Losing My Religion

Losing my religion for equality

Jimmy Carter
July 14, 2009

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

OBSERVER

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/losing-my-religion-for-equality-20090714-dk2h.html?page=-1

Hat tip: Ron in Houston

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~ by FLDS TEXAS on July 19, 2009.

84 Responses to “Losing My Religion”

  1. I’ve always felt Jimmy Carter was a good president because at the time he was president i was living in Latin America and his policy toward democratization helped open up a lot of the military regimes. Later on I could come to see why so many Americans rate him low because of the gas crisis and international crisis with Iran. So then I decided maybe he was not a great executive but he sure set the role model for past presidents in their lives after power – Habitat for Humanity, his activism in peace movements and now this.
    Thanks for the link

  2. There are some women who want to stay at home, raise a family, be beside her husband yet under his rule as head of the household, and teach their children to follow God rather than pay some nanny to do it. This flies in the face of your religion of popular culture, but if some women want to live this way- why can’t you and Jimmy Carter leave them alone?

    Thank heaven for women with these ideals.

  3. WC,
    Saying that religions are wrong in using “God” to marginalize women doesn’t have anything to do with bothering women who want to stay home, raise their children and whatever else they choose to do. You are protesting something that isn’t happening and isn’t implied in any of these statements. The simple truth is, women who CHOOSE to stay home and raise a family can only truly CHOOSE if they have choices. That means that women who are “choosing” to stay home and raise children and bow to some man because if they don’t they face some eternal punishment after death — well, they aren’t really choosing to stay home, they’re choosing to avoid punishment. So please tell me, just who are we, and Jimmy Carter, bothering who wants to stay home and raise their kids? I was a homemaker, happy to do so (granted I wasn’t about to let some man “rule” my household, but whatever…) and I have to say again that I applaud Jimmy Carter’s stance. Why don’t you leave those of us who fight for honest choices and respect for women alone? Threatened or something?

    I found this at a blogsite and had to copy it because it explains the lie in “they have free choice” that I hear so often in this debate. Granted it’s about the LDS and not FLDS, but the issue is identical.

    The LDS church claims that god allows all men to have their free agency. What they choose to do with that agency will determine the outcome of their souls for the eternities.

    Let’s analyze their concept of “free agency” and see if they really believe in it.

    You are a member of the LDS church. You are taught and believe that only by choosing to obey and follow all the commandments, you will be rewarded with eternal life. If you choose to not obey, you will be rewarded with eternal damnation. As you choose to obey, you are “free” from damnation.

    Now, let’s say that I have a slave. I tell that slave that they are free to choose. If they choose to obey every order I give them without question, then I will treat them well. If they choose to not obey my every order, I will beat them within an inch of their life.

    As the master, I have given my slave their “freedom” to choose. They are free to choose, BUT do they really have their freedom? They are a slave and their only choice is to obey or be punished. Is that really freedom? Of course not. My slave “chooses” to obey me and I am true to my word. Therefore, the slave is free of punishment, but is still not free.

    Why does the slave “choose” to obey me? Is it because he loves me so much that he wants to please me, or is it because he wants to avoid his punishment?

    In the LDS church, you’re free of punishment, but you’re not free. Do you really love the lord, or do you obey to avoid being damned? Does any slave really love his master or does he obey to avoid being punished?

    Simply because you are given a choice does not mean that you are free. As long as you are a member of the church, you are their slave and they tell you what your choices are. That’s not freedom.

    http://mormon411.blogspot.com/

  4. On the thread that Ron in Houston posted the link for this story (again many thanks Ron) I posted the address for The Carter Center and two email addresses for contacting the Former President Carter. I will repost them here:

    Mailing Address:

    The Carter Center
    One Copenhill
    453 Freedom Parkway
    Atlanta, GA 30307

    Two different emails:

    carterweb@emory.edu

    http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org/information/contact.phtml

    I will post my email to Former President Carter (name withheld here)

    Dear Former President Carter,

    I recently read an article you wrote called “Losing my religion for equality”. I want to let you know that this is one of the most wonderful, insightful articles I have read in a very long time, and to thank you for all you do for the advancement of equality for all humans.

    I was just entering my first year of high school in Decatur, GA when you became president and remember clearly how proud I was that “one of our own” was president. Knowing that a “peanut” farmer from Georgia could become President of the United States helped me to realize that we could all become anything we wanted to be. I went on to college and became an educator and school administrator.

    As an advocate for the rights, safety and care of women and children, I would like to ask for your help and attention for the women, girls and all children of the religious group Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, whose home base is in the twin towns of Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ often referred to as Short Creek with approximately 10,000 members over 70% of which are children under the age of 14. The core tenets of this “cult” are polygamy, the subjugation of women, the belief that a woman can only get to heaven if her “husband/priesthood holder” invites her and only if she “pleases” him enough to do so. The prophet of this cult is currently serving two 5 to life sentences in Utah after being convicted of Accessory to Rape charges, under indictment in Arizona for the same charges, under Federal Indictment on charges of fleeing prosecution and under indictment in Texas on charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. He is still controlling this cult from his jail cell. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has been trying to get a federal task force to investigate this cult. I am asking you and your group The Elders to please help Senator Reid and the women and children of this cult in the efforts to end the abuses they are subjected to.

    Thank you of any help you can give.

    Sincerely,

    ***********

    Anyone please feel free to use any part of the above email that you would like.

    Former President Carter is in a position where he has taken a very public stand against religious discrimination of women and girls. Because of his position and his affiliation with many world leaders his help could go a LONG way.

  5. WC said,
    There are some women who want to stay at home, raise a family, be beside her husband yet under his rule as head of the household!!

    WC, the husband is supposed to be the “spiritual head” of the household, NOT the Ruler!!
    If you actually Believe what God said, a husband and wife become ONE flesh.
    There is only ONE ruler in a household who follow God,, GOD himself!!

  6. You don’t even need some manmade doctrine to follow God , WC.

  7. “The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.”
    …………………………………………….

    My opinion is that people can do what they want. If women don’t want their husbands to rule as head of the household,go ahead- “you’ve come a long way, baby”…knock yourselves out. But you can’t have it both ways, if consenting women want to be married to one man-regardless of whether they fear punishment, enjoy the rewards, or just plain don’t like to be a part of society that bombards them with sex, violence, backbiting, corruption, hipocrisy, and ugliness – it is their business, not the government’s.

    The above quote by Carter is one of the main tenents that the world uses to get women out of their homes and in the workforce- that it is good for society. I disagree with this quite vehemently, obviously. This goes along with the attitude that the world needs depopulating and working women along with homosexuality helps to achieve this goal. So, the motive is there and if people want to believe in this philosophy, that is their perogative. Just as those who don’t adhere to this line of thinking have a choice.

  8. WC I think you’ve completely missed the point — CHOICE. Of course women can choose to get married and have children and be a home maker rather than a professional, if that’s their choice. No one is making the argument that women must join the workforce and get out of the home, but they ought to have the opportunities and the choice to do that.

  9. WC, your whole statement is nothing but Bull Shit and you know it!

    ********************
    this statement is absolutely true.
    During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy

  10. I thought this was interesting: http://www.getreligion.org/?p=15192

  11. Rabbi visits Colorado City – His Case Against Polygamy

    The Case Against Polygamy
    from The Huffington Post – Thanks Bonnie!

    Huffpost – stumble reddit del.ico.us

    About two months ago, my wife and I visited and entered the fundamentalist Mormon community of Colorado City, Arizona, the very base of imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs. I had always wanted to see for myself how this community lives.

    Arriving late in the afternoon, we went to the main supermarket where tens of Fundamentalist Mormons were out buying food with their families. They were understandably suspicious of these intruders and were reluctant to engage us in conversation. After a while, the manager of the store came over to us and asked, with considerable warmth, if he had found what we were looking for. He politely confessed that the community was unused to outsiders and hinted that perhaps it was time for us to continue on our journey.

    I told him that I was an orthodox Jewish Rabbi, that I had, thank G-d, eight kids, that it was nice to see so many children in a community. I also told him that I had a long-standing relationship with the Mormon Church, and that I had always wanted to visit the Fundamentalist Mormons as well. He told me that if I am friendly with the official Mormon Church, then no doubt I had a negative view of their community, to which I responded that I tended to make judgments based on my own observations rather than what I had been told.

    We spoke a little to some of the young mothers we met, although I could not say whether any of these women were younger than the age of consent. The people were pleasant, albeit suspicious. They lived lives bereft of any extravagance, and that was about all I could conclude in such a short visit.

    A month later the Texas authorities entered the Fundamentalist Mormon conclave in Texas and removed over 400 kids whom they said were in imminent danger of abuse and under-age marriage. To the extent that any of this is true, and some of it seems to be, this is extremely troubling. No amount of love for children or marriage can ever justify underage marriage, statutory rape, or forcing a woman to marry against her will, all of not only illegal but deeply sinful. And it remains to be seen how this community will respond to these allegations which are of the most serious nature.

    But ever since the Texas raid, I have also found myself on the defensive answering questions from curious friends about Judaism’s approach to polygamy, with many believing that our faith allows the practice.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The Bible makes it clear that G-d created Adam and Eve, not Adam, Eve, Cindy, and Bonnie. The ideal of monogamy is thus established at the very outset of creation. Similarly Abraham, the first Jew, has one wife, Sara, until she pushes him to take another wife since she is barren. Likewise, Isaac is completely monogamous, and Jacob intends to be so as well until he is tricked by his own father-in-law into marrying the wrong woman which will later necessitate marrying the correct woman as well.

    The only real Biblical examples of men with many wives are the Jewish kings, like David and Solomon. When it came to Kings, who back in ancient times would usurp whatever women they craved, the Bible sought to impose upon Jewish rulers a respect for women. This was done by allowing them to take a woman, beyond their original wives, so long as they married them, which would thereby grant their rights, rather than simply being used and discarded. But this was a concession to a virile male nature and never an ideal to be upheld, with monogamy always being the legitimate standard to which men were directed. Later, after Biblical times, Rabbeinu Gershom took the monogamous standard and made it law, enacting an edict binding on all European Jewry outlawing polygamy forever. And that has been the Jewish norm for more than a thousand years.

    There is good reason to outlaw polygamy. Marriage is the most romantic institution because it establishes the inviolate uniqueness of its participants. A woman is made to feel that she is the one and only to her husband. A husband’s devotion confers upon his wife the blessings of primacy and exclusivity. But polygamy subverts that pledge, establishing not a woman’s uniqueness, but her ordinariness. Her husband marries her with the express understanding that she alone will not satisfy him. He requires others. She is inadequate.

    Likewise, she is forced now to compete for his affections for the rest of her life, thereby immersing in her an unnatural competition for the man who ahs already pledged himself to her. This competition also erodes the natural fraternity and universal sisterhood of women, engaged as they are, even after marriage, for the affections of the same man.

    In this sense, polygamy fosters unending rivalry and leads not to peace and harmony but to altercation and strife. How can any polygamous marriage be happy when, by its very nature, it does not bring people together but drives them apart.

    Marriage is the very foundation of every civilized society precisely because of its civilizing influences. Marriage takes a man and a woman who are strangers to each other, orchestrates them together into inseparable flesh, and lends children a stable and secure environment within which to be raised.

    Polygamy, however, offers children a model not of security but of rivalry, not of confidence but of permanent insecurity, as the members of a single household compete to be favorites. It is a toxic environment in which men are kings and women are courtiers.

    After marrying and sacrificing all for her husband, no woman should ever have to feel that she is still not good enough.

    Likewise, in the Jewish religion no woman can ever be forced to marry a man who is not her choice. As the Bible makes clear in the story of Rebecca’s courtship with Isaac that her family says that we must ‘ask the maiden’ if she wishes to follow Eliezer, the matchmaker, and marry Isaac. Only with her consent can the deed be done.

    Every marriage must be based on the exercise of the human free will to transform a stranger into our one and only.

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s national radio airs daily on ‘Oprah and Friends. He is the author most recently of ‘The Broken American Male and How to Fix Him.’

  12. “or just plain don’t like to be a part of society that bombards them with sex, violence, backbiting, corruption, hipocrisy, and ugliness”

    Yeah, none of that in the FLDS is there? (Hypocrites!)

    “The above quote by Carter is one of the main tenents that the world uses to get women out of their homes and in the workforce- that it is good for society.”

    Funny, I’ve never heard anyone claim that, and I’ve been a member of “society” for many years. This is about what’s right for each individual AND their rights to have honest choices. Religions have a way of eliminating choices, not opening them up.

    “This goes along with the attitude that the world needs depopulating”

    I don’t know about “depopulating” but we certainly don’t need an increased population. Resources ARE limited, and somehow I doubt the FLDS have the secret to faster than light travel so we can go check out the galaxy for new homes and resources.

    “and working women along with homosexuality helps to achieve this goal.”

    Hahahahahahahaha! You are so funny. “Working women and homosexual men help achieve a depopulation goal.” Ahhhhahahahahahaha! (I’m crying I’m laughing so hard.)

    Yes, of course, because women who work don’t have children and, of course, homosexuality has never existed. Is the sky blue in your world, WC?

  13. I’m no fan of Jimmy Cahtuh, but I think it’s a brilliant idea to write to him about American polygamy. Especially if you point out how Republican Utah is.

  14. We’re gunna need a whole lot more taxpayers real soon now.

  15. WC

    See you are still a card carrying fundie! Raping children will land you in prison.

    BE CAREFULL OUT THERE.

  16. First of all Jimmy Carter wrote his letter of his displeasure of the Southern Baptist Convention back in October 2000.

    If you look at the July 14, 2009 version
    the sentence “I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years.”

    What is wrong with the spelling of practising? It is a British form of spelling practicing.

    http://www.adherents.com/people/pc/Jimmy_Carter.html
    Carter was formerly a Southern Baptist, although during his presidential campaign said his favorite Christian theologians were not Baptist.
    Carter has had some disagreements with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, including statements he made in 1997 in response to SBC attacks on Mormons.

    In a teleconference interview with religion writers from throughout the United States, Carter said Mormons are already Christian and he criticized the SBC for trying to proselyte Mormons. He stated: “Too many leaders now, I think, in the Southern Baptist Convention and in other conventions, are trying to act as the Pharisees did, who were condemned by Christ, in trying to define who can and who cannot be considered an acceptable person in the eyes of God.

    In other words, they’re making judgments on behalf of God. I think that’s wrong.” Carter said that “the people in my own local church have no interest in trying to condemn Mormons or trying to convert Mormons to be good old Baptists like me.” [Source: David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 16 November 1997, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277; Carrie Moore, “Are Mormons Christians,” Deseret News, Nov. 15, 1997].

    In October 2000, Carter again made headlines with his widely-publicized decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention. Carter sent out over 75,000 letters to Southern Baptist churches nationwide explaining his decision. He felt that his Christian commitment had not changed, but that the cumulative changes in the SBC had made the organization a group that his Christian conscience could not let him support. [More about Carter and the SBC.]

    I believe the July 14, 2009 letter is a fake.

    A baptist

  17. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/12/jimmy-carter-womens-rights-equality

    The ARTICLE was written in July 12, 2009 British online The Observer

    That is why he used the british spelling of practising.

    The words of God do not justify cruelty to women

    Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former US president

    The letter is not a fake, but Carter left the Southern Baptist Convention long ago.

    A baptist

  18. Again thanks Ron in Houston, in researching ways to contact Former President Carter, I also researched The Elders. Thought I would share the links to their website:

    http://www.theelders.org/

    http://www.theelders.org/womens-initiatives

    http://www.theelders.org/womens-initiatives/cultural-and-religious-discrimination

    Very powerful, moving site!

    I have also sent them an email similar to the one I sent to Former President Carter here is the contact page:

    http://www.theelders.org/connect

  19. WC wrote “This goes along with the attitude that the world needs depopulating and working women along with homosexuality helps to achieve this goal.”

    Wow. So women have a choice. They can stay home, stay ignorant, submissive and pregnant and the world is a wholesome and happy place. Or they can get an education, a job, and the world will be ruled by homosexuals and population will plummet. Women can chose whether or not to submit or destroy the world as we know it. Great!?!?!

    The only problem is that it doesn’t work that way. Believe it or not, women are capable of having educations, getting jobs, having babies; some do it simultaneously, some take time out from their lives and do one and then the other. I’ve known stay at home fathers. Most feminists are mothers. Your “choice” is false.

  20. WC sounds like the neadanderthal caveman who knocks a woman unconscious with his club and then drags his “wife” by the hair to his cave. ROFL. I thought that type of thinking went out some decaades ago.

  21. You are a member of the LDS church. You are taught and believe that only by choosing to obey and follow all the commandments, you will be rewarded with eternal life. If you choose to not obey, you will be rewarded with eternal damnation. As you choose to obey, you are “free” from damnation.

    Now, let’s say that I have a slave. I tell that slave that they are free to choose. If they choose to obey every order I give them without question, then I will treat them well. If they choose to not obey my every order, I will beat them within an inch of their life.
    ============================================================
    You are mixing apples and oranges. You are comparing a theoretical punishment, eternal damnation, with a very real punishment, a beating by the master. There isn’t much our government can do, and I hope to God they don’t try, about the threat of eternal damnation because not a single one of us knows with 100 percent certainty what happens to the soul at death.
    ======================================================
    In the LDS church, you’re free of punishment, but you’re not free. Do you really love the lord, or do you obey to avoid being damned? Does any slave really love his master or does he obey to avoid being punished?
    =============================================================
    You just describe the Christian faith.

  22. Ali,

    “You just describe the Christian faith.”

    I can tell you right now, I don’t know any practicing Christian who gets off on beating or sexually abusing children.

    There may be someone professing to be practicing Christianity, but that is very different from actually engaging in the practice.

    Just because a mouse is in the cookie jar it dosen’t make him a cookie ~Casper Ten Boom

  23. Actually, having to many children without being able to support them and depending on MY tax dollars to do it is wrong. I don’t care what religion or race you are.

    WC calls it depopulating,, I see as in todays world, people can’t support 6-12-30 kids, I don’t give a crap how faithful, how hard working a person is, it can’t be done with ONE father working.

    We send MILLIONS of tax dollars overseas to other nations to help feed people,because of their ignorance and lack of being able to feed their own kids. Breeding like rabbits, and sucking the life out of people to pay more and more taxes to pay the NON control of your Sexual habits, is ABSURD!

  24. Ali,

    “You just describe the Christian faith.”

    I can tell you right now, I don’t know any practicing Christian who gets off on beating or sexually abusing children.
    ===========================================================
    I wasn’t talking about child abuse. I was talking about the Christian tenet(s) about eternal salvation. You know we all have fallen short of the glory of god, I am the way the truth the light, no one reaches the father but by me, those who believe in him have eternal life. etc,. etc. Some of us humerously refer to getting salvation as getting fire insurance.

  25. I see as in todays world, people can’t support 6-12-30 kids, I don’t give a crap how faithful, how hard working a person is, it can’t be done with ONE father working.
    =================================================
    I betcha Bill Gates could support a bunch.

  26. And some consider getting salvation ONLY by marrying a MAN! which is total bull crap.
    Some believe you only get salvation by “working” for it. Again,total bullcrap!

    Some believe you can lose your salvation because some friggin PROPHET kicks you out. Once again total bull crap.

  27. Having a belief that your religion is the only “true faith” is found in almost every religion.

    It is only in a person’s outward behavior that anyone can rightfully judge something to be lawful or within the law, not from their inner belief.

  28. Bill Gates is intelligent enough not to have more children than he can support.

  29. “You are mixing apples and oranges. You are comparing a theoretical punishment, eternal damnation, with a very real punishment, a beating by the master. There isn’t much our government can do, and I hope to God they don’t try, about the threat of eternal damnation because not a single one of us knows with 100 percent certainty what happens to the soul at death.”

    Not really. For people raised in a fundamentalist group the threat of eternal damnation for either them or their families is quite real and imminent. Just because those who can evaluate the position rationally don’t see it as imminent it doesn’t follow that those indoctrinated into it every day of their lives from infancy on don’t.

    ======================================================
    In the LDS church, you’re free of punishment, but you’re not free. Do you really love the lord, or do you obey to avoid being damned? Does any slave really love his master or does he obey to avoid being punished?
    =============================================================

    “You just describe the Christian faith.”

    Actually *I* didn’t, the person who wrote that blog entry did. However, you are correct, that is a pretty good summation of basic Christian doctrine. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming I think that it is somehow correct because it is “Christian”. Religion is no excuse to cause pain. I am livid against the Mormon faith (in its many incarnations) because it deliberately causes a lot of people serious emotional harm. I am no less livid about other religions’ attack on the sanctity of humans. (The “excommunication” not to long ago of a mother, nine year old child and a doctor by the Roman Catholic Church because the doctor had the temerity to abort the nine year olds twins, fathered on her by her stepfather, is just one big example. Stupidest load of religious garbage I’ve heard of in ages. Come to think of it, though, I’m sure the FLDS would do the same in the same situation. That or let the girl AND the babies die.)

  30. I agree Deputydog that various groups believe in different means to salvation. My upbringing shows me only one path to salvation which is so easy that it’s amazing that more don’t do it. It’s a slippery slope though when the government start stepping into religious groups showing only the government sanction way to gain salvation.

  31. Not really. For people raised in a fundamentalist group the threat of eternal damnation for either them or their families is quite real and imminent.
    ——————————————
    Could be. It also would be dangerous to allow the government to dictate terms of eternal damnation for the general population.
    ———————————————–
    I am no less livid about other religions’ attack on the sanctity of humans.
    ======================================================
    As you have a 1st amendment right to be. I’m livid about children who have never been abused being separated from their parents in the name of investigating crimes as I also have a first amendment right to be.

  32. Having more children than one can financially support will depopulate the earth faster than homosexuality or women in the work place. Anyone who isn’t innumerate (meaning illiterate in math) can realize that 3 children per family is more than enough to have a net population increase. If we spend all our time trying to support more children than we can handle instead of better ways of splitting the atom or otherwise extending earth’s limited resources, then we are doing less to populate the earth with our large families than the scientist with a small family unlocking new secrets to earth’s limited resources.

  33. It’s a slippery slope though when the government start stepping into religious groups showing only the government sanction way to gain salvation.
    **************************************

    The government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what religion you follow Alinusara, but it does care about ADULT men marrying and having sex with minors, transporting minors across state lines to be married to Older men.
    You can believe anything you want, as long as you don’t trample on the rights of another individual,or child

  34. Alinusara, I might point out to you, that Religious people are poking their noses into the rights of human beings who aren’t straight getting married. Just because someone is gay, doesn’t mean they don’t have the same rights as anyone else either. Yes Religions are doing their damnedest to stop gay people from getting legally married.

  35. I am a follower of Jesus not because I’m afraid of hellfire, but because I seek the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not just a future hope but available to each of us now—in a continuous experience from now to eternity, punctuated by the moment of death.

    Why do you think I’m so danged cheerful all the time?

  36. “Having more children than one can financially support will depopulate the earth faster than homosexuality or women in the work place. Anyone who isn’t innumerate (meaning illiterate in math) can realize that 3 children per family is more than enough to have a net population increase. If we spend all our time trying to support more children than we can handle instead of better ways of splitting the atom or otherwise extending earth’s limited resources, then we are doing less to populate the earth with our large families than the scientist with a small family unlocking new secrets to earth’s limited resources”
    …………………………………………………….

    cement, I understand your reasoning here, but it doesn’t work in the real world. Just look at India and Africa. The best way to depopulate the world is to raise the standard of living where society craves material wealth rather than family (wives in the workforce), homosexuality, and birth control. Some may argue, but that’s the facts, jack.

  37. An FLDS woman, fundie baptist woman, Amish woman, or Pentecostal woman has a choice whether to believe they will suffer eternal damnation upon leaving or not. In many islamic countries, if a woman (or man) chooses to leave Islam they are often killed…that is an example of not having a choice.

    While I wasn’t raised in a fundy household, many of my friends were and after they got older they chose not to believe many of the restrictive tenets of their respective creeds and thus left, even losing some of their church friends in many cases.

    A slave has no choice since if he/she tries to escape, he will be hunted down and forcibly brought back.

    The only just criteria of whether there is choice or not is to determine if physical force is being applied to enforce conformity.

    Terms such as “indoctrination”, “brainwashing”, “spiritual slavery” et al, are far too vague and esoteric to be used in any meainingful way to determine whether “choice” is permitted or not and are frequently used to rationalize trampling other people’s rights without having to take into account the opinions and thoughts of those whose dignity, self respect, and personal freedom they are or planning to run roughshod over.

  38. So, the industrial revolution has done nothing to increase the population of the world?

  39. “I am a follower of Jesus not because I’m afraid of hellfire, but because I seek the Kingdom of Heaven”

    GFNY, I choose to be agnostic, 1 reason being that I try to do the right thing not becasue I’m seeking “The kingdom of Heaven” but because it the right thing to do….PERIOD!!!

    However, I will respect your beliefs just as I respect the beliefs of Muslims, Jews, Baptists, Wiccans, and of course the FLDS.
    I make this choice because I think it is right and just; I do not need God or Jesus to tell me that.

  40. Actually, WC, the cause of collapse is raising our standard of living by borrowing from our children, whether it be financial or non-sustainable use of resources. I believe that large families only makes this problem worse.

  41. cement,

    You can’t compare the reasons why the earth has become overpopulated with ways to depopulate the earth. The BEST way to depopulate the earth is to take that vial of smallpox they have in washington and spread it in communities and then take away all the antibiotics (simulating pre industrial revolution), but once again that will not be practical in the real world. Technological advances, in my opinion, contributes to the depopulate side of the equation because it raises the quality of life making it more desirable to have fewer children in order to sustain an even higher quality of life.

  42. Cement, it doesn’t matter whether families are large or not, it depends on the average productivity of each person, whether they are grouped into fewer large families or more numerous small families is irrelevant.
    Your bit about “non-substanable use of resources” contradicts what you said earlier, the industrial revolution is why we are consuming the earth’s resources at a very fast pace.
    If we all reverted back into the fields and became farmers and hunter/gatherers that would be the best thing for the earth. Africa is the most ecoligically unspoiled continent on the planet precisly because it is the most undeveloped and thus the people are most prone to starvation and disease.

    Of course I support the industrial revolution, manmade pollution is the price we pay for such a high standard of living…we just have to do the best we can to minimize it.

    later

  43. How bout Birth Control Pills??? Until a person is ready to have children the pill have been improved to the point, you won’t get pregnant when your on them.

    Once you have had a couple of children and you don’t want anymore, go back on the pill or the husband can get snipped.

    WC, if FLDS continue not getting the vaccines they need, they will die off from the common cold, chicken pox, or strep throat!

  44. A few of my friends have asked me about my skepticism about contacting former President Carter.

    For all his cant about human rights, Carter has a track record of being sympathetic to regimes with terrible human rights records, including (but not limited to):

    • The Ayatollah Khomeini, who he installed in Iran;
    • Indonesia (as it slaughtered 200,000 Timorese);
    • The Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos;
    • El Salvador’s PCN;
    • Nicaragua’s dictator Anastasio Somoza;
    • Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi;
    • Syria, Lebanon and Hamas.
    • Yugoslavia’s Josef Tito;
    • Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu;
    • And of course his pal Yassar Arafat.

    (Anyone who thinks Israel is the problem in the Middle East is an absolute goony-bird.)

    So I’m wondering why you think he’d oppose polygamy here when he’s praised regimes which do far worse things to their people.

    In addition, as president Carter pardoned Peter Yarrow for the crime of exposing himself to a 14-year-old. So I don’t expect a lot of sympathy from him in re: the problem of child sexual abuse.

    But maybe I’m wrong. As soon as he realizes that these homegrown polygamists are centered in Republican Utah, he may charge in, guns a-blazing.

  45. GFNY, the United states doesn’t have the resources to go to war or sanction every country whose practices we disagree with. For better or worse, other countries have resources we need or serve as bulwarks against those who threaten our interests. We cannot ignore the rest of the world or disregard other countries moral values, especially the Arab oil states. Pragmatism wins over idealism every time.

  46. GFNY President Carter installed Ayotollah Khomeini? Was Fidel Castro’s rise in Cuba President Eisenhauer’s fault? Was the collapse of South Vietnam President Nixon’s fault? Please, Ceausescu, Tito, Qaddafi & Marcos all date back to President Nixon and Ford Administration(s), as well?

    Israel is one party that can be instrumental to bring Peace and a lasting resolution to the MiddleEast but they can’t achieve it by themselves? Say GFNY why don’t you get Geroge W involved he’s got lots of time on his hands right now?

  47. Oh, I agree, Duane, and every administration does its deal with devils. I’m just skeptical about how interested he actually is in human rights vs. how interested he is in scoring off his own government.

    But maybe he’ll surprise me.

  48. I like Tito, he harshly repressed any expression of ethnicism within Yugoslavia, people would go to jail for displaying the Serbian or Croatian flag. After he died, the country disintegrated into an orgy of ethnic violence. Sort like the YFZ raid and fundie mormon repression magnified a million times over. In retrospect Tito was absolutely correct. Sometimes even dictators get it right. Also Yugoslavia was one of the freest communist countries, citizens were free to travel abroad.

    Saddam was a despot but will give him one plus for protecting the christian minority from the majority Muslim “do-gooders” who had a tedency to attack christian enclaves and churches. Many christians have had to leave after the US invasion made them vulunerable again to “decent muslims”.

  49. And now the good side of former President Carter:

    Carter was the first president to address the topic of gay rights.

    In 1973, during the Nixon Administration, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced supplies of oil available to the world market, in part due to deflation of the dollars they were receiving due to Nixon leaving the gold standard and in part due to America’s sending of arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This sparked the 1973 Oil Crisis and forced oil prices to rise sharply, spurring price inflation throughout the economy and slowing growth. In 1977, Carter convinced the Democratic Congress to create the United States Department of Energy (DoE) with the goal of conserving energy. Carter set oil and natural gas price controls.

    Although Carter’s presidency received mixed reviews, his all-around peace keeping and humanitarian efforts since he left office have led him to be widely renowned as one of the most successful ex-presidents in US history.

    President Carter has long served on the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps build homes for the needy in the United States and in other countries

    Since leaving the White House, Jimmy Carter’s personal diplomacy has helped to defuse international crises in hot spots from North Korea to Haiti. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

    In 1982, he established The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, to advance human rights and alleviate unnecessary human suffering. The non-profit, nongovernmental Center promotes democracy, mediates and prevents conflicts, and monitors the electoral process in support of free and fair elections. It also works to improve global health through the control and eradication of diseases such as Guinea worm disease, river blindness, malaria, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis. It also works to diminish the stigma against mental illnesses and improve nutrition through increased crop production in Africa. A major accomplishment of The Carter Center has been the elimination of more than 99% of cases of Guinea worm disease, a debilitating parasite that has existed since ancient times, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to fewer than 10,000 cases in 2007.[51] The Carter Center has monitored 70 elections in 28 countries since 1989.[52] It has worked to resolve conflicts in Haiti, Bosnia, Ethiopia, North Korea, Sudan and other countries. Carter and the Center actively support human rights defenders around the world and have intervened with heads of state on their behalf.

    July 18, 2007 – Mandela announced the formation of the Elders in July 2007, on the occasion of his 89th birthday, at a ceremony in Johannesburg. During the ceremony, he described the mission of the group:

    “The Elders can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes. They will reach out to those who most need their help. They will support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair.” Nelson Mandela.

    The Elders
    Kofi Annan
    Ela Bhatt
    Lakhdar Brahimi
    Gro Brundtland
    Fernando H Cardoso
    Jimmy Carter
    Graça Machel
    Mary Robinson
    Desmond Tutu
    Muhammad Yunus

    How do they work?
    The Elders amplify the voices of those who work hard to be heard, challenge injustice, stimulate dialogue and debate and help others to work for positive change in their societies.

    The Elders do not hold public office and have no political or legislative power. Because they are not bound by the interests of any single nation, government or institution, they are free to speak boldly and with whomever they choose on any issue, and to take any action that they believe is right.

    When undertaking initiatives, the Elders are committed to listening to the views of all groups and individuals – and especially women and young people. The Elders work both publicly and behind the scenes and at all levels – local, national and international – lending support and advice when invited, and sometimes when it is not.

  50. Absolutely, Jim. See chapter six of “The turban for the crown,” by Said Amir Arjomand.

    See also, “Iran and the Shah: what really happened: thirty years ago, the U.S. foreign policy establishment helped to bring into power the Iranian regime it now deplores,” by James Perloff, here:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JZS/is_11_25/ai_n31908977/

    It includes this memorable quote from the Shah: “You cannot imagine the pressure the Americans were putting on me, and in the end it became an order…. How could I stay when the Americans had sent a general, Huyser, to force me out? How could Istand alone against Henry Precht [the State Department Director for Iran] and the entire State Department?”

    For the record, Iran had a women’s rights movement before the Shah’s government fell. It is completely gone now.

  51. Duane,

    If there is one thing I have learned in life, it’s that everyone contradicts themselves sooner or later and that life is one big contradiction, so do the best you can.

  52. After President Reagan, that was it for me! America has been on a down hill slide ever since.

  53. Duane, unfortunately the end of despotism is in many cases like opening Pandora’s Box. That doesn’t really justify the behavior of Tito or Hussein—their secret prisons, informers, harsh repression, etc. But you’re right that dictators tend to suppress ethnic cleansing… unless they’re the other kind of dictator, who revels in it.

    The problem is that repressive dictatorships scour away culture but don’t replace it with equally meaningful values.

    There were more than 50,000 Jews in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia prior to WWII; there are around 1200 there today. Most of those who lived through the Holocaust emigrated to Israel or were evacuated at the breakdown of modern Yugoslavia.

    To me, that’s the opposite of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Mankind left to his own devices seems perfectly capable of creating the Kingdom of Hell on Earth.

    I really have to go to sleep. I’m dropping in my tracks.

  54. If there is one thing I have learned in life, it’s that everyone contradicts themselves sooner or later and that life is one big contradiction, so do the best you can.

    cement said this on July 20, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    Cement, I love your phrase and philosophy. Touche.

  55. After President Reagan, that was it for me! America has been on a down hill slide ever since.

    deputydog1 said this on July 20, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    Perhaps deputy, but America is still the best country in the world. God Bless America!

  56. Good discussion. Keep it up.

  57. “Could be. It also would be dangerous to allow the government to dictate terms of eternal damnation for the general population.”

    You’re the one bringing the government into this. I’m just pointing out that it isn’t freedom when there is any sort of coercion at all. The FLDS (and LDS and countless others) like to mouth the words “free choice/free agency” but they don’t really exist in either organization since there are seriously painful consequences for bucking the established order. I didn’t suggest the government interfere with a religion’s choice of damnation. I would like to see the government pass, and enforce, legislation that guarantees children a basic, thorough education (one that allows for homeschooling as long as the homeschooled children can pass standardized tests showing they are being taught or the parents can show good reason why they wouldn’t — such as a learning disability or something), that they have mandatory access to basic medical care and treatment for illnesses, and that parents who deny their children such things are dealt with, either by prosecution, losing their children, or what-have-you. Children have rights too, and it’s long past time people started respecting them.

    Cement, you are spot on with your analysis of how excessively large families strain our world’s resources and increase the rate at which we deplete non-renewable resources. It is greedy and selfish to simply choose to have enormous broods. (And no, it isn’t just a Mormon thing, look at Catholics, the Duggers – I think that’s their name, and other self-centered individuals.) If you truly love children and want a houseful, adopt a few that need good homes — there are plenty. But that doesn’t fulfill some selfish prideful need to “build your kingdom in the afterlife” so people don’t. I don’t know how people who don’t know the first thing about honesty, faithfulness to their given word, stewardship, and other basic courtesies of life can even imagine that they’d make good deities.

  58. I think you draw an erroneous connection between large families and consumption, Rebeckah.

    Americans have an uncontrolled consumption problem. Our landfills are filled with last year’s patterned Wellingtons, hyper-pointed shoes, and plaid capris, along with ‘obsolete’ Palm Pilots, CRT screens, top-loading washers, CD players, etc., etc. Not to mention the reams of junk mail we receive and the plastic packaging in which everything, including our food, comes in.

    (My kids’ school doesn’t use textbooks in the lower grades. They photocopy everything and send it home with kids. What kind of lesson is that?)

    The average American new-built home has doubled in size since 1950.

    This kind of consumption is independent of family size.

    Family size is generally self-regulating—as Betty said earlier, societies almost always end up with smaller families as they grow wealthier and healthier. (American family size plummeted in the first half of the 20th century and has been fairly stable since.)

    Family size is only an issue in pockets in the US which have learned to game the welfare system.

    Here’s a cool document on American spending patterns in the 20th century: http://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/

  59. Duane said

    “Africa is one of the least ecologically spoiled places…..”
    Have you been to Africa?
    Are you aware of the large amount of deforestation? Water quality problems. In areas where there is fixed population trying to eke an living all available land is in agriculture…
    Or is this just an idealized “image” you have – like that of the FLDS

    You also said: slaves were forcibly returned …with the implication that the same could not be said of the FLDS…. Do you not read any of the information from “survivors” that is out there?

    Finally: most slaves remained slaves not because they escaped and were forcibly returned (which, of course did happen) but because: a) they had families they wanted to stay with and could not figure how to move all of them; b) they did not have knowledge of the outside world; c) they did not have resources to reach the outside world; d) they were denied a basic education that would give them ability to operate outside…. The vast majority of escaping slaves went on furlough to hide out nearby where they could maintain contact with their families (my book is at home so I will post link later). The majority of slaves escaping from further south than the border states were young men. Young women were generally already mothers as their children were valuable tradable objects….
    Doesn’t any of that sound familiar to you at this point?

  60. GFNY,

    I see what you are saying about consumption and I generally agree with you. But. Not to put words into Rebeckah’s fingers, I don’t think large families per se are the problem. It’s large families that are had with no plan for supporting them that’s the problem. Having them because of a religious belief that men should have unlimited access to sex, and women should have zero access to birth control and no right to say no to further sex is wrong on a number of levels, but it is also irresponsible relative to the world’s resources. Yes, consumerism is ANOTHER evil that can make a family of four consume as much as a family of 12, but then having a family of thirty is really going to run up the grocery and heating bill regardless. I know that you have four kids, but that’s not a big family in terms of traditional Catholics or fundamental Mormons.

    Saying that God will take care of it cause we are doing his will is wrong….and it’s wrong even in a Biblical sense. “just letting the children come” as Street says is irresponsible, and I agree with Rebeckah, that if the whole world did it our resources would be even more strained.

  61. Duane is completely ignorant of most of the world outside the southwest, and he is not interested in researching, even for a few minutes of googling, before spouting off. He still thinks Appalachia looks like it did in those Depression photographs, so why do you expect him to know anything about Africa?

    The truth is, the greatest growth in the global level of pollution today is coming from third world countries because they do not have legislation against pollution, strip mining, etc. They are where we were in 1950, relative to awareness of that problem.

  62. “the greatest growth in the global level of pollution today is coming from third world countries”

    Africa is the least despoiled continent, not that it undespoiled.
    This is simply becasue it is less developed, less industry thus less chemical emissions, less fertilizer so less pollution in the waterways, less captital intensive agriculture so less erosion.
    True that developing countries have a greater growth of pollution but that is because they are starting from a low level. Since the West is already developed, the growth in pollution will be small and may decline because of more stringent environmental controls.

  63. duane I think Australia and New Zealand are the least despoiled or impacted continental region or Antarctica? New Zealand has only had a sizable population since 1850’s and is used by scientists as the baseline country for industrial/developed pollution data. The Australian government has good environmental controls and does not have a growing pollution problem? Given the long history of human population on the African continent it probably ranks amongst the lower impacted environmentally areas in the World but is is not the least impacted?

  64. “Americans have an uncontrolled consumption problem. Our landfills are filled with last year’s patterned Wellingtons, hyper-pointed shoes, and plaid capris, along with ‘obsolete’ Palm Pilots, CRT screens, top-loading washers, CD players, etc., etc. Not to mention the reams of junk mail we receive and the plastic packaging in which everything, including our food, comes in.”

    Valid point, Greetings. I’m mainly leaning on the “larger families equals more consumers” not that they are necessarily frivolous consumers. In fact, they probably are guilty of less “frivolous” consumption as they don’t usually have the money to waste on designer brands. (We avoid name brands in our house, btw.) 😀

  65. Cajim, yes antarctica is the least despoiled continent but is essentially uninhabited, should have used “inhabited” as the qualifier but didn’t think it was necessary. New Zealand is an island not a continent. Australia would have more pollution on a per capita basis than africa. By pollution I’m referring to manmade chemicals, air quality, permanent scars on the land, etc…
    Human and other organic wastes do not really damage the environment as they are biodegradable. So while a dirt poor city, town, or village with poor sanitation is harmful to humans by account of disease, the effect on the environment is negligible.

    Americans have an uncontrolled consumption problem

    Americans consume more because they have more money to consume than people in most other states. If tomorrow, all the residents of Botswana started earning incomes on par with the US, they would quickly have the same “consumption” problem as the US consumers.

    There is no “consumption” problem, that is just an excuse to exert power over others ie regulations, taxes, mandates, etc… GFNY if your income suddenly doubled, no doubt your level of consumption, even if doesn’t double, would substantially increase and thus your environmental footprint would likewise increase.

  66. GFNY, I’m sure you would be one of the 98 percent.

    Report: 98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/report_98_percent_of_u_s_commuters

  67. LOL, duane, what makes you ASSUME that GFNY does not use public transportation? Have you ever tried to drive in NYC?

  68. Your problem duane, is that Incomes haven’t doubled in the US, but gas, electricity, groceries, and everything humans have to have to live HAS DOUBLED in cost.
    Taxes have tripled on some products consumers buy, like Meat,
    paper goods, medical insurance, home insurance, car insurance.
    Most everyone duane, except for the VERY RICH live from paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet.

  69. Well, I do have to agree that thirty children will have a greater carbon footprint than three, no matter how frugal you are. You still need to feed and clothe and wash them occasionally.

  70. Oh ladiesadie, she lives in NYC? that city is the exception, when I lived in Houston, worked downtown and always took the park and ride, loved taking the bus, able to sleep in the mornings.
    I was being somewhat facetious but most people would still prefer to drive.

    deputydawg, cigarette taxes have also skyrocketed.
    Yes I’m one of those who live paycheck to paycheck, but if my pay doubled, my carbon footprint would also greatly increase, so would yours, and GFNY’s.

  71. Duane, if you had been paying attention, you’d know that I have, until recently, had a house in an upstate city and a crash pad in Manhattan. House remains, crash pad is gone.

    I use public transportation wherever possible. My husband and I share a hybrid-electric car. Yes, one car. Two working adults. I haven’t taken a cab in New York in years, since I far prefer the subway. And we also own bicycles; for short trips they are often the fastest.

    (Of course you also use public transportation every time you fly.)

    Actually, being ‘green’ requires high initial cash outlay, although you get it back in the end.

    I take environmentalism very seriously. I’m currently insulating, residing, and installing energy efficient windows (made by the Amish) in this faux-Tudor pile in which we live. We have a high efficiency furnace, hot water heater and fireplace insert. The third floor has icynene insulation. (I also have a catalytic heat exchanger but I’ll be dipped if I can figure out how to install it in this current house.)

    There is a scrap man who comes around for metal stuff, a grocery-cart guy who collects cans with deposits, and the usual town recycling program.

    We shop at our local public market, where the food comes without plastic bags or wrappings. And we buy a half a steer as needed instead of cello-wrapped beef from the grocery store. And free-range eggs.

    Would I stop doing this stuff if I suddenly came into unlimited funds? Probably not. I am very content with life as it is.

  72. We use as little plastic as possible to,we buy fresh veggies from the Local farmers market, and buy enough to put up for winter. We buy free range chicken beef and eggs. We have AC but use fans as much as possible to cut down on energy. Believe it or not, during the last years, Millions of Americans are cutting back and cutting down on comsumption and costs.
    We have paid everything we own off so we owe NADA to charge cards or loans. We to have one vehicle,and its paid for along with our house, and all the rental properties we own. We did without alot to be able to do this. We pay cash for everything, and if we need something and cant afford paying cash, we don’t buy it.

  73. duane Australia roughly approximates the Sahara Desert in area and population density, maybe 30Million in population and dropping. Africa is roughly three times the geographic size and over 900+Million in population. That’s more than 25 times larger in population size or 25+ Africans for each Aussie, least despoiled continent has to be Australia? I mentioned New Zealand as the data base area for measurements of pollution from natural/unspoiled upward to highly industrialized/polluted and yes I know it’s made up from two islands.

  74. Cajim, ok the average african lives in a hut, no car, electricity or running water. Also most likely a subsistence farmer or nomad, virtually no carbon footprint.

    GFNY, heh heh, you might find this blog post good readin’

    Hybrid owners get into more accidents because they’re too busy looking at their smug, condescending faces in the rear-view mirror instead of paying attention to the road. They drive more miles than the regular Joe because they think just because they drive a car that gets better mileage than you, that entitles them to rape momma earth by driving twice as much. That’s the twisted logic these pinheaded, pencil-necked geeks subscribe to. Who cares how much I drive, says hybrid owner, I’ll just buy some offsets and have someone plant a shrub in Honduras. I’m a good person. Zoom zoom zoom.

    http://mitchieville.com/14228/hybrid-owners-are-destroying-the-environment/

  75. Duane, you are a bigger turd than I realized.

  76. Duane,
    Again, have you ever been to Africa? Where there is human settlement the environmental damage is high with massive deforestation for fuel and poor sanitation and waste disposal. Where there is herding activity the land is stripped bare. Where there is little human activity you are probably right that there is little human impact but you can not average out the total population over the sahara and claim little impact.
    you really don’t know anything you write about do you?

  77. Edited for language and racist comment -Admin

  78. Duane mentioned “collectivization”. I would call it collectivism, but it’s basically the same thing that the FLDS practices. “One for all … and all for one”. Or would it be best to say “One for all … and most for the leaders”.

  79. Duane thinks the average Virginian mountain dweller lives in a pine wood shack with a pot bellied stove, an outhouse and only the company of their sisters, so go figure. Have you ever noticed that trolls don’t seen to need to do any research before they spout off, but they always want YOU to refer to your sources????

  80. Have you ever noticed that trolls don’t seen to need to do any research before they spout off, but they always want YOU to refer to your sources????
    ======================================================
    Heh! Sort of like trials. The accused has the assumption of innocense. It is up to the state to prove his case.

  81. Oh, the state has proven it’s case. The higher ups thought it was so well proven , they better bury it before we all find out, which resulted in the children being given back.

    If there was nothing to hide, no reason to shut those child abuse cases down in such a hurry.

  82. If there was nothing to hide, no reason to shut those child abuse cases down in such a hurry.
    ==========================================================
    Probably got sick of throwing away their money investigating parents who never abused their children. Especially when it was taking resources away from children who really have been abused.

  83. What I was trying to say to Duane in my muddled way is that environmentalism is easier for the wealthy and that if I were wealthier, I’d buy more environmentalism.

    It is irresponsible to expect the third world to live in rustic mud hovels to offset our own profligate consumption. For example, one factor contributing to Africa’s dismal economy is the restrictions the World Bank put on fertilizer subsidies. This was hypocritical in the extreme, since we subsidize inorganic fertilizers for our own farmers.

    In 2004, Malawi, facing yet another round of starvation, thumbed its nose at the World Bank and started subsidizing fertilizer for its farmers.

    “The inputs subsidy programme has been a major success in the country of 13 million and has managed to end nationwide food shortages. When it was introduced in 2004, the country recorded a maize surplus of 500,000 tonnes, far above the previous harvests before the subsidy started.

    “In the 2005/06 season, the harvest doubled to 1.1 million tonnes and in 2007/08, Malawi recorded its highest harvest in 10 years and exported 400,000 tonnes to hunger stricken Zimbabwe.”

    http://africanagriculture.blogspot.com/search/label/Malawi

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