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Christianists on the March


Society & Culture  (tags: )

Moondance
- 2881 days ago - truthdig.com
Chris Hedges warns that the Christian Right is the most dangerous mass movement in American history.



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Comments

Sandra Barringer (119)
Thursday February 22, 2007, 10:44 am
I'm just astonished at now far this movement has gone into the political/other arena. What is in their minds when they violate the Constitution in their thinking? don't they see where this leads? Read just a little history of religions, and it always ends up in persecution, burning of "witches", inquisistions, etc. Of course, the people who do these things are pretty much ignorant and probably haven't informed themselves of their own history of atrocities committed in their names -- acutally their leaders' names. No matter, the outcome is always the same: terrifying. Those who are currently advocates think that this will never touch them; it's the enemy, the other, the outsider, that is in for trouble. What they don't foresee is that after the supposed "enemy" is burned at stake, or whatever cruelty is decided to be inflicted upon them for not cooperating with their torturers, their leaders then turn on them. They think they're exempt. They're not.
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday February 22, 2007, 11:02 am
American Taliban

The “War on Terror” has provided Americans with a helpful introduction to theocracy. The fight against Al Qaeda, the war on the Taliban, and the growing tensions with the regime in Iran has offered a quick primer on the hallmarks of the religious state. First is the rule of religious authorities, whether it be Bin Laden’s new Caliphate, Mullah Omar’s Taliban regime, or the mullahs in Tehran. Second is the imposition of the faith’s sacred texts as law, in these cases, some variant of sharia law of the Koran. And last is the direct involvement of the state in the most minute and deeply personal aspects of individual lives, enforced by religious police, informed by spies, and punished severely (and often publicly).

Now thanks to the Bush administration, a Republican Congress and the conservative ascendancy, Americans need not travel to Kandahar to learn about the perils of theocratic rule. Right here in the United States, a network of politicians, religious leaders, “faith-based” organizations and (literally) their amen corner are working overtime to make a particularly onerous concept of Christianity the de facto law of the land. Armed with the Bible in one hand and the Patriot Act in the other, George W. Bush and his GOP jihadists threaten to fundamentally change the role of government in monitoring Americans’ lives, liberties and even bodies.


Meet the American Taliban:

http://www.perrspectives.com/features/Taliban.htm

George Bush --- The President’s theocratic tendencies go back to his days as Governor of Texas. There he proclaimed the celebration of “Jesus Day”, in recognition of He who “changed my heart.” As President, his “Faith-Based Initiative” seeks to put $8 billion of taxpayer money in the hands of religious organizations to deliver social services without regard to potential discriminatory practices. The President, who apparently has his own "prayer team", consistently uses religious language and imagery in his speeches. Regarding his foreign policy, Bush emphasizes that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution not withstanding, “freedom is a gift from the Almighty.” (They were called the Founding Fathers, and not the Founding Deities, for a reason.)

Antonin Scalia --- Supreme Court Justice Scalia has provided much of the intellectual heft and rhetorical rage in the legal assault on the separation of church and state. Scalia, a virulent opponent of gay and reproductive rights, has dissented from virtually every ruling expanding the right to privacy, including the Texas sodomy case (Lawrence v. Texas) and Colorado constitutional referendum on gay rights (Romer v. Evans). The outspoken Scalia had to recuse himself from the Newdow Pledge case after his public criticism of the Ninth Circuit Court in comments at a "Religious Freedom Day" celebration. As for the separation of church and state, Scalia recently asked a Jewish audience, "did it turn out that, by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America? I don't think so." He added, "I am an originalist, I am a textualist, but I am not a nut." History, Mr. Justice, will be the judge of that.

Roy Moore ---The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court insisted on displaying a massive granite monument bearing the Ten Commandments at his courthouse and refused to obey a Federal judge’s ruling ordering its removal. In defiance, he claimed that announcing it depicts the "moral foundations of law" and reflects the "sovereignty of God over the affairs of men." For his actions, he is now rightly the former Chief Justice. Now, he seeks passage of the Alabama Senator Richard Shelby's "Constitution Restoration Act" and its House companion, the "Ten Commandments Defense Act" offered by Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt. Among other threats to the separation of church and state, these bills would ban Federal courts from curbing state court rulings allowing an "acknowledgment of God".

Sam Brownback --- The Kansas Senator and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful aims to bring his retrograde worldview to the White House. A one-time evangelical turned born-again Catholic, the former Gingrich firebrand wants to bring his personal jihad against abortion, stem cell research and gay-marriage to the entire United States. A warrior for the supposed "culture of life," in 2006 Brownback displayed a child's drawing of embryos on the Senate floor during the stem cell debate, relating the 7-year old girl's plea, "are you going to kill me?" Announcing his candidacy, Brownback declared that "every human life is a beautiful, sacred, unique child of a loving God" and that "the family and the culture are under withering attack." It's no wonder his American Taliban fellow traveler Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said of the Kansan, "Senator Brownback is unrivaled as an advocate for the family and for life in Washington."

John Ashcroft --- The Attorney General may be on his way out, but his longing for a return to the Middle Ages is undiminished. The son of a Pentecostal minister, the man who lost his Missouri Senate reelection to a dead man brought his own version of sharia to the Justice Department, holding regular prayer meetings, covering up bare-breasted statues, and barring meetings of gay employees. Apparently, only Ashcroft's deep devotion to God exceeds his anti-abortion ferocity and fidelity to neo-Confederate causes such as blocking desegregation and African-American judges. Ashcroft neatly summarized his own view of American government, "Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus."

Tom Delay --- The one-time exterminator and ethically challenged House Majority Leader is also one of Washington’s foremost Crusaders. The man who once compared the EPA to the Gestapo (for banning his beloved DDT) sees his mission as bringing “a Biblical worldview to government.” Among other things, that worldview includes Delay's conclusion that "I don't believe there is a separation of church and state. I think the Constitution is very clear. The only separation is that there will not be a government church." Delay also pronounced that "our entire system is built on the Judeo-Christian ethic, but it fell apart when we started denying God. If you stand up today and acknowledge God, they will try to destroy you... My mission is to bring us back to the Constitution and to Absolute Truth that has been manipulated and destroyed by a liberal worldview."

Henry Hyde --- Author of the Hyde Amendment limiting the use of Federal funds for abortions, Hyde is one of the fiercest voices of morality in the House. This, despite the fact that the Illinois representative and Clinton impeachment hound had an adulterous affair he deemed a "youthful indiscretion.“ Hyde had experience in handling these matters publicly, speaking out in defense of his similarly disgraced colleague Dan Crane in 1982, "he is embarrassed, he is humiliated, he is disgraced...The Judeo-Christian tradition says hate the sin and love the sinner...I think it is time to love the sinner." For Hyde, the Judeo-Christian tradition apparently did not apply to Bill Clinton.

Rick Santorum --- The staunchly Catholic Senator from Pennsylvania has been ardent foe of abortion and reproductive rights since joining the Senate. A leading voice in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment banning same-sex marriage, Santorum has been outspoken about the perils to American society of “man on dog” relationships. The junior Senator from Pennsylvania, who has also stated that there is no constitutional right to privacy, sees gay marriage, and not Al Qaeda, as the greatest threat facing the United States. ""I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

Tom Coburn --- Joining Bill Frist among the ranks of the physician Senators, the Oklahoman alerted his fellow Sooners to the threat of lesbians run amok in the their high schools. "Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?" Coburn, an obstetrician, has said he favors the death penalty for abortion providers and called state legislators "a bunch of crapheads." The good doctor, who called his race against Brad Carson a choice between "good and evil", also has been accused of Medicare fraud and sterilizing a woman without her permission.

Jim DeMint --- The new Senator from South Carolina has already distinguished himself on both social and tax policy. During a campaign debate, DeMint stated that "if a person is a practicing homosexual, they should not be teaching in our schools." DeMint also has it ass-backwards (pun intended) on tax reform, proposing the abolition of the income tax and its replacement with a wildly regressive 23% consumption tax.

James Dobson --- The head of Focus on the Family, Dobson has created a global empire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Heading a group whose radio programs reach 7 million Americans each week and are broadcast in 115 nations, Dobson may now be the leading crossover politico-religious figure in the country. In the immediate aftermath of Bush’s reelection and the GOP tidal wave in Congress, Dobson threw his weight around, calling for Arlen Specter’s head and labeling Vermont Senator Pat Leahy a “God's people hater.” (Dobson might want to consult with Vice President Cheney on getting their message – and language – straight visa vis Leahy.)

Jerry Falwell --- The creator of the Moral Majority, Falwell continues to play a major jihadist role in mobilizing the Christian Right. Still smarting from his courtroom defeat at the hands of Larry Flynt, Falwell attributed 9/11 to divine punishment of America, stating "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" More recently, he called the NOW the “National Organization of Witches” and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State “anti-Christ”.

Pat Robertson --- The one-time presidential candidate and broadcasting giant with Ralph Reed made the Christian Coalition into the power it is today. Robertson agreed with Falwell's assessment that the United States, home of feminists, homosexuals and abortionists, got its just desserts from the Lord on 9/11, Robertson also turned election prognosticator in October, "I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004...It doesn't make any difference what he [Bush] does, good or bad, God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him."

Ralph Reed --- The head of the Georgia GOP and Bush’s coordinator for the southeast U.S., Reed is the archetypal Crusader. The man who helped make the Christian Coalition such a dominant force summarized his un-Christian tactics, “I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night.” Blessed are the meek indeed.

Tony Perkins --- Perkins has led the Family Research Council since 2003, after previously founding the Louisiana Family Forum to fight the "increasing influence of the homosexual community on public policy issues" and authoring that state's covenant marriage legislation. Perkins likes to refer to the "homosexual death-style" and labels civil unions "a serious threat to the health of our culture." With Bill Frist, Perkins is at the center of the judicial filibuster fight, proclaiming after the death of Terri Schiavo that the courts "are suffering from a persistent state of arrogance" and "no longer respect human life." Along with Dobson and other junior members of the American Taliban, Perkins is hosting the April 24th "Justice Sunday" event to protest the judicial filibuster as an attack "against people of faith."

Tony Perkins --- Perkins has led the Family Research Council since 2003, after previously founding the Louisiana Family Forum to fight the "increasing influence of the homosexual community on public policy issues" and authoring that state's covenant marriage legislation. Perkins likes to refer to the "homosexual death-style" and labels civil unions "a serious threat to the health of our culture." With Bill Frist, Perkins is at the center of the judicial filibuster fight, proclaiming after the death of Terri Schiavo that the courts "are suffering from a persistent state of arrogance" and "no longer respect human life." Along with Dobson and other junior members of the American Taliban, Perkins is hosting the April 24th "Justice Sunday" event to protest the judicial filibuster as an attack "against people of faith."

Gary Bauer --- Bauer, president of American Values and former head of the Family Research Council, shows that bearing a striking resemblance to Star Wars' Yoda is no barrier to influence in American culture. The one-time presidential candidate continues to play a major role in driving the supposed Christian agenda. Telling his faithful that "our nation stands at the brink of a cultural crisis", Bauer adds that "and so long as God gives me breath I will do everything possible to defend faith, family and freedom. Once again, I must ask for your prayers and your financial support."

Richard Land --- Land, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's "Ethics and Religious Liberty" Commission, has been a steadfast and vocal supporter of President Bush. He noted that "Republicans abort at lower rates than Democrats. I read an estimate that by the 2000 election, five million potential Gore voters had been lost to abortion." He also pointed out that "I don't think there's any question that this president's heartbeat is close to the heartbeat of Southern Baptists when it comes to very serious and important public policy issues to Southern Baptists." Recently, Land's commission has been debating a proposal encouraging Southern Baptists to home-school their children, removing them from the "godless public schools."



 

David Cromie (6)
Wednesday April 11, 2007, 9:59 am
We should all be grateful to Blue Bunting for the links supplied above. I have now managed to access all of them and these articles have privided some stimulating reading, even if I have not always agreed to some of the assertions contained in them, especially the unintelligible, unintelligent article by Deepak Chopra. It is illogical, pseudo-metaphysical and incoherent by turns. He seems to forget that 'common sense' once thought the earth flat, and positioned at the centre of the universe. Likewise, he apparently has never heard of the reification of ideas phenomenon - the process whereby 'I think, therefore it exists' is used to bring into being all sorts of mystical , mythical even, entities, such as gods, devils and demons, not to mention ghosts and fairies!! The 'I'' exists when the 'I' acts on the world, and the world then reacts to the 'me' - it is this symbiosis which allows all of us to realise that 'we' exist, and that is 'consciousness'. Consciousness is nothing more than the outcome of the 'bundle of cells', known as the brain, doing what they are biologically determined to do. There is no dualism, 'mind' is not some separare entity, any more than 'spirit' is, in the context. It is the 'I' which sees beauty in nature, hates wars, seeks love, needs sustenance, experiences happiness, etc., etc. On this basis, Decartes' Cogito is delusional, and should be rewritten 'I act, and am acted upon, therefore I know I exist', to which should be added, 'and as I grow older, and based on my biological/sociological endowment, I learn to think with ever more coherence, depending on how I use my capacity to enquire/learn about the world, or situation in which I find myself in at any given time'. Not so snappy as 'Cogito ergo sum' I grant you, but more scientific and 'reasonable', don't you think?
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday April 11, 2007, 10:09 am
David, perhaps doing some research on Dr. Deepak Chopra's background woul dhelp you understand the sources from where he draws his "belief systems" ... also Taoists and Buddhists teach us to fight constantly against the "I" (ego) ...

:-)

"My religion is kindness." --H.H. XIV Dalai Lama

 

Gods Girl (0)
Wednesday April 11, 2007, 5:54 pm
christians that try and discourage ungodly behavior are not at all like the nazis.The Nazis killed all that apposed them. Good christains do not do that.The try as best they can to lead people to the truth so that they van repent and change.
 

David Cromie (6)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 2:46 pm
It all depends on how one goes about using the 'I' in our dealings with the world around us. If the 'I' thinks the world revolves around his/her's wants and desires, and owes him/her a living, then that is egocentrism, and is to be roundly condemned. A bald injunction to fight against the 'I' as a matter of routine, seems to me an invitation to be at constant war with ones self, and is thus, in an ironic way, just another form of egoism.
Sarah's comment is in the form of the 'no true christian' fallacy - each of the people alluded to above under the 'American Taliban' heading would consider themselves 'true christians', without equivication. How does one know which are the 'real' true christans, when one surveys the many forms, or sects/sub-divisions, among christians, all of whom make the claim exclusively with regard to themselves? While the fundamentalist wings of these christian groupings, would indeed love to exterminate all those who do not toe their particular line, be they other christians or non-christians. Sounds like a rather fascist ideology to me!!
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 3:00 pm
David, you might want to investigate the Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu belief systems. Buddhists believe that "ego" causes all suffering ... and I'm inclined to agree.

I can't buy the demons and the saints part of the belief systems; I let go of that long ago, after being indoctrinated in Catholicism.

I do belief in karma.
 

David Cromie (6)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 3:16 pm
I, too, was indoctrinated into christianity and have long since rejected the whole panoply of beliefs/superstitions associated with religion. In the 60's I did look at other, Eastern, belief systems, which were very much in vogue at the time, but rejected those also For me morality is an objective question, and is based on the human rights/obligations which spring from those characteristics which make us different from all other animals. A clue lies in the fact that we each know how we would like to be treated by others, so from that realisation we then know how we should treat others, and all living things as well. This is a rather simplistic analysis, but I hope it conveys the flavour of the philosophy.
 

David Cromie (6)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 3:23 pm
Oh, I forgot to say, with regard to Dr Chopra, knowing his religious/philosophical background might well explain his particular views, but it does not make them any the more acceptable when dissected for what they are. I do not deny him the right to express them, however much I may disagree with him on certain points.
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 3:27 pm
David, would you like to discuss the belief system of H.H. XIV Dalai Lama and the "power" of the mind and intent?

Harvard scientists are studying this "power" and they are intrigued by the monks who have been meditating for years; they put them in a -40 F. room and drape/wrap them in wet, ice cold sheets ... within a short perod of time, the onks generate enough heat to make the ice cold, wet sheets into "steam" that heats the room ...

go figure ...
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 4:02 pm
Indeed, your comments do convey the "falvour" of th ephilosophy ... and, as in medicine ...

first, DO NO HARM!
 

David Cromie (6)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 4:10 pm
Thanks for the invitation, BB, but I will have to decline. With all due respect, for me the 'normal' presents too many questions (hunger, wars, man-made pestilence, racism, homophobia, cruelty, etc.), without delving into the paranormal. I hope you understand. By the way, these types of 'powers' have been examined before as possible weapons for the military, and the CIA, during the Cold War. If the Harvard scientists were to harness thepower of the mind, as demonstrated by these monks, they too would become state secrets, and put to no good use, I fear.
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 5:13 pm
David, these "powers" aren't secret; anyone studying Tibetan Buddhism and practising for years can learn to do these things.

You've also heard of Maharaishi University's "flying siddhis"?
 

Ronmlies Fascist (0)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 5:23 pm


9 church members excommunicated for not voting Bush
This clearly violates several laws, such as tax-exempt organizations (translation: churches) not being permitted to engage in political activity.

Video.
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/05/06.html
 

Ronmlies Fascist (0)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 5:25 pm
Not GOP? You're Excommunicated!


Statement from Ralph G. Neas

Following the report that nine members of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in western North Carolina were excommunicated because they did not support President Bush in the election, Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way Foundation, had the following statement:

“What have we come to when the doors of a church are closed to longtime members because of their political beliefs? When a pastor equates political support for the ‘wrong’ candidate with a sin before God?

“I would say to Senator Frist and Karl Rove that this is what comes of attempts to manipulate religion for political gain. Americans simply will not accept the claim that ‘unless you accept my political beliefs, you cannot be a good Christian.’

“This nation was founded on respect for religious belief, and tolerance for religious diversity. Men and women of faith have every right to advocate for their political beliefs. While churches, of course, can set their own membership standards, no one should punish people of faith for their political beliefs.

“This is terribly sad. I urge the President to express his opposition to all attempts to manipulate faith for political gain.”

http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=18697


 

Ronmlies Fascist (0)
Thursday April 12, 2007, 5:26 pm
Bush, Blair Excommunicated: Church Of The Nativity
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://palestinechronicle.com/story-20030331193942221.htm



Bush and Blair are barred from ever entering ChristiansÂ’ most sacred place
BETHLEHEM - Spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Lands, archimandrite Attallah Hanna declared that U.S. President George Bush, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, British Premier Tony Blair, his Foreign Minister Jack Straw have all been deprived from visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.


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This decision was taken to express the refusal of the Palestinian Christians of the U.S.-led invasion on Iraq.

In a special interview with IslamOnline.net, Monday, March 31, Hanna described both Bush and Blair as excommunicates, as they have turned a deaf ear to several calls by the Orthodox Church and other churches before war erupted.

“This indicates that leaders of the invading states did not listen to the church, and hence, we deem them excommunicates and perverted.”
“Bush and Blair behave in an antagonistically to the Semitic Church that calls for stopping the aggression and hostilities against Iraq,” he added.

The Church of Nativity decided on Sunday, March 30, 2003, to excommunicate Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair and Straw due to their military attacks on Iraq.
The decision was declared Sunday by Father Banar Teyous, representative of the Orthodox Nativity Church during a march, organized by Orthodox institutions in front of the Church, to criticize the U.S. British invasion of Iraq.

Father Banar Teyous said that U.S.-British invaders are war criminals and children assassins and hence, the Church decided to excommunicate them.

The War Has No Religious Cover

The attacks undertaken by the alliance in Iraq is contrary to the instructions and message of Christianity, Father Attalah said.

“Such a war targets both Muslims and Christians and is in favor of the world Zionism that seeks to promote the notion of religious and civilizational struggle,” he added.

“We condemn the aggression and call for an immediate stop thereof, as what is happening in Baghdad, capital of civilization, is extremely painful.”

He expressed the sympathy of the Christian church with the Iraqi people, underlining that there is no moral or religious cover for the deeds of invaders in Iraq.

Hanna said that the excommunication decision is only a means to express disapproval and strong condemnation of what is currently going on in Iraq. It is also an expression of the ChurchÂ’s sympathy with the Iraqi people.

The Church also declared its desire to put an immediate end to the war on Iraq, he said.

Global Christian Campaign

Hanna unveiled the efforts and contacts made by the Oriental Orthodox Church with several Christian churches the world over to organize a global Christian campaign in coordination with the Islamic institutions in order to stop the aggression that targets the Arab nation, the civilization and human values stipulated under the heavenly scriptures.

Archimandrite Hanna called upon the whole world, Christians and Muslims, to cooperate in order to defuse the Zionist and imperialist plans.

He said that there must be an Arab, Islamic and Christian cooperation with the objective of boosting historical links among followers of both doctrines in order to strengthen the values of dialogue and unity in the Arab world.

It is worth noting that the Church of Nativity is the first church on earth and has a special importance for different Christian sects, as it was established where Jesus Christ was born.

The Church consists of a huge religious compound that includes the church building as well as a number of monasteries and other churches that represent different Christian sects.

The Church is managed by three sects, namely, Orthodox, Earth and Franciscans.

[IslamOnline & News Agencies [islamonline.net).] Published at the Palestine Chronicle. IslamOnline
 

David Cromie (6)
Friday April 13, 2007, 6:13 am
BB, I did not contend that these 'mental powers' were secret, I only contend that IF the research at Harvard succeeds in harnessing them, then the US will designate them State Secrets, and attenpt to use them for its own ends, namely, military ends. As for the 'flying siddhis', I have seen them bouncing up and down on their mattresses, on TV - not exactly what I would call 'flying'.
More specifically, I would pose the following questions: in what way do these mental powers, or the exercise of mind over matter, help to feed the starving in drought-ridden Africa, or help to stop the war in Iraq, or cure intractable diseases, or even ameliorate global warming, etc.? These are some of MY concerns.
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday April 13, 2007, 11:00 am
I'm "with you" David, on your concerns; I wish Maharishi, the Pope, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and all the religious leaders of the world would funnel their "profits" into helping "the poor" as Jesus requested ... rather than glorifying themselves with fine clothing, big churches, fine cars, etc.
 

David Cromie (6)
Saturday April 14, 2007, 11:04 am
Indeed, BB, it has always amazed me that the money (sometimes a tithe, or tenth of income) extorted through fear of hell, and self oppression in the form of guilt, by the Fallwells and Robertsons of this world, ostensibly to do 'good works', is used the enrich their own lives and bank balances, first and foremost, and this fact is ignored by the 'faithful'. These parasites do, of course use some of it to increase the size of their particular flocks (bigger flock=greater income), build more grandiose and more brash hate temples (the Crystal Cathedral, for example), but most importantly they fund fascist polititians and parties (the alternative Taliban) - that seems to be the epitome of doing 'good', in their eyes. They also, from time to time, go on drinking sprees, seek out the comforts of prostitutes or rent boys, as the feeling takes them, and when found out all they have to do is 'confess' tearfully, and ask for forgiveness!! The Plymouth Brethern also had a drunken, philandering guru, affectionately known as 'Big Jim', but I expect he is dead by now.
The Maharishi, before he had to flee the law for tax evasion, possessed something like a fleet of twelve Rolls Royces, not to mention private jets, all paid for by his uncritical dupes.
 

Weekendwarrior Bushsucks (2)
Saturday April 14, 2007, 11:20 am
this article is right you need soldiers to march with ummm who shall we use?

FEMA Directing Donations to Pat Robertson

Surfing the Apocalypse | September 2 2005

FEMA is directing Katrina donations to none other than the Rev. Pat Robertson.

Millions of Americans and people around the world have rushed to donate money to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which is shaping up to be one of the worst U.S. disasters in history, if not the worst.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the lead federal agency in the rescue & recovery operation at work in New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf coast.

FEMA has released to the media and on its Web site a list of suggested charities to help the storm’s hundreds of thousands of victims. The Red Cross is first on the list.

The Rev. Pat Robertson’s “Operation Blessing” is next on the list.

“It’s an outrage,” said privacy watchdog Bill Scannell, who alerted Sploid to the FEMA / Robertson scam. “Operation f**cking Blessing? And it’s right underneath the Red Cross link!”

Click here, FEMA also supports sending money to B'nai B'rith International
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2005/020905directingdonations.htm
 

Weekendwarrior Bushsucks (2)
Saturday April 14, 2007, 11:24 am
FEMA’s Plan for Mass Destruction Attacks: Of Course It’s True
Christopher Ruddy
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2002
Let me state for the record that FEMA is moving ahead with plans to create temporary cities that could handle millions of Americans after mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.
Though the agency has denied the program to some of our readers and has made misleading claims about NewsMax’s original story to members of the press, the basic facts of the story remain unchallenged.

In early July, NewsMax first reported in our e-mail news service, Insider Report, the story "FEMA Preparing for Mass Destruction Attacks on Cities," revealing that FEMA was seeking bids from three major real estate and/or engineering firms to help prepare for the creation of the emergency cities, using tents and trailers – if an urban area is attacked by NBC (nuclear, chemical or biological) weapons.

Since that report, several NewsMax readers and members of the press contacted FEMA and asked them if the NewsMax story was true.

These readers reported to us that FEMA has categorically denied the story.

For example, my friend Jonathan Kemp, who hails from an illustrious California family (his father was a director of Standard Oil of California), called FEMA’s Washington office and was told by a public affairs officer, "The news report about FEMA building the temporary cities to house disaster refugees is totally bogus."

NewsMax, of course, told its readers it stood by the story.

In late July, I called FEMA and spoke with public affairs officer Chad Kolton.

I explained to Mr. Kolton that it was improper for the agency to claim that NewsMax had fabricated this story.

Mr. Kolton denied that there was any claim by FEMA that the NewsMax story was baseless, only that it was "factually inaccurate."

He made that claim without having read the NewsMax story, which he asked me to e-mail to him.

As I pointed out to Mr. Kolton, FEMA has put out a bid notice for the program to build the temporary cities (they call it "temporary disaster housing"). The bid is not only a matter of public record, it also is available on the federal government’s Web site.

Note: You can read a synopsis of the bid by clicking here. A lengthier explanation of the program is available online at: http://www1.eps.gov/spg/FEMA/OFM/ORPD/Reference-Number-EMW-2002-TAC/listing.html

The Emergency Housing Cities

On June 19, FEMA posted a special bid notice for one of the agency’s largest contract awards ever – offering contracting firms $300 million for a five-year contract to simply prepare plans to create temporary housing on a scale never before imagined, and then stand by.

This is reportedly one of the largest contracts ever awarded by FEMA for a disaster preparedness program.

The name of the program is entitled "Standby Technical Assistance for Disaster Related Operations."

The bid notice states, as NewsMax first reported, that three real estate/engineering firms will be selected for the program.

The firms will be required to provide "technical support, consultant and project management resources" with the specific duty to "provide project management resources and expertise to support the Disaster Housing Program."

According to the bid notice, the firms need to have professionals, including engineers, architects and other real estate-related experts.

According to a source familiar with the current bid, the program is a major expansion of a smaller program FEMA has had for temporary housing in case of disasters.

The Standby Technical Assistance program bid offering never mentions "mass destruction attacks" or terrorist preparedness.

Instead, the bid notice’s "Statement of Work" sets out a broad mandate for the firms being contracted, stating that "The Contractor shall be required to provide support capability for all types of disasters with emphasis on riverine and coastal flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis."

The bid states: "... the firm must have at least one permanent and adequately staffed and equipped office located in the Washington Metropolitan area, and two (2) additional offices in other geographic locations within the United States with the capability supporting deployment operations in the event that one area is incapacitated."

The real purpose of the Standby Program was made clear to potential contractors at a meeting held on July 10 at the Department of Education headquarters in Washington.

FEMA officials met with the representatives of firms seeking the bids. Approximately 100 people attended the meeting.

FEMA officials made very clear that the purpose of one of the most massive undertakings in the agency’s history was to prepare for potential mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.

Sources who attended the meeting tell NewsMax that most of the meeting dealt with how the firms should handle biological, chemical and nuclear disasters.

After he had reviewed the NewsMax story, I again chatted with Mr. Kolton. He identified the factual "inaccuracies" in NewsMax’s story.

One was that NewsMax reported the contracted firms need to be prepared for creating such cities by January of next year. Mr. Kolton said the firms only need be hired by January of 2003.

NewsMax reported that FEMA told contractors it had ordered tents and trailers for temporary housing. Mr Kolton said the tents and trailers have not been purchased yet. (That may be the case, but FEMA does currently possess tents and trailers for disaster housing.)

These are minor points – and a far cry from claiming the NewsMax story was "totally bogus" or "riddled with inaccuracies," as some members of the press have been told.

In fact, Mr. Kolton agreed that the program includes preparation for terrorist mass destruction attacks, though the FEMA bid notice specifically avoids using such language.

He stressed that the Standby Program is being implemented to prepare for "all types of disasters” including terrorist ones.

Asked why the bid notice conveniently forgot to mention the potential for terrorism, though it must be among the highest priorities for FEMA, he again stressed that the language does include that possibility – though the program’s main focus, he said, is on natural disasters.

What natural disaster had caused such a need for the largest program of its kind ever in the history of FEMA?

In decades of emergency response, why, all of sudden, is FEMA set to spend $300 million just for architects and engineers over the next five years simply to be on "standby"?

This $300 million doesn’t include the probable billions that would be needed for infrastructure and labor to implement the emergency cities.

What natural disaster would require FEMA to create emergency cities in different geographic areas of the U.S. at the same time?

Kolton responded that FEMA could foresee two Category 4 hurricanes slamming into two distinct parts of the East Coast at about the same time.

The evidence is clear that FEMA is preparing for mass destruction attacks. There is nothing wrong with this program, and in fact, the agency has a duty to disclose its plans to the public.

Far from panicking the public, I think the public would be happy to learn that the U.S. government – our government – is preparing for potential terrorist acts. FEMA should be applauded for thinking ahead. It has nothing to hide.

 

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday April 14, 2007, 6:53 pm
Thanks to Blue Gal, Neural Gourmet and everyone who participated in the Blog Against Theocracy …Did you know Pokemon blatantly promotes evolution?…Belief cannot be legislated…The Religious Right's latest phony martyr…The radical Christian right has no religious legitimacy and is, in fact, a mass political movement….Chapter 14 of The Event is up…A Rev.Moon organization linked to selling whale meat…Intelligent Design leader says 'framing' is for athiests and secular elitists…The Catholic hierarchy becomes ever less distinguishable from the Dobson Empire…More from mr. deity…A behind-the-scenes peek at Pat Robertson's Law School
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday April 14, 2007, 11:28 pm
Book Review: Dan Gilgoff's "The Jesus Machine"

The Jesus Machine
How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War
By Dan Gilgoff
St. Martin’s Press
New York, 2007

"The average person in the establishment is not aware of what Dobson is saying to five or ten million people every week," said Richard Viguerie, the conservative activist who pioneered the use of direct mail for the Republican Party in the sixties and seventies. "That has served us beautifully."

The Jesus Machine is a tough read, my friends, for anyone in this country who believes in the separation of church and state. Tough, but absolutely necessary.

As a case study in patience, ingenuity, flexibility and political movement building, this book can’t be beat. The rough read part comes in every time you get jerked back to reality about what the Christian Right wants to impose on this country, and how deeply and uncompromisingly convinced its members are about the sacredness of the mission. Slamming back and forth between being repulsed by their vision for America and in awe of – and trying to learn from – their inarguably successful strategies makes for a difficult experience.

Dan Gilgoff, a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report, outlines the piece-by-piece construction of the Christian Right infrastructure, entering the story through recounting the rise of the powerful James Dobson and branching off to detail other parts of the movement. Dobson serves as a lodestone throughout, the soothing presence that reassures evangelicals that their move into political action is really a moral, God-driven mission and not truly partaking of dirty secular politics at all.

::
And back when Dobson started his radio show in the late 1970’s, it certainly seemed an apolitical venture. Gilgoff points out that the turbulent 1960’s "gave the evangelical movement a culture to define itself against," and Dobson, a professor at UCLA with a strong Christian upbringing, early on tapped into the unease of listeners that "presented him with the opportunity to win their trust and to help instill in them an orthodox Christian worldview that rejected the reigning postmodernism." The founding of Focus on the Family by all accounts was not based on political calculation, but on the need Dobson identified in his largely female audience to find advice on child-rearing, straying spouses, addicted family members and all the other personal issues that suddenly seemed destabilized by the re-examination of cultural roles. Indeed, the radio host appears to have resisted – and still does – any inference that Focus on the Family is primarily a political machine, pointing to the bulk of its active correspondence with listeners still addressing the private realm of personal conduct, private adversity and Bible-based spiritual clarification.

As the popularity of his radio show exploded, along with sidelines of books and videos, he quickly integrated successful business advisors into his network and hired "correspondents" who helped Focus on the Family retain its customized, personal approach to listeners who contacted the organization for counsel. His insistence on quick response to those seeking advice led to an archiving of his broadcasts and numerous writings so that listeners who called or wrote in were able to have their problems addressed by Focus counselors who could access an immediate database on Dobson’s views. This reliance on amassing data extended to compiling of extremely valuable contact information on the listeners themselves, and it wouldn’t take long for more politically motivated religious leaders on the Christian Right to eye both the model and the data with envy.

While Dobson continued to struggle to maintain a scarcity value in the fledgling Christian Right political market – rarely giving interviews, rarely endorsing candidates or causes – other more politically ambitious leaders began to amass their own constituencies and causes. Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Paul Weyrich and others began building a nuts-and-bolts parallel movement alongside Focus on the Family that urged evangelicals to end their retreat from public life and begin to demand that their views be reflected in issues and candidates in the public square. Much of this transformational movement from public to private rested on tapping into evangelicals’ retroactive anger at Roe v. Wade and court rulings regarding school prayer.

Gilgoff uses three main issues to tell the story of movement building: the Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts, the agitation to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and the Terry Schiavo affair. The mobilization of the Christian right base that crystallized around these all-out policy pushes are instructive in their glimpse of the tightrope the leaders walked when trying to satisfy purists and pragmatists. The frustration of the politically savvy often ran head-first into the all-or-nothing-at-all ideologues, particularly as the coordinating groups struggled with different approaches to gay marriage bans. Indeed, reading some of Gilgoff’s observations – and stripping them of the issue itself to look clearly at the tussles over strategy -- leaves one thinking of recent arguments among Democrats about where to draw the line with the Republican Party over various issues.

Consider this passage, which seems ripped right out of the dialogue we often have right here at Daily Kos about the value of taking a stand even if victory is unlikely:

"Leadership at that time [1998 mid-terms] was interested in winning, and if you didn’t win, they didn’t want to have the battle," said Coburn, who served in the House until 2000 and was elected to the Senate in 2004. "I had a different philosophy: that you don’t always have to win, but you can’t not fight for what you believe. You look through history and you see people who stood the high moral ground by continuing to lose until the public was awakened to the truth of what they were saying. The battle [in 1998] was not can you win or not; it was about whether or not the Republicans were fighting. Fighting and losing has value. Not fighting has no value."

One of the undoubted benefits to the Christian Right of this strategy has been how it has spoken directly to the evangelical base and integrated dormant members into the political sphere – even when success is elusive. Still, there is a discernable tension between those who now consider themselves inside the political system (like Ralph Reed and Paul Weyrich) and those who stand outside, demanding results.

But as evangelicals have risen to the upper echelons of the government, many have grown frustrated with what they consider the outsized expectations of Christian Right leaders....Some inside-the-beltway social conservatives complain that the Christian Right has come to see Washington as the solution to social problems, just as big-government liberals do.... "Politics follows culture, not the reverse," said Paul Weyrich.

Contradictions within movements are nothing new on the political scene, but Gilgoff really mines the ins-and-outs of this particular one in an objective fashion, separating the ideology from the method, in a way that makes The Jesus Machine about much, much more than simply Dobson, Focus on the Family or the politicization of the evangelical movement. He looks at some of the top-down models that worked and those that failed. He examines the creation of the Family Research Council and its Family Policy Councils at the state level that helped to distance Dobson from the day-to-day political mechanics, and the issues for which the bottom-up organizing were most effective. He looks at the rivalry and chase for the same donor dollars between the overlapping groups and at the ways the competition was resolved – or not – between them.

It’s well worth the effort as a reader to try and remove the religious content angle from most of the information on offer in this book and settle into an analytical frame of mind. There is much to be learned and even more to be considered and possibly adapted to our own needs, from use of "movement language" and how it can alienate outsiders, to how to activate an base that feels powerless. Aside from its "how to" value, it’s solid as a historical guide and reference book for a Who’s Who of the Christian Right movement. Gilgoff has done a masterful job here of expanding knowledge, not just in documenting the rise of a specific constituency, but in providing an outline of movement-building in general.

Tags: book review, Dan Gilgoff, Jesus Machine, James Dobson, Focus on the Family, Christian Right (all tags)
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday April 15, 2007, 12:34 am
American Family Association, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America Disseminating Nazi-Esque Science of Known "hate group". . . How sad that the far-right Republicans are now embracing known hate groups in order to further their homophobic agenda. "CAMERON'S 'SCIENCE' ECHOES NAZI GERMANY"
 
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