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Thread: Explain Conservatism

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    tee hee!

    God Bless America

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    The year 1960, though, brought a turning point for the conservative movement. That year Barry Goldwater published The Conscience of a Conservative. Generally dismissed in the national media, the book stands today as one of the most important political tracts in modern American history.

    As the historian Robert Alan Goldberg demonstrates in Barry Goldwater, his fine new biography, The Conscience of a Conservative advanced the conservative cause in several ways. Building on William F. Buckley's pathbreaking work at National Review, Goldwater adeptly reconciled the differences between traditionalists and libertarians. The expansion of the welfare state, he wrote, was an unfortunate and dangerous development that undermined individual freedom. Suggesting that New Deal liberalism marked the first step on the road to totalitarianism, Goldwater argued that government should be removed from most areas of American life. Yet he was no strict libertarian. Appealing to those on the right who longed to recapture lost certitudes, he argued that the state had a duty to maintain order and promote virtue. "Politics," Goldwater wrote, is "the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order."

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-1960s/376506/
    Hi Jerry. Thanks for responding. While I do appreciate the response, I was looking for a little more recent synthesis. Or at least a connection to the current day.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonahdog View Post
    Want to eliminate globalism from the US? Turn in your cell phone and computer for a starter. Buy only a Ford or a Chevy with all parts made here. Check all the labels in the grocery store, dont buy any fruits or veggies from South America.
    You are correct in that Trump is a tool.
    You are sadly mistaken if you think America cannot produce all those things. It shows your anti American attitude and arrogance. He is only a tool in the sense that in less than a years time, he has done more to stop the liberal onslaught of our country than all the so called conservatives since Reagan left office.

    He has done some things that are not conservative and certainly has strayed far in his language. But, I will take him any day to the " say one thing cave into the liberals" that make up the vast bulk of our so called conservative politicians.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    Hi Jerry. Thanks for responding. While I do appreciate the response, I was looking for a little more recent synthesis. Or at least a connection to the current day.
    Today's conservative is the same as he was when Goldwater wrote his book. Reagan summed up his conservative view by saying:

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

    Conservatives: Smaller Government
    Liberals: Bigger Government

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    Conservatism is dead in America . Supposedly, conservatism means wanting to preserve the best of the past . But what passes for conservatism today in this country is actually regressivism .
    Today's GOP and most Christians in this country are determined to go back to the WORST of the past - and then some . The late senator Barry Goldwater called himself a conservative, but by today's twisted political standards he would be considered a left-wing extremist .
    Today's right wants to return America back to the days when gay people lived in fear of being discovered , fired from their jobs, put in jail or even sent to mental institutions to be "cured " of their homosexuality with brutal electro shock "therapy " and even being lobotomized .
    And to the awful past when poor women risked their lives and health at the hands of dangerous, unsanitary and incompetent back-alley abortionists while women who could afford it would arrange clandestine but safe illegal ones with actual doctors or would fly abroad for them .
    And to a time when non-christian kids in public schools would be publicly shamed and humiliated by teachers for refusing to participate in Christian prayer and Bible readings ( This actually happened and was more common than most people realize ! ).
    And when the police could arrest you for buying or possessing something as innocuous as a Playboy magazine .
    And too many right-wing politicians are actually racists who don't thinks blacks , Hispanics , Muslims and other non-whites don't deserve equal rights .

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    I'm a newbie around here, but I'll give you my definition of what conservatism is.

    1. I want to conserve the constitution, as it was written, in all that details, including the prohibition against all forms of interfering with religious expression, free speech in all it's forms--meaning whether I agree with it or not, the right to keep and bear arms for an armed citizenry is the only check upon a government that runs amok. These are the most "controversial" part of the constitution today and so I list them.

    2. To me liberty is the greatest gift the founding fathers gave us. Those who would sacrifice liberty in the name safety do not understand what they are doing. They do not understand that once liberty is gone, it is only gotten back at the price of a lot of bloodshed. You cannot just vote it back in.

    3. To express this idea I will quote Alexis de Toqueville for he said it much better than I can: “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” I want to conserve faith, for without faith we cannot have morality, and without morality we cannot have liberty.

    4. This idea again is expressed best by de Toqueville: “When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” I want to conserve duty, honor, honesty, self-discipline, etc... for it is upon these foundations, and only these foundations, that a successful society can be built. The Bible teaches this too for we see that every time the Israelites/Jews lost their grip on these ideas they lost their national power and liberty.

    I guess that's a good enough start as I could write pages on what I want to conserve from what our founding fathers entrusted us to preserve/conserve. But this ought to give you enough to chew on for a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    I'm challenging conservatives to state their ideals in a defensible way. I have a hunch that there are no conservatives anymore. Not in any serious numbers, at least. Not in mainstream politics. The old pre-Trump conservatives, those who actually were ideas-driven, left. George Will works at MSNBC now. David Frum, Bill Kristal, Rick Wilson. It's hard to name a single intellectual who has gone along for Trumpism. And Trumpists often engage in naked hypocrisy. So, I suspect that it has no ideological underpinnings, but is based on a sort of team mentality. I'm looking for someone to prove me wrong.
    If you modify that statement to say that there aren't Trumpian conservatives I may agree. There are certainly still conservatives. I can't rattle off a bunch of names but one that comes to mind is Jonah Goldberg. I often hear him on NPR and he's a conservative Trump critic.
    Trump is a mixture of nationalism and populism and authoritarianism, not conservatism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Today's conservative is the same as he was when Goldwater wrote his book. Reagan summed up his conservative view by saying:

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

    Conservatives: Smaller Government
    Liberals: Bigger Government
    Well, I hear that claim a lot, and while I know that it is what conservatives have claimed to want for a very long time, it doesn't seem like much of a principle at all, and I don't think they really want it. Or, at least, they seem to want the government to do a lot of things. The smallest government, of course, would be no government. And yet, a lot of Trumpian conservatives seem to want billions of dollars spent building a wall on the border, a $600 billion "defense" budget, and in many cases they want their Social Security checks to arrive as always. Oh, and a bunch of them want the government to regulate and punish sex.

    Can you elaborate what the actual principle is?
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    If you modify that statement to say that there aren't Trumpian conservatives I may agree. There are certainly still conservatives. I can't rattle off a bunch of names but one that comes to mind is Jonah Goldberg. I often hear him on NPR and he's a conservative Trump critic.
    Trump is a mixture of nationalism and populism and authoritarianism, not conservatism.
    The conservatives who are anti-Trump, while notable, are now without a party, which makes their views fringe. I'm trying to interrogate the mainstream who seem to have gone whole-hog for Trump.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I'm a newbie around here, but I'll give you my definition of what conservatism is.

    1. I want to conserve the constitution, as it was written, in all that details, including the prohibition against all forms of interfering with religious expression, free speech in all it's forms--meaning whether I agree with it or not, the right to keep and bear arms for an armed citizenry is the only check upon a government that runs amok. These are the most "controversial" part of the constitution today and so I list them.

    2. To me liberty is the greatest gift the founding fathers gave us. Those who would sacrifice liberty in the name safety do not understand what they are doing. They do not understand that once liberty is gone, it is only gotten back at the price of a lot of bloodshed. You cannot just vote it back in.

    3. To express this idea I will quote Alexis de Toqueville for he said it much better than I can: “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” I want to conserve faith, for without faith we cannot have morality, and without morality we cannot have liberty.

    4. This idea again is expressed best by de Toqueville: “When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” I want to conserve duty, honor, honesty, self-discipline, etc... for it is upon these foundations, and only these foundations, that a successful society can be built. The Bible teaches this too for we see that every time the Israelites/Jews lost their grip on these ideas they lost their national power and liberty.

    I guess that's a good enough start as I could write pages on what I want to conserve from what our founding fathers entrusted us to preserve/conserve. But this ought to give you enough to chew on for a while.
    That's pretty much the same as my conservatism

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    The conservatives who are anti-Trump, while notable, are now without a party, which makes their views fringe. I'm trying to interrogate the mainstream who seem to have gone whole-hog for Trump.
    So you're really not interested in what true conservativism is, you just want pseudo conservatives to tell you what their version of it is.
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I'm a newbie around here, but I'll give you my definition of what conservatism is.

    1. I want... free speech in all it's forms--meaning whether I agree with it or not,..
    Please expound on that statement.
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

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    Quote Originally Posted by aCultureWarrior View Post
    So you're really not interested in what true conservativism is, you just want pseudo conservatives to tell you what their version of it is.
    I want what the mainstream of conservatism is right now under Trump. I recognize that this is not the same as other incarnations. This is, in part, why I've found myself agreeing with you way more often since this time last year than either of us have been accustomed to prior.
    Last edited by rexlunae; October 28th, 2017 at 12:28 PM.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    I see a lot of Trump hating going on here.

    I didn't vote for him. I couldn't hold my nose tight enough to keep on the smell of his past and some of the statements made here that are criticising him. However, I must say the man has become a far better president, so far, than I thought it possible for him to become. He has rolled back tons of regulation that have been stifling the economy for quite a while. In one go he rolled back enough regulation that it is estimated was sucking $3 trillion a year out of the economy. That right there is more than any president in several decades has done for the little guy in America for that means more jobs and a better life for a lot of people.

    He has also rolled back things that were clearly unconstitutional which have been limiting the free expression of religious freedom. When the Constitution says there shall be no law limiting the free expression of religion that is exactly what it means. If someone doesn't support the LGBT agenda for religious reasons that right cannot be abridged as the Constitution guarantees them that right, and it is the supreme law of the land. So what if some baker doesn't bake a cake for gay couple. That baker is not stopping, and cannot stop, that couple from marrying or from having someone else bake them a cake. That couple can simply go to another baker who is friendly to their cause and have them make that cake. The couple is deprived of nothing. When that couple goes to court to sue they are, in fact, desiring to limit that baker's right to the free expression of his religion. Oh, I hear the argument that if you go into business you give up your rights, but that is simply a logical fallacy. No where does the Constitition say that you have rights that are abrogated by being in business. That is so far outside the intent of the creators of the Constitution it's laughable. Those men were almost all businessmen, and very deep thinkers, so to say that they wrote a document that would stop they themselves from enjoying the rights they were granting to the rest of the nation is ludicrous beyond belief.

    I also hear the argument against Trump that he isn't perfect. Really? That is one of the, pardon the terminology, stupidest arguments I've heard. Just when have we had a president who was a perfect human being? We never have, and it is a logical fallacy to insist that we must have a perfect human being for president as such a person does not exist. So Trump isn't a born politician, so what? Look at where "born" politicians have taken us. Our constitution is in tatters. Our national debt is so high that if we cut spending tomorrow so that we could pay off what we owe at $1 trillion/yr it would take us more than two centuries to pay off all our debts. We are, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt as a nation. Our politicians have been stealing us blind for a long, long time. They have cooperated with the Federal Reserve to bankrupt us by stealing, through means of inflation and debt, the value of our currency. Right now the real value of the dollar is about $.05. This is why prices are so high, jobs are so scarce, and very few people have the money to actually pay their bills. Politicians are to blame. All those politicians who keep on promising "free" stuff are lying to you. Where do you think that money comes from? It comes out of your pockets. You pay those bills. Every cent the government spends comes out of the pockets of its citizens. Trump is trying to do something about this, but he is being fought by both Democrats and Republicans. You know, the "born" politicians who are absolutely corrupt. And then the media, and you Trump haters, blames Trump because his economic agenda isn't being passed. What baloney.

    To tell the truth, I'm sick of politicians. They are all liars, and yet the great drumbeat is "Trump's a liar". Really? You're going to focus on him alone and let all the other liars who the ones who are actually responsible for the condition our country is in off the hook? The so-called conservatives like McConnel, Ryan, and those of that stripe have lied to us for years. Oh, when they couldn't repeal Obamacare because they didn't have the votes they promised every with their hands over their hearts that they would do it. When they have the power to make change will they? Not on your life. They are the real liars. All those so-called "conservative" pundits who bash Trump on a regular basis support all those politicians who have been lying to us for decades. What does that tell you about them? It tells me they are just as corrupt as the politicians they align themselves with.

    All I can really tell you guys is stop believing the MSM. They are corrupt beyond belief. They are now political tools, not the fourth estate that our founding fathers saw them as when they gave them gave them special protections. The founding fathers saw the media as way to check government power, not to collude with it and protect it from the consequences it deserves when it becomes utterly corrupt as it is now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    1. I want to conserve the constitution, as it was written, in all that details, including the prohibition against all forms of interfering with religious expression,
    Including for Muslims?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    ... free speech in all it's forms--meaning whether I agree with it or not,
    That we have in common.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    ...the right to keep and bear arms for an armed citizenry is the only check upon a government that runs amok. These are the most "controversial" part of the constitution today and so I list them.
    I think we'd differ here, both in terms of policy desires, and in terms of how we interpret the intentions of the Second Amendment. But fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    2. To me liberty is the greatest gift the founding fathers gave us.
    I agree in a qualified way, although, I would caveat that with an acknowledgement that they didn't give it to all of us, and to many they prolonged the denial of it. There is a reason slaves were fighting on the side of the British in the War of 1812.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Those who would sacrifice liberty in the name safety do not understand what they are doing.
    Yeah, there's a famous saying that starts out kinda like that.

    Do you feel like it enhances liberty to incarcerate massive numbers of people? Or to round up and deport immigrants?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    They do not understand that once liberty is gone, it is only gotten back at the price of a lot of bloodshed. You cannot just vote it back in.
    I don't know about that. Peaceful methods have proven generally more effective overall. The powerful always have all the guns, or if they don't, they at least have more and bigger guns. For as many guns as there are out there in the US, I don't think there's much of a case to make that a coup could be raised from the armed people. Now, if a society itself rises up and refuses their leaders' dictates, that can bring down any ruler.

    Neither of these is easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    3. To express this idea I will quote Alexis de Toqueville for he said it much better than I can: “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” I want to conserve faith, for without faith we cannot have morality, and without morality we cannot have liberty.
    How would you assess the morality of Donald Trump?

    Edit: You may have partially answered this with your latest, which you posted while I was working on my response. I'm leaving the question in case you want to add anything in a follow-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    4. This idea again is expressed best by de Toqueville: “When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” I want to conserve duty, honor, honesty, self-discipline, etc... for it is upon these foundations, and only these foundations, that a successful society can be built. The Bible teaches this too for we see that every time the Israelites/Jews lost their grip on these ideas they lost their national power and liberty.
    Well, that resonates for me. I would say that democracy is the situation where an entire nation rises up as their own masters.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I guess that's a good enough start as I could write pages on what I want to conserve from what our founding fathers entrusted us to preserve/conserve. But this ought to give you enough to chew on for a while.
    Thanks for responding, and welcome to TOL. I imagine we will differ on many, perhaps most things. But I hope that we can still have a productive discussion, and perhaps even find surprising agreement.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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