Why Educate Our Kids? So They Can See They Can’t See!

21 06 2010

LMAO, doesn’t this just sound like every frustrating conversation we have as adults and what we don’t want for anyone’s kids much less our own. . .unless we’re too stupid as citizens and parents to realize how stupid we are!

If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity. . .

Their paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” was published in 1999.

“When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.

[JJ’s note: they’ll surely use a Palin-McCain campaign poster to illustrate this entry in the cognitive psychology textbooks. Or a tea party rally, or Palin and McCain AT a tea party, hmmm. . .or maybe that Nazi-accuser woman from last summer’s health care town halls, of whom Barney Frank said trying to talk to a table would make about as much sense.]

I called David Dunning at his offices at Cornell:

DAVID DUNNING: Well, my specialty is decision-making. . .people tend to say things, whether it be in everyday life or in the lab, that just couldn’t possibly be true. And I became fascinated with that. Not just that people said these positive things about themselves, but they really, really believed them. Which led to my observation: if you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.

. . .In logical reasoning, in parenting, in management, problem solving, the skills you use to produce the right answer are exactly the same skills you use to evaluate the answer. And so we went on to see if this could possibly be true in many other areas.

And to our astonishment, it was very, very true.

Makes “Without kids, what would I know worth knowing?” and “I think — do not know — that even in my ignorance both sensitive, complex expressive instruments are gonna be fine. But how? I don’t know, it’s a mystery” for example, look pretty smart, to anyone who reads far enough:

ERROL MORRIS: Knowing what you don’t know? Is this supposedly the hallmark of an intelligent person?

DAVID DUNNING: That’s absolutely right. It’s knowing that there are things you don’t know that you don’t know.

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30 responses

22 06 2010
JJ

So people who really don’t know science — how it works, what it’s about — but claim they do in arguments such as anti-vax, are incompetent to see how incompetent they are? That’s a good lesson for us, not to waste time trying to make them make sense . . .

From PZ Myers’ Pharyngula, “A priest, a scientist, and a Communist discuss morality”:

Can science provide a morality to change the world?

NO.

Science merely describes what is, not what should be, and it also takes a rather universal view: science as science takes no sides on matters relevant to a particular species, and would not say that an ape is more important than a mouse is more important than a rock. Don’t ask science to tell you what to do when making some fine-grained moral decision, because that is not what science is good at.

What science is, is a policeman of the truth. What it’s very good at is telling you when a moral decision is being made badly, in opposition to the facts.

If you try to claim that homosexuality is wrong because it is unnatural, science can provide you a long list of animals that practice homosexuality freely, naturally, and with no ill consequences. If you try to claim that abortion is bad because it has horrible physiological consequences to pregnant women, science will provide you with the evidence that it does no such thing, and also that childbirth is far more physiologically debilitating.

So don’t look to science for a moral philosophy: look to humanism. Humanism says that we should strive to maximize the long-term welfare and happiness of humans; that we should look to ourselves, not to imaginary beings in the sky or to the imperatives written down in old books, to aspire to something better, something more coherent and successful at promoting our existence on the planet.

Science wouldn’t disagree. But it would be a kind of passive agreement that says, sure, nothing in that idea is in violation of reality, go for it.

The post I pulled that from is more religious-political than scientific imo and based on a larger conversation I hope to add to recent snooking here.

what I’ve noticed is that people who accept reality seem to be better able to deal with it, and are often happier and more content. And further, they are better prepared to change the actual world, rather than burying themselves deeper in their fantasies.

22 06 2010
NanceConfer

What I’ve noticed is that people who are not reality-based, or are on the fence, rush to non-reality in times of stress. Like now.

And the rest of of us, to be polite, nod and say that’s OK. They need their crutch in these difficult times.

I remember saying just that in dealing with a difficult relative years ago. “Well, at least he’s on his meds and not trying to kill himself. So he’s bouncing from religion to religion. That’s OK. It gives him something to cling to.”

It feels rude to tell people who have lost their livelihoods to an oil giant that they shouldn’t pray for the fish to come back. Of course, it’s also convenient for the oil giant. And gets in the way of thinking clearly about real change.

Nance

22 06 2010
NanceConfer

But even if it’s not about religion, you have the know-nothing or, worse yet, think they know everything, Palin-type or teabagger or the like, rushing around distracting from any real progress in the world.

And the rest of us spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to understand where these people are coming from.

Nance

22 06 2010
JJ

I THINK know enough about traditional religion to know that it wouldn’t disagree with humanism as described by PZ — although maybe I’m incompetent and don’t know what I don’t know? 😉

. . . it would be a kind of passive agreement that says, sure, nothing in that idea is in violation of [religious] reality, go for it.

22 06 2010
JJ

Nance: the rest of us spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to understand where these people are coming from.

Right, my personal fatal flaw has always been wanting to peel back the layers of their argument onion to see what kind of exotic vegetable hybrid it is, toss bits of it into our society’s family-style salad bowl, hoping to share colorful nourishment and satisfaction with all the neighbors, but instead just crying uncontrollable tears of frustration and finding it’s “fool’s food” you know, like “fool’s gold” . . .

22 06 2010
JJ

(Cross-posting this comment here to connect with what Nance wrote, about a difficult relative needing medication and bouncing between religions looking for value in life. )

Any Robert Pirsig fans here — “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” — who might have read his subsequent novel, “Lila”, delving into our deepest inchoate meanings for moral “value” and “quality” in our real human lives?

I didn’t realize it came close to a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction until I looked up the link just now, but I’m not surprised. I read it when it first came out more than 15 years ago, newly home with young children from a career about Other People’s Children, trying to resolve human and family values in my transformed reality. I was reading a LOT then yet this book made a singular impression on me.

So please speak up if you’ve read Lila too; I can’t recall discussing it as it deserves, had pretty much put it out of mind until this morning.

22 06 2010
Dana

On the vax thing…I think it really depends, as it does with any issue. Reasonable and intelligent people can disagree on a variety of things. Everything, really. But to learn from the disagreement takes a certain knowledge of one’s own limitations.

The problem with mixing religion into some of these arguments is that the believer thinks (has faith) that he has it on absolute authority that x or y is true and that no understanding is necessary. That understanding by its very nature limits faith.

I think that is the worst thing that the whole evolution debate has brought to the church…a complete retreat from reason in favor of “faith.” It wasn’t all that long ago, after all, that monks in their abbeys were breeding short and tall bean plants to discover genetics.

The problem is, the bible doesn’t have a lot to say on most of these issues. We can draw what we want, but most often what happens is that fools rush in to tell people how to live, lace it with out of context scripture and bizarre statements about what they believe the Lord of the universe would or wouldn’t do and find willing followers.

But I don’t think religion is really the problem. If it isn’t a religious leader, it would be some other leader. Hitler, Mao Zedong, (or probably someone without quite that kind of notoriety), but some strong personality to build a cult around.

22 06 2010
Nance Confer

Haven’t read it.

But here’s the result?

You determine if someone is an idiot — sorry, be polite — they are incompetent thinkers — and you stop wasting time listening to them and trying to understand them and discussing things with them and just ignore them. Right?

22 06 2010
JJ

Hi Dana, I agree and thanks for mentioning, that religion wasn’t always anti-science and needn’t be today. When it is, it marks that group’s doctrine as false pretty widely.

That second point (with which I also agree) is one I’ve long struggled with.

If it isn’t a religious leader, it would be some other leader. Hitler, Mao Zedong, (or probably someone without quite that kind of notoriety), but some strong personality to build a cult around.

That’s not really a defense of religion or science (or dictators!), right? It’s more like a confirmation that human psychology is exploited effectively by strong leaders of weak-minded people, who are unfortunately unable to protect themselves from it due to their own mental incompetence to see falseness and evaluate it as such, as the study above explains.

Say we agree that is true — then as competent thinkers who CAN see it, what is our individual moral obligation to those who can’t? We homeschoolers talk about this and squirm intellectually when the issue is children, and most of us say parents have to be egregiously abusive before we step in to protect those vulnerable minds. So what about once they grow up, with adult minds still incompetent and unprotected? Just let them be exploited by whoever strong comes along, and call it pure freedom? Pass laws against whatever is enslaving their minds and live with the compromise, even if it isn’t exactly freedom? I don’t know the answer but I know it’s a question worth asking . . .

[C]ults – whether they are political, religious, psychotherapeutic, commercial, or educational – seek to make people dependent and obedient.

. . .When we get serious about thwarting cult recruiters we will expose those techniques of persuasion and prepare our young people with the tools to combat cultism. . . take it upon ourselves, in our homes, schools and even places of worship, to address and expose cultism and give our children, parents and teachers the tools to combat it.

22 06 2010
JJ

Nance knows how long and hard a road it’s been for me, to follow what she preaches. 😉

Still trying!

22 06 2010
COD

I’m very much taking a “get them the hell out of my life” approach to idiots. I figure I’m half way to dead, I don’t have time for them anymore 🙂

Family excluded of course.

One of the downsides of Facebook is that some people who I had pleasant memories of from way back have shown themselves to be ignorant bigots as adults. They are no longer friends, Facebook or otherwise.

23 06 2010
NanceConfer

Dana: “. . . But to learn from the disagreement takes a certain knowledge of one’s own limitations.. . .”

Learning from the disagreement — this is what we hope will happen. That we will learn when we start off on the wrong foot and that it happens on the other side of the argument with some regularity as well.

But it doesn’t.

The faith-based side actually objects to such learning. One favorite objection is that science changes. Which, of course, is a major feature of science, to change as new or more correct information is available. But this is seen as a weakness among the faith-based and is an accusation — aha, you said this and now you say this!

So is this “competent” thinking just defined to favor liberals? As Colbert noted, facts have a liberal bias. Is the idea that we should remain open to our own limitations as we evaluate information just another liberal scheme?!

23 06 2010
JJ

Incompetent thinkers also object when the real world *won’t* change to accommodate or admit their conflicting stories and theories, religious or not (alien abductions, conspiracy fantasy, revisionist history, political and economic ideologies, vax and public school policy etc.)

Nance, do you think we might include all of the above incompetent-thinkers in the larger sense of “faith-based” because although what they have in common isn’t necessarily religious faith, it does seem to be misplaced faith in their own stories wherever they come from and no matter why they put faith in them?

23 06 2010
JJ

I remember Young Son being so (dysfunctionally!) competitive when he first learned to play board games like Monopoly, Clue and Risk with the family. Parents and sister five years older of course all knew the games behind the games much more comprehensively than he did as youngest and least world-experienced. We understood the interplay of chance with skill was differently balanced in each game, we knew how to gauge likely outcomes long before the end and to respond accordingly, when to take big risks with little left to lose etc, how to make other players crazy to shake things up, a thousand little fun details not in the explicit rules of play.

And — flashing neon important! — relationships mattered more to us than the specific outcome. No one could win if the relationships broke down in the process.

He OTOH took it all very seriously and was sure that he was some kind of charmed winner who had it all figured out and could win every time by sheer force of will and some secret superstitions of his own, like how to shake the dice, and which colors were lucky.

When he lost, it wasn’t losing a game among loved ones that was so painful itself, but the loss of his misplaced confidence in his own power, skills and chosen status as “winner” –it made him furiously unhappy and motivated to double down, determined to play over and over until the ending came out properly in his view, determined to win because it would prove his (wrong) thinking right.

He really did seem to be a lucky guy and of course we also deferred to him as the youngest so he could play with us and often win even absent experience, knowledge and comparable ability. Probably this prolonged his faith-based play until he slowly gained the self-awareness and analytical habits to learn his way out of that kind of magically incompetent gameplay (video gaming over the years has done most of that heavy lifting imo, thank goodness.)

And I’m wondering about Young Luke at Sonlight in contrast, certainly “faith-based” yet sounding more like a scientific systems thinker than his own customers:

Adam and Eve ate fruit. Fruit is part of a living organism. For the food to be nourishing to Adam and Eve, the living cells of the plant must have died and been broken down for their system to gain nutrients.

What does all that mean? I don’t know, it’s a mystery. 😉 I think about this stuff all the time and tie myself in delicious idea knots, yet there’s so much I know I don’t know, and I realize there are important things I can’t know I don’t know, too. So for me and mine, any kind of human thinking and learning from religion to game play to the war strategy in Afghanistan, is most competent when focused on trying to disprove one’s own hypotheses!

Which brings us back to the scientific method of course . . .

23 06 2010
JJ

IBM is developing another Blue computer to play games with humans, this one named Watson to play Jeopardy, which apparently is much more humanly complex than chess, full of puns and wordplay. Note that the buzzer timing part of the game is hard to get the computer to win, because the computer is analytical enough not to have misplaced buzzer-beating confidence in its own answer nor the human willingness to buzz in even without an answer formulated.

All Interesting stuff in the context of this conversation but especially this part about Watson thinking like young children (educated guessing!) and adults being most charmed by its willingness to learn through very human mind mistakes, rather than machine-like infallibility strictly limited to absolutes:

Watson can answer only questions asking for an objectively knowable fact. It cannot produce an answer that requires judgment. It cannot offer a new, unique answer to questions like “What’s the best high-tech company to invest in?” or “When will there be peace in the Middle East?”

. . .“I’m no cognitive scientist, so this is just speculation,” Ferrucci says, but Watson’s approach — tackling a question in thousands of different ways — may succeed precisely because it mimics the same approach. Watson doesn’t come up with an answer to a question so much as make an educated guess, based on similarities to things it has been exposed to.

“I have young children, you can see them guessing at the meaning of words, you can see them guessing at grammatical structure,” he notes.

This is why Watson often seemed most human not when it was performing flawlessly but when it wasn’t. Many of the human opponents found the computer most endearing when it was clearly misfiring — misinterpreting the clue, making weird mistakes, rather as we do when we’re put on the spot.

Try playing against Watson here! 😀

So. What we’ve been exposed to limits our ability to be human. How’s that for a moral imperative to guarantee universal education?

26 06 2010
Dana

Oh, that was totally a defense of dictators. 🙂

Seriously, though, I agree. But where to draw the line? You already know I’d draw the line much further from governmental control/regulation, but when we get close to that “line” wherever you want to draw it, the question I ask is just how much do you want to control their influence? In a decentralized system, it is isolated to the family or other small, (and outside the family, largely consensual) group. If you give enough power to the state to disrupt that, you give the state the power to do the same thing on a larger scale.

I know a family that sort of scares me. Mostly because of the stuff one of their daughter’s says. I dare say they fall into every image you have of a patriarchal, dictatorial, religious fanatic home. But one of their daughter’s is stepping out of that. The family is grieved, like they’ve lost a child. The thing that amazes me is that the young lady is still a Christian. Normally, they walk away.

When a parent is too controlling, if very often leads to rebellion.

26 06 2010
Dana

Nance, “we” aren’t the only ones who need to learn from the disagreement.

You say, “The faith-based side actually objects to such learning. One favorite objection is that science changes.” But perhaps you don’t quite understand that argument or what is being argued with it? I daresay that not everyone who repeats it really understands it, either, but do you understand every intricacy of every scientific fact you’ve ever defended or thought someone else to be an “idiot” for not understanding?

In the end we all decide to trust someone else’s knowledge and follow that teaching. So perhaps what we need in American education is a little better practice in identifying good leaders.

But back to the point: that is really just an argument about absolutes. It isn’t, or shouldn’t be, about “proving” any scientific or faith principle. It is the idea that we can’t place our faith in science. We say today with fair certainty that x,y and z are true. Say maybe on our war against germs, taken to the point of putting antibacterial agents in every soap. So we build our lives around it, our hygiene practices, our medical practices, etc.

But tomorrow, we start wondering if that (and treating every sniffle with antibiotics) is perhaps causing more harm than good. I’ve been reading some rather promising research regarding ulcerative colitis that may lead to infesting sufferers with parasites because they control the inflammation with minimal side effects, far fewer side effects than steroid treatments.

And that’s what science is and is supposed to do. Continually challenge, continually change.

I “know” a guy who wants to set up a board of scientists to review all ideas and make sure they adhere to a standard, mostly to get rid of the scientists who consider themselves Christians. But it sounded frighteningly like a Inquisition-esque group for determining what ideas were and were not worth following and exploring. Science isn’t supposed to be held still like that.

But it also tells us in the natural world that there is a whole lot we don’t know and that we cannot know.

Now, three interruptions later, I’ve totally forgotten what it was I was going to say with all of that. Maybe the answer’s in there somewhere.

27 06 2010
JJ

When a parent is too controlling, it very often leads to rebellion.

Same thing when it’s a church/religion that is too controlling, or school, state, boss, condo association or the Junior League! 🙂

And that kind of control, the kind that causes either subjugation or rebellion, is not what I call education. It’s schooling perhaps, and conditioning, training, discipline even. Not the education that this free society guarantees its children, even the ones without Thinking Parents.

So again, Dana and I agree it isn’t necessarily the religious belief that causes the lack of education. Public schools have gotten VERY controlling and that’s not an education either. But the issue for me remains, what’s the educated, moral parent’s response? Let em think crap?

27 06 2010
NanceConfer

I’m not understanding what it is we are disagreeing about, Dana.

Science-based/reality-based thinkers accept that their thinking embraces change. Faith-based thinkers don’t. Broad strokes but that was my point.

That and the “accusation” thrown from the faith-based side that something has changed in the thinking on the reality-base side. And the reality-based side responds: “Yes, that’s the way the world works. Things change and our thinking changes as we learn more.”

Nance (not a fan of antibacterial lotions and soaps for everyday use 🙂 )

27 06 2010
NanceConfer

And sometimes the old-fashioned things work best.

In cleaning out MIL’s filth-encrusted bathroom, we ended up being successful with bleach and baking soda to remove the smells.

We had tried Febreeze (modestly successful) and some “natural” spray odor remover (almost useless) and Damp-Rid (almost useless).

I am not a person who wants to smell perfume when I walk into a room. It doesn’t smell clean to me. Clean smells clean. And an open box of baking soda seemed to do the trick, finally.

So, yes, less is sometimes more. If that’s where you were going with that. . . 🙂

Off to move boxes.

Nance

27 06 2010
JJ

Homeschool dad Paul sends along a WaPo piece; let’s fit it into all this too:

In other words, it appears that politics comes first on such a contested subject, and better information is no cure-all — people are likely to simply strain it through an ideological sieve. In fact, more education probably makes a global warming skeptic more persuasive, and more adept at collecting information and generating arguments sympathetic to his or her point of view.

A similar story unfolds with public opposition to vaccination. Once again, on a technical level, skeptics get the science wrong. The body of epidemiological evidence overwhelmingly shows that vaccines don’t cause autism. Furthermore, the principal agent accused of having this effect (a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal) has long since been removed from most childhood vaccines. Yet autism rates have not declined.

With public health at stake, it’s no wonder medical experts get frustrated when they hear autism activists such as actress Jenny McCarthy attack vaccines. But once again, the skeptics aren’t simply ignorant people. If anything, they seem to be more voracious consumers of the relevant medical information than the nation as a whole. According to a 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, children who go unvaccinated by parental choice (rather than because of inadequate access to vaccines) tend to be white, from well-to-do families and with married, college-educated mothers. Parents in such families are more likely to go onto the Internet (what McCarthy calls the “university of Google”) to research the health risks of inoculation than are other groups of parents.

So not just any old “education” makes you a more productive identifier and solver of problems, a more moral good citizen. Only a specifically, intentionally, effectively non-ideological approach to education can do that for our kids. And inoculate them against the rest of what passes as education.

27 06 2010
JJ

Smell and color psychologically manipulate even very well-educated folks btw. Why do you think BP’s logo is a lovely green flower?

See also:
Cool — and Clean! — Science

Ignorance is All in the Family and a Real Sin

Sounds and Smells That Carry Me Back Home

Defining Disgust

27 06 2010
JJ

Sunday Sacrilege from PZ Myers:

. . .Most religious people in the West have a very specific model of the way the world works that is based on our cultural history as the progeny of nomadic herdsman, and that still resonates strongly with all of us — the father-child relationship, the patriarchy. We have a wise leader who guides us all, punishes us when we stray, offers largesse to those in his favor, and unites the whole tribe in common cause. . . . Ask any Christian on any Sunday morning about flocks and sheep and shepherds, and they will understand the metaphor even if it is highly unlikely that any of them have been in contact with any animal other than a household pet.

It’s also a powerful idea because it posits a set of very personal relationships. . .

Reality doesn’t just destroy the patriarchal model, it gives us new and better ways to visualize our relationship with the universe. Father and child is inadequate; we have to think in terms of populations and species interacting (not dominating), of being part of an environment. There is more to life than the father and child bond.

27 06 2010
Dana

Yes, Nance. We agree on that, but my point was more that when that particular argument is raised, it isn’t against science, just against science as the answer to everything. I’ve heard it mostly when the people whose talks I listen to talk about scientism, a sort of extreme not many people follow, but follows “science” with the same sort of religious fervor as the most passionate fundamentalists.

27 06 2010
Dana

What’s an educated parent to do? I don’t know. Define educated. As anyone who comes to the same enlightened state as you or me or whomever?

People with a little education accept what the system says. That vaccinations are safe, for example. A few people, with a little more education, ask some questions. They come across a little research and a lot of anecdotes. They ask more questions and some choose a rather independent course that means fighting common practice, family, friends and sometimes health and human services when they are reported by a doctor.

Perhaps if they had just a little more education, they’d have more understanding. Perhaps if they had just a little less, they’d trust professionals more. And perhaps the debate is a good thing, either way. After a review by the AAP, many doctors expressed concern that the amount of mercury an infant was exposed to on the normal schedule was more than what was considered a healthy exposure level. So schedules were changed and Thimersol was removed from vaccines. Perhaps it never had anything to do with autism, especially since rates continue to rise, but questioning “Is this really safe?” isn’t harmful in and of itself.

And in this debate in particular, you cannot forget that you are dealing with parents whose basic protective instincts have been activated. Mama bear isn’t always reasonable.

27 06 2010
Nance Confer

So why aren’t they protecting their children?

27 06 2010
JJ

Dana, what if Nance is coming from the place of — let’s see — street gangs are fiercely protective beyond reason, too, even though iinnocents always get hurt? Nance, what if Dana is coming from the place of, hmmm, give up because it doesn’t matter, actually educating the public is impossible even though innocents always get hurt? 😉

I’m wondering why in the end after we’ve thought it all through, there isn’t more concern for the innocents, I guess. And less for whatever those whose psychology is hurting them, want or need or think or feel.

27 06 2010
NanceConfer

That’s the basic concern behind vaccinating as many children as possible — to protect the innocents.

27 06 2010
JJ

Speaking of innocents, they aren’t necessarily human! So I also wonder why in the end, pro-life isn’t actually pro-life given all the life desperately needing both thinking and feeling advocacy. Is education the problem, or ideology, or what? Incompetent problem-solving abilities, lack of vision and empathy, tribalism, fear, logic of failure?

I noted to CW the other day an evangelical site with a children’s sermon teaching that “90% of all life on (god’s created) earth lives in the ocean.” The NYT Sunday Magazine has a cover story today about “the fate of the bluefin, the oceans and us” and its Week in Review a long column by Natalie Angier describing whales as bigger-brained and rivaling us humans as civilzed family/tribe livers, lovers and thinkers: Save a whale, save a soul, goes the cry.

27 06 2010
JJ

Nance, I agree. (you knew that!)

I want to have some serious conversations among those of us who start there and try to work forward, for awhile. People can disagree about almost everything except humanist ethics as the starting point and the end game imo, if they want me to take them seriously anymore. I’m so sick of arguing with people who deny there’s any problem with anything or that anyone is being hurt who isn’t just bringing it on themselves . . . let em eat cake, let em learn crap, let the Gulf and the furriners and women, girls and gays suffer and die, just let me and mine be freeeee . . .oh, and rich and in control . . . I can’t take that anymore.

Dana, that is NOT to include you out, you know that, right? Not at all. I’ve been in some exhaustingly stupid circular conversations elsewhere lately.

. . .surrender of the democratic process to the authority of the Christian Bible, are rampant.

. . .What are these laws and Biblical principles that are being proposed? Do they have a formula to solve the economic crisis?
. . .There is nothing close to a practical answer in the Bible that could even begin to address our global challenges, unless we’re finally ready to turn over the money changers’ tables and feed the masses.

Is there something in the Bible that can help bring our troops home from Afghanistan? The biblical plans for that area don’t include peace. . . . America needs to move forward, not back to the Dark Ages.

Religion missed the Age of Enlightenment; America and its Constitution did not. Do not let the conservative Christian nationalists, the Christian Reconstructionists, and the Dominionist Evangelicals rob this country of its freedom, liberty, and Constitutional rights. They are dug in at every level of government, from your local school board and municipal government, to state and federal representatives.

They can’t take America back, they’ve never had it. Don’t give it to them. Get out and vote. Vote, and get them out.

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