December 8, 2007

The Liberal Dilemma

This week has been up and down. For whatever reason, though I love this time of year, I also usually find myself mildly depressed. Perhaps the shorter days and colder weather encourages a bit of introspection (not that I need encouragement on that front) or perhaps it is simply the end of the semester, I don't know. The highlight of the week came after the final period of my upper division class when 6 or 7 students just hung around to chat. That was pretty cool.

Tonight, SOF and I will attend the Nutcracker (and no, that isn't a Hillary fundraiser joke:) ) which should be fun. I am hearing that OU's is one of the best.

****

Over at Tony's blog, a few of us got into a discussion on masculine Christianity. Well, it started there and has moved in other directions. Tony and I have talked about our shared frustration with this "movement" over the last year or so. Flawed theology and a terrible approach to gender roles--if you ask me.

Well, Tony posted a nice critique of the latest iteration of this John Wayne Christianity and elicited a rather strident response from someone serving in the Armed Forces. You can read that exchange in the comments.

What interests me and is the topic of this particular post is this person's internalization of the conservative mindset on the war, liberals, and patriotism. And in that exchange, he stepped on a few of my pet peeves. First, he suggested that liberals as a whole, do not appreciate the military's contribution to this war--actually that they don't even appreciate the importance of the war--and are generally anti-American, and second that torture was subjective. On point one, I suggested otherwise, and he pointed to Dick Durbin's "nazi" comment and some vague reference to John Kerry as proof of the left's anti-american sentiment.

That sounds bad, but as it turns out, Durbin did not compare our service men and women to Nazis.
Specifically, Durbin, on the Senate floor, said, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
Yet, if you google Durbin on this, you will see right wing site after site saying that he called our soldiers Nazis. And Durbin actually apologized for this.

Why does this bother me so? I am so tired of this mantra from the right that liberals are unAmerican. I have heard it from relatives. I have heard it from friends. Why is it that conservatives can support policies that undermine our national security and no one asks them if they are unAmerican? Why is it that AG nominee Mukasey can suggest the same thing and the right sits silent?

The torture issue simply floors me. And this service person's response makes me worry about our military. I have met enough service people in my classes to know that they are not all right-wing authoritarians, but the sentiment is common enough that it scares me. He said
Now about the torture. Depends on what your definition of torture is. When I was in the Army I went to ranger school and while there I was given very little food and even less sleep for a 120 days. I have friends who have been to SERE school which has even worse stuff than that. So the question is really what constitutes torture. Give me a clear cut definition. I am not offended but regardless of the context that doesnt make our soldiers comparable to NAZI'S.
Where are we when our service people parse the meaning of torture? Of course, they are only mimicking their civilian leadership. But it stinks.

What bothers me even more is how often the people parsing the meaning of torture are the same who are lecturing me about the country's moral decline and trumpeting the need for "Biblical values" and absolutes. But to me, they suggest that it is okay to torture terrorists because they are bad people.

Anyway. Perhaps I am just tired.

167 comments:

ubub said...

Regarding Ranger school, SERE school, etc., I introduced a former special forces soldier who spoke to our organization a few weeks back. He described just a bit of what this training entails and said that each person ends up dropping about 30 pounds because the physical training is so demanding. Those are some tough SOBs and I am grateful they have our backs.

Now, one key difference is the purpose of the punishment inflicted. This training is designed to teach endurance, resistance, etc., for military purposes that ultimately benefit that individual. Those methods are not designed simply to inflict pain for pain's sake or to elicit information of whatever level of reliability.

Another key difference is that the grueling treatment in Ranger school, SERE, etc is mandatory only for those who choose to stay. Most who enter the program do not finish because they self-select out of the program or fail the training. Not everyone has the physical or mental toughness to complete this training.

Torture is not a training method nor an educational tool. It does not ultimately benefit the person undergoing torture. Because it is coercive by its very nature, there is no opportunity to walk away.

I have no doubt that those who complete those trainings experience it as a form of torture, but there are important qualities that make the two markedly different.

leighton said...

Using Ranger/SEAL training as an example to support torture is a lot like complaining that rape shouldn't be a crime because married couples have sex all the time. Conservatives who use these arguments miss the fundamental point that in both cases, what makes torture torture and rape rape is more about the lack of consent than about what physically happens.

steves said...

I had mixed feelings about that discussion. FP made some good points and was obviously a decent writer. Unfortunately he was rude and went off on some tangents that were hard to follow. I was mostly disappointed that he didn't really explain his position very well. To be fair, he was the only one who had attended one of the events that was discussed, so there may have been more to what they had to offer. I don't really know.

The Dick Durbin comment was just another example of how many on both sides cherry pick a comment, spin it, and run with it. Most people are too lazy to bother with looking at what the person really said.

Leighton raises a key point in the issue of torture and the military. It is my understanding that soldiers consent to their treatment when they sign up and know what to expect. They also give up a whole bunch of other Constitutional protections.

As an aside, what is wrong with John Wayne? Some of his movies (like The Shootist and The Searchers) are among my favorite.

Rob said...

During Mukasey's confirmation testimony back a month or so ago, this article made the rounds of all the blogs I read. It's written by a guy who actually designed the SERE torture simulation program. He systematically demolishes the "waterboarding-isn't-REALLY-torture-if-it-shows-up-in-Ranger-training" argument. Short version: they included it only as an example of treatment to expect from Evil Regimes the World Round, not as a how-to.

The awful truth here is that, if military folks from the top to the bottom are willing to argue the semantics of waterboarding, the failure is specifically that of the military. A complete failure of instructional clarity. Obviously, no one has told the grunts what the gentleman who introduced it into SERE is saying: "We are doing this to you ONLY to show you what not to do."

Streak said...

Steve, help me out. Where did FP make good points? How groundbreaking is it to suggest that observing someone do someone else wrong makes one angry? Is that the entire point of this masculinity based Christianity? What does that have to do with masculinity?

Second, how does the Durbin comment prove that "both sides" do this? I am not saying that the left doesn't do this, but in this situation, Durbin said something completely legitimate, and the right wing turned him into a traitor. Actually, I would like some evidence on the other side. I know lefties take stuff out of context, but where do we turn the right in to traitors?

Rob, I really think that most military professionals understand this and try to make that clear. Bush and Cheney have muddied the waters. I remember reading a few months ago that some of the commanders at West Point had invited the 24 writers to ask them to tone down the justified torture. The professional interrogators get it too. But the right wing echo chamber is deafening in the military, I think.

steves said...

I suppose that I was being too generous and withdraw my assertion that he made good points. Unlike most trolls, he did make some attempt to explain his position.

I defended Dick Durbin and said that his critics were lazy and wrong. I am too tired to look up any comments on how the dems badmouth the republicans, so I guess I will just agree that they don't ever call conservatives mean, cruel, hateful, or some other word that detracts from the substance of their argument.

I know the purpose of your blog isn't to be critical of the dems, which is why I don't post much on that topic, but do you deny that they don't spin things or mislead?

Streak said...

Steve, I actually said that the left does this too. I know they do. Watching the Hillary campaign is a reminder of just how low democrats can be.

I was objecting to what I perceive as a knee jerk (both sides do it) mentality (as you know). And I even acknowledge that dems take stuff out of context. What I was asking, was for evidence--not that they take stuff out of context to detract from their argument--but do they actually take something out of context to challenge the patriotism of Republicans?

BTW, nor am I saying that the Democrats are above criticism. And to be fair, I think I have criticized them here as well. Certainly not as much as I have the Republicans, but come on--the playing field has not be level this last 7 years.

leighton said...

There's a pretty significant difference between an everyday rhetorical ad hominem, and eliminationist rhetoric like "traitor" that suggests that if those conservatives had their druthers, they'd hang every last liberal who argues with them. Democrats don't even call literal textbook letter-of-the-law traitors traitors, whereas you have mainstream "conservative" spokespeople like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh suggesting periodically how fun it would be to round up liberals and kill them. You don't see any language like that coming from the left.

steves said...

I'll admit that, for the most part, I avoid blogs and news that engage in name calling and ad hominem even if I agree with the position. I don't think there is that much of a practical difference in calling someone evil or calling them a traitor.

I perused some left leaning blogs (some of which are very good) like Crooks and Liars, Common Dream.org, Evil GOP Bastards (this one wasn't good and was mostly full of made up stuff), Democracy for America, Democratic Underground (where I am a member), and DubyaD40.com. There were comments on how conservatives were evil, that Tancredo spoke poor English, the President is the 'Idiot in Chief.' and 'The Top 10 Conservative Idiots of the Week.'

In the area of questioning patriotism, I will admit that Democrats don't do this. Good for them, I have seen very few people that I would actually consider traitors, and this accusation is most often way off base. I have seen some make a big deal of someone's lack of military service. I suppose this may be in response to them trying to appeal to people in the service, but it still doesn't make it right.

As I have said before, I certainly wasn't trying to justify nasty comments by saying everyone does it. I was making a general statement that many people engage in this type of rhetoric (ad hominem, strawman). While the Democrats don't question the patriotism of Republicans, they certainly do engage in attack behavior.

"BTW, nor am I saying that the Democrats are above criticism. And to be fair, I think I have criticized them here as well."

I know this and I don't really expect you to be completely free of any kind of bias. That just isn't realistic for anyone. I know I am biased in some ways and certainly see things from a different perspective. One of the reasons I come here is that this blog doesn't devolve into name calling and mindless ranting.

I am very familiar with Ann and Rush, but to call them spokespeople for conservatism is not fair. I don't listen to them, watch them, or read them. I tune out when one of them is interviewed on TV. I never quote them in any of my blog entries or postings, nor do I defend them on a regular basis (though I did defend Rush when some of comments were taken out of context).

"You don't see any language like that coming from the left."

Huh?

Kill Republican T-Shirts

"Shoot him with a .44 Bulldog."
-Spike Lee (speaking about then NRA president Charlton Heston)

"I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow. I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact."
-Bill Maher

Streak, how was the Nutcracker? My daughter saw it at MSU and really liked it.

Streak said...

I would still disagree slightly only on one part. I think, at least in our country's dialogue, calling one "unamerican" or a "traitor" is actually worse than calling them "evil." And btw, Republicans call Democrats evil all the time. O'Reilly called lefty bloggers "satan worshipers" just the other day.

But I agree there is much vitriol on the left. I don't deny that. Though, again, calling a man an "idiot" who seems to brag about his lack of intellectual curiosity is sort of like calling an avowed atheist "ungodly."

So, I will concede both that Rush and Ann Coulter don't speak for the right (although they are always welcome on their shows and the Vice President likes to call into Rush's show) and that many left leaning blog commenters are hideous. I avoid the comments at most of the big lefty blogs myself.

But one of the main points is that the people you quote saying hateful things are hardly central to the party, while I have heard the Republican leadership say that we on the left "hate America" and are trying to undermine the troops.

I will let you know how the Nutcracker goes. We are leaving here in 5, actually. :)

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said

Over at Tony's blog, a few of us got into a discussion on masculine Christianity. Well, it started there and has moved in other directions. Tony and I have talked about our shared frustration with this "movement" over the last year or so. Flawed theology and a terrible approach to gender roles--if you ask me.

***I will ask you the same question I asked Tony. Why is it flawed theology? You have not been to the event, nor have your heard Brad Stine in the entirety of what he said. So I would ask you like I have asked Tony to validate your opinion with Scripture.

Well, Tony posted a nice critique of the latest iteration of this John Wayne Christianity and elicited a rather strident response from someone serving in the Armed Forces. You can read that exchange in the comments.
***Nice critique? Come on man. You guys complain when I give you some of your own medicine, but when you do it is a nice critique. Problem it isn’t a legitimate critique since Tony is only evaluating this movement on the comments on one website without the complete context of the comments.

What interests me and is the topic of this particular post is this person's internalization of the conservative mindset on the war, liberals, and patriotism. And in that exchange, he stepped on a few of my pet peeves. First, he suggested that liberals as a whole, do not appreciate the military's contribution to this war--actually that they don't even appreciate the importance of the war--and are generally anti-American, and second that torture was subjective. On point one, I suggested otherwise, and he pointed to Dick Durbin's "nazi" comment and some vague reference to John Kerry as proof of the left's anti-american sentiment.
***Interesting to me if you had a problem with the generalization then maybe you should speak with CNN and tell them to stop representing you this way.

That sounds bad, but as it turns out, Durbin did not compare our service men and women to Nazis. Specifically, Durbin, on the Senate floor, said, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”Yet, if you google Durbin on this, you will see right wing site after site saying that he called our soldiers Nazis. And Durbin actually apologized for this.

Why does this bother me so? I am so tired of this mantra from the right that liberals are unAmerican. I have heard it from relatives. I have heard it from friends. Why is it that conservatives can support policies that undermine our national security and no one asks them if they are unAmerican? Why is it that AG nominee Mukasey can suggest the same thing and the right sits silent?

***Back up your statements with proof. What policies by this administration undermine our national security? You make an accusation back it up. Just out curiosity how would you deal with the problem of Radical Islam and Jihad? Love them to death?

The torture issue simply floors me. And this service person's response makes me worry about our military. I have met enough service people in my classes to know that they are not all right-wing authoritarians, but the sentiment is common enough that it scares me. He said Now about the torture. Depends on what your definition of torture is. When I was in the Army I went to ranger school and while there I was given very little food and even less sleep for a 120 days. I have friends who have been to SERE school which has even worse stuff than that. So the question is really what constitutes torture. Give me a clear cut definition. I am not offended but regardless of the context that doesnt make our soldiers comparable to NAZI'S.Where are we when our service people parse the meaning of torture? Of course, they are only mimicking their civilian leadership. But it stinks.

***Hey I was a serviceman, I am not currently serving. Now you still have not answered the question. What is torture?

What bothers me even more is how often the people parsing the meaning of torture are the same who are lecturing me about the country's moral decline and trumpeting the need for "Biblical values" and absolutes. But to me, they suggest that it is okay to torture terrorists because they are bad people.

Anyway. Perhaps I am just tired.

fightingpreacher said...

leighton said
Using Ranger/SEAL training as an example to support torture is a lot like complaining that rape shouldn't be a crime because married couples have sex all the time. Conservatives who use these arguments miss the fundamental point that in both cases, what makes torture torture and rape rape is more about the lack of consent than about what physically happens.

This is just a reason why the right has issues with the left. To compare waterboarding to rape is crazy. Here is the bottomline we face an enemy that wants to kill us. What part of "They want to kill you, dont you understand?" So with that in mind how would you extract information from the enemy?

fightingpreacher said...

steves said

I had mixed feelings about that discussion. FP made some good points and was obviously a decent writer. Unfortunately he was rude and went off on some tangents that were hard to follow. I was mostly disappointed that he didn't really explain his position very well. To be fair, he was the only one who had attended one of the events that was discussed, so there may have been more to what they had to offer. I don't really know.

I was rude? Maybe so, but baseless accusations on a mans character and ministry is even more rude. Please tell me what you would like to me to explain better.

Thank you for noticing that I am the only blogger posting that actually attended the event and have spent time listening to Brad and Godmen. Further I have some of his comedy stuff and his books. Where as the people attacking him on these blogs took one comment out of context and practically write a bogus book on it.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said
Steve, help me out. Where did FP make good points? How groundbreaking is it to suggest that observing someone do someone else wrong makes one angry? Is that the entire point of this masculinity based Christianity? What does that have to do with masculinity?

Steves said
I suppose that I was being too generous and withdraw my assertion that he made good points. Unlike most trolls, he did make some attempt to explain his position.

***Funny I believe I have articulated this point very well.
1. You both agree with a baseless accusation that was founded on a single solitary comment completely taken out of context
2. I biblically and theologically provided defense for Brad Stine with more Scripture, Context, Greek definitions than anyone on this blog or the other blog have attacked with (which I noticed you brought up none of the biblical points I made)
3. I am the only one on either blog who actually attended the event. So out of all the bloggers I am the only one with firsthand knowledge, thereby making me a subject matter expert in comparison to a bunch of individuals who read a couple of paragraphs and believe they can speak authoritatively on the theology and mission of a group of men.
4. Finally, I did not launch the attack. I simply responded to some blog somewhere that doesn’t have the courage to at least investigate the claims before starting a witch hunt. What are we in the Salem Witch Trials again.

fightingpreacher said...

Another misrepresentation by Streak.

Streak could you please show me where I said you were unamerican or a traitor? Or that I infered that liberals are unamerican or a traitor?

Once again you guys complain of me being rude and not making points and the attacking ones character to get out of an argument. But to my knowledge I have not misquoted anyone, I have not infered anything about anyone, and I have not made up comments about anyone. So please enlighten me to where I said such things of you?

I very disturbed by yet another blog page that purposely misquotes someone to help them in their positions. Both you and Tony have now done this.

ubub said...

Torture is defined in international law, including the Geneva Conventions, to which the United States is a signatory. It is also defined in federal law. Steve has previously provided the appropriate citations. Why is this still a question?

It is also well documented that information obtained through torture is usually unreliable. Those who would sacrifice morality for sake of expediency in the name of war would do well to note of this point next time they argue that the ends justify the means.

fightingpreacher said...

ubub, I have recently just been enlightened to the blogging world. Could you please provide me with those references as well as where waterboarding is included in it?

Further I agree with you torture is an unreliable way to extract information since once you start to hurt me I will tell you anything to get you to stop hurting me.

steves said...

Maybe it is because I have been the indirect target of some of the 'liberal' ire (in other places) that makes me more sensitive and less understanding to the point behind it. I will certainly admit that frustration has cause me to laugh at some comments that were directed at liberals, though I do tend to roll my eyes at most of it.

I suppose that Bill Maher and Spike Lee aren't central to the Democratic Party, but they are by no means obscure. There are also other nasty comments by people invited to Democratic events. Chris Rock made some nasty comments at a recent Obama fundraiser.

As for what is the worst (traitor v. evil), does it really matter. I think we can both agree that that tactic doesn't really contribute anything of substance to a discussion and that Durbin was not treated fairly.

steves said...

"Could you please provide me with those references as well as where waterboarding is included in it?"

I had provided several references a while back. They included several laws and treaties that specifically banned torture. As with most laws, they didn't name waterboarding, but that technique certainly fell under the law. One of these is from US Code (18 U.S.C. 2340):

As used in this chapter -
(1) "torture" means an act committed by a person acting under
the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical
or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering
incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his
custody or physical control;
(2) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged
mental harm caused by or resulting from -
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of
severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened
administration or application, of mind-altering substances or
other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be
subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the
administration or application of mind-altering substances or
other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
personality.



I have no first hand knowledge of waterboarding, but everything I have read about it suggests that it falls under this definition.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak- In reading your original post my first reaction was to comment that there was a time when I would say it seems a bit ironic for you to be starting a discussion on masculine Christianity immediately after letting us all know that you were heading to see the Nutcracker. Kind of brings to mind the Budweiser commercial of the guys sneeking the beer into the opera. Did you take bottles or cans?

Of course, now that I am more evolved, I wouldn't make such a comment, although since I'm not completely evolved I did have a quiet chuckle as I consider the child of the western slope ranching culture voluntarily going to a ballet. Life is interesting.

Later- BB

fightingpreacher said...

Streak you said that it specifically included waterboarding...now you say "I had provided several references a while back. They included several laws and treaties that specifically banned torture. As with most laws, they didn't name waterboarding, but that technique certainly fell under the law. One of these is from US Code (18 U.S.C. 2340):"

Which is it my friend? Are there laws and codes that specifically include waterboarding or not?

Rob said...

In the war crimes tribunals after World War II, waterboarding was absolutely considered torture, and at least one Japanese commander was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for doing it to captured American soldiers. This Washingon Post article has some of the details.

How the intervening 60 years has changed our national character to allow such things is a tragedy on an almost biblical scale.

fightingpreacher said...

Now on to the definition. First of it does no SEVERE damage nor is death a likely possibility. Further the Genevea Convention doesnt apply against terrorism because they first have violated it by cutting off the heads of soldiers and civilains, and secondly there are is no terrorist Army in Uniform. So I would like to once again see where waterboarding is
1. Used in WWII as you claim
2. Mentioned in the laws and codes on warfare as torture as you claimed

fightingpreacher said...

Ok, I went and read that article from the Washington Post. I will do a little more research, but a piece of advice...Dont ever use Ted Kennedy as a source...his creditability is shot until he confesses killing his girlfriend.

Rob said...

FP, I'm pretty positive that treaties and international laws that we're party to don't have an exhaustive list of what is and what isn't torture. Our capacity to devise new and horrific ways of dealing out pain and suffering is pretty much limitless; any list would be immediately incomplete, as some psychopathic genius would come up with something previously unheard of.
But you're seriously going to argue that, as per Steve's example above, waterboarding doesn't cause "severe physical or mental pain or suffering"? What about the sense of imminent drowning isn't "mental pain or suffering?" How can you be okay with that? What about waterboarding makes it something you'll consider?

Tony said...

FP said:

I agree with you torture is an unreliable way to extract information since once you start to hurt me I will tell you anything to get you to stop hurting me.

But, in reagards to waterboarding, FP said:

First of it does no SEVERE damage nor is death a likely possibility.

It does do damage, though, right? And if it does even some damage then it must be torture, or am I missing something, which has come to be the case with you FP? Or should we be content letting you parse the definitions and we have no business asking for clarity, even though you demand it from us?

fightingpreacher said...

What makes it something I MIGHT consider is that in Scuba training we do what is called shallow water blackouts, which is literal drowning.

Further, it just doesnt seem like a big deal to me in light of what I did to myself in the Army.

I do agree that we should not be using evil to get information.

Out of curosity how would you deal with teh problem of Radical Islam and Jihad and what part of "They want to kill you, dont you understand?"

Rob said...

And yes, the Geneva Conventions absolutely DO apply, to any force whether under color or not. Check out Article 4, which enumerates who deserves Prisoner of War status, and then Article 5 which states:

"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."

There've been no status tribunals that I'm aware of up to this point. We're only now deciding how to approach the people at Guantanamo, who've been captive for 6 years, much less any of the people captured in the Iraq War.

And the Geneva Conventions even apply when the opposing force beheads captives. There's no "opt out" clause that says, "whoops, now that your opponent did it, all bets are off."

And we're Americans, man. We haven't spent 250 years building a society around law and order and respect for human rights to just toss it all away on a group of insurgents and terrorists. Our ideas and convictions are bigger than that. We've been under much greater threat before (think WWII), and came out the other side clean as a whistle and respected the world round because we did things like treat prisoners decently.

fightingpreacher said...

Tony, by the definition that was given waterboarding does not constitute torture. Now you are more than welcome to ask me anything you need clarification on. But you used a quote of mine (for once) about torture and wrongly applied it to my comment about waterboarding. My first comment was specifically made in regards to torture as a whole, not waterboarding in specific.
As far as your question "It does do damage though right?" It probably doesnt (I am no expert though) but according to the definition put forward by this blog it does not constitute torture.

Streak said...

Well, Holy Crap. I get up this morning after going to the ballet last night (as BB said, this isn't exactly my upbringing) and there are 29 comments on my blog.

I guess I should thank the Fighting Preacher. But I still find him incredibly annoying. Do you really think that we want to "love" terrorists to death? Although, I would point out that your Bible does say to turn the other cheek, but I am sure--absolutely positive--that you don't think that applies. You are also told to "love your enemies as yourselves" but I am equally positive you don't think that applies. So maybe we can drop the Biblical quotes for a bit. I am not impressed.

Rob, you said it so very well: And we're Americans, man. We haven't spent 250 years building a society around law and order and respect for human rights to just toss it all away on a group of insurgents and terrorists. Our ideas and convictions are bigger than that.

All I can tell you FP is that prior to this administration, every Western democracy held that waterboarding was torture and as we demonstrated, we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for it (yes, by all means, use Ted Kennedy to duck it--but if you read some more on WWII, you might find that true). I just posted one from Sully about World War II.

As we have said repeatedly on this blog--in this battle with terrorism, we cannot let ourselves become them. And creating secret prisons, authorizing torture, and destroying habeas review does not make us better. It makes us less free and more like our enemies.

fightingpreacher said...

Rob said
"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."
Ok rob, since you have brought this up. You are wrong. First it says if there is any doubt. Is there any doubt that these guys are terrorist and guilty of terrorism? Secondly, the liberals have constantly voted down the ability to begin tribunals. Thirdly, I have friends who have fought this war since 9/11 and sent people to Gitmo and then later ended up having to fight them again. Lastly, there has been NO, and I mean NO torture in GITMO.
Now since you brought up it, I am going to quote Article 4 IN CONTEXT. With comments that show you are wrong. The terrorist are not eligible for protection under the convention.

Article 4
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
***OOOPS, they are a force of the party in this conflict are they?
2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
They are not a militias, members of a volunteer corps that belongs to the party in the conflict, further there are other conditions that they cant fulfill to qualify to be protected under the convention.
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
***Who is in charge of the insurgents? Who is responsible for their reprehensible actions? You cant tell me can you?
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
***HMMMM….they never have uniforms or distinctive signs that are recognizable
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
***Last time I checked IED were not carried openly.
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
***OH my does this actually mean that when a Jihadist cuts the head of a soldier or civilian off that they lose their protected status? Man you know what is even worse about this, is that I have to argue with people about the treatment of terrorist. That you are so worried about their treatment that you want to give them American Citizens rights. What part of they “Want to kill you, don’t you understand” Further that it appears that none of you can give a quote in context.
3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
***Hmmm, what government do they profess allegiance to?
4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.
5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war
***Funny where do the terrorist do this? My friend your argument is flawed and you quote only the sections that support your claim. Please if you are going to make accusations take the time to research them fully.

Streak said...

Is That Legal?: If It Was Torture in Mississippi, Then It's Definitely Torture, Right?
In 1926, the Mississippi Supreme Court called the water cure torture. No qualifiers. No hedging. Just plain, good ol' fashion torture . . . and therefore a forbidden means for securing a confession. These men were hardly a group I'd call *activist* or *liberal* and certainly not bent on subverting our country in the name of coddling criminals.

In a case called Fisher v. State, 110 So. 361, 362 (Miss. 1926), Mississippi's highest court ordered the retrial of a convicted murderer because his confession was secured by a local sheriff's use of the water cure.

Here's the court:

The state offered . . . testimony of confessions made by the appellant, Fisher. . . [who], after the state had rested, introduced the sheriff, who testified that, he was sent for one night to come and receive a confession of the appellant in the jail; that he went there for that purpose; that when he reached the jail he found a number of parties in the jail; that they had the appellant down upon the floor, tied, and were administering the water cure, a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country.
Fisher relied on a case called White v. State, 182, 91 So. 903, 904 (Miss. 1922), in which the court took -- as I understand history in those parts -- the unusual step of reversing the murder conviction of a young African-American male, charged with killing a white man (it appears), because his confession was secured by *the cure*. The court said:

. . . [T]he hands of appellant were tied behind him, he was laid upon the floor upon his back, and, while some of the men stood upon his feet, Gilbert, a very heavy man, stood with one foot entirely upon appellant's breast, and the other foot entirely upon his neck. While in that position what is described as the “water cure” was administered to him in an effort to extort a confession as to where the money was hidden which was supposed to have been taken from the dead man. The “water cure” appears to have consisted of pouring water from a dipper into the nose of appellant, so as to strangle him, thus causing pain and horror, for the purpose of forcing a confession. Under these barbarous circumstances the appellant readily confessed . . .

Streak said...

First it says if there is any doubt. Is there any doubt that these guys are terrorist and guilty of terrorism? Secondly, the liberals have constantly voted down the ability to begin tribunals. Thirdly, I have friends who have fought this war since 9/11 and sent people to Gitmo and then later ended up having to fight them again. Lastly, there has been NO, and I mean NO torture in GITMO.

Ah more nonsense. You know that everyone in Gitmo is absolutely guilty? You know this? Even though we have evidence that many were simply turned over by warlords for a bounty?

And it is the liberals who vote down the tribunals? Perhaps again you should switch off the Fox News and Drudge Report. Many people objected to what the President wanted to do (news flash--many of them were conservatives) based on the form of the tribunals. You know, they objected to kangaroo courts. And finally, you know for SURE that no torture has occurred in Gitmo? Perhaps you can give us evidence of that?

And by the by. I have friends who have fought in this war too. One was a Ranger who fought in both invasions. He was wounded in battle. He thinks this war was a huge mistake and the civilian leadership morally bankrupt.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said
Well, Holy Crap. I get up this morning after going to the ballet last night (as BB said, this isn't exactly my upbringing) and there are 29 comments on my blog.


***See what we conservatives can do for liberals...you usually get no attention unless we bring it. :)

I guess I should thank the Fighting Preacher. But I still find him incredibly annoying. Do you really think that we want to "love" terrorists to death? Although, I would point out that your Bible does say to turn the other cheek, but I am sure--absolutely positive--that you don't think that applies. You are also told to "love your enemies as yourselves" but I am equally positive you don't think that applies. So maybe we can drop the Biblical quotes for a bit. I am not impressed.

***Hmmm lets quote Bible verse. Turn the other cheek is facing persecution for the sake of being a Christian. This war on our country has less to do with the collective religion (at least in their minds) than that we support Israel and that we are the Great Satan. Next, love our enemies...hmmm lets look at the in the context. Tell me Streak what does Loving the Enemy look like? Does it look like letting continue to kill innocent americans? Does it look like giving them rights under our constitution which they are not entitled too? Does it look like letting known killers loose in Iraq becuase the Liberal congress wont allow the Military to conduct its business? Does it look like love when Islam beats a woman for being raped? Does it look like love when Islam tries to punish a school teacher for letting her students name a teddy bear after their so-called prophet? PLEASE do tell me what Loving your enemies looks like?

Another small point. What about loving our neighbors in Iraq by insuring this insurgents never come back? What about loving our neighbors in the rest of the world by ending the threat of Radical Islam? Think and ponder on this.

Rob, you said it so very well: And we're Americans, man. We haven't spent 250 years building a society around law and order and respect for human rights to just toss it all away on a group of insurgents and terrorists. Our ideas and convictions are bigger than that.

All I can tell you FP is that prior to this administration, every Western democracy held that waterboarding was torture and as we demonstrated, we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for it (yes, by all means, use Ted Kennedy to duck it--but if you read some more on WWII, you might find that true). I just posted one from Sully about World War II.

***PROVE IT...cite sources for me and yes I wouldnt trust Ted Kennedy to tell the truth for anything.

As we have said repeatedly on this blog--in this battle with terrorism, we cannot let ourselves become them. And creating secret prisons, authorizing torture, and destroying habeas review does not make us better. It makes us less free and more like our enemies.

***Trust me the men I serve and that serve this country will never be like radical Islam and Jihadist. EVEN, and that is a big even they do allow waterboarding.

Rob said...

Well, FP, I included references to both Article 4 and Article 5 to prove that, even if a detainee doesn't meet Article 4 criteria, he's still accorded the right to a tribunal hearing to determine in fact what his status is. Just because we take a prisoner (terrorist, insurgent, or someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time) doesn't allow us to be judge jury and executioner. Just like here in the US, we've pledged to abide by (and be constrained by)certain laws.

But we can argue positions and cite and countercite examples all day. I think the crux of our disagreement is what you've asked all of us at some point now: "What part of they want to kill you do you not understand?"

Hidden in that question is the assumption that, if they want to kill you, you should give up everything to kill them first. Nothing should stop you, no assumption should stay your hand, the winner is he who kills the other guy first. Period.

And at that point we have to part company, FP. Because I think I know your answer, and if it's what I think it is, it's the answer that's been making me crazy for six years now. This is what makes me despair of the future of our country, because we are two Americans who completely disagree about what makes us Americans. If the meaning of our country and its history and its lessons is in such dispute, what do we have, FP?

Streak said...

Well stated, Rob.

fightingpreacher said...

Rob said
"Just because we take a prisoner (terrorist, insurgent, or someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time) doesn't allow us to be judge jury and executioner. Just like here in the US, we've pledged to abide by (and be constrained by)certain laws."

Here is where you are wrong. The constitution the United States of America was written for our citizens, not for the entire world! When Radical Islam submits itself under a legimate government then maybe we can afford them those rights.

Now to the assumption you make about me. Here is how I feel.

Should we indescrimitately kill? NO! But the bottom line we are in a war that we didnt start nor ask for. For thousands of years Radical Islam has caused problems. The crusades were not started by Europe, but by Islam. So the true question is how do we in America excute the war against an enemy that wants to kill us? I think we wage a just war when we can. What do I mean by just war...where is possible we afford honor and diginity to our enemy. When we cant then it is better themm than us. It is unfortunate that I have to say that...it actually upsets me that I have to say that, but we are not fighting a military as in the Nazi's where we can gut them of their money and resources...we are not fighting a military that we know where they are and can monitor their movements. I know this, when presented with the choice between you and me and our children...I pick us every single time...even if you are a liberal I will side with you and your children every single time.

By the way as a side note...have you heard of Beslan? Osama guarenteed that, that was next for us! Do some research.

steves said...

This has to be the longest thread on this blog I have ever seen...Wow!

FP, first of all, I never said that waterboarding is specifically mentioned in US Code. I said that torture was. Here is another portion of that law:

(a) Offense. - Whoever outside the United States commits or
attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to
any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be
punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction. - There is jurisdiction over the activity
prohibited in subsection (a) if -
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States,
irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged
offender.

(c) Conspiracy. - A person who conspires to commit an offense
under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other
than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the
offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

Even if we ignore the Geneva Convention, we are still violating our own law. I respectfully disagree that waterboarding doesn't fall under the previous definition I listed. In 2005, the US State Dept. condemned Tunisia for using simulated drowning. You may be a better position to verify this, but the DOD specifically banned the use of waterboarding by US military personnel in a manual entitled "Human Intelligence Collector Operations."

As for it being harmful, Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture says that it is. You can read his report here.

I'll be the first to admit that international law is not one of my areas of expertise (I was enrolled in the class, but the prof was such and ass that I dropped it). That being said, I believe Rob's analysis is correct. I know that several other conservative legal experts, like Judge Andrew Napolitano and Prof. Eugene Volokh, agree with him.

Streak said...

Couple of thoughts in addition:

1) dismissing anything Ted Kennedy says is simply intellectually dishonest and a good example of the ad hominem fallacy. You can raise his past all you want, but if the facts he suggests are true, then you are simply distracting from the key issue.

2) I was unaware that Jesus put so many qualifications in his call to "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemy." I was unaware that he added "unless they are really bad people who behead others" or "unless you can blame liberals for enabling them," or "unless they are Muslim." To be fair, I have no idea what it means to actually live out the words of Christ. But I am tired of people preaching to me with arrogance on one topic using the Bible as a weapon and then when that same Bible challenges some of their own actions--all of a sudden, the Bible needs context and interpretation. Shorter version: when it is tough, the Bible doesn't actually mean that. It only means what it says when it reinforces what I already believe.

3) I love how while the President justifies our actions based on our need to export democracy to people (all of whom want it naturally), actual democratic principles stop at the border. Beyond that, we can act like a tyrant and still claim the higher moral ground.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak- Glad to hear the ballet went well. I'm not about to address all issues in this blog- there's fuel for lots of divergent discussions. BUT I'll add to one on of your comments, if I may.

I was unaware that Jesus put so many qualifications in his call to "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemy." I was unaware that he added "unless they are really bad people who behead others" or "unless you can blame liberals for enabling them," or "unless they are Muslim." To be fair, I have no idea what it means to actually live out the words of Christ. But I am tired of people preaching to me with arrogance on one topic using the Bible as a weapon and then when that same Bible challenges some of their own actions--all of a sudden, the Bible needs context and interpretation. Shorter version: when it is tough, the Bible doesn't actually mean that. It only means what it says when it reinforces what I already believe.

I agree completely. The context of the sermon on the mount was a Palestine occupied by the Roman Empire. Local resistance was met with heavy handed retribution, non-Roman citizens had few rights in court.... Turn the other cheek and carrying a load an extra mile had to sound more rediculous then than now. Rather than quiet submission they were calls to righteous defiance- non-violent means of removing an enemy's power. Christ had plenty of opportunity to advise violence, but didn't. Nowhere in the text is there reference to persecution for one's faith.

I think the honest thing for most of us would be to admit that there really isn't a justification for aggressive violent behavior (personal or corporate) in the teachings of Christ. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Honesty would dictate that we admit this is beyond us. Self preservation and selfish ambition often are the motivation for our actions even though it contradicts Jesus' teachings. I know it's much easier to sleep at night if we try to wring out some Biblical justification for our actions. Hey look! I found a verse that says it's ok to shoot 'em! Maybe so, but I'll bet Jesus didn't say it. Later- BB

fightingpreacher said...

Ok steve...looks like you have enough to convince me that waterboarding is torture under these things you have provided. Now could you provide me with details of when and where this happened?

Next sorry if you didnt directly say waterboarding...I thought that you had...difference between conservative and liberal...when we blow it we say sorry!

fightingpreacher said...

BB said
I agree completely. The context of the sermon on the mount was a Palestine occupied by the Roman Empire. Local resistance was met with heavy handed retribution, non-Roman citizens had few rights in court.... Turn the other cheek and carrying a load an extra mile had to sound more rediculous then than now. Rather than quiet submission they were calls to righteous defiance- non-violent means of removing an enemy's power. Christ had plenty of opportunity to advise violence, but didn't. Nowhere in the text is there reference to persecution for one's faith.

***Hmmm I would wonder if you have ever in your life read a commentary on the NT? If you had you will see that turn the other check in the context of suffering for the gospel. Here is the correct context and you can go look it up. Matt 5:13 Jesus speaking to his disciples said "You are the salt and light of the earth...You are the light of the wolrld...You have heard it said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...but I say dont resist an evil person: but whoever slaps you on your right cheek turn the other to him also."

So here is my question to you. Are you saying that if a woman in walking down the street and 5 guys jump out to rape her, that because I am a Christian I should turn the cheek and allow those guys to rape her? I mean turn the other cheek right? Or how about this...a man breaks into my home and threatens my children I should turn the other cheek? Do you really believe that is what Jesus meant?

I think the honest thing for most of us would be to admit that there really isn't a justification for aggressive violent behavior (personal or corporate) in the teachings of Christ.

***Once again really? Then why does Jesus tell his disciples to buy a sword? Why does Jesus respond in violence to the misuse of the Temple. Or what about when Jesus says I didnt come to bring peace but the sword? Maybe you are the one that doesnt want to deal with tough passages.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Honesty would dictate that we admit this is beyond us. Self preservation and selfish ambition often are the motivation for our actions even though it contradicts Jesus' teachings. I know it's much easier to sleep at night if we try to wring out some Biblical justification for our actions. Hey look! I found a verse that says it's ok to shoot 'em! Maybe so, but I'll bet Jesus didn't say it. Later- BB

***BB, have you ever heard "If you want peace prepare for war"?

Let me ask you all a few very simple questions.

1. What do you do with Jesus telling his disciples if you dont have a sword go buy one?
2. When is it ok in your mind to actually go to war?
3. IF you ever say it is ok to wage a war...who is going to fight it because it appears none of you have the stomach to fight it?

Streak said...

Is That Legal?: If It Was Torture in Mississippi, Then It's Definitely Torture, Right?

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

But I tire of repeating myself.

Streak said...

FP,

Nice job of misreading mine and BB's comments. If you are ever serious about dialoguing on faith or masculinity, please come back. Hell, if you are ever serious about actually debating instead of changing the parameters of the debate to suit your pre-existing assumptions--come back.

Otherwise, your mind is made up, right? And don't you have a group of men waiting who want to reclaim their masculinity? Perhaps you better get to that meeting in case they lose their way and start celebrating masculinity a little too much.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said
1) dismissing anything Ted Kennedy says is simply intellectually dishonest and a good example of the ad hominem fallacy. You can raise his past all you want, but if the facts he suggests are true, then you are simply distracting from the key issue.

***Though I agree with ad hominem fallacy the problem with it is that you never allow for the character of a person to be examined. A mans character is the single greatest factor to his testimony. So Ted Kennedy is a liar, murder, and consistently on the wrong side of every issue. So his character is very much at the heart of any crediability to what he says.

2) I was unaware that Jesus put so many qualifications in his call to "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemy."

***see the comments to BB

I was unaware that he added "unless they are really bad people who behead others" or "unless you can blame liberals for enabling them," or "unless they are Muslim."

***You know what is it with liberals that you can never answer the question and you always misquote or attribute a quote to one who never said it. You use my comments in conjunction with those quotations that I never used.

To be fair, I have no idea what it means to actually live out the words of Christ.

*** I am sorry I thought you were a believer. I will not you the Bible anymore with you unless you use it to defend some point you make or attack it.

all of a sudden, the Bible needs context and interpretation.

***Funny, it isnt all of a sudden because the Bible ALWAYS needs context and interpretation.


Shorter version: when it is tough, the Bible doesn't actually mean that. It only means what it says when it reinforces what I already believe.

***funny in our argument of masculinity you do the very samething and refuse to deal with the sections of the Scriptures that show that their is a place for it.

3) I love how while the President justifies our actions based on our need to export democracy to people (all of whom want it naturally), actual democratic principles stop at the border. Beyond that, we can act like a tyrant and still claim the higher moral ground.

***Well, yes. If are exporting it and they dont want it they are not subject to it...what is so difficult about this? Come on.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said

FP,

Nice job of misreading mine and BB's comments.

***Please provide where I misread yours or BB's comments.

If you are ever serious about dialoguing on faith or masculinity, please come back.

***Notice you still address the questions. Notice that I admitted Steve was right. What you mean to say is "IF you are ever serious about dialoguing on faith or masculinity and agree with us please come back.

Hell, if you are ever serious about actually debating instead of changing the parameters of the debate to suit your pre-existing assumptions--come back.

Otherwise, your mind is made up, right?

***Funny, I have already admitted I was wrong in 2 areas, but you obviously have all the truth figured out. But hey your mind is made up to be a liberal right? Remember you attack us, not the other way around.

And don't you have a group of men waiting who want to reclaim their masculinity? Perhaps you better get to that meeting in case they lose their way and start celebrating masculinity a little too much.

***Yep, but it appears you need a dose of masculinity more than any of the others I have met so maybe I will hang here...you never know you make actually be proud to be a man again

Tony said...

I know this conversation has probably about fizzled out, but I have been busy all day and unable to comment. I want to make a point clear.

It looks like the fighting preacher has come clean about something he knew to be true already. Hmmm.

FP: But you used a quote of mine (for once) about torture and wrongly applied it to my comment about waterboarding. My first comment was specifically made in regards to torture as a whole, not waterboarding in specific.

Parse all you want, but in the comment I referenced before, you most certainly were specifying waterboarding.

I quote you again, the entire comment. I don't want to misrepresent you: Now on to the definition. First of it does no SEVERE damage nor is death a likely possibility. Further the Genevea Convention doesnt apply against terrorism because they first have violated it by cutting off the heads of soldiers and civilains, and secondly there are is no terrorist Army in Uniform. So I would like to once again see where waterboarding is
1. Used in WWII as you claim
2. Mentioned in the laws and codes on warfare as torture as you claimed


FP: (I am no expert though) But this makes it OK for you to parse the definition of waterboarding and/or torture. C'mon.

I would ask my original questions again, but FP has already admitted fault here, so I'll let that go.

Streak said...

Fp,

One more chance. Yes you did agree that waterboarding was torture. I wonder if you now will concede that your civilian leadership is in error to defend it?

Second, you continually mischaracterize my own comments to suggest that I would allow a woman to be raped in front of me without doing anything. Yes, liberals are just that weak. You already believe that, right?

You have consistently provided logical fallacies in place of dialogue. Our choices are between protecting children and torture? Our choice is between allowing a woman to be raped and doing nothing? Our choice is to either waterboard or allow the terrorists to win? Really? And we are the ones who attacked you?

I am willing to talk. If you now agree that waterboarding is torture, then why are liberals who complain about it so weak on terror? Why do you continue to use such intellectually weak phrases as the "Communist News Network?" Do you really think that CNN is communist? Or are you merely repeating Hannity and O'Reilly?

And finally, do you really think that you are impressing anyone here? As someone who left the church years ago, I find you annoying and obnoxious. Is that your call? Is your idea of "salt and light" to berate and belittle those who don't agree with you? Is that your idea of masculinity or the position of pastor? And do you always respond to someone who disagrees with your view of the Bible by suggesting that they are not actually believers?

Tony said...

Streak,

You may have already seen this article but perhaps it might be of some interest to our new friend.

Washington Post: Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002

"Waterboarding as an interrogation technique has its roots in some of history's worst totalitarian nations, from Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition to North Korea and Iraq. In the United States, the technique was first used five decades ago as a training tool to give U.S. troops a realistic sense of what they could expect if captured by the Soviet Union or the armies of Southeast Asia. The U.S. military has officially regarded the tactic as torture since the Spanish-American War."

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak- I know this is your blog- If you'll forgive me I'll indulge FP briefly.
FP:
Hmmm I would wonder if you have ever in your life read a commentary on the NT? Yes, several. Thanks for you concern.

So here is my question to you. Are you saying that if a woman in walking down the street and 5 guys jump out to rape her, that because I am a Christian I should turn the cheek and allow those guys to rape her? No.

***Once again really? Then why does Jesus tell his disciples to buy a sword? Why does Jesus respond in violence to the misuse of the Temple. Or what about when Jesus says I didnt come to bring peace but the sword? Maybe you are the one that doesnt want to deal with tough passages. Actually I like looking at tough passages. I see them as just that- tough passages that require some wrestling, especially in light of all of Jesus' teachings on peace, behavior toward enemies, etc... These cause me to pause and consider rather than see them as an easy justification for MY desire to do violence.

***BB, have you ever heard "If you want peace prepare for war"? Yes. I think it probably has a lot to do with why there is seldom real peace.

All in all you ask some good questions that everyone should ask themselves. However, from your tone above (e.g. "Hmmm I would wonder if you have ever in your life read a commentary on the NT?" "Maybe you are the one that doesnt want to deal with tough passages.") and further on ("it appears none of you have the stomach to fight it?") it looks to me like you don't really have any respect for me for some reason. You seem to want combative exchange here on the old blogosphere. Well, I don't. I can handle it ok, it's just there's better things to do with my time. There's plenty of disagreement on this blog, sometimes extreme. But it's done with a degree of respect. You have no idea what I've "stomached" already in my life or what I'm capable of based on the brief comments I've made. I didn't read all of the comments in detail but made a couple comments in response to some things Streak said. From that you seem to assume a great deal.

Your website says, "Xtreme's vision for the future is to use the fellowship body to bring grace to a lost world. We believe that Love meets needs, and by doing so the Body of Christ will multiply." I hope we've caught you on a bad day and that God's grace is usually more evident in your conversation. We're all part-time assholes The trick is to try and avoid going full-time.

Take care, FP. All for now- BB

fightingpreacher said...

BB and Streak, I have not called you assholes and the other things you have called me, but yet I am the one at fault...hmmm...talk about respect and then call me an asshole how does that work.

BB my comment on commentary comes from you saying that nowhere does Turn the other cheek have anything to do with the Gospel, but yet I have 15 commentaries in front of me that all say the same thing...that it specifically had to do with the gospel.

Next Tony, I really had no idea that waterboarding was legally considered torture...but it seems I am the only one man enough to go...I WAS WRONG HERE. You and others on these blogs have misrepresented me, my views, and even to attribute to me quotes that didnt come from me and I havent seen anything that resembles I was wrong except when tony conceded he hadnt been to the event that he trashed on his blog.

I could respond more of the double standard here, but I wont.

BB Bringing Grace to a Lost World has nothing to do with me sticking up for the people that were Wrongly attacked by Tony and Streak and others. Further I have not accused anyone of the claims that streak said I did. He is a self admitted liberal and that is the only term I have used.

You know I do feel scrappy and maybe I will comment more tomorrow morning.

Bootleg Blogger said...

I have not called you assholes Sorry- A poor attempt at mutually deprecating humor. Should have know the "we" would be lost in translation.

you saying that nowhere does Turn the other cheek have anything to do with the Gospel Didn't say that.

Later-BB

fightingpreacher said...

BB here is your comment
"Nowhere in the text is there reference to persecution for one's faith."

fightingpreacher said...

I really dont care if you do call me names and what not. But dont sit there and point a finger about being rude and then do the same.

Bootleg Blogger said...

"Bringing Grace to a Lost World has nothing to do with me sticking up for the people that were Wrongly attacked by Tony and Streak and others." Speaks volumes.

"I really dont care if you do call me names and what not. But dont sit there and point a finger about being rude and then do the same." Agreed. I see you get my point.

Later- BB

fightingpreacher said...

BB, by the way...I just went back and read your comment about assholes my apologies it was late last night when I read it.

steves said...

You asked about proof that waterboarding has happened. There was an article in the WSJ that said their sources confirmed that has happened 3 times (I can't link to the article because you need a subscription to their website). There is also the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who underwent this procedure at least 5 times while in the custody of the CIA. While certainly not commonplace, it is still troubling. What is more troubling, though, is the extent that the administration has gone to authorize this procedure and justify it's use.

The rape comment wasn't fair. There have been discussions on self-defense and defense of a 3rd party on this blog and I don't recall Streak or anyone else taking the position that a person must submit to a violent attack.

BTW, thank you for admitting you were wrong in regards to torture and waterboarding. In all my times discussing this subject, you are probably the only one that has done that after defending it.

fightingpreacher said...

steves I have just recently come to this blog. So I have no idea what has been discussed prior to my first comment on this blog. So if they have said self-defense is ok...then how do they deal with it in the context of Turn the other cheek.

fightingpreacher said...

Just out of curosity hypothetical question for everyone.

We catch Osama tomorrow. He has information about an attack that will make 9/11 look childish.

How do you personally deal with Osama?

Another question has anyone ever read about the Beslan Massacre?

Streak said...

This conversation is annoying. Perhaps it is the ice storm that is shutting down my part of the country, but I have no patience for Ultimate Fighting "preachers."

Right now, I want my wife and dogs and cats to be warm and safe--and my neighbors as well. All of whom have shared what they had. None of them worried about their masculinity or lack thereof.

None of them crashed my blogs and yelled at me--suggested that I wasn't man enough, or christian enough, or patriotic enough.

Tell you what. I am going to choose my friends and neighbors. None of them punch other people in the face. Few of them call attention to their faith and all of them are good people.

Sigh

steves said...

I had never brought up 'turn the other cheek.' I have always understood that passage to mean exactly what it says. A slap to the cheek is a relatively minor aggression and it certainly does not justify the use of deadly force or near deadly force. I don't believe that it means you should never defend yourself, but that lethal force should be a tool of last resort.

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."
-Romans 12:18

That tells me that there will be times when it is not possible nor prudent to be peaceful, but we must cautious and exhaust other remedies first.

I am familiar with Beslan. Chechen separatists took over a school in Russia. Hundreds were killed as a result. As the spouse of public school teacher and the parents of a public school student, I have thought about school security besides being horrified at the cruelty of what happened.

Streak said...

I brought up the turn the other cheek. I am constantly annoyed that fundies lecture me on Biblical inerrancy and yet they usually qualify and parse those passages that are tough. Passages that call on them to avoid violence when they like violence--for example. Or those that challenge accumulation of wealth.

I am fine with context and interpretation of the Bible. In fact, that is the only way it makes sense to me. But I find that most conservatives don't want to admit to interpreting scripture.

Streak said...

BTW, FP, I give up. We catch Osama (assuming Bush is still trying) and you can waterboard him to your heart's content. Inflicting pain on others seems to be something you like, so go have it. Just don't lecture me on your Christian bona fides.

leighton said...

Streak,

I think what bothers me about a lot of the public discourse on deadly force (DISCLAIMER: I mean my general experiences in the blogosphere, NOT just this specific thread) isn't so much that people think killing and torture and the like are acceptable. People in my dad's side of the family have served in the Army in every war (and police action) since WW1, and though I don't think every single military action was equally necessary, collective self-defense is at the very least a grey area that I need to think a lot more about.

What's missing in a lot of these blog conversations is my relatives' first-hand understanding that IF you do choose to take a human life, it's a terrible choice with terrible lifelong consequences (I have two Vietnam vet great-uncles with PTSD that's lasted 35 years), and the only reason you do it is that you believe the alternatives are worse. Maybe you're right and maybe you're not--it's a spur-of-the-moment choice and you don't have a lot of time for analysis; but right or wrong, that is the place you need to be in order to kill someone. It's not a question of "Oh, yeah, of course you shoot the guy. I'm getting another beer, d'you want one--oh, hey, did you hear about the new Bruce Willis movie?" Even if you believe you're right to have taken a life, you never really come to terms with it.

I think life oftentimes puts you in a situation where you have to make hard choices. (Which choices are hard, and why, is of course an ongoing dialogue.) But when there's a loud, vocal minority talking about these choices as though they're not hard at all, that there's no reason to think twice about killing someone based on their religion or their national affiliation or their political orientation, and as though you could just go have a pizza afterward like nothing had happened--there's something broken in our way of thinking. There's something broken in us.

Tony said...

FP,

In regards to the hypothetical situation about bin Laden, what you are referring to is the patently fallacious ticking time bomb scenario. I don't have time to go over the finer points of it right now, but I am sure others who frequent this blog can explain it much better than I can. A Google search will pull up what you need. Wickipedia's article on it is OK.

steves said...

Tony raises a good point. I have seen the same argument used to advocate other positions. My state doesn't have the death penalty and people that want to change that will point to some heinous crime as proof that we need it. That ignores the fact that many people on death row are there because they had lousy public defenders and were convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony (which can be very unreliable).

People will also point to the Waco siege and say that Koresh deserved it, ignoring the fact that it could have been resolved without such a huge loss of innocent life.

The same argument holds true for torture. I am sure you could come up with the perfect scenario, but allowing torture still would allow it to be used on people that are innocent. I am not willing to go there.

I am not some anti-gov't nutjob, but I don't see the above mentioned trends and incidents as a direction that we want to go as a country, nor do I think the Constitution would allow it (at least it shouldn't).

fightingpreacher said...

I like what leighton said. Look guys here it is in a very simple nut shell. I work for men and women who have had to make those tough choices. As a pastor I have had counseling sessions with Military people who were beat up by the "Turn the other cheek crowd" I had other religious people accuse our soliders of murder according to the 10 commandments which obviously doesnt mean that. Now I am going to tell you one of those stories and then tell me...if you are so sure of yourselves and your beliefs. This story has been sanitized.

"I had a soldier come into my office and ask to speak with me. They asked me for help. They were somewhere in the middle east on a site conducting a raid. They were given specific instructions that no one was allowed off the objective for any reason unless they were in cuffs because there was a weapon cache with major weapons. During that raid the one that came for counseling saw someone make a run for it. In the native language this person shouted stop 3 times. Then fired a warning shot, then fired upon the running person. It drop that person. A little while later there was a call for a medic which was the that person. They went over and they realized it was the person they had shot. It was a 12 year old girl running to tell the bad guys in the next section of buildings (which they got them and the weapon cache)...with tears in their eyes that person asked me if God was ok with their decision?"

It is all fine and well for any of you bloggers to sit here and lecture people about turning the other cheek, love your enemies, ect. Then when a person like myself comes along and challenges your beliefs then I am parsing the verse, etc...So often with both liberals and Fundamentalist it is a EITHER OR issue...funny...cause I am offering a more balanced view. One that doesnt require you to think this way or that and people like streak accuse me of saying things that you can go back check for yourself and I have never said or infered.

So Leighton...my hats off to you for bringing it down to a reality that so few of you can even imagine as you sit there and lecture with your liberal or fundamental views!

So in essence you dont need the perfect scenario, but you have to ask yourself when is ok to not turn the cheek, how do we literally walk out loving our enemies, where is the line when you are talking about saving innocent lives? When should we flex our national might and remove people like Saddam who were slaughtering hundred of thousands of their own people? Forget the WMD's, let us argue humanity! When is it right to mobilize an Army to defeat the evil rulers in this world? My major problem with liberal is there is never an acceptable time for this, and my problem with fundamentalist is that if you arent Christian that is enough to kill you all.

So dont lecture me about your lopsided liberal views, cause so far to my knowledge out of everyone who has commented on this war no one has mentioned having had to actually walk out the consequences (right or wrong) of our government. I have lost close personal friends, I have seen adultery at epidemic porportions, I have counseled soldiers and widows with the ramifications of death and the loss of life, I have see the consequences of a father (this is a literal situation) who has 3 children and out of the 7 years I have know him he has been at war for 4 of them, I have seen the fundamentalist roll into my town and dishonor the death of a friend of mine who died saving the lives of a bunch of others guys shouting he deserved it because of homosexuality, and finally I would like to quote somethingremember this isnt the Bible, but none the less I think it answers why we all struggle here...or least why we should struggle.

Gates of Fire
"'Mankind as it is constituted,' Polynikes said, 'is a boil and a canker. Observe teh specimens in any nation, other than lakedaemon. Man is weak, greedy, craven, lustful, prey to every species of vice and depravity. He will lie, steal, cheat, murder, melt down the very statues of the gods and coin their gold as money for whores. This is man. This is his nature, as all the poets attest. Fortunately God in his mercy has provided a counterpoise to our species' innate depravity. That gift, my young friend, is WAR. War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath teh corrupt, which shines forth brillant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.'"

This is a pretty harsh statement and there are some parts I am hesitant to share but I thought I would give it in its entire context...dont respond right away to think about it...I might not agree with all of it, but man it will make you think.

leighton said...

Well, here's the thing--I'm more liberal than most liberals, not that it matters. It's a label that is descriptive of my principles most of the time, and worse than useless in conversations like this. I think that because killing is such a terrible thing, always, even in those special, isolated circumstances where it is not the worst possible outcome, we need to be a lot more careful about it than we are.

This doesn't mean the first thing you do is go after the soldiers who kill, and try to force systematic accountability from the bottom up. That's ass-backward. I have family members who came back to that after serving in Vietnam, and while I doubt they would have fully recovered from their experiences anyway, that response from their fellow citizens didn't help.

I also think this is absolutely not what Streak or anyone at this blog has ever done, and I've lurked here for years.

What we do do is start accountability with the civilian leadership who makes the decision to send troops to war in the first place. That is the question that liberals in general are trying to raise. Why is the administration so insistent on defending things like torture? Why do they hem and haw and pussyfoot and say "Trust us" when we ask to see the reasoning behind their policy decisions? If they have nothing to hide, why not share their non-classified, non-sensitive information when asked, instead of declaring executive privilege on any issue that even tangentially touches the White House? "Sometimes war is necessary" is a non-answer to what we see as the more important issue of keeping accountable those leaders making the decisions to be at war in the first place.

Every line in the "Gates of Fire" quote is despicable, horrifying, and categorically inappropriate for any sane conversation about policy. Self-discipline is a deeply difficult road, and while very few people in life attain it, the fear and aggression native to every act of war too often leads men and women farther away from the path of disciplining their desires than any mere dissolute civilian lifestyle. You get a semblance and an illusion of self-control because there's a chain of command and a collection of authority figures to obey, but when you're out on your own outside the chain, you still have to do the same amount of heavy emotional lifting to master yourself as anyone else does. Soldiers who are lucky have officers who lead them in such a way that this is easier than it would be had they not served. Not every soldier is lucky, as is attested today by the statistics of soldiers returning from combat with diagnosed mental illness. All children, grandchildren and family members of these broken soldiers have to live with this every day of their lives. War is not a good thing. It is, at best, a necessary evil; and not necessary nearly so often as war profiteers would like us to believe.

fightingpreacher said...

hmmm...I think you missed the point of Gates of Fire. The book is about the story of the Spartans who did battle with the Persians (hint that is Iran) who were taking over the world and subjecting people to worse things than are going on right now.

The point of that quote is that because human kind is fallen, evil by nature that there must be war in order to keep some sort of sanity and civilty. War is unfortunately what keeps guys like Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, the guy in Iran, and other Dictators in check.

It might be horrible, but bottom line is it is life.

PS...the Bible very clearly lays out that this is a result of sin. That mankind without a saviour is hopelessly lost and will do evil.

steves said...

When did anyone here (or over at Tony's blog) ever say that war was never an appropriate tool?

fightingpreacher said...

steves...to my knowledge no one. Nor did I accuse anyone of such a thing.

leighton what part of the Gates of Fire quote isnt true about human nature. All of the religions of the world say exactly what that quote says which is "man is weak, greedy, craven, lustful, prey to every species of vice and depravity. He will lie, steal, cheat, murder, melt down the very statues of the gods and coin their gold as money for whores. This is man. This is his nature, as all the poets attest." The Greek poets all said it as well...Our own human experiences tell us the same. So what is so insane about it?

fightingpreacher said...

So here is a question. When is it ok to go to war? I mean do any of you think the war in Iraq is justified? Take out the WMD argument since we found them.

leighton said...

People who are evil by nature don't have nervous breakdowns and suffer PTSD after killing, or being forced to kill, even the most obvious and blatant enemy. They don't come to chaplains afterward, crying and asking if God is okay with what they've done. That's a sign that even though they may do bad things, or things they think are bad, they have a conscience. In any honest view of human nature, you have to weigh the good against the evil, rather than pointing to one sin and saying "Damned! No virtue at all."

If you read that quote on human nature in the context you yourself posted, it's pretty clearly saying that there is very little value in peace--that there is more value in war than in peace. For instance:

War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice.

This is very, very different than your quote of:

because human kind is fallen, evil by nature that there must be war in order to keep some sort of sanity and civilty.

Your quote implies that sanity and civility are worth fighting for, that war is a means to the end of preserving these things. I would tend to agree with careful qualification, but Wheel of Fire disagrees, and says that war is its own end, and has a purpose superior to that of peace.

The only reason to say things like that about human nature is to convince people that it's perfectly okay to kill. You're not killing people, after all, you're killing things, inanimate objects shaped like you who might plot a little, but in the end just need to be exterminated. Because they're evil, and killing them is a good thing, it's virtuous, it's manly.

Historically, the American military, members of whom gave me life, has seen peaceful civilian life as a good thing, the thing that you go to war to defend. You don't go to war to find your virtue. They taught me that anyone who has that level of contempt for civilian life has no business being a soldier, since they're too likely to succumb to the dark pleasures of cruelty and slaughter rather than focusing on the deeper, harder task of remembering home, family, friends, peace, and all the other reasons why they're really fighting in the first place.

fightingpreacher said...

leighton if you will remember I did say that I didnt agree with everything in that quote. Killing is an unfortunate and messey subject, though often needed for the reasons that the quote lays out for us.

We should never desire war, but it will come...that is why communism will never work...Human nature will prevent it from working.

leighton said...

What reasons does it "lay out"? It makes a bald assertion that war by nature leads people to find their strongest virtue, and that's it. As I mentioned in a post above, I believe that view is dreadfully and irresponsibly false, and you didn't disagree. There's nothing in the part you quoted about peace being worth defending. What parts of that quote "make you think," rather than making you immediately reject it as foolish and dangerous?

fightingpreacher said...

That human nature by default is corrupt with greed, lust, and depravity. That is why war exists...not because we want war, but because human nature is evil.

fightingpreacher said...

Waterboarding Information just released...

Funny had no clue about any of this until streak started bringing it up.

The release that was just put on by CBS was that Congress (including quite a few liberals) was notified and approved the techinques.

So lets here what you guys got to say about your leaders like Polsi(sp) and others who approved of such horrible techniques.

leighton said...

I mentioned two posts ago that I don't believe that human nature is evil by default. Humans are inherently susceptible to following their authority figures, though. Something like 4% of humans are born physiologically incapable of feeling remorse or taking pleasure in emotional bonding; these people gravitate toward positions of authority, because manipulating people is the only way they can get the social stimulation they need to survive. I think having sociopaths--who are, depending on how you define your terms, arguably inherently evil--in power is sufficient to get enough people on both sides of a conflict to suppress their consciences long enough to engage in bloody, unnecessary warfare. This says less about human nature than about our inability to deal with people on our own sides who are physically incapable of empathy or weighing the moral consequences of their actions.

And that kind of thing has been around in just about every philosopher who's talked about war and human nature since the pre-Socratics. If a couple of lines of speculation about why people go to war is all Gates of Fire has to offer, isn't there someplace else you could get that, someplace that doesn't slap in the face the very reason our military has existed from the days of the country's founding?

There are precious few actual liberals in Congress. "Democrat" and "liberal" are not synonyms. I've been complaining for a good long while that the Democrats in Congress haven't opposed things like torture nearly enough, and the only reason I could think of as to why they weren't is that they must have known what was going on. Now we have confirmation of that. "Spineless cowards" is one phrase I've used of Congressional Democrats a lot in the past, and no doubt I will in the future.

Anonymous said...

I believe you're referring to this.

It appears to be proof that waterboarding led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was a high level Al Quaida operative.

steves said...

Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield was a good book. Of all the accounts of the battle of Thermopylae, it is probably the most readable. That being said, it is still historical fiction. While I have not doubt that parts of it are accurate, the truth is that information from that period can be somewhat unreliable. Even the accounts of Herodotus, which were referenced by Pressfield, have been heavily questioned.

""Democrat" and "liberal" are not synonyms."

Ain't that the truth. It is also true that "Republican" and "conservative" are not always synonymous.

leighton said...

Steve,

Fair point, and I think the snippet FP quoted is very indicative of ideas about warfare in ancient Greece--I suspect that attitude explains a lot about the popularity of the Iliad, for instance. I should have said, instead, that the excerpt he quoted is monstrous if you try to make it a prescriptive philosophy for contemporary warfare. Thanks for catching me on that.

I'm definitely with you on conservative != Republican. Almost all the conservatives I know personally and respect have dropped their registrations as Republicans in the last two to six years, because they believe it no longer represents their principles. I was never registered to vote in the Democratic primaries, but I would have left about five years ago, I think, had I been.

Rob said...

Anonymous, thanks for that link. It's an interesting wrinkle to the story.

FWIW, I find that specific CIA agent's stand on waterboarding deplorable. "It's useful, but I find it morally questionable and I don't personally want to be involved." He might have concluded with "Ewwwww. YOU do it." That's about as squishy as it gets.

I'm also not sure whether or not, as he claims, "it saved lives." He's in a better position to know if it in fact did, but that assertion has more than a hint of "with us or against us" to it. Maybe it's just me, but that dude almost too sure that it was the absolute right thing to do.

And it still doesn't answer the question lingering here, which is, does war always mean all-out-war? Just because you CAN waterboard someone, SHOULD you? There're all kinds of ways to get info from captives, and there're example after example of interrogators who swear by less extreme methods.

What I want to hear you say, FP, is that waterboarding is acceptable in some instances. Torture is not always despicable. Because then I'll know you're as much a moral relativist as the next liberal.

Streak said...

FP, if you actually read my blog, you would notice that I criticized Pelosi et al. for their complicity in evil. Their complicity, however, does not excuse our President. It just means that more people are guilty for this than just Bush and Cheney.

Personally, I think Pelosi and the other Democrats should resign and let the people choose Democratic leaders who will actually uphold the Constitution and hold this President accountable.

My major problem with liberal is there is never an acceptable time for this

No, not true. Not only have many liberals supported wars like the Afganistan invasion, but also supported Clinton's efforts to stop the killing in Kosovo. Oddly enough, it was the conservatives who complained about using the military to stop the killing there.

So dont lecture me about your lopsided liberal views, cause so far to my knowledge out of everyone who has commented on this war no one has mentioned having had to actually walk out the consequences (right or wrong) of our government.

On this, you are right, FP. I have not served and had to walk out government policies. I respect how difficult that is. But that doesn't mean that our analysis is inherently wrong. It means that we have to respect those who have put their lives on the line--and I think to a person here--we do. But we do not respect this President and his policies.

I am not a pacifist, though I respect many dedicated Christians who are. I have always been (and my friends will back me up) pro-military and pro-defense, because I have always understood that we had to have the ability to defend ourselves and our friends and allies.

So wars can be moral in my book. World War II was. Korea might have been. I am not sure Vietnam was, though I am compassionate for those who believed in their hearts that communism operated like some kind of biological disease.

The Iraq war was a huge mistake from the very beginning. None other than George H. W. Bush said so himself on multiple occasions. It is very hard to see it as a just or moral war. The entire justification was hyped to get the American people afraid. Was Saddam evil? I have no doubt. But the list of tyrants like him is a long one, and I don't see us deciding to invade NK or many of the other countries that oppress their people.

Btw, Afganistan, in my book, was a just and moral war. We could not allow the open terrorist training camps. Too bad Bush didn't actually force his people to do the job right.

Iraq was not. And a good way of tracking that (and the reason one of my students went from a gung-ho soldier to a liberal who thinks this President is not only incompetent but immoral) is to watch how the war was sold. From mushroom cloud to "Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in (inspectors wanted more time in actuality) to then not WMD but "had the ability to make WMD" to "have to bring democracy to Iraq and free the Iraqi people and women and Christians" to "some kind of functioning government that oppresses women and Christians."

Bush violated every lesson of the last 40 years. He ignored the lessons of VN, refused to listen to the only soldier in his cabinet, and ignored even his father's experience.

And, FP, if you read my blog beyond this post, you will see that I have been very critical of this President for his lack of support for the troops. He tried to cut danger pay, has consistently failed to provide support for veterans (in this, the last several administrations--Clinton, Bush have also failed).

fightingpreacher said...

Streak, that is the most intelligent blog I have seen from you yet. But I am about to head back to work and will comment later.

PS that isnt a backhanded compliment...I actually mean that...it deserve me to spend some time on it.

fightingpreacher said...

FP, if you actually read my blog, you would notice that I criticized Pelosi et al. for their complicity in evil. Their complicity, however, does not excuse our President. It just means that more people are guilty for this than just Bush and Cheney.

Personally, I think Pelosi and the other Democrats should resign and let the people choose Democratic leaders who will actually uphold the Constitution and hold this President accountable.
***As much as I hate to admit it, I agree here. I am a conservative and have had my issues with this administration. Further, I have issues with the congress and the judicial branch. For example let’s take the example of Homosexual marriages. I am not arguing it is right or wrong. I am arguing at the abuse of our system. Judges who are in the judicial branch are passing laws based on their interpretation of law, which is not their duty. The job of the Judicial Branch is to interpret a law based on the constitution and render a decision if it is constitutional. The job of the Congress is to pass law based on the will of the people. The will of the people is 75-85% of Americans want a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage. It is the duty of the Congress to make a constitutional amendment prohibiting same sex marriage regardless of whether it is morally right or wrong. Another example is taxes!

The Iraq war was a huge mistake from the very beginning. None other than George H. W. Bush said so himself on multiple occasions. It is very hard to see it as a just or moral war. The entire justification was hyped to get the American people afraid. Was Saddam evil? I have no doubt. But the list of tyrants like him is a long one, and I don't see us deciding to invade NK or many of the other countries that oppress their people.

***This is simply not true. George Bush admitted to making mistakes in the actual war, but not that going to war itself was a mistake. As far as the long list of tyrants…well how many were collaborating with terrorist? How many were developing or attempting to develop WMD’S…if you reject this check out the latest where we found underwater storage compartments with evidence of WMD’S were stored there recently.

Btw, Afganistan, in my book, was a just and moral war. We could not allow the open terrorist training camps. Too bad Bush didn't actually force his people to do the job right.
***Too bad Clinton when given opportunity didn’t kill Osama when he had the chance.

fightingpreacher said...

Ok here is the next question.


When is waterboarding/torture ok if ever? For example if 09/01/2001 we caught a known terrorist with information concerning the pending attack. Would it be acceptable to waterboard him in order to find out the information?

At what point if any do our personal convinctions take a backseat to saving the lives of 1,000's of people?

At some point we have to accept that war brings out the worst and the best. Sometimes we have to make horrible decisions...the difference is that leaders are the ones who will have to bear it.

Just like Bush will have to deal with what he has done and Clinton will take to his grave the responsbility of everyone who died on 9/11.

Streak said...

I am not for changing the constitution to ban gay marriage. And, for what it is worth, neither was Bush until he wanted to be reelected in 2004.

Second:

***This is simply not true. George Bush admitted to making mistakes in the actual war, but not that going to war itself was a mistake. As far as the long list of tyrants…well how many were collaborating with terrorist? How many were developing or attempting to develop WMD’S

I said that George H.W. Bush opposed invading Iraq. That is the current President's father. I think you read this too quickly.

As for those who are collaborating with terrorists? How about Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? Iran? North Korea? Hell, almost all of them.

The WMD argument is moot--except for the most extreme Bush defenders. Wolfowitz admitted that the WMD thing was just to scare the American people into the war.

The fact is that Saddam was not our big threat. He was not collaborating with OBL--in fact they were sworn enemies. We did OBL a favor in more than one way. We took out a secular leader in the Middle east and also gave him free recruiting.

Are you saying that morality is relative? That what is right is only right when it is easy? If torture is evil, then it is evil, right? Or do you suggest that other moral issues also have a caveat attached? For example, it is wrong to murder unless that person is particularly bad? Or it is wrong to commit adultery unless some other variable comes into play?

Just like Bush will have to deal with what he has done and Clinton will take to his grave the responsbility of everyone who died on 9/11.

HOnestly, that is ridiculous. Was it Clinton who was in office when he received the briefing that said OBL wanting to attack inside the US? Or was it his crew who was warned by many that Al Qaeda wanted to use hijacked airlines? Clinton made many mistakes. Many of them, he has acknowledged. He tried to stop bin laden. Bush didn't do anything until after 9-11.

Streak said...

Oh, and by the way, when did Bush admit to making mistakes? Yes, he finally admitted that the "bring it on" statement was a mistake, but his people tried to blame the "mission accomplished" banner on someone else.

This President doesn't admit mistakes. That is why Don Rumsfeld was Sec Def for 6 years. Only this president would refuse to fire him even though his administration of the war was clearly a failure--and Bush clearly refused to fire him simply because his critics wanted him to. And during that time, how many Americans and Iraqis died?

ubub said...

I thought you were referring to the current president as George H. W. Bush the way people refer to Jesus H. Christ. You know, for emphasis. Is it really a different guy?

leighton said...

George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President, as opposed to George Walker Bush, 43rd and current President.

My apologies if I missed something tongue-in-cheek, I've been programming for 14 hours today. :)

fightingpreacher said...

Ok, first of all does WMD'S only mean nuclear weapons to you? Second, if hadnt read it I will attach 2 reports about WMD'S that got NO press time.

Shattering Conventional Wisdom About Saddam's WMD's
By John Loftus
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, November 16, 2007


Finally, there are some definitive answers to the mystery of the missing WMD. Civilian volunteers, mostly retired intelligence officers belonging to the non-partisan IntelligenceSummit.org, have been poring over the secret archives captured from Saddam Hussein. The inescapable conclusion is this: Saddam really did have WMD after all, but not in the way the Bush administration believed. A 9,000 word research paper with citations to each captured document has been posted online at LoftusReport.com, along with translations of the captured Iraqi documents, courtesy of Mr. Ryan Mauro and his friends.

This Iraqi document research has been supplemented with satellite photographs and dozens of interviews, among them David Gaubatz who risked radiation exposure to locate Saddam’s underwater WMD warehouses , and John Shaw, whose brilliant detective work solved the puzzle of where the WMD went. Both have contributed substantially to solving one of the most difficult mysteries of our decade.

The absolutists on either side of the WMD debate will be more than a bit chagrinned at these disclosures. The documents show a much more complex history than previously suspected. The "Bush lied, people died" chorus has insisted that Saddam had no WMD whatsoever after 1991 - and thus that WMD was no good reason for the war. The Neocon diehards insist that, as in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the treasure-trove is still out there somewhere, buried under the sand dunes of Iraq. Each side is more than a little bit wrong about Saddam's WMD, and each side is only a little bit right about what happened to it.



The gist of the new evidence is this: roughly one quarter of Saddam's WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990's. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbors during the mid to late 1990's. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam's nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam’s entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans’ noses. The theft of the unguarded Iraqi nuclear stockpile is perhaps, the worst scandal of the war, suggesting a level of extreme incompetence and gross dereliction of duty that makes the Hurricane Katrina debacle look like a model of efficiency.


Without pointing fingers at the Americans, the Israeli government now believes that Saddam Hussein’s nuclear stockpiles have ended up in weapons dumps in Syria. Debkafile, a somewhat reliable private Israeli intelligence service, has recently published a report claiming that the Syrians were importing North Korean plutonium to be mixed with Saddam’s enriched uranium. Allegedly, the Syrians were close to completing a warhead factory next to Saddam’s WMD dump in Deir al Zour, Syria to produce hundreds, if not thousands, of super toxic “dirty bombs” that would pollute wherever they landed in Israel for the next several thousands of years. Debka alleged that it was this combination factory/WMD dump site which was the target of the recent Israeli air strike in Deir al Zour province..


Senior sources in the Israeli government have privately confirmed to me that the recent New York Times articles and satellite photographs about the Israeli raid on an alleged Syrian nuclear target in Al Tabitha, Syria were of the completely wrong location. Armed with this knowledge, I searched Google Earth satellite photos for the rest of the province of Deir al Zour for a site that would match the unofficial Israeli descriptions: camouflaged black factory building, next to a military ammunition dump, between an airport and an orchard. There is a clear match in only one location, Longitude 35 degrees, 16 minutes 49.31 seconds North, Latitude 40 degrees, 3 minutes, 29.97 seconds East. Analysts and members of the public are invited to determine for themselves whether this was indeed the weapons dump for Saddam’s WMD.


Photos of this complex taken after the Israel raid appear to show that all of the buildings, earthern blast berms, bunkers, roads, even the acres of blackened topsoil, have all been dug up and removed. All that remains are what appear to be smoothed over bomb craters. Of course, that is not of itself definitive proof, but it is extremely suspicious.


It should be noted that the American interrogators had accurate information about a possible Deir al Zour location shortly after the war, but ignored it:

"An Iraqi dissident going by the name of "Abu Abdallah" claims that on March 10, 2003, 50 trucks arrived in Deir Al-Zour, Syria after being loaded in Baghdad. …Abdallah approached his friend who was hesitant to confirm the WMD shipment, but did after Abdallah explained what his sources informed him of. The friend told him not to tell anyone about the shipment."


These interrogation reports should be re-evaluated in light of the recently opened Iraqi secret archives, which we submit are the best evidence. But the captured document evidence should not be overstated. It must be emphasized that there is no one captured Saddam document which mentions both the possession of WMD and the movement to Syria.


Moreover, many of Saddam's own tapes and documents concerning chemical and biological weapons are ambiguous. When read together as a mosaic whole, Saddam's secret files certainly make a persuasive case of massive WMD acquisition right up to a few months before the war. Not only was he buying banned precursors for nerve gas, he was ordering the chemicals to make Zyklon B, the Nazis favorite gas at Auschwitz. However odious and well documented his purchases in 2002, there is no direct evidence of any CW or BW actually remaining inside Iraq on the day the war started in 2003. As stated in more detail in my full report, the British, Ukrainian and American secret services all believed that the Russians had organized a last minute evacuation of CW and BW stockpiles from Baghdad to Syria.


We know from Saddam’s documents that huge quantities of CW and BW were in fact produced, and there is no record of their destruction. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Therefore, at least as to chemical and biological weapons, the evidence is compelling, but not conclusive. There is no one individual document or audiotape that contains a smoking gun.

There is no ambiguity, however, about captured tape ISGQ-2003-M0007379, in which Saddam is briefed on his secret nuclear weapons project. This meeting clearly took place in 2002 or afterwards: almost a decade after the State Department claimed that Saddam had abandoned his nuclear weapons research.

Moreover the tape describes a laser enrichment process for uranium that had never been known by the UN inspectors to even exist in Iraq, and Saddam's nuclear briefers on the tape were Iraqi scientists who had never been on any weapons inspector’s list. The tape explicitly discusses how civilian plasma research could be used as a cover for military plasma research necessary to build a hydrogen bomb.

When this tape came to the attention of the International Intelligence Summit, a non-profit, non-partisan educational forum focusing on global intelligence affairs, the organization asked the NSA to verify the voiceprints of Saddam and his cronies, invited a certified translator to present Saddam’s nuclear tapes to the public, and then invited leading intelligence analysts to comment.

At the direct request of the Summit, President Bush promptly overruled his national intelligence adviser, John Negroponte, a career State Department man, and ordered that the rest of the captured Saddam tapes and documents be reviewed as rapidly as possible. The Intelligence Summit asked that Saddam's tapes and documents be posted on a public website so that Arabic-speaking volunteers could help with the translation and analysis.

At first, the public website seemed like a good idea. Another document was quickly discovered, dated November 2002, describing an expensive plan to remove radioactive contamination from an isotope production building. The document cites the return of UNMOVIC inspectors as the reason for cleaning up the evidence of radioactivity. This is not far from a smoking gun: there were not supposed to be any nuclear production plants in Iraq in 2002.

Then a barrage of near-smoking guns opened up. Document after document from Saddam's files was posted unread on the public website, each one describing how to make a nuclear bomb in more detail than the last. These documents, dated just before the war, show that Saddam had accumulated just about every secret there was for the construction of nuclear weapons. The Iraqi intelligence files contain so much accurate information on the atom bomb that the translators’ public website had to be closed for reasons of national security.

If Saddam had nuclear weapons facilities, where was he hiding them? Iraqi informants showed US investigators where Saddam had constructed huge underwater storage facilities beneath the Euphrates River. The tunnel entrances were still sealed with tons of concrete. The US investigators who approached the sealed entrances were later determined to have been exposed to radiation. Incredibly, their reports were lost in the postwar confusion, and Saddam’s underground nuclear storage sites were left unguarded for the next three years. Still, the eyewitness testimony about the sealed underwater warehouses matched with radiation exposure is strong circumstantial evidence that some amount of radioactive material was still present in Iraq on the day the war began.

Our volunteer researchers discovered the actual movement order from the Iraqi high command ordering all the remaining special equipment to be moved into the underground sites only a few weeks before the onset of the war. The date of the movement order suggests that President Bush, who clearly knew nothing of the specifics of the underground nuclear sites, or even that a nuclear weapons program still existed in Iraq, may have been accidentally correct about the main point of the war: the discovery of Saddam’s secret nuclear program, even in hindsight, arguably provides sufficient legal justification for the previous use of force.

Saddam’s nuclear documents compel any reasonable person to the conclusion that, more probably than not, there were in fact nuclear WMD sites, components, and programs hidden inside Iraq at the time the Coalition forces invaded. In view of these newly discovered documents, it can be concluded, more probably than not, that Saddam did have a nuclear weapons program in 2001-2002, and that it is reasonably certain that he would have continued his efforts towards making a nuclear bomb in 2003 had he not been stopped by the Coalition forces. Four years after the war began, we still do not have all the answers, but we have many of them. Ninety percent of the Saddam files have never been read, let alone translated. It is time to utterly reject the conventional wisdom that there were no WMD in Iraq and look to the best evidence: Saddam’s own files on WMD. The truth is what it is, the documents speak for themselves.

John Loftus is President of IntelligenceSummit.org, which is entirely free of government funding, and depends solely upon private contributions for its support. The full research paper on Iraqi WMD, along with the supporting documents and photographs can be found at www.LoftusReport.com

fightingpreacher said...

2nd Article where we found Chemical Weapons...Which also happen to be weapons of mass destruction. Not to mention I have friends who found stuff as well. Remember I am at a military post that was actually responsible for catching Saddam.

Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq
Monday , May 17, 2004



ADVERTISEMENTBAGHDAD, Iraq —

A roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent (search) recently exploded near a U.S. military convoy, the U.S. military said Monday.

Bush administration officials told Fox News that mustard gas (search) was also recently discovered.

Two people were treated for "minor exposure" after the sarin incident but no serious injuries were reported. Soldiers transporting the shell for inspection suffered symptoms consistent with low-level chemical exposure, which is what led to the discovery, a U.S. official told Fox News.

"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search), the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy."

The round detonated before it would be rendered inoperable, Kimmitt said, which caused a "very small dispersal of agent."

However, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the results were from a field test, which can be imperfect, and said more analysis was needed. If confirmed, it would be the first finding of a banned weapon upon which the United States based its case for war.

Click to Read the Weapons of Mass Destruction Handbook

A senior Bush administration official told Fox News that the sarin gas shell is the second chemical weapon discovered recently.

Two weeks ago, U.S. military units discovered mustard gas that was used as part of an IED. Tests conducted by the Iraqi Survey Group (search) — a U.S. organization searching for weapons of mass destruction — and others concluded the mustard gas was "stored improperly," which made the gas "ineffective."

They believe the mustard gas shell may have been one of 550 projectiles for which former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein failed to account when he made his weapons declaration shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom began last year. Iraq also failed to then account for 450 aerial bombs with mustard gas. That, combined with the shells, totaled about 80 tons of unaccounted for mustard gas.

It also appears some top Pentagon officials were surprised by the sarin news; they thought the matter was classified, administration officials told Fox News.

An official at the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) headquarters in New York said the commission is surprised to hear news of the mustard gas.

"If that's the case, why didn't they announce it earlier?" the official asked.

The UNMOVIC official said the group needs to know more from the Bush administration before it's possible to determine if this is "old or new stuff. It is known that Iraq used sarin during the Iraq-Iran war, however.

Kimmitt said the shell belonged to a class of ordnance that Saddam's government said was destroyed before the 1991 Gulf war (search). Experts believe both the sarin and mustard gas weapons date back to that time.

"It was a weapon that we believe was stocked from the ex-regime time and it had been thought to be an ordinary artillery shell set up to explode like an ordinary IED and basically from the detection of that and when it exploded, it indicated that it actually had some sarin in it," Kimmitt said.

The incident occurred "a couple of days ago," he added. The discovery reportedly occurred near Baghdad International Airport.

Washington officials say the significance of the find is that some chemical shells do still exist in Iraq, and it's thought that fighters there may be upping their attacks on U.S. forces by using such weapons.

The round was an old "binary-type" shell in which two chemicals held in separate sections are mixed after firing to produce sarin, Kimmitt said.

He said he believed that insurgents who rigged the artillery shell as a bomb didn't know it contained the nerve agent, and that the dispersal of the nerve agent from such a rigged device was very limited.

The shell had no markings. It appears the binary sarin agents didn't mix, which is why there weren't serious injuries from the initial explosion, a U.S. official told Fox News.

"Everybody knew Saddam had chemical weapons, the question was, where did they go. Unfortunately, everybody jumped on the offramp and said 'well, because we didn't find them, he didn't have them,'" said Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney.

"I doubt if it's the tip of the iceberg but it does confirm what we've known ... that he [Saddam] had weapons of mass destruction that he used on his own people," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox News. "This does show that the fear we had is very real. Now whether there is much more of this we don't know, Iraq is the size of the state of California."

But there were more reasons than weapons to get rid of Saddam, he added. "We considered Saddam Hussein a threat not just because of weapons of mass destruction," Grassley said.

Iraqi Scientist: You Will Find More

Gazi George, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist under Saddam's regime, told Fox News he believes many similar weapons stockpiled by the former regime were either buried underground or transported to Syria. He noted that the airport where the device was detonated is on the way to Baghdad from the Syrian border.

George said the finding likely will be the first in a series of discoveries of such weapons.

"Saddam is the type who will not store those materials in a military warehouse. He's gonna store them either underground, or, as I said, lots of them have gone west to Syria and are being brought back with the insurgencies," George told Fox News. "It is difficult to look in areas that are not obvious to the military's eyes.

"I'm sure they're going to find more once time passes," he continued, saying one year is not enough for the survey group or the military to find the weapons.

Saddam, when he was in power, had declared that he did in fact possess mustard-gas filled artilleries but none that included sarin.

"I think what we found today, the sarin in some ways, although it's a nerve gas, it's a lucky situation sarin detonated in the way it did ... it's not as dangerous as the cocktails Saddam used to make, mixing blister" agents with other gases and substances, George said.

Officials: Discovery Is 'Significant'

U.S. officials told Fox News that the shell discovery is a "significant" event.

Artillery shells of the 155-mm size are as big as it gets when it comes to the ordnance lobbed by infantry-based artillery units. The 155 howitzer can launch high capacity shells over several miles; current models used by the United States can fire shells as far as 14 miles. One official told Fox News that a conventional 155-mm shell could hold as much as "two to five" liters of sarin, which is capable of killing thousands of people under the right conditions in highly populated areas.

The Iraqis were very capable of producing such shells in the 1980s but it's not as clear that they continued after the first Gulf War.

In 1995, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo (search) cult unleashed sarin gas in Tokyo's subways, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. In February of this year, Japanese courts convicted the cult's former leader, Shoko Asahara, and sentence him to be executed.

Developed in the mid-1930s by Nazi scientists, a single drop of sarin can cause quick, agonizing choking death. There are no known instances of the Nazis actually using the gas.

Nerve gases work by inhibiting key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.

Antidotes to nerve gases similar to sarin are so effective that top poison gas researchers predict they eventually will cease to be a war threat.

Fox News' Wendell Goler, Steve Harrigan, Ian McCaleb, Liza Porteus, James Rosen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

fightingpreacher said...

I am not for changing the constitution to ban gay marriage. And, for what it is worth, neither was Bush until he wanted to be reelected in 2004.

***Streak really I don’t care what you want considering you are in the minority on this issue. The issue I was bringing up was the Congress whose job it is to pass laws according to the will of the people has failed miserably. Further, I thought that Massachusetts didn’t make it legal until the year or so before the election…So it wouldn’t of been an issue in the first election.

I said that George H.W. Bush opposed invading Iraq. That is the current President's father. I think you read this too quickly.
***Ok my bad

As for those who are collaborating with terrorists? How about Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? Iran? North Korea? Hell, almost all of them.
***Priorities my friend, priorities. We do not have the military strength to fight all of them at once. So then we must prioritize them according to who is the most dangerous. Further some can be won with diplomacy, when talking works we should use it.

The WMD argument is moot--except for the most extreme Bush defenders. Wolfowitz admitted that the WMD thing was just to scare the American people into the war.

***See articles I have attached.

The fact is that Saddam was not our big threat. He was not collaborating with OBL--in fact they were sworn enemies. We did OBL a favor in more than one way. We took out a secular leader in the Middle east and also gave him free recruiting.
***Hmmm, we have letters and correspondence between Saddam and Al Qaeda…maybe I spoke to quickly. Al Qaeda and OBL are the same to me.

Are you saying that morality is relative? That what is right is only right when it is easy? If torture is evil, then it is evil, right? Or do you suggest that other moral issues also have a caveat attached? For example, it is wrong to murder unless that person is particularly bad? Or it is wrong to commit adultery unless some other variable comes into play?
***I am not saying anything. I asked you a question that you wouldn’t answer. Adultery is not right. You would not ever be able to justify adultery. So back to the question, do you have the courage to answer it?

Honestly, that is ridiculous. Was it Clinton who was in office when he received the briefing that said OBL wanting to attack inside the US? Or was it his crew who was warned by many that Al Qaeda wanted to use hijacked airlines? Clinton made many mistakes. Many of them, he has acknowledged. He tried to stop bin laden. Bush didn't do anything until after 9-11.
***How is it ridiculous when you admit that his “crew” knew? He knew and OBL was offered to the US a few times in the 90’s. President Bush had been in office for 8 months. Do you really think any President could gather enough information in that amount of time to make an informed decision on something similar to 9/11. Further Clinton had so destroyed the military and the intelligence community’s ability to communicate with each other…those things take some time to work out.

ubub said...

Leighton, are you seriously suggesting that Jesus' middle name is Herbert? Citation please.

Streak said...

So back to the question, do you have the courage to answer it?

What an ass. Everything for you is about proving your manhood, isn't it? As a friend of mine said, you are more "fighting" than "preacher" and that doesn't seem to bother you.

Ok. Couple of things and then I think i am done with you.

Yes, we all know that Saddam had WMD of some sort. We know for example that he used it on the Kurds and we certainly know that we found some degraded stock over there. That was never the question or the justification for the invasion. The justification was that Saddam was going to attack us inside our borders if we didn't stop him. That, was far from true, and most Bush people will concede that. Bush himself justifies the invasion completely differently now. Perhaps you should catch up on the latest propaganda.

Second, your assinine "do you have the courage to answer it" (seriously, you are a pastor?--good god, that would make me consider atheism) question. You of course suggested that torture was ok if the person had knowledge of a ticking time bomb. You have asked several variations of that--and not really listened to the responses. I would suggest that the "ticking time bomb" is not a useful way to frame our moral response. I am also reminded of the fact that KSM was tortured by our people and has admitted to every possible terrorist attack in the last 20 years. I half expected him to be on the grassy knoll. It doesn't work. It doesn't create the information you want. So in addition to being immoral (which you want me to say is relative) it doesnt' work.

Your use of intelligence mirrors this administration. You cherry pick and take the parts you like and exclude the rest. OBL wanted secular leaders like SAddam gone. You surely don't think all muslims think alike do you?

And likewise, you cherry pick from the rumors circulating in the right wing to make Clinton look bad. Yep, he screwed up sometimes. and say you want to blame him for everything. Perhaps you need to take a look at how Bush took office with regards to terrorism. Take a look at what his terrorism czar (Richard Clarke) had to say about it. Bush took office wanting an excuse to invade Iraq and did very little about terrorism.

Now, if you want to continue, you will have to actually behave a little. Stop posting entire articles (links will do just fine) and stop with the stupid "if you have the balls" argument line. More of that crap and I will not only close the comments, but I will stop allowing you to post. And might I add, grow up a little.

leighton said...

Ok, first of all does WMD'S only mean nuclear weapons to you?

This is off-topic, but yes, I believe the phrase "WMD" should refer only to nuclear weapons. (In the context of this conversation, all this means is that I think we should be talking about the significance of Iraq's chemical weapons rather than their WMDs. Semantics, and nothing more.)

Chemical and biological agents are designed to render a targeted area uninhabitable without causing serious damage to the infrastructure. As such, they are better thought of as "Weapons of Temporary Area Denial." They cause no mass destruction--their function is to disrupt human activity in the area. You folks have some pretty hardcore gear to help you survive it, but for the most part, this gear is only necessary because you might not want to move out of the affected area for tactical reasons. Civilians (who have no obligations or ability to secure an area) who make it out of the killing zone and don't die and aren't incapacitated within about fifteen minutes usually make it through the experience with minimal lasting consequences. Badly designed tools like Agent Orange (which was classified as a defoliant, not a weapon) may have long-lasting neurological effects, however.

This link will likely be old news to you, but it was of interest to a civilian like me.

leighton said...

Leighton, are you seriously suggesting that Jesus' middle name is Herbert? Citation please.

Christopher Moore said it, I believe it, and that's good enough for me.

Super Karate Monkey said...

So back to the question, do you have the courage to answer it?

Does Streak have fear? A thousand times no!

Streak has fancy plans and pants to match.

fightingpreacher said...

Funny, streak no where have I called you names and nowhere did I mention anything about your "balls". Is this how liberals show the respect that you never get?

Oh by the way isnt your calling me an ass the Ad hominem Fallacy you had me read about? I mean instead of dealing with the issues you do name calling and attack my character? HMMM...what is good for the goose must not be good for the gander.

I am actually trying to have an intellectual conversation with you...unfortunately you seem unable to be intellecutally honest. As far as posting articles...sorry. I will post links instead.

Next, since inadvertently you answered the question I was looking for which is that moral are not relative. So does that mean that Morals are absolute?

So I will wait for your response about that. Are Morals absolute?

Further I am quite proud that I am a fighter. I am even more proud that God has selected me to be a preacher of the gospel. Why should it bother me? Sorry you have issues with that...but hey each to his own.


PS...I wonder have you ever had a blog with almost a hundred posts?

leighton said...

Oh by the way isnt your calling me an ass the Ad hominem Fallacy you had me read about?

No, it isn't. Ad hominem would be "Fightingpreacher is an ass, therefore nothing he says has any value." Calling you an ass because you're acting like an ass is a statement of fact, and a not-so-subtle request from our host to modify your behavior to something less confrontational. It has everything to do with your behavior and nothing to do with the content of your arguments.

"I wonder if you have the courage to respond to this" is the same damn thing as saying "You haven't yet had the balls to respond to this," isn't it? In what substantial way do those two statements differ?

fightingpreacher said...

Well for one having balls is quite different than saying courage. It is called being polite for one and for the other courage is an all together different word.

Funny the first line of the definition of the Ad hominem is "consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject."

Then it goes on to say what you have said. So in essence by not answering the question but instead calling me a name Streak has done the very thing he asked me to read when I first found out about these blogs.

leighton said...

Wait...wait. You're saying that even though you insulted Streak's character on his own blog in the community he's spent years cultivating, because you did it politely, he has no right to complain about it? Merciful Lord, how do you dress yourself in the morning?

You could just as easily have said, several posts back, "I'm very interested in a response to this," instead of taking your unnecessary jab about courage. That's the kind of thing people do here. This isn't the internet equivalent of a bar, where patrons can talk however they like as long as they don't break stuff. This is Streak's virtual home, and we are his guests. If he asks someone to stop pissing on the rug, the proper--the polite--response isn't to argue that you're not pissing, you're urinating in a way to relieve your biological needs, and besides, you're proud to be a human that needs to pee. You don't do that. You zip up and maybe offer to clean the rug. Or you leave.

fightingpreacher said...

Leighton, I believe your comments are inappropriate. First, my comments on courage were not insulting, but meant to confront one for a response. What zZI have noticed in these blogs is these people have all the courage in the world until challenged. Then you dont address the issue but ask people to leave your blogs. How boring...I personally like it when people challenge me and my beliefs...becuase it causes me to grow!

notice you still are defending his inappropriate name calling

Streak said...

Leighton, thanks for the clarification. I think you said it better than I could have.

FP, you certainly meant to insult. And I lost my temper and insulted you back. I believe you were and are acting badly. Perhaps I shouldn't have called you an ass, but as Leighton points out, that was not an ad hominem attack. It was me calling you an ass. Challenging my courage in a blog is, well, frankly stupid (note, I am calling the idea stupid--so please don't get the vapors). How would I demonstrate courage to you here? Should I punch someone in the face? Should I suggest that "if I had OBL in a room, I would hook up my desk lamp to his privates until he talked?" Should I post a half-naked picture of myself posing as a fighter? Would that make me brave?

But regardless of me calling you an ass--I did respond to your questions. I answered your bad intelligence on Clinton and Bush. I said that if torture was wrong, then it was wrong regardless of whatever situation you present. I have been saying that since this conversation over torture began--since our President defended torture. Are morals absolute? I think so, but the problem we get into is defining those morals. In the case of torture, we have no such problem. We know torture is wrong and evil.

I also answered your questions about WMD, though once again, Leighton has answered those questions better than I. You still have the problem of trying to justify the war in Iraq based on intelligence that even George W. (this current president) Bush won't rely on. You also conveniently avoid the very real situation in Afghanistan where Bush pulled back on his attempts to get OBL (outsourced the process). You can blame Clinton for everything from McKinley's assassination to causing Katrina, but seem to not see the very real problems that this president has caused. For which, he refuses to acknowledge responsibility.

And finally, I suggested that you were more "fighter" than "preacher." If you had to choose, in other words, I think you would rather pummel your opponent than show them something positive about Christ--grace, compassion, acceptance, love. As I said on one of my recent posts on "wussification"--I think we can do better.

Streak said...

Super Karate Monkey,

I only have this to say to you. Donkey Donkey Donkey.

fightingpreacher said...

Leighton, thanks for the clarification. I think you said it better than I could have.

FP, you certainly meant to insult. And I lost my temper and insulted you back. I believe you were and are acting badly. Perhaps I shouldn't have called you an ass, but as Leighton points out, that was not an ad hominem attack. It was me calling you an ass. Challenging my courage in a blog is, well, frankly stupid (note, I am calling the idea stupid--so please don't get the vapors). How would I demonstrate courage to you here? Should I punch someone in the face? Should I suggest that "if I had OBL in a room, I would hook up my desk lamp to his privates until he talked?" Should I post a half-naked picture of myself posing as a fighter? Would that make me brave?
***Well believe what you want, I am not going to try and convince you otherwise. BTW according to the Wikipedia you have committed the ad hominem attack. The first line explicitly shows us that. So a guy with his shirt off is half naked? Hmmm…much of touched a sore spot with some of you. At least before your insults had some measure of relativity to the subject, but now you are just throwing out insults for no reason but to be insulting, which I find pretty interesting.

But regardless of me calling you an ass--I did respond to your questions. I answered your bad intelligence on Clinton and Bush. I said that if torture was wrong, then it was wrong regardless of whatever situation you present. I have been saying that since this conversation over torture began--since our President defended torture. Are morals absolute? I think so, but the problem we get into is defining those morals. In the case of torture, we have no such problem. We know torture is wrong and evil.
***Ok define morals. Who defines morals? To the terrorist who flew planes into the 2 towers that was their moral obligation. So tell me who defines morals and if they are absolute what do we do with the Muslims?

And finally, I suggested that you were more "fighter" than "preacher." If you had to choose, in other words, I think you would rather pummel your opponent than show them something positive about Christ--grace, compassion, acceptance, love. As I said on one of my recent posts on "wussification"--I think we can do better.
***I suppose all of your insults and calling me an ass is a much better way of showing grace, compassion, acceptance and love! I thought you said you were not a Christian? Are you or aren’t you?
It is pretty funny cause of a lot the opponents I have fought and won and lost to have a lot of respect for me and what I do as a minister. Funny, a lot of the unsaved I know in the fight game have more respect than you. For your information there has been 2 documentaries done about me being a fighter and a preacher both of which were positive. One showed me praying for various fighters before and after fights. Fighting also gave me the opportunity to preach in a county I otherwise would not have had that opportunity. You sure are quite judgmental.

fightingpreacher said...

Morals...for all who are reading.

I have a couple of questions for you.

1. Are morals relative or absolute
2. If morals are absolute as Streak suggest...who determines what morals are?
3. How do we make morals absolute if obviously Islam has a completely different perspective about what morals are.

Streak said...

Once again, if it were ad hominem, I would have said, you are an ass and that makes your points invalid. I have addressed your points as they are. The issue of whether or not you are an ass is a separate issue. And I hate to tell you how the reading public here would vote.

On the other points, I notice that you simply moved on from the faulty intelligence to your view that all Muslims have a different moral compass? Or are all Muslims the same as those who flew into the towers? What does the morality of others have to do with our own?

I answered your question about morality. I am not sure you liked the answer. Torture is wrong. I don't need a scripture verse to tell me that. And now you are once again doubting my Christian bona fides. First my courage is in doubt, now my faith. Thank you for that. See, that is the kind of line that makes me think of you as an "ass." If I don't like ultimate fighting or I suggest that pugilism is not a Christian value, I either lack courage or am not a believer. That seems to be your method of attack.

(But you are right, the topless male line was unnecessary. Sorry. It just seems a bit much. But you are right, it is irrelevant to your take on the war, torture, and morality. )

Bootleg Blogger said...

FP- You said, "At what point if any do our personal convinctions take a backseat to saving the lives of 1,000's of people?"

How would you answer that question?- BB

fightingpreacher said...

BB to be completely honest. I struggle with that one. I am not sure. Does the life of one individual amount to the lives of thousands? If we take that route it is a very slippery slope...

Part of me says YES! Part of me says NO!

Not a very authoritive answer I know, but it seems I am much more willing to flesh this out than others.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said

On the other points, I notice that you simply moved on from the faulty intelligence to your view that all Muslims have a different moral compass? Or are all Muslims the same as those who flew into the towers? What does the morality of others have to do with our own?

***Where did I include all Muslims? I simply put Muslims as a generalization. Bottomline when 9/11 happened if you remember they showed footage all around the Muslim world and the MINORITY of Radical Islamic Muslims danced in the streets...conservative estimates put it at over a 100,000 people at every scence spread over (if I remember correctly) 8 different countries!

***Now what do their morals have to do with our own? Excellent question. Everything!!!!! Here is how. IF as you say Morals are ABSOLUTE, then those Muslim men who flew those planes into those 2 towers are held to the same moral standards that at least I hold. Not sure if you do, but I assume (dangerous to assume) you do as well. So are Morals Absolute? If they are who determines what are the absolutes?

I answered your question about morality. I am not sure you liked the answer. Torture is wrong. I don't need a scripture verse to tell me that.

***Torture is wrong...got it and I agree. But let me ask you this. Is torture wrong for Radical Islam? They seem to think that morally it isnt as well as that human children bombs are not wrong either. So the question is that if Morals are absolute as you suggest why is it that these men dont think as you?

And now you are once again doubting my Christian bona fides.

***I am not doubting or believing anything. You at one point seemed to suggest that you were not a believer in Jesus Christ. Then in another seem to indicate that you were. So which is it? The way I approach arguments with Believers and Non-Believers is very different because I will use different sources based on that persons belief of authority.

First my courage is in doubt, now my faith. Thank you for that. See, that is the kind of line that makes me think of you as an "ass." If I don't like ultimate fighting or I suggest that pugilism is not a Christian value, I either lack courage or am not a believer.

***Could you please point out where I said, inferred, or questioned your faith because you dont like the Ultimate Fighting?

That seems to be your method of attack.

***Not an attack but a legit question. Are you a believer in Jesus Christ or not?

(But you are right, the topless male line was unnecessary. Sorry. It just seems a bit much. But you are right, it is irrelevant to your take on the war, torture, and morality. )

***Thank you for the apology.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Also, BP, you said, "Is this how liberals show the respect that you never get?"

Liberals, like conservatives, are quite a diverse lot. With all due respect to Streak, I don't think he stands as a representative of all liberals, any more that you would represent all conservatives. Those labels tend to be fairly relative along a linear continuum (ie left to right and vice versa). Comments like the one you make above don't help your credibility here. Generalizations about entire groups of people are usually inacurate- I don't see how it adds to the conversation at all.

I should have me head examined for jumping in here, but I'll give my OPINION on a few of your questions:
"1. Are morals relative or absolute" My working definition of "morals" or codes of conduct would vary a great deal between and sometimes within various cultures. I see some central themes being consistent. For example, stealing is generally considered wrong among the cultures with whom I personally have experience, but there is variation in what is considered private and public property. Therefore, theft exists and is considered wrong, but how it looks in practice may vary. Muslims are no more homogenous on plenty of issues than are Christians, Jews, or other major religions. Some of the "morals" we see in certain Muslim groups have as much to do with their ethnicity (Arab, Persian, Malay, Fulani, etc...) as with their being Muslim. Again, you can substitute any other major religion for Muslim. The Wahabism exported by the Saudis is not welcomed everywhere.
2. If morals are absolute as Streak suggest...who determines what morals are?-- I think morals, again, are formed over periods of time and combine many factors including religious, societal norms, social pressures, and conflict. Religious fundamentalists tend to promote that there is an absolute right and wrong- God's opinion on the subject. Of course, religious writings are given to a great deal of interpretation and difference of opinion within religions. So, my answer to your question would be individuals (personal conviction), society at large (general consensus), secular governments, and probably plenty of other factors I'm not thinking of. There are probably plenty of people in this country who think racial discrimination is just fine. Most of the ones I've met would call themselves Christians. They claim no dissonance with this "moral" position. I, on the other hand, consider this to be an immoral position as well as "unchristian". I would say the same of torture.
3. How do we make morals absolute if obviously Islam has a completely different perspective about what morals are. - I'd say that we don't make moral absolute- I think it's impossible. That's not to say that I don't have deeply held convictions of what is right and wrong. In fact, I do AND I think you should hold the same ones that I do. I disagree that Islam has a completely different perspective about what morals are. I think there are plenty of Muslims who would share as much or more in common with moderate Christians than their fundamentalist counterparts. I know plenty of such people personally. That's not a naive statement- I'm well aware there are Muslims whose agendas are in direct conflict with what I consider to be moral or right. These people use their own interpretation of their scripture to justify their actions just as Christian scripture has been twisted time and again to justify actions that I would consider to be immoral and evil. Lumping everyone together is counterproductive and, in my experience and opinion, inacurate.
Later- BB

Streak said...

***Torture is wrong...got it and I agree. But let me ask you this. Is torture wrong for Radical Islam?

Irrelevant. I have no control over radical Islam. We can control what we do--not what terrorists do. My sense of morality has nothing to do with another belief system. In fact, I am not so concerned with some over-arching "absolute" morality as I am with consistency within our own beliefs. When we act outside what we say we believe, we err grievously.

***I am not doubting or believing anything. You at one point seemed to suggest that you were not a believer in Jesus Christ.

Quite honestly, I feel no obligation to affirm or deny my faith to you. You have not shown yourself to be either an honest broker or an actual concerned man of faith. You draw your own conclusions. But make no mistake, whenever people disagree with you on issues of faith, you soon question their belief. Hardly legitimate.

***Could you please point out where I said, inferred, or questioned your faith because you dont like the Ultimate Fighting?

I suspect you are a bit of a literalist. You misread many of my statements. I conflated several of your implications. Call it blogger's artistic license. It conveys your take, I would argue. You both challenged my courage and my faith. Several times, for a matter of fact.

Let me ask you a question now. What is your purpose here? Do you think you will change our minds? Do you think you are making us think better of conservative Christianity? Besides goading me about my courage and faith, and being offended by Leighton's rebuke, what are you trying to accomplish here?

ubub said...

Damn, you guys have been busy! That's right I called you busy! All of you! Busy busy busy busy! Absolutely busy! You want to know who defines busy?! I do.

You bunch of busy discussers. That's right - I said it.

Streak said...

donkey donkey donkey

robert paulsen said...

Hey, what's with all these questions? I thought the first rule of Project Mayhem was don't ask questions? Where is my mind?

fightingpreacher said...

I dont know what I am trying to acheive here. Remember it was your comments and tonys comments that brought me here. Fighting Preacher didnt come to Liberal Dilemma to attack, he came because you attacked something he believes in.

Now onto the other part.

The reason I brought up Islam was because you said morals were absolute. IF they are absolute that means they are the standards for everyone.

Whether you agree or disagree doesnt make you a christian or a heathen except maybe in a few areas which are theological discussions for another time.

But let us argue for a second that you are a Christian. Then depending on your view of homosexual marriage becomes problematic IF and I emphasize IF you dont think the constitution should be ammended because you dont think homosexuality is a sin. Now if you believe that it isnt a constitutional issue therefore it isnt applicable, but still think it is sin...I can deal with that though I disagree.

So you can judge me all you want, but I actually have more grace for you and your position and your relationship with God than it seems you afford me.

I think you can disagree with me all you want and that has nothing to do with your salvation at all.

Streak said...

Shorter FP: I have more grace than you, so there!

Nice argument. Oh, and right, I forgot. I followed you and a bunch of drum beating God Men to your manly lair and mocked you. NO. I attacked you and undermined your masculinity. A veritable emasculation.

Oh wait. I posted one of many posts disagreeing with the John Eldredge "beat your chest" view of Christianity. And you felt that I had what? "Soiled your honor?" Because I think that the God Men view is bunk? You felt you had to come and come after me on my blog, question my courage, my masculinity and my Christian faith?

Oh my.

fightingpreacher said...

come on man grow up. You and tony launched a blog attack and I came back and responded. I mean look do what you want but this is a little ridiculous even for me.

Streak said...

A blog attack?

We criticized your little men's group (nothing wrong with that) and you call that a "blog attack?"

fightingpreacher said...

BTW...why what was so wrong with Wild at Heart? I wonder did you read his first one Sacred Romance? That would give you a contextual understanding of his writings...wait did you even read Wild at Heart?

Streak said...

If you think that is a blog attack, then you better not read my post on "wussification." You might get all worked up. AFter all, I posted something on my little blog that offended you. And that CANNOT STAND.

But it is me being ridiculous. I forget how much more gracious and Christ like you are. Just ask you.

Streak said...

I didn't like Wild at Heart. I didn't find Eldredge convincing at all. I also found him to be completely lacking in historical context. He somehow thought he had invented a new take on masculinity, when he is merely a cheap knockoff of a bad copy.

ubub said...

The whole world is Wild at Heart and weird on top. That's why I wear a snakeskin jacket as a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

leighton said...

Oh, ick, we've been talking about that John Eldridge this whole time? Wow.

It struck me that Sacred Romance might be helpful for a while for people who have trouble integrating their emotions into their social lives and relationships, whether because of inherent neurological issues or a distant or abusive upbringing. Still, while I certainly wish anyone well who benefits from it, it's not something I see as deep enough to build a philosophy around, and it certainly isn't universally applicable. But I imagine people who are ready will naturally move beyond it at their own pace, so I don't feel terribly obligated to disparage it specifically.

Streak said...

wow, leighton, I am once again impressed. You seem to be about the best read person I have run into around here. And I know a lot of readers.

leighton said...

Oh, this one was a fluke; my dad highly recommended it to me a couple years back, and I was kind of underwhelmed. Then I asked him about it a few months later, and he'd already gotten bored with it. But for people who are new to introspection, I suspect it could be quite helpful.

Bootleg Blogger said...

"But let us argue for a second that you are a Christian. Then depending on your view of homosexual marriage becomes problematic IF and I emphasize IF you dont think the constitution should be ammended because you dont think homosexuality is a sin."

Does this mean that you think someone's stance on homosexuality as sin or not determines whether or not they are a Christian? BB

Tony said...

Two items:

ubub,

Movie line? That would be Sailor, from the movie Wild at Heart, no? Betcha didn't think I saw that one...

And...

Blog attack? I think a blog with less than fifty hits a day and maybe eight regular readers hardly constitutes a blog attack.

(Plus, I just wanted to be the 129th comment.)

fightingpreacher said...

No streak regardless of what you believe about homosexuality does not determine if you are a Christian. I said it was problematic. That has nothing to do with your salvation. Off to work I go hi ho hi ho...will comment more later.

Rob said...

"ubub said...

The whole world is Wild at Heart and weird on top. That's why I wear a snakeskin jacket as a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom."

Well played, sir. Very incisive use of a Lynchian text to explicate this thread.

Seriously, if we're gonna get into talking about the Christian morality of Teh Gays, can we start a new thread to fill at the top of your blog page? I've got a couple-three things to add, but I'm getting all carpal scrolling down to find this post.

And thirdly, I claim the 130th comment spot. Nyah nyah.

steves said...

This is the longest, most convoluted, meandering thread I have seen on any blog. How many different subjects can we discuss?

Bootleg Blogger said...

"No streak regardless of what you believe about homosexuality does not determine if you are a Christian. I said it was problematic. That has nothing to do with your salvation. Off to work I go hi ho hi ho...will comment more later."

FWIW, this was me, not Streak. We're actually easy to tell apart- I'm much prettier. Later- BB

Bootleg Blogger said...

"This is the longest, most convoluted, meandering thread I have seen on any blog. How many different subjects can we discuss?"

This definitely refects poor moderating on Streak's part. I think he needs a good repremand.- BB

Tony said...

Steve,

This is the longest, most convoluted, meandering thread I have seen on any blog. How many different subjects can we discuss?

Well, the post is titled "The Liberal Dilemma." =)

steves said...

"This definitely refects poor moderating on Streak's part. I think he needs a good repremand."

I didn't mean to give Streak a hard time, but I'd be satisfied if he were placed on double secret probation.

Streak said...

Perhaps this thread is done. It certainly is the longest one we have had here.

I am still curious how Tony and I created some kind of blog attack. Are the Godmen so thin skinned that they have to go after any critics anywhere? Is there a bat signal that goes up when someone criticizes Brad Stine that elicits the group to charge? "Oh no, our masculinity is under attack--we have to counter or will be considered "wussies?"

The reality is that many of us here find the entire idea of this Godmen anachronistic and simply a reflection of men who can't or won't acknowledge the world around them. Reading some of the stuff they put out (and this includes Eldredge's Wild at Heart) and you see very superficial stereotypes about gender roles. Those views remind me of the 1950s effort to push women back into the home after wartime employment--as if women were not capable of welding ships and tanks. They rest on simplistic views of women as softer and more nurturing and men as tough and stoic--as if those roles are gender determined.

If people like Stine want to recreate those simplistic and superficial gender roles in the church setting, that is their choice. But it is yet another example of the conservative church moving backward, not forward.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak, Godmen didnt gather the troops so to speak to retaliate. Tony's blog came up on a google search.

Much like Tony (who by the way apologized) have mischaracterized and demonized this group of guys. They dont believe anything that you have mentioned below.

BTW Streak have you even read Wild at Heart?

Streak said...

Still the point is that we disagreed with your little men's group and you couldn't stand that. There was no "blog attack." You created the controversy and made it into a fight--both here and at Tony's.

And for the 17th time, yes I read Wild at Heart.

Streak said...

And by the way, demonized? I didn't make a "comedy album" entitled "wussification." I am not the one who made that stupid word the identity of a movement.

fightingpreacher said...

So what was your issue with Wild at Heart? What in that book even remotely resembles your comments about it?

Have you listened to the Album? DO you even know what he is talking about in that album?

fightingpreacher said...

In your opinion what does the "conservative church" mean? What is it that makes one church conservative? If there are conservative churches, what is the opposite? Liberal churches? I mean how do you make the church into a political battle?

Streak said...

I think I have answered your question on Wild at Heart. I took issue (and continue to do so) with superficial gender stereotypes. Suggesting that men need to be warriors and women prefer to be rescued is superficial and simplistic.

As for the conservative church, I define that as churches who combine a conservative theology (inerrancy, Biblical literalism, etc) with a conservative political philosophy.

fightingpreacher said...

Could you further comment on the Biblical or theological side of this...honestly I could care less about the political side of it.

Streak said...

I am not sure I need to buy an album named "wussification" after reading the great thinker's web page. And what possible justification is there for using that word? Why use a word that is obviously code for a pejorative word for a woman's body part?

fightingpreacher said...

First off if you would bother to check the words etymology you will see that they are not sure if that is the words origins. Next, you would actually have to do some research to make that determination. The average guy on teh street probably doesnt even what the word etymology means!

Now onto the part of wussification. That is in the context of Political Correctness. On his album he actually tells you what a wuss is. It is where we value political correctness over truth! He uses several examples, like the banning of Navity Scenes cause it might offend someone, the war against Christmas, and the example of the witch in Oregan who sued the school cause children dressed up on halloween as a witch....justification it was an inappropriate stereotype.


If you bothered to read the other post Brad quite clearly said that not everyone is called to be a warrior. We need computer guys and tech guys, we need teachers, we need

fightingpreacher said...

sorry accidently hit the return button.

We need all sorts of different men to acheive God's plans and purposes for our lives. So it obiviously doesnt mean what you so deseparately want it too mean. I will be commenting on your other post later.

Streak said...

War on Christmas? Now I know that Mr. Stine is ridiculous. And he is using "wus" to describe those who, what? Wish people Happy Holidays? The WOC is one of the dumber things that conservative evangelicals have undertaken to prove, somehow, their victim status. That actually makes me laugh that Mr. Stine is fighting that particular war.

The fact that the average person does not know the meaning of etymology, or the background of this word is irrelevant. The word is clearly meant to communicate a cleaned up word that means "more like a woman" or "sissy" (which are also words used to denigrate gays).

I guess no room for Warrior Princesses? Women are still the weaker sex--better suited for domesticity. I am sure glad that Mr. Stine makes room for computer guys and teachers. That eases my mind tremendously.

fightingpreacher said...

Streak are you really that shallow. Go back and read teh comments. It is actually towards political correctness. I used the Christmas as one of the examples of the PC stuff. Why after 2 centuries of it being alright to say Merry Christmas should we change it? Because liberals value "tolerance" over truth.

Remember, that Brad Stine is concerned with ministry to men, not women. That doesnt mean that he doesnt value women, it just means it isnt his focus.

fightingpreacher said...

ha ha ha...I am the 150th post

Streak said...

Yes, it is me who is shallow in this conversation. You might want to read up on the history of Christmas before you draw too many conclusions about that.

And let me reiterate--if fighting "pc" is his bag, that is just another reason to find this stupid. We have a lot of problems in our country--poverty, environmental destruction, racism, sexism, etc. PC is not on that list. Fighting that doesn't suggest a warrior mentality.

I admire many warriors. I admire Martin Luther King JR. I admire Ghandi, Sojourner Truth, and the Grimke sisters. Those were warriors and warriors who fought for social and racial justice. Only some of them were men. And not a one of them fought a fake battle to make sure that people could say "Merry Christmas." Why? Perhaps because no one is stopping you or anyone else from saying it.

Streak said...

Yeah, I am sure Brad Stine values women. I am sure he values them as long as they fit his model of femininity. I am sure he values feminists, right?

Rob said...

FP, liberals think tolerance IS truth.

fightingpreacher said...

I am quite aware of the historical backdrop to the pagan holiday that the Roman Empire renamed after the Birth of Christ which isnt even in December. So yes, I am. The fact is what is it with the ACLU and those that are like minded that they cant allow for Public displays of Christianity especially that of Christmas? Further, I am not sure of any benefits to the femminist movement! The qualities they present as female have nothing to do with honoring women for the way God created them to be.

I would agree and I believe that Brad would agree that some of those you mentioned were warriors (some I dont know)!

Funny that you say no one is stopping you...Well maybe you arent as well read as you make yourself out to be. The recent debacle in the congress passing the new budget had more to do with the passing into law more hate crime stuff to include that saying Homosexuality is sin! So there are people who are actually trying to prohibit us from Freedom of Speech. Liberals tend to be all about freedom of speech as long as it doesnt speak out against any of their views!

fightingpreacher said...

Rob, that is unfortunate. Tolerance isnt truth. There is a measure of truth contained in tolerance, but tolerance in and of itself isnt truth.

For example I believe that any person can believe what ever they want and that their beliefs shouldnt not be legislated unless it is harmful to others. For example dont expect me to be tolerant if you want to fly planes into towers, or punish women who were raped (like in Saudi Arabia), or the female version of circumcision done by some middle eastern culture.

Further, dont expect tolerance from me when the government begins teaching in the public school system a belief system that goes against everything that our country was founded on. Such as the school in California that made its students read the Koran, or the school that passed out a sexual questionare to 3rd graders and when the parents protested they were told that when they enrolled their children into the public school system that they were no longer had primary responsibility for the education of their children.

There are a lot of reasons why tolerance can be a good thing and a lot of reasons why tolerance can be a bad thing.

fightingpreacher said...

Oh streak just so you know. My wife is a Kickboxing instructor and has had quite a few fights. On top of running the business with me she is an awesome mother of 3 children. So dont talk with me about Warrior Princesses like we dont value our women. My wife is a co-equal with me and does a lot of things many men cant do.

Streak said...

Ah there it is. For someone who doesn't care about the political side, you sure do like to disparage liberals. And feminists. What have feminists done? I don't know. Perhaps created a situation where your wife could not only be a kickboxer, but also a co-equal partner in your marriage. Yeah, feminists haven't done anything. They have only pushed for the simple suggestion that women are equals and should be paid equal. Or that they should not be forced into the home or into jobs they don't like.

Yep. Those feminists have ruined everything.

And nice little bait and switch:

Funny that you say no one is stopping you...Well maybe you arent as well read as you make yourself out to be. The recent debacle in the congress passing the new budget had more to do with the passing into law more hate crime stuff to include that saying Homosexuality is sin! So there are people who are actually trying to prohibit us from Freedom of Speech. Liberals tend to be all about freedom of speech as long as it doesnt speak out against any of their views!

Yeah, I was talking about wishing people Merry Christmas and you turn it into a completely other conversation.

Oh, and one more thing. The ACLU often fights for people like you. Conservatives (who don't care about politics at all, like you) who speak their minds. But by all means, parrot the right wing talking point that the ACLU is evil.

As for Christmas, perhaps you should just read about it in this country. Forget pagan origins, just read how commercialized and even opposed it was in our own country.

Oh streak just so you know. My wife is a Kickboxing instructor and has had quite a few fights. On top of running the business with me she is an awesome mother of 3 children. So dont talk with me about Warrior Princesses like we dont value our women. My wife is a co-equal with me and does a lot of things many men cant do.

Glad to hear it. I am sure glad to hear that once again, you equate warrior status with physical fighting.

Now, please don't threaten to beat me up. After all, I am a wimpy feminist liberal.

Streak said...

Oh, and by the way, I am not a fan of hate speech laws either. I actually do believe in the first amendment.

But I think you are speaking about this bill where House Democrats dropped the measure that extended hate crimes protection to gays. Also, note this:

Some leaders were concerned that the bill would prevent pastors from speaking against homosexuality in the pulpit.

Supporters noted that the bill was limited to violent crimes and explicitly contained a provision that says nothing in the bill would prohibit free speech.

fightingpreacher said...

ACLU fights a bunch of liberal agenda's such as illegal immigration, taking the name of God out of the pledge and off the dollar, the fight against the constitution on religious freedom, etc. You say conservatives like me, but yet you agree with me on 1st Amendment issues.

Once again nice misrepresentation of what I believe. There are many men and women who I believe were warriors. It just seems like you have an issue with anyone who actually fights.

Here are just a few examples of warriors that dont physically fight.
1. Young man in England who is a parapelegic that just was knighted because of the use of his laptop in GWOT
2. Martin Luther
3. Dietric Bonhoffer (was killed for speaking out against Nazism and was a Conservative Christian)

fightingpreacher said...

Streak said
"And let me reiterate--if fighting "pc" is his bag, that is just another reason to find this stupid. We have a lot of problems in our country--poverty, environmental destruction, racism, sexism, etc. PC is not on that list. Fighting that doesn't suggest a warrior mentality."

I went back and was rereading some of your stuff. Funny to me you put poverty, enviromental destruction, racism, sexism.

HMMMM...what about Radical Islam, Social Security, pornography, 80% of criminals are fatherless, the slow stripping away of our rights, taxes being to high still and democrats wanting to raise them, etc.

Poverty??? We have one of the richest countries in the world with one of the lowest unemployement rates ever...there are still poor people but that isnt the job of the government. That is the job of the church.

Sexism??? I wonder do you rail about pornography? Which is probably the most vile and perverse form of sexism ever!

Enviromental Destruction??? What about drilling our own oil reserves until we can come up with safe adn clean energy which the liberals will not allow us too do.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak-
The "War on Christmas". Could there be a bigger red herring than this now annual event? Poor, poor American Christians. So persecuted. So downtrodden. I think I feel a tear coming.

I'm glad the image of the humble savior born into poverty, soon to experience refugee status, and later a capital punishment by TORTURE can now be shouted down by talking heads gettin' us motivated to...., to...., I guess get mad and shop more? Whew, I was starting feel a little convicted by the image of that savior guy- good thing the angry, persecuted christian message saved me from the wrong path!

I love the American system! It actually occasionally keeps public funds from being used to promote one religion over another. Not often enough, but sometimes is better than never.
Later-BB

fightingpreacher said...

Streak out of curosity have you ever been out of the country?

fightingpreacher said...

This has nothing to with the consumerised version of Christmas with which I have as much issue with as probably some of you.

but hey make it whatever you want so you can continue to bash Christianity and conservatives.

Streak said...

I had a long response, but the issue here is not my political views. You don't understand what liberals believe anyway, or at least have not demonstrated a good understanding.

And, btw, you are right, I often over generalize about conservatives too. My conservative friends here chastise me about that often.

The point is actually why do you feel the need to come argue with us here simply because we find Brad Stine and his GWOC (Global War on Christmas) talk ridiculous. Same with the concerns about PC. Same with the fear mongering that liberals want to jail conservatives who don't accept homosexuality.

The reality is, however you define it, your movement is behind the times. I don't even think you have thought this through very well. Feminism allows your wife to pursue kickboxing and running a business, yet you bash feminists. Liberals like the ACLU would most likely defend a preacher like you if a law was ever passed saying you couldn't call homosexuality a sin--yet you dismiss the ACLU. The issues you raise that the great Brad Stine is concerned with have nothing to do with masculinity or solely with men, yet, as you note, he only deals with men in ministry.

Why? Why, if your own wife is a coequal to you and effected by all these issues, do you need a ministry for men only?

fightingpreacher said...

That is a reason that you may or may not understand...one that sometimes I wonder about as well. Which is this. We all would hopefully agree men and women are different have different needs, different thought processes, etc. Further we have childrens church cause kids deal with separate issues, and youth ministries cause teenager deal with different issues. So the answer is that what has happened in church culture (which is almost a dirty word to me) is that most churches have gone to separate ministries through out the week to the individual groups so to speak. Then on Sunday morning is the "celebration" service for everyone. That is why Brad focuses on men. Is it that women dont need it? Absolutely not! It is because women deal with issues differently than men. Not right, not wrong, just the way they approach stuff.

As far as my movement...well it isnt my movement. 2nd only time will tell if you are right.

Could you provide me ONE example of where the ACLU has ever sided with "conservative Christianity"?

Womens liberation has nothing and I mean nothing to do with my wife. It has nothing to do with my wife's ability to run a business with me.

Though I would like to see what you think that the WLM has contributed and what they really stand for.

fightingpreacher said...

hey could we start the Liberal Dilemma II?

Streak said...

Sure. Why not just use this thread? It is related, after all.