The Free Market – Freedom (Part 1)

A friend of mine once brought up an interesting question concerning the government.  He said it seems like a lot of people spend a lot of time complaining about the government, but he wanted to know how we are actually affected.  Don’t most of us just go about our daily lives without a whole lot of interference?  How do government policies actually affect us?

This was on Facebook, and he got quite a few comments.  What I found so interesting was that Conservatives did list quite a few laws that directly impact us.  The Liberals responded with, “Yeah, but…”  They all thought those intrusive, limiting laws were good because in some instances they protect people from making bad choices.  It illustrates a pretty fundamental difference.  Conservatives, such as myself, put a lot of stock in individual freedom.  I think I should be free to make my own choices.  If I make a dumb choice, I think I should live with the consequences and not force others to pay for my mistakes.  I think I am smart enough to make better choices for myself in my situation than bureaucrats and elected officials who know nothing of my choices and circumstances.

I thought this topic would make a good post.  I’ve come up with a list of several examples by which the government controls or limits the choices I make.  It’s important to note that in all these examples, my choices only affect me and my family.  I’m not addressing the ‘freedom’ to make choices that will force or limit some one else’s freedom as a result.

I’ll start with some free market examples.  Once, my husband and I bought a house.  Our first house.  It had two units, so we could rent out half of it, which covered a good chunk of the mortgage.  We bought a house because we planned on living there for a few years and thought it would be great to own in a college town where there are always a huge supply of renters.  Our plans changed and we ended up moving to Chicago instead after only a year.  It was a lovely little house, and we would have liked to rent both units so we could continue owning the house.  We thought it would be nice to have an income from the rent, let the house increase in value, let my younger sisters live there if they went to college there, and eventually our children.  We owned the house.  When you rent to someone it is a mutual contract; they agree that they want to live there.  But, we couldn’t.  It was illegal.  The house wasn’t zoned as a duplex; it had to be owner occupied in order to rent.  The left says, “Yeah, but…”  It’s a good law, right?  We wouldn’t want the house falling into disrepair, renters destroying it and driving down the cost of surrounding houses.  You know what?  I wouldn’t want my house falling into disrepair either.  If I owned a house I would make sure it stayed in good shape.  Because I would want to keep renting it to decent people who would also take care of it.  Because I value the things that I own and don’t want them destroyed.  Because I also care about property values and wouldn’t want my home negatively effecting surrounding homes.  “Yeah, but… we need those laws, because some people wouldn’t take care of their rental property.”  So?  So???  Is this a free country, or not?  In a free market, I would be able to rent out what I own, and others would be able to choose to rent from me if they wanted.  The government limits those choices, and instead forced us to sell our home.  Had we not been able to (it was 2009), we would have gone bankrupt.  Potential forced bankruptcy, courtesy of intrusive government regulations.

My next few happened during pregnancy.  The inconsistency in these policies is mind boggling.  It started with my doctor giving me several state mandated blood tests for STDs.  State mandated, the government has decided that every pregnant woman has to get these tests, regardless of circumstances.  I also had to pay for them, of course.  Now, my husband and I did not have sex before we got married.  If you only ever have sex with one person, how are you supposed to get an STD?  Maybe I would rather spend $200 on food or housing, and not unnecessary blood tests.  “Yeah, but…”  That’s a good law, right?  Just in case?  Most people aren’t virgins when they get married, and you never know if your spouse cheats on you.  It’s for the baby, you wouldn’t want to have a sick baby and not know about it.  Maybe that’s true, and maybe most people should get these tests.  Not me.  Don’t need them, and some random government official doesn’t know better than me what kind of STD testing I do or don’t need.  This is almost exactly the same as the required chlamydia/ghonorrhea treatment they gave my daughter moments after she was born.  I asked if I could opt out of it, but my nurse told me no, it’s required by law.  As soon as my beautiful little girl was born, they put unnecessary chemicals in her eyes, because some politician thinks I’m too stupid to choose for myself whether or not my baby receives STD treatments.

One more pregnancy example.  At one point, when I was about five months pregnant, I had a tooth that hurt.  I called a dentist, set up an appointment, and went in.  I had even paid while waiting.  They called me back, then while going over my paperwork said that they couldn’t treat me because I was pregnant.  Again, they cited state laws.  They said if I got a note from my doctor allowing me to be treated, they would see me.  The woman said it was because the X-rays they had to take were potentially dangerous to the fetus.  Well, I minored in physics, and I am not worried about an X-ray taken of my face having enough stray rays get through a lead jacket to damage a five-month-old fetus.  But, I don’t know as much as the politician who majored in Political Science and decided that pregnant women are too dumb to know what treatments would or wouldn’t be safe for them.  Can I not choose for myself to take the risk?  “Yeah, but…”  A lot of pregnant women don’t know much about medical treatments, right?  Better safe than sorry.  So I decided to see if Illinois has any consistency when it comes to laws protecting the fetus.  (You want to take a quick guess before I give you the answer?)  They want to know if the fetus has any STDs, and they force babies to be treated for two STDs.  They worry about the potential damage done by X-rays.  How do you think damage to the fetus caused by X-rays compares to, oh, say, damage caused by drinking alcohol?  Sorry, I have no idea, because there aren’t actually any statistics measuring the rate of defective babies born to women who got facial X-rays during pregnancy.  On the other hand, the 100% preventable Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects occur at rates of 1-2 per thousand and 3-5 per thousand births (respectively).  I went to a grocery store and asked if I was allowed to buy alcohol while pregnant.  The cashier said yes.  Then I went to a bar and asked the same thing.  They said yes, and offered to seat me.

So, thanks to the government I am not allowed to rent a house I own to willing renters.  I have to put up a few hundred dollars every time I get pregnant to pay for tests I do not need.  If I want to go to the dentist, I need to get written permission from my doctor first.  Why am I conservative?  I like my freedom.

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About whyimconservative

I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom with a Biochemistry degree living in Austin. I love my kids, my husband and my country. I want to explain why I'm conservative.

Posted on July 15, 2011, in Freedom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. On the medical tests I would say to the “Yeah but(t)’er’s”, Yeah but doesn’t that cause an unnecessary increase in health care costs?

    By the way I saw yesterday that another blogger was recommending your blog. Diane that posted on your gun control post.

  2. I think you are onto something about the way the cost of living is made more difficult by government controls.

    You might find Charles Johnson’s essay “How Government Creates Poverty as We Know It” to be worth a read too.

  3. Patrick ONeill

    What a “conservative” means when they say that they are for “freedom” is that they are in favor of “freedom” for straight white christians and determined to oppress the “freedom” of anyone else.

    When “conservatives” stop being the political movement that wants to prevent equality for gays and blacks and browns, that wants to outlaw abortion and birth control, that wants to teach Adam and Eve in biology class and erect 10 Commandment monuments in courtrooms then they can make the claim that they are for “freedom”.

    Until that day, any claims that conservatives favor “freedom” will be met with the derision such un-selfconscious hypocrisy deserves.

    • You appear to have not read this post, or most of what I say through my blog. Read my post of abortion, and comment there if you have something to say relevant to abortion. I know absolutely no one that is racist, or who wants to outlaw birth control. Actually, I’m going through your comment, and I don’t know anyone who thinks any of the things you are saying. That’s why I wrote this blog; so that individuals such as yourself who believe these things about conservatives could have the opportunity to see what we actually believe, and why.

      My examples in this post are personal choices at the expense of no other. If I choose to not get STD testing it effects no one but myself and costs other taxpayers nothing. I can’t think of a current liberal cause that asks for ‘freedoms’ that don’t come at the expense of others. But you are welcome to share an example. I encourage intelligent discussion.

  4. Patrick ONeill

    I have read your blog – which is why I posted what appears to me to be a fair summary of “conservative” ideology.

    >Read my post of abortion

    I got as far as the first sentence: “All arguments for abortion fail when we recognize that a fetus is a baby.”

    Since it is factually false, and only an expression of religious wishful thinking there was no reason to delve further.

    While you may not “know” anyone who is racist or wants to outlaw birth control doesn’t affect the fact that it is “conservatives” who have consistently fought against any efforts for civil rights or equal “freedom” for anyone other than their straight white christian constituency.

    As for the examples in this post – there is nothing “liberal” or “conservative” about public health laws – they are passed by “conservatives” just as much as “liberals” – in fact the AMA is one of the most “conservative” political lobbying groups in the US.

    (You might be having a “libertarian moment” 🙂

    • “Since it is factually false, and only an expression of religious wishful thinking there was no reason to delve further.” Try reading it, then telling me why it is ‘factually false.’ Alive has a definition, fetuses fall into it.

      You made several accusations of what you believe to be common beliefs of conservatives, none of which apply to me or any conservatives I know. You claim that you know what I mean when I say ‘freedom’, when that is not what I mean at all and has nothing to do with my post. You also did not answer my only question. My desires for freedom have to do with the freedom to make my own choices, without any cost to anyone else. Can you name a popular liberal cause that also falls into these constraints?

    • ” who have consistently fought against any efforts for civil rights or equal “freedom” for anyone other than their straight white christian constituency.”

      Patrick that would be the democrats. You might want to brush up on the civil rights movement of the sixties and find out exactly who tried to block the movement. I’ll give you 2 names to get you started. Byrd and Wallace.

      • Patrick ONeill

        Don;t need to brush up on history I lived it – and I didn’t say “repubs” I said “conservatives” – It was the Dixiecrats conservatives – of course they are all Repubs now since the Southern Strategy”

        The current pretense of conservatives that they never supported discrimination – except for the discrimination they are supporting now – is pretty funny.

    • While you may not “know” anyone who is racist or wants to outlaw birth control doesn’t affect the fact that it is “conservatives” who have consistently fought against any efforts for civil rights or equal “freedom” for anyone other than their straight white christian constituency.

      Name these conservatives.

  5. Patrick ONeill

    >You made several accusations of what you believe to be common beliefs of conservatives, none of which apply to me or any conservatives I know.

    Whether you “know someone” or not has nothing to do with the fact that it is “conservatives” who oppose “freedom” for minorities, not liberals
    .
    Conservative opposition to the Civil rights laws is a fact. Conservative opposition to gay rights is a fact.

    I hope that you aren’t ignorant of this or in denial of it.

    (Considering your “conservative” opposition to gay rights and abortion it’s hard to believe so)

    > My desires for freedom have to do with the freedom to make my own choices, without any cost to anyone else. Can you name a popular liberal cause that also falls into these constraints?

    Sure – we were just talking about gay rights and abortion – as a starter.

    Imagine how it looks from the outside of your straight white christian bubble to see someone complain about their loss of “freedom” by being forced to have a lab test, and yet want the government to force a girl to spend nine months in pregnancy, with all of its attendant health interventions and give birth against her will.

    Or to throw gay people in jail for having sex ?

    Conservative concerns for “freedom” are strictly focused on maintaining their superiority and oppressing the freedom of minorities.

    • 1964 Civil Rights voting record:

      House of Representatives:
      Democrats for: 152
      Democrats against: 96
      248 total – 39 percent against
      Republicans for: 138
      Republicans against: 34
      172 total – 19 percent against

      Senate:
      Democrats for: 46
      Democrats against: 21
      67 total – 31 percent against
      Republicans for: 27
      Republicans against: 6
      33 total – 18 percent against

      I am not ignorant or in denial of this.

      • Patrick ONeill

        I said “conservatives” not “repubs” – In those days the “conervatives”
        were as much Southern Democrats – and they opposed civil rights.
        Now, of course, they are all Repubs as the “solid south” has become
        repub.

        Again I hope that you are not ignorant or in denial of the fact that it is conservatives who consistently oppose equal rights, not liberals.

      • It’s hard to be in denial of something you continue to offer no proof of. What freedoms are blacks being denied? Please, tell me, so I can fight it with you.

    • Sodomy laws are unconstitutional; once again, no one is proposing homosexuals go to jail for having sex. If you can site a case or example, go for it. What freedoms, exactly, are blacks being denied? Be specific. Gay ‘rights,’ as demonstrated in my posts, frequently infringe on other’s rights. Be specific; freedoms that have no effect or cost to anyone else. Abortion; you did not say anything about your ‘fact’ that a fetus is not alive. So, obviously, the right to life would be affected if we were to discuss whether or not it was alive.

  6. Patrick ONeill

    >Sodomy laws are unconstitutional; once again, no one is proposing homosexuals go to jail for having sex. If you can site a case or example, go for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

    It was not unconstitutional for most of my life – it’s only been so for the last 8 years over the protests of conservatives. The conservative judges like Scalia voted to put me in jail, but was outvoted.

    At the moment conservatives know that they have lost that battle and are concentrating on opposing my right to marry, serve in the military, etc.

    But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t support jailing gays, firing them etc – they certainly never fought for any gay’s “freedom” and have never apologized.

    > Gay ‘rights’ as demonstrated in my post frequently infringe on other’s rights.

    Not they don’t – you repeated a lot of propaganda – and frankly lies- put out by conservative christians who try to claim that allowing gays equal rights somehow impinges on their religious rights. It’s not true. It is a lie. Believe it or not christians are still free to
    practice their religion in Boston even after all these years 🙂

    >Abortion; you did not say anything about your ‘fact’ that a fetus is not alive.

    Whether a fetus is alive or not does not make it a baby – or a victim.

    In both cases conservatives invent imaginary “victims” in order to deprive others of their freedom.

    And then they complain about being forced to have a lab test 🙂

    • Okay, so I guess you’ve given up on the blacks being denied freedom thing. I read through the Republican and Democratic platforms from 1964, and they look fairly similar to today’s, but if you care to find a specific policy, I’ll read it.
      Yes, there was a case fighting sodomy laws, it went to the supreme court, and was found unconstitutional. That’s what it means when something is unconstitutional; it was a law, and the supreme court decided against it. Do you know anyone that went to jail for sodomy? Were you in danger of jail? I’m sorry if you were. Like I’ve said, many times, I’m in favor of individual freedom, and the freedom for individuals to choose for themselves what they do.
      You keep referring to these ‘other’ conservatives that support jail for gays and prevent equality for gays and blacks and browns, that wants to outlaw abortion and birth control, that wants to teach Adam and Eve in biology class and erect 10 Commandment monuments in courtrooms. Maybe you’ll admit you were exaggerating a bit? You would be willing to concede that I am very conservative, and that the people I surround myself are as well, and none of us support any of these things. Then you say others do, but don’t site any evidence. Yes, I think that gays couples should not be granted the title of marriage. I’ve stated my reasons for that. It has nothing to do with your individual right to make individual choices as you go through your daily life, which I support.
      Are you conceding that a fetus is alive, but not a baby? Then you would have to define baby for me, because I just don’t follow. I’m not inventing a victim. I think that biologically living, genetically human ‘things’ are babies. You can call me a bigot for that.

      Can you tell me what lies I’m repeating? If a woman is found guilty of discrimination for following her religious convictions, that is an infringement on the free exercise of religion. If an adoption clinic is forced to shut down (not lose federal funding or tax breaks, but shut down) because it is following its religious tenants, that is an infringement on the free exercise of religion. That’s what ‘free exercise of religion’ means… right? The freedom to follow your religion? You follow your religion, others can follow their religion, and nobody forces anyone to do anything they don’t want to. Unless you’re a gay couple that wants to force a Christian woman to participate in their wedding. Or you’re a gay couple that wants to force a religious adoption agency to adopt to you. These are the imaginary victims? People are being forced to either not follow their religion, or to be punished by law. I just can not see how that is a lie. You may not care. You may think your rights trump theirs. That doesn’t make anything I say a lie.

      My post is on freedom. I complain about being forced to pay for tests I don’t want because government officials think they know better than me. It effects no one, costs no one else. You still haven’t come up with a single example of a law liberals are fighting for, that conservatives are against, that matches that description.

      • Patrick ONeill

        > Do you know anyone that went to jail for sodomy?
        Yes.
        I also have been harassed by police and fired from jobs and refused employment.

        And there is no sense in pretending that it isn’t conservatives that promote such laws – they are still doing it today with their opposition to DADT and suppport for DOMA and opposition equal rights and anti-bullying laws.

        >Maybe you’ll admit you were exaggerating a bit?

        I’m not exaggerating at all – you are in denial of what “conservatives”: stand for.

        >Yes, I think that gays couples should not be granted the title of marriage.

        There we go – you’re in favor of “freedom” – for straight white christians, but not for me 🙂

        And you can’t see why I am not “exaggerating” ?

        >Can you tell me what lies I’m repeating?

        OK

        >If an adoption clinic is forced to shut down (not lose federal funding or tax breaks, but shut down) because it is following its religious tenants, that is an infringement on the free exercise of religion. That’s what ‘free exercise of religion’ means… right?

        That’s one – didn’t happen – just conservative christian propaganda.

        And it wouldn’t be an infringement even if it was true.

        The right to practice your religion doesn’t mean that you can get a job a a pharmacist but refuse to give anyone their medicine because you are a Christian Scientist and don’t believe in it.

        No one in Boston is forcing christian women to “participate” in their weddings.

        It is just an attempt to claim some kind of victimhood for straight white christians in order to justify their persecution of gay people.

      • I am conservative, and I don’t stand for the things you claim. You say ‘they’ are trying to teach Adam and Eve in school. This is an exaggeration; I can only imagine it stems from some schools wanting to teach theories other than Evolution. You can read and comment my posts on Evolution if that’s what you’re referring to. I’ve not heard any cases of people trying to outlaw birth control, either. I am for individual freedom, and I am glad sodomy laws were found unconstitutional. Why the fixation on straight, white Christians? I am for freedom for you! I’m for freedom for everyone. I’m not for the ‘freedom’ for you to force someone to do something they don’t want to because it goes against their religious beliefs. Do you sincerely not see the distinction?

        Illinois adoption agency shut down rather than adopt to gay couples – http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/state-of-illinois-ends-contracts-with-catholic-adoption-agencies-over-homos/

        It appears it did happen. NPR claims it also happened in Massachusettes and California. Unless there are simply a lot of fake sites, because the story appears many places. You can’t compare it to someone getting a job in the private sector. It is a religious agency, it was founded on their beliefs, and gay couples can choose to go to other agencies if they want to adopt. The woman was in New Mexico, not Boston, and you can find the story here, along with a host of other examples of gay couples suing in order to force religious agencies to adapt to them: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486340

        Do you see the distinction between individual freedom, and the freedom you want to force others to change their policies to fit your beliefs? That is what I’m talking about. The ‘freedom to marry’ is not a constitutional right, and it has actual, documented effects on others and their right to practice their religious beliefs. You keep claiming they are lies and propaganda and don’t exist, but they do.

      • And there is no sense in pretending that it isn’t conservatives that promote such laws – they are still doing it today with their opposition to DADT and suppport for DOMA and opposition equal rights and anti-bullying laws.

        What rights does DOMA violate?

  7. Patrick ONeill

    >I am conservative, and I don’t stand for the things you claim.

    So you just oppose My freedom but don’t associate with those “other” conservatives ?

    > You say ‘they’ are trying to teach Adam and Eve in school. This is an exaggeration;

    No it isn’t – conservative opposition to teaching evolution is well documented.

    > I’ve not heard any cases of people trying to outlaw birth control, either.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griswold_v._Connecticut

    > I am for freedom for you! I’m for freedom for everyone.

    You just said you opposed my freedom to marry. And if u are a real “conservative” you probably oppose my freedom to serve in the military or be protected from employment discrimination or – because that is what the current crop of conservative lawmakers support.

    That’s why the “straight white christian” thing – as a “conservative” you are supportive of freedom for your fellow straight white christians even at the expense of the freedom of others, like gays.

    >I’m not for the ‘freedom’ for you to force someone to do something they don’t want to because it goes against their religious beliefs. Do you sincerely not see the distinction?

    So as a conservative it’s OK with you if states have a “No Jews Allowed” policy because of their religious beliefs – after all, don’t want to force them to violate their religious beliefs.

    Anyone is free to practice their religion – you don’t have to allow jews in your church.
    You can’t use your religion as an excuse to legally discriminate against jews when you are working for the government.

    The Catholic Charities cases are not cases where the government forced them to shut down.

    They are free to continue as adoption agencies using their own money – the Mormons still have an adoption agency in Mass that does not allow adoption by gay couples.

    What happened is that the State had a contract with Catholic charities and paid them to run adoption services and said that in order to receive state funding they could not discriminate – and the Bishop preferred to shut down the agency rather than use his own money or stop discriminating.

    • Wanting to teach other theories in addition to evolution is not wanting to teach Adam and Eve. This is the very definition of exaggeration. Read my posts on evolution if you disagree with teaching other theories. I’m really trying to raise the level of discussion here, by staying relevant, not making erroneous claims and not making assumptions and insults.
      You have not once named a freedom you want that does not cost others their constitutional freedoms. (You haven’t said how conservatives are limiting blacks freedoms, how 1964 Republicans were actually liberal, or why it’s a fact that a fetus is not a baby, either.) You say “as a “conservative” you are supportive of freedom for your fellow straight white christians even at the expense of the freedom of others, like gays.” when that is exactly the opposite of what you mean and what I’m saying. I do not want my freedom at the expense of anyone, you do. You want the right to infringe on other’s constitutional rights. I want you to be able to live together, do whatever you want together, buy a house, adopt, get a joint bank account, give each other power of attorney. Those things don’t effect anyone else. Forcing a religious group to work with you does effect others. It doesn’t matter if you think their religious beliefs are discriminatory. It’s a constitutional right. Of course states can’t have ‘no Jews allowed’ policies, it’s unconstitutional to infringe on the free practice of religion. The right to marry is not a constitutional right. The right to the free practice of religion is. You can disagree with that in principle, but currently that’s the way it is. If you don’t like it, propose a constitutional amendment and put it to a vote.

      • Patrick ONeill

        >Wanting to teach other theories in addition to evolution is not wanting to teach Adam and Eve.
        What it is is wanting to teach christianity instead of science, any way that you slice it.
        As I said “straight white christian” rights only.

        >You have not once named a freedom you want that does not cost others their constitutional freedoms.

        Au contraire – I started with 2 – gay equality and abortion.- Neither of which cost anyone any “constitutional rights’ although you keep trying to make some up in order to justify persecution.

        >I do not want my freedom at the expense of anyone,

        Actually you want your religious freedom to discriminate against me so much that you oppose my equal rights.

        > Forcing a religious group to work with you does effect others.

        Refusing me equal employment and housing and medical care and social security and…… has an effect on me, too.

        When you balance that against someone who claims to be a christian being forced to expose themselves to gay cooties by working side by side with them – I think your balance is way off.

        > It doesn’t matter if you think their religious beliefs are discriminatory. It’s a constitutional right

        No there is no constitutional right to discriminate – that is not the “practice of religion” any more that the refusal to allow blacks and whites to marry because the Bible said so was “practice of religion”.

        Any preacher is free to refuse to perform mixed marriages in his church – that is practice of religion. But the State is not free to prohibit it in order to express it’s moral disapproval – discrimination is not a constitutional right.

        >The right to marry is not a constitutional right.

        The Supreme Court says it is.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

        Again I’m not under the illusion that I can change your mind – I simply am trying to make clear that when a “conservative” cries “freedom” what they really are saying is that they want extreme “freedom” for straight white christians and want to keep everyone else as second class citizens in order to maintain their power.

      • My posts on evolution and abortion have nothing to do with religion. They are based 100% on scientific reasoning, science that I have studied extensively. The left seems so determined to label every policy position we have the result of archaic religious beliefs. It is so much easier to dismiss them that way. If you studied them at all you might have to discuss actual topics, such as why a genetically human, biologically living entity has no constitutional protections. As I state in my posts, the homosexual marriage issue involves religion because that is where the two meet in the constitution; with one side trying to infringe on religious freedom, and the other practicing discrimination. That makes it a constitutional issue, not a religious one, and that is where I am trying to keep the discussion.
        If you really want to understand, try doing so without the assumption that everything I say is based on religious convictions. Nothing I say in my posts is based on such assumptions. You keep telling me to look outside of my straight, white Christian box, when you know nothing about my background and willfully stay ignorant of why I have come to the conclusions I have. When I have studied science extensively, and summarized the conclusions I have made, and someone else declares them the result of religious beliefs without studying them, who is the close-minded ignorant?

    • The Supreme Court says it is.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

      Again I’m not under the illusion that I can change your mind – I simply am trying to make clear that when a “conservative” cries “freedom” what they really are saying is that they want extreme “freedom” for straight white christians and want to keep everyone else as second class citizens in order to maintain their power.

      And what is your point?

      Who among the commenters want to ban interracial marriage?

  8. Patrick ONeill

    >My posts on evolution and abortion have nothing to do with religion. They are based 100% on scientific reasoning, science that I have studied extensively.

    Sure I believe that 🙂

    Conservative christians oppose teaching evolution, want abortion outlawed and want to persecute gay people because their religion says so.

    You, on the other hand, oppose teaching evolution, want abortion outlawed and want to persecute gay people because of your extensive scientific study 🙂

    That makes it all better – freedom for you but no freedom for anyone else because of your scientific reasoning.

    The bottom line is that whatever you claim your motivations to be doesn’t really matter – what matters is that as a conservative you support “freedom” for straight white christians and oppression for everyone else – I am simply pointing that out.

    No one is expecting you to change any of your positions – I’m just trying (unsuccessfully) to get you to see how ridiculously hypocritical the conservative claim that they are for “freedom” is.

    Conservatism is about a lot of things – but “freedom” is the opposite of what it stands for.
    (Unless you are a straight white christian, of course 😉

  9. This guy is a picture-perfect example of blinding liberal idiocy. He offers no intelligent arguments, he refuses all invitations to bring the conversation to a level of rational discourse. He just repeats the same mantras over and over and tells everybody else what they are thinking and what their beliefs are. (“I believe–” “No you don’t, you believe THIS!” Thanks for clearing it up for me.) Trying to reason with him is like banging your head against a brick wall. He accuses others of being hateful and bigoted but it’s incredibly obvious that he is the one who is full of hate and bigotry. (Got kind of a hang-up with straight white Christians, huh? I think it’s safe to say I, as a straight white Christian, don’t hate homosexual atheists such as him nearly as much as he seems to hate us. In fact, I don’t hate them at all. I confess I do have a problem with hating obnoxious jerks though, of which he is proving himself such a superb example.)

    Don’t dignify trolls like this by answering them. Just ban this fool and let him spew his vitriol somewhere else; he’s dirtying up an otherwise excellent blog.

    • Thanks for your support. It’s sad how often I’m able to convince myself that others would be willing to listen to reason if it’s presented rationally and patiently.

      • Some people really are willing to listen, so it’s worthwhile and admirable to make the effort. And even when you can’t convince people, it can still be worth having the debate because the opposition may raise good points. For example, there was a commentator in the Homosexual Marriage article who, although he had a dissenting viewpoint, presented reasoned arguments and was civil. He didn’t convince me that sanctioning homosexual marriage is a good thing, but he made me think about some issues and I respected him as a debater.

        But once somebody proves themselves abusive and unable to engage in civil discourse — like this Patrick O’Neill character — it really just seems better for everyone involved to kick the offender out. True debate is never served by mindless vitriol.

        Thanks for the articles you have released so far; I’ve enjoyed reading them.

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