Gods, Guns, and Guts

From a bumper sticker I saw the other day, summing up the Bush-supporter’s (confirmed by other bumper sticker) priorities.

Well, it’s nice that firearms are more important than bravery. I guess if you have them, you don’t really need bravery, huh?

Eh, that’s neither here nor there.

The thread’s about revamped Democratic tactics. I know, I know - done to death.

I’d love to see the Democratic party in the US push slightly more Libertarian, and at the same time, cut the feet out from under the Moral Majority.

So, first - lay off guns. Really. You have no chance in hell of banning guns in this country in the next fifty years, barring a true epidemic of child-on-child gun violence. So don’t worry about it. Cast off that baggage and concentrate on your more important priorities.

Now the big one. God. The big ‘G’. Yahweh. King of Kings.

Tough nut to crack. But how about… this.


[Setting : a Church. A minister is performing a Baptism - filling the basin; he’s also consulting a book]

MINISTER : There it is. Exactly 5 liters. [ He closes the book, and we see the GOP logo, or perhaps 'Secretary of Religion’s Handbook on Baptism ] We have to use the exact amount, of course.

[Fade to Black]

VOICEOVER : Keep government out of religious matters. Separate church and state. PReserve your first amendment rights. Vote democrat.

Annnnd, scene. I’m sure you get the idea. Plus, I threw in the 'liters" because the sort of dimbulbs this commercial might sway probably hate and fear the metric system. Nice touch, eh?

Dialogue could use work, though…


I say if students can’t burn the fat thigh-pieces of bulls and goats as a pleasing sacrifice to the Olympians before high school football games, then this country has completely lost its way.

I thought Guts carried a sword…

I think the order of the wording “God, Guns, Guts” is quite appropraite - if you haven’t got the guns, you havent got the guts…

What a coincidence; I’ve been wanting that for years. We should form a club or something.

Well, let’s see. No one in the Democratic Party has ever attempted to ban guns, so it would be a little difficult for us to stop trying to ban guns. Would you not agree?

And this would accomplish what, exactly? First, we have some people in this country who think that religious beliefs should not play any role in government policy. Those people already vote Democrat, unless they believe that “culture war” issues are totally outweighed by other issues. Then we have some people who think that the Baptist Church and the federal government should be (or already are) the same organization. Have the leading party under their thumb, they have no real reason to be afraid of the government trying to run the Baptist Church.

Remember, to these dimbulbs, Dubya was hand-selected by God to run the country. Trying to convince them that he’s going to do something wrong, much less turn totally against conservative churches, would just sound ridiculous.

Actually ITR I like CandidGamera’s commercial. People don’t all fall clearly into one of two camps like you portray it. I suspect that there are many many people who are religious but only in a vague non-commited way. They’ve heard of God and Jesus but don’t think about it much or attend any kind of service regularly. When they hear people advocating the mixing of government and religion they tend to like the idea but really don’t bother to think about the full implications. At the same time, when they hear about government interference in what they consider private affairs, they object strenuously. Pointing out to them the possible consequences of mixing church and state may give these people pause.

The hardcore are probably unreachable for the Democratic Party. But there are plenty of less-than-hardcore people who very likely can be swayed. I think the public reaction to Congressional meddling in the Schiavo case shows this.



Then its a good thing John Wayne isn’t still alive, or else you might have President Wayne in the White House.

No, I am not fucking kidding you, nor am I kidding you in a non-fucking way. The Democrats have been an almost-universally pro gun industry party for years. Anybody who thinks otherwise is so completely out of touch with reality that discussing the issue with them is probably a waste of time. But what the hell. If you don’t believe me, here
is the most recent Democratic Party Platform. If you can find anything in there that might even mildly displease anyone in the gun industry, quote it for me. If you fail to do so, I will assume that you have agreed with my positions.

Okay, let me retreat for a second. It is true that we can’t simply slice the American people in half and divide them into two groups, one hating religious interference with government and the other loving it. But it’s also true that speaking broadly, this country has a wide gulf between two different visions of what a proper government should look like. Just look at the rhetoric that flew from the right over the Schiavo issue. To the audience that they were trying to reach, the fact that religious beliefs should determine the government’s actions flows as naturally as saying the sky is blue. The idea that Schiavo’s case should be determined by the secular principles laid forth in the Constitution did not seem to ever cross their mind.

I agree with you totally that there are plenty of lukewarm religious believers in this country, those who view churches as generally a good thing and a starting off point for community service and other useful programs but not as a way of casting unbelievers into Hell. I think many of those people already are Democrats, or leaning towards the Democrats. What the OP was suggesting, as I interpreted it, though, is that we should try to pry hardcore supporters of a religious government away, using the threat of the government turing around and interfering with religious practice. I don’t see that working.

Consider. Last election the Republican Party sent out a flier declaring that the Democratic Party intended to ban the Bible and enforce gay marriage on all fifty states. Obviously this was a load of crock, yet plenty of people were dumb enough to believe it. (Hey, there are even people dumb enough to believe that the Dems want to ban guns. But I digress…) So what we have here is a large crowd who have been trained to believe anything that their masters tell them about the Democrats, regardless of how totally off-the-wall it is. Trying to convince them, in a thirty-second spot, that their lifelong training is wrong and that the real threat comes from Republicans, is a lost cause.

The problem with taking the church out of the state is that legislation stands in need of some criteria. We should suppose that people will get their ideas about the direction government should take from somewhere, and should that be the church they attend I would question the pastor or priest rather than the voters. When a citizen is on a jury, I do not wish her to give up her background, but bring it to the table; when a citizen votes, I do not wish her to give up her ideals but use them to decide what to mark down. I would hazard a small guess that those who want more church in their state are not clamoring for a Christian theocracy but a democracy whose laws follow their vision of morality. I would expect no less of anyone.

That could be true. I never carried a gun in my life except when I was Officer Of The Day, and didn’t have a lot of guts. I also lack God. I sure hope no one is counting on me to defend us from the Souless Hun.

Oops. Wrong war.

I meant Godless Commies.

Damn it. Missed again.

Seriously. I agree that the Democrats have got to be for something. The party is certainly in disarray right now but I’m sure that will change. I well remember year after year of Democratic Congresses and all the talk that the Republican Party was all washed up. Turned out to be a premature assessment.

My flabber has been gasted. I’m sorry but this statement makes about as much sense as the Republican party platform unequivocally supports the right to an abortion. Are we being whooshed here?
From the document.

Emphasis mine. Riiight.

You are not being wooshed here. You are seeing a dose of straightforward logic on an issue that is usually dominated by emotions. Now you say that classifying the Democrats as pro-gun makes about as much sense as classifying the Republicans as pro-abortion. Well the Democrats say, “We will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms” in their platform. Thus it makes sense to say that the Democrats are pro-gun. The Republicans in there platform
have said “The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.”* Thus it does not make sense to say that Republicans unequivocally support the right to an abortion. Thus your statement is nonsense. If any part of my logic is not clear, please tell me so and I will try to clarify further.

Is there any particular reason why you didn’t emphasize the sentence where the Democrats say that they want to ban guns? Could it be because no such sentence exists? And if no such sentence exists, doesn’t that mean that my argument in this thread (specifically in the portions of this thread dedicated to gun control) is correct, and that CandidGamera and ExTank are incorrect?

Closing the gun show loophole means adjusting the law so that convicted felons won’t be able to use a fake ID to acquire guns at gun shows. That’s not anti-gun. Look at it this way. If somebody wants to suspend the license of drunk drivers and require reasonable safety features on cars manufactured in the country, does that make them anti-car?

In short, I’m still waiting for the evidence that the Democratic Party is currently trying to ban guns.

*And yes, I know that that platform is from '96, but I’d posit that any other GOP platform from recent decades has similar language. I only chose that one because it’s totally clear and unambiguous.

Excellent points, erislover. When I first saw read your post I wanted to write a firery reply about the undemocratic spirit of the far right, but after thinking it over I’ve changed my mind. Let me put it this way, though. There are some people who believe that religious principles could play a large role in their personal lives, but that all governments should be founded and run on secular principles. Obviously an important group in America, since most of the founding fathers thought like this. Let us call these the A’s. Then there are others who believe that it is perfectly okay to use religious decision making throughout government, just so long as the government remains democratic. Let us call theswe the B’s.

So we have a group of A’s and B’s in America right now, and both do live and have lived with the Constitutional system of government for generations. But the very deep divide that I referred to in my previous post is coming up right now. I suppose it’s best to say that it comes up over the issue of how far the government can be twisted and pushed to get a religious goal rushed through. That’s what makes both secular people and A’s upset about the Schiavo case. It was clear that Schiavo, back when she was a fully living person, would not have wanted her body kept going if her brain went into a PVS, so from the secular standpoint it was clear what to do. The B’s, meanwhile, thought they had a religious argument which overruled Terry Schiavo’s own wishes. Okay, so that’s their opinion. The problems started up when the religious side didn’t know when to quit. One court doesn’t give you what you want? File an appeal on some silly technicality and send it to another court. That court also won’t give? Repeat the process. Exhausted your state court options? Have Congress pass a Constitutionally questionable bill that sends it to federal court. Federal court won’t help you? Have Jeb Bush martial his storm troopers and remove Schiavo from the hospital by force. Judge intervenes to stop that action? Hire an assassin to kill Michael Schiavo. Wait a minute, weren’t we supposed to be the “pro-life” side? etc…

It’s true that there haven’t been concerted efforts on the part of the Democratic party to ban guns outright. My suggestion of “laying off guns” is directed to those things like the Assault Weapons Ban and the gunshow loopholes. Don’t worry about them. The Republicans can just use the resultant votes to show evidence that the Democrats want to take guns away from people - as the NRA and half the population of my state seem to believe.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
CBS 60 Minutes,
Feb. 5, 1995

Not all Dems are gun-grabbers, sure. But it is pretty safe to say that all gun-grabbers are Dems.

No. Closing the gun show loop hole is a another attempt by the Democrats (some of who are actively engaged in banning guns altogether, which I may address tomorrow) to further their gun control agenda. There is no “gun show loophole”. If you are a Federally Licensed dealer, you may sell firearms at a gun show and you must conduct the sale using the NICS system. If you are a collector, or private citizen, you are allowed to sell up to three firearms per show, provided that you do not sell more than that, and do not conduct the sales of firearms on a regular basis. This is a law, and regulated by the ATF. The BJS has shown that less than 2% of firearms acquired by criminals are done at a gun show. The wacko’s who perpetrated Columbine did not purchase their firearms legally, they used a strawman at a gunshow, which was illegal in about four different ways.

This statement convinces me of your sincerity in the fact that you know nothing about this issue. I could have a fake ID and go anywhere, regardless of gunshow or not, and falsely purchase a firearm, in effect, bypassing the NICS. What new law should we pass to prevent this?

Feinstein was only talking about assault rifles, not all guns.

“Gun-grabbers” are pretty much a mythological species dreamt up by conservative politicians and demagogues to spook the rabble into fearing the Democrats. There may be a few scattered individuals who publicly say they want an all out ban but few if any of them are elected Democrats in Congress.

Neat looking semi-automatic guns are still guns. Wanting to ban them is anti-gun. Wanting to limit the capacity of magazines is anti-gun. Wanting to put all kinds of barriers in place to prevent or slow down the buying new guns or old guns is anti-gun. Wanting to mandate nonsensical safety measures on new guns is anti-gun.

Democrats as a party have the most anti-gunners. Intellectually dishonesty by members like Diogenes the Cynic and ITR champion doesn’t change any of that.