Postcards from the culture wars (10.7)

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“The survey, released Friday (Oct. 4), by Quinnipiac University, shows that two in three (68 percent) adult Catholics questioned said they agreed with the pontiff’s observation that the church has become too focused on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception.”

“For too long, the church has often placed limits around sex and sexuality that do not empower us to make good, healthy decisions about relationships, or leave too many of us clueless and insecure about our bodies.”

If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards.”

“The campaign made Lysol the best-selling method of contraception during the Great Depression.”

“Slut shaming: it’s not just a modern phenomenon.”

“Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to ‘just deal with.’

“As if what white males with enough privilege to procure a terminal theological degree have to say closes the dialogue once and for all.”

I am going to break this down for clarity’s sake because I and others who have been vocal about this have been accused of being un-Christian, mean, thin-skinned, sensitive, unaware of how much [Rick] Warren’s ministry has done, racist, stupid, and all sorts of things we grown-ups hopefully are not teaching the children in our midst to call other children.”

“There is no such thing as a properly directed hate crime.”

“If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.”

“I think that Robert E. Lee, as a traitor and betrayer of his solemn oath before God and the Constitution, was a much greater terrorist than Osama bin Ladin — after all, Lee killed many more Americans than bin Ladin, and almost destroyed the United States. What do you think?”

“Skepticism about evolutionary science, it seems, bleeds over into suspicion of all mainstream science.”

“It’s kind of like if you get down to the issue of the evidence of global warming, you’ve got scientists on both sides; you have the medical community on both sides.”

“I mean, I think that yeah, that could be a woman’s right. Just like it’s a man’s right if he wants to have some kind of procedure.”

“I am convinced that many so called pro-life groups are not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion.”

“He’s the greatest professor I’ve ever taken, so by taking him out of the classroom, especially mid-semester, is doing the students a huge disservice and it’s a huge loss to the university.”

“I did get the message that it has to do with their concern that other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university will have problems not understanding transgender identity.”

We’ve got the Gospels backwards.”

“We do not respond to innuendo, rumor or conspiracy theories.”

“After suffering the kind of bias these people have gone through, I have the privilege of standing there and saying, ‘You are married.‘”

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A fireside chat with Abraham Lincoln on the eve of emancipation
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  • Invisible Neutrino

    And then there’s always some genius who hauls out the “compensation” thing without understanding that the sum total of that compensation would have represented levying something like 75% of the entire industrial and agricultural output of the USA at the time.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    I’ve accused some people (not everyone) of resorting to insults, because some people have just insulted me. Just scroll up – that’s not a difficult statement to prove.

    I haven’t claimed that nobody has refuted my argument – I’ve responded to plenty of posts that don’t refute my argument by saying that they don’t refute my argument – because they don’t.

    Some other posts have included information I haven’t come across yet so I’m investigating them and reading up in the links to see if I change my mind.

    You seem to be of the opinion that if anyone posts a disagreement then I should automatically change my mind, regardless of how much sense their argument makes, otherwise I’m some kind of nutter or a conspiracy theorist. It makes no sense.

    To clarify:

    1 – To the people who have insulted me and called me names rather than offering debate: What is the point? Do you expect insulting me to change my mind? If a Tea Partyer turned up on here and called you a “libtard” or some such bullcrap would that make you join the Republican Party on the spot? Thought not.

    2 – To the people who have posted replies that I’ve responded to without changing my mind: Your argument haven’t convinced me. Is that the end of the world? Some of your arguments have been ideas that don’t really disagree with what I’ve said. Mostly people have just been saying “But the south kept slaves” and offering various proofs of that. If you go to my original post then I never refute that – so just saying something I already agree with isn’t going to change my mind on anything.

    3 – To the people who have posted a few links to interesting material I haven’t come across: I’m reading it. I’m more than willing to learn, no matter how unpleasant a lot of people have been on here – I won’t let name-callers and trolls stop me from researching my position. I may yet change my mind. I’m always open to real debate and am reading up a few of the links you guys have posted with interest. I may yet be convinced.

    I’m a scientist – I make my decisions based on evidence, not who can scream the loudest or post the most insults. Those of you who have actually posted interesting points or links to more evidence have helped me learn more and develop my views. Those of you who have just insulted me and called me names have just wasted my time and yours. And those of you who just posted one very simplistic argument then resorted to name-calling after I didn’t change my mind in response to one point have wasted even more of my time, because I thought you were up for a debate at first, then it turned out you weren’t.

  • Ursula L

    Not to mention that compensation, if due, wasn’t owed to the slave owners.

    It was owed to the enslaved, in the form of back wages for work they were forced to do unpaid, and in damages, from injuries due to corporal punishment, rape, forcibly being displaced from their homes, etc.

    And it was owed, first and foremost, by the slave owners.

    To pay compensation to slave owners would be like a murder victim’s family owing compensation to the murderer for the cost of the bullet.

  • Sereg

    tangent: I get motion sick from riding in a car, not from driving. Something about my hands on the wheel giving more input about what the motion of the car is doing, and also controlling where it’s going so there aren’t any, for example, swerves that I don’t on some level expect. Speaks a lot about the power that these men don’t want women to have.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    No – I mean Modern Liberal. I.e. Socially Liberal and anti-centralisation but Left-Wing Economically. I don’t like the classic dichotomy of having to choose whether the government or the markets oppress you.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Well that’s just stupid. Just because I believe that a particular war wasn’t centred around slavery does not make me a racist. That’s an utterly laughable logical leap.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    It’s not a positive assertion – the reverse needs proving.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    The treatment of African-Americans in the union was also a grievous wrong. I’m not defending slavery for one second – but one point I am making is that the Union was a slave-run economy in all but name.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Those are totally fair points – I had not come across this source. My sources for lee being anti-slavery are secondary but until this point I would have rated them extremely reliable. It seems that this was not the case. This does change things with regards to Lee himself greatly.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    That is a fair point. I have been making a mistake in attempting to consider things like the economy and the southern culture as completely separate entities from slavery.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Life expectancy for African-Americans was lower in the Union than in the Confederacy. I know that’s not everything, but it’s a good rough guide to conditions.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Actually I’ve been reading them. They are hard to find amongst the personal insults and general name-calling – but I’ve made the effort to dig them out and read them.

  • Donalbain

    Then why have you continued to lie that slavery was a minor issue when the people who actually STARTED the war cited it as such a major issue?

  • Maniraptor

    Funny how slaves kept running away then, isn’t it? They clearly didn’t know their own lives as well as you do.

  • Veleda_k

    Seriously, that’s it? That’s all you’ve got? I’ve cited only a few of the many degradations of slavery, and you come back with one statistic, which even you admit is insufficient? Try to think about that. (I said futilely.)

  • Veleda_k

    Trivializing slavery (poor working conditions are horrible, but not the same as owning human beings as property), idolizing a slave owner who fought for slave owners*, insisting that the Civil War was all about “states’ rights” (states’ right to do what, we ask), all of these are racist beliefs. It glorifies slave owners and erases the experiences of actual slaves. If you want to argue that holding racist beliefs doesn’t make you a racist, well, okay. But they’re still racist beliefs.

    *Someone else has already linked this testimonial from one of Lee’s slaves, so I doubt it will do any good a second time, but if you want to know what Lee actually did, here’s a start:

  • Lori

    I agree that he thought he was stating an open secret. I remain unconvinced that he actually was. Some people do. He clearly did. I’m not sure if “everybody” actually does it, or if he was just projecting & self-justifying. My experience with conservatives leads me to suspect the latter. Those people are disgusting freaks, while what I’m doing is perfectly normal.

  • Lori

    Yes. Slavery was what made the whole system work. There’s no way to separate the threads.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Thank you for your willingness to take this into account. I had not seen this source either until yesterday, and it is shocking.

  • Donalbain

    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”


  • Donalbain

    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”


  • Donalbain

    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”


  • Donalbain

    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”


  • tricksterson

    And it only takes once because there’s no such thing as bisexuality or an experimental phase. kind of the heteronormative version of the “one drop” rule.

  • tricksterson

    Kind of how your vagina knows the difference between legitimate and non legitimate rape.

  • Ross

    Unless it’s a fraternity hazing or an airport men’s room.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    I think it’s difficult to tell what order my comments have come in – particularly because after a while this system, for obvious layout reasons, stops indenting replies.

  • Donalbain

    You have NEVER addressed the point that the traitorous racists in the Confederate states STATED that they were seceding from the Union over the issue of slavery. Why is that?

  • Invisible Neutrino

    They still have timestamps, so you can deduce the ordering that way.

  • phantomreader42

    No, he chose to fight for traitors, AGAINST the country he swore to defend.

  • themunck

    He considered the Commonwealth of Virginia to be his country too. And at any rate, the crime of treason pales in comparison of defending slavery.

  • Ross

    I am willing to accept that Lee would have been committing one form of treason or another no matter what he decided.

    Not committing treason wasn’t an option. But not committing treason in defense of slavery was.