Monday, May 30, 2005

Suffering Patrioticus Interruptus?

Last night, on PBS, I watched the 2005 Memorial Day Celebration at the D.C. Mall in Washington D.C. For the most part, I was very moved as the concelebrants gave patriotic tribute to the fallen of our nation's military with artful mix of song, speeches and video. Particularly moving were the reading of the letters between a soldier who lost his life in Iraq, and his wife who remained home to raise their three children. It brought home by this very personal example, the extreme measure of devotion that all of our military personnel have for our nation, including their spouses and families. And to cap off this tender tribute, the entire gathering were asked to participate in the song Lee Greenwood made famous, "God Bless the USA." I was moved to tears and felt deep pride for our nation. And then, with patriotic juices flowing, and with great anticipation, the final song of the evening was sung to bring this wonderful celebration to a climax: "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me..." Every patriotic muscle went limp. I had just experienced "patrioticus interruptus!"

There is no red, white and blue pill that was going to help me "get it up" patriotically after that. This last piece about peace really got me "pieced!" How dare they! Why not end it with "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on."

Hell no, Sam! You can't have that! That would mean all this patriotic stuff, men and women dying, paying the ultimate sacrifice has an ultimate meaning and purpose. That would mean assuming God is involved with our nation's purpose and that might offend someone. Nah, let's get global. Let's end it with the liberal limp-wristed fight song for idiots, "All I am saying... is give peace a chance!" Yeah! For that's what we are; a nation of idiots!

Oh yeah?


At 10:17 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Unfortunately, patriotism and Christianity have been inseparable since President Bush came into office. It is completely offensive to those of use who are patriotic but not Christian. It's more disturbing to see that our governance is also going the way of the Christian God.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Unfortunately, supporting whatever government, especially in prayer, has been a part of Christianity for 1,944 years.

You have implicated Christians as those who view non-Christians as unpatriotic. I have three questions for you: 1) What is the evidence of your charge; and 2) What is particularly offensive about governing according to the Christian God; and 3) which god do you propose we follow and why?

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous John Stillman said...

Hi Sam!

Glad to see that you got your back off the monkey!

In your profile - it says you were a Baptist minister - that became Catholic? Are you a sadist? What would be the reason for that change? I can't fathom it - isn't it the same thing, but now with more middle men between you and God?

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous John Stillman said...

1. What is the evidence of your charge?

There is evidence all around us as to this... David Duke for one comes to mind. There is also the denial of the Haulocaust by not only the Catholic Church, but many, many politicians before, during and after WWII.

2. What is particularly offensive about governing according to the Christian God?
The idea isn't offensive. Its the fact that it's crammed down our throats that's offensive. I think that if we had a Muslim president and he said "We're going to make kids pray to Allah during school, and we're going to change "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to "Allah Akbar" you'd be pretty upset. The best way to avoid that is to take those religious offenses out is to remove them altogether.

3. which god do you propose we follow and why?

how about none? How about instead of "under God" it said, "under the freedoms of our great nation?"

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

John, cross the is much better over here.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Hmmm, John, I'm looking for evidence. David Duke, who is definitely an offensive fellow, doesn't make the rank of what is typically Christian. Although, there is an awful lot of evil done in the name of Christ...the "KKK" for example. As to the Catholic Church denying the haulocaust...I need evidence, John, not myths. Myths repeated a billion times and documented in millions of books is not evidence.

2). I didn't know that prayer in schools was a typically Christian thing, although Christians do generally love to pray.

3) It takes more faith to renounce the existance of a diety, therefore, the religion of atheism would be crammed down our throats, which, from what I see, from the top of my mountain, is already occuring.

So, in conclusion, you base your offense on David Duke and a falsehood about the Catholic Church denial of the haulocaust; you find "under God" in the pledge of allegiance as cramming religion down people's throats, and you want secular humanism to reign instead of Christianity.

Interesting. But this fails the evidence test. I need more than this, John.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

More on #3:

The statement "There is no God" or "no God exists" requires absolute knowledge. Let me be more specific. This statement is a form of an "E" proposition, "No God is existing." To make that kind of statement requires a complete knowledge of all the universe and a complete knowledge of all that is God.

Unless you possess infinite knowledge (something quite impossible for mere mortals like me), to make such a declaration is nonsensical logically. And, to believe it to be TRUE requires an abnormally super faith.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous John said...

1. Myths repeated a billion times and documented in millions of books is not evidence - you mean like the Bible and this Jesus fellow? A Christian myth is the same as a Jewish/Muslim/Nordic/Roman myth.

2. The only reason why the Catholic church apologized is because of a bad PR image. How many Catholic priests welcomed and even helped the Nazis?

3. Can you explain your statement "It takes more faith to renounce the existance of a diety" please? I see your point about having atheism crammed down your throat, but you and I wouldn't be arguing this if those words were never there to begin with.

As for more evidence - there is only circumstancial evidence. David Duke wasn't born that way - he was made that way by like minded people, who were made from similar people, who were made from .... and so on.

We can all agree that any idea taken too far is a bad thing. Its a matter of perspective what is considered bad, that's the basic truth and where all of our problems lie.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous John said...

I see your point about the "there is no God" statement.

I can't remember which philosopher said (i'm paraphrasing) that it was easier to believe in God than not because of the consequences of either belief. Basically, if there is a God and you don't believe, there's nothing but trouble for you, and if you believe in God, but one doesn't exist - then you'll just be dissappointed.

I've always found that to be funny.

There's no way that you can prove there is a god either, Sam.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

I meant evidence of your charge, not a re-constituted charge. As to:

1. Says who?
2. How so?
3. Read my previous comment. Perhaps I wrote it while you were writing yours.

You can repeat propaganda, or find remote instances where Catholic priests caved in to Nazi pressure (which wouldn't surprise me, I'm sure both religious and non-religious people caved in). However, you would commit the fallacy of Hasty Generalization to say that because a few priests caved in, the Catholic Church caved in.

I need evidence, man, EVIDENCE!

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous John said...

In general - it is better to be considered a Christian in this country than not. Do you agree or disagree?

About the Nazi thing - after WWII there was the Odessa network that helped get Nazi's to "friendly" countries in South America. Mind you this is after the fall of the Nazis, so no one is being forced to help them. It is a fact that more Nazis were helped out of Europe by the churches in Rome than anywhere else.
This is a historical fact, and there are many documents that point this out.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous John said...

1. Says who?

Say many. I can give you examples of how the myth of Christ can be derived from Pagan myths, as well as the myth of Isis and Osiris. The early church borrowed so heavily from their convert audience's pre-existing myths. This is why Easter falls in the spring, and the Christmas tradition falls in the winter. Its Yule and Pagan rebirth traditions. Alot of Jews came with a knowledge of Egyption mythology. The resurection of Jesus mirrors that of Osiris, and even integrates Horace, the son of Isis and Osiris.

2. How so?

Bad PR - they were losing their flock at the time that Pope John Paul apologized. This was because alot of Catholics believe that the church was out of touch and looked the other way too many times. This was the very beginning of the molesting priest scandals.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Underground -
1. I apologize for generalizing. I amend my statement. Some Christians view non-Christians as unpatriotic because they disagrre with religions statements President Bush has made.

2. and 3. Governing according to any God is offensive in a nation where separation of church and state is outlined in the Constitution. I propose that governance of a free nation does not follow the rules of any one god. We are not a theocracy, we are a democracy, and we should act like one.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Praying in schools is typically a Christian thing. As I am a teacher, I would know. It takes more faith to renounce the existance of a deity you have been raised to believe in. Having been raised a Catholic and become a Buddhist, I have some knowledge of that, as well.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

John -
1. and 3. You are correct; however, people have the right to believe what they choose. We cannot assume they are wrong as we cannot be positive we are right. We must agree to disagree. We have chosen different paths, but, Underground, we are all still people, with hearts and minds, and the ability to discuss things and come to our own, Logical conculusions. Children should not be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance if they don't want to. Besides that, I believe Pledging Allegiance to a flag or a government is immoral.

2. How many times have you made a mistake and regretted it later? Just because their mistakes were more grievous than yours doesn't make them less worthy of forgiveness. The apology certainly helped the image of the Catholic Church, we can't completely dismiss the possibility that the Pope believed those who helped the Nazis were wrong and he really wanted to apologize for what some priests did.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

To John,
As to the proofs of God, of course there is. However, you need to hold to the assertion that we can understand essences and universals, i.e., the first things, or metaphysics. Locke, Hume and Berkeley assumed that it was impossible to know essences and universals, because their epistemology couldn't allow that we could know actual objective reality outside of our minds. This is, of course, is a presupposition that is self-contradicting.

You want to talk about this more, fine. My point is that logic can not tell you what truth is per se, it shows you how to arrange your thinking to identify it. If you hold to Kantian Idealism, there is no proof that is acceptable to you regarding the existence of God. Of course we could talk about the stupidity of Kantian Idealism.

As to documentation concerning the Catholic Church helping Nazis, could you show me which direction to search? This is an intriguing subject to me.

As to your belief that Catholic doctrine is a syncretism of pagan beliefs, I found no evidence to that in history. Although, I must say, Jack Chick tracks have an abundance of "documentation" (anything can be written)with pictures to boot. Did you know that Mr. Chick says the Vatican has every Evangelical Protestant listed in its giant underground computer so that when the Rapture occurs, it can find all the fallen protestants who didn't make it, in order to kill them?

There's an old saying, "Paper is patient."

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous John said...

For the Nazi/Catholic church connection, just google for

nazi and catholic church, or odessa and catholic church.

or just watch the History channel any given day - that's how i originally heard the connection.

For the paganism/Christianity link - just do a little research - its very easy to find.

Jack Chick tracts make me laugh and laugh. The art is wonderfully silly, and the situational settings are so out of touch and screams of paranoia. I actually can't imagine a world without Chick tracts. It makes my day when someone hands me one.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

To Polanco,
Yes you did generalize, but I'm glad you noticed. I agree with you that anyone who challenges the patriotism of someone else because they are not Christian are commiting a huge blunder. I can only imagine the courage it must take to go into battle with the belilef that there's nothing more to life than this!

Again, I agree with you that to only agree with the president equals patriotism. But here is where logic comes into play. If you are arguing inductively, from particulars to a universal, the facts are essential, particularly the basis of fact. So, with the topics below what are the particulars and are they credible?

1. What are the facts that the Catholic Church helped the Nazis' during the haulocaust? If you find a few bad catholics, which no doubt their were, you can only say a few bad Catholics. 'Hasty Generalization' is the most often used fallacy in induction. Also, check into the historical facts that allowed Golda Meir to honor the Catholic Church for saving almost 900,000 Jews from extinction.
2. There is no constitutional clause outlining the separation of Church and state. This has been the mantra of recent politicos on the left mainly. However, the source of the idea came from Jefferson.
3. You state that giving allegiance to a flag or government is immoral. I guess it would depend on what the flag and the government stood for. For instance, I would have no qualms burning a Nazi flag, or seriously question a man's sanity who has a swaztika tatooed on his arm. In addition, I will NEVER show any respect to the UN flag, ever.

Thanks for your imput everyone.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

I found that Chick Tracts make excellent kindling starter for my fireplace.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous John said...

There's an old saying, "Paper is patient."

to quote the immortal Socrates:

"I drank what?"


At 3:25 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...



At 3:27 PM, Anonymous John said...

sorry - i love that fake quote...

it's a joke...

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

HA! Sorry John, I got a little sunburn and I'm a little cranky.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger the Logic Monkey said...

Hey...I finally got around to checking out your site. Very good! Yay, now John can be annoyed at two sites...

At 9:34 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

1. I believe John commented on that, and he is more knowledgable on the subject than I, so chek out his connections.

2. There is, as outlined in the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion. Maybe the separation of church and state is a Jeffersonian ideal; however, it was he who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights in the first place, so the intent is there, if it is not clear. I'm moving and have packed my copy of the Constitution, but I will defintely look it up and discuss this particular issue a little later, if you don't mind.

3. I said I believe it's immoral. If you don't, feel free to pledge to anything you choose. I believe it's immoral because I feel you should not pledge your allegiance to a government but to a country. The flag is a symbol of our government. Also, I need to look out for my family and my country, not my government. I will not pledge allegiance to any organization I feel has committed grievous crimes and is not acting in my, or the country's, best interests.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

1. I checked John's connections and I am skeptical, in light of one, the Jewish response to the Catholic Church's involvement in saving Jews from extermination; two, Pius XII's own disparaging of Naziism prior to his pontificate, and three, the high level of hatred that the public in general has toward Church. I also know one of the main sources of negative publicity came from the New York times, and all the rest of the media lapdogs followed suit.

2. When you check the Bill of Rights, you will not find it in there, for sure.

3. I can believe that the moon is made of Bleu Cheese, or that Area 51 really had aliens, or that Coca-Cola cleans carburetors real well. I can even conduct my life according to the above. I can even show great emotion and shed a gentle tear.

How is it immoral to pledge to a flag, outside of how we feel? Polanco, don't just recite your belief or explain it. An explanation is not a proof. Show me why! Is their harm done doing so? If so, what harm? If it is universally immoral, then perhaps there's a good reason of totally eliminating altogether. If it's immoral for you, it's immoral for me, right?

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Innocent Bystander said...

I noticed that you made a comment that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Constitution. This, I'm afraid, is incorrect. He was not even at the Constitutional Convention at all. He was in France at the time as an ambassador. Look to James Madison, the President of the Convention, for a framer's perspective. The "Father of the Constitution," as he is called, also was one of the authors of the "Federalist Papers," which contain more insight into the mindset of the framers of the Constitution.

I merely bring this up so that we may utilize the facts correctly.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Thanks for the input, IB!

At 11:33 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Innocent -
You are right, and I should have clarified. Jefferson was in France during the drafting; however, he and Madison were best friends. Through correspondance, Jefferson had some input. Also, he and Madison were on the same page with most political ideas.

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERSCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ninth Amendment
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

It is my right not to be governed by the laws or ideals of religions other than mine. I retain that right, the sepatation of church and state, and I refuse to give it up.

I really think you're missing something here. In this country, I have the right to do as I choose, and the Constituion is proof. Would you agree that lying is immoral? If I pledge allegiance to any organization I feel has committed grievous crimes and is not acting in my, or the country's, best interests and I don't feel that allegience, isn't that a lie, and therefore; immoral? The harm is in lying to myself and others by making a pledge that I may or may not be able to keep. Expounding that I am part of one nation, under god, is immoral because I believe that is a lie. I don't believe in god and will not pledge that I am under him for any reason. I don't beleive that our country has liberty and justice for all, and will not say so.

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

I believe the time has come for us to disolve some political bands. I believe the pledge is a farce, and our government is corrupt and halted. If you want some proof of that, let's take a good look at our dear Presdient and Mr. Tom Delay. The Democrats won't even fight back. That is not a government I want to pledge to. Millions of Americans are left without health care, social security is failing, and my students don't have enough books. Yet we can spend billions in Iraq and on Mars. That is not a government I feel allegience to. Laws are passed to save Terri Schiavo but inmates are executed in Texas. We can save people in Kosovo but not the Sudan. North Korea is not a threat but Iraq is? I will not pledge to a govenment that is full of hypocracy and dualities because I will not support it in any way.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

You are left with only a few options. One, you will have to put up with the inequities and try to improve things around you; two, lead or join a revolutionary movement; three, leave the country. Let me suggest no to number three. I don't think America is so bad that you would have to leave. I think you have things to offer. One or two are your better options; preferably the first. The second one is sedition, and you need a LOT better proof than what you had listed in order to revolt.

Your charges are serious but seem to be based on entitlements rather than rights. For example, social security or health care are not inalienable rights, but have come to us as entitlements promised and delivered to us since FDR.

As to corruption, even at the signing of the Bill of Rights there were inequities in brand new America at the time, e.g. slavery. Ben Franklin feared and correctly predicted that within two generations, the country would split over this issue. This is the harsh reality of life. It would be utopia if we had any government that was without corruption. It rests upon us who are moral and upstanding must be salt and light for what is good.

As to the issue of laws passed for Terri Schiavo or the death penalty for Texas deathrow inmates, you have inadvertantly compressed two very different arguments into one, assuming the same principle holds for both. You haven't shown me that they are the same. You'll need to expand it with a few more premises. What they would be, I cannot tell. The right to life for a brain damaged women has different criteria than the right of a deathrow inmate to life. They are totally unrelated.

All in all, I see that you are very serious in what you believe. Do you see that the United States intentionally stands for corruption and inequality? If it does, like a Nazi Germany, or an Iraq, then we who are moral, must reject the evil that is being institutionalized. If it is basic human corruption, let's pledge allegiance to the flag, to country for which it stands, to make it better when we're done than when we first started.

May I also suggest you get more information. You can keep reading the same leftist material that suggests what you are suggesting, but you miss the argument for Iraq. If you are not patient enough to do that, then perhaps your emotions and rancor against George Bush are getting in the way of your better judgement.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

I think America is getting to the point in which Holland and Canada are both good options, but I'm not ready to give up yet. I'm working on the revolutionary movement for now.

Though health care and social security are entitlements, FDR felt they are necessary to protect the right to life as outlined in the constitution.

Terri Schiavo had a right to die. He husband was the next of kin, she had told him what she wanted, and she was denied the right to make that decision for herself for 15 years. An inmate has a right to life. Humans are falable and DNA is not always perfect. Neither is the justice system. Unless he/she was caught red handed, and they jury can see the crime taking place, it is speculation and no one should get to decide who live and dies.

I don't think the United States in itself is intentionally corrupt, but it is corrupt. I will not pledge to an object. Isn't that idolitry anyway? (actual question, please explain) Whether you call it a pledge or a prayer, it's the same thing. Everything I do is to better myself, my students, and by extension, my country. I don't need to make any pledge to continue to do that, and I should have to if I don't want to.

I read material on everything, and i don't really read leftist crap. I don't think any one political group is correct, and it's unfair of you to assume I only read what I agree with. I read anything I can get my hands on, and occasionally, change my views based on what I have read. I don't believe there is an argument for Iraq. What do you think the argument for going to war was/is? I read Ann Coulter as much as I read Al Frankin, and I even read Newseek and Time. I watch CNN and Fox news. I am a person of information, and I take as much as I can get. My life is spent in study, observation, discussion, and meditation. I am open to all thoughts and ideas, but that doesn't mena I will change my views every time I read something new. I take into account everything I read. I even take notes. By the way, in the 2000 election, I was hugely on Bush's side.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Touche! I did assume you read just leftist crap. You're right in pointing that out. Sorry.

Regarding Soc. Security, I'm sure FDR thought he was supporting the Constitution during his presidency, I don't see a constitutional clause for Social Security, and human history has gotten along without it, from pre-history to present. So it is not a human need, like air, water, food, etc. where a natural right woiuld be involved.

And again, don't move, and don't get arrested! LOL

At 10:04 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

I'll try not to get arrested, though I can't promise anything. I'm not planning on leaving the country for a while, but I'm not ruling it out, either. As you know, I am fiercely protective of my family, and if I feel there is a chance that my son will go to war for something we don't agree with or some other attrocity occurs, I think I should raise my kids in a place I feel mirrors my moral and political values.

I get your point about FDR and Social Security. I still think education, health care, and social security are more important than mars and Iraq.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

More important? Important is a big term. Something can be important because it has value, like my Minivan. Or something can be important because it is critical to my existence, like breathing. In comparison, my breathing more important than my minivan. So, some things that are important are so in a relative manner; it's important that I get my Ph.D. in philosophy, as it is that you continue your Graduate courses in education. Contrarily, "important" can be in relation to that which is essential to life, to safety, to security, etc. There are rights, i.e. absolutes involved that make them so vitally important.

You lumped Mars with Iraq. Shows me how much influence liberalism has had on you. In terms of importance, I feel it very important in keeping with safety, security; the absolutes of the sanctity of human life.

You want to talk about just war theory, I warn you, your faith in "No-god" will come under intense scrutiny. For, if there is no god, then there are no absolutes. Your pining about the justice of war falls flat on the ground, because justice is giving what each person deserves, which implies rights, which implies a "rights-giver."

You can if you want to, but you will get tied up in a knot.


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