The Golden Compass: Don’t Take Your Kids To This Movie

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…”(Isa. 5:20).

What is Nicole Kidman thinking? Doesn’t she do any research about a project before she agrees to be a part of it? Is she a militant atheist, too? I don’t think so. Why would even a nominal Christian be a part of this???

The main villains in the series of books are the Magisterium, Cardinals, and the Pope and includes a heroine that is a young girl who sets out to kill God. The truly sick thing about the movie is that they have made it APPEAR as if it is an innocent film with exciting effects and a fairytale story. They have removed from the movie the appalling anti-Catholic/Christian themes from the book.

From Snopes (Yes, this is so God-awful people have apparently mistaken it for an urban legend):

 

The Golden Compass, a fantasy film starring Nicole Kidman that is scheduled to be released into theaters on 7 December 2007, has been drawing fire from concerned Christians. The film is based on Northern Lights (released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass), the first offering in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy of children’s books, a series that follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears, and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.

These books appear to be the atheistic answer to the wonderful Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.

The Catholic League:

A film called “The Golden Compass” opens December 7. It is based on the first book of a trilogy titled His Dark Materials. The author of this children’s fantasy is Philip Pullman, a noted English atheist. It is his objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism. To kids. “The Golden Compass” is a film version of the book by that name, and it is being toned down so that Catholics, as well as Protestants, are not enraged.

The second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, is more overt in its hatred of Christianity than the first book, and the third entry, The Amber Spyglass, is even more blatant. Because “The Golden Compass” is based on the least offensive of the three books, and because it is being further watered down for the big screen, some might wonder why parents should be wary of the film.

The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books: unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books.

“The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked” is the Catholic League’s response. It provides information about the film, “The Golden Compass,” and details what book reviewers have said about Pullman’s books; a synopsis of his trilogy is also included.

Here’s Bill Donahue talking about it.

Do not be sucked in by this movie. It’s just the latest effort to undermine religion by militant atheists.

Do warn your children about this movie. The trailers are very enticing. My fifteen year old was looking forward to seeing the movie, and was planning on reading the books, until I told her what they were all about.

Please look into this. Nice Deb isn’t a fundie prude. I had no problem with the Harry Potter books. I have no problem with Halloween. But I can not stress enough, after looking further into it, how demonic these books are.

The message is the opposite of Pinocchio, which teaches that a person needs to practice moral restraint in order to be fully human. In Pleasure Island there are no rules, and Pinocchio and the lost boys can do whatever they want which leads them to sprout floppy ears and tails. Only a jackass thinks that a world without rules is a good idea. But there are a lot of jackasses out there.

In the last book of the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, the heroine defeats the senile God, leading to ‘free will’ for all, or self-deification. What militant atheists don’t understand, or appreciate, is that God has already given us free will. They demonstrate that when they reject God, and embrace atheism. God doesn’t want to force himself on anyone; he wants to be chosen freely. But that’s not good enough for the militant atheists. They want to force their disbelief down our throats. They believe in free choice for everything but God.

Throughout his trilogy, Pullman repeatedly emphasizes the goodness of physical life. (IfyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo).

Christians do that too, but of course within certain boundaries. No such boundaries, here. Free will means free whatever you want, whenever you want it. No holds barred. Is this a message you want your teenagers to hear?

Here’s some interesting background on New Line studio boss, Robert Shaye.

UPDATE (Nov. 13):

A lot of people are finding this post by googling “Golden Compass Hoax”.

Where’s the hoax, folks?

Seriously, I wish it was a hoax.

UPDATE ( November 26):

Whether Pulman is a militant atheist or a militant agnostic is up for debate, now that he’s backtracking as the movie is about to be released. He has most certainly characterized himself as an atheist:

He told an Oxford literary conference in August 2000: ‘We’re used to the Kingdom of Heaven; but you can tell from the genera thrust of the book that I’m of the devil’s party, like Milton. And I think it’s time we thought about a republic of Heaven instead of the Kingdom of Heaven. The King is dead. That’s to say I believe the King is dead. I’m an atheist.

Virtually everyone who writes about him, characterizes him as an atheist, but that’s frankly neither here nor there. What is undeniable is that he’s profoundly anti-Christian. His own words:

* What I fear and deplore in the ‘faith school’ camp is their desire to close argument down and put some things beyond question or debate. It’s vital to get clear in young minds what is a faith position and what is not – so that, for instance, they won’t be taken in by religious people claiming that science is a faith position no different in kind from Christianity.

*“I am happy to support you and argue for your aims, and pour ridicule on faith schools and the teaching of creationism and pester the BBC to open up Thought for the Day…

Peter Hitchens on Pulman:

*In his worlds, the Church is wicked, cruel and child-hating; priests are sinister, murderous or drunk. Political correctness creeps in leadenly. There is a brave African king and a pair of apparently homosexual angels. The one religious character who turns out to be benevolent is that liberal favourite, an ex-nun who has renounced her vows and lost her faith.

His stated objective is to “undermine the basis for Christian belief”. This is no secret. It’s no hoax. Those are his own words.

Brent Bozell has more with The Christmas Crushing Movie.

Tim Graham at Newsbusters is covering this story, too: Newsweek Writer Enjoys The Atheist Denouncing The Conservative ‘Nitwit’.

Nearly every commenter at Newsbusters made the same point, namely:

Notice how atheists like Pulman love to pick on Christians, but are strangely silent when it comes to Islam?

Here’s an excellent review of the film from NRO’s Gina R. Dalfonzo.

******************************************************************************

If you want to see a pro-Christian, pro-family, pro-life movie that slipped in under the radar, and has already won a “People’s Choice” award, Bella is the movie for you.

Brent Bozell says preview audiences consistently gave it standing O’s.

This is its opening weekend.

UPDATE:

Rotten Tomatoes’ critics give Bella a 38% fresh rating.

Rotten Tomatoes’ users give it a 94% fresh rating.

Here’s what one savvy user wrote:

Bella is a winner. The critics are doing what the critics do. When they get uncomfortable that they are losing control, they go into tomato throwing mode. Just like at the Toronto Film Festival. The critics demonstrated their lack of integrity when they shrugged it off and they demonstrated their irrelevance when Bella won the coveted People’s Choice Award.

This is a movie with depth.

UPDATE:

Good news.

Looks like Bella is beating all of the anti-war films at the box office.

It’s also now playing everywhere!

UPDATE (November 29):

Looks like The Golden Compass is going to have some competition this holiday season.

Disney’s Enchanted is already getting great reviews.

Thanks to Retired Geezer.

 

128 thoughts on “The Golden Compass: Don’t Take Your Kids To This Movie

  1. Now bmac is saying that Kidman isn’t putting asses in the seats. I say good.

    I also say she did some good naked. My new favorite way of describing actresses. Lord forgive me, I am weak and tempted. But God, just so you know, you do do some fine (Our lovely hostess is proof of that), fine work and I certainly appreciate it but that’s the rub about the temptation thing. Okay, that doesn’t sound right.

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  2. I can’t think of a single movie I enjoyed solely because it included Nicole Kidman.
    This militant atheism is getting as tired as the militant gay thing.

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  3. Pingback: NiceDeb Melted the Servers « Balance Sheet

  4. “Christians do that too, but of course within certain boundaries. No such boundaries, here. Free will means free whatever you want, whenever you want it. No holds barred. Is this a message you want your teenagers to hear?”

    Certain boundries? You mean christian things like genocide, infanticide, killing rebelous teenagers and offering up your daughters to be raped? I guess you can only come up with the old saw about atheists being restraint by NOTHING I guess in reality the only thing “restraining ” christians is the secular culture they live in. Other wise they would be very violent and dangerous people.-whovian222@msn.com

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  5. Either Chris’s comment is a joke, I’m in bizarro world or he has Tourettes.
    Infanticide? That’s what’s been practiced at every pro-life meeting I’ve ever been to.
    In fact instead of a goat we sacrifice a baby at the start of every meeting.
    Killing rebelious teenagers?- I remember as a teenager feeling like my life was over when I was put on restriction, ok I’m with Chris on that one.
    Offering up their daughters for rape? Dang it’s good those abstinence programs are fought at every turn. Who knows what they’d really be teaching?
    Oh wait, I just re-read his comment. We’re restrained because of the secular world we live in.
    Now he’s correct. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped off the bus into the non-secular world and I felt that itchy trigger finger. I was sooo ready to go into a murderous rampage. I better stick to my cocoon. It’s safer for the world this way.
    Christians aren’t the ones out there clothing and feeding the homeless, getting them all sorts of social services. It’s the atheists, natch.
    The scary thing about Chris is he believes this. I’m thinking it’s Chris that lives in the bubble.
    Or he’s bored and out trolling because nobody can be that stupid and still be able to operate a computer.

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  6. What the Hell is all this god forsaken crap about. Its a film, based on a book writen by an athiest. whats wrong with promoting atheism? christians freely promote christianity all the time, it doesnt mean you have to believe it. Likewise if your christian and you see an athiest themed film its not going to change your views.

    Or are people higher up scared that if people become athiests that they will lose control of people. Religion is fear based. People dont understand existence and get scared so ‘They’ give you morals and guidance to follow and write them in a book in a way that is confusing so you are forced to turn to them for help in understanding it, and then you call it freewill when it suddenly all makes sense. The whole theme of religion is very clever and self perpetuating. An easy way to have power and not suffer the wrath of the public when things go bad in the world because you cant control it. Blame it all on an omnipotent being! GENIUS!

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  7. Bla bla bla…

    Whoever taught you all this anti-religion bullcrap, could have at least have taught you how to spell, as well.

    Parents always have good reason to be concerned when their children are being propagandized. This movie is going to be promoted under false pretenses, because it will flop badly if people know what it’s actually about.

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  8. Yeah i miss spelt atheist but the rest is real english!

    No doubt the movie would flop badly, but movie makers have to consider a target audience to make money and that is a shame because the book was really good.

    As for propagada, what you say is true and maybe parents should look closer to home when considering if threats to their childrens minds. Dont get me wrong, religion is great way for children to learn the difference between right and wrong and the morals of humanity, but they should be encouraged to make up their own minds when considering a god.

    But hey, if having faith in a invisible godly force makes you feel secure then thats great for you.

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  9. Yeah i miss spelt atheist but the rest is real english!

    misspelled, English.

    Last comment: writen, christianity (should be capitalized), doesnt, dont, (punctuation).

    You should have left that one alone, okay? If you’re going to lecture someone about the “fear based” simple mindedness of Christianity, use your spell check, and shift keys, for crying out loud, because, while I’m not a spelling Nazi ordinarily, I will be for those who try project an air of intellectual superiority.

    But hey, if having faith in a invisible godly force makes you feel secure then thats great for you.

    Hey, if believing in nothing, and leaving each individual person open to decide what’s right and wrong, based on no moral standard whatsoever makes you feel secure, then hey, that’s not so great.

    Because an “anything goes” mindset leads to pathologies within the culture that have a net negative effect on everyone.

    But have fun believing that you’ll be nothing but worm-food when you die, if that works for you, it’s none of my business.

    Just don’t get in my face or my kids’ face with it. All mature people make their own decisions as adults about their faith. Most people suffer dry periods throughout their lives, where God seems very far away, or non-existent.

    My job as a parent is to give them a firm foundation to fall back on should they lose their faith later on, as so many people do.

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  10. Let’s not pick over grammatical errors as there is a far more important topic going on here.

    I apologise for throwing insults about and I have no right to say what you should or shouldn’t teach your kids. It must have been a bad day. I did fail to mention that I was forced as a child into a strict Roman Catholic school and it wasn’t until I joined my second school at the age of 11 that I found science. Science allowed me to reject my belief in a god until otherwise proven, but I do believe most of my social morals were formed on Christian grounds. (End Life Story. Yawn!)

    So in that respect there will be no raping, killing etc. for me. In fact that’s why I am apologising, because it is wrong to attack someones beliefs. I guess what I don’t have is faith in a God or a belief that I’m going anywhere after I die. My attitude is very much seize the moment because that is all you get before the sands of time forget you. But I am at comfortable in knowing this.

    So my question to you nicedeb is, why do people need to join a religion if we can teach the social morals to kids without them? Thus we won’t have an “anything goes society”. After all it’s undeniable that most wars and negative culture effects are caused by differences in opinion that stem from different religions battling over which belief is correct. Can you deny that it is possible that people invented god when they didn’t understand the earth or universe many centuries ago to not only form social morals and create a sense of order but also help explain the common insecurity, that we may be alone. I believe that slowly the human race is leaving this state of mind behind and opening its eyes to more plausible explanations to life.

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  11. It is possible to teach morals to children without religion, but unfortunately, without religion as an anchor, too many people fall into an amoral or immoral lifestyle.

    Not that religious people are always paragons of virtue, either.

    I’m just saying that overall, belief in God is good for society.

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  12. After all it’s undeniable that most wars and negative culture effects are caused by differences in opinion that stem from different religions battling over which belief is correct.

    Pardon me, those are the droids we’re looking for.

    What is your basis for that most-certainly-deniable assertion?

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  13. Keyword “most”. The best examples are Christian crusades, and most current if that’s not good enough for you is the continuing struggle between Israel and Palestine. There are many that you could argue stem from differences in political idealism (cold war), competition for land and resources (i.e., securing oil supplies for the future) and let’s not touch Hitler with his Holocaust. It’s a fair comment that religious undertones are defiantly found in most conflicts even if they aren’t the main spark that ignites the fire.
    That is just my take on the world; everyone is free to their own opinion! It’s interesting to think where we would be today if religion didn’t exist or if everyone believed in the same thing. Would wars exist at all if everyone had the same views religiously, socially and politically? It would be ignorant to suggest that religion, society and politics are not linked at all.

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  14. People use religion as some sort of bizarre excuse to have a war.
    If these people were following even the most basic tenents of their religion there would be no wars.
    There are exceptions however, for example, the Islamic religion holy book the Koran actually tells you to off people that don’t convert. No Christian or Jewish religion says such a thing.
    Excerpt from the Koran:O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54
    Those sound like fighting words to me.
    I’m so sorry that you went to a very weird Catholic school. I loved science and the science fairs that were held every year at my Catholic school growing up. I sucked at them, but we had them. I even remember hearing about global warming in 3rd grade (or was the fad global cooling at the time? huh, can’t remember) and it terrified me.

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  15. Oy, these arguments never get resolved.

    Are some religions violent? Yes.
    Were some that are now peaceful at one time violent? Yes.
    Do some people take literal teachings and/or bastardize the meanings of a religious text to justify their actions? Yes.

    Islam is the religion now most out of control because violent and twisted teachings have been allowed to fester for generations and a relatively small but significant group has used that as justification for their actions. Other religions have gone through similar problems but have gotten their collective crap together.

    I have Muslims friends. They like me a whole lot more than they like the jihadists and intolerant nut jobs of their faith and they absolutely consider themselves good Muslims.

    And pjm, if you went to a good Catholic School, I’m sure you were exposed to the Old Testament. Check out Deuteronomy 20: 16-18

    But of the cities of these peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them — the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite — just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God.

    There’s plenty more. And Christians have been plenty bloodthirsty against non-believers throughout the ages, often, based on teachings from the Bible. So have atheists. So have just about every group of people on the planet. It remains an open question as to whether religion guides man or whether man invented religion to justify his actions.

    Me, I believe in beer.

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  16. Yes I was exposed to the Old Testament, but Jesus came and gave us the New Testament which is peaceful.
    What’s new in the Koran that’s peaceful?
    Just because your Muslim friends like you does not have anything to do with what their holy book says.

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  17. Yea, well that’s sort of the whole problem. Christianity underwent a reformation and became a peaceful religion. But not without pain and not without years of war, torture, religious killing, etc. The Old Testament is still there, it’s just been de-emphasized. Not to the Jews, of course, the Torah rules. But it has been re-interpreted by religious experts in the faith into a more peaceful guide. Not all. of course, the since assassinated Rabbi Kahane was a perfect example of someone who read the Torah as a racist, exclusionary and when necessary, violent guide against non-believers.

    Islam needs to go through a similar process but to date, it hasn’t. Christianity and Judaism were greatly influenced by the modernity of the new world and THAT is what brought about the change in the religion. Islam is still dominate in a part of the world which is backward, tribal and resistant to change. What you are seeing in the Muslim world, is the painful process that you can only read about in history books regarding Christianity when the Old Testament was the guide. Places like Dubai and Kuwait are some of the most modern places in the world and Islam is being moderated. It’s what we are struggling to bring to Iraq.

    I don’t argue that Islam needs a reformation. I’ve been saying it for years. But it’s false to say that only the Koran has violent teachings in it and it’s false to say that only Islam is or has been violent. And there are plenty of Imams who don’t preach hate and violence toward non-believers. They just don’t get the press.

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  18. Jackstraw, your not helping!

    I think it’s a no brainer, looking at the present day, Religion has a positive effect on the culture.

    I leave Islam out of this, because at the moment, it seems that strict adherence to the Koran’s teachings are causing the Islamofascist movement. They need their own Reformation, but it remains to be seen whether that happens.

    The best examples are Christian crusades…

    The Crusades were about retaking land that the Islamic hordes had conquered.

    And Hitler was born a Catholic, but he turned against his faith, and became a pagan.

    He used Religion early on for propaganda purposes in some early speeches, but he was no practicing Christian, as his actions will tell you.

    Historians agree that Hitler was pointedly anti-Christian.

    http://www.adherents.com/people/ph/Adolf_Hitler.html

    And Catholics in Germany were not big supporters of the Nazis:

    http://cathcon.blogspot.com/2007/11/while-protestants-gave-100-percent-vote.html

    Sadly, Protestants were. But they were fooled.

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  19. But it’s false to say that only the Koran has violent teachings in it and it’s false to say that only Islam is or has been violent
    Now you’re putting words in my mouth. Never did I say that only the Koran has violent teachings. Or that Islam is or has been the only religion that is violent.
    Frankly I can’t say that I care what Catholicism did even two hundred years ago. I’m concerned with the present teaching of my religion and the present teachings of Islam.

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  20. I love Michael Medved, why if I weren’t married and he wasn’t married and he’d lift that restraining order he’d see that I’m the one he should really be with………..but I digress, Here’s a great excerpt from an article he’d written in Townhall.com

    Don’t judge a religion’s present impact and influence based upon the excesses or abominations of its past. Whenever some sane observer notes the murderous cruelty of today’s Islamo-Nazi terrorists, Muslim apologists and various moral relativists love to bring up Christian misdeeds during the period of the Crusades and the Inquisition. This pathetic rhetorical trick (or tic, actually) represents an inane attempt to equate the homicide bombings of 2007 with the dreadful persecutions of a thousand years ago. Yes, it’s true that Jewish tradition teaches that King Saul bore an obligation to exterminate every soul among the Amalekites he conquered more than 3,000 years ago, but that ancient history bears no meaningful connection to the murderous Hamas drive-out-the-Jews policy of the 21st Century.Muslim fanatics proudly affirm their intention to replicate the aggressive conquests of their Seventh Century predecessors, but today’s Christians readily acknowledge their vast differences from their Medieval predecessors, just as modern-day Jews recognize that today’s Israel bears very limited functional resemblance to ancient Judea. In this regard, it’s profoundly unfair to judge Mormons of the moment based on long-ago episodes of early Mormon history like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It’s true that the most embarrassing elements of the LDS past occurred far more recently than the comparably controversial episodes of Christianity or Judaism, but the Mormon Church represents a vastly more recent religious tradition – chartered for the first time on April 6, 1830. The savagery of Mountain Meadows, in other words, occurred just 27 years after the religion’s origination and in the course of the succeeding 150 years it’s hardly been repeated.
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MichaelMedved/2007/05/30/should_mormonism_disqualify_a_candidate

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  21. I’d like to point out that there is no mandate in the New Testament regarding the Crusades. The Crusades was purely political.
    Jesus said my Kingdom is not here on earth.

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  22. pjm-

    >>Now you’re putting words in my mouth. Never did I say that only the Koran has violent teachings. Or that Islam is or has been the only religion that is violent.

    Oh, yes, you, did.

    >>There are exceptions however, for example, the Islamic religion holy book the Koran actually tells you to off people that don’t convert. No Christian or Jewish religion says such a thing.

    The reason I picked that particular passage from the Old Testament is because it says exactly that, kill anyone who isn’t one of us. And they did.

    Ladies, my point is not that Christianity isn’t by and large a peaceful and in most cases good influence on humanity. Today. It is. But is hasn’t always been and the teachings contained in the Bible were used to justify atrocities well beyond the Crusades and Hitler (not to mention the Catholic Churches complicity with Hilter). I’m not anti-Christian, I was raised in the church. But facts are facts.

    Is Islam today perverted by many people and used as a weapon? Of course, the evidence is everywhere. But not all Muslims are evil and not all follow a strict interpretation of the Koran. People who say they this are as ignorant as those who say that all religion is evil. If it were the case, we should not waste another second in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, etc., etc.. We should have let Kosovo implode. We should launch a war of anihilation and just get it over with.

    But I don’t think many rational advocate this because it’s stupid. So the alternative is to try to fix the problem and you don’t do that by not being honest, not examining how similar situations were dealt with in the past and fixed.

    >Don’t judge a religion’s present impact and influence based upon the excesses or abominations of its past.

    This is a classic example of sticking ones head in the sand and pretending that history teaches us nothing. Despite Medved’s penchant for ad hominem and distraction, the practices of other religions and how they were reformed into more peaceful incarnations of themselves is particularly relevant.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it. Listen to the Pope in his address to Muslims, World Youth Day, August 2005.

    >>Past experience teaches us that, unfortunately, relations between Christians and Muslims have not always been marked by mutual respect and understanding. How many pages of history record battles and wars that have been waged, with both sides invoking the Name of God, as if fighting and killing, the enemy could be pleasing to him. The recollection of these sad events should fill us with shame, for we know only too well what atrocities have been committed in the name of religion.

    >>The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other’s identity. The defence of religious freedom, in this sense, is a permanent imperative, and respect for minorities is a clear sign of true civilization

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  23. (not to mention the Catholic Churches complicity with Hilter

    Scurrilous lie!!11!

    Jackstraw, you’re right 98% of the time, but you’re wrong on this one.

    Look what Albert Einstein had to say in 1940 in the December 23, 1940 issue of Time magazine:

    Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…

    Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

    Read the rest of this defense of the Catholic church in Germany:

    http://users.binary.net/polycarp/piusxii.html

    See also:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

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  24. Let’s put this in our pipe and smoke it:

    If you want to step out of the dark ages and into the developed world for a minute, I think there is a pretty clear way to assess whether religion’s influence in the modern world has been postive or negative; compare the two dominant players on the world scene in the last 100 years.

    Compare the way our nation, founded on inalienable rights given to us by the Creator, has treated its own people and other people around the world to any nation ruled under the more-or-less Godless ideology of Communism.

    That to me isn’t much of a close call. Some may call that cherry picking but those two cherries have had more impact on the world than all the other cherries put together.

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  25. Deb-

    For every defender of Pius and the actions of the Catholic Church during WWII, you know there are as many detractors. With all due respect to Albert, not many ordinary citizens knew what was going on in 1940 in the Third Reich. After the war, when actions could be seen in their full light, different views arouse.

    Specifically, the Holocaust Museum in Israel states that:

    >>”In 1933, when he was secretary of the Vatican State, he was active in obtaining a Concordat with the German regime to preserve the Church’s rights in Germany, even if this meant recognizing the Nazi racist regime,” the Yad Vashem caption reads.

    >>”When he was elected pope in 1939, he shelved a letter against racism and anti-Semitism that his predecessor had prepared,” it continues. “Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope did not protest either verbally or in writing. In December 1942, he abstained from signing the Allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews. When Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz, the pope did not intervene.

    >>”The pope maintained his neutral position throughout the war, with the exception of appeals to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia toward its end. His silence and the absence of guidelines obliged churchmen throughout Europe to decide on their own how to react.”

    So strong is the feeling on this topic, that the emissary from the Holy See refused to visit Israel during the anniversary rememberance because of this statement yet they steadfastedly refuse to open the archives to anyone.

    Sorry, I’m not willing to admit this isn’t true anymore than the entire nation of Israel and many independent accounts are willing to admit it’s not true.

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  26. The reason I picked that particular passage from the Old Testament is because it says exactly that, kill anyone who isn’t one of us. And they did.

    The Christian religion specifically goes by the New Testament teachings. NO where in it does it say to off peope who are non believers. I never said Christians or Jews did not kill in the past.
    Yes we do pay attention to the Old Testament for the 10 Commandments and for historical perspectve as it foretells the coming of Christ. But as a Christian I follow the New Testament, New Testament, New Testament.

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  27. But is hasn’t always been and the teachings contained in the Bible were used to justify atrocities well beyond the Crusades and Hitler (not to mention the Catholic Churches complicity with Hilter).

    The atrocities of Hitler and the Crusades were not by people following the New Testament. People are fallible the scripture in the New Testament is not.

    Is Islam today perverted by many people and used as a weapon?

    How does the following quote have to be perverted in any way?
    There is no “New Koran” that wipes this away. It is what it is.
    9.5: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    I really shouldn’t have spoken for the Jewish religion because I’m ignorant of their teaching for the most part.

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  28. Early in 1940, Hitler made an attempt to prevent the new Pope from maintaining the anti-Nazi stance he had taken before his election. He sent his underling, Joachim von Ribbentrop, to try to dissuade Pius XII from following his predecessor’s policies. “Von Ribbentrop, granted a formal audience on March 11, 1940, went into a lengthy harangue on the invincibility of the Third Reich, the inevitability of a Nazi victory, and the futility of papal alignment with the enemies of the Führer. Pius XII heard von Ribbentrop out politely and impassively. Then he opened an enormous ledger on his desk and, in his perfect German, began to recite a catalogue of the persecutions inflicted by the Third Reich in Poland, listing the date, place, and precise details of each crime. The audience was terminated; the Pope’s position was clearly unshakable.”[7]

    The Pope secretly worked to save as many Jewish lives as possible from the Nazis, whose extermination campaign began its most intense phase only after the War had started.

    It is here that the anti-Catholics try to make their hay: Pius XII is charged either with cowardly silence or with outright support of the Nazi extermination of millions of Jews.

    Much of the impetus to smear the Vatican regarding World War II came, appropriately enough, from a work of fiction—a stage play called The Deputy, written after the War by a little-known German Protestant playwright named Rolf Hochhuth.

    The play appeared in 1963, and it painted a portrait of a pope too timid to speak out publicly against the Nazis. Ironically, even Hochhuth admitted that Pius XII was materially very active in support of the Jews. Historian Robert Graham explains: “Playwright Rolf Hochhuth criticized the Pontiff for his (alleged) silence, but even he admitted that, on the level of action, Pius XII generously aided the Jews to the best of his ability. Today, after a quarter-century of the arbitrary and one-sided presentation offered the public, the word ‘silence’ has taken on a much wider connotation. It stands also for ‘indifference,’ ‘apathy,’ ‘inaction,’ and, implicitly, for anti-Semitism.”[8]

    Hochhuth’s fictional image of a silent (though active) pope has been transformed by the anti-Catholic rumor mill into the image of a silent and inactive pope—and by some even into an actively pro-Nazi monster. If there were any truth to the charge that Pius XII was silent, the silence would not have been out of moral cowardice in the face of the Nazis, but because the Pope was waging a subversive, clandestine war against them in an attempt to save Jews.

    “The need to refrain from provocative public statements at such delicate moments was fully recognized in Jewish circles. It was in fact the basic rule of all those agencies in wartime Europe who keenly felt the duty to do all that was possible for the victims of Nazi atrocities and in particular for the Jews in proximate danger of deportation to ‘an unknown destination.’ “[9] The negative consequences of speaking out strongly were only too well known.

    “In one tragic instance, the Archbishop of Utrecht was warned by the Nazis not to protest the deportation of Dutch Jews. He spoke out anyway and in retaliation the Catholic Jews of Holland were sent to their death. One of them was the Carmelite philosopher, Edith Stein.”[10]

    http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

    A public appearance of neutrality was necessary for the survival of the Catholics, and the Jews they were trying to help.

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  29. Son of a b…. If this browser crashes again I’m gonna kill a kitten.

    >>There is no “New Koran” that wipes this away. It is what it is.

    Yes, exactly. The Old Testament was supplanted by the New Testament, the Tanakh was interpreted by The Talmud. There is no document or teaching in Islam that takes the foundational text and interprets it for modern society.

    That was my point about Islam needing to be brought into modernity. That’s what helped Christianity and Judaism evolve and that is the only thing that will help Islam evolve. There’s a reason people say that many Muslims are living in the stone age, they are. But that doesn’t mean they can’t evolve into today’s society. They need the same reform process that Christianity and Judaism have already experienced. The Old Testament is still around, it still says the same things, it’s still the foundation of two major religions but it has been tempered by modern interpretations.

    Deb-

    I like and respect you far too much to get into an argument about Catholicism. Suffice it to say that there are many contemporary reports not published by the Vatican or the Catholic Church that dispute just about everything you wrote.

    The most famous is by John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope. He isn’t a hater. He’s a Catholic, a former seminarian and the head of Jesus College at Cambridge University. He is one of the few people given unlimited access to the Vatican archives and he was granted those because he was researching a book designed to absolve Pius right before his beatification. What he found was something completely different.

    I’m not saying that the Catholic Church was actively part of the Final Solution. But the evidence that they knew what was going on at the highest levels and for reasons that were not always benevolent, did nothing, is overwhelming. It remains an open wound to this day between a large number of Jews and the Vatican.

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  30. They need the same reform process that Christianity and Judaism have already experienced.

    Well by golly I guess I’m gonna have to be the one to bring about this change myself. Soon as I finish this beer.

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  31. Why wouldn’t you take the ball rosetta?
    You already stole the ice cream from all the kids as they left the truck!
    Of course, just go right ahead and take the ball as well. What do I care?

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  32. Ok, that’s it for me.

    Can’t we do another transvestite post or something? Arguing with women makes me feel like I’m married again.

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  33. John Cornwell’s book has been criticized for its sloppy research and bias by non Catholic (as well as Catholic) historians.

    But I’ll take your Catholic author, raise you a Jewish author who strongly defends the Pope:

    Rabbi David G. Dalin, a professor of History and Political Science at Florida’s Ave Maria University and author of the new book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis says that not only did Pope Pius protect and defend the Jews during World War II, but that there has been a tradition of papal support for Jewish people since at least the fourth century–a claim that flies in the face of much modern speculation.

    “It is an abominable slander” he said, “to spread blame that belongs to Hitler and the Nazis to a pope who was a friend of the Jews.”

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=4608

    I had thought the ‘Hitler’s Pope’ myth had been put to rest for most people.

    The fact that the slander continues makes me sad.

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  34. This wasn’t an argument. This was a friendly discussion/debate.
    You never listen to me! All I wanted was communication and to cuddle, but no. You didn’t even bring home chocolate! Jerk

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  35. I saw two middle school aged girls skipping side by side on the sidewalk as I drove by to pick up my son from pre-school. It made me smile.

    I also saw a giant inflatable snowman sprawled out on someone’s front lawn.

    That made me smile,too.

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  36. I’ll take your Catholic News Agency and raise you the State of Israel.

    >>After a three-day-long controversy, the Vatican ambassador to Israel has agreed to attend the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem.

    >>The controversy began on Thursday when Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Antonio Franco announced he would boycott the service due to a photo caption in the museum criticizing Pope Pius XII’s apparent inaction against atrocities during WWII.

    >>The caption next to the museum’s photograph of Pope Pius notes his inaction during the Holocaust, saying “even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope did not protest.”

    >>The photograph of the Pope was put on display in the new portion of Yad Vashem when it opened in 2005. In 2006, the Vatican requested that the museum change the caption — essentially a request for the museum to reinvent history.

    >>Yad Vashem responded that they would happily research Pope Pius’ actions during the Holocaust if the Vatican would be willing to open its World War II archives to the research staff for that purpose. However, the Vatican however did not open the archives.

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Culture/11159.htm

    There is much evidence that Pius was aware early on of the atrocities going on in Nazi Germany. The Catholic Church claims they have exculpatory evidence but refuses to allow anyone to see it. If it’s slander then the Church should be more than willing to prove it. This isn’t ancient history, this was this past spring.

    And Cornwell’s book, while not be true to the title, clearly showed with historical proof that the desire of Pius to centralize power caused him to negotiate and sign the 1933 Concordant which essentially traded power to Rome in exchange for non-interference with the politics and power in Germany. Many historians believe this is what led Pius to remain largely silent during the worst of the Nazi atrocities.

    All that is necessary for evil for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. A good man of Catholic heritage said that.

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  37. Jackstraw, I’m sorry the Israeli Holocaust Museum feels that way. I disagree. So do a lot of people.

    And there seems to be disagreement among historians about it as well.

    Tell you what, I’ll read “Hitler’s Pope”, if you read Rabbi Dalin’s book, “The Myth Of Hitler’s Pope”.

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  38. Are you saying JackStraw stabbed that snowman to death? Rosetta, I’m ashamed. That’s a very strong accusation to make.

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  39. Re: violence in religion: if one looks at the issue in a broader sense, one comes to realize, as I have, that violence in Scripture really means nothing. What matters is the interpretation.

    The Bhagavad-Gita starts with Arjuna, a warrior, laying down his arms and refusing to fight for across the battlefield, on the other side, were his relatives and even revered figures. He refused to strike them down. But Krishna (manifestation of the Ultimate Divine) essentially chews him out: Arjuna is a warrior and as such it is his religious obligation and destiny (dharma) to fight and kill, whether he likes it or not and whether the killed are good or bad. However, Krishna says, rather than killing and slaughtering or doing what a warrior does for glory and all that, it should be done will a full commitment to and dedication to Krishna. If all things are done in and for him, Krishna accepts it all and accepts the person into salvation. All fruits, good or bad, are irrelevant. Indeed, one should do what one does for love of Krishna rather than any expectation of results.

    Essentially, God is ordering Arjuna to slaughter, Arjuna who shrinks from such an act not out of cowardice but out of a sense of honor and filial respect.

    And yet Hinduism has not developed the rabidly militant aspect that Islam has.

    Also, consider the Old Testament. Some of its injunctions — wipe out all the inhabitants of the Holy Land — are quite horrific for us today. Indeed, the prophets therein chide the Israelites for sparing some of those people whose extinction was mandated from on high, the consequence of which was said remnants corrupting the Israelites. But there is no holy war by Jews to wipe anyone out. Indeed, even when they were in power after the age of the judges, they did not conduct such operations.

    The difference between such mandates and Islam is that such mandates remain in effect. Other religions, once established, revised the importance and relevance of such mandates. Doing so is considered an act of apostasy if not treason by many Muslims. Indeed, one of the reasons the Ahmadis were declared to be non-Muslim by various governments and global Muslim organizations is that they believe the Ahmadis to have abrogated jihad with violence, the abrogation of which, they say, casts one out of Islam.

    Just sayin’.

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  40. they believe the Ahmadis to have abrogated jihad with violence

    Perhaps better written as “they believe the Ahmadis to have abrogated the violent fighting of jihad”

    Eh. You know what I’m saying.

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  41. But there is no holy war by Jews to wipe anyone out. Indeed, even when they were in power after the age of the judges, they did not conduct such operations.

    I appreciate your input on the Jewish faith as I’m far too ignorant to really defend them although I believed them to be a peaceful people.

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  42. I never touched the snowman. I did take a swing at Claus when he stiffed me on the bicycle.

    I’ll read it, Deb but in exchange, I ask you to read this.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/vatrep.html

    It was the preliminary report of a group of Catholic and Jewish leaders to the Vatican regarding the Churches actions during WWII. It was commissioned in 1999 expressly to respond to what the church called a “slanderous” book by one John Cornwell and others. In it, they pose some 47 questions that they say they can’t fully answer unless they are given access to the Vatican archives.

    The Vatican refused. It still refuses and there never was a final report. But it has no problem saying that a man who they did give access to the archives, who did write a book they didn’t like, is guilty of slander.

    The Vatican holds the key to resolving much of this issue. If they continue to stonewall they don’t get a pass from me to call others liars or to get the benefit of the doubt on this issue in the face of contradictory evidence despite the many, many good things they have done and continue to do.

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  43. I never touched the snowman. I did take a swing at Claus when he stiffed me on the bicycle.

    I’m pretty sure from talking with wiserbud that “take a swing at Claus” means something gay.

    VOTE PAUL / STRAW in ’08!!!

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  44. I’m pretty sure from talking with wiserbud that “take a swing at Claus” means something gay.

    What do you think “stiffed me on the bicycle” means?

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  45. Philip Pullman:

    “The kingdom of heaven promised us certain things: it promised us happiness and a sense of purpose and a sense of having a place in the universe, of having a role and a destiny that were noble and splendid; and so we were connected to things. We were not alienated. But now that, for me anyway, the King is dead, I find that I still need these things that heaven promised, and I’m not willing to live without them. I don’t think I will continue to live after I’m dead, so if I am to achieve these things I must try to bring them about – and encourage other people to bring them about – on earth, in a republic in which we are all free and equal – and responsible – citizens.

    “Now, what does this involve? It involves all the best qualities of things. We mustn’t shut anything out. If the Church has told us, for example, that forgiving our enemies is good, and if that seems to be a good thing to do, we must do it. If, on the other hand, those who struggled against the Church have shown us that free enquiry and unfettered scientific exploration is good – and I believe that they have – then we must hold this up as a good as well.

    “Whatever we can find that we feel to be good – and not just feel but can see with the accumulated wisdom that we have as we grow up, and read about history and learn from our own experiences and so on – wherever they come from, and whoever taught them in the first place, let’s use them and do whatever we can do to make the world a little bit better.”
    —————————————-
    The Authority–in all it’s dark masquerading manifestations–undoubtedly has a BIG problem with that. Well-meaning people under the influence of The Authority really don’t get exactly who or what Philip Pullman’s target actually is.

    Consider where the title of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy comes from. It’s in the seventh line of this bit of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, quoted at the very beginning of book one, “The Golden Compass”:

    “…Into this wilde Abyss,
    The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
    Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
    But all these in thir pregnant causes mix’t
    Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
    Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
    His dark materials to create more Worlds,
    Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
    Stood on the brink of Hell and look’d a while,
    Pondering his Voyage…”

    The Almighty Maker isn’t The Authority. You’ll find The Authority’s true identity in line nine. Pullman uses him as a mytho-poetic figure. You might consider him real. Either way, you don’t want to be confused what he represents.

    Those who think of themselves as followers of Christ, but cannot see the wrongness of war; who are, in fact, war’s ADVOCATES–unknowingly, they speak with the voice of The Authority.

    Those who cloak themselves in pretended Islamic virtue, but advocate the killing of Christians and Jews–unknowingly, they speak with the voice of The Authority.

    The Authority has been masquerading throughout history, leading astray those who cannot use the rational minds God gave them.

    Pullman may not have found God, but he thinks clearly with the mind God gave him. His moral compass points unfailingly in the right direction, even if he’s unclear about what it is that pulls the needle.

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  46. *sigh* Because you assume that if the Lord were to visit Congress, He would automatically seat Himself on the right side of the aisle?

    I’m disinclined to make any such an assumption.

    I wish this right/left paradigm would fade away. It forces us to focus on our differences instead of finding our common ground.

    I’ll trouble you no more.

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  47. *sigh* Because you assume that if the Lord were to visit Congress, He would automatically seat Himself on the right side of the aisle? – Pullman Fanboy (girl)

    No he wouldn’t! He’d turn the left side into the heavenly equivalent of flash paper and make everyone right.

    Now, don’t be a wussie and stand your ground!

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  48. You’re attempting to yank my chain, I believe.

    We stood our ground a year ago in November. Remember the results? You can believe we’ll stand our ground again in 2008. All that pointless chain yanking has us way more energized and angry. 2008 is when we’re going to get our Constitution and our country back.

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  49. Truce? I should say not. The sooner the moonbat leadership of the socialist party is returned to the urine soaked streets of San Francisco, LA, NYC and Boston the better! Maybe we can trade them to Canuckistan! 😉

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  50. We stood our ground a year ago in November. Remember the results? You can believe we’ll stand our ground again in 2008.

    Another convenient interpretation of the election results. This sort of self-proclaimed heroism is another manifestation of liberals’ addiction to their own narrative. And it’s why, when they lose seats in 2008, they will refuse to believe that it was their poor performance and bad platform that were the cause.

    Look for another exciting and pointless round of election fraud claims.

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  51. “Look for another exciting and pointless round of election fraud claims.”

    While they go to prison by the dozens for exactly that!

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  52. The LA Times article basically says: lots of Republicans are retiring, leaving their seats open. That’s true, but I think the country is going to be unimpressed with its two-year trial of a Democratic majority.

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  53. I hope your right.

    The article I saw yesterday was more recent than that, but I couldn’t find it. I thought it was The Wall Street Journal, but no.

    Even with my well known google-fu I was unable to find it.

    I worry about the growing numbers of nannystaters, out there.

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  54. 2008 is when we’re going to get our Constitution and our country back.

    So, Pullman Fan where did the Constitution disappear to? Please also tell me what rights you had on September 11, 2001 that you didn’t have beginning on September 12, 2001.

    I’d bet that JFK would be a Republican today were he still alive and he’d be ashamed of the Democrat Party of today, its leaders, its supporters, and its members.

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  55. I’m more than a little uneasy about National Security Presidential Directive NSPD-51. Conservatives who aren’t should consider that it’s powers will be inherited by the next occupant of the White House. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSPD-51

    I’m more than a little disturbed by The Executive Order of July 17, 2007, Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html

    You’ve got to read stuff like this very closely and then run some imagined scenarios through your head to really get the full implications. You’ve also got to remember that such things are being enacted not by legislative process, but by presidential proclamation.

    In all fairness, the fact that stronger objections haven’t been raised by Democrats worries me almost as much as the fact that a Republican has slipped such provisions by us almost unnoticed.

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  56. In all fairness, the fact that stronger objections haven’t been raised by Democrats worries me almost as much as the fact that a Republican has slipped such provisions by us almost unnoticed.- Pullman Fan

    This is because Democrats have long ruled by Executive Privilege. Republicans are acutely aware of them after watching Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton literally betray the nation with their use. Republicans remember like it was yesterday when Bill Clinton answered on National TV to the question, “If elected Mr Clinton, how will you rule?” A: “By Executive Order”.
    You should have been concerned then. You’re way behind the curve.

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  57. and then run some imagined scenarios through your head to really get the full implications.

    Sorry, my brain doesn’t have a crazy conspiracy theorist mode.

    The day things “actually” happen that inflict harm on our individual rights, I’ll stand up and fight. Until then, I’ll just be content to be a citizen of the most free society in the history of the planet.

    Stop looking for ways to fuck it up.

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  58. If history teaches us anything, it’s that the day things actually happen tends to be a day too late. Does such an observation really drop one into the ranks of conspiracy theorists?

    If I’ve been in a “mode” lately, it’s probably the “we should have seen this coming” mode.

    When the Chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight Committee is denied access to a document redefining continuity of government in a time of national emergency by the White House, and the White House has given itself unilateral power determine what constitutes a “national emergency”, we may already have a problem.

    You say “stop looking for ways to f— it up. I’d counter that people who aren’t jealous and protective of their freedoms generally don’t keep them for very long. They get to keep their illusion of it–until some fateful day.

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  59. I’d counter that people who aren’t jealous and protective of their freedoms generally don’t keep them for very long.

    You value freedom but I suspect would vote Democrat?

    The last I checked, they were the ones who were behind “The Fairness Doctrine”, speech codes on campuses, gun control, anti-Walmart, anti-SUV’s, banning cigarettes pretty much everywhere….I can go on and on…we don’t have to worry and wait and see if they want to take away our freedoms….they make it abundantly clear that they do.

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  60. I’m sorry Pullman Fan, but, we’re not into giving the likes of Bennie Thompson the power or input to decide what is a matter of National Security.

    Democrats were given that ability under Clinton. They abused it and ignored it when it mattered. They decimated the military and seeded the senior ranks with unqualified ideologues still being ferreted out to this day. I’ll never support oversight from someone dedicated to turning our sovereignty over to the likes of the UN. First you must remove the traitors from your ranks, and then we will talk.

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  61. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    From mine, Bush & Company have done a damn effective job of decimating our military strength by way of Iraq. Equipment depleted, tapped out soldiers on third tours, half-a-trillion already spent… (Best estimates are that it will be well over $2 Trillion before our course can be changed.) Given what’s already gone down a rat hole, however: My calculations suggest that by way of the George Bush strategy al Qaeda has managed to do us $1 million in damages for EVERY $1 they spend on their 9/11 attack, turning much of the Muslim world against us in the process. (Their estimated cost was $500,000.)

    Since we’ve borrowed the money to finance the war in Iraq, China now holds enough U.S. dollars to sink our economy any time they see fit. (China. That’s the one with the rapidly expanding submarine fleet and blue-water surface navy.) Meanwhile, our country has been invaded by an estimated 13 million illegal aliens, the infrastructure has gone to hell in a handbasket, we’ve lost our manufacturing base as millions of American jobs have gone overseas, and there’s abundant evidence that half the foreign-made products flooding in aren’t safe for the people forced to buy them. We worry about our right to drive SUVs, overlooking the fact that our totally lame national energy policy transfers brillions into the pockets of the Islamic states we’re so damn worried about. (I suppose there’s an upside: throughout the Bush years the petroleum industry has had the highest profits in history. These buzzards have also waged a campaign to confuse the public about climate change–with the complicity of the Bush administration.)

    Then we’ve got the Bush tax cuts. Somehow people have been deluded into the belief that the average American benefited. It takes all of ten minute’s research to discover the gross inequity of the tax-cut distribution. We now live in a country where the top 10% own over 70% of the total wealth, while the bottom 40% own LESS than 1%. I would be comfortable with that statistic if we lived in a meritocracy, but all indications suggest a severly tilted playing field.

    I certainly don’t find Democratic policies perfect. In many respects I’m actually conservative. The problem with the Republicans is that I see no one advocating any significant deviation from Bush policies, nor do I see many honest conservatives. Mr. Bush would probably call himself a conservative. I just can’t see it, in any area that strikes me as RELEVANT. He mostly makes the noises that appeal to social conservatives. At the same time, the national debt has DOUBLED during the Bush years, now hitting $9 trillion. THAT’S relevant, but never talked about.

    Blame Democrats if you want. The truth of the matter is that for over eight years the Democrats have essentially had NOTHING to say about ANYTHING. The Republicans owned the Senate, the House, the Executive Branch, and were busy politically stacking the Supreme Court. My own conclusion is that it’s high time for a change. My chief regret is that the incoming Democrats will probably arrive just as the accumulated sh-t hits the fan.

    In what sense am I not talking reality here?

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  62. In what sense am I not talking reality here? – Pullman

    Well for one thing you were clearly not in the military during the 80’s or 90’s because your perspective on what a decimated military is, happens to be so far removed from reality that 99.9% of all soldiers would believe you certifiable for even making the statement that you did.
    Fortunately, I understand, because your beliefs are tied directly to what you are told to believe by the people that did the harm.

    As for energy policy. You forget, it was your wonderful democrats that blocked increasing domestic production. You can’t blame the other side if you are the cause of preventing relief.

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  63. Actually I was in the military a bit earlier. My perspective dates to the interior of a bunker somewhere in the Republic of Vietnam. I was Regular Army–meaning I was there as a volunteer, not a draftee. I’m not anti-military or unsympathetic with our troops.

    “Decimation” was used primarily in reference to the depletion of weapons and equipment, the depletion of manpower, and our current state of military readiness to deal with whatever situation might arise. The opinion isn’t just my own. It’s also the opinion of Gen. George W. Casey Jr, the Army Chief of Staff. He stated during a congressional hearing last month that roughly half of the Army’s 44 active duty brigades are NOT ready to respond, based on the Army’s OWN standards. http://www.projo.com/news/johnmulligan/army_future_12-03-07_DA83A8A_v25.2a7fd57.html

    On the matter of domestic oil production, I suppose we’re referring to the Democrats having frustrated Bush’s oil buddies who want to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Environmental issues aside, that would be a short-term solution that would mainly serve to line some greedy pockets while quickly and permanently depleting a valuable domestic supply. In the future America is going to have serious NEED of that resource. I can’t see squandering it now just to prop up a disfunctional Detroit gas-guzzler industry, to make some rich men richer, and to allow my clueless neighbor to tool around town in a Hummer proudly displaying his Environment plate on the back. What we need is a crash program to shake off our oil addiction and move into future technologies. We’ve got to do it before global oil supplies crash as global demand peaks. That’s going to happen within the next ten years. Europe is already way the hell ahead of us. We need to get ahead of Europe. Then we can let the Chinese worry about the Middle East and the Menace of Islamofacism.

    My beliefs are tied directly to what I’m told? Actually, no. My skepticism of of official pronouncements and authoritative B.S. pretty much pegs the skepticism meter. Remember that old joke that goes, “How can you tell when a politician is lying?” I figure it’s not entirely a joke. I also recognize that it applies to members of both parties.

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  64. In what sense am I not talking reality here?

    o “Meanwhile, our country has been invaded by an estimated 13 million illegal aliens” The majority of whom were here before Bush took office. Not that any of us like Bush’s position on illegal immigration.

    o “My calculations suggest that by way of the George Bush strategy al Qaeda has managed to do us $1 million in damages for EVERY $1 they spend on their 9/11 attack” This has nothing to do with anything. The asymmetries between terrorists and legitimate security forces are well known, and extend far beyond the cost per damage inflicted. The fact is that indiscriminate attacks against soft, unprepared targets are cheap and easy. Trying to build a functioning democracy is expensive. But most of us believe that it is worth the price.

    o “Then we’ve got the Bush tax cuts.” This entire paragraph is silly – taxes have nothing to do with wealth, and the top 10% owned 70% of the wealth in the country before Bush’s tax cuts.

    o “Bush & Company have done a damn effective job of decimating our military strength by way of Iraq.” This is irrelevant hyperbole.

    o “the national debt has DOUBLED during the Bush years, now hitting $9 trillion” Actually, you’ll find that we’re probably more critical of Bush’s (and the 2000 – 2006 Congress’s) fiscal policies than you are. Which is why we’re very pleased to see that the deficit reduction plan is ahead of schedule.

    o “and were busy politically stacking the Supreme Court” You mean unstacking the Supreme Court, and recentering it as a court based on the Founders’ intent, rather than an instrument of liberal policy implementation.

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  65. “The majority of whom were here before Bush took office. Not that any of us like Bush’s position on illegal immigration.”

    Nor am I of Hillary’s position, or those of the other Democratic front-runners. I don’t forget who it was that pushed so hard for NAFTA, either.

    I wasn’t suggesting that the Bush tax cuts were directly responsible for the disparity in the distribution of American wealth; only that they’ve made an inequitable situation worse.

    Obviously I don’t believe my observation about the long-term effects of the war in Iraq to be either irrelevant or hyperbolic. I’m not unaware of the nature of asymetrical warfare. My point was that if you don’t approach such a war properly, you wind up being bled dry. I’d like nothing better than to realize I was wrong about Iraq.

    Apparently we agree about the dangers of the national debt. The levels of personal debt are equally worrisome. I’m afraid our government will lack the spine to deal with the problem responsibly–whoever’s in office–and will opt to let the dollar fall long-term to keep up with the interest using cheap money. Ironically the losers will be those who’ve adhered to conservative financial values. We’ll watch the value of our saved dollars fall, just as the interest rates on our savings accounts have fallen.

    Guess I’ve not got a whole lot more to say here. It’s been interesting!

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  66. the long-term effects of the war in Iraq to be either irrelevant or hyperbolic

    The Army has been “decimated” on a long-term basis? Nonsense. Their complaint, per your own link, is that if another need to commit forces came up, they wouldn’t be able to respond in a timely fashion.

    the Bush tax cuts were directly responsible for the disparity in the distribution of American wealth

    The Bush tax cuts led dramatically to there being wealth to distribute.

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  67. “Their complaint, per your own link, is that if another need to commit forces came up, they wouldn’t be able to respond in a timely fashion.”

    Yeap. That’s pretty much how I was defining “decimated”.

    ” “We’re consuming readiness as fast as we build it,” Casey said. In the near term, that means many Army units are not trained and equipped to full readiness in the full spectrum of missions—counterinsurgency aside—they could be called upon to perform elsewhere in the world.

    “The longer-term consequences for the Army could be worrisome if events in Iraq disrupt plans to reduce troop levels there by tens of thousands in the coming months. That could, in turn, disrupt Casey’s schedule for restoring full readiness and at the same time increase the size of the Army.”

    If we can figure out where to get the money needed to meet the continuing drain of Iraq while \i{simultaneously} bringing our forces back up to an accepted readiness level, \i{then} I’d concede “decimated” was hyperbole.

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  68. That’s pretty much how I was defining “decimated”.

    If you’re going to make up definitions for words, you’ll make communication very difficult.

    If we can figure out where to get the money needed to meet the continuing drain of Iraq …

    If we run into a situation where lack of full readiness becomes a significant problem, then your handwringing might actually be justified. At this point, the horrible, terrifying long-term consequence is that Casey’s schedule might be disrupted. I’ve worked in and with the DoD for 25 years – having your schedule disrupted is pretty insignificant.

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  69. I suppose I really ought to concede the point concerning my use of the verb “decimate” in reference to U.S. military strength, considering the precise meaning the term originally had to members of the Roman legions. OK–a poor choice of words. The point remains, however: Before our second invasion of Iraq, we were in a position to respond to a military emergency effectively and in a timely fashion. Now–as a consequence–we apparently are not, and the ungoing drain frustrates our ability to reacquire that capability. Iran has a standing army of over 500,000, along with 350,000 reserves and over 11 million paramilitary; North Korea has well over 1 million; China over 2 million. I find our loss of capability unsettling.

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  70. I find our loss of capability unsettling.

    Don’t get yourself too worked up there, buddy. A single member of the US Military is worth dozens of anyone else’s. Plus, we have the technology that allows us to make the most effective use of our men and women.

    If I remember correctly, we were also told that the Iraq military was one of the most fearsome fighting forces on the face of he planet. We cut through them like a hot knife through butter.

    So don’t get your panties in a bunch. We got this.

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  71. i find it hilarious that you would base your film going decisions off half truths. i can list some other books that kill god, such as the bible. yet why do we continue reading them?

    “Pullman acknowledges that a controversy would be likely to boost sales. “But I’m not in the business of offending people,” he says. “I find the books upholding certain values that I think are important. Such as that this life is immensely valuable. And that this world is an extraordinarily beautiful place, and we should do what we can to increase the amount of wisdom in the world.”

    He says he recently received a review in the mail from a vicar who found the books’ “moral base” to be secure. “What he meant,” Pullman explains, “is that the qualities and the actions which the story seems to be saying are good — such as courage, love, kindness, compassion and so on — are ones that we can all agree on. . . . It’s saying things that we generally agree on, so what is there to disagree with?”

    so, you guys are boosting sales… yet do you even know what you disagree with? what have you got against courage, love, kindness and compassion? i say this as someone who has read all three books… can you answer that question?

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  72. i find it hilarious that you would base your film going decisions off half truths. – Bright Strangely

    That is nothing compared to how I found the inclusion of, “Bright” in that moniker. Especially since you believe the crap you spouted about people boycotting this turd actually boosting sales. Unless of course you are planning on a very tiny turn out to begin with. Does “Redacted” ring any bells?

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  73. Man, you people are seriously untight and hostile. Every reponse has an insult. Half of them are nothing but an insult. What happened to common courtesy and thoughtful debate of issues?

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  74. What happened to common courtesy and thoughtful debate of issues?

    We generally reserve that for people who don’t strart out with a smug, superior attitude.

    Perhaps, anon, the next time you could call us all rethuglicans or wingnuts. That’s usually a great precursor to a polite and respectful discourse.

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  75. Pullman:
    But how many of the Iranian, Chinese or North Koreans are front line soldiers? How many are support? WHat equipment do they have and in what state is it? Do they have the motivation to fight? What about their logistics capability and supply train?
    Some things to ponder before you blast off half cocked.

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  76. What happened to common courtesy and thoughtful debate of issues?
    Well, just try going over to KOS and disagreeing with him. My belief is that you will last as long over there as your hero Olbermann lasts in the sack.

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  77. “But how many of the Iranian, Chinese or North Koreans are front line soldiers…”

    Uh, with North Korea, something like 1 million active troops and another 5 million reserves. They’d probably swarm across the border like starving locusts, equipped with marginally functional AK-47 knock-offs, worn-out canvass Korean sneakers and raggedy uniforms. Picture “The Night of the Living Dead”.

    Are you sure your Zombie Contingency Plan completely up to date?

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  78. Are you sure your Zombie Contingency Plan completely up to date?

    We are completely prepared for the zombie menace, be it fast or slow, armed or not.

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  79. What happened to common courtesy and thoughtful debate of issues?

    blow me.

    The problem with defending South Korea is the proximity of Seoul. They don’t even have to cross the border to hit it hard with artillery. I don’t believe South Korea has the will to lose it in a retrograde action, and they would certainly lose it until we could amass enough force to take it back.

    So they’ll give up.

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  80. The irony is that most often a preference for common courtesy and civilized behavior is the only thing that keeps the willfully offensive from having the cr-p beaten out of them by the people they’ve offended.

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  81. The irony is…

    The irony is that each new liberal visitor thinks he or she is the first liberal commenter to ever grace this site, never realizing that they’re just part of a continual flow of libs through these threads. The irony continues with the complete lack of awareness that your ideological compatriots have long since fouled the waters of courtesy and honest debate.

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  82. The irony is that each new liberal visitor thinks he or she is the first liberal commenter to ever grace this site, never realizing that they’re just part of a continual flow of libs through these threads. – Geoff

    I was fooled too. Would have sworn it was one dude with 50 different aliases, spouting the same garbage over and over again!

    I know…Shut up Nick!

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  83. I saw that, Dave.

    Notice how they put a big “correction” at the top of the page to say that the U.S. (clueless) Council of Bishops endorse the film.

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  84. No doubt you’d like to Dave, but I’m afraid I’m not gay. You might want to check Larry Craig’s website for a list of suggested men’s rooms. I’ve heard he’s got a thing for insufferable little twits.

    (See? Courtesy is better for everybody’s blood pressure.)

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  85. ‘Compass’ golden at North American box office
    1 hour ago
    LOS ANGELES (AFP) — “The Golden Compass,” the children’s film criticized by detractors as anti-religious, topped North American box offices with 26.1 million dollars in weekend receipts, according to industry estimates…

    (That’s admittedly lower first-weekend performance than had been hoped for, being at the low end of industry projections. We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks. Those I’ve talked to who have actually seen it say it’s a highly entertaining film, that they’ll recommend it to friends, and that they can’t see what all the fuss was about.)

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  86. Jeez, for the last time, they took the objectionable anti-Christian crap out. What people are objecting to is this stealth campaign to get people to buy the books. And it will be increasingly difficult to whitewash the story for the next two films, because the books become more blatantly anti-Christian in #2 and 3.

    Also, 26.1 mil for an opening film that cost 150 mil to make is extremely disappointing. It only topped this weekend at the box office because there were no other decent new films to go see. They were hoping for a blockbuster.

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  87. Uh… Yeah, I guess you DID say that before. But… *G*

    Point conceded–with apologies for tedious repetitions.

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  88. holy moses! i came to comment on the review, and now i find i’m some kind of dreaded liberal commenter who doesn’t even merit a response. fine, i guess you guys haven’t read the bible if you were unaware that they off christ.

    my point still stands. this is kind of a weird reason to reject the movie. i can say it’s not worth defending this adaptation but i do think the books are compelling and well written.

    it’s a shame that no one wanted to respond to that. wasn’t rude enough for y’all?

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