Americans are growing more secular all the time — which is one reason why Trump voters are so angry

By AMANDA MARCOTTE

Despite all the posturing by conservatives about how their movement represents “real” America and liberal political attitudes are restricted mainly to the “coastal elite,” new research from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests that, at least in political terms, most Americans are secular in their orientation. While many Americans may still hold conservative personal beliefs, when it comes to the issue of church-state separation, large majorities are rejecting efforts by the religious right to use the power of the state to impose conservative Christian values on others.

In fact, the polling data shows there’s really only one group of Americans that rejects a secular society: white evangelical Christians. And this study is just further evidence that a lot of the political polarization in our country is the direct result of white evangelical Christians realizing that they no longer are the dominant majority and lashing out angrily in an effort to regain the levels of influence they used to enjoy.

For instance, the poll found that while a majority of Americans from all walks of life has come to embrace the rights of gay and lesbian Americans, white evangelicals remains stubbornly opposed to the gay rights movement. White evangelicals are the only category of the population to support business owners who want to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Another white bashing article from Salon. And the title is a lie too; the angry amongst us are the Alt left with their violent protests. Maybe if we all stopped bitching about the white men who have been forced into giving up their cultures and homelands there’d be no need for the likes of Trump. Have you thought about that?

  2. @OP – In fact, the polling data shows there’s really only one group of Americans that rejects a secular society: white evangelical Christians.

    The right and the fundamentalists do seem to be more prevalent and more assertively ignorant in the USA – (especially in some states), more than in Europe.

    Fiddy cent #1
    Mar 18, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Maybe if we all stopped bitching about the white men who have been forced into giving up their cultures and homelands

    Strangely, history seems to record that it was the native Americans who were forced to give up their homelands, while white Europeans voluntarily chose to emigrate to North America!

  3. Fiddy

    Maybe if we all stopped bitching about the white men who have been forced into giving up their cultures and homelands

    So are you saying it doesn’t exist or that it exists but we should ignore it and it’l go away?

  4. Fiddy,

    Your statement is quite telling

    Maybe if we all stopped bitching about the white men who have been forced into giving up their cultures and homelands there’d be no need for the likes of Trump.

    Let’s parse this bit of your phrase

    the white men who have been forced into giving up their cultures and homelands

    I was not aware that it was only the white men who owned the USA. In that statement you eliminate 50% of the population (women), you also eliminate the part of the male population that are transgender, the homosexuals, and anyone who doesn’t agree with your view on what constitutes a culture. You also eliminate the Native American people who where there when whites settled in America, the Negroes who were captured and sold as slaves and all the other nationalities that contributed often at great cost to their own lives or who were taken advantage of such as the Chinese when building the railroads. So white men in the USA are by definition far less than 50%. In a country without compulsory voting in which you are lucky to get 1/4 of the population voting then those you consider to be part of the culture are at best a little over half that number. That you are labeling a subgroup of a subgroup as owning the USA appears to suggest some level of bias in your case.

    So for clarity:

    Do you think only white men are allowed to run the USA? Should women be allowed to vote, African Americans, Asians, Muslims?

    Are you suggesting that those who do not vote are not to be considered part of culture?

    Are the 50% of those that did vote who did not vote for Trump not to be considered part of US culture?

    Are you suggesting if we all just stopped telling the worlds masochistic, homophobic, carbon loving Luddites of this world that they are sadly mistaken if they wish to maintain a viable civilization they are going to have to modify theirs beliefs so they conform to reality that all would be well? If so I think not.

    This may not be your intent but it is how it reads at least to me. And yes I’m reading a lot into this, I may be misinterpreting your views.

    I have little good to say about the extremes of the left – issues like shouting down free speech in Universities. I personally would rather hear the nonsense than have it censored. I have had it up to my eyeballs with the extreme liberals pretending there is no issue with fundamentalist Islam. But these are all arguments we need to have. Complaining that there is even a debate seems weak. The white men at least of my culture in my youth would have called me a Nancy boy if I’d complained about having an argument, they would have told me to man up. It seems a little ironic that their excuse for voting in a raving narcissist and buffoon who lies every second sentence he utters and boasts of sexually assaulting women should be their defense. Perhaps they all need to just man up.

  5. Nobody is asking the world’s creeds, colors and religions to conform to our way of life. They can do whatever they like, but the Trump supporters of America are trying to preserve theirs, in spite of mass immigration and an onslaught of new foreign and domestic ideologies. I spent many years living in the US including the rust belt. These people are a decent, resourceful and hard working people who are constantly being called racist xenophobes for no good reason. Why can’t they practice their religion in peace? Why can’t they have border security? Why can’t we just leave them alone? Obama was more interested in transgender bathrooms and other far left ideologies than the legitimate needs of America’s backbone. These so called red necks stood up and voted for someone, anyone, who would listen to common sense and Trump was johnny on the spot. Granted, a better man than Trump would’ve been better for all of us, but nobody else gave a damn.

  6. Fiddy,

    Nobody is asking the world’s creeds, colors and religions to conform to our way of life.

    Exactly who’s way of life? The American Indians, who’s lifestyles where decimated. Women’s, African Americans? Who’s?

    You have not addressed the point that America is an immigrant nation, living in a broiling melting pot. I think surprisingly well all things considered. The extension of basic rights to homosexuals to marry, for trans-gender to be able to use a bathroom is just an extension of the secular beginnings of the founding fathers. I have no doubt that most of the rust belt Americans are decent people. I also have no doubt that many have many have bigoted homophobic views which over the years have caused much harm. I also think most as homo-sapiens are capable of learning and abstract thought. I think resistance to this is selling them short.

    I watched recently some of these rust belt Americans who were working in the coal industry bemoaning their lot having lot their jobs. I agree you need to have a social safety net sufficient to the task of helping these people who are left behind when their industry has become uncompetitive. However these basic no-nonsense people whom I am sure would be the first to stop and help me if I was broken down by the side of the road also spruke nonsense about global warming being a conspiracy of the left. They also voted for a man who is currently dismantlement the limited health care many of them currently hold. 24million will be without health care under Trump. That is the entire population of my country! How will this impact the salt of the Earth you speak for?

    These people can be decent people and wrong at the same time. They can be caring parents and raving misogamists at the same time, they can be good people in many aspects of their lives and be homophobic at the same time. Their views can and should be challenged. If you think the USA is a white male country I think you have not been looking around. Immigration is not new, women are not new, homosexuals and those who feel they are in the wrong gender are not new, these people have always been there they have just in very recent times been gaining a fraction of the power of the white male elite. It is not just your way of life.

  7. Monkey,
    This is a battle of beliefs and opinions. The role of the government is not to tell people what they should think or how they should behave. The role of the Government is precisely the opposite. We all need to get along somehow and if the rust belt don’t want to pay for other people’s health insurance, they shouldn’t have to. If they don’t want to bake a gay wedding cake, so be it. Who cares if you don’t approve? And so what if you don’t like it? Mind your own business.
    Why do you feel the need to say that gays and women have always been there – like they don’t know? Of course they know and they still take care of each other besides. The left didn’t invent tolerance by the way. The same left that took a $25Mil donation from the despicably oppressive Saudis. How about that for a classic case of left wing cognitive dissonance? Tolerance my ass!
    These people have a country, a way of life, and their freedom. In many ways it’s the envy of the world and the reason so many people wish to live there. Join them or leave them alone. It’s not hard to understand.

  8. @FiddyCent #7

    if the rust belt don’t want to pay for other people’s health insurance, they shouldn’t have to

    I think you miss the point of having some kind of health service that isn’t simply user-pays.

    What if the rust belt workers lose their jobs because their employers are uncompetitive, can’t make enough money, or make more by moving all the work — but not the workforce — to China, or Mexico or who cares where…

    Then who pays the medical bills for those unemployed rust-belt workers whose health has been compromised by years of working hard for their pay? Were they so well paid they were able to insure themselves for life? Did they all have the foresight to do so, while they were earning?

    In most of the rest of the developed world, governments have set up universal healthcare systems funded by taxation, with no option to opt-out except by evading/avoiding paying taxes. Evading’s a crime, avoiding is something you can do if you have enough money to seek out and exploit the loopholes. But you don’t need to worry if you’ve let your insurance lapse, or even missed a payment, as you’re being processed at hospital admission for some serious medical attention.

  9. OHooligan, I think you miss the point. Personally I can’t imagine living in a country without universal health care. I’m happy to pay additional taxes to fund it, and I do. But America is different. In America you do not have the right to make another person get out of bed in the morning to support your needs. In other words you have the right to seek health care, but not the right to force another to provide it for you. Harsh, but true.

  10. This is a battle of beliefs and opinions. The role of the government is not to tell people what they should think or how they should behave.

    Fiddy,

    The role of a government with a secular constitution like the USA is to have freedom of and from religion. The wall of separation of church and state is there to protect minorities from majorities. This means that the religious right do not get to impose their views on the rest of the citizens of the USA. In no way am I suggesting those in the rust belt are not allowed to express their distress at gay marriage, at Trans people being able to use a public bathroom. Just like I would seek to live in a society that tolerates all manner of stupidity and bigotry but I don’t have to be silent about it, I don’t have to agree and I sure as hell don’t have to make them feel no push back – that is my freedom of speech in action.

    and if the rust belt don’t want to pay for other people’s health insurance, they shouldn’t have to.

    They aren’t the rust belt are likely going to make up the majority of people needing it and they’ll be funded by states which are doing economically better. That is the way all insurance works the majority put money into a pool and a minority draw from the pool. Of course the USA could have done what every other civilized country does and pay for a decent health system for all out of taxes. But the republicans have stopped that bit of common sense.

    If they don’t want to bake a gay wedding cake, so be it. Who cares if you don’t approve? And so what if you don’t like it? Mind your own business.

    This is an interesting statement – for one you demand I respect their right to express a view (which I have been clear I support) but you insist that I’m not even allowed to express a contrary view? Not only that you suggest that they be allowed to actively discriminate against people on the basis of race or sexuality. Well this is a public forum and I can express any view I wish and will continue to do up to the level of tolerance of the moderators of this site. As for an attempt to ban baking a cake for a gay couple, that’s a more complex issue.

    I for one if I was gay would prefer to know, that is I wouldn’t trust a Christian cake baker to not spit in my wedding cake. So a simple fish displayed in the window would suffice there. However it is not unreasonable for public businesses using public utilities to serve the public without discrimination? Why should homosexuals pay taxes for roads and facilities and then not be able to access public businesses? Would you think it was okay to have whites only cake shops?

    The left didn’t invent tolerance by the way.

    No but they seem to be the only ones practicing it.

    The same left that took a $25Mil donation from the despicably oppressive Saudis.

    Ha, you refer to Hillary I suppose? Do you use petrol? Then you are doing exactly the same thing every time you fill your car. I don’t support any political donations as a leftie I’m not required to conform to your stereotypes of me. I don’t like the Clinton’s never had I would if I was a US citizen have voted for her over Trump but if you think I consider her a paragon of left then you are mistaken. How about you ask Trump to reveal his tax returns or unpack his connections to Russia? And while I’m left leaning on many policies I’m certainly not wedded to any particular partisan views. So before you accuse someone of cognitive dissonance best check what I actually think.

    These people have a country, a way of life, and their freedom. In many ways it’s the envy of the world and the reason so many people wish to live there. Join them or leave them alone. It’s not hard to understand.

    These people are one part of a country made up of many people with different views. That seems to be what you do not understand, they are part of a society, they need to learn to live within the means of the planet first and foremost, secondly they need to learn to live with the others in their society and then they need to be able to get on with the rest of us. So it is not as simple as leave them alone as they won’t leave others alone, that is a two way street. No-one has absolute freedom and anyone who thinks so is sadly deluded, you have freedom to the degree that your conduct does not effect others freedoms. This is what the rust belt needs to understand unless they wish to descend into poverty and irrelevance. That is not hard to understand.

  11. Fiddy,

    But America is different. In America you do not have the right to make another person get out of bed in the morning to support your needs. In other words you have the right to seek health care, but not the right to force another to provide it for you. Harsh, but true.

    All well and good unless you are a child of one of these parents dying of cancer because their health care doesn’t fund your treatment. Or a child born into intergenerational poverty starting with your forefathers being kidnapped and sold to pick cotton. All this in the worlds most wealthy nation.

  12. Fiddy cent #11
    Mar 19, 2017 at 5:42 am

    OHooligan, I think you miss the point. Personally I can’t imagine living in a country without universal health care. I’m happy to pay additional taxes to fund it, and I do. But America is different.

    America is indeed different! The population is fed propaganda discouraging mutual support for their fellows so that the fat-cat corporate elite (like Trump) can exploit and rip off the general population! That is why the USA does not have universal healthcare and has it sold to individuals a little bit at a time, for twice the price other OECD countries pay!

    You could learn a lot from this graph!

    https://thesocietypages.org/graphicsociology/2011/04/26/cost-of-health-care-by-country-national-geographic/

    In America you do not have the right to make another person get out of bed in the morning to support your needs. In other words you have the right to seek health care, but not the right to force another to provide it for you. Harsh, but true.

    That of course entirely misses the point of insurance! Those who are fit and working, pay small premiums while they are fit and working, and collect healthcare if they become ill or injured! – Just as vehicle drivers pay insurance premiums when they are travelling safely, and the insurers pay out for injuries and crashes.
    The lack of “the right”, is the result of corporate vested interests dominating US politics, not because it is a sensible or economic way to run healthcare!

  13. Ok, before everyone thinks I’m a right wing nut job, I am a supporter of ObamaCare and I believe in universal health coverage. I also support pro-choice for women. There are many democratic fundamentals that I support, but the problem is that the west has become so divided that it seems like the middle ground has become a wasteland. Why should it be assumed that a republican is a closet racist NRA member for example. Or that a democrat must be an atheist baby killer. It’s absurd. But that’s the mess we’re in.

  14. Fiddy,

    Good to hear you support universal health care. For what it’s worth, you seem like a libertarian. However, I for one am perfectly happy to believe you don’t fit that category also.

    It’s a bit hard to be taken seriously as a republican if they vote for a lunatic like Trump. It’s also ridiculous that they (note not you) make arguments about abortion or the immorality of gay marriage when they’ve just voted in someone who at best boasts about sexual assault (“that was just locker talk”), or most likely was actually guilty of sexually assaulting women in this country grabbing a woman by the “pussy’ (his words) would have landed him a couple of years jail time, instead the morally upright of the rust belt (and others) considered Clinton’s use of a private Internet server as more morally reprehensible than sexually assaulting women. Combined with their numerous attempts to ban right to choose (which I am pleased to note you support) makes it again hard to take them seriously. I don’t consider the likes of John McCain as racist or sexist but he isn’t who they voted for is he? They can’t expect to be taken seriously if they vote for a buffoon.

  15. Fiddy cent #5
    Mar 19, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Nobody is asking the world’s creeds, colors and religions to conform to our way of life.

    Actually, the evangelicals and the right wing of the Republicans, try to do this all the time with unconstitutional state legislation and discrimination in jobs in schools, and on the streets.

    They can do whatever they like,

    In communities people can’t “do whatever they like”! That is lawless anarchy! They have to consider the rights of other people.

    but the Trump supporters of America are trying to preserve theirs, in spite of mass immigration and an onslaught of new foreign and domestic ideologies.

    That is the illusion and delusion spread by propagandists and purveyors of (the actual) fake news! Trump supporters have been conned into believing that Trump is going to look after their interests and has the capability to run an effective government.
    The evidence of his past business record and present actions and Twitterings, show otherwise.

    I spent many years living in the US including the rust belt. These people are a decent, resourceful and hard working people

    Many are decent, resourceful and hard working people, but Trump propping up obsolete dying polluting industries, rather than embracing change and developing the new green ones relevant to the modern world, will do nothing for them in the medium and longer term and will do serious damage to future generations.

    who are constantly being called racist xenophobes for no good reason.

    It is their political and religious representative who are racist xenophobes, with their bullying self-righteous attacks on minorities for the purpose of boosting their own egos and those of their followers!

    Why can’t they practice their religion in peace?

    They could – if they kept it to themselves and let other people follow their religions and philosophies in peace.

    Why can’t they have border security?

    They can’t have border security because Trump has no idea how to organise government to provide border security.
    His silly executive orders do not even recognise the countries which pose a threat or the effect of the ready supply of weapons to people unfit to handle them responsibly! He simply targets the wrong people!

    Why can’t we just leave them alone?

    Why can’t they leave other citizens and other countries alone?
    Bush caused massive disruption and a huge refugee crisis with unnecessary Iraq wars, and cost the US taxpayers $4 to $6 trillion (of borrowed money) in the process!

    Obama was more interested in transgender bathrooms

    Transgender individuals are people who have had medical conditions affecting their sexual development!

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/01/23/vogue-model-hanne-gaby-odiele-comes-out-as-intersex/
    Intersex people are born with internal or external anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of ‘female’ or ‘male’.

    Nearly 2% of the population are born with intersex traits.

    Making someone who has the appearance of a female model use the men’s bathroom because of some bigoted religious view, really is stupid, ignorant, and cruel!
    Do you think it would be a good idea to legislate to force wheelchair users to use bathrooms with steps up to the entrance, or to make blind people cross roads without assistance?!
    It is precisely this sort of preached ignorant bigotry, which makes people hostile to the interfering fundamentalist religious state legislators!

    and other far left ideologies than the legitimate needs of America’s backbone.

    Obama tried to do a great deal for the ordinary US citizen in the face of deliberate determined obstruction by Republicans in Congress.
    Perhaps some actual thinking about social issues, rather that uncritically repeating the casual unthinking dismissals of constructive suggestions, which is encouraged by the junk propagandist media like Fox and Breitbart.

    These so called red necks stood up and voted for someone, anyone, who would listen to common sense and Trump was johnny on the spot.

    Unfortunately Trump is a habitual liar who tells people what they would like to hear – when he has no capability to actually deliver any benefit to them, and has a great deal of ego-centred ignorance, which causes chaos in whatever areas he touches.
    His “best team ever,” is a bunch of wreckers, with negligible capability to run the departments where they have been put in charge.
    The “Red-Necks” unfortunately lacked the education and critical scientific thinking skills, to investigate his background and work out what they were realistically going to get, rather than the fake spun illusion the Trump campaign sold them! Some have still not worked it out!

  16. Fiddy cent #15
    Mar 19, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Ok, before everyone thinks I’m a right wing nut job, I am a supporter of ObamaCare and I believe in universal health coverage. I also support pro-choice for women.

    The problem in the US is centred around political corporate sponsorship, and the lack of media outlets which offer balanced unbiased news.

    There are many democratic fundamentals that I support, but the problem is that the west has become so divided that it seems like the middle ground has become a wasteland.

    That is the nature of polarised propaganda which produces knee-jerk responses and cheerleading, rather than rational thinking and deeper reflection.

    Why should it be assumed that a republican is a closet racist NRA member for example.

    It should not be assumed, but closet racists and NRA fanatics frequently present themselves as being much more numerous than they actually are!

    Or that a democrat must be an atheist baby killer.

    That atheists are baby-killers, is simply a lie put about by deluded religious preachers whose “knowledge of life” is based on spoon-fed faith in dogmas and other preachers” rather than working at education and objective study!
    “God-id-it-all” so “I-know-it-all”, is very reassuring to the lazy-brained egotist, who is easily misled and exploited by the televangeslists of the USA!

    It’s absurd. But that’s the mess we’re in.

    It is a USA based mess at present, but the false-news propagandists are trying to make inroads into Europe, and keep sending their corporate and evangelical missionaries out into the other countries of the world!

  17. Fiddy cent #15
    Mar 19, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Ok, before everyone thinks I’m a right wing nut job, I am a supporter of ObamaCare and I believe in universal health coverage. I also support pro-choice for women.

    There is the issue of Trump insisting on cuts to these and other services to citizens to fund a 10% increase in military spending!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#List

    This link suggests that the USA could still match other world powers after CUTS in US military spending!

  18. @ Fiddy Cent #15

    Hello,

    I think one man’s liberty is another person’s tyranny. You mention finding a middle-ground, or something in the middle of two extremes. And that’s important, for sure. I do also think, however, that one must try not to inadvertently present false equivalents and straw-man arguments, as that is to employ improper methods of argument; a choice between the extreme left and the extreme right is not what we are facing, in my opinion; we are now facing the choice between an agenda driven by the extreme right and a progressive agenda, one that is sound, humane, fair, equitable, and in danger of getting drowned out by all the noise, passion, and propaganda. And that agenda is more in the spirit of what this country is all about: we are not an oligarchy, a plutocracy, an autocracy, or a Banana Republic – yet.

    “Believing” in universal health coverage means that you do in fact support some modicum of sacrifice with regards to your own individual liberty – in favor of the common good. Just like any time someone feels like robbing a store he must sacrifice some portion of his freedom on order to obey the law – which in this case is for the common good.

    Does our liberty include the right to own slaves? Or perhaps that should be left to the states. Should the right to discriminate take precedence over the right not to feel offended by a gay couple’s desire to celebrate a wedding? “Religious freedom”, is, in this context, the right for a private business owner to discriminate. Is that liberty or is it religious tyranny? What if another’s religion offended what Dr. Jonathan Miller called his “pious atheism”? Should he be allowed to discriminate against that individual?

    The irony of libertarianism (or whatever you choose to call it) is that it creates tremendous, unaccountable tyranny; that is, corporate tyranny. Such tyranny will be the undoing of us all.

    And while the size of the federal government might decrease the power of that smaller government could in fact increase. That’s called autocracy, and some of the most oppressive regimes in history have been autocratic – and small, tiny. So let’s not allow the language of propaganda to mislead us at all costs.

    Are you aware of what libertarians like Ron Paul and Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Bannon, actually stand for? Social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest, dog eat dog… a gilded age!

    American libertarians and free market fundamentalists (same thing) are deeply confused and misguided, basically.

    Trump supports the corrupt system: Citizens United, and is all about the free market WHICH IS NOT FREE. Libertarianism or free-market fundamentalism is a wicked political philosophy. (A lot of people get suckered in because libertarians don’t support foreign interventions, and therefore they can come across as reasonable and left-leaning which they are not.)

    Read this:

    “What’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England — permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society […] that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny.”
    —Noam Chomsky

    Sounds nice on the surface but American libertarianism today is nothing but a call for corporate tyranny. The corporate system, as it has evolved in the 20th century and left to its own devices, is pure tyranny, completely unaccountable. No regulations. No oversight.

    Libertarianism, free market fundamentalism = No federal involvement in anything: health – you name it.

    Ron Paul was asked “what if some guy’s in a coma and he’s going to die and has no health insurance.” His reply: “It’s a tribute to our liberty, to how free we are.”

    Name an issue and compare the democrats and progressives with Trump. – Climate change, the minimum wage, health care, free college tuition. . . Trump is on the wrong side. Hillary wanted to raise the minimum wage, Trump doesn’t think there should be a minimum wage; Sanders and most progressives want a single payer health-care system, aka “Medicare for all,” Trump and his fellow propagandists want to eliminate Medicaid and let the free market work do its magic; Sanders wants the federal government to guarantee free college tuition, the conservatives under (or controlling) Trump want to eliminate what little support the federal government currently provides to college students; how is that tyrannical? The vast majority of democrats and progressives think climate change is a threat to humanity, Trump and Pruitt think we shouldn’t do anything to address climate change. The “freedom” of big business must not be compromised, they say.

    In Trump’s America, corporations will be completely in charge of the environment, health care, retirement, trade and wage!!

  19. Corrected sentence: The conservatives under (or controlling) Trump want to eliminate what little support the federal government currently provides to college students; is such support such a terrible threat to our liberty?

    “No one can be absolutely free so long as our lives are inextricably bound up with the fates of others.”
    —August Strindberg.

  20. Reckless Monkey #16
    Mar 19, 2017 at 7:37 am

    It’s a bit hard to be taken seriously as a republican if they vote for a lunatic like Trump.

    England is having a similar problem with fake news and lying political statements misleading voters into supporting popularist fanatical ideological candidates.
    Teresa May and the Brexteers are proceeding into destructive chaos with their Article 50 madness, in the absence of any effective organised opposition in the House of Commons.

    The source of the disablement of the opposition, is now coming to light in the media, exposing the plot by the loony left to take over the Labour Party in order to recapture the easily manipulated Europhibic “Red-Neck” voters from UKIP and to feature themselves as “national leaders” while engaging in ineffective petty sniping on major political issues, and spouting their befuddled ideological preconceptions! – To Hell with any practical consideration of the interests of the country, or actual Eurozone economic benefits or workers’ rights!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39325559

    Labour’s deputy leader says left-wing supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are involved in a plot which could destroy the party as an electoral force.

    Tom Watson was reacting to claims that the grassroots Momentum group – which helped make Mr Corbyn leader – is hoping to get financial support from Britain’s largest trade union, Unite.

    Momentum’s Jon Lansman was reportedly taped saying that if Len McCluskey was re-elected as Unite general secretary, the union would affiliate to his group rather than just to Labour.

    Mr Watson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “enough is enough, this has got to stop… I’m afraid there are some people who do not have our electoral interests at heart”.

    He said “we have never seen the biggest union organising a political faction in the Labour Party with the tacit approval of the leadership”.

    He said he was not sure Mr Corbyn was aware of the plan suggested by the recordings – which were revealed by The Observer newspaper.

    Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Watson’s comments were “disappointing” and suggested he was trying to influence the outcome of the contest for Unite leader – in which incumbent Len McCluskey – a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – is being challenged by Gerard Coyne.

    The ballot papers for the contest will be sent out later this week, with the result to be announced next month.

    Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Chancellor and pet poodle, John McDonnell, is of course part of the loony-left “Momentum faction” high-jacking of the Labour Party leadership. This has totally disabled the Labour Party as an effective opposition, and given Teresa May the months of free ride to do what she likes!!
    The minority parties of Scottish Nationalists and the Liberals, currently provide the only regular coherent voice of opposition in the UK!

    Mr McDonnell dismissed talk of any kind of plot to take control of the party, insisting “this is not civil war”.

    “It is all about Tom and the internal battle that he is trying to wage within Unite,” he said.

    In the recordings Mr Lansman says: “Assuming that Len McCluskey wins the general secretaryship, which I think he will, Unite will affiliate to Momentum and will fully participate in Momentum, as will the CWU.”

    He went on to tell activists it was “absolutely crucial” that they secured a change to the party’s rules to ensure that whenever Mr Corbyn stands down, they are able to get a candidate on to the ballot paper to succeed him.

    Currently, a candidate must obtain the support of 15% of Labour MPs and MEPs in order to stand – a threshold a new left-wing contender is unlikely to be able to meet.

    Christine Shawcroft, a member of Momentum who sits on the party’s National Executive Council, said Labour’s MPs could not have a “veto” on the wishes of the membership when the time came to electing Mr Corbyn’s successor.

    “We have a mass membership now and it wants its voice to be heard,” she told Today. “There is a democratic deficit in the Labour Party where the structures we have do not reflect the support for Jeremy Corbyn that has been shown by the mass of the members”.

    So Momentum plan to change the rules so the popularist ignorant can shout down the elected MPs who have responsibility for seeking competent advice and voting in the interests of their constituents!

  21. @#23 –

    So the problem of political parties failing to properly screen and select suitable candidates for office, or the insidious infiltration of selection processes by nutty factions, is certainly not confined to the USA!

  22. #11

    In America you do not have the right to make another person get out of bed in the morning to support your needs. In other words you have the right to seek health care, but not the right to force another to provide it for you. Harsh, but true.

    Harsh, but illogical… So pay no taxes and the next time there’s a fire down the block tell the tenants in the burning building they had a good life and not to complain; it’ll be over soon enough, that America is the land of liberty and that no one is required to provide anything to anyone. Or help the capitalists privatize the fire dept. Then they can charge us an arm and a leg (what the market dictates) for saving us – if they choose to. Or pay more taxes; but don’t then complain about any war; because you as a tax payer are supporting our military. In fact more money goes to national “defense” than to anything else.

    It’s an imperfect system. Have you a better one?

    The Evangelicals: I wouldn’t want them tossed into the dustbin of history, to coin Dawkins’ phrase – I think he coined it; maybe not – I’d rather have a museum for them, like the old Shakers who have a museum (with programs and events) in Mt Lebanon, NY (Shaker Village). let’s have a museum and perhaps an historic site for those white Evangelicals; after all, they were a part of our history.

  23. Yes, there are obvious reasons why someone like Trump actually got elected. The question remains , why wasn’t it blatantly obvious that he doesn’t care about the people he’s pretending to care about, he only cares about himself . How stupid does a large part of a population have to be ??? Education system ??? Being able to figure out that he’s so full of shit, to quote “The Hitch”(on Jerry Falwell), if you gave him an enema you could fit him into a matchbox . Fiddy, I’ve spent around 6 yrs of my life in the US and I’ve travelled the length and breath of the country, and I’ve experienced a LOT of racism coming from a lot of people in the likes of Missouri and Arkansas and even heard some awful things said by police officers and so called pillars of the community . I’m not saying everyone’s a racist ,but don’t give me that crap that it’s not there, it’s there in bucket loads and is indoctrinated into the the next generations just the same as the bullshit religious nonsense.

  24. The question remains , why wasn’t it blatantly obvious that he doesn’t care about the people he’s pretending to care about, he only cares about himself . How stupid does a large part of a population have to be ???

    Hi PBrain,

    Strikes me as a kind of last gasp of the a segment of the population that would rather react than think. We had a similar election in Australia a couple of years when people sick and tired of dysfunction in our Labour party (roughly equivalent to the USA Democrates) who were never the less passing some sensible policies in a minority government voted in a government run by a wing nutted (have a look at a picture) right wing idiot Tony Abbot. It took all of a couple of months particularly after his first budget was released to realise he was a complete idiot and his government was even more dysfunctional than the last. Of course listening to him at any time in the previous decade would have convinced anyone that he was a moron. But many people just don’t want to think, thinking is the last thing on their minds and will only be used when bigotry, racism, homophobic and sexism have all proven to be ineffective. This process unfortunately often takes decades.

    The only upside I can see is the likes of Trump are so extreme that the results of their incompetence are harder to hide so they may catalyse the process.

  25. Monkey. Let’s be fair to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He has degrees in law and economics from Sydney University and Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He’s a volunteer in the rural fire brigade, a surf lifesaver and has raised over $4 million in charities for medical research and indigenous health.
    If you think a man like this is an idiot, or wish to call him a wing nut on account of his ears then go right ahead.
    What strikes me most about all of this is that Abbott is alson the author of four highly acclaimed books and numerous articles, but instead of referring to works by men like him, the article above by Amanda Marcotte takes pride of place. Marcotte is a perpetually outraged feminist with a worthless credibility. Try searching for one of her posts called “The Tyranny of the home cooked family dinner”. Brilliant stuff.
    Honestly, it’s like you guys only pick sides not principles.

  26. Fiddy cent #28
    Mar 21, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Fiddy cent #28
    Mar 21, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Monkey. Let’s be fair to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

    Well let’s!
    Despite higher education, he is endangering the whole planet with his denial of climate science and pretending it is some sort of band-wagon passing fashion! He is backward and stupid:- clinging to obsolete carbon based industries when Australia is one of the best placed countries in the world to develop solar energy systems!
    One of the first thing higher education should be teaching students, is to recognise areas of expertise where they personally lack knowledge, and need expert tuition or advice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Abbott#Climate_change

    Unsurprisingly, because of his failure to recognise his own ignorance, he also has little regard for crucial aspects of the environment such as the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef!

    If you think a man like this is an idiot, or wish to call him a wing nut on account of his ears then go right ahead.

    He is an “angelic” wingnut, because despite recognising that, as a former Catholic seminarian that:- his “Faith has certainly helped to shape my life”, he CLAIMS “it doesn’t in any way determine his politics” but then takes the vast majority of his policies on bioethics from the Catholic dogmas, rather than from scientists and doctors!

    With regard to his time as a trainee priest:-

    Abbott has said, “The priesthood gives someone the power to consecrate bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
    It doesn’t give someone the power to convert poor logic into good logic.”

    Unfortunately, in his political decision making, he fails to apply this need for evidence based logic to his own thinking, and instead uses his faith in ancient ignorant Catholic dogmas as his basis for his views and policies!

    So yes! Despite doing publicly visible charitable works and being a local “nice guy” to neighbours:- when it comes to big issue decisions on major scientific developments, climate, environment, marriage, medical issues, euthanasia, genetic research, divorce etc. he is a wing-nut idiot who makes damaging decisions because of his use of his indoctrinated irrational “faith-thinking” from dogma, in place of scientifically informed ethics!

  27. @OP – Despite all the posturing by conservatives about how their movement represents “real” America and liberal political attitudes are restricted mainly to the “coastal elite,” new research from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests that, at least in political terms, most Americans are secular in their orientation.

    It seems the Republican media are not secular, but have clear dogmatic propagandist agendas! Even their gun-promoting enthusiasts mustn’t upset the religious bigots if they want media jobs!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39338408

    US conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren has reportedly been suspended from her talk show after saying she holds pro-choice views on abortion.

    The 24-year-old pundit hosts “Tomi” on the conservative US network TheBlaze.

    She rose to prominence during the 2016 US election for her provocative and energetic online political monologues.

    Ms Lahren has faced huge online backlash since speaking on ABC’s “The View” last week.

    Ms Lahren has since defended her comments on Twitter, saying: “I speak my truth. If you don’t like it, tough.”

    Reports suggest her show may now be cut altogether, amid rising tensions between Ms Lahren and other Blaze employees and hosts.

    The young Republican who’s bigger than Trump on Facebook

    Ms Lahren said: “I’m someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government, but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies.

    “Stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

    Anti-abortion views are seen as fundamental to the US Republican Party platform and conservative political views in the US.

    The network’s founder Glenn Beck has spoken out again Ms Lahren and another reporter Kaitlyn Schallhorn, tweeted: “Even Hillary Clinton didn’t call pro-life conservatives hypocrites.”

    The conservative network describes itself as “a platform for a new generation of authentic and unfiltered voices”.

    Ms Lahren has 4.3 million followers on her Facebook page, almost 3 million more than President Donald Trump himself.

  28. I see that the USA is being being assimilated as a subsidiary of the Trump family business, with Ivanka Trump the new unofficial Director of Trump Oversight of business and officials!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39335887

    President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump will get an office in the White House, an administration official has said.

    But she will not have an official title or salary when she works in the West Wing – the hub of US executive power.

    The official also confirmed media reports that the 35-year-old would have access to classified information.

    Her role will be to serve as Donald Trump’s “eyes and ears” while providing broad-ranging advice, her attorney was quoted as saying by Politico.

    Ms Trump, who has her own fashion brand, will be joining her husband Jared Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the president.

    The couple’s reported influence on the president has raised questions about possible conflicts of interests.

    It has also triggered debates whether there are clear boundaries between the Trump family’s political and business activities.

    Since Mr Trump’s inauguration in January, Ms Trump has been seen attending meetings with world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Kellyanne Conway criticised for Ivanka Trump product promotion

    We have already seen illegal Trump business advertising from the White House!

    I wonder how much longer the Republicans are going to sit and watch power taken away from congress and centralised on the incompetent and unconstitutional diktats of Trump and Trump’s appointees?

  29. On the subject of secular applications of the law in the face of religious legal challenges:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39343299

    Supreme Court pick Gorsuch would have ‘no difficulty’ ruling against Trump

    Donald Trump’s pick for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court has insisted he would have no difficulty ruling against the man who nominated him.

    Neil Gorsuch told his Senate hearing that no-one had asked him to make any promises on how he would rule.

    Asked about abortion, he said the key Roe v Wade case was a precedent of the Supreme Court, reaffirmed many times.

    But he refused to say how he would rule in any given case, as that would be the “beginning of the end of independence”.

    Mr Gorsuch, nominated for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia 13 months ago, is facing two days of intense grilling in the Senate Judicial Committee.

    The first question on Tuesday, from chairman Chuck Grassley, asked if he would have “any trouble ruling against a president who appointed you”.

    Mr Gorsuch said: “I have no difficulty ruling against, or for, any party, other than based on what the law and facts in the particular case require.

    “There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge. We just have judges in this country.”

    Insisting on the separation of powers between the judiciary and the legislature, he said: “Judges would make pretty rotten legislators – we are life tenured, you can’t get rid of us, it would be a pretty poor way to run a democracy.”

    He was later asked directly if he was a surrogate for President Trump and replied: “No.”

    Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein spent her 30 minutes touching on three areas Mr Gorsuch will continue to be pressed on – abortion, gun control and employee rights.

    Ms Feinstein asked whether the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion, should be protected as a “super precedent” – a ruling so ingrained in law it is hard to overturn.

    Mr Gorsuch acknowledged the case was a reaffirmed precedent, but added: “I’m not in a position to tell you whether I personally like or dislike a precedent. That’s not relevant to my job.”

    Mr Gorsuch told Senator Lindsey Graham that he had not met Mr Trump before his interview for the post.

    Mr Graham asked if Mr Trump had called on him in the interview to overturn Roe v Wade. Mr Gorsuch said “No”, and that if he had done so, “I would have walked out of the door.”

  30. Monkey. Let’s be fair to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He has degrees in law and economics from Sydney University and Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He’s a volunteer in the rural fire brigade, a surf lifesaver and has raised over $4 million in charities for medical research and indigenous health.

    None of which means he is not an idiot. You are right he has an education, but his refusal to use his cognitive facilities is astonishing. His education simply highlights what a waste his potential is. He stubbornly refused to accept or acknowledge basic facts highlighted for example his views on climate change “climate change is a load of crap” his words.

    You are right that in commenting about his ears I am playing the man and not his ideas, yes that was a joke at his expense.

    Abbott is alson the author of four highly acclaimed books

    to be honest being highly acclaimed means little. Widely acclaimed is better. Mein Kampf is highly acclaimed among NAZI’s this does little to recommend it to me.

    As for

    you guys picking sides not picking sides not principles

    you should then be happy to go back and answer one of the numerous questions I posed to you in relation to your views on the rights of all Americans, I asked at least 5 specific questions which you have refused to answer this appears to me to be an attempt to shift the goalpost away from flaws in your libertarian views and shift the debate to a general accusation like you guys pick sides not principles. I’ll give you one item you raised to start with again, and we’ll see if you are willing to defend your own principles (because I’ll either defend mine or admit I might be wrong as I have just done with the wing nut ears jibe).

    Above you said

    If they don’t want to bake a gay wedding cake, so be it. Who cares if you don’t approve?

    To which I replied…

    However it is not unreasonable for public businesses using public utilities to serve the public without discrimination? Why should homosexuals pay taxes for roads and facilities and then not be able to access public businesses? Would you think it was okay to have whites only cake shops?

    Care to address this response? It’s simple set of questions and if you are prepared to defend their libertarian principles you should be able to answer this.

    I asked these questions because I have thought about the principles behind libertarian values and cannot find a satisfactory answer to my type of question. The views I hold are those that have survived, a big part of the reason I comment here is to challenge those views which is why I’m engaging with you and have engaged in debate others I disagree with. So if you are going to try to summarise my position and then refuse to answer any specific objections I have for your posts then who is afraid to challenge their principles?

  31. Alan4discussion #33

    Mar 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    …applications of the law…

    Alan

    I don’t think Gorsuch should be nominated. He talks the talk, pretends to be super-rational and ultra-objective; but he’s religious and likes “religious freedom”. Every judge has some bias, and it’s dishonest and deceptive on the part of that big-business loving, patriarchal reactionary to claim otherwise or to come across as so pure and wise. He’s a goddamned conservative Republican – to the core. And that makes him dangerous. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Gorsuch is another pro corporate asshole, part of the problem. I don’t care how erudite he is. His record sucks. His nomination might be the last nail in the coffin. Look up Chevron and Hobby lobby. And he’s against campaign finance reform, likes Citizens United, etc.

    This fine quote below was from a short article from Breitbart! And there was no opposing view. If you can explain that I’d be in your service. Either Gorsuch isn’t conservative enough for them or they’re up to something else, something highly nefarious.

    Pelosi stated, “[E]lections have ramifications, and here is a living, breathing example of it. The president and his first appointment to the court, and hopefully his only appointment to the court, has appointed someone who has come down on the side of corporate America versus class action suits on securities fraud. He’s come down against employer’s — employee’s rights. Clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine, and the rest, if you care about that for your children, he’s not your guy. [Former Representative] Gabby Giffords’ (D-AZ) group…said that he comes down on the side of felons, over gun safety. Hostile to women’s reproductive rights, Hobby Lobby case for example. The list goes on and on, criticized progressives for bringing cases that relate to LGBT progress, taking those cases to the courts. What saddens me the most, as a mom and a grandmother though, is his hostility towards children in school, children with autism. He has ruled that they don’t have the same rights under the IDEA that children — that they could reach their intellectual and social advancement under the law. He has said that doesn’t apply to them. He’s come down against them on ADA as well, and again, under IDEA. So, it’s a very hostile appointment. … Lovely family, I’m sure, but as far as your family is concerned, and all of us, if you breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine, or in any other way, interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision. Well outside the mainstream of American legal thought, not committed to Supreme Court precedents.

  32. Dan #35
    Mar 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t think Gorsuch should be nominated. He talks the talk, pretends to be super-rational and ultra-objective; but he’s religious and likes “religious freedom”. Every judge has some bias, and it’s dishonest and deceptive on the part of that big-business loving, patriarchal reactionary to claim otherwise or to come across as so pure and wise. He’s a goddamned conservative Republican – to the core. And that makes him dangerous. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    He probably needs some serious shortcomings to qualify for a Trump nomination!
    Despite the fine words about the law being the law and following precedents, clearly the Republicans had an agenda in blocking Obama’s nomination earlier!

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