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News Roundup


Chuck Currie has a great blog post about the religious right adapting the tactics and strategy of 1930s Germany:

After listening to James Dobson and his evangelical Christian colleagues talk about controlling the federal judiciary through the Republican majority in Congress – to the extent of punishing judges and defunding courts – one can’t help recalling the events in 1930s Germany. The National Socialists removed judges who didn’t go along with the party program. Law became what they party said it would.

Dobson, speaking on his radio show it April, imagined political change proceeding this way: “The troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately.” He complained that “Congress has not had the political gumption to take any such action.” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has encouraged such views: “We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse.”

Dobson seems not to realize that an independent judiciary is essential to the rule of law. As one prominent jurist explains: “If we are to be a nation of laws and not of men, judges must be impartial referees… By insulating judges from external retaliation and from internal temptations of ambition [by life appointment and irreducible salary], the framers hoped that the judiciary would be free of pressure not only from the government by also from the people.” These words are not from the left-wing fringe; they belong to archconservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The whole post and some of the comments are definitely a must-read.

The transcript of the June 10 segment of "NOW" is up. It features an interview with writer Chris Hedges and the '10 Commandments Judge' Roy Moore. I may post the transcript seperately. There's lots of good stuff in it. Hedges wrote the article in the May Harpers about the Religious Broadcasting convention.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a feature about the 'holy war' against gays.

Here's an example of what might be called the "pro-discrimination" (or even the 'pro-hate') movement targeting homosexuals. More about it here.

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Wisdom from "The Wittenburg Door"


Reconstructionist crusaders don't fool God

By Ole Anthony & Skippy R.
Issue #162 January/February 1999

King John of England made an unusual request on his deathbed.

John, an unsavory character, even for medieval royalty, had amassed a fortune in other people's gold. Yet he was so stingy that he allowed his wife only two dresses and a cape, while he dressed in finery and had jewels stitched onto his riding gloves.

His greedy land grabs made the barons so mad they forced him to sign the Magna Carta, forever limiting royal power. For a time he was excommunicated by the Church. Needless to say, the guy didn't have many friends.

As his life drew to a close, tradition says, he asked his attendants to dress him in a white crusader's tunic emblazoned with a red cross, in hopes of tricking St. Peter and sneaking into heaven incognito.

No doubt the ruse failed.

But a similar plan is alive among Reconstructionist Christians and other groups working for a "return to America's Christian heritage."
Their plan is to camouflage the whole United States of America and smuggle it into the Kingdom of God – all 50 states, from sea to shining sea, everything – including New Jersey and Congress – even our offshore oil rights and the interstate highway system.Read more... )

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Fundementalists attempt to hijack United Church of Christ


Chuck Currie talks about an attempt by fundementalists to creedify this progressive and currently creedless church:

United Church Of Christ Will Consider Fundamentalist-backed Resolution Concerning Jesus

In the coming weeks you’ll read a lot about the United Church of Christ in the media. Our General Synod begins July 1st in Atlanta and many of the issues considered will be difficult and controversial. I’ve written about several of those issues – including gay marriage and divestment from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine. But there are other issues that will also cause a stir in the media and among critics of the UCC in the religious right.

One headline you’ll likely see will read something like:

United Church of Christ Rejects Divinity of Jesus


A small group of UCC members are pushing a resolution declaring support for the divinity of Jesus. The resolution reads in part:

The greatest issue facing our denomination is whether or not to acknowledge the Lordship and divinity of Jesus, which is the most basic of all Christian teachings. A pastor or church cannot deny the divinity of Jesus and claim to be Christian. Our status as a Christian denomination and our loyalty to Jesus as Lord needs to be clarified since it is well known that there are UCC pastors and churches that do not adhere to the Lordship and divinity of Jesus, so much so in fact that the UCC is often referred to as “Unitarians Considering Christ.” It is highly detrimental to the health and growth of UCC churches and extremely embarrassing for UCC pastors and members to be viewed as non-Christians. This resolution provides us with the opportunity to vigorously dispel any notions that we allow non-Christian and/or anti-Christian doctrines, while at the same time providing us the opportunity to boldly declare and celebrate that we are indeed a Christian denomination requiring that all of our pastors and churches adhere to the most essential, indispensable Christian doctrine of all, namely that Jesus is Lord.

This sounds very much like the tactics used to hijack and fundementalize the Southern Baptist Convention.

What the backers of this resolution are actually after is a fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture and it is true that such an interpretation is widely rejected in our denomination. The UCC is also not a creedal or doctrinal church.

The United Church of Christ embraces a theological heritage that affirms the Bible as the authoritative witness to the Word of God, the creeds of the ecumenical councils, and the confessions of the Reformation. The UCC has roots in the "covenantal" tradition—meaning there is no centralized authority or hierarchy that can impose any doctrine or form of worship on its members. Christ alone is Head of the church. We seek a balance between freedom of conscience and accountability to the apostolic faith. The UCC therefore receives the historic creeds and confessions of our ancestors as testimonies, but not tests of the faith.

This is a progressive church. Attacks by fundementalizers are meant to bring it into lockstep with conservative and literalist congregations. I sincerely hope that the members of this church can stand up to this attack.

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Is being intolerant of intolerance being a bigot?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]nolawitch)

From www.dictionary.com:
n : a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own

Is it too much nuance to ask that people differentiate between being intolerant of those trying to force their opinions upon the secular society and those who are content to keep their opinions strictly personal for them?

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