Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Kansas anti-gay bill

I'm currently in Los Angeles visiting the grandchildren so I'm a bit more exposed to American culture than normal. I watched several discussions on the Kansas anti-gay bill on television and one thing struck me as highly unusual.

For the sake of non-Americans, let's begin with a description of the bill passed by the Kansas House, which is dominated by Republicans. Here's what Bill 2453 says ...
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender: (a) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; (b) solemnize any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; or (c) treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid.
In other words, if you are a bigot then the state will protect you from prosecution as long as you claim that your bigotry is based on religion.

The bill was expected to pass through the Kansas Senate and signed into law by a redneck governor. Fortunately for Kansas, the Republican-dominated senate decided that Kansas should drop out of the competition for most stupid state and they declined to pass the bill [Kansas Senate Comes To It’s Senses And Nixes Extreme Anti-Gay Legislation ].

That's not what I want to talk about. What I witnessed on the American TV channels was a debate over the legality of discrimination of gays. The discussion hinged on whether it was legal for an anti-gay bigot to refuse to serve a gay couple in a restaurant or whether an anti-gay bigot could refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Almost everyone I saw on TV agreed that it was perfectly okay for Americans to be anti-gay bigots, especially if their bigotry was related to their belief in God. The only serious question seemed to be whether there were legitimate times when anti-gay bigots could express their bigotry in public.

I read some newspaper articles, and some blog posts, that stated the obvious. It is totally wrong, all the time, to discriminate against someone based on their sexual preferences. If they use religion as an excuse then they should re-evaluate their religion. There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry. I guess it's almost impossible to come out and say this on television, or maybe I'm just watching the wrong channels (mostly FOX and CNN).

I'm reminded of a statement by Winston Churchill about Russia; "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." That's the way I feel about the United States. There's such a huge difference between Boston and Texas that I wonder how they can both continue to exist in the same country.


82 comments :

  1. Well, it took a Civil War in which some 8 hundred thousand soldiers died to keep them in the same country. Texas actually escaped the worst of the war, compared to Sherman's march through Georgia and South Carolina.

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  2. By the way, there's a fair amount of difference between British Columbia and Alberta.

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  3. I worked in LA for a year and have spent some time in Atlanta and Florida.

    I lived in BC (Vancouver and Victoria) for about 10 years.

    Now I endure SW Ontario winters.

    I think the natural North American political boundaries follow the geographical ones to a certain extent, and could easily imagine a California, Oregon, Washington State and BC coalition, another one based on the north/eastern US states, a southern US political entity and another central rust bucket group (mainly because no one else would want them).

    Which is an idea explored by William Gibson in some of his dystopian science fiction novels where the US and Canada has been torn apart by internal dissension and economic and environmental forces.

    But you are still going to find flaming, fucktard IDiots, creotards and just plain bigots in all of them.

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  4. America's just a generation behind the rest of the West socially, that's all. No biggie - it's a large country, it takes a while for the slow bits to catch up. Teenagers today don't understand their parents' homophobia any more than their parents understood their parents' racism.

    We know how this fight is won, because it's already been won everywhere else it's been fought. Christianity will end up as a large faction in a multicultural, secular society. Interracial relationships allowed, gay marriage legal, women in leadership positions, women choosing to have babies or not. Where they can moan all they want, and the more they do, the more people tune them out.

    And we'll win because, finally, we'll just be able to *ignore them*. That's why we fight. Not to make everyone an atheist, just to be able to just get on with our lives without ever having to hear another person ever bloody whining about their god or gods ever again.

    Here's the winning position: 'Ah yes, "religion", I've heard of that: some goofy stories that people used to take really seriously'. And that's where the UK is, that's where Germany is. And the US will be there soon enough.

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    Replies
    1. "America's just a generation behind the rest of the West socially, that's all."

      I've often wondered if it's recurring echoes from the McCarthy era. A lot of the screamers and tea party types were raised in that era. They came of age during the 70s, power-wise, and America took a turn to the right under Reagan. Their children are now coming of age, and we see more screaming. Each generation from that cohort will gradually get smaller, but they seem to be getting louder. The internet gives them more reach and influence than they deserve, and the press will always court controversy.

      Dave Bailey

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    2. Young people increasingly perceive religion as being anti-science and pro-bigotry, certainly part of the rise of the "nones". They are dooming themselves, and we have front row seats. We just have to limit the damage they do on their way out.

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  5. Its a law to protect the people from having to agree with a moral consent to homosexuality.
    They are trying to coerce consent to participation in gay events and so on.
    Its obscure things in real life but the american people are outraged at this attempt.
    Rightly so.
    I see no difference between Canadians and Americans on these issues.
    Its just that more immigrants or French Canadians etc live in Canada relative to the sum total.
    All my life most people in Toronto held homosexuality as moraly wrong, a medical problem/error, and worse then this. Most people simple don't want any injustice or unkindness towards gays. Neither do i.
    However a nation can't be neutral on the issue.
    In Canada they ignore democracy and forced gay marriage by court dictate.
    Thats the only difference.
    There can be compromise but it must be up to the people.
    Otherwise its just dictatorship
    America is a more free, democratic, and just form of government.
    Great issues must deal with the people.
    Even in America the courts try to rule however the people are more confident in ntheir rights to get their way.
    Right and wrong struggles are the legacy and destiny of free people.
    Tghe gay agenda has moved through the upper classes quickly and the rest of us must work harder to stop it.
    We can do this if interested enough.
    Just like in origin issues.
    The good guys can prevail but must work harder.

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    Replies
    1. Religious freedom does not mean that one gets to impose one's religious beliefs on society.

      Dave Bailey

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    2. "Religious freedom does not mean that one gets to impose one's religious beliefs on society."

      Well, exactly. And the 'pro life' people are pro choice - they just want the choice to be one a priest makes, not a woman.

      Delete
    3. You need to review your Canadian history, Robert. These are all events that have occurred in your own lifetime, so their is no excuse for you ignorance.

      While it's true that there were provincial court decisions that supported marriage equality, same sex marriage became legally recognized across Canada by an act of Parliament in 2005. While the cabinet of the Liberal gov't at the time was required to support the bill and the NDP also required its members to support the bill, Liberal backbenchers and all members of the Conservative Party were allowed to vote their conscience.

      A year later, when Stephen Harper's Conservative had taken power, another vote was held on the issue. This time it was a completely free vote, and Parliament again voted decisively to recognize same-sex marriage.

      The word for that process is "democracy".

      You are right about one thing: The "good guys" have prevailed, and will continue to do so. Public opinion polls show a clear majority of Canadians support same sex marriage, and that trend is only going up.

      http://www.webcitation.org/6CObN8S6I

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    4. lutesuite
      i don't actually follow it all but no matter.
      I understand it was the big courts who made the decision to demand gay marriage. not the people.
      This means it made those against it have to do the work.
      This means it no longer came from the people but instead from politicians.
      This took away the people having a voice because the politicians must vote the party line and not the peoples will.
      Even if votes later came it still is not the people. its not democracy. Its the unique case of a parliamentary system.
      As to public opinion it would not matter as its not up to the people.
      first things first.
      the people always rejected homosexuality and any allowance can be changed by persuasion.
      further it follows identities greatly. french Canadians support it and foreign immigrants and so on.
      i see no problem persuading enough people..
      The issue is about giving the people the only right to decide these important things.
      In Canada this was taken away by the establishment and the rich and powerful.
      Most people reject gays but don't want unkindness.
      In Toronto its that way.
      I see no difference in demographics about these issues as in America.
      Its not the people who are deciding as long as its courts or even silly votes in gov't.
      Until then its just a boss telling you the way its going to be.
      its invisible and trivial to most people but once it becomes a great issue, by the people, I think it will be rejected in law AS long as its the people who vote.
      The people must vote after a good discussion. it still gives a better chance to the pro gay party as French Canadians are so pro gay. Though they tried twice to leave cAnada. The rest of us are being forced to work harder because of a bigger identity issue.
      Finally if everyone had their heartfelt say and saw their registered then peace would truly be done whoever wins.
      Until then its a repression of the left wing on the people of cAnada.
      No jazz about parliament votes and courts.
      America is simply more democratic in spirit and fact and so the gay agenda is resisted better.
      Yet they have court problems etc too.

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    5. Re Booby Byers

      Excuse me, we in the US and Canada live in a representative democracy where we elect representatives in a legislature or parliament to represent us. In the last election, legislatures in 3 states, Maryland, Maine, and Washington State voted to recognized same sex marriage. The opponents got referendums in all three states and the voters voted to accept what the legislatures had done and approved same sex marriage. therefore, I fail to see what you are complaining about. Don't like same sex marriage, move to a jurisdiction where it is not recognized (e.g. Iran for example).

      By the way, since the Raping Children Church is steadfastly opposed to same sex marriage, I fail to see what Quebec, which is heavily Catholic, has to do with anything.

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    6. I've read summaries of most of the recent court decisions on the same-sex marriage bans. Although each judge approaches the case in his own way, they all seem to agree that when an individual's rights are violated, the remedy for that violation trumps any and all proffered justifications for said violation, including religious beliefs. Freedom of Religion does not give you the right to "protect" those beliefs by violating the rights of those who do not share those beliefs. You can believe anything you like, but when those beliefs foster actions, those actions become fair game for scrutiny by the courts and are no longer protected by the Freedom of Religion clause. The latter is not a carte blanche to do anything, regardless of other's rights.

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    7. The people only have the moral right to decide these things. not courts or gov'ts.
      I understand most states have voted gay marriage down. I think the whole country would after a good discussion and vote by all citiozens.
      Likewise in Canada, despite the French Canadians, I think a good discussion before a general vote would bring Canada against gay marriage.
      This is why they try to do it with courts and overthrow our ancient right to decide our marriage laws.
      Overthrowing these things so ancient ONLY will stand if with public informed consent.
      America is simply more democratic then Canada.
      It requires activism and hope to bring results. As long as Canada is ruled bu small groups of people there is little reason for grass roots activism.
      So bad things happen.
      America is the real theatre of action. Canada is just off broadway because of limited public access to power.
      However NO vOTE equals no moral consent on a mater that is all about moral right and wrong.
      Just like in Quebec there must be a vote before there is a settled fact.
      Homosexuality was always rejected as a evil thing in history.
      In everyway. The playgrounds today use words connoting to be gay as a great insult. Most people are hostile to homosexuality. however they don't want injustice or unkindness. Thats a different species then acceptance.
      Its more then just gay marriage. its a bigger moral conclusions at stake here.
      A nation can not be morally accepting of something if it had no say it the matter.
      Canadians have had no say. just small numbers unreflective of what the people really think that really care about Canada.
      lets have a vote like in america. Who's afraid?

      Delete
    8. Your team has lost, Robert. Within a few years it will be as acceptable to publicly oppose gay marriage as it is to oppose mixed race marriage, or allowing women and blacks to vote. Get used to it.

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  6. Or maybe I'm just watching the wrong channels (mostly FOX and CNN)

    Watching Faux News is like reading WorldNetDaily. It is a reflection of the most reactionary right wing views only. Sometimes CNN can be nearly as bad.

    There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry.

    This is where it gets tricky. If we should not "tolerate" bigotry, should we then jail bigots even if they have committed no other crime against those they hate? If not, haven't we "legalized" (not made illegal) bigotry?

    Generally speaking, businesses engaged in "public accomodation" ... restauraunts, hotels and the like ... cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin or gender. Sexual/gender orientation is being added to that list in somewhat piecemeal fashion. That's what the bigots in Kansas were trying to prevent. I actually find it rather heartening that state politicians in a place like Kansas actually stood up and called it what it was: "discrimination."

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  7. Larry said: "Almost everyone I saw on TV agreed that it was perfectly okay for Americans to be anti-gay bigots, especially if their bigotry was related to their belief in God."

    I agree, if only because there's really not much we can do about it. People have the freedom to believe whatever they wish.

    "The only serious question seemed to be whether there were legitimate times when anti-gay bigots could express their bigotry in public"

    We have to define 'express'. If we mean speaking or writing about it, well, that's freedom of speech, and as far as I'm concerned that's an absolute. But should they be allowed to practise it? No. A taxi driver should not be allowed to refuse a passenger because of their religious beliefs. Nor should a civil servant or a waiter be allowed to refuse to serve someone. Belief is fine, practise is negotiable, and in this case I say no.

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    1. Sorry, forgot to add my real name: Dave Bailey (I prefer to use my real name in controversial posts,: If I say it, I'll own it. No hiding behind pseudonyms.)

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  8. Should a Canadian really feel this smug, just because you don't have quite as many right wing loons as we do?

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    1. Unfortunately, the answer to your question is probably, "yes," although Americans have the right to feel smug about lots of other things and lots of other countries. I'm told that they actually DO feel smug from time to time. Is that true?

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    2. Dunno. Speaking for myself, I only feel smug as a person, not as an American.

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  9. In defense of the Americans: Here in the Netherlands gay marriage is legalized, yet we had the very same discussion a few years ago. The issue was whether civil servants could refuse to wed gay couples (weigerambtenaren), because of religious objections. Not sure what came out of it in the end though.

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    1. This is what came of it: The government adopted a law that made it impossible to employ people who object to wedding gay people, as civil servant conducting weddings (ambtenaar van de burgelijke stand). The existing "weigerambtenaren" could still retain their position, but will die out this way.
      Yes, sounds like Dutch solution.

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  10. "Generally speaking, businesses engaged in "public accomodation" ... restauraunts, hotels and the like ... cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin or gender. Sexual/gender orientation is being added to that list in somewhat piecemeal fashion."

    Nice recent Ted talk by Mikki Hebl on the subtle nature of interpersonal discrimination on this issue. She did some fieldwork, sending folks along to inquire about jobs in a state with discrimination laws in place. Test subjects were given one of two hats without knowing the slogan on them. One was Texan and Proud the other Gay and Proud. She jokes than when presenting to audiences in California they were uncertain as to what the 'stigmatized' identity was.

    http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/mikki-hebl-on-interpersonal-discrimination/

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  11. Does anyone on this blog have the same problem I do? I don't agree with gay lifestyle for many, many reasons. Most of them are not "religiously" motivated... I got invited to a baby shower...Here are the details: Two lesbian women, decided to have a child. They asked a college of mine from work (a homosexual) do donate the sperm. He did. He also agreed to child support and weekend visits. I decided not to go to the baby shower, but I bought a gift for the baby... I did not feel I would feel comfortable with this crowd. I'm not going to tell you the details of what happened just 2 years later, as the invitation was in 2012...

    I personally feel sorry for the child only... as it is innocent...
    I also feel a lot of sympathy for the justice system to deal with the divorce of the lesbian couple and the "father' of the child... I'm so torn that I feel like not crying but howling to "whoever" is responsible for this shit... I have no word to describe it but I guess I don't know what it is like waiting in the line to go to the gas chamber in a concentration camp....

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    1. Does anyone on this blog have the same problem I do?

      Fortunately, no.

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    2. Gee, former Vice-President Cheney's daughter Mary, who has a wife, also conceived 2 children by IVF and who, by all accounts, are doing fine. AFAIK, the sperm donor is not contributing child support, nor is he required to by law in most jurisdictions. In fact, in most cases, the donor is anonymous and his identity is not known by the woman recipient.

      And by the way, in many jurisdictions, homosexuals are prohibited from being sperm donors.

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    3. @Quest

      I'd only feel sorry for the child if it ever had to have any sort of personal contact with you.

      Much as I would feel for anyone forced to have personal contact with you.

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    4. Perhaps the irony was intended, but as someone who lived in Montreal, I don't get why Quebec is part of English Canada. Eventually, I suspect it won't be (the referendums have been extremely close and even the Quebecois who support continued unity are only doing so because they believe that it would hurt them for economic reasons).

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    5. "I don't agree with gay lifestyle for many, many reasons. Most of them are not "religiously" motivated."

      Okay, what are your reasons?

      "I did not feel I would feel comfortable with this crowd."

      So one reason is that the 'gay lifestyle' (Whatever that is. My gay friends have pretty much the same lifestyle that I do), makes you feel uncomfortable? Well, as a flaming heterosexual I can sympathize. For me, the thought of two men having sex just makes me feel icky. Do you know how I get around that problem? I don't think about men having sex with each other. It's rather like the 'off' switch on a television.

      "I personally feel sorry for the child only... as it is innocent."

      Ah yes, two gays divorced. I can see why you're upset, because divorce has never ever happened in heterosexual relationships. Oh, wait...

      "I have no word to describe it but I guess I don't know what it is like waiting in the line to go to the gas chamber in a concentration camp."

      Wow. 14-15 million people are murdered in concentration camps, and that somehow equates to the discomfort you feel?

      Dave Bailey

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    6. At least Quest know he has a problem.

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    7. Now if only he could begin to realize what that problem is.

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  12. Prof Moran

    I'm in complete agreement with you on this, if the reason to be anti-gay is a religious one then by that very same reason there should be anti-adultery laws, anti fornication-laws because from a religious point all of these are considered sexual sins.

    You are fully within your right to expose this hypocrisy where what is acceptable is being cherry-picked by some religious institutions. I support you in this 100%

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    1. Andre, as you well know, the only folks trying to force an anti-gay agenda into the public sphere are those motivated by religious bigotry, you know, people exactly like you.

      There is no other way to practice religion other than to apply inherent human values like lust, empathy, xenophobia, curiosity, wonder, greed, awe and so on to your holy books and choose that parts that one agrees with and reject the rest.

      Then you spend the rest of your time denying that you do this. This is also know as theology.

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    2. I'm not sure what your point is. When I was a kid, here in the US most states had anti-adultery and anti-fornication laws. When I rented my first apartment in Maryland, I was warned that cohabitaion was still illegal although mostly ignored, and my roommates and I should keep a low profile. Bigoted laws fall here and there, unevenly in time and location. Would you think they would all fall simultaneously, universally?

      I am sure that in time, as atheism becomes acceptable in the US the atheist bigots will show up more clearly. But for now, most US atheists are humanists, and unlikely to support irrational and hateful positions.

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  13. Hate or Love: How People Understand the Bible is a Reflection of Their Humanity Not Their Pi… http://wp.me/p1Jt6N-1p2

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  14. In case not everyone has heard this yet, it seems the Kansas bill will not be passed after all. It appears that GOP legislators realize that, even in Kansas, there is little voter support for homophobic bigotry:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/02/15/Kansas-bill-allowing-businesses-to-deny-gay-wedding-services-stalls/UPI-69501392447930

    However, like a game of Whack-A-Mole, a similar bill has now popped up in Arizona:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/21/us/arizona-anti-gay-bill/

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  15. According to the Cambridge Dictionary Online a bigot is a person who has strong, unreasonable beliefs and who thinks that anyone who does not have the same beliefs is wrong.

    Fact: Gay equality exists only in secular societies. Christianity, Isam, and Hindusim all prohibit homosexuality.

    Fact: Secular societies are all dying societies. Abortion and no-fault divorce has pushed the fertility rate below replacement in the West for the first time.They have stayed below replacement for decades now and will stay that way for as long as a society is secular. All of the indigenous people of Europe and North America will be extinct in less than two hundred years. Abortion and no-fault divorce are the inevitable result of a secular society necessary for gay equality.

    Therefore in less than two hundred years Europe will most likely be a Muslim state and have large segments in North America. After the secular societies die out they will revert to religious societies in which homosexuality is forbidden. So whatever gains in equality gays win they are only short lived and at the cost of the utter destruction of their own society.

    So is anti-gay beliefs unreasonable? Only if you think the genocide of Western civilization is a reasonable cost for gay equality.

    Prof Moran I would stick to teaching biochemistry if I were you. Theology, demographics, and ethics are not a subjects you are qualified to teach.

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    1. So, Peter, was the purpose of this post to provide a perfect illustrative example of that definition of bigotry? Because, if so, you have clearly succeeded.

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    2. Set's see here, at most 5% of the population is homosexual. How does that have an appreciable effect on population statistics? In addition, lesbians can produce children via IVF (former Vice-President Cheney's daughter has two children via that process). Thus, the notion that same sex marriage will lead to a population decline is piffle. In fact, the most serious population decline in the Western world is occurring in Russia, which has just passed draconian anti-gay laws.

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    3. In fact, if increasing population growth is the primary objective, then the "traditional" model of monogamous marriage (which has actually become the norm only relatively recently, but never mind that) is not a particularly efficient model Polygamy works much better, as do lesbian partnerships with IVF. The number of uteruses and ovaries in the arrangement are the rate limiting factor. Sperm are a cheap and plentiful resource.

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    4. Thank you lutesuite for taking the time to respond to me.

      If all you have in rebuttal are insults (ad hominems for the literatii) then I'll take that to mean that you have no substantial criticism to make. In this case I won't be compelled to alter my point of view.

      I too, like Prof Moran want what is best for society. Unfortunately Prof Moran is in way over his head on this subject.

      I would just like to add that I can't image the hardship it must be to be a homosexual. To have your deepest instincts prohibited by divine decree for all of your life. My deepest regrets go out to you. However, you should know that, even though you aim for a secular society you are doing exactly what God created you for. This wonderful universe was created by God and this planet has the only intelligent life. Just image how valuable that makes our real estate. God create us to have a relationship with him. For those that choose to take the benefits of this world without fulfilling our obligation to God are useless to the creator, wasting very valuable resources. It is your job to ensure that these ingrates are purged from the world that they don't deserve. How effective you have been. Secularizaion, abortion, no fault divorce, gay marriage, all leading to the disinegration of the family and soon there after the complete extinction of the worthless socieity. You are an amazing implementation of God design. You must be very proud. I marvel at how the worlds most powerful nations are brought to total destruction when they refuse to obey the commands of God without so much as a clue. Some people are actual glad to go extinct. That is the power of God's will which you fulfill. I know this must seem very bizarre to you. You are doing what you have been designed to do without really understanding the full scope of your actions. If you have any questions I would bee glad to elaborate. I hope that you too can come to appreciate God's awesome design and how you help fulfill it.

      Delete
    5. And now Peter provides an illustration of the ad hominem attack, the very thing he attempts to decry, only directed at an entire group of people, rather than a specific individual.

      Hey, Peter: What do demographics say is happening to the brand of religious hatred you are preaching here? Is it on the rise in the younger generations? Or it is primarily the province of an aging and rapidly dying out generation? Do tell us.

      Delete
    6. Dear Peter,

      Your god is so tiny, petty, vindictive, arbitrary, unimaginative, vengeful, fearful, xenophobic, homophobic and genocidal.

      It seems to be a whole lot like you.

      Delete
    7. Re steve oberski

      Dawkins said it best:

      “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

      Delete
    8. Peter says,

      I too, like Prof Moran want what is best for society.

      No you don't. You want what is best for your god(s). You probably believe that those gods are quite capable of drowning almost every human on Earth if they get sufficiently pissed off at the way humans behave.

      I don't know very many societies who think that their destruction is what's best for them. Peter, you and I do NOT share the same goals. Not even close.

      Delete
    9. I tend to steer clear of street-corner preachers, but does Peter think that indefinitely unchecked population growth is a good thing?

      Delete
    10. "All of the indigenous people of Europe and North America will be extinct"

      By 'indigenous people of North America' I assume you mean those of European descent, the ones that wiped out 90% of the actual indigenous people?

      Just say 'white', you know you want to.

      As for your statistic: when Roe v Wade was passed, the population of the US was 211 million. It's now 308 million. 12% of the population are immigrants.

      So, sorry, you're wrong. The US population has risen dramatically and continues to rise.

      Now you know you're wrong, there's no need to apologise, but if you could pledge never to repeat that lie again, that would be lovely.

      Delete
    11. This wonderful universe was created by God and this planet has the only intelligent life.

      Folks all thought the Good Book told them for a fact that the Earth was the center of that universe with the Sun revolving around it, right up until that found out different.

      Got a feeling the "fact" that this planet has the only intelligent life is headed the same way.

      Delete
    12. And now Peter provides an illustration of the ad hominem attack, the very thing he attempts to decry, only directed at an entire group of people, rather than a specific individual.

      Since you in no way tell me how I may be mistaken, I can only assume that my analysis is correct. I am therefore telling an inconvenient truth rather than an ad hominem.

      Hey, Peter: What do demographics say is happening to the brand of religious hatred you are preaching here? Is it on the rise in the younger generations? Or it is primarily the province of an aging and rapidly dying out generation? Do tell us.?

      I am only preaching the truth, not hatred. Am I advocating the complete annihilation of a people? You are, but I am not. I would say the hate is all on your side. The whole of any society that adopts your views are dying out. Each generation gets smaller until they are extinct. Is that a good outcome to you, total extinction?

      Delete
    13. Steve,

      Dear Peter,

      Your god is so tiny, petty, vindictive, arbitrary, unimaginative, vengeful, fearful, xenophobic, homophobic and genocidal.

      It seems to be a whole lot like you.


      God can not be tiny since he created the universe. But he does have certain requirements, and the requirements have consequences. The creator of all life can shape his creation however he chooses I guess. He created life, and if people are truly ungrateful, then he can give his creation to others that appreciate it. Don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger.

      Delete
    14. "Each generation gets smaller until they are extinct."

      There is only one country in the world with a population that's fallen since 1980:

      Vatican City.


      Delete
    15. Laurence A. Moran
      Peter says,
      I too, like Prof Moran want what is best for society.
      No you don't. You want what is best for your god(s). You probably believe that those gods are quite capable of drowning almost every human on Earth if they get sufficiently pissed off at the way humans behave.
      I don't know very many societies who think that their destruction is what's best for them. Peter, you and I do NOT share the same goals. Not even close.


      It is true that we do not share the same goals, but we share the same motivation. That however is a distinction that you can not fathom I guess.. I am strongly opposed to any action that will causes the extinction of my people. You on the contrary strive for a secular society. It is obvious from demographics that every secular society is a dying one. Your goals lead to extinction. We agree that our goals are different.
      I am curious. Does your evolutionary theory explain this? Why would random chance create human societies that must believe in a god and follow their holy books. I would love to hear the evolutionary explanation for that one.

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    16. Allan Miller

      I tend to steer clear of street-corner preachers, but does Peter think that indefinitely unchecked population growth is a good thing?


      This is has nothing to do with what I am talking about. There is a difference between a sustainable society - one that will live, a dying secular society, and one that exceeds their capabilities to feed themselves. I think most people would favour a sustainable one over a dying one.

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    17. Why would random chance create human societies that must believe in a god and follow their holy books.

      (1) Human societies are not shaped by random chance. They are shaped by cultural evolution, which, like biological evolution, is far more than just "random chance".

      (2) What makes you think they must believe in a god and follow holy books? To begin with, human communities did bloody well without any books at all for hundreds of thousands of years. Writing was invented little more than 5000 years ago. Religion is not a necessary component of social life. Societies in which religion plays a minor role are none the worse for it (quite the opposite, I daresay).

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    18. @Peter

      God can not be tiny since he created the universe.

      One of our other resident creotard IDiots, Andre Gross, would disagree with you.

      Andre stuck his head up his ass and reported back that his god is very, very simple, apparently it has no moving parts, prevents wear and tear or some such thing. Sounds like what Andre's god needs is a good water soluble lubricant.

      Now why should I believe you and not Andre?

      For that matter why should I believe either of you sorry excuses for members of a secular, post enlightenment society ?

      What's so convincing about what you find up your backside that you feel compelled to present to the world ?

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    19. Peter: This is has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

      'What you are talking about' is not entirely clear. You argued that abortion and no-fault divorce are lowering the fertility rate. You adduced no evidence that this is the case (divorce, already? How does that lower fertility?). But the corollary of your concern is that high fertility is a good thing. Steady state would be nice, but hard to achieve. Populations tend to fluctuate.

      There is no reason to suppose that any society is dying, with or without abortion, contraception and the 'sperm wastage' of gay sex. You just want it to be true, so that Catholic mores become the answer to everything - spiritual, moral and numerical degradation. What may well kill a society, and catastrophically, is overpopulation. Growth is not sustainable, and the Catholic Church needs to wake up to that.

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    20. Peter: "I am curious. Does your evolutionary theory explain this? Why would random chance create [sic] human societies that must believe in a god and follow their holy books. I would love to hear the evolutionary explanation for that one."

      It's true that all human societies have religions (although I may need to point out that not all are theocracies). This is circumstantial evidence that evolution has created, if not a religious imperative, then some sort of reproductive advantage to either religious beliefs or some way of thinking which readily leads to it.

      May I point out that humans seem perfectly satisfied with Yahweh, Brahma, Zeus, Odin, The Jade Emperor, and thousands of other pantheons which are known to exist or have existed? It doesn't seem like this evolutionary result requires any particular god.

      Evolution has also given us a sweet tooth, but I do not advocate a constant ingestion of donuts. I see religion rather like the sweet tooth. It may be natural for reasons which will never be completely figured out, but that is not an argument for indulging in it.

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    21. Peter: " I think most people would favour a sustainable one over a dying one."

      I certainly do, This is why anti-science, anti-education, divisive, and/or bigoted people drive me crazy. We are not living in a sustainable society, but any attempts to fix that are fought fiercely by political partisans and many of the religious.

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    22. Kermit Freeland says,

      Evolution has also given us a sweet tooth, but I do not advocate a constant ingestion of donuts.

      WAIT A MINUTE!!!! What's wrong with donuts? Don't you like Tim Hortons? You could be banned from Sandwalk for such heresy.

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    23. Laurence A. Moran - "What's wrong with donuts?"

      Surely a balanced diet includes coffee.

      Hmmm. A quick look at my evolutionary science library (eight books by Gould, Shubin's "Your Inner Fish", and "A Golden Treasury of Dinosaurs") shows no reason why random chance should have given us a love of mind altering drugs. So my addiction to coffee must be a gift from God!

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    24. Piotr Gąsiorowski
      Why would random chance create human societies that must believe in a god and follow their holy books.

      (1) Human societies are not shaped by random chance. They are shaped by cultural evolution, which, like biological evolution, is far more than just "random chance".

      Evolution is random chance + natural selection. Natural selection does not create anything. It only eliminates the weak. Therefore, according ot evolution, change can only come from random chance. Cultural evolution depends on the mind, which according to evolutionists was created by random chance.
      (2) What makes you think they must believe in a god and follow holy books? To begin with, human communities did bloody well without any books at all for hundreds of thousands of years. Writing was invented little more than 5000 years ago. Religion is not a necessary component of social life. Societies in which religion plays a minor role are none the worse for it (quite the opposite, I daresay).,
      I never said that following the holy books was necessary for all time, only now. A good example can be found in Israel. Secular jews, like all secular Europeans, are dying out. Their fertility rate is less than replacement, about 1.6 I believe. The average for Europe is 1.3. Hasidic Jews have a fertility rate over 5. It is inexorable that before long Israel will have a majority Hasidic population. This is undeniably true now. Religion is undeniably a necessary part of sustainable life now. Why now you might ask? I can only speculate that God is improving his creation. As time goes by more is expected.Just as when we were children little was expected of us. When we were adolescents more was expected, but our limitations were understood. As adults we ware responsible for our every action. Now with the truths revealed to us we are required to live accordingly.

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    25. "It is inexorable that before long Israel will have a majority Hasidic population."

      ... if all those children remain Hasidic, remain in Israel, and continue to have large families, if all immigration stops and if you wait two hundred years, it is indeed the case that a group that's 9% of the population now will become the majority.

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    26. It is closer to 12% now and according rt to Wikipedia 'The number of Haredi Jews in Israel is rising rapidly' They have had a fertility rate greater than 5 for decades now so why would that change. Immigration may affect their percentage, but it will most likely just replace the dying secular Jews.

      Delete
  16. "I marvel at how the worlds most powerful nations are brought to total destruction when they refuse to obey the commands of God without so much as a clue."

    Have you read City of God?

    In that, St Augustine tries to justify why the Roman Empire, the greatest empire the world had ever seen, with a city at its hub that was larger than the next ten cities in the world put together, collapsed within two generations of adopting Christianity as the state religion.

    At the time, many Romans felt that it was abandoning their old gods that had brought down this destruction. Do you agree that's what happened?

    I don't think America is collapsing, let alone for the reason you say. But let's, for sake of argument, say you're right. Is it your position that the emergent powers, China and India, are rising because the Christian God favours them, because they are following His commands?


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    1. The Roman Empire converted to Christianity in 312. Rome fell in 476. That is 164 years, hardly two generations.

      It depends on what you mean by collapsing. The white race in America is going extinct which only makes sense since they are the ones that introduced secularism. Hispanics and Muslims are growing. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the world.

      People in India are not dying out because they follow their religion. Chinese population declined because of the abortion policy. There is a strong trend of conversion to Christianity in China. China is rising economically, not their population. Do you mean why is China stable when it is not Christian? I would say Christianity is very successful at attracting members. It won't be long before there are millions of Christians in China. If I were to guess I would say God is expected a large church to grow in China so it is in no danger of extinction at the present.

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    2. The Roman Empire converted to Christianity in 312. Rome fell in 476. That is 164 years, hardly two generations.

      Christianity was legalised in 313. It was made the state religion in 380 (with the Edict of Thessalonica). The situation of the Western Empire became critical some 15 years later, with the death of Theodosius. 476 is regarded as the formal end of the Western Empire, but by that time it was already a decaying corpse of a state, ruled by military commanders rather than emperors. That's at best ca. 96 years, most of it a hopeless endgame.

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    3. "It depends on what you mean by collapsing."

      My point is that you seem to think it can mean 'rises dramatically'.

      "The white race in America is going extinct"

      Was Jesus a member of the 'white race', out of interest?

      OK. Let's see if we can't stake your lies through the heart with some actual facts and logic, shall we?

      The white population of the US in 2010 was 223,553,265. The *total* population of the US in 1970 was 203,392,031.

      So, for you to be right, 203 would have to be a higher number than 223.

      You are, in other words, lying.

      I just won this argument. That was very easy. Now I want to kick it to death. I don't want you to go away from this with a single piece of comfort, you racist piece of shit. Every single statement you made was a lie. Perhaps you've been fed lies, perhaps it just comes naturally. Perhaps your religion is a petri dish in which untruth spores. But you are a liar, and every single thing you said was, without any room for debate, a lie.

      "Hispanics and Muslims are growing."

      It's a LIE that the growth in the Hispanic population is some threat to Christianity. The vast majority are religious - only 18% of Hispanic Catholics and only 11% of Hispanic Protestants say they are 'not religious', compared with 30% of the general population.

      So your objection can't be based on their beliefs. Oh, but while they worship the same god you do, they're not a member of your 'white race', are they?

      It is a LIE that an increase in the number of Muslims living in the US represents some dramatic demographic shift. The Muslim population of America is, first of all, religious. They, in your terms, 'follow their religion'. The Muslim population of the US is expected to double in the next thirty years ... to just under 2% of the population. Some way off 'inheriting the world'. And that's a figure that counts 'Muslim' as 'from a Muslim background'. If history is any guide, the children of immigrants will be less religious than their parents, and so on and so on.

      But the fact of the matter is that if you add up those born into Muslim families in the US, converts and immigrants currently you get to less than 1% of the US population. About two thirds of whom are practicing. The idea that they're going to outnumber your master race any time soon is ... a lie, plain and simple.

      "People in India are not dying out because they follow their religion."

      So any religion will do?

      "Chinese population declined because of the abortion policy."

      LIE.

      The one child policy - which primarily involves contraception, not abortion, and is supported by a vast majority of the population when polled, including 85% of women - was instituted in 1979. Chinese population 1979 - 975.4 million; 2009 - 1334.7 million.

      "It won't be long before there are millions of Christians in China."

      There are at least 50 million Christians in China already, numbnuts. About 4% of the population.

      You have a view of the world based on racism, fear and a disregard for facts that are very, very easy to come by.

      Yes, people like you are in decline. Ignorant quasi-fascist liars are finding it harder to convince people. Good. Bye.

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    4. "It was made the state religion in 380 (with the Edict of Thessalonica)."

      Indeed. And Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410, a hugely traumatic event for the Empire - moreso than Pearl Harbor or 9-11 for the US. It had been *eight hundred years* since Rome had been breached.

      City of God was published around 426. It's a major keystone of the Christian faith so *obviously* Peter hasn't read it, I mean why would a Christian show the slightest interest in what their religion actually says or does, when there's gays and dark people to persecute, women to beat up and kids to rape?

      I mean, there's a discussion here about Christian manifest destiny and ascendancy, and one of the absolute central works of early Christian scholarship, written by perhaps the most important Christian who never met Jesus or St Paul is entirely about that, in relation to one of the most important events of world history.

      But it's unreasonable to expect a Christian to have even heard of it.

      Those of us who have read it know that it's basically an extended excuse for why Rome falling had nothing to do with Christians taking charge, even though it happened pretty much instantly the moment they did.

      Long story short, St Augustine, a very wise man, would think Peter was completely full of shit.

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    5. Did Rome at its collapse have no fault divorce? YES. Did Rome at its collapse have widespread acceptance of gay rights? YES. Are these Christian values? NO. While Rome may have officially been a Christian state, it was so in name only. It was not in fact a country that followed Christian teaching. There is a very strong correlation between Rome in its decline and present day America. The collapse of Rome only supports what I have been saying. The traditional family is the building block of society. And the traditional family is defined in the Bible, Koran, and holy books of Hinduism.

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    6. If Rome collapsed because it failed to follow Christian teaching, why did it rise to power in the first place?

      Like most self-styled true Christians you seem to be functionally semiliterate. At any rate, you aren't even familiar with those "holy books" you admire so much. Where does the Vedic literature say anything about "the traditional family"? The Kama Sutra even mentions some kind of same-sex marriage as an acceptable social institution in ancient India. The Qur'an allows you to have at least four wives; Muhammad himself had about a dozen: is that your idea of the traditional family?

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    7. I'll take that as a compliment. I am impressed with your credentials too.

      Rome rose in the first place because of God's plan to spread Christianity throughout the world (the reason the universe was create). Have you noticed that Christianity follows the Empires of the world: Rome, England, Spain, France, U.S., and probably China next. The plan seems to be working. Can't argue with that.

      Do you know anything of how Hindu families live? What is their divorce rate? Do they allow gay marriage? No. There is more to reality than books.

      Yes, polygamy is traditional marriage. But it is very rare in Muslim countries. Only the very rich can afford more than one wife. The Qur'an does not allow women to divorce their husbands, and certainly do not recognize gay rights. There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world. There are 1.2 billion Catholics. Churches that accept gay equality are folding like dominoes. Europe with no fault divorce and gay rights has a fertility rate average of 1.3. To those that understand demographics, and there aren't many at this web site, a fertility rate of 1.3 is certain, rapid annihilation.

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    8. Prof Moran,

      I'd just like to say thank you for tolerating my opposing p.o.v. Other web sites have shut down my comments even though I am semi-literate. There are so many posts, with so much information I appreciate having my p.o.v. put under this intense scrutiny. Unfortunately it will take me some time to respond adequately to them. I hope we can continue this discussion until all the issues have been fairly examined.

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    9. I'd also like to say that I appreciate your expression of your viewpoint, Peter. Open, honest statements such as the ones you have made here are among the most effective weapons against religion that we have. Thanks for doing your part to make a truly secular society a reality.

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  17. Jem
    (edited to stay under the postng limit)
    OK. Let's see if we can't stake your lies through the heart with some actual facts and logic, shall we?
    The white population of the US in 2010 was 223,553,265. The *total* population of the US in 1970 was 203,392,031.
    So, for you to be right, 203 would have to be a higher number than 223.
    You are, in other words, lying.
    I just won this argument.
    "Hispanics and Muslims are growing."
    It's a LIE that the growth in the Hispanic population is some threat to Christianity. The vast majority are religious - only 18% of Hispanic Catholics and only 11% of Hispanic Protestants say they are 'not religious', compared with 30% of the general population.
    Yes, people like you are in decline. Ignorant quasi-fascist liars are finding it harder to convince people. Good. Bye.


    I don’t know where you’re getting your figures. You must be making them up, or you don’t know how to read statistics. According to Scientific America, Feb 1996, page 22 in article “The Rainbow Majority” Gary Stix shows that the White race in America declined from 80% in 1980 to 40% among children 5 to 17 in the year 2050. I would hardly call this a stable society. And Mr Stix does not mention a cause for the decline (because he has no clue), so he has no idea if this trend will change. Well, I can tell you that it won’t change as long as America is secular. The White race in America (and Europe) will be extinct in a couple hundred years.

    If you can’t get a hold of this article you can aways type in ‘America fertility rate race’ in google and expand the first image. It clearly shows to people that want to see the truth that Hispanics are increasing, fertility rate of 2.35, Black are just about holding their own at 1.97, while Whites are in decline at 1.79. As you probably know a fertility rate of 2.1 is needed for sustainability. So Whiles are declining at a rate of 15% per generation. The fertility rate has been below replacement since 1972 so it is very unlikely to change anytime soon.

    No, it is not people like me that are in decline. It is people that listen to you and abandon tradition Christian/religious values. India and Iraq both have sustainable populations because they don’t listen to people like you. All of Europe is rapidly dying because they listen to people like you.

    You really have to be awestruck by the surgical precision of God's punishment for America's secularism. Hispanics are replacing Whites, and the Black Americans are fairly secure even though they live in secular America. This is extremely fine tuned retribution, amazing.

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    1. So if the proportion of white people in a population declines, that is a form of punishment for that population.

      Nice to have your racism right out front and obvious like that, Peter.

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  18. "I don’t know where you’re getting your figures. You must be making them up, or you don’t know how to read statistics."

    Sigh. Shit. I have an MSc in Applied Statistics from Oxford, and I'm coming up for twenty five years as a medical statistician, but y'know, you may be right.

    "According to Scientific America, Feb 1996, page 22 in article “The Rainbow Majority” Gary Stix shows that the White race in America declined from 80% in 1980 to 40% among children 5 to 17 in the year 2050."

    OK. I see the mistake you're making. Let's see if we can't make this a teaching moment. Let's take two lists:

    1 - WWWWWWWW NN (Eight Ws, Two Ns)

    2 - WWWWWWWWWWWW NNNNNNNN (Twelve Ws, Eight Ns)

    What's the number of Ws in (1)?
    What's the percentage of Ws in (1)?
    What's the number of Ws in (2)?
    What's the percentage of W in (2)?

    Which has the greatest number of Ws, (1) or (2)?

    If 'W' stands for 'White' and 'N' for 'Non White', that's pretty much where the US population in 1970 (1) and 2010 (2) stood.

    Those Muslims you're so scared of? Here's what that currently looks like:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX M

    With X being non Muslims and M being Muslims. In forty years, if current trends continue?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX MM

    Yes, the number of Muslims will double. Ooh, scary. I think we'll survive.

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    1. "N" may stand for "Non-white" for you, Jem. However, when our friend Peter refers to black people, I suspect he uses a different "N" word....

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  19. Well, it seems that the conversation has degenerated into fact free rambling. Thanks everyone for giving me your best shot trying to find the error of my ways. Since no one has been able to show me where I was wrong, and there doesn't seem to be any entries of substance anymore, I will consider my p.o.v. confirmed for now. Thanks all. I have learned some interesting facts - about the decline of the Roman Empire, and the Supreme Court of India decision to not strike down the law against sodomy in 2013 to name two.

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    1. "Since no one has been able to show me where I was wrong"

      So we were unable to convince you that 223 is a higher number than 203?

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    2. Peter,

      A few points to consider.

      You didn't arrive at your current position through any rational thought process, it is most likely the result of childhood indoctrination.

      Any change in your position, if it happens, will most likely be gradual. That is certainly how it happened with me when I changed my mind on previously held positions.

      I would suspect that many of the commenters here had no interest in changing your mind specifically. It is important to refute bad ideas in the marketplace of ideas. You have regurgitated any number of common creationist, IDiots and religiously motivated tropes and it is these bad ideas that are being attacked. To the extent that you hide behind those ideas and refuse to take responsibility for them will it appear that you are being personally attacked. Don't let that worry you or feed your sense of martyrdom, you really are not that important.

      For all those religiously damaged souls out there that have been irreparably damaged by childhood religious conditioning there are most likely many who have not and will use the information presented here to modify previously held positions, so you can take heart in the fact that you are not totally useless and do have a role to play in the ongoing struggle against mystical thinking and bad ideas.

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