Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Atheists Shouldn't Be Allowed to Vote

conservative, republican, obama, abortion, prochoice, priest, catholic, voter, atheism, atheist,
George W. Bush once famously said that atheists (probably) aren't citizens of the US, and certainly aren't patriots.

Now Euripides puts for the notion that atheists shouldn't be allowed to vote. Well, Edmund Burke apparently said it, but according to Euripides:

Edmund Burke is considered the father of conservatism. He spoke and wrote during the 18th Century during a time of great political upheaval in Europe and in the Americas. His views, though dated according to his own time, can still shed light on the conservative impulse and lead us to understand what it means to be conservative and to stand for conservative values.

I take this quote from a speech he gave, entitled Reflections on the French Revolution. This appears in the book, The Works of Edmund Burke.

When the people have emptied themselves of all the lust of selfish will, which without religion it is utterly impossible they ever should, when they are conscious that they exercise, and exercise perhaps in a higher link of the order of delegation, the power, which to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law, in which will and reason are the same, they will be more careful how they place power in base and incapable hands. In their nomination to office they will not appoint to the exercise of authority, as to a pitiful job, but as to a holy function; not according to their sordid, selfish interest, nor to their wanton caprice, nor to their arbitrary will; but they will confer that power (which any man may well tremble to give or to receive) on those only, in whom they may discern that predominant proportion of active virtue and wisdom, taken together and fitted to the charge, such, as in the great and inevitable mixed mass of human imperfections and infirmities, is to be found.

This is a lengthy quote but one well worth reading and understanding. Here's the basic idea: When electing a person into political office and giving him political power, we should only elect someone through our own careful thought and moral wisdom and choose leaders who have active virtue and wisdom.

I would think that we would all agree that in the 21st century United States that politicians are not performing some sort of holy function, for a whole host of reasons that should be immediately obvious to the casual observer. I'm sure this was an acceptable, and perhaps even a true, remark in the mid 1700s, but times, they have a changed.

Although if mid 18th Century thought still prevails in the conservative movement, that would explain a lot. It would certainly explain the GOP attitudes toward minorities and women.

At the risk of being pedantic, a risk he's always willing to take let me break this down step by step. Burke first considers those of us who put people into power. voters. one word. i am indeed the queen of pithy. We have a duty and responsibility to rid ourselves "of all the lust of selfish will." 18th century prose is good for some pretty amusing turns of phrase. Electing someone to power must not be a selfish act, not one based on our own lust for power. We are to act without selfishness, for the good of the whole. In other words, instead of asking "What can this candidate do for me?" we should, instead ask "What can this candidate do for the country?"

and here we have the basis of conservatism: convincing people to vote against their self interest. it amazes me to see people who have no chance of ever making 250k a year (it would take me over 10 years to make that amount), getting all up in arms about a tax on wages over 250k. here's a clue: rich people didn't get rich by raining it down on the rest of us.

as for single issue voting, like abortion, when are people ever going to get that issues are never that simple? example: the local bishop declared that any catholic who voted for obama must confess and be absolved before they can take communion again. the reason? obama is prochoice. a local priest was "relocated" because he gave an interview to the paper in which he stated that he voted for obama to reduce abortions. the priest's logic? 8 years of republican control of the country had not reduced abortions one whit, so clearly, voting republican doesn't solve a thing. he then did some research (i know!) and discovered that abortions are closely tied to the economy. the economy goes up, abortions go down and vice versa. so, he voted for the candidate he believed most capable of repairing the economy in order to reduce abortions.

Getting rid of lust and selfishness is a tough task, impossible, actually. no one is entirely selfless. no one is entirely without greed (the use of "lust" in this situation). and that's a good thing. trust me, if you don't look out for yourself, no one else is going to. see: caregiver burnout. one in which, according to Burke, religion plays a significant role. wait for it. As he states, "without religion it is utterly impossible they ever should [be rid of lust and selfishness]."

a) no one is ever rid of lust and selfishness. b) one can reach nonmalignant levels of lust and selfishness without religion or god. c) he just stated, in a rather roundabout way, that atheists shouldn't vote. one shouldn't vote out of lust and selfishness. one cannot remove lust and selfishness without god. atheists do not have god. ergo . . .

Here is a key to conservatism that atheists suck?, belief that we should serve a higher purpose than our own base lusts. gee, i think that, too. without god. it's called the common good, asshat, and you don't need god for it. well, maybe you do. For "when they are conscious that they exercise,...the power, which to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law god, in which will and reason are the same, they will be more careful how they place power in base and incapable godless hands."

here we have it, the key to conservatism: vote for the best interests of rich people the country, and godgodgodgodgodgodgod atheists suck!


  1. Slight correction: That was the incredibly more moderate George H. W. Bush with the "Atheists aren't Americans" rhetoric, which makes the statement even more appalling. I expect Dubya to declare that anyone he dislikes isn't human, but his father, for all his faults, was at least not a complete idiot.

  2. "and here we have the basis of conservatism: convincing people to vote against their self interest."

    That makes about as much sense as saying that the basis of liberalism is convincing people that they can vote themselves other people's money.

    Not everything revolves around economics.

  3. I should have said "here's the basis for his brand of conservatism".

    What do you think of the GOP's conflation of god, patriotism and conservatism? Most atheists (I have met anyway) are flaming liberals. You are not. How do you deal with that? You must end up getting it from both sides: atheists who can't figure out why you're conservative and conservatives who don't want an atheist in their mix.

    Anyway, idle curiosity on my part.

  4. "What do you think of the GOP's conflation of god, patriotism and conservatism?"

    It depends on the particular instance. In many cases I find it annoying but relatively harmless. It would take awhile to explain exactly what I mean, but essentially that aspect of the GOP, while sometimes very irritating, weighs less than other things about the Democratic party that bother me more.
    But again, it depends on the case. There are some GOP politicians I would never support because I think they put their religious beliefs ahead of everything else -- Mike Huckabee for example.

    "You must end up getting it from both sides: atheists who can't figure out why you're conservative and conservatives who don't want an atheist in their mix."

    There are other atheists on the right, but yeah, we aren't too popular with the GOP base because we have too many "liberal" ideas -- especially being pro-choice. Basically I'm a RINO to the hardcore GOPers and a right-winger to anyone to the left.

  5. Huckabee- ugh! What does one expect from a Baptist preacher, I suppose.

    I like that you stop by here, if only to remind me that atheists, like any other group, are not homogenous. There's prolife atheists, conservative atheists, etc., and we need to support each other whatever our political views.

    Plus, no matter how you disagree with me, you're always polite, and that's a big plus! ;)

  6. Not all of us are flaming liberals either. Every time I test my political standings I fall into moderate with Libertarian leanings. So there. :P

  7. i fall somewhere left of ghandi. you're not going to go galt on us, are you?

  8. Like I have the pull to Go Galt. Plus I am not an Ayn Rand fan. These people that keep talking about going Galt have no clue what it means. Most don't have near the pull for it to work. It is retarded.

  9. Forget, please, "conservatism." It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

    "[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

    Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
    Recovering Republican

    PS – And “Mr. Worldly Wiseman” Rush Limbaugh never made a bigger ass of himself than at CPAC where he told that blasphemous “joke” about himself and God.

  10. dud, seriosy?

    on a board that is mostly atheist, with some pagan and a couple of Christians thrown in for color?


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