Goodbye Katherine Harris

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Elections, General Politics, Religion

Okay, a post about Katherine Harris? Why something so easy Justin?

Well, because ladies and gentlemen, I will remind you that this is the woman who certified the 2000 Florida general election results. Just let that sit in your mind as you read the following.

From The Orlando Sentinel first comes this:

ORLANDO, Fla. _Rep. Katherine Harris said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a “nation of secular laws” and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to “legislate sin.”

Yowzaa!

But wait…there’s so much more:

Harris also said the separation of church and state is a “lie we have been told” to keep religious people out of politics.

In reality, she said, “we have to have the faithful in government” because that is God’s will. Separating religion and politics is “so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers,” she said.

Note to Republicans…these are the people you’re electing because you’re afraid of terrorists. These are not good stewards of our Constitution. In fact, as is evidenced in these statements, zealots like Harris are trying to undermine our Democracy, and the fact that she feels comfortable enough to just come right on out and say it is even more proof of how bad the situation really is.

However, it’s good to see a Republican backlash…

Ruby Brooks, a veteran Tampa Bay Republican activist, said Harris’ remarks “were offensive to me as a Christian and a Republican.”

“To me, it’s the height of hubris,” said Brooks, a former Largo Republican Club president and former member of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee.

And Jillian Hasner, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said: “I don’t think it’s representative of the Republican Party at all. Our party is much bigger and better than Katherine Harris is trying to make it.”

Note to Katherine: zealotry is like so six years ago.

Buh-bye.


This entry was posted on Saturday, August 26th, 2006 and is filed under Elections, General Politics, Religion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

74 Responses to “Goodbye Katherine Harris”

  1. Daniel DiRito Says:

    OK, I couldn’t resist…see a tongue-in-cheek visual of two of Florida’s finest – Katherine Harris & Anita Bryant – here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    Daniel, your link doesn’t work. Check it and tell me what’s going on.

  3. Daniel DiRito Says:

    Duplicate comment with good link:

    OK, I couldn’t resist…see a tongue-in-cheek visual of two of Florida’s finest – Katherine Harris & Anita Bryant – here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  4. Marcos El Malo Says:

    I’m really surprised that the DNC hasn’t helped fund her primary campaign. She’s the ideal candidate for Nelson to run against.

    I also wonder if this is truly zealotry or opportunism borne of desperation. I tend to think the former, although it’s probably a mix. As a Republican, I know people that have embraced the American Taliban and believe that GWB was picked by God. People that I once thought of as intelligent and that I respected. (Oh, btw, I’m in California. We have the right wing theocrats here, too.) Truly, the GOP has lost its way. I’m hoping we get our butts kicked this November, so we can do some soul searching and get our party back on track and back to its principles.

  5. Marcus Poirier Says:

    I did not realize that God chooses our rulers. I also did not realize that we have rulers in the U.S.A..

  6. Lonely Federalist Says:

    And this has to do with Florida 2000 how? Oh right, because Bush stole it. And because of this snake-handlin’ thumper, who thinks that God wanted him there and she did what she had to do because it was God’s will!

    Not that you’re insinuating that,or anything. You’re, ya’ know, just sayin’…

    For the record, she’s an idiot and deserves to lose, and was going to before this idiot remark anyway.

    And also for the record, get over Florida. Donks lost it, fair and square.

  7. Justin Gardner Says:

    No, not insinuating that Bush stole the election. That’s tired and done. And how about Elephants quit saying “get over Florida,” when somebody mentions somebody associated with it? That would be nice too.

    But I am saying, from what I’ve read about her and now this, she seems borderline incompetent. Also, Republicans made her into a hero because of the 2000 election…that is until she started opening her mouth. SImply put, she’s HIGHLY partisan and not fit to be in office. And yet there she is. Interesting. Read anything about her background and you’ll see that she came from big money and that’s greased the wheels of her unimpressive career.

    But regarding the religion angle, there are probably legislators like her both in the state houses and Congress. And that should scare all of us, Republican and Democrat alike.

  8. Justin Gardner Says:

    By the way Lonely Federalist, I’m still waiting for your response on that Iraq post where you spit venom at me. I did answer you, and in detail.

    Remember?

  9. Jake Says:

    It’s too bad some of you feel the way you do. After all, she was apparently the only person with political clout in Florida who could count votes.

  10. Lonely Federalist Says:

    Yes, I remember.

    Call it venom if you like, all I was trying to do is get you to commit to a position, any position. You have a habit of “if”-ing and “could be”-ing without saying a damned thing, so much so that you make campaign-era Kerry look positively decisive. Despite what you may think, I don’t dislike you or come here merely to tweak you…I actually DO think you’re a smart guy, and think you ought to commit yourself more often and to hell with the consequences of possibly being wrong. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.

    Guys like you don’t set up blogs like this if they don’t think they have something to say that they think people want to hear, or should hear.

    So, thank you for your response over there. Glad you finally committed to a stance. I respect you a hell of a lot more for that than pointing at random “could bes” and coming back a year later or so and saying “See? I told you this was gonna happen!”

    Was there something in that response you were expecting back from me?

    Now, as for this post…are you telling me that this:

    Well, because ladies and gentlemen, I will remind you that this is the woman who certified the 2000 Florida general election results. Just let that sit in your mind as you read the following.

    means the summation of the following:

    No, not insinuating that Bush stole the election…

    But I am saying, from what I’ve read about her and now this, she seems borderline incompetent…

    Oh, I misunderstood. She didn’t “win” Florida out of religious fervor, but merely out of incompetence. Dance on the head of that pin all you want, but trying to slip out of insinuating in your initial post thatshe had something to do with Florida 2000 going to Bush is pure candyassery. Kind of like a Dean “One of the more interesting theories about 9/11…” grade candyassery.

  11. Wendell Says:

    Yea Katherine Harris! Finally a politician that is a true statesman. It is so good to finally hear of a politician with enough backbone to speak their convictions without having to take a poll first. She has finally figured out that the separation of state and church truely says that the state has to leave the church alone. It is the duty of every Christian to vote against every politician regardless of party that does not stand up for their convictions. It is also the moral responsibility of every non- Christian to vote against any politician that has to take a poll to know what their convictions are.
    In a country where 85% of the people believe in the God of the Bible… Katherine Harris’ view should be the norm.

  12. Lonely Federalist Says:

    Ugh, my “She didn’t “win” Florida out of religious fervor…” was meant to be “She didn’t “win” Florida for Bush out of religious fervor…”

    And by the way, her post as Secretary of State was meaningless. So meaningless that the position was already on its way out, and doesn’t even exist anymore.

    She was nothing more than a glorified Notary Public.

  13. Steven Youell Says:

    I am amazed at how many people form opinions on what Ms. Harris said without reading the actual interview. Almost without exception, every news source that I’ve read has used selective quotes in order to support their own agenda. Here’s an example subtitle from CBS News:

    “Comments Indicate She Believes Only Christians Fit To Make Laws”

    Nowhere in the interview did she say that. Instead, she advocated Christians to get off their butts and vote for people who reflect their values. And she warned that if Christians didn’t get off their butts and vote, then by default, laws will probably be passed that reflect the antithesis of Christian Values.

    Truth is, I don’t agree with everything Ms. Harris said. However, I get really, really tired of morons who accuse people of fuzzy thinking, poor logic and zealotry when they apparently haven’t even read (or qutoed) the original piece. Perhaps the accusers should critique their own critical thinking skills before they go out and start a blog.

    Finally, although I think her words were a poor choice when she called the separation of Church and State a “lie”– it is, in fact, one of the most misunderstood constitutional issues in America. Ask any 10 Americans about it and they’ll tell you the phrase (or concept) is in the U.S. Constitution. Well, it isn’t. The phrase comes from a Supreme Court decision– and there are plenty of fine legal minds that disagree with that decision.

    My point is that the majority of Americans seem to believe that the statement and/or concept of “separation of Church and State” is “in the Constitution”– and it isn’t. Therefore the majority of Americans believe something that is not true. Calling that a lie isn’t accurate, but it’s not inaccurate either.

    Steven Youell

  14. Lonely Federalist Says:

    Oh, and before we lose all perspective about things…let me just go on the record and say that she does look rather incredible in a pair of shit-kickers and jeans.

    http://www.qando.net/images/harris.jpg

    Just sayin’…

  15. Chris Boland Says:

    This just corroborates the growth of Christian Nationalism and does not bode well for American Democracy or the constitution.

    Check out the article on Christian Nationalism, it will open your eyes.
    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060825.html

  16. John Moorvartian Says:

    If a study is made of the documents that were written at the time of the American revolution it is obvious that the founding fathers were not only deeply religous but never intended our Country to be secular in it’s construction. I believe the constitutional verbage so often pointed to as a requirement for separtaion of church and state is just a convenient misinterpretation of what is really being said. No where do the words “seperation of church and state” appear in the constitution or anyhwere else in the writings of that time. Some folks try to spin the truth in a direction that attempts to justify not having to answer for their “life choices”. Good luck with that.

  17. SilverSeraphim Says:

    IIRC, the idea of “separation of Church and State” was first espoused by Thomas Jefferson himself, in a letter to a friend. He’d been commenting on a sermon he’d heard delivered by a pastor telling his flock not to get overly involved in the “wordly affairs” of politics. In fact, for most of American history Christians were NOT the overt political force they are today.

    As a Pagan, I find the exhortation that America should be a “Christian” nation to be deeply disturbing. In fact, I think Christians themselves should be disturbed by this, as their are many different kinds of Christians. What kind of “Christian” should America be? Baptist? Episcopalian? Lutheran? And several denominations have different groupings in themselves. Take Lutheran- if America was Lutheran, should it be Missouri Synod? Evangelical? or Wisconsin Synod?

    The Founders were trying to avoid this very morass when they declared that the government would make no law regulating religion or the lack thereof. Just take a look at European history, to see what religious regulating wreaks on a land and its people.

  18. Steven Youell Says:

    Chris Borland Says:

    “This just corroborates the growth of Christian Nationalism and does not bode well for American Democracy or the constitution.

    Check out the article on Christian Nationalism, it will open your eyes.”

    I read the article. It is factually incorrect on several points.

    SilverSeraphim Says:

    “the idea of “separation of Church and Stateâ€Â? was first espoused by Thomas Jefferson himself, in a letter to a friend.”

    This is factually incorrect. The letter you refer to does not suggest “separation of Church and State”. A careful reading of both the letter written by Jefferson AND the Supreme Court decision/opinion will demonstrate that you’re incorrect.

    “In fact, for most of American history Christians were NOT the overt political force they are today.”

    Borderline incorrect. Since the dominant religion of the day was Christianity (in one form or another), the domient polictical force (including the founding fathers) was Christian. This was the case until around the time Darwinism hit the world– but it took a few decades until those effects were felt in the political spectrum.

    I’m starting to see why that Ann Coulter chick is so venomous. It’s frustrating to see so many people espousing opinons when they don’t bother to read anything other than material that supports their own malformed opinions….

    Steven Youell

  19. John Moorvartian Says:

    I don’t think anyone is saying America should be a Christian nation. The simple fact is 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Given that we are also a democracy, the majority has the right to make the rules. America has been generous in making concessions to those who “set themselves apart” from mainstream America. But don’t mistake tolerance for weakness. This isn’t mideval Europe, we freed ourselves of the human kings and queens for a Greater Master. It’s scary I know, but don’t be afraid. We love you no matter what you believe.

  20. John Moorvartian Says:

    There is a very good resource if anyone wants to see where our laws and ideals are coming from. Google “The Avalon Project at Yale Law School”. It will take some time to read but should settle a few arguments. Peace.

  21. eusto Says:

    John and Steve:

    While demographically the US has always been predominantly Christian, the US was founded as a secular republic based on Enlightenment principles. Both Jefferson and Washington were Deists. Adams was a Unitarian. Our founding documents positively exude Enlightenment. Freedom of religion in particular had as its greatest proponent Voltaire, a particularly vitriolic critic of Christianity.

    The turn of phrase, nature’s God, strongly connotes Deism.

    Neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor Aquinas supported religious toleration. To them, it was anathema to allow religious toleration, for how could it be moral to allow the eternal damnation of others due to wrong beliefs. It was a moral duty to stamp out heresy for all major branches of Christianity prior to the Enlightenement.

    Thus, it is profoundly disingenous to claim the founding fathers’ support for a particularly conservative form of Christianity. And were you truly familiar with Jefferson, you would know just how nasty his views were towards Christianity. For instance, in his swearing of an eternal hostility before God to all tyranny on the mind of man, the specific context, the specific tyranny in mind, was the tyranny of CHRISTIANITY because, at the time, certain fervent Christians were opposing his election to the presidency because of his Deist views. The fact that he, as a Deist, was able to be president indicates that the country, has, in some ways, become MORE conservative as time goes on.

    So in conclusion, any honest historical assessment of our founding documents will reveal that they are overwhelmingly the product of Enlightenment thought and not Christianity. And second, Christians must admit that religious toleration and freedom was something not native to Christianity but only arose as a result of a stalement between Protestantism and Catholicism during the extremely bloody wars of religion. Christianity had to be drug kicking and screaming to toleration save for a few sects of anabaptists.

    Also, while it true that the majority do make laws here, it should be noted the ff’s put in place many checks against majoritarian excesses. Namely, the supreme court has the power to declare invalid any statute it deems unconstitutional.

    All this is not to beat up on Christians, merely to state facts. BTW, I learned these facts from practicing Christian professors, Catholic and Protestant with a moderate or conservative bent. The only people who would deny them are people trying to make a lot of money by selective quotations so as to sell books. This is not contested history. America was founded as a secular republic, period. I didn’t say atheist, I said secular. That’s an important distinction.

  22. Lewis B. Sckolnick Says:

    The New York Times and other organizations spent hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating the 2000 vote count in Florida and they were unable to find anything amiss. The same type of ballot is used by elderly members of the Masons and none of those folks get “confused”. Harris is a very JEWISH family name.

  23. John Moorvartian Says:

    eusto,

    Well said and obviously well studied. My compliments. However, consider this. The founding fathers, much like the politicians of today which in fact they invented, just wrote the papers. The common people paid the price, fought the war, won the freedom. What do you suppose they were? Christians or Deists? I’m guessing if you asked Joe Colonist in 1776 he wouldn’t know a Deist from a dumpling. They were Christians. Not part of the ruling elite, not part of the Enlightenment, just average people. Secular? Not on your life. It’s their country and their legacy we should honor. It is they the founding fathers spoke for. However, my hat is off to you sir. Please don’t take offence to my comments.

  24. Steven Youell Says:

    eusto said:

    “Our founding documents positively exude Enlightenment.”

    I disagree. The founding documents exude the Christianity of the majority of our founders while being tempered with their distrust of a religion run by the government. In short, the majority of our founders were Christians who wanted to make sure that they could practice whatever their faith demanded of them– and they knew that if THEY wanted those freedoms, they’d have to give the same rights to people who had different faiths.

    eusto said:

    “Thus, it is profoundly disingenous to claim the founding fathers’ support for a particularly conservative form of Christianity.”

    I never said that. Ever.

    eusto said:

    “And were you truly familiar with Jefferson, you would know just how nasty his views were towards Christianity.”

    I am truly familiar with Jefferson. He was not a Christian. I never said he was. And by the way– it wasn’t “Christianity” he had a problem with, it was dogmatic, organized religion. Apparently he had great respect for the teachings of Jesus, but denied the deity of Jesus, the resurrection and most other tenets of organized Christianity. Whether that’s a hypocritical view or not is the subject for another debate.

    Most of the rest of your post relies on poor logic, bad documentation and fallacies. I’ll name a few just so you don’t think I’m blowing smoke:

    Appealing to Authority:

    “I learned these facts from practicing Christian professors, Catholic and Protestant with a moderate or conservative bent. The only people who would deny them are people trying to make a lot of money by selective quotations so as to sell books.”

    Begging The Question:

    “All this is not to beat up on Christians, merely to state facts.”

    Poisening The Well:

    “So in conclusion, any honest historical assessment of our founding documents will reveal that they are overwhelmingly the product of Enlightenment thought and not Christianity.”

    I could go on, but you get the idea. Essentially your post strikes me as being hostility cloaked in condescending language and poor thinking.

    Steven Youell

  25. eusto Says:

    mea culpa, at least partly; I freely admit that I was responding to a general meme that the US is a Christian nation than to the particularities of your comments. Thus, perhaps I ought not have addressed it to you two. I apologize. I was aiming more broadly than that.

    I disagree. The founding documents exude the Christianity of the majority of our founders while being tempered with their distrust of a religion run by the government.

    You’re simply wrong on this. You’re rewriting history. Where are there any references to Christianity in our founding documents? IIRC, the only reference to God is in the declaration and there it’s the deist turn of phrase “nature’s God” and only once. Then, it goes on to list a large number of secular grievances.

    The constitution doesn’t invoke God at all. Again, the Enlightenment stood for freedom of religion and self-determination. Christianity historically did not although you can find scriptural support after the fact. The methods of governance native to Christianity untempered by the Enlightenment are found in medieval times and to things like Calivin’s Geneva. The founders found inspiration from Rome and from John Locke’s political theory. Please indicate where there are any specifically Christian ideas in our founding documents.

    I never said that. Ever.

    Sorry, as I said above, I was aiming broadly.

    I am truly familiar with Jefferson. He was not a Christian. I never said he was. And by the way– it wasn’t “Christianity� he had a problem with, it was dogmatic, organized religion. Apparently he had great respect for the teachings of Jesus, but denied the deity of Jesus, the resurrection and most other tenets of organized Christianity. Whether that’s a hypocritical view or not is the subject for another debate.

    Well, if Jefferson wrote the Declaration but wasn’t a Christian how exactly does that exude Christianity? True, he may have liked the moral teaching of Christianity but the moral teaching of Christianity is not much different from the teaching of Buddhism or some varieties of ancient Stocism. Just because the documents have a strong moral sense doesn’t make them Christian documents any more than Cicero’s writings on virtue are Christian documents.

    Most of the rest of your post relies on poor logic, bad documentation and fallacies.

    Clearly what I wrote was just a sketch not a dissertation. Proving that the earth really is round takes a lot of work too. (Excuse my rudeness, but it’s true.) I guess that’s why my post was indeed hostile. I’m just frustrated that anyone with a good conscience and a sound mind would believe that our country is founded on Christian principles after an impartial analysis. Religion HAS played a very important role in our history; but it just so happens that our founding has a very strong secular, Enlightenment flavor to it. It’s somewhat anomalous in that respect.

    Appealing to Authority

    Um, it’s only a fallacy to appeal to inappropriate authority. I just said that to indicate that I did not learn these things at the hands of crazed atheist loonies, but from experts in the relevant fields with no reason to distort the evidence and in fact reasons to play up the Christian nature of our country. IOW, I’m pretty sure my views are not just mine but the views of the great majority of historians, both Christian and non. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily correct, but it establishes a high degree of probability.

    Begging The Question:

    I’m not sure how I’m assuming what is at issue. I don’t think my feelings towards Christianity are at issue. I was just saying that to dispel any notions that I was just engaging in Christian-bashing. No, I’m just trying to prevent revisionist history here is all.

    Poisening The Well

    Mea culpa on this one. But I guess I have trouble believing that you could be sincere in your arguments.

    I could go on, but you get the idea. Essentially your post strikes me as being hostility cloaked in condescending language and poor thinking.

    I apologize. I perhaps should not have posted if I did not do so in a spirit of dialogue. But I hear the claim that we are founded on Christian principles so many times, that I do lose patience. I believe an honest Christian needs to realize that basically the Enlightenment saved Christianity from itself. That the current tolerance of Christianty did not come easy to the tradition. That, in fact, Christianity used to be like much of Islam is today. I think Christianity has much to offer but that it needs to humbly admit its errors and not try to steal credit for things for which it was not the author.

  26. gal Says:

    Lonely Federalist Says:

    Oh, and before we lose all perspective about things…let me just go on the record and say that she does look rather incredible in a pair of shit-kickers and jeans.

    Gee, that’s relevant.

  27. eusto Says:

    “Final thoughts”

    Here’s a thought experiment. Let’s assume that our documents truly exuded Christianity. If so, they should be littered with scriptural references like a text of Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther, not completely devoid of them. Right? That’s what a Christian document would look like. What am I missing here? Where are the references to baptism and the ressurection in the constituion, for instance?

    The constitution may have been authored by Christians but that does not make it a Christian document, anymore (again on pain of rudeness) than a travel brochure written by a few people who happen to be Christians is a Christian document.

  28. tanaS Says:

    As an atheist I can tell people that if it were not for the Bill of Rights, every “christian” would trample on my rights to think, say or even vote as I choose.

    If people want to believe in Fairy Tales that consciouness survives their death that’s okay. But don’t try to force intelligent people to take an irrational belief of theirs as Reality.
    I perfer the cosmology of The Lord of the Rings over christianity. And further, there is just as much evidence that Merlin existed as Jesus.

  29. Steven Youell Says:

    eusto:

    Part of your problem is that you’re assuming I said things that I didn’t.

    For example– I never said that our nation was founded on Christian principles. I said that the majority of the Founding Fathers (the ones that wrote and signed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) were Christians. Of course, you and I could have different definitions of what the term “Christian” means…

    The other part of your problem is that you consistently apply double standards, to wit:

    “Where are there any references to Christianity in our founding documents?”

    Yet, you did not provide a single reference in the Constitution or Delcaration of Indenpendence (or any other document foundational to the nation) that mentions “Enlightenment”. Can you provide such a reference? If not, then please stop wasting my time. Please.

    Either meet your own standards or don’t expect a response from me. I have better things to do than respond to someone who is so intellectually dishonest.

    Steven Youell

  30. eusto Says:

    Steve, Steve, Steve

    Look, (in a friendly tone) I already said that I was aiming broadly and more at a general meme than to you in particular. The general theme of the post was Harris basically saying that there is no separation of Church and State and that this is a Christian nation. You and John seemed to defend her and I wrote a very broad refutation of the ideas underlying Harris’ comments which I why I addressed it to you two. I already said perhaps that was a mistake. But you just said that the constitution exuded Christianity. I think something that exudes something should invoke its principles somehow in someway. I don’t see much specific to Christianity in our documents. What are you referring to? And note, that well, I asked you first.

    Now as for particular references to enlightenment, I already mentioned the enlightenment values of religious freedom and self-determination. So, although the word enlightenment is not used, its common principles are invoked throughout. The very fact that our documents require that there is no state church, no establishment of religion makes us a secular republic. No? Note sure if we agree or disagree here.

    No need to respond. I need to get going as well. Looking back over your comments, I think the only clear area of disagreement between us is about the “exuding” stuff. Please treat the rest as a general refutation of Harris and not you in particular.

  31. Bill Says:

    Somehow I stumbled upon this blog while researching something totally unrelated, and got caught up in it. You guys need some Batman effects (Pow, Zap, Zing) to complement you hijinks. Smart, not great spellers but smart… and this is what you do with your time? Out here guys who drive pickup trucks put these decals on the back windows with this cartoon character peeing (see, I use the nice word) on something – a team he doesn’t like, etc. You guys need tattoos of that.

    Use that great analytical power, knowledge (hey, everyone has a different set of facts, live with it till you find the universal truth), and most of all vitriolic energy you invest here to do some good. Put your intellectual prowess and energy into something like Big Brothers or whatever. Fine, so you fill some poor kid who rarely reads full of your particular flavor of the truth, he’ll find his own, at least you’d be kick starting the thinking and curiousity versus having these … peeing matches.

    Good to read but, then, I was watching the Emmy’s before this. Wish someone as smart as you guys had nurtured me a bit as a kid.

  32. Aardvark Gringo Says:

    You hillbillies are hilarious. Sure, maybe 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians but only 30% of them bother to vote and only 50% of those voted for George Jr. Plus, everybody knows we only use 10% of our brains so by my math George II represents 1.125% of the potential political intelligence of this great land and I think I’m being generous. BTW aren’t those the same followers of Jesus teachings who think we all ought to be out totin’ guns and kickin’ ass? If you blowhards are so hung up on the way they woulda’ coulda’ shoulda’ done it back in 1776 then why don’t ya’ll load up your single shot muskets and go shoot some savages to save them from having to go to hell.

  33. eusto Says:

    Steve,

    Looking over things, I realize that I leapt to wrong ideas about your position and unfairly attacked you.

    Also, I don’t think you mean “exude” based on what else you wrote. I think you just mean that the documents are not anti-Christian and were designed such that Christians as well as other folk could practice their religion in peace. I agree with that. You also say that our nation was not founded on Christian principles, or at least suggest that, and I certainly agree with that. So if you agree with me there, doesn’t it follow that the documents were based on Enlightenment political theory — I’m not sure of an alternative — what else would they be based on? If not Christian, if not Enlightenment then what? You attack me on the Enlightenment source yet disavow the Christian one (or seem to do so), so I’m not sure where you stand.

    Next time I post in this broad fashion, I will be sure to indicate that I am doing so at the outset. I will also be careful not to unfairly entagle innocent commenters in my web of opprobrium ;)

    Peace. Eusto.

  34. John Moorvartian Says:

    Here’s the thing. First off, eusto does not have to apologize to me or anyone else for his very well executed opinion. Secondly, this blog has demonstrated a great lesson. The kind of people who debate these topics are generally well educated free thinking individuals “outside” mainstream thought. However, this country is filled with hard working, Bible toting, not so free thinking as thinking “free” Christians. It was people like this who founded our country. The “fathers” may have done the writtin’ but the people did the fightin’. They live on today and they are a force for sure. Most politicians will say whatever whoever pays them the most wants them to say. At least Kathy spoke her mind. Not the Rand Corporation or Walmart or even the GOP’s mind but her mind. She is closer to the average American than any of you. The founders left enough loopholes in the system that if the Christian majority in this counrty ever figures it out, there may be no more atheists. Sorry tanaS.

  35. Carole S. Says:

    Why do Liberals insist on telling people what to do, you guys stink and you’re dangerous!! Just listen to those fruitcakes Ted Kennedy, Dean, Biden. They all sound like their heads are about to blow up. Now we have ” Shock and Awe ” Polosi throwing her weight around. You still don’t get it. Maybe when the people go after you, You will catch on. Thanks.

  36. tanaS Says:

    I knew, given enough time, that athesits very lives would be threatened by wacko christian (see John Moronveratas comment above.

    It just adds weight to the fact that an American Taliban is seeking to install Joyce Carol Oates “The Handmadien’s Tale”.
    It is a novel where the likes of Falwel take over the US. With sexual explotation that christian men are famous for as well as financial corruption that they demonstrate to perfection.

  37. BVince Says:

    Reminds me of that great quote:

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

  38. tanaS Says:

    BVince:

    Have you been drinking LSD laced Kool-Aid?

  39. BVince Says:

    No, but do you know where I can get some ?

  40. dickyg Says:

    If the founding fathers intended for you to jump off a bridge would you do it? How about if they let you deny women voting rights or let you turn black people into slaves? It’s obvious that the real argument is not about the framers’ intent but about basic human rights.

    The church and state lie–

    If you believe that people have rights because they are people (they have intrinsic worth), you won’t mind a church free government. In fact, you’ll insist on one, because you believe people have the intrinsic right not to have a particular religion imposed on them.

    If you, as Harris, believe that the only reason people have rights is because God says they do, you will reject a church free government. Since your goal in life is to serve God’s will, and only God decides what is right and wrong, or good and evil, your government, as everything else, must be guided by the church.

    If you think Harris’s views are outrageous, consider that just before the Constitution was ratified, 11 of 13 colonies had laws requiring all political officeholders to be Christian.

  41. K. Charles Says:

    Harris’ problems most likely stem from being separated at birth from her twin brother:

    http://separatedatbirth.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

  42. gal Says:

    tanaS, “The Handmaid’s Tale” was by Margaret Atwood, not JKO. Just thought you’d like to know.

  43. DLN Says:

    Re Steven Youell’s post Aug27th 5:19pm
    Actually the letter was written to the Danbury Baptist Assocation in 1802 and contains the phase “wall of seperation between church and state” (see the quote below lifted from the letter)
    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state”

    The following is lifted from Amendment 1 US Constitution
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    Just thought you might like to know…..

  44. BakedPenguin Says:

    Self promotion, but this is entirely relevant, so…

    http://www.bakedpenguin.com/index.html

  45. Meredith Says:

    All of this assuming that Christianity is the “right” religion – no pun intended. I’m an agnostic, so I think everyone who claims that their religion is the right religion is arrogant and silly.

    As to our founding fathers. I think the point of coming over here and taking North America as ours (and by “ours” I mean white people from England) was to escape the religious tyranny in England. Chrisitans (puritans actually) were being persecuted because they weren’t the majority religion. So, fast forward to setting up a government. I’m pretty sure the idea was to create a government that did not favor any one religion over the other in order to protect minority religions. So, in case it’s not obvious yet, my point is that the “separation of church and state” notion was devised to protect against the majority religion from persecuting or taking over people who did not share the same faith.

    Anyone who advocates for only Christians to be in office in order to enact Christian laws is advocating a theocracy. Ms. Harris’ words sounded fanatical and disturbing to me. Guess why? Because – not everyone is a Christian, and not everyone wants to live their lives as one because the government forces them to. This should be viewed as a precursor to our government becoming a mirror-image of Islamic states.

    Very Scary. Getting info on moving to Canada . . . .

  46. gerryf Says:

    While a fundamentally agree with you Meredith, the people you are talking about — those who were fleeing religious oppression — were a) not the only people who migrated to North America, and b) hardly the founding fathers.

    More than 150 years separates the Puritans/Pilgrims/etc of the early colonial period and the Founding Fathers who framed this country’s government.

    Again, I agree with you. Even though I would probably describe myself as inspired by Christian beliefs, I do not think a theocracy or a Christian dominated government is a good idea. Of course, I would probably argue that this current government is wholy (pun intended) lacking in Christian charity and sentiment, and could do with a little more Christian-inspiration, but that is a discussion for a different time.

  47. Amanda Says:

    I’m just going to come right out and say it: She has to be the dumbest, most backward creature on the face of this earth. A rat has a bigger brain. And where does she get off telling the country, and everyone in it, that christianity is the only way to live a true life? GOD IM SO SICK OF ALL THESE CHURCH-GOING, BIBLE-THUMPING, FAGGOT-HATING people walking around stuffing “god” down everyone’s throat. Let a person make their own choice. That’s what America was founded on. Your own choice. Not “god.”

  48. Steven Youel Says:

    DLN:

    I re-read my post and saw how poorly that part of it was written. Here’s what I SHOULD have said:

    “The letter you refer to does not suggest what is known today as the “separation of Church and Stateâ€Â?. A careful reading of both the letter written by Jefferson AND the Supreme Court decision/opinion (as the actions of the Federal Courts based on that decision) will demonstrate that you’re incorrect and that Jefferson was referring to something completely different.”

    So, here is my point:

    The “separation of church and state” in Jefferson’s letter is not what is commonly referred to as the “separation of church and state” today.
    Therefore claiming that Jefferson and the Founding Fathers would support the actions being taken today under the banner of “separation of church and state” is ambiguous.

    1) Jefferson’s comments and the establishment clause were desgined to prevent the Government from demanding all citizens practice one religion.

    2) The concept has now been changed by the Federal Courts to mean to mean elimination of anything that could even be POSSIBLY interpreted as endorsing a religion.

    Those are two different concepts.

    I apologize for not being clear on that.

    Steven Youell

  49. sleipner Says:

    Amen, Amanda! This lady severely needs a lobotomy reversal operation.

    And anyone who doesn’t believe she helped Bush win in Florida is high on something.

  50. gerryf Says:

    Pardon me for saying this, Amanda and sleipner, but doesn’t that kind of statement make you just as bad as those you see as showing all manner of intolerance the other way?

    I know a lot of church-going bible thumpers, and for the most part, they are decent enough people. They are driven to take the stands they do because of their beliefs, and for them not to follow those beliefs would be selfish, not to mention a sin.

    Let me put it another way…let’s say that you had a million dollars and you belieed money was the cause of happiness. You have all you need, so you give try to give some of it away. If it were money, you’d take it, but because it is something that they see value in, but you do not, you see it as “stuffing down your throat.”

    Most of these people (not all, some are evil, hypocrits who are using faith as a means to an end like Ralph Reed) really do believe that they are trying to give you a gift.

    I find it more congenial to simply say “thank you, no”

  51. John Moorvartian Says:

    I don’t think I was threatening any atheist’s “very lives”. Why would I want to kill you? You have so little time left and so much not to do. I just don’t understand how anyone who thinks this is all the time you will ever have is wasting it blogging. Anyway my point was this. Democracy. America. Christians 76, Pagans 24. Do the math. You are in danger of being legislated out of your position. Kathy Harris is not the problem, she’s the result. I’m not cheering I’m just pointing it out. And by the way, stop making fun of my name. It happens to be from a culture 5,000 years old and the first to adopt Christianity as it’s national religion.

  52. Meredith Says:

    gerryf,
    I appreciate your correcting my historical lackings. I never have liked history. You’re right though. I was just remembering the basic premise of our country being founded for the purpose of having freedom, and I know freedom of religion was in the batch of freedoms the founding fathers were concerned about.

    John,
    “Christians 76, Pagans 24″? So, as long as there is a majority – for example white people (not sure if that is still the case), straight people, men, etc. – minority groups can be disregarded? We should just bow to the will of the majority, even if their wants prejudice the rights of others? Just so I’m clear. By the way, unless you consider every non-Christian to be a pagan, there are other groups besides Christians and Atheists. I think those other groups are the ones most hurt by our country becoming a Christian theocracy. I’m certain that me an my agnosticism would survive any pressure by religious zealots.

  53. Greg Robert Says:

    Anyone who believes in “Intelligent Design” is now burdened to explain how a “Katherine Harris” could arise in any design conceived by an intelligence.

  54. Chuck Anziulewicz Says:

    Forget Glenn Close. The NEXT time they plan on doing a remake of “101 Dalmations,” I’ll know who to cast as Cruella Deville.

  55. sleipner Says:

    The analogy between religion and money is totally fallacious. Money is a relatively universally valued commodity, and can be exchanged for pretty much anything in many societies.

    Religion is a very personal and controversial subject, and individual flavors are rarely valued outside the proponents of those flavors.

    A better analogy is that this lady is making pickle and garlic ice cream and trying to forcefeed it to everyone in America. Though I’d rather eat that than live in a country controlled by people like her.

    I have little problem with people who want to practice their own religion in their own homes, as long as it does NOT interfere with anyone else’s right to live their life the way they wish, whether religiously or otherwise motivated. If I decide to try to summon demons in my basement via an adult consentual gay S&M orgy, that is my right and perogative as an American, and no politician should be trying to force me to do otherwise.

    Equating her homophobic, racist, and religiously biased personality to someone who is objecting to her bigotry and rejoicing that she will not have a bully pulpit from which to force her intolerance onto others is totally ridiculous.

  56. John Moorvartian Says:

    Pagan: One who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person.

    I’d say this supports my statement. Anyone who denies Christ does so for his or her own selfish reasons. It’s right there in front of you. Refusing to believe in God is like swimming in the ocean and refusing to believe in water. I can admit some Christians go a little overboard and this tends to put people off. But that’s the wonderful thing about knowing the truth, we aren’t perfect, but some day soon, we will be. In the mean time, it is the responsibilty of every Christain to save as many of you as possible. We do this because we love you. Atheists, Agnostics, everyone. All you have to do is love us back.

  57. Meredith Says:

    John:
    I appreciate your concern for me. As to your definition, it is true that I have no religion. I’m not sure what “sensual pleasures” encompasses, but I’m sure most people enjoy those. As long as you’re not hurting anyone or building a life around it, I don’t think that should be considered a bad thing. Personally, I don’t delight in material goods. I used to when I was younger, but then I discovered the credit card trap. I now am an attorney with a crapload of debt who is willing to work two jobs so that I can use my law degree to help the mentally ill and elderly.

    By the way, as an Agnostic, I do not deny God. I just recognize that there is no way to prove that there is one. Therefore, in reality, I am operating under the belief that there may or may not be a god. So, I have to decide to make good choices and treat people with kindness just for the sake of doing the right thing. This may not work for everyone, but it helps me to be a better person. I grew up Catholic, and I just could never get in to it. I studied other religions in high school and college, and still it didn’t make sense to me. So, I just try to be kind to people on a daily basis and try to make good choices. I screw up sometimes, and I know that. It doesn’t bother me that I might just be worm food when I die. I really have no control over what happens when I die, so I choose not to worry about it. I guess if there is a hell and I go there, I’ll have to try to make it as positive an experience as I can.

  58. gal Says:

    John, where are you getting your definitions? “delights in sensual pleasures and material goods”?

    I found the following:

    - a person who follows a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion (not a Christian or Muslim or Jew)
    - A generic term for a number of pre-Christian faiths. Pagan faith is linked to locality and to the Earth.

    1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
    3. an irreligious or hedonistic person.

    I find it unfortunate that so many Christians spend so much energy discrediting beliefs other than their own. Who’s to say that Buddhists or Hindus or even – gasp – Pagans don’t have it more “right” than you do?

    Arrogance in religion is an ugly thing.

  59. gerryf Says:

    So is arrogance in ir-religion.

    Gal, I’m not accusing you of that. I am merely tagging on to your post. I find myself equally uncomfortable around those who are so certain in their faith they are compelled to either condemn those who do not share their beliefs or entreat them to join, and those who are so completely certain that religion is huey that they ridicule those who believe anything.

    For every Katherine Harris, there is an anti-Katherine Harris

  60. John Moorvartian Says:

    Somehow this blog got off the path and I probably helped. Sorry. This was supposed to be about Kathy and what she said. OK, the fact is Christians should not be involved in politics. Seperation of church and State, founding fathers, none of that really matters. Even if the State decided to sponser religion, and someday it may, real Christians would have to opt out. My point was, watch out for the majortity “whatever” it may be. Right now there’s lot’s of Christians in America, they could push their will in whatever direction they wanted. I would hope they would just wait like we were told to do, but they probably won’t. Also, we aren’t supposed to ridcule non-believers. Sorry again. I got caught up in the hype. Anyway, I would truly hope if I offended any of you, you would accept my apology. I am sorry. Peace.

  61. Pagan Says:

    Everyone please see this video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8463073960287313294

    Hey, look at that, I used Google.

    Life is too short to be sitting in church every Wednesday and Sunday. Wake up you fools!

  62. Pagan from hell Says:

    And by the way, next time I see a mother and father grieving over their child’s death from cancer, I will simply tell them “don’t worry, it is gods plan.” I am sure that will make them feel great. Can you say mythology?

  63. John Moorvartian Says:

    I don’t believe anywhere in Christ’s teachings does he say any Christian has to sit in a church, anywhere, anytime. Nor did he say it was our Father’s will for children to die from cancer. In fact, just the opposite. Christians are supposed to reach out to non-believers. You can’t do that sitting inside a building. It’s our Father’s will that everyone live. That’s why he sent his Son to earth to pay our debt. Christ only gave us 2 commandments: Love each other, Love God. That’s pretty simple. Even children get this lesson.

  64. Pagan from hell Says:

    Did you watch the video?

  65. John Moorvartian Says:

    Penn and Teller make their living on the stage. Showtime makes it’s living selling shows on cable. Maybe you’ve never been on television. I have, it’s a business. Maybe you’ve never met Teller. I have, he’s a business man. These two could convince you the world is flat. That doesn’t make it true, it just makes them money. Penn would be the first person to thank you for believing in him, then he’d pick your pocket and steal your watch. You’re going to have to do better than this.

  66. Pagan from hell Says:

    Aren’t churces a business too? They make their money off of you and they could easily convince you the world is flat.

    Look at the money the Mormon Church has made off of it believers.
    From Answers.com:

    “The financial status of the Church has been the focus of two investigative reports: a 1991 report by the Arizona Republic and a 1997 report by Time Magazine. Both claim the Church is the most prosperous American religion, with Time estimating $5.2 billion in tithes during 1996. The Church has holdings in real estate, as well as for-profit businesses managed through Deseret Management Corporation. Time estimated assets in 1996 at more than $30 billion. ”

    Can you explain how God would allow his priests to molest little boys IN the church?

    You are going to have to do better than that.

  67. John Moorvartian Says:

    The fact that any church has money or anyone calling himslef a priest molests children has nothing to do with God or what God allows. God could erase the assets of the entire planet with a single thought, and as for the child molesters, I don’t even like thinking about it. Once upon a well documented time, a powerful Egyptian pharoh uttered the words “Who is this Jehovah that he should tell me what to do?” He found out. Boy did he find out. If you’re lucky, you might live long enough to find out too. When Christ came to earth the first time, it was as a lamb. When he returns, it will be as a lion. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this one. As for me, I’ll be on my face in the dirt asking for forgiveness. So far, you have not given me one reason why you should not accept Christ. No one is asking you for anything, no money, no sitting in church on Sunday, nothing. Nothing to give up. Just understand the truth. How much easier could this be?

  68. pagan Says:

    “God could erase the assets of the entire planet with a single thought”

    You were taught this B.S. and you can UN-learn it too.

    You know this is what drives me crazy about religious people. They have excuses for everything. If there was a heaven or hell and there was this fight going on between good and evil, would it be so bad hanging out with the devil? All this crazy talk about burning in hell is a bunch of crap. If the devil is bad and people that go to hell are bad wouldn’t they get along just fine? I will tell you why religion was created, people back then were crazy as hell. People were trying to cope when loved ones died, so they came up with this B.S. story about heaven. Then to keep people in line they created hell. “Oh, if you do bad things you will go to hell.” Can you see where this is going? It is mythology, plain and simple. When you die you are dead, no happy endings, no heaven waiting for you. Wake up and enjoy life.

  69. John Moorvartian Says:

    Who ever told you when people die they go to heaven or hell? You are right, when people die they are dead. The Lord says the dead know nothing. They are as in sleep. When the battle is over, the faithful will be resurected to live right here on earth. The unfaithful? Sorry, gone. You are the one who has been fed a lot of BS. Lot’s of misinformation about what will happen. This is the problem. Many people have made up these fairy tale lies about Christianity and it’s so screwed up people see right throught it. However, the truth is hard to ignore. You are a good person and right to challange what looks wrong to you. However, you are close to truth and I think it scares you. God is real, his name is Jehovah. Christ is real, he is the saviour we were promised at the beginning of time when man fell from grace. He will return. Heaven is real, but you are not going to go there. We are to live on earth, that’s why it was created.

  70. pagan Says:

    PROVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  71. pagan from hell Says:

    You know what; I don’t even want to hear you try.

    You seem to think you have this down to the T.

    Why don’t you go here http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/08/welcome-to-world-of-christianity-by.html and talk to some ex-ministers, and even ex-apologists for the Christian faith. If they can’t convince you know one will.

    Good luck.

  72. John Moorvartian Says:

    That’s funny, that’s the last thing pharoh said.

  73. Aardvark Gringo Says:

    Rightous dudes.
    I heard Mel Gibson say in an interview that God picks what color socks he wears each day. COOL! I wish I believed in invisible people so that I too could avoid taking any personal responsibility for my actions, just like Mel… and the Taliban.

    Check out my video http://www.aardvarkgringo.com/

  74. Mutual Funds and Market Research Says:

    Mutual Funds and Market Research…

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…

Leave a Reply


NOTE TO COMMENTERS:


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


Related Posts: