Poland Is Heading
For A Nice Doublet
Puma

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Od: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Do: PUMA
Data: 1 września 2001 03:25
Temat: Re: Positive Atheism -- Poland is heading for nice doublet :)

This is wonderful news!

This also speaks volumes for the overall integrity of the Polish people in that they, being mostly Roman Catholic, will not vote for somebody simply because he is a Roman Catholic.

Another very Roman Catholic country is Brazil. However, they likewise have an openly atheistic President.

As for creationism and superstition, I highly recommend that you obtain [the proofreading files for] Victor Stenger's [upcoming] book [which will be online for about another week before they remove it on about September 10]. Here is the URL [for his regular web site]:
http://spot.colorado.edu/%7Evstenger/

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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"Between Christians there is still the strong tendency towards innovation; and this divides them to countless sects fighting each other, and at times it seems that they have nothing in common except their name. But despite their crumbling, the Christians are still dangerous because of their goal -- to unite and organize a regular larger organization."
    -- Celsus

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "PUMA"
Subject: Re: Positive Atheism -- Poland is heading for nice doublet :)
Date: September 05, 2001 9:06 PM

What I noted about our recent election was the great amount of apathy. Even those who normally get excited about one or the other party were not very excited about our choices. I sent out an e-mail dispatch to a number of people informing them that I was voting for neither Bush nor Gore and explaining why. As it turns out, if I had endorsed Gore, and if one-quarter of the list members had lived in Florida and had voted for Gore, he would be in the White House today. That's how close the election was: one-quarter of our e-list at the time could have swayed it the other way.

The truth is, very few of us voted for Bush because very few of us voted, period. We really did not have much of a choice because neither man was qualified for the job. Both have very little respect for the United States Constitution as it reads: Gore wants to change it, "update" it; Bush simply misrepresents what it says and acts as if his misinterpretation is how it's always been.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "PUMA"
Subject: Re: Positive Atheism-Poland is heading for nice doublet :)
Date: September 18, 2001 8:31 PM

Puma:

To respond to your question (finally), I will add this and will include it in my posted response to you.
 

I think humans in general tend to want to have a leader to respect. I think this would be true in any culture (or tribe or whatever) when there is relative peace and when people's stomachs are not empty. When people are hungry and when there is unrest (usually because they're hungry or, less often, because they feel unsafe -- and then often because some influential speaker has whipped them into a polarized frenzy), then you will have a large number of people who oppose the leader, and a smaller number opposing the idea of leadership in general. But when people are doing well, they tend to respect and, at times, love their leaders just as a family loves its father- or mother-figure (because of their basic psychological makeup which comes with being human).
 

America has long been a diverse culture (or set of cultures, actually). This was recognized early on, when Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin proposed, as our National Motto, the Latin phrase, "E Pluribus Unum," which means, literally, "Of Many, One." This means, at first glance, "of the many states comes one nation." A secondary meaning, though, is "amidst diversity comes unity." This second meaning is pertinent today, because the unity of the states as a single political entity stopped being controversial during the administration of Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865). (See note, below.)

That this was recognized by the author of the motto itself, Thomas Jefferson, is shown by a comment he wrote in his "Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82."

Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a censor morum over each other.
     -- Thomas Jefferson

By this he means that the diverse sects all criticize one another, thereby keeping one another in check. This is the way of any diverse society: in a unified society, there is little opposition and thus little criticism (and thus little reform; that is, there's much room for corruption because one viewpoint or party dominates).

For example, Fundamentalist Islam will not be much of a problem in the United States (any time soon) because there are way too many Christians (of all varieties), so no small group of Muslim extremists could ever gain power in the United States as they have in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Even Fundamentalist Christianity is not that much of a problem here because there are plenty of Liberal Christians, quite a few nontheists ("weak" atheists), plus an ample number of Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, New Age types, Spiritualists (those who believe in Astrology, etc.), as well as "fringe" Christians such as Mormons, Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the like.

But if your report means anything, it looks as if my theory doesn't hold -- at least in Poland. Even though the culture is mostly Roman Catholic, you currently have a Protestant leader and are on the verge of electing a second atheistic leader. Roman Catholicism, as it is practiced here, tends to at least try to sway the voters to specific issues, such as abortion and voluntary euthanasia (suicide for the terminally ill). Churches are not allowed to sway the vote for candidates and still keep their tax exemption, but they may lobby for or against specific issues.

I'm not saying that the Roman Catholic Church has been very successful in swaying the vote here -- as in Poland, they have not been successful in influencing American Catholic voters. The Oregon Death With Dignity Act (the suicide bill) passed twice despite having the Roman Catholic Church outspend the proponents ten-to-one during each campaign. American Roman Catholics tend not to follow their church's recommendations when it comes to voting (although Conservative Evangelical Protestants have tended to follow Pat Robertson's recommendations).

But I will say that the great diversity prevents any group from dominating the political scene.

(Note: Unfortunately, they changed our National Motto to "In God We Trust" during the Cold War, in 1957, because Communism was equated with atheism so America became equated with Christianity. This was the doing of Lyndon Johnson and Joseph McCarthy.)

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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