Conservative Christian students at Liberty University are feeling the Bern

Praise be to Energy that which cannot be created or destroyed. May entropy increase in all non-isolated systems until they approach absolute zero. Brothers and sisters lets take a moment to observe and record.


He descended unto Bell …


I don’t mean to write them off as individuals-- I’m sure some of them will come around eventually-- I’m just not sure about addressing them collectively, in their capacity as members of a pro-ignorance organisation. Whatever he said (and I can’t fault the speech itself), he said it standing in front of a Liberty University logo for an hour, as if that were a respectable enterprise.

I mean, yes, build a consensus, bring people around, but don’t imply that people can be part of a just society while still espousing the values of Liberty University, because they can’t, and that will have to come up sooner or later.

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But just because people aren’t susceptible to facts and logic doesn’t mean they aren’t persuaded by anything. And in fact I think people who don’t want to hear facts and logic can have their minds changed by meeting other individuals who have different opinions. Actually knowing someone of a different race, religion or sexuality can make people re-evaluate their beliefs.

Normally I would say we just have to wait for people to die off so the next generation will have more positive views. But when you are talking about college students, there has to be some hope they can still learn something new.


The gospels provide a beautiful and inspirational blueprint on how we are to live our lives. The love and compassion we need to hold in our heart towards even those who wish us harm. The problem is that it is unbelievably difficult to really live life the way that Jesus teaches. Only a handful of people manage to do it, and its humbling to even make an honest attempt.

It is far easier to use the gospels as a club to beat others with the fact that they are not living up to them, so that’s what most people do. This despite the fact the Jesus said at least a dozen time that his followers should never do this.

It’s no coincidence that Pope Francis is being more true to Christ’s ministry of any pope in modern history and the Catholic church is soaring in popularity. This Jesus guy may have been onto something.


I recall the night Obama was elected in 2008, and people were dancing in the streets. I felt on election night that it all evoked the scene in The Killing Fields when the khmer rouge rolled in and people were decorating their tanks with flowers. But I still had hope that maybe Barack would change things. He had a lot of people convinced. He’s improved in the final term, just slightly, but he has largely continued the failed economic, foreign policy, and national security state policies of his predecessor(s).


But that goes both ways. He also gained some legitimacy by being presented by the school.

I get the feeling that if people didn’t believe untrue things so easily all societies would be that much fairer. There’d be no hard work to do and no convincing needed if the world were fair. I sincerely believe that a lot of these people have never actually had their beliefs challenged, and to write them off is to isolate them further more into their group think is something really dangerous. In the end though, addressing them in their “pro-ignorance” institution as you put it, also gives you a frame of reference for understanding IF you acknowledge that no matter what your misgivings about their beliefs, they do hold them and they can’t disavow them while in the very institution that props up those very beliefs.

That he spoke about fairness in christian value speak allows him to actually get his message across. No, he isn’t out to spit in the face of religion and its madness, as far as I know that’s not the platform he’s running on.


Disappointing as he’s been, what do you think two terms of McCain/Palin would have looked like?


I am not as sanguine as you but have hope. But you are right in one respect: the WSJ has already assessed the bill of Bernie’s programs at $18 trillion over ten years. The Washington Post has a response that debunks it mostly:


It could be that eventually hypotheses of particle physics (& thus cosmology) will require devices that are unbuildable, and will therefore remain hypotheses. But I submit that something that is testable at least in theory is fundamentally different from something that is not testable by any theory. Religion remains untestable.


Indeed. Obama might not be the President many of us hoped he would have been but if McCain/Palin had been in the White House over the last six-plus years we’d probably have

  • A worse health care situation than the one we have now
  • Disastrous foreign policies that likely would have resulted in a war with Iran (probably since 2009)
  • A Supreme Court that would have been less likely to rule in favor of same-sex marriage
  • A White House actively hostile to reproductive rights and sworn to de-fund Planned Parenthood (among other services)
  • A President who has bought into the anti-vaccination bullshit. Holy hell.

And that’s assuming the stress of the job didn’t harm McCain’s health to the point where Palin would have to take over.


As an actual constituent, I figured Bernie was mostly bluster for his first few years representing us. Two things changed my mind: seeing him speek in person, and watching him prepare for a speech while sitting in close proximity to him. He does an impressive amount of research before he speaks, and while he’s not the most charismatic speaker, he carries an air of authenticity that’s refreshing in today’s political climate.


I never understood Obama mania myself. I voted for him both times, and both times, I’ve been disappointed, but not terribly surprised that he’s achieved so little.

I’m particularly insulted that he was given a Nobel Peace Prize. He doesn’t even deserve it now at the tail end of his presidency much less at the beggining where his only accomplishment was “not being an evil motherfucker like Cheney and Bush II were.” That’s not really a good reason to give someone that prize and cheapens the institution.

I’ll vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, but I’m holding my nose while I do it. I’ll enthusiastically vote for Sanders, because he has a long and consistent track record of doing things that are actually in the public interest.


Yeah, the difference between religion and science is that when new evidence consistently contradicts a scientific belief, we scrap the belief and move on to better and more accurate models. When the evidence contradicts a religious claim, religion just keeps on being wrong.

Entia not fit praeter necessitatem has served us very well since Bill from Ockham first formulated it. As I understand it, there are currently no falsifiable experiments known that can provide evidence for either string theory or the multiverse; they are semi-ad-hoc structures put together to save the appearances. And we know what happened to those. I regard any system of explanation not capable of experimental disproof as being essentially religious. But that’s just the old sociology of religion coming out.

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blah blah blah…


Do whatever republicans tell you.

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But those are exactly the grounds on which proponents of the many-worlds interpretation assert it’s the best (most parsimonious) explanation of things like the double-slit experiment. You don’t have to postulate that conscious observation somehow causes the wave function to collapse (some versions of the Copenhagen interpretation) or that the laws of physics are different on micro and macro scales (some other versions of the Copenhagen interpretation) or that information travels faster than the speed of light (Bohmian interpretation).

(Again, this is all assuming that by “multiverse” you mean the many-worlds interpretation: if that’s incorrect, apologies,)


when you are talking about college students, there has to be some hope they can still learn something new.

Otherwise somebody’s educational expenses are basically going down the toilet…

As much as I don’t like the idea of the entire f’ing universe pulling a Banach-Tarski every time a quantum decision happens, it is apparently the most parsimonious answer… Or it could of course be that quantum mechanics is wrong (although a very, very, very good approximation) and we still have a long way to go in our understanding of physics. Or most likely I have a long way to go in my understanding of physics.


An interesting look at this from the other side - what liberals can learn from Evangelical movements (without agreeing with the actual principles of Evangelicalism, of course):

Evangelism is positive and propositional (to evangelise is to bring good news). You cannot achieve lasting change unless you set the agenda, rather than responding to that of your opponents.

They welcome everyone – but in particular the unconverted. Instead of anathematising difference, doubt and hesitation, they explain and normalise these responses as steps within a journey to belief. They are self-funding (often through a tithing system), and sometimes create a parallel welfare state, helping people to overcome financial hardship. To sustain ourselves, we need to be more than just political: we should offer those who join us emotional support, moral comfort and, sometimes, material help.

I have to commend Bernie Sanders for ignoring received wisdom about Evangelicals and honestly seeking to find common ground, even where there are big areas that they will never find agreement on in the foreseeable future. I know a few conservative Evangelicals who are impressed with Bernie Sanders and who may well put disagreements on abortion and gay marriage aside for someone they see as sincerely committed to justice. They may not represent the majority, but plenty of people don’t make those issues the centre of their belief system, or see a big difference between the things that are supported in their faith and the things that they should be promoting politically.

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