the different planets, the passing comets, everything, it has an impact on our planet and therefore on us. Everything has an impact on us, the black hole at the center of the milkyway has an impact on us, so does the 100 billion stars in the galaxy...that number could be wrong, i pulled it out of my demon hole. 🙂 anyway, you get the point... astrology is an attempt to see how they affect us, and alot of the time, its right. check out Evangeline Adams.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      I know that the moon is important for the physical well being of our planet the same way that Jupiter is basically our giant goalkeeper, blocking or swinging most comets and asteroids away from the inner planets. The gigantic blackhole turns our whole galaxy and gives us a galactic year....though e have absolutely 0 evidence pointing to any other star, blackhole having any effect on earth other than a very very minimal tug of gravity to keep as as part of a galaxy, but what I'm really wondering is, apart from the physical presence celestial bodies play on our solar system and earth, how does that in anyway effect my personality, my future or other intangibles?

      November 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Answer

      Well Hippy, you do have an interesting point.

      We couldn't explain why such objects can affect us but we shouldn't discount on how to figure it out. It could be possible (just random thoughts here) that such bodies of matter block the paths of ejected sub-atomic particles from far off systems, or that gravity is grabbing and influencing directional changes of such things. When you realize that all these are possible answers we can not just simply attribute it to astrology. Yes you could say that the 'cards' you see when you have say Mercury or our Moon is in alignment with the Earth does something to help us out, but I wouldn't say it was what you people had predictions were correct. We just do not fully know the sequences of interplaying sub-atomics and the other forces inherent in the universe. That's my opinion.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      like i said, i am still learning, so i bet my answers suck and are lacking of any help.. sry, the best i can offer for an answer to that chuckles is research when people are born and the jobs they end up working – its rather interesting....

      November 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Answer

      Hey Hippy you may want to do an interesting search on the references on "people's last names" vs "what they have as jobs". It's a funny read. Like some people have unique last names that associate with 'garbage' really end up doing those types of jobs and that they enjoy it. 🙂

      Something silly. I don't know the links.. one time or other I did find. A pleasant read nonetheless.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      My chart says that I'm supposed to be a judge or somehow put my skill as a judge to preside over matters that need judgement. I think I personally have an overdeveloped sense of judgement and so try to balance everything, but as far as putting that into my work.....well lets just say I have 0 intention of every going to law school or becoming a judge at all. I do like @Answer's idea though that there are sub-atomic particles at work that we might not know about. For instance we have for the past 700,000 years had a constant stream of energy hitting the earth from the center of the galaxy. Whatever is emitted (if anything is at all) from the center of the galaxy has been hitting us. However, soon our sun is going to pass directly between us and the galatic center, shielding us for a time. This event is supposed to happen......you guessed it, Dec. 21 2012......

      November 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, yeah, i have known of 2012 dec 21 for a long time... heres the funny part i see in it... it was a prophecy made by Chilam Balam , a mayan, about the event there math was well beyond our own and they sadly have not been wrong yet – i have studied what they used to make such prophecies, i have the very durgs at my house...only i suck at math. 😦 ... do you find it crazy that they knew about the cosmic event 600 years before we did, and they used divinition and astrology to find it out?

      November 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      I honestly maintain that the mayans had a leg up from extraterrestrials in the math section (obviously not the war department) because their math is incredibly precise for a culture with a very small amount of tools, not to mention their dubious disappearance. Then again I believe that we've already made first contact and there's a conspiracy to suppress the knowledge, maybe because of the implications of the sort of tech we would get our hands on that could destroy the earth or something. I know I sound like a loon, but I have to disagree with stephen hawking that if we were to ever come into contact with an alien species with them landing on earth it would be like the conquistadores and native americans. I think it's a very earth-centric way of thinking and we can't even began to try and foresee what an alien lifeform desire would be when he landed

      November 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh chuckles... and you make fun of me! lol its cool, i feel the same way about a lot of cultures... or rather, just one – Atlantis, if it did exist and fell like it was said to have fallen, then it makes perfect sense that cultures around the globe would have equal ideas and tech... which, they seemly did till around 2000 bc, all execpt the mayan, they still had there math, but a culture once existed where they lived – the temple of the moon and temple of the sun – that whole area was NOT built by them... they found it and made it theres! Just more conjecture for me to dwell on while i trip out again tonight. 🙂

      November 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy,

      Fair enough, you like astrology, I like alein conspiracy theories, some people like jesus, we all have our little imaginary theories, though I can honestly not even take myself seriously when I talk about alien conspiracy theories because they sound so hairbrained but whatever, aliens are most certainly real and I won't stop believing no matter how many times the white house says it isn't true, what I'm fascinated to know is, do you think its possible for humanoid species to evolve on other planets and if so does that make us less special or unique? I would absolutely love to see a bipedal species that look sort of human to be discovered, the religious implication would be....well it would be astounding to say the least.

      November 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well for starters, i think its complete arrogance to think that we our alone in the universe. So yes, i believe in aliens. I also share your feelings on many cultures being either started by or just influenced by "other beings". Easily a basis for religion using god as the sky dude, creator of stuff if it was an alien race. I think it would be the most comical event if they came down and took the claim that they not god created us... i would just die laughing. Then as childish as could be – i would run up to religious people and say IN YOUR FACE! Yes, i am not above peity victories! 🙂 But the chances of them being anything like us is rare when you use our planetary species as a basis for what they could look like – perahaps a jellyfish, or a crocadile, you get me point – i am tempted to do numerous movie lines but i will resist....I personally feel that they would be nothing like us for we burn WAYYYYY too much energy doing nothing – cold blooded makes more sense, and small... to conserve as much energy as possible... or they could just be energy... or maybe machines but yet like the transformers.. its completely impossible to guess – but the idea of us – alone – thats just crap... even in the bible is speaks of flying wheels of fire the carried whoever it was off... it says he walked with god, but we know the truth – damn aliens again! I don't really tell anyone but i have long passed my don't tell-0-meter on this board – sooooo, i have seen a ufo once.. my father did to, as well as his father...yet no one else on our family, and i have uncles and a brother... so it seems odd, but whatever. life is pointless and i have thumbs , so there! 🙂

      November 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      The only reason I believe that aliens would look humanoid is specifically because of religious people claiming that god came out of the sky on fire and blah blah blah and he "made us in his image". I wouldn't say they would look exactly human, still very unhuman like in fact, but at least walks on two legs, has opposable thumbs ..., I like where your heads at on the whole warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded thing, but who knows how their biology works, perhaps they could be both, or neither. One thing I always try to do when discussing aliens is to make sure that anyone involved should know that aliens can evolved in any type of state and we should never use earth as a litmus test in discussing the possibilities and impossibilities of extraterrestrial life.

      I also won't lie and at the risk of sounding completely insane (if I haven't already reached it that is) It could be aliens that was the kicker for human civ or.....wait for it.....time travel. Yeah, sounds crazy but hear me out. We've just found that there is something in the universe (neutrons) that may be able to break the cosmic speed limit. If thats true, time travel backwards in time is in the realm of possibility. We also forecast that soon we'll reach the singularity, where the human body will meld with machine. Who's to know when time travel will be invented when we can create machines that are capable of outthinking humans? Now, if we traveled back in time, how would we as humans look to humans back then? Like gods, in our vehicles capable of flight. We have the information of the internet at our fingertips, think if we could actually store that info within our bodies and recall it with perfection? We go back far enough and regardless of what we do, there are only a small amount of eye witnesses who can't fully explain what they see and so make up stories to explain the unexplainable.

      Now you're going to point out issues with the space-time continum, paradoxes and the like. Here's my answer: I maintain that time is more fluid than the rigidity that is generally attributed to it. For instance, if you go back in time, say 9,000 years from now, regardless of what you do, time has to still include you within it, you still must be born, live and have the ability to travel back in time to create the initial event in order for the event to happen right? This might not be true the closer you get to your own lifetime though. I liken it to tossing a stone upstream. Wherever the stone lands will make a splash and disrupt the imediate surroundings, but move downstream and the stone has little to no effect at all. If man were to really go back a couple of thousand years and interfere with ancient man, do you think the ancients would have any concept? Or do you think the best and only way to make sense of it is to make these men gods....

      Keep in mind these are ideas that just rattle around in my head all day and I usually get looks of concern when I vocalize them, but I will not stop!

      November 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well i could state the grandfather paradox but i think you are familar with it... so moving on – we can time travel at this very moment – the faster we move the slower time moves, so if your in an airplane then you are timertaveling... but thats not as fun as sci-fi makes it look. And the particals have been found and named i though- i no longer get the science mags anymore, its history mags now – 😦

      when you say that the aliens would look like us because of the bible, you are impling that it would be the same species of alien to visit... again, thats a possiblity, but unlikely. And as far as i know, backwards travel is impossible, but who knows what the future will hold. i want to keep this going, but i need to get home... if the inlaws are gone... i hope so, i will post again, if not – kill me!

      November 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Chuckles, I absolutely believe that the gov't has hidden some sort of technology, alien or creation information from the public. I live near a large NASA facility and we've had lots of strange things happen this year-that and the strange rumors going around from the MI folks. The soldier that was arrested by the FBI up in Alaska a few weeks ago had been calling his family and warning them of a coming disaster (he didn't know the details). Unfortunately I think Hippy's right about that 2012 prophecy, the Mayans were never wrong.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      Chuckles, forgot to add that I agree with you about the fluidity of time. I just got into an argument with my son (he studies astronautical engineering) over my theory, he said that he just can't acknowledge that time may move more slowly or quickly here on Earth according to events in the universe. I definitely think time is currently speeding up. Check out NOAA space weather and the NASA websites. lots of info on the thinning of and the holes in the earth's geomagnetic field, and other cool things that we should know.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yup, i agree too that the gov. is hiding things.. under the freedom of information act we get papers with a heading and then backouted everything else..... so they are defintly hiding stuff. But we have to wait till it no longer matters to know what!

      thank you AnnaMaria44, i always enjoy hearing i'm right. 🙂 lol actually i'm kidding about that, i much prefer to hear i'm wrong so i then can be corrected so i can learn...being right only makes me look smug, when infact i am anything but.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  11. Brad

    In Today's Opinion (Slate-William Saletan): Ron Paul's was the lone voice of dissent against theocracy (no less) at the Thanksgiving Family Forum: "people should be allowed to make bad decisions, that freedom of choice in religious matters should extend to atheists." I'm rarely in agreement with Ron Paul, but I'll go along with that. For the sake of argument, let's look at the first bit more closely. Actually, let's isolate it: Should people be allowed to make bad decisions?

    November 22, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Mirosal

      Every 2 years they make bad decisions, and every 4 years they make different bad decisions .. it's called "an election".

      November 22, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So long as those bad decisions cause no harm to others, what business is it of the government's?

      "Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop. Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good."
      – Robert Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress)

      November 22, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • William Demuth

      Brad

      Bad decisions are a relative concept.

      I don't want to sound trite, but EXACTLY who decides good or bad?

      Freedom means being able to do as one pleases. Anything that infringes on that basic idea is an infringement of freedoms.

      Granted, this is necessary for an orderly society, so the real question is how do we limit peoples freedoms?

      All actions have consequences, even the most benign, yet if we embrace freedom, we must collectively intervene as little as possible.

      Ponder this:

      By removing people’s ability to make “bad” choices, aren’t we simply removing their ability to make ANY choice?

      Tread lightly, lest you find ALL of your personal choices shall be made by others.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • IntlPol101

      Doc, forgot to tell you yesterday I enjoyed your posting, "I saw Jesus' face in my towel" reminds of a news story last year. Apparently a family in Poland, I think- saw Jesus' face in a bowl of oatmeal and had placed it in a shrine. One, who really knows what Jesus looked like? and yes this was actually on the national news. I laughed until I cried.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @IntlPol101
      I love stuff like that!
      There's a couple in South Carolina who say that Jesus appeared on their Wal-Mart receipt earlier this year.
      Here's a quote from an interview with them:
      "There's tons of people who will say, 'Oh, we're in the Bible Belt,' but here's my question to the doubters, who else has the power to put their face on a check-out receipt but Jesus?"

      November 22, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Brad

      There are several things going on in this fragment of Ron Paul. First, should anyone be in a position to allow or prevent the making of decisions of any kind?

      November 22, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Intl Pol101

      Doc, that's a great one! Will pass it along. Brad, a "bad decision" is too subjective. I really don't want to live in a police state.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • William Demuth

      It's all about price.

      You can do anything you can afford to.

      Murder included.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      I rather enjoyed this question: "I don't want to sound trite, but EXACTLY who decides good or bad?"

      I suppose, on a secular level, society and the government (which are supposed to be one and the same, but let's be honest, they're not). On a theological level, the chosen deity of that religion. Or perhaps the universe (if I understand karma correctly, but I do not claim to be a scholar on the subject).

      But let's focus on the secular level. Would you sell all of your earthly possessions to buy lottery tickets? That's a pretty bad decision, considering, the likelihood of that panning out well is pretty remote.

      Would you say, hand a loaded firearm to a two year old?

      I think we can qualify the idea of a bad decision to: An action that is most likely to have negative repercussions.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Nobodhi

      This discussion has focused on defining "bad" but here are two other perspectives. Does something have to be objectively "bad" for people to stop someone else from doing it. I personally don't think so. We can come to an agreement as a group of people living together that we will refrain from certain behaviors – taking each others' property for example. I don't think we need a universal moral code to do so.

      My second thought is that you use the word "we" and don't define it. Who is the "we" that should (or not) stop people from making bad decisions?

      November 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Brad

      Nobodhi

      I didn't refer to "we" -the question is more general than that: "Should people be allowed to make bad decisions?" By whom? By anyone who can allow (or prevent) bad decision-making. Let's assume that all of the following have this ability once they've established that a decision is bad by whatever standards they use: "right-thinking" people, the majority and God . What about the "should" part of the question.

      November 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Nobodhi

      Brad
      You're right. I mentally inserted the "we." hmmm. Interesting.

      I think the question of "should" falls back into the trap of a universal moral standard. For me "should" implies an objective right and wrong. I prefer the question "what will I or we choose to do?" I like this because "choose" implies accountability. I worry that "should" oriented thinking encourages people to shift responsibility to outside sources – God, Nature- whatever the source of the universal moral code implied. If I decide to stop someone from making a bad decision, then I accept responsibility for expressing and defending my definition of "bad" and any consequences, including unintended ones, of my limiting another's freedom. If I claim God told me to do it, then it's Gods fault if it goes horribly wrong.

      November 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • DrogueShoot

      There are NO moral absolutes! NONE.

      Moral relativism is what EVERYBODY including YOU uses in this universe.

      You can screech about your "god" and whatever written trash you worship all you want, but the FACT remains that there are NO moral absolutes AT ALL.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  12. Gumbulan

    Good Morning Vietnam!

    November 22, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • hippypoet

      What's the weather like out there? "It's hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking." Well, can you tell me what it feels like. "Fool, it's hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It's damn hot! I saw – It's so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It's that hot! Do you know what I'm talking about." What do you think it's going to be like tonight? "It's gonna be hot and wet! That's nice if you're with a lady, but it ain't no good if you're in the jungle."

      November 22, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • William Demuth

      Hippy

      Did you know Adrian was a republican?

      He is still upset the Robin portrayed him as a liberal.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • hippypoet

      that i didn't know...but i don't think that role could have been pulled off like robin did it! that was one of the funniest damn movies i have ever seen!

      November 22, 2011 at 10:31 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.