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  1. #941  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    I know I'll regret this....I'm trying to understand where you are coming from. Your beliefs are based on what? Is it based on simply what is right or wrong? What determines your decisions? Are you saying that if someone happens to believe in God, which is what that person may base their belief system on, they should not have the right to make legislative decisions based on that belief? Please explain.
    I certainly won't speak for davidra, but I'll illustrate my thoughts with the example of gay marriage. (Let me stress that I'm not bringing this subject up to engage in yet another gay marriage debate, but merely to illustrate the point.) When you get right down to it, the primary reason for many folks' objections to gay marriage comes down to religious belief...the "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" argument. Legislators certainly have th right to this opinion, but if they promote legislation based upon religious tenets (or persons' selective interpretations of tenets), then that is a clear violation of church / state separations.

    Similarly, when people try to inject Intelligent Design into science teachings, it clearly proselytizes religious ideology into secular activities of the government.
    Last edited by Bujin; 11/11/2009 at 02:20 PM.
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  2. #942  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    I know I'll regret this....I'm trying to understand where you are coming from. Your beliefs are based on what? Is it based on simply what is right or wrong? What determines your decisions? Are you saying that if someone happens to believe in God, which is what that person may base their belief system on, they should not have the right to make legislative decisions based on that belief? Please explain.

    So if an atheist believes in some particular point, that is obviously not religious based, than that is fine and you can respect his/her coming to that decision (even though you may not agree with it). But if another person believes in the exact same point, but he/she gets it from their religious background, than you don't respect that decision because it is "tainted" with a religious slant?
    If you happen to think that they have a responsibility to represent their constituency, and their constituency includes lots of people that DON'T have their religious beliefs (which is almost always the case), then does that sound right to you? We elect Catholics without much attention (things were different when Kennedy ran for president) these days, but almost all of them represent areas that are not primarily Catholic. Should their Catholocism determine their voting record? What do you think?

    I think not. I think they need to listen to their constituency, and make the determination based on what is best for them and the country....not on what is best for their religion.
  3. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #943  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    I have the same response to this that I do to your prior post about keeping it to yourself. I don't care if you wear a t shirt stating your religions beliefs...in fact I just walked by a guy wearing a shirt that said "Please stop blaming your narrow-minded prejudices on God". I shook his hand. What I care about is a right-wing legislator, or for that matter a left-wing Catholic legislator letting their religious beliefs get in the way of their legislating, and infringing on my rights....or those of my daughter. I don't mind if they use their best judgment to determine whether or not they are actually representing their constituency....but I do oppose them making legislative decisions based on their singular religion.
    So, if someone is informed by their Religious views it is a problem, but if they are informed by some secular views it isn't? That makes absolutely zero sense. In order to help me understand your point of view, can you answer this question. What is the difference if the result is the same?

    In other words, if someone is motivated by some non-religious philosophy, does it make ANY difference than if they are motivated by a Religious one if the thing they are imposing upon you is the same? How can it matter, unless you aren't concerned with the result.

    I find it interesting that you seem up in arms about Someone making legislative decisions "infringing on your rights" when you are actively cheering my rights (in the form of economic freedom--at least) being taken from me by government power.

    But you vehemently oppose other legislation, IF the motivation is based on a religious belief? I must be misunderstanding you in some way, because this seems totally illogical to me.

    KAM
  4. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #944  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I certainly won't speak for davidra, but I'll illustrate my thoughts with the example of gay marriage. (Let me stress that I'm not bringing this subject up to engage in yet another gay marriage debate, but merely to illustrate the point.) When you get right down to it, the primary reason for many folks' objections to gay marriage comes down to religious belief...the "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" argument. Legislators certainly have th right to this opinion, but if they promote legislation based upon religious tenets (or persons' selective interpretations of tenets), then that is a clear violation of church / state separations.

    Similarly, when people try to inject Intelligent Design into science teachings, it clearly proselytizes religious ideology into secular activities of the government.
    First--you are incorrect. There is absolutely zero prohibition of an individual legislator, voted into office by his constituents being informed or influenced by his religious beliefs, and that affecting how he/she votes. You are imagining something that is not true, and does not in any way violate the Constitutional "separation of church and state" which of course is likely the most broadly misconstrued phrase in American history (the Constitution does not actually say this).

    Again, why is it that you (and others) have an inability to understand that the source of any belief is not relevant to what it is? If a person believes that eating human flesh is ok, does it matter if that is a secular or religious view?

    You mentioned Gay Marriage. What is the difference if someone opposes (or supports) gay marriage due to a Religious belief or a non-religious belief?

    Do you not realize that what you are advocating is literally a demand that one cannot have beliefs based in Religion and engage in public activities? If you think that is what the Constitution says, you could not be more wrong. There is NO requirement that ANYONE eject their religious (or non-religious) views or set them aside in order to engage in public interactions of any kind, including being a member of the government. It simply is not the case. If they pass a law that Demands that OTHERS follow their Religious views--for the sake of Religious reasons (not coincidence of views), THEN they would be violating the Establishment of Religion clause.

    KAM
  5. #945  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    So, if someone is informed by their Religious views it is a problem, but if they are informed by some secular views it isn't? That makes absolutely zero sense. In order to help me understand your point of view, can you answer this question. What is the difference if the result is the same?

    In other words, if someone is motivated by some non-religious philosophy, does it make ANY difference than if they are motivated by a Religious one if the thing they are imposing upon you is the same? How can it matter, unless you aren't concerned with the result.

    I find it interesting that you seem up in arms about Someone making legislative decisions "infringing on your rights" when you are actively cheering my rights (in the form of economic freedom--at least) being taken from me by government power.

    But you vehemently oppose other legislation, IF the motivation is based on a religious belief? I must be misunderstanding you in some way, because this seems totally illogical to me.

    KAM
    Economic freedom? Come on. You live in a country that has taxed its citizens for years. You just don't like the way the money is spent, or the percentage, when in fact it's much less that it was many years ago.

    If a Catholic legislator from a district that overwhelmingly favored choice voted based on his religious beliefs, are you willling to just say "well, you can always vote them out in the next election"? Or should they represent their constituency even if that puts him in conflict with his religious philosophy? I say yes. His religious philosophy is his (or hers). It is NOT the philosophy of the constituency. Does it make a difference if the motivating factor is what is best for the district and the county instead of what is best for the religion? Yes, I think it does.
  6. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #946  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    If you happen to think that they have a responsibility to represent their constituency, and their constituency includes lots of people that DON'T have their religious beliefs (which is almost always the case), then does that sound right to you? We elect Catholics without much attention (things were different when Kennedy ran for president) these days, but almost all of them represent areas that are not primarily Catholic. Should their Catholocism determine their voting record? What do you think?

    I think not. I think they need to listen to their constituency, and make the determination based on what is best for them and the country....not on what is best for their religion.
    That's up to their Constituents to decide isn't it? Again--you seem to be under the impression that people can separate themselves into pieces. One can BE Religious, they just have to make sure they don't allow that to influence their vote? Unlikely, if not impossible. Again--what it seems you are really saying is that people with Religious views are not qualified to serve in government.

    If they are, how can you ever know they are not voting because of their Religious views? Can't they just say "I happen to have a secular belief against or For X, Y or Z" that corresponds with my Religious belief?

    KAM
  7. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #947  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Economic freedom? Come on. You live in a country that has taxed its citizens for years. You just don't like the way the money is spent, or the percentage, when in fact it's much less that it was many years ago.
    No--this is yet another infringement on my economic freedom--amongst others which I also object to. Of course, this isn't a tax now is it? Its the government forcing me to purchase a service that I might not want to, and there is no constitutional authority for that. A tax IS legal and always has been, even though those too have become onerous. Taxes are Constitutionally allowed.


    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    If a Catholic legislator from a district that overwhelmingly favored choice voted based on his religious beliefs, are you willling to just say "well, you can always vote them out in the next election"? Or should they represent their constituency even if that puts him in conflict with his religious philosophy? I say yes. His religious philosophy is his (or hers). It is NOT the philosophy of the constituency. Does it make a difference if the motivating factor is what is best for the district and the county instead of what is best for the religion? Yes, I think it does.
    First--if an overwhelmingly Pro-Choice district voted a Catholic who follows the teachings of his Church (which are pro-life), then they made that choice, and presumably, favored him/her for other reasons. But yes Actually--my only choice is to vote them out next election, barring the house or Senate ejecting them on their own (which is highly unlikely).

    My Congressman almost never Represents me--a member of his constituency...for Religious reasons or otherwise--I don't know and don't care--he doesn't do what I want him to, and I've got no recourse to make him. While it sounds nice to have our government officials represent us, the fact is, close to 50% (on average) are not on any given topic.

    Again I ask--what is the difference if my representative is voting for something I don't want? Does it matter if he does it because he's motivated by Religious views or secular views? He isn't representing my views in either case.

    KAM
  8. #948  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I certainly won't speak for davidra, but I'll illustrate my thoughts with the example of gay marriage. (Let me stress that I'm not bringing this subject up to engage in yet another gay marriage debate, but merely to illustrate the point.) When you get right down to it, the primary reason for many folks' objections to gay marriage comes down to religious belief...the "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" argument. Legislators certainly have th right to this opinion, but if they promote legislation based upon religious tenets (or persons' selective interpretations of tenets), then that is a clear violation of church / state separations.

    Similarly, when people try to inject Intelligent Design into science teachings, it clearly proselytizes religious ideology into secular activities of the government.
    So.....any belief or morals that one has developed through one's religious background, should be pushed aside and ignored unless it happens to agree with the beliefs of people who have no religious affiliation or background? Therefore, it is your opinion that by having that particular belief (against gay marriage in your example) someone is forcing their religion on you? So, do we then not really live in a country where we are entitled to our own beliefs and opinions?

    Also, is atheism also a type of religion? I saw one of the definitions of religion in the Encarta World English Dictionary to be as follows: personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by. So, by that definition, even someone that doesn't believe in a god, or one "being" that they base their core beliefs on, even an atheist has a "religion". So, would there opinion of no "god" be in a sense forcing their "religion" on someone who does believe in a god?
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  9. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #949  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    So.....any belief or morals that one has developed through one's religious background, should be pushed aside and ignored unless it happens to agree with the beliefs of people who have no religious affiliation or background? Therefore, it is your opinion that by having that particular belief (against gay marriage in your example) someone is forcing their religion on you? So, do we then not really live in a country where we are entitled to our own beliefs and opinions?

    Also, is atheism also a type of religion? I saw one of the definitions of religion in the Encarta World English Dictionary to be as follows: personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by. So, by that definition, even someone that doesn't believe in a god, or one "being" that they base their core beliefs on, even an atheist has a "religion". So, would there opinion of no "god" be in a sense forcing their "religion" on someone who does believe in a god?
    Atheism is a belief system, not an absence of belief. It isn't a religion however, but that's a distinction without a difference. It is a dedicated belief, which is being falsely portrayed as a neutral default, when it is not.

    I should clarify. What I'm talking about is active atheism, as opposed to indifferent atheism.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 11/11/2009 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Clarifiation
  10. #950  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    So.....any belief or morals that one has developed through one's religious background, should be pushed aside and ignored unless it happens to agree with the beliefs of people who have no religious affiliation or background? Therefore, it is your opinion that by having that particular belief (against gay marriage in your example) someone is forcing their religion on you? So, do we then not really live in a country where we are entitled to our own beliefs and opinions?
    If someone is opposed to gay marriage because it conflicts with his personal definition of marriage, and especially if it represents his constituency, then he should vote that way. What he shouldn't do is vote that way because the bible tells him so. Do you really not see the difference?
  11. #951  
    Ah yes. Back on topic. Here's a little message that I guarantee will drive the obstructionists wild....a little more of the Dave and Steffie show, using data from their prior study. I don't have the study, or the methods, but the striking thing to me is the number of uninsured veterans....regardless of whether or not you think they are dying at a higher rate. By the way...they are married and I've known them for many years, although not seen them recently. David was certainly the Harvard faculty member with the longest hair ever. Doubt he's kept it that length, but who can tell?

    WASHINGTON — The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.

    The analysis produced by two Harvard medical researchers estimates that 2,266 US military veterans under the age of 65 died in 2008 because they lacked health coverage and had reduced access to medical care.

    That figure is more than 14 times higher than the 155 US troop deaths in Afghanistan in 2008, the study says.

    Released as the United States commemorates fallen soldiers on Veterans Day, the study warns that even health care provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VA) leaves many veterans without coverage.

    The analysis uses census data to isolate the number of US veterans who lack both private health coverage and care offered by the VA.

    "That's a group that's about 1.5 million people," said David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program who co-authored the study.

    Himmelstein and co-author Stephanie Woolhandler, also a Harvard medical professor, overlaid that figure with another study examining the mortality rate associated with lack of health insurance.

    "The uninsured have about a 40 percent higher risk of dying each year than otherwise comparable insured individuals," Himmelstein told AFP.

    "Putting that all together you get an estimate of almost 2,300 -- 2,266 veterans who die each year from lack of health insurance."

    Only some US veterans have access to medical care through the VA and coverage is apportioned on the basis of eight "priority groups."

    "They range from things like people who were prisoners of war, who have coverage for life, or who have battle injuries and therefore have coverage for their injuries for life," said Himmelstein.

    Veterans who fall below an income threshold that is determined on a county-by-county basis can qualify for care, but many veterans are "working poor" and fall just above the bracket.

    "The priority eight group, the lowest priority, are veterans above the very poor group who have no other reason to be eligible and that group is essentially shut out of the VA," according to Himmelstein.
    Veterans dying from lack of insurance

    Hmm. Actually, he does still have long hair.

    Steffie and David....fighting for health care for all. Good for them.
  12. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #952  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Ah yes. Back on topic. Here's a little message that I guarantee will drive the obstructionists wild....a little more of the Dave and Steffie show, using data from their prior study. I don't have the study, or the methods, but the striking thing to me is the number of uninsured veterans....regardless of whether or not you think they are dying at a higher rate. By the way...they are married and I've known them for many years, although not seen them recently. David was certainly the Harvard faculty member with the longest hair ever. Doubt he's kept it that length, but who can tell?
    You are right--this does drive me crazy, because the Government is so incredibly inept at providing healthcare to those it SHOULD be--those who earn it by serving in our military, and despite the pathetic failure to do even this, we are going to hand more power to them to fail again, ruining healthcare for everyone else. Yes, brilliant--spread the failure as far as possible.

    We give healthcare to anyone who walks into an emergency room, but we can't give it to our Veterans. Yes, a total disgrace. Congratulations on another spectacular failure Government.

    KAM
  13. #953  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    You are right--this does drive me crazy, because the Government is so incredibly inept at providing healthcare to those it SHOULD be--those who earn it by serving in our military, and despite the pathetic failure to do even this, we are going to hand more power to them to fail again, ruining healthcare for everyone else. Yes, brilliant--spread the failure as far as possible.

    We give healthcare to anyone who walks into an emergency room, but we can't give it to our Veterans. Yes, a total disgrace. Congratulations on another spectacular failure Government.

    KAM
    I agree totally that the Bush administration failed to provide the appropriate support for Veterans. This is a chance to make it right.

    On November 30, President Bush signed the "Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2006." Much was said about the military and little was said about veterans. The Presidents only mention of veterans in his 474-word statement was, The Act also provides funds to support the medical care and other needs of our Nation's veterans.



    Why the deliberate lack of attention to the healthcare budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Because it is a cause of great embarrassment to the Bush administration. This VA healthcare budget is such political bad news that the Bush appointees who run the veterans agency wont even comment on it. Numerous requests for interviews have been met with, No one is available.



    While President Bush claims to ?Support Our Troops? in every speech, he hides the checkbook when it comes to supporting our veterans. The new VA healthcare budget, once again, leaves countless thousands of veterans in a life-and-death struggle for medical services.



    Administration officials brag of a ?53 per cent increase in the VA budget in President Bush?s first five years in office.? What they forget to explain is that most of the VA budget is made up of components that are part of the mandatory budget process. The overall VA budget would have gone up no matter who was President.



    However, the healthcare portion of the VA budget must be hammered-out in Congress every year as part of the discretionary budget process. Republicans claim the VA healthcare budget for this fiscal year is a whopping $22.5 billion, a 17 per cent increase over last year. A closer look at those numbers shows a budget that is nothing more than a ?shell game? according to veterans? groups who have analyzed the figures. ??You never know where the pea is,? said Richard Fuller, national legislative director for Paralyzed Veterans of America.



    $1.5 billion of the budget is a promised carryover from last fiscal year. Except, no one knows if that money exists. If it does, no one knows where it is. And, there appears to be no mechanism to carryover funds into the new budget. So, we have to scratch that figure and now the budget is down to $21 billion.



    Then there is $1.2 billion stipulated as emergency funding. Those funds can only be released by President Bush if he declares a funding emergency at the VA. This won?t happen. Last fiscal year Republicans refused to admit there was a budget shortfall at the VA until the reality was forced on them by Democrats. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said of the billion-plus dollar shortfall, ?A crisis? I don?t agree.? So now we take out the $1.2 billion and the budget is down to $19.8 billion.
  14. #954  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    If someone is opposed to gay marriage because it conflicts with his personal definition of marriage, and especially if it represents his constituency, then he should vote that way. What he shouldn't do is vote that way because the bible tells him so. Do you really not see the difference?
    First....I didn't bring up the gay marriage issue, but was the example I was given to try and explain how y'all think. Second....I never mentioned the Bible.

    What I find amazing is you don't understand that one's "personal definition" of many issues comes from their religious belief (note, I did not say Christianity nor did I mention the Bible), so your comment once again doesn't make sense. You are saying they can vote against an issue if that is what they believe but not if that belief comes from their religion???? It is my opinion that in many instances they can't be easily separated. Do you really not see that?
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  15. #955  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post

    You are saying they can vote against an issue if that is what they believe but not if that belief comes from their religion???? It is my opinion that in many instances they can't be easily separated. Do you really not see that?
    Yep. That's what I'm saying. And I agree it's difficult to separate them...but that's exactly what should happen. Religion should not be the basis for any laws that affect people of other religions. And if you don't think that, you might try Islam for a while.
  16. #956  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Yep. That's what I'm saying. And I agree it's difficult to separate them...but that's exactly what should happen. Religion should not be the basis for any laws that affect people of other religions. And if you don't think that, you might try Islam for a while.
    WOW.....never thought I'd hear an American say that. At least now I understand why you are such a liberal guy....makes sense now. But, the really cool thing about this country is you have the right to think as you do and I have the right to think as I do....cool.
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  17. #957  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Yep. That's what I'm saying. And I agree it's difficult to separate them...but that's exactly what should happen. Religion should not be the basis for any laws that affect people of other religions. And if you don't think that, you might try Islam for a while.
    Were you affected at all by your practice in medicine? I mean, did the practice of medicine influence any of your views?
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  18. #958  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    Were you affected at all by your practice in medicine? I mean, did the practice of medicine influence any of your views?
    There is no constitutional separation of medicine and state. And we loves us our Constitution, don't we?
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    #959  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Yep. That's what I'm saying. And I agree it's difficult to separate them...but that's exactly what should happen. Religion should not be the basis for any laws that affect people of other religions. And if you don't think that, you might try Islam for a while.
    I don't think you guys are saying the same thing. Clem seems to be asking if you think religion should be no factor in an individual's voting preference. You answer that religion should not be the basis for laws. Those are not the same.

    Now, if davidra is really saying people's religion shouldn't influence their vote at all then, well, I don't know what to say except "too bad". As long as people have beliefs, religious or otherwise, those beliefs will influence their voting habits. Nothing you can do to stop that.
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    #960  
    Yes, good for them. Who cares if the data is suspect.

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