Dark Christianity
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Back April 16th, 2005 Forward
dogemperor [userpic]
God Assault


This AlterNet article talks about the tactics of Dominionist churches.

Calvary Chapel-style Christianity is a complex system with intricate rules. Think of it as God's game.

Because certain trees are sprouting in the Middle East, the world will soon end. Because the European Union has grown to its current size, fiery death and plagues of locusts are about to descend on the planet. Because Israel established a homeland, non-believers will, in a short while, suffer agonizing horrors before being damned to an eternity of pain.

And now a word from our sponsor -- a real estate agent helping Christians find their dream homes.

This summer, I joined the rush hour in San Bernardino. Every day, descending the final hill from Los Angeles into the fastest growing region in California, I tuned into Christian radio station K-Wave. The station broadcast lessons on Christ-sanctioned financial planning as well as sermons on faith-rooted marriages. But its mission of missions was to map out, just the way the Weather Channel describes approaching storm fronts, the end of the world now bearing down upon us.

The deep voice of Pastor Chuck Smith filled my car each morning. Founder of Calvary Chapel, a "mega-church" with a publishing company, Bible colleges, and franchises in every state, Pastor Chuck inspired two followers to write the best-selling Left Behind novels about the Apocalypse. Soon obsessed with the station, I started wishing my Democratic friends in L.A. would join me in K-Wave's freeway congregation.

Each evening I returned home to find them wringing their hands over the possibility that a born-again Christian president, who laced his speeches with secret signals to fellow worshippers and considered praying his most important action before starting an unjust war, might be re-elected -- and re-elected by religious nuts so stupid they believed Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie were lovers.

As it happened, those "nuts" won the election for the president. Ill-prepared newscasters promptly relabeled them "moral voters," showing how little they understood about the new religion practiced in Calvary Chapel.

Democrats could, of course, have turned on K-Wave (or its equivalent), but even then they might not have grasped the most basic element of Calvary Chapel: It isn't guided by the outside world's concept of the Christian right's stern and unforgiving morals code.

While Calvary Chapel encourages Christians to enjoy "fellowship" with God, the doctrine it preaches is guided not by any ordinary sense of morality but by a gruesome vision of the end of the world and a set of instructions for how to deal with it.

Listening to that doctrine each morning and evening, I felt the sensations American audiences first discovering Hong Kong action flicks must have known: a fascination with the exotic combined with awe at the extreme violence it displayed. Granted, my perspective is unusual. Unlike most of my Democratic friends, I was raised in a church that practiced New Thought Christianity just up the freeway from Pastor Chuck's compound. It offered a new agey cocktail of faith, drawing heavily from Buddhism, Hinduism, and transcendentalism. Just the type of stuff Calvary Chapel abhors.

My childhood of crystals and sunshine made Calvary Chapel-style evangelism, with its emphasis on conversion and its belief in testifying to God's power, something strange and deeply mysterious. I felt like an anthropologist investigating a new culture as I listened to its broadcasts, and what I found makes me refuse to picture the organization as an army of moral voters.

Read the rest at the site.

dogemperor [userpic]
"Balloon Juice" on the upcoming "Justice Sunday"


The blog Balloon Juice (I love that name!) has their own take on the Dominionists little problem with persecution and the upcoming "Justice Sunday" broadcast:

Vote Republican Or You Hate the Baby Jesus

This is so patently offensive that I don't have adequate words to describe how truly wrong this is:

As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees. Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

If you don't share our politics, you hate the baby Jesus.

If you don't share our politics, you hate religious people.

If you don't share our politics, you are evil.

Congrats, Republicans. Our leaders have now taken the traditional rhetorical demonization of our opposition and elevated it to heavenly heights. I assume my friends on the right are going to spend the week-end attacking me for being a 'religious bigot' because I rightly point out the inappropriateness of this behavior. The usual suspects are front and center:

Some of the nation's most influential evangelical Protestants are participating in the teleconference in Louisville, including Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Chuck Colson, the born-again Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; and Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

But why are you reading me? I hate religious people because I respect the role of religion in people's lives, but don't want religious texts or leaders dictating our domestic and foreign policy. And I really don't want them using God and religion as a weapon for petty partisan gain.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Another look at the Constitution Restoration Act and "Justice Sunday"


[info]pecunium goes into depth about the Constitution Restoration Act and why it is so bad for our collective future as a Nation.

And [info]twistedchick has some more links about the upcoming "Justice Sunday", including some excellent links to more moderate sites with moderate Christians urging Frist to disassociate himself from the person running "Justice Sunday", hardliner David Barton. Lots of great links to visit, with moderate points of view.

Here's Chuck Currie's take on "Justice Sunday". Tons of great links.

The bottom line is that this a religious rally to drum up support for the Republican 'nuclear option' that will destroy the right of the minority party in the Senate to filibuster any bills (or nominations) they don't like.

Here's AmericaBlog's input on Frist and the TheoCons.

dogemperor [userpic]
Op eds wading into the fray


It's apparent that the Dominionists have hoist their Jolly Roger, and shown their true colors- and people around the country are starting to awaken to the monster in our midst.

The Rutland Herald has an editorial on "Religious Bullying".

The New York Times talks about Bill Frist's 'religious war'.

Here's a refreshing voice of reason- a Presbyterian minister at William and Mary.

And I seem to have stumbled upon a potential solution- or at least a potentially powerful means of pushing back against the assault the Dominionists have mounted upon our lives and freedoms and faith. I bought "The Isaiah Effect" (by Gregg Braden) a year ago, but hadn't yet read it. While searching for a book about Fundementalism, I found it sitting on top of the book I sought. Instead of reading "Casting the First Stone", I felt compelled to start reading "The Isaiah Effect". I'll talk a little more in depth about it when I finish it, but for those of you who are metaphysically, or prayerfully inclined, I highly recommend this book. And I just started it. We can reshape the world. We can stop this darkness and reseed the light. And we can do it in a powerful and nonviolent way.

Oh, and let's add Chuck Currie's blog to our small, but growing collection of Christian voices of reason. Like The Slacktivist, Currie sees through the Dominionist smoke screen. He is also a minister of the United Church of Christ, who had that ad about religious inclusivity that was banned by the networks for being too 'controversial'.

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