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Austin Cline

Loss of Freedom in America?

By December 13, 2004

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Many conservative evangelicals lament the loss of the "freedom" in modern America. Those "freedoms" were, though, actually privileges that were unjustifiably bestowed upon them by the state. It's rather like watching whites lament the loss of their "freedom" in the wake of desegregation.

Karen Burke writes:

Yes, the ACLU has so demonized the word American that I fear all of the gays lesbians, terrorists, and criminals they have come to represent would find the name American Civil Liberties Union offensive. We can’t have anybody offended now, can we? In fact, thanks to that organization the word ''American'' is now more offensive than Christ. Hitler and Nazi seem to be quite popular these days, though, not offensive at all to be a genocidal maniac.

I am offended each and every time my liberties are stolen from me because I am a white, heterosexual, Christian. I am offended that I am no longer a free person in the land of the free. I am not free to teach my children of Christ or morality because I might offend the immoral. I am not free to voice my opinion without being accused of racial profiling or charged with a hate crime. ... IT’S CALLED FREEDOM...AND I WANT MINE BACK!

There is one thing that is conspicuous by its absence in all of Burke's perfervid rhetoric: actual examples of how she has lost her freedom or what liberties have been stolen from her. When did someone tell her that she can't teach her children about her god or moral values? When was she told that she would be charged with a hate crime for expressing her opinion?

Such things probably haven't happened. While most people would find themselves discomfited to write about the "loss" of liberties they still have, Karen Burke seems positively shameless in her choleric attacks on others for daring to be "offended." Part of the problem is the fact that while people may talk about certain things "offending" them, ACLU court cases are brought over violations of constitutional protections rather than incivility.

Instead of demanding her "freedom" back, perhaps she should spend more time trying to figure out where she lost her reason and common sense.

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Comments
June 14, 2007 at 10:09 am
(1) reinkefj says:

May I step in for the “defense”?

Ms. Burke might point out that “she” lost her freedom when she is forced at gunpoint to pay for gooferment skoolz. Actually, that freedom was lost a while ago when the gooferment took over the funding and operation of “schooling”.

She can’t teach her children her moral values in today’s environment where the children are taken to gooferment reeducation camps and feed propaganda. Unless she’s rich, she can’t afford to pay the taxes and then forgo the “service” of education. So, she, and others, are hit with a triple whammy. They are force to pay for a shoddy service they don’t want or doesn’t meet their needs. They have their values they are trying to teach their children denigrated in this “service”. AND, they are insulted when they object to the violence and loss of liberty.

This is not just a religious issue. But a racial one. Walter Williams’ has a great quip, “if the grand wizard of the KKK wanted to destroy black children, he could not have come up with a better way than government education”.

It’s a liberty issue. It’s immoral to force people to do things they don’t want to do. If you have to force some one to do something, then you have a “bad idea”. If it’s such a great idea, then you should be able to persuade me with logic, evidence, and testimony. Otherwise, MYOB! When you use force, not only is it immoral, it’s usually ineffective and inefficient as well.

As the risk of being labeled “choleric”: I don’t want to pay to educate other people’s children. I don’t feed them (in most cases). I don’t clothe them. I don’t tuck them in a night. They are not “mine”. Nor are they my responsibility. I don’t what you stealing from me to do it. I do NOT consent!

I do CHOOSE to support certain charities that do those things, but that’s my self-assumed choice. It’s immoral for the ACLU to insist that I do it to favor their agenda. Just as it would be immoral for Ms. Burke to force me to pay for her agenda.

The defense rests,
fjohn

Ferdinand J. Reinke
Kendall Park, NJ 08824

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September 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm
(2) Amber says:

Reinkefj
Saying that it is immoral to force people to do things they don’t want to do is ridiculous. We have certain laws and system in place as an effort to keep the peace and provide a certain amount of consistency within the population among other things. Is it immoral to tell a pedophile they can’t have sex with children cause they want to?

It sounds to me what you are proposing is some form of anarchy in which there is no government at all. Which sounds great in theory that everyone can do what they want etc. But in practice you will find that your “freedoms” are limited even more by people forcing their will on you through violence etc.

June 14, 2007 at 1:31 pm
(3) Austin Cline says:

It’s immoral to force people to do things they don’t want to do.

I’d like to see you support this claim.

I don’t want to pay to educate other people’s children.

So?

February 12, 2008 at 11:09 am
(4) J Mitchell says:

I do believe that each of us works and pays for our government to operate, Therefore, I would not call these privileges. We pay for the right to live how we want, without unnecessary restrictions on our freedom.

February 12, 2008 at 11:52 am
(5) Austin Cline says:

Therefore, I would not call these privileges.

What, precisely, do you mean by “these”? Can you cite any examples?

June 12, 2009 at 10:17 am
(6) Mark says:

The author is an idiot.

June 12, 2009 at 10:55 am
(7) Austin Cline says:

The author is an idiot.

Feel free to show how.

October 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm
(8) zeke says:

The situation of today slays me. For example, children can’t pray in school. Somebody said that, they even made it a law. So, everybody obeys. No more prayer. Oh my, we could get into trouble if we continue to do that. While it’s pretty much accepted Got wants us to obey the laws of the land, this doesn’t mean for His followers to disregard those things He wants us to do even if it is contrary to the laws of man. It seems to me if we give up our children’s right to pray, anytime and anywhere they choose, then we weren’t really weren’t so commited to begin with.

October 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm
(9) Austin Cline says:

The situation of today slays me.

That may be because you don’t actually understand the situation – everything you say about the “situation” is false.

For example, children can’t pray in school.

Yes, they can.

Somebody said that, they even made it a law.

No, they didn’t.

Someone told you that and you believed them instead of checking it out for yourself.

So, everybody obeys. No more prayer.

No, they don’t. People still pray — and what’s more, they get to pray on their own. What stopped was the state writing the prayers and telling people when they should pray.

Oh my, we could get into trouble if we continue to do that.

Yes, state employees would get into trouble if they pretended to have the authority to tell people when to pray, how to pray, what to pray, to whom to pray, or even if they should pray. Is that a problem for you?

While it’s pretty much accepted Got wants us to obey the laws of the land, this doesn’t mean for His followers to disregard those things He wants us to do even if it is contrary to the laws of man.

So you’re saying that your god wants you to obey the law, except when it contradicts what you think your god wants you to do. Basically, that means you think your god wants you to obey the law so long as its convenient, and then to disregard it when it’s not convenient.

It seems to me if we give up our children’s right to pray, anytime and anywhere they choose, then we weren’t really weren’t so commited to begin with.

Except the right to pray hasn’t been given up. So long as they aren’t disrupting school functions or bothering other students, they can basically pray whatever they want whenever they want.

It seems to me that if theists insist that an individual’s “right to pray” requires government support through official, government-written prayers and official prayer times, then those theists were never really committed to begin with.

November 10, 2009 at 11:09 am
(10) Eric says:

“When did someone tell her that she can’t teach her children about her god or moral values?”

Funny comment, your little “her god” bit really is priceless. How about trying not to offend when your rebuking someone? Christians use the word “God” when refering to their god. Not capitalizing it seems to be a common way agnostics and aethiest try to belttle ones faith in God.

The comment hurts your case and reduces it to school yard banter.

However, Im sick and tired of Christians claiming we can’t pray in school, or that the 10 commandments need to be in a state capitol.

A) No single person, body or entity can keep anyone from praying anywhere they want.

B) I dont want a secular goverment tied to any religion at all.

Freedom for religion and from religous oppression!

Eric

November 10, 2009 at 11:36 am
(11) Austin Cline says:

Funny comment, your little “her god” bit really is priceless. How about trying not to offend when your rebuking someone? Christians use the word “God” when refering to their god. Not capitalizing it seems to be a common way agnostics and aethiest try to belttle ones faith in God.

Some atheists do this, but the phrase “her god” is grammatically correct as it refers to whatever deity (“god”) she happens to believe in. It’s analogous to saying “her husband” or “her nation” rather than specifying the particular name of her husband or her nation.

The word “god” should be capitalized only when used as a proper noun.

There is a very good reason for using the more general “her god”: it places her personal beliefs on an equal level with all other theistic beliefs. It does not elevate belief in her god over and above someone else’s belief in their god.

The comment hurts your case and reduces it to school yard banter.

Only with people unfamiliar with proper English grammar, I suppose.

November 13, 2009 at 8:44 am
(12) Tom says:

Austin I am afraid you are a fool. Welcome your loss of freedom, but don’t expect me to do the same. I know the kind of person you are. You are freedom hating and most likely a homosexual. You also clearly are ridden with “white guilt” and you fear offending anyone who belongs to a minority group. I’m not and I call it as I see it. Freedom is indeed being stripped from us on a daily basis and if you fail to see that then you truly are a fool.

November 13, 2009 at 9:25 am
(13) Austin Cline says:

Austin I am afraid you are a fool.

Feel free to show how, if you can.

Welcome your loss of freedom, but don’t expect me to do the same.

I haven’t lost any freedoms, and you don’t identify any freedoms of yours that are threatened.

I know the kind of person you are. You are freedom hating and most likely a homosexual.

You don’t know me at all, so I wonder why you feel the need to pretend. Oh, I think I know: you can’t address or rebut any of the arguments I make, so all that’s left to you are superficial, puerile, and personal attacks.

You also clearly are ridden with “white guilt” and you fear offending anyone who belongs to a minority group.

You mean, I don’t approve of treating minorities as if they were inferior? That’s true.

I’m not and I call it as I see it. Freedom is indeed being stripped from us on a daily basis and if you fail to see that then you truly are a fool.

Curious how those “losses” can’t be listed specifically.

November 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm
(14) Tom says:

Feel free to show how, if you can.

For not seeing the forest for the trees.

I haven’t lost any freedoms, and you don’t identify any freedoms of yours that are threatened.

Sure, there are many. Where to start? How about the health care bill that is going to be forced upon the people. Where I will be forced to get insurance otherwise I will be liable to fines and jail for failure to pay said unlawful fines. That is freedom to you? Sounds like socialism to me. If I want to live my life without insurance that is my prerogative.

The fact that the government can and does know some of the most personal details about my personal life and can listen to any telephone conversation at any time for whatever reason they deem “worthy.”

The fact that we are taxed on every facet of our lives from when we make our money to when we spend it. That sounds like freedom to you?

You don’t know me at all, so I wonder why you feel the need to pretend. Oh, I think I know: you can’t address or rebut any of the arguments I make, so all that’s left to you are superficial, puerile, and personal attacks.

Actually you can tell a lot about a person from the things they write. From what I’ve read, you write well, but I believe that your viewpoints are skewed. Maybe some soul searching would do you well. Sorry, I forgot you don’t believe you have one.

You mean, I don’t approve of treating minorities as if they were inferior? That’s true.

When did I ever say that minorities are inferior? I don’t recall saying that, in fact I believe I said that I am not afraid to say what I think for fear of offending some persons sensibilities. All men are created equal.

Curious how those “losses” can’t be listed specifically.

I have listed a few there are many, many more.

November 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm
(15) Austin Cline says:

How about the health care bill that is going to be forced upon the people. Where I will be forced to get insurance otherwise I will be liable to fines and jail for failure to pay said unlawful fines.

You mean, as is already done with car insurance and some people with flood insurance?

Sounds like socialism to me.

What do you think the definition of socialism is?

If I want to live my life without insurance that is my prerogative.

Does your state allow you to drive without car insurance?

The fact that the government can and does know some of the most personal details about my personal life and can listen to any telephone conversation at any time for whatever reason they deem “worthy.”

You do know, don’t you, that this is something the ACLU fight against? Besides, what you describe is “privacy,” not a “freedom.” At most privacy is a “right,” assuming of course you believe that you have a “right to privacy.” Do you?

The fact that we are taxed on every facet of our lives from when we make our money to when we spend it. That sounds like freedom to you?

I don’t find taxes to be an inherent infringement on freedom.

Actually you can tell a lot about a person from the things they write.

Depends on how much of it you read and how skilled you are at reading comprehension.

From what I’ve read, you write well, but I believe that your viewpoints are skewed.

Feel free to show how.

Maybe some soul searching would do you well.

Unlike you, you mean?

When did I ever say that minorities are inferior?

When did I claim I fear offending anyone who belongs to a minority group?

I have listed a few there are many, many more.

I haven’t noticed in your comment any actual freedoms that you used to have but have since lost.

November 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm
(16) Tom says:

You mean, as is already done with car insurance and some people with flood insurance?

That logic is flawed. The minimum I am required to have with regards to auto insurance is liability and with good reason. There is a chance I may deprive someone of life or property should I be at fault in an accident with another vehicle. So by that logic I need liability heath insurance in case I get someone else sick. Superb job comparing apples to oranges.

I don’t find taxes to be an inherent infringement on freedom.

How so? It is an infringement on your financial freedom. If my income was taxed once I wouldn’t have a problem as it is crucial to operating what should be a small and very limited government. However I am taxed when I make my money. Then when I go to the store and purchase something it is taxed yet again. Then because the government is so generous they offer me back what I overpayed during the course of the year as a “refund.” I suppose you like loaning your money interest free?

What do you think the definition of socialism is?

Socialism is the government control and regulation of all resources of a society. While that is all well and good on paper, the reality is it just DOES NOT work.

So many in this country have a sense of entitlement and think that they are owed something. You see all men are created equal. That means they all have an equal chance to make something of themselves. They however, are not equal in the sense that everyone is handed success which is how some . You are what you make yourself.

From what I’ve read, you write well, but I believe that your viewpoints are skewed.

This current post isn’t exactly Athiest related (see I capitalized your belief), but I’ll go for it in what I mean when I said your logic is skewed. The evidence you need for God is all around you. It’s staring you right in the face and that is the Universe and everything in it. The complexity of these systems is just too great for it to be mere chance.

It cannot happen at random. The simple fact that this planet is the perfect distance from this star to harbor life is proof. It is extremely rare for a planet to be in this perfect position.

The systems in place on this planet that keep it from becoming a barren, cold (or hot) chunk of rock in space is another glaring example.

Evolution was created by God and it makes perfect sense. That law was set in place so that the creatures He created on THIS planet (I don’t believe God created only one planet with life and why would He?) would be able to adapt to the changing climate as the Earth itself ages.

The laws of physics. Clearly intelligence went into it’s creation or the Universe would literally tear itself apart. It’s like a programmer cleaning up the bugs in his script or program. If there were no laws governing the physical universe then there would be no point in it’s current state.

The Bible which as I have seen in your blogs you consider a control tool is what it is. A book written by men in all their flaws and imperfections in their interpretation of a perfect God. They didn’t have the technology to explain HOW God does the things he does like Science is beginning to. They could only explain WHAT he did. Now he as given us the tools so that he doesn’t need to create the Scientific conditions for a miracle to occur. That is what I believe a miracle is. At least the good ones we can’t do. It is like a Science experiment that you can’t and don’t have the conditions to replicate it over and over. It will not happen unless He creates those conditions again or gives us the tools to do so in the future through invention. After all He is the Architect of the Universe.

The Heavens and Science are one in the same. It’s all about prospective. He is there and is giving us over time the ability to take care of ourselves without having to pray to him for menial and simple tasks. He wants us simply to appreciate what he has provided for us all until the day we die and rejoin the Universe from which we came with Him in Heaven. It is all linked and it’s obvious to me.

Yes I know my last few paragraphs are off topic in regards to Freedom’s lost in America, back to your reply.

I haven’t noticed in your comment any actual freedoms that you used to have but have since lost.

One doesn’t neccesarily have to lose all freedom for it to be an assault on the Constitution. Anything that limits in anyway my Constitutional rights is a LOSS of FREEDOM.

My right to bear arms to protect my life, property, and family. In my state I was required to get what is a called a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) which goes against the second ammendment of the United States Constitution which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Many, including some lawyers and judges misinterpret this as only pertaining to Militia. It is actually two rights in one. The right to assemble a militia and the personal right to firearms to protect your life, property, and your rights. You cannot create a militia if you do not have the weapons to do so. “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” means what it means.

Habeus Corpus is non-existant if you should be unfourtunate enough to be called an enemy combatant which believe me at some point in time there will be someone wrongfully accused. It just happens with any government. That is one of the most important rights there is and it was put in place to keep you for being held without being charged with a crime. It literally means to bring me the body, or better yet, bring the accused before me. Now while I couldn’t care much for terrorists denied this freedom that aren’t American what if it does happen to an American? The potential is there and therefore is a loss of freedom.

I really could go on and on. The examples are limitless. There are thousands upon thousands of laws on the books for a supposedly “free” society. If we are so free why so many laws? Some are neccesary, but I am almost certain most are laws that have no place in the United States of America.

November 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm
(17) Austin Cline says:

Superb job comparing apples to oranges.

Superb job with conveniently ignoring flood insurance.

But regardless, the analogy with car insurance is only flawed if you believe either that being forced to buy insurance isn’t an inherent loss of freedom or, if it is, it’s outweighed by the benefits in this case. Either way, it undermines your complaint that being forced to buy health insurance is a loss of freedom because you don’t explain why it’s a loss of freedom in this case.

How so? It is an infringement on your financial freedom.

Having to pay for anything is an infringement on my financial freedom. I do not, however, have a right to “financial freedom” like I have a right to free speech.

What do you think the definition of socialism is?

Socialism is the government control and regulation of all resources of a society.

That is incorrect. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. Regardless, feel free to explain how a requirement to buy health insurance is any more “government control and regulation of all resources of a society” than the requirement to buy car or flood insurance.

So many in this country have a sense of entitlement and think that they are owed something.

Right, like people who don’t like to pay taxes.

You see all men are created equal. That means they all have an equal chance to make something of themselves.

Do they, in reality?

From what I’ve read, you write well, but I believe that your viewpoints are skewed.

This current post isn’t exactly Athiest related (see I capitalized your belief)

Which is a demonstration of how skewed your own viewpoints are: atheism isn’t a belief and it isn’t a proper noun which is supposed to be capitalized.

The evidence you need for God is all around you. It’s staring you right in the face and that is the Universe and everything in it.

Feel free to show how. Yes, our planet is currently at the right distance for life to form, but how is that evidence for a god?

The complexity of these systems is just too great for it to be mere chance.

Who has argued that complexity arises from “mere chance”?

Evolution was created by God

OK, prove it.

The Heavens and Science are one in the same.

OK, prove it.

I haven’t noticed in your comment any actual freedoms that you used to have but have since lost.

One doesn’t neccesarily have to lose all freedom for it to be an assault on the Constitution.

I didn’t ask for a demonstration that you have lost “all freedom,” just a list of actual freedoms you had but do not have now.

My right to bear arms to protect my life, property, and family. In my state I was required to get what is a called a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) which goes against the second ammendment of the United States Constitution

Well, then, take it to court.

“SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” means what it means.

And what does it mean, no restrictions or regulations of any sort?

Habeus Corpus is non-existant

And who is responsible for that?

Remember, this blog post is about an attack on the ACLU for contributing to a loss of freedom, so what do you think the ACLU’s stand is on habeus corpus?

There are thousands upon thousands of laws on the books for a supposedly “free” society. If we are so free why so many laws?

That question only makes sense if one presumes that laws and freedom are necessarily contrary rather than complimentary. Unless and until you can support that premise, the question is irrelevant.

Some are neccesary, but I am almost certain most are laws that have no place in the United States of America.

Almost, but not completely – which means you don’t have much of a basis for supporting the premise behind your question.

November 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(18) Tom says:

Look, flood insurance is something required by the bank to get financing should you live in a flood zone. That’s not exactly the government though they do have a hand it in it. You are still comparing apples to oranges and you have no argument.

Car insurance is again a bit different. I don’t have to drive anywhere and as long as I don’t have a vehicle that I am using on public roads then the government cannot force me to do anything.

Forced health care is illegal and against the Constitution. Why is the government making choices for me a good thing? What happened to being responsible for yourself and only to yourself and family? Do you really like such a loss of independence? It just one more step in the fall of a great Republic.

Don’t you see? If you allow these small liberties to be taken away then that makes it all the easier for the more important ones to be taken as well. One day, Austin, you will wake up in chains so to speak and wish you had cherished your freedom and not squandered it away as if it could never be stolen from you.

Do they, in reality?

Yes all men have a chance. I have personally seen people including myself pull themselves from nothing and make something of themselves. You cannot make up for something who flunks out because they are just not cut out for what they thought they could pursue. Or they just don’t know how to get out of their situation or whatever the case is. One cannot blame others for their own situations. Self responsibility.

Right, like people who don’t like to pay taxes.

Fail to see how not liking to pay excess taxes is somehow being entitled to something. Sounds like wanting to pay your fair share and keep what’s truly yours.

My definition of socialism is correct. You basically said the same thing I did. Control would imply ownership.

I didn’t ask for a demonstration that you have lost “all freedom,” just a list of actual freedoms you had but do not have now.

I have listed them. Numerous rights lost. Just because it’s not totally gone doesn’t mean it’s any less significant. This is what people are talking about when they say rights are lost.

And what does it mean, no restrictions or regulations of any sort?

Let’s not be ridiculous here. Of course you don’t want felons or what not getting guns, but that’s what all the checks are there for when you purchase a gun. You are not being infringed upon for the small waiting period when you buy a gun. When you have to wait a month or longer for a “FOID” to come in the mail that is an infringement.

Remember, this blog post is about an attack on the ACLU for contributing to a loss of freedom, so what do you think the ACLU’s stand is on habeus corpus?

Why do we need some group always to affect change in this country? By the people for the people. We don’t need some group to remind us and “fight” of our civil liberties. You’d better know it on your own. The ACLU is nothing but well meaning WACK JOBS. You have to do it right in the first place.

On evolution you can see the sudden and nearly spontaneous explosions of life the first time life appeared and after EACH and EVERY extinction period. That life just didn’t appear out of thin air.

Who has argued that complexity arises from “mere chance”?

Call it what you will. This existence wouldn’t be if something didn’t have a hand in it.

Feel free to show how. Yes, our planet is currently at the right distance for life to form, but how is that evidence for a god?

And it has been for billions of years. The timescale of God is not the timescale of man. You have to remember that. That “7 days” in the Bible IS NOT LITERAL. That 7 days could be 7 billion years, hell even LONGER.

There is probably no way I can convince you that God exists over the net and I really don’t intend to try that hard. I can see it, but if you don’t want to, then more power to you. And yes atheism is a belief. You believe that there is no intelligent design to the universe and therefore is a belief system. You cannot have it both ways.

November 16, 2009 at 9:52 am
(19) fauxrs says:

One doesn’t neccesarily have to lose all freedom for it to be an assault on the Constitution. Anything that limits in anyway my Constitutional rights is a LOSS of FREEDOM.

By this argument one claims the Constitution is taking away freedoms. The govt’s ability to tax is written into the constitution, your states right to tax is written into its constitution. Not all states are equal in this regard, I’m pretty sure there are some states do not have sales tax, there are some states that have no income tax either.

All of these taxes are the right of goverernment written into their respective constitutions, they pay for the services we all use. You may not use these services, you may not like these services, but if you live in a state with said taxes, you are required to pay them according to the constitution.

Fail to see how not liking to pay excess taxes is somehow being entitled to something. Sounds like wanting to pay your fair share and keep what’s truly yours.

Define excess, what would be an equitable tax rate? and why would it be equitable and would it be sufficient to support the country? You would have a strong career in politics if you have these numbers, please share them.

When you have to wait a month or longer for a “FOID” to come in the mail that is an infringement.

I guess you live in Illinois, the law for that card has been in place since 1968 hardly a recent infringement, but in truth is it really an infringement? Did it prevent you from acquiring the firearm you wanted?

I find you to be quite reasonable in regards to firearm background checks, Illinois law requires that you have the FOID within 30 days of the reciept of application and Illinois is the only state I’m aware of with such a long waiting period.

In fact there is no federal waiting period that I’m aware of though there is a background check required by the Brady act. Currently, 92% of Brady background checks through NICS are completed while the FBI is still on the phone with the gun dealer .In rare cases, a gun purchaser may have to wait for up to three business days if the NICS system fails to positively approve or deny his/her application to purchase a firearm. If a denial is not issued within those three days, the transfer may be completed at that time.

So it sounds like the state is your problem, not the federal govt.

November 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm
(20) elentir says:

I view the public health care option in the same light as our current education system. Government requires all children to be enrolled in some form of education system and, in addition, provides public schools as an option. This is not socialism nor is it illegal or violating the Constitution.

November 21, 2009 at 11:25 am
(21) Todd says:

Tom,

You are an intensely ignorant person. Finish reading ‘Going Rogue’ and don’t interrupt. Adults are talking here.

November 21, 2009 at 11:40 am
(22) John Hanks says:

Right-wingers are totally enslaved by their moral and intellectual cowardice and laziness.

November 21, 2009 at 11:43 am
(23) Weemaryanne says:

It’s interesting how Tom refers to the government as “they” when in a democracy the government is actually “we.”

November 21, 2009 at 11:56 pm
(24) Beatnik Bob says:

You might want to worry about how much corporations know about you, about how much power corporations have over your life – what you see, what you do, even what you eat. How much freedom do you have to make them do anything? Even if you are a stockholder? Sorry, they make the rules and donate to the lawmakers who let them.

November 23, 2009 at 5:36 am
(25) pandamonk says:

Tom – “You believe that there is no intelligent design to the universe and therefore is a belief system. You cannot have it both ways.”

Belief in a negative (no god, no intelligent design) is a lack of belief. Therefore atheism, per se, is a lack of belief system. A belief system can include a lack of belief, but lack of belief is not a belief system in itself.

November 28, 2009 at 8:41 am
(26) Tim says:

Tom, one thing overlooked. If you don’t have to carry insurance and you get in an accident or become seriously ill, who has to pick up that tab? When that bill runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and you are financialy ruined , who ultimately gets stuck with that bill?

December 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm
(27) The Big Won says:

Austin, you’re pretty good at deflecting criticism without actually addressing it (i.e., “Feel free to show me…”) I take issue with something you wrote a few comments up– Your suggestion that forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do is not immoral can be argued until the end of time. I think you must agree, however, that the American character, whether you happen to like it or not, is built upon the notion that someone else may NOT ever make you do something you don’t want to do. I recognize that this is never going to be completely true. There is always going to be a ruling class that forces the masses to do what they want, but I also think Americans get through their lives believing they can resist such measures when exhibited in an obvious, overt manner. For example, I can’t really control what taxes the government is going to come up with to make me pay for their mistakes. They’re rich, I’m not. I’m the peasant, ultimately, I do what I’m told. But I do have the right to refuse an unwarranted search of my motor vehicle during a routine traffic stop. There will still be consequences, but I have, at the very least, stood my ground as much as a peasant possibly can. I think it is very dangerous to assume it is ever OK to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. Is that not oppression? As a minority (atheist) in this country, do you not appreciate this every time someone denounces your way of life simply because you do not believe the same thing he or she does?

December 24, 2009 at 5:15 am
(28) Austin Cline says:

Austin, you’re pretty good at deflecting criticism without actually addressing it (i.e., “Feel free to show me…”)

That’s not “deflecting” criticism, that’s challenging a person to provide substantive backing to their criticism. If a person cannot support their assertions, their criticism isn’t worth taking seriously. It’s not serious or substantive criticism for a person to mere make an assertion that you’re wrong or that some alleged state of facts contradicts you.

I take issue with something you wrote a few comments up– Your suggestion that forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do is not immoral can be argued until the end of time.

Not really. There is nothing inherently and necessarily immoral about forcing a person to do something they don’t want. If that were the case, then it would be immoral to force a child to eat their vegetables, or to force a person to not murder a spouse who cheated on them.

I think you must agree, however, that the American character, whether you happen to like it or not, is built upon the notion that someone else may NOT ever make you do something you don’t want to do.

No, I don’t agree. Feel free to provide evidence showing that you’re right.

I think it is very dangerous to assume it is ever OK to force someone to do something they don’t want to do.

Thank you for making it clear that you intend this assertion in such an absolute, unqualified way. It is precisely because it’s stated so absolutely and without qualification that it’s wrong — it leads to absurd conclusions, like those I mention above, which no sensible adult would ever agree to.

Is that not oppression?

No, the mere existence of force is not equivalent to oppression.

As a minority (atheist) in this country, do you not appreciate this every time someone denounces your way of life simply because you do not believe the same thing he or she does?

No, because I don’t have a problem with disagreement with me. What’s more, I can recognize that not everything is an absolutist, black-or-white issue. I don’t see every use of force as immoral or oppressive. I don’t see every expression if disagreement or condemnation as oppressive — that’s what Christians do when they complain about their religion being criticized.

December 24, 2009 at 11:32 am
(29) The Big Won says:

Ah, now I see who you are. You’re the person who argues with anything no matter how absurd you might sound in the process.

Carry on, dummy.

(To respond to you ahead of time, the proof is in your comments. Find it yourself, dummy!)

December 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm
(30) Austin Cline says:

Ah, now I see who you are. You’re the person who argues with anything no matter how absurd you might sound in the process.

Challenging people to support their claims isn’t “arguing with anything no matter what.” Pehaps you are accustomed to people simply taking everything you say at face value, never expecting you to be able to support anything you say, but standards around here are a bit higher than that.

(To respond to you ahead of time, the proof is in your comments. Find it yourself, dummy!)

It’s clearly easier to simply toss around personal attack against others than to provide serious, substantive support for one’s claims. Usually, people who focus on the former to the exclusion of the latter are incapable of providing the latter — and they know it, too. The insults are thus just their way of boosting their ego again.

December 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(31) Intellectual Fart says:

Ms. Cline strikes me as the kind of woman who has never had an orgasm.

December 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm
(32) Austin Cline says:

So let’s add to your litany of attempts to overcome feelings of inferiority:

Post under a new name so you can pretend to not be the only person with your opinions
Pretend that referring to another person as female is some sort of insult
Call yourself “smarter than you” in your email, as if that were somehow subtly clever

They’re all just lame substitutions for creating something like a reasoned, substantive argument backed by evidence and logic. It would be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic.

December 25, 2009 at 7:37 am
(33) Austin Cline says:

FYI, “Big Won” keeps trying to post under my name and I’m deleting their comments. It’s an effective demonstration of just how little this person has to offer adult conversation.

January 2, 2010 at 10:18 am
(34) Orlin Sellers says:

Mr. Cline,
Let me see if I have this correct. Your contention is that Americans have lost no freedoms since 1776. Is that correct?

January 2, 2010 at 11:57 am
(35) Austin Cline says:

In fact, I think Americans have gained significant freedoms since 1776. You know, little things like “no more slavery” and “wow, women can vote too.”

January 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm
(36) orlin sellers says:

Mr. Cline,
Voting is a privilege, not a right, not every American is free to vote and likewise, though there may be laws against slavery, it does still exist. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say you have a point. In 1776 any American was allowed to carry any weapon of his choice openly and freely, as a matter of fact, it was encouraged, according to Thomas Jefferson. Has that 2nd amendment right and freedom been nullified or have we lost that freedom. There is only one correct answer.
Consider the right to be secure in our persons & papers, yet, we have warrantless searches, people carrying cash and having it stolen by government agents under the presumed guilt that anyone with cash is a drug dealer; and if you’re driving say goodbye to your vehicle. This is what you are calling more freedoms.
Consider the right to not incriminate yourself? Yet, every year hundreds of thousands of citizens are forced to incriminate themselves with breathalyzer tests. Where is the freedom to not incriminate yourself. Refuse and you are guilty in a court of injustice. Please explain how this is more freedom than we had in 1776.
Jose Padilla is an American citizen who was deprived of his right to Corpus Habeas. Once this travesty happens to one of us, it can easily happen to any of us. This is freedom? The right to be carted of to a secret prison with no charges filed and no right to an attorney?
None of us now have the right to access analog TV. Perhaps this is not a loss of freedom but it is a government created scarcity that denies Americans choice.
From your comment to me and the others I’ve read would lead one to believe you think affirmative action and eminent domain are additional freedoms we have gained since 1776.
However, me thinks, regardless that this is an atheism site, that you do worship, adore and adulate the totalitarian GodState.

January 2, 2010 at 11:39 pm
(37) Austin Cline says:

Voting is a privilege, not a right

So? You asked about “freedoms,” not “rights.” Ergo, it sounds like you’re saying that voting is not a “freedom,” thus people who are not allowed to vote should not be considered “less free.” Yet, people who aren’t able to carry around any sort of firearm they wish are “less free.” So, in your world freedom is measured by one’s ability to openly carry weapons but not by one’s ability to vote, not be enslaved, etc.

And what color is the sky in your world, exactly?

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say you have a point. In 1776 any American was allowed to carry any weapon of his choice openly and freely

So? White Amerians were allowed to beat black slaves, but not being allowed to do that now is not a loss of freedom.

In other words, not every restriction that exists today is actually a loss of freedom.

However, me thinks, regardless that this is an atheism site, that you do worship, adore and adulate the totalitarian GodState.

Prove it.

But be sure to get your terminology and facts straight this time.

January 3, 2010 at 1:41 am
(38) orlin sellers says:

Mr. Cline said:
So? You asked about “freedoms,” not “rights.” Ergo, it sounds like you’re saying that voting is not a “freedom,” thus people who are not allowed to vote should not be considered “less free.” Yet, people who aren’t able to carry around any sort of firearm they wish are “less free.” So, in your world freedom is measured by one’s ability to openly carry weapons but not by one’s ability to vote, not be enslaved, etc.

You will have to excuse me since I neither understand nor speak jibberish. If you care to state whatever it is you are trying to say in clear, plain, simple English I will be happy to respond.

I see no reason to bring up slavery since I ceded that you may have a point. It was a clever, distraction, though.

In regards to asking me to ‘prove it’ that you are a worshiper of your GodState, there is no need. Even a one-eyed potato can see it from your responses.

For you to say that we have not lost any freedoms, but have actually gained freedoms since 1776 sounds like something from the puritan’s intellectual graveyard.

No rational human being, or a moron, would believe that since the Law of the Land was written on single sheet of parchment to the room filled with bookcase after bookcase filled from floor to ceiling with volume after volume of laws, more laws and even more laws written by corrupt, bought off, scrofulous scoundrels would include anything giving the yokels more freedoms.

But, as a worshiper of the GodState you try to sell this nonsense. It is attracting flies.

January 3, 2010 at 7:44 am
(39) Austin Cline says:

You will have to excuse me since I neither understand nor speak jibberish.

So, the distinction between “right” and “freedom” is gibberish to you? That might explain a lot.

I see no reason to bring up slavery since I ceded that you may have a point.

Then you must also see the point that the loss of an ability to do something – like enslave a person, or beat a slave – is not necessarily the loss of a freedom.

In regards to asking me to ‘prove it’ that you are a worshiper of your GodState, there is no need. Even a one-eyed potato can see it from your responses.

In that case, it’s not necessary to “prove it” that we haven’t lost any freedoms – because even a one-eyed potato can see that it’s true.

See, anyone can play that game. Once a person abandons any pretense at being able or willing to support their claims, the entire basis of substantive conversation is abandoned. Good job.

No rational human being, or a moron, would believe that since the Law of the Land was written on single sheet of parchment to the room filled with bookcase after bookcase filled from floor to ceiling with volume after volume of laws, more laws and even more laws written by corrupt, bought off, scrofulous scoundrels would include anything giving the yokels more freedoms.

Right, all those books of law don’t include anything that protect, establish, or expand freedoms. Civil Rights legislation aren’t about expanding freedoms. Laws protecting women from being raped by their husbands don’t protect freedom. Laws that protect the ability of women to own property, or to get a portion of a marital estate, do nothing to them more freedom.

January 3, 2010 at 10:25 am
(40) Orlin Sellers says:

Mr. Cline,
In an earlier response I addressed several specific issues of loss of freedom, including the right to not incriminate one’s self, the right to freely arm one’s self, the right to be secure in one’s property and person. The loss of Habeas Corpus was ignored. Yet you chose not to respond to those specific examples which I included to ‘prove it’ to you. So the game playing here is being done by you, through your act of omission of addressing them.

While the issue is loss of American’s freedoms, you seem only particularly interested in only two special interest groups, women and blacks. Somehow you think laws in regards to these two groups have given them freedom which is the exact opposite of what truly has occurred.
No law will protect a women against rape, by her husband or anyone else. There have always been laws against rape. Rape is rape is rape. Yet, what the law has done is to make it difficult for a woman to protect herself against that violation of her body by infringing on her right to arm herself with a weapon and increasing her chance of a rapist being able to find vulnerable, unarmed victims.

Civil rights laws look good on paper, but do nothing to change a man’s heart, so they are quite useless. They actually took freedoms away from these people. An example would be integration laws. Laws that forced young black kide away from the schools in their own neighborhoods, put them on buses to travel, sometimes for hours, far from their homes, their families, their friends. I won’t mention the same loss of freedom for the young white kids who are not part of your ‘special interest
‘.
From 1776 until the Volstead and Harrison Acts, Americans were free to ingest any thing they pleased, from any source. Them those rights disappeared. Instead, citizens are now thrown in prison for using weeds and plants and it is even a crime to purchase raw milk. The loss of rights counts in the thousands, yet you persist with a ridiculous claim that we have gained rights by using your special interest groups to ‘prove it’. Consider that buncombe debunked.

You also made a claim that slaves were beaten. Prove it.
Do farmers still beat their workers today, for example, migrant workers?
I think not. Why would a slaveholder beat his means of production and disable or harm him? Why cause a person that he fed, clothed, and housed to become incapable of working efficiently and for the owneres own prosperity? Do you beat your computer?

No, my friend, it is plain as a wart on a bald head that we have indeed lost freedoms. But, don’t take my word for it, James Bovard has documented many, many, many, of them in his books as well as a multitude of other authors on the subject of lost rights.

You can rest assured that you will not end up like those in WACO whose right to follow any God they chose was infringed upon by death and destruction. Why? Because you worship the GodState. I look forward to your next illogical defense of your God.

January 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm
(41) Austin Cline says:

In an earlier response I addressed several specific issues of loss of freedom

No, you made several claims about a loss of freedom in particular areas. You did not cite evidence of any, or any significant, losses there.

While the issue is loss of American’s freedoms, you seem only particularly interested in only two special interest groups, women and blacks.

Whereas in your initial comment, you displayed a complete disregard for their experiences.

Somehow you think laws in regards to these two groups have given them freedom which is the exact opposite of what truly has occurred.

Right, because not being enslaved and being able to vote is the exact opposite of freedom.

No law will protect a women against rape, by her husband or anyone else. There have always been laws against rape.

FYI, forcing a wife to have sex has not always been a crime. Perhaps your disregard for the experiences of minorities is a product of ignorance of the experience of minorities.

Civil rights laws look good on paper, but do nothing to change a man’s heart, so they are quite useless.

Right, being able to sit in the front of the bus does nothing to affect attitudes towards blacks, therefore it was a useless acheivement.

They actually took freedoms away from these people. An example would be integration laws. Laws that forced young black kide away from the schools in their own neighborhoods, put them on buses to travel, sometimes for hours, far from their homes, their families, their friends.

Right, because there was no value in getting educated in a different school.

From 1776 until the Volstead and Harrison Acts, Americans were free to ingest any thing they pleased, from any source. Them those rights disappeared. Instead, citizens are now thrown in prison for using weeds and plants and it is even a crime to purchase raw milk.

All due to liberal hippies criminalzing… oh, wait.

You also made a claim that slaves were beaten. Prove it.

So not only are you ignorant of the experiences of minorities, you’re in denial as well.

Do farmers still beat their workers today, for example, migrant workers? I think not.

So, you don’t know? Never investigated? Just assume not and that’s it?

Why would a slaveholder beat his means of production and disable or harm him? Why cause a person that he fed, clothed, and housed to become incapable of working efficiently and for the owneres own prosperity?

Let me guess, you’re one of those whites who imagines that slavery was a good thing for blacks?

Because you worship the GodState.

Prove it.

Oh, wait, I forgot — you’re exempt from the rudimentary standard of adult conversation where one is willing and able to support their claims and accusations. Silly me. And here I though you were posting comments for some sort of substantive, serious reason. FYI, trolling — which is to say, posting to elicit a negative reaction without any interest in engaging others — is reason enough to ban a person and delete their comments.

January 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm
(42) Austin Cline says:

Any further comments from “Orin Sellers” will be deleted for trolling, as demonstrated by two short passages from a deleted comments:

1. “I wasn’t aware that loss of a freedom needed to be significant to be an infringement. And who decides what is significant, your GodState?”

2. “Yes, I agree, sitting in the front of a bus is a precious freedom.”

Clearly, Orin Sellers is just responding with what seems contrary and will create a negative reaction. At no point is a consistent coherent position being expressed, explained, or defended.

January 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm
(43) john hanks says:

I can’t imagine what the mental life of a right-wing liar is. They are just liars, bullies and thieves.

January 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm
(44) MrMarkAZ says:

Big Won Trollbait:

The bulk of your argument could be dispelled by that very famous quote: “One man’s right to throw a punch ends where the other’s nose begins.”

There is no such thing as “Christian” rights or “Christian” freedoms. There are rights and freedoms, period, and they extend to all citizens, regardless of race, gender, or belief system.

By necessity, this means that your right to your beliefs is not universal or absolute. The state can, and should, impose limits on actions and behaviors that may be part of the “free expression” outlined in the First Amendment but nevertheless are an infringement upon the rights of others.

No one says, for example, that Christians can’t preach that gays are evil and that abortion is murder.

However, this does not mean that you can kill homosexuals (as is commanded in Leviticus, among other places), or that you can assassinate abortion providers or those who fund them.

Those actions are clearly illegal, though they be consistent with certain religious dogmas, and you can and should be prevented from carrying out those actions. These are extreme examples; there are many more subtle and practical actions, such as requiring public employees to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety, or passing laws forbidding atheists from holding public office, that are similarly unconstitutional.

Note that the reverse does not automatically hold true. A secularist’s position that public school officials may not espouse religious beliefs while performing his or her job duties is not simply a matter of the secularist “forcing” his beliefs on a poor pious Christian. It is a matter of the secularist forcing the public school in question to adhere to the law.

Religious persons may indeed find that they are on the losing end of the law in many cases (though not all), and that is not an abrogation of their supposed rights, it is an insistence that they obey the same laws as everyone else.

Forcing religious people to adhere to secular governance may be is certainly dangerous, but it is very necessary, particularly in a post-9/11 world, where the oppressive and violent acts by theocratic regimes make the daily headlines.

January 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(45) Todd says:

Freedoms/rights come with responsibility, first and foremost, the responsibility (oppression?) of not violating the rights and freedoms of others. It’s called social contract – to live among other people, you forfeit some of your options with the promise that they too will forfeit the same options. It is the basis of civilization. If you don’t want to be murdered, you must not murder. If you violate the rights of others some of your rights might be removed. That’s not necessarily oppression. It’s usually called society.

January 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm
(46) Liz says:

For a long time, I have been perplexed by the claims that we are losing our freedoms. Like Austin says, it’s not really backed up with claims. There is a ton of sloganism – like that Obama is socialist or we are becoming a socialist nation. (On a side note, as someone who studies the period 1920-1950, I also find a LOT of misinformation about fascism and nazism! Those are convenient evil words, like socialism and communism, to say something is evil without actually saying how it’s evil…)

On the issue of health insurance, I am most perplexed by people who used to complain about their insurance. I know one person in particular, a small business owner, who has not been covered due to technicalities in policies on various insurance claims, and he has had problems with his health insurance. In short, we don’t talk about insurance with him because he can talk for over an hour, spewing venom about how horrible insurance companies are. Now, he is one of the people that doesn’t want to see reform! We try to point out his past attitudes, but he doesn’t see our point.

Also, as someone who has lived and worked in three European countries and therefore enjoyed the “socialist” coverage of single-payer, all I can do is think that many of these people are CRAZY!! They are so misinformed about how single-payer works. I chose my own doctor; I got tests in a timely manner; I could get second and third – and fourth! – opinion; there was never a question “is this covered?” Never a call to some bureaucrat to get payment or ask why something didn’t get paid. It was great. And the people working are top notch.

I agree with the car and flood insurance comparison and also think health care in a developed country like ours – that we are so proud of! – health care should be provided. We are wealthy enough and developed enough.

On the topic of taxes: who likes to pay taxes seriously? But how would you pave roads, maintain bridges, street lights, law enforcement, prisons, schools, armed forces…. etc. etc.?

January 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm
(47) Liz says:

BTW, again on taxes – go check out how much of our taxes just goes to paying our debt. Seriously. It’s incredible. Debt service, I think it’s called.

January 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm
(48) Tom Edgar says:

I would seriously contend that a point could be made supporting the anti “Health Insurance.” compulsory membership.

Even we in Australia subsidise all Insurers under our health system which is far superior to the American pas and future models.

Where America and Obama fails is where we too failed.
Let those who wish to contract Private Health coverage
do so. WITHOUT taxpayer contributions. But ALL people to be covered by a compulsory health scheme administered by the Federal Government.

Socialism? That is the people caring for the people. Yep!!
Beats the hell out of what you have at the moment, that is people not giving a damn about others less well off, and vulnerable.

Am I my brother’s keeper? If he needs my help…and I can…… Sure am.

January 7, 2010 at 6:54 am
(49) Zack says:

It seems to me that voting certainly is a right. It is guaranteed by the 15th Amendment and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

We do not refer to the Bill of Privileges, and Congress did not pass the Voting Privileges Act of 1965.

If I am missing something here, please clarify.

January 7, 2010 at 6:57 am
(50) Zack says:

Tom @ (47): IMHO, it is a national scandal that a nation as rich as the United States does not provide effective and efficient universal health care.

January 8, 2010 at 3:38 am
(51) Tom Edgar says:

Permit me to elaborate the Edgar Health Scheme doctrine.

All citizens shall have deducted from their income a set percentage for health coverage. Bills will be paid by this central authority to 80% of the bill. The extra 20% shall be the responsibility of the patient who may, if they wish, take out private insurance coverage for the balance. The private insurers shall in no way receive payment from the Government Agency.

Those on pensions or disability allowances, unemployed, etc,., will be covered in full.

This of course the bare bones as there are many complex decisions e.g. set fees for operations. Broadly speaking it is the situation in place in many countries, with variations, and the U S A is far richer than all of them so there is no excuse why it couldn’t have a superior health delivery service for all it citizens instead of the second rate one prevailing..

Compulsory membership of Private Health Insurance schemes will be welcomed by the Insurance Companies
with its income assured, and in all probability protected just like the Private banks. Compulsory investment on the Stock Market would be vehemently resisted. I see no difference to Compulsory membership of a Private (For Profit) Health insurance Corporation.

January 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm
(52) LeftWarrior says:

Compulsory private health insurance is not comparable to compulsory private car insurance or compulsory private flood insurance because the latter two aren’t really compulsory. You can choose between buying the insurance or going without a car/getting a house somewhere that’s not in an area prone to floods.

But what do you do to avoid having to buy health insurance? You can’t disown yourself.

I’m very liberal and even support oil nationalization, but this bill is a travesty. The government shouldn’t be passing a law guaranteeing the health insurance industry or any private industry customers. The government should pay for our health care. This is corporate welfare. Nothing short of government-funded health care is acceptable. The government shouldn’t force people to give money to private corporations. By forcing people to buy from them people lose the little democratic control they have through purchasing power. If I think health insurance companies are committing unethical acts I should be free to boycott them.

It doesn’t matter to me much how the government pays for the healthcare, but I think taking it out of the general fund would be the most efficient i.e. just pay for it with our income taxes. No need to create a new tax and add more paper work. That’s inefficient.

January 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm
(53) gphx says:

The idea that we are not born with certain rights and freedoms but are given them by the state is just scary and wrong. We are rapidly moving to a situation where the state is deity and the citizens demonized.

April 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm
(54) fugeguy says:

This whole conversation and the ignorance of it saddens the freedom lovers amongst us…

August 5, 2010 at 10:49 am
(55) Art says:

Are you serious? They were unalienable rights! Which means God-given and unable to be legislated against. Progressive losers aka communist and socialist traitors have brainwashed the population into believing things like Healthcare is a right, but if it is a right then one must enslave the provider and force them to either provide a service or force someone to pay for it. America’s heritage is what it is, and lying about it repeatedly wont change the truth. 100yrs of progressives trying to destroy our way of life is the cause of our current predicament. Notice we haven’t had more than 2 decades of consistent economic growth since the implimentation of excessive taxes and regulation. So get your facts straight. It is obvious your site is 100% propaganda with lil actual fact. Not that I would expect any more from someone deluded enough to think evolution created all this…funny the guy who mapped out DNA disagrees with you.

August 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(56) Austin Cline says:

Are you serious? They were unalienable rights!

Like?

Which means God-given and unable to be legislated against.

If that’s true, then no rights have been legislated against.

Progressive losers aka communist and socialist traitors have brainwashed the population into believing things like Healthcare is a right, but if it is a right then one must enslave the provider and force them to either provide a service or force someone to pay for it.

…because every right requires the enslavement of someone?

America’s heritage is what it is,

And what’s that?

100yrs of progressives trying to destroy our way of life is the cause of our current predicament.

Feel free to show how, if you can.

Notice we haven’t had more than 2 decades of consistent economic growth since the implimentation of excessive taxes and regulation.

And before that? Please cite your numbers and sources.

So get your facts straight.

So far all you’ve provided are unsupported claims, not facts.

It is obvious your site is 100% propaganda with lil actual fact.

And can you support this allegation?

Not that I would expect any more from someone deluded enough to think evolution created all this…

Denying evolution is as intelligent and sensible as denying plate tectonics.

funny the guy who mapped out DNA disagrees with you.

Citations, please?

Oh, I forgot, you don’t believe in backing up claims with evidence, right?

August 5, 2010 at 10:51 am
(57) Art says:

The Govt only has the power to do what we let them. Let’s return the power to the people and make an example out of these socialist scumbags who have blatantly disregarded the wishes of the American majority…who would have thought 20% of the population could ultimately destroy the American way of life and the prosperity that resulted from it.

August 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm
(58) Austin Cline says:

The Govt only has the power to do what we let them.

So whatever the government is doing now, it’s doing because the people want it.

Let’s return the power to the people and make an example out of these socialist scumbags who have blatantly disregarded the wishes of the American majority…

For example?

who would have thought 20% of the population could ultimately destroy the American way of life and the prosperity that resulted from it.

Indeed. I look forward to you supporting this claim.

August 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm
(59) dave Y. says:

Hey Austin, the Trollers are out in droves on this one.
I hate to agree with these moprons in any way, but they have lost a freedom that would be the most important one to them, but not that anyone should care about it.
they’ve lost the right to LIE tyo their children and tell them that being christian makes them SPECIAL to the Government, with the schools backing the LIE, as I said, no one should care about their loss, because they NEVER should have been allowed to ABUSE their childrens minds with such clap trap nonsense, the states in the south that pushed this nonsense as being important di it so the people would try to get their lives better by demanding better pay, living conditions and of course better education for their children, which has resulted in mass stupidity in areas that Xian fundamentalism is strong!
the simple truth is that the only freedom they’ve lost is the freedom to lie to their children and expect their children to believe their lies.
unfortunatly for them, no one with a mind cares! their going to have to get used to the reality that they were lied to, and that the lie is dead!
THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT EXPIERENCE BLISS FROM IGNORANCE ARE SLAVES!

August 17, 2010 at 6:18 pm
(60) Todd says:

“who would have thought 20% of the population could ultimately destroy the American way of life and the prosperity that resulted from it.”

Maybe our way of life is wrong.

We, as a nation, realized that the “way of life” that was slavery, segregation and the subjugation of women was wrong. Maybe we have been wrong about other things.

If our prosperity is the end, and the means are all justified… let’s bring back slavery and go to full on imperialism. The Romans enjoyed quite a bit of prosperity for far longer than the US has been a nation. Let’s go for it!

August 17, 2010 at 8:15 pm
(61) Lisa says:

I had to say something about the whole 2nd amendmnt issue to begin with. People usually forget the “to form a militia” part. Tom above, even uses it but totally dismisses what it means. The second amendment does not give everyone the right to go around willy nilly with assault weapons. It gives us as a country the right to protect ourselves. I am so tired of this amendment being misued.

As for health insurnce, let me tell you a little about myself. I have a master’s degree and 3 bachelor’s degrees. I work two part time jobs for an average of around 70 hours a week. Because both my jobs are part-time they don’t offer me health insurance. I make too much money for Medicaid. I make too much money for the free clinics or sliding scale clinics here. What happens to me if something terrible, like getting cancer or breaking a limb and requiring surgery happens? Do I just die because I don’t have health inusrance? Why is that an option for anyone in this country?

Oh, and before anyone says it, I can’t get private insurnce either due to pre-existing conditions. Anything I possibly could pay for on my own is way out of my price range because of this.

Why should having a serious illness bankrupt someone in this country? You don’t choose to be sick. You choose credit card bills, car payments, etc.

I am so sick of right-wingers who want to put down everything Obama has tried to do. Shut up about it already!

August 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm
(62) Tim says:

The only way I’ve found to cope with such rampant irrationality and hostile hypocrisy from fundamental theists is to maintain my own calm, rational approach to issues no matter what is said or done in an attempt to turn me into their warped idea of what it truly means to be an atheist. Maybe that approach will catch on one day and the fundamental theists will be exposed for the misanthropic power-hungry sociopaths they really are. As far as politics go, we have to peel away all these pointless political labels and tackle each problem from a fresh perspective informed by reliable information or we’ll never get anywhere. Since theists’ basic worldview eschews such a starting point, we are most likely going to be spinning our tires for quite some time.

May 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm
(63) dharmaprija says:

@LIZ: I am not making any argument against your position, I simply would like to provide the forum, folks, with some instances of how our rights are being infringed in the U.S.
RIGHTS & FREEDOMS WE HAVE NEEDLESSLY
LOST IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY
Through the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act and subsequent
executive directives and regulations, essential rights and freedoms
that were once guaranteed to all individuals have been substantially
degraded. Many Americans still do not realize the significance of
what we have lost. The resulting expansion of government powers,
and the erosion of 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendment
rights and freedoms have transformed the United States.
1st AMEND. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
The Patriot Act broadly expands the official definition of
terrorism, so that many domestic groups that engage in
nonviolent civil disobedience could very well find themselves
labeled as terrorists.The Govt. may now prosecute librarians or keepers
of any other records if they reveal that the govt.
requested info on their clients or members in the
course of an investigation. It has become a crime for these
individuals to try to safeguard your privacy or to tell you
that you are under investigation.
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF ASSOC.
Govt. agents may now monitor the 1st Amendmentprotected
activities of religious & political institutions, and
then infiltrate these groups with no suspicion of criminal
activity. This is a return to domestic spying on law-abiding
religious and political groups.
You may now be the subject of a government investigation
simply because of the political, activist, or advocacy
groups you are involved in, or the statements you make
within these groups.

May 31, 2013 at 2:21 pm
(64) dharmaprija says:

@LIZ: further Info on freedoms that HAVE been tampered with or infringed can be found in a few places such as:
http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/eroding_liberty.pdf
http://www.aclu.org/reform-patriot-act
Here is a site filled with info. on the destruction the Patriot Act levelled on our rights and freedoms in America. As an Atheist I am accustomed to people trying to shut me up, and worse, but I truly feel we need to fight to regain our lost liberties.
http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?civilliberties_patriot_act=civilliberties_patriot_act&timeline=civilliberties

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