Ron Paul: The War on Religion

Ron Paul writes in 2003 about the War on Christmas:

Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

This growing bias explains why many of our wonderful Christmas traditions have been lost. Christmas pageants and plays, including Handel’s Messiah, have been banned from schools and community halls. Nativity scenes have been ordered removed from town squares, and even criticized as offensive when placed on private church lawns. Office Christmas parties have become taboo, replaced by colorless seasonal parties to ensure no employees feel threatened by a “hostile environment.” Even wholly non-religious decorations featuring Santa Claus, snowmen, and the like have been called into question as Christmas symbols that might cause discomfort. Earlier this month, firemen near Chicago reluctantly removed Christmas decorations from their firehouse after a complaint by some embittered busybody. Most noticeably, however, the once commonplace refrain of “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by the vague, ubiquitous “Happy Holidays.” But what holiday? Is Christmas some kind of secret, a word that cannot be uttered in public? Why have we allowed the secularists to intimidate us into downplaying our most cherished and meaningful Christian celebration?

Why is this guy being so hyped on the internet? He’s as loony as any other republican candidate save Huckabee who has made looniness into an esoteric art. Do I need to reread Atlas Shrugged to get it?

(via Bad Astronomy)

Update

Here’s another one by Dr. Ron called The Trouble With Forced Integration where he attacks the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You know, the act that nullified Jim Crow laws in the South. No wonder the white supremacists love Dr. Ron.

Comments

22 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. “Why is this guy being so hyped on the internet?”

    There are many reasons, his being an underdog, his conflicts with traditional media, his being against the war and his favoring smaller government being a few examples.

    You seem to be “against” RP because he’s religious. I’m not aware of any candidate running on a primarily secular platform, and even if there were one, if I had to choose between secularism or ending the war, I’d go for the latter out of pragmaticism.

    Of course, if someone were both secular AND against the war, all the better, but so far it looks like RP is the lesser of all evils.

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  2. smoke,

    I guess a lot of people look at other things besides religion as what he stands for and figure he’s not a follow the leader type guy.Sure he’s got baggage but they all do and maybe,just maybe the talking heads slant the “news” in choosing a different choice.What other Dem/Rep.in the running has a better record of past votes and no flip/flop at the Presidents call? Reading some of the history of the framers of the Constitution and great men of the past,I and many more see their warnings of being controlled by the government instead of the opposite is more and more coming to pass
    Who else at least states these reasons for a
    chance at a real change?Listen to the people
    that teach and rule on the Constitution,do they say Paul is right or wrong?Which nut to back is
    the question?Me,I will try Ron Paul.

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  3. AeC,

    I have nothing to add except to say I’m amazed you made it through Atlas Shrugged even once.

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  4. DaveS,

    I’m very troubled by a couple of RP qualities:

    1. I don’t trust him. He sounds just like Ronald Reagan. Compare the speeches. Ronald Reagan wasn’t the disaster that Shrub is, but he also didn’t turn out to be the libertarian he originally sold himself to us as. Based on that, I have a hard time trusting RP to be what he claims. Not that hard libertarianism is the best thing for America, IMHO, but it’s what he’s claiming, and I don’t like liars.

    2. He ignores the complex issues around abortion, and several other issues, and instead leans on idealistic rhetoric, ignoring the humanity involved. This is why he ignorantly comes out against the Civil Rights Act, and the Civil War, etc. This is his rhetoric, and it’s kind of scary.

    3. He’s stupid enough to believe a particular creation story (only one of many) over actual observable science. That does not bode well for rational decision making capability.

    I’m seriously concerned that if Ron Paul attains the Presidency, we’re in for even more intense religious fascism, along with the dismantling of social programs and consumer protections. (Read about Thimerosal in children’s vaccines if you think the free market can protect consumers.)

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  5. DaveS,

    Do you think he’ll run as an Independent after he fails in the R primaries?

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  6. AeC,

    I skimmed some of the speeches so I figure I read about a fourth of the book ;)

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  7. deepsea33,

    I don’t think RP can get the support from independent voters if/when he doesn’t get the Republican nomination.

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  8. Just thought I would pop in here with the roamin’ Catholic perspective. Not to nitpick, but the “most cherished and meaningful Christian celebration”? is normally held to be Easter, not Christmas.

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  9. Nebu,

    I don’t think it’s particularly the religion issue that’s bugging our host. It’s trying to grasp what about Ron Paul makes him less nutbats than the other Repub candidates. He still hits so many of the same high and low notes that the rabidity of his followers is a mystery to me as well.

    What I’m surprised by is that he’s a Senator. For the most part, absurdities of the kind Paul pushes are mostly confined to the House. I’m not saying Senators are somehow saints or free from bizarre ideas, just that the nut-to-nut ratio is high in Dr. Paul’s case.

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  10. ac,

    One may disagree with Ron’s specific reasons for concluding that Civil Rights Act of 1964 wasn’t the best way to accomplish racial integration…

    but to characterize his position as being against civil rights, or against racial harmony, seems intended to intentionally mislead anyone who won’t take the time to actually read what he’s saying

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  11. ac,

    One may disagree with Ron’s specific reasons for concluding that Civil Rights Act of 1964 wasn’t the best way to accomplish racial integration…

    but to characterize his position as being against civil rights, or against racial harmony, seems intended to mislead anyone who won’t take the time to actually read what he’s saying

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  12. Will,

    Paul is not a Senator, The Critic. He’s a member of the House.

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  13. Will, oops, my bad. Somehow I got it in my head that he was a Senator. Weird. I wonder where that assumption came from….

    Okaaay, then, he’s a nutcase par for the nutcase course.

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  14. Critic:
    It’s trying to grasp what about Ron Paul makes him less nutbats than the other Repub candidates. He still hits so many of the same high and low notes that the rabidity of his followers is a mystery to me as well.

    Precisely. Especially since discussions on Reddit and Digg which are usually overwhelmingly for Darwinism, secularism, etc are flooded with Ron Paul spam with the discussions usually pro-Paul. Hell, i’ve seen entire threads where Paul apologists try to rationalize that he believes in the theory of evolution but just not how it is presented currently. Way to read between the lines there bucko.

    BTW, Ron Paul supporters are gradually becoming Ron Paul apologists as his voting record in Congress and other stances become widely known. Doing away with OSHA? Decertifying unions? Against abortion? and the list goes on.

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  15. smallerdemon,

    Indeed.

    I’d love to believe in libertarianism, but the problem is always the same problem: people don’t do what’s in their self interest, they do what is greedy. Those are very, very different things. While we all want to believe that people will make the right choices about the survival of their own species, the planet and the environments they live in, etc. But you only need to look around to see evidence to the contrary over and over again. We have governments and laws to attempt to correct for the self-destructive greedy appetites of human beings, not to control their noble pursuits and personal freedoms. Personal freedom isn’t the ability to ruin your world and exploit other people to their and your own detriment. Nor is it government’s role to “equalize” everyone no matter their talents and hard work. Government’s work is to moderate the civilized world in which you exist. Our current government attempts to shape that world. No government might sound like man’s natural state, but so is not wiping your ass after you take a shit. Frankly, I think we’re a little better off for going against our natural instincts when it is to both the benefit of the individual as well as the entire society we live in and the entire species as a whole.

    “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

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  16. ac,

    “BTW, Ron Paul supporters are gradually becoming Ron Paul apologists as his voting record in Congress and other stances become widely known. Doing away with OSHA? Decertifying unions? Against abortion? and the list goes on.”

    I don’t agree with all or even most of his positions. At times, it’s very difficult to defend Ron Paul.

    The common thread in his record is respect for the limits of federal government. He is anti-statist, to the degree that he’ll refute highly popular legislation on procedural grounds.

    When procedure fails to the extent that it has under the bush administration, it seems natural to expect this type of backlash.

    Establishment politicians won’t defend ordinary people on procedural grounds.

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  17. Niel,

    people don’t do what’s in their self interest, they do what is greedy. Those are very, very different things.

    Umm. No. Those are precisely the same thing. Someone who acts in the interest of others = not greedy.

    At any rate.

    I have a plethora of issues with Ron Paul, not the least of which are his Reagan-esque ‘promises’. He espouses that “government is the problem” (just as Reagan did), and wants to basically obliterate the governmental foundation. Privatization all around. So, tell me, when private individuals own the roads, who will take care of them? Tolls? Ha! The “free market” is a pipe-dream, but these Reaganites still hold on to it.

    Also – it is my belief that anyone who thinks “GOVERNMENT is the problem” … should not be running the government. And his wacko racial views are just too bizarre for me to wrap my head around at this point. I thought we pretty much evolved, as a country, past that debate in the last century. Apparently not.

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  18. ac,

    “I thought we pretty much evolved, as a country, past that debate in the last century. Apparently not.”

    If you’re comfortable spending (and financing) > 50% of our national expenditure on increasingly arbitrary imperialism then it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re not, maybe it’s reasonable to shake that foundation a bit from the voter core.

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  19. outeast,

    Umm. No. Those are precisely the same thing. Someone who acts in the interest of others = not greedy.

    I rather liked smallerdemon’s distinction – and think Niel’s refutation is precisely off the mark. There are obvious instances in which greed and self-interest do not equate: high credit-driven consumption, for example, is certainly greedy but but often detrimental to the consumer’s self-interest in the long run (instead being in the interest of the companies selling the goods, etc.). Greed is short-termist.

    Of course, a significant proportion of such behaviour is driven by ignorance, poor risk assessment ability, and/or bad cost:benefit analyses… high consumption today despite detrimental effects tomorrow.

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  20. Outeast = nailed it.

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  21. Seth,

    DaveS,

    I’m scared of RP’s “let the states work out if abortion is legal or not” stance. Like you said he ignores all the complexities of that issue. Maybe he has a stake in abortion tourism?

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  22. outeast,

    Thanks, Critic – but it was smallerdemon’s point.

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