Politics, Economics, and Religion

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Politics, Economics, and Religion

Religion has so many connections to political and economic beliefs, there needs to be a place to identify linkages, problems, goals, options, action plans and evaluation criteria.  

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What is the purpose of life?

An eternal question, what is the purpose of life?, occupied philosophers’ thoughts throughout history. Stone pictographs reveal even primitive peoples reflected on this query. Each one has the capacity to define his or her personal thinking about politics, economics and religion.

Discussion Forum

An Open Letter to Congressman John Boehner

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo on Friday. 1 Reply

Some days ago, Congressman John Boehner (R - Ohio) wrote an op-ed piece entitled, "…Continue

Tags: president, Barack Obama, sue, John Boehner

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Age of Impunity

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Plinius Jul 14. 4 Replies

TomDispatch  http://t.co/nKYjnph4Ke"For America’s national security state, this is the age of impunity.  …Continue

Why we're headed for another Great Crash

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 2. 1 Reply

Thom Hartmann makes a case that we're driving the economy to another Great Crash.The denial of fundamental economic principles is setting the world up for another Great Crash.... corporate banks have ... discovered that instead of lending money to…Continue

Tags: financialization

Climate Politics of US State Governors

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Casey Pittman Jul 3. 1 Reply

Is the governor of your state suckling at the fossil fuel industry teat, while climate disasters whack citizens? As a Pennsylvanian, I'm ashamed to say mine is.... over 77 percent of all oil and gas contributions are being funneled to governors who…Continue

Tags: , , Extreme weather disasters, Change, Climate, State Governors

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Comment by Joan Denoo on December 4, 2012 at 2:19pm

Sentient, you are exactly on topic. As to the influenza, small towns USA were hit hard as well. Both sets of my grandparents and their families were impacted. On my mother's side, my grandparents had 5 children still dependent on them. One of their siblings and his/her spouse died within days leaving behind 5 dependent children. My grandparents took those children into their tiny little home and raised all 10 to be productive citizens, but at great strain on everyone. 

The same thing happened on my father's side and his parents also had 5 children to raise and then took on 5 more because of deaths of both parents. Both my grandparents were trying to recover from a business slump and with extra responsibilities, everyone had to work. That generation learned how to make do with very little, and both grandmothers even made all the clothes for children and adults. They even made hats. 

I wouldn't have a clue how to do most of their chores. Their experiences influenced my parents who came into adulthood during the Great Depression and WW II.   I had lots of really good teachers and learned how to do a lot, but I had it easy. 

I observe the trends that create poverty, recession, depression and feel anxious, hoping my children and grand-children learn and understand their vulnerabilities as my great-grandchildren come into the world. 

When all is said and done, I guess all I can do is provide a model for how to thrive, even in troubled times. They need to see opportunity in events and value the things they will have to learn if they are to succeed, and know there are factors beyond their control, not to blame, but to take pride in meeting their challenges. Finding joy in simple things, finding pride in problem solving, and finding self-respect in learning how to live in community even as problems and conflicts emerge. 

I feel confident in their wisdom and good judgment. They all have good character with high values for honesty and integrity, strengthened by their care and compassion for others. 

Healthy and strong individuals living in healthy and strong families increases the possibility they will not only survive, but thrive. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on December 4, 2012 at 11:16am

I've been reading "The Great Influenza".  By "reading" I mean listening to the audiobooks version.  The book rambles a lot, and some parts are tedious, but some relevance here.  It's interesting to learn about the bloodletting - that's the comment that prompted me here.  More than that, the politics that led to the greatest, most lethal, most frightening epidemic in modern times.  Woodrow Wilson led the US into WWI.  Because of that, he mobilized (Ie, drafted all males from late teens to late 30s) into the army.  Because of that, training camps were packed way beyond capacity.  The govt issued orders that no one could speak out against the war effort.  Under Wilson, freedom of speech in the US was done away with.  

When hints started about the epidemic's rapidity and lethality - often healthy people were dead the same day they became sick, sometimes 2 or 3 days, the govt and press issued only optimistic statements that the epidemic had peaked.  For the war effort, they had a massive parade in Philadelphia, with thousands of citizens all packed together coughing and infecting one another, resulting in an upsurge of deaths.  Ignorance+politics.  Meanwhile the #s of military dead at camps,  increased rapidly.  The troops were packed into train cars and ships, coughing on each other, and transferred to bases around the country, often needing to be carried by stretcher to the camp hospitals.  Newspapers, fearful of govt censorship, could not print words like "plague" and "epidemic".  Citizens could be arrested for speaking in ways that looked critical of the government or that might "frighten the public". 

As a result, around 50 million people died.  About 500million were infected.  The epidemic disproportionately hit the young and elderly.  The US govt and US military had a big role in the fast spread of the disease, although it also spread in Europe as a result of the war The disease was called Spanish Influenza,  probably because Spain wasn't censoring the press, while infected Germany, Britain, US and  France had media blackouts. 

A bit peripheral to some of the discussion,  but relevant to the group topic.  Not much on religion in that.  Prayer didn't help.

Comment by James Kz on December 4, 2012 at 2:28am

And there were times when eugenics laws sterilised epileptics, repealed three years after I was born in my state (Michigan).


And yet, all you have to do with epilepsy today is punch the terms "epilepsy" and "demon possession" into a search engine and look at the myriad of blogs and Christian apologetics sites in the USA in the XXI Century that still hold neurologists are deluded and I am either possessed or stoned to death (and not by Colorado's recent ballot initiative).

I worry for my country, I do.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 3, 2012 at 2:12pm

There was a time in USA history when bloodletting, lobotomies, owning slaves, not allowing women to vote, and burning people at the stake or crushing them to death if suspected of being a witch, was acceptable. Times and our Constitution have changed. 

There was a time when Republicans won in 2010, and they leveraged that win to secure the roughly $1 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act. 

Democrats won in 2012, and they intend to leverage that win to secure the roughly $1 trillion in revenue from the expiration of the high-end Bush tax cuts.

How can we expect small business and wage-earners to carry more of the financial load of our nation's expenses? 

Why are small businesses and wage-earners not rallying for more taxes on wealth earning instruments? 

Why are we not making adjustments to make contributions to costs of government more equal? 

If the private sector can't create more jobs, why is the government not making work programs to get men and women working and paying taxes?

Why are there not more loans to small businesses and entrepreneurially ambitious individuals?

What plan/s have the highest probability of getting our nation out of the current recession?

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 3, 2012 at 12:14pm

Well it is about time, Obama took a stand and I surely hope he maintains that position. 
Even Boehner was surprised, saying, "The president's idea of negotiation is: Roll over and do what I ask." 

President Obama, Hold on to 39.6 percent tax increase to those making over $250,000 a year.

I don't understand why Obama is willing to give any cuts to Medicare and safety net programs. 
Stand for jobs that pay living wages. 
Make sure our very young and elderly, as well as wounded war vets get services they need. 
Cut back on military spending. 
Stop bailing out banks.
Create universal health care, free of privatization. 
Comment by Grinning Cat on December 2, 2012 at 8:41pm

Louisiana's school voucher program was ruled unconstitutional on Friday under the state constitution; public school funds could not be used for private school tuition. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) vowed to appeal.

About 5,000 students are currently receiving the vouchers, which cover tuition and fees at scores of private and parochial schools, including some small church-based schools that infuse all their classes with Biblical references and do not teach subjects such as evolution.

In the same discussion, Guitarzeroh Tubes posted a link to the scary "11 Eye-Opening Highlights from a Creationist Science Textbook":

http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Eye-Opening_Highlights_From_a_Crea...

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 26, 2012 at 2:29pm

Carl Douglas - Kung fu fighting(original)

Do current affairs feel overwhelming? Remember what Kung Fu is all about. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 25, 2012 at 3:12pm
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 23, 2012 at 10:26pm

Dale McGowan: Parenting Beyond Belief

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgDb_IMoKyQ

"Dale McGowan is Executive Director of the Foundation Beyond Belief, and he is editor and co-author of Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, the first comprehensive resources for nonreligious parents. He writes the secular parenting blog The Meming of Life and presents seminars for nontheistic parents across the United States. In 2008 he was named Harvard Humanist of the Year by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University."

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 23, 2012 at 9:23pm
Richard Collins. Some wisdom on the art of secular parenting, via the Kiosk at the Secular Web:It starts off with:

-- Dale McGowan, Parenting Beyong Belief

Earlier this year on the way home from school, she told me about a chat she'd had that day with Mrs. W, her teacher at [her] Lutheran preschool. "I told Mrs. W I think God is just pretend. But I said I'm still thinking about it. And I asked if she thinks God is pretend."


I looked at her in the rearview mirror, munching on the apple I'd for once remembered to bring for her snack, so beautifully innocent of the fact that she had stood with her little toes at the edge of an age-old chasm, shouting a courageous and ancient question to her teacher on the far rim. My daughter, you see, hasn't heard that there are unaskable questions.

"So what'd Mrs. W say?"

"She said no," Laney said, matter-of-factly. "She said, 'I think God is very real.'"

"Uh huh. Then what did you say, Laney?"

"I said, 'That's okay--as long as you're still thinking about it, too.'"

It closes by noting that:

I often find myself humbly suggesting that it is possible to raise children every bit as ethical, caring, loving, humane, inspired and well-adjusted without religion as with it. In reality (my favorite place to be, after all) I don't believe parenting without religion is merely "as good" as parenting with it. I think it is immeasurably better. I think it blows the doors off religious parenting in every respect--powerful inquiry, reasoned ethics, ecstatic inspiration, cosmic humility and profound humanity--and I am floored by my good fortune to live in one of the few human generations to date when raising children without religious indoctrination is a practical possibility.

-- Dale McGowan, Parenting Beyong Belief
 
 
 

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