Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:04 am

Klaudandus wrote:Some of the contradictions can be dismissed seeing how you got old testament and new testament texts contradicting each other. But other contradictions come from texts from supposedly the same time period, or even the same text!


- Retribution Paladins are overpowered.
- Retribution Paladins are underpowered.
- Retribution Paladins are fine, L2Play.

All of these come from the same forum in the same time period! Clearly, Ret pallies are as mysterious as Elvis and God. :D

One possible way out of this maze was offered by Alfred Korzybski (and later expanded by creators of E-Prime language). If we replace "X is Y" statements with something along the lines of "under conditions M and N, X appears to be Y", things become much more clear.

For example, statements 'Bob is an angry and grouchy person' and "Bob is a happy and friendly guy" appear to be pretty much irreconcilable (unless we assume that one of them is a lie, or that Bob is manic-depressive). However, once we add extra qualifiers 'Bob appears to be an angry and grouchy person when he's in his cubicle at the office' and 'Bob appears to be a happy and friendly guy when relaxing on the beach with his girlfriend', the contradiction vanishes.

Sagara wrote:Now, is it me, or is everyone at least agreeing on the "we don't know, and whatever we believe is based on either guesswork, Occam's Razor or wishful thinking"?


And the sum of our personal experiences, both negative and positive. That's also a major factor.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:28 am

Fridmarr wrote:Where's the people in that? You never mention them, you simply lump it all into "religion" which is the same absurd logic that's always used to justify the most evil of things. You just went on for paragraphs explaining how all (err *usually) religion is a man made thing , but when it comes to your critique, you never criticize the people, just religion.


I'm steering pretty clear of the religion debate this time around. I've had enough of it lately, and I'd be liable to suffer an aneurysm if I had to debate it right now, but I wanted to make a few points.

@Fridmarr
If he says that Religion is a man made thing, and then he goes about critiquing Religion, he is in fact critiquing the people by definition, because without the people, there would be no religion in his determination. It's an ideology, that I agree with. Faith, is always defined as a more personal "thing" when dealing with "religion", while "Religion" is more of a social construct.

@Contradictions in the bible.
As to pointing out the contradictions in the bible, one of the biggest is found in the New Testament. Compare the geneologies given by Luke, and Matthew for Jesus. There are glaring discrepancies between the two.

The big thing that people trip all over themselves about the bible, is that they think that this is some giant text that belongs together. It's the holy word of God! But it's not. Even if it was divinely inspired.

It's a collection of texts written by dozens men. Some of the texts are written as personal journals, and some of them (Genesis) were written 2500+ years later, by someone who obviously did not witness the events. And some of them, were outright "predicting the future" (Revelations and the prophets of the late Old Testament as the biggest examples).

These were not written by one man. They were not written by 2 men. They were written by dozens of men, who lived across the ages. They were assembled into a book, and claimed as divine, many years later. Moses didn't write Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers and Dueteronomy, expecting that they would later be chopped into separate "books", and then placed in a "bigger" book, with other "Books" and used as an overarching holy text. He most likely wrote those texts as a work for his people. To ensure that the traditions, and culture, and history of his people would be protected, as well as their faith.

He didn't know that thousands of years later, a man named Paul would write, and then a thousand or so years later, someone would decide that they all needed to go in the same book.

And there are plenty of texts out there that are held by the Catholic Church, Jewish Sects, and other Religious entities that detail many things from the time period. They are historical records of a culture over the years, and a biased historical record as well. Without reading, and understanding other historical texts from the time, it's hard to understand some of the "why" in the bible.

Why weren't they allowed to eat pork or Shellfish? Because that was a long time ago, and they weren't capable of ensuring that it would be clean, and safe to eat.
Why does the New Testament speak heavily on Sexual Deviancy? Because they were pushing back against the incredibly debaucherous culture of the time. Go look up Caligula. There is a reason his life became fodder for a porn. Then, consider that by most accounts, Caligula rose to power shortly after the events of the life of Christ as we know it.

There are reasons why the bible says things, and not all of them are related to Faith. Many of them were/are related to everyday life of the time.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:21 am

Shoju wrote:@Fridmarr
If he says that Religion is a man made thing, and then he goes about critiquing Religion, he is in fact critiquing the people by definition, because without the people, there would be no religion in his determination. It's an ideology, that I agree with. Faith, is always defined as a more personal "thing" when dealing with "religion", while "Religion" is more of a social construct.


Right but that doesn't change anything.  "Religion" is the broadest possible reference and it's a slippery slope.  To take your comment further, since humans made religion, that's like saying, humanity said the earth 5000 years old, so humanity is stupid.  Humanity persecuted scientists who said it wasn't, so humanity is evil.  We are all humans so we are all stupid and evil.
 
Religion didn't "say" those things, some people interpreteted religious texts to mean that, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  People will believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do, religion isn't a provervbial gun to anyone's head.  It's a series of choices and actions that leads one to accept a religion, adhere to a religion, adhere to a specific intepretation of a religion, and to ignore evidence to the contrary. 
 
If you want to rip on folks for reaching such conclusions, that's fine, but don't try to pin it on "religion".
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:44 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Religion didn't "say" those things, some people interpreteted religious texts to mean that, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  People will believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do, religion isn't a provervbial gun to anyone's head.  It's a series of choices and actions that leads one to accept a religion, adhere to a religion, adhere to a specific intepretation of a religion, and to ignore evidence to the contrary. 
 
If you want to rip on folks for reaching such conclusions, that's fine, but don't try to pin it on "religion".

Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

If a whole bunch of people believing in the same way about their god isn't a religion, what do you call it?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Cogglamp » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:02 pm

WTB political discussion and move religion discussion to separate forum. Pst with price.

Separation of church and state people.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:03 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Right but that doesn't change anything.  "Religion" is the broadest possible reference and it's a slippery slope.  To take your comment further, since humans made religion, that's like saying, humanity said the earth 5000 years old, so humanity is stupid.  Humanity persecuted scientists who said it wasn't, so humanity is evil.  We are all humans so we are all stupid and evil.


Yes. It is the broadest term. No, it's not the perfect term. Even the bible aludes to humans being evil, wicked, terrible creatures, until they find god. It's riddle throughout both the old and New Testament. Jesus even says in Matthew 7, that there is one but good. God.

Fridmarr wrote:Religion didn't "say" those things, some people interpreteted religious texts to mean that, in spite of evidence to the contrary. 


Well of course "Religion" didn't say that. It can't speak. It's not a sentient "thing" it's a societal construct created by people.

Fridmarr wrote: People will believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do, religion isn't a provervbial gun to anyone's head.


Yeah. You're right. I forgot about all the stunning talks I had growing up.

Don't listen to that, you'll go to hell
Don't have sex before marriage, you'll go to hell
Don't masturbate, you'll go to hell
Don't get tattoos, you'll go to hell
Don't be gay, you'll go to hell
Don't have an abortion, you'll go to hell
Don't use Birth Control, you'll go to hell.

All of these things, based on Doctrines of Religion.
Yes. Totally never ever used as a "Gun to someone's head" :roll:
It's not the gun against someone's head to get them to conform. It's the gun against someone's head to keep them inline.

These aren't things believed by one person. These are beliefs held by entire denominations of Christian people. And what is a denomination? A subset of a religion.

It's a series of choices and actions that leads one to accept a religion, adhere to a religion, adhere to a specific intepretation of a religion, and to ignore evidence to the contrary. 


Which, from my perspective is 100% completely the problem. You and I have debated it before. I think that the current position of religion is a sham. People want their sermons from the pulpit on Sunday, Wednesday, or Saturday, or whatever other holy day their denomination has, but they don't want to read, they don't want to question, they don't want to understand.

They have accepted the societal construct that is their religion, and choose not to question it, or the people who "administer" it.

 
If you want to rip on folks for reaching such conclusions, that's fine, but don't try to pin it on "religion".
[/quote]

Well, I will continue to "Rip" Religion for it. Religion, from my perspective, (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here) is the problem. Religion, the societal construct, is the problem. Not Faith. I have no problem with Faith. I find myself more conflicted in my beliefs than most. But Religion, in the definition of the societal surroundings, is very much the problem.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:Religion didn't "say" those things, some people interpreteted religious texts to mean that, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  People will believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do, religion isn't a provervbial gun to anyone's head.  It's a series of choices and actions that leads one to accept a religion, adhere to a religion, adhere to a specific intepretation of a religion, and to ignore evidence to the contrary. 
 
If you want to rip on folks for reaching such conclusions, that's fine, but don't try to pin it on "religion".

Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

If a whole bunch of people believing in the same way about their god isn't a religion, what do you call it?

"A religion" is not the same thing as "religion" the same way that "a man" is not same thing as "mankind".

Are there lots of people who believe that evolution is hooey because they believe that their religion says so and choose their religion over scientific theory? Of course. But are there also a lot of religious people that have no such entanglement with science? That evolution is merely the natural process of God's will? Of course. Why do you insist on lumping them into the same bucket? Again science and religion are not necessarily opposed.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:08 pm

Shoju wrote:Yes. It is the broadest term. No, it's not the perfect term. Even the bible aludes to humans being evil, wicked, terrible creatures, until they find god. It's riddle throughout both the old and New Testament. Jesus even says in Matthew 7, that there is one but good. God.

Are you seriously suggesting that's OK to use such language because the bible does the same thing?  Do you always treat people by association with a demographic?  I find that appalling.  It's at the root of some of the worst sorts of behavior of mankind.
 
Shoju wrote:Well of course "Religion" didn't say that. It can't speak. It's not a sentient "thing" it's a societal construct created by people.
It's also not a singular entity and not capable of having a singular position, which is the point.
 
Shoju wrote:Yeah. You're right. I forgot about all the stunning talks I had growing up.

Don't listen to that, you'll go to hell
Don't have sex before marriage, you'll go to hell
Don't masturbate, you'll go to hell
Don't get tattoos, you'll go to hell
Don't be gay, you'll go to hell
Don't have an abortion, you'll go to hell
Don't use Birth Control, you'll go to hell.

Oh right, because those are really effective.  Nothing convinces a person to not do something like a threat that they'll go to hell (which again...not a universal axiom of religion).  How many on that list have you done/supported?  I'm guessing it's not zero...that's a pretty shitty gun, or are you actually posting from hell?  They aren't based on doctrines of religion, they are based on doctrines of a religion...I have no idea which one, but there's probably one out there like that.
 
Shoju wrote:Which, from my perspective is 100% completely the problem. You and I have debated it before. I think that the current position of religion is a sham. People want their sermons from the pulpit on Sunday, Wednesday, or Saturday, or whatever other holy day their denomination has, but they don't want to read, they don't want to question, they don't want to understand.

They have accepted the societal construct that is their religion, and choose not to question it, or the people who "administer" it.
I'm glad that you presume to know what people want and what they do.  I mean based on the stellar examples of religious influences that you have commented on in your life, it's clear that you ought have the entire planet figured out.  I'm sorry that your interactions have been so terrible for you, I really am, but I don't think that projecting them on to everybody else paints an accurate picture.  How familiar are you with people of faiths that aren't Christian?  I'm just curious because everything you rail about seems limited to that group.
 
Shoju wrote:Well, I will continue to "Rip" Religion for it. Religion, from my perspective, (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here) is the problem. Religion, the societal construct, is the problem. Not Faith. I have no problem with Faith. I find myself more conflicted in my beliefs than most. But Religion, in the definition of the societal surroundings, is very much the problem.

Yes, unfortunately you are not alone.  Sadly, it's a rather common position.  Religion the societal construct isn't anything special.  It's not particularly different than most other of the countless societal constructs.  It can be good, bad, or indifferent.  I'm glad we don't treat the local book club like we do the KKK though.  Maybe we should look at each religious group on its own merits instead of on our own interactions with religion or whatever stereotype we want to apply to them.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:13 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:Religion didn't "say" those things, some people interpreteted religious texts to mean that, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  People will believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do, religion isn't a provervbial gun to anyone's head.  It's a series of choices and actions that leads one to accept a religion, adhere to a religion, adhere to a specific intepretation of a religion, and to ignore evidence to the contrary. 
 
If you want to rip on folks for reaching such conclusions, that's fine, but don't try to pin it on "religion".

Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

If a whole bunch of people believing in the same way about their god isn't a religion, what do you call it?

"A religion" is not the same thing as "religion" the same way that "a man" is not same thing as "mankind".

Are there lots of people who believe that evolution is hooey because they believe that their religion says so and choose their religion over scientific theory? Of course. But are there also a lot of religious people that have no such entanglement with science? That evolution is merely the natural process of God's will? Of course. Why do you insist on lumping them into the same bucket? Again science and religion are not necessarily opposed.

That's just semantics, isn't it? Can you not infer from context that when I am talking about religious people who believe in creationism and take Genesis literally that I am speaking about those people among those particular religions who espouse those beliefs?

When I said that where religion and science disagree, science has been correct every time, clearly I am referring to instances where "a religion" or "persons within a religion sharing the same belief" believed something contrary to science, such as creationism or Noah's ark.

Clearly I am not saying that every member of every religion believes the same thing.

To what level do I need to refine the term such that I can speak without being bogged down with semantics? Do I need to specify the religion, the individual church, or whether it is the 8 am or 10 am service? Because I do not have a list of all the individuals in the US who believe in creationism - I only have a Gallup poll reporting that a whopping 40% of Americans believe in a strict interpretation of creationism: http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/Four- ... onism.aspx

69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx So the majority of religious people in the US believe in a strict interpretation of creationism, if one assumes that none of the nonreligious people believe in creationism, which seems logical, although we are talking about Americans here...

When the majority of people feel the same way, can you use the general term to describe them? Is it invalid to say "religioius people believe something" when in the general sense it is true, but on the specific level it may or may not be? Can I say "tigers are orange with black stripes" or do I need to qualify that by including white tigers? At what percentage does the general become acceptable?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:25 am

69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx So the majority of religious people in the US believe in a strict interpretation of creationism, if one assumes that none of the nonreligious people believe in creationism, which seems logical, although we are talking about Americans here...

Selfdescribing as "very" or "Moderately" religious does not mean that each and every one of them subscribes to every "very" or "moderately" relifious or fanatical idea (depending on how you describe it).

Also, on the faith/science intersection - science doesn't explain why, it explains how (and the causality of how).
For instance, science explains how lightning is formed physcially due to the different charge of ground and clouds or inbetween clouds. That does not preclude that the metaphysical reason for the lightning isn't Zeus, Thor or God.

An analogy, a microwave oven pushes waterparticles in food so it heats up. That explains why food gets hot causality. But it doesn't explain that it only does so because I started the microwave - now imaginge you could observe the effects and causality of the microwave, and could explain the workings of the microwave oven (on a much larger scale), but couldn't percieve or explain me - some would say that science in such a world would deny my existance, but it doesn't, it simply explains what can be percieved and what can be explained.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:54 am

Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:
Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

If a whole bunch of people believing in the same way about their god isn't a religion, what do you call it?

"A religion" is not the same thing as "religion" the same way that "a man" is not same thing as "mankind".

Are there lots of people who believe that evolution is hooey because they believe that their religion says so and choose their religion over scientific theory? Of course. But are there also a lot of religious people that have no such entanglement with science? That evolution is merely the natural process of God's will? Of course. Why do you insist on lumping them into the same bucket? Again science and religion are not necessarily opposed.

That's just semantics, isn't it? Can you not infer from context that when I am talking about religious people who believe in creationism and take Genesis literally that I am speaking about those people among those particular religions who espouse those beliefs?

When I said that where religion and science disagree, science has been correct every time, clearly I am referring to instances where "a religion" or "persons within a religion sharing the same belief" believed something contrary to science, such as creationism or Noah's ark.

Clearly I am not saying that every member of every religion believes the same thing.

To what level do I need to refine the term such that I can speak without being bogged down with semantics? Do I need to specify the religion, the individual church, or whether it is the 8 am or 10 am service? Because I do not have a list of all the individuals in the US who believe in creationism - I only have a Gallup poll reporting that a whopping 40% of Americans believe in a strict interpretation of creationism: http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/Four- ... onism.aspx

69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx So the majority of religious people in the US believe in a strict interpretation of creationism, if one assumes that none of the nonreligious people believe in creationism, which seems logical, although we are talking about Americans here...

When the majority of people feel the same way, can you use the general term to describe them? Is it invalid to say "religioius people believe something" when in the general sense it is true, but on the specific level it may or may not be? Can I say "tigers are orange with black stripes" or do I need to qualify that by including white tigers? At what percentage does the general become acceptable?


Welcome to the wonderful world of Science, where every word must be carefully analysed and selected to correctly describe the phenomena, and where expansive definitions are the norm. :D

Seriously, don't expect touching "soft" sciences like sociology without having to throw long detailed explanations of who and what you're talking about - devil's in the detail on these matters.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:58 am

Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

I'd call it "stupidity". Maybe "epistemophobia" if I wanted to sound posh. :)

And no, it's not synonymous with or caused by religion. As someone who grew up in Soviet Union (with its tradition of militant atheism), I can attest that non-religious people can be just as stupid, bigoted, belligerently ignorant, resolutely opposed to all new knowledge and stuck in their dogmatic ways as the worst Bible-thumping fanatics.

Koatanga wrote:69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx


Which means that picking a different framework for this issue is not only reasonable, but strategically correct.

Let's try a simple thought experiment:

Imagine that it's election year 2040, and you are running for the presidential office. Your main opponent's core political program boils down to "our country is so awesome, therefore let's murder the shit out of everyone". Gallup polls indicate that 69% of the voters are very or moderately patriotic.

If you want to defeat him and save the world, what will be a better response - "yes, our country is awesome; however, mass murder is a horrible atrocity and is against the laws of our awesome country, so don't vote for this dangerous lunatic" or "no, our country is mediocre at best - in fact, it pretty much sucks donkey balls most of the time - so if there's anyone who should be wiped out for the good of humanity, it's us"?

Likewise, if you approach the current situation as "us vs. religion" issue, the aforementioned 69% will be your enemies, and you'll likely lose. If, on other hand, you present it as 'us vs. bunch of nutjobs from Texas education board', they can be your greatest allies. Tell them that God does not exist and only a delusional idiot would believe in him, and you'll hand their support to the indoctrinators on a silver plate. Convince them that hatemongering and brainwashing children is antithetical to the teachings of Christ and offensive to God, and they'll tear fundamentalists a new one.

Does that sound cold and manipulative? Well, it is the Politics thread. :)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:05 am

Passionario wrote:
Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

I'd call it "stupidity". Maybe "epistemophobia" if I wanted to sound posh. :)

And no, it's not synonymous with or caused by religion. As someone who grew up in Soviet Union (with its tradition of militant atheism), I can attest that non-religious people can be just as stupid, bigoted, belligerently ignorant, resolutely opposed to all new knowledge and stuck in their dogmatic ways as the worst Bible-thumping fanatics.


As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:53 am

Sagara wrote:As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?


No, you've nailed it. :(

The flavor of bullshit is different here, but the core components are the same - entrenched stupidity and oppression of everything that is different. You can take Shoju's list, replace "...you'll go to hell" with '...it's unnatural', '...it's not patriotic' or '...it's a menace to society', and it will be spot on.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:48 am

Sagara wrote:As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?


The Soviet Union was agressivly atheistic. Russia, on the other hand, has seen a great resurgence in religious beliefs. The patriarch of the orthodox church has a very close relationship with Putin.
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