Wow. I mean, just … wow.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Republican Christine O’Donnell, a candidate for the United States Senate, is unfamiliar with those 16 words.

 

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P.S.: I’ll be getting the belated LBMonday post up late tonight sometime Wednesday. Sorry for the delay on that.

  • P J Evans

    IMO O’Donnell is a good reason to require all candidates for federal office to pass a high school level civics exam … or at least eighth-grade level. (Don’t know about all y’all, but we had to read the Constitution and pass a fairly hefty test on its contents. And I can still recite the preamble from memory.)

  • sharky

    Yeah, the evil secular… atheist… well, you know, whatever the opposite of good Christianity is!
    Hm. Priests/pastors who’ve become without faith, but are nonetheless trapped thanks to few other career options?

  • Consumer Unit 5012 doesn’t have anything useful to say

    Lunch Meat: You know, I think it’s another thing about how magical words are…if our money doesn’t say, “In God We Trust” on it, then God will think we don’t trust him, and he’ll smite us with another hurricane or terrorist attack.
    I think they just left the “L” out of the second word.
    Either that, or God has TERRIBLE aim.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/hapaxnom hapax

    ‘In God We Trust’ on US currency is as offensive to nonChristian US citizens
    Believe me, there are plenty of Christians who aren’t particularly charmed by it either.

  • albanaeon

    Oooohhh! Martial Arts in the discussion! Yeah! Made my day, particularly after two days of 7 hour driving and leaving my son at his grandma’s for the next few weeks (nothing bad about that, its just a little well sad right now…)
    Anyways, interesting bits about capoeira. I wish I had time to learn more about it, but quite frankly I’m way too involved with Kung-fu and Tai Chi Chuan. And yes, Tai Chi can be ridiculously dangerous, particularly if you learn “internal” striking, it just takes DECADES. Mainly since you have to unlearn a whole bunch of instincts, such as force verses force and backing away from an attacker. A good practitioner, you not only won’t be able to land a solid hit on them, but you’ll be flung around like a rag doll as they just seem to twist their wrist so some other seemingly insignificant movement.
    I forget who, but someone mentioned that they were nervous about sparring when they were fairly new at it. Assuming of course that they have reasonable precautions (i.e. light contact only, no joint attacks, the speed appropriate to the levels involved), you should definitely try to get into the sparring. Try and use what you know and don’t worry about losing. It shouldn’t be a competition, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be something that you are worried about your safety like a real fight. But quite frankly there’s nothing like having your ass handed to you to get you to start really LEARNING, and a place where you start putting your ego aside. It can be extremely frustrating and its HARD to admit that you can and will be beaten, easily sometimes, but you will start improving, you will start gaining confidence, and most importantly you will learn how to use what you’ve learned. And again, this is all in regards to a place that you feel reasonably safe in joining the sparring practice. You signed up to learn martial arts, not to be somebodies punching bag!
    Oh, and the thing about bowing was “worshiping” the dojo or masters or something. That’s just sad. I thought mine about the Christian worried he’d have to become a Buddhist was bad, but that’s even worse. It’s a gesture of respect and trust, not only to the school, but your instructor and your classmates.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/werling Andrew Werling

    Article 6 is relevant here too.

  • Fitcher’s Bird

    @MercuryBlue – That gives me a lovely idea. Pound coins in the UK have different designs and the motto depends on the country. How about a compromise where different notes will trust in different gods (with a few atheist/humanist ones as well. Perhaps “In the random workings of the universe we trust”. Totally randomised so as to prevent squabbling over high value/highly used denominations. It would make getting change back in the shops a lot more intersting. I’d be checking each note, hoping this would be the time I’d get a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    That seems like a valid compromise to me.

  • http://j.com/ Tonio

    That gives me a lovely idea. Pound coins in the UK have different designs and the motto depends on the country.

    Country? Are there other ones that use the UK pound? I know that the euro has different designs for different countries.

    How about a compromise where different notes will trust in different gods (with a few atheist/humanist ones as well. Perhaps “In the random workings of the universe we trust”. Totally randomised so as to prevent squabbling over high value/highly used denominations.

    I can see the value in that. Elsewhere I argue that it’s impossible to create a nonsectarian prayer, that any prayer you could give at a public-school commencement or football game would inevitably take a religious stance. I tried to imagine what a hypothetical nonsectarian prayer would sound like: “To whatever beings or non-beings may be listening…”

  • ako

    Try and use what you know and don’t worry about losing. It shouldn’t be a competition, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be something that you are worried about your safety like a real fight.
    This is where I tend to have trouble with martial arts sparring. I’m sometimes a bit oversensitive to people assuming incapacity on my part and making things easier for me because they have no faith in my abilities, so I have trouble with the whole “This person has correctly assessed my abilities, and is deliberately feeding me relatively easy openings for blocks, punches, and kicks because they’re trying to help me learn, and it’s a better idea than them simply going as hard as they can and me getting my ass handed to me” in that situation. It’s not the prospect of losing I mind. I just get bothered when I can tell people are going easy on me. (I don’t mind doing it from the other side, with people who are less experienced, because I know the inside of my own head, and I know I’m not judging them as inherently incapable due to demographic categories.)

  • Fitcher’s Bird

    Country? Are there other ones that use the UK pound?
    It’s the UK being weird again. Basically there are English, Scottish and Welsh variants of the pound coin but they all count as the same type of coin and are legal tender all over the UK. Wiki describes the situation better then I can.
    Also, your hypothetical non-sectarian prayer has something of a Discworld flavour to it – “Dear [Insert Name Here]“. I do like the idea of addressing all prayers to “To Whom It May Concern”.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/hawkerhurricane Hawker Hurricane

    I tried to imagine what a hypothetical nonsectarian prayer would sound like: “To whatever beings or non-beings may be listening…”
    Posted by: Tonio
    ———————–
    “To whom it may concern, if anyone…”

  • http://nymonsters.wordpress.com/ Ian Pérez

    albanaeon: I forget who, but someone mentioned that they were nervous about sparring when they were fairly new at it. Assuming of course that they have reasonable precautions (i.e. light contact only, no joint attacks, the speed appropriate to the levels involved), you should definitely try to get into the sparring. Try and use what you know and don’t worry about losing. It shouldn’t be a competition, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be something that you are worried about your safety like a real fight. But quite frankly there’s nothing like having your ass handed to you to get you to start really LEARNING, and a place where you start putting your ego aside. It can be extremely frustrating and its HARD to admit that you can and will be beaten, easily sometimes, but you will start improving, you will start gaining confidence, and most importantly you will learn how to use what you’ve learned. And again, this is all in regards to a place that you feel reasonably safe in joining the sparring practice. You signed up to learn martial arts, not to be somebodies punching bag!
    Thank you for the advice. I’m actually not worried much about me getting hit or getting my ass handed to me; like I’ve said, contact isn’t the point of the exercise, and I’m confident that anybody experienced enough at it would be careful enough not to hit me. My worries are that, at this point, I have to either: a) think hard about what I’m actually doing in an effort to get the moves right, which slows the whole process down to a crawl and forces the partner to, basically, tell me what to do as we’re sparring (which is what happened when I was eventually made to try it) or b) rely entirely on instinct, in which case what I’ll end up doing will probably not be capoeira (I’ve also done karate and dance, both of which are higher up the instinct hierarchy than anything I’ve learned so far in class)–and could end, I fear, in me throwing a punch or actually hurting my partner. In any case, I don’t consider the idea of sparring when I don’t feel ready and can only do two things without screwing up to be either fun or instructive (there’s no sort of constructive criticism involved in the process) and as an educator-in-training myself, I can’t help but thinking (correctly or incorrectly) that there are better ways to teach.

  • Steve Morrison

    Actually, a nonsectarian prayer would probably sound like Zelazny’s Possibly Proper Death Litany:

    Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

  • Thalia

    Why do so few people understand how to apologize?
    Posted by: MadGastronomer | Oct 20, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    I’m going to guess it is because they are offered so few good examples.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    Interesting link for people who were following the Kiryas Joel mini-discussion: http://forward.com/articles/132334/

  • Thalia

    @mad gastronomer Well, you sound a lot saner than you did to Elmo or Karala. Those are my specific examples.
    You call a lot of names and are quick to anger. I think this blog is for people to build bridges. as someone who has become less of an asshole because of this blog, I feel like you are essentially asserting the right to flame at will and it is making me nervous.
    I haven’t told you to do something different. But I might ask you to.
    I’ve been thinking about bullying, the Internet, politics, privilege, rights, nonverbal communication, for days, so I’ll probably post something to my own blog later. Thanks for answering.

  • http://www.nightkitchenseattle.com MadGastronomer

    Well, you sound a lot saner than you did to Elmo or Karala. Those are my specific examples.
    Neither of whom I flamed, actually. I disagreed with them. And it’s Kirala, I think. I quite like her, actually.
    You call a lot of names and are quick to anger. I think this blog is for people to build bridges. as someone who has become less of an asshole because of this blog, I feel like you are essentially asserting the right to flame at will and it is making me nervous.
    Is there some reason I should not call bigots and assholes bigots and assholes? I have made extensive arguments, in this thread and others, as to the necessity of meeting incivility with incivility. You don’t like it. Tough shit. Asking me to stop is asking me to set aside a very useful tool for fighting bigotry. If there is specific language which bothers you for a specific reason, and you ask me not to use that, I might or might not agree to stop. But I’m not going to stop being a big ol’ meany just because it makes you uncomfortable, and I’m not going to apologize.
    If you want to try to convince me, as opposed to asking me, you’re welcome to try. But you’re going to need to find a better argument than “It makes me nervous,” because letting bigotry go unchallenged makes me feel a great deal worse than nervous, and I am far from the only one. And, by the way, it will be quite difficult to convince me, since I’ve put a great deal of thought over a period of several years into my position on this, while you apparently have put very little thought into yours, and that only recently, since you can give me no better reasoning than “It makes me nervous.”
    You have yet to answer any of my actual points about why I use Nuker tactics, and you have yet to make any arguments against my tactics other than it makes you uncomfortable. I can’t say that I have a lot of respect for that behavior, especially here. At least you could respond by telling me which of my points you disagree with, instead of wanting me to put your vague discomfort above my principles and carefully considered philosophy.
    But if you just don’t want to read my mean, nasty words, then I suggest you get some form of killfile script and stop reading what I say.

  • http://www.nightkitchenseattle.com MadGastronomer

    And a little over 24 hours later, no response yet. Look, Thalia, if you want to continue the conversation, let’s do it in a newer thread, so I don’t have to keep checking this one.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Not to pile-on, but -
    Thalia, could you please not characterize MadG (or anyone) as sounding more or less “sane” depending on her (or anyone) meeting your criteria for appropriate discourse? Regardless of the issue of how your criteria compare with MadG’s, it’s never good to conflate mental health status with communication styles.
    (Points backwards at long history of women being actually diagnosed as mentally unstable based on “symptoms” of not being sufficiently civil and subordinate. Requests we not go there.)

  • Thalia

    Yeah, surprise, surprise, I live in the rat race and work 10-12 hours a day. It took me hours to read the original argument. I said I would take it up in another thread, because I don’t have another several hours in the same week to devote to this. And I don’t know how to killfile or I would have done it already.

  • Thalia

    Yes, Nicole, I’m offended. People call people names and that’s ok, but don’t CHARACTERIZE anything. OK, MG jumps to conclusions. She strawmans people she doesn’t like. She calls names freely. She bullies people at will. She announces her right to do this and then tells people that she’s “defeated” those who objected. Now, I didn’t characterize her as anything. I think that list sounds like I’m insulting a lot worse than pointing out that she sounded calmer and made more sense.
    You obviously didn’t READ my original post MG. I know WHY you attack assholes. I don’t know why you attack random people, except you like to get mad, project your anger onto people, and then nuke them.
    Fred spends all week talking about how There is no OTHER, and Other People ==the Null Set, and you spend pages explaining about how you know someone is the Other (by my count, you got it wrong at least twice) and how I have to accept this in a place that I come for civil discourse, because “there’s the killfile,” while you continue to run roughshod over anyone who tweaks your admittedly hair-trigger anger.
    And I could go and get all the details, but I don’t WANT to. I don’t want to take you apart. I don’t want to encourage you to demonize people you have decided are assholes. And if I talk about this again, I’ll be inviting you to see a VERY long response on my livejournal. I won’t do it here anymore.

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  • http://www.nightkitchenseattle.com MadGastronomer

    Thalia, if what you want is civil discourse, then why don’t you go after the people who say the uncivil things I respond to? Or do you deny that bigotry is uncivil, as long as it’s couched in pretty words?
    I know there are a number of people who will happily explain to you how to acquire a killfile script, because they explained it to me. I’m not going to follow any link to anywhere to see you accuse me of things I don’t do, and I’m not going to read anything more you have to say. It’s not worth it.

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