Farewell to Kinky Sex? (was Re: what is the christian left?)

Carl Remick cremick at rlmnet.com
Fri Jun 12 06:40:34 PDT 1998

Re below: "The only reason to bring up religion is to overcome in some way the hatreds it arouses against others."

Very true -- with so many postings here being Exhibit A of the hatred religion does inspire. What has been overlooked is the great value of the concept of "agnosticism." Agnosticism is widely misunderstood to mean uncertainty about whether God exists, but T. H. Huxley intended the term to convey something much more subtle and profound -- namely, that NO matter of faith can be known with any certainty or, ipso facto, it's not a matter of faith. As a matter of logic, adherents of any faith may or may not know "the" truth about existence; they simply can't be sure. By that reasoning, it's absurd to make doctrinal disputes the central focus of social debate. The only transcendent principle that seems to be universally endorsed is the Golden Rule -- a principal that, on its own, provides ample justification for socialism as an ethically sound organizing force universally.

> ----------
> From: bautiste at uswest.net[SMTP:bautiste at uswest.net]
> Sent: Friday, June 12, 1998 2:02 AM
> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com
> Subject: Re: Farewell to Kinky Sex? (was Re: what is the
> christian left?)
> Carrol Cox wrote:
> > I am also, through reading and thinking about and retyping and
> commenting
> > on thousands of pages of milton scholarship very near to an expert
> in
> > several varieties of christian theology.
> Ah Milton, perhaps that is why your contempt for anything smacking of
> religious belief is
> so sour. The question is not what you know about theology but what you
> do. You branded me
> as a religious right fanatic from some merely benign comments on
> Yoshie's Freudian
> fetish. You're the one who got testy, my dear.
> > My barber is the
> > leader of the local Black Muslim community (in fact he founded it),
> he
> > knows that I hold his religion to be equally false with
> christianity, we
> > chat amicably about the crimes of imperialism and ignore quite
> happily the
> > differences between us.
> Wonderful, so there is ecumenism among atheists. ... Or is it because
> you would kill each
> other that you cannot speak rationally about your differences of
> opinion? The only reason
> to bring up religion is to overcome in some way the hatreds it arouses
> against others. I
> think dodging the issue altogether is false in some way. Religion
> obviously means
> something to both of you--to not even confront the issue seems
> dishonest. It seems
> patronizing. Like your views are so obviously wrong I don't even think
> they're worthy of
> discussion and debate.
> I have had very strong debates with atheists whom I did not come to
> hate afterwards. I
> even think they came to see why I believe the way I do. Isn't it that
> kind of debate and
> discussion that we must have before we can begin to oversome some of
> the very difficult
> situations that present themsleves in a truly multicultural and
> diverse community?
> > rant and rave about how
> > hypothetical leftists are bigots because they simply insist that
> part of
> > the duty of the left is to tell the truth, and part of telling the
> truth
> > is making it clear that religion is a serious barrier to human
> survival.
> Human survival is certainly better off for all the Gulags,
> concentration camps, and
> reeducation camps put up by the atheist political types. Why does it
> always seem that the
> atheist left is so bereft of a sense of tragedy?
> > Which has NOTHING TO DO with practical decisions on how to write the
> > leaflet for a boycott or what speakers to have at an anti-war rally
> or the
> > necessity for leftists to treat people like humans, something that
> > leftists as a whole are a hell of a lot better at than most
> Christians.
> And what leftists are those? Many Leftist Christians I know are quite
> decent folks. So
> are some of the atheist leftists I know. But I imagine being an
> atheist does not commit
> you to be kind to people, as would being a Christian leftist. Were
> those Christian
> leftists who ran the Gulags or atheist leftists? In Guatemala, I
> understand, 80 percent
> of the atrocities against the Indians were committed by the army and
> only 20 percent by
> the leftists. That was a Chrisitan leftist who died for telling it
> that way...
> > And I for one am sick and tired with trying to hold a conversation
> with
> > idiots who try to make 1/2 of 1% of the real intellectual, practical
> and
> > organizational issues that confront the left, and who seem to want
> to go
> > out of their way to select precisely those issues which let them
> wail on
> > and on about what horrible people all other leftists are. If you
> want to
> > wallow in self-hate and self-pity, do so.
> WHO are you talking about? THE left is in disarray for all kinds of
> reasons, not just out
> of self-hate. In America, it is hard to fight good times. People just
> don't believe that
> things are as bad the leftists say it is. You have to have a lot of
> faith to see that the
> prosperity and good times are happening on the back of the Third World
> and that all that
> middle-class debt has to come back to haunt us some day.
> > If you are working with people in prison, talk about it and stop
> whining
> > about mostly non-existent ills of a mostly non-existent left.
> Working with people in prison and with water issues here are only some
> of the things I am
> dealing with. The key issue is why a state that gave Intel $533M in
> tax cuts gets to be
> the poorest state in the nation. People don't want to believe it is
> the rich who are
> getting richer at their expense, but the facts are quite clear. At the
> same time, the
> state is almost half Hispanic/half Anglo, and so wrongs along ethnic
> lines are used to
> divert people's attention away from the real problems.
> chuck miller

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list