Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tikun Olam Banned at Daily Kos

Editor's Note: I find it disgraceful when others copy the entirety of one of articles to their blog, without even a link back to my original article. Nonetheless, I'm reposting this article 2006 article from Tikun Olam because it remains totally relevant to today's DailyKos, owned by a man who acknowledges spending at least two years training [and working] at the CIA, 2001 - 2003, while he started his "leftist" blog in 2002.

I guess the highly-politicized George W. Bush CIA background check wasn't able to discover that the applicant had become a leftist right after being a rightist.

The Rehabilitation of Markos Moulitsas

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting ! ! ! ! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Today, Markos Moulitsas, is the doctrinaire leftist publisher of the DailyKos “progressive†anti-war blog, railing against the moderation of candidates like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Harold Ford. But in the 1980’s, Mr. Moulitsas was an unabashed Reagan Democrat, even working as a campaign aid to George H.W. Bush in the 1992 Presidential election. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0601.wallace-wells.html http://francislholland.blogspot.com/2007/01/markos-was-republican-states...

Last year, in a piece Markos wrote for the Cato (libertarian) Institute, Markos acknowledged that the spent the 1980's as a Reagan Republican. http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/10/02/markos-moulitsas/the-case-for-the...

How did Markos achieve this stunning metamorphosis in just a few short years? Actually, nobody knows and Markos isn’t telling. He has told interviewers, improbably, that he last voted for the Republicans in 1992, because he suddenly realized that they didn’t support “states rights†as strongly as he would have liked. (See articles above.)

He said,

"We can fondly look back to a time [during the 1980's Reagan Administration] when Republicans spoke a good game on libertarian issues . . .[including] fealty to state rights . . ." The Case for the Libertarian Democrat (by Markos Moulitsas)

Either that or the CIA totally approved of and encouraged Markos C. Alberto Zúñiga's (MAMZ's) metamorphosis, because the CIA was no longer content to infiltrate the anti-war Left; through MAMZ and his highly secretive Townhouse Group, the CIA may have hoped to own outright a significant part of the Left, while using psy-ops techniques to silence critical thinkers within the blogs and outside of them, like those of us who know with utter certainty that the Twin Towers building that imploded and was utterly destroyed at 5:00 PM did not do so because of jets that hit other buildings eight hours earlier.

No, the Left cannot be allowed to doubt official stories, hence the rule at DailyKos that we must not discuss conspiracies like the outrageously speculative, outlandish and irresponsible suggestion that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the government invented that excuse for an invasion that was already in the planning stages before GWB became president, when his foreign policy was little more than a twinkle (or a blood clot) in Dick Cheney's eye.

Tikun Olam Banned at Daily Kos

for Questioning Kos-Armando Conflicts of Interest

banned by daily kos graphic
They finally did it. The folks at Daily Kos have sunk so low it’s downright embarrassing. You see, I published a post here and at Dkos a month ago or so saying that Kos and all political bloggers should maintain higher standards of disclosure in their blogs. They should inform their readers of any financial or other type of material relationship (including political advertising) with political campaigns. Man, were the Kossites hoppin’ mad. There was a tempest in a teapot that was even picked up by the right blog world to posit the ridiculous notion that my treatment signaled the demise of DKos as a political force.

Then I wrote a post questioning how Armando dealt with his own potential conflicts of interest in both his professional life as a lawyer and political blogger. This too made the Kossites hoppin’ mad. Scores of them were clamoring for me to be put in what religious Jews call “herem” or excommunicated. And that appears to be what’s happened. One of the supposed crimes I’d committed was to use Armando’s real first name in my diary title (“Armando, Political Blogging & Conflict of Interest”). You see, it’s supposedly against the rules to use a Dkos’ member’s real name in any comment, diary or story. The problem with this rule is that the very same day both Chris Bowers of MyDD (co-founded by Kos’ partner, Jerome Armstrong) and Armando had referred to me in print at DKos with my ENTIRE NAME, Richard Silverstein. So if that’s the rule I violated which caused my banishment, it’s being applied very selectively. And applied to favor the inner circle and ban the dissidents (like me). It used to be that you’d be banned in Boston if you crossed the line of decency. Now, I’ve been banned at Dkos for having the chutzpah to question the lackadaisical ethical notions of the Kos elite.

How do I know I’ve been banned? When I visit the site I no longer see a “Write New Diary Entry” link which would allow me to publish a diary. When I visit a diary or story I no longer see a “Write a comment” link allowing me to comment. I’ve written to the site administrator asking whether I’ve been banned and if so why. No answer yet.

I take my banishment as a badge of honor. I can’t think of any group from which I’d be prouder being excommunicated. Because of my progressive/dovish politics on the Israeli-Palestinians conflict I don’t often make many friends among my fellow Jews. So I jokingly refer to myself as a founding member of the Spinoza Society, an imagined group of Jewish intellectuals banned from polite society because of their free-thinking views. I’m a proud, card-carrying member of the Spinoza Society. Doubtless Armando and Kos would’ve banned the great Spinoza himself if he’d deigned to write a diary entry claiming that Moses did not come down from Sinai carrying the Democratic Party platform inscribed on those two little tablets.


Related posts:

  1. Technorati Ranks Tikun Olam 38th in World Politics Blog Category
  2. Holiday Gift-Giving Supports Tikun Olam
  3. Meet the Newest Member of the Firedoglake Community

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Tags: , , , , ,

10 Responses to “Tikun Olam Banned at Daily Kos for Questioning Kos-Armando Conflicts of Interest”

  1. Marisacat says:

    Congratulations. Free of Dkos… and more importantly, free to say what you wish. LOL.

    I was banned end of August 2005, after posting since Nov 2002. I inquired if a poster was an operaive from the Schumer office.

    They are campaign OPERATIVES – nothing more. They have banned all sorts of people, liberals, left, centrists, progressives, Naderites, Greens… you name it.

    To build a tabloid yellow sheet to support campaigns.

    But Kos and the KosKidz still push “liberal”… for their businesses: They are not.

    Enjoy being banned. And if C-span every runs their tapes of Spasm in the Desert, catch the Meta-Kos panel.

    Be relieved. Blissed out nutters. Too many of them.


  2. christian says:

    it is an honor to be banned now as the smug kos and his crew of 20-something blogofascists attempt to silence every bit of discourse on a subject 6 of them don’t want to discuss.

    if you cry foul, they call you a troll or a repub in disguise using hilarious logic. kos enjoys this policing since he’s encouraged it with the ridiculous troll-hunters he uses to enforce democratic law.

    i hope that the politicos who have been using kos take a second look as the hate on that site can only be use against democrats. the self-righteous snark of some kossacks is appaling; you can only imagine how sad their human relationships are. what’s funny is that based on their own logic, somnebody like armando who shills for wal-mart would be considered the worst kind of sell-out hypocrite. instead, kos apoints him as a moderator to further ban people.

    oh, i was banned for asking people to whoa down on the kill joe lieberman hate speech.

    keep up the good work tikun!

  3. I too have been banned by Kos for a) defending Ralph Nader, b) calling John Kerry a flip-flopper, and c) another reason which is slipping my mind at the moment. I like Mascriat’s comments here. I think he nails it right on the head.

  4. Hey, we all should start a club, say, the Banned by Kos Club. Membership requires merely that you’ve been banned by those ninnies. Some savage attacks against yr integrity in the DK comments threads would earn extra membership points.

  5. Steve Hovland says:

    I was banned for Conspiracy Theory violations today.

    I too take it as a badge of honor.

    The Political Spinroom on Yahoo is a genuinely free site.

    KOS apparently has computers programmed to look for forbidden topics, then his little Brownshirt Thought Police descend. If they can’t silence by threatening expulsion, then they ban you.

    Those policies will only hurt the Democrats over the long run.

  6. If you can’t stand Markos Moulitsas, you should definitely read the new research about him: The Secret “Family Business” of Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga is Uncovered.

    If you never knew that Markos’ family received millions from the US Government and is connected to international environmental polluters, then you might want to post a diary about this at your blog.

  7. Ariel says:

    Wow, Richard I am impressed being banned for standing up for truth.
    I was at various time banned from some blogs but in most cases they recognized their mistakes and allowed me to post again in other cases I started logging in from dynamic IP adresses till they realized that unless they want to take this to court (which they were unwilling to do) they can’t ban me so they gave up. If however they’d continue to delete my comments I’d post under other screename and sometimes change my writing style to continue to speak up for what I believe in in those forums.
    Come to think of it there was like 5 blogs or a bit more even that banned or tried to ban me.)
    So now you’ll probably will not be able to sleep realizing that
    even without starting to wear yarmolka , tzitzit and growing a beard you already have things in common with me and risk being mistaken for me in some places.
    Scary, huh?:-)
    So now yo

  8. @Ariel: I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what you’re talking about. As far as I can tell, I never said anything about banning you. THere was another commenter whose comment caused me to threaten banning. But it wasn’t you as far as I can recall.

    I don’t threaten banning lightly. You have to write something especially vile or insulting either about me or about Israelis or Palestinians. You haven’t done so. So before you gear up for Armageddon & fire up yr dynamic IP addresses, reread that comment & note it wasn’t about you.

  9. Huffington Post has umpteen times the traffic of Daily Kos, and it still deletes certain ’sensitive’ subjects.

  10. All I can say, as the editor of the Truth About Kos Blog is:

    The Indictment of Markos C.A. Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)

    Also, have a look at this letter that MAMZ wrote to his college newspaper, opposing ALL gay service in the US military. Northern Illinois University “Northern Star”

    I guess this discussion took place before it became common knowledge that MAMZ had publicly admitted at the Commonwealth Club on June 2, 2006 that he spent two years working and training at the Central Intelligence Agency simultaneously with starting DailyKos.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Who is this Karmafish and Why?

Today, I'm going to write about a DailyKos and MyLeftWing participant who goes by the name of "Karmafish." I am only going to write about him because my Truth About Kos Site Meter tells me that people are Googling "Karmafish" and coming to my Truth About Kos blog looking for information about him.

I can only tell you about my contact with this screenname, whoever he is, and you can learn more by Googling for "francislholland" and "Karmafish" at Google and reviewing the nature of my interaction, over a couple of years, with this screenname.

Karmafish said at MyLeftWing, in comments to a blog post called, "If Francis is Right About Markos,"which post was written by Isaiah58:1-12:
I did not come here [MLF] to silence Holland. (9.00 / 2)
I came here to fight with him, to argue with him, to point out as many of his lies and obfuscations and insinuations and exaggerations as I could, because I believe he is dishonest.Photobucket

Lord of the Karmafishes

[ Parent ] (Red emphasis added.)
Why would Karmafish want to fight with a person like me, when I played a crucial rule in exposing MAMZ's connection to the CIA, and that connection was then reported as news by at least five dozen blogs (see links in ride sidebar to articles published at other blogs and citing Truth About Kos)? Now there are almost 1.5 MILLION hits at Google for the search "Kos" and "CIA."

Once MAMZ attacked in the pages of the Washington Post the only 2008 presidential candidate who was not a white man (Hillary Clinton) , I found myself on a mission to combat MAMZ' and his minions' attacks on Hillary Clinton and to spread the truth (good and bad) about Hillary Clinton at DailyKos and elsewhere.

That's when I discovered that my proposed activities were not considered a legitimate part of the whitosphere's discussion of the 2008 presidential race. The conversation in the comments between Karmafish and Socrates at this Karmafish blog post is illustrative of the response I got to the investigation and discrediting of MAMZ as a political figure.

When I discovered that leader of the DailyKos "Kossacks" had served at the CIA, the news was disseminated far and wide by bloggers who found this troubling, to say the very least. Karmafish disagreed with me and at least five dozen other bloggers about the importance of whether or not one of the ostensible leaders of the whitosphere is "a CIA operative or not." He said in a post entitled, "If Francis is Right About Markos,"

Whether Markos is a CIA operative or not, it will not keep me from working on progressive causes or making connections with progressive people I meet on his site or anyone elses.

So, what are the implications if Francis is right about Markos. For me there aren't any that could affect my work on progressive causes. "If Francis is Right About Markos,"
So, Karmafish can comfortably continue participating at a blog even if he knows that the owner and strategist is "an operative" of the CIA? How can the Left effective rise up against imperialism and foreign adventures effectuated by the CIA if the man leading the charge against the CIA is actually working for the CIA. The man proposing to "crash the gates" is actually in the employ of the Government that owns the gates. The real question is the degree to which the whitosphere, afrosphere and latinosphere have been infiltrated and manipulated by the federal government.

I really have to admit that I couldn't care less about whoever Karmafish is and I am not going to investigate his motives. His arguments against me at MyLeftWing often invited and prompted me to search for additional avenues in my investigation of the history, politics and family of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (whom I call MAMZ because (a) those are his initials, and (b) it is easier to write MAMZ "than" to write "Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga"). If MAMZ's initials are insulting, then I believe that's something his parents should have addressed when they were writing his name on his birth certificate.

With research of documents written in Spanish and available through Salvadoran Government websites, commercial websites and online newspapers, I was able to discover and explain why MAMZ is so adamant that "ZÙÑIGA" is not an appropriate part of his name to be used in referring to him. The initials "MAMZ," in turn, remind the public why it is essential to keep the remember MAMZ's second surname in order to research and understand his background. "The Indictment of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)"

Yes, Karmafish's arguments against me at MyLeftWing gave me more avenues to follow in my investigation of MAMZ. For example, when Karmafish said that MAMZ did not say he was engaged in "work" at the CIA and only that he was "a trainee," I researched a CIA description of "training" at the CIA which said that trainees "work" alongside experienced CIA personnel. So, if MAMZ was training at the CIA between 2001 and 2003, as is the only conclusion that can be drawn from his own words, then--at least as the CIA defines what "training" means, MAMZ training necessarily included "work."

I am not going to include many links here because they can be found in the column to the right and/or in a distilled investigative piece called, "The Indictment of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)"

You get the picture. I provided facts and links while Karmafish publicly doubted my "credibility" but could not punch a single hole in the citations I presented, which is why we ended up arguing over the semantic difference between MAMZ's "working" and "training" at the CIA for two years. Others such as Conceptual Guerrilla agreed with the inevitable conclusion that MAMZ worked for the CIA at some or all times between 2001 and 2003, and that it was a logical question to ask whether he continues to work for the CIA. The news spread to all corners of the blogosphere, except the mainstream media blogs, where outing CIA agents remains forbidden.

Since so many whitosphere commenters questioned whether "training" constituted or included "work," I wrote an entire article about this silly question of semantics, posting it here and at MyLeftWing.

The truth of the matter is for the "Jury of the Left" to decide. In my opinion, anyone who trusts a once-undercover CIA trainee (2001 until his confession in 2006) is ineligible to participate on a "Jury of the Left." The fact that people at DailyKos and MyLeftWing want to argue over whether "working" and "training" with the CIA are equally suspect makes these blogs themselves suspect.

It's like asserting that 5-year Al Quaeda trainee is more trustworthy than a five-year Al Queda worker. I don't think most Americans would trust either one, and members of both classes would be subjected to "enhanced questioning."

So, if you want to know how Karmafish is, he is a blogger who hounded Francis L. Holland at DailyKos and then followed Francis L. Holland to MyLeftWing with the admitted purpose of defending Markos C. A. Moulitsas Zúñiga from MAMZ's own admission that the trained at the CIA for two years, while starting a "leftist" blog, and did so undercover. Why would Karmafish want to dedicate himself to arguing against this investigation? Why would Karmafish effectively act as a MAMZ-minion, with seemingly unlimited time to devote to defending MAMZ?

This blog is not about Karmafish and so I will leave those questions to someone else to answer. Perhaps someone will start a Truth About Karmafish" blog. But that someone will not be me. Karmafish is just one of many hundreds or thousands of people in the blog world whose purpose is, in broad terms, to prevent the blogosphere from becoming an organizing tool for "radical" groups and demonstrations of the sort that we saw in the 1960's. That's my theory.

It's obvious that I was reporting on something that was news to the blogosphere--including the whitosphere, the afrosphere and even the latinosphere.

My argument with Karmafish, who really stood as a representative of a lot of other people in the whitosphere centered on this: 'Does it matter that the foremost recognized leader of anti-war leftists in the blogosphere was training and working at the CIA simultaneous with starting his DailyKos blog, and while helping to develop strategies to stop the war in Iraq?'

'Does it matter that MAMZ did not see fit to include this two-year training period in his resume (by talking about it at an obscure interview at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 2, 2006), until fully five years after beginning to sell himself to the left as a "leftist"?'

Or is Karmafish correct that it really doesn't matter whether someone is associated with the CIA and seeks to "crash the gates" of the Democratic Party? The entire affair seems more like the script to a silly movie than the demonstrable reality that is DailyKos (see "The Indictment of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)") and much of the whitosphere.

Everyone has a right to an opinion, but I simply don't trust anyone who would train at the CIA without telling the public about it, while selling himself to the public as a leftist and an "outsider" candidate for leader of the Left. There are 262 thousand hits at Google that show a keen public interest in the "Moulitsas" and "CIA" queton.

It seems to me, based on all that I have researched about MAMZ, that he has not been forthcoming about what he was doing at the CIA and why, and the relationship between that "work" and his simultaneous decision to start DailyKos. The public is Googling the same question every day, looking for a straight answer.

Karmafish is what I call a MAMZ-minion. MAMZ minions are people who harrass and try like hell to exile anyone who "bashes" or questions MAMZ, his political past, his family's corporations and political participation in Salvador's oligarchy, including the group ANEP. "The Indictment of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)"

I keep my focus on the big picture. I went to DailyKos in 2006 to argue against the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency, which initially took the form of advocating for Hillary Clinton, because she was the only candidate who was obviously not a white man. Later, I saw the end of the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency when Senator Barack Obama was elected president. Whatever Karmafish was trying to accomplish from 2006 until 2008 pales in comparison. Screw him.

I don't know, and I have few facts other than those published here to support my theory, but I believe the US Government will eventually admit that it had more Government-paid bloggers in the whitosphere than there were people who were just there to organize with others and express their opinions. This is a prediction, like my prognostication that the year 2008 would be "time to end the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency.

The whitosphere squealed like stuck pigs when I told them that neither Al Gore nor John Edwards would make it. I don't expect them to agree today that they are infested with Government agents, but the truth will eventually come out, just as it did about the Co-Intel-Pro campaign to infiltrate, disrupt and jail and/or assassinate members of the Black Panther Party.

I wonder if the truth about the gas chambers in Poland was completely clear worldwide when it was happening? It's clear now!

Correction: Above I stated that the first Karmafish comment excerped here was from a blog written by Karmafish. In fact, as Socrates has pointed out, that blog post was written by Isaiah58:1-12
and then Karmafish (whoever he is)wrote a substantial number of comments pushing a Kos Minion point of view about MAMZ's at least two-year service at the CIA.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Article Lists All Markos Moulitsas'
Archived College Newpaper Articles

[UPDATE December 6, 2010:]  Northern Illinois University (NIU), where MAMZ received his bachelor's degree, has changed the links to their "Northern Star" student newspaper archives approximately four times since I first began reporting on and linking to the articles that MAMZ wrote and published at the student news paper, when he was a student and student newspaper writer at NIU.

The articles below are still in the archives of the Northern Star, but, once again, the links don't work.  You have to search in the archives for the name Moulitsas in order to find the articles he wrote, in which he said he was white, not Latino, and in which he opposed ALL gay service in the US Military.

In addition, a new system of comments at the"Northern Star" shows zero comments on old articles, including the once in which MAMZ denounced gays' participation in the military.  But we need only look further down on this blog page to see that there was an angry response to MAMZ's homophobic publication just a week after MAMZ letter was published there.  However, you would never know that if you relied on the  newspapers new "comments" log that only shows comments for articles posted after this new electronic "feature" was added.  Effectively, the newpaper's "comments" numbers lead readers to the mistaken conclusion that no opposing articles were written on the same topic afterward. 

Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) has claimed to those who interview him that he was a leader of Latino students during his days at Northern Illinois University (NIU).  If this is so, then why is it that we can look at every single article written by or about MAMZ during his four-year tenure at NIU and we cannot find a single article about Moulitsas' participation in, for, with or at a Latino event, meeting, or article?

There simply is not a single article in the archives of NIU to support Moulitsas' claims that he led Latino students or any other students, except his letter to the student newspaper representing all those who oppose ALL gay participation in the US Military.

For some reason, the link list is published in reverse chronological order. Below you will immediately see MAMZ's 1993 against ALL gays in the military and then and angry public letter to him, rejecting his arguments and his opinions.

Also be sure to read the Article entitled,  "Escape will only breed ignorance."  (The link doesn't work AGAIN!)  But, it's clear when you read the article in which MAMZ says he can escape from color-aroused antagonism, because he is not a member of a skin color group, minority, or religious persuasion that would suffer discrimination and taunts.

True, his mother was from El Salvador but, since he looks "white", he fits right in and can disclaim any identity (like Latinohood) that would cause him annoyance and discomfort.  It is obvious that MAMZ did not provide the title for this article.  The title was an editorial response to the article's contents.  First, though, read Moulitsas' article opposing ALL gays in the US military, and laughably describing Sam Nunn as a "liberal Democrat".


Military right

Publish Date: 1993/01/25

By MARKOS C.A. MOULITSAS Undecided Freshman
It’s truly disturbing how much ado has been made over Bill Clinton’s campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals from the U.S. military. It’s ironic how it has taken a president who has never served in the military to make a promise that affects the military in such a negative manner.

Those who have served in the military, such as myself, understand the demands and pressures of military life are incompatible with allowing integration with homosexuals. I’m neither socially conservative or prejudiced, and neither is liberal columnist Mike Royko, Gen. Colin Powell, and influential liberal Democrats Sam Nunn and Les Aspin, all who’ve come out against lifting the ban.

Under military circumstances, as much has to be done as possible to focus the unit’s mission and keep disciplinary problems to a minimum. Worrying about whether the known homosexual sleeping next to you is watching as you change your underwear may seem trivial as you read this, but to the soldier who’s short-tempered after three weeks in the field and four hours of daily sleep, it becomes a matter of great importance to his pride and sensibilities.

And in any case, there aren’t many people who would change clothes in a group of co-workers if members of the opposite sex were in the same room watching. There is something inherently uncomfortable about it. Such fears would go a long way in disrupting efficiency and morale in a unit.

MARKOS C.A. MOULITSAS Undecided Freshman

Eleven days after (MAMZ's) publication of that article, Cheryl Anndel, a Business Senior, angrily wrote in response:

Bad attitude

Publish Date:1993/2/5
By CHERYL ANNDEL Business Senior
I’d like to address this letter to Marcos C. Moulitsas.

First, do not assume that former military service people share your views. Rest assured that this one does not. I resent the fact that you assume that just because I’m prior service, I share your opinion.

Second, if a military unit is inefficient and morale is down, that is the entire unit’s fault and not just one soldier’s fault. As military personnel, we are trained to accomplish a mission. If you cannot accomplish that mission because you’re worried about who’s watching you while you change your underwear, it sounds like you don’t have the right mental attitude.

CHERYL ANNDEL Business Senior


Northern Star announces new spring semester staff

Published 1993-12-02 BY Jean Volz Much like the changing of the guards in England¸ The Northern Star will be altering its staff for the spring semester. Brian Slupski¸ senior history major¸ will be taking the reins as the Star’s new editor-in-chief in the coming ...

SA’s boycott displeases faculty members

Published 1993-12-01 BY Mark Moulitsas Some faculty members have expressed displeasure at the Student Association’s methods of pushing for faculty members to release their teacher evaluations. Robert Suchner¸ associate professor of sociology¸ said the SA showed a complete l...

APC questions public health admission policy

Published 1993-11-30 BY Markos Moulitsas Questions concerning the open admission policy of the bachelor of science in public health arose during the Academic Planning Council’s review of the program. The B.S. in community health and the master’s degree in public health were reviewed by t...

Council discusses deadline changes

Published 1993-11-18 BY Markos Moulitsas The composition of student representatives on the University Council was debated at Wednesday’s UC meeting. There has been concern by the UC over the student delegation’s inability to fill all of its allotted slots. Although all student seats curr...

UC student seats filled, yet problems with system remain

Published 1993-11-16 BY Markos Moulitsas Although many people agree the student delegation to the University Council is running much smoother than in years past¸ several problems still are being looked at. UC Executive Secretary Curtiss Behrens said one of the perennial problems wi...

FS rips university health care system

Published 1993-11-11 BY Markos Moulitsas The Faculty Senate on Wednesday attacked the university employee health care system and reacted angrily to the rejection of a motion in the University Council that would have given faculty more power in that body. The FS discussed a petition signe...

Original decision upheld

Published 1993-11-09 BY Markos Moulitsas Concerns expressed by faculty members and students over a decision by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to allow a professor to begin teaching her originally assigned classes more than halfway through the semester have fallen on deaf ears. ...

Presenters explain duties, background

Published 1993-11-04 BY Matt Gilbert and Markos Moulitsas Questions have arisen over the fairness of the judicial hearing process for students¸ as outlined in the Student Judicial Code. Students charged with violating the code must present their case before a board or hearing officer. In order to b...

Fairness of judicial hearings questioned

Published 1993-11-04 BY Matt Gilbert and Markos Moulitsas The hearing procedures of the Student Judicial Code have been criticized because students are represented by student advocates while NIU is represented by professionals. “I think we really need to take a look at the (judicial) code book¸” Co...

College of Business will ease GPA requirements

Published 1993-11-02 BY Markos Moulitsas NIU’s College of Business will lower its entrance requirements next semester in order to fight declining enrollment at the college. Starting next spring semester¸ acceptance to the College of Business will require a GPA of 2.5 for NIU studen...

Report deems NIU judicial code unfair

Published 1993-11-01 BY MARKOS MOULITSAS Although a student can be punished by the university for lying to a university official¸ there is no written code that prohibits a faculty member or administrator from lying to a student. NIU has a student judicial code setting standards of ...

Committee reverses position

Published 1993-10-28 BY Markos Moulitsas Despite a painful¸ drawn-out process¸ the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reluctantly approved the elimination of the M.A. program in journalism. The LA&S College Curriculum Committee reversed its earlier inaction on the issue and...

Norris agrees to stay on as LA&S head

Published 1993-10-26 BY Markos Moulitsas James Norris¸ dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences¸ has agreed to a one-year extension to his term as dean. Norris’ fourth term as dean was supposed to end at the close of the 1993-94 school year¸ but Norris said he r...

UP&A meets to discuss dance security problems

Published 1993-10-22 BY Markos Moulitsas University Programs and Activities held a meeting Thursday to discuss solutions to problems leading to several outbreaks of violence during Saturday’s Homecoming dance at the Chick Evans Field House. Although weak security was blamed for the viole...

APC readies health-related programs for review

Published 1993-10-19 BY Markos Moulitsas The Academic Planning Council analyzed several of NIU’s health-related progams and a graduate program in biology Monday. The APC conducted a general overview of programs that served as “introduction and background into putting the reviews under co...

Column retort

Published 1993-10-14 BY What¸ Markos Moulitsas¸ was your actual intention in writing your “Religion-It’s Just Not For Me” article? If it was merely an attempt at voicing your honest opinion¸ I would like to retort. First¸ I’ll say that I completel...

Band outraged at CAB cancellation

Published 1993-10-14 BY MARKOS MOULITSAS The Campus Activities Board’s decision to cancel a potentially controversial band has sparked the outrage of the band involved. The band¸ P. Nice Joplin¸ was supposed to play Wednesday at noon at the MLK Commons as part of CAB’s Homeco...

Council defeats proposal by near unanimous vote

Published 1993-10-14 BY Lesley Rogers and Markos Moulitsas The University Council debated suggestions to replace a motion that would enable amendments to the University Constitution and Bylaws be approved by a two-thirds vote of present representatives. The move would have enabled faculty to expand their ...

On the paper ...

Published 1993-10-10 BY “I think that The Northern Star is doing a great job¸ from cover page to sports page. This is much better than last year and much better than two years ago. Lyons and Barrington I love your work. Luckily Krol is gone¸ but where in the wor...

NIU’s Homecoming wins outdo Homecoming losses

Published 1993-10-10 BY Markos Moulitsas Since the 1903 Homecoming game NIU has compiled a 50-25-10 record (if you count those early games against NIU alumni¸ which kind of seems like a scam). At Huskie stadium the record for Homecoming games currently lies at 6-10-2. Following are...

Poll indicates respondents oppose multicultural class

Published 1993-10-10 BY Markos Moulitsas Respondents voted by a margin of three-to-one against the creation of a mandatory multicultural class¸ according to the results of an unscientific poll conducted by The Northern Star last week. The poll asked¸ “Are you in favor of the ...

On Weekender ...

Published 1993-10-07 BY “Why should we tip delivery men when we have to pay a delivery charge.” “I been watching the shows and I am sick and tired of these white right-wing feminists and blacks feeling that the white man owes them something. And it wasn’t me who put them...

FS forces search expansion

Published 1993-10-07 BY Markos Moulitsas NIU President John La Tourette faced strong faculty opposition and was forced to change his position at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting when he announced his decision on whether to have an internal or external search to fill two vice presidential ...

LA&S discourages requirements

Published 1993-10-04 BY Markos Moulitsas In an effort to facilitate students’ desires to study in their chosen fields¸ the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is encouraging its departments to drop limited admissions requirements. “The departments need to look carefully at their l...

Committee delays elimination

Published 1993-10-01 BY Markos Moulitsas The proposal to eliminate the master’s degree in journalism apparently has been stalled by the College of Liberal Arts and Science’s College Curriculum Committee. Instead of voting to approve the recommendation¸ the committee first took no a...

Committee dumps proposal

Published 1993-09-30 BY Markos Moulitsas A motion to eliminate the M.A. in journalism as recommended by the Illinois Board of Higher Education failed at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences College Curriculum Committee meeting Wednesday. Committee member Robert Self¸ an English...

Cuts concern NIU colleges

Published 1993-09-29 BY Markos Moulitsas Echoing concerns by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that it is not receiving its fair share of university resources¸ the College of Business says it is facing the same problems. David Graf¸ acting dean of the College of Busine...

LA&S enrollment, budget diverge

Published 1993-09-28 BY Markos Moulitsas The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has had to face growing enrollment while simultaneously being forced to deal with a shrinking budget over the last few years. Despite a general downturn in enrollment at NIU within the last five years&cedil...

Lab animal treatment monitored

Published 1993-09-17 BY Markos Moulitsas While animal experimentation continues to be a subject of controversy¸ NIU must follow stringent guidelines to ensure the welfare of the animals the university performs tests on. Both the psychology and biology departments at NIU utilize ani...

Controversy erupts over term limits

Published 1993-09-09 BY Markos Moulitsas Controversy erupted Wednesday when the University Council attempted to remove the term limits of the ombudsman. The ombudsman serves a maximum of five years¸ the last two subject to the approval of the Ombudsman Review Search Committee&cedil...

FS disputes search plan

Published 1993-09-08 BY Markos Moulitsas Despite the Faculty Senate vote to have a national search to fill the positions of provost and vice president for alumni affairs¸ NIU President John La Tourette still is not sure if one is necessary. La Tourette said he is waiting two weeks ...

Student opinion: Escape will only breed ignorance

Published 1993-09-02 BY Markos Moulitsas Today the Star ran the last of my four-part series on racism at NIU. Having been a project that dominated my life for the last couple of weeks¸ I was more than glad to have it finished and over with so I could return to the mundane world of Fac...

(Last--and most embarrassing--of a series of five articles on "race." This article was not commissioned by the student newspaper but was written by MAMZ sua sponte (on his own inclination) as a reflection on the experience of writing the four articles commissioned by the newspaper. In this article, MAMZ says that he is not a minority who would be oppressed e.g. a Latinos or Hispanic, but he is instead simply a white man who can and intends to ignore the oppression of minorities. He adds that he feels pity for minorities because "they" will never know what a relief it is to be a white man in America. He calls all minorities (including Latinos) "they".

Adding insult to injury, in the article linked above he says he thinks the time spent researching "racism" on campus was a distraction and a waste of his time. He says
Today the Star ran the last of my four-part series on racism at NIU. Having been a project that dominated my life for the last couple of weeks, I was more than glad to have it finished and over with so I could return to the mundane world of Faculty Senate meetings and other reporter stuff.

What an incredibly insensitive thing to print and publish in the pages of a newspaper! I wonder how the Blacks, Latinos and Jews who opened their hearts to MAMZ during the interviews for the previous for articles felt when MAMZ wrote the fifth article, in which he said that the whole endeavor had been a waste of his time Even if that's how he feels, as a white man, does he REALLY need to follow a series of interviews and articles with a letter saying the whole endeavor was a waste of time? Why didn't he just keep that to himself, or share it with other non-minority white men who could relate to his callous attitude?

Groups exploit racism

(Fourth of a series of five articles on "race.)"

Published 1993-09-02 BY Markos Moulitsas Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a four-part series on racism at NIU. Today’s analysis looks at the activities of hate groups on campus and profiles an individual activist in the hate movement. Racial tensions at NIU serve as a lightning rod t...

Racism built upon insensitivity

(Third of a series of five articles on "race")

Published 1993-09-01 BY Markos Moulitsas Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series on racism at NIU. Today’s analysis looks at the African-American experience at NIU. It is essential for a college student to feel comfortable in his or her academic environment in order to be ...

NIU reflects racism’s complexity

(Second of a series of five articles on "race.")

Published 1993-08-30 BY Markos Moulitsas Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series on race relations at NIU. Today’s analysis deals with the complexity of a problem so much of NIU’s community is trying to solve. “Racism exists in the larger society ... (and) people on campus...

The first in a series of five article is not online (for some reason) but it was scanned and e-mailed to me by a staff member at the student newspaper. It is available elsewhere in this blog.

Students vent frustration

Published 1993-08-26 BY Markos Moulitsas In his State of the University address¸ NIU President John La Tourette said that NIU students were “just as satisfied with the education they receive here as students at other Illinois universities.” In response to the president’s remarks&ce...

Council to add new fire station

Published 1993-08-23 BY Markos Moulitsas After several years of consideration¸ a west side fire department for DeKalb finally will become reality. The go ahead for the plan was given last Monday during a workshop meeting of the DeKalb City Council¸ where the council unanimous...

French film to use Egyptian Theater

Published 1993-08-23 BY Markos Moulitsas The Egyptian Theater¸ a DeKalb landmark¸ soon will be seen in theaters worldwide thanks to the efforts of French film director Renan Polles. Polles has been commissioned by the Louvre Museum in Paris to film a documentary titled “Egypt...

Black Studies settles into new building

Published 1993-08-19 BY Markos Moulitsas The Center for Black Studies has moved into its new location. The new building is located just south of its previous location on the 700 block of West Lincoln Hwy. The old building¸ which stood on Lot 15¸ south of the Founders Memorial...

Big Brothers/Big Sisters offers friendship for all

Published 1993-07-13 BY Markos Moulitsas Students with a little time to spare and a desire to help out in the community should consider what many students have already found to be a fulfilling experience—being a big brother or big sister. The Big Brother/Big Sister program matches childr...

Professor Griff speaks on oppression of blacks

Published 1993-07-06 BY Markos Moulitsas With the words “I bring you civilized greetings in an uncivilized world¸” Professor Griff began his message on the miseducation and oppression of black youth in America. Speaking to about 50 people at the Carl Sandburg auditorium Tuesday nig...

Council reviews liquor licenses

Published 1993-06-29 BY Markos Moulitsas In a move designed to attract more restaurants and hotels into DeKalb¸ the DeKalb City Council removed any restrictions on the amount of Class E and Class F liquor licenses that can be issued Monday night. A Class E license allows alcohol to...

Program allows students to work for funds

Published 1993-06-29 BY Markos Moulitsas Students attempting to reduce their dependence on student loans will soon have another option available to them. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has announced a new pilot program¸ the “Alternative Student Service Education ...

City Council approves proposed fiscal budget

Published 1993-06-29 BY Markos Moulitsas The DeKalb City Council approved the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year at its meeting Monday night. The budget was approved unanimously by the council after discussion concerning the funding of some not-for-profit groups. The controver...

Hastert holds meetings throughout district

Published 1993-06-22 BY Markos Moulitsas U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert¸ R-Ill¸ met with some of his concerned constituents Saturday at the Sycamore Community Center. Hastert held three town hall meetings throughout his district in order to “hear what people have to say.” He ope...

Governor Edgar announces plans to expand local airport

Published 1993-06-22 BY Markos Moulitsas Gov. Jim Edgar announced Thursday his approval of $2.1 million in funding for expanding the runway at DeKalb-Taylor Municipal Airport. The governor made the announcement at DeKalb-Taylor Municipal Airport while flanked by local elected officials&c...

It's not for sports

Published 1993-02-22 BY This is in response to Dan Collucci’s letter defending the NIU sports program and the proposed student fee to help pay for that program. It is really irrelevant how many games the football team wins or loses. There is no reason why students should pa...

Bad attitude

Published 1993-02-05 BY I’d like to address this letter to Marcos C. Moulitsas. First¸ do not assume that former military service people share your views. Rest assured that this one does not. I resent the fact that you assume that just because I’m prior service¸...

Alternative link here.

Military right

Published 1993-01-25 BY It’s truly disturbing how much ado has been made over Bill Clinton’s campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals from the U.S. military. It’s ironic how it has taken a president who has never served in the military to make a promise that affects ...

Alternative link here.

© 2009 The Northern Star. The site is best viewed using Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer with at least a 1280 x 1024 screen resolution. Click here to download Firefox or click here to download Internet Explorer 8.

About Us | Advertising | Alumni | Classifieds | Contact Us | Employment | H.S. Journalism | Member Center | NINA | RSS Feed | Subscriptions

The Northern Star is the all student-produced, independent media at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. The Northern Star covers NIU campus news, DeKalb city and county news, NIU Huskie sports and northern Illinois entertainment.

The Northern Star is a limited public forum whose content is determined exclusively by its student editors at Northern Illinois University. NIU administration, faculty or staff in no way control information presented in its newspaper, this Web site or its Podcasts. Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board; columns reflect the opinion of the author, not the Northern Star.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Could increased prominence for atheist/agnostic bloggers spell electoral damnation for the Democratic Party?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When they “crash the gates,” will they take our cross”?

[UPDATE:] I consider the article below, published on March 2, 2007, to be prophetic on my part, considering the conflagration over the opinions of "Pastor Wright" during the 2008 election campaign. I will also make a prediction that Markos Moulitsas will make his desire to run for (or be appointed to) political office clearer as time goes on.

In the article below, I argued that a candidate who was perceived as an atheist could not and would not win the US presidency in 2008. In the 2008 election campaign, the media focus on Senator Obama's and his wife's 20 years of participation at a Christian church, and his weekly attendance there, actually helped Obama, by convincing Americans that the Obamas are Christians and not a Muslim.

The explosiveness of the religion issue (epitomized by the Rev. Wright controversy) also proved that a candidate perceived as not religous at all could not and would not win a general election. (See supporting statistics and polls cited below.)

This article below, about atheism's predominance at DailyKos in whitosphere, was well-documented, well-written and prophetic. Most Americans don't trust avowed atheists. MAMZ cannot win a Congressional seat because his is a poster man for right-wing politics before his "conversion" (which coincidentally (?) occurred during the two years--2001-2003-- when he was "training" and working at the CIA and simultaneously starting DailyKos. Although conservatives can adopt him as one of them based on this history, they will not brook his atheism. So, he cannot win in a conservative district. They also will not believe his claim to have served in the military during the Gulf War, because he served in Bamburg, Germany, and this fact discredits his attempts to use his military service to his advantage.

Meanwhile, the right-wing facts of his past would make voters in a liberal district choose the alternative Democratic Primary candidate, whomever s/he is. Based on my Site Meter at this blog, I can predict that MAMZ's perceived homosexuality would be a negative in a conservative district.

With groups of leftist bloggers meeting and strategizing for "Crashing the Gates" of the Democratic Party, should it matter that 65% of them do not believe in God? "YearlyKos", an annual meeting of “progressive” leftward bloggers from across the United States, will be held in Chicago this year to plan strategy for a “progressive” vision for America. According to their own internal polls, 65% of them do not believe in God, and that may spell trouble to the extent that Democratic candidates are receiving YearlyKos' guidance and relying on their support. DailyKos Internal Poll

”One anonymous member, going by the name “Graccus”, says America needs an “atheist rights movement”, saying, “I think it's time atheists started to come "out" more.” DailyKos Story

The growing influence of atheist and agnostic activist bloggers presents a challenge for Democratic elected officials and candidates who must win the support of all members of their own Party without completely alienating the rest of the electorate. How will tensions within the Party over advocacy groups’ atheism/agnosticism versus religion affect the selection of candidates and the Party’s ability to craft a message that the nation at large will support?

Although not all participants in the leftist blogosphere are atheists or agnostics, 49% at DailyKos, (the foremost of the irreligious blogs), agree with the statement that “God Does not exist and never did”; and “there is nothing supernatural, no spirit; the universe is completely natural and has no higher aspect.” Another 16% agree that “It is my firm belief that I really, really do not know”; “that we cannot know (well thought out devout agnostic).” So, a total of 65% percent of participants at the DailyKos do not believe in God at all. DailyKos Poll This August they will be meeting in Chicago in to explore ways to share their philosophy with the rest of America.

Markos Moulitsas, the founder of DailyKos, says that he and his followers often find public expressions of faith “grating” and “imposing”. “Morality and ethics don't have to come from religion”, says Mr. Moulitsas. “Religious values are no more superior than the values I learned from my abuelita . . .Or the values someone might learn by contemplating the great philosophers. Or whatever. Values are important . . . But that doesn't equal "talking about religion". Markos Moulitsas Story

An DailyKos atheist going by the name “Vjack” says, “I have proposed here that we use an accurate definition in which "atheism" is defined as "the lack of belief in a god or gods" and "atheist" is defined as "one who lacks belief in a god or gods." If we refuse to educate the public about this, we must share in the blame for the social stigma surrounding atheism.” Vjack Story

A recent Gallup poll found that atheists are the least trusted group in America. Editor and Publisher Meanwhile, “A new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that a presidential candidate's religion plays a key role in shaping voter choice. Nearly four-in-ten (39%) say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who is "Christian" the second most positive trait tested, behind only "military service" (48%).” Pew Center

According to the Pew poll,

A candidate's religion continues to play a key role in shaping vote choice. Nearly four-in-ten (39%) say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who is Christian. Moreover, 63% say they would be less inclined to support a presidential candidate who does not believe in God – the most negative trait tested. Pew Center

With polls showing that the public is more committed to religious beliefs rather than less, it appears that, to the degree to which atheist/agnostic groups are able to impose both their political and anti-religious beliefs on the Party and the selection of its candidates, it may be increasingly difficult for candidates to win elective office.

The Pew study goes on to say,

Since the late 1980s, polls have consistently shown that most Americans think religion's influence on the nation is waning. The only exception to this pattern was in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, when Americans overwhelmingly felt that religion's influence was on the rise.

Today, roughly six-in-ten (59%) say religion is losing influence on American life, while 34% say it is gaining influence. And, overwhelmingly, Americans favor more, not less, religion in the country. Fully 79% of those who say religion's role is declining representing 50% of the public overall believe this is a bad thing. Meanwhile, among the minority who feel religion's influence is growing, more say it is good than bad, by a margin of almost two-to-one. Pew Center

Meanwhile, also according to Pew,

Americans overwhelmingly consider the U.S. a Christian nation: Two-in-three (67%) characterize the country this way, down just slightly from 71% in March 2005. A decade ago, Americans were somewhat less likely to tie the nation's identity to Christianity. In 1996, 60% considered the U.S. a Christian nation. By 2002, however, the figure had climbed to 67%, and since then views on this question have remained fairly consistent. Pew Poll Data

So, Democratic elected officials and candidates are caught between a public that deeply values religion and an atheist activist blogger splinter Party faction that is openly hostile to religion and believes that religion should be barely apparent if at all in Democratic candidates’ policies and personalities. Moreover, they seek added respect from the Party for atheism and agnosticism.

In an essay entitled “Atheist Pride”, a DailyKos member who writes under the pseudonym “simplicio” explains:

For too long, atheists, agnostics and all other manner of non-believers have been told by society, in essence, there's something wrong with not believing in God. This comes in the form of open hostility and concern for the atheist "soul" with comments such as "we're praying for you that you find God." Personally, I feel quite content with my atheism and with living a life guided by the principles of humanism and ethics not based on the existence of a supernatural overseer. Simplicio Diary

Atheist and agnostic bloggers are offended by religious expression in politics, but they say they perceive atheism growing in America and they seek more respect for atheists. DailyKos Story Politically, they strive for a Party in which atheists and agnostics “are a large and growing portion of Americans and a major force among progressives.” DailyKos Story

Not all DailyKos members are atheists, but the political strategies developed by the group are grounded in their predominantly atheist philosophy. DailyKos Story
One DailyKos group member writes, “I think it's time atheists started to come "out" more.” “I really don't see a way of restoring political discourse to a balanced position in the U.S. without squeezing at least some of the God out of it.” DailyKos Story

Another DailyKos atheist explains why atheists bloggers feel they should be more open about their lack of faith. “Renee in Ohio” explains, “When someone identifies as an atheist, people tend to see that as a rejection of something that is an important foundation they have build their lives around. It feels threatening.” DailyKos Story

Of course, atheist/agnostic bloggers and all Americans have a Constitutional right to practice or not practice religion as they choose, with our First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The First Amendment

Nonetheless, in this effort to scour religion from the body politic, there may be serious negative ramifications for the Democratic Party to the extent that atheist and agnostic preferences become manifest in Democratic policy statements and candidate selection. In Pew’s national polls of voters, “Fully 79% of those who say religion's role is declining representing 50% of the public overall believe this is a bad thing.

The issue of anti-religious bloggers’ influence on the Democratic Party has already come to the fore in the 2008 presidential race, with Republican religious groups successfully demanding that John Edwards fire bloggers who had ridiculed Catholics’ beliefs. WaPost

Far from being over, there is every reason to believe that the Edwards blogger controversy, which for the religious became a scandal, was only the first shot across the bow in a war that will pit anti-religious bloggers against an intensely religious public and Republicans, with Democratic politicians caught in the crossfire, “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” MyDD Blog

While Republican-linked groups demanded that John Edwards fire his anti-religious bloggers, left-wing bloggers, led by MyDD (connected to DailyKos) simultaneously demanded that Edwards retain his anti-religious bloggers. The combat between the a-religious and the religious defenders resulted in a week of paralysis within the Edwards campaign, with Edwards first bowing to the bloggers and then to their right-wing religious opponents. Based on what the Edwards bloggers had written and published, it was hard to argue that their writings were negative toward others’ religious beliefs.

One of the anti-religious Edwards bloggers had written that:

The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics." She also questioned, in explicit language, what would have happened if the Virgin Mary had taken the emergency contraceptive called Plan B. WaPost

During Edwards’ week of indecision over the bloggers’ fait, Chris Bowers, managing editor at the MyDD blog, (who also publishes at DailyKos), threatened to torpedo Edwards’ campaign if Edwards fired the anti-religious bloggers. Bowers Story Bowers initially called it a “great victory” when Edwards initially decided to keep the bloggers on.

But, as public pressure mounted on television, talk radio and within the Democratic Party, Edwards was forced to remove the anti-religious bloggers, even at the risk of incurring anti-religious blogger community wrath and foregoing the organizational support and fundraising they had promised to Edwards. MyDD

Yet, the anti-religious statements of the Edwards bloggers are hardly isolated in the atheist/agnostic blogosphere. Another atheist blogger at DailyKos said, “If 97% of people are "god believers", then I'd argue 97% of the crime/social disorder is caused by those "god believers".” DailyKos So anti-religious are many atheist/agnostic bloggers that they scrupulously refuse to follow the convention of spelling the words “God” and “Christian” with capital letters.

As Jim Wallis, Christian blogger who is familiar with the atheist bloggers, observed:

I always wondered why many on the secular Left felt it necessary to cut off potential political alliances with progressive religious people, to alienate most of America with nasty anti-faith diatribes, and to choose to ignore the history of most of the social reform movements in this country, where religion often served as a powerful motivator and driving force – as in the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, establishing child labor laws and social safety nets and, of course, the civil rights movement. In recent years, the Left and even the Democrats managed to appear hostile to faith and to people in faith communities. Regardless of what one’s views of the divine are, that’s called shooting yourself in the foot. BeliefNet

Exacerbating the “Religion Gap”

Empirical data bears out Mr. Wallis’ concerns. The anti-religious statements published by the bloggers are exacerbating a well-polled public perception that Democrats are more anti-religious than Republicans. According to the Pew Center polling data,

Even most Democrats agree that their party is not particularly friendly to religion, though few believe that their party is hostile. Nearly half (47%) of all Democrats say that the Democratic Party is neutral toward religion, compared with 40% who feel the party is friendly, and just 5% who say it is unfriendly. By contrast, a solid majority of Republicans (61%) say the GOP is friendly to religion.

Overall, nearly seven-in-ten Americans (69%) say liberals have gone too far in trying to keep religion out of the schools and government, essentially unchanged from a year ago. Significantly, concern over efforts of the political left to limit religion's influence crosses party lines. Large majorities of Republicans (87%), independents (65%) and Democrats (60%) decry efforts by liberals to limit religious influence in the public sphere, including 70% of conservative and moderate Democrats. But just 38% of liberal Democrats express this view.

Among major religious groups, white evangelicals are the most critical of liberals in this regard: 86% say liberals have gone too far in trying to exclude religion from schools and the government. Nearly eight-in-ten of all Protestants (78%) and two-thirds of Catholics (67%) share this view. Large majorities of those who attend church including those who only occasionally attended services are critical of liberals. But nearly half of those with no religious ties (45%) also think liberals have gone too far in attempting to keep religion out of schools and the government. Pew


The electoral implications of these attitudes are stark. By more than two-to-one (61% to 29%), people who wish there was more discussion of faith by political leaders back[ed] Bush over Kerry in the 2004 election, and by a similar margin (63% to 32%) people who think there is too much of it favor[ed] Kerry over Bush. And those who think there is the right amount of religious rhetoric today are divided evenly (50% favor Bush, 46% Kerry). Pew Poll

The polling data seem to indicate that the party most tolerant of religious discussion by its politicians is likely to more easily win the support of religious voters, Democratic and Republican. Pew Poll

Most Americans Want a President with Faith
By three-to-one (72% to 24%) most registered voters say it is important to them that the president have strong religious beliefs. This is virtually unchanged from four years ago, when 70% said it was important, and 27% said it was not. Roughly three-in-ten voters (31%) say they "completely agree" that it is important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, and these voters favor George W. Bush over John Kerry by nearly two-to-one (60% vs. 34%).

Kerry holds a slight 52% to 40% edge among the plurality of voters who "mostly agree" that religiosity is an important quality in a president, and Kerry's lead among those who say this is not important is a sizeable 67% to 24%.

In this regard, while most Americans say George W. Bush relies on his own religious beliefs in making policy decisions either a great deal (26%) or a fair amount (38%), most feel that the influence of religion on his policymaking is appropriate. Just 15% of Americans believe Bush relies on his religious beliefs too much in making policy slightly more (21%) would prefer he rely on religion more often. The majority (53%) says Bush relies on religion about the right amount. Pew

When asked the question, “Do non-believers need to ‘come out’, 86% of those polled at the DailyKos blog responded “yes”. DailyKos Internal Poll

Among the small Christian minority at DailyKos, “Pastor Dan”, explains,

Allow me to point out that many folks on the left share the same perspective, albeit from a different angle: A real Democrat can't be religious! . . . What they're saying is more properly, "a real Democrat shouldn't be religious." Pastor Dan

The irreligious goals of the small groups of atheist/agnostic bloggers could not easily be more diametrically opposed than they now are to the electoral interests of the Democratic Party as a whole. The strongly anti-religious sentiments of the bloggers have profound consequences not only for discussion of religion per se among Democrats, but also for social and political issues in which religious views play a strong part in driving policy views.

Whenever Senator Barack Obama speaks of religion, the chat boards in the leftist blogosphere go wild with denunciations, accusing him of “faith-baiting” the electorate. "Faith Baiting" Criticism Recently, Barack Obama, a Christian centrist Democrat, spoke approvingly of prayer groups being permitted to meet in schools. He said,

Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats. Obama "Call to Renewal" Speech

Immediately, a DailyKos blogger (who systematically avoids capitalizing the word “Christian” in his public writing) angrily denounced Obama’ statement on prayer groups in schools, saying,

Obama crossed the line and signaled the intentions of the "moderate," national Democrats, when he made his case for faith-based groups in schools, when he made his appeal for exclusivity, for anti-constitutional political expediency . . . It makes me sick to my stomach . . . The fight for civil liberties in America was lost”, said the blogger, adding “I could give a shit about expressions of faith.” DailyKos and DailyKos and DailyKos

DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas, in an Op-Ed article at the Washington Post, said of Hillary Clinton,

Little surprise that in late March, the DailyKos' bimonthly presidential straw poll delivered bleak results for Clinton, with just 2 percent of respondents making her their top choice for 2008. Moulitsas WaPost Piece

Unfortunately, Mr. Moulitsas often cites internal polling of his readers indicating little support for Hillary Clinton without acknowledging that most of his members are atheists or agnostics who are offended by politicians like Clinton who publicly acknowledge the role of their faith in the development of their character. So, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seek to assemble a governing majority for 2008 that includes the religious, there will inevitably be public recrimination from the bloggers about expressions of Christian faith by these two front-runners. Here are some additional examples:

Not everyone at DailyKos is an atheist or agnostic. Dawn G. criticizes the atheists at DailyKos for believing that “everyone who still believes in God are mindless sheep, brainwashed into believing in a delusion for their own comfort or to exert control over others . . .” Dawn G.

The outspokenness of the anti-religious bloggers poses a challenge to the Democratic frontrunners, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who both speak openly of the importance to them of their Christian religious faith. An anonymous blogger who goes by the name “Lepanto”, a frequent and well-respected contributor at the blogs, says bluntly of Senator Clinton religious faith, “Politicians who talk about "their faith" give me the shits”. DK Story “When Sen. Obama tells us to be nicer to evangelicals, it rings hollow. . . . It stings when the country is dominated by Christian/Paulite fundamentalism to have our officials backing the other side.” DK Story

Another DailyKos poll found that 69% of respondents are atheists and only 12% believe in God. DailyKos Internal Poll The DailyKos and other majority atheist/agnostic bloggers, who had their annual meeting in Las Vegas last year, will meet in Chicago this August to plan their strategy for bringing their “progressive” vision to the rest of America. YearlyKos Convention They have invited all of the Democratic Presidential candidates to attend a candidate’s forum at the annual meeting. Forum Announcement

However, in light of the scandal that developed recently surrounding John Edwards’ anti-religious bloggers, careful Democrats may want to clearly distinguish their views from those of the atheist/agnostic bloggers.


Unique's picture

Highly Unlikely

"Could increased prominence for atheist/agnostic bloggers spell electoral damnation for the Democratic Party?"

Blue South's picture

This just in

Bloggers are people who have opinions.

This has so many elements of trolling its amazing. BS question to start us off, quotes of figures that may or may not be accurate. Thinking that dailykos is a pile of groupthink.

Your "challenge" to candidates is absurd on so many levels its amazing.

PS- I would respect you a lot more if you actually addressed past criticism of your inflammatory rhetoric instead of just thanking people who were nice to you.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Internazionale's picture

I'll be ignoring this guy completely from now on, unless. . .

You are right---this smells of trollishness. I'll be ignoring him from now on. He has a right to come on, I guess, but I also have a right to ignore him. It's not censorship---I don't read Sean Hannity's blog either.

Francis, I challenge you directly to write a piece saying anything remotely nice about the Democratic Party at any level---national, state, or local. You are the one who needs challenged, I'm afraid.

Also, just to humor you---I'm a progressive Christian blogger and there's plenty of room for atheists/agnostics in my big tent. I'd rather have them than the religious bigots who inhabit the GOP.

War is over if you want it.

Actually, Francis ignored my question on his thread

I pointed out a wee bit of hypocrisy and asked a question and he completely ignored me and went on to others.

Oh well....so much for his credibility. I tried to engage and give him the benefit of the doubt, but I don't really think he deserves it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Currently lacking a witty signature.

chartreuse dog's picture

Interesting you saw fit

to omit the opening lines from the Jim Wallis quote above:

I read your piece, Religion, values, and politics, and liked a lot of what you said. But I have a few responses to it. You and I have discussed this before, and you are clearly not attacking religion per se, as too many secular progressives have done for a long time.

and the concluding paragraph of his rather lengthy piece:

So Kos, let’s made a deal. How about if progressive religious folks, like me, make real sure that we never say, or even suggest, that values have to come from faith – and progressive secular folks, like you, never suggest that progressive values can’t come from faith (and perhaps concede that, in fact, they often do). If we progressives, religious and secular, could stop fighting among ourselves (shooting ourselves in the foot) and join together on some really big values issues – like economic fairness, health care, and a more just foreign policy – think of the difference we could make. How about it?

It appears to me that Jim Wallis was trying to find common ground in that blog, quite the opposite of the divisiveness I see in your comments above.

Unique's picture

Opinions Are Like -

fingerprints. Each one unique.

But seriously - a person's religious beliefs or the lack thereof often have very little to do with how they act or what they say or do.

Just look at the 'family values' crew who think protecting the family is fine - as long as your family looks just like their family.

Our the 'Support Our Troops' crowd who will send them off without proper equipment or training and make them pay back enlistment bonuses if they become too disabled to remain on active duty. Nice folks, those.

Anyone can make faith and religion an issue if they choose to - but most sane people don't choose to.