Outrageous Kim Davis: JFK Showed How It’s Done

Outrageous Kim Davis: JFK Showed How It’s Done October 2, 2019

In 2015, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis decided that she would ignore the obligations of her job and pick what parts she would and wouldn’t perform. She imagined that the Bible makes a clear, relevant statement against homosexuality (it doesn’t) and refuse to issue marriage licenses because some of those would be for same-sex couples (more in part 1).

Let’s turn to a more famous church/state clash to see a different, less selfish way to approach public service.

We’ve seen this before

John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960. Some Americans were concerned that JFK, as a Catholic, would see the pope as a higher authority and answer to him rather than the Constitution or the American people. One radio evangelist of the time said, “Each person has the right to their own religious belief [but] the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical system demands the first allegiance of every true member and says in a conflict between church and state, the church must prevail.”

In other words, how did we know that JFK wouldn’t do a Kim Davis?

JFK famous responded to this challenge:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; [and] where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials. . . .

I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation, or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

JFK explicitly rejected what Kim Davis embraced. That’s how it’s done.

The U.S. Constitution calls the tune

The bottom line is that the Bible isn’t the supreme law of the land—the Constitution is.

Be not confused: the United States doesn’t exist and run because God said so; instead, Christians can preach and worship because the Constitution says so. If the law offends you, you can argue that it’s unjust, you can work to have it changed, or you can leave. We have a 100% secular constitution that defines a 100% secular means for making, changing, and upholding laws.

I hear Pakistan puts God first in their law—maybe Kim Davis would like that better.

“The sky is falling!”

Conservatives were quick to tell us that this incident was the beginning of overt Christian persecution. A Christian Post columnist at the time said, “For years now I and others have been warning that committed Christians could soon face jail time in America for holding to our convictions.”

Not really. Christian county clerks can object to same-sex marriages, Christian pharmacists can object to emergency contraceptives, Muslim flight attendants can object to serving alcohol, and Christian bakers and photographers can object to same-sex weddings, but do your job. Don’t sign up, then claim oppression and refuse to do what you promised to do.

To anticipate some jobs that a devout Christian might belatedly realize conflict with biblical principles, Huffington Post has a list of jobs to avoid. You wouldn’t want to be a clerk selling mixed fabrics (which are explicitly prohibited by the Bible), fishing for shellfish (prohibited), or teaching as a woman (prohibited). Are these examples ridiculous? Then ditto a clerk who objects to same-sex marriage (not explicitly prohibited) but has no problem with marrying divorced people (prohibited).

Another Christian Post columnist said, “Every serious biblical Christian will have to consider what to do now—whether a baker being asked to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage against her conscience, a county clerk faced with issuing a marriage license to a homosexual couple, or a pastor being requested to perform a wedding between two women or two men.” Let me answer that for you: the baker is obliged to follow public accommodation laws that prohibit discrimination, county clerks must do their jobs, and the U.S. has laws protecting pastors.

This last one is always on the list, even though pastors are protected, both by the First Amendment and by Supreme Court precedent. Remember Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that made mixed-race marriage legal? That is binding only on governments, not pastors. Pastors can and do refuse to perform mixed-race marriages. The same is true for same-sex marriages. Even the Family Research Council (a Christian organization) agrees. Hysteria about constraints on the clergy is popular because it rallies the troops, not because it’s realistic.

This reminds me of Glenn Beck’s hysteria on the eve of the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage. He declared that there were upwards of 10,000 pastors “that I think will walk through a wall of fire, you know, and possible death.”

Who did he imagine on the other side with the flaming torches?

Kim Davis: another Rosa Parks?

Rosa Parks was the African-American woman who refused to sit in the back of the bus in 1955. One of Kim Davis’s supporters finds much similarity between the two women. If Rosa Parks shouldn’t have to get off the bus, why should Kim Davis? He asks, “Will Kim Davis be the Rosa Parks of the movement?”

The difference, of course, is that Rosa Parks had her civil rights infringed upon, while Kim Davis is trying to infringe on the civil rights of others. If Kim Davis feels that the Bible has something to say about Obergefell, she can express that view, and every atheist I can think of will support her right to free speech. What she can’t do is impose that outside the law.

Will Kim Davis be the Rosa Parks of the conservative anti-same-sex marriage movement? A four-times-married person setting herself up as the arbiter of marriage might indeed be an appropriate saint for this ridiculous up-is-down and Ignorance-is-Strength movement.

Related post: Being on the Wrong Side of History on Same-Sex Marriage? Worse than You Think.

If you have to explain,
“I’m doing this out of love,”
it ain’t love.
seen on the internet

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(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 9/8/15.)

Image credit: Wikimedia
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  • Brian Davis

    Will Kim Davis be the Rosa Parks of the conservative anti-same-sex marriage movement?

    Kim Davis is the bus driver trying to enforce segregated seating even after segregation was banned.

  • Tawreos

    I always love that speech from Kennedy. Too many people in the US and elsewhere today need to hear it over and over again until they understand what it means.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      And Repugs / Conservatives today flout EVERYTHING he said, just about.

      🙁

    • eric

      What it means is that modern conservative religious collaboration is likely nothing more than a useful fiction. The only thing keeping the Protestants and the Catholics from trying to strip away each others’ first amendment rights is their mutual greater hatred of things like women’s rights and gay rights.

    • Jim Jones

      That should be engraved on marble in front of every courthouse and school.

      It might be better than the Satanic Temple’s statue.

  • Lord Backwater
    • NS Alito

      That improved my day.

    • argyranthemum

      That man is a hero.

  • Matt Brooker (Syncretocrat)

    What strikes me is that if the issue was really just about Davis avoiding performing a duty she found unconscionable, she could probably have handed that duty off to a subordinate, and although she might still technically have been in violation of her oath of office, I doubt it would have ever become an issue. Hell, I’d probably even support someone who set up that kind of compromise. But this was always about depriving others of a constitutional right, and being seen to do so.

    • eric

      Maybe. I think you’re right for cases in which a second civil servant is available, and the protesting one is quiet and efficient about the switch. However, it’s not always going to be the case that there’s a second available (here or for places like pharmacies). And, of course, probably the more significant issue is folks like Davis don’t want to perform an efficient switch that let’s the marriage proceed on time; their goal is really to prevent it from happening at all.

  • Lex Lata

    Just a reminder that Liberty Counsel, the prominent religious right advocacy group that represented (and encouraged) Kim Davis, filed a 2003 amicus brief in the Lawrence v. Texas litigation, arguing that the Supreme Court should preserve state laws making private same-sex intimacy between consenting adults a crime punishable by fines and even incarceration.

    One of those Liberty-for-me-but-not-for-thee groups.

    (Frankly, I think Liberty Counsel, Matt Staver, Mike Huckabee, et al. should be on the hook for most or all of Davis’ personal liabilities arising from this episode, but that’s a long discussion.)

    http://cdm16035.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16035coll2/id/38

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      That’s ‘Liberty’ Counsel’s schtick: “We’ll take your case for free! (Note: we *won’t* pay any penalties incurred by you taking our legal advise.)”

      IMHO, that should be malpractice.

      • Guestie

        Here’s an idea. One of the groups on our side should put together a packet of info detailing Liberty Council’s MO and track record, including the attorney’s fees and/or penalties incurred by the losing governments and send it to any governmental body that accepts LC’s “free” help. The packet should also include LC’s practice of using these cases to fundraise for itself. The packet should also be sent to local media.

        • I think the FFRF or American Atheists or similar organization has written about this. Yes, it is a bait and switch. The Christian plaintiff doesn’t get past the pro bono thing. I wonder how the “Of course, if you lose, then you’re stuck paying the attorneys’ costs … mumble” part of the conversation goes.

        • Guestie

          But do any of those orgs reach out directly to the Christian plaintiff?

        • Probably not. Maybe what we need is social media commandos who contact a potential Christian plaintiff and educate them about how they’ll be left holding the bag.

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    I always remember how Santorum said he almost threw up when he heard Kennedy’s speech. Coudn’t even imagine himself being a good politician.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      If that were so, I’d put it on a loop and tape a pair of headphones playing it onto Santorum’s head.

      The man needs to learn how to live in a pluralistic society.

    • Judy Thompson

      I read that speech, and I could hear Kennedy giving it. It has his rhythms, his speech patterns. Uncanny.

    • TheNuszAbides

      Wow. One of those “that’s valuable candor … and what a douchebag!” moments. I’ve been facepalming at his catlick-politicking ever since Dan Savage gave a new meaning to his name … but the Trump ClownCarCabinet has given me a severe case of valuable douchebag-candor fatigue.

  • Michael Neville

    Under the 1st Amendment Davis is free to believe as she pleases. However when discussing the religious freedom portion of the First Amendment, there are not one but clauses we must consider. The commonly understood and cited part, and the one Davis trumpets, is the Freedom to Worship guarantee. Under that clause, the government isn’t allowed to pass any law, or take any action, “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. Simply put, the government can’t do anything to stop her or anyone else from worshiping God or Buddha or the FSM, if that’s what her conscience or faith tells you. In Davis’s view, the government overstepped its power by trying to force her to act against her religious beliefs, and therefore has trodden upon her right of free exercise.

    This argument falls apart, however, once we take into account the other, less commonly understood clause. The “Establishment Clause” prohibits the government from aiding or assisting any religion, or religious viewpoint, over any others. This was a key point for the founders of our country, who were of diverse faiths and did not want a state religion, or even any state-endorsed religions. When people talk about “separation of church and state,” this is the part of the Constitution that embodies it. The separation has worked well over the past two and a quarter centuries. Baptists have no more right to have their particular beliefs elevated over Methodists or Druids or atheists by any government official.

    Davis was a government employee charged with performing thel task of issuing marriage licenses. As a government official, the moment she imposed her own personal religious beliefs that only straight couples should be married, she raised an Establishment Clause problem. By insisting on applying God’s law (or at least her interpretation of it) over the civil law, she gave greater weight by the government to a particular religious viewpoint, namely her own brand of Christianity. This was a plain violation of the Establishment Clause.

    That of course raises another question: If it is a violation, where do Davis’s rights to freedom of worship begin and end? All of us have a right to worship. However that right ends when it affects other people. So we have a right to our beliefs, but we don’t have the right to impose our views on others. Everyone’s perfectly free to worship as they please, but this freedom also includes not having other people’s beliefs interfere with our own participation in civil society. As a government official, Davis did not have the right to force her beliefs by refusing to perform her governmental duties.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      re the Patheos filter: maybe it has a special bypass for eloquent clarity?

      😉

    • Perhaps you’re saying that, for this case, Davis was playing for the Government team, not the Christian team. As a result, “But you’re hurting my religious feelings” doesn’t work.

      (I’ve tried to prune away regular English words from the naughty list. It’s better.)

    • TheNuszAbides

      Davis is free to believe as she pleases.

      And the vast majority of her supporters (the mob of genuine bigots, not the cynical manipulators who just play for their cash/votes) are probably confused about the distinction between merely believing and actually acting on a belief, much like their delusion regarding My Team’s One True Theism (TM) being a “soul”-purifying ~core~identity~ (and/or ~relationship~) rather than the mere cultural encrustation it actually is.

  • Lord Backwater

    Patheos patheticity:
    On your home page, each post is shown as having zero comments.

    • Lord Backwater

      This is still a thing. Don’t know if Patheos hasn’t figured out how to fix the problem, or is too clueless to even realise its existence.

      • Greg G.

        There used to be recent comments for each blog on Patheos. Then Patheos reformatted the style and did away with. We figured out how to use the Disqus URL and Bob installed it on this site but then it stopped working on Patheos. I wonder if Patheos sabotaged such URLs and accidentally killed one of their own?

        Edit: I just checked another Patheos blog and it also has “0 Comments” on the home page for all articles but the article I visited actually had several comments.

        • Michael Neville

          Since Patheos has already shown how user-hostile they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was deliberate sabotage.

    • Fixed now, apparently.

  • S. Arch

    The bottom line is that the Bible isn’t the supreme law of the land—the Constitution is.

    The problem is that the 75% of Americans who are Christians don’t accept this. A Christian is required by their creed to put “God’s law” above all “man-made laws.” They might not admit it openly, but if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution and enact “Biblical Law.”

    • Michael Murray

      Have you got survey data that demonstrates this ? I’m not American so I wouldn’t know.

      • S. Arch

        Do I have survey data that demonstrates that approximately 75% of Americans are Christians? Yes, it’s a well documented fact. The figure varies a bit from study to study. Sometimes it’s as low as 70%, sometimes as high as 80%. So 75% is a good approximation.

        Do I have survey data that demonstrates that Christians don’t believe that the Constitution is the law of the land? No, but such data is superfluous if Christian faith is what it claims to be. The Christian belief that the ways of this world don’t matter and that the divine realm is all that matters is baked into their theological pie. They are required by their creed to put Christ first. Though they may not do so in times of peace and stability, when push comes to shove and they are forced to choose sides, they will follow their superstitious beliefs because they believe the afterlife is more important than this world. If you need proof, just look at how Christianity glorifies its (legendary) martyrs.

        • Michael Murray

          My experience is that you have to ask people what they believe directly not base it on the supposed beliefs of the religion they claim to be a part of. There was a famous poll Dawkins organised in the UK that polled people claiming to be Christian in the census about their social attitudes, actual beliefs in things like the resurrection, whether they went to Church etc.

          https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/religious-and-social-attitudes-uk-christians-2011

          Or just look at more liberal Catholic friends and ask yourself how they manage to have so few kids while obeying the supposed rules of the Church ?

          Of course the US is unique country when it comes to religion and certainly not comparable to the UK and my personal experience of Catholics is based on living in Australia. So I was wondering if Pew or anyone had researched this topic directly in the US.

        • Data point from another country: a poll of French Catholics found that half didn’t believe in God.

        • S. Arch

          It’s the opposite, in the U.S. For example, while Biblical literalism is not official Catholic doctrine, I find that most Catholics do believe in the literal truth of the Adam & Eve myth, the Noachic Flood, etc.

        • S. Arch

          In the U.S., the phenomenon you describe would swing in the opposite direction. You mention Catholics, for example. While the Biblical literalism is not official Catholic doctrine, most Catholics do believe in the literal truth of Adam & Eve, the Noachic Flood, etc.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t think the data supports SA’s assertion.

          Of the 70-75% self confessed Christians in the US, there’s only need to be 20-25% to dissent when “push came to shove” for the hypothetical referendum to fail. Given the data below, I don’t see that figure hard to realise.

          https://www.pewforum.org/2018/08/29/the-religious-typology/

    • Lord Backwater

      The problem with this is that it assumes “Christians” are a unified bloc with unified standards and policies. Some Christians are smart enough to realise that theocracy is a bad idea, and some are even familiar with Bible verses instructing Jesus’ followers to follow the secular law of the land.

      • Michael Neville

        It’s my belief that most American Christians realize that the Constitution is the law of the land. It’s only a small but vocal group pushing their version of Christian sharia law who want to override the Constitution.

        • S. Arch

          If push comes to shove and they are forced to choose sides, even moderate Christians must choose “God’s law” over “man’s law.” It’s required by their creed.

        • Michael Neville

          Lots of things are required by various creeds. For instance Catholics are required by “God’s Law” to abstain from using artificial contraception. Considering that the birth rate of Western Catholic families is the same as Protestants, it would appear that most married Catholics use artificial contraception. It appears that “God’s Law” is not too important to those Catholic married couples.

          Which brings up a similar example. When Catholic John Kerry was running for President in 2004 he argued against the criminalization of abortion. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis ordered the priests in his archdiocese to refuse to give communion to Kerry for being pro-choice. Burke got so much flak about it that he rescinded the order. Much of the pushback was from American Catholics. Again it seems that “God’s Law” lacks adherence from some believers.

        • S. Arch

          I’m not convinced that your analogy is applicable to the situation I’m considering. Let me put it in the plainest possible terms. If a referendum vote were held tomorrow to decide whether the U.S. should be a strictly “Christian nation” or a strictly secular nation, the majority of self-professed Christians (thus the majority of Americans) would vote for a “Christian nation.”

        • Greg G.

          On the other hand, if the referendum was six months from now and it was clearly explained that “Christian nation” meant adopting Westboro Baptist Church doctrine, most Christians would reject it.

          If it meant Catholic doctrine, it wouldn’t get Protestant support. If it meant Evangelical doctrine, it wouldn’t get Catholic support. I don’t think the referendum would pass without the support of both.

        • Pofarmer

          If history is a guide,. they would vote for the “Christian Nation” definition, and then kill each other to determine who’s version got to win out.

        • Greg G.

          I think you are right. That is why the European Christians were so eager to leave Europe to escape religious repression of fellow Christians.

        • S. Arch

          No most Christians wouldn’t reject the Westboro Baptist Church doctrine, because the alternative option of “secular nation” would be popularly perceived as “godless communism, atheism, satanism, and lawlessness.” And yes, Catholics and Protestants would unite under a common banner of faith to opposed what they would perceive as “Godlessness.”

        • Pofarmer

          They probably would, but then they wouldn’t be able to agree one what it even means.

        • S. Arch

          Doesn’t matter much if they agree or not. Civil liberties for non-religious people will have been destroyed, even as the various Christian denominations fight each other over theological details.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, yeah. That’s the lesson of history.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s your evidence to support your quite dubious claim? I’ve supported my rebuttal of your claim, I’ve yet to see any evidence that your conjecture is anything more than a pure guess on your part.

          The mere fact that in the 330 years since the writing of the Constitution your imaginary “Christian Nation” hasn’t materialized should tell you something about the likelihood of it happening.

          This is a put up or shut up moment. Support your argument with facts and logic or else join Chicken Little in proclaiming how the sky is falling.

        • S. Arch

          The evidence? Approximately 75% of the American population self-identifies as Christian. That’s not much disputed. I encourage you to take up a secular cause in your hometown. Try to get prayers removed from council meetings, religious symbols removed from public property, or end the fostering of religiosity in local public schools. Go ahead, try it. You’ll quickly find all the evidence you need that America is an overwhelmingly Christian nation.

          330 years since the writing of the Constitution? With “facts” like that, you don’t have much credibility.

          You did not support your rebuttal of my claim with any “evidence.” You cited the example of Catholics who disobey official Catholic doctrine on birth control. That is not evidence that Catholics prefer a secular government to a religious one. Indeed, the way many Catholics justify their disobedience to the Church’s official position on birth control is by seeing the doctrine as a mistaken rule made up by men in the Vatican, not as part of whatever they imagine to be “God’s divine plan.” Their disregard of the birth-control doctrine is irrelevant to their assessment of godless government vs. godly government.

          Your example about John Kerry and Archbishop Burke doesn’t rise to the standard of evidence, either. The Catholics who protested Burke’s order could just as likely have believed that Burke’s order violated “God’s law” and that’s why they opposed it. You’re confusing the actions of church leaders with people’s core religious beliefs. You’re right that many/most Catholics don’t adhere to the official doctrines of the church. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have strong religious beliefs. And it certainly doesn’t support the position that if forced into a corner where they had to choose between godless government and godly government they would choose godless government.

        • Michael Neville

          So most Americans identify as Christians. Big fuckin’69 deal. If your bullshitt was even halfway close to being true then why in the 330 years since the secular Constitution was adopted haven’t these majority Christians overthrown the secular government and instituted the Christian theocracy you’re pretending is just around the corner?

          No. Chicken Little, you’ve just provided bullshit69. Come back when you’ve got a real argument instead of what the voices in your head are whispering to you.

          ETA:

          You cited the example of Catholics who disobey official Catholic doctrine on birth control. That is not evidence that Catholics prefer a secular government to a religious one.

          No, but it is evidence (you know about evidence, that’s the thing completely missing from your arguments) that “God’s Law” that you claim governs each and every Christian isn’t as important to Christians as you pretend it is.

        • S. Arch

          why in the 330 years since the secular Constitution was adopted haven’t these majority Christians overthrown the secular government and instituted the Christian theocracy you’re pretending is just around the corner

          It has not been 330 years since the Constitution was adopted, dunce-cap. Learn the facts, before you pretend to be smart enough to converse with me.

        • Michael Neville

          I made a typo. I apologize for that. And if that’s the only rebuttal you can make to my arguments then we both know you’re just talking out of your ass69 with your nonsense about “God’s Law” and that “most Christians” will overthrow the government.

          Come back when you’ve got a real argument instead of crowing about a minor error that I made.

        • S. Arch

          It wasn’t a typo, because even after I pointed it out, you wrote it a second time. And no, that’s not the only rebuttal I can make. I already refuted your faulty claims of “evidence” above. However, I do admit that I’ve been imprecise in making my point, so I can’t really fault you for misunderstanding and not agreeing with me. I’m not saying that Christians are going to overthrow the U.S. government (when did I say that?). Why would they overthrow the government? With their 75% majority, they can get what they want democratically. And, under the current administration, even the most radical Christians are getting what they want. Separation of church and state is being eroded. Moreover, many U.S. Christians, including moderate Christians, already believe that the U.S. is “founded on Judeo-Christian principles” and that the Constitution is based on Biblical law. (It’s not true, of course, but that’s what they believe.) So, they have no reason to overthrow the government, as you put it. However, my contention is that if separation of church and state was ever strictly enforced to the fullest extent, and all Christian privilege was eliminated, then the 75% of Christians would gladly amend the Constitution in such a way as to legalize Christian privilege and make the U.S. an officially Christian nation.

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry to disagree with your dumpass but it was a typo both times. Besides, I previously acknowledged the error to Greg G, something you’d admit if you had the slightest bit of intellectual honesty and integrity.

          You’ve made and repeated the claim:

          A Christian is required by their creed to put “God’s law” above all “man-made laws.” They might not admit it openly, but if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution and enact “Biblical Law.”

          You’ve yet to explain why this hasn’t already happened since the Constitution is secular. You haven’t explained it because you can’t. What’s more, you know you can’t but you’re too arrogant to admit that your claim is obvious bullshit69.

        • S. Arch

          I don’t read your comments to Greg G. I have better things to do with my time than read every comment you post to other people. I pointed out your error, and you failed to acknowledge it to me. That’s a lack of intellectual honesty on your part.

          OK, you’ve demonstrated that you can quote me accurately. Good for you!

          Yes, I have explained why it hasn’t happened already. You’re just too stupid to understand. It hasn’t happened because push has not yet come to shove. For most of American history, the Christian majority has enjoyed being the privileged group. If their privilege is ever threatened based on Constitutional law, they would gladly scrap (or amend) the Constitution in the name of their religion. A Christian, by definition, holds their beliefs about the supernatural to be more precious than their ideas about the U.S. government.

        • Michael Neville

          In other words you slam me for a mistake but don’t see that I previously acknowledged the mistake. Very shabby.

          No, you have not explained why the Constitution hasn’t already been overridden. You’ve admitted in a very half-hearted way that my argument has some validity but all you’ve done is try to hand-wave and tap-dance around my argument.

          It’s plain that your argument has completely failed. But you’re too arrogant and dishonest to admit it. I won’t be responding to you any more because I’d have to have some respect for you to continue the discussion. You’ve gone into negative numbers in regards to my respect.

          Good bye. Have a mediocre day.

        • S. Arch

          You’re wrong. You’re even being deliberately deceitful. You didn’t acknowledge the mistake. If you and I are having a conversation, and I ask you a question, then the next day you tell your neighbor the answer to the question that I asked you, then you did not answer the question. Telling your neighbor doesn’t count. How am I supposed to know you told your neighbor. I don’t eavesdrop on all your conversations. Grow up.

          I have explained why Christians haven’t attacked the Constitution. The explanation was right there in my original post. Your reading comprehension skills are just too weak to understand. I wrote, “…if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution…” It’s right there! The reason they haven’t attacked the Constitution is because push has not yet come to shove. How dense can you be?

          I won’t be responding to you any more because I’d have to have some respect for you to continue the discussion

          Translation: “I’m running away with my tail between my legs because just about everything I’ve said has been shown to be incorrect and I’m embarrassed.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          When an example is produced of defying ones religion is presented, in spite of your claim that when push comes to shove, the Christer will always support the religious position, that’s evidence that your claim is wrong.

        • S. Arch

          No it’s not, because the Christer’s religion is not identical to the official doctrine of the Church. The Christer’s religion is made up of personal beliefs that may or may not align with what the Church says. A woman might call herself Catholic while at the same time she believes that “God” doesn’t mind if she uses birth control. So, even though the Catholic Church is against birth control, according to her personal belief (that is, according to her religion, ) birth control is acceptable. Thus, she is not defying her religion, because her religion is whatever she believes.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The mere fact that in the 330 years since the writing of the Constitution your imaginary “Christian Nation” hasn’t materialized should tell you something about the likelihood of it happening.

          There were certainly more Christian times in the past for such a state of affairs to attain.

          Christians chose a secular nation for a reason.

        • Greg G.

          The mere fact that in the 330 years since the writing of the Constitution

          Plus or minus one century.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right, 233 years since the signing of the Constitution.

        • Greg G.

          I remember the Bicentennial celebration. I was beginning to think I slept through the Tricentennial.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Impossible, unless the True Name of van Winkle starts with a silent G …

        • Greg G.

          I recall a prominent YouTube Christian putting apologetics videoes quite often.

          He was asked what he would do if God ordered him to kill his daughter, a lovely 2 year old. He knew the right answer was to obey but he knew he couldn’t harm his child and he knew the God of the Bible was known to tell people to do that.

          He went silent for a month or so then came out as an atheist.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          Can you recall his name?

        • Greg G.

          I recall “Veritas”. I do not remember if that was his whole name. It came to mind as I was typing but I wasn’t certain.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          I think I remember him, I think he changed his name to Together For Peace or something like that. If I’m not mistaken he was originally a Catholic and then he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. I didn’t know he deconverted, though.

        • S. Arch

          I’ve asked that same question to many Christians. The most common response I get is something like “your question is invalid, because God would never order me to kill my child.” When I counter with the story of Abraham & Isaac, the Christian responds with something like “that was a one-time event; Abraham was a special case because God was choosing him to be the founder of new faith…”

        • Greg G.

          I have asked that of a couple of Christians. Both times, their moods changed. They knew the “one÷time” excuse wasn’t a good answer. Neither deconverted though.

          Then there was Jephthath (sp?) who promised to sacrifice the first animal to greet him when he got home for success in battle, but his daughter was the first to greet him.

          If the Christian says they will obey God, they should admit what it means.

        • S. Arch

          I agree with you! I’m just saying that deconversions aren’t nearly as easy as your post above portrays them to be. Most Christians can continue to deceive themselves by coming up with flawed counter arguments to the question.

        • I say that God’s demand that Abraham sacrifice his son was a moral test, not a loyalty test. And the correct answer was, “Hell, no!”

        • How does JFK’s famous statement fit in? You think most Christians would reject that stance for themselves?

        • S. Arch

          Yes, I think most American Christians would reject JFK’s stance, if forced to choose in extreme circumstances.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff Christians are supposed to do which they ignore.

          Cafeteria Christians.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cafeteria_Christians

          It seems when push comes to shove, many are walking away or losing interest.

          Nominal Christians.

          According to data from the European Social Survey in 2012 show that around a third of European Christians say they attend services once a month or more, More than two-thirds of Latin American Christians and 90% of African Christians said they attended church regularly. Missionaries, Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, estimate that 1.2 billion people are “nominal and non-practising ‘Christians’.”

          How many Christians do ya think even know their creed?

        • S. Arch

          First, I’m not talking about European, African, or Latin American Christians. I’m talking about Christians in the U.S. Second, in the scenario I’m proposing, Christians don’t need to know their creed in detail, per se. But if they are true to their faith, they value “Godly things” over “worldly things.” So, in extreme circumstances, when push comes to shove, they will chose theocracy over democracy. If they have a choice between a “Christian government” and a “godless government,” they will choose the “Christian government.”

        • If they have a choice between a “Christian government” and a “godless government,” they will choose the “Christian government.”

          But what they actually have is a secular government, which is good for both.

        • S. Arch

          But what they actually have is a government, which is good for both.

          Yes, I agree. But they don’t. They despise the very idea of secularism. They don’t want to be one religion among many. They don’t want equal space in the public domain for all religions. They want their religion to have special privileges.

        • There are some Christians for whom this is very true. My question is, for how many of them is this true? You seem to be saying that it’s 100%. I doubt that.

        • S. Arch

          Now we’re getting somewhere. You’re sort of right. It’s not 100% right now. Please remember my original claim: “…if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution…” Push has not yet come to shove. For most of our history Christians have been the majority, privileged group. They have been taught that the U.S. was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that the Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments, etc. Most of our leaders have been Christians. Under the current administration, even the most vocal/radical Christians are getting what they want. So Christians, by and large, are not in a position where they need to make an existential choice. But as the demographics continue to change…. What if the Christian majority is close to becoming a minority? What if they learn the hard way that the U.S. wasn’t founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that the Constitution isn’t based on the Ten Commandments? What if Muslims and atheists begin to hold all the positions of power, and the privilege that Christians have enjoyed for so long begins to evaporate? At some point, even moderate Christians might begin to interpret the loss of privilege as “discrimination.” Then push comes to shove. Denominations will unite and try to scrap (or amend) the Constitution in order to preserve Christian privilege and their dream of the U.S. as a Christian nation.

        • You’ll make a stronger case if you illustrate it will examples of a majority religious group lashing out as it becomes a minority. I don’t see it happening in the US.

        • S. Arch

          You’re kidding, right? You don’t see conservative Christians in the U.S. lashing out? Do you follow current events and politics at all?

        • You don’t see conservative Christians in the U.S. lashing out?

          Uh, yeah, I do. Obviously. That doesn’t bring us to Christians wanting a theocracy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          How many of the conservative Christians lashing out, are the 100% of the 75% that S. Arch believes will become the “scraping the constitution” fraternity…that’s the question?//s

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s not 100% right now.

          I think your assertion that 100% of those 75% of U.S. folk that claim to be Christians, would chose to vote a party into power on a “scrap the constitution” ticket, because Christians were losing imagined privileges, at anytime, is fanciful at best, and bonkers at worst.

          Do you have anything to support this thesis?

          See, if you believe the rhetoric coming from the Christer side, such privileges are already being stripped.

          Please remember my original claim: “…if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution…” Push has not yet come to shove.

          But your claim of “push come to shove” is reliant on the Christian ability to scrap the constitution through numbers…i.e, the 75-70% majority.

          For most of our history Christians have been the majority, privileged group.

          So, at the point they don’t become the privileged group, they’ll have lost the majority, when it will be too late to scrap the constitution.

          You seem to be in a Catch-22 scenario.

          They have been taught that the U.S. was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that the Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments, etc.

          Is that what U.S. citizens are taught?

          Most of our leaders have been Christians.

          Indeed.

          Under the current administration, even the most vocal/radical Christians are getting what they want.

          What is it that you think Christians are getting under the current administration that are special Christian privileges?

          So Christians, by and large, are not in a position where they need to make an existential choice. But as the demographics continue to change…. What if the Christian majority is close to becoming a minority?

          Indeed. At what point do you think the day will come when they realise they are near becoming a minority and all Christians will rally together in order to scrap the U.S. Constitution?

          What if they learn the hard way that the U.S. wasn’t founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that the Constitution isn’t based on the Ten Commandments?

          This stuff is priceless. Are you suggesting that the Christians of the U.S. are living in ignorance and that one day there will be an epiphany moment and there’ll be a sudden realization that all this time they’ve been duped?

          What if Muslims and atheists begin to hold all the positions of power, and the privilege that Christians have enjoyed for so long begins to evaporate?

          What’s this privilege you think they’ll lose? I’m im intrigued.

          At some point, even moderate Christians might begin to interpret the loss of privilege as “discrimination.”

          What loss of privilege will moderate Christians interpret as “discrimination”? Will the Muslims and atheists be getting the privilege that all the Christians will be losing in this “might” scenario?

          Then push comes to shove. Denominations will unite and try to scrap (or amend) the Constitution in order to preserve Christian privilege and their dream of the U.S. as a Christian nation.

          Demonstrating that even atheists can be crazy conspiracy theorists too.

        • S. Arch

          I think your assertion that 100% of those 75% of U.S. folk that claim to be Christians, would chose to vote a party into power on a “scrap the constitution” ticket, because Christians were losing imagined privileges, at anytime, is fanciful at best

          Maybe. Maybe not.

          So, at the point they don’t become the privileged group, they’ll have lost the majority, when it will be too late to scrap the constitution. You seem to be in a Catch-22 scenario.

          No, because this doesn’t all happen overnight. It’s a gradual process. The Christians will begin to feel the loss of privilege as anti-Christian discrimination long before they are the minority. Indeed, they’re already claiming anti-Christian discrimination even though they are still a large majority. So, there could be a period when the Christians’ resentment boils over and they still have enough numbers and political clout to wreak havoc in the government.

          Is that what U.S. citizens are taught?

          Yes, many of Americans are taught by their Christian leaders that the U.S. was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles.” This claim is stated frequently by the Religious Right and Republicans.

          What is it that you think Christians are getting under the current administration that are special Christian privileges?

          They are getting conservative, pro-Christian federal judges and Supreme Court Justices who are preserving Christian privilege (e.g., the right of Christians to discriminate against people of whom they don’t approve; the right to have Christian symbols on public property; the use of taxpayer money to fund religious education).

          At what point do you think the day will come when they realise they are near becoming a minority and all Christians will rally together in order to scrap the U.S. Constitution?

          I don’t know exactly, of course. But, as I explained, it won’t all happen overnight. It’s a gradual process. The Christians will begin to feel the loss of privilege as anti-Christian discrimination long before they are the minority. Indeed, they’re already claiming anti-Christian discrimination even though they are still a large majority. So, there could be a period when the Christians’ resentment boils over and they still have enough numbers and political clout to wreak havoc in the government.

          Are you suggesting that the Christians of the U.S. are living in ignorance and that one day there will be an epiphany moment and there’ll be a sudden realization that all this time they’ve been duped?

          Many of them have been duped. They truly believe that the U.S. was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles” and that the Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments. People have written entire books intended to refute these common Christian claims. But no, I don’t think they will all suddenly have an epiphany. I didn’t mean that statement about “learning the hard way” literally. All I meant was that if the U.S. continues to become more secular and less Christian, they will feel like the rug is being pulled out from under them, which will fuel their feelings of resentment.

          What’s this privilege you think they’ll lose? I’m im intrigued.

          The ability to drown out other religions and thus perpetuate the illusion of the U.S. being a Christian nation. The ability to prevent non-Christians from being elected to public office. The ability to bully public school science teachers to not teach evolution and climate change. The ability to discriminate against people of whom they don’t approve, such as same-sex couples and non-Christians.

          What loss of privilege will moderate Christians interpret as “discrimination”?

          Any of it. See examples above. This is already happening. Evangelical/fundamentalist Christian support for Donald Trump is largely due to the fact that they see him as someone who will defend their declining privilege and appoint judges who will do the same. Eventually, some moderate Christians might come to feel the same way, if the country becomes more secular.

          Demonstrating that even atheists can be crazy conspiracy theorists too.

          No, there’s a difference. Conspiracy Theorists claim that something crazy has happened. I’m just having a conversation and speculating a bit. Could this scenario play out? If not, why not? If yes, what should the secular community do to prevent it? Haven’t some elements of it already begun?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Maybe. Maybe not.

          So this is just conjecture and you could be talking bubbles?

          No, because this doesn’t all happen overnight. It’s a gradual process.

          Exactly. Which is the reason it is nonsense. The UK is an example of the gradual process and now the Christians are a toothless minority. Their moment of uprising was missed. That’s in a country where there is a state religion and a monarch head of state and supreme governor of that state religion who still enjoys popular support. Ireland is another example of this nonsense you talk about. There was hardly a more deeply religiously Christian country on the planet less than a hundred years ago. One that already did have the government in it’s pocket. Not today though. Real Christian privileges are being stripped to the bone and not a peep from the Christian masses.

          The Christians will begin to feel the loss of privilege as anti-Christian discrimination long before they are the minority.

          There is no one group called the Christians, there are numerous groups called the Christians. They have a variety of beliefs ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. They all make up that 75% you talk about. Many of them, the nominals, are not that bothered that they’ll exchange the freedoms of the constitution for the restrictions of a theocracy. Heck, am gonna assert that there are conservatives that won’t wanna go down that road either.

          I’m still curious what this “privilege” is that they’ll lose that is gonna cause the game changing strife you imagine. Please. Tell me?

          Indeed, they’re already claiming anti-Christian discrimination even though they are still a large majority.

          And yet there is no concerted effort to scrap the constitution.

          So, there could be a period when the Christians’ resentment boils over and they still have enough numbers and political clout to wreak havoc in the government.

          Period? Wreak havoc? Have you heard yerself? You sound like a raving lunatic. Could be, might be, may be. When will this happen? Gradual won’t cut it. Gradual indicates a too late point, which I’m going to suggest has been and gone…if it ever was of course.

          Many of them have been duped.

          Oh, all Christians have been duped, just what they’ve been duped about is the question.

          They truly believe that the U.S. was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles” and that the Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments.

          I don’t doubt that there are Christians in this category. Your problem is that it is nowhere near 100% of the 75% of yanks that claim they are Christians. Read the following…

          https://www.au.org/resources/publications/is-america-a-christian-nation

          People have written entire books intended to refute these common Christian claims.

          So what? That doesn’t help ya get to where ya wanna be. Your problem is based on how common you think the claim actually is, which I don’t think is as common as you think.

          But no, I don’t think they will all suddenly have an epiphany.

          No, I don’t either. Because I don’t think you can support your premise that enough Christians believe they already live in a state that has a constitution based on Christianity to begin with.

          I didn’t mean that statement about “learning the hard way” literally. All I meant was that if the U.S. continues to become more secular and less Christian, they will feel like the rug is being pulled out from under them, which will fuel their feelings of resentment.

          An assertion you make without the slightest bit of supporting substance in a nation that is increasingly becoming less religious.

          The ability to drown out other religions and thus perpetuate the illusion of the U.S. being a Christian nation.

          Do you live in redneck hicksville? You have yet to demonstrate that this illusion is common to 100% of the 75% Christians, or anywhere near it.

          The reason for the establishment clause was precisely to protect Christians from other Christians. That you think Catholic Christians, or Mormon Christians, or libertarian Christians, will support the scraping of the constitution by supporting fundamentalist Protestant Christians, because they are all Christians at the end of the day, and therein throwing away the rights they currently enjoy under the constitution, is both quaint and nieve. I live in Northern Ireland.

          The ability to prevent non-Christians from being elected to public office.

          Whaaaa? You must know that that is nonsense, right?

          That nonsense finally went out with Torcaso v. Watkins back in 1961. There are non-Christians in U.S. public office. There have been atheists elected to congress. Don’t you know that?

          Ever hear of a guy called Fortney Hillman “Pete” Stark Jr.?

          The ability to bully public school science teachers to not teach evolution and climate change.

          Where is this happening uncontested at any scale worth consideration?

          The ability to discriminate against people of whom they don’t approve, such as same-sex couples and non-Christians.

          Where is this happening uncontested at any scale worth consideration?

          Christian dickheads engaging in such unconstitutional shenanigans are already getting it right up them.

          Any of it. See examples above.

          Those “privileges” don’t exist. And where those examples are being tested, they are already being slapped.

          This is already happening. Evangelical/fundamentalist Christian support for Donald Trump is largely due to the fact that they see him as someone who will defend their declining privilege and appoint judges who will do the same.

          How’s that been working out for them so far given your examples above?

          Do you think Trump will scrap the constitution for a theocracy?

          Funny thing, all those Democrat Christians supporting the checking of all those examples you listed already. Strange that the majority of Americans favour abortion rights and bodily autonomy for women, given the 75% of the U.S. being Christian and all that. Even Republican Christians recognise the establishment clause.

          Eventually, some moderate Christians might come to feel the same way, if the country becomes more secular.

          Some? What’s happening to your numbers?

          More secular than secular?

          Maybe some the moderate Christians will prefer to bin there Christianity and will become nones rather than feel the same way. Ya know, like we can actually see happening. Google “the nominals becoming the nones”.

          Ever heard of the Clergy Project? Don’t ya think that if there are clerics in the pulpit that are atheists, that there must be in the closet atheists in the pews going through the motions? How many of your 75% do we know are not those folk?

          No, there’s a difference. Conspiracy Theorists claim that something crazy has happened.

          Don’t talk more rot.

          Jesse Walker (2013) has identified five kinds of conspiracy theories:

          The “Enemy Outside” refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without.

          The “Enemy Within” finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.

          The “Enemy Above” involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain.

          The “Enemy Below” features the lower classes working to overturn the social order.

          The “Benevolent Conspiracies” are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.

          I’m just having a conversation and speculating a bit.

          Oh, ya were doing much more than “speculating a bit”, ya made a number of unsupported assertions as fact. Starting a week ago with this one.

          The bottom line is that the Bible isn’t the supreme law of the land—the Constitution is.

          The problem is that the 75% of Americans who are Christians don’t accept this. A Christian is required by their creed to put “God’s law” above all “man-made laws.” They might not admit it openly, but if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution and enact “Biblical Law.”

          Which is the bullshit being pushed back against.

          Could this scenario play out?

          You weren’t talking about a “could it” scenario, your claim is that it’s what will happen when and if, “push comes to shove”. What’s possible and what’s probable, are not the same thing.

          If not, why not?

          It is highly improbable for all the reasons I and others have presented and more.

          If yes, what should the secular community do to prevent it?

          It’s your hypothetical nonsense, you tell me what needs to be done that is not already in place?

          The Establishment Clause is a limitation placed upon the United States Congress preventing it from passing legislation forcing an establishment of religion, broadly making it illegal for the government to promote theocracy…

          You simply don’t have the numbers you think there is to overthrow such a position. Many of the Christians that make up the 75% just aren’t that Christian enough am afraid.

          Haven’t some elements of it already begun?

          What “elements” are you talking about? When did they begin? Why do you think this beginning is occuring?

          When will this envisaged united Christian front you imagine take place? When they’re down to 65%…60%…55%?

        • S. Arch

          Real Christian privileges are being stripped to the bone and not a peep from the Christian masses.

          I don’t think England and Ireland are good analogies. The situations in those countries were too different from the U.S. You’re comparing apples and oranges. State religion weakened genuine religious sentiment in European countries. Religious freedom in the U.S. has allowed genuine religious faith to prosper, and in some cases, radicalize. Maybe the Christians in England & Ireland were already weak in faith, that’s why they didn’t make a “peep.” But the Christians in the U.S. are making lots of “peeps” already.

          Many of them, the nominals, are not that bothered that they’ll exchange the freedoms of the constitution for the restrictions of a theocracy.

          They aren’t that bothered yet. But when the Constitution starts to be used as the foundation for a level playing field where Muslims and atheists are granted as much public space as Christians, then Christians will no longer see the Constitution as the guarantor of (their) religious freedom, and they will be motivated to change it.

          And yet there is no concerted effort to scrap the constitution.

          Exactly. There is no concerted effort to scrap the Constitution yet.

          Period? Wreak havoc? Have you heard yerself? You sound like a raving lunatic.

          These are figures of speech. Don’t be so uptight.

          I don’t doubt that there are Christians in this category. Your problem is that it is nowhere near 100% of the 75% of yanks that claim they are Christians. Read the following…

          I hope you’re right. I have read the Americans United article (not for the first time). It states, “even though most Americans identify as Christian, this does not mean they would back official government recognition of the Christian faith. Christian denominations disagree on points of doctrine, church structure and stands on social issues. Many Christians take a moderate or liberal perspective on church-state relations and oppose efforts to impose religion by government action.” Again, that’s how things stand now. But it’s not too hard to imagine a period of existential crisis during which Christian denominations would put aside their theological and doctrinal differences and see politics as a black-and-white issue: Should we have a godless state or a god-fearing state? When a politician says something like “we need to put God back in schools,” it gets strong support from many different Christian denominations. So just imagine that rhetoric amped up to the highest level during a time of crisis: “We need to put God back in our government!” That scenario is not completely implausible.

          Your problem is based on how common you think the claim actually is, which I don’t think is as common as you think.

          I hope you’re right.

          An assertion you make without the slightest bit of supporting substance in a nation that is increasingly becoming less religious.

          Yes, it is supported. As the country is becoming less religious, Christians are becoming more resentful, which fuels more frequent attempts to legislate Christianity (e.g., Project Blitz).

          Do you live in redneck hicksville?

          Yeah, sort of.

          You have yet to demonstrate that this illusion is common to 100% of the 75% Christians, or anywhere near it.

          The illusion doesn’t have to be believed by 100% of the 75% Christian population. The illusion only has to be believed by a majority of voters so that theocratic leaders will be elected to positions of power. Typically, less than half of eligible U.S. voters vote in an election. Even if only half of the 75% of Christians believe the illusion, that still might be enough to win elections, depending on how many people from “the other side” turn out to vote. And “the other side” isn’t going to vote in 100% lock-step with their party, either.

          That you think Catholic Christians, or Mormon Christians, or libertarian Christians, will support the scraping of the constitution by supporting fundamentalist Protestant Christians, because they are all Christians at the end of the day, and therein throwing away the rights they currently enjoy under the constitution, is both quaint and nieve. I live in Northern Ireland.

          I live in the U.S. Maybe that’s why I have a better sense of the religious climate here than you do. Christians (of many denominations) are already complaining that “the rights that they currently enjoy” are being threatened. And it’s the Constitution that is being used as the tool to threaten them. So, if they perceive that it’s gone too far, then they could take an extreme position. Again, it’s not hard to imagine a period of existential crisis during which Christian denominations would put aside their theological and doctrinal differences and see politics as a black-and-white issue: Should we have a godless state or a god-fearing state? When a politician says something like “we need to put God back in schools,” it gets strong support from many different Christian denominations. So just imagine that rhetoric amped up to the highest level: “We need to put God back in our government!” That’s not completely implausible.

          Whaaaa? You must know that that is nonsense, right?

          It most certainly is not nonsense. It is almost impossible for an openly atheist candidate to get elected to political office, except in a few very liberal corners of the country. How long have you lived outsid the U.S.?

          That nonsense finally went out with Torcaso v. Watkins back in 1961. There are non-Christians in U.S. public office. There have been atheists elected to congress. Don’t you know that?

          Yes, I know that. Moreover, I know that there have not been many openly atheist people holding U.S. public office; not anywhere near proportional to the percenatage of atheists that demographers tell us comprise the U.S. population. Except in rare places and occasions, it’s political suicide for a candidate for high office to openly declare lack of belief in “God.”

          Ever hear of a guy called Fortney Hillman “Pete” Stark Jr.?

          Well, there’s one! I can think of a couple more off the top of my head. But compare that with the fact that at any given time there are 100 U.S. Senators, more than 400 U.S. representatives, twelve Supreme Court Justices, one President, a baker’s dozen of cabinet members, fifty state governors, countless state-level congressmen… And throughout U.S. history, you could probably count the open atheists on your fingers and toes.

          Where is this happening uncontested at any scale worth consideration?

          Lots of places in the U.S. Surveys of public school science teachers reveal that many of them avoid teaching evolution and climate change science, because they don’t want to deal with the backlash from angry parents.

          Where is this happening uncontested at any scale worth consideration? Christian dickheads engaging in such unconstitutional shenanigans are already getting it right up them.

          Baloney. Several recent high-profile cases have been decided in favor of conservative Christian business owners, making it easier for them to discriminate against same-sex couples. I think your information might be a little outdated. For a while during the Obama presidency it looked like LGBTQ people were finally being granted equal rights. But the pendulum has begun swinging back hard the other way.

          Those “privileges” don’t exist. And where those examples are being tested, they are already being slapped.

          You’re wrong. The Religious Right has been working for decades to pack the federal courts with conservative judges, and under the Trump Administration it’s finally paying off for them. I’ve lost count of how many conservative, pro-Christian judges Trump has gotten approved. Whereas cases involving civil rights for LGBTQ and non-religious people used to be won more often than not, the pendulum has started to swing in the opposite direction. The separation of church and state is being eroded. This point is not even debated here in the U.S. All sides agree that it’s happening. The only difference is that some people are happy about out, some are not.

          How’s that been working out for them so far given your examples above?

          Quite well, in fact.

          Do you think Trump will scrap the constitution for a theocracy?

          I think he would amend the Constitution to officially favor Christianity, if he had the authority to do so. Read some of the speeches he’s made at the National Prayer Breakfast. (Yes, that’s right, there is a thing in the U.S. called “the National Prayer Breakfast.”)

          Strange that the majority of Americans favour abortion rights and bodily autonomy for women, given the 75% of the U.S. being Christian and all that.

          I’m not talking about abortion rights, or any other issue. I’m talking about a potential period of existential crisis, when the political debate will be framed as a godless country vs. a god-fearing country, or some such nonsense. In the U.S., that’s often how we do things these days. The masses don’t spend much time on deep critical thinking or considering political and philosophical nuance. Instead, they buy into whatever packaged product is marketed most effectively.

          Google “the nominals becoming the nones”.

          The so-called “rise of the nones” is overblown. It was either Pew or PRRI (I forget which) that did a study revealing that most of the “nones” actually hold supernatural beliefs; they just don’t join traditional churches.

          Which is the bullshit being pushed back against.

          Maybe in your country. In the U.S., not so much.

          The Establishment Clause is a limitation placed upon the United States Congress preventing it from passing legislation forcing an establishment of religion

          You put too much faith in the establishment clause. You don’t seem to be aware that it’s often bent and sometimes broken. The U.S. government spends taxpayer dollars to fund Christian schools. That’s establishment of religion. The U.S. government spends taxpayer dollars to fund religious settlements in the West Bank. That’s establishment of religion. The U.S. pays a Christian pastor to minister to members of Congress. That’s establishment of religion. The President of the United States has an “Evangelical Advisory Board.” Don’t make me laugh with your praise of the Establishment Clause.

          What “elements” are you talking about?

          The increased persecution/discrimination rhetoric issuing from the Christian Right; their increasingly aggressive legislative moves (e.g., Project Blitz); a slew of recent federal court decisions that erode the separation of church and state. These (and more) are happening. Fact.

          When will this envisaged united Christian front you imagine take place? When they’re down to 65%…60%…55%?

          I don’t know. I wonder about that. Meanwhile, I observe the fact that the more religously diverse the country becomes, the more Christians (of all denominations) express feelings that they’re being squeezed out of the public sphere, and their rhetoric becomes more strident, and their their political/legislative moves become more aggressive.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t think England and Ireland are good analogies.

          Why not? You are proposing a scenario where the same state of affairs will be obtained in the U.S., I’m pointing out that there are already examples of such a scenario already and religion is losing ground big style. Catholicism in Ireland, Protestantism in the U.K.

          The situations in those countries were too different from the U.S.

          Irrelevant. You are talking about a perceived future. You think a Christian U.S. is a possibility and there’d be enough Christians singing off the same hymn sheet to get the constitution tore up because at the end of the day, Christianity is the top priority of the 75% of U.S. Christians. I’m pointing out that that is bonkers. Ireland is a Roman Catholic nation. Abortion and homosexuality are supposedly anathema to Catholicism, yet in a nation that not only identifies as Christian, but over 78% Roman Catholic Christian, and where not so long ago divorce and the selling of contraception was illegal, they were first in the world to legalise same sex marriage and recently voted to legalise abortion.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Ireland#Public_morality

          You’re comparing apples and oranges.

          You just aren’t getting it. Christianity is comparing apples and oranges. Which flavour of Christianity will take the reins in the U.S. and what makes you think the others will fall into line?

          Of the 75% of Christianity in the U.S., 20% are RC, do you really believe they’ll get behind a fundie Protestant group to overthrow the U.S. constitution that offers them checks and balances protection? You’re dreaming if ya do. So straight away, your figures are screwed. They are down to 55% max. And if you believe that all that 55% would get behind a tearing up of the constitution, you’re heads away with the fairies.

          State religion weakened genuine religious sentiment in European countries.

          When did that happen? Was it state religion that did it? Why do you think a state religion in the U.S. could get off the ground?

          Religious freedom in the U.S. has allowed genuine religious faith to prosper, and in some cases, radicalize.

          There isn’t just one. Diversity means it doesn’t matter. Without unity your hypothesis is screwed and that is your Achilles heel.

          It’s not as if your idea is a novel one. It has been proposed many times before to put the Christian god into the constitution many times before. When Christianity had more teeth to do so, every time it failed.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_amendment

          Maybe the Christians in England & Ireland were already weak in faith, that’s why they didn’t make a “peep.”

          I doubt it was that. When government and religion are in cahoots to take away civil liberties of parts of society in this modern age, the games already a bogey.

          But the Christians in the U.S. are making lots of “peeps” already.

          Some of them might be making a noise. You are buying into the shouting of the crazies while ignoring the numbers of the moderates and others.

          No one is saying there is no barking mad “Christian Right”, what I’m saying is that they don’t come anywhere near the numbers that would be needed to scrap the U.S. constitution. Nor do I think the trend is going that direction.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_right#Criticism

        • S. Arch

          Unsupported speculation that the nominals will become bothered enough.

          I don’t think I ever claimed that my argument is anything more than speculation. I never claimed that it already happened, or that it’s an incontrovertible fact. That said, far-fetched speculations sometimes turn out to be accurate. Indeed, speculation is common in science. It’s how hypotheses are generated, some of which turn out to be accurate.

          You’ve got this idea in your head that all that 75% who tick Christian, are Christian enough to want a U.S. Gilead. A lot of them tick Christian for no more reason than they are Christian by family tradition.

          First of all, don’t exaggerate my claim. I never said anything about a U.S. Gilead (although I don’t see that as entirely impossible). I said, Christians (regardless of denomination) hold their religion to be more precious than the the Constitution, and so, if push comes to shove, they would be willing to scrap the latter. “Scrap” was a poor choice of words on my part. I later clarified that I meant Christians would be willing to amend the Constitution to make the U.S. an officially Christian nation. Second of all, “family tradition” carries a lot of weight in the U.S. Do not underestimate Americans’ loyalty to their cherished traditions. The people will fight to the death to defend “our way of life.” And most Americans consider their religious traditions to be part of their way of life that they will fight (or pass a Constitutional amendment) to protect.

          I don’t think you are grasping what you are suggesting. Which Christian group will be in charge?

          You’re not grasping what I’m suggesting. Christian unity/solidarity is not impossible given the right circumstances. Many different denominations already engage in ecumenical work. There is a common core of belief among most Christian denominations. But none of that really matters, because the fact is that a Constitutional amendment can be written that would benefit all Christians, regardless of denomination.

          And yet God is not being put back into schools.

          YES, HE IS! Several states have recently passed laws requiring “In God We Trust” to be displayed in all public schools. The teaching of evolution and climate science is increasingly under attack, largely by Christian lawmakers. Many more of these laws are in the pipeline (Project Blitz), and are almost certain to be passed by state legislatures that are dominated by conservatives. I think you’re out of touch with just how pervasive religion is the U.S.

          Yes, there are fuckwits like Project Blitz which has had some influence in the more redneck parts of the U.S., but their dominionist worldview is not popular.

          Project Blitz is not people. It’s not a group. It’s the name of a formal legislative effort (an actual playbook) by the Christian Right to Christinize the U.S. That you don’t know what Project Blitz is, and that you think dominionism is unpopular, proves that you don’t understand the religious climate in the U.S.

          Mainstream Christians want no part of that nonsense, and for good reason.

          Mainstream Christianity is what’s declining. The evangelical and fundamentalist mega-churches are growing in the U.S.

          you are talking a civil war scenario

          Yes, I am. The rhetoric and the political polarization are trending in that direction.

          You think 37.5% of Christians will vote in theocratic leaders …

          No, I think a lot more than 37.5% of Christians will vote in theocratic leaders. I don’t know what the numbers are, but the fact is that theocratic leaders are already being elected in many places.

          No one in their right mind who isn’t Christian is going to support a threat to the constitution to their own peril.

          Approximately 25% of of Americans are non-Christian. Given the right circumstances, the 75% of the population that is Christian can unite enough to support a broad Constitutional amendment that would favor all Christians regardless of denomination.

          Of the 75% of Christianity in the U.S., 20% are RC, do you really believe they’ll get behind a fundie Protestant group to overthrow the U.S. constitution that offers them checks and balances protection?

          If it comes down to what they perceive as a black-and-white choice (and there are already influential leaders who are spinning it that way) between a godless government and a god-fearing government, then yes I think denominations will put aside their doctrinal differences and support a Constitutional amendment that favors Christian religions.

          They are down to 55% max

          Who is down to 55% max?

          When did that happen?

          Over the decades and centuries that European countries had state religions. State religion in Europe stifled religion’s vitality, while eligious freedom in the U.S. allowed a flourishing of religious thought. It’s a pretty common position held by many who study the evolution of religion.

          Why do you think a state religion in the U.S. could get off the ground?

          Because the overwhelming majority of the population is Christian, and many Christian leaders are directly or indirectly calling for a Christian state, and many lawmakers are actively trying to establish Christianity through legislation, and these theocratic legislators continue to get elected which shows that they have public support.

          Diversity means it doesn’t matter. Without unity your hypothesis is screwed and that is your Achilles heel.

          You’re just not getting it. Unity can develop given the right circumstances. And the unity you insist upon isn’t really necessary. An amendment could be written that would satisfy the majority of Christians despite their doctrinal differences — an amendment that would favor all Christians, regardless of denomination, over non-Christians.

          You are buying into the shouting of the crazies while ignoring the numbers of the moderates and others.

          Moderates don’t stay moderate when they perceive that they are being pushed into a corner.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t think I ever claimed that my argument is anything more than speculation.

          If that had been the case from the beginning, we wouldn’t be here. You made a few statements of fact that you couldn’t support. That’s drew the ire from a number of commentors.

          I never claimed that it already happened,…

          No one here has stated ya did, so that’s a straw man.

          …or that it’s an incontrovertible fact.

          Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? You are on a number of atheist forums propagating the same conspiracy theory mantra as an inevitability.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/tipplingphilosopher/the_christian_right_is_helping_drive_liberals_away_from_religion/#comment-4631681441

          “3.) My claim that that the conservative judiciary will soon effectively abolish separation of church and state is not a conspiracy theory, either. It’s more like an informed prediction.”

          So stop lying about it already.

          Your arguments take the form of modus ponens

          “if a, then b”…or … “P → Q, P ⊢ Q”

          It can be summarized as “P implies Q and P is asserted to be true, therefore Q must be true.”

          You are making a truth claim.

          Here’s another example.

          ” If a referendum vote were held tomorrow to decide whether the U.S. should be a strictly “Christian nation” or a strictly secular nation, the majority of self-professed Christians (thus the majority of Americans) would vote for a “Christian nation.””

          Here’s another.

          “If push comes to shove and they are forced to choose sides, even moderate Christians must choose “God’s law” over “man’s law.” It’s required by their creed.”

          Your opening gambit here was this…

          “The problem is that the 75% of Americans who are Christians don’t accept this. A Christian is required by their creed to put “God’s law” above all “man-made laws.” They might not admit it openly, but if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution and enact “Biblical Law.””

          That said, far-fetched speculations sometimes turn out to be accurate.

          Well, at least you are coming to terms with the idea that your conspiracy claim is now “speculation” and “far-fetched”…that’s a start a suppose.

          https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/far-fetched

          Indeed, speculation is common in science. It’s how hypotheses are generated, some of which turn out to be accurate.

          You think you’re “far-fetched speculation” is a scientific hypothesis that will turn out to be accurate?

          First of all, don’t exaggerate my claim. I never said anything about a U.S. Gilead

          No exageration. You inferred a U.S. Gilead. And not just here either…”U.S. Taliban”, remember?

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/progressivesecularhumanist/tennessee_police_officers_force_woman_to_choose_between_baptism_or_jail/#comment-4639286983

          Stop lying.

          (although I don’t see that as entirely impossible).

          Conspiracy theory.

          I said, Christians (regardless of denomination) hold their religion to be more precious than the the Constitution, and so, if push comes to shove, they would be willing to scrap the latter.

          You are toning your claim down, that’s nice.

          Well, you’ve been told that is ballix and why. You’ve got “some” Christians. You need that to be “most” Christians. You’ve done nothing to demonstrate your hypothesis has the numbers. You need the numbers of the “some” of the claimed 75% to be more than 50% of the total Christians in the U.S. to be right wing fuck-ups, those numbers just aren’t there.

          “Scrap” was a poor choice of words on my part.

          Yeah, you seem to have a penchant for that, then blaming the problem on others.

          I later clarified that I meant Christians would be willing to amend the Constitution to make the U.S. an officially Christian nation.

          That would mean “scrapping” the constitution as it stands. What’s the difference?

          And you’ve been provided with evidence that that very thing has been attempted numerous times in the past, when the numbers were there, and everytime it failed.

          Second of all, “family tradition” carries a lot of weight in the U.S. Do not underestimate Americans’ loyalty to their cherished traditions.

          I’m not underestimating anything. You’ve been provided with the data that lot’s of Christians tick “Christian” on surveys because that’s what they are through tradition, but when it gets down to it, they really are nonplussed. They aren’t bothered. Certainly not to the extent of supporting a rewriting of the constitution to suit right wing nutjobs.

          The Equality Act was passed in the House by a bipartisan vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019.

          The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. In addition, there is strong business support for non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The legislation has been endorsed by the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of more than 250 major companies with operations in all 50 states, headquarters spanning 31 states, and a collective revenue of $4.9 trillion. In total, these companies employ more than 11.5 million people across the United States. More than 60 business associations including the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also followed suit endorsing the Equality Act.

          https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act

          The people will fight to the death to defend “our way of life.”

          That’ll be the freedoms afforded by the constitution “way of life”.

          And most Americans consider their religious traditions to be part of their way of life that they will fight (or pass a Constitutional amendment) to protect.

          You’ve still provided nothing to support this assertion, while historically, every attempt at doing so, has failed. And it hasn’t been for the want of trying either.

          Ya see…

          The U.S. Constitution is famously difficult to amend: It takes a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, then ratification by three-quarters of the states. Although Congress can also call a convention to propose amendments upon application by two-thirds of the states, that threshold has never been reached and there are many unanswered questions about how such a convention might work in practice.

          [S]ame-sex marriages have become more common and public opinion has become more supportive of them in the past few years, there have been fewer and fewer proposals to write a ban on such marriages into the Constitution.

          You’re not grasping what I’m suggesting. Christian unity/solidarity is not impossible given the right circumstances.

          What are those “right circumstances” you think will unite all the Christers to vote a Christian constitution that will inevitably lead to the persecution of various minority groups, including Christian ones?

          Many different denominations already engage in ecumenical work. There is a common core of belief among most Christian denominations.

          Oh, I know all about that irrelevancy. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

          But none of that really matters, because the fact is that a Constitutional amendment can be written that would benefit all Christians, regardless of denomination.

          More rot talk. That’s been part of the problem in the past. And that’s not what Project Blitz aims for either. That’s why mainline religions are condemning wingnuts like those of Project Blitz. Ironically, that includes The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

          Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. It is a shield that protects everyone—the religious and nonreligious alike. Yet, an alarming effort is underway to harness the power of the government to impose the faith of some onto everyone else, including our public school students. This effort seeks to transform religious freedom into a sword that can be used to harm others, undermining important civil rights protections and healthcare access, especially
          for women, LGBTQ people, those of minority faiths, and the nonreligious.

          We are united against these efforts.

          In particular, we oppose “Project Blitz,” a new and coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country.

          https://web.archive.org/web/20190204181049/https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/Organizations%20Opposed%20To%20Project%20Blitz%202.1.19.pdf

          YES, HE IS! Several states have recently passed laws requiring “In God We Trust” to be displayed in all public schools.

          Really? A few states are allowing that motto to be displayed in public places is God being put back into schools? You think that’s a big deal when “In God We Trust” is carried about in everyone’s pocket?

          Is there no kick back being made anywhere on this?

          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/14/christian-nationalists-bills-religious-freedom-project-blitz

          What is your argument? On the one hand, you are declaring that the rights and privileges of Christians are being so badly trodden on, that we are on the verge of a Christian uprising, resulting in the existential fear that Christianity is systematically being wiped out. But on the other hand, you are claiming that Christians are wining inroads to have those same rights and privileges ratified in law. You are all over the place on this stuff like a mad woman’s shite. Which is it?

          The teaching of evolution and climate science is increasingly under attack, largely by Christian lawmakers. Many more of these laws are in the pipeline (Project Blitz), and are almost certain to be passed by state legislatures that are dominated by conservatives. I think you’re out of touch with just how pervasive religion is the U.S.

          So there is no sign of the “Christian existential crisis” ya were slabbering about earlier? Christian rights and privileges aren’t being eroded at all? Yer heads away with the fairies.

          Project Blitz is not people. It’s not a group. It’s the name of a formal legislative effort (an actual playbook) by the Christian Right to Christinize the U.S.

          I know what it is ffs…stop with the pedantic semantics, it makes you look more silly than ya do already. I was talking about the fuckwits behind Project Blitz playbook ya moron. Cretins like David Barton, Buddy Pilgrim, Bill Dallas, Lea Carawan, etc., and all the knuckle-dragging idiots that support Project Blitz.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blitz

          That you don’t know what Project Blitz is, …

          Oh ffs…that you think I don’t know what Project Blitz is because I alluded to the folk that make up Project Blitz as Project Blitz, is moronic. An organisation is the sum of its membership and supporters ya Dime Bar.

          That you think I don’t know what Project ZBlitz is, is nieve.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2019/06/12/the-religious-right-project-blitz/

          >…and that you think dominionism is unpopular, proves that you don’t understand the religious climate in the U.S.

          How popular is dominionism in your opinion? Where’s the data that allows you to infer I’m so ignorant on the matter?

          And again, you kill your own argument. There is no support for dominionist theology in mainstream Christianity. Dominionists don’t want the changes to the constitution that will promote inclusivity.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dominionism

          That’s why organisations like the National Council of Churches are anti-Project Blitz and anti-Christian dominionist.

          Mainstream Christianity is what’s declining. The evangelical and fundamentalist mega-churches are growing in the U.S.

          Perhaps, but not by the numbers needed for your doomsday scenario.

          https://news.gallup.com/poll/248837/church-membership-down-sharply-past-two-decades.aspx

          No, I think a lot more than 37.5% of Christians will vote in theocratic leaders.

          You can’t have it both ways. If only 50% of Americans go to the polls, then the inference is, only half of the the population self-declaring as Christian go to the polls. By extension, not all that half of the Christians that go to the polls, vote for theocratic leaders. The math is the math. The numbers just aren’t there.

          I don’t know what the numbers are, but the fact is that theocratic leaders are already being elected in many places.

          Many places? Really? Numbers would help.

          Approximately 25% of of Americans are non-Christian. Given the right circumstances, the 75% of the population that is Christian can unite enough to support a broad Constitutional amendment that would favor all Christians regardless of denomination.

          The 75% that say they are Christian, ain’t all Christian. Of the others, you have no way of knowing how many would prefer a Christian state religion over the freedom of the constitution. I’m as much within my rights to speculate many of them won’t…that’s the nice thing about speculating. Everyone gets to make shit up.

          Who is down to 55% max?

          The max total number of Christians available after the 20% RC’s that can’t afford a Protestant Christian Right scrapping the constitution in favour of the U.S. becoming a Christian nation.

          Over the decades and centuries that European countries had state religions. State religion in Europe stifled religion’s vitality, while eligious freedom in the U.S. allowed a flourishing of religious thought. It’s a pretty common position held by many who study the evolution of religion.

          Right, so given that knowledge, you think that all Christian denominations would unite to make the U.S. a Christian nation and in so doing, put themselves down the same route?

          Because the overwhelming majority of the population is Christian, and many Christian leaders are directly or indirectly calling for a Christian state, and many lawmakers are actively trying to establish Christianity through legislation, and these theocratic legislators continue to get elected which shows that they have public support.

          But the overwhelming populations throughout Europe were Christian. More devout than the U.S. ever has been. And with numbers a lot more than the claimed 75% that you believe is an overwhelming majority.

          The European states were Christian states. Christianity is already established through legislation. In the U.K. there are 25 bishops in the House of Lords, the majority of the rest would be considered devout Christians. The MP’s in the House of Commons would be considered mostly Christian. The Head of State is the head of the state religion. And yet the place is becoming more secular and legislating laws contrary to religious believe. Christian are not as devout as you imagine when it gets down to choices of God’s Law’s or Secular Law’s.

          You’re just not getting it. Unity can develop given the right circumstances.

          You haven’t explained what those circumstances are yet. Christian unity has historically been a problem. The reason there is separation of religion and state is because of that very reason. The perceived Christian rights and privileges being eroded…in part of your position, are not those circumstances that will facilitate your far-fetched speculations.

          And the unity you insist upon isn’t really necessary. An amendment could be written that would satisfy the majority of Christians despite their doctrinal differences — an amendment that would favor all Christians, regardless of denomination, over non-Christians.

          You have yet to demonstrate that the majority of Christians want said satisfaction. So far, it’s pure speculatory conspiracy theory with no evidence.

          And you’ve done nothing to demonstrate the mechanism that will bring all this to bear ahead of a point where it couldn’t.

          Moderates don’t stay moderate when they perceive that they are being pushed into a corner.

          When will this all take place? Your assumption that Progressive, Liberal, Moderate, and Mainline denominations will side with the Conservative Right Wing Dominionist denominations has no substance than pure speculation on your part.

          The numbers just don’t stack up.

        • S. Arch

          If that had been the case from the beginning, we wouldn’t be here. You made a few statements of fact that you couldn’t support. That’s drew the ire from a number of commentors.

          No one is forcing you to “be here.” And I’m not responsible for the ire of others who mistake my meaning.

          No one here has stated ya did, so that’s a straw man.

          Yes, you are treating my statements without distinguishing speculation from factual claims.

          Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? You are on a number of atheist forums propagating the same conspiracy theory mantra as an inevitability.

          Take my posts however you want, but they sound like predictions of future events to me, not statements of fact.

          Well, at least you are coming to terms with the idea that your conspiracy claim is now “speculation” and “far-fetched”…that’s a start a suppose.

          It’s always been speculation. I assumed that was obvious. I disagree that it’s a “conspiracy claim.” But let’s not go off on a semantic tangent.

          You think you’re “far-fetched speculation” is a scientific hypothesis that will turn out to be accurate?

          I never said that my speculation is a scientific hypothesis. I said that speculation is used in science to generate hypotheses. But yes, I think my speculation will turn out to be accurate. Or, rather, I fear that my speculation will turn out to be accurate.

          You inferred a U.S. Gilead. And not just here either…”U.S. Taliban”, remember?

          I think you mean that I implied a U.S. Gilead. You’re the one doing the inferring here.

          Stop lying.

          Not lying.

          You are toning your claim down, that’s nice.

          No, I’m not toning down my claim, just toning down my rhetoric, as I previously mentioned, right around the time that I conceded that the phrase “scrap the Constitution” was a poor choice of words. And the only reason I’m toning down my rhetoric, is because I’m apparently dialoguing with someone who expects more verbal precision than I think this casual forum warrants, so I’m trying to accommodate you.

          you seem to have a penchant for that, then blaming the problem on others.

          That’s not fair. The times I blamed others, I blamed myself as well. I blamed the secular community as a whole, including myself.

          You need the numbers of the “some” of the claimed 75% to be more than 50% of the total Christians in the U.S. to be right wing fuck-ups, those numbers just aren’t there.

          They aren’t there YET. How many times do I have to say that? Moreover, you don’t know that they aren’t there already. You put too much trust in numbers and labels. Just because someone is counted as a Catholic or a mainline Protestant in some study, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a “right wing fuck-up,” as you put it. Most of the Catholics I know are Biblical literalists, even though Biblical literalism isn’t official Catholic doctrine. Most of the mainline Protestants I know are more sympathetic to the Christian fundamentalist worldview than they are to the secular worldview. Numbers and statistics don’t tell the whole story. Reality is messy. People don’t always “color inside the lines” like you apparently think they do.

          That would mean “scrapping” the constitution as it stands. What’s the difference?

          I think “scrapping” implies discarding the Constitution entirely and starting over from scratch. An amendment keeps the existing Constitution in place while changing or adding to it.

          And you’ve been provided with evidence that that very thing has been attempted numerous times in the past, when the numbers were there, and everytime it failed.

          That doesn’t prove that it will always fail. The cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. It’s hard to know how people will adapt.

          lot’s of Christians tick “Christian” on surveys because that’s what they are through tradition, but when it gets down to it, they really are nonplussed. They aren’t bothered.

          You’re not getting what I’m saying. My position is that it never has “gotten down to it” yet. When it finally does “get down to it,” then those people who you think are moderate Christians will turn out to be not so moderate.

          The Equality Act was passed in the House by a bipartisan vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019.

          I know. I live here. I wrote to my members of Congress about the Equality Act. But tell me, when did it pass the Senate? And when was it signed into law by the President?

          nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent,

          That doesn’t much matter. The Equality Act isn’t on anyone’s radar when they go into the voting booth. In the voting booth, Americans are much more likely to vote for a candidate because she/he identifies as Christian than they are to vote for a candidate because the candidate supported the Equality Act, which the voter probably never even heard of.

          That’ll be the freedoms afforded by the constitution “way of life”.

          Not if they come to see the Constitution as the means by which Muslims and atheists are being given as much public space as Christians.

          You’ve still provided nothing to support this assertion, while historically, every attempt at doing so, has failed.

          Yes, I have. I suggest you go back and read my posts more carefully. Moreover, you’re flat wrong. The Constitution has been successfully amended 27 times.

          [S]ame-sex marriages have become more common and public opinion has become more supportive of them in the past few years,

          More recently, there has been legislative backlash. State legislatures have passed laws that legalize discrimination against same-sex couples and courts have upheld these laws.

          What are those “right circumstances” you think will unite all the Christers to vote a Christian constitution that will inevitably lead to the persecution of various minority groups, including Christian ones?

          We’re going in circles. I’ve already explained all that. Go back and read.

          Oh, I know all about that irrelevancy. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

          I wasn’t referring to the National Council of the Churches of Christ. I’m talking about the ubiquitous informal ecumenicalism that is practiced by churches all across the U.S. Do you really think the Protestant church on Elm Street hates the Catholic church on Oak Lane? Do you really think they don’t work together on all kinds of projects? Do you really think they don’t see themselves as allies against the “godless?” You obviously don’t have a clear sense of the religious climate in the U.S.

          More rot talk. That’s been part of the problem in the past. And that’s not what Project Blitz aims for either.

          I never said that Project Blitz aims for a Constitutional amendment. Its methods are much more stealthy than that. I brought up Project Blitz as an example of an active and increasingly successful legislative movement aimed at Christianizing the U.S. because you seemed to think there is no such movement.

          In particular, we oppose “Project Blitz,” a new and coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country.

          What percentage of U.S. Christians are represented by the 43 national organizations that signed the statement opposing Project Blitz? Many of those organizations aren’t Christian organizations. And those that are, are mostly small, minority organizations.

          A few states are allowing that motto to be displayed in public places is God being put back into schools?

          No, not “allowing” it. Requiring it.

          You think that’s a big deal when “In God We Trust” is carried about in everyone’s pocket?

          I think it’s an indication of which way the wind is blowing. Such laws are currently being passed. There are more on the way. You portray the U.S. some kind of secular paradise. You said “God” wasn’t being brought back into schools. You’re wrong.

          On the one hand, you are declaring that the rights and privileges of Christians are being so badly trodden on, that we are on the verge of a Christian uprising

          No, I was very clear about this in several places. My position is that Christians perceive that their rights and privileges are being trodden on. I think they see everything as a zero-sum game. As Muslims, Hindus, atheists, pagans, etc. become more numerous, visible, and vocal in the public sphere, Christians will perceive this as diminishing the privileged position that they’ve enjoyed for so long. And it’s important to understand that it’s a trend. The point of “uprising” as you put it, is what I’m predicting will happen in the future, though its early signs, perhaps, can already be seen.

          on the other hand, you are claiming that Christians are wining inroads to have those same rights and privileges ratified in law. You are all over the place on this stuff like a mad woman’s shite. Which is it?

          You’re awfully simple-minded. Again, reality is messy, it doesn’t conform to your desire for binary answers. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Yes, Christians can perceive themselves as losing their privilege, and at the same time still have sufficient numbers to elect government officials and win legislative victories. As I said, it’s a trend, a slow cultural shift that may be just beginning, or may be dying out. To me, it looks like the former.

          I know what it is ffs…stop with the pedantic semantics, it makes you look more silly than ya do already.

          That’s you looking silly, friend.

          I was talking about the fuckwits behind Project Blitz playbook ya moron.

          Then you should’ve said so, instead of saying, “there are fuckwits like Project Blitz.” After all, you call me out when I’m not precise with my language; but it’s fine when you do it.

          I alluded to the folk that make up Project Blitz as Project Blitz…An organisation is the sum of its membership and supporters ya Dime Bar.

          Again, Project Blitz is not an “organization.”

          How popular is dominionism in your opinion?

          In my opinion, it’s very popular.

          Where’s the data that allows you to infer I’m so ignorant on the matter?

          First, you’re using “infer” wrong again. Second, your simple mind doesn’t grasp that data doesn’t tell the whole story. Dominionism isn’t just card-carying members of Dominionist churches. If asked in a survey, most people won’t self-identify as dominionists. Most people won’t even know what it means. But just because they aren’t card-carrying Dominionists, doesn’t mean that they don’t hold some dominionist beliefs. Like the example I gave earlier, many U.S. Catholics are Biblical literalists even though Biblical literalism is not official Catholic doctrine. People’s real beliefs don’t conform to the neat little dictionary definition of their religious label.

          There is no support for dominionist theology in mainstream Christianity. Dominionists don’t want the changes to the constitution that will promote inclusivity… That’s why organisations like the National Council of Churches are anti-Project Blitz and anti-Christian dominionist.

          And yet, somehow they keep getting elected to public office and appointed to Cabinet positions. Curious.

          You can’t have it both ways. If only 50% of Americans go to the polls, then the inference is, only half of the the population self-declaring as Christian go to the polls.

          That’s not right. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. population is Christian. Less than half of eligible voters vote in a typical election. So, how do you figure that only half of the voters who go to the polls are Christian? It would be more accurate to say that 75% of the voters who go to the polls are Christian. However, it’s also true that Christian Americans turn out to vote at higher percentages than non-Christian Americans do. So, it’s safe to assume that more than 75% of the voters in a typical election are Christians. Numerous studies back me up on this.

          The 75% that say they are Christian, ain’t all Christian.

          They are more Christian than they are non-Christian. Forced to choose between generic/plural Christianity and godlessness, they’d choose the former.

          you have no way of knowing how many would prefer a Christian state religion over the freedom of the constitution. I’m as much within my rights to speculate many of them won’t

          Yes, of course you’re within your rights to speculate. As I am within mine. But my speculation is better informed by my first-hand experience of living and doing business in the U.S. where I find evidence of radical Christian thought infusing almost every aspect of American life, even among so-called Christian moderates.

          The max total number of Christians available after the 20% RC’s that can’t afford a Protestant Christian Right scrapping the constitution in favour of the U.S. becoming a Christian nation.

          Baloney. When the choice is “Christianity” or “godlessness,” Catholics and Protestants have more in common with each other than they do with non-Christians.

          Right, so given that knowledge, you think that all Christian denominations would unite to make the U.S. a Christian nation and in so doing, put themselves down the same route?

          Yes, because Americans are notoriously ignorant about history. And those who do know history would rationalize that the U.S. is different, exceptional; that we would do things better than those stupid Europeans who went astray and turned away from God.

          But the overwhelming populations throughout Europe were Christian. More devout than the U.S. ever has been.

          Wrong. There again, you show that you don’t understand the religious fervor that pervades the U.S.

          The European states were Christian states. Christianity is already established through legislation…. And yet the place is becoming more secular and legislating laws contrary to religious believe.Going in circles again. I already dealt with this. The very fact of being officially Christian states is, in large part, what led to the stagnation of Christian faith in Europe (according to scholars).

          Christian are not as devout as you imagine when it gets down to choices of God’s Law’s or Secular Law’s.

          Maybe in Europe, they’re not. But in the U.S. they are.

          You haven’t explained what those circumstances are yet.

          Yes, I have. Go back and read carefully.

          Christian unity has historically been a problem.

          But the cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. The historical example of Europe is not applicable. No one knows how U.S. Christians will react, though I have strong opinions about it.

          You have yet to demonstrate that the majority of Christians want said satisfaction.

          Because they don’t want it yet. Because, as I’ve stated repeatedly, the situation hasn’t yet reached the boiling point.

          So far, it’s pure speculatory conspiracy theory with no evidence.

          If my ideas are so worthless, why do they bother you so much? Quit wasting your time on my stupidity.

          And you’ve done nothing to demonstrate the mechanism that will bring all this to bear ahead of a point where it couldn’t.

          I’ve pointed out existing facts and trends that could signal the beginning of the scenarios I’ve envisioned.

          When will this all take place? Your assumption that Progressive, Liberal, Moderate, and Mainline denominations will side with the Conservative Right Wing Dominionist denominations has no substance than pure speculation on your part.

          I don’t have an exact date to give you. There are too many moving parts, too many variables. All I can tell you is what I see as being likely to happen. If you think my ideas and opinions are worthless, feel free to ignore them.

        • S. Arch

          If that had been the case from the beginning, we wouldn’t be here. You made a few statements of fact that you couldn’t support. That’s drew the ire from a number of commentors.

          No one is forcing you to “be here.” And I’m not responsible for the ire of others who mistake my meaning.

          No one here has stated ya did, so that’s a straw man.

          Yes, you are treating without distinguishing speculation from factual claims.

          Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? You are on a number of atheist forums propagating the same conspiracy theory mantra as an inevitability.

          Take my posts however you want, but they sound like predictions of future events to me, not statements of fact.

          Well, at least you are coming to terms with the idea that your conspiracy claim is now “speculation” and “far-fetched”…that’s a start a suppose.

          It’s always been speculation. I assumed that was obvious. I disagree that it’s a “conspiracy claim.” But let’s not go off on a semantic tangent.

          You think you’re “far-fetched speculation” is a scientific hypothesis that will turn out to be accurate?

          I never said that my speculation is a scientific hypothesis. I said that speculation is used in science to generate hypotheses. But yes, I think my speculation will turn out to be accurate. Or, rather, I fear that my speculation will turn out to be accurate.

          You inferred a U.S. Gilead. And not just here either…”U.S. Taliban”, remember?

          I think you mean that I implied a U.S. Gilead. You’re the one doing the inferring here.

          Stop lying.

          Not lying.

          You are toning your claim down, that’s nice.

          No, I’m not toning down my claim, just toning down my rhetoric, because you seem to expect a level of verbal precision that I think is unwarranted by this casual forum, but I’m trying to accommodate you. And I already conceded that the phrase “scrap the Constitution” was a poor choice of words.

          You need the numbers of the “some” of the claimed 75% to be more than 50% of the total Christians in the U.S. to be right wing fuck-ups, those numbers just aren’t there.

          They aren’t there YET. How many times do I have to say that? Moreover, you don’t know that they aren’t there already. You put too much trust in numbers and labels. Just because someone is counted as a Catholic or a mainline Protestant in some study, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a “right wing fuck-up,” as you put it. Most of the Catholics I know are Biblical literalists, even though Biblical literalism isn’t official Catholic doctrine. Most of the mainline Protestants I know are more sympathetic to the Christian fundamentalist worldview than they are to the secular worldview. Numbers and statistics don’t tell the whole story. Reality is messy. People don’t always “color inside the lines” like you apparently think they do.

          you seem to have a penchant for that, then blaming the problem on others.

          Any time I blamed others, I blamed the secular community as a whole, including myself.

          That would mean “scrapping” the constitution as it stands. What’s the difference?

          I think “scrapping” implies discarding the Constitution entirely and starting over from scratch. An amendment keeps the existing Constitution in place while changing or adding to it.

          And you’ve been provided with evidence that that very thing has been attempted numerous times in the past, when the numbers were there, and everytime it failed.

          That doesn’t prove that it will always fail. The cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. It’s hard to know how people will adapt.

          lot’s of Christians tick “Christian” on surveys because that’s what they are through tradition, but when it gets down to it, they really are nonplussed. They aren’t bothered.

          No. You’re not getting what I’m saying. My position is that it never has “gotten down to it” yet. When it finally does “get down to it,” then those people who you think are moderate Christians will turn out to be not so moderate.

          The Equality Act was passed in the House by a bipartisan vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019.

          I know. I live here. I wrote to my members of Congress about the Equality Act. But tell me, when did it pass the Senate? And when was it signed into law by the President?

          nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent,

          That doesn’t much matter. The Equality Act isn’t on anyone’s radar when they go into the voting booth. In the voting booth, Americans are much more likely to vote for a candidate because she/he identifies as Christian than they are to vote for a candidate because the candidate supported the Equality Act, which the voter probably never even heard of.

          That’ll be the freedoms afforded by the constitution “way of life”.

          Not if they come to see the Constitution as the means by which Muslims and atheists are being given as much public space as Christians.

          You’ve still provided nothing to support this assertion, while historically, every attempt at doing so, has failed.

          Yes, I have. I suggest you go back and read my posts more carefully. Moreover, you’re flat wrong. The Constitution has been successfully amended 27 times.

          [S]ame-sex marriages have become more common and public opinion has become more supportive of them in the past few years,

          More recently, there has been legislative backlash. State legislatures have passed laws that legalize discrimination against same-sex couples and courts have upheld these laws.

          What are those “right circumstances” you think will unite all the Christers to vote a Christian constitution that will inevitably lead to the persecution of various minority groups, including Christian ones?

          We’re going in circles. I’ve already explained all that. Go back and read.

          Oh, I know all about that irrelevancy. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

          I wasn’t referring to the National Council of the Churches of Christ. I’m talking about the ubiquitous informal ecumencalism that is practiced by churches all across the U.S. Do you really think the Protestant church on Elm Street hates the Catholic church on Oak Lane? Do you really think they don’t work together on all kinds of projects? Do you really think they don’t see themselves as allies against the “godless?” You obviously don’t have a clear sense of the religious climate in the U.S.

          More rot talk. That’s been part of the problem in the past. And that’s not what Project Blitz aims for either.

          I never said that Project Blitz aims for a Constitutional amendment. Its methods are much more stealthy than that. I brought up Project Blitz as an example of an active and increasingly successful legislative movement aimed at Christianizing the U.S. because you seemed to think there is no such movement.

          In particular, we oppose “Project Blitz,” a new and coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country.

          What percentage of U.S. Christians are represented by the 43 national organizations that signed the statement opposing Project Blitz? Many of them aren’t Christian organizations. And those that are, are mostly small, minority organizations.

          A few states are allowing that motto to be displayed in public places is God being put back into schools?

          No, not “allowing” it. Requiring it.

          You think that’s a big deal when “In God We Trust” is carried about in everyone’s pocket?

          I think it’s an indication of which way the wind is blowing. Such laws are currently being passed. There are more on the way. You portray the U.S. some kind of secular paradise. You said “God” wasn’t being brought back into schools. You’re wrong.

          On the one hand, you are declaring that the rights and privileges of Christians are being so badly trodden on, that we are on the verge of a Christian uprising

          No, I was very clear about this in several places. My position is that Christians perceive that their rights and privileges are being trodden on. I think they see everything as a zero-sum game. As Muslims, Hindus, atheists, pagans, etc. become more numerous, visible, and vocal in the public sphere, Christians will perceive this as diminishing the privileged position that they’ve enjoyed for so long. And it’s important to understand that it’s a trend. The point of “uprising” as you put it, is what I’m predicting will happen in the future, though its early signs can already be seen.

          on the other hand, you are claiming that Christians are wining inroads to have those same rights and privileges ratified in law. You are all over the place on this stuff like a mad woman’s shite. Which is it?

          You’re awfully simple-minded. Again, reality is messy, it doesn’t conform to your desire for binary answers. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Christians can perceive themselves as losing their privilege, and at the same time still have sufficient numbers to elect government officials and win legislative victories. As I said, it’s a trend, a slow cultural shift that may be just beginning, or may be dying out. To me, it looks like the former.

          I know what it is ffs…stop with the pedantic semantics, it makes you look more silly than ya do already.

          That’s you looking silly, friend.

          I was talking about the fuckwits behind Project Blitz playbook ya moron.

          Then you should’ve said so, instead of saying, “there are fuckwits like Project Blitz.”

          I alluded to the folk that make up Project Blitz as Project Blitz…An organisation is the sum of its membership and supporters ya Dime Bar.

          Again, Project Blitz is not an “organization.”

          How popular is dominionism in your opinion?

          In my opinion, it’s very popular.

          Where’s the data that allows you to infer I’m so ignorant on the matter?

          First, you’re using “infer” wrong again. Second, data doesn’t tell the whole story. Dominionism isn’t just card-carrying members of Dominionist churches. If asked in a survey, most people won’t self-identify as dominionists. Most people won’t even know what it means. But just because they aren’t card-carrying Dominionists, doesn’t mean that they don’t hold some dominionist beliefs. Like the example I gave earlier, many U.S. Catholics are Biblical literalists even though Biblical literalism is not official Catholic doctrine. People’s real beliefs don’t conform to the neat little dictionary definition of their religious label.

          There is no support for dominionist theology in mainstream Christianity. Dominionists don’t want the changes to the constitution that will promote inclusivity… That’s why organisations like the National Council of Churches are anti-Project Blitz and anti-Christian dominionist.

          And yet, somehow they keep getting elected to public office and appointed to Cabinet-level positions. Curious.

          You can’t have it both ways. If only 50% of Americans go to the polls, then the inference is, only half of the the population self-declaring as Christian go to the polls.

          That’s not right. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. population is Christian. Less than half of eligible voters vote in a typical election. So, how do you figure that only half of the voters who go to the polls are Christian? It would be more accurate to say that 75% of the voters who go to the polls are Christian. However, it’s also true that Christian Americans turn out to vote at higher percentages than non-Christian Americans do. So, it’s safe to assume that more than 75% of the voters in a typical election are Christians. Numerous studies back me up on this.

          The 75% that say they are Christian, ain’t all Christian.

          They are more Christian than they are non-Christian. Forced to choose between generic/plural Christianity and godlessness, they’d choose the former.

          you have no way of knowing how many would prefer a Christian state religion over the freedom of the constitution. I’m as much within my rights to speculate many of them won’t

          Yes, of course you’re within your rights to speculate. As I am within mine. But my speculation is better informed by my first-hand experience of living and doing business in the U.S. where I find evidence of radical Christian thought infusing almost every aspect of American life, even among so-called Christian moderates.

          The max total number of Christians available after the 20% RC’s that can’t afford a Protestant Christian Right scrapping the constitution in favour of the U.S. becoming a Christian nation.

          Baloney. When the choice is “Christianity” or “godlessness,” Catholics and Protestants have more in common with each other than they do with non-Christians.

          Right, so given that knowledge, you think that all Christian denominations would unite to make the U.S. a Christian nation and in so doing, put themselves down the same route?

          Yes, because Americans are notoriously ignorant about history. And those who do know history would rationalize that the U.S. is different, exceptional; that we would do things better than those stupid Europeans who went astray and turned away from God.

          But the overwhelming populations throughout Europe were Christian. More devout than the U.S. ever has been.

          Wrong. There again, you show that you don’t understand the religious fervor that pervades the U.S.

          The European states were Christian states. Christianity is already established through legislation…. And yet the place is becoming more secular and legislating laws contrary to religious believe.

          Going in circles again. I already dealt with this. The very fact of being officially Christian states is, in large part, what led to the stagnation of Christian faith in Europe (according to scholars).

          Christian are not as devout as you imagine when it gets down to choices of God’s Law’s or Secular Law’s.

          Maybe in Europe, they’re not. But in the U.S. they are.

          You haven’t explained what those circumstances are yet.

          Yes, I have.

          Christian unity has historically been a problem.

          But the cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. The historical example of Europe is not applicable. No one knows how U.S. Christians will react, though I have strong opinions about it.

          You have yet to demonstrate that the majority of Christians want said satisfaction.

          Because they don’t want it yet. Because, as I’ve stated repeatedly, the situation hasn’t yet reached the boiling point.

          So far, it’s pure speculatory conspiracy theory with no evidence.

          If my ideas are so worthless, why do they bother you so much? Quit wasting your time.

          And you’ve done nothing to demonstrate the mechanism that will bring all this to bear ahead of a point where it couldn’t.

          I’ve pointed out existing facts and trends that appear difficult to reverse and that could signal the beginning of the scenarios I’ve envisioned.

          When will this all take place? Your assumption that Progressive, Liberal, Moderate, and Mainline denominations will side with the Conservative Right Wing Dominionist denominations has no substance than pure speculation on your part.

          I don’t have an exact date to give you. There are too many moving parts, too many variables. All I can tell you is what I see as being likely to happen. If you think my ideas and opinions are worthless, feel free to ignore them.

        • S. Arch

          If that had been the case from the beginning, we wouldn’t be here. You made a few statements of fact that you couldn’t support. That’s drew the ire from a number of commentors.

          No one is forcing you to “be here.” And I’m not responsible for the ire of others who mistake my meaning.

          No one here has stated ya did, so that’s a straw man.

          Yes, you are treating without distinguishing speculation from factual claims.

          Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? You are on a number of atheist forums propagating the same conspiracy theory mantra as an inevitability.

          Take my posts however you want, but they sound like predictions of future events to me, not statements of fact.

          Well, at least you are coming to terms with the idea that your conspiracy claim is now “speculation” and “far-fetched”…that’s a start a suppose.

          It’s always been speculation. I assumed that was obvious. I disagree that it’s a “conspiracy claim.” But let’s not go off on a semantic tangent.

          You think you’re “far-fetched speculation” is a scientific hypothesis that will turn out to be accurate?

          I never said that my speculation is a scientific hypothesis. I said that speculation is used in science to generate hypotheses. But yes, I think my speculation will turn out to be accurate. Or, rather, I fear that my speculation will turn out to be accurate.

          You inferred a U.S. Gilead. And not just here either…”U.S. Taliban”, remember?

          I think you mean that I implied a U.S. Gilead. You’re the one doing the inferring here.

          Stop lying.

          Not lying.

          You are toning your claim down, that’s nice.

          No, I’m not toning down my claim, just toning down my rhetoric, because you seem to expect a level of verbal precision that I think is unwarranted by this casual forum, but I’m trying to accommodate you. And I already conceded that the phrase “scrap the Constitution” was a poor choice of words.

          You need the numbers of the “some” of the claimed 75% to be more than 50% of the total Christians in the U.S. to be right wing fuck-ups, those numbers just aren’t there.

          They aren’t there YET. How many times do I have to say that? Moreover, you don’t know that they aren’t there already. You put too much trust in numbers and labels. Just because someone is counted as a Catholic or a mainline Protestant in some study, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a “right wing fuck-up,” as you put it. Most of the Catholics I know are Biblical literalists, even though Biblical literalism isn’t official Catholic doctrine. Most of the mainline Protestants I know are more sympathetic to the Christian fundamentalist worldview than they are to the secular worldview. Numbers and statistics don’t tell the whole story. Reality is messy. People don’t always “color inside the lines” like you apparently think they do.

          you seem to have a penchant for that, then blaming the problem on others.

          Any time I blamed others, I blamed the secular community as a whole, including myself.

          That would mean “scrapping” the constitution as it stands. What’s the difference?

          I think “scrapping” implies discarding the Constitution entirely and starting over from scratch. An amendment keeps the existing Constitution in place while changing or adding to it.

          And you’ve been provided with evidence that that very thing has been attempted numerous times in the past, when the numbers were there, and everytime it failed.

          That doesn’t prove that it will always fail. The cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. It’s hard to know how people will adapt.

          lot’s of Christians tick “Christian” on surveys because that’s what they are through tradition, but when it gets down to it, they really are nonplussed. They aren’t bothered.

          No. You’re not getting what I’m saying. My position is that it never has “gotten down to it” yet. When it finally does “get down to it,” then those people who you think are moderate Christians will turn out to be not so moderate.

          The Equality Act was passed in the House by a bipartisan vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019.

          I know. I live here. I wrote to my members of Congress about the Equality Act. But tell me, when did it pass the Senate? And when was it signed into law by the President?

          nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent,

          That doesn’t much matter. The Equality Act isn’t on anyone’s radar when they go into the voting booth. In the voting booth, Americans are much more likely to vote for a candidate because she/he identifies as Christian than they are to vote for a candidate because the candidate supported the Equality Act, which the voter probably never even heard of.

          That’ll be the freedoms afforded by the constitution “way of life”.

          Not if they come to see the Constitution as the means by which Muslims and atheists are being given as much public space as Christians.

          You’ve still provided nothing to support this assertion, while historically, every attempt at doing so, has failed.

          Yes, I have. I suggest you go back and read my posts more carefully. Moreover, you’re flat wrong. The Constitution has been successfully amended 27 times.

          [S]ame-sex marriages have become more common and public opinion has become more supportive of them in the past few years,

          More recently, there has been legislative backlash. State legislatures have passed laws that legalize discrimination against same-sex couples and courts have upheld these laws.

          What are those “right circumstances” you think will unite all the Christers to vote a Christian constitution that will inevitably lead to the persecution of various minority groups, including Christian ones?

          We’re going in circles. I’ve already explained all that. Go back and read.

          Oh, I know all about that irrelevancy. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

          I wasn’t referring to the National Council of the Churches of Christ. I’m talking about the ubiquitous informal ecumencalism that is practiced by churches all across the U.S. Do you really think the Protestant church on Elm Street hates the Catholic church on Oak Lane? Do you really think they don’t work together on all kinds of projects? Do you really think they don’t see themselves as allies against the “godless?” You obviously don’t have a clear sense of the religious climate in the U.S.

          More rot talk. That’s been part of the problem in the past. And that’s not what Project Blitz aims for either.

          I never said that Project Blitz aims for a Constitutional amendment. Its methods are much more stealthy than that. I brought up Project Blitz as an example of an active and increasingly successful legislative movement aimed at Christianizing the U.S. because you seemed to think there is no such movement.

          In particular, we oppose “Project Blitz,” a new and coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country.

          What percentage of U.S. Christians are represented by the 43 national organizations that signed the statement opposing Project Blitz? Many of them aren’t Christian organizations. And those that are, are mostly small, minority organizations.

          A few states are allowing that motto to be displayed in public places is God being put back into schools?

          No, not “allowing” it. Requiring it.

          You think that’s a big deal when “In God We Trust” is carried about in everyone’s pocket?

          I think it’s an indication of which way the wind is blowing. Such laws are currently being passed. There are more on the way. You portray the U.S. some kind of secular paradise. You said “God” wasn’t being brought back into schools. You’re wrong.

          On the one hand, you are declaring that the rights and privileges of Christians are being so badly trodden on, that we are on the verge of a Christian uprising

          No, I was very clear about this in several places. My position is that Christians perceive that their rights and privileges are being trodden on. I think they see everything as a zero-sum game. As Muslims, Hindus, atheists, pagans, etc. become more numerous, visible, and vocal in the public sphere, Christians will perceive this as diminishing the privileged position that they’ve enjoyed for so long. And it’s important to understand that it’s a trend. The point of “uprising” as you put it, is what I’m predicting will happen in the future, though its early signs can already be seen.

          on the other hand, you are claiming that Christians are wining inroads to have those same rights and privileges ratified in law. You are all over the place on this stuff like a mad woman’s shite. Which is it?

          You’re awfully simple-minded. Again, reality is messy, it doesn’t conform to your desire for binary answers. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Christians can perceive themselves as losing their privilege, and at the same time still have sufficient numbers to elect government officials and win legislative victories. As I said, it’s a trend, a slow cultural shift that may be just beginning, or may be dying out. To me, it looks like the former.

          I know what it is ffs…stop with the pedantic semantics, it makes you look more silly than ya do already.

          That’s you looking silly, friend.

          I was talking about the fuckwits behind Project Blitz playbook ya moron.

          Then you should’ve said so, instead of saying, “there are fuckwits like Project Blitz.”

          I alluded to the folk that make up Project Blitz as Project Blitz…An organisation is the sum of its membership and supporters ya Dime Bar.

          Again, Project Blitz is not an “organization.”

          How popular is dominionism in your opinion?

          In my opinion, it’s very popular.

          Where’s the data that allows you to infer I’m so ignorant on the matter?

          First, you’re using “infer” wrong again. Second, data doesn’t tell the whole story. Dominionism isn’t just card-carrying members of Dominionist churches. If asked in a survey, most people won’t self-identify as dominionists. Most people won’t even know what it means. But just because they aren’t card-carrying Dominionists, doesn’t mean that they don’t hold some dominionist beliefs. Like the example I gave earlier, many U.S. Catholics are Biblical literalists even though Biblical literalism is not official Catholic doctrine. People’s real beliefs don’t conform to the neat little dictionary definition of their religious label.

          There is no support for dominionist theology in mainstream Christianity. Dominionists don’t want the changes to the constitution that will promote inclusivity… That’s why organisations like the National Council of Churches are anti-Project Blitz and anti-Christian dominionist.

          And yet, somehow they keep getting elected to public office and appointed to Cabinet-level positions. Curious.

          You can’t have it both ways. If only 50% of Americans go to the polls, then the inference is, only half of the the population self-declaring as Christian go to the polls.

          That’s not right. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. population is Christian. Less than half of eligible voters vote in a typical election. So, how do you figure that only half of the voters who go to the polls are Christian? It would be more accurate to say that 75% of the voters who go to the polls are Christian. However, it’s also true that Christian Americans turn out to vote at higher percentages than non-Christian Americans do. So, it’s safe to assume that more than 75% of the voters in a typical election are Christians. Numerous studies back me up on this.

          The 75% that say they are Christian, ain’t all Christian.

          They are more Christian than they are non-Christian. Forced to choose between generic/plural Christianity and godlessness, they’d choose the former.

          you have no way of knowing how many would prefer a Christian state religion over the freedom of the constitution. I’m as much within my rights to speculate many of them won’t

          Yes, of course you’re within your rights to speculate. As I am within mine. But my speculation is better informed by my first-hand experience of living and doing business in the U.S. where I find evidence of radical Christian thought infusing almost every aspect of American life, even among so-called Christian moderates.

          The max total number of Christians available after the 20% RC’s that can’t afford a Protestant Christian Right scrapping the constitution in favour of the U.S. becoming a Christian nation.

          Baloney. When the choice is “Christianity” or “godlessness,” Catholics and Protestants have more in common with each other than they do with non-Christians.

          Right, so given that knowledge, you think that all Christian denominations would unite to make the U.S. a Christian nation and in so doing, put themselves down the same route?

          Yes, because Americans are notoriously ignorant about history. And those who do know history would rationalize that the U.S. is different, exceptional; that we would do things better than those stupid Europeans who went astray and turned away from God.

          But the overwhelming populations throughout Europe were Christian. More devout than the U.S. ever has been.

          Wrong. There again, you show that you don’t understand the religious fervor that pervades the U.S.

          The European states were Christian states. Christianity is already established through legislation…. And yet the place is becoming more secular and legislating laws contrary to religious believe.

          Going in circles again. I already dealt with this. The very fact of being officially Christian states is, in large part, what led to the stagnation of Christian faith in Europe (according to scholars).

          Christian are not as devout as you imagine when it gets down to choices of God’s Law’s or Secular Law’s.

          Maybe in Europe, they’re not. But in the U.S. they are.

          You haven’t explained what those circumstances are yet.

          Yes, I have.

          Christian unity has historically been a problem.

          But the cultural changes taking place in the U.S. are unprecedented in the U.S. The historical example of Europe is not applicable. No one knows how U.S. Christians will react, though I have strong opinions about it.

          You have yet to demonstrate that the majority of Christians want said satisfaction.

          Because they don’t want it yet. Because, as I’ve stated repeatedly, the situation hasn’t yet reached the boiling point.

          So far, it’s pure speculatory conspiracy theory with no evidence.

          If my ideas are so worthless, why do they bother you so much? Quit wasting your time.

          And you’ve done nothing to demonstrate the mechanism that will bring all this to bear ahead of a point where it couldn’t.

          I’ve pointed out existing facts and trends that appear difficult to reverse and that could signal the beginning of the scenarios I’ve envisioned.

          When will this all take place? Your assumption that Progressive, Liberal, Moderate, and Mainline denominations will side with the Conservative Right Wing Dominionist denominations has no substance than pure speculation on your part.

          I don’t have an exact date to give you. There are too many moving parts, too many variables. All I can tell you is what I see as being likely to happen. If you think my ideas and opinions are worthless, feel free to ignore them.

        • S. Arch

          I’ve tried responding several times… My comment keeps disappearing… Not sure why…

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve seen that…three times on last count. A wouldn’t worry about it other than the time wasted on completing a lengthy reply. I’d thought about replying to it via another combox, but given the time invested against any point in doing so, a decided against.

          Btw, “inferred” and “implied” are synonyms. So at least ya know the response was not a total waste of time, as I have read it.

        • Greg G.

          Btw, “inferred” and “implied” are synonyms.

          Not exactly. “Imply” is what the speaker does. “Infer” is what the listener does.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Depending on how ya read S. Arch, he is doing both.

          He is implying from what he believes is going on, that Christers will jolly up together to scrap the constitution.

          Or he is inferring from what he believes is going on, that Christers will jolly up together to scrap the constitution.

          infer…to hint; imply; suggest..

          imply…suggested but not directly expressed; implicit.

          This thesaurus has them as as synonymous.

          https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/inferred

        • S. Arch

          Good point. Yes, I see how it could be taken either way. Still, I seem to remember a time when imply and infer would not have been listed as synonyms an a thesaurus, a time when they were strictly distinct. Maybe this is one of those instances when the “language authorities” have relaxed the meanings because the practice of using the two words interchangeably is so common.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, that’s the case with words and their definitions historically. They are redefined by their use in common parlance. Something we witness on a daily basis in this modern age.

        • I just approved a couple of very, very long comments of yours.

        • S. Arch

          A couple of them were duplicates; I guess because I tried to post it multiple times when it wasn’t showing up. I deleted the duplicates below, so now there’s only one very, very long comment. For the record, some of Ignorant Amos’s comments are just as lengthy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For the record, some of Ignorant Amos’s comments are just as lengthy.

          Guilty as charged. It’s what happens when fisking, or the accumulation of a big back and forth with a lot of blockquoting and citations. It tends to bore the non-involved in the discussion due to tl;dr, hence the lack of upvotes for the work and research invested. The odd time I’ll break a reply up into pieces, but not as often as a used to, these days.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They aren’t that bothered yet. But when the Constitution starts to be used as the foundation for a level playing field where Muslims and atheists are granted as much public space as Christians, then Christians will no longer see the Constitution as the guarantor of (their) religious freedom, and they will be motivated to change it.

          Unsupported speculation that the nominals will become bothered enough. Evidence suggests they prefer the freedoms of an inclusive constitution to a sectarian state.

          You’ve got this idea in your head that all that 75% who tick Christian, are Christian enough to want a U.S. Gilead. A lot of them tick Christian for no more reason than they are Christian by family tradition.

          https://blog.heartsupport.com/lets-stop-pretending-christianity-is-even-christian-anymore-455f8897ba74

          https://lifewayresearch.com/2016/09/27/americans-love-god-and-the-bible-are-fuzzy-on-the-details/

          Exactly. There is no concerted effort to scrap the Constitution yet.

          And I don’t think the numbers of right wing conservatives can ever get you there.

          These are figures of speech. Don’t be so uptight.

          How am I being uptight? Figures of speech for what?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I hope you’re right. I have read the Americans United article (not for the first time). It states, “even though most Americans identify as Christian, this does not mean they would back official government recognition of the Christian faith.

          And that’s my point. You need a majority of the 75% that there just isn’t there. Of the 75% that identify as Christian, too many of them have too much to lose in a right wing conservative fundamental Christian nation.

          Christian denominations disagree on points of doctrine, church structure and stands on social issues. Many Christians take a moderate or liberal perspective on church-state relations and oppose efforts to impose religion by government action.” Again, that’s how things stand now. But it’s not too hard to imagine a period of existential crisis during which Christian denominations would put aside their theological and doctrinal differences and see politics as a black-and-white issue: Should we have a godless state or a god-fearing state?

          It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the numbers. And they just aren’t there. The reason for the establishment clause was to protect minority religious groups from persecution. Why do you think minority Christian groups would unite to scrap those protections? I don’t think you are grasping what you are suggesting. Which Christian group will be in charge? You don’t really believe they’ll agree to play happy families do ya? Christian groups are free to practice their god fearing as it stands, they are just not aloud to force their particular flavour of god fearing on others.

          When a politician says something like “we need to put God back in schools,” it gets strong support from many different Christian denominations.

          And yet God is not being put back into schools. Because there isn’t strong enough support from enough Christian denominations. With less numbers going forward, there will be even less chance.

          So just imagine that rhetoric amped up to the highest level during a time of crisis: “We need to put God back in our government!” That scenario is not completely implausible.

          No, what it isn’t, is impossible, it’s more likely implausible than plausible. You just don’t have the numbers, it’s as simple as that. The trend is going against your hypothesis. This “doomsday scenario” where Christians will unite, that you envisage, isn’t going to get you them as it stands.

          Yes, it is supported. As the country is becoming less religious, Christians are becoming more resentful, which fuels more frequent attempts to legislate Christianity (e.g., Project Blitz).

          Again, you are generalizing “Christians” as a unified group, they’re not. Which Christians are becoming more resentful? Yes, there are fuckwits like Project Blitz which has had some influence in the more redneck parts of the U.S., but their dominionist worldview is not popular. Mainstream Christians want no part of that nonsense, and for good reason. They’d get screwed. Which is why The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA are against operations like Project Blitz. You are buying into the noisey rhetoric of the minority and assuming there is majority support. The numbers of self confessed Christians that would support the scraping of the US constitution just won’t be there. Even if they were nearly there, you are talking a civil war scenario.

          Yeah, sort of.

          Thought so.

          The illusion doesn’t have to be believed by 100% of the 75% Christian population. The illusion only has to be believed by a majority of voters so that theocratic leaders will be elected to positions of power.

          The math problem is still the same. The numbers aren’t there.

          Typically, less than half of eligible U.S. voters vote in an election. Even if only half of the 75% of Christians believe the illusion, that still might be enough to win elections, depending on how many people from “the other side” turn out to vote. And “the other side” isn’t going to vote in 100% lock-step with their party, either.

          Half the 75% of the Christian population that vote, would still all have to vote the same way. You think 37.5% of Christians will vote in theocratic leaders because there is a potential tipping of the balance in the house on the hill and there will be an impending need to scrap the constitution?

          The “other side” is going to vote against any threat to the constitution…100% on that. No one in their right mind who isn’t Christian is going to support a threat to the constitution to their own peril. And remember, your thesis is about some future time where the “other side” will likely be stronger than presently.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I live in the U.S. Maybe that’s why I have a better sense of the religious climate here than you do.

          You presume too much. I’ve lived in the US, my last wife is a Floridian. The regulars here will tell you that for an outsider, I’m reasonably well up to speed on US current affairs. The religious climate in Vermont is as different to Kentucky as it is in Hawaii as it is in Alaska…in other words, there is no one religious climate in the US.

          Christians (of many denominations) are already complaining that “the rights that they currently enjoy” are being threatened.

          What are these rights that they currently enjoy as Christian that are being threatened that you believe will end up in the scraping of the US constitution and a Christian theocracy replacing it?

          And it’s the Constitution that is being used as the tool to threaten them. So, if they perceive that it’s gone too far, then they could take an extreme position.

          Again, there isn’t enough that care that vehemently to make such a devastating alternative.

          Again, it’s not hard to imagine a period of existential crisis during which Christian denominations would put aside their theological and doctrinal differences and see politics as a black-and-white issue: Should we have a godless state or a god-fearing state? When a politician says something like “we need to put God back in schools,” it gets strong support from many different Christian denominations. So just imagine that rhetoric amped up to the highest level: “We need to put God back in our government!” That’s not completely implausible.

          Repetition won’t change the outcome. You need to provide a mechanism and explain how such a chain of events could occur. Everywhere we look, religions are losing ground. There is no massive rush to backtrack. There was no God in the government to put back. Most rational thinking Christians know that already and the reasons why. The kooks have you positing conspiracy theories.

          It most certainly is not nonsense. It is almost impossible for an openly atheist candidate to get elected to political office, except in a few very liberal corners of the country.

          But that isn’t your claim. The ability to prevent non-Christians from being elected to public office is a privilege you claim the Christers will lose. That’s not a privilege they have at present. That an openly atheist candidate has difficulty getting elected is a non sequitur. That they can already, means it ain’t a privilege for the Christers to be lost.

          How long have you lived outsid the U.S.?

          What has that got to do with perceived lost privileges vis a vis actual lost privileges and your claim that non-Christians can’t get elected to political office?

          Yes, I know that.

          Then if you knew it, you can’t claim ignorance and were making a erroneous claim that some might call dishonest.

          Moreover, I know that there have not been many openly atheist people holding U.S. public office; not anywhere near proportional to the percenatage of atheists that demographers tell us comprise the U.S. population. Except in rare places and occasions, it’s political suicide for a candidate for high office to openly declare lack of belief in “God.”

          Not one word of that is relevant to your claim that one of the privileges the Christians will lose is the right to not vote in a non-Christian. Do you not see how crazy that nonsense claim is?

          Well, there’s one!

          Indeed. It only takes one example to refute your claim.

          I can think of a couple more off the top of my head.

          So can I. So you were lying when you said one of the privileges the Christers will lose is the right to not vote a non-Christian into office?

          But compare that with the fact that at any given time there are 100 U.S. Senators, more than 400 U.S. representatives, twelve Supreme Court Justices, one President, a baker’s dozen of cabinet members, fifty state governors, countless state-level congressmen… And throughout U.S. history, you could probably count the open atheists on your fingers and toes.

          More irrelevant words that fail to support your nonsense claim. Can non-atheists be voted into office? Yes. Is the freedom to not vote non-Christians into office a privilege the Christers are losing? Nope.

          Lots of places in the U.S. Surveys of public school science teachers reveal that many of them avoid teaching evolution and climate change science, because they don’t want to deal with the backlash from angry parents.

          Your comment was, “The ability to discriminate against people of whom they don’t approve, such as same-sex couples and non-Christians.” My reply was, “Where is this happening uncontested at any scale worth consideration?” You answer above doesn’t address that am afraid. Where discrimination is happening and those taking offence are bothered, the discrimination is being challenged. That there are teachers not teaching the things they are supposed to be teaching for fear of fuckwit parents, just means that no one is bothered enough to do anything about it. But given your penchant for making shite up, I’ll need to see these surveys you speak about. While I don’t doubt there are creotard teachers and parents that get miffed about such things, I’d like to see the data.

          Baloney. Several recent high-profile cases have been decided in favor of conservative Christian business owners, making it easier for them to discriminate against same-sex couples.

          You mean like this one?

          Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults believe that businesses should not have the right on religious grounds to deny services to customers based on their sexual orientation, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday showed.

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-baker/supreme-court-backs-christian-baker-who-spurned-gay-couple-idUSKCN1J01WU

          Wow…your argument is, that Christers are losing privileges, now you’re arguing that they are not at all, they’re winning. Which is it?

          I think your information might be a little outdated.

          Nah, I’m signed up for notifications to the “Friendly Atheist”, Hement reports all the latest on such cases. Here’s the latest…

          AZ Teacher Fired After Repeated Acts of Bigotry Against LGBTQ, Atheist Students

          https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/10/14/az-teacher-fired-after-repeated-acts-of-bigotry-against-lgbtq-atheist-students/

          For a while during the Obama presidency it looked like LGBTQ people were finally being granted equal rights. But the pendulum has begun swinging back hard the other way.

          So, this hypothetical conspiracy that Christians are on the verge of rising up and scraping the constitution because of lost privileges to discriminate, is another of your lies? Make up your mind.

          What do ya think will happen when Trump goes and another democrat gets in? Will the conspiracy be back on course?

          You’re wrong. The Religious Right has been working for decades to pack the federal courts with conservative judges, and under the Trump Administration it’s finally paying off for them. I’ve lost count of how many conservative, pro-Christian judges Trump has gotten approved. Whereas cases involving civil rights for LGBTQ and non-religious people used to be won more often than not, the pendulum has started to swing in the opposite direction. The separation of church and state is being eroded. This point is not even debated here in the U.S. All sides agree that it’s happening. The only difference is that some people are happy about out, some are not.

          FFS, so the Christers aren’t really losing anything, they’re actually getting? You are all over the place with your nonsense.

          Quite well, in fact.

          Have you heard yerself? Which is it, they’re steadily losing privileges or they’re not?

          I think he would amend the Constitution to officially favor Christianity, if he had the authority to do so.

          Not an answer to my question, but anyway, why do you think that?

          Read some of the speeches he’s made at the National Prayer Breakfast. (Yes, that’s right, there is a thing in the U.S. called “the National Prayer Breakfast.”)

          Trump panders to which ever audience he is addressing. You do know he’s a lying piece of shite, right?

          I’m not talking about abortion rights, or any other issue.

          But these issues are part of the problem the wingnuts are crying about. They are still in the minority.

          I’m talking about a potential period of existential crisis, when the political debate will be framed as a godless country vs. a god-fearing country, or some such nonsense.

          You’re caught in a Catch-22 situation. I wish you would stop misusing the term “existential crisis”. At the point some Christers fear there existence is being threatened enough to want the constitution scrapped and a Christian theocracy put in its place, it’ll be too late.

          In the U.S., that’s often how we do things these days. The masses don’t spend much time on deep critical thinking or considering political and philosophical nuance. Instead, they buy into whatever packaged product is marketed most effectively.

          Scraping the constitution still won’t get the numbers you see.

          The so-called “rise of the nones” is overblown. It was either Pew or PRRI (I forget which) that did a study revealing that most of the “nones” actually hold supernatural beliefs; they just don’t join traditional churches.

          Nobody claimed the nones were not spiritual or religious. those nones are still not going to support a scrapping of the constitution for a Christer based theocracy.

          https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/08/why-americas-nones-dont-identify-with-a-religion/

          Maybe in your country. In the U.S., not so much.

          Nope, you missed my point. The bullshit being pushed back against is your speculative assertion…

          “The problem is that the 75% of Americans who are Christians don’t accept this. A Christian is required by their creed to put “God’s law” above all “man-made laws.” They might not admit it openly, but if push came to shove, Christians would scrap the Constitution and enact “Biblical Law.””

          To this comment…“The bottom line is that the Bible isn’t the supreme law of the land—the Constitution is.” Your 75% of Christians that make up the US population will all not go along with scrapping the constitution, because not all the 75% Christians are card carrying fundies that side with Biblical Law over Constitutional Law.

        • Ignorant Amos

          First, I’m not talking about European, African, or Latin American Christians. I’m talking about Christians in the U.S.

          Are U.S. Christians special?

          Nope.

          What the survey failed to capture, according to Ed Stetzer, professor of missiology at Wheaton College, is that the exodus from churches in America is comprised of nominal Christians, those in name only, who may have identified with a church but attended services rarely, if at all.

          The nominals are the ones now checking “none” on religious surveys and checking out of the churches.

          Second, in the scenario I’m proposing, Christians don’t need to know their creed in detail, per se.

          My point is, that a lot of Christians are so ignorant about the Faith that they can’t be bothered even to learn the basics. You thinking they’ll vote for a Gilead is ridiculous.

          But if they are true to their faith, they value “Godly things” over “worldly things.”

          Very few Christians have ever been that true to their faith when it comes to worldly things. How many mega Church leaders do ya think will support scrapping the constitution for a theocracy?

          So, in extreme circumstances, when push comes to shove, they will chose theocracy over democracy.

          Some will, but the majority…naaaah…a don’t think so. Theocracies have been losing out to democracies historically.

          The U.K. is an example of a theocracy > democracy > secular society…..the Christians didn’t backlash at the tipping point, and their privileges were/are really being stripped.

          If they have a choice between a “Christian government” and a “godless government,” they will choose the “Christian government.”

          They had a choice. They’ve had a choice. Why did they chose a “godless government” in the first place? Why would they settle for a “godless government” until now, since you recognise the writings on the wall?

          For some reason you think that the Christians in the U.S. will embrace the idea of what a theonomy entails. Because most of them will be hung from the wall on that day of reckoning.

        • S. Arch

          They had a choice. They’ve had a choice. Why did they chose a “godless
          government” in the first place? Why would they settle for a “godless
          government” until now, since you recognise the writings on the wall?

          Yes, they chose a secular government when it was a safe choice to make; when the population was much less diverse. In the past, it was no problem for them to have a government that was officially secular, because with their enormous majority, they could still enjoy a country that was culturally Christian. But, as religious diversity increases, and other religions assert their rights and demand as much space in the public sphere as Christianity does, Christians will feel it as a threat to the dominance of their religion. Eventually, they it might get to the point where they feel it as an existential crisis, and they might then move to establish their religion officially.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, they chose a secular government when it was a safe choice to make; when the population was much less diverse.

          Diversity and religious discrimination was the very reason for the secularist ideals. There were a number of precursors to the establishment clause. Are you American?

          Maryland Toleration Act and…

          A possible additional precursor of the Free Exercise Clause was the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The statute was drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777 and was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly in 1779. It did not pass the General Assembly until 1786. James Madison played an important role in its passage. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion exercise to men of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations.

          In the past, it was no problem for them to have a government that was officially secular, because with their enormous majority, they could still enjoy a country that was culturally Christian.

          More bunkum. You are counting Christians as all singing off the same hymn book while standing under the same umbrella, they don’t, and they never have. They aren’t likely to do so anytime soon. Even to have the constitution scraped because they don’t like the way things are panning out going forward.

          But, as religious diversity increases, and other religions assert their rights and demand as much space in the public sphere as Christianity does, Christians will feel it as a threat to the dominance of their religion.

          It doesn’t matter. It’s what they’ll be able to do about it that matters. I’m reminded of the opening scene of the movie, “The Warriors”.

          Lot’s of Christians don’t give a fig for the religion, that’s a fact. They like the freedoms of the secular world. They most certainly won’t be embracing “biblical laws” with the associated punishments, regardless of what you think. Too many of them will be first to get hung from the wall, that’s for sure.

          Eventually, they it might get to the point where they feel it as an existential crisis, and they might then move to establish their religion officially.

          And if their arse was square, they might shite coal-bricks.

          What do you think those that embrace secularism will be doing?

          The people of Britain are in the main secular, in the sense that they have largely abandoned the churches. But the state remains resolutely non-secular.

          The national debate last week about whether Britain is a Christian country remains unresolved. Nobody yet knows what the Prime Minister meant when he used the term “Christian country”.

          Yesterday, the Sunday Telegraph published an opinion poll it had commissioned from Mori, the first question it asked was “Do you regard yourself as …” – and then a list of options that included “A practising Christian”, a “non-practising Christian” or a “non-religious”.

          14% claimed they were practising Christians (a figure that is out of sync with the church’s own count of attendance); 38% said they were non-practising Christians and 41% said they were non-religious.

          Now, we are told that because a majority regard themselves as “Christian” in some sense, then this is a Christian country. But the 41% who said they have no religion and the 5% who belong to other religions and the 2% who didn’t know must count for something. It is a minority, yes, but only just. They cannot simply be told that they are living in a “Christian country” that relegates them to some kind of inferior status.

          But I mustn’t exaggerate. The people belonging to this enormous minority don’t feel inferior because to all intents and purposes Britain is a secular country. The Church of England has accepted in reality that its establishment brings very few benefits and an awful lot of disadvantages.

          I heard Giles Fraser, the prominent media vicar, the other day making the case for disestablishment. He thinks the Church of England would be stronger and more honest and freer to make its voice heard if it were separate from the state. That is certainly what the churches in the USA have found. There is no establishment there, but there is certainly no shortage of Christian power.

          The problem with establishing Christianity as the state religion, is which version? The Christian power being enjoyed in the U.S. does so, because of it’s secularity. Because no one version gets priority.

          Scraping the constitution would, imo, hasten the demise of Christianity in the U.S., not bolster it.

      • S. Arch

        I don’t think so. Some of the denominational differences are significant, but many are minor nit-picking details. There is a core of common belief among most Christians regardless of denomination. Again, if push comes to shove and they are forced to choose between “God’s law” and “man’s law” or between faith and reason, even moderate Cristians will put their differences aside and unite under a single flag of Faith In Christ or some such nonsense.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      With about 45,000 sects, they can’t hold together long enough, as well as graying and becoming fertilizer.

      Give it a couple generations and Abrahamic religious dominion will be GONE, unless religion goes back to hiding its envenomed blade.

      • S. Arch

        I don’t think so. Some of the denominational differences are significant, but many are minor nit-picking details. There is a core of common belief among most Christians regardless of denomination. Again, if push comes to shove and they are forced to choose between “God’s law” and “man’s law” or between faith and reason, Christians will put their differences aside and unite under a single flag of Faith In Christ or some such nonsense.

        The much touted impending demise of religion that you mention is greatly exaggerated. In fact, according to this study by the Pew Research Center, non-religious people are projected to decline (and religious believers increase) as a percentage of world population:

        https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/07/why-people-with-no-religion-are-projected-to-decline-as-a-share-of-the-worlds-population/

    • Perhaps we can take comfort in the fact that Christians can’t agree among themselves what “biblical law” means. I’m sure they’re not unified over the wisdom of a theocracy.

      • S. Arch

        I don’t think so. Some of the denominational differences are significant, but many are minor nit-picking details. There is a core of common belief among most Christians regardless of denomination. Again, if push comes to shove and they are forced to choose between “God’s law” and “man’s law” or between faith and reason, Christians will put their differences aside and unite under a single flag of Faith In Christ or some such nonsense.

        • eric

          This is historically not the case. If you look at some of the old/original religious tests in US state constitutions, it becomes pretty clear that Christian denominations were just as determined to exclude each other as they were to exclude non-Christians. Here’s an example; Maryland’s constitution, Article 36 (in part): “…nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed
          incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief;
          provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His
          dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts,
          and be rewarded or punished therefor either in this world or in the
          world to come.”
          So, not only did you have to believe in the Christian God, but a very specific sectarian type of Christian God.

        • S. Arch

          You raise good historical points. But I don’t think they would hold true for the scenario I’m envisioning. Here’s what I see happening. Demographics will continue to change. The Christian majority will continue to shrink. The privileged position that Christians have enjoyed for so long will continue to erode. Christians will increasingly interpret their loss of privilege as anti-Christian “discrimination.” Eventually, these feelings will boil over. Christians will feel they are in an existential crisis. At that point, the different denominations will unite (maybe temporarily, as you suggest) under a single Christian banner. This all could happen at a time when the unified Christians still have enough numbers and political clout to wreak havoc. And, in regard to my original post, these riled-up Christians will not hesitate to amend the Constitution in order to preserve their privilege and their illusion of a Christian nation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I do agree with you if you’re saying that these sects will temporarily unite for some common pro-Christian purpose (think anti-abortion Protestants and Catholics).

          Excellent example of the thesis failing. Obviously not all Christians came together on that issue…even when push came to shove.

          But the moment they were successful, the knives would come out.

          Which is why the hypothetical theocracy would implode once it had scraped the constitution.

      • Ignorant Amos

        “Theonomy” is my new word of the day.

        Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law), is a hypothetical Christian form of government in which society is ruled by divine law. Theonomists hold that divine law, including the judicial laws of the Old Testament, should be observed by modern societies.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theonomy

        • New to me, thanks. I wonder how theonomy/theocracy are distinguished.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Soz for not getting back sooner, trying catch-up.

          I’ll let these fuckwits at “American Vision” explain it for ya…

          https://americanvision.org/948/theonomy-vs-theocracy/

          The dystopian world of Gilead in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a theonomy. Governed by those that would instigate the OT Laws of God as described in the book. Hands chopped off, eyes plucked out, stoned to death for mundane misdemeanours, that sort of thing.

          A theocracy is a state ruled by clerics in Gods stead, but not requiring the letter of the Laws of Moses to be implemented. Whatever the clerics decide, is what God now wants. The governing body of clerics has a divinely selected head of state. A king, emperor, or pope, for example.

          A theocracy would be bad enough, but a theonomy…well ya’ve seen “The Handmaid’s Tale”?

          Anyway, that’s how I understand it..but a could be wrong.

        • Interesting. So a theonomy is the crazy dictatorship built on Iron Age logic and using stoning as a punishment (“If it were good enough for ol’ Mo, it’s good enough for you!”) and a theocracy would be more like the Mormon situation, except without the government. Or something like that.

          I haven’t watched Handmaid’s Tale but read the book. Not pretty.

          Thanks for the new vocabulary word.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think a theocracy is more a dictatorship, but they choose the rules to suit, and then claim they’re God handed down.

          I think a theonomy is less a dictatorship, but democratically elected government, just as long as whatever the organization at the top, it’s Christers, and they invoke the draconian laws of ol’ Mo and more importantly, the punishments associated with them.

          Those at American Vision claim…

          To begin with, we need to make a delineation between “theonomy” and “theocracy.” The secularists in the mainstream media—not to mention the new atheist bulldogs of Dawkins, Harris, et al.—constantly smear Christians who choose to exercise their right to participate in the political process as “theocrats” who want to turn America into a “theocracy.” Although they seldom define just what they mean by this, the mental image communicated to the reader is often one of women in burkas, and priests/politicians with AK-47s. If this top-down, authoritarian, reign of power was what Christians had in mind when they spoke of obeying God’s law, I would welcome the alarms being sounded by the Sam Harrises of the world. But just because the Muslim variety of theocracy is the most visible and vocal in the world, doesn’t mean that it is the correct one.

          The theonomists want the backing of the nation, the popular vote. Such that S. Arch imagines will/would happen, if enough of the religious rights some Christians claim are being taken away.

          When American Vision speaks of “theonomy,” or God’s law, you can rest assured that we do not mean “theocracy” in the sense described above. In fact, a true theocracy is only possible when a nation is truly theonomic. In other words, God’s law cannot govern a nation (theocracy) where God’s law does not rule in the hearts of the people (theonomy). A theonomic approach to all of life by all of the citizens of a nation will, by definition, be a theocracy. This can never be a top-down hand of oppression, but must always be a bottom-up, from the heart, obedience. The critics rely on this negative idea of an oppressive theocracy to make their case against theonomy, yet can never cite a direct quote from theonomic writers who actually advocate a top-down method of civic oppression and submission.

          Of course what they are describing doesn’t fit the everyday definition of theocracy. Which is a top down totalitarian entity.

          Or something like that.

        • Thanks.

          In fact, a true theocracy is only possible when a nation is truly theonomic.

          Sounds vaguely like “a true socialist state is only possible after it is first communist.” I don’t care for either route.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, indeed.

          S. Arch hasn’t factored in the capitalist gravy train that will disappear quite rapidly if Christians decide they’ve had enough. There is a lot more have nots than there are haves in that 70% that will supposedly side with the Christian part of thinking than the secular side, when push comes to shove.

          It just goes to show that the impact that the noise of the minority fuckwit fundies makes, worries folk into thinking that all Christians are the same.

  • Greg G.

    If there is a god thingy, it is obviously a physicist and SMBC shows that physicists will go to heaven.

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/magnitude

  • Alan Mill

    G’day

    Please don’t be too casual about this Kim Davis stuff. The pushback against SSM is by no means over. It is really just starting. She may just be the thin edge of the wedge in the USA.

    The reactionary Christian right have not got over losing on same sex marriage.

    And the reactionaries in the White House have a new friend and model to follow. My Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

    It may have missed your notice in the USA, but my Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, a happy clapper Pentecostal, has just had a very successful state meeting with Trump and Pence. Morrison and Pence are two fundamentalist peas in the pod. Morrison is an advertising man, a serial liar of great ability and has his own version of fake news he calls “the Bubble”. He and Trump are having a tremendous bromance.

    Davis is a lowly paid nobody with no personal resources. But there will probably be other cause celebs in the USA.

    We have one in Australia. He is a multi-millionaire football superstar called Israel Folau. He hates gays as he believes god wants them dealt with severely. He is from Tonga and used to be a Morman til his Dad started a fundy Pentecostal church and made Israel a preacher and money raiser and billboard for increasing the congregation.

    Folau was sacked from the Australian Rugby team for repeatedly vilifying gay people in breach of the code of conduct of Rugby which he had signed on to. He had done this before and was warned not to do it again but did it anyway and did it on social media while wearing his Rugby work clothes. He was using his public persona as a football superstar to promote his religious intolerance.

    Having run a sports organisation and sacked players and banned them from playing due to them vilifying others on social media, I know Rugby Australia are in the right to sack Folau.

    Folau has refused to accept this and appealed to Rugby Australia who turned his appeal down. Then he appealed to a state court which also rejected him and now he has gone to the Federal Supreme Court.

    Davis may have trouble with money. Folau does not. Not only is he very wealthy but due to his pubic fame, he was able to crowd surf $2 million in three days to help with his legal costs. This is not something Davis could to but a USA superstar could. Be aware.

    On top of this, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has directed his attorney general to draft laws to be put to parliament called Religious Freedom Laws. This is very problematic if these laws get passed. These Orwellian named laws are designed to do one thing – exempt religious people from laws against hate speech and vilifying others on the basis that hating certain people and vilifying them is Biblical and there fore they are practicing their religion in hating these people and vilifying them, even though they are decent people who are doing them no harm.

    Yes, there is a whole pile of other crap in the Bible that could come into this as well as the laws would also give the right to be a hateful bigot to supporters of Islamic State, for example, but that consequence hasn’t sunk into the Christian right yet.

    Morrison is a supporter of Folau’s right to practice his religion by discriminating against gays.

    There will be a nasty can of worms opened if this legislation gets passed, though it won’t be retrospective so Folau will not get his job back and I hope the Supreme Court throws his appeal out but that is not certain yet.

    Morrison and Folau are not interested in our beautiful equations that explain the universe without the need for their god. Morrison has practical political power and Folau has wealth and a massive public profile.

    If Folau wins and Morrison gets his laws up, don’t think this can’t happen in the USA or UK too.

    I just hope that Rugby Australia’s lawyers understand that you can’t get an is from an ought using Christianity and will ask Folau for a non optional reason why anyone ought to obey his alleged god’s alleged commands. He won’t be able to give one and won’t be able to show that sin exists. Therefore being gay is not a sin and he and his supporters need to back off and accept that this is the 21 century and they will have to live with gays rights.

    But such laws can still be passed if enough cross bench support is found in the Senate.

    If Morrison can get this regressive law up in Australia then the reactionary right led by Pence will be have a go at getting it up in the USA cause the reactionary Christian right hate same sex marriage. And they won’t seek professional help to cure their problem they will seek a legislative solution.

    Keep an eye on the Religious Freedom legislation in Australia as it comes to parliament in the next few months. We need to prevent this reactionary power grab from gaining traction in the western world.

    • I’m thinking of a disease parallel. A disease can have a reservoir (leprosy can live in armadillos, for example) so that you think it’s eradicated and then it pops up again. Even if we got fundamentalism in its place in 20 years in the US (say), it could hide out in Australia or Africa or anywhere and be reintroduced in a new (more malignant? more durable?) form.

      SSM seems like a trivial issue such that we need to just let the old dinosaurs die off and it’ll be just part of the scenery, but consider how abortion rights are under new attack in the US. We wrongly thought that abortion was settled and ancient history.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Measles would be more topical, as we have antivaxxers bringing it roaring back 🙁

  • Lord Backwater

    Off-topic for your next origins of life reference:

    Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases

    • That’s an interesting addition to the abiogenesis conversation. Thanks.