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NeoNote — Pagans and climate change

Critics have also noted that much of the science doesn't hold up and that the ten year deadlines keep getting moved.



Pardon, but that is not true. It's a very small minority of critics have publicly claimed the science doesn't hold up. As for the "vast majority of the world's scientists," that's not true either.

This is one area where what little science there is has been buried under layers and layers of politics. It has become heresy to criticize the "conclusions." And the reactions to those who do ask questions are exactly like those historical reactions to those who questioned Islam or Christianity in a less enlightened age. We should be asking why it is necessary to crush dissent. We should also be asking if (notoriously unreliable) politicos are really on the side of Earth and Nature, or if they have their own agenda.

Then we get to the science which really isn't science. It's computer models built on a unproven assumptions, including a carbon dioxide cascade effect that has never been observed either in the laboratory or in the field. The models also minimize other known strong climate influences such as solar variations and atmospheric water, probably because those can't be blamed on human activity. But no, the science is settled and Must Not Be Questioned.

Those of us who follow Earth-centered paths want to believe that we are uniquely qualified to help. Part and parcel of that is the belief that we are uniquely qualified to hurt as well. While there are ecological problems that are human caused like pollution and water table damage and overharvesting the seas and rainforests, Nature adapts. If all humans disappeared tomorrow morning at 7:13 AM Eastern Standard Time, life would go on.

We need to find actual changes that make the World a little better. That doesn't include handing over massive funding and political power to politicos and technocrats who have no understanding of Nature and haven't the slightest idea how to solve the "problem."



As a rule, I don't think either/or solutions apply. It's not save the planet OR consume everything.

Are there solutions? Yes, and a lot of them are beyond our reach for now. When we get nanotech going (and we will), I expect one of the first large scale applications will be vat-grown exotic hardwoods that are virtually indistinguishable from the "real thing" other than cost and availability. Vat-grown stone will follow. Already vat-grown meat shows promise.
And that is just short to medium term.

We can make it better without the need for noble sacrifice.

We also need to address capitalistic solutions that may work. The American bison population is growing because some herds are privately owned and managed. There's evidence that works with African elephants as well. People take care of what they own.



"Eppur si muove."

This is public science we are talking about. Public science means telling the politicos what they want to hear. In living memory, public science has flip flopped on things like forest management, eugenics, recommended diet, humans have only five senses, and the role of sodium in human biology. When discussing public science, we should always ask "who profits?"

I focus on the political of climate science because unlike almost any other field of science, dissent is not allowed. It's not merely a matter of dismissing results, it's discrediting the researchers who don't toe the line.

For most of the 20th Century, we humans have treated Science as the new god. We forget we know much less than we think we know. We forget that science is a process and not an absolute. I just keep remembering a commercial I heard on an old-time radio recording. "Eight out of ten doctors recommend Lucky Strikes for their patients who smoke."

I'd probably ignore the whole mess except governments are demanding tremendous power to Act Now despite having no real solutions. And of course, it's too urgent for debate or to submit to public vote.



I am not anti-science.

I really don't want to turn this into a long debate on climate science or government power.

What I'd like is for people to ask more questions. Why the goalposts for action keep moving. Just what is supposed to be done and how much of an effect it should have. What will be done if the predictions fail to predict.

While Why neopagans of all people are treating this as an Absolute Revelation when we know that the World does things we don't expect.

Why we can't start with simple things like planting more trees.

I think asking these questions is important.



It's the political aspect that worries me. I won't kid you, the extreme climate change crowd are a major inspiration for what I call the True Believer™.

I think the science could work itself out, but partial conclusions and unproven techniques have been placed front and center of an agenda that has very little to do with saving the planet.



The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
— H. L. Mencken



*shrugs*

Like I said, if it wasn't for the politician's rush to do something now, and incidentally completely remake every social structure and institution, I'd be content to sit this one out.

I've done more than a little research on this subject over the years. I've written about it quite a bit. I'm notorious in some circles for being the pagan that doesn't embrace the climate change panic.

But more and more I see this as political. It's not the scientists who are making the noise. It's not the scientists who are calling for massive financial and social changes. And it's not the scientists who want to punish "climate deniers."



I've no problem with bottom up changes providing better alternatives.

I've every problem with unquestioned top down solutions imposed by force.

I firmly believe that there are two phrases which have done more to shape humanity and human history than anything else.

The first is Let me help.

The second is I can do better than that!



Can you name another topic where "science" is defined by consensus rather than it's ability to predict?



Science isn't neutral. Science is a process. As a process, it shouldn't be treated as a conclusion.

The Brontosaurus was, wasn't, and then was again. Our perspective changed, our acceptance changed, but those old bones didn't.

No one is measuring the value of plate tectonics by how many people agree with it. Validity is measured by how well the theory explains observed phenomena and predicts what will happen.

Yet when it comes to climate change, there is always an overwhelming percentage of consent consensus cited, as if this measures validity.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — There is no "Judeo-Christian faith."

There is no "Judeo-Christian faith."

You're talking about disparate groups that range from Orthodox Jews to Mormons to Christian Scientists and every possible variation in between.

Their arguments among each other lead to pluralism, the American religious virtue that no one wants to talk about. No, it's always how only their particular sect is enlightened and humble enough to show the way to peace and prosperity. Which is why they think they should be "in charge." Everyone else only exists on their sufferance. Well, that's not how it has worked.

The only thing that unites them is their willingness to live and let live so long as others let them do the same. And I have news for you, they didn't get that from their holy writings.



Case in point and an overlooked example in this day and age.

For centuries, Jews were only tolerated in "Christian" nations as long as they had something the rulers wanted.

Another case in point. How many Christian monarchs waged war on each other "officially" in the name of Christianity?

Before you tell me that doesn't matter, I'll remind you of all the Bible that you routinely ignore today, including the explicit and detailed instructions on slavery.

Trade did more for pluralism and religious freedom than anything else. In fact, I just read a piece that discussed using commerce as an alternative to outrage. No matter what the flowery words, no matter what the justification, practical economics does more than religion. If you're lucky, religion and faith may point the way. But real tolerance and freedom lies in trade.

If your faith works for you and makes you a better person, more power to you. If it inspires you, great. But raising one faith above all others and demanding that everyone else submit is not freedom.



No, but that isn't the point.

I believe that the measure of a man can be found in the lives he touches. Vice or virtue is not in the label, but in the words, actions, and choices of the individual.

If you are going to claim enlightenment in the name of your faith, you'd better damn well accept the sins as well.

Recently on another site, I was discussing the actions of Christians and the American government towards the Amerindians. From the late nineteenth century after the Civil War, the American government set out to eradicate various tribes and cultures. From the 1890s to the 1930s, if was Official Policy®. Some parts didn't change until well into the 1970s (Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975), other parts didn't change until the 1990s.

The treatment of Hawaiian culture and language is another example. The push to suppress was led by Christian missionaries, something that still isn't widely acknowledged in this day and age.

I don't want to hear about the virtues of Christianity. Tell me about the good men and women who live their faith instead of spouting seldom-remembered verses from dusty books.



No, trade didn't do it all. But trade did do it better. And the great thing about it, over time trade improves things. Literally everything from technology to infrastructure to racial attitudes. Once you start making allowances for the other guy's thoughts and feelings, it's only a short step, hop, and skip to the ethic of reciprocity. The free market is still the only thing humanity has developed with a feedback loop and improvement bias built in.

I wouldn't write off China just yet. I still think that in the long run Hong Kong is going to be rightfully called The City That Ate A Country.



"Live and let live" didn't originate with Christianity and it certainly didn't originate with Judaism. More to the point (grins), Christians themselves didn't follow that idea consistently until the later half of the 20th. Even there, I have to credit trade more than faith.



Personally I prefer the original motto, E pluribus unum.

Where it originates isn't important unless you wish to establish the primacy of your faith over all others. It was Constantine's choice, to shift from one faith among many to one faith above all. The problem with making faith political is that it takes individual choice out of the equation. Faith becomes just another duty imposed by the state on it's subjects.

So for a moment, let me ask which is more important? To have "Judeo-Christianity" acknowledged as the paramount faith and The One True Way? Or just accept that how we treat each other surpasses the label?



But trade was the foundation of Greece and Rome. Trade is what turned the U.S. into a super-power.

You didn't answer the question though. Which is more important, the label or the deed? Which should be cherished?



See, this is the thing. Leaving aside the issue that not all (or even most) Jews agree with the premise "Judeo-Christian," if you claim morality and ethics set "Judeo-Christianity" apart, then you have to acknowledge all the bad and downright evil things that have been done. The Bible is not history, but history is full of terrible deeds done in the name of Christianity. I've pointed out some, such as the treatment of Amerindicans.

There's already situational ethics and multiple quagmires. Number three of the Decalogue prohibits graven images. That pretty much eliminates all crucifixes, Ten Commandment monuments, and by a strict interpretation any physical crosses entirely. And that greatest hits list puts that above honoring your parents.

Even sticking to the NT is problematical. Whole libraries have been published to deal with some of the issues. For example, if one questions if Paul is really a true apostle, doesn't that raise serious questions about his (supposed) writings? And then you have the interpretations and translations of the interpretations.

Christianity has done some magnificent things, but it has also done some draconian things. There's nothing to raise Christianity's history over a dozen other faiths except it's tolerance. And that came despite the intramural conflicts. If you look closely (and with the single exception of ending the slave trade), the good things that Christianity has done have had their roots in trade. Religion is the justification after the fact.



We do disagree. I don't think "Judeo-Christian" or "Judeo-Christianity" is a thing. If it had been Western Civilization, I probably wouldn't have said anything.



Ah, this is going to be one of those.

Yes, I picked two "extreme" versions of Christianity. I could have just as easily picked the Catholics and the Methodists. My point from the first is that there isn't a "pure" form of "Judeo-Christianity" and that label draws false equivalences between sects that have very little to do with each other.

Even if you eliminate the Essenes, sectarianism predates the "historical Jesus." There is no one thread that links Judaism and Christianity. Christianity picks and chooses which parts of Judaism it uses and leaves the rest in the trash bin. From the very beginning, Christianity has also been marked by sectarianism. Christian rulers have also ruthlessly suppressed the sects they could not control.

But let's return to the assumption that Christianity is THE successor to Judaism and is therefore entitled to proclaim what is true.

For our purposes here, there are three significant differences between Christianity and Judaism. First are the textual differences. There are books in the Torah that are not part of Christian canon, and of course the entire New Testament (any version) is not found in Jewish law. Second is the Christian assertion of Jesus as the Messiah (leaving aside the question of if he existed). And finally the Christian announcement there is a new covenant that replaces Jews as G*D's chosen people.

Taken together, these differences reduce Judaism from a living faith to a curious relic that exists only because Christians sometimes find it interesting. Why in the World would devout Jews be part of that?

Of course there are many more differences than those I listed. But the underlying assumption of "Judeo-Christian" thought is that men and women have moved on from Judaism because it is less important than Christianity. "Judeo-Christianity" claims to honor Judaism all while diminishing it's contributions. "Judeo-Christianity" is a one-sided exchange that treats Judaism as a second class source, occasionally tolerated but seldom valued on it's own merits.



Well, this is embarrassing. It's not very often I make two mistakes in row. It's my own fault for not double checking my memory. I forgot that The Twelve are broken into separate books in the Christian OT.

Still, the order and emphasis changes the meaning. So there are textual differences beyond the NT.

If the Christian view of the new covenant includes all peoples including the ones who didn't choose it, then yeah, everyone got shoehorned in there. This assumption is one thing that really annoys non-Christians, not only are Christians presuming to speak for us but we get no choice in the matter.

Bible verses don't impress me.

“If that "Living Word" exists, it has to be in the hearts and souls of those people who have really embraced it. It's not in a dusty book. The verses don't matter except to show you the way. Tell me what lives behind those printed words. Tell me how you turned your sacrifice into a blessing.”
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Nature and the World are not cruel.

So does that mean that the Decalogue has no value?

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❝I can't be responsible for them…❞

Christianity, the Nation of Islam, atheism, Paganism, these are labels. Now people may use those labels as justifications for their actions, but it is not the label that is responsible. As a Pagan I'm not responsible for the actions of every Pagan out there. I'm responsible for my actions. Since I believe strongly that the measure of a man is in the lives he touches, I'll even accept some of the responsibility for the actions of the people I know and love. But someone I've never met? I can't be responsible for them, no matter what the label they choose. The label isn't responsible, the individuals are.
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NeoNote — the afterlife and This Side

That's the only thing we can really measure about each other.

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NeoNote — Dualistic viewpoint

I'm not something less, I'm something else.

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NeoNote - Responding to another Bookworm rant

For something with no moral relativism, there's an awful lot or relative morality going on.

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NeoNote — Religion & government

It may be a religion, but if it relies on force, any and all opposition is justified.

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PragerU and the Alt-Right

“What is the alt-right? What is its worldview? How big is it? Michael Knowles, bestselling author and host of The Michael Knowles Show, took a deep dive into alt-right culture. Here's what he learned.”

Also, response links to this video.

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NeoNotes - Real religion

Christians are much nicer when they aren't the only game around.

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More clearing out the stack

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Syncretism happens

I would like to point out that there were vital and influential cultures that existed before Christianity. Syncretism happens.
     — NeoWayland
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Insulting

I'm just saying that if a Christian complains because Christianity is being mocked or attacked, insulting another faith is deluded at best. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Or if you prefer, the Golden Rule. Or that bit about casting stones…
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes —Somebody finally said the C word

And that means I can say not all Christians.

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Core of Christianity

Exclusivity is not the core of Christianity. How Christians live their life is. That shows in how they touch the lives of others.
     — NeoWayland
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Nicer

Christians are a lot nicer to be around when everyone else doesn't have to defer to them. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture.
     — NeoWayland
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Pick and choose

You do realize that if “the Bible is all one piece,” you can't pick and choose bits and pieces to quote, don't you? If you eat all your veggies and are especially nice, I won't demand that you start following all those bits in Numbers and Leviticus. We won't talk about the deleted texts now.

How do you suppose those disciples did it? They had to work without a New Testament.
     — NeoWayland
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Without using the Bible

If you can defend your beliefs without using the Bible, that means that you've embraced those beliefs and thought long and hard about making them a part of your everyday life.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Religion in public schools

I don't think religion belongs in the public schools. Public schools are compulsory, students can't walk away if they do not agree.

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One thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads

If there is one thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads, it's this: Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Other cultures and other faiths have contributed heavily. It's amazing that I even have to mention this where one house of the national legislature is called the Senate and the other has a ceremonial fasces. Even The Magnificent Seven was a remake.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 19 — Free market

It constantly amazes me that the defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions.
     — Lawrence W. Reed

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

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NeoNotes — George Soros

George Soros is one of the most dangerous men alive.

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from crux № 11 — Ultimate truth

I've seen the arguments in enough other contexts to distrust anyone who claims rationality prevents any opposing view. Even more so when they dismiss any other possibility unheard because they have the Ultimate Truth That Must Not Be Questioned.
     — NeoWayland
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Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to Christianity.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 10 — the system

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.

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Choose between

Christianity was not meant to be a weapon or an argument or a show of force or a political tool. Or an act of aggression or coercion. It was never meant to be a cause or a prop for a cause. Or something to pacify and make thousands go to bed happy and unthinking. It was meant to be a challenge, yes, but that challenge to a second life was meant to be laced with kindness. If someone forces you to choose between God is holy and God is love choose God is love because holiness without love translates into tyranny.
     — Murray Pura
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“The Drunken, Pagan History of Christmas” by Adam Ruins Everything

It's not what you think it is

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NeoNotes — American Christmas

Christians are nicer people when they aren't the only game in town

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NeoNotes — Religious discrimination

I've every reason to fight religious discrimination.

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NeoNotes — Shame game

I played this game many times until I tired of it

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NeoNotes — Sexuality & society

I suspect that sexual orientation is not as hard wiblurb as some believe, but that is still individual choice.

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NeoNotes — Sin

Pardon, but who defines the sin?

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NeoNotes — Control

I believe in people and not government.

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NeoNotes — Reciprocity

We can build a moral system based on the Ethic of Reciprocity

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NeoNotes — About the guilt

Not all feminists & not all lesbians

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NeoNotes — Divine intervention

Your issue with me isn't about what I say. It's that I don't recognize Christianity as the "obviously superior" choice. It's that I won't give Christianity the hand up you think it deserves. It's that I don't think Christianity is the "universal" choice.

Am I attacking you? No. Am I attacking Christianity? No. Am I suppressing Christianity? No.

If Christianity is what you believe, then it should be able to hold it's own AND MORE against any other set of ideas with no special advantage.

Which means there’s no need to explain human behavior because of Divine intervention or devilish activity.

It’s choice.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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NeoNotes — American Legacy

We are a nation of individuals, of individual liberty and responsibilities, of individual choice and individual passion. We're the first nation like that in recorded history, it is our legacy.

Our faiths, like Christianity, are a part of that.

Please think about this. You may believe that your God makes the sun rise, but your faith doesn't control my actions. Likewise, my faith doesn't control you.

We have to find common ground outside religion. Otherwise it's a matter of whose religion is "in charge," and that way will destroy liberty.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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NeoNotes — On Christian theocracy

Anytime someone starts talking about a Christian theocracy, I ask "Which one?"

Besides the obvious differences between Catholics and Protestants, there are differences between the sects. There's no way a Baptist is going to take religious marching orders from a Mormon. The Methodists won't accept directions from the Christian Scientists.

This predates the country. Back in the colonial days, no one wanted a church in one colony dictating religious practices in another. This is partially why there was no national church defined in the Constitution and why the only mention of any god in that document was the date.

The best way to make sure that you're allowed to practice your religion in peace is to make sure EVERYONE has that same right. class="ghoster">

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Cruz goes evangelical

Why does Cruz assume that the only worthy values are Christian ones?

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NeoNote — Tain't Mine

This is from an email exchange I had recently.

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Another place I talk Christianity

I wouldn’t want people to think I was hiding something.

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NeoNotes - I'm not the smartest guy in the room

Since I just spent forty-five minutes writing it as a post, you’re damn right I’m going to put it here.

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That Judeo-Christian thing

I do criticize the Christians who constantly take refuge in that tired phrase “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

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NeoNotes — Impress Me

You want to impress me, come up with something more than "the Bible told me so.” Don't make threats about judgement and eternal flame. Don't tell me about the changes it's made in your life. Don’t tell me how it’s “saved you.” Don’t tell me how you have the hotline to the “Almighty." 

And don’t tell me “it’s God’s judgement” when you’re the one spouting the words.

Tell me about the changes your faith makes in the world around you. Tell me what you do that makes the world better than when you got here.  Tell me how your faith manifests through you. 

Tell me about how you pass it on.

If that "Living Word" exists, it has to be in the hearts and souls of those people who have really embraced it. It's not in a dusty book. The verses don't matter except to show you the way. Tell me what lives behind those printed words. Tell me how you turned your sacrifice into a blessing.

Tell me about love. Tell me about the love you showed today.

Your actions show that. 

Your next choice starts now.
     — from the private journal of NeoWayland
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Expanding civilizations, religions, and faith

It's not how it appears

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That time of year again

Certain fundamentalists trot out the scare tactics again

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Reply to a Bookworm Rant

Bookworm is looking for scapegoats

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The Doctrine, the Dogma, the Ideal

I do dissent

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Honor in giving truth

I think that most people make mostly good choices.

Mostly.

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Whoops

I told people that Christianity didn’t mean much unless you were a Christian. It might even drive people away from a good cause.

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United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics

The presidential candidates are missing the point by pandering to evangelicals - revised

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A Pagan looks at the “War Against Christians”

Some people are deliberately confusing the issues to advance their beliefs

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Dreaming of liberty

The things that made me a libertarian

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Christian America Redux
The Ten Commandments Controversy

Was the United States really founded as a Christian nation?

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A Pagan looks at “Christian America”

Once again, news stories about meeting prayers and the Ten Commandments are making the rounds. Here's what a real Pagan thinks.

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from crux № 4 — The U.S. is not a "Christian nation"

And here is where I am about to offend many of you. Are you paying close attention?

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