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ACTION ALERT: TELL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS LIBERTY!


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: government, americans, freedoms, religious liberty )

Beverly
- 1385 days ago - action.au.org
Today is the first day of the 112th Congress. Take a moment to convey to your Representative and Senators your hope, and ours, that this new Congress will protect religious freedom. Keep Religion and Government Separate in the 112th Congress!



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Comments

Beverly L. (72)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:28 pm
Many members of Congress have already expressed a desire to promote issues that run contrary to our nation's fundamental principle of separation of church and state. We expect to confront many attempts to breach the wall of separation between church and state, such as legislation that would create school vouchers or condone federally funded religious employment discrimination. It is incredibly important, particularly with the largest freshman class in decades, that we send a message to our elected officials that this wall should not be torn down.
Take action now by telling your Senators and Representative to protect religious freedom by upholding the separation of church and state! Enter your information below to take action now!
 

Marti Williams (170)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:31 pm
There was a reason the fore fathers did it...let's keep it that way !!!
 

Mac R. (289)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:47 pm
It's amazing to me that we even need to be worried about this! But we damn sure do!
 

Beverly L. (72)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:49 pm
Unfortunately Mac we do.
 

Beverly L. (72)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:50 pm
Yes Marti, they intended us to have our freedoms religious and otherwise, we need to stand up for what we believe in!
 

Ross L. (32)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:50 pm
Signed and noted.
Thanks Beverly
 

Beverly L. (72)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 5:54 pm
The forefathers would turn in their graves today if they saw how much religion has infiltrated our Government and laws.
 

Linda G. (187)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 6:13 pm
Religion is private and belongs in homes, places of worship and perhaps private parochial schools. It must be kept separate from government in order to insure democracy. Noted and all members of our household signed.
 

Michael Carney (211)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 6:22 pm
Noted, and signed...As Mac said, it's amazing that we even need to be worried about this, but obviously we do...And Beverly, you are 100% right about the forefathers spinning in their graves if they knew how much religion has invaded our Government, and the Laws they write...
 

Beverly L. (72)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 6:33 pm
As a Pagan living in a heavily Christian right-wing area of California I'm already hiding in the broom closet!
 

Dandelion G. (380)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 6:50 pm
Thank you for taking action on behalf of church-state separation. Your message was sent to:
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Representative John L. Mica (R-FL 7th)

This is very important. As my ancestors were the first to feel the weight of not being allowed to have their own personal relationship with the Creator. Strange how the Europeans came over here for their freedom of religion then denied it to the American Indians.
 

Bruce Eyster (62)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 8:05 pm
signed and noted
 

Robert S. (115)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 8:52 pm
Lets hope they can hear paste the whispers in their ear.
 

Jae A. (323)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 9:16 pm
Signed noted and as Mac and others have said...shame we even have to talk about this much less act on it and then we can only hope that for once they ALL listen for a change.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 11:05 pm
I could not send the letter, messge said I was not in the right district. Didn't think that should be possible for a message like this but...
So here is what I tried to send:

Certain parties involved in America's War on Drugs have allowed churches to assume control of the 12 step Anonymous Programs, rewrite the literature to include Christian Beatitudes, and claim to be authors of those programs. These new Religion-based programs are then populated with citizens who have been arrested on drug-related charges (before they are even tried, as a condition of bail) under threat of revocation of bail and jail or prison should they fail to attend a Christian church religion-based program.

I cannot even imagine a more blatant violation of the "Separation of Church and State" as this which already exists. Arresting people and requiring them to attend church or go to jail, this is happening now. If one complains, one is threatened with 15 weeks of religion-based "Corrective Thinking Classes" at one's own expense. Yes, 15 weeks of State-Sponsored, Christian Brainwashing that one has to pay cash for.

You should be ashamed of using Faith Based Initiatives this way, for profit and religious congregation recruiting. Don't believe me? I have the proof. You won't have to look far to find it for yourself.

AA and NA have been doing a better job of helping alcoholics and addicts recover for 75 years now. Why is it necessary for the churches to plagiarize the 12 steps and create a program that AA and NA cannot endorse? AA and NA are "spiritual, NOT religious programs"; this is a key element to their success and the reason groups like Celerate Recovery will never be able to enjoy the same successes.

Please take action to stop these legal compulsions to attend Christian churches or go to jail for violating the public trust yourselves.

Give AA and NA the recognition they deserve, they provide these services for FREE, always have. Stop the plagiarism by the churches, stop the crime being committed by the states, cities & counties.
 

Margi L. (129)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 11:26 pm
Letters sent and noted Beverly. Not that it does me much good. All of the Utah Senators and Representatives are Mormon and the last thing they want is a separation of church and state.
 

Rosemary Rannes (634)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 11:35 pm
Thanks Beverly !
 

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 5:04 am
Signed and sent. Thank you, Beverly, for posting this petition.
 

Beverly L. (72)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 6:28 am
Kudos John!
 

Beverly L. (72)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 6:30 am
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It is an inherent part of the definition of what it means to be an American to respect the freedom of religion, freedom of worship, and freedom of conscience of all people – not just those we like and not just those like us.
Freedom of worship, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience, the right to believe in what we see fit, is an inherent, inalienable human right for all.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 7:37 am
I most wholeheartedly support separation of church and state. Excellent article Beverly.

What I do strongly take exception to is John C's statement "AA and NA have been doing a better job of helping alcoholics and addicts recover for 75 years now. Why is it necessary for the churches to plagiarize the 12 steps and create a program that AA and NA cannot endorse?"

Is this just blowing smoke or are there any hard facts to back up these allogations? Whether it's AA, NA, churches or any other worthwhile group, lets get rid of the pot heads and other drug addics.
 

michel gadoury (2)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 7:48 am
Freedom of religion is much more vital than Freedom for weapons
 

William K. (308)
Thursday January 6, 2011, 11:02 pm
Noted and signed.
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday January 7, 2011, 8:14 am
Yes, Hans spoken like Mao. Murder them all.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 8:31 am

Action taken.

Thanks to Beverly, for posting this; and to Miss Kitty for bringing it to my attention. (I had missed it when scanning submissions before.)
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:04 am
Why is it so very difficult for some people to discuss the facts rather than spewing inflamatory comments?
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 10:12 am
U.S. military under fire for religious test
The U.S. Army has forced at least 800,000 uniformed soldiers to take a test of their spirituality as part of the Comprehensive Solider Fitness program. Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Freedom Foundation, discusses.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/40956863#40956863
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 10:19 am
How is your statement "get rid of pot heads" a statement of anything except your own simplistic perspective and bias? Perhaps inflammatory is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Terrie Williams (774)
Friday January 7, 2011, 10:20 am
Thank you for taking action on behalf of church-state separation. Your message was sent to:
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX 8th)
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 10:34 am
I had heard that this was happening in the service, and now some within who see it, and don't think its right are standing up.

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

By NEELA BANERJEE
Published: April 26, 2008

FORT RILEY, Kan. — When Specialist Jeremy Hall held a meeting last July for atheists and freethinkers at Camp Speicher in Iraq, he was excited, he said, to see an officer attending...

But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.

Major Welborn told the soldiers he might bar them from re-enlistment and bring charges against them, according to the statement.

Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers.

Eileen Lainez, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department, declined to comment on the case, saying, “The department does not discuss pending litigation.”

Specialist Hall’s lawsuit is the latest incident to raise questions about the military’s religion guidelines. In 2005, the Air Force issued new regulations in response to complaints from cadets at the Air Force Academy that evangelical Christian officers used their positions to proselytize. In general, the armed forces have regulations, Ms. Lainez said, that respect “the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs.”

To Specialist Hall and other critics of the military, the guidelines have done little to change a culture they say tilts heavily toward evangelical Christianity. Controversies have continued to flare, largely over tactics used by evangelicals to promote their faith. Perhaps the most high-profile incident involved seven officers, including four generals, who appeared, in uniform and in violation of military regulations, in a 2006 fund-raising video for the Christian Embassy, an evangelical Bible study group.

“They don’t trust you because they think you are unreliable and might break, since you don’t have God to rely on,” Specialist Hall said of those who proselytize in the military. “The message is, ‘It’s a Christian nation, and you need to recognize that.’ ”

Soft-spoken and younger looking than his 23 years, Specialist Hall began a chapter of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers at Camp Speicher, near Tikrit, to support others like him.

At the July meeting, Major Welborn told the soldiers they had disgraced those who had died for the Constitution, Specialist Hall said. When he finished, Major Welborn said, according to the statement: “I love you guys; I just want the best for you. One day you will see the truth and know what I mean.”

Major Welborn declined to comment beyond saying, “I’d love to tell my side of the story because it’s such a false story.”

But Timothy Feary, the other soldier at the meeting, said in an e-mail message: “Jeremy is telling the truth. I was there and witnessed everything.”

It is unclear how widespread religious discrimination or proselytizing is in the armed forces, constitutional law experts and leaders of veterans’ groups said. No one has independently studied the issue, and service members are reluctant to come forward because of possible backlash, those experts said.

There are 1.36 million active duty service members, according to the Pentagon, and since 2005, it has received 50 formal complaints of religious discrimination, Ms. Lainez said.

In an e-mail statement, Bill Carr, the Defense Department’s deputy under secretary for military personnel policy, said he “saw near universal compliance with the department’s policy.”

But Mikey Weinstein, a retired Air Force judge advocate general and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the official statistics masked the great number of those who do not report violations for fear of retribution. Since the Air Force Academy scandal began in 2004, Mr. Weinstein said, he has been contacted by more than 5,500 service members and, occasionally, military families about incidents of religious discrimination. He said 96 percent of the complainants were Christians, and the majority of those were Protestants.

Complaints include prayers “in Jesus’ name” at mandatory functions, which violates military regulations, and officers proselytizing subordinates to be “born again.” After getting the complainants’ unit and command information, Mr. Weinstein said, he calls his contacts in the military to try to correct the situation.

“Religion is inextricably intertwined with their jobs,” Mr. Weinstein said. “You’re promoted by who you pray with.”

Specialist Hall came to atheism after years as a Christian. He was raised Baptist by his grandmother in Richlands, N.C., a town of fewer than 1,000 people. She read the Bible to him every night, and he said he joined the Army “to make something of myself.”

“I thought going to Iraq was right because we had God on our side,” he said in an interview near Fort Riley.

In the summer of 2005, after his first deployment to Iraq, Specialist Hall became friends with soldiers with atheist leanings. Their questions about faith prompted him to read the Bible more closely, which bred doubts that deepened over time.

“There are so many religions in the world,” he said. “Everyone thinks he’s right. Who is right? Even people who are Christians think other Christians are wrong.”

Specialist Hall said he did not advertise his atheism. But his views became apparent during his second deployment in 2006. At a Thanksgiving meal, someone at his table asked everyone to pray. Specialist Hall did not join in, explaining to a sergeant that he did not believe in God. The sergeant got angry, he said, and told him to go to another table.

After his run-in with Major Welborn, Specialist Hall did not file a complaint with the Army’s Equal Opportunity Office because, he said, he was mistrustful of his superior officers. Instead, he told leaders of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who put him in touch with Mr. Weinstein. In November 2007, Specialist Hall was sent home early from Iraq after being repeatedly threatened by other soldiers. “I caution you that although your ‘legal’ issues are yours and yours alone, I have heard many people disagree with you, and this may be a cause for some of the perceived threats,” wrote Sgt. Maj. Kevin Nolan in Specialist Hall’s counseling for his departure.

Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion.

Responding to questions about Specialist Hall’s experience at Fort Riley, the staff judge advocate, Col. Arnold Scott, said in an e-mail message, “In accordance with Army policy, Fort Riley is committed to ensuring the rights of all its soldiers are protected, including those of Specialist Hall.”

Civilian courts in the past have been reluctant to take on military cases, and the Justice Department has yet to respond to Specialist Hall’s lawsuit.

“Even if it doesn’t go through, I stood up,” Specialist Hall said. “I don’t think it is futile."

I hope he is right.
Robert S.
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 11:38 am
That was 2008. KO's story was told last night. Its an ongoing escalating problem of great magnitude.
 

Beverly L. (72)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:31 pm
Thank you so much Robert for sharing the video and your comments. So if your not a fundamentalist Christian you're not spiritually fit? According to their website, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding that the Army cease and desist this unconstitutional survey of soldiers. Hopefully they'll stay on their asses! I know unless they have changed the Air Force Academy used to require cadets go to church and I thought it was crap then and it's crap now.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:27 pm
Well, Hans reveals his true identity with his statement (see above):

"Is this just blowing smoke or are there any hard facts to back up these allogations? Whether it's AA, NA, churches or any other worthwhile group, lets get rid of the pot heads and other drug addics."

What would you do? Put "the pot heads and other drug addics" into concentration camps or just execute them?

As for "any hard facts to back up these allogations?":

This is some research on the declne of the Christian Church and the rise of Anonymous Programs that resulted in the Christian Church's claim to have 'invented' the 12 step programs and arranging Church funding from HUD through George W. Bush's 'Faith Based Initiatives'.



This really got me thinking about the HUD scandals and what happened to the money.



There are no graphic images in the video above Kitty, one can hear the gunshots and imagine what happened. Naturally no one wants to witness these events, unfortunately aout 3 million Americans have had to be involved in them. Using this video to make people aware of what is actually happening in America is fair, in my opinion.



Some of my current research:



So, you say you want an evolution?
(Evolution of free, spiritual not religious, addiction recovery programs into religious, for-profit, Corporatist programs)

The, now famous, 12 Step Recovery program started by Bill W.in 1935 has evolved into a religious program, administered by Christian churches and for-profit drug rehabs. Those who use these programs are, more often than not, ordered by our U.S. Criminal Justice system to attend. This leads to a situation where citizens are ordered to attend Christian Churches (religion-based recovery programs) or go to jail.

To understand how this situation has evolved, one must understand the history of the twelve step program and how it relates to the history of the Christian Church's version of the same program. Also one must understand the history of Christian Church attendance, 12 step program attendance, jealously & envy, the Faith-Based Initiatives and how our Corporate-controlled (Corporatist) government has blended them together for profits and benefits.

Let us begin with Alcoholics Anonymous, the "original" twelve step program created by Bill W.

A brief history of A.A. with references for those who would like to explore further:

1935

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:29 pm
A brief history of A.A. with references for those who would like to explore further:

1935

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:30 pm
Twelve Steps
These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:[10]

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:31 pm
3 weeks ago | Actions

A brief history of N.A. with references for those who would like to explore further:

1953

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous

Early history of NA
In 1953 Narcotics Anonymous, originally called AA/NA, was founded in California by Jimmy Kinnon and others.[14] Differing from its predecessors, NA formed fellowship of mutually supporting groups. Founding members, most of whom were from A.A., debated and established bylaws of the organization. On September 14, 1953, AA authorized NA to use of AA's s steps and traditions on the condition that they stopped using the AA name, causing the organization call itself Narcotics Anonymous.

In 1954, the first NA publication was printed, called the "Little Yellow Booklet". It contained the 12 steps, and early drafts of several pieces that would later be included in subsequent literature.[2][15]

At this time, NA was not yet recognized by society at large as a positive force. The initial group had difficulty finding places that would allow them to meet, and often had to meet in people's homes. One of the most difficult places for NA to become established was in the State of New York. The Rockefeller drug laws there had made it a crime for drug addicts to meet together for any reason, making NA in effect illegal. Addicts would have to cruise around meeting places and check for surveillance, to make sure meetings would not be busted by police. It was many years before NA became recognized as a beneficial organization, although some early press accounts were very positive.[16] In addition, many NA groups were not following the 12 traditions very closely (which were quite new at the time). These groups were at times accepting money from outside entities, conflating AA with NA, or even adding religious elements to the meetings. For a variety of reasons, meetings began to decline in the late 1950s, and there was a 4-month period in 1959 when there were no meetings held anywhere at all.[citation needed] Spurred into action by this, Jimmy Kinnon and others dedicated themselves to restarting NA, promising to hold to the traditions more closely.



Rate of growth
Because no attendance records are kept, it is impossible to estimate what percentages of those who come to Narcotics Anonymous remain active in NA over time. The only sure indicator of the program's success in attracting members is the rapid growth in the number of registered Narcotics Anonymous meetings in recent decades and the rapid spread of Narcotics Anonymous outside North America.

In 1978, there were fewer than 200 registered groups in three countries.
In 1983, more than a dozen countries had 2,966 meetings.
In 1993, 60 countries had over 13,000 groups holding over 19,000 meetings.
In 2002, 108 countries had 20,000 groups holding over 30,000 meetings.
In 2005, 116 countries had over 21,500 groups holding over 33,500 weekly meetings.
In 2007, there were over 25,065 groups holding over 43,900 weekly meetings in 127 countries.

********************

The American Christian Church Is In Sharp Decline

Let's compare the American Christian church attendance figures to those of the Anonymous programs that were usually meeting in American Christian Church basements.

Between 1978 and 2007 the Narcotics Anonymous meetings grew from 200 groups in 3 countries to 25,065 groups, 43,900 weekly meetings in 127 countries. (see above)

The American Christian church is a completely different story, church attendance is in sharp decline and projected to be 1/2 the percentage of the population that attends now if trends continue until 2050. (see below)


http://ww.theamericanchurch.org/facts/1.htm
--------------------------
Slide # 12. If the Present Trends Continue, The Percentage Of The Population That Attends Church In 2050 Will Be Almost Half Of What It Is Today.
http://www.theamericanchurch.org/facts/26.htm

Could the church be more desperate to boost attendance?
It would be very hard to believe that the American Christian church is not absolutely desperate to increase the numbers in attendance. Many of these churches are expensive to maintain and require large numbers of the faithful, tithing regularly, to maintain their building. With expenses increasing and membership falling fast, the American Christian churches are hard-pressed to find a solution.

********************

Now the church certainly must have noticed that the Narcotics Anonymous meetings were enjoying amazing growth while the church membership was sharply declining. After all, the Narcotics Anonymous meetings were customarily held in the church's basement or outbuildings, right under their noses.

The American Christian Church Becomes Envious

Church leaders must have become envious of those growing meetings and became curious about what was going on in those meetings that appealed to so many and why the church was shrinking, unable to appeal to those same people.

After attending some of the 'open' meetings (intended for friends and family of the addicts) the church officials observed the meetings were 'spiritual, not religious' in nature. When considering this the church officials realized the twelve step programs could be converted to 'religious' programs with virtually no effort whatsoever. They were ignoring the fact that 'spiritual, NOT religious' was a key factor it their popularity and success.

In an effort to convert these addicts to the Christian religion, American Christian churches established their own 'religion-based 12 step program' in 1991.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:33 pm
Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrate_Recovery

Celebrate Recovery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church with the goal of overcoming habits like sex disorders and drug addictions with a twelve-step program based on Christian principles. Other churches and some prisons implemented the program, and as of March 2004 more than 150,000 people are said to have participated.[1] At the Faith-Based and Community Initiative Conference in 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush praised Celebrate Recovery as being able to "change hearts" where government cannot.[2]

Contents
1 Program
1.1 The Twelve Steps and their Biblical comparisons
1.2 Eight Recovery Principles based on the Beatitudes
2 Criticism
3 References
4 External links


[edit] Program
Although Celebrate Recovery meetings are similar to those of other twelve-step programs, one difference is in their focus on Christianity. The program stresses that there is no other Higher Power except for Jesus,[1] as opposed to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous which encourage members to choose their own concept of a Higher Power.[3] Another difference is that Celebrate Recovery does not require one to conform to a singleness of purpose declaration, a member does not have to qualify oneself as an alcoholic, addict, or gambler—there are no requirements for membership. You may attend with a desire to work the steps for healing with any number of "hurts, hang-ups or habits" (compulsive behaviors).

[edit] The Twelve Steps and their Biblical comparisons
Celebrate Recovery teaches the Twelve Steps by relating them with Biblical verses.[4]

We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. That our lives had become unmanageable. (Romans 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.)
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.)
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. (Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.)
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.)
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. (James 5:16a Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.)
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.)
Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. (1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.)
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. (Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.)
Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.)
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. (1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!)
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out. (Colossians 3:16a Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.)
Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs. (Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.)
[edit] Eight Recovery Principles based on the Beatitudes
Saddleback Senior Pastor Rick Warren devised a set of Principles based on the Beatitudes.[5]

Realize I'm not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor"
Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover. "Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"
Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's care and control. "Happy are the meek"
Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to someone I trust. "Happy are the pure in heart"
Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires"
Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others except when to do so would harm them or others. "Happy are the merciful" "Happy are the peacemakers"
Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words. "Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires"
[edit] Criticism
Some believe that other twelve-step programs that encourage members to choose their own Higher Power is a more effective way to bring about recovery. [3] Celebrate Recovery also receives many of the same criticisms of other twelve-step programs.


 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:34 pm
Let us compare the twelve steps of Narcotics Anonymous and the twelve steps of Celebrate Recovery, the American Baptist Church's Twelve Step Program.

Narcotics Anonymous Program's Twelve Steps
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous

The Twelve Steps
of Narcotics Anonymous
Source: http://www.cacradicalgrace.org/conferences/buw/12StepsOfNA.pdf


1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our
lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the
care of God as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of
ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human
being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects
of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became
willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying
only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry
that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice
these principles in all our affairs.



*******************
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrate_Recovery
http://www.edgewoodbaptist.net/cr/steps.htm


Celebrate Recovery's Twelve Steps

and Their Biblical Comparisons
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me,
that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it out.
Romans 7:18


2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who works in you to will
and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13


3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers,
in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies
as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God
- this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1


4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the Lord.
Lamentations 3:40


5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16


6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
James 4:10


7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9


8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31


9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar
and there remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there in front of the altar.
First go and be reconciled to your brother;
then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24


10. We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
So, if you think you are standing firm,
be careful that you don't fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12


11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Colossians 3:16


12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin,
you who are spiritual should restore them gently.
But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Galatians 6:1

 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:35 pm
Celebrate Recovery claims to be based on the Christian Bible and does not admit to being based on the Narcotics Anonymous model. Narcotics Anonymous teaches it's members that this attitude is called "living in denial" and a major 'defect of character' the program attempts to deal with to encourage recovery from a pattern of 'rationalization and justification' associated with addiction and lying.

*******************


Government Steps In

President George W. Bush steps in with an offer of U.S. Government Money to support the American Christian Churches.

--------------------

The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party
Faith-Based Initiative

"We want to fund programs that save Americans
one soul at a time."
President George W. Bush, January, 2004, in a speech in New Orleans

http://www.theocracywatch.org/faith_base.htm


--------------------

Following is a partial quote of a speech made by George W. Bush wherein he promises America's Christian churches funds to be provided by HUD to fund a partnership with the church in an effort he ties to the "War on Drugs".

--------------------

Office of the Press Secretary
March 3, 2004

President's Remarks at Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference
Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California

2:06 P.M. PST
http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040303-13.html

"I always -- "always" -- sometimes say, government can hand out money -- and I'm going to talk about some of the money we're trying to hand out -- but government can't put hope in a person's heart, or a sense of purpose in a person's life. That is done by loving individuals who spread their love. That's what happens. And it seems like to me it makes sense for those of us who are honored to hold office to gather that strength, rally that strength, call upon that strength, and, most importantly, support that strength from the halls of government. (Applause.)

And so there's a practical aspect to this conference, and that is for members of my administration and others to come and explain how you can access the federal monies. There is a -- hopefully, you walk away from here hearing a commitment from the government. And that is, if you decide to interface with taxpayers' money, you won't have to change your mission. See, I believe this: It's hard to be a faith-based program if you can't practice your faith. (Laughter and applause.)

And I fully recognize -- I fully recognize there are a lot of social entrepreneurs who are nervous about interfacing with government. What we're working on is to change the culture, to recognize that there are results, fantastic results being achieved; and that those of us who are policymakers must welcome those who are achieving the good results of the work of faith.

And so thanks for coming. I'm honored that Alphonso is with me. He is the Acting Secretary of HUD. It means he hasn't -- (applause.) I knew him in Dallas, he was running the housing authority there in Dallas. He's a very capable citizen. He's "Acting" because the Senate hasn't approved him yet. (Laughter.) I'm sure they will. (Laughter.) But he's going to do a fine job. I'll talk about some of the record of HUD here in a minute, about making sure that federal money coming out of HUD is -- that faith-based programs can access that money.

John Walters is here with me. He's the Director of the National Drug Control Policy. Where are you, John? Somewhere. There he is. Thanks for coming, John. (Applause.) His job is to work on the demand side of the equation, to work with people to encourage kids not to use drugs. No better place to do that, by the way, than faith-based programs. His job is to work, as well, on interdicting drugs, to disrupt the supply. His job, as well -- and we're going to talk a little bit about it later on -- is to work with those whose bodies and souls are consumed by drug and alcohol, to save those lives, as well.

I appreciate Charlie Curie here, he's the administration of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Health and Human Services spends a lot of federal money, and a lot of that federal money needs to be accessed by the faith community, as you work to achieve social objectives."

-------------------

In a move applauded by leaders of the American Christian Christian Church, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, steps in and endorses the Baptist Church's version of Narcotics Anonymous and introduces it as though an original idea of John Baker's.

Following is a partial quote of the a news article documenting the endorsement by George W. Bush. Note that John Baker and George Bush never credit the original twelve step programs, A.A. and N.A., but rather claim all credit for John Baker and God. Celebrate Recovery is lauded as a new and original program.

 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:37 pm
President lauds church program at White House-sponsored event in 2004
http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17831

Posted on Mar 11, 2004 | by Tobin Perry
LOS ANGELES (BP)--President George W. Bush praised Saddleback Church’s Celebrate Recovery program in early March as a ministry that does what government cannot -- change hearts.

“We used to drink too much,” President Bush said about the similarity between himself and Celebrate Recovery’s founding pastor, John Baker. “And our hearts changed, and then we quit. That is a tried-and-true formula. The problem is, government is not good at changing hearts. But people like John Baker [have been good at] doing that.”

President Bush’s comments on Celebrate Recovery came after a 45-minute conversation with Baker and representatives of three other faith-based recovery programs. His remarks came during a speech to the 11th White House Faith-Based and Community Initiative Conference, March 3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“It was a recognition I never expected,” Baker said. “The exciting part was that after our 45-minute meeting with the president we all stood and prayed together. God got the recognition. He was the true champion, not John Baker or anyone else there.”

Celebrate Recovery, Saddleback’s biblically based recovery program, started in 1991 when Baker approached senior pastor Rick Warren about the need to help thousands in the area overcome a variety of hurts, habits and hang-ups. In typical Saddleback style, Warren told Baker to “go for it.” Together, the two created a Christ-centered recovery program based on the Beatitudes of Jesus. Cont'd at: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17831

-------------------------------

Christian Funding by the U.S. Government reached some extreme projects:

Faith Base Lock Up

In Lawtey, Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush dedicated what is being called the nation's first religion-based prison.
A North Florida prison will be converted into the nation's first faith-based lockup. Critics say public money shouldn't be spent on religious programs.

"This is a clearly unconstitutional scheme," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "A state can no more create a faith-based prison than it could set up faith-based public schools or faith-based police departments."

Americans United filed a lawsuit to block a similar state-sponsored fundamentalist Christian project operating with public funds at a prison in Iowa. That case, which challenges state support of Charles Colson's InnerChange program, is pending in federal court.

How the the InnerChange Prison Fellowship program cooked the books so that the program's failure looks like a success. To read about Americans United current litigation,
click here: http://www.au.org/what-we-do/lawsuits/


*******************************

This was the beginning of the U.S. government funding a Christian branch of it's government (unConstitutionally). The practice of covert funding for the Christian Church continues now, in 2010. President Obama has funded Christian Churches through 'Stimulus' grants to the tune of $140 Million.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:45 pm
Since Christians AND the U.S. government are using the actions of addicts as a guide in dealing with life, is Hans suggesting that maybe Christians AND U.S. citizens should also 'be gotten rid of'?

I think others have already thought of this 'final solution'.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 1:02 pm
Talk about "ask and thou shalt receive" eh Hans!
Scrolling time on this post just increased markedly...but you did deliver John.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 1:03 pm
Wow, you sure missed my point! From what I've heard and read, AA and NA (among others) provide an outstanding service to those addicted to alcohol and drugs. And secondarily, they provide much needed help for those involved with addicts. My point is that churches can also provide much needed help and support, especially to those that are able to see the good that churches can do. I'm glad to see that you appear to be so passionate on the subject of alcohol and drug treatment. Let's just hope that our country doesn't succomb to the desires of the potheads and other druggies to legalize marijuana and other drugs..
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 1:27 pm
Yeah. Keep fighting the so called drug war. Its going SO well. Can you give me some statistics which point to our "success" Hans in this "oh so costly" effort? Do you like the huge government bureaucracy built around this loosing battle to change human nature? About as successful as prohibition I'd say. And more costly. Show me some facts to back up your stance that we should keep going the way we are.
 

Beverly L. (72)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:10 pm
Wow John, if there were any questions before I'm sure they've all been answered. Ha!
 

Beverly L. (72)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:40 pm
Hey Hans, do you have a clue as to the medicinal benefits of herb such as treatment of glaucoma, AIDS, cancer, chronic pain and Alzheimer's disease? It was God who created cannabis hemp and told mankind to use "every green herb" on Earth.
 

Sharon Karson (82)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:50 pm
As a Celtic Priestess, I hold this issue dear. Thank you Beverly. Signed and noted. Thanks to others who made on topic comments.
 

Sharon Karson (82)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:54 pm
Hans the point is not whether churches can do good or not. It's whether a government has the right to direct a person into a specific religious program. Forcing someone to go to any program directed and controlled by a religious organization or go to jail is government enforcement of that religion. That's just plain wrong!

Furthermore, why the vitriolic comments about those who use drugs? We could solve the current budget problems if we disbanded the War on drugs, legalized and taxed the use of all drugs and penalized those who used them in a manner that endangered others. No need for the vitriol. And it's off topic. Come on Hans, you're a better person than this.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 3:18 pm
crickets....
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 3:40 pm
Noted and signed, thanks Beverly.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:16 pm
Beverly and Sharon -

I'm not questioning the use of any drugs for medical benefits. There was quite a bit of verbage about AA and NA. Just responding. My personal opinion about the War on Drugs and legalization of some drugs is that we, as a society, can't give up the fight nor ignore the dangers to society of marijuana, for example -

What are the short-term dangers of smoking marijuana?

•Impaired memory and inability to learn
•Difficulties in thinking and problem solving
•Distorted Perception
•Anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia
•Impaired muscle coordination and judgment
•Increased susceptibility to infections
•Burning and stinging of mouth and throat
•Impairment in driving skills
•Increases the heart rate in normal people and worsens heart rate in with heart disease or high blood pressure.
What are the long-term dangers of smoking marijuana?

•Studies shows that the potential chemical –THC, present in marijuana adversely affect human brain and mental health.
•Regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking. Persistent coughing, symptoms of bronchitis and more frequent chest colds are possible symptoms.
•Studies shows that long-term use of marijuana suppresses the production of hormones that help regulate the reproductive system both in men and women.
•Highly increases the risk of heart attack in regular users.
•Smoking marijuana on regular basis increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck.
•It has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because of the various carcinogens present in it.
•It may badly affect the immune system’s ability to fight disease.
•Chronic marijuana use causes high levels of depression, anxiety.
•Adversely affects the power of memory and learning.

http://smoking.ygoy.com/dangers-of-smoking-marijuana/

 

Jason Flint (5)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:29 pm
signed and noted
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:36 pm
So the best you can do in light of the utter failure of the endeavor called "war on drugs" and the damage done by it, is to show us the most benign of them all as an example, and tell us, using a list, how bad it is for us. Not one death has ever been linked to pot. Not one. Thats all right. I knew what to expect because there is no REAL justification, and no record of anything but failure in the effort. Sharon's right...about it being off topic that is. And you made my point. Moving on.
 

Barbara Erdman (63)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 6:05 pm
Noted and signed, thanx
 

Beverly L. (72)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 6:50 pm
It all comes down to living your own life, the life that makes you happy, without someone telling you how to do it.
 

Kathy Javens (104)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 10:00 am
Signed and noted. In the area I live in, I would not dare tell anybody of my spiritual practices. They would probably run me out of town, stone me, or do what ever it is that closed minede people do.
 

Grace Adams (40)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 5:21 am
For people who happen to be more or less Christian to begin with, a Christian knockoff of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is OK and may even please them more than a 12-step program that is deist but not Christian. For people who are not Christian, I can well see that having Christianity forcibly added to a 12-step program would be a big turnoff. It should be the program participant's choice what religious flavor, if any, he or she wants in their 12-step program. I rejected Christianity because I was forced at age 13 to go through confirmation and solemnly swear that I believed in each of the three parts of the Christian trinity when I found each of them to be somewhere between unintelligible and incredible. I am now a Reconstructionist Jew.
 

Robert S. (115)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 7:16 am
As good a choice as any I suppose and better than some... if one feels the need to join a club and "wear" a label at all.
If your group does not "recruit" and does not feel as if others not so inclined, are somehow damned and must be saved, then live in peace with my best wishes.
 

Robert S. (115)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 7:19 am
Ok....interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstructionist_Judaism#Theology
 
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