God or Government?
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06-02-2014, 12:18 AM
RE: God or Government?
I was a libertarian (small l) since about 2005, I voted for Ron Paul in the 2008 primary, and then voted for Bob Barr (terrible Libertarian candidate, but the best there was at the time) in the general election in 2008. I again supported Ron Paul in the 2012 primary and voted for Gary Johnson in the 2012 general election.

Unlike some people, I realize the flaws in some of Ron Paul's positions, but I was willing to overlook that due to the amazing advancements he had accomplished for libertarian ideas. Gary Johnson was a superior candidate as far a libertarian philosophies go, but I supported Ron Paul until he was no longer able to win. I am a Libertarian who enjoys getting stoned, but also supports the libertarian/classical liberal idea as a whole.
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06-02-2014, 01:15 AM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2014 08:06 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: God or Government?
(05-02-2014 05:34 PM)mrlmichael Wrote:  Interesting take. I share your view as well (at least the part about less involved government and am an atheist). However, I have not come across many people who hold those two beliefs at the same time. I have quite a few friends who are atheist, but only one of those would not classify themselves as "liberal" or Democrat. I also have a few friends who are advocates of smaller government who are deeply religious. So, I don't come into contact with many people like you and I.


I'm an atheist and a progressive, and I want the government to change it's focus.

I want more regulations because the trend in deregulation of industry has only led to finical meltdowns, bank bailouts, and all too frequent industrial accidents. I want to see the gutting of the EPA, FDA, OSHA, and other government oversight bodies fixed. I also want to see the recent Consumer Protection Agency strengthened.

I want to see profits made from finances taxed just as much (if not more) as those made from labor. This would be in addition to fixing the system to no longer favor the oligarchy where the top 1% controls over 90% of the wealth.

I want to see the institution of a federal living wage that automatically adjusts yearly for inflation without any additional input.

I want to see an end to needless government subsidies to multinational billion dollar companies (agribusinesses, big oil, etc.). I'd rather help out local business owners if need be.

I want to see churches taxed, or at the very least treated the same as all other 501©3 organizations and have their records made public and auditable, and qualify for exemptions only for their actual charitable work; no more yachts for mega preachers bought with the tithes of the poor.

I want to see defense spending brought back down to reasonable limits (we spend more than the rest of the UN Security Council nations combined and doubled), and an end of the escalation towards a police state.

I want to see the end of the useless and expensive War on Drugs, and the widespread amnesty for those incarcerated for non-violent low level drug possession charges. I also want to see an end to private prisons who have a vested interest in maintaining high conviction rates, and not rehabilitating citizens for reintroduction into society. I want marijuana regulated and taxed, not wasting money on incarcerating kids for an ounce of weed.

I want a constitutional Amendment to correct the Citizens United decision and end the legal bribery of our elected officials through campaign contributions.

I want to see the end of gerrymandering, the electoral college, and the institution of a more direct and sensible voting method than simple single vote majority or first past the post. We have the technology even now to implement a direct democracy if we so choose.

I want to see sensible immigration reform, none of this Berlin Wall and local militia sniper bullshit.

I want to see us start an earnest effort to rebuild and maintain our crumbling infrastructure.

I want to see an end to governmental and institutional discrimination, and the destruction of the 'glass ceiling'. I want a more inclusive society, not an exclusive one.

I want to see net neutrality firmly established (no more SOPA or CISPA).

I want to see the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies brought back under control and operating within the bounds of the Constitution.

I want to see a greater emphasis put back onto education, because children are our future. Teachers are some of the most important people in our country given their responsibilities, and they should be both supported and paid as such. I want to see predatory for-profit colleges reigned in, and the lowering of cost for higher education. I want to see an emphasis on critical thinking, and an end to just teaching to kids to pass federal tests.


I want America to get it's own house in order so that we can return to leading the world through example, and not the threat or use of force.


*VOTE FOR EK - 2020*

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06-02-2014, 07:00 AM
RE: God or Government?
A lot of the link in American politics between small government and religion can be seen in the party trying to pander to several different groups. The south largely voted for Democrats up until the 60s. The Republican party picked them up while the Democrats championed the civil rights movement with northern liberals.

So, you end up with a party that wants fewer regulations on businesses, lower taxes, fewer/smaller social safety net programs, and that is deeply religious. This has nothing to do with any single coherent party strategy and more to do with the party trying to grow its base.
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06-02-2014, 09:15 AM
RE: God or Government?
Evolutionkills, you and I see I to I on a lot of those issues, probably actually most of them, although there are a few I would disagree with for sure. I am sure we could sit here and debate those points we disagree on for a long time, but I guess that would probably be better served for a political thread to debate actual policy.

RobbyPants, that surely has something to do with the original reason republicans took up a strong position in the south, but I don't think fully explains the link between small government ideas and being religious. I see people with small government ideas in northern states who are very religious, but don't think the government should be involved in a moral crusade, as well as libertarians. I also lived in Europe for 4 years and observed the same thing over there, where a lot of the more conservative people who advocated for less government intervention in the economy were also the religious ones.
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06-02-2014, 12:48 PM
RE: God or Government?
(05-02-2014 04:29 PM)mrlmichael Wrote:  I had something I was thinking about this morning and wanted to run it by the people here and see what they may think. I apologize if this is not the right place for a thread of this nature, so mods, please move if need be.

I have observed an interesting phenomenon in people when it comes to how they feel about religion and the role of government. I think most people here have noticed that people who tend to advocate for small government like conservatives, Republicans, and to a lesser extent Libertarians tend to be the group of people that are most religious.

I have also observed that a majority of the people that I have come in contact with that are atheist, tend to advocate for government to have a larger role in life. They tend to be liberal, Democrats, socialist etc etc.

So I started to ask myself, why is this? My initial feeling is that people feel the need to have something or someone who they perceive as powerful and good to watch over them, and make them feel safe and taken care of. An atheist does not believe in any sort of spiritual or higher power watching over them and taking care of the perceived problems they see in the world, so they turn their attention to the state to be the authority for good. In a sense, they replace god with government. Opposite that are advocates of small government policies like conservatives, who reject role of government in mingling in the economic and daily affairs of peoples lives, but have faith that the lord is the authority taking care of the problems they perceive to be going on.

Has anybody else observed or thought about this? What is your opinion?

Yup. I think about this quite often. I don't get it. Something else I don't get is how they talk about personal responsibility. They accept the "sins" of Adam as their own. Then they are ok with Jesus the scapegoat! Don't sound like personal responsibility to me..
With that said I'm not sure I agree with your statement about libertarians.
I could be mistaken here(and please correct if I am wrong) but my understanding is that a libertarian by definition is against big government.
I decide who I will marry. I decide if I do drugs. I decide if I want to pay for sex. I decide all things pertaining to my life. Does this not make me at least a social libertarian?
I dunno.. Labels are fucked I guess!
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06-02-2014, 01:06 PM
RE: God or Government?
Labels are dangerous and I have had many conversations about why I don't like them. However, for the purpose of this conversation generalizations are kind of needed. I think we may have had a mix up in communication somewhere, because that is exactly how I define libertarian. Somebody who is against big government in pretty much all forms, socially and economically, and I have observed most libertarians are religious.
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06-02-2014, 01:35 PM
RE: God or Government?
(06-02-2014 09:15 AM)mrlmichael Wrote:  RobbyPants, that surely has something to do with the original reason republicans took up a strong position in the south, but I don't think fully explains the link between small government ideas and being religious. I see people with small government ideas in northern states who are very religious, but don't think the government should be involved in a moral crusade, as well as libertarians. I also lived in Europe for 4 years and observed the same thing over there, where a lot of the more conservative people who advocated for less government intervention in the economy were also the religious ones.

What I'm saying is that once the Republican party absorbed the religious people in the south, they had to start pandering to that base as well. They were already anti-government-program ("small government").

And there isn't a solid link. I know plenty of Christian Democrats who think that various levels of socialism is one way to achieve the things Jesus wanted people to do. The Prosperity Gospel is a real thing right-wingers use to promote the idea that Jesus is a free market capitalist, or something. I think you're painting with too broad a brush. Sure, there are some correlations, and I gave you one reason those exist, but there are plenty of counter examples.
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06-02-2014, 01:37 PM
RE: God or Government?
(06-02-2014 01:06 PM)mrlmichael Wrote:  Labels are dangerous and I have had many conversations about why I don't like them. However, for the purpose of this conversation generalizations are kind of needed. I think we may have had a mix up in communication somewhere, because that is exactly how I define libertarian. Somebody who is against big government in pretty much all forms, socially and economically, and I have observed most libertarians are religious.

Ahh yes. I misread you! Sorry bout that. I'm following now.. Smile
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