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Christianity, Politics

Huckabee Jokes About Gunpoint Indoctrination

Yeah, it’s a joke.  No, I don’t think Mike Huckabee really wants to put a gun to everybody’s head.  But you know the old adage:  Jokes are funny because they are connected to truth.

Mike Huckabee’s attitude represents a real frustration coming from the far religious right.  I remember seeing it quite a lot during my Christian days, so it’s not new — but it is a lot more prominent today than it was three decades ago.

Many of these folks are true believers.  They think that if you died today, you’d wake up in torment that wouldn’t end.  Ever.  The thing is, some of these folks also have human compassion.  And when you combine compassion with the belief in an eternal hell, you get the twisted notion that saving souls at any cost is the most important thing you can do for your fellow man.

Unfortunately, that means that indoctrination at gunpoint is an acceptable option.  If it gets souls into heaven, then it’s a mild indignity.

It’s a logical and rational conclusion.  If I believed in an eternal hell (I once did), I would believe that people’s “freedoms” should only extend as far as the security of their eternal soul.  (I did.)  That’s what’s so awful about hell.  It takes genuinely kind people and twists empathy until it’s dictatorial.  “I love you so much that I’m going to hurt you for your own good!”

Mike Huckabee is apparently a true believer.  I don’t doubt that he and his true believer cronies believe deep down that forced indoctrination is a good thing at some level.  They know they can’t really do that, but in the world of their fantasies, they imagine a place where they did have magic wands, and could turn America into a gigantic indoctrination camp for Jesus.

 

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “Huckabee Jokes About Gunpoint Indoctrination

  1. I don’t see how the logic follows here.

    They think it’s they’re moral imperative to keep people from hell, therefore, they feel justified to hold a gun to somebody’s head in order to do it.

    It’s like saying deep down I want to hold a gun to girl’s heads and stop getting them to dress like hookers. Or to stop them from getting an abortion. Or you would hold a gun to people’s head to stop them from driving SUVs.

    That said, I would hold a gun to Huckabee head to stop him from making stupid ignorant comments.

    Posted by cptpineapple | April 3, 2011, 5:05 pm
  2. Alison, what don’t you get? Hell is the worst thing that could happen to a person. Therefore, the highest moral imperative is to prevent that. So logically, anything that is NOT as bad as hell is BETTER than hell, and therefore acceptable to prevent hell.

    Posted by hambydammit | April 3, 2011, 7:12 pm
  3. Yes, Mike Huckabee’s logic is impeccable, but so was Hitler’s. What’s wrong in both cases is their premises, which don’t square with reality and are very dangerous.

    Posted by LM | April 3, 2011, 7:35 pm
  4. Hamby, I’ve known you for four years, I know where you’re going with this.

    I just think you may be getting carried away again. I think you’re taking logical conclusions “Hell is immoral” and “Belief in hell is irrational” and elevating them to something else such as they want [or should want] to put guns to our heads, or force us into indoctirnation for jebus.

    Posted by cptpineapple | April 3, 2011, 9:33 pm
  5. Hamby, I’ve known you for four years, I know where you’re going with this.

    The thing is, you forget that I’ve lived it. Firsthand. Been in the churches. Known the people. Loved some. Hated some. Been one of them.

    I just think you may be getting carried away again.

    Except that I’ve been there. Done it. Thought the same thoughts. Talked with others who had the same thoughts. Been there. Been there. Lived it. First hand.

    I think you’re taking logical conclusions “Hell is immoral” and “Belief in hell is irrational” and elevating them to something else such as they want [or should want] to put guns to our heads, or force us into indoctirnation for jebus.

    I know for a fact — as much as these things can be fact — that I’m am reporting truthfully exactly the way my brain worked, and the fact that I was rewarded and praised when I spoke of these thoughts with others. And that the situation is EXACTLY the same as when I lived it. I could write the sermons. I could imitate one of these guys perfectly. Because I lived it. I believed it. Those around me believed it.

    Is it so hard for you to admit that someone who’s seen this for three decades might have a little more first hand experience than you? And that the reason you find it implausible is that you’ve never been indoctrinated, and don’t know how it twists your brain?

    Posted by hambydammit | April 3, 2011, 10:00 pm
  6. Except that I’ve been there. Done it. Thought the same thoughts. Talked with others who had the same thoughts. Been there. Been there. Lived it. First hand.

    And ding ding. That’s exactly where I knew you were going to go. To be fair, I did think you were going to go another place, but you didn’t.

    I know for a fact — as much as these things can be fact — that I’m am reporting truthfully exactly the way my brain worked, and the fact that I was rewarded and praised when I spoke of these thoughts with others. And that the situation is EXACTLY the same as when I lived it. I could write the sermons. I could imitate one of these guys perfectly. Because I lived it. I believed it. Those around me believed it.

    It amazes me how somebody so read in psychology can make a statement like this. When has the memory proved to be that reliable? I’m not saying you never did this or that, or thought this or that, but still.

    Is it so hard for you to admit that someone who’s seen this for three decades might have a little more first hand experience than you? And that the reason you find it implausible is that you’ve never been indoctrinated, and don’t know how it twists your brain?

    Who says I’ve never been indocrinated? When I came to the RRS was I an atheist? Who says I’ve never had these feelings?

    But that aside, even if I wasn’t, even if I was an atheist my whole life, that doesn’t mean that my critisizm aren’t valid.

    If I wanted to write a paper or address arguments about schizoid personality disorder do I have to HAVE that disorder in order to do it?

    If I was diagnosed with it, would the doctor have to either have it or have had it in order to know and regonize what it does to my cognition?

    No. Of course not.

    And that’s my issue with you. Whenever probed about it, you resort back to the “I lived it”. I’m not saying you didn’t, or that religion didn’t hurt you, what I’m saying is you rely too much on anecdotes.

    I think you actually do make good arguments, it’s just that when you dive into anecdotes, things go haywire.

    Posted by cptpineapple | April 3, 2011, 10:32 pm
  7. Alison, I get what you’re saying. In a nutshell, what I’m claiming seems improbable to you, and it’s easier to attribute it to faulty memory and bias on my part than to take me at my word. After all, I’m asking you to believe me based on the same “logic” that the Christians ask you to believe. It happened to me. Therefore, it’s true.

    When we have cases of “memory evidence,” one of the ways we can ferret out the truth is to compare separate memories. If one person says, “That dude lifted a Volkswagon by himself,” we have little reason to believe. But if ten people — none of whom know each other, but all of whom were there — say the same thing, we have reason to suspect that something which resembled a man lifting a Volkswagon happened.

    It’s more difficult in psychology, as you know. If we take a hundred people, each of whom felt a certain way, all we can really do is ask them how they felt. If ninety-five of them agreed that they felt X in situation Y, we can say with some certainty that they are not all suffering from collective memory failure. They probably felt the way they said.

    That’s the kind of thing we have to go on here. If I was the only person saying that religious people feel this way, or that I felt this way when I was religious, that would be one thing. But I’m far from the only one.

    Remember my piece on Nate Phelps? The thing that was so sobering about his speech — where he talked about growing up with arguably the most rabid fundamentalist looney in the country — is that nearly everyone who grew up Christian empathized with him because they had grown up in the same kind of environment. Not as… crazy… but comparable. His speech rang of truth because so many of us have lived it. And we all corroborated each other’s remembered feelings.

    And that’s what we’re talking about here. Feelings. And that’s where I think you’re misplacing your skepticism. If you think I’m lying, then fine. I can’t document my previous feelings. But if you think I’m mistaken about what I felt, you owe me and my readers a plausible explanation for so many people with extremely similar memories of exactly the same feelings.

    And if you’re going to doubt that so many people exist… well… I guess you should come hang out in America for a while. I’ll introduce you to them.

    Posted by hambydammit | April 4, 2011, 9:10 am
  8. If you think I’m lying, then fine. I can’t document my previous feelings. But if you think I’m mistaken about what I felt, you owe me and my readers a plausible explanation for so many people with extremely similar memories of exactly the same feelings.

    Hamby, I don’t think you’re lying and I don’t think you’re mistaken about how you felt.

    That’s not the issue.

    You seem murky on my religious upbringing, and I don’t blame you, I haven’t really expressed what I felt or thought when I was Christian. The reason I don’t dive into that, is because it’s irrelevant.

    That’s why I don’t address whether or not you or Joe Blow atheist felt those feelings.

    But don’t think I never had these feelings, or that I don’t empathize with you or others. I went to Catholic school my whole life until I went to University.

    Again, I’m not saying you never felt those feelings or are lying or that anybody else is lying. I don’t want you to think I’m just blowing off your experiences.

    It’s about the nature of evidence. If I go to a church or watch a bunch of Christians do to the “miracle healing” seminars, they feel the power of jebus, they feel the holy spirit flow through them. And guess what? They can point to others who had the same feelings.

    I can’t say that they’re lying or are mistaken that they felt something positive. I can’t say that they’re aren’t others who felt the same they did when they went to church or the seminar.

    But what I CAN say is that that doesn’t factor into the equation evidence wise. They would still need peer reviewed controlled studies to say that religion overall has X effect on people.

    When I brought up bias and memory, I didn’t mean “You’re bias and corrupt therefore you never had a nasty experience with religion”, I meant that we can’t really quantify how much is attributed to religion and how much is attributed to bias or memory reconstruction.

    The same goes for any other person whose had experience with religion, positive or negative, regardless of how many others share their feelings.

    For example take your Nate Phelps speech. Where did he give it again? At an atheist convention? Well, guess who’s more likely to attend atheist conventions? Somebody who had negative experiences with religion and wants to rid the world of it, or somebody who is indifferent to religion or had positive experiences with religion?

    Well, it’s more likely the former so it’s not surprising that you found others who shared your experience or feelings. Once again, it doesn’t mean that you or others never had negative experiences. It just means you can’t bring that to peer review and expect it to get though.

    What I’ve been trying to pry out of you for four years is empirical evidence. That is evidence that you can pull out and say “religion does X” regardless of whether person Y experienced Z. Or regardless of how many people report experiencing X or Z or W.

    Otherwise it’s your X against his Z, and you can find others who experienced X, and they can get others who are Z.

    That’s why I dismiss your anecdotes. I don’t dismiss your feelings or what you thought or experienced when you were religious.

    I just think science doesn’t change depending on who makes the claim, or what they experienced.

    Posted by cptpineapple | April 4, 2011, 1:56 pm
  9. Hamby, if you don’t want to deal with the anecdotes thing now that’s fine, but we’ll have to do it eventually.

    For now, the other thing I wanted to get at is the logic here.

    I’m afraid that Christians can just turn it around and say “Well, if you think religion is the worst thing ever then you would do anything to prevent it!’

    I don’t want to give them that tool. As you know I’m, a firm believer in consistent logic. Such as I don’t want to give Christians the tools of the logic and the anecdotes.

    If you can come up with a coherent differential on that logic and the anecdote thing, than that’ll be good.

    Posted by cptpineapple | April 5, 2011, 1:51 pm
  10. Yeah, Alison, we’ll deal with anecdote. I’m at the Human Rights Conference now, and my brain is elsewhere. But you’ve got points worth responding to, and I think I’ve got good responses. You just have to wait a bit.

    Posted by hambydammit | April 5, 2011, 2:31 pm

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