short explanation.
Thoughts in the first post…

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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Some thoughts about the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We will be deluged with a host of gun control arguments, saying the inevitable “If there were no guns, this would not have happened.” They’ll be answered by a host of people daring to apply “logic” to the situation: “You can’t eliminate guns to eliminate violence — the only people that have guns will be by definition, the very criminals you hope to disarm”. This will be countered by the Left’s nasty attack that presumes that if you are defending firearms, you are advocating violence. This will continue, and nothing will get done that will effectively solve this issue. Why should it? Nobody’s addressing the underlying issue. Sick people, in a sick, violent culture, aping what they see every day in countless ads.

How did we get here? In the 1800′s, people in the American West went around armed to the teeth. It was common in civilized areas for people to have firearms that they could buy at the hardware store as teens. A 16-year-old could go down to the hardware store and buy a case of dynamite with nothing more than the money to pay for it. No waiting period. No background checks. 100+ years of advancing gun control legislation has accomplished the EXACT opposite of its intent — people still kill each other in shopping malls and schools.

The answer is they had something we didn’t and we have something they didn’t. There’s not a lot we can do right now about what we have — a media obsessed with glorifying and profiting from violence — because there is a ready market for it.

As the picture shows, I have an opinion of what the difference is. Don’t get me wrong. I have lots of atheist friends who are people of very high moral character. However, as Dennis Prager has written, they arguably have what is called “cut flower” ethics — the ethics they have come from being immersed in a Judeo-Christian ethos, and so in a few generations, their descendants will have an entirely different ethos. We can readily see this in Chinese culture, where their “cut flower” ethicists have descended from Buddhism to feeding melanite to human babies in order to profit.

We as a society have an enormous debt to the religious people in our past. While there have been evils perpetrated, for the most part, Judeo-Christian thought and philosophy has instilled in successive generations that which we call a conscience. People with a conscience feel revulsion at this violence. People with a conscience do things in society to bring the statistical outliers into a more beneficial relationship. This isn’t to say that it is 100% effective — but the magnitude of variation from “accepted” behavior is much less. That is why media from that time seems laughably tame by comparison to our media. A newspaper article I read from the 1890′s talked about a rapist as the “devil in human form”, never went into the details of the crime, and so you had to be well-versed in the euphemisms of the day to be able to figure out the crime. In fact, it may not have been rape, but simple drunkenness or exposure. Today’s news would have given you color photos of it, graphic descriptions and enough information for the next crime committed for the shock value to top.

Religions in general are a tool that can be used to help people not only in what they do, but more importantly in what they think. The current push to eliminate all aspect of religion from public life offers nothing to replace it. There are no atheists’ sunday schools to teach children about doing good — and when there’s a vacuum, something will fill that vacuum. Sadly, even the reasoning atheists use to push the display of religion from society are tragically uninformed and ethically challenged. Example: If I was cursed by a witch doctor, I’d laugh it off, as I simply do not believe in that sort of thing. However, atheists’ groups feel “harmed” by a display of the 10 Commandments, or by a display of a menorah or a Nativity scene. How can a person be “harmed” by the presence of a different idea? This is a simple display of naked intolerance for what other people *think*, not what they do. The only logical argument for keeping these things out of government are a simple case of wasting public funds — and so far as a wastage of public funds go, chump change.

These people leave no way to replace the dark role our society plays in profiteering from filling children’s minds with violence. The problem is that the vast majority of ethical philosophers were inextricably tied to religion. The separation of their thoughts from their religion often throws out the baby with the bathwater — the contempt felt for Thomas of Aquinas’ religion drives the skeptical away from the best parts of his thinking.

Strangely enough, I’d say that about 30% of people playing a role in religion are probably atheists at heart. They attend churches that replace violence with a healthy way about thinking about how to think and behave in society — and do the same for their children. I’d have to say that they are indeed wise, as there are a lot of good things that a person can learn from the Gospel, and so far as “undoing” the unhealthy parts (from an atheist’s perspective, not mine) goes, there’s a lot less that has to be done.

If our society seriously wanted to eliminate these incidents, they will get nowhere taking the guns from murderer’s hands — they will eliminate it by changing what murderers think. This can be done, but the price to pay is two things:

one — return to some form of moral philosophy using religion as a vehicle (and yes, there are churches that can accommodate the atheist without making them do things they feel contemptible). There is no better tool — I feel confident if there were, that the atheists attending church would switch to it immediately. In our free society, they aren’t there because they’re forced to — but because they get good out of it.

two — everyone needs to take a hard look at their contribution to violence. Do we accept it in our lives? Do we watch (and pay for) violence in the movies? Moral bankruptcy in television? They have to reject it. We need to get back to a society that feels violence is so abhorrent that a theater that shows a killing is covered in vomit.

I’m an old computer guy — I can tell you that “Garbage in, Garbage out” is not just a saying — it’s a law. Why would anyone think that our minds would be any different? I shut my television off 8 years ago. I haven’t missed it.

J.P. Travis December 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

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Damn, I’d like to post that whole thing on my website, picture and all.

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

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Go for it.

GhostntheMachine December 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

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For what it’s worth, outstanding job perlcat.

J.P. Travis December 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

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Okay then, I’m going to post it on JPAttitude.com on Sunday.

drb December 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

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That’s JPAttitude.com, JPAttitude.com, JPAttitude.com. If you haven’t stopped on by yet, what the heck is wrong with you?

JPTravis December 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

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Good to see you back on the job. I was thinking about cutting your pay.

drb December 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

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awe, JP…you missed me ;)

[edit] what pay?

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm
RobertW December 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

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oooooohhhhhh
well i think i could know her

crimson and clover
over and over

yahh

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:37 am

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did you say JPAttitude.com at Sunday a.m.?
or JPAttitude.com at the son’s day?
JPattitude.com, (this is an unpaid for unreimbursed advert. trademark corporeal greed pat pend.)

drb December 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

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That’s right JPAttitude.com, JPAttitude.com, JPAttitude.com
no refunds or exchanges, shipping and handling charges may apply.

Sidekick December 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

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May I post this on FB giving you attribution?

GhostntheMachine December 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm

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Thanks for the reminder, forgot to ask about putting it out over his ‘name’, kinda jumped the gun.

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

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Sure!

DefHarryMelon December 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

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Ah, I see the answer here.

JPTravis December 16, 2012 at 7:11 am
perlcat December 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

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thanks!

JPTravis December 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

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You got picked up by Doug Ross, too: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/

You’re famous. I suggest hiring drb as your agent.

drb December 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

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LOL :D

GhostntheMachine December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

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Does this mean your fee just doubled?

drb December 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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Yes, but the fee is still cheap at half the price. ;)

JPTravis December 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

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Watch what you say – you know it’s the end of the year when I do employee reviews.

drb December 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm

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you already gave me my review a few posts up when you said:

“I suggest hiring drb as your agent.”

GhostntheMachine December 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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Whereabout JP, had trouble finding it?

JPTravis December 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

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Search for “JPA” which is his initials for JPAttitude.com, or search for the title, “Some thoughts about the recent tragedy.” It’s just a link to my site.

Not so silent December 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

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Outstanding!!! You have my vote for president!!

KimmyQueen December 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

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Whoever gave you a thumbs down is an idiot.

drb December 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

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Seriously, Fweetness, can’t you be decent for just one day.

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

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Some people have anger issues.

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:38 am

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some ppl need a hug. at least you know he’s reading it.

KimmyQueen December 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm

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LOL! Haters amuse me.

Karmaa December 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

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Perl, you are 100% correct, and that was brilliantly written! I am not a Christian myself. I am spiritual, and I HOPE that Christ was the son of God, but I just can’t have that faith. I am Buddhist, which is not really a religion, but it’s close enough for me. But, and this is a BIG but, I try to live my life by Christian values, which are also much like Jewish values and even Buddhist values. I try to be good, and I try to not hurt anyone or anything, I try not to be greedy or selfish, I don’t take things that are not mine, and so on. I personally don’t believe that God will smite me because I don’t practice rituals or believe in things that defy logic because some human told me to.

That all said, I believe completely that God belongs in schools. Not as a dominant force, but as a moral voice that, as you so eloquently noted, has not been replaced with anything at all.

I think that one thing many people get confused about is the difference between God and religion. God is an idea that most people and most religions believe strongly in. Religions account for the rituals and the interpretation of God’s demands or expectations of us. Drinking is a sin? Drinking is not a sin? Dancing is a sin? Dancing is not a sin? Those are all religious interpretations. Don’t kill people? That’s God. Don’t rob, steal, cheat? That’s God. Live a good clean decent life? Help others when you can? Don’t deliberately harm others? All God. Keep RELIGION out of schools, but put God back.

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

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Thank you. I think there is a lot that can be obtained by living as a Christian* amongst other Christians without having to compromise one’s morals. I take a different view of the Bible than a lot of people — and I think that a welcoming attitude helps people to live better, more meaningful lives, which *is* what it’s all about IMO.

* Note: I do not consider Westboro troglodytes to be Christian in any way, shape, or form.

KimmyQueen December 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

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That is what Jefferson would say and many other Founders of this country (Practicing Christians or not). Jefferson gets hate and lot of the founders get hate, however, they understood the importance of freedom of (all) religion(s) and the importance of Christian principles and attitudes in the public and private realms. Once you remove something benign and it gets substitute by something that is not benign or all that is left is an empty void problems arise. Every single country that has sought to either replace G-d with another humanistic deity or with no deity has found itself to be a country with serious human rights violations.

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

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oh boo hoo
what about animal rights violations????

for instance, animals got the right not to be perved on by ppl. planet of the apes notwithstanding.

drb December 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

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Well done, Perl, darlin’

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

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Why, thank you. #awshucks.jpg

DefHarryMelon December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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My friend, I need ask permission to stuff this in my faceboot notes. Guidance pertaining the citation, please? Anon, blog dude extraordinare at ihtm, perlcat or what?

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm

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perlcat works fine for me. If I ever take the paper bag off my head, then I can claim my material.

whiskeyriver December 15, 2012 at 7:04 am

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Everyone here has already said it all, you are one cool cat.

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:34 am

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define religion
compare contrast if not this, then this, reason has a basis in law, who prescribed that law, in the strictest definintion of pre-scribed?

KimmyQueen December 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

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What?!

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

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simple question

much like

Hey drb, what is jp chargin to handle, and how often?

drb December 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

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Ask Derrick, that’s who he handles…oh man that didn’t sound right.

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm

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drb and Derrick sittin in a tree
handling
first comes blood
then comes drainage
then comes pj with a brand new knee

drb December 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

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Don’t you be puttin’ me in no kinda tree with THAT, THAT, THAT, lefty loon bozo soybean!

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm

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i misunderstood, i thought derrick was jp’s shipping clerk.

drb December 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

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That’s not an apology…

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

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i apologize for putting you in a tree while performing triage on poppajoe, with anyone you wouldn’t wanna be handling a icky gooey leg with.

drb December 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

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apology accepted

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

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thank you.

drb December 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

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your welcome

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

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define religion
compare contrast if not this, then this, reason has a basis in law, who prescribed that law, in the strictest definintion of pre-scribed

Dan December 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

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Well said. Spot on!

MDLION December 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

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They can talk about mental illness if they want to and fine maybe there is some mental illness involved. But when someone shoots one 5 or 6 year-old after another, then a word liberals are uncomfortable with must also be used:EVIL. The press were said to have rolled their eyes when President Reagan called the Soviet Union, the “Evil Empire”.

Alien December 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

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All i can think about now is presents for those kids, wrapped up with their names on them under a tree..

I haven’t thought about my gun at all.. I have surmised though, since i tend to assume that Hell doesn’t exist, that Science must now engineer one precisely for this deranged evil fuck

As far as i can tell, from facebook and reddit, liberals are going on more about mental health safeguards then they are about taking anyone’s guns away. On reddit, there is spirited defense of handguns in the main story (ironically, others are calling for my AR-15, just as Piers Morgan was the other day, which wasn’t used today as far as i know..)

StrinaM December 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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My brother and I were just talking about those poor families with presents under the tree. I keep them in my prayers that they find peace. Spot on perlcat!

GhostntheMachine December 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

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You two… I caught myself staring across the street at the light display. For a long time. Hug them a little tighter tonight Alien, and StrinaM, hope your guy knows how lucky he is. Bless you both.

drb December 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

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One of the docs at the hospital and I were talking about that too.

perlcat December 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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I have a lot of opinions about that. In an age of moral relativism, a truly sick person like this may not get committed to an asylum like they should — as a sociopath, they may function well enough to “get along” in society for the most part without setting off any alarms for being basically inhumanly evil.

While the divinity of a certain historical character may be open for conjecture, the concept of “good” and “evil” remains a profoundly religious concept. As Voldemort would say, an a world without religion, there is only power, and those who are willing to seize it. (There may be other opinions in the non-religious realm, but this remains as equally valid. It’s only when some form of moral philosophy in the form of what passes for religion is applied that people can say that A is good, while B is evil.)

I’m trying real hard to not think about the presents and such — too much for me.

Something to lighten the discussion up: http://imgur.com/A5Bkv

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

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now cut that out!

perlcat December 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

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We have to be able to laugh at ourselves — when we take ourselves too seriously, we wind up being the fools we are trying to avoid looking like.

sifi December 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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I like the t-shirt and your thoughts. I also like this thought copied from a comment section I saw earlier today.

Teaching people that each and every person is created in the image of God and is precious places value on human life. Teaching people that we are all accidents of nature and a plague on the earth makes human life disposable and worthless.

RobertW December 15, 2012 at 7:46 am

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I like the t-shirt and your thoughts. I also like this thought copied from a comment section I saw earlier today.

someone needs to youtube it so i can fave and share.

srsly we had the wrong song for ages now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1NAwlepnSs