New Study Finds Real Problems In America, But Not the Ones the Media are Highlighting

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By Elizabeth McGuigan

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) Network Open by The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, argues suicide by firearm rates are higher in counties with more gun shops. Except when they aren’t.

The authors apparently contradict their own findings in the results alone. Suicide rates “were higher and increased more rapidly in rural than in large metropolitan counties.” Also, the presence of firearms retailers in rural counties is not associated with an increase in county-level suicide rates.

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Beyond the Gun

This might be why the authors’ conclusions have nothing to do with gun shops. “The study found that suicide rates have increased across the nation and most rapidly in rural counties, which may be more sensitive to the impact of social deprivation than more metropolitan counties.”

They continue with a note that improving “social connectedness, civic opportunities, and health insurance coverage” have the potential to reduce suicide rates.

While their findings on the prevalence of firearms retailers fell apart for rural areas, there were real conclusions in this study that may have actionable lessons for policymakers. The findings that didn’t fall apart: higher deprivation areas have higher suicide rates, as do areas with low social capital, high social fragmentation, low health insurance coverage, and high percentages of veterans.

Rather than irrationally blaming the tool used in these tragedies, lawmakers have a chance to address these root causes. For example, higher deprivation counties are lacking in areas such as education, employment, and housing quality. Areas with lower social capital are missing things like arts and nature facilities, recreation sites, and business/political/civic associations.

Firearms Fund Rural Conservation

We know that the firearms and ammunition industry is the number one source of conservation and wildlife preservation funding in the U.S., through an excise tax paid on every firearm and all ammunition purchased. With that in mind, it stands to reason that promotion of healthy pursuits in nature such as hunting areas and shooting ranges would be one option to improve the problems with social capital. Oddly enough, we don’t see academics considering this in their research topics.

It’s clear there is an underlying bias in research questions posed by so many in recent years. Of course, it comes as no surprise that even when the carefully crafted questions don’t quite pan out for the gun control crowd, we still see headlines out of anti-gun outlets such as The Trace, “Prevalence of Gun Stores Linked to Higher Suicide Rates, Study Finds.”

Increasing suicide trends is a major crisis in the U.S. today. And the firearms and ammunition industry is working to reduce these tragedies through partnerships with groups like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We know the answer isn’t closing down all federally licensed firearms retailers, but is in coming up with Real Solutions for safer communities. We hope lawmakers will also read beyond the misleading headlines and help address the actual problems in our communities.

 

Elizabeth McGuigan is Director of Legislative and Policy Research at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

comments

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      We already have over 600 million firearms. And many will be around for centuries.

      And we also have trillions of rounds of ammunition as well as reloading supplies and equipment.

      We don’t necessarily need the firearms industry or the banks. But they need us.

      If we ever have another economic failure like 2007, the bankers may not make out so well next time.

      1. avatar TonyL says:

        The Banks and corporations need you? Is that your attempt at humor? The comedy on this forum is gold.

        1. avatar arc says:

          Without consumers, there is no business. I can produce my own goods, handle my own money, and do not require their services. Corporations and banks exist by the leave of the individual.

          Piss off the John Doe Blows en-mass and see how quickly corporations get dumped. Oh Gillette?

        2. avatar Merle 0 says:

          We actually really don’t anymore. See: 3D printing.

        3. avatar TonyL says:

          You think Gillette misses you? This is gold.

        4. avatar arc says:

          Gillette misses my money indeed, likewise the rest of my shit list doesn’t see my coin.

        5. avatar TonyL says:

          Yeah, I heard Gillette board of directors talking about how much they missed you. Gold.

        6. avatar jwm says:

          Is tonyl a new troll or just the same old troll with a different name. Doesn’t matter. It’s the same old tired message.

          You’re helpless. You mean nothing, yada, yada. I tell you. For folks that mean nothing a lot of effort, treasure and resources are going into beating us. And they ain’t.

        7. avatar TonyL says:

          Coming from a guy that has posted he lives in the state that just removed Doctor-Patient relationship and handed personal medical making decision to unelected state bureaucrats you have bigger fish to fry than the gun privileges you’re about to lose. Mandatory vaccines for you next year. Enjoy.

        8. avatar Spudnik says:

          TonyL seems like a new troll. Welcome Tony. The other trolls around here, myself included are mostly just gun loving FUDDs that are tired of the noisy blowhards that just bought their first gun, an AK or AR, and immediately now know everything.

          So troll on Tony. You’ll get better at pushing buttons but you’ve got talent already showing for sure.

        9. avatar GS650G says:

          Gee since someone called TonyL says it’s so I guess I just ought to go along with him.

          And he has opinions on vaccines too. Hmmmmmm.

        10. avatar poundsand says:

          Hay anti troll. Here is your truth bomb for the day.

          18-280 is going to argument on 12-2-19. Trump has appointed 150 judges in less than four years compared to obamas 70. Your opinions will not matter very soon. The courts are on our side and when Trump is relected and your savior RBG kicks the bucket he’ll appoint another SC judge along with who knows how many more federal ones in his next term.

          Sucks to be you as your message matters not. You have already lost and don’t even realize it.

          You’re right this forum is GOLD. Especially when idiots like you come on and get schooled. Now take your snowflake arse and go cry in the corner because the above ramifications are going to be POUNDING you for decades to come.

          Good day! 😀

    2. avatar Tim says:

      “Good luck keeping your firearms.”

      Luck is for ‘tards and/or democrats. Despite their weird elitist narcissism, we’re well aware of what they are & what they want.

      Like the good congressman said, “the ARs are ready for pick-up”.

  1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    “Increasing suicide trends is a major crisis in the U.S. today.”

    ****
    Well, after the Left began their onslaught decades ago to remove any mention of God from schools, then from public office, then from the public square, then pushing further to remove references to the Founders and earlier court opinions that were based upon Biblical principles, we eventually ended up with a generation that was raised without the moral center that established this country.

    This being the case (no belief in a Creator, as in “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”), more limits to social behavior were removed, and the onslaught continued against traditional marriage between a man and a woman, the gender norms that have served the biological reproductive process of our species since time began, and even the sanctity of human life itself. This, in turn, now leads many to actually champion the act of ending human life from the most innocent and vulnerable among us, and to consider it “good”.

    With nothing to live for, and nothing to die for, the human experience becomes devoid of any meaning, and suicide introduces itself as an acceptable option. And if you’re going to off yourself, you can do it privately with a whimper, or publicly with a loud bang, where you can make your angst known among the masses as you cry out for attention with your final breath.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s simple psychology. Half our population has accepted the Left’s lies for three generations (over half a century) now, and we’re seeing the expected results.

    And even so, the Left continues to mock those who hold to the traditional beliefs (God, family, country) that blessed us for so long before this madness.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      You do realize that people who believe in a supernatural superhero living in an invisible dimension have been arguing about who/what he/she/it is and what if anything he/she/it requires of us. In fact this argument has been ongoing ever since people invented gods in an attempt to fill their lives with meaning. Perhaps your preferred version of the superhero is the only one that can endow humanity with meaning or purpose, but this of course flies in the face of the fact that nearly everyone thinks your wrong. After all most people don’t claim to be a Christian of any flavor and those that are are divided up into more than 7000 sects and denominations of bickering children arguing over things that not one of them can convincingly demonstrate.

      Perhaps your depressingly nihilistic wold view is part of the problem instead of part of the solution, or you suppose that none the those that commit suicide are nominally Christian?

      Meaning is found in community and shared purpose, people working toward worthwhile goals, not to blind adherence to Bronze Age fairy tales. Then again, maybe I’m wrong and the beginning of the end was when we discovered that Santa Claus and the tooth fairy weren’t real.

      Now by all means, tell me what a leftists I am even though I’m not and never have been. After all nothing proves a point like a good ole fashioned ad hominem, and nothing better holds up old myths like more in-group focused mythology especially the type that derides the out-group.

      1. avatar Justin Case says:

        @Jason,

        That’s why it’s called “Faith”… and BTW, God doesn’t give a rat’s ass if you believe in Him or not.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          It’s called faith because it isn’t grounded in anything that could be objectively real; in other words evidence based.

          As to god not caring, well, the feeling is mutual. Maybe some day he/she/it will show up and we’ll work out our differences over a beer, but until then…

        2. avatar The Cold Backhand of God says:

          Actually, God does care if you believe in Him or not. It is in Matthew 10 comparing people and sparrows.
          Again it’s stated more bluntly in John 6:37, saying all those who come to the Father in Jesus’ name will in no wise be cast out. Ephesians 2:8 is very clear also.

          On the other hand this will be worthless to those of little or no faith. The philosophy isn’t geared for secular humanists or hateful atheists who only see themselves as the center of their own existence. So in the words of secular humanists everywhere, good luck in the Great Nothingness after this life is done.

      2. avatar Tim says:

        His broader point, Simpleton, is that your Leftist idols have been on a 60-year mission to destroy any & every institution that defined us as a people: faith, patriotism, self-reliance, personal liberty & responsibility.

        They’ve largely succeeded, with a new generation of empty-headed nihilists named ‘Jason’.

      3. avatar Merle 0 says:

        “Meaning is found in community and shared purpose, people working toward worthwhile goals, not to blind adherence to Bronze Age fairy tales.”

        You are a leftist. Read what you just wrote there. That’s an extremely leftist position.

        And you contradict yourself. Atheism is quite nihilistic.

        Christianity is indeed a failing and weakened religion now, directly because of you atheists. You champion that as some kind of victory, but you shouldn’t. Because what you really did was strengthen Islam, a religion which won’t take your bullshit.

        Speaking of Islam… You atheists never attack Islam… I wonder why.

        Islam is increasing across the world, and even in modern developed left leaning European countries. Islam is increasing at a rate higher then atheism. Today’s leftist atheist Europeans, their kids will be Muslims before they die. Because ultimately people would rather believe in something then nothing.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          By community, I mean interpersonal relationships, friends, family, business partners, not a commune as communists would have you support.

          As to Islam, it is every bit the fairy tale Christianity is, and insofar as Christianity has given up its crusades, it is presently the worse of the two.

          If you look, even causally, you will find that the broad brush doesn’t apply to much of anyone.

        2. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          @Jason,

          You’re a Leftist, dude. Your own statements above clearly show it. You don’t believe in God or any such faith? That’s fine, it’s your own choice and I think everyone here supports freedom to believe or not believe. But Haz made a very good point about the repercussions of the Left’s attack on this country’s faithful people, and you’re proving it in front of the entire class.

        3. avatar Merle 0 says:

          @Jason. But you atheists are helping Islam. You can’t sit here and seriously tell me that atheism challenges Islam. It doesn’t. You don’t. Your movement doesn’t. Not the same way you challenge Christianity. Why is that? Well, because of two things:

          1. You’ll be called racist for challenging Islam.

          2. You can be killed for challenging Islam.

          Mark my words, Europe will be a Muslim dominated continent by ~2080~. Maybe you don’t care because you’ll be dead or very old then, or something, but that’s only 60 years away. I for one actually do care about the future of the human race. Now, why do I believe this?

          This goes well beyond “muh country being invaded my mooslims”. This is far beyond that. Look at the data and the realities on the ground in Europe. Millions of Muslims have poured into Europe and are continuing to do so, that point is inarguable. Now, they’ve poured into countries where they have literally no competition. There’s no rival faith. And you can be jailed, yes jailed, for being too critical of Islam. Being to critical of Islam can also get you shot or blown up, as the extremist elements of Islam came in the wave of migration.

          Now, also what you have to realize is people don’t enjoy being atheist. Wether there is a God or not, atheism is quite sad. Think about it, really think about it. If atheism is correct, then there really isn’t a point to life. Save the build a better world or community bullshit. Sit down and think. This is it. This is all there is. And it’s going to end in oblivion one day. That’s why atheism is rejected by so many people. Save your speech about the Catholic Church and the crusades and inquisition. Oblivion scares and saddens people…

          So, when you have a nation of non believers.. craving a meaning in life, and a very well organized and powerful religion that can’t be challenged, you will have that religion absolutely dominate that nation. It’ll take a couple generations, but it’ll come.

        4. avatar Jason says:

          @ Merle 0

          “But you atheists are helping Islam. You can’t sit here and seriously tell me that atheism challenges Islam. It doesn’t. You don’t. Your movement doesn’t. Not the same way you challenge Christianity. Why is that?”

          I’m sorry my friend, but this expresses a fundamentally ignorant and woefully deficient understanding of what atheism is. Theism is a belief, atheism is a simple lack of belief. Atheism has no beliefs, no creeds, no dogmas.

          What you are doing is exercising simple if blatant bigotry. You assume that all persons who are unconvinced by the evidence offered for the existence of a supernatural being, that i adhere to the belief structure of prominent media types with a leftist agenda. I do not. What you are doing is in effect equivalent to saying that all blacks are criminals, or that all hispanics are lazy. Stereotypes fostered by the type of belief system that is willing to accept that for which there is little or non evidence, i.e.. theism.

          In short summary here are some of my beliefs:

          2A absolutism
          the right to life
          small government
          personal responsibility
          low taxation (as close to zero as is possible)
          people should be married before having children
          people should finish their education and be gainfully employed before the marry

          i could go on but you get the idea. All of the things that I consider to be my core values are evidence based, as should, I submit, our approach to suicide rates be. Scrutiny and criticism are what lead to increased understanding, not dogma, not faith, and certainly not close mindedness.

        5. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          @Jason,

          The more you write, the more we see you for the fool you are.

          * Theism is a faith in God.
          * Agnosticism is a lack of faith, or an ambivalence.
          * Atheism is the active defiance of God or the belief in Him. Hence the ‘a’ in front of ‘theism’, which denotes opposition.

        6. avatar Merle 0 says:

          @Jason. Ah yes, when all else fails, call me racist or a bigot.

          The problem is you are ignoring that groupthink is a real thing. There is an “atheist movement” that is organized, with a doctrine. With books, and leaders, events, and strategy. I speak to you as an atheist as I would a “Democrat” or any other movement out there. I know all about this movement. And you can’t sit there and tell me there is no movement. There is, and I’ve seen it first handed. You see I’m not some simple minded ignorant right wing trumpenreich hillbilly. I’ve actually even been to these events and met some of these people. I’m not an atheist, but I used to have a job which took me around various different movements.

        7. avatar Jason says:

          @Guesty McGuesterson

          Theism:
          noun Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

          Back-formation from atheism, originally from Ancient Greek θεός (Theós, “god”); see theo-. Attested in English from 1678, theist being slightly earlier, 16 years earlier in 1662.

          Atheism:
          noun Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

          16th century French athéisme, from athée (“atheist”), a loan from Ancient Greek ἄθεος (átheos, “godless”), from ἀ- (a-, “without”) + θεός (theos, “deity, god”). First English attestation dates to 1587 (OED).

          Agnostic:
          oun One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

          First attested in 1870; coined by Thomas Huxley. Either from Ancient Greek ἄγνωστος (agnōstos, “ignorant, not knowing”) or from a- + Gnostic. Deriving (either way) from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-, “not”) + γιγνώσκω (gignōskō, “I know”).

          Yup, when all else fails, change the definitions. BTW your doing wonders for your claim of non-ignorance.

        8. avatar Pwrsewer says:

          @Jason…all your opinions and beliefs are evidence based? Do you even know what evidence based means? You talk about values, but they are only your opinions, and without a higher power, your opinion is as important and relevant as the ant walking across a patio.

        9. avatar Jason says:

          @Pwrsewer

          Of course my values are opinions, everyone’s values are their opinions. That’s what values are, opinions that you consider to be important.

          If you think that the list of item I offered up are not evidence based then lets hear your counter arguments.

          Perhaps you don’t believe that the 2A protects individuals, or perhaps you think that single motherhood has no impact on life outcomes, perhaps a giant government is best, England was an empire after all. Lets hear it. Tell me how the things I listed are not supported by evidence but are just as wishful as a belief in God.

        10. avatar Pwrsewer says:

          Jason, you used the phrase “evidence based”, and you used it 100% incorrectly. You can have all the opinions you want, that is your individual right. But don’t start talking out of your ass about how your opinions are “evidence based”, especially when it’s apparent you don’t know what “evidence based” means.

        11. avatar Jason says:

          @Pwrsewer

          “An evidence-based practice (EBP) is any practice that relies on scientific evidence for guidance and decision-making. Practices that are not evidence-based may rely on tradition, intuition, or other unproven methods.”

          Everything that I believe to be of value is in fact evidence based. As such my core values, or as you put it, my opinions, are subject to analysis and Bayesian probability. That by the way is how people improve their situation in life, or for that matter it is how they grow up.

          But, perhaps your speaking about some other definition of “evidence based”, one that allows you to keep firm hold of stupid, obviously wrong, anachronistic viewpoints born of superstition and myth.

        12. avatar Pwrsewer says:

          Bayesian does not equal evidence based. Not even close. I suspected you were a fool, and now you’ve proved it.

      4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        No Jason, I’m not going to tell you you’re a Leftist. But I *am* going to tell you that you just proved my point, whether you realize it or not. Everyone is free to believe in God or not, but mocking the faith that acted as the underpinning of our country and its early successes doesn’t provide any alternative “solution” to the social problem we have today, and which I described above.

        Aside from your poor attempt to deflect and call our Creator a “Bronze Age fairy tale” (which, I think, tens of millions of modern day Christian Americans would argue against), the fact remains that the removal of that faith – and the meaning of life it provides – from an increasing part of our society by the Left has resulted in that part no longer seeing a meaning of life.

        It’s very simple and foreseeable. Again, not rocket science.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          “…but mocking the faith…”

          By “the faith” I can only assume you mean the faith the they expressly separated from government in our first amendment, and from which the pilgrims were fleeing when first they landed upon these shores. You seem to forget that the “founding fathers” were largely deists that did not believe in a personal god, but rather some form of god as nature. I suspect that had our nation been founded in 1876 instead of 1776 Darwin’s – On the Origin of the Species may have been referenced once or twice, but alas, alternate history…

          The point is that people from times immemorial have relied on all sorts of gods of various types in attempt to fill in gaps of knowledge, just as you are doing here. All of them have been rejected, Thor, Oden, Zeus, Jupiter, etc, etc, all of them but the Abrahamic god. You are every but the atheist I am with the exception of but one, the one of course that you just know is real even though he is no different then the ones you have already cast aside.

          Has it truly never occurred to you to admit that certain problems, ie. suicide rates, are simply not well understood, and that more effort study and data collection ought to be done? Or should we simply wait for an answer from on high, or perhaps Scarface a goat or stone someone to death in order purge us of our sins and receive gods mercy?

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Jason,

          You’re still spouting the same falsehoods the Left has been trying to foist upon everyone for decades. Nearly all the Founders (approx. 250 if you count everyone involved in the DOI, AOC, and Constitution) expressly believed in a personal Creator, and most were specifically believers in Jesus. Therefore Christians.

          Benjamin Franklin is generally accepted as the most “deistic” of them all, and even he said on June 28, 1787 – during the debates that framed the Constitution:

          “…I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?…”

          Again, you are free to live your life apart from any faith in a personal God or Creator, but you’re deflecting the argument from my original point, which I wrote in response to this article. That point is that a widespread lack of faith in personal relationship with a Creator (what Merle correctly referred to as ‘oblivion’) is a sad and deeply distressing thing. When personal accountability and obligation are removed, the persons among us who desperately long for that moral/spiritual guidance are unmoored and at risk for acting out in “acts of finality” that include killing others (mass shootings) as they check out of this life.

          It’s apparent that none of us will convince you of this here in this thread, so just know that we all recognize you now as an atheistic Leftist. Proceed accordingly.

        3. avatar Jason says:

          Well, perhaps neither of us will be convinced, but tell me this:

          Did faith invent vaccines or antibiotics, or did faith perhaps land a man on the moon? Was faith involved in understanding the periodic table, or in Rutherford’s experiment confirming the structure of the atom. Was it faith that gave us computers and cells phones? Perhaps faith gave us medicine and surgery? Or was it faith that caused misguided men to impede virtually all of that?

          The simple fact of the matter is that theism, an inflexible belief system that requires adherence to a code of conduct that is devoid of evidence based support, has stood in the way of nearly every human advancement that has ever been, and continues to do so in much of the world, even though many of them claim as their god that same god of Abraham that you claim.

          Is it not possible that much good could be accomplished if we set aside these pointless arguments over unknowable things and directed our efforts meaningly forward?

        4. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          “pointless arguments”

          Says the guy who started all of this by arguing with Haz and shaking his fist at God while attempting to deflect from Haz’s original point.

        5. avatar Jason says:

          @Guesty McGuesterson

          Clearly you missed the point, again. This article is about suicide rates, something that we can presumably have some positive impact on, else why talk of it at all? The possibility that such improvement will come from faith is effectively zero. The above mentioned lists of accomplishments was offered in an attempt direct your attention to the place where improvements actually come from. But you do you. Maybe you can pray the problem away.

        6. avatar TonyL says:

          Jason, faith didn’t invent vaccines, but believing in vaccines requires strong faith because the science behind vaccines is non-existent. Vaccines are a religion, literally.

        7. avatar jason says:

          @TonyL

          “believing in vaccines requires strong faith because the science behind vaccines is non-existent.”

          OK, so where did they come from? Did you pray them into existence? Did they jump out of the golden bowl that Aaron made along with the golden calf? Please inform us.

        8. avatar TonyL says:

          Jason, Your question is inappropriate. Brush up on your reading comprehension skills, reread my post, and then ask a more appropriate question.

        9. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Watching the newbie trolls cutting their teeth on each other was almost worth having this thread exist. It’s like watching puppies struggle.

      5. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Jason, argue forcefully that atheism it is a vibrant forray into the freedom to be fully human and to establish a value system rooted in both science and compassion. I wish you all health, prosperity, and joy.

        Disclaimer: I am a former Catholic priest. Well, actually still a priest; according to the Church, that is a permanent sacrament. But the Church and I have parted due to many points of divergence, including my marriage.

        Can we find common ground? There is ample evidence that isolation is a contributing factor to suicide. I think it is also generally accepted that membership in a community provides a system of values and support that many people need or want. If the community is healthy, it helps the individual to be healthy.

        Communities of faith will promote their beliefs and talk about how their faith and close, caring community is a good, healthy place to be. Their common faith gives them common purpose.

        Yes, we all know how religion has been mis-used and even weaponized. We all know the horror stories. But those horror stories occur in the humanist, non-theistic communities as well. Humans sometimes fail and fail big time.

        Of course, communities of faith are going to address human suffering by applying their faith and organizing their communities. And they will do great things, bring healing, hope, and compassion. They will also interpret that the points of pain in a society can be healed, soothed by the application of faith. Often, this approach is successful.

        Although you do not see a basis for theistic faith, do you see that faith communities help build a healthy society? I know people who are so strongly against religion, they would not agree. My father was one of those.

        As for me, I embrace no organized religion, only me personal relationship with the Creator.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Very well said.

        2. avatar Jason says:

          I cannot argue forcefully that atheism is anything, beneficial or otherwise. Atheism is simply the state of being unconvinced. A lack of theism. Hence a-theism. That faith can serve useful utilitarian purposes is not an argument for the underlying beliefs that faith lays claim to. You have expressed here how you have changed the contents of your faith to suit your changing world view. Is absolute TRUTH so easily cast aside? Would you have us believe that the only way people can come together is to exercise an extraordinary suspension of disbelief? And which version of faith should we all adhere to? Or is is all a nebulous mass of indecipherable and unknowable mysteries?

          I suspect that an honest reflection of your previous beliefs will lead you to the conclusion that they were not based on anything that is objectively real, which is why you cast them aside. For what its worth, I was raised in a fundamentalists Christian household, however contradiction and demonstrable falsehood reached a critical mass. There is a reason why they call it faith after all.

        3. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Jason, you assumptions about my reflections and beliefs are not evidenced based and are incorrect.

        4. avatar Jason says:

          So, you were a priest, and now your not. You previously believed in organized religion and now you don’t. The Church, of which you were a priest, requires celibacy, but your married. You say that you are still a man of faith, but obviously not the faith that requires these particular strictures.

          I said that your faith changed along with your world view. Where did I go wrong in my assumptions? If your words are not evidence, then how did I misunderstand them?

        5. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Jason,

          Simple: “I suspect that an honest reflection of your previous beliefs will lead you to the conclusion that they were not based on anything that is objectively real…”

          You do not know what I believed while a priest and you do not know what I believe now. Nor do you know whether there is an objective foundation for my thinking; as you have stated, you BELIEVE no foundation has been proven.

        6. avatar Jason says:

          And you freely admit that change has occurred. Given that your original stances were based at least in part on church teachings (if not then tell us how you became a priest in the first place) and given that church teachings are the “infallible word of god” particularly so in the case when:

          “This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church…”

          It must therefore be the case that your faith, or more precisely your faith based beliefs changed, or that you are damned as a sinner living contrary to the teachings of the church.
          Which is it? Or perhaps there is another option. Please lets have no more dodges of the form that I cannot know your thoughts, which of course we both know. I have come to what I think are reasonable conclusions based on the available information. If I am wrong, then show me where.

        7. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Jason, other than telling you that you are mistaken about me, I have not made any judgements about you. However, you feel free to take a few facts I have revealed about myself and interpret them as you like. Go ahead. I see no point in indulging you.

      6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Jason,

        Are you truly objective, unbiased, and honest?

        In order to say that the God of Abraham cannot be, you MUST be all-knowing. Since you are not all-knowing, you therefore cannot say with certainty that the God of Abraham cannot be.

        All you can say with absolute certainty is whether you like or despise your understanding of the God of Abraham and whether you accept or reject the God of Abraham. What you cannot say with absolute certainty is that the God of Abraham cannot possibly exist.

        Friendly advice: a concrete science approach to determining truth does not work for many facets of life. Instead, evidence based conclusions is our best approach in those areas where concrete science does not work. Think of court cases where there is no video, no eye-witnesses, nor anything else that concretely and explicitly tells us what happened. In such cases we examine all the available evidence and decide which explanation best fits the evidence.

        What does the evidence tell you about the existence of the God of Abraham? First and foremost, determine which evidence is reliable and reject that which is not. Then, once you know which evidence is reliable, figure out which explanation best fits the evidence.

        So, let us look at the first bit of evidence: the Universe and everything in it. How did it come into existence? One explanation is that everything came from nothing. Another explanation is that everything has always existed. And still another explanation is that the God of Abraham created everything. For starters, ample rock-solid evidence tells us that the Universe has NOT existed forever so we can reject that explanation. Thus, either everything came from nothing or everything came from God.

        Now what? If you believe that everything came from nothing, then that is an extraordinary leap of faith since we have no way to verify that and we do not experience any examples around us of something coming from nothing. As for God, we cannot verify that He created the Universe, either. What we do have is evidence that God exists. For one, we have predictive prophecy in the Bible. Either people (who came from nothing) can somehow see the future or God (who the Bible tells us knows the future) tells people the future. I subscribe to the latter explanation. We also have reliable, documented, inexplicable examples of rapid and complete healing which the Bible ascribes to God and for which Medical Science has zero explanation.

        As you probably know, various Jewish and Christian apologists provide many more evidences which have no other naturalistic explanation and yet are consistent with the God of Abraham which the Bible describes.

        In the final analysis, I suspect your position is based on emotion rather than evidence. I imagine that you despise some aspect of how you envision the God of Abraham so you deny His existence. As do countless other people. And while that may not cause a great deal of despair for you, it does for many others and in some number of cases has to be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” and becomes the causative factor in their suicide.

        And that is extremely important if we are going to combat the Progressive narrative that we must eliminate firearms because suicide would all but disappear without firearms.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          Wow! It’s a bit difficult to know where to begin unraveling this morass of fallacy and inconsistency. I suppose we should start at the beginning.

          “you therefore cannot say with certainty that the God of Abraham cannot be.‘

          Yes this is true. Neither can I say with certainty that there isn’t a Bigfoot, or a 9 headed Hydra, or a gold plated sentient teapot orbiting the sun between Venus and Mercury that controls the universe. I’m not the one making extraordinary claims about supernatural beings. You are the one that needs to bring the compelling evidence.

          “For starters, ample rock-solid evidence tells us that the Universe has NOT existed forever so we can reject that explanation.“

          You should write a paper. Dozens of the worlds leading theoretical physicists would no doubt embrace this proof that you seem to have that has so eluded them for decades. If you have already written it, or perhaps someone else has and you have read it, then by all means give us a link.

          “For one, we have predictive prophecy in the Bible.”

          And what does that prophecy tell us exactly; that we are living in the last days, that Jesus is coming, that Jesus has already come, that god will destroy the wicked, that those that practice your version of Christianity will be whisked away to heaven in the rapture?

          Let me ask you this: do you believe in witchcraft?

          Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

          Now you might suggest that Jesus’ command to love your neighbor supersedes this Mosaic law decree and so we need not execute witches presently, and rightly so, nevertheless, you must believe in witches and witchcraft because the Bible tells you that they are real.

          Now tell me again which of us is proceeding from a position of emotion and which from evidence based rationality.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Jason,

          Do you know basic Physics (especially Thermodynamics), basic Astronomy, and basic Cosmology? They tell us that the Universe had a definite beginning and that it is finite. If the Universe were eternal, its size would be infinite (evidence tells us otherwise) and there would be no energy left (evidence tells us otherwise).

          Do you know the Bible? The Old Testament foretold a Savior and specific details of His lineage, birthplace, and manner of death — details which are far to specific to write-off as modern people reading what they want to see into vague and generalized proclamations (such as we see in fortune cookies). There is no evidence of this occurring in a naturalistic fashion and we do not see people running around providing specific details of future events. That is consistent with the Bible’s description of an all-knowing, all-power Creator.

          I can share more later today or tomorrow.

        3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          “I suspect your position is based on emotion rather than evidence”

          Admittedly I haven’t read the whole thread but this jumped out at me. Of *course* it’s based on emotion, it’s religion. Atheism is exactly as much of a religion as christianity or islam. As noted many times, that’s why it’s called faith. Thus it’s not subject to debate and you can’t win an argument about it.

          Just saying.

      7. avatar drunkEODguys says:

        Christian values pre-date Christendom. Whether you espouse the views or not many of the same values, such as personal virtue and discipline, were common among Greek philosophy, Confucians, Buddhists, et cetra. You can claim that society is now “past that” and doesn’t need the originating framework for those values, but I would argue people are essentially the same with better creature comforts. Western civ was mostly built on Christianity and the subsequent movements it inspired such as the Renaissance, Enlightenment, et cetra.

        TL:DR pound sand, you’re not better than people cause you’re an atheist

      8. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        jason
        Instead of the focusing on what “people” say about the “Military Industrial Complex speech”. Everyone we should listen to it for themselves. The president warns about “the dangers of Atheism” and the danger of government money “corruption in the academic research world”. video 16 minutes long. Atheism time 4:08, college corruption time 9:05.

        Talking only about the MIC portion is just a distraction. I understand why the Libertarians Liberals and the Left hate the 1950s. Government was much smaller back then.
        And black people could get their Tommy Gun mailed to their house back then. (smile)

        Eisenhower Farewell Address (Best Quality) – ‘Military Industrial Complex’ WARNING

    2. avatar Biatec says:

      I typically agree with you haz. How ever I don’t think Religion has anything to do with it. I know plenty of Atheists who are Constitution absolutists and Christians who are far leftists.

      The religious right was the right wing version of sjw’s. leftists and hardcore bible thumpers are the same thing. They both want the government to control you.

      Not bashing you for believing. just saying I don’t see how it’s relevant. I think education is key and teaching people about the individual and what rights are is more important.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        And I typically agree with you, as well. It appears we’ve found something on which we don’t agree (and that’s ok). I’ve been a conservative Christian my entire life, and I can tell you that I can probably count on one hand all the “Bible thumpers” I’ve actually met. I’ve never known a Christian who wants the government to control everything, especially nowadays when the Gov’s are trying to encroach on all of us further every day.

        Anyhow, the article above is about mental illness, and there was a mention of suicide, which was the point I was responding to. I know about this topic – and how it relates to guns – because I work with people who struggle with it. My best friend from years ago took his life with a gun. And another good friend whom I’ve known for years recently asked one of us (in our group of friends) to hold his guns for him while he deals with depression.

        I see the effects a lack of faith in a loving and personal God has on people, and I was making the larger point of how I can see it affecting our wider society as a whole. Mass shootings, and all.

        1. avatar Biatec says:

          I can give you some examples. I don’t think the government should be involved with marriage or civil unions or any of that.

          I have had many Christians tell me who I should not be able to marry who I want or how many people I can marry. It was the case for a long time Gay people could not marry.

          I have personally known Christians in politics try to have it so Christians can lead prayers in schools, government board meetings and stuff like that while not letting people of other religions do the same. If it’s publicly funded I can not agree to a monopoly like that.

          I don’t care at all if people are christian or any other religion honestly. I just want us all to agree on freedom.

          most republicans are Christians and many actively support gun control and government expansions ignoring the Constitution.

          I largely lean towards government being small though and not involved in education, healthcare and personal stuff like marriage though.

          I don’t see anymore Christians who believe in freedom anymore than I see atheists. There are just a few more Christians in politics who believe in freedom.

          I still do not see what faith has to do with mental illness either. I know lots of very religious people personally and don’t see much of a difference in happiness. Much of my relatives are very Christian.

          I have met plenty of Christians advocate locking gay people up for their own good as well as forced treatments like electro shock and conversion therapy. Whether you agree or disagree with it being moral or not should not matter if you believe in freedom it should not be the governments jobs.

          I meet Christians who want to ban violent video games and want all kinds of restrictions on p-orn(don’t want to get moderated) and adult toys.

          Laws against Drugs and all of that as well.

          That just mirrors the left wing in my opinion. It’s totally cool if you disagree with me on this stuff. I just don’t see a difference. I think right now in our current political climate Republicans and Christians are the lesser of 2 evils. I really just want government out of my life at the end of the day.

        2. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Biatec, yup, I’ve know some of those annoying, weaponized Christian’s. More than a few. Paraphrasing Jesus: ‘The annoying will always be with you’. Clearly, we all need to guard against bigotry.

          Agree with you most of the time regarding guns and government. I always make sure to read that which you and Haz post. Except the replies to Vlad. I never read Vlad threads.

          Best wishes!

        3. avatar Biatec says:

          Best wishes to you as well Sir. I like reading your comments as well. Same with Haz’s

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Biatec
        Having grown up in California I can say it is homosexual atheists and those that want to legalize drugs, who are behind the disarming of the law abiding civilian population. Sex and drugs are a distraction. Because the 2A is not a priority to them. And in fact they really don’t believe you have a right to armed self defense.

        By supporting the Welfare Industrial Complex gays and atheists have proven they want the government in everyone’s bedroom.

    3. avatar strych9 says:

      Oooo…. religion AND politics! Are we at a bar? Two topics where anything you say makes someone angry and we’re doing them at the same time?! My MAN the OP!

      This is actually a topic that has interested me of late. For a long time I put a lot of the “it’s getting worse” thing down to observational and confirmation biases.

      To some extent I think that’s still true.

      But there is an interesting question that comes up in terms of religion. Some people do quite well without out while other people do not. In my personal observation it seems to be about a 30/70 split.

      I also note that addiction researchers and Marilyn Manson seem to agree that Manson was right when he said “There’s a hole in our soul that we fill with dope”. (I Don’t Like the Drugs but the Drugs Like Me, Mechanical Animals (a fucking great rock album) 1998).

      So, what follows is my anecdotal experience: I don’t think that it has to do with “God” per se, though the church would love for you to believe that when they pass around the plate. I note that addiction researchers find support for what I’m about to say in rats, people and other social mammals that have been studied and that the old-school attitudes of say, pre-1900, seem to bear this out as well.

      We’re a social creature. When we’re isolated in various ways we very often become neurotic and eventually self-destructive. That isolation can come from being a shut-in, losing a job, having a shitty family or whatever but it’s not something we seem to deal with well. In fact, Islam came up with the idea in Egypt that being a hermit for some period of time during your life FORCED one to become closer to Allah, but they also noted the risk that one might lose their mind trying this. It was considered a great journey but not one that everyone could or should take. Risks abounded.

      Overall I don’t think that Church provides a very rigid belief in a set of “rules”. Many of the flat-out worst people I’ve ever met were very religious and justified their own bad behavior via God. We see a lot of that today. I further note that it doesn’t seem to matter what church one picks to attend outside of the the Loony Tunes ones like Westboro. Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Unitarian… doesn’t seem to matter.

      I’d suggest that what Church does is something Nitsche talked about, which is provide a bit of an anchor point and a social support network. A “lighthouse” if you will.

      To boil it all down I’d say that everyone has times in life where their compass starts to spin and a storm approaches. At that point in time we need a lighthouse to be our guide. That doesn’t make everything A-OK, but it does provide a reference for behavior and a mental grounding when everything else is chaos. The lighthouse doesn’t move and to some extent that’s comforting AND keeps us away from the rocks or from going too far back out to sea in the storm.

      As such “religion” itself isn’t IMHO, necessary but that ‘lighthouse’ IS important. Crucially important. Bad shit WILL happen to you and you better have an anchor in your life.

      So, IMHO the issue with the Left is not that they reject God. That’s just a symptom of the problem. The issue is that they actively reject ALL lighthouses, which in a roundabout way is something Nitsche warned against. IMHO, this is the problem. The Left has no anchor points at all, no lighthouses. So when the storm blows in and the compass starts to spin people who follow this idea are completely lost. In some ways it’s like the proverbial “deal with the Devil”. On the one hand the adherents of active rejection of anchor points are free to do anything and the ends justify any means in their book. OTOH, it creates very vulnerable people in other regards. Like anything, it has tradeoffs and the opportunity cost here is steep.

      Whatever your lighthouse might be, friends, family, church, philosophy, ethics, hobbies… whatever, it has a common feature. When shit goes sideways you look at the anchor point as a reference to the question ‘What should I do and WHY?’. When all the anchor points are gone that pair of questions rapidly becomes ‘What shouldn’t I do and WHY NOT?’ and since you have no grounding points you never find an answer to ‘why not?’. At that point you just do whatever because you’re lost, in pain, listless and like Jack Sparrow, looking to a compass that spins like a top. With literally nothing to guide your thought/decision processes you end up in a dark place very, very fast. So, swig some rum and we’re off to see Davey Jones because, why not?

      You see exactly this same problem with vets who’ve lost their identity in the separation process and not found it again in the civilian world. You see it with retirees who take a job as a greeter at Wal*Mart. You see this with a lot of drug addicts, also foster kids and even to some extent with children who know they’re adopted.

      So overall, I don’t think it’s God or religion. It’s the community aspect that Church provides which is a large way that we define ourselves and our sense of identity. The feeling of belonging, that there are people to talk to, that there are people who NEED you or to whom you are useful. All those things you’d find in a relatively small tribe of people living the way we did for a long time before we developed ‘civilization’.

      It all goes to a root issue that exists in all people. We want to understand our place as individuals and as a species in this crazy world/universe. And the world/universe are big, scary, “mean” places. Best to bring some friends.

      Again, the problem with the Left is not a rejection of God. It’s a rejection of EVERYTHING in favor of a system that gets them the short term benefit of justifying any action they want. However, that way of doing things comes with some serious costs. They’ve managed to infect the educational system and spread this kind of rejectionist thinking to a lot of other people who don’t realize that they’ve picked it up.

      I think that’s where these problems ‘getting worse’ is coming from, if indeed they are getting worse and this isn’t all just hype/observational bias.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Well said, in a creatively different way. Your debate and mine are coming from two separate starting points, but making the similar case that a societal/moral mooring (a lighthouse, as you put it) is crucial to the stability of the individuals within a community. That, and the Left’s attempt to eradicate all such lighthouses, which they deem as obstacles to their goal of swaying the masses to their will. An individual who already has a personal allegiance to a particular lighthouse isn’t easily swayed, so the lighthouse must be removed, so thinks the Left.

        Remove the lighthouse, and you remove the mooring.

        1. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Haz, I suspect you are a strong influence for good in many lives.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          My point simply is that a lot of religious folks take the attack personally. It’s not personal, it’s business. The business of removing all those ‘lighthouses’.

          Want more evidence? Look at the videos of HRC’s campaign HQ the night she lost. Look at the irrational way her supporters acted the next day and the following months. Look at how Democrats still act.

          Those are people with no compass.

      2. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Strych9, laughed out loud at your opening line! I like a lot of that which you wrote. Funny that you cited Marilyn Manson; most people I know think he is demonic, but I like some of his work.

        Agree. When you throw out all the stabilizing influences, it is difficult to be steady, sure, and helpful to others.

        Not a fan of Nietche or any of the nihilists (Sartre, et al). Big fan of Camus. You define yourself when you say to the world, “No! Beyond this line you will not cross”. Yeah, I know, Gandalf said that, also. But Camus said it first.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Realistically I don’t think Nietzsche was a nihilist. Having actually read his works I think that’s a very childish way of critiquing him created by people who didn’t like what he had to say. It’s a late 1800’s way of devaluing both him and by extension his works. A slander if you will.

          Nietzsche says, flat out, that belief in divinity provides people with a sense of intrinsic value and that we seem to require this. He states, again flat out, that this is a GOOD THING.

          If anything I’d say Nietzsche was an ANTI-nihilist. When he repeatedly said “God is Dead” and made allusions to a “Dead God” he wasn’t saying that was a good thing he was merely pointing out the way that society was/was going. He was saying that the modern world (~1870-1880) had ‘killed’ God and this this was a very, very bad thing because they were actively destroying the ‘lighthouse’ because it was a convenient way to get what they wanted NOW.

          Look at when Nietzsche was writing and who he was going after. Then look at who attacks him. Progressive and Marxists are his competition. Who says Nietzsche is a nihilist, and coincidentally seem not to have actually read a damn thing he said? Marxists and Progressives… funny that.

          When you really read actual full books by the guy and put them in the context of the political arguments of the day he was fully against everything the Fabian Socialists, Marxists and proto-Progressives were pushing at the time. They’re the ones who “teach” us about him and they do so in a way specifically designed to devalue his teaching by suggesting that his critique of THEIR position is actually HIS position.

          It’s very clearly not but getting people to actually read a few thousand pages of 1800’s German philosophy is pretty tough. The reaction you have to this is exactly the reaction administrators had to my reading of Nietzsche when I was in high school. The book was confiscated, I was suspended for protesting this and my parents were told that I was a dangerous lunatic reading the rantings of a nihilist who supported school shootings (while listening to Marilyn Manson and NIN in 1999, one year after Columbine BTW).

          Right, because a guy writing in the latter half of the 1800’s “supported school shootings” with guns that wouldn’t be invented for another 100 years. Sure. But hey, fear sells.

        2. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Strych9, I’ve also read Nietche.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Then you should know he’s not a nihilist. Just look at what he says. He’s clearly not supporting nihilism. He says, flat out, that nihilism removes any possibility of objective knowledge because in nihilism all is in constant flux.

          One cannot suggest that he supports this. He’s writing a book about objective knowledge and commenting on a particular philosophy’s inability to have objective knowledge. That’s an obvious rejection of the philosophy being discussed. It cannot be otherwise.

          He argues very specifically against nihilism, albeit in a very long and Germanic style that puts actions at the end of paragraphs. I even just checked his wikipedia page. It notes this. Wikipedia, Wiki-fucking-pedia says that Nietzsche can’t be a nihilist.

          They even off this quote as evidence: “If God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead, if the suprasensory world of the ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above it its vitalizing and upbuilding power, then nothing more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself.”

          This is how strong the Progressive propaganda is. Non-Progressives argue Progressive talking points because it’s what they were taught.

        4. avatar LifeSavor says:

          You do not know anything about my reaction aside from I am not a fan of Nietche and that I have considered him a nihilist. I am not your school administrators, I do not ban books, I am not a ‘progressive, nor do I think ill of you for appreciating and understanding Nitche. In fact I admire the depth to which you have taken your study of his writings and the expertise you demonstrate defending Nietche from the ‘nihilist’ label. It has been several decades since my studies, so, I will not attempt a counter-argument. So, I yield the floor… 🙂

          Best wishes.

        5. avatar strych9 says:

          This was not, and is not, an attack on you.

          It’s me launching an attack on progressive ideology and it’s propaganda by using commonly held views on Nietche as an example. Propaganda which, to my mind, has become so ingrained that people just believe it because it’s part of the framework that they look at the world. It’s exactly what the Left is trying to do to guns specifically because it’s so fucking effective, effective enough that anti-progressives believe it and adopt a pro-progressive line in attacking one of the OG anti-progressives.

          Reading Nietzsche without the lens of progressive education it’s pretty hard find support for nihilism. In fact the entire body of his work seems to be an explanation of nihilism combined with an attack on nihilism as being self-defeating and dangerous in the long term because it attacks the basic way that human beings function. It is however politically expedient in the short term because it frees it’s adherents from any moral or ethical considerations for their actions in the political arena.

          That would be my summation of his overall argument.

          I would further point out that to say he’s a nihilist, with all the connotations the title carries, is an ad hominem attack developed 140 years ago to discredit him and avoid actual discussion about any of his serious points. Those points especially which were in direct conflict with the rising political ideologies of the day: Marxist-Progressive thought. His arguments were a direct attack on the philosophical underpinnings (or lack thereof) of the Fabians, Progressives, Communists and a bunch of other lesser, but at the time, popular ways of thinking about politics and politics relation to economics.

          To say he’s a nihilist, generally speaking, meant and still means he has nothing of value to say. As such, he can be summarily dismissed from any discussion. That’s a way to silence someone and THAT’S what the people who attacked the guy originally with this accusation were going for. It was, at the time, the same as calling someone a “racist” 10 years ago.

        6. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Strych9,

          Hand over heart. Respect and friendship.

      3. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

        “It all goes to a root issue that exists in all people. We want to understand our place as individuals and as a species in this crazy world/universe.”

        Some folks need the ‘structure’ religion provides for them, and I’m not gonna give them any grief on that if it supplies the ‘rudder’ they need for life.

        Leftists hate religion because they want to be the ones that provide that ‘structure’. That makes religion an existential threat to their authority…

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          “Leftists hate religion because they want to be the ones that provide that ‘structure’.”

          And there’s the issue, boiled down to a single sentence. Yup. Maybe I should have just said that all by itself and walked off the stage earlier today. 🙂

        2. avatar Jason says:

          LOL…

          That was beautiful, the way you seem to have turned on its head which entities are experiencing existential threats and from what source.

          Just curiously, why does everyone assume that someone who lacks belief in a god, i.e.. an atheist, would want to control everyone. Certainly it is true that some atheists did/do, but no more than believers. I for one have no belief in a god and at the same time have absolutely no desire to control you in any way. If over the course of several discussions we find common ground then great, but if not, it doesn’t matter. Your decisions are your own as are mine.

        3. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          “why does everyone assume that someone who lacks belief in a god, i.e.. an atheist, would want to control everyone.”

          Um, I didn’t see that mentioned anywhere above. This conversation has thrown just about everything needed onto the floor by now. I think we’re all moving on to the next article and conversation…

        4. avatar Jason says:

          @strych9

          That is an interesting thesis. Perhaps its true, though I lean toward those who state that the likelihood that a given conspiracy is true is inversely proportional to the number of people that would have to keep the secret. Perhaps it is simply a matter of people actually believing the things that they say they believe. wrong headed though the leftists agenda seems to me, I think it likely that those who espouse it actually believe it.

        5. avatar Jason says:

          oops posted to the wrong reply, this is fir the one below

      4. avatar Jason says:

        I largely agree. So, in an attempt to add some additional nuance. My position is not one of advocating the destruction of the “lighthouses”, or of the advancing of any “leftist” doctrine, merely that we build lighthouses whose foundations are not fables. That is after all the way lighthouses survive the storm. Even the faithful can recognize the value of this.

        Matt 7:26 – “…shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

        Though they are perhaps sufficiently unfamiliar with the devil wrought science of geology to know which sediments are sand

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          So, you’ve touched on something here that I’ve mentioned before. I’m gonna keep this kinda short but feel free to expound (or call me an idiot). I don’t have a lot of direct supporting evidence for this, just kinda my observations.

          It’s been noted that we “went from teaching Greek and Latin in High School to remedial English in college”. I think that’s an apt observation, if a bit limited.

          The classics have also disappeared from schools until University. Why? Well, the classics are inherently ‘conservative’ in a lot of regards. IMHO, this is a two-pronged attack on Western Civ in general by the Progressive Left.

          If you go back before the Bible a lot of the lessons on which Western Civ rests can be found in Greek and Roman classical lit from before the time of Christ. They’re retold and strengthened in the New Testament. The ability to read those pre-Bible versions is now pretty much gone and the “time” to read the translations is also gone in the modern secondary school system. Why?

          Because the Left is attacking Western Civ in general. The attacks on Christianity are not, in and of themselves, attacks on religion per se. They’re attacks on the foundational concepts contained in Christianity that serve as major planks in the platform of Western thought and philosophy. They have to go.

          However those same planks can be found in the classics and they can also be found in a study of ancient Egyptian philosophy and religion. Both of these are basically gone at this point. Why? Because it’s those planks that have to go and the classics and Egypt are reservoirs of the same basic knowledge in the Bible (if in a bit of a more basic form). That basic knowledge must be eliminated so that Western Civ can fall and be replaced by utopia.

          Attacking Christianity is easy because of the fallacy of a “separation of Church and State” that education pushes. The others have to be dropped, due to time constraints and overworked/underpaid teachers, because the same knowledge in, say the 10 Commandments, can be found elsewhere. Those other places have to be eliminated too.

          The Left are the new book burners. They’ve selected the jenga pieces to create “the fall” and they’re working on removing them one by one.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          “lighthouses whose foundations are not fables.”

          ****
          For one who claims to espouse freedom, you certainly are making a concerted effort to smash and demean others’ choice of lighthouse (faith).

          We get it. You don’t believe in God and choose to make something else your lighthouse. We accept this and aren’t standing in your way. Yet you continue to bash on our own lighthouses to convince us to replace it with something else you prefer.

          Or in other words…EXACTLY THE LEFTIST STRATEGY MENTIONED BY THE OTHER COMMENTERS ABOVE.

        3. avatar Merle 0 says:

          I Haz A Question, you’re exactly right. And in the end everyone’s lighthouse will be adorned with the star and crescent.

      5. avatar drunkEODguys says:

        this was the basis for Neitzsche’s “Ubermensch” argument.

        Neitzsche famously said “God is dead, and we killed him” and mourned that fact, although he was an atheist, that God and all the grounding and socializing aspects of the Christian faith risked being cast off by society and it presented great peril. He feared that the absence of a common set of grounding values and norms would ultimately lead to nihilism unless people became “supermen” capable of imposing and living by a higher standard by their own volition without the supporting framework of religion

  2. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Well, once people see themselves as deplorable n irredeemable, perhaps no amount of bitterly clinging to guns and relition is enough to live for.

    I wonder where they got these notions.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      What if they’re white and they’re racist and oppressive by just existing?

      1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

        I can live myself.

  3. avatar Amir says:

    no one should ever trust the media
    تجهیزات شبکه

    1. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

      Same clickbait to the same old storefront. Never talks about guns. Click on this fool’s link at your own risk.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Simpler: Never click anybody’s links in any forum.

  4. avatar Ranger RickRa says:

    “Increasing suicide trends is a major crisis in the U.S. today.”

    Says who and why? I certainly am not.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Says the entire panel of Democrat Presidential candidates, who are using mental illness and suicides to foist ERPO/Red Flag laws and confiscation on us.

      Where have you been over the past few months? On Mars?

  5. avatar Biatec says:

    “education, employment, and housing quality” Things out law makers should never be involved in to begin with.

  6. avatar billy-bob says:

    Looks like Vlad got a new handle.

  7. avatar CliffG says:

    Sigh. Suicide rates today are the same as they were in 1969. 13.5 per 100k. It dropped to 10.5 by the early 2000s. And then have gone back up. Gun usage for suicides is down at the same time. According to the UN, the lowest suicide rate in the world is …. Syria. Highest? Belgium. Hunh.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Belgium. Europe has become a 3rd world shithole thanks to socialism. Their only hope of relief is the caliphate looming large on the horizon.. It causes stress.

      1. avatar The Cold Backhand of God says:

        That last statement opens up a very ironic conundrum. It expects those who have no faith will convert to a vindictive religious philosophy that values death more than life. I have no use for a philosophy that finds absolutely no value in this life and seeks only submissive slaves of violence.

  8. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    Suicide rates are not high because of guns. They are high because too many folks are depressed and do not think that there is a way out of the depression for themselves. Japan has a much higher suicide rate even though there are very few guns on the island. Switzerland has almost as high a firearm rate as the U.S., but a much lower suicide rate. I have known a few folks personally who either committed suicide or tried to; the percentage who used guns vs. those who did not is pretty evenly devided. That is to say that lack of a gun will not deter someone who is so depressed that they want to end their life.

    I also believe Jason to be just another self centered Russian Bot that wants to disrupt conversations and throw off track what ever the subject is!

  9. avatar Dave G. says:

    I Haz A Question, Jason, Guesty McGuesterson, LifeSavor, Biatec and Strych9
    Gentlemen:
    I want to both compliment and thank all of you for one of the most interesting “threads” that I have ever seen on TTAG. I too have struggled for a very long time with some of the issues that you have discussed above. (I am now an octogenarian.) Like some of you, I have “lost” my religion, but I cherish some of the “lighthouses” (and the moral code) that I was left with. And I am deeply distressed by the fact that my grandchildren have been exposed to that leftist educational system with its lack of “lighthouses” and moral code.

    Again, many thanks for a most intelligent and enlightening discussion.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Dave G.,

      I can explain the failures of mainline religion in very simple terms: fallible people are the members of those mainline religions.

      In some cases, their fallibility is simple ignorance. In other cases, their fallibility is allowing emotion to overrule everything. And in still other cases, their fallibility is just plain being evil and actively seeking to degrade/destroy any given mainline religion.

      What I just described is abundantly obvious when members of a mainline religion contradict their very own religion and/or simple demonstrable reality. (The contradiction is obvious. The slightly more difficult task is determining why.)

      I encourage you to seek a mainline religion and simply reject anything that members of that mainline religion attempt to advance which directly contradicts their religion or simple demonstrable reality. In keeping with my mainline religion, I encourage you to confront such error with gentleness, respect, truth, and every reasonable effort to be effective.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Suicide rates “were higher and increased more rapidly in rural than in large metropolitan counties.”

    I can easily explain this CORRELATION:

    (1) Income and HEALTH INSURANCE are greater in large metropolitan areas versus rural areas. With greater income and better health insurance comes BETTER MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION. And with better mental health intervention comes LOWER SUICIDE RATES. (Also, there are many more mental health practitioners in large metropolitan areas which means a greater likelihood of being able to secure the assistance of more effective practitioners.)

    (2) Acute medical care is far greater in large metropolitan areas than rural areas: therefore that superior acute medical care in large metropolitan areas will save more lives of people who intended to commit suicide, thus reducing the success rate and therefore the suicide rate.

    And that was just off the top of my head. There are other factors as well which explain the CORRELATION between suicide rates and population density.

  11. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Atheists created the Welfare Industrial Complex as we have it today. The church and the synagogue are hate by the atheist. So they replaced private religious based welfare with atheist government welfare. Libertarians became part of the problem when they refused to support private religious based charity.

    Because you are required to have self control in the religious welfare system. And the atheist do not like folks using self control.

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