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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, August 25, 2008

Prager in Denver

The Democrat National Convention will be held in Denver this week. I have been in many discussions with individuals who insist that political ideology is neutral, but it is my contention that a person's political convictions reflects his or her worldview values.

To get a flavor of what I mean, I encourage readers to catch some of Dennis Prager's radio program this week. He will be doing his talk show from Denver, as will a lot of national talk shows; however, what I appreciate about Dennis is the time he spends pulling aside the regular Democrat folks attending from their small towns and interviewing them as to why they are Democrats as opposed to Republicans or some third party. Dennis did this in 2004, and without fail, with maybe an exception or two, the first answer everyone gave as to why they adhere to the Democrat platform is because they despise evangelical Christians. I see "evangelical Christians" as code word for something much deeper: A hatred for God. That is not to say Republicans and other conservative third party supporters don't share the same dislike of God, but it is startling to hear it come from the mouth of these people as the "first" reason why they are Democrats.

You can listen live via the Internet HERE. Prager broadcasts from 9 AM to 12 Pm Pacific Coast Time, which means if you live in the central time zone, that is 11 AM to 2 PM, or the eastern time zone, 12 PM to 3 PM. (Just in case you forgot the world is round and don't know how to figure out that time zone thing). If you live outside the U.S. of by God A., then you are on your own to figure out time differences and all.

Or podcast the individual episodes later in the day located HERE.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Steven said...

I find it interesting that you equate a dislike of evangelicalism with hating God. You're creating a false dicotomy. I dislike evangelical theology a lot, and I think it's wrong on too many levels to even begin to list. That is also why I no longer vote republican. When the republican party started trying to appeal heavily to evangelicals it abandoned the conservative principles set forth by Barry Goldwater, in favor of a mish mash of God and Country jingostic nationalism that has nothing to do with what conservatism is about. These days the democrats, as bad as they are, are actually more closely in line with the conservative principles that I grew up with (but only barely). I don't hate God, and I never have, but I'm quite beffudled by the words and actions of those who think they have a better idea of God wants compared to someone else.

As for Dennis Prager, he is one of the sloppiest conservative "thinkers" on the air today. Even in death, William F. Buckley runs circles around Prager.

2:47 PM, August 25, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Steven,
Perhaps I should had been more specific and I can amend my post. First, I agree with you. I can't stand "evangelical" Red State Christians anymore than you. Phil Johnson, if you regularly read Pyromanics, articulates a lot of my sentiment well with regards to evangelicals.

In this context, Prager would press these individuals and it was more than just Red State evangelicals, but religiosity in any context. It was clear from their responses they had bitterness toward God, and "evangelicals" "fundamentalists" some even saying "literal biblicists" was their punching bag for God.

As for the Democrats being more in line with the conservatism you remember I find hard to believe. Since when has conservatism been defined as Marxist and leftist European in its values?

As for Prager being a sloppy conservative, I would imagine that is your opinion. He is not a Christian, and I disagree with him on a lot of stuff. Buckley as far as I know, may had been "Christian," but he was not biblically grounded in his argumentation from the stuff I have read of him. Correct me if I am wrong. On issues I think are important that transcend my Faith and his, he articulates himself well and has valued insight from a guy who is spiritually lost.

3:36 PM, August 25, 2008  
Blogger Steven said...

Fred,

I would be very careful of reading too much into the responses of people when pressed by Mr. Prager. I think there are a lot of people that have become hypersensitized to religion both pro and con, that has led to a kind of mob mentality on the subject. I've seen that sort of thing happen before, where people can get a little nuts about a subject when but under pressure, but are able to come to much saner conclusions when they calm down.

Let me put it this way. Look at the results in the last two presidential elections. The reality is that the republican party won the popular vote by a lot slimmer margins even in the so-called red states than what the electoral college results indicate. In other words, if this hatred of God were really as rampant in the democratic party as Mr. Prager's interviews indicated, then radicalized crazy democrats would be burning down churches all over the place all the time. But that really isn't happening though is it? So there is, in fact, a pretty big difference between the picture that is often being painted of democrats in the "conservative" media vs. the reality.

Which relates perfectly to your accusation that the democrats are Marxists. Honestly, that really is a rediculous accusation. That's exactly the sort of over the top hyperbole from news media pundits (and their neocon republican backers) that made me leave the republican party, and made me question which party is truly against our republican democracy. The repeated name calling like this has gone beyond the point of merely being critical to outright dishonesty, and that kind of dishonesty has become an implicit part of the republican platform that has served no purpose but to undermine political debate in this country to the point where no sane debate can occur anymore.

There's a lot to dislike about the democrats, but I don't see them undermining the ideals of the constition in this country the way the republicans have over the last 30 years and particularly in the last 8.

5:34 PM, August 25, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I would be very careful of reading too much into the responses of people when pressed by Mr. Prager. I think there are a lot of people that have become hypersensitized to religion both pro and con, that has led to a kind of mob mentality on the subject. I've seen that sort of thing happen before, where people can get a little nuts about a subject when but under pressure, but are able to come to much saner conclusions when they calm down.

(Fred) Though I certainly understand people reacting emotionally to religious ideology, which I believe even state emotionally, still reflects the values of their heart, in this instance, it would help for you to hear the interviews rather than state opinion out of ignorance. It was quite clear that there was a steady disdain for any expression of religiosity in politics or in society. It was beyond just not liking Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. It spoke to a worldview commitment.

Let me put it this way. Look at the results in the last two presidential elections. The reality is that the republican party won the popular vote by a lot slimmer margins even in the so-called red states than what the electoral college results indicate.

(Fred) The 2000 election was between a VP coming off a popular presidency against a rather unknown Texas governor whose only notoriety was being the son of the president who got beat by the popular president to whom the VP served. The 2000 election should had been a cake walk for Gore. It wasn't. a more accurate way to state your comment is that it was the Democrat party loosing the popular vote by a much greater margin. The 2004 election, which Bush carried the majority, was a year when an unpopular war plagued the presidency. Yet he still won.

Which relates perfectly to your accusation that the democrats are Marxists. Honestly, that really is a rediculous accusation. That's exactly the sort of over the top hyperbole from news media pundits (and their neocon republican backers) that made me leave the republican party, and made me question which party is truly against our republican democracy. The repeated name calling like this has gone beyond the point of merely being critical to outright dishonesty, and that kind of dishonesty has become an implicit part of the republican platform that has served no purpose but to undermine political debate in this country to the point where no sane debate can occur anymore.

(Fred) I wonder if you understand what Marxism is as a philosophy for you to react so to my comment. It makes me wonder if you know what "neocon" is code word for for you to just throw it out like that. Be that as it may, the Democrats have constantly advocated the notion of class warfare and a need to humiliate the wealthy. Their emphasis has traditionally been that poor people are the way they are because they "have-not" and having more money, taken from the wealthy, will better the morality of the poor. Their pro-Union sympathies show this to be true. Additionally, they promote an egalitarianism that if the laws they wish to pass in order to bolster this egalitarianism are passed will most certainly stifle personal freedom and liberty, let alone increase taxes, that they will most certainly be violating the constitution. The latest judicial decisions coming out of CA are a good indicator where our country will head if a Democratic led congress has their way. So when I say they are Marxist in their philosophy of life, I truly mean it and I believe the facts of what they have done and what they have historically stood for prove my accusation.

8:52 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Steven said...

Though I certainly understand people reacting emotionally to religious ideology, which I believe even state emotionally, still reflects the values of their heart, in this instance, it would help for you to hear the interviews rather than state opinion out of ignorance. It was quite clear that there was a steady disdain for any expression of religiosity in politics or in society. It was beyond just not liking Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. It spoke to a worldview commitment.

That's a pretty remarkable thing to say given the way that many conservative Christians react to the idea of say atheism. By this logic, the so called new atheists should probably be even more militant than they are because of the evil often displayed in the hearts of many Christians towards such atheists. I don't believe for a second that more Christians actually have such horrible thoughts about atheists, but by your logic, we should conclude that they do.

It wasn't. a more accurate way to state your comment is that it was the Democrat party loosing the popular vote by a much greater margin.

That's a ridiculous argument. Using that logic, the George Bush Sr's loss to Bill Clinton should've been a cake walk as well. Bill Clinton was an even lesser known governor than George Bush was. The popular vote is the popular vote, and you're trying to distort it into meaning something that it clearly does not.

As for Marxism, I have to wonder if *you* understand Marxism. Even if the accusations that you lay out against the democratic party are true, those aren't the ideas about class warfare that Marx identified.

And neocon is not a code word. Neoconservatism is a pretty well defined political theory first formulated by Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol. I suggest you read up on it, particularly Kristol's and Strauss' views on who knows what the right political policies are and how those people should implement them. Then you should also take a look at who their students were. I think you'll find that you'll probably agree with me that these folks are undermining our democracy, in a way that is actually far worse than what the democrats are at this particular time. Note: I didn't say that the democrats aren't undermining democracy, only that the way that they are doing it is much easier to see. I'd rather have a democrat in office where I can see what he's doing and keep him in check than an elitist neoconservative who thinks they know better than the public at large what the right policies are and who have no qualms with manipulating public opinion and distorting facts to allow them to proceed with their agenda, rather than providing the public with a reasoned and fact based argument to support their agenda.

In other words, neither the democrats or the republicans are worthy of our trust, but the republicans are least trustworthy at this point in time due to the influence of neoconservatism. If the republicans threw the neocons out of the party, I'd be the first in line to reregister my party affiliation. They have not done this, and therefore, I won't be voting for them until they do.

7:38 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

That's a ridiculous argument. Using that logic, the George Bush Sr's loss to Bill Clinton should've been a cake walk as well. Bill Clinton was an even lesser known governor than George Bush was. The popular vote is the popular vote, and you're trying to distort it into meaning something that it clearly does not.

If you recall, Bush the first ran a second term against Clinton and Perot. The first term win was against Dukakis (sp) and it was a cake walk. By the second time Bush the first had done many foolish things that alienated conservatives, including the raising of taxes and cutting the military which Clinton continued. Perot had the money to insert himself as a third party candidate in order to split the conservative vote. Clinton only won the popular vote by by an extremely slim margin that was maybe around 40 percent.

As for Marxism, I have to wonder if *you* understand Marxism. Even if the accusations that you lay out against the democratic party are true, those aren't the ideas about class warfare that Marx identified.

So what sort of class warfare did Marx identify that is different than the class warfare advocated by the Democrats which I have heard repeated constantly this time around at their convention? Educate us.

And neocon is not a code word. Neoconservatism is a pretty well defined political theory first formulated by Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol.

Perhaps, but those who seriously use the word "neocon," especially those from the liberal left, utilize it to speak of those involved with Jewish conspiracies and Zionism. Hence, individuals with anti-Semitic tendencies have the idea of a "neocon" as being a Jew or subservient to Jewish interests.

In other words, neither the democrats or the republicans are worthy of our trust, but the republicans are least trustworthy at this point in time due to the influence of neoconservatism. If the republicans threw the neocons out of the party, I'd be the first in line to reregister my party affiliation. They have not done this, and therefore, I won't be voting for them until they do.

The radical Marxists in the Democrat party are a much more realistic threat to the freedoms we enjoy than "neocons." That is because the policies they strive to implement will have real time detrimental effects on my way of living. Neocons, for example, don't want to control the thermostat in my house with a radio transmitter. Neocons will not diminish the quality of my health care. The list could go on.

8:33 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Steven said...

Perhaps, but those who seriously use the word "neocon," especially those from the liberal left, utilize it to speak of those involved with Jewish conspiracies and Zionism. Hence, individuals with anti-Semitic tendencies have the idea of a "neocon" as being a Jew or subservient to Jewish interests.

Name one person that uses the term neocon in an anti-semetic fashion. I have never heard it used in that way. Not once.

That is because the policies they strive to implement will have real time detrimental effects on my way of living. Neocons, for example, don't want to control the thermostat in my house with a radio transmitter. Neocons will not diminish the quality of my health care. The list could go on.

Name one democrat that has introduced legislation trying to exert the kind of control you are talking about. This is right wing paranoia of the highest order. In many respects the republican party is already well on the way to socialized medicine, does the medicare prescription drug plan ring any bells? That's one gigantic boondoggle that they completely lied about, incompetently implemented, and is now costing us far more money than it should have, and it degrades the access to health care for those of us stuck paying for it by taking money out of our pockets.

10:39 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Name one person that uses the term neocon in an anti-semetic fashion. I have never heard it used in that way. Not once.

You don't read the Daily Kos or any other left wing leaning blogs? What about Louis Farrakhan and a host of other black activists and democratic officials?

Name one democrat that has introduced legislation trying to exert the kind of control you are talking about.

Hello? The entire democratic legislature in the state of California? The only reason it was opposed was due to bloggers and new media reporting it. Neocons also don't want to re-invent and make-up and entirely new understanding of marriage by providing homosexuals with super-rights.

10:20 AM, August 29, 2008  

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