I would like to do a piece on my blog, Releasing Religion, regarding mixing God & government.  And I'd like to know what opinions people have here about doing such a thing.  Some points to mention are:

Glenn Beck is well known for arguing that we have misunderstood that founding fathers & their desire to keep church & state separate.  Holding his rally on 8/28, he gathered 150.000 people to hear him talk about bringing out country "back to God".  What do you think it would do to our country to "get back to God"? 

The Tea Party has been called racist Chrisotcrats. In their recent convention, most conference sessions began with prayers.  What do you think of the Tea Party?  Do you know very little about them?  Do you know a lot?  Please share your thoughts here.

The piece will be posted on www.releasingreligion.blogspot.com









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Damnit - I missed the edit.

I also wanted to say that I know they have the right to put the mosque anywhere they damn well please - I'm just expressing what I would like to see happen. That's all really. I'm just requesting. Just expressing my need. There will be no repercussions if they do not do what I want. I will not issue a Fatwah - I will not mail anybody a poo poo - I will not vandalize the mosque or promote something like that in any way. I'm only letting the Iman guy know in my opinoin he is being extremely and cruely disrespectful considering the situation.
First of all, Linda, I want to thank you for joining in this discussion. Since you joined, there's been tons of responses. I also want to say a few things:

In regards to the Tea Party, I can very much empathize with you having difficulty discovering the "truth" about this group of people. This is, in fact, the reason this thread was started. Yes, some folks just simply don't like them. But as a few pointed out, many are giving out informed opinions. I encourage you to continue doing what you're doing... to go to as many other sites and get as many other sources of information as you can, then form your own opinion. That is, ultimately, how you became an atheist I presume? So question, question, question.

In regards to it being difficult to find out the truth about everything (who has the time?) I also empathize. So I salute you for admitting when you aren't aware of something, or when you learn something new here in this forum. Some folks like arguing just for the sake of arguing. And I'm pleased to see that this is not a group of people that commits to that way of thinking. I have definitely learned much myself from so many of these posts. For example, Jason & Larry, though coming from very different backgrounds, & though though they express their opinions in very different ways, are great sources of information.

In regards to President Obama, there is a ton of misinformation on this president, some of which we've brought up in this thread. Such as the allegation that he's not an American, he's a socialist, or emulates Hitler. Much of this, in my opinion, is stemming from roots of the far right... people like the Tea Party. People like Glenn Beck. But what's interesting to me is why people want to hear this stuff. And why now? There is a reason this president is under attack. Not necessarily because of him or his character, but because people need someone to blame. This may be worth exploring further.

And in regards to the Mosque @ Ground Zero, I have an article for you to read that you might find interesting. It debunks some of the Lies & Facts in Regards to Ground Zero. I do think it's important to point out that the Imam that he has been sent out on Ambassador work for this country. And he has condemned acts of terrorism, but I think where people get upset is that he points out what instigated this aggression towards America in the first place. So I think when people hear that or read that they are quick to judge him as a terrorist, or find something wrong with him. His character and his funding have been brought into question. I feel bad for him because he has been getting death threats and really can't go anywhere by himself. Though he refuses to hire a bodyguard. And I don't think those threats will stop if he decides to move the Mosque or abandon it all together. He is a target now, and that is really so unfortunate. Seems to me that is another form of terrorism, it's just focused on one person.

So there is a ton of misinformation out there in regards to Imam Rauf. Start with this article I suggested and again, go from there. Don't take my word for it. Decide for yourself.
I encourage you to continue doing what you're doing... to go to as many other sites and get as many other sources of information as you can, then form your own opinion. That is, ultimately, how you became an atheist I presume? So question, question, question.

Maia - True very true.

So I salute you for admitting when you aren't aware of something, or when you learn something new here in this forum.

Thank you. I am totally thrilled when someone corrects me. I'm no fact checker. Many times I am greatly relieved to discover I had something wrong that was disturbing to me.

There is a reason this president is under attack

As soon as I found out about the Reverend Wright thing - I was done with Obama.

but I think where people get upset is that he points out what instigated this aggression towards America in the first place.

There is no excuse for murdering almost 3000 innocent unsuspecting civilians. Not in my world of atheist morals. How any atheist can give ANY sympathy to what the radical Muslims did is beyond me. I'm not saying you are or that anybody on this site is - I'm just saying. You say the Iman guy condemns the acts of terrorism. Not to my standards he hasn't. I want a nationwide special address statement televised on all regular stations at the same time just like when the president gives an important speech. I want him to declare that the radical Muslims that commited the 911 act of terror will not go to the Muslim heaven and fuck 70 virgins or whatever the hell. Then I would be happy to throw red roses on a red carpet for construction workers to make their way to the mosque site to lay the first brick.

If Billy Graham can tell millions of Americans they will burn in eternal hell if they do not believe in Jesus Christ as their savior than the Iman guy can say what I want him to say. But it will never happen. For one thing he would be assasinated shortly afterward.

Can't anybody see how insane this is! An American citizen cannot condemn an act of terrorism in any meanginful way because it will mean certain assasination.

Jesus H. Christ on a jumpin jehosaphat cricket stick. Sometimes I think either I'm losing it - or the world is losing it - or we are all losing it together.

He is a target now, and that is really so unfortunate. Seems to me that is another form of terrorism, it's just focused on one person.

Well what the hell did he think was going to happen when he got involved in such an insane proposal as putting a mosque near ground zero? Some people thrive off danger. He's one of those. That's the only explanation I can come up with. I'll admit that I saw his wife on a panel discussion (I think it was CNN) and I learned things about Muslims I did not know but I don't give a hoot about moderate Muslims anymore than I give a hoot about moderate Christians - I'm concerned with the radical terrorist Muslims and until I see Muslims jumping up and down on CNN or Fox and crying about what an atrocity the 911 act of terrorism was - I'm suspicious and fearful. How can you blame me?

Instead what do I have? Hmm, I have Rosie O'donnel spouting some insane nonsense about the government's involvement in 911.

Hmm, so why do I feel so frustrated? and some vague strange kinship with the tpers?

I have no earthly idea what made me come out with all this stuff today. I just blew my lid I guess.

Thanks for the article suggestion. I'll read it. The tpers are probably just a flash in the pan anyway. I honestly don't know what the answers are anymore. I don't think anybody does. The more I try to figure things out the more mysterious things seem.

Oh well, I celebrate that I am free to discuss my thoughts with others such as people on this website. I'd rather be confused and free than indoctrinated and secure in the prison of my own mind (uh, cause I've been there and it was 1 million times worse).
I'm thinking it's a little easier for a president of the United States to commandeer the airwaves than for any imam to do so, regardless of circumstances. And I don't recall any Christian preachers condemning McVeigh for doing what he perceived to be God's work.

Linda, I get that you're angry about 9/11. You should be. We all are. And there is no excuse for the murder of 3,000 innocents (any more than the US has any excuse for the deaths of innocents in Iraq, which had zero to do with 9/11). But there are explanations. Bin Laden and Co think they have legitimate grievances against the US government. So did McVeigh. I'm having a hard time coming up with any significant distinction between the two.

The only reason I can see that McVeigh isn't as reviled as bin Laden is that he was born in America and culturally more similar to most Americans than the more alien bin Laden. This isn't a reason to cut bin Laden any slack. But it is a reason to question the biases of the people who have conveniently forgotten about McVeigh. If you want to complain about Islamic facilities near Ground Zero (as though there were any such thing as sacred ground, but that's another debate), then you are really going to have to object just as strongly to any Christian facilities near federal buildings.
Linda, I understand your emotional reaction, but keep in mind that it wasn't the entire Muslim world who attacked us on 9/11, or even a majority. It's not like they held a vote. It was a gang of radicals. I'm pretty pissed off at the circles that Timothy McVeigh moved in who encouraged him to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, but I don't blame all Christians and wouldn't object to a church being built near the site.

To be sure, there are plenty of assholes in the Muslim world who support bin Laden and were happy to see the results of his attack, but I just don't see this proposed Islamic community center as a victory parade or in any way dancing on the graves of the victims.
It's not a Mosque.
Yes, and thank you for the correction Susan. I should have called it a Community Center.
If you neocons think you have so much reason to be afraid because Shrub turned off the US security network and invited his Cuz Bin Laden to attack America, imagine the fear for millions of muslims who have seen us kill 4-500,000 non-combatants in Iraq, drive millions more into exile, and destroy a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. The US is the most aggressivley terrorist state in the world, and the Tea Party are their Christian Cheer Leaders. Fear, Fear, Fear AMERICA. The rest of the world is afraid of us, and the Tea Party raises that angst. The Tea Party is so afraid, so confident they are right and so entrenched in self interest, the whole world will suffer for their hubris if they gain any true political power.
"The world does not hate us for what we stand for, they hate us for what we do."

If the world hates us so damn much then why do they keep coming here in droves?

Simple question.
"If the world hates us so damn much then why do they keep coming here in droves?}

are they? are you sure? Have you compared immigration rates of the US to other countries?

This is what happens. We make assumptions on what we believe, but is that belief based on facts, or falsehoods?

Personaly I think it's important to know that what I believe has a foundation in based on reality.
Wow, it's like I come to dinner at your home not because I like you but because I like your food.

And on top of that, I know that you don't like me and want to hurt me and yet I still keep giving you an open invitation.

if you desperately needed welfare, but disagreed with the concept, would you let yourself starve to death? its the same principle

Hell no! Of course not. But if someone put a gun in my face and told me I was dead if I touched their food, I'd back down.

So guess what? If you invite too many people to dinner you run out of food and then everybody starves.

So what is your point?
"The world does not hate us for what we stand for, they hate us for what we do."

Or maybe just "for what we are", even if it's at most a semi-unconscious gripe? I honestly think that the American Way of Life (this is true of other developed countries as well), with its emphasis on perpetual over-consumption, and its implications on the global economy, may ultimately prove more damaging to the world's future than even international fundamentalist terrorism. In that light, I'd cast my vote to "The American Way of Life is not negotiable" (Bush Sr.) as the most irresponsible and disrespectful statement ever issued by a President of the USA. We live on a finite planet with finite resources, damnit. To impoverished or underdeveloped nations, this statement may well sound like "This planet is ours" Or "You'll get your share of it only when we're satiated." Not the best way to make friends.

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