I’m Moving to Canada

Pastor Hagee would like us all to go away now …

Matthew Paul Turner doesn’t want us to leave. But I suspect that MPT just wants all the friends he can get for when Mark Driscoll finally comes after him.

I guess this is really just boilerplate, but it’s interesting that Hagee thinks that the reason the courts are removing the Decalogue is to avoid offending us atheists. Nothing at all to do with creating a secular government that allows all religions to coexist (and compete) equally.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all the liberals really did carry through on their threat to move to Canada. (I’m sure Scott Bailey has a couch we could crash on.) That would leave America to the conservative Protestants, the conservative Catholics, the conservative Mormons, the conservative Pentecostals … how long do you think it would take before they were turning their guns on each other? Got a stopwatch?

I wish folks like Hagee could understand that our system keeps government power and religious belief separate for the same reason you keep sticks away from brawling elementary school boys. It minimizes the amount of damage they can do to each other and ensures that your house is still standing.

  • UrsaMinor

    His remarks do reveal an astonishing contempt for the U.S. constitution, don’t they?

    • FO

      The “US Constitution” is nothing but a hollow piece of propaganda.

      On the other hand, the US does have a constitution, but it is mostly ignored unless you like to go around with guns.

      • Elemenope

        That’s astonishingly untrue. I’ll be the first to say that our government doesn’t perfectly match the constraints and demands of its founding document, but as a tool it has been repeatedly invaluable for the task of guaranteeing and expanding civil rights and liberties to US citizens.

        • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

          That is until about ten years ago…

          Actually to be honest I have to disagree with the idea that the U.S. Constitution was all that instrumental in expanding civil rights. It was written by people who kept slaves at a time when women were property and the working masses little more than serfs. That obviously isn’t the case any more, but it’s not as if the constitution provided a blueprint to get America there. Like the bible, it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by the audience of the day as a justification for whatever it is they already want to do. Black people didn’t get counted as 5/5s of a person because the constitution gave anybody the notion it was a good idea a century after it was written. Gay marriage isn’t on the books in certain states because of what the constitution says. Women’s suffrage had to be added to the constitution and was not borne out of it by any means.

          I’m not saying it is a bad document or a bad idea, but it’s people of their time (particularly judges and politicians) making choices and decisions that gradually expanded civil rights and now are swiftly constricting them. It is their evolving interpretation of the document that was cover for saying things like “ok, having a trial by jury and the right to confront your accuser seems important” and it is their new interpretation that this no longer matters so much and can be ignored. Like the bible, they pick and choose whatever they want to get out of it and at the same time hold it up as a sacred text that cannot be questioned. It doesn’t matter what it says.

          • Elemenope

            The thing is, there are so many arguments over civil liberties and civil rights that *certainly* would have gone the other way and/or been delayed by decades but for the text of the Constitution and its amendments. What the Constitution allows more than anything else is for the judiciary to slap down the popular mood when that mood is contrary to the text. Most often, this is to the benefit of minorities and the disempowered, who elsewise would only have recourse through legislative means (which when you’re a minority and/or disempowered, really means no means at all). You are right to say that ultimately it is people making the choice to use the tool that does the work, but that is not to say that the tool isn’t an effective one when wielded.

            • FO

              How long has been Manning kept in without being charged?
              What about the Patriot Act?
              Can the president order the assassination of random US citizens?
              What about treatment of the Occupy movement (agree or not with them)?
              What about surveillance, intrusion, TSA and excessive use of violence?

              I don’t know the history, but the present seems like you have pompous propaganda made on an abstract object empty in content, while the real thing (with very good content) is toilet paper.

              I mean, the constitution is toilet paper also in Italy, but at least the propaganda part is a bit less arrogant.

            • Elemenope

              How long has been Manning kept in without being charged?

              Military law works entirely differently than civilian law.

              What about the Patriot Act?

              What about the Patriot Act? I sometimes get the impression that both the detractors and the proponents of that little ditty, by-and-large, have no idea what that law actually did/does.

              Can the president order the assassination of random US citizens?

              No. Yes, I know what you’re referring to, but it’s quite a bit more involved than that. The rules of engagement against active combatants aiding a declared enemy are quite a bit different from the due process requirements for civilian law enforcement.

              What about treatment of the Occupy movement (agree or not with them)?

              I’m really having a had time coming up with a wide-scale protest movement that was treated that gently anywhere, anytime in human history.

              What about surveillance, intrusion, TSA and excessive use of violence?

              This is more problematic stuff. Impunity on the part of police, and the ever shrinking sphere of personal privacy, are serious issues that US law has been struggling with about as unsuccessfully as everyone else, since the technology has far outpaced the capacity of the law to restrict.

              I don’t know the history, but the present seems like you have pompous propaganda made on an abstract object empty in content, while the real thing (with very good content) is toilet paper.

              Well, not knowing the history rather blinds you to the actual historical uses of the document, which are important for understanding what it has made possible and what people using it can be capable of doing/changing. And it is not the case that the Constitution today is “toilet paper”. For one apropos example, precisely everyone in the US would like dearly for the Phelps clan to shut up, and yet the Supreme Court affirmed their right to be nasty with their protests and speech, as outlined in our first amendment. Without an explicit guarantee, most free speech law would have gone the other way.

            • FO

              Ok, I ended up in a horrible swamp of argument, and I hate so much the comment formatting..
              Meh, anyway.

              I can concede most of your points, with these exceptions:
              *) Patriot Act: https://www.eff.org/cases/doe-v-gonzalez-doe-v-ashcroft
              *) I still think that a Constitution should apply, also to protesters, no matter what happens in other countries and other times.
              *) Your last argument seems a non sequitur, and regarding free speech, I insist on toilette paper: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone

            • Elemenope

              Uh, on the Patriot Act cases (ACLU v. Ashcroft, Doe v. [several Attorneys General]), the Constitution functioned exactly as intended (and exactly as I’ve been explaining), with the court finding the portion of the act dealing with NSLs contrary to the Constitution and striking it down.

              The Constitution does apply to protesters, there more vigorously than almost anywhere else. Even despite “Free Speech Zones’ which I’ll readily concede are a problematic workaround, by-and-large the right to protest without physical molestation by police is more broad in the US than anywhere else, and that broadness is due directly to the adjudicated law surrounding the 1st amendment to the Constitution.

              And how is the Phelps argument a non sequitur? It is a great example of speech that isn’t tolerated anywhere else, and wouldn’t be tolerated here either, but for the fact that a Constitutional provision pretty much demands it. If the Constitution were “toilet paper”, as you suggest, they would have lost that right a long time ago to the overwhelming disapproval of the majority.

            • Raymond

              HA! “Most often, this is to the benefit of minorities and the disempowered, who elsewise would only have recourse through legislative means (which when you’re a minority and/or disempowered, really means no means at all).” What a joke you made, though some decisions have done what you just stated, not with this SCOTUS. Look at the last 25 decisions by the SCOTUS and then tell me it(SCOTUS interpretation of US Constotution)their decisions benefited the disempowered and minorities. The Founders, when they said “We the People” did not have in mind the majority of Americans, the slaves, women, Native Tribes, they were speaking for the wealthy landowners. But as colonists got wind of what was going on with these rich assholes, they instilled in the Founders, a fear ‘of the democracy’ or the mobs that were ready to storm the Bastille and chop off the heads of those in power. You sound more like an apologist than anything elemenope, not unlike as William Lane Craig says god killed babies, but really gave them salvation therefore saving them.

            • Elemenope

              Look at the last 25 decisions by the SCOTUS and then tell me it (SCOTUS interpretation of US Constitution) their decisions benefited the disempowered and minorities.

              OK.

              Most of the last 25 cases which have published decisions don’t have a clear empowered/disempowered distinction, but for some highlights, Judulang v. Holder, Kappos v. Hyatt, and Martinez v. Ryan all were resolved in favor of the far less powerful party. Mims v. Arrow Financial is also interesting.

              Judulang was a case resolved in favor of an immigrant facing deportation who successfully challenged the deportation on the basis that the rule under which the proceeding was conducted was improperly constructed. Kappos ruled that, contrary to the PTO rules, a plaintiff suing for relief against an adverse decision against granting a patent can introduce new facts after the original ruling and are entitled to a hearing on those new merits regardless of the prior PTO decision. Martinez carved out an exception to the general rule forbidding a convict from asserting ineffective counsel so that if they were prevented from doing so by the activities of the original ineffective counsel they could raise the issue in future proceedings. Mims preserved diversity jurisdiction such that plaintiffs under the act could bring a case in Federal as well as state courts, which doesn’t *directly* bear on the issue of empowered/disempowered, but generally speaking greater access to the courts is an advantage for the disempowered overall.

              All of these were constitutional questions.

            • FO

              ‘Nope, do you agree that there is a peculiar divide between the enthusiasm Americans have for their Constitution and how much they actually care for upholding it?

            • UrsaMinor

              I’d say that the problem stems from the fact that the Constitution is treated more like a holy text than a living legal document. Like the Bible, what people read from it depends on what they want to it to say. Most Americans are rabid defenders of the Constitution, but we can’t all agree on what it says, and therein lies the apparent dichotomy.

            • Elemenope

              ‘Nope, do you agree that there is a peculiar divide between the enthusiasm Americans have for their Constitution and how much they actually care for upholding it?

              Ursa has the right of it, I think. The Constitution-as-idol is very similar to the Bible-as-idol, where what matters more is the stories and values they supposedly signify to the tribe, rather than what those texts actually say. I have no interest in worshiping the US Constitution, and have said on many occasions that it is a very obviously flawed document in many respects. I would also go further than Ursa insofar as I don’t think the issue is that people so much disagree about what’s in the Constitution so much as generally have no idea what’s in it at all, and tend rather to believe that ideas they like appear somewhere in the text. It’s maybe four pages long, so there isn’t much of an excuse (like there is with the Bible) to not know what it says if you live in the US, and yet clearly most people don’t have any idea. (Anecdote on this at the end.*)

              But. But, it is and has been a powerful tool (the actual text, that is) for improving the lives of many millions, and that is incontrovertibly true across the historic timeline of its existence, and is easily argued to be true to the present day. Most people don’t appreciate just how painfully reactionary the modern sentiment is in the US when faced with an issue of first personal impression; we are a country that is scared of its own shadow, scared of social change perhaps more than most others at the same stage of development (gee thanks, religion!). The Constitution is a fire-break against that first reaction (which always includes panicked legislators passing laws against whatever new terrifying ill comes round the bend), and a decently effective one, and most importantly one that everyone has access to when harmed by a powerful party or by the government itself.

              * There is exactly one crime, treason, whose standard of evidence is directly described in the text of the Constitution itself. My dad off-handedly mentioned it to a civil rights lawyer, who had no idea what he was talking about, who he had to encourage to look it up. Now, treason as a justiciable issue doesn’t exactly come up very often, but still; when you’re a lawyer who is dealing with primarily constitutional questions (as a civil rights lawyer tends to), you’d think they’d have a better handle on that little four page document. If a (very competent) person who works with the document all the time has trouble remembering parts, what do you think the chances are that most people have half an inkling? And indeed, when polled on factual questions regarding what’s in the Constitution, people tend to do very poorly, and there is little difference in knowledge between people who say they “believe in the document” very strongly compared to people who are generally unconcerned.

            • FO

              I do not contest that the Constitution is a good and useful document.
              My point is exactly that while it is considered Holy and Sacred, most people don’t give a shit when it’s breached.
              In most other countries the Constitution ends up breached as often, but at least it is not a subject of worship.

              And unlike the Bible, this is a short and decently-written document created by competent people, far less ambiguous than your random Holy Book.

  • mikespeir

    We dare not leave theists unchallenged in the United States. America is still an awfully powerful country.

  • atimetorend

    …how long do you think it would take before they were turning their guns on each other?

    Yeah, or INVADING CANADA!!!

    • trj

      Nah, they’ll probably be busy invading Iran.

  • Baconsbud

    I think you are asking to much from the conservative religious. They have been taught that to think is a sin and you must say stupid things to be rewarded in heaven. It seems that way anyway.

  • Elemenope

    Matthew Paul Turner doesn’t want us to leave. But I suspect that MPT just wants all the friends he can get for when Mark Driscoll finally comes after him.

    LOLOLOLOL

  • vasaroti

    I’m sure the idea of all religions competing equally is terrifying to Hagee. Again, I hope that these aggressive outbursts are part of the writhing of a wounded belief system. Mortally wounded, I hope.
    As for leaving the US if religion continues to foul our government, I don’t think we should criticize people for deciding to leave or stay. We all have our individual family concerns and our varying tolerance levels. I wouldn’t expect my Daughter to stay where she can’t get equal pay for equal work, have her reproductive rights squashed, and be persecuted for her atheism. I don’t know if I would stay and fight, or follow her. At my age inertia plays a role in decisions, too.

  • machintelligence

    I hope that these aggressive outbursts are part of the writhing of a wounded belief system. Mortally wounded, I hope.

    Again politics is making for strange bedfellows. The fundamentalist Protestants, conservative Catholics, and Mormons have formed a coalition where each group believes the other two are bound for hell. I go along with the last gasp hypothesis, particularly when you take into account the average age of these groups. The problem is that the death throes could be nasty.

    • mikespeir

      And if they win, they’ll smile and shake hands for the cameras. Then, once the journalists are gone, they’ll begin duking it out with each other again. I’m not quite sure who to put my money on: either the Catholics or the Southern Baptists, likely. Of course, it doesn’t matter. They’ll have strung me up long, long before then.

  • http://fugodeus.com Nox

    “I wish folks like Hagee could understand that our system keeps government power and religious belief separate for the same reason you keep sticks away from brawling elementary school boys. It minimizes the amount of damage they can do to each other and ensures that your house is still standing.”

    Many folks like Hagee just don’t see the establishment of religion as a threat to their freedom. The problem there is simply blindness and a lack of empathy.

    The problem with John Hagee is that he is actively trying to destroy the world.

  • Eric D Red

    As much as I’d welcome all you reasonable Americans, I’d rather you stay there as a counter to the crazy right-wing element. Without those of you who uphold reason and the constitution it would become a complete theocracy of ignorance, exceptionalism, and domionism. It wouldn’t be too long before they’d just invade.

    • UrsaMinor

      I expect that if the moderates left, the Canadians and the Mexicans would start digging trenches along the border for self-defense. These could be flooded during threat of invasion to isolate the crazies. Perhaps they could even split the former U.S. territories amongst themselves after the religious right-wingers have killed each other off.

  • Peter

    Believe me Canada is no longer a haven for liberal moderates. Fact is, we have a evangelical Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who belongs to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church which is a Dominionist congregation that believes we are in the “end times.” As such, Harper is a climate change denier who believes Jesus will return soon and set everything right. We have some very progressive laws concerning abortion, same sex marriage and freedom of religion, for instance. Or, we did. Now that Harper has a majority he has four years to realize his agenda of transforming Canada into a Christian Reich. There are already rumblings that his government will return to the abortion, same sex marriage debate in the next session of Parliament. Our most popular Prime Minister was Trudeau who famously said: “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” Yes, Canada was once a tolerant and liberal society. No more. Like the States there is a polarization going on and it’s becoming us against them. (Them being freethinkers.) Hold off coming to Canada although you’d be welcomed but just watch what happens up here in the next few years.

    • UrsaMinor

      I will confess to being greatly disappointed at the prospect of Canada transforming itself into a U.S. clone. Beware! Your streams will no longer run clear, your hockey teams will lose their mojo, and all your beer will taste like Old Milwaukee.

      • Elemenope

        …all your beer will taste like Old Milwaukee.

        Harsh prophecy!

      • Peter

        At least our beer still has alcohol in it, for now. Hey, like our oil there is a movement afoot to ship our water south and watch Harper do it. Heaven knows what that will do to our ecosystem. Gee, did you have to mention our hockey teams! There was no Canadian team going for the Stanley Cup this year. Oh well, always next year.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Thank you for the warnings about the coming Canadian theocracy! I must say, we liberals wouldn’t be so tempted to move away if we weren’t too lazy to ACT on our convictions.

    • mikespeir

      I’d rather just gripe about it. ;)

  • http://scotteriology.wordpress.com Scott Bailey

    You guys and girls are welcome on my couch anytime! On the other hand, you may prefer the guest room instead…

    • trj

      I call top bunk!

  • Brian Fletcher

    I wish anyone who believed a snake talked would move to Canada, especially that fat, f#@Kstick of a man and his congregation of followers. I am sorry you are offended that we are offended LOL!

    • Brian Fletcher

      Actually I apologize to Canada. Maybe I should’ve said just go anywhere but here. I like Canada and would hate to see our fellow North Americans subject to their version of dumbassery.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    I’m still waiting for that obnoxious little troll to come here and throw this cold-hearted, skeptical, godless agnostic heathen out of his precious “Christian nation.” I wish him the best of luck if he tries it … but I’m guessing neither he nor his “Christian nation” followers or colleagues have anything close the courage it would take to actually try something like that.

    Until they throw me out of their “Christian nation” … or use force to convert me to their ferocious, dour religion … I’m not going anywhere, and I’m not going to change. They can go … well, do something to themselves. If you catch my meaning.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X