Sorry to be late to the party.
Having read Comments 1-21 (under Happiness…), this is what I see:
Newcomer consistently espouses cooperation, conciliation and respect for opposing points of view.
The rest of you do not, other than one throw away line, JTO’s “I understand what you are saying”.
In y’all y’all’s rush to be so free of religious influence in our schools, have you stopped to consider that YOUR position is a religion too? A religion that answers to no god? A religion is a belief system and not believing in a god is a belief system, duh… So do you have the right to “impose religious [sic] your views on OTHERS’ children in the venue of the public schools”? Apparently you think YOU do. But theists do not, right? Nevermind that 83% of Americans are affiliated with a religion that acknowledges a supreme being* or that 92% of Americans believe in the existence of a God or universal spirit, including 21% of athiests and 55% of agnostics.** YOU guys think your belief system, the one belonging to the 8%, should prevail. Sounds even more arrogant than the Repugs stalling legislation with “filed filibusters”. At least they are 41% of the Senate.
And before you cite the First Amendment, remember all it does is forbid making a “law respecting an establishment of religion”. No ban on using religious materials to teach fundamental moral codes or comparing the moral equivalency found in a multitude of diverse religions, no prohibition on people, including children, expressing their religious convictions or faith in school, no ban on creches in towns that are overwhelming Christian, though if they DO ban the display on public property of the symbols of other religions, then they HAVE made a “law respecting and establishment of religion”. The First Amendment is an INCLUSIVE statement, not an EXCLUDING statement. All religions are welcome, equally, not no religions are welcome.
Frankly, I’m pretty appalled at you pseudo liberals. You evince an incredibly biased approach to the topics of religion and economics. You are an insult to the concepts of open-mindedness and progressive thinking. You are regressive, and in the case of LibDem, willing to stoop to using logical fallacies to support your prejudices.
Joe Campbell said, “Liberals – embracing their fallibility as human beings, and acknowledging that their grasp of the truth is always provisional – embrace diversity and federalism. Diverse viewpoints, diverse cultural, cultural, economic, etc. backgrounds all should be welcome and protected so long as they do not attempt to impose their specific view on those not willing.”*** Damn that sounds like a description of true conservatism as opposed to the neo-con’s litmus tested one size fits all tyranny.
The truth is, the extremists of both wings are in bed together. Both want to rule, not govern.
PS: I’m an agnostic who knows so little about economics that I’m willing to concede that there may actually be a God out there so I’m hedging my bet, like Ernest Renan.