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In a recent community forum conversation, someone posted the following in a discussion about taxing the wealthy. He was describing a friend of his who owned horses and the issues this business owner faced:

 photo horse_complaint_zps3be6c1c3.jpg

Why is this amazing?

First, someone turned a $240,000 profit off of a $20,000 investment after taxes and trainer fees. That’s a 1200% return on investment. Not bad.

Second, the person involved in this tremendous profit considers this “not a good deal.”

Third, because this comment has everything to do with the recent Hobby Lobby decision.

And fourth, because I consider the author of this post an ally, not an adversary.

If any of this intrigues you, click below the fold.

Really quick, the background

On our local community forum, a truly brave soul posted a petition calling for a tax on the rich and the post infuriated several local conservatives who responded with their concerns.

One of the conservatives was an accountant who posted about the problems of small business owners.

He said:

When I owned my accounting firm, and people would ask me what I did for a living, I would tell them that I helped redistribute wealth.
In his opinion, the two problems facing small business owners are 1) finding people to work for them, and 2) taxes.

He posted the quote about his friend, the horse owner, as an example.

The moral value behind these statements

You might not think there’s a moral value other than profit behind these comments at all. But there is. It’s the moral of self-interest. It is the belief that the world is a difficult place and the only way people “learn” how to survive in this world is through self-discipline and restraint. It is the belief that people working in their own self-interest produce a greater good for everyone.

It is the belief in individual responsibility.

Someone reasoning from this value believes that individuals make choices and are rewarded or punished by the market for these choices and this is how you learn to survive in the world. The market is the moral authority and anyone who says differently is “interfering” with market forces.

Pure. Unadulterated. Individual. Everything is the responsibility of the individual and every result is because of an individual.

Part of this moral belief includes the idea that everything an individual earns should be that individual’s and the individual has no obligation other than to do with these earning what he or she wishes. There is no obligation to country, state, community, or anything else for that matter unless that individual wishes.

I point this out not because I agree with this value, but to simply highlight that someone expressing these beliefs is not “stupid” or “low information” or somehow otherwise misinformed. In fact, quite to the contrary, people who hold this belief often go to great intellectual lengths to justify their belief.

I point this out because the first step in winning anyone over is to identify the belief at the heart of the argument. If you don’t address things at the belief level, you're having two completely different conversations.

What I believe

I believe in individuality as well but I also believe it is just one side of a coin called responsibility. The other side is mutual responsibility.

That is, I believe we need to be responsible to ourselves but I also believe we’re all in this together. I believe we have obligations to our community. I believe we are “our brothers’ keeper.”

Others have said this much better than me though. My favorite version is from one of the most important figures in Jewish history, Hillel the Elder:

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And, if not now, when?
If we are only for ourselves, what are we?

We certainly aren’t a society.

Without mutual responsibility, we’re a bunch of people fighting each other endlessly or, to quote Thomas Hobbes, we “are in that condition which is called war; and such a war is of every man against every man.”

Why this matters to my online conversation

Because I also believe that the person who posted this believes in mutual responsibility and is not my enemy. Most people in our country hold this belief because it is the basis of Judeo-Christian religions.

My online friend has, however, chosen to forget mutual responsibility because he’s been told that selfishness will take care of everything and lead to a greater good. He has bought into a story that puts not just an emphasis on the “I” and the “me,” but puts all emphasis on the “I.”

This is the story of Ayn Rand and laissez-faire capitalism. In this Ayn Randian fundamentalist story, the market is god---it rewards the good and punishes the bad. In a Randian world, markets are judge, jury, and executioner.

Corporate special interest groups love Ayn Rand because Rand turns two beliefs into one. Ayn Rand turns mutual and personal responsibility into selfishness by claiming that pure, unadulterated selfishness leads to a greater good. In other words, acting selfishly is the only moral you need. The greater good part will sort itself out. Somehow.

Of course no one’s ever been able to demonstrate exactly how this greater good happens and all the science, history, and experience I’ve seen tells a different story. Everything I’ve seen says that people do best when we work together.

However, this appeal to the individual is compelling. You mean I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself? Thank God … err, market forces!

Back to my friend, however. I believe, as Hillel said thousands of years ago, that we need both to form a society. I also believe most people believe in both aspects of responsibility.

When someone argues from a belief in personal responsibility, this is a tremendous opportunity to expand the values discussion to include both in a manner very similar to Hillel.

Here’s how I responded to the poster:

I am sincerely sorry to hear about your friend with the horse, -------.  It is very sad to me that someone can’t see any good in making a $240,000 profit (1200% return on investment). This person must be very miserable indeed if he makes this kind of return and all he can see is that he pays 50% of this tremendous profit back to help maintain the country that made this tremendous profit for him possible. Your friend sounds like a tremendously selfish individual. Most people would gladly take a deal where they made $480,000 if they knew they only had to invest 50% back in the country that made such tremendous wealth possible.
My goal: win him over to a belief in mutual responsibility. Or, barring that, take the moral high ground away from him and win everyone else on the community thread over.

A few quick guidelines on how to accomplish this goal:

  1. No name calling.
  2. Remember that the person you are speaking with is a person and not a political pundit, even if the person repeats what political pundits say. This is a not an insignificant distinction. Corporate special interest group pundits are a valid enemy, people you know are typically not.
  3. Value your relationship with the person above winning any factual argument. Agree to disagree if you have to.
  4. Hold the moral high ground by speaking about your values (Here, mutual responsibility). 
  5. Avoid the usual liberal/conservative back and forth.

What I am counting on is that most people have beliefs more like Hillel than Ayn Rand. That is, most people believe in both personal and mutual responsibility.

In other words, it’s easy to make his selfishness look immoral. Most people dream of making $240k selling a horse. This guy’s “friend” can’t see anything past his own greed. Even while making a 1200% return on investment, he feels he deserves more.

Kind of like this guy:

What happened with my friend?

He left the conversation. Probably because he knew he wasn't going to be able to look righteous. Most everyone else on the thread sided with me. So I guess I was wrong in thinking him an ally. Still, I believe it's worth considering everyone a potential ally until they tell you otherwise. And also to consider people who aren't current allies as potential future allies.

NOTE: I never had to call him selfish (though I did point out the selfishness of his friend's actions). Mostly, I just spoke about my beliefs and compared and contrasted them with Mr. Unhappy 1200%.

How this relates to Hobby Lobby

I believe this has everything to do with the recent Hobby Lobby decision and the GOPs evolving focus on “religious freedom.”

But not in the way you might think.

You know the argument. Religious freedom is being redefined to mean something different than it has traditionally meant.

Traditionally, religious freedom has been about the freedom to practice religion without fear of reprisal. Religious freedom is about the separation of church and state so that no single religion is able to become a state religion.

This new “religious freedom” is something completely different. It is much more closely related to the selfishness of Mr. Unhappy 1200% than it is to what we traditionally think of as religious freedom.  

Glenn Beck describes it this way:

Anybody who says you want to talk about rights, you must stand for the person on both sides. This is, “I have a right to get a cake from a bakery,” not this specific bakery, but a bakery. Bakeries have a right to make cakes for homosexual couples getting married, period, and this particular bakery has a right to say, “I’m not gonna make it.” That’s how rights work.
It is the morality of the individual. “I” can do whatever “I” want if I simply believe it (and have enough money). Any harm to anyone else (from say discrimination) is never considered in the equation.

 photo white_people_only_zps714230a4.jpg

This new "religious freedom" is about finding a morality that allows anyone to do anything he or she wants, regardless of the harm or impact to anyone else.

Target and goal

This may sound obvious, but the GOP is targeting two groups with this approach: religions and business owners.

According to Pew Research, Christians in America comprise 78.4% of the target market. 51.3% Protestant, 23.9% Catholic to be more precise.

Business owners are being targeted for their influence. Very little happens in America without the support of business owners. According to recent research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, interest groups and affluent Americans (the top 10% of income earners) have disproportionate influence on the direction of policy.

If you are a business owner, the message the Supreme Court has sent is, have we got a legal tax break loophole for you. Viewed this way, the Hobby Lobby decision is a pitch to business owners for their reciprocity and support.

Why this is important

Because you and Judeo-Christian religions are on the same side in this fight until you choose not to be.

Mutual responsibility is the fundamental value behind all Judeo-Christian religions. Not personal responsibility.

This means that if we can articulate a message of mutual responsibility, we win 78.4% of the target market. If we fail to articulate a message of mutual responsibility, we risk losing this market to a group that is twisting selfishness to target this market.

You and business owners are also on the same side until you choose not to be. Talk to anyone in business and they will be able to describe to you the idea of the “win-win.” This is another way to frame mutual responsibility. It is at the heart of good business practices. In a “win-win” transaction, both sides benefit. Often, this is because one side has a particular skill that the other side wishes to trade for using money gained from their own particular skill as a medium.

Mutual responsibility is a core value of businesses. If we fail to articulate a message of mutual responsibility, we lose the business owners who are being marketed to by the same group targeting them with a message of selfishness.

I believe we are about to lose these two groups on this issue.

Why?

Because everything I’ve seen so far says we haven’t been able to come up with a strategy that targets them.

We’re fighting the “war on women.” Or, we’re fighting religion. Or, we’re fighting conservatives.  

I don’t mean the “war on women” in the false sense that GOP pundits use these terms. But in the sense that many of our responses are targeted towards women and the non-religious. In other words, we’re targeting a certain base constituency, largely the Democratic base. This is a good thing in terms of strengthening the Democratic core, fundraising, and hopefully getting out the vote.

I simply haven’t seen a strategy for talking to people who we don’t already agree with the Democratic base. I haven’t seen a good response that I can use to win over people who aren’t as involved in politics or consider themselves Independents. And many of the responses I’ve seen continue to play the divide-and-conquer game that favors corporate special interests and conservatives.  

Here’s a few memes that illustrate some of the core arguments I've seen:

 photo HL-meme-corporation_zps37a4dbe8.jpg

Arguments like the above are easy to portray as anti-business.

 photo HL-meme-men-on-court_zpscb06739a.jpg

Arguments like the above divide the target market as women versus men. As women form much of the Democratic base, these types of arguments typically make good fundraising and “get out the vote” arguments to a core constituency. Arguments like these are needed. However, you’re unlikely to win over someone who isn’t already a part of the choir.

Why? Because there is a belief at the heart of the conservative argument that many religious people feel has nothing to do with women or men. In other words, when someone tells you that they don’t “hate” women, they really believe this. Of course, you may see things differently because you can see the effects some of these terrible decisions have on women. I take people (not pundits) at face value when they talk about their beliefs however. If I disagree with these beliefs, I've found it more effective to try to win them over to better beliefs. In other words, if someone tells me it's not about women vs. men, I take them at their word and try to find out what it's really about (in this case, naked individuality).

 photo HL-meme-not-a-church_zps16bd872c.jpg

True. But not very powerful. Most people don’t find it hard to believe that the owners of a store can have religious beliefs. It’s a small step from here to the personal responsibility and individual freedom argument. That is, shouldn’t I be entitled to do what I want to do with my business?

 photo HL-meme-christianity_zps5365c00a.jpg

What about Christians who hold the same values as I do? This over generalization puts all Christians on one side (hint: not ours).

 photo HL-meme-jon-stewart_zps17bd28e3.jpg

This is a version of “conservatives are stupid people.” It’s funny, if you already hold the same beliefs as Jon Stewart. Offensive if you don’t. Either way, you’re not winning anyone over who doesn’t already believe the same thing you do. Don't get me wrong, I like Jon Stewart tremendously and think he's a great comedian. Political comedy however, by definition, rarely wins over anyone who doesn’t already have the same beliefs as you. If you didn’t have the same beliefs, you wouldn’t find Jon Stewart funny.

If you don't believe me, watch a conservative comedian.  

A quick note now before you get pissed at me because you think I’m somehow trying to shut someone down, let me state for the record that I’m not saying any of these memes are bad or without purpose.

I’m pointing out who the target is, what the intended purpose is, and arguing that these memes are unlikely to win over people who don’t already agree with you.

I also believe we’re hurting ourselves with a huge segment of the population who should be our natural allies based on their several thousand year history of mutual responsibility.

Many of these memes are expressions of anger. Rightly so. You should be angry. Anger helps to rally people who agree with you. Hell, I'm angry even now as I write this and I would never argue you shouldn't be.

When you don't want to be angry, however, is when you're trying to win people over who may have bought into some different views.

How to win people over by talking about mutual responsibility

The memes mentioned above are great for fundraising, laughter, and firing up people who already hold similar views.

You are, however, unless you live in a bubble, quite likely to come up against opinions like the following:

I'm not sure what difference the blue pill makes to my position that birth control does not treat a disease but is a lifestyle choice - (excluding of course where birth control pills are prescribed for a disease). So why should I pay for your lifestyle choices?
I live in a very Catholic town so I come up against views like this all the time. It is another version of the personal responsibility argument.

It goes like this. It’s a woman’s choice whether she has sex or not. Because it’s her choice, I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

It would be very easy to get into a back and forth about choices I pay for that I’m not particularly fond of, but then I’m accepting her frame that individuality trumps law and simply quibbling about the details of who should pay for what.

First, what I like to do is establish some common ground. In this case, it's easy because I believe in personal responsibility too. This helps break down barriers, establishes that we both care about values, and puts us on the same side:

I believe in personal responsibility too. I simply believe women and men are being responsible when they use birth control. They’re actively taking responsibility to avoid unwanted pregnancies. What could be more responsible?
Literally, get them to explain why they view something as "irresponsible."

Compared to Europe, for example, the United States has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies in the developed world. Largely, because we haven’t had universal coverage for birth control.

Lisa Bloom, writing about childbirth as a health care issue, says it quite eloquently:

All medically approved forms of birth control are far safer for women's health than childbirth, as is abortion, a safe and simple medical procedure when performed by a doctor. Childbirth, in contrast, can be dangerous for poor American women. Most of us are unaware of the shocking fact that a U.S. woman's chance of dying in childbirth is high and on the rise. We rank 60th in the world in maternal mortality rates, worse than China with its hundreds of millions of rural poor. Nearly eight hundred American moms died in childbirth in 2013, double the rate of Saudi Arabia and Canada, triple the rate of the U.K.
Or, to quote Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Contraception coverage enables women to avoid the health problems unintended pregnancies may visit on them and their children.
If there is any question about sex being a health issue, an even easier way to respond is: Why don’t we ask a doctor?

Inevitably, once the health benefits have been established, the argument that sex is a “choice” comes up again. To respond, all you have to do is talk about sex as something normal and natural:

Sex is a perfectly normal part of most people’s lives. Are you saying people shouldn’t have sex? What if they’re married?
When the topic of sex comes up, many people become uncomfortable. Especially if you talk about it as a perfectly natural thing instead of the taboo topic religions often skirt. The point here, once again however, is to hold the moral high ground. Don’t accuse. Don’t call anyone stupid. Just talk about what you believe and why. If people can’t handle honest, respectful conversation, that’s their problem, not yours.

You might think that “moral high ground” is an odd thing to say when talking about sex, but the choice it leaves someone is to acknowledge reality or to fall back on literal interpretations of the bible. (NOTE: If someone is a bible literalist, your odds of winning this person over likely decrease, but many, if not most, religious people aren’t literalists. They tend to see the bible as a framework of values for how to live their lives. And business people tend to be pretty practical.)

Then, the only thing left is, why should I have to pay for it?

The simplest answer is: you don’t. Insurance pays for it. We pay for insurance because we believe in mutual responsibility. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we believe in this principle as a country. This is why we formed a union. This is why we are a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. In other words, it’s not just about you. You reap the benefits, you pay it forward.

Often, I will ask this question directly:

Do you believe we have a responsibility to others? To our country?
Jesus believed in mutual responsibility. He spoke with everyday people, healed them, empowered them, talked with them, expressed interest in their lives, and helped them gain self-respect.

Much of the New Testament, in fact, demonstrates Jesus’ concern for everyone (not just the wealthy) and the principles of mutual and personal responsibility we heard from Hillel. A few examples include the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), when he dined with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10), and when he healed the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5–13).

Instead of complaining about what you have to pay from your $500,000 horse sale (or b*tching about having to pay for health insurance), maybe you should be thankful for your $240,000 profit and the fact that you live in a country where such wealth is possible. And maybe every once in a while you could think about the good that your tax money does.

In meme form, this might look like:

 photo getting_old_zpsdae78a82.jpg

Sorry, I'm not the best at memes. Some of you out there can probably do better. Please share if you can create or have seen better.

Some other good thought questions to ask

  • When it comes to health care services, should we let doctors decide or religions decide?
  • Has anyone ever helped you before? How? What was your experience like?
  • What part of your religion are you not allowed to practice?  (If you don’t want to use birth control, you are perfectly free to not use it. What you are not free to do, however, is impose your religion on others.)
  • What makes your religion better than other religions?
  • If we’re going to give out special exemptions from the law, who should we give them to?
  • Why are women and women alone typically held responsible for pregnancy? Shouldn’t the responsibility be 50/50?

Is this pandering to Christians?

I don’t pander to people. My first rule is to try to never say something that I don’t believe. This is actually much harder than it sounds. In this instance, we both believe in mutual responsibility.

You can’t “pander” to someone if you both genuinely believe the same thing.

I also have no interest in converting anyone away from their religion so I have no issue with God or anyone’s other beliefs.

I simply find most Christians natural allies on this issue because we both believe in mutual responsibility.

I feel similarly about business owners. Whenever business people talk about a “win-win” situation or conducting business in good faith, they are talking about mutual responsibility. You win when your customers win because they will do business again with you.

All I’m doing is explaining how we believe the same thing instead of creating or accentuating divides. When corporate special interests choose divide-and-conquer tactics such as the Hobby Lobby decision, they often have a reason. Rather than play into these tactics, a good way to win people over is to start with what you have in common.

Again, I’m not trying to say other approaches don’t serve a purpose (often to rally people who share similar views). I am suggesting, however, that if these are our only approaches we risk losing two huge groups who are our natural allies.

Originally posted to akadjian on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Matthew 19-24 (19+ / 0-)

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

    •  As a progressive Christian, I thank you. (14+ / 0-)

      It gets pretty tiresome, having other progressives assume I can't be a 'real' progressive because I self-identify as a Christian. Typically this reflects their ignorance; they think that all Christians are bible-thumping fundies who consider homosexuality an abomination, believe the earth is 6,000 years old, insist that everyone else must adhere to Christian doctrines, and hold that every word of the bible is God's inerrant word as literally written (i.e., in English, of course).

      There really are Christians who get it that Jesus' message to us was profoundly progressive, even radical, and strive to live that, and who further get it that Paul had his head up his arse and large swaths of the Old Testament are nucking futs. There are whole churches that believe this. There are whole denominations that believe this. But we don't get the media attention that the tealiban fundies do (thank goodness), so if all you know about Christians is what you see on TV then you don't even know we exist, and that we probably constitute a good 50% of all American Christians.

      So thank you for pointing out that the way to discuss these hot-button issues with people of faith is to look for your commonalities. They exist. This is the right way to go.

      You might-should even prep yourself for some of this action by picking a liberal denomination and attending church a few times. I know a lot of angry anti-Christian progressives who would, I think, find this educational.

      Now, don't even get me started on all the fundies who tell me I can't be a Christian because I'm a progressive. Oy.

      The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

      by DocDawg on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:16:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you are a silent 50% (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kmt1923, Jimtoday, SherrieLudwig

        50% of the German people in 1940 were good, decent people. All they did was obey the law and pay their taxes.

        And we dropped bombs on them anyway, because obeying the law and paying taxes - i.e. enabling wickedness through their silence and passivity - made them the enemy.

        Good Christians that allow bad Christians to share the name are just as guilty as those poor, innocent Germans. Every time you show that people can believe in ancient bronze-age myths and not be monsters, you provide cover for people who use their bronze-age myths to justify monstrousness.

        I don't know what the solution is. I'm just trying to explain the problem.

        •  Yes, just like all those 'good muslims' are silent (10+ / 0-)

          With respect, you're wrong that we're silent. Here in NC at Moral Moday protests, progressive church groups are present in abundance, and the  founder of MM, Rev. Barber is...well, a reverend (and the keynoter at Netroots this year). My denomination...PCUSA...has at great expense and travail publicly fought its more fundie wing, approving gay ordination and marriages (and thereby losing about a hundred thousand members) and divesting from Israel. I'm very politically active in my community, inside and outside the church, as are many of my friends. The pastor of our church is one of the major civic leaders of our city. We have an active and successful program to help the homeless. I'm an active blogger at DKos. I could go on and on. What part of all this sounds like silence?

          If you don't happen to know or be around any progressive Christians then yes, I can see how you'd think we're silent. But that's not on us.

          The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

          by DocDawg on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:27:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well said, Doc (6+ / 0-)

            Part of the issue is that the "good" Christians simply aren't in the news. Though Moral Mondays has gotten some coverage.

            To be fair, fundamentalist Christians aren't in the news much either. What we do hear, however, over and over is the religion of free market capitalism.

            •  Which reminds me (7+ / 0-)

              not to limit my back-patting to protestant progressives. Pope Francis has been awesome at denouncing the evils of unchecked capitalism, appears to be working diligently (and, I fear, at great personal risk) to uproot the legacy of a thousand years of corruption in the highest levels of his own church, and has said with respect to gays, "Who am I to judge?" Do you have any idea what a complete 180 it is for a pope to say something like that??? Considering that the papacy remains the biggest bully pulpit in all of Christendom, those five words were an incredibly powerful statement. Under Francis, the Catholic church looks to be taking the lead in Christian progressivism, something I never would have imagined just a few years ago. If you don't think that's courageous, take a look into the eyes of his security detail the next time you see a video of Francis wading through a public crowd. Says it all.

              The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

              by DocDawg on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:17:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pope Francis (5+ / 0-)

                ... is turning the Catholic world on its ear.  He is demonstrating by not just his words but his deeds, his very lifestyle, that being the appointed leader of one of the biggest faiths on the planet does not mean he gets to live like a prince.

                Instead he's using his papacy like he used his priesthood - to minister to those less fortunate, to champion the causes of the downtrodden, and to denounce those who have been living above the law.  

                (... did I just channel the opening to Night Rider? Ouch. 80's childhood.)

                I'm sure he's at great risk of being assassinated.  But at the same time, there may not be many who would want to.  It's not because he's progressive in his speeches, it's because he leads the life of someone who could, if he chose, be a prince, but chooses not to.

                The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

                by dcnblues on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 12:01:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pope Francis still opposes birth control, right? (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Unfortunately, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                    However, he has 'wavered' on birth control used for reasons of health, and while he condemns abortion, his stance is "that human life should be respected all the way from conception to the natural death."

                    This means he also advocates NOT turning one's back on kids born to single parents, poor couples, out of wedlock, orphans, etc etc.  He 'gets it' in that if you say "the child shall come to term" then you must also say "once born, the child shall be cherished and not abandoned."

                    The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

                    by dcnblues on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 02:47:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  religion (0+ / 0-)

              You are beginning to understand the "business of religion", which this member of the clergy clearly identifies:

              "Religion is in the control business".

              https://www.youtube.com/...

        •  Not at all silent. Just not "newsworthy" (5+ / 0-)

          If you can figure out how to make "love your neighbor" as newsworthy as Kim Kardashian, let us know.



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 04:06:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aye, there's the rub [nt] (4+ / 0-)

            The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

            by DocDawg on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:44:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well what if Kim and her family... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama

            ... decided to do just that, instead of the whole socialite/model thing?

            I'm sure if the "love your neighbor" was literal, there'd be scandal... which is what the show is really about... but in the sense we're referring to?  They'd have to show up as the new hosts of HGTV's "build/renovate houses for homeless" show(s).

            The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

            by dcnblues on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 12:06:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  how about... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeninSC, Wee Mama

            We edit that to the "respect and dignity of every being. :) We all count and I think those questions apply when approaching all sentient beings out there. I'd love to see us use them more often when thinking of the non-human animals we encounter.

            And I have to say, that as a Zen Buddhist, this statement about Pope Francis:
            "It's not because he's progressive in his speeches, it's because he leads the life of someone who could, if he chose, be a prince, but chooses not to."
            both rings a bell (seems I've heard that story somewhere before...) and was the thing that first made me like him so much. He's said a couple of things that rankled me a little (we're not going to agree on everything), but he's a pretty incredible revolutionary as well as a darn impressive teacher and holy man.

            I've often wondered if there won't be some sort of split between the old-school conservative Christians and the more progressive "new-school" branch. Maybe the Jesusians or something? It seems like there are some pretty fundamental (no pun intended) differences between the two.

            •  I might disagree with the characterization of all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama

              beings as 'sentient,' (and perhaps even some human beings!), but I, too, like the idea of respect for other beings beside ourselves.

              Thanks for your comment!

              Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
              ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

              "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

              by BeninSC on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 07:06:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  But do we need to respect the dignity ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... of the corporate being?  It seems to me that the Roberts court's catholic majority begins its decision-making process from the profound (profoundly mistaken, imho) belief that ARTIFICIAL persons are entitled to the same civil rights, and all the attendant respect, as NATURAL persons.

              So we still need SOME kind of qualification on that statement. Howzabout
              "... respect the dignity of every NATURAL being."?

              OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

              by mstaggerlee on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:43:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The truth will out. (0+ / 0-)

        No, not all people with faith in God are the same.  This member of the Clergy speaks the truth:

        https://www.youtube.com/...

        •  Thanks for the link, SueZbell. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm glad to see some recognition (too rare in the media) that not all Christians are the narrow-minded fundamentalists that so many liberals of the "Thank-God-I'm-an-atheist" persuasion out there [AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!] seem to think.

          BTW, the comments on the youtube video are informative for the range of opinion they illustrate.

    •  But wait, there's more! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akadjian

      You forgot the antecedent to that passage: Matthew 19:26, "With God, all things are possible." Even the camel and even the rich. And even a liberal Supreme Court majority, one assumes.

    •  Jesus was a radical, but Paul (and Constantine) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akadjian

      cleaned him up to be fit for an empire on this earth.  
      I do not know how to reach people who call themselves christians, but do not recognize these well known historical facts.
      But thank you, akadjian, for the very thoughtful discussion on how to talk with people who disagree with you.  

      •  You're welcome ... it's not always easy (0+ / 0-)

        And there's no guaranteeing it will work.

        But I have found that I have much more success having a respectful conversation about values with people of faith (and business owners too) than I would if I tried to present facts & figures.

        One, they like to talk about values. Two, there's many areas of natural agreement. And three, you avoid the same old, same old liberal/conservative false divide.

        Another thing I've found is that it's important to demonstrate that you are moral and you do care about values. This is important because often people have heard so much propaganda about liberals being "evil, satanist, God-hating, communist" ... err, well ... liberals.

  •  very interesting (6+ / 0-)

    i think we do need better communication with people of faith and that not everybody captured by the crazy republicans, might be open to our cause, if it's spelled out in terms they agree with.

    this is where people like Frank Luntz have given the GOP an edge. they used to complain about Dems doing message polling etc. they cannot form complete coherent original messages. they rely heavily on what Frank tells them to say.

    i am not sure your method would gain much traction among the dead enders. the true believers.

    sometimes ridicule is more powerful in that case.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:24:22 AM PDT

    •  I'm ok w that (8+ / 0-)

      You're never going to win everyone over.

      Have you ever won anyone over using ridicule?  

      This is a sincere question. In my personal experience, I've found younger people more open to satire. This however, is often because satire questions power, exactly what you do when you're young.

      •  putting their views into the bottom of the public (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jgilhousen, G2geek, Bring the Lions

        conversation wins the overton window.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Just don't Have The Patience For RightWingers... (0+ / 0-)

          I usually ask them if they were born stupid & then became morons, or if it was the other way around.

          As far as Corporate Personhood: Bullshit. Corporate entities are allowed to exist by the State.

          And if corporations are people now, we should be able to abort them, if necessary.

          I think the Guys at SCOTUS got suitcases full of cash from the Kochs.

          •  Not all people of faith are right wingers (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to be making the assumption that all religious people and business people are right wingers.

            The minute you do this, you cede this entire audience to the people who are addressing it.

            If we don't have a business story and don't have a religious story, we cede this entire space to the people that do.

            This is not the same as pursuing "right wingers". I completely understand that there are people who would rather go to their grave than do anything "libural". I never waste any of my time on these people.

            Read the comments on this very post. Many of them are from people of faith.

            I'm sorry, but not everyone at church is Archie Bunker. Not everyone who owns a business is Archie Bunker.  

            In my experience there are plenty of people of faith who believe in mutual responsibility. Plenty of business owners as well. Please do not equate religion and business with Tea Party.

      •  I get "ridiculed" all the time here for (17+ / 0-)

        being a progressive Christian. No, I am not going to be persuaded to become an atheist on account of ridicule from anonymous internet folks, or from my neighbors either. I am, however, going to cooperate with you to elect more and better Democrats.

        SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

        by commonmass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:36:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry to hear that but good for you (8+ / 0-)

          for standing up for your beliefs. This is one of my frustrations too.

          I grew up Presbyterian but I'd describe myself today as agnostic. However, I've found that I typically have so much in common with most Christians that I find it a shame when I see so many fights. Especially when the fights seem ... counterproductive (?).

          •  They're going to seem more and more counter- (8+ / 0-)

            productive. A recent diary here at Daily Kos brought to light a study that showed young Evangelicals getting more liberal about reproductive rights and the LGBT community. In 20 years, liberal "small-c catholic" Christians like myself and my church (the Episcopal Church) are going to find themselves in a kind of dialogue with SOME Evangelicals that I think is going to surprise both groups of Christians, and part of that dialogue is going to be about the fact that we ARE our brother's keeper. Frankly, if we could all keep gays and guns out of it, we'd have a lot more to talk about together that could do the kind of good I believe Jesus represents.

            SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

            by commonmass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:23:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That'll be the trick, of course. (0+ / 0-)

              ... many of them are quite laser-focused on the "guns and gays" topics.

              My question is, why the single minded obsession with such things?  There are other, much worse threats to faith and prosperity.

              The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

              by dcnblues on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 12:10:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure how much Gays and Guns really (0+ / 0-)

                matter to most evangelicals.  I know it gets a lot of airplay, but I think it may not be how many evangelicals think.  Even Dubya was quoted as saying (on tapes of private conversations) that he was not interested in going after gay people.  And if the NRA's political lobbying is not reflective of most of its members, what does this say?  I believe progressives are winning the culture wars, but the Right Wing has the electoral and legislative processes in an armlock.  Finally, there has been a lot of interest by U.S. Christians of all stripes in environmental issues and relating this to discussion of stewardship.  

      •  Ha Ha - I have never won anyone over by winning (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akadjian

        an argument or winning in ridicule.  I have sometimes made points that got other people thinking, and later, days or months AFTER the heated discussion, they convince themselves of the point I was trying to make.  
        IF that happens you always say - Well you are right - I agree with you.  What a GOOD point.  
        You NEVER say - FINALLY you got the point I have been making.  
        People like to figure things out for themselves.

        Your "good thought questions to ask" do this very well.

  •  Here is the response when you say (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, cai, WisVoter, commonmass

    "insurance pays":

    "But Hobby Lobby pays for the insurance, and they don't want to pay for contraception"

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:39:44 AM PDT

  •  I love your discussion (19+ / 0-)

    I think you're quite right to kind of walk around the topic the way you suggest.

    Some thoughts on the particular case of the horse, since I have knowledge in that area.

    First, I think any windfall or proposed windfall is going to have that effect, when you look at selling fees and taxes to look at the net, it feels kind of crappy. If you sell the horse at $260k free and clear, you're thinking about the $260k number and weighing the transaction from that. It feels good or doesn't but your expectations aren't higher.

    At the $500k and then realizing that you're actually only going to bring home $300k (he's out the purchase price and the expenses either way), your expectations and your value of the transaction is quite different. At first, you're thinking, Yes! $500k, I could XYZ with that!! and then you have to ratchet back expectations down to what you'll really get.

    It's just kind of a mental thing with windfalls.

    Coming back to the horse, I know it's a lot of money, but most people with horses don't have them strictly as inventory - that is, you don't necessarily have a plan to sell at the first opportunity for a profitable transaction. This is either a competition horse or a breeding horse, and it probably has value to the current owner where it is. So, the transaction that makes sense at $500k doesn't allow you to replace that animal with one of similar value, and if you're getting $300k out of the transaction, the horse might be worth more than that where it is, depending on the owner and his current goals.

    Mind you... my guess of the $300k suggests that $100k is going to two trainer commissions and maybe $100k in taxes.

    And of course, if he's smart, with an offer like that, he'll sell now, before the horse gets hurt. Because, sadly, that's what horses do...

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:47:03 AM PDT

  •  there is an obligation (12+ / 0-)
    no obligation to country, state, community, or anything else for that matter unless that individual wishes.
    because the government enables accumulation of such riches, without which we would be just a lawless Somalia, or Mexico, for that matter, where guns and gangs rule. Not to mention roads, regulation to insure healthy food and effective drugs, etc.
  •  Fine work. I agree 100%. Here's the thing, thou... (11+ / 0-)

    Fine work. I agree 100%. Here's the thing, though: it doesn't matter. We don't need to persuade anybody. We just have to motivate people who already agree with progressives/liberals to vote and participate.

    We all know about the dismal levels of voter participation in America, but consider this: Americans spend more on potato chips each year than they do on politics. Corporate America buys our system out from under us on the cheap, cause we let 'em do it. There are 75 million registered Democrats; if each of them gave 100 bucks a year to the party, that's $7.5 billion a year. Even the Kochs would be buried by those kind of resources. I think persuasion, the psychology of it, best practices for it, is a fascinating topic that you wrote on really well.

    But Democratic leaders don't need to persuade, they need to motivate folks who are already pretty well persuaded. Acting like, well, Democrats would be a good start, but that's another discussion for another day.

    •  Democratic leaders don't typically persuade (12+ / 0-)

      Democratic leaders are politicians. They get elected and do what they can within a window of available options.  

      I want to move that window "peoplewards".

      I want to make it so that all politicians - both Democrat and Republican - are thinking about the people again.

      The way to do this is through values. My take, anyhoo.

      (Ok, there's a few, like Elizabeth Warren, who are persuaders. Most, however, are doing what they can while still trying to win campaign contributions from corporate donors.)

    •  $100 isn't chicken feed to most Americans. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Catte Nappe, darleneh

      I've never given more than $20 or $25 to any political campaign, not because I didn't believe in them, but because $100 is a lot of money to me.  

      And if I wanted to give it, there's Okiciyap, there's the 100k Homes Project, there's the Fistula Foundation, there's 350.org.

      As for potato chips, they may not be nutritionally sound, but they are cheap, high-calorie sustenance, something people with low incomes require.  $100?  Might as well ask for $5,000, they don't have it.

      And there's a huge chunk of our party (the corporate sell-out portion, or what Taibbi (IIRC) called "the Money Party") I have no interest in supporting.  

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:03:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you... (0+ / 0-)

        For taking the least important part of my comment, and pretending that it's the point. Oy. Fine. Keep yer hundred bucks.

        Insert your own pithy comment/angry screed/wise homily right here!

        by StratCat on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:49:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How can it be least important? (0+ / 0-)

          You're suggesting every registered Democrat do something many many Democrats cannot do.

          4.261 million U.S. households make less than $5,000 per year (as of 2011).  

          More than 23 million households total make less than $20,000 per year.  

          Nearly 37 million households total earn less than $30,000 per year.

          That's households, which generally have at least one voting-aged adult.

          (Not all of those adults will be registered Democrats, but the poor skew Democratic (as well as black and Latin@).)

          You can only claim my response was unimportant if you wish to write off millions of potential voters (or theoretical donors) as unimportant or nonexistent.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:07:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  $100 a year sounds like a lot, but. . . (0+ / 0-)

        When you break it down it works out to about $8.33 a month, $1.92 per week or 27 cents per day.
        Granted, to many households that would still make a difference (like a fair chunk of the kid's lunch money) and nobody here would expect them to part with it.
        So maybe those who CAN afford it would be willing to throw in a few extra bucks now & then? Or a least help to repeal the "pay-to-vote" provisions (aka poll tax disguised as processing fees for state-issued ID cards) of  laws aimed at depriving those same people of their Constitutional rights.

  •  A lot of assumptions here, and not (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, cai, sulthernao, tardis10

    necessarily valid ones. For example:

    That is, most people believe in both personal and mutual responsibility.
    also:
    Because you and Judeo-Christian religions are on the same side in this fight until you choose not to be.
    and
    Mutual responsibility is the fundamental value behind all Judeo-Christian religions. Not personal responsibility.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

    •  A lot of people will SAY (11+ / 0-)

      they don't want to support the community. I hear this locally from well-to-do Republicans--"Why should I support the schools?? I don't have kids in school." They really believe they shouldn't have to pay to educate other people's children.

      They can be talked around to understand it's in their own interest to have well-educated people coming up. For example, can you name a local high school grad who is now a practicing MD? Give that name as an example. So when you go to the emergency room, don't you want well-educated, well-trained people there to help you?  Question: Is a community/town/city  with a high dropout rate  less desireable than a community with a small dropout rate and better students? Why?

      What about pride in their community? That's why a lot of people are sports fans. Most communities have other achievements aside from sports that can be pointed to as examples to be proud of.

      Right off the bat, you won't get these people to agree 'it takes a village,' etc. but I think there is room for education about what really matters to all of us.

      Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

      by sillia on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:54:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (30+ / 0-)

    Could not agree more.  My preferred rhetorical strategy is to agree on premises and Socratically lead to the progressive outcome, which is very much like what you've laid out here.

    E.g., last month I was talking with a libertarian colleague of mine in a bar about politics.  His libertarianism comes up, as it often does with these folks :)

    ME: You know, I'm really motivated by the same things that motivate libertarianism - I feel like my self-reliance and individual accountability has led to many of the good things in my life.  But then I get confused when I try to take it to the macro level.

    HIM: What do you mean?

    ME: Well, I get the argument philosophically - take what seems to work for individuals and make it the governing principle for society.  So get rid of a lot of the shared services that government provides to folks, take away a huge chunk of the tax burden, and let individuals make their own decisions for greater efficiency.  Did I get that right?

    HIM: [Beaming]. Yeah, that's the idea.

    ME: But then I look at who's actually done this, and the empirical evidence.  When I sort countries by tax rate, the ones that have the lowest, are just hellholes that I want no part of.  And the highest ones are the places I want to be! Nice places to live.  So it seems like something breaks down when you try to take this principle and apply it to governance.

    HIM: [A little shaken].  Huh, I never thought of that.

    ME: Yeah, I mean, it's Somalia and Bahrain, really unpleasant countries that have the lowest tax burden.  At the end of the day, I'm just a pragmatist, I want to do stuff that WORKS.  I'm having a hard time finding evidence that a libertarian approach actually works in practice, finding a place that has made it work.  I don't know, what do you think?

    HIM: Yeah...I don't know either....

    ME: Well, good chatting with you!

    Don't tell people they're wrong.  They'll just resist.  No one likes being told they're wrong.

    Instead, lead them to question their own beliefs.

    You couldn't load a pistol with dormitive virtue and shoot it into a breakfast-roll - CS Peirce

    by Mr Raymond Luxury Yacht on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:56:53 AM PDT

  •  Thank You ... (5+ / 0-)

    Re-Published to Street Prophets.

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:59:41 AM PDT

  •  I agree with your premise that among the core (10+ / 0-)

    teachings of the Judaeo-Christian religions are those which emphasize responsibility for the common good, which should make progressives and Christians natural allies, and there was a time when they were.  That's why I describe myself as being primarily an old fashioned Catholic trade union Democrat.

    Unfortunately, in this country, the predominant stream in Christianity is one which is based almost entirely on a personal experiential religion.  That shifts the focus entirely on the individual and most often leads to the (IMO fallacious) conclusion that great wealth is a sign of divine blessing, and conversely, that poverty is the natural consequence of rejecting the source of those blessings.

    Such views are impossible for me to reconcile with Jesus' instruction:

    To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. -- Luke 6:29 NET
    Since that essentially would leave one standing naked, those who claim to be Bible believing Christians and to follow its teachings assiduously would not only be willing to give 50% for the common good, but 100%.
  •  Most of the great salespersons (13+ / 0-)

    I've ever met are either well-trained or naturally talented in the power of finding common ground with a potential customers/clients, and working from there. The relationship always precedes the pitch.

    I know some folks here might find the comparison of politics to sales distasteful, but in the end politics is largely about selling ideas. There's a good reason they call it "retail politics" when candidates reach out to voters primarily through personal interaction and direct appeal.

    You make a very strong argument for approaching potential allies this way, and an even stronger argument for why we should care about approaching potential allies in the first place. I worry when I read comments about not needing to grow our coalition if we simply motivate those already in it. It really takes both.

    Success in politics relies upon the ability to grow a movement (a coalition), and to turn out voters in support of the movement. These are mutually reliant.

    Whatever issues one holds most dear, it is of great benefit to practice and master the art of finding common ground, and leverage that ground to win new allies while also engaging our existing allies. It's important to remember that there are millions of voters in this country who don't define themselves by political affiliation to any large degree, so they're winnable.

    If we don't care about winning potential allies, I wonder how dedicated we really are to mutual responsibility. If I can help someone move away from a selfish political viewpoint, isn't it in society's best interest that I do so? :)

  •  A good argument. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Older and Wiser Now

    Well said.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:51:18 AM PDT

  •  I think your diary is very thoughtful and I've (8+ / 0-)

    hotlisted it for future reference.  

    I especially agree with your "few quick guidelines on how to accomplish this goal".  If we want to influence others, we need to treat them with respect.  And it must be sincere, if we think "what an idiot" only in our minds when we converse with our friend, it leaks out.  They pick it up.  And we ultimately lose, don't we?  We fail to influence.

    My one complaint (or really mostly a suggestion to make it better) is to give us more examples of what to actually say.  You gave this information to us at a higher, theoretical level (which is lovely, because we understand the logic of what you are saying).  If you also gave it to us in examples of what the back and forth would look like, it would make it that much easier to comprehend and implement.

    Maybe it's just me, my brain seems tired today.  I really love the information, but feel that I need to "digest it more" before I can really use it.  I think more examples would make it easier for me to pick up and apply more easily.  BTW, I'm about to spend 12 days vacation with conservative family members, and I suspect the subject might come up.  We tend to avoid talking politics to keep the peace, but little leaks come out that I might pursue if I had more confidence that the exchange would be viewed as positive by both sides.

    If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

    by Older and Wiser Now on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:52:36 AM PDT

    •  Ask questions (4+ / 0-)

      Come at it from the perspective that whatever their views are, they are views that can be held by people of good will and good intentions. (this especially helps with family, it beats assuming that one's relatives are evil, stupid, or a combination of both). Then just judiciously apply "what if...?"; "how do we accomplish.....?"; etc.

      It's hard to script out for someone else, because it can be so context specific. My friend, who was hoping to find and marry a "Mr. Right" was open, in that context, to some new ways of thinking about gay marriage. She could empathize with others hoping for that kind of relationship - and that it is the kind of relationship that involves a whole lot more than sex. That avenue might not be as suitable with someone else.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:12:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are right, of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, SilentBrook

        I didn't mean to suggest that this was a 'one size fits all' kind of thing.  My brain just likes seeing example to help me "get the hang of it."

        If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

        by Older and Wiser Now on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:24:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand (5+ / 0-)

          Examples always help.

          As with my friend, I got her to at least accept as a thought experiment that "gay" was not a choice, but was just the way someone was; like race, or height. The next thought she had was that might well be so, but that they didn't need to act on those urges. just like Gov. Perry and the alcoholic example. That she was celibate  herself. Then I asked what she was looking for in her hoped for marriage, and we brainstormed all the good stuff like companionship, someone you can count on, sharing dreams and the work needed to accomplish them. For her having someone who would co-parent her child was a biggie, that also came in handy. And just the financial and legal security. Lots and lots of things besides sex. So then I asked her why she wanted to condemn a group of people to forever live without hoping for such a rich and full relationship as she was hoping to have. And then we went on to other topics, but I could see her brain marinating in that idea.

          With someone else I sneakily used an "assumption". As he did his little victory thing about town councils being able to open with prayers led by local religious leaders I asked if he thought there would be some discomfort for some in the room when it was the Muslim's or Wiccan's turn to lead? It had never occurred to him that the same law that allowed his kind of prayer equally allowed for those kinds. Seed planted, but no conversion accomplished - yet.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:42:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What you espouse (6+ / 0-)

    works fine in one-on-one conversations or in very small groups where people are actually thinking.

    But there are two places where it fails.

    One is in mass media. Reasoned discourse in mass media is simply shouted over. So, I disagree with your criticism of Jon Stewart. His methods are the best for his medium.

    The other is in groups where there is a person so completely dumb, ideological, or self-interested that they cannot be reasoned with. I've dealt personally with this situation. The person in question was a married theocratic zealot who hit on every woman in the office. Reasoned discourse in this case just leads to a Gish Gallop of RW talking points ... the best course is to give them some rope, point out when they inevitably contradict themselves, and do in a way that everyone else laughs at the zealot.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:08:48 PM PDT

    •  Why are there few conservative comedians and (4+ / 0-)

      few liberal evangelists in the media?  And many conservative evangelists and many liberal comedians?

      Again, a sincere question. I'm not sure I have the answer but it is interesting to think about. My off the cuff guess is that it has to do with our respective values.

      And yeah, you're never going to win everyone over. Especially the true zealots. Often though it's enough to win the audience. Or, focus on the people you can win over.

      Everything depends on your target and goal.

      •  I think the answer to the imbalance is (0+ / 0-)

        that at least today the prime audience for a comedian is fairly young and generally not conservative, whereas the evangelists come from a tradition where spreading the word is the prime function of a Christian.  Except in certain regions, the evangelist tradition is rapidly becoming like what has happened with the older, more mainstream religions - an older demographic accustomed to the use of TV media to reach an audience.

        Younger people are much more interested in non-traditional media and are increasingly finding any sort of traditional approach to church dated and maybe even irrelevant.

        James L. Petigru, SC Unionist: "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."

        by SC damn yankee on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:11:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's completely a matter of values. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Yonit, SilentBrook

        That might play a role, but ...

        Historically, talking truth to power is often wrapped in comedy or song. And historically, religion is commonly co-opted or leveraged by those in power. These dynamics have been around a long time and probably always will be.

        Yes, everything depends on the target & goals. (My writing teachers called this "tailoring the writing to the audience".)

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:05:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What would the media look like if (8+ / 0-)

      when there was some question of "faith and values" being discussed if instead of Rick Warren or Pat Robinson or name a fundie of your choice, people like the Rt. Reverend Catherine Jefferts-Schori, or the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA were trotted out to give their opinions?

      Well, people would begin to get the idea that Christians were liberals because Jesus was one, too in many respects.

      SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

      by commonmass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:39:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pat Robertson I meant to type. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

        by commonmass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:47:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We've got a dandy one, locally (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        surfbird007, Yonit, SilentBrook

        Our ABC affiliate does a local Sunday AM show with a brief "debate" on some currently contentious issue. One of those speaking for the left is often Katie Sherrod.

        Katie Sherrod is an author, producer, and commentator based in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as the communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. She is a regular contributor to the Texas Faith blog of the Dallas Morning News and a panelist for Flashpoint on Inside Texas Politics, WFAA, Channel 8, Dallas.
        https://www.smu.edu/...

        She always does a terrific job articulating the liberal view, and it's always clear she's coming from a faith perspective.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:29:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for mentioning the ELCA. (0+ / 0-)

        I get tired of hearing people, when their only experience of Lutherans was being scarred for life by a super-conservative congregation they remember from their teenage years, assume that (1) their bad experience was typical of all Lutherans and (2) nothing has changed.
        When I first attended a sort-of "left-leaning" ELCA church a few years ago--well, I was pretty shocked for a while (e.g. did I hear that right: that mutual respect between partners might be as important as traditional marriage? And that was just the beginning!), but I got over it.
        Now I also have to contend with people who insist that ELCA members aren't REAL Lutherans or even REAL Christians. But I can live with that.

  •  This is a very well considered piece (10+ / 0-)

    I am appreciative of the thoughtful nature of your extensive reflection and agree, in general, that many Christians make solid allies in the struggles for compassionate community and, as you say, mutual responsibility. I wish to point out, however, that the approach to Christianity most favored by the Evangelical Right, a uniquely American theological framework to be sure, is woefully ignorant of any sense of mutual responsibility, beyond the boundaries of their own communities.

    As Evangelical American Christianity began to distinguish itself from Mainline/Oldline Protestant Christianity, they placed increasing emphasis on the Individual relationship with Jesus, rather than the corporate relationship with the divine. This has been exacerbated by the cultural  obsession with individuality in the United States, but it also has deep roots in post-Constantinian Christianity. So, essentially, a person's claim to Christian ideology is absolutely no guarantee that they understand mutual responsibility as a function of faith.

    •  Yes, and the lack of weekly communion in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NinetyWt, darleneh, Yonit, SilentBrook

      most "Evangelical" churches (the oddly hybrid and extremely liberal Disciples of Christ is an exception) betrays the individuality over the community aspect: a congregation that celebrates the Eucharist together also obtains a sense of community, which is why there were so many Roman Catholic and Anglican and Lutheran liberals and in the rank and file, that continues to be the case today.

      In some ways, more orthodox Christianity can create a great deal of community spirit. I was once Music Director to a German-born ELCA Pastor who was appalled at the way his American congregation behaved sometimes. "It was never like this in Germany", he told me, in German, and knowing that I had lived and studied in that part of the world, he was not surprised to hear me answer "Germany has a different history, and has come to terms with their history much better than we Americans have. Give us a few hundred more years".

      SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

      by commonmass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A very key phrase is "boundaries of their own (7+ / 0-)

      communities".

      This is true of so many groups. I didn't talk about it in the post but a strategy for when you encounter groups who believe in helping people within their group and not outside it is to expand the boundaries of the group.

      An example I've encountered (unfortunately) is white people perfectly willing to help other white people but who somehow believe that black people are "bad" and outside their group. When I encounter this belief I try to break down these barriers. For example, if you can introduce white people to black people who don't fit their stereotype of "bad" people, you can often break down these walls. I've only done it, however, when I've had a friend willing to help and I've talked to this person in advance.

      I've also literally heard white people say "Well, he's not black" about someone who was clearly black but didn't fit their stereotype of "bad."

      Sheesh. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be caucasian.

      •  I lived for a long while (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook

        in a community that was 95% African American. I have heard many a black person referred to, by other black folk, as being insufficiently black because of their adoption, more or less, of seemingly white cultural adaptations.

        What I find more telling is the fact that you NEVER hear anyone (outside of specifically white supremacist enclaves) criticize a white person for being insufficiently white. As the power majority culture we simply do not have to define ourselves in reference to anyone else. We can be whatever we want to be, and no one will question our cultural status.

  •  I've been thinking about "personal responsibility" (5+ / 0-)

    rather a lot these days.

    One of the problems, I think, when we have political dialogs is that we have to use words, of course.  Words are interesting things that can have a ton of emotional and intellectual concepts associated with them.  Those concepts are all part of the conversation, whether we realize them or not.  Sometimes I think that liberals tend to be more "intellectual" whereas conservatives tend to be more "emotional".  I believe that the leaders of the right carefully send messages to their base that push emotional triggers in their audience, without the audience quite comprehending what is happening to them.

    Anyway, I bring it up because of your discussion of personal vs mutual responsibility.  Lovely thoughts, but I think they are "intellectual".  At an emotional level, personal responsibility also now implies the concept that those who are rich are "better people" than the poor because they have "been responsible".  Most people are aware of how hard they themselves work, but of course, we have much less knowledge of how hard others work.  It is easy to imagine, and infuriating, to think that others (the poor) want to "work less and be rewarded for it".  And right-wing messaging is crafted explicitly to strengthen that belief in their audience as much as possible.

    The other aspect of personal responsibility is religious.  I believe that right-wing messaging is also crafted explicitly to strengthen the belief that Christians are "better people" than non-Christians.  The abortion debate at it's heart is utterly simplistic:  those on the left are heartless fiends who are willing to kill innocent babies that are created out of reckless sexual pleasure.

    I believe these messages are very difficult to overcome, especially by "intellectuals" who do not attempt to acknowledge or address the emotional content that is also present.  I hope you can follow what I'm trying to say.  I really enjoyed your diary greatly.  Thank you very much.

    If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

    by Older and Wiser Now on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:14:51 PM PDT

  •  Kansas may be the state where this will happen (5+ / 0-)

    first.  

    The people who are willing to destroy their state to stop abortion have their hearts in the right place. They are trying to prevent suffering, but what they choose to do, prevent women from getting health care, is not having the desired effect.

    Reminds me of the time I was learning to water ski. I swallowed half the lake before it occurred to me to let go of the tow rope. I think this is what has happened it Kansas. They are finding preventing abortion does not make a happy successful state.

    Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

    by 88kathy on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:19:45 PM PDT

    •  Kansas resident here (5+ / 0-)

      Part of the reason why the tide is turning so swiftly in Kansas is because Kansans have historically compromised between the two parties.  For nearly my whole adult life, we had a Republican legislature and a Democrat Governor.  Plus our Republicans were much more middle road than right wing until the last decade or so.

      When Brownback was elected, a lot of Democrats and Independents saw the writing on the wall.  Not until the next legislative elections, when Brownback backed a dozen far-right Republicans against middle road incumbent Republicans, did the Republican voters realize that they were going to be trampled by the mob they had voted into office.  Typically, they still went ahead and voted party line, instead of voting the new hard-liners out of office, and Brownback got his rubber-stamp legislature, and got his dream tax cuts that are currently sinking our state into debt.  In return, he and his hand-picked yes men forced through as many abortion-restrictive laws as he could to pander to the "pro-life" crowd that got him elected.  

      Closing clinics in areas where they are needed desperately in order to shut down two abortion clinics made people realize he didn't care about helping the poor; privatizing Medicaid proved it even further, as operating margins go up while fewer people get services.  But at least people are taking notice that his cronies are woefully inept in some of the positions he's given them, as well as taking notice of how many plum positions he's dropped in the laps of those close to the Tea Party higher-ups.

      To the left, to the left....

      by CWinebrinner on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:39:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure this is going to work. Just got out of... (8+ / 0-)

    Not sure this is going to work.

    Just got out of a conversation with my father over this case - and mutual responsibility isn't going to cut it. Because he points out that there's no way he can be held at all responsible for the pregnancies of women who couldn't abstain. That's his stance.

    These conversations are not fun.

    Not. Fun.

    •  You just gave me an insight, thank you (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NinetyWt, darleneh, Yonit, mmcnary, SilentBrook

      I don't know if your father is a Christian, like mine is.  But I would imagine the same conversation with my Dad would pretty much go the same way that yours did. And then I thought about the contrast between "personal responsibility" and the heart of evangelical Christianity (the faith in which I was raised). And I rather caught my breath.

      Paul tells us that all men are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  He also spread the teaching that Jesus was the Son of God who died for us sinners, despite our shortcomings.  Salvation is a gift, I was taught.  Our only "responsibility" is to pick it up and accept it, I was told. Personal responsibility has NOTHING to do with it.  I remember a discussion with Dad where he stressed "Salvation is by Faith, not Works" because he thinks that perhaps I'm not clear on the concept.  And. Its. A. Very. Important. Concept. That. Must. Be. Understood.

      I'm more a fan of "Faith without Works is Dead Faith" myself. And also a certain phrase in the Lord's prayer:

      And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward ...

      After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

      For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. -  Matthew 6:5, 9-15 (KJV)

      Jesus taught that we should ask God to forgive us to the same extent that we forgive others.  In other words, Jesus taught that we have a personal responsibility to forgive others.  It's in the Bible and everything.

      If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

      by Older and Wiser Now on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:02:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FYI, "Forgive us our debts" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        darleneh, Yonit, SilentBrook

        is one translation of the original Greek, the one that made it into the KJV.

        Another translation is "Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us".

        I wanted to add that for clarity: the prayer is not limited to financial transactions, as the word debt might seem to imply.  Again, Jesus taught that we should ask God to forgive us to the same extent that we forgive others.  But this teaching does not seem to be emphasized in a large number of Christian churches.

        If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

        by Older and Wiser Now on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:17:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ask him to consider a heavy drinker, or a (5+ / 0-)

      heavy smoker.  Should you (as an employer) continue to pay for insurance premiums which such an employee will use to have his heart and liver disease treated?  If that is okay, then having contraceptives covered by insurance is okay.

      Many health insurance policies cover maternity and well-baby care also.  That shows me that sometimes it's "okay" to pay insurance premiums so that women 'can have sex'.

    •  I know none of us like to think about this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit, SilentBrook

      Parental sex lives have a known "ick factor", but one might be tempted to wonder aloud if mom abstained except for the "x" times necessary to conceive you and however many sibs. Or maybe to not get too personal about it, wonder about how it is that there are only "y" grandkids, and if that means the adult kids have been abstaining. Or if that's too personal,just some nice dry statistics
       

      A much higher proportion of married than of never-married women use a contraceptive method (77% vs. 42%). This is largely because married women are more likely to be sexually active. But even among those at risk of unintended pregnancy, contraceptive use is higher among currently married women than among never-married women (93% vs. 83%)
      http://www.guttmacher.org/...

      Because obviously he's thinking, like Limbaugh, that b.c. is only used by promiscuous sluts; forgetting the many married couples who want to responsibly plan for the number and spacing of the children they will be supporting and raising.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:41:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice diary. (4+ / 0-)

    Yes. The opportunity to buy and raise a horse and use it to ones own ends is all tied up in the commons.

    1st there is the stable economy.
    2nd there's the understanding that both parties will be held to account by our legal system if one of them cheats.
    3rd there's clear air water and food for the horse.
    4th there's the veterinary infrastructure and the educational system that provide ready and capable people to provide for the horses needs.
    5th There's infrastructure to get the horse to and from where it needs to be. (Trailering horses certainly takes more out of a road than a regular car does)

    That's just a short list, but imagine that seller having to spend money to certify or train his vet. Imagine how much he'd have to spend on feed and medicine for the horse if it was not already monitored by the rest of us.  

    "And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over." - John Masefield

    by mungley on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:22:20 PM PDT

  •  But I don't WANT to talk about it. (0+ / 0-)

    I never wanted to make faith, birth control an issue.  Yuck.

    Paraphrasing Mencken, today's republicans are motivated by the haunting fear that somewhere, some black guy may be getting away with something.

    by Inland on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:53:59 PM PDT

  •  Highly ground. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NinetyWt, darleneh, Yonit, SilentBrook
    I point this out not because I agree with this value, but to simply highlight that someone expressing these beliefs is not “stupid” or “low information” or somehow otherwise misinformed. In fact, quite to the contrary, people who hold this belief often go to great intellectual lengths to justify their belief.  (From the diary)
    The entire business/self-interest/Ayn/Republican-"Think"-tanks/Pundittos enterprise is devoted to the single immoral proposition that selfish=good.

    It does not; it did not; it never will.

    No person with any moral authority ever claimed this.

    Selfish=bad.

    They — Republicans, Libertarians, Business leaders, the rich in America in general —  are, in fact, deeply mis-informed.

    An excellent diary.  Thank you.  Keep publishing.

    Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

    by Yellow Canary on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:58:04 PM PDT

  •  Interesting that you bring this up today (11+ / 0-)

    as I had a bit of a discussion about this with my stepson this morning.  Maybe not so eloquent but I did try to reach for common ground.  Anybody is free to steal these remarks for their own use.

    He began by posting a meme which said " Not paying for birth control is not denying birth control".  

    Speaking of his (hypothetical) employees, he said:
    'Ok riddle me this their sex live is none of my business put I'm supposed to pay for it?'

    Me: The insurance company provides it as a benefit, you're not paying for the actual birth control (as an employer). Insurance benefits are a part of an employee's compensation package, along with their salary or wages. Do you think bosses should tell their employees how to spend their wages? If not then you ought not care how they spend their insurance coverage.

    Your insurance probably pays for maternity care and well baby care, doesn't it? So whoever paid the insurance premium is paying for YOUR having had sex. And, paying for maternity care and well-baby care is more expensive than birth control prescriptions. As a matter of fact, the money that the insurance company saves more than covers the cost of the prescriptions.

    Medical insurance covers all sorts of things, some I might use (like birth control) some I have used (like maternity services) and some I will NEVER use ( like Viagra and penile implants). Your policy premiums do the same.

    Oral contraceptives are part of gynecological services, which all women need (the services). It's ludicrous to pull out this one aspect of womens' health care and pretent that it's some great imposition on society for women to have insurance coverage for it.

    Women's long term economic and health status improves tremendously when the birth of their first child is delayed. Women who delay birth until full sexual maturity (not until age 21-ish) are less likely to experience complications in pregnancy, die in childbirth, or have stillbirth. The health of both mothers and babies is improved when women can space their pregnancies out. Any person or organization that cares about women should support birth control coverage for all women.

    Human beings have sex. That is part of their normal lives. Most every adult you know has sex. Managing reproduction and childbirth is a part of medical care. Almost every married couple uses these services. Y'all acting like sex is some big hairy deal, that people shouldn't engage in. That's just nuts!

    He: 'I don't care if any of my employees use birth control but why should I pay for it? Also them missing work that goes if a mans wife is having a baby he still get paternity leave.'

    Why should you pay for any of the medical services they use, then? If the guy is a heavy smoker, why pay for his heart surgery? If he is a heavy drinker, why pay for his liver treatments? Why single out birth control pills?

    I agree that men should have paternity leave, both parents should have family leave. And everyone else needs to get a grip, if our country is going to support families and children, then yes we need family leave in order to support families.

  •  Birth control saves money, lowers insurance cost (5+ / 0-)

    What I would like to see is someone figuring out what % of women are married or in a commited relationship out of the entire 16 to 45 age group of potentially pregnant women.

    I was amazed when I ran across a study (can't remember where) that said people 18 to 24 were almost even in the % of single people who had had sex in the last year. Listening to the whines about the hook-up culture, I figured it was more 75% ot 25% in favor of regular sex. The same study said married people have sex much, much more than singles who have sex regularly.

    The argument that works with my conservative catholic relatives and conservative evangelical friends and conservative republican business owners is this:

    Do you think it's possible to stop people from having sex?
    If irresposible people have sex do you prefer for them to have children, with all the poor parenting, poverty and trouble for society that entails?

    Did you know that the abortion rate for teens and young adults is half of what it was in the 70's?

    Did you know that a pilot program in Colorado that distributed free birth control for young people, along with medical information, and doctor visits, decreased pregancy rates by 70% compared to people not in the program?

    Birth control is guard rails on curvy mountain roads. Good drivers don't need guard rails, but we pay for them anyways, because we know not everyone is always a good driver. We pay for railings on steep staircases, flaggers on road construction sites, limits on the explosive power of fireworks, speed limits on roads, age limits on drinking. Even though many of us will never need the safety of those rules, we pay for them.

    To include birth control in health insurance lowers premiums, and prevents the pregnancy expenses, abortions, health problems and parenting problems involved in unplanned pregnancy. It saves money and lives.

  •  Your arguments are clear and interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    but I must remind you:

    When you reject the Democratic public memes of fighting back against what is clearly a War on Women by the religious Right, by saying that we can't win anyone in the religious Right over to our side with these arguments...

    Buddy, we CANNOT win the religious Right.

    Their beliefs and ours about how the nation should be run, and how laws should apply to everyone are simply not even in the same Universe.

    They just aren't.

    The religious Right isn't our target audience, and never will be.

    #ItsTHATsimple


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:25:25 PM PDT

    •  Whoa ... who's rejecting anything? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, kmt1923

      I pointed out the target and goal of several different approaches and made the argument that we seem to be missing a strong appeal to people of faith and business owners based on mutual responsibility.

      I think it's a huge mistake to assume that people of faith and business owners are right wingers.

      I also have won over people who consider themselves the "religious right." Most recently when it came to the ACA. So when you tell me it can't be done, I quite simply have a hard time believing you.

      Don't knock it 'til you've tried it?

      •  Oh, I've tried for nearly 30 years now to find (0+ / 0-)

        a way to appeal to the good in the people who lean politically towards the Party which just keeps trying to enforce such bad laws upon The People.

        As far as I can see, since around the 1950s and the Communist 'Red Scare' those on the conservative spectrum of politics have worked endlessly to insert their specific religious beliefs into American law, all under the guise that "America was created as a Christian Nation".

        When you try a logical approach it sometimes succeeds, but not often. For instance, political rhetoric aside, when I could get people to let me run their approx IRS income & family size on the Healthcare.gov website & see that it was indeed, within their ability to pay... well, let me just say they didn't turn into Democrats or even actually get registered and then vote - but they did sign up for healthcare. But since 1980 I had little luck in trying to converse with my many conservative, religious friends and family on any political issue on a logical basis.

        You know why?

        Their political beliefs are based upon their religious beliefs.

        So an entire host of political issues are simply outside of the bubble in which they will even entertain a conversation which is in conflict with their current belief on something. Their current religious belief.

        Abortion. Not on the table. So the recent Hobby Lobby case? None of my conservative friends think there is anything to discuss. The SCOTUS spoke, therefore some religious beliefs are now ok for bosses to use when they don't like something.

        Just my experience in about 30 years of GOTV activity among every single person who steps foot into my sphere of influence.

        I never even try to make a Democratic voter out of people anymore. I just want them registered to vote. They are all younger folk, from just graduated high school up to about 40. I don't have to convince them to be Democrats. They pick it naturally.

        War: they hate it and find it a waste of our time and effort

        Taxes: they know they have to pay them to have a decent society in which to live, after all, the next unemployed mom with two kids to feed might be them.

        Gays: they do not understand the old people's problem and why it's STILL A BIG DEAL to anyone. Ask anyone under 30 what they think about gay people and Rights. They will answer you, "uh, the same as everyone else. D'oh."

        God: you should have one if you want to. But don't make me listen to you about it.  It's personal.

        The Republican Party and especially the Tea Party? They have nothing to offer these young people.

        There is a fair chance that if a Democrat wins the White House in 2016 that the Republicans & their Tea Party contingent may do what the Know-Nothings did in the 1850s - and split the GOP in twain and consign them to never winning the presidency for up to 20 or more years.

        The entire society will have changed by then in response to the dying off of the most racist and bigoted part of the population.

        I think the GOP establishment knows this, and hasn't found a single way out of their slow decline into the dustbin of history.

        It's why they are so insistent on voter suppression (of young and old, mostly non-white, poor) and ideologically driven attempts to turn the clock on Women in America back to 1814.

        I guess if you want to chase an increasingly small, non-friendly to progressive values and laws, portion of the Electorate, you go right ahead and try.

        Perhaps you'll have better luck than I ever did.

        But you should hurry, they are not getting any younger...


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:20:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not all people of faith are right wingers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          surfbird007, SilentBrook

          Not all business owners are right wingers.

          I'm sorry, but I think there's still a huge misunderstanding here.

          You seem to be making the assumption that all religious people and business people are right wingers.

          The minute you do this, you cede this entire audience to the people who are addressing it.

          If we don't have a business story and don't have a religious story, we cede this entire space to the people that do.

          This is not the same as pursuing "right wingers". I completely understand that there are people who would rather go to their grave than do anything "libural". I never waste any of my time on these people.

          Read the comments on this very post. Many of them are from people of faith. Listen to how they say they're treated by many of the people here.

          I'm sorry, but not everyone at church is Archie Bunker. Not everyone who owns a business is Archie Bunker.  

          In my experience there are plenty of people of faith who believe in mutual responsibility. Plenty of business owners as well. Please do not equate religion and business with Tea Party.

  •  Great Diary & Comments. I loved what my sister (5+ / 0-)

    said along these lines. We were visiting Kansas relatives, and our brother-in-law, a veterinarian, was complaining fervently about taxes & regulations. My sister said that in her experience in owning her  own business, the major concern was revenues, not taxes. This was almost identical to the horse story. If you don't have enough business/revenue coming in, none of the rest of it matters. 50% of nothing is nothing. Heck, 100% of nothing is nothing. You need something, not nothing, and the something often leads to a celebration. Paying maintenance, commissions, taxes, whatever, is irrelevant if you can't come up with a sale in the first place.

    My sister is also a Kossack, a devout Episcopalian, and I hope she responds specifically to this diary. She has great wisdom  regarding Christian reflections on business, family, life, everything, and so much to offer in the realm of compassionate responses to hostile people.

    For every occasion there is a song, and for every song, an occasion.

    by mww01833 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:21:15 PM PDT

    •  Me too ... that is, hope she responds (4+ / 0-)

      I'm really enjoying the stories and religious insights.

      Keynes big breakthrough in economics was very much along the lines of understanding systemic failure.

      In other words, what happens when everyone acting in their own self interests leads to a depression. Specifically, what happens when everyone, worried about their own savings, withdraws their money from banks.

  •  I like your suggestions and resaoning, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, SilentBrook

    what I find usually happens is just what happens to you. Either the wingnuts continue to shout and namecall or they walk away. It is the rare exception that even with my good behavior and good arguments and facts and correct meme will admit they are wrong or even agree to think about it. I had that experience just today. They walked away. Gone.

    Still we should continue to try and to be our best selves and use our best and most effective framing. Just for the sake of our own self respect.

    I think the problem is that the people who are most susceptible to the right wing propaganda are really the lizard brain people and deep down logic is not their natural mode of operation. They are fear based. And it is hard to build OUR arguments on fear.

    •  I'm ok if they walk away (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook

      Win everyone else.

      I often hear people talk about framing as if framing is simply language. You will hear people talk about Frank Luntz and how we just need to select the right language.

      The problem is that in order for language to work, the appropriate cognitive frames need to exist to begin with.

      The reason people like Luntz are able to use language successfully is that they have hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in communication networks that teach the language and play on emotion. And they've been doing it for 30 years.

      Without this luxury, what we have to do is teach the cognitive frames to begin with. A more difficult task. In other words, most Republican politicians have the luxury of simply being able to evoke some pretty complex cognitive frames with a few simple keywords.

      Democrats try this and wonder why it doesn't work. Well, it doesn't work because often the frame hasn't been taught. This is why I think a better analogy for framing for liberals (unfortunately) is teaching.

      Be patient. It can happen. I've done it but it takes longer and you have to literally teach the frame first. Not always easy ... which is why I often recommend focusing on independents or people who you can win over.

      From the research I've seen, you're correct that 'lizard brain' is involved. But often conservatives are quite intelligent. I have a friend who has his Ph.D., for example. You could say a lot of things about him, but not that he's illogical. I don't know as people really know for sure how the brain works, but I have taught and worked with enough people that I believe you can bring about change.

      If you're interested, I'm writing a book on the subject that should be out in another month or so and will keep you posted.

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, Yonit

    Thank you. And thank you to the commenters. I've learned a lot by reading both.

    Someone tell the GOP that politics is not like sports. No one should be a diehard fan of a politician; by the nature of the job, you need to keep a close eye on them.

    by darleneh on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:14:44 PM PDT

  •  The couple of conversations I've had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, SilentBrook

    with a very religious friend of mine about the Hobby Lobby decision have actually had very little to do with religion.

    My deeply held belief is that medical insurance coverage,  401K's or other pensions, vacation pay and any other company provided benefit are compensation for my services provided to the company by doing my job.
     When discussing wage/salary issues with employers it is normal to hear them state "total package compensation" when they are hiring a new employee. THEY infer that the benefits ARE compensation for our work.

    Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think my employer should have one iota of say or control over how I spend my compensation for my hours worked. Even more so if I had to contribute my dollars to my medical insurance coverage.

    This SCOTUS decision makes me even more sure of my opinion that medical insurance NEEDS to be unyoked from employment.

    FORWARD! Obama/Biden 2012

    by Esjaydee on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:16:04 PM PDT

  •  Just came across this article, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian

    apologies if it's been mentioned already.  It might also be useful.

    Birth control saves money

    http://www.vox.com/...

    "The National Business Group on Health found, in a 2000 study, that employers who didn't offer contraceptive coverage spent 15 percent to 17 percent more because of the costs of pregnancy and reduced productivity. In a 2007 report, the group recommended that employers "Make sure that your plans cover comprehensive contraception options (e.g., hormonal pills, sterilization, IUDs, etc)" and "reduce or eliminate copays/coinsurance on these interventions, which help prevent unintended pregnancies.""

  •  The free market argument fails even earlier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmcnary, SilentBrook

    Consider two facts:

    1. Free markets determine prices. You can sell a product of service for whatever people are willing to pay (i.e. whatever the market will bear).

    2. Government provides a service; i.e. nobody shot your horse and ate it because government provided law enforcement; you can trade the horse for dollars because government provides a currency, etc.

    The obvious conclusion is that government is allowed to charge whatever the market will bear. If you don't like the price the government charges for its services, you are free to engage another provider. Provide your own security, currency, roads, etc., and you can keep all of your profit.

    (But not the land. That land belongs to the USA, a prize won on the battlefield. If you dispute the USA's right to govern that piece of land, you can a) rebel and be crushed by force, or b) give it back to the Mexicans, who had it stolen by force. There is no c) keep it for yourself after other people fought and died to win it.)

    •  That icon of conservative economic thought Milt... (0+ / 0-)

      That icon of conservative economic thought Milton Friedmann had some useful insights on profits as well as competition in a 1970 article in the New York Times. Mgt should be focussed on profits as long as they obey the rules of the road. That is the laws of the land and societal norms of ethics. Further he asserted that competition was to be free and fair without fraud or deceit.

      As Paul Harvey used to say "..and now for the rest of the story"

  •  Very nicely reasoned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, surfbird007, SilentBrook

    I perceive a difficulty, however. It's this:

    Mutual responsibility is the fundamental value behind all Judeo-Christian religions. Not personal responsibility.
    This is an absolutely true statement in regards to Catholic doctrine and the teachings of most mainstream Protestant denominations. It is less true for the conservative evangelical, pentecostal, and neo-pentecostal denominations.

    For many of them, mutual responsibility does not extend to anyone outside of their definition of the community of Christ. For many of these folks, personal responsibility trumps mutual responsibility any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. It's a by-product of their theology that good works don't - can't - get you into heaven. Yes, I know that is addressed within the diary, but as a person living in Texas, I can't help but think that there are more biblical literalists than the diarist believes there are. A lot more.

    On the other hand, the liberal and moderate range of the evangelical spectrum will likely respond favorably to these arguments, since they tend to be deeply concerned with social justice.

    None of this invalidates the proposed arguments herein presented, certainly. I think, though, that the bottom line is to know the other person's religious persuasion, so you can tailor your arguments, or avoid the discussion altogether, as seems appropriate.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty Shop the Kos Katalogue! @alicevincit

    by Alice Venturi on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:44:12 PM PDT

    •  It's interesting and several other people have (3+ / 0-)

      mentioned as well.

      I'm familiar with the divide but you might be correct about the extent of it.

      George Lakoff, the progressive framing guru, talks about it as the distinction between what he calls "strict father" religions and "nurturant parent" religions.

      Strict father religions tend to believe the world is an evil place and the only thing that's going to get you through it is strict obedience to the religion. Literalism, for example.

      I hadn't thought about it in terms of a byproduct of the idea that good works can't get you in to heaven though. Very interesting.

      And yes, knowing about the particular religion would help. Great point!

  •  Conservative comedian (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, akadjian

    Someone had pointed out to me why there are so few conservative comedians: Because it's not funny to poke fun at the oppressed. It's funny to poke fun at the powerful. Comedy up, not down.

  •  This is Just Awesome (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your post!  

    You have said what I've been trying to say for all of my life -- and you have said it much better than I could ever hope.

    Thanks again for this very thoughtful and eye-opening post!

    I thought Boko Haram did "Whiter Shade of Pale ..."

    by kooth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

  •  Reason (0+ / 0-)

    The author claims a likely higher rate of return suggesting that arguments of REASON will appeal to the corporate far right, religious right, and country club right...Is he effing kidding?

    These people are IMPERVIOUS to reason! The memes he notes as not helpful are blunt and funny, and I believe are the way to go. You cannot argue "reason" with those for whom facts mean nothing!

    •  So You Believe That By Insulting Them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, akadjian

      you will win their hearts and minds?

      Please explain to me how that works?

      Yeah, the memes are blunt and funnt...TO US.

      Not to the people they are aimed at.  To them they are insulting and demeaning.  How likely are they to listen to you, when you treta them in such a manner?

      This is about wining over people who SHOULD be our allies and currently aren't.

      Read my longer post, below, and you might get a sense of where I'm coming from, and what I believe.

      Yeah, these people on the other side of our issues...they make me mad as hell, too.  They make me want to scream, pull my hair out, bang my head against the wall and call them stupid.

      But what does that gain me?  What does that gain our issues?

      Let me hand you something from my own life experience as a transgender person.

      Understand that the life and teachings of Jesus inspire me.  It took me sixteen years in the Unitarian Church before I had the courage to look into the Bible and the life of Jesus for myself.

      The Christians came to me with a message as comforting as a crown of thorns (that I was no good, that I was hellbound, etc) and somehow expected that was going to move me.  That I was somehow going to say, "gee, you guys are right, silly me..."

      The Unitarians welcomed me with open arms as a whole, complete dignified, worthwhile person.  They always treated me with dignity and respect.  I have had times where I have had what I call "teaching moments" where I was gently corrected from a belief or behavior that was not consistent with my own stated beliefs.  But it was always done respectfully, and I have come to change my view and my behaviors, from time to time, because of those interactions.

      It is because of those interactions I came to Jesus.  so the christians...who were supposed to bring me closer to Jesus....in fact drove me away....whereas the Ubnitarians, heathens some would have us...are the ones who brought me back to Jesus!

      And I will never leave the Unitarians.  The Christians had their chance with me.  They failed.  They failed to show me the kind of radical love Jesus would have shown me.  They lost me forever.

      Now...how do you think the memes WE find funny...are seen in any different way....by those they are aimed at?

      We risk driving them away forever...instead of finding our common ground and building on it.

      Yeah, the first process is certainly more satisfying (in the short-term) and the latter process is one which requires much more work and effort...and is attendant frustration along the way...but I also believe it leads to a place that is more satisfying oin the long-term.

      So which would you rather have?

      I know, it's tempting...very tempting...to dismiss them as cranks, as nutjobs, as uncaring, unfeeling, stupid people...but I believe that we are sabotaging our chances of ever building any sort of common ground, and we are therefore contributing to the extreme polarization we see in our country now.

      I'm old enough to remember when D's and R's actually worked together on common issues and respected and listened to one another, even when they disagreed.  We need our country to get back to that point.  And how can we expect our Representatives to do that when we, ourselves, won't?

    •  Who said anything about "reason"? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Mutual responsibility? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kmt1923

    Conservatives tend not to believe in such a thing. The modern conservative movement is searching for a justification for selfishness. I got mine, screw you, is their motto. Just look at their reaction to the ACA. They whine about everything from the Medicaid expansion to the premium subsidies to their fear that they won't be able to get an appointment as quickly.

    It's all about them.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:41:45 AM PDT

    •  But they're not consistent (0+ / 0-)

      Over & over again, when conservatives have been asked what they think about specific provisions of the ACA --and here's the important part-- without the source being identified, most have said they agree. Then they do a 180 turn when they find out it's from the ACA (i.e. "Obamacare") & the only explanation they can give for their reversal is something like "I'm against anything to do with Obamacare because Obama is EVIL!"

  •  As A Small Business Owner... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    and as a Democrat who is also a transgender Agnostic follower of Jesus, who practices in a Unitarian Universalist church (how more contradictory can you get??) I approve of your message.

    Icidentally, as you will come to see, I am NOT really a contradiction in terms by my belief set, in spite of what 99.5 percent of Americans might believe at first glance.

    I am an Agnostic, because I don't believe in God.  I also do not ACTIVELY disbelieve.  So I am not an Atheist.  I am a Jesusian in the true sense of the word...I follow Jesus.

    Note carefully, I do not WORSHIP Jesus...I follow him (and not the uncapitalized "him") in my statement.  And if you think about it...did Jesus' disciples WORSHIP him...or FOLLOW him?

    I practice in a Unitarian Universalist church, because it is only there that I have found the freedom to be who I need to be...it is only there that my beliefs are not seen as contradictory, controversial or heretical.

    I follow Jesus because I believe in the teachings, the values, and the life example we have of Jesus in the Bible.  I support and affirm these teachings and example....they stand for decency, humility, treating others well, and...yes....mutual responsibility!

    I refer to myself as a Jesusian in order to differentiate myself from Christians....whom I believe have allowed themselves to be led down a path Jesus never traveled...all in the name of the very person they claim to follow (and they don't actually follow him very well in my not so humble opinion)

    I like to take Luke Chapter 7 - where Jesus is invited to dinner at the home of the Pharisee Simon, who mocks Jesus, claiming that if Jesus were a prophet, he would know manner of the woman who was washing his feet, and he would not allow it.

    Jesus responds by telling Simon the Parable of the Two Debtors...not as a way to rebuke Simon...but, rather, to get Simon to see this woman as he (Jesus) sees this woman.

    What I get out of that is this:  If you take a person who has been made to feel an outcast in society...and you treat them with dignity, respect, and worth - such as nobody has ever treated them before...are they not more likely to respect you, and thus actually listen to what you have to say?

    If you treat a person with dignity and respect who is ALREADY in an exalted position in society...you don't get that same effect at all.  That person has come to EXPECT being treated deferentially.  And will accept nothing less, often reacting with anger when not treated the way they believe they ought.

    Now here's the rub:  We know many of these people on the opposote side of issues, currently...are members of that exalted class in our society.  But they do not FEEL as if they are, especially when they are constantly put down and stupid, unfeeling, uncaring, etc...by those on our side of the issue.

    It certainly does not win firends and/or influence people.  It is basically singing to the choir, and that wins over nobody that wasn't already on your side.

    Me, I like to ask people how they have benefitted from taxes (they usually say they haven't) until I point out that taxes paid for the roads that got their goods to market...paid for the basic education of their employees, so that they could help him to produce his wealth, taxes have paid for police and fire protection in case, heaven forbid, something horrible were to happen to his business, or to his home.  

    Welfare has provided for a minimum subsistence of many people who might otherwise turn to crime (maybe even crime against you) in order to survive, thus ensuring a safer, more well-ordered society.  This allows you to have some safety in your person and your effects.

    Now, as a small business owner, I pay, what I feel, is more than my share in taxes (I had to forego my entire salary in April of this year in order to pay my taxes to the IRS...how many of you went without YOUR salary for an entire month?)  Nevertheless, I pay this, and I am cheerful to pay it because I know that I benefit from the things my taxes go to pay for...things I otherwise would not have.

    I'd certainly LIKE more of my taxes to go into the things I support and approve of, like infrastructure improvements, Social Security enhancement, financial assistance for people who have run into some bad luck and just need a little help, financial help for students seeking to better their education, which, in turn, will pay that investment back many times over.  I'd like LESS of my taxes to go for things which I do not aprove of, and even explicitly oppose, like ceaseless wars of choice, nuclear weapons we are never really going to use, etc, etc.

    In fact, my religious beliefs inform my personal convictions, and have led me to support those things I support...and oppose those things I oppose.  Yet, you don't think that MY religious beliefs are going to be taken into account when my tax bill comes, do you?  Not even being a "closely-held corporation" as I am (one hundred percent owned by me, can't get any more closely-held than that!!)

    I don't even TRY to argue that my taxes should only go for those things I support.  Yet, there are people out there with the "individualist" attitude that do...and this is what drives their thought process.

    To them, I like to ask them how their actions reflect the sort of radical love that Jesus spoke about, practiced, and advocated.  I like to ask them to explain that to me.  Because Jesus did help the sick, the lame, the poor, the social outcasts and untouchables of his times.

    I ask them to consider this...and then ask them to REALLY think...not with their minds but with their hearts...what would Jesus REALLY do?

  •  I believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kmt1923

    in fairness.
    If women are not supposed to want sex without procreation, why are men?
    If a man can't have sex, his Viagra is covered by his insurance coverage.
    Who is he supposed to be having sex with?

  •  why should I have to pay for it???? (0+ / 0-)

    Exactly!!!
     Why should Hobby Lobby get off paying LESS for healthcare that will inevitably cost MORE for employees having more pregnancies and more children than if birth control were part of the package?
    If they want to deny birth control, then they should PAY the COSTS!

    Of course, employees who choose to use birth control anyway would save HL's insurers money--which excess profit could be used to fund a pool for free birth control.

    Hobby Lobby should NOT get a free ride on their insurance costs from those employees who reduce those costs by limiting their family size.

  •  The "Noble Lie" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No Tea

    Conservatives strive to preserve the status quo which usually involves defending the institutions and belief systems of those in power....to convenience the more numerous have-nots that the current system is all for the best.  This involves the use of propaganda lies and literary smoke and mirrors. At the black hole of our eco/social galaxy is capitalism and its event horizon is consumerism. Since our actual need for things or services for survival is really rather limited...Madison Avenue developed various psychological stratagems to convenience us to buy all sorts of crap we don't need by manipulating our of fear of social approbation.  They apply these same skills to their think tanks and media outlets. Whether extolling the virtues of trickle down economics or the effectiveness of a laxative, the basic tools of persuasion remain the same. The main goal being as John Galbraith once said, "To search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  Facts are something you concoct to prove your point, not to find solutions. Ergo the existence of such parallel universes of information as Conservapedia and the Heritage Foundation which emerged out of beer foam like the sword Excalibur.  

    •  Spellcheck strikes again (0+ / 0-)

      Er..in the 1st & 4th sentences, didn't you mean "convince" instead of "convenience"?

      . . .to convenience the more numerous have-nots. . .
      . . .stratagems to convenience us to buy. . .
      Sorry to sound like an ex-English major (which I am, by the way), but I was puzzling over the meaning until I guessed that the Spellcheck option had probably substituted a different word.  Just one more example of machines undermining civilization.

      Spelling issues aside, however, your post makes a good point.

  •  dog (0+ / 0-)

    god how I hate organized religion.

  •  Win them over??? (0+ / 0-)

    That's like trying to win Al Qaeda over to Christianity. "Free market" "objectivism" is their religion. And they are religious fanatics. The grand majority of people with this mindset cannot be won over any more than you can convince some young-earthers that the universe is tens of billions of years old. It can't be done.  There are even several studies that show people of this mindset only dig in their heels deeper when presented with facts that conflict with their worldview.

    There are always a few people that you can rescue, mostly because they are intelligent but had never been exposed to any alternate belief systems.  But the majority, never.

    "Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge." ie, don't waste your time arguing with an idiot.

    •  Not all people of faith are right wingers (0+ / 0-)

      You seem to be making the assumption that all religious people and business people are right wingers.

      The minute you do this, you cede this entire audience to the people who are addressing it.

      If we don't have a business story and don't have a religious story, we cede this entire space to the people that do.

      This is not the same as pursuing "right wingers". I completely understand that there are people who would rather go to their grave than do anything "libural". I never waste any of my time on these people.

      Read the comments on this very post. Many of them are from people of faith.

      I'm sorry, but not everyone at church is Archie Bunker. Not everyone who owns a business is Archie Bunker.  

      In my experience there are plenty of people of faith who believe in mutual responsibility. Plenty of business owners as well. Please do not equate religion and business with Tea Party.

  •  An excellent essay (0+ / 0-)

    A share-worthy read. Thoughtful, constructive and comprehensive.

  •  Know the motivation? (0+ / 0-)

    The actual motivation of religion itself has been clearly identified by this member of the clergy:

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    Religion is in the control business.

    Money equates to power and religion is about power just as government is about power.

    The power in the USA is supposed to belong to its citizenry:  government by consent of the governed.

    The Citizens United and Hobby Lobby and other recent SCOTUS decisions is seeking to deliver power to the CHURCH, and that is contrary to the Establishment clause of the Constitution.

    Religion is a man-made power tool fueled by fear and need and greed.  THAT understanding is essential to understanding the Hobby Lobby decision.

    •  I like this pastor (0+ / 0-)

      He is of the religion that I am talking about - religions that believe in mutual responsibility.

      He's someone who demonstrates that you can paint religion with a broad brush. In other words, not all religions are right-wing fundamentalist religions.

  •  So when is Hobby Lobby going to stop importing (0+ / 0-)

    their junk from China? Why do they continue to support a country that has mandatory birth control and forced abortions? Oh I forgot they make huge profits on their imports from China so they can look the other way.

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