Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Paul Weyrich Expose`

Talk2Action has an interesting expose` on Paul Weyrich, the most important religious right leader you’ve likely never heard of. Weyrich has had an astonishingly busy and effective career in politics. He’s probably the single most important figure in the religious right, though nowhere near as well known as Dobson, Falwell, Robertson and others. He’s the power behind the throne, the prime mover behind the scenes. Among other groups he has founded: the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, the Council on National Policy, and the Free Congress Foundation. More than any other man, he is the one responsible for the growth in the power and influence of the religious right over the last 30 years in America.

Weyrich himself is a conservative Catholic and a member of Opus Dei, but he has been enormously influential at motivating evangelical protestants to get involved with politics. He was the man most responsible (along with Richard Vigurie perhaps) for getting Reagan elected in 1980 and he remains a powerful kingmaker today. Here is a story I have told before about Weyrich, and I bring it up again because I think it’s a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of Weyrich and those he has influenced. It demonstrates several things, including their basic intolerance toward other religions and the fact that their theocratic tendencies are ultimately far more important than their patriotism. It’s not about the Constitution for them; it’s about the Bible, interpreted in the most intolerant possible manner.

In 1999, a controversy hit the press concerning a group of Wiccans in the US military who were holding rituals and services on the grounds of the bases they were assigned to. Why this was ever a controversy in the first place is beyond me; they are serving in our military and, like all Americans, they have every right to practice their religion freely. The military was aware that this was going on and had no problem with it. Even the chaplain’s service, which is overwhelmingly Christian (as are the soldiers, of course) had no problem with it and supported the practice. No sane person would have batted an eye at this.

Enter Bob Barr, to whom the “no sane person” statement clearly does not apply. Barr was outraged that Wiccans had the same rights as Christians to practice their religion and he tried to insert language into a defense authorization bill that would ban all Wiccan rituals and practices from military bases. The amendment was voted down. But even that was not good enough for Weyrich, who not only wanted to exempt Wiccans from the first amendment’s free exercise clause, he wanted them out of the military completely. He led a coalition of some 10 religious right organizations that actually tried to start a Christian boycott on joining the military until they booted out all the Wiccans:

“The official approval of satanism and witchcraft by the Army is a direct assault on the Christian faith that generations of American soldiers have fought and died for,” Paul Weyrich added. “If the Army wants witches and satanists in its ranks, then it can do it without Christians in those ranks. It’s time for the Christians in this country to put a stop to this kind of nonsense. A Christian recruiting strike will compel the Army to think seriously about what it is doing.”

It’s an absolutely astonishing statement, isn’t it? First of all, the notion that our soldiers fought and died not for their country but for the Christian faith is about as blatant an admission of theocratic views as you will ever see. And notice that he is so fanatical about destroying the rights of those who practice other religions that he is even willing to weaken our military in order to do it, another clear indication that it is the theocratic imposition of his intolerant views that matters, not the constitution that our military officers swear to protect. There is no one I regard as a more serious threat to our freedom than Paul Weyrich.

Comments

  1. #1 llDayo
    August 10, 2006

    Here’s a little more on Weyrich in a link I got from theocracywatch.org that also has some quotes: http://www.skepticfiles.org/fw/weyrich.htm

  2. #2 Keanus
    August 10, 2006

    The religious right whom I’ve encountered nearly always eventually reveal an intolerance and hostility to other faiths, including other Christian faiths. Underneath they follow that precept that Dubya has voiced more than once, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” If one doesn’t agree with them, you’re their enemy and need to be dealt with accordingly. The RR’s agenda is just as much about establishing a theocracy as the promoters of ID are pushing a particular brand of religion. Both just try to keep it hidden most of the time.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    August 10, 2006

    I don’t think that most people I would consider part of the religious right really want a theocracy. But there’s a sizable portion of them that do, and a sizable portion of the leadership. They make common cause with the likes of RJ Rushdoony, Gary North, Gary DeMar and Weyrich. And that’s very dangerous.

  4. #4 Dave S.
    August 10, 2006

    Ed writes:

    I don’t think that most people I would consider part of the religious right really want a theocracy. But there’s a sizable portion of them that do, and a sizable portion of the leadership.

    A secondary concern is what proportion of the religious right, while not necessarily advocating for a theocracy themselves, would nevertheless not oppose the imposition of one. This assumes of course such a theocracy would be consonant with their beliefs.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    August 10, 2006

    Well, I think if you look at some of the conservative evangelicals around the blogosphere, including ones I’ve tangled with from time to time, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many who would support a theocracy. Rusty Lopez, Joe Carter, Mark Olson, David Heddle – these are all conservative Christians, part of the religious right broadly defined. I can’t imagine any of them supporting a real theocracy. They’re all more accomodationist in terms of church and state than I am, of course, and I think they’d all like to see more laws in line with their religious positions passed. But I can’t imagine any of them supporting a genuine theocracy with the Mosaic law as the civil and criminal law of the land.

  6. #6 kehrsam
    August 10, 2006

    Two quick points:

    1) Since Weyrich believes that the US is a “Christian Nation,” it should be no surprise that he believes that Christianity is the cause American soldiers have faught and died for. He is at least being internally consistent here, as opposed to his economic views which are entirely un-Biblical;

    2) Notice that he is equating Wiccans with Satanists. Admittedly, this is a misidentification dating back to Albigensian heretic trials and beyond, but is still a rather simple mistake. As Keanus correctly points out, if you’re different, details cease to be important.

  7. #7 DragonScholar
    August 10, 2006

    Another person often forgotten in the religious right mess is Reverend Moon. Here’s a guy the pro-science, pro-rational, anti-theocracy crowd needs to out more:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/8/9/13513/46197

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    August 10, 2006

    I totally agree on Moon, and I’ve written about him a lot.

  9. #9 Dexceus
    August 10, 2006

    They might not be all for a complete theocracy, but anytime you want a law passed and the only justification you can use is that the bible says it is wrong, then it is at the very least a theocratic law (if that is even a real term).

    And of course, pagans/wiccans are always described by the right as Satanists. It is that whole polytheism thing.

  10. #10 GH
    August 10, 2006

    Whats amusing to me is that the second any faith takes control of any government they will begin to squelch other faiths.

    He’s Catholic and would eventually turn on his Protestant allies I’m sure. And then vice-versa.

  11. #11 Ginger Yellow
    August 10, 2006

    As an atheist, the one faith all the others would squelch first, I don’t find that particularly amusing.

  12. #12 Jeb Baugh
    August 10, 2006

    I don’t think that most people I would consider part of the religious right really want a theocracy. But there’s a sizable portion of them that do, and a sizable portion of the leadership.

    I wonder how many Muslims feel this way?

  13. #13 GH
    August 10, 2006

    Sorry Ginger but I understand your view.:-)

    Since Weyrich believes that the US is a “Christian Nation,” it should be no surprise that he believes that Christianity is the cause American soldiers have faught and died for. He is at least being internally consistent here, as opposed to his economic views which are entirely un-Biblical;

    Then he is simply being consistently wrong. I also don’t find this un-biblical line convincing as I’m more than sure he can find a way to defend his economic views biblically, whatever the hell that means as a valid indicator of anything.

    What you should say is according to my take on the bible I don’t agree with his economic views.

  14. #14 Tlazolteotl
    August 10, 2006

    Weyrich, for some reason, always makes me think of the character Toht in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  15. #15 Ed Brayton
    August 10, 2006

    Jeb Baugh wrote:

    I wonder how many Muslims feel this way?

    Considerably higher than among Christians, I’m sure. Christianity has been moderated and modernized by the Enlightenment; Islam has not. Still, I don’t think that all Muslims, by any stretch, are real theocrats.

  16. #16 Treban
    August 10, 2006

    I think the main reason a lot of Christians and even the Christian right are not for a theocracy is because it is prohibitive of the practice of Christianity. The whole point to following Christ is that a person choose to do so. If the government were to mandate that everyone become a christian and follow biblical law it would keep most people from ever having a real, heartfelt desire to accept Christ – why should they when they did what was required, said the words and voila’ they’re following the law and gained salvation.

    Many of us take it further and argue that we should not pass laws based on the bible. That the decision to sin should not neccessarily have legal consequences. Of course, there are acts, assault or theft for example, that are both considered sin and neccesarily carry legal penalties. That is obvious, as a society we have chosen to prohibit these and a host of other methods of grievously interfering with each other. But outside those perameters people need to make there own decisions. When we try to codify any morality into law we run into gross interference of people to make decisions for themselves. Unfortunately the majority of the religious right dissagree with me on that.

  17. #17 roman eos
    August 10, 2006

    hi Ed Brayton,

    this topic is my interest, too

    PW – could the self-confessed ‘boiler boy’ be correctly defined as pre-Vatican II.?

    And if so would this not help defining him.?

    Also, does anyone have an idea as to his chosen role in Russia mid-90s

  18. #18 Uber
    August 10, 2006

    think the main reason a lot of Christians and even the Christian right are not for a theocracy is because it is prohibitive of the practice of Christianity. The whole point to following Christ is that a person choose to do so. If the government were to mandate that everyone become a christian and follow biblical law it would keep most people from ever having a real, heartfelt desire to accept Christ –

    I find this spurious at best. Most Christians don’t want a theocracy simply because they don’t agree with the laws it would impose. They would find such a situation abhorent to their morality, which of course comes from their culture not their religion.

    The woo-woos don’t mind a theocracy because they think they will be the ones to wield the sword on those they find ‘unacceptable’.

    And the ‘choice’ to follow a particular branch of religion isn’t really a ‘choice’ per se when you’ll be punished if you don’t choose the only way someone deems the correct way. Not to mention you are what your raised 98% of the time.

    That the decision to sin should not neccessarily have legal consequences. Of course, there are acts, assault or theft for example, that are both considered sin and neccesarily carry legal penalties

    The decision to sin? good grief.

    When we try to codify any morality into law we run into gross interference of people to make decisions for themselves.

    You mean like the type that makes people think if they don’t believe something they will suffer eternally for it? That type of gross interference makes free will an absolute joke.

  19. #19 raj
    August 11, 2006

    Ed Brayton | August 10, 2006 12:49 PM

    I don’t think that most people I would consider part of the religious right really want a theocracy.

    This is probably true, although I doubt very seriously that “most people…of the religious right” really know what a theocracy is. The problem is that they are fairly easily manipulated by the likes of a Weyrich. Particularly since he pulls the strings while remaining, again, to most people, hidden from sight, as are most of his more extreme views.

  20. #20 Jeb Baugh
    August 11, 2006

    Still, I don’t think that all Muslims, by any stretch, are real theocrats.

    Nor do I, but the Middle East shows what happens when the fundamentalist minority gets power.

    The “America is a christian nation” wackos are gaining more power. Fundamentalist christians are just the flip-side of the fundy muslim coin, yet they both know they are Right, because their god tells them so.

    I’m feeling very cynical and powerless to do anything, so please forgive my semi-coherent ranting. At least in my powerlessness, I do not want to strap a bomb to myself and walk into a mega-church. Must be that respect for life thing that I have…filthy atheist that I am.

  21. #21 Scott Reese
    August 11, 2006

    I have to agree with many other commenters here; the majority of the religious right may not ‘want’ a theocracy, but they aren’t terribly active at fighting it either. Whether because they agree with most of the morality positions of the thoecrats or because they are unable to think individually, I don’t know. In either position, however, they are as dangerous as the thoecrats because they lend a large body of public support for the leadership to weild in political dealings.

  22. #22 Treban
    August 11, 2006

    I find this spurious at best. Most Christians don’t want a theocracy simply because they don’t agree with the laws it would impose. They would find such a situation abhorent to their morality, which of course comes from their culture not their religion.

    Your probably right to a degree. But amongst people who take there faith seriously that is a major concern. Although it is also a concern for some that this might just infringe on there right to worship as they will.

    The woo-woos don’t mind a theocracy because they think they will be the ones to wield the sword on those they find ‘unacceptable’.

    They are a wacked out fringe group with way too many hands in the mainstream.

    And the ‘choice’ to follow a particular branch of religion isn’t really a ‘choice’ per se when you’ll be punished if you don’t choose the only way someone deems the correct way.

    That’s exactly my point.

    Not to mention you are what your raised 98% of the time.

    I wouldn’t claim to know exact statistics or even claim it’s a majority, but at the least those who diverge quite widely from their upbringing is a quite signifigant minority – far more than 1%

    The decision to sin? good grief.

    I am a Christian. Sorry if you are somehow offended by my faith, but even as I am quite respectfull of anyone else’s right to believe what they will, I generaly expect – and get – the same respect from those I interact with. The fact that I am a voracious defender of the rights of anyone to be who and what they will, short of interfering with the rights of others, is utterly meaningless to some people simply because I am who and what I am. I feel sad for them when I think about it.

    You mean like the type that makes people think if they don’t believe something they will suffer eternally for it? That type of gross interference makes free will an absolute joke.

    Ultimately I think it has far less to do with what we believe as it does, who we are. I do not live the way I do because I fear God will send me to hell for sinning. I live the way I do because it is healthy for me to do so. I feel better about myself and get imeasurable joy from the act of worship. I also feel more comfortable shedding the baggage of living the way I used to. I have a free will – I just choose to live differently than many others.

  23. #23 GH
    August 11, 2006

    I wouldn’t claim to know exact statistics or even claim it’s a majority, but at the least those who diverge quite widely from their upbringing is a quite signifigant minority – far more than

    Actually your wrong about that, very wrong. People rarely leave their birth religion, they leave one denomination to another at a slightly higher rate but the change from one religion to another roughly 1-2%.

    am a Christian. Sorry if you are somehow offended by my faith, but even as I am quite respectfull of anyone else’s right to believe what they will,

    I am not offended by your faith in the least, I was commenting on an individual idea.

    Ultimately I think it has far less to do with what we believe as it does, who we are. I do not live the way I do because I fear God will send me to hell for sinning.

    So it what way is your chosen lifestyle discernably different from that of an athiest who lives an honorable life and thinks the superstitions are BS? Who we are? I think we are all humans each with strengths and weaknesses. All generally good.

    I live the way I do because it is healthy for me to do so. I feel better about myself and get imeasurable joy from the act of worship. I also feel more comfortable shedding the baggage of living the way I used to. I have a free will – I just choose to live differently than many others

    No one would ever deny you your pleasures. But it’s a false analogy to say what you consider unhealthy of ‘sinful’ for yourself is necessarily so for others. They are choosing to live their lives according to their rules as well. In this regard you are correct you are exercising choice. But it’s not the nature of what I was talking about. And if your choice is behaviour that hurts you or is healthy are you really making a choice? Most people won’t knowingly hurt themselves but act on a variety of compulsions.

  24. #24 Treban
    August 12, 2006

    Actually your wrong about that, very wrong. People rarely leave their birth religion, they leave one denomination to another at a slightly higher rate but the change from one religion to another roughly 1-2%.

    But how many of them take it in the least bit seriously? Among Christians and Jews, not a hell of a lot.

    I am not offended by your faith in the least, I was commenting on an individual idea.

    Sorry, I assume when people go insulting a persons beliefs, that they feel somehow slighted. Apparently your just rude.

    So it what way is your chosen lifestyle discernably different from that of an athiest who lives an honorable life and thinks the superstitions are BS? Who we are? I think we are all humans each with strengths and weaknesses. All generally good.

    Never claimed my chosen lifestyle was different from everyone – just most. And remarkabley, I still have some bad habits, things I still need to work on, likely still will the day I die. But then again, I also spend a fair amount of my time involved in worshiping my God. Something few atheists likely do, despite the claims of fundies like “Dr.” Kennedy – alters to Darwin and all. . .

    But it’s a false analogy to say what you consider unhealthy of ‘sinful’ for yourself is necessarily so for others

    I never have and never would claim that to be the case. Sin is between a personand their God/s – period.

    They are choosing to live their lives according to their rules as well.

    And I absolutely respect that.

    And if your choice is behaviour that hurts you or is healthy are you really making a choice? Most people won’t knowingly hurt themselves but act on a variety of compulsions.

    I bloody well beg to differ. Humans, especialy the young, are singularly capable of knowingly hurting themselves. They may try to delude themselves in the conscious, but deep down they damn well know that – smoking a ciggarette, for example, is really stupid and self destructive – yet they do. And there are a lot of very intelligent smokers out there. Or they drink to gross exess, regularly – maybe even driving drunk. Maybe it’s sex, loose, unprotected, less than discerning. Sure, once they have AIDS they might decry the inhumanity, but they were quite knowingly being self-destructive, screwing without a condom. Every single person I know or have known with HIV/AIDS admits to being self destructive – I do too, though I am blessed not to have been infected with anything during my years of promiscuity. Instead there are two little boys who are the net result of that time.

    As for acting on a variety of compulsions, claptrap. That is the BS that tries to justify the ducking of responsability.

  25. #25 GH
    August 12, 2006

    But how many of them take it in the least bit seriously? Among Christians and Jews, not a hell of a lot.

    I’m unsure what you mean by this.

    Sorry, I assume when people go insulting a persons beliefs, that they feel somehow slighted. Apparently your just rude.

    I don’t recall being insulting at all. Perhaps your reading something into my comments that i didn’t intend.

    Never claimed my chosen lifestyle was different from everyone – just most. And remarkabley, I still have some bad habits, things I still need to work on, likely still will the day I die. But then again, I also spend a fair amount of my time involved in worshiping my God. Something few atheists likely do, despite the claims of fundies like “Dr.” Kennedy – alters to Darwin and all. . .

    How is your lifestyle different from most? I just don’t see it.

    I bloody well beg to differ. Humans, especialy the young, are singularly capable of knowingly hurting themselves. They may try to delude themselves in the conscious,

    Yes we humans can and do delude ourselves quite easily.

    but deep down they damn well know that – smoking a ciggarette, for example, is really stupid and self destructive – yet they do. And there are a lot of very intelligent smokers out there.

    Hence the term addiction.

    Or they drink to gross exess, regularly – maybe even driving drunk. Maybe it’s sex, loose, unprotected, less than discerning. Sure, once they have AIDS they might decry the inhumanity, but they were quite knowingly being self-destructive, screwing without a condom. Every single person I know or have known with HIV/AIDS admits to being self destructive – I do too, though I am blessed not to have been infected with anything during my years of promiscuity. Instead there are two little boys who are the net result of that time.

    Yes they are not being responsible having sex without protection. How does that reenforce anything your talking about? And actually you should be glad you have 2 boys.

    As for acting on a variety of compulsions, claptrap. That is the BS that tries to justify the ducking of responsability.

    No it isn’t. It is an understanding that we are biological entities that don’t exist in a vacuum. Whatever we do has a biological origin. Now should we act on every urge, of course not. BUT many/most individuals are driven by drives not in there control.

  26. #26 Treban
    August 12, 2006

    No it isn’t. It is an understanding that we are biological entities that don’t exist in a vacuum. Whatever we do has a biological origin. Now should we act on every urge, of course not. BUT many/most individuals are driven by drives not in there control.

    Of course, we can’t have anyone taking responsability for their actions. Everything is far beyond our control – because it’s all biological. Sorry, your right, theres no way to stop it, no choice, we just must do what our bodies demand.

    Yes they are not being responsible having sex without protection. How does that reenforce anything your talking about? And actually you should be glad you have 2 boys.

    Because they are quite consciously hurting themselves. Just as I was the times I had unprotected sex. Or the times I drank and drugged to excess. And I have control over all of those things and knowingly chose to behave in a very self-destructive manner. Just like a lot of people do.

    The idea that we have no choice is ridiculous. Sure, we have biological drives, but then we make a choice whether or not to act on them. Bio drives are not mandates.

  27. #27 GH
    August 12, 2006

    Of course, we can’t have anyone taking responsability for their actions. Everything is far beyond our control – because it’s all biological. Sorry, your right, theres no way to stop it, no choice, we just must do what our bodies demand.

    No one is saying that at all. What I’m saying is these compulsions occur for a reason. It’s not as if people are bored and decide to hurt themselves. And you are doing what your body demands anytime you do anything. Your brain and your willpower are part of your body. You act as if they are seperate. If you choose to smoke it’s your body demanding it likewise if you choose to stop smoking. No mystical forces at work here.

    The vast majority of people eventually realize which behaviours cause them harm. Some do damage to the body that is not immediately seen and cumulative such as smoking/drinking. But no one sets out to hurt themselves unless they are mentally ill.

    Because they are quite consciously hurting themselves. Just as I was the times I had unprotected sex. Or the times I drank and drugged to excess. And I have control over all of those things and knowingly chose to behave in a very self-destructive manner. Just like a lot of people do.

    Unprotected sex doesn’t necessarily hurt them, nor is it necessarily causing them to get a disease. Is it unwise with multiple partners? yes because the risk of contacting a disease is higher. If a couple chooses to have unprotected sex and are not promiscous and currently drug free they are not in danger.

    If you had control why did you want to hurt yourself by drugging and drinking to excess? Did you dislike yourself? Where you emotional? depressed? Why did you do it?

    The idea that we have no choice is ridiculous. Sure, we have biological drives, but then we make a choice whether or not to act on them. Bio drives are not mandates.

    Noboby said they where mandates, just that your decisions are not occuring in a vacuum. You have your compulsions for a reason, there is nothing magical about them. I agree we can choose to control them but that doesn’t mean they where not there from the get go.

  28. #28 Treban
    August 12, 2006

    Noboby said they where mandates, just that your decisions are not occuring in a vacuum. You have your compulsions for a reason, there is nothing magical about them. I agree we can choose to control them but that doesn’t mean they where not there from the get go.

    You said that it is not a matter of choice. The whole point of your argument has been that we do not have a choice. That no one would choose to hurt themselves. Then you argued that those who do are doing so by biological drive – thus answering a call beyond their control.

    And I never claimed there is anything magical about those compulsions. Where did you get the idea I thought that?

    The only argument I have made has been that we do have a choice. Which you just stated above.

    The vast majority of people eventually realize which behaviours cause them harm. Some do damage to the body that is not immediately seen and cumulative such as smoking/drinking. But no one sets out to hurt themselves unless they are mentally ill.

    First off, very few people under the age of 40 started smoking or drinking have any illusions about the harm it either cause. And there are a lot of people out here in the real world who are, in fact, mentaly ill. And there are a lot of people who set out to hurt themselves. You will find very few drug addicts or addicts of any stripe who don’t initialy set out to harm themselves. Whether they are fully aware of it or not – that is why they get into such behaviour in the first place. And that bloody well is a decision they make. A choice. The fact that they are mentaly ill is incidental – the fact is that a lot of people choose to do themselves harm.

    If you had control why did you want to hurt yourself by drugging and drinking to excess? Did you dislike yourself? Where you emotional? depressed? Why did you do it?

    Personaly, I made a lot of the bad choices I did because I was angry and dissapointed by quite a few things that happened in my life at the same time. Those things happening coupled with my ADHD and other mental issues made it easy for me to become remarkably self-destructive.

    Unprotected sex doesn’t necessarily hurt them, nor is it necessarily causing them to get a disease. Is it unwise with multiple partners? yes because the risk of contacting a disease is higher. If a couple chooses to have unprotected sex and are not promiscous and currently drug free they are not in danger.

    Sorry, I was implying promiscuity based upon earlier statements and context. I should have been more clear about the fact that I whored around a lot and for a considerable time was having sex with several different women and the occasional man at any given point. So on those occasions when I had unprotected sex, it was a big deal. And only occured when I was feeling particularly self destructive.

    Personaly, I find it absolutely silly that your jumping on me about agreeing with this post and trying to give my perspective on why much of the religious right does not in fact support theocracy. I have not once argued that my faith is the only way to be a reasonable person or make reasonable choices – only that it is my way and it is choice.

  29. #29 GH
    August 12, 2006

    You said that it is not a matter of choice. The whole point of your argument has been that we do not have a choice. That no one would choose to hurt themselves. Then you argued that those who do are doing so by biological drive – thus answering a call beyond their control.

    No the entire point of my argument is that to some degree choice is an illusion. I am not making myself clear and frankly am not sure how to do so. I am saying that a normal person would not choose to hurt themselves. A person who does so is simply not behaving normally. Very few mentally healthy people choose to actively cause themselves harm. The things many people call ‘sins’ are not always so.

    First off, very few people under the age of 40 started smoking or drinking have any illusions about the harm it either cause.

    I don’t know what your saying here. Most of the young people who do these things don’t believe harm will come to them from it i.e. they don’t think they are hurting themselves.

    And there are a lot of people out here in the real world who are, in fact, mentaly ill. And there are a lot of people who set out to hurt themselves. You will find very few drug addicts or addicts of any stripe who don’t initialy set out to harm themselves.

    I disagree with this entirely. The folks I have known who use this substance and that are generally looking for an escape or actually enjoy it. They are not looking to harm themselves at all.

    Whether they are fully aware of it or not – that is why they get into such behaviour in the first place. And that bloody well is a decision they make. A choice. The fact that they are mentaly ill is incidental – the fact is that a lot of people choose to do themselves harm.

    Listen to what your saying man! The fact they are mentally ill is far, very far from incidental. If they are driven in one form or another to seek such a remedy for whatever issue they are having I guess you can call that a choice and I would agree, but it certainly isn’t black and white nor even fair. They are on unstable ground and certainly not looking to do themselves harm.

    Personaly, I made a lot of the bad choices I did because I was angry and dissapointed by quite a few things that happened in my life at the same time. Those things happening coupled with my ADHD and other mental issues made it easy for me to become remarkably self-destructive.

    My point exactly, it had an internal cause. You needed an escape and unfortunately tried to find relief in what for you was an unproductive avenue. I for one applaud you recovering from whatever ailed you. Sincerely.

    Personaly, I find it absolutely silly that your jumping on me about agreeing with this post and trying to give my perspective on why much of the religious right does not in fact support theocracy. I have not once argued that my faith is the only way to be a reasonable person or make reasonable choices – only that it is my way and it is choice.

    I am not jumping on you. If you read that into this I apologize. I was simply engaging in a discussion. I simply don’t see these ‘choices’ as always being so. I see alot of these scenarios as people needing poor choice a or poor choice b just to survive for a given time. These ‘choices’ are created by internal scenarios and if these folks where healthy they wouldn’t end up with such limited options.