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Austin Cline

Religious Right vs. Religious Left

By September 22, 2009

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There are plenty of both religious conservatives and religious liberals in America, but whereas religious conservatives have been politically organized and active for over 30 years, religious liberals have been relatively dormant. The "Social Gospel" movement was once as dominant as the Christian Right, but how many truly liberal or progressive religious leaders do you hear about now? Some are trying to change this and as the profile of the "Religious Left" grows, the differences between Left and Right become starker.

A recent survey of politically active religious conservatives and liberals revealed some interesting things:

In terms of religious affiliation, conservative activists are almost exclusively Christian, whereas progressive activists are more diverse. Among conservative activists, 54% identify as evangelical Protestant, 35% as Roman Catholic, and 9% with Mainline Protestantism. Among progressive activists, 44% identify as Mainline Protestants; 17% as Roman Catholics; 10% as evangelical Protestants; 12% as interfaith, mixed faith, or Unitarian; 6% Jewish; and 8% who have no formal religious affiliation or identify as formerly affiliated.

In terms of beliefs, conservative and progressive religious activists have strikingly different beliefs about scripture. Nearly half of conservatives (48%) view scripture as the literal word of God, a view held by only 3% of progressives.

In terms of practices, both groups of activists report religion is important in their lives at higher levels than the public at large. Among the conservative religious activists, 96% say religion is extremely or very important in their lives; among the progressive activists, that figure is 74%; among the public, it is 62%.

Source: Public Religion

None of this is surprising, except perhaps the wide different with Catholics — I would have expected a similar number with the Religious Left as the Religious Right. After all, Catholics are about the same as Protestants when it comes to attitudes towards birth control and abortion, but they are actually closer to Democrats on a host of policy issues like war, welfare, education, etc. Maybe it's just that these moderate, liberal, and progressive Catholics haven't been as politically mobilized as more conservative Catholics have already been.

The lack of diversity in the Religious Right is not at all surprising, but it is worth highlighting. America is becoming more religiously diverse, so a diverse Religious Left will be more reflective of America generally as time goes by than a more exclusively Christian Religious Right. There may be parallels here between the Religious Right representing an ever narrower segment of the population and the Republican Party doing the same.

Abortion. Conservative religious activists are nearly universally opposed to legalized abortion: 95% say either that abortion should be illegal in all cases (60%) or most cases (35%). In sharp contrast, 80% of progressive religious activists say abortion should be legal in all (26%) or most (54%) cases.

Gay and Lesbian Issues. On the issue of same-sex marriage, conservatives overwhelmingly oppose (82%) both same-sex marriage and civil unions, while nearly 6-in-10 (59%) progressives support same-sex marriage, and another third support civil unions.

Health Care. Only 6% of conservative religious activists agree that the U.S. should have comprehensive national health insurance even if it resulted in fewer choices for patients, compared to nearly 8-in-10 (78%) progressive activists who agree.

Environment. Only 13% of conservative activists agree that more environmental protection is needed even if it raises prices or costs jobs, compared to nearly 9-in-10 (87%) progressive activists who agree.

Torture. A significant majority of conservative religious activists say torture can often (25%) or sometimes (36%) be justified. Only 5% of progressive religious activists take either of those positions, with 79% saying torture can never be justified.

Iraq War. Conservative religious activists strongly back the war in Iraq, with an overwhelming majority saying it was either completely (35%) or probably (48%) justified. Progressive religious activists are staunchly opposed, with 80% saying it was completely unjustified and 13% saying it was probably unjustified. The two groups are also mirror images of each other on the so-called “Bush doctrine” of preemptive military action, with about three-quarters of conservatives supporting it and nearly the same proportion of progressive activists in opposition.

Role of Government and Taxes. Sixty-eight percent of progressive religious activists believe government should increase spending and provide more services; 89% say tax cuts should be directed toward lower income people. By even larger margins, conservative religious activists believe that government should provide fewer services and cut spending (86%). Sixty-one percent back tax cuts targeted at upper-income individuals.

Once again, no surprises here, but I think it's worth highlighting the degree to which the positions of the Religious Right seem more consistent conservative politics in America than with traditional Christianity. It's far easier to justify opposition to torture than support of torture through Christian doctrine. It's easier to support universal health care than opposition to universal health care through Christian doctrine.

Religion in public life. Conservative and progressive religious activists both support a role for religion in public life, but the groups have strongly diverging views of church-state separation. Eighty-one percent of progressive religious activists say the U.S. “should maintain a strict separation of church and state,” a position taken by only 21% of conservative activists. Nearly all conservative activists believe America was founded as a Christian nation, a view shared by only 37% progressive activists.

More than two-thirds of conservative religious activists say there was not enough public expression of faith and prayer by political leaders during the 2008 election, compared to only 5% of progressive religious activists. Among progressive activists, a majority (52%) say the amount of religious expression by political leaders in 2008 was about right.

The strong support for not just a "separation of church and state," but a strict separation of church and state is heartening to say the least. However, we must be careful not to read too much into that — after all, "religious expression by political leaders" has been growing in recent years and majority of the Religious Left thinks that it's at a fine state.

I'm not confident that most people, Left or Right, fully understand what strict separation really is or what it entails. It's not unusual for people to express support for separation but then make excuses or exceptions for "just a little bit" of religion which they happen to agree with. The more devout a person is, the harder strict separation can be for them — it's not impossible, but it does become harder and it requires more conscious, careful thought about matters.

September 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm
(1) Jeanette Jordan says:

I’m puzzled???????????

Why waste time talking about summat that does not exist?

Why waste time discussing people, who believe things that you do not?

Are you so lost and lonely, have so little in your life, that going on the attack is all you know how to do? Or merely envious of them?

Surely, it makes sense to avoid topics you don’t like, agree with, believe in?

You talk God, more than most Christians that I know sunshine!

A lifelong older Christian, who says it as it is, straight from the hip… no bible thumping here, I wouldn’t waste my time:-)

Look me up on Google and see what life has shown to me… God, ghosts, UFOs and more, oh, by the way, I come from a family of atheists… and everyone of them is unhappy with their life, just how you come across;-)

September 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

Why waste time talking about summat that does not exist?

Theism does exist.

Why waste time discussing people,  who believe things that you do not?

Because beliefs inform actions and people’s actions affect everyone.

Are you so lost and lonely, have so little in your life, that going on the attack is all you know how to do? Or merely envious of them?

Do you ask such questions about critiques of political, philosophical, and economic beliefs or do you assume that religious beliefs should be exempt from the same sort of scrutiny and discussion that other beliefs are subjected to?

I’ll point out that you’re doing exactly what you’re complaining about others doing: wasting time discussing something you don’t agree with.

Surely, it makes sense to avoid topics you don’t like, agree with, believe in?

Since no one does this in any other area — politics, science, philosophy — it clearly doesn’t make any sense at all. At least, it doesn’t make any sense to anyone else. So why do you think it makes sense?

Actually, it doesn’t seem to make sense to you either since here you are, not avoiding a topic you don’t agree with. So why shouldn’t atheists do something (critique claims and ideas they disagree with) that you are here doing yourself?

You talk God, more than most Christians that I know sunshine!

I don’t “talk God,” I talk about religion and theism. Do you comprehend the difference?

A lifelong older Christian, who says it as it is

Since so much of what you just wrote isn’t actually “as it is,” you might want to reconsider this.

I come from a family of atheists… and everyone of them is unhappy with their life, just how you come across;-)

So, criticism of religion makes a person come across as “unhappy”? You must have a serious problem with others openly disagreeing with you then. This forces me to not take seriously your claim that every atheist in your family is “unhappy” — unless of course they merely seem unhappy when in the presence of your misrepresentations of atheism. That would make anyone unhappy over time.

Maybe if you spent more time trying to understand atheists instead of making outlandish assumptions about atheists, it would be easier for atheists to be happy with you around?

September 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm
(3) DaveTheWave says:

Atheists talk about these things because we need to protect ourselves from religious nuts who are constantly trying to impose their myths on us. That requires organizing, discussion, etc.

Get educated!

September 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm
(4) DaveInLV says:

There (sic) plenty of both religious conservatives and religious liberals in America

Not just in America but the world over and they are always at each other’s throat and imposing their own unfounded beliefs on others, often at the point of a sword.

Anyway, my seventy years of existence on this planet made me arrive at the following conclusions:

1. Religious conservative: A moron
2. Religious liberal: An oxymoron

September 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm
(5) Mark Barratt says:

Comment 1 above reminds me of that article by Mary Kenny a while ago, where she talked about how atheists were all miserable (“Even their FUNERALS aren’t fun!”)

That merited the same response: They may be unhappy when YOU’RE around..

September 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(6) deegee says:

DaveTheWave, if I may add a few words in caps to your fine remark (you may have implied this)?

“Atheists talk about these things because we need to protect ourselves from religious nuts who are constantly trying to impose their myths on us THROUGH THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT. That requires organizing, discussion, etc.”

Jeannette, if you can convince the religious folks to stop trying to impose their religious beliefs via laws onto the rest of us, then we will have far less (not zero, because that is not the only place this happens, but to me the scariest place) to complain about.

September 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm
(7) DaveTheWave says:

Thank you deegee, I should have included that part! My bad

September 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm
(8) Jeanette Jordan says:

Seems your contempt is with religion, and the people who subscribe to it? So is mine.

God is not religion. God belongs to no one, no group can claim Him… all of us, every living thing, is an extension, a living part of God.

God is not a man with a beard (merely terminology) God is a force of unconditional love, the hub within the wheel, we, are the spokes, inside the wheel of life that can’t turn without us all, everything we do to one another, affects the wheel, strengthens, or, weakens it!

Religion, is a separate thing entirely, religious groups are formed by those who wish to control God, people, and people’s relationship with God, which of course, they never can. They use superstition and fear, as their tools, and God knows that.

On that we do agree.

Every group ever formed, even this one, has its own agenda.

Don’t do religion, never have, never will, never was accepted by the Christian church either, because of what I am. But I am for sure, a Christian.

No one tells me how to pray!

Cut out the middle man, straight to the top, always have, always will, ever since He knocked my door a lifetime ago, and I chose to let Him in, first of many NDEs, I was shown that’s the way for me;-)

Never had a Christian friend, every one an agnostic, or an atheist… it makes life interesting!

Every person is free to know the God you don’t believe in, without a human intermediary, without rules and ritual, without someone else telling them how, and controlling the relationship? So, hey, power to your elbow on that one!

And every person is free to reject God.

Don’t do conversion, don’t care if you never believe, it’s not my job to change your mind, it’s God’s. When it’s right for each. Eight, or eighty-eight, all meet Him face to face one day, and while you argue cases with Him, I’ll be watching and enjoying.

Your views can’t be proven, by your rules, when you’re dead that’s it, serious oblivion.

Mine, however, can, so I place my bet right here and now, on this horse, in this Derby, and I’m gonna win, inside God’s presence, and… I’ll shake hands on it!

I’m a good winner, don’t need prizes… and I never boast, promise:-)

September 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm
(9) Austin Cline says:

I’m a good winner, don’t need prizes… and I never boast, promise

Pascal’s Wager, about the worst apologetics argument in existence.

September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm
(10) deegee says:

Jeanette, YOUR views (that god exists) can’t be proven, either.

What if you die and it turns out that the one god is the Muslim one, and that you have been praying to the wrong one all along? That Muslim god will be far less annoyed with us atheists who hedged OUR bets and worshipped NO god, while that same muslim god will be pretty annoyed with you for worshipping the “false” Christian god.

I find it hard to separate god from religion when I see stories about the Westboro Baptist Church picketing various places here in New York (and elsewhere) with signs which read, “God Hates Fags”. Despicable stuff.


We atheists don’t believe in god so we will never believe that something which doesn’t exist will convert us.

September 23, 2009 at 5:07 am
(11) Jeanette Jordan says:

Austin Cline, that was no apology, that was a statement… I don’t apologise for loving God;-)

Neither do I seek to prove Him either, you’ll do that on your own eventually.

It’s a one on one experience, not a group hug and private membership, just like your one on one experience with your own parents and your individual children.

You have separate relationships with each, yet, you’re all still part of a whole family, though that one relationship, is always different and special in its own right.

And if like me you never had such loving parents, God works harder on you.

Deegee, there is only one God, all religions call on Him, whatever name they use, whatever faith they call it, all faiths lead right back to Him…

Muslims broke from them, as all religions did, when they needed to tweak the rules to suit their vices.

He’s one and the same to every calling.

Told ya sunshine, I said this same thing inside the sixties, way before it was fashionable for churches to start to hedge their bets and try it now. I said what I’d been shown and told, and the elders didn’t like it.

I was in my teens and twenties, went looking for the church that understood people like myself, people who never went looking for it, but who experienced paranormal happenings and saw things others didn’t. in my day, mediums were labelled evil by most churches. I only found one church that understood and accepted me, but, is never stayed, it was far too staid and repetitive in prayer for me. I knew god listened all the time, not in chanted answers to a priest, He heard me on the loo, wherever, and whatever I was doing, I could call and chat and use my normal speak, and He’d answer me:-)

Saying things I did to indoctrinated Christians, got me hated inside many churches I can tell you, scared them al to death, and since this was my argument as well, that not only Christians go to God, that all faiths do as well, I was shunned.

I discovered then, that there are more Christians outside church, than in it, far more God loving people, who never see the inside of a church, all, quiet believers with their own experience of God.

I was made to know it’s not what we call ourselves, not which path we take, there are many paths, and all lead the exact same way, just like the snakes and ladders board, there’s a beginning and an ending to the game.

When you choose God, the road is seriously rough, on every step you will be attacked by people like yourselves, it never ends.

We share the path with everyone, this journey through our lives, and on the way, we all slip down a lot of snakes, even atheists, and just have to keep on going, and somewhere along the way, He’ll make you know He’s there, start, finish line, or somewhere in between, you NEVER walk alone.

It’s how we treat each other while we do, that’s what it’s all about, that is what affords the calling card, and entry.

No one’s lost to God, even the most determined atheist, still belongs to Him, cos He’s inside us all and we’re in Him, all joined at the soul you don’t believe in.

No church, no rules, no religious service, can let you into Him, nor can it shut you out, only YOU have that power and that choice for yourself, not them. You can kick Him into touch, go out on the attack for reasons of your own on people who believe, and even then, like Saul, He will one day shake you to the core!

I don’t usually quote scripture, never was my bag, I merely witness what He’s done for me, it’s all I can do, and conversions not my game, but, somewhere it says, “There is more rejoicing in heaven when God reclaims a lost (atheistic, if you like) soul, than there is in welcoming a pious one.

That’s what it means about the ‘lost sheep’ too.

And here’s another thing, just an aside, you say all these things, go on the attack against God loving people, under an alias… I come out as me, exactly who I am, when I stand by God, who then, is the game player?

September 23, 2009 at 5:53 am
(12) Seth351 says:

Austin said: Pascal’s Wager, about the worst apologetics argument in existence.

Jeanette said: Austin Cline, that was no apology, that was a statement…

Hahahaha! I stopped reading there. You’re so ignorant you don’t know you’re ignorant. Classic Dunning-Kreuger effect.

September 23, 2009 at 6:36 am
(13) Austin Cline says:

Austin Cline, that was no apology, that was a statement… I don’t apologise for loving God;-)

I didn’t say you apologized.

You don’t have the slightest idea what apologetics is, do you?

God is not religion.

It would have been more accurate to stick with simply saying “God is not.”

Deegee, there is only one God, all religions call on Him, whatever name they use, whatever faith they call it, all faiths lead right back to Him…

So, people who follow Odin and believe in Valahalla really follow your god but don’t know it? It’s rather arrogant to presume this rather than that you are really following Odin but don’t know it.

Did you have anything substantive or serious to offer here?

September 23, 2009 at 8:41 am
(14) deegee says:

Jeanette, wouldn’t the Muslims claim that their god was the one and only god and it was everyone ELSE (except for us atheists who don’t believe in one) who broke from that?

Wasn’t it their faith and their god which caused 19 Muslims to fly some planes into American buldings about 8 years ago and kill about 3,000 people, most of whom believed in some other god (and a few who believed in no god)? That’s a little more than just a “vice”. WHy didn’t your almighty god kill the engines on those planes and sprare the lives of most of those Christian god-believing people that day?

Many of us here use aliases for privacy and personal protection. We do this as a practical measure no matter where we post and no matter what the topic is. Specifically to atheism, we know that atheists as a group are the most distrusted minority in America. [Austin has links to polls done on this topic.] Most people would never vote for an atheist to be elected to political office even though the Constitution states that there shall be no religious test to be elected to one.

I have to laugh at all your claims that even atheists “belong” to your god. I don’t belong to anyone, Jeanette. I don’t want anything foreign to my body crawling around inside it. I have the power to make the free choice NOT to believe in god, the same way I have the power to make the free choice NOT to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. To me and to all atheists, they are equally relevant and real.

I share Austin’s final remark in Comment 13: “Do you have anything substantive or serious to offer here?” All you have done is write the usual stuff theists have written here, minus the scripture we don’t believe in to begin with. Perhaps that means you drank a less lethal type of Kool-Aid?

September 23, 2009 at 9:32 am
(15) Jeanette Jordan says:

Seth351 and Austin Cline:

You sound exactly like my youngest son, he’s 26, love him to bits, yet he says things like that because he has Asperger’s syndrome, can’t ever empathise with another person’s needs or views, at all. He has a hell of a high IQ, then, many AS people do, Bill Gates being the most famous, bet ya didn’t know that, did you?


Like people here, my son dismisses out of hand, what he cannot see, loses his rag when he can’t win an argument about God. He belongs to an atheist network, which is why I cruised, out of curiosity, to see just what affects his thinking, it’s interesting stuff!

Never tried conversion on him, I don’t go to church, have no ritualistic thinking, habits, etc, apart from a crucifix, have no religious icons… decided long ago, it’s a journey he must make alone, just as I have. Never buy religious stuff, never have, yet, oddly, across the years, he’s bought me, three gold crucifixes, an angel ornament, a religious poem in a frame and many Christian items. Funny really, he’s an atheist… I’m a quiet private Christian, so much so, an agnostic friend of fifty-four years standing, said recently, “I never knew you were a Christian, but I always knew that you were different.” She never knew about the mediumistic stuff either. What she knew, was that I never judge, condemn, bad mouth, or make an argument personal, seemingly, that’s what made me ‘different’

Contrary to what some have said in here, I’ve never preached religion, nor, preached God, I’m licensed too… yep… for my sins… once, I meant to, but, just couldn’t see it as the way to go. Prefer what Jesus did myself, mixing with unlikely people… he never used the church, he went out to real people, made church folk furious, cos he told them they could pray and share God’s love direct, without needing an intermediary. He threatened their livelihood… worse than that, their control of people.

I’ve never preached religion to anyone outside, not about to start now, certainly not to any of my six children, five of whom are well inside their forties, live far away from me, their jobs/relationships, meant moving on, yet, I am told that they have begun to find God for themselves. Can’t lay that one at my door!

I live by rules of putting others needs first.

With agnostics and atheists all around me, my caring nature means that I’m an idiot, when things go wrong for me (their words) they tell me this quite fervently, say that I ask for everything I get, which usually means materialistic loss, because I lost my home, and say that if I had been/was, more selfish, had taken more for me across the years, then my life would be much better than it often is.

I tell them, “You can own the world, and never find peace inside yourself. I am very lucky, what I’ve shared with God, the miracles and blessing, nothing phases me inside my soul, and I have the answer that is right for me, respect that as my right!”

“You care too much, no one cares these days.” is just one of my son’s favourite saying. He pushes at the boundaries of my love, believing there are boundaries, where none exist, because his dad deserted him at sixteen, never looked back, never so much as texted him again, it broke his heart, he was suicidal, I was hiding ties and belts. So, he’s determined that I must be like that too, that I too will one day, turn my back as well. When nothing else makes me do what he expects, like insulting me, my faith, God, using God’s name as a swear word (he uses the God card to annoy me, but it doesn’t) and I’m still here for him, no matter what, it deflates him just a bit, yet, he relaxes for a while, until the next time he feels low about his dad. I know, it’s sometimes harder allowing ourselves to be loved, than never knowing love.

He always starts that ball rolling, just for the hell of it, even if I leave the room to cook his meal, and stop the conversation dead, he shouts things like, “Go on then… prove it, see, you can’t… “ (had this all my life, it’s old hat) he says he is determined to ‘break my faith’ before I die, wow… that’s his ambition, all because I wont let life break me down.

That’s atheism?????? Wow!!!!!! How brave;-)

Had the lectures on atheism versus agnosticism, from him, and Christianity versus Muslim, etc, etc, etc… he never stops attempting to score points. At the least likely times… blooming annoying in the middle of a darn good book and film though

Like I said, atheists use God’s name more than we do, their attraction to it is so strong, they cannot seem to break away… He’s really under all your skins aint he? Admit it, you’re just flirting with him round the edges, just like my son challenges my love for him, you’re all just challenging him to prove himself… he’s listening and smiling, at the tantrums, just like I am!

Just like my son attacks me, you attack something that affords peace and calm to another person, inside your need to prove God’s non existence. Which you never can. Is it jealousy, or fear driven, this need to march on and insult, the faith of others?

“What did you do with your eighty plus years on planet earth son?” “Oh I was so very busy, I spent my lifetime gathering evidence about summat that I know don’t exist, to prove it don’t exist.” Eer der???????? Aint you all got better things to do, like LIVE?

When there’s not an answer, you just attack the person, from behind the safety of a pseudonym. You home in on insulting their integrity, their mental state, their belief system, or their ability to understand the written word.

That’s not debate sunshine, it’s simply being childish in the extreme. You laugh, say you stop reading at a certain point, because you disagreed, or, maybe you got angry, or, perhaps didn’t understand the written word yourself?

Just a suggestion here, maybe you possibly got lost inside too many words? I do know cyber speak and text speak is not really too demanding, that it waters down the thinking far too much. For someone who’s used both computers, internet and mobiles, for twenty plus years, from way back when they were seriously enormous, and maybe many of you weren’t even born then, I refuse to play that way myself.

I’m a retired journalist by the way, just a dum dum me;-)

Yep, Odin too, whoever, makes no odds at all, a label is a label, is a label, they’re calling on the powers of this universe, that’s God… only one all powerful creator, full stop!

You can call him anything you like, it matters not a jot… He is all things, everywhere, because we are inside Him and He in us… that’s what Jesus tried to tell people, to stop looking outward, to look inside themselves, since that’s where God resides… and he got stoned by his own people, and murdered by his church…

… and then he rose… and rose… and rose… and now 2000 years later, he’s far too big for words to put him down;-)

Where will your words be in 2000 years? Like mine, they’ll be lost to time.

Conversion nope… can’t a*s*d, you can believe what you believe, but I can surely witness what God does/has done all my life, for me… that it’s miraculous I’m even here today, to banter at all, which is why I so enjoy it

It took many miracles to stop me dying… many, many times, through violence, two road accidents, illnesses, and some people changed their mindset, because they know I should have died, some surgeons, some friends, and yes, eventually, some of my atheist family.

As a God follower, as a Christian, all I have to do, witness, not convert… that’s your call not mine!

September 23, 2009 at 9:49 am
(16) Joseph says:

Your son sounds like a real stand up guy. I’d like to meet him and shake his hand.

Seriously, you say that all religions follow your god, “just under a different name”? Wow, and to think people call us atheists arrogant…

And surviving accidents is not a miracle. The improbable is not evidence for the impossible. A true miracle would be if, say you’re walking under a construction site, a steel beam falls, and right before it hits you *poof* it turns into a cloud of butterflies or something.

The Bible is full of stories with craziness like that. Why has your god became all ambiguous with his miracles since then?

September 23, 2009 at 9:50 am
(17) Jeanette Jordan says:

What am I doing in this site?

Surely you’re not suggesting I should leave?

You mean, you are all ‘yes’ men here too?

All one mindset?

Afraid of another point of view?

Do the words ‘Pot and Kettle’ not spring to mind?

Aint that intimating that you’re just like those religious people, whose sites you like to cruise and laugh at? Terrified of the opposite view even being aired?

Scaredy cats ay?

Wooo… ooh, quick, get outa the way… it’s catching…


September 23, 2009 at 10:00 am
(18) Austin Cline says:

You sound exactly like my youngest son

You sound exactly like a person who, when unable to formulate reasoned, coherent, and adult arguments, resorts instead to personal needling, passive-aggressive attacks, and psychologizing.

Like people here, my son dismisses out of hand, what he cannot see

Way to generalize and make assumptions about people you don’t know and have never met.

Never tried conversion on him

You like to repeat an awful lot about how you don’t “do” conversion. Curious. In fact, you spend more time going over and over and over what you don’t do, again and again and again, without offering anything positive, substantive, or useful.

I live by rules of putting others needs first.

And what exactly are the needs of the people here that you are putting first by talking so much about yourself?

With agnostics and atheists all around me, my caring nature means that I’m an idiot

Which means that you think atheists regard a “caring nature” as idiotic, as if atheists aren’t and can’t be caring.

Maybe people around you think you’re an idiot because of your bigoted, hateful assumptions about atheists?

Or maybe you launch into selfish, self-serving rants about how much better than you are than everyone else around you “in person” rather than just online.

That’s atheism??????

That’s your son. By generalizing from a person you admit has AS to atheism generally you demonstrate poor reasoning and a hateful — not caring, but hateful — nature.

Like I said, atheists use God’s name more than we do,

You saying it doesn’t make it true. I realize that might come as a surprise to you.

Just like my son attacks me, you attack something that affords peace and calm to another person

Just because a person says that a belief makes them happy, does this mean that that belief should never be critiqued? If so, why?

And please, do try to answer a question for once.

I’m a retired journalist by the way

So, when acting as a journalist did you spend most of your time talking about yourself as well?

Do you have anything to offer anyone here except preaching about how wonderful you are for not preaching

What am I doing in this site?

Yes, what?

Surely you’re not suggesting I should leave?

If you have nothing substantive to offer, yes.

You mean, you are all ‘yes’ men here too?

No, people here have debates and disagreements all the time. They manage this by not constantly talking about themselves and how much better they are than everyone else around them. They also ask questions, acknowledge answers they receive, and answer questions they are asked.

All one mindset?

Nope, but a bit more consideration for others than you seem able to show.

Afraid of another point of view?

Nope, just bored with narcissistic people who are obsessed with themselves.

Do the words ‘Pot and Kettle’ not spring to mind?

All the time when I read your comments.

Scaredy cats ay?

No, just more mature than you.

September 23, 2009 at 10:23 am
(19) Jeanette Jordan says:

Joseph… tut tut tut:

Well, no matter, you must be ok, you like my son, and my son is a-ok… despite our differing opinions;-)

Arrogant? Me? As if!!!!!!!

Now who’s getting personal.. would you like me to touch my cap then?

Apologise for being me?

Say oh… so very, very, very, sorry, for my terrible intrusion, it’s just, if I may, (stutter, stutter, stumble, blush) only… well, um, please sir, I’d like to explain my beliefs and why… so please sir, can I?

Ha ha ha… forget it chum… I’ll answer for my conceit to God one day, so thanks, but no thanks;-)

Why d’ya think I liked John the Baptist best sunshine? No messing there! He called it as he saw it, and so do I.

You’re mixing metaphors with me… d’ya think I don’t know the difference between a street magician (when one lives next door to me) and a miraculous event?

Who’s insulting the intelligence of cops, surgeons, and “Far too many witnesses we had to send some away, never seen a case like this before.” and “Why aren’t you dead… you should be dead!” from those same grounded strangers then?

You made that sweeping statement without me even relating one word of what the miracles were… gosh… golly gosh, you must be VERY clever, to cast judgement without witnessing events;-)

Joseph’s (atheists) law… see the light, and still they’re in the dark ay?

Gotta go, need the loo now, busting my sides with laughter here.

September 23, 2009 at 10:36 am
(20) Jeanette Jordan says:

Austin Cline:

You are my son;-)

Now string your own words together, and come out to play fair… let the world see what you’re made of, you know dissection and insertion is seriously lazy writing… it steals, and cheats the reader of the real person, who cannot apparently, formulate themselves, so hides behind the enjoyment of the correction, of another writer’s words;-)

Haven’t I told you this before sunshine?


September 23, 2009 at 11:05 am
(21) Austin Cline says:

Apologise for being me?

No, I doubt you ever apologize for anything.

Gotta go, need the loo now, busting my sides with laughter here.

Maybe you should focus instead on using for mind for thinking — at least if conversation and learning were ever part of your goal.

You are my son;-)

Sorry, my mother is far more polite than you.

Arrogant? Me?

Yes, and if you want to keep posting you’ll change.

September 23, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(22) DaveInLV says:

Dear Jeanette:

Odin too, whoever, makes no odds at all, a label is a label

There is a minor problem with that statement. Odin died at the battle of Ragnarok (he was devoured by the wolf Fenris) – according to the legend, that is. :)


September 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm
(23) Jeanette Jordan says:



I like wolves… bred German Shepherds in the seventies, closest I could get…

Peace to you too:-)

September 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm
(24) ChuckA says:

Related to this Post…
In reading all those article stats; what comes to MY mind is just how significantly more, relatively speaking, “cognitive dissonance” exists in the minds of the Conservative Religious Right; not that ANY religious believers can totally be ‘let off the hook’ on that aspect.
Regarding the Separation issue; I thought the 2008 election was about the dumbest, if you will, demonstration of just HOW saturated American politics is with outright religious delusional thinking. I’ve never seen so much moronic bending over backwards to literally kiss the ‘arses’ of the extremely, mind-numbingly deluded (ala Warren et. al.) to compare with any election in my, now, 69 year memory.
Obama (I voted for him) sort of threw a few ‘crumb recognition comments’ to us atheists and secularists; but seems, disturbingly, to be continuing the all too incestuous relationship with the Religious factions; even appointing, of all people, Francis Collins, the “Genome” famed Creationist, to head the NIH (National Institutes of Health).
So…the mind boggling “kissing arse” essentially continues…even rather unabated, I’d say.
Actually “69″ ( if you’ll excuse the obvious sexual position reference) kind of symbolizes a lot of what WAS going on…and what’s continuing, IMO, to go on in the current Health Care debate…ala the Health Insurance Companies, of course.
IOW…the “positions” haven’t changed much…if at all…?
Translation?…without a “Public Option”, whatever passes, will be a total, complete scam; favoring, perhaps even MORE, the essentially “Middle-Man, Con-artist” Insurance Companies.

September 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(25) ChuckA says:

As to Jeanette…
IMO, she’s pretty much, in these days, a rather typical “New Age-ish” Christian style “Woo” believer. In my experience, there’s really no arguing with anyone who takes off, totally on their own, completely subjective, and obviously self-righteous trek. I spent many years (two decades) as a “New Ager”, and the variations are rather baffling, even astounding. WHY, indeed, in particular, the mix of the more Eastern “Wheel of Life” talk with the Jesus, Bible related notion is usually rather ‘grounded’ in the all too obvious cultural programming. IOW…all her extensive ‘blabbing on’ shows that…at her more advanced (somewhat referred to) age…she’s pretty much, understandably, stuck in her position; which means y’all will just waste a whole lot of time and typing energy in trying to counter her obviously, in essence, rather ‘terminal’, “I’m just so hip” style ragging on.
Hey…it would seem, from her comments, she’s had a lot of practice with her atheist various ‘friends’…?
The use of, the rather pathetic, Pascal’s Wager reference, pretty much, I think, sums up any possible pretense regarding any potential philosophical level of discourse.
A bit tangential to all this…if I might…here’s a couple of rather “startling and illuminating” YouTube videos which I discovered linked at the “Atheist Experience”" Home page. Aside from the rather annoying, interspersed use of partial “auto-computerized” voice narrative, they REALLY, albeit rather starkly, point up the outrageous danger of man’s apparently genetically based propensity to totally “make-up” comforting (but all too insane) notions of deity beliefs.
Perhaps even Jeanette might benefit by watching them?
What’s that?…
“NAH! she’s way too old, and terminally whacko!…and you, of all people, oughta know, Chuck…? ;)
[In two parts]:
“Religion – Man’s Flaw (1/2)” [length 9:56]:
“Religion – Man’s Flaw (2/2)” [length 8:07]:

To people like Jeanette, outside of any strictly Internet communication, I would simply say something like:
If we all ever DO end up…after this rather crazy and convoluted ‘incarnation’…meeting, in some totally unexpected manner “on the other side”, if you will; perhaps we’ll ALL (including Jeanette?) be astounded at just how wrong we ALL were. Would that be, perhaps, that there are…
NO gods, NO Jesus (no actual permanent “Avatars”?), NO permanent heavens or hells…but that this is all an eeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy part of a vast, totally Digital Simulation. Yeah…a sort of “Zeitgeist-like Matrix”?
“Ummm…do you want the Red…or Blue Pill?”
[Which brings to my mind a guy named Thomas Campbell...of "My Big TOE" fame.]
What’s that you say?…
“ooooOEEOoooo”? :shock:

September 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm
(26) DaveInLV says:


I like wolves

Odin would probably disagree with you on that. :)

BTW, these Nordic gods are the only mortal gods I am aware of. The rest of them eventually just fade away …

September 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm
(27) Joseph says:

Who’s insulting the intelligence of cops, surgeons, and “Far too many witnesses we had to send some away, never seen a case like this before.” and “Why aren’t you dead; you should be dead!” from those same grounded strangers then?

You made that sweeping statement without me even relating one word of what the miracles were; gosh… golly gosh, you must be VERY clever, to cast judgement without witnessing events;-)

“Sweeping generalizations”, lol wut? Now who’s “pot calling the kettle”, hmm?

Not insulting intelligence, no, but people tend to exaggerate, especially in times of extreme stress. After all, even with all the training and education, people are still people. They come with their own biases and preconceptions. People smarter than you and I have been
wrong time and time again.

But you have a point. Please, by all means, explain to me what physically impossible occurrences saved your life. Because, again, something that’s simply improbably does not equal impossible. If a man can survive a railroad spike being shot through his brain without it being recognized as divine intervention, then chances are whatever happened to you is no more incredible.

What happens to people are just freak occurrences. One person could survive a three story fall, while another dies after slipping in the bathtub. Nothing supernatural about it.

September 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(28) The Sojourner says:


Here is an example of your “happy” Christianity and it’s wonderfully exalting effect on people. This is an authentic quote from a real Christian. The name isn’t on it to protect the identity. It came from a Christian site. This is what religion does to a greater or lesser degree to all who believe.

“I try not to sin though even though I do. Sometimes I just want to kill myself because I sin so much and I’m constanstly failing God. At times I even cry out to God to kill me. I hate it with a burning passion. Knowing that I’m cheating on my Heavenly Father with sin and finding pleasure in other things is the most shameful, hypocritical, embarassing thing I could ever do.”

This person is not unusual. I have seen many similar comments. I feel so sorry for those who try to convince others how “happy” they are in the lord. They feel like unworthy pieces if trash, saved only by the grace of this psychotic sadist they call their god.

Here’s another quote for you:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is impotent.

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Whence then is evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”


Now, there’s something for YOU to think about…

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