Fighting Inequality in Two Americas

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We are living in two Americas at once. One is progressive where politicians and states move towards equality, same-sex marriage is becoming legal one state at a time, abortion rights move in favor of a woman’s choice, and marijuana is becoming legal making this victimless “crime” a crime no longer.

 

This is the America many of us dream of, a steady progression, or evolution of ideas and acceptance. It moves towards treating all people equal, giving them autonomy over their own bodies and removing stigmas from substances that have been proven to cause no harm.

 

Then we have America number two. This is the America that looks back at the 30s, 40s, and 50s and remember a different time. Not exactly historically accurate, but one they remember as a conservative utopia. Women did not have the rights they have now, minorities were told their place in society, and homosexuals were forced into their closets or faced severe persecution. A time when, thanks to the red scare, God was affirmed to be in charge of our country and specially blessed our nation for how pure we thought we were.

 

This America has states and politicians removing rights from women and making access to reproductive healthcare harder, if not purely impossible. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) has endorsed personhood bills that specify life begins at the moment of conception, making abortion murder, and therefor illegal.

 

In this America they amend their state constitutions (and for a while, the federal one too) to define marriage between one man and one women, making same-sex marriage illegal.

 

Or look over to Virginia, who tried to bring back an overturned law that outlawed sodomy and oral sex. A clear move to make it illegal for same-sex couples to have sex together.

 

This second America also fights tooth and nail to undo the secular educational system in this country in order to remove the secular history of our nation. It would rather retell a story that involves a Christian founding and then remove Charles Darwin from the science class and replace him with an Adam and Eve fairy tale.

 

This second America is America in reverse, and this second America holds back the progression of this country.

 

In this second America you can be fired for standing up against discrimination, or for siding with the minority, or for expressing your first amendment right of free speech.

 

And that is exactly what happened to former NFL punter Chris Kluwe.

 

Kluwe was a punter for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Kluwe also happens to be a very outspoken activist for same-sex rights in this country and was very excited to work with various anti-discrimination organizations to help spread this message.

 

Kluwe was told numerous times by the team to cut out the activism and had to endure homophobic, anti-gay comments from the teams coach, Mike Priefer, comments made because Priefer believed that homosexuality was a sin based on his religious beliefs.


In a recent interview on David Viviano’s “Atheist Hangouts”, Kluwe had this to say about his ex-coach's comments and religious beliefs:

 

“I think that might have been a factor in it because I know that especially with Christianity there is very much, you know, a lot of stuff in the Old Testament about, you know, stone the gays, don’t allow it, homosexuality is a sin, stuff like that,” Kluwe replied. “And it is really unfortunate because there is a lot of very nice people who are Christians who don’t believe that, but there are also a lot of very not nice people who are Christians who do believe that, and they give the other Christians a very bad name.”

 

Kluwe further spoke out against the rise of fundamentalism in this country:

 

“Fundamentalism is never a good thing in history,” he said. “Fundamentalism leads to really terrible things, and so my position has always been: I don’t have any problem whatsoever with religion, I have no problem whatsoever with whatever your beliefs are, all I care about are your actions. What do your actions say about you as a person? Because that is the only way any of us can ever judge each other.”

 

Kluwe even warned that America could be headed into a theocracy, something many other secular advocates have said themselves. Author CJ Werleman had this to say about the Christian rights desire for the future of America, writing for Alternet:

 

“The recent Values Voter Summit demonstrated that the likely 2016 GOP frontrunners have a base wish to transform America’s secular state into a tyrannical theocracy — a nirvana absent gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and science books.”

 

This is the future of America unless secularists, atheists, and humanists get off our hands and take to the streets, take to the polls and start running for office.

 

It is no illusion it is nearly impossible for an atheist to get elected in this country, but as long as we are afraid to run, it’s even more impossible.

 

While we are arguing about the word God on a dollar bill, the religious right is dismantling secularism one brick at a time. They also know there are two Americas and like us, they want to destroy the foundation of the other. They want all same-sex marriage laws overturned and are fighting at the federal level to do so, they want all women’s rights removed and they are fighting at the federal level to do so.

 

So heed the warning of those like Chris Kluwe and CJ Werleman.  Stand up for the oppressed in our nation, because if we do not act now, we will lose the fight and lose all the secular values that have the potential to turn this nation into the greatest and safest nation for all people, regardless of who you love or what reproductive organs you have and turn it into a Christian version of Iran.

 

Constitutional law will be removed and replaced with Biblical law, and if any of you have read the Bible, you know what a treat that is.

 

Dan Arel is a writer and author focusing on science, politics and religion. He is a contributing writer for the Richard Dawkins Foundation and blogs for the Huffington Post and Danthropology. You can contact Dan though his website www.danarel.com, follow him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @danarel.

Written By: Dan Arel
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55 COMMENTS

  1. I think one things that is important to consider here, and maybe publicise in some way is that bigots are not smart.
    It is extremely well documented that being intolerant of diversity and of the novel is associated with lowered intelligence.
    In part at least it is associated with a lack of one of the standard personality dimensions called openness or sometimes intellect.
    So it is pretty obvious from the research. Do you want America to be governed by the dimmer witted?

    • In reply to #1 by rationalmind:

      I think one things that is important to consider here, and maybe publicise in some way is that bigots are not smart.
      It is extremely well documented that being intolerant of diversity and of the novel is associated with lowered intelligence.
      In part at least it is associated with a lack of one of th…

      You are talking about the country that elected George W. Bush twice (Okay, technically only -once- but let’s not split hairs) remember? You know, the guy so dense he couldn’t come to grips with complex words like nuclear or sayings on shame? And why? Well, partly because the average voter figured they could sit down & have a (non-alcoholic) beer with him. There are a not insignificant number of Americans who prefer stupid leaders… and let’s be honest, -every- country has that crowd. As George Carlin once put it “Consider how dumb the average person is. Now consider that half the people in the country are even stupider than that.”

      It’s also a bit of overstatement to label all bigots as stupid. True, many are thicker than a yard of lard, but there are enough of them that can be dangerously intelligent, although encumbered by massive blind spots, to be problematic if you assume they’re all dumb.

    • In reply to #1 by rationalmind:

      I think one things that is important to consider here, and maybe publicise in some way is that bigots are not smart.
      It is extremely well documented that being intolerant of diversity and of the novel is associated with lowered intelligence.
      In part at least it is associated with a lack of one of th…

      While many uber-right, teaparty religiopubs aren’t too bright and come off as retarded, ridiculous clowns, there is far more to this problem than just megachurches and some moronic congresspeople. Working behind the scenes are super-wealthy, cynical sociopaths who form think-tanks and shadowy groups that use the simple-minded and bigoted to further their own aims – which is to make themselves even more wealthy and powerful, and to break down education and human rights laws in this country in order to have, basically, a slave population to support their wealth. I wish this was just a paranoid fantasy, but it’s not.

  2. As someone who lived prior to the popularity of drugs like marijuana, I am not at all convinced at their harmlessness. I have seen people go off track with their lives once they got involved with weed. Of course, that does not happen to everyone but why add one more thing to the list of “legal” drugs which we know can have deleterious effects.

    • By any rational assessment (and I say this as an alcohol drinker and non pot smoker) marijuana has more positives and less negatives going for it than does alcohol. Or certainly tobacco for that matter. In fact a glance at an ‘addictive potential’ chart developed from an article published in The Lancet puts pot/cannabis below both alcohol and tobacco (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substance_dependence). And while you seem to imply that pot is a ruiner of lives by stating that “I have seen people go off track with their lives once they got involved with weed” I would counter that the evidence suggests that ever ubiquitous alcohol and/or tobacco are far more ruinous.

      Marijuana has known medical applications, promotes a peaceable environment and scratching my head I can’t remember the last time I read about someone killed by a “high driver” or a case of pot exclusive lung cancer.

      In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

      As someone who lived prior to the popularity of drugs like marijuana, I am not at all convinced at their harmlessness. I have seen people go off track with their lives once they got involved with weed. Of course, that does not happen to everyone but why add one more thing to the list of “legal” drug…

      • In reply to #4 by Steven007:

        By any rational assessment (and I say this as an alcohol drinker and non pot smoker) marijuana has more positives and less negatives going for it than does alcohol. Or certainly tobacco for that matter. In fact a glance at an ‘addictive potential’ chart developed from an article published in The Lan…

        I think it important to recognise that when MJ is talked about there is not one drug but a vast range. There are very real dangers in those varieties bred for strength, such as “Skunk” The more traditional varieties are considerably less harmful than alcohol, tobacco or pot-on-steroids. Perhaps legalising it might allow for a tax regime wherein higher strength pot is taxed more than “weaker” strains, rather like alcohol?

        • Good points, SJ. As you allude to – let’s be real; this all about money/profit (taxes) and the most practical and/or creative ways the government can proffer from it by way of taxes. I trust the powers that be are going over all the scenarios. But the bottom line is the slope has been greased and it’s now more slippery than ever. The pot prohibition, for better or worse (mostly for better), is going away.

          And though I don’t partake, I think if we consider it soberly (pun intended) if given the choice most of us would rather have some high folks around us (generally peaceable, happy/mirthful folks who may tend toward caution and occasional paranoia) over drunk folks (generally inhibition-less, sloppy, loud, reckless, tendency toward violence). That’s my experience anyway.

          In reply to #36 by SomersetJohn:

          In reply to #4 by Steven007:

          By any rational assessment (and I say this as an alcohol drinker and non pot smoker) marijuana has more positives and less negatives going for it than does alcohol. Or certainly tobacco for that matter. In fact a glance at an ‘addictive potential’ chart developed from a…

    • In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

      As someone who lived prior to the popularity of drugs like marijuana, I am not at all convinced at their harmlessness. I have seen people go off track with their lives once they got involved with weed. Of course, that does not happen to everyone but why add one more thing to the list of “legal” drug…

      Thank you for declaring your lack of knowledge on the subject, now if you’d only managed to stop that empty echoing…

      I don’t drink coffee, I think it should be banded based on my complete ignorance of the drug and because of all the other problems that other unrelated drugs cause.

    • In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

      As someone who lived prior to the popularity of drugs like marijuana, I am not at all convinced at their harmlessness. I have seen people go off track with their lives once they got involved with weed. Of course, that does not happen to everyone but why add one more thing to the list of “legal” drug…

      It was never the governments business. People go “off track” for all kinds or reasons. Gambling, racing, hoarding? How many should loose there freedom because of a small percentage?
      Lets talk about alcohol?

      • In reply to #16 by alf1200:

        In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

        Lets talk about alcohol?

        A Red Herring at best.

        How instead that we talk about Raw Milk? I mean what possible harm could Raw Milk do? No one wants to drink that awfully safe pasteurised stuff now do they? And, as you state, it is not the governments business telling you what you can or cannot consume.

        • In reply to #21 by veggiemanuk:

          In reply to #16 by alf1200:

          In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

          Lets talk about alcohol?

          A Red Herring at best.

          How instead that we talk about Raw Milk? I mean what possible harm could Raw Milk do? No one wants to drink that awfully safe pasteurised stuff now do they? And, as you state, it is not…

          You are confused?

          • In reply to #24 by alf1200:

            In reply to #21 by veggiemanuk:

            In reply to #16 by alf1200:

            In reply to #2 by david.graf.589:

            Lets talk about alcohol?

            A Red Herring at best.

            How instead that we talk about Raw Milk? I mean what possible harm could Raw Milk do? No one wants to drink that awfully safe pasteurised stuff now do they? And, as you state, it is not…

            >
            You are confused?

            Not at all, but the OP certainly is. Since when has Marijuana been deemed safe by the medical profession?

          • In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:

            Not at all, but the OP certainly is. Since when has Marijuana been deemed safe by the medical profession?

            Since when has anything been deemed totally “safe” by the medical profession? Aspirin can harm your stomach. Penicillin can save your life but can kill some people due to reactions. Even water can be harmful if you drink out of the tap in places like West Virginia in the US.

            But I’ve talked to a lot of doctors, nurses, and other professionals who know about substance abuse and while some of them are from the “12 step all drugs are bad M’kay” school and from that standpoint are opposed to pot as much as the others everyone that I’ve ever talked to who knew the science agreed that marijuana was less harmful than most other recreational drugs such as alcohol. For one thing alcohol, like cocaine and nicotine are physically addictive and marijuana is not. And marijuana does have several well supported in clinical trials uses for symptoms such as nausea due to chemotherapy.

          • In reply to #29 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:

            For one thing alcohol, like cocaine and nicotine are physically addictive and marijuana is not.

            Do you have anything other than opinion to back this up as medical professionals would disagree.

          • In reply to #32 by veggiemanuk:

            In reply to #29 by Red Dog:
            In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:
            For one thing alcohol, like cocaine and nicotine are physically addictive and marijuana is not.
            Do you have anything other than opinion to back this up as medical professionals would disagree.

            Sigh. Just look it up for fucks sake! I took a class in physiological psychology a long time ago. We studied the basic science behind how the brain works, neurotransmitters, etc. And the professor (who was not exactly a pot advocate by any means) was clear that there absolutely is a difference between marijuana and cocaine/alcohol/nicotine. Those other drugs are physically addictive. You can measure it in rats and other test animals, when you take alcohol or any addictive drug two things happen, you experience some symptoms after the drug is mostly out of your system because your body is craving the drug and if you do take it again you will need a little more to get the same effect. And the next time more, and more, etc. That physiological effect does not happen with pot. It’s just science you can find it on Wikipedia I’m sure it’s so well known I’m not even going to bother leaving a link.

            Just to be clear you can of course get psychologically addicted to any drug or even various activities. That can also be bad but the physiological effects of withdrawl are specific and real and happen with most recreational drugs but not pot. It’s well established non-controversial science.

          • In reply to #35 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #32 by veggiemanuk:

            Sigh. Just…

            I identify with the sigh. I’m reminded of Wendy Wright’s “where is the evidence” mantra.

          • In reply to #29 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:

            For one thing alcohol, like cocaine and nicotine are physically addictive and marijuana is not. And marijuana does have several well supported in clinical trials uses for symptoms such as nausea due to chemotherapy.

            Yes, and may the research continue. However, what you will not find are doctors prescribing joints for pain and nausea relief, just as you will not find any credible doctors prescribing plants to eat to get your aspirin or any other drug derived from plants.

          • In reply to #33 by veggiemanuk:

            In reply to #29 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:
            Yes, and may the research continue. However, what you will not find are doctors prescribing joints for pain and nausea relief, just as you will not find any credible doctors prescribing plants to eat to get your aspirin or any other drug derived from plants.

            You don’t know what you are talking about. Doctors absolutely do prescribe it to cancer and AIDS patients all the time. And not just hippy dippy doctors but conservative doctors. And they do it for the same reason that any other doctor prescribes a medicine, that literature provides strong evidence that for some patients marijuana works best (relieves the symptoms and has few side effects) than other medicines.

          • In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #29 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #28 by veggiemanuk:
            Yes, and may the research continue. However, what you will not find are doctors prescribing joints for pain and nausea relief, just as you will not find any credible doctors prescribing plants to eat to get…

            My favorite bit of research, which is the one commonly cited by law enforcement, is the study done with airline pilots who volunteered to have their reflexes and cognitive abilities tested after smoking (not sure how ingested) pot. It showed diminished reflex and decision making ability.

            Well, you can’t argue with research like that can you? If you are going to fly a 747 with several hundred people in the back, don’t do it stoned. Whoever would have suspected it? I think the same could be said for operating farm machinery and pretty much anything normally involving steel toed shoes.

            So much of the anti pot research is very heavily directed, like this, to prove what a particular group, commonly law enforcement, wants it to prove.

            And yes, you will find doctors, conservative ones at that prescribing, or wishing they could, marijuana for arthritis, glaucoma, and nausea relief to mention a few of the conditions for which it is effective.

  3. I’m not so sure that the story about Chris Kluwe is about being pro-gay. After all, the owner of the team was pro-gay too and had a gay son. It may have had more to do with his performance on the field which was not as good as it had been in the past. Even so, there was no reason for anyone to try to muzzle him.

    • In reply to #3 by david.graf.589:

      I’m not so sure that the story about Chris Kluwe is about being pro-gay. After all, the owner of the team was pro-gay too and had a gay son. It may have had more to do with his performance on the field which was not as good as it had been in the past. Even so, there was no reason for anyone to try t…

      Are you saying it didn’t happen? Were you there? “It may have” ? You’re new here, aren’t you?

  4. The real reason Chris Kluwe was canned:

    Chris Kluwe 2012 salary – $1,300,000
    Jeff Locke 2013 salary – $405,000

    A savings of $895,000.

    Analyzing the difference in performance is irrelevant. In 2013 Locke added an expectation$ of positive 1 point compared to 4 points Kluwe added in 2012. That’s a difference of 3 points for the full 16 game season.

    That difference is both:

    A) smaller then the variance one would expect from random chance alone (for example Kluwe was a negative 6.7 in 2011)

    and

    B) unlikely to change the outcome of the team’s overall won/loss record.

    $ Expectation is a standard established by all the punters in the league. A league average performance would calculate as 0.

    Source:
    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamst

  5. The whole drug debate should be based on scientific research. Then we can start arguing over what the laws should be. Any argument about the status of individual drugs or the economies they should be based that draws conclusions and makes claims based on ideology or subjective personal experience (or non-experience) and opinion is not helpful and is probably going to end up being harmful.

    Arguments too often go like this:

    • We have created arbitrary categories for ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ drugs based on historical and political pressures and we have a whole system of supply and demand based on this. This structure we have created is now ‘the-way-things-are’ and there is no reason to review or revise this because – well just because. Oh and by-the-way we have decided to frame this debate as being about individual morality, so the drugs we classified as ‘illegal’ are ‘bad’ and the people who take them are morally ‘bad’ and those on the supply side are the scum of the earth.

    • Yes, but individual freedom! You can’t tell me what to do. I like smoking weed [drinking wine, tripping on acid, smoking tobacco, using sleeping pills, insert preferred toxin of choice]. And by the way me and my pals are ‘good’ people, so there. And, also [my toxin of choice] is better than [another toxin] because we read something on the internet, which may or may not be based on scientific evidence.

    In my ideal world we would remove the moral and ideological arguments from the debate. We would assume that society and situations DO change over time, and that what was once ‘common-sense’, ‘true’, relevant or even scientific 40 years ago or 140 years ago may no longer make sense. Then we would start asking questions based on what we actually know for almost certain, what is still inconclusive and those areas that require more independent and ‘funding-transparent’ research.

    We would then review the current legal, economic and social situation and see how it looks not clouded by ideology and morality. I know there are people trying to do this and I applaud them for it. We could then genuinely make decisions that ‘make sense’ for now. And while the debate would still be ‘flavoured’ with different people’s ideological preferences it wouldn’t be based on them. [I would also like to establish processes that ensure that decisions are open to systematic review, so that 50 or 70 years from now society is not shackled by the things we got wrong, or that were 'sensible' in 2015 but no longer make sense.]

    It frustrates me that trying to have a rational debate in most nations about “the drug issue” is almost impossible. This is one issue that cries out for evidence-based research to inform decisions. I have no problem with people bringing their ideological frameworks to the debate, but when it is all they bring!!! I don’t want to hear any more about the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of drugs for society, the economy or the individual or even the environment. I want to know what the statistics are, what the results of peer-reviewed studies seem to indicate, whatever long-term, qualitative, quantitative, short-term, mass or even small-scale studies we do have. I want to know what economic and historical analysis suggests.

    There is a substantial amount of research around, and some of it is difficult to interpret and some of it is inconclusive and even contradictory. But this is true for all research. However, there are also a lot of hole in the research. When I stand up in a meeting and ask my local representatives what their decisions, conclusions and policies are based on I want them to have a firmer base than ideology, polling results and personal preferences. When my representative is making predictions about the consequences of maintaining or changing legislations I want to know that these are based on more than just what he or she believes (or the Party had mandated they ‘believe’) because that suits the narrative in her or his head.

    This, of course, applies to more than just the drug debate, but it just strikes me how this could be something that we make laws that are grounded in scientific research, but instead prefer ideology and morality to be the primary driver. And then we wonder why nothing is ‘working’?

  6. Smoking marijuana is not a victimless crime. This is an airborne hallucinogen. The people around the smoker are being forced to breathe in the drug. Extract that THC or whatever it is and put it in an asthmatic’s sort of inhaler. THAT would be a victimless method. So long as marijuana lacks a localized delivery method, it is inappropriate and should remain illegal.

    • In reply to #7 by jojobizarre:

      Smoking marijuana is not a victimless crime. This is an airborne hallucinogen. The people around the smoker are being forced to breathe in the drug. Extract that THC or whatever it is and put it in an asthmatic’s sort of inhaler. THAT would be a victimless method. So long as marijuana lacks a locali…

      It doesn’t, you can eat it so please revise your position, thanks.

      Also incredibly weak reason to deny someone suffering drugs. If I am undergoing radiation therapy you can’t go near my piss, if I am using a testosterone replacement… Thalidomide is still on sale, just not to the ladies. So too is tobacco…

      I’m happy you don’t have to deal with medical problems of your own, please don’t help anyone else deal with theirs. If you know so little that you don’t have a point, why even comment? Have you seriously not heard of “Special Brownies”? Come towards the light…

    • In reply to #7 by jojobizarre:

      Smoking marijuana is not a victimless crime. This is an airborne hallucinogen. The people around the smoker are being forced to breathe in the drug. Extract that THC or whatever it is and put it in an asthmatic’s sort of inhaler. THAT would be a victimless method. So long as marijuana lacks a locali…

      You just jumped off the dock with that one. Tell me another whooper……

  7. I don’t agree with the writer in relation to “substances that have been proved to do no harm” as the medical evidence tends to contradict this time and again (see: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana). Drug taking is not a victimless activity, even if the victims are those taking the drugs who finish up a burden on the taxpaying public, unemployable etc. As for marriage equality, I’m all for same sex couples having the same legal access as heterosexual married couples, provided the union is called anything but a “marriage” Even the religious in the community would probably be more accepting if it was called something else,

    • In reply to #9 by emujoe:

      I don’t agree with the writer in relation to “substances that have been proved to do no harm” as the medical evidence tends to contradict this time and again (see: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana). Drug taking is not a victimless activity, even if the victims are those taking the drugs who finish up a burden on the taxpaying public, unemployable etc.

      So banning alcohol next on the list or should it be first by your “logic”? It went so well the first time, just like the current “war on drugs”.

      As for marriage equality, I’m all for same sex couples having the same legal access as heterosexual married couples, provided the union is called anything but a “marriage” Even the religious in the community would probably be more accepting if it was called something else,

      So happy to hear it’s okay with you that the same sex couples get a few of the same rights. I think the point is they want and deserve them all. What on earth makes you think you deserve more or that same sex couples should care what rights bigoted religious people want to deprive them of?

  8. Wait, am I missing something? How did this post about equality in America all of the sudden turn into an argument about whether weed is a bad thing or not? The one thing that most religious people can’t seem to get through their thick skull is that in the attempt to establish their own personal values as law they oppress the personal values of others. Gay marriage is one of many issues in which religion refuses to realize how bigoted they are being.

  9. Despite this thread going ‘off track’, to use Steven007′s term (From inside his argument from anecdotal evidence), I was going to tackle the other fallacies going on in here, but Alaskansee is doing such a good job. Well done sir/madam!

  10. Today it’s all about the 2 f’s. Force vs. Freedom. Do we have a way of knowing if an action should be permitted, or do we simply go with majority rules on everything. Can we vote to use force on everyone who voted against us? For anything at all? Can we vote to legalize some murders? All the important issues involve force. How should America decide when it’s ok to use force. By vote or by some principle?

    A terminated unwanted pregnancy is both the removal of an innocent trespasser and the killing of a human life. If someone is innocently trespassing in my home, I can’t just shoot them before letting them peacefully leave.

    A measured approach would be that if the fetus can be removed without killing it or hurting the mother, then let that be the responsibility of the woman, but not financially. If no one is willing to come forward to care for this new life, then no one should be forced to care for it either. Let those that insist on keeping a life step up to pay for it.

    When, one day, science can safely remove the just conceived, then to not do so will be considered a killing. Rand Paul is a simply a bit ahead of his time.

    • In reply to #20 by rocket888:

      Can we vote to legalize some murders?

      Eggology or Eggsestenshillism is a mostly male ailment, although some women idolize eggs. If you revere eggs (humptydumptyism) I support your right to do so. They should be your own eggs however. I don’t support coveting other people’s eggs, or preaching that they’re miniature people replete with rights. They’re just eggs.

      Such religious devotions as egg-envy should be conducted privately I reckon, at home and preferably not in front of children.

  11. Thanks Dan. Splendid characterization of the battle for ideas in your country.

    In Australia a zealous Catholic fundamentalist has become the popular Prime Minister. An ex-priest and famous misogynist he also opposes climate science religiously. The federal government he controls with a free-hand any American president would cherish to have, is dismantling public health and education and redirecting funds into private pseudo-schools which are predominantly Catholic. The de-funded public schools have reduced qualified staff/teachers and publicly funded Xian chaplains to help promote the Judeo-Xian mythology to all kids.
    This couldn’t occur in your country Dan, with your pesky Constitution,,,, hehe.. well done.

    • In reply to #23 by Len Walsh:

      Thanks Dan. Splendid characterization of the battle for ideas in your country.

      In Australia a zealous Catholic fundamentalist has become the popular Prime Minister. An ex-priest and famous misogynist he also opposes climate science religiously. The federal government he controls with a free-hand an…

      Thanks Len. You hit the nail on the head.(from an American.)

    • In reply to #23 by Len Walsh:

      Thanks Dan. Splendid characterization of the battle for ideas in your country.

      In Australia a zealous Catholic fundamentalist has become the popular Prime Minister. An ex-priest and famous misogynist he also opposes climate science religiously. The federal government he controls with a free-hand an…

      While I agree with you, and only hope that the ravings of the “Mad Monk” are realized for the reactionary garbage they are, and at the next election he and his over fed ilk are booted into outer darkness, bear in mind his attitudes do not reflect the nation as a whole.

      It is not long ago that the had a declared atheist single woman Prime Minister, and a (brilliant) gay woman Minister of Finance.

      All is not lost.

      • In reply to #30 by Sheepdog:

        In reply to #23 by Len Walsh:

        It is not long ago that the had a declared atheist single woman Prime Minister, and a (brilliant) gay woman Minister of Finance.

        All is not lost.

        Sheepdog, thanks for the encouragement mate but I’m despondent. Dan’s article prompted me to compare the social progress of our place, where election policies were slogans and Abbott’s prevailed. Dismantling science from top to bottom will take a while to rectify I reckon. Appointing Cardinal Pell as science advisor will prove disasterous I think. Pell credits Old Earth Creationist Professor Ian Plimer for his own expertise in climatology.

        Unlike Dan’s joint, where gay marriage is legally available albeit not universally, and medicinal drugs like marijuana can be obtained by those who need them in dozens of states, Aussies must travel overseas to excercise such basic human rights.

        Gillard was excellent compared to recent PMs, yet she perversely expanded the chaplain program in state schools. Her latent Xianity (Baptist) prevailed when she opposed gay marriage too. In Dan’s country the federal government couldn’t impose chaplains on schools, much less pay their wages as we do. Our citizens seem to find that unremarkable, whereas Dan’s mob wouldn’t cop that.
        Still, I hope that you’re right Sheepdog.

        • In reply to #38 by Len Walsh:

          In reply to #30 by Sheepdog:

          In reply to #23 by Len Walsh:

          It is not long ago that the had a declared atheist single woman Prime Minister, and a (brilliant) gay woman Minister of Finance.

          All is not lost.

          Sheepdog, thanks for the encouragement mate but I’m despondent. Dan’s article prompted me t…

          Len, I fear I may have to concede you the point. Reading this AM in “Business News,” the dollar worshiping equivalent of the YEC mob, from a link to a link etc. that Australians are leading the world in accelerating “trust in government.” Then, on top of that you tell me that Cardinal Pell has been appointed science advisor? And ? again.

          Tucked away in Tasmania, I missed that little gem. The news of Abbot’s latest nastiness is something I take for granted, and I tend to ignore the details, but this is a howler. You are not pulling my leg are you? He really did this? I must get out from hollowed out log more often, if this is the sort of thing that is going on on the big island.

          The same George (I think) Pell whose scientific knowledge could be shot down by my grandson? Who is millimeters away from being full blown YEC himself, and who, when put on public display by the ABC, and my grandson not being available, was shot down, in flames, by Prof. Dawkins. Talk about swatting flies with sledge hammers.

          Stone the bloody crows, mate, now I am worried.

  12. Two Americas ? Two Worlds also.

    Yes indeed, but not perhaps as Dan has stated it. Fighting Inequality ? How about starting with ownership of wealth ?

    While some 80 odd individuals own some 50% of the world’s resources, it’s no wonder that they constantly peddle reactionary and harmful ideas, including encouraging religion, when it suits them.

    rich list

    The rest of us have to work to support their life styles. Who said slavery was finished ? No whips needed, just “free” people needing wages. “The End of History “, capitalism, the best of all possible worlds !

    The irony of it, whilst some 20,000 odd children die everyday of poverty related issues, the media would have us worry about who is winning medals at the Winter Olympics.

    Two worlds indeed !

    • In reply to #26 by Mr DArcy:

      Two Americas ? Two Worlds also.

      Yes indeed, but not perhaps as Dan has stated it. Fighting Inequality ? How about starting with ownership of wealth ?

      While some 80 odd individuals own some 50% of the world’s resources, it’s no wonder that they constantly peddle reactionary and harmful ideas

      And the 1500 or so with a billion dollars or more….

      I wonder how many are sociopaths?

  13. Too much time spent on the 2nd America. Many believe the fetus is a human life and religion may not be the only reason. I question why you speak of only 2 America’s essentially the right and wrong America. Too simple and narrow approach to these problems. A 3rd America is needed to unite and bring balance to the other’s. This third America can understand the fetus is a human life and understand why some woman have to make these choices. Each America is America and I suggest the answer must be balanced.

    • In reply to #31 by Voidicle:

      A 3rd America is needed to unite and bring b…

      Another America?

      Strewth, how many do you imagine the world can afford?

      This third America can understand the fetus is a human life

      What about the snake handlers? A fourth America? And gator wrestlers?

      98% of abortions are organised by the baby Jesus, wearing another hat.

      Got your own eggs? Worship them and leave others to decide what to do with theirs.

      • In reply to #39 by Len Walsh:

        In reply to #31 by Voidicle:

        A 3rd America is needed to unite and bring b…

        Another America?

        Len, and with apologies for running with this without checking. Cardinal George Pell may be many things, but he is not Tony Abbott’s science advisor. Unofficial spiritual mentor, declared, yes. Has Tony Abbott surrounded himself with climate change deniers in a variety of official positions, yes. Is George Pell one of them, no.

        And my apologies to anyone whom I may have mislead.

        Strewth, how many do you imagine the world can afford?

        This third America can understand the fetus is a human life

        What about the snake handlers? A fourth America? And gator wrestlers?

        98% of abortion…

  14. This neat divide of two Americas: the ever-vigilant Good America standing up for equality, education, and apple pie vs. Dr-Evil America trying to push us all into the dark ages … is just a tad simplistic

  15. Don’t forget that religion and the “second America” also stands in the way of women’s rights as well, and i hope they don’t familiarise with the Bonobo primate society, which is a fantastic example of a functioning and peaceful matriarchal existence, because they will have them exterminated!

  16. Marijuana evolved to be consumed by animals so the seeds can be dispersed, just like any other fruit or veg, its NATURES GIFT. Alcohol, on the other hand is a manufactured drug unnatural for animal consumption. Isn’t it obvious we legalised the wrong drug during the prohibition era? Or is it more about the ability for tax revenue and control?

  17. Your analysis is simplistic, IMHO.

    I believe it’s no coincidence (or at least not totally a coincidence) that homosexual people’s ‘rights’ are being promoted successfully now because only during the past 50 (100?) years (a relative instant in human history) has an intrinsic inability to procreate become an asset, not liability, toward the continued existence of the human species.

    Societies’ priorities have changed radically now that we’ve entered this Brave New World of climate change, diminishing resources and too many people. (FWIW, homosexual advocates have generally fared better than atheists in getting public acceptance of their campaigns opposing oppressive religious dogmas.)

    • In reply to #50 by toroid:

      Your analysis is simplistic, IMHO.

      I believe it’s no coincidence (or at least not totally a coincidence) that homosexual people’s ‘rights’ are being promoted successfully now because only during the past 50 (100?) years (a relative instant in human history) has an intrinsic inability to procreate b…

      Why do you put rights in quotation marks?

    • In reply to #50 by toroid:

      I believe it’s no coincidence (or at least not totally a coincidence) that homosexual people’s ‘rights’ are being promoted successfully now because only during the past 50 (100?) years (a relative instant in human history) has an intrinsic inability to procreate become an asset, not liability, toward the continued existence of the human species.

      Concern about over population goes back further than 50 or even 100 years. It goes back at least to people like Thomas Malthus in the 19th century and according to Wikipedia:

      “Concern about overpopulation is ancient. Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the second century CE, when the population of the world was about 190 million (only 3-4% of what it is today). He notably said: “What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint) is our teeming population. Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us…. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.” Before that, Plato, Aristotle and others broached the topic as well”

      • In reply to #53 by Red Dog:

        “Concern about over population goes back further than 50 or even 100 years. It goes back at least to people like Thomas Malthus in the 19th century and according to Wikipedia:

        “Concern about overpopulation is ancient. Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the second century CE, when the population of the world was about 190 million (only 3-4% of what it is today). He notably said: “What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint) is our teeming population. Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us…. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.” Before that, Plato, Aristotle and others broached the topic as well””

        Good for Tertullian, Plato, Aristotle, and Wiki, as well as Malthus and you!

        I wonder how big (in area) the known world was when Tertullian commented about its ‘teeming population’ and whether he was unduly influenced by city life in Carthage during the time he lived there.

        Malthus was essentially right and was remarkably prescient for his time but the details of future catastrophes will be different than what he envisioned.

        My use of the 50 (100?) year timeframe is based on the current population situation. Between the end of WWII through the inflation of the 70′s-80′s to the fall of Soviet communism the world’s human population more than doubled to over 5 billion. Now it’s over 7 billion.

        Climate change will endanger the lives of hundreds of millions (billions?) relatively soon, at first mostly poor people and for what? The world’s population is now at odds with quality of life and whatever’s left of freedom.

    • In reply to #50 by toroid:

      Why do you put rights in quotation marks?

      (Damn, I thought there was an edit function.) I lost sight of the forest for the trees. Rights doesn’t need quotation marks for emphasis.

      I believe it’s no coincidence (or at least not totally a coincidence) that homosexual people’s rights are being promoted successfully now because only during the past 50 (100?) years (a relative instant in human history) has an intrinsic inability to procreate become an asset…

  18. In reply to #48 by zula:

    Isn’t it obvious we legalised the wrong drug during the prohibition era? – You would think it was obvious to people, but it isn’t because some have stayed completely clear of pot because of it being illegal. The most dangerous drug is Alcohol and it is the drug people are almost encouraged to have on a regular basis. Ridiculous….Great video talk btw David, really interesting. Shame Chris’s picture disappears during the debate, was this a technical issue?

  19. In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

    “…Doctors absolutely do prescribe (MM) to cancer and AIDS patients all the time…”

    I don’t know your location, but here, although doctors can submit letters authorizing MJ, they can’t prescribe it.

    MM is essentially a long-term strategy designed to eventually enable legalization (which is now in the process of happening, although slowly.)

    After the US gov’t comes to terms with MJ as a legal issue, IMHO, it would make more sense to regulate MJ as just another palliative prescription drug and get rid of the somewhat weird MM categorization.

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