Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Separation is a good thing

By BJ Bjornson

A nice little article from McClatchy on the importance of Church/State separation. Unfortunately quite likely to be ignored by its main targets, as in the GOP field, but nice to see as part of the conversation in any case.

The separation of church and state in American public life is essential to ensure that U.S. citizens retain their civil liberties and that the nation retains its exceptionalism in the world, a group of experts told a forum Tuesday at the National Press Club.

As the 2012 election season heats up, the experts voiced concern over the view held by some that the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion, allows religion to be mixed with governance, which they said is incorrect. They said that American exceptionalism stems in no small part from religious liberty.

I admit that I�m not entirely certain just how American exceptionalism relates to religious liberty, as I�ve normally found its expression to be a healthy dose of the unhealthy kind of �we can do no wrong because we�re so great� thinking that also infects the worst of religion, but I would say that much of America�s greatness comes from its ability to ignore the worst tendencies of religion and govern based on empirical principles. Part of the reason the Republicans� insistence of turning everything, including things like Climate Change and opposition to renewable energy, into matters of faith is such a scary phenomenon.

I did quite like this paragraph though.

"When we are dragging religion into politics, then we are not searching for truth, but we do it to support our agenda in order to preserve our position, so the necessity for separation of church and state is essential" he said.

Which I think pretty much sums up every position ever taken by the religious right, and a good reminder why the criticism of religion is also a necessity for a decent society.

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