Fair enough, but I still disagree with you on some of the finer points you made here.
Religion: I want more than anything for there to be a magical person on a cloud listening to me talk to myself but the reality is that it's just not going to happen. I want there to be a place where we can live out all of eternity surrounded by the people we love but again, that won't happen. Maybe their is something out there we can call a God but I am certain whatever that is would be far beyond our comprehension as humans to understand. Modern religion is just a bunch of superstitious people in the Middle East who spent too much time in the sun and ate bad mushrooms. They even plagiarized other religions when they created Christianity (still doing my research on Islam, hard to find hard facts as all they do is quote the Koran).
With that being said know that I don't oppose religion. I think it gives people the hope they need to make it through the day when all they have is a prayer. It fills the void of emptiness when they have nothing in life. People need that, they really do and I get upset when others try to take that away.
Religion holds a power over people that most leaders have used...shall we say unwisely?!
I understand your views about an afterlife but I have to ask; is the only reason you are a good person because you are hopping for a reward (or fear punishment) after you pass from this world? I am a good person for no reason other than I choose to be. Trust me, I am also fully aware of the flip side of that coin.
Religion is one of those interesting aspects that are both personal, and yet widely accepted. In the United States, ever since the State of Virginia passed legislation making it illegal for the government to infringe on a person's personal expression of religion, our country has long made it important for GOVERNMENT to endorse or sanctify any particular religion, or lack of one. But one thing we must understand from a historical context is that our country was founded by religious men and women who believed in an intelligent, purposeful creator. Even deists like Jefferson, while rejecting the concept of Christ, examined the natural world and saw not only the beauty, but the intricate balance in which it revolved, and thus believed in God. America is a nation of religion, in general peaceful, wonderful religion, especially when it comes to tolerance. We've stumbled occasionally, but compared to other western nations (or God forbid EASTERN nations) America has been a land of welcome and magnanimity.
In the context of our early debate, I hypothesized that one on of the reasons that we have been seeing an increase in mass shootings and some violent crimes is that our latest generation of Americans have rejected the idea of an intelligent creator, thus removing the impetus for decent behavior (by example) or by threat of eternal damnation (by the fear of punishment.) Regardless of whether or not one fears God or wants to be more "Christ-like", the idea of being judged is one that MIGHT stem the slate of murder-suicides that have been plaguing our nation.
Chris asks if I am a good person because I fear God's wrath, or if it because I want to be more Christ-like. My answer? Yes. I love doing good. I like the feeling it gives me and if I can make someone, even a stranger, life easier due to my actions, or change a crappy day into a good one, or bring a little light into someone's life, then I will. But underneath all that I am aware that I am a sinner, that no matter how hard I try, I can not live my life perfectly. I will lust. I will get angry. I'll yell at my kids and my wife. I will eat poorly. I will hate someone. And while I'm not out there breaking the Ten Commandments, I can see myself standing next to Jesus and finding myself lacking.
As a conservative, I don't mind atheism. I know that most atheists are very moral, good people. They are as free to practice their non-religion in as unoffensive a way as Christians and Jews and even Muslims practice their own faiths. But while I recognize the freedom to not believe in God, I can still point to atheism on a large, general scale, and say "this is not good for the country."
For my atheist friends out there, who need proof, I would seriously recommend reading The Case For Christ, written by a former atheist and journalist Lee Strobel, who confronted with his wife's conversion and immersion into religion, wanted to PROVE her wrong. What he found, was amazing. For my agnostic, science minded friends, I recommend Fred Hereen's Show Me God. This book is a stunning collection of verifiable science facts, laid out for anyone to examine, demonstrating how humanity, and our universe, from the Drake Equation to the Goldilocks Zone to evolution all supports not only the idea of intelligent design, but specifically, Christianity. As Mr. Hereen put it, we won the quadrillion zillion odd lottery. Twice.
Abortion: I can agree with you here but I think under extreme circumstances it should be allowed. I don't want the Government or another persons religion to be the ones deciding that, it should be the Mother. I can't stress that enough. Decide for yourself what "extreme" means. You also know full well that adoption will only work for a small amount of the unwanted (I hated using this word, but there it is). Once all the people who want children have one the burden will fall on the tax payers to care for the rest. I know its cruel Brian but there simply isn't a solution on this issue other than maybe licensing people to procreate by sterilizing them until a later point in there life, but that also opens a can of worms full of problems. (After thought; that won't work with Catholics will it?)
I think that even conservatives are willing to agree that under "extreme" circumstances abortion should be allowed and I think we were to broaden the poll to the voting most Americans would be willing to allow this. In actuality, my friend Chris is taking a libertarian view on this issue, since it is possible to be so far left you're right, and vice versa. Chris actually makes some of the only FEW viable arguments in FAVOR of abortion. Unfortunately unwanted children always seem to fall in the gutter. But is it right to terminate the child, instead of allowing the child to live, even if raised in an orphanage? That may be a question better to ask the child, but if we terminate, how do we ask? In cases like this I have to side with the child. Life, almost regardless of birth circumstances, of being wanted or unwanted, is better than death. Life, in all its infinite glory is sacred.
But Chris also hits upon some possible solutions. Sterilization might be an option, but could you imagine hordes of minority women flocking to Planned Parenthood for sterilization? Can you say self inflicted genocide? What really needs to happen here is that adults take responsibility for their own actions. And in today's age of offset responsibility, that might be a tough and bitter pill for our younglings to swallow. It's the natural result of participation trophies and "no one loses" mentality.
As a conservative, I will support contraceptives that are not abortifacients. Do I want to pay for them though? No. Be a man. Buy a damn condom.
Executive Orders: This isn't a "fallacious argument". The entire point of showing you every Presidents orders is to show you they ALL exorcise that authority. Calling Obama a king because he used it is the same as calling ALL Presidents a king for using it. Being a leader is incredibly hard, no matter what decision you make there will always be a "Captain Hindsight" right there to tell you why you made the wrong one. To be a strong leader you have to hold a manner of confidence that you KNOW the decision you are making is the right one and help guide the opposition to an understanding of why you made the one you did. Please notice I used the word "understanding" in that last sentence, not acceptance. All I have ever asked anyone is to understand why our leaders are making the decisions they do. President Obama is being a leader but he is being labeled a king or on some networks a bully. That just isn't right, but there is little anyone can do to stop it.
In an earlier post I made fun of conservatives who were worried about President Obama unilaterally ignoring the Constitution (like making recess appointments when Congress was actually in session) and using executive fiat (order) to start confiscating assault rifles like the AR-15. As it turned out, President Obama did nothing of the sort, despite calls for it from the left. The point in calling Obama "King" was to demonstrate that only a tyrant, a ruler, or King George, could ignore the law itself and declare something to be by the pure power of their office. This was why the conservative blogosphere was going ape and accusing Obama of acting like a King prior to his gun control announcements. When Obama came out with his "executive actions " (none of them actually require an executive order to be honest) Conservative gun nuts were forced to put their rebellion against the crown on hold. Too bad for them, right?
Chris took this statement, and slight to the President, to heart, and pointed out that MANY presidents have used executive orders. Well... so what? It doesn't change the fact that had Obama done what many left wing pundits and the entire news staff of MSNBC were calling for, it would have required a massive violation of the Constitution. So while ridiculous in the extreme, the CHARGE of calling Obama a KING, were he to actually DO what Piers Morgan wants him to do, is totally apt. You can be offended all you want, but in the immortal words of John Hancock - "The king will remain a tyrant." But as a peace offering to Chris - Obama is not a king. He (in this case) has followed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold and defend.
Piers Morgan is a Brit, he carries no weight with me on any of his arguments. He should be doing nothing but reporting the news. Him telling us how we should govern our society is like me walking into my neighbors house and telling them how they should live in their own home.
Well, we certainly agree on Piers Morgan. As I've pointed out here on this Blog, not only is Piers Morgan a dishonest journalist who doesn't even bother to get his facts straight, but Chris is exactly right about "him [Morgan] telling us how we should govern," See? It's not so hard for liberals and conservatives who are rational to agree!
As far as my points on the GOP, after some thought on the issue I realized we can pretty much blame everyone regardless of political affiliation. Hell, like one of my FB friends likes to point out as often as he can Obama was the one who laid me off with five years until retirement. I still got my pension but it's not as much as I should have been allowed to earn.
Your post was long but I think I got all the points that I wanted to get across. If I missed any that you would like me to address please let me know and I will fire it back at you.
Well, I agree with Chris here, at least in part. The blame game is one lots of politicians like to play and we can even point fingers at ourselves over this and that. So knowing the problems that face our country, like the spiraling out of control debt and deficit our government is running, like the insolvency of Medicaid by 2016, like the unbridled fiscal disaster Obamacare has already unleashed upon us, who is doing anything to solve it? The GOP has presented several budgets that deal with all of these things. And yet Harry Reid (Democratic Socialist Party) has kept them from being voted on in the Senate. Senate Democrats have failed to bring a budget to the table for the past three years running, a requirement of the Constitution. Worse, even the CBO says were in trouble. The Obama Administration's response? "We don't have a plan but we know we don't like yours."
So in the end I think we need to look forward, rather than behind and I think that the GOP is the best place to start. Unfortunately the party is not only rudderless, but leaderless as well and we get to spend the next four years in political decay as the most liberal, socialistic, king... er... I mean president ever, continues to buy political capital and votes by bribing the public with entitlements, while sinking the ship of state elsewhere. He has already been castigated for his violation of the recess clause of the Constitution, and as more information is eventually pried via legal action out of the Departments of Justice and State concerning Benghazi and Fast and Furious, I think we will find ourselves faced with one burning question:
Why did we reelect the most corrupt, secretive, and destructive administration in the history of our nation?