We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I agree with Barone that you would think the Taliban had come to town, if you go by the headlines. It seems to me that it's all political scare tactics. When Dems like Clinton used Christian moral arguments to support a goal, no-one complained. When Repubs do the same, it's suddenly creeping theocracy.
Politicans tend to use "situational ethics". They want to win elections and keep their jobs. So if they apply religious moral principles, even if only as window-dressing, voters ought to be at least a bit pleased - not fearful. The real issue is that the Left is ticked off about the 23% evangelical voters who don't see the world their way, but they don't know how to deal with it and become shrill and hysterical and throw a tantrum. The message is that it's OK to appeal to unions, or the AARP, or the ACLU, or the NAACP, etc., but it's not OK to appeal to the views of voters who go to church. But 70% of voters go to church, believing or hoping that there is more to life than self-interest and materialism.
"The real question is whether strong religious belief is on the rise in America and the world. Fifty years ago, secular liberals were confident that education, urbanization and science would lead people to renounce religion. That seems to have happened, if you confine your gaze to Europe, Canada and American university faculty clubs.
But this movement has not been as benign as expected: The secular faiths of fascism and communism destroyed millions of lives before they were extinguished.
America has not moved in the expected direction. In fact, just the opposite. Economist Robert Fogel's "The Fourth Great Awakening" argues that we've been in the midst of a religious revival since the 1950s, in which, as in previous revivals, "the evangelical churches represented the leading edge of an ideological and political response to accumulated technological and social changes that undermined the received culture." " Read entire.
And an amusing piece on the subect that has been floating around the b-world by a Charlie Otto, via Borowitz Report:
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE VANISHES, REPLACED BY NEW ENTITY CALLED STURCH
Will Offer Salvation, Motor Vehicle Renewals on Sunday
The separation of church and state, long considered a hallmark of American democracy, vanished early Sunday morning, replaced by a new institution called sturch.
Scientists at the Clausen Observatory at the University of Minnesota, who for years have been monitoring a widening hole in the wall separating church and state, said that the wall disappeared entirely on Sunday morning shortly after 8:00 (EST).
"We first noticed the hole in the wall developing about four years ago," said the University of Minnesota's Davis Logsdon. "But now it's pretty much no wall and all hole."
While the exact shape and dimensions of the new church-state entity, sturch, remain to be determined, President Bush today installed as its official leader the Reverend Bill Frist (R-Tenn), the star player in this week's "Justice Sunday" broadcast.
At a formal swearing-in ceremony at the former White House, now called the Big White Cathedral, Rev. Frist said that jettisoning the wall between church and state would benefit all Americans "except those who are anti-faith, and they know who they are."
He added that by combining the two traditionally separate institutions, sturch would allow congregants to seek salvation and motor vehicle renewals on Sunday without leaving their pews.
As for the longstanding debate over taxing places of worship, Rev. Frist said, "Since sturch is part of the government, it will be collecting taxes, not paying them, thank you very much!" "