9.14.2012

quote of the year

"You can be a religionist in a secular government. But you can't be a secularist in a theocracy."

--RW

I cannot improve upon that.

19 comments:

Mr. D said...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer had no comment.

RW said...

And of course Nazi Germany was the epitome of pluralistic utopia. Give me a break.

Brian said...

The Nazis weren't secular. Their religion was Germany, their god was Hitler, and Goebels was his prophet.

RW said...

There has been such a concerted effort to equate liberalism with Nazism that actual history has become lost on folks.

Nazism was a state built on conservative, nationalist, and exceptionalist principles. Which of course, to those who would also like to get rid of the Dept. of Education to help smooth along the transition to national stupidity (and therefore further their ends), is exactly what President Obama is all about too.

Holy smoke... and mirrors...

Mr. D said...

Y'all are missing my point. Or, rather, two points.

1) Secularism is not the same as pluralism. And secular governments can be just as repressive as theocracies. And there's no such thing as a "pluralistic utopia." Or any utopia, for that matter. Human beings aren't capable of creating utopia anywhere.

2) The problem isn't the theology or philosophy, the problem is the application of power.

And by the by, I'm not equating liberalism or secularism with Nazism. The same point and repression applies to priests in Cuba (secular) and Iran (theocracy).

And that's all I have to say about that.

RW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RW said...

We missed the point about secularism not being the same as pluralism because you just now mentioned it. It being no where in your original comment. So I'm assuming you are just in backtrack mode, flailing around to recover after making what is, quite frankly, a glib - and failed - attempt to post a one liner that cures all.

And the idea that "the problem is the application of power"can also nowhere be discerned from your failed one liner either, for that matter.

So whatever points we missed were missed because you never made them.

I'm frankly getting a little tired of having to deal with conservatives who think they're just so bloody smart, when it turns out they don't know a thing about what they're trying to say or, for that matter, what they did or didn't say at all.

The idea that bandying about Dietrich Bonhoeffer's name to refute an idea that theocracy doesn't allow someone to be a secularist is just plain silly. And all this wiggling doesn't fix your mistake.

You should be ashamed of yourself thinking intelligent people would buy this equivocation.

Mr. D said...

RW, try the decaf. You're making about a half dozen assumptions about my original post that aren't there.

RW said...

Mr. D, try the non-alcoholic beer. Then explain to me how I missed your point about the difference between secularism and pluralism, and then how I missed your idea that the problem is in the application of power when all you said was "Dietrich Bonhoeffer had no comment."

In one breath you're asking me to read things into your statement, and the next time you're telling me I'm reading things that aren't there.

Maybe if you weren't so cryptic, or such a flop at one liners, I'd know which way your head is pointed toward.

Mr. D said...

In one breath you're asking me to read things into your statement, and the next time you're telling me I'm reading things that aren't there.

I didn't ask you to read anything into the initial statement. You chose to do so. When you did it, I decided to explain it because I believed you misinterpreted my meaning. And you chose not to accept the explanation. Still don't, apparently.

I disagree with the one-liner you wrote and that our host posted. You disagree with the one I posted in response. That's all this is, RW. If you choose to bring in additional baggage from other discussions you've had with other people at other times, that's your deal. In the immortal words of Chuck Berry, live how you wanna live.

RW said...

And like Led Zepplin sang, your time is gonna come.

So I apologize for not seeing everything you never mentioned I was supposed to "get" in your cleverly nuanced initial comment.

And then I also apologize for reading too much into the next thing you didn't say either.

Boy, I'm such a shit.

Bike Bubba said...

OK, let's try being a religious man in the secular utopias of the old Warsaw Pact, or for that matter, China, Vietnam, or Cuba today.

Or, as a worker at the USSR pavilion at a World's Fair a few years back said to a good friend of mine, "We do not carry anything by Solzhenitsyn in our bookstore." Reality is that the 20th Century demonstrates that secularist bigotry can be pretty darned brutal.

RW said...

You men like the guy who ended up being Pope?

Bike Bubba said...

I'll match the tens of thousands in the Crusades and Inquisitions, and I'll raise you twenty million in Stalin's purges, ten million in Lenin's war on the Kulaks, and fifty to one hundred million in the Cultural Revolution, Reign of Terror, and Khmer Rouge.

Brian said...

Secular government =/= officially atheist. It means that government and religious spheres are separated.

The United States, (constitutionally at least) is a secular government. "No religious test" and whatnot.

I can't speak to China or Cuba (haven't been there) but I was proselytized by Christians more times in two weeks in Vietnam than I have been in Seattle in nearly three years.

RW said...

Take it easy there, cupcake, who the hell is talking about the Crusades? People who use the Crusades and Inquisition to condemn Christianity don't know the facts. So whatever that has to do with what we're talking about, I guess, will have to remain a mystery inside your own little one-note, pea-brained head.

The Crusades were a political gambit that used religion as an excuse to coalesce a fracturing support base the Papacy was concerned about. A generalist as innocuous as Durant will tell you as much. Neither the Crusades or the Inquisition had anything to do with real Christianity itself, but more to do with the application of Christianity as it served political ends desired by fallible men. More like Pat Robertson's MO than Christ's.

For some reason you and Dr Doom up there have this pathological need to equate secularism with totalitarianism. God knoweth why.

The larger point I was making is that you reactionaries here in America are just two steps away from the Taliban. If you could get away with it you would intimidate people into silence. If you could get away with it you would impose your religious values on everybody. If you could get away with it you would deny citizenship to anyone who wouldn't profess for Jesus. That is, that's all I can assume, because a real patriot wouldn't argue against secularism - which was one of the intents of the Constitution.

I'm against religious bigots. You support them. That's all we need to know.

Mr. D said...

For some reason you and Dr Doom up there have this pathological need to equate secularism with totalitarianism. God knoweth why.

Wrong again. Although I'm glad to know that offering a disagreement with something you say is somehow "pathological."

Bike Bubba said...

Brian; yes, secular government is not always a dictatorship of the officially atheistic proleteriat, but the dictatorship of the officially atheistic proletariat is in fact one of the forms of secular government. So if you want to talk about how "benevolent" secular government is, you've got to address that data point. A couple hundred million people who died too early are examples of how secular government is NOT always benevolent.

Which means that at some point, one must deal with the fact that if you want to argue for secular government, maybe it's time to define exactly what you want, and exactly how it's not going to become a dictatorship of the officially atheistic proletariat. If you're in doubt why, ask homeschoolers from Germany and Sweden.

Brian said...

Bubba, it occurs to me that I did RW's point a great disservice by excerpting a pithy sentence which I admired.

If you read the actual post (which you pretty clearly have not bothered to do, or at least not with any comprehension) the context is instructive. To wit:

We need to maintain the secular nature of our laws and government. A person's religious ideals are perfectly correct when applied to their conscience. But laws must protect everyone. Not just rich Christians...

The best way to protect religious freedom is to have a secular government. You can be a religionist in a secular government. But you can't be a secularist in a theocracy.


(Emphases added.)

If you construe such a definition of secular government to in any way include the totalitarians you insist on invoking, you are simply being thick.