Dark Christianity
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Back July 20th, 2005 Forward
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Part 3 of the Salon series


Here is part 3 of the four part Salon series about Christian attempts to reform homosexuals.

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Keeping Cool


Here's an excellent essay by Frederick Clarkson, which talks about striking a balance when dealing with the Religious Right. An excerpt:

The Dominionists are coming! The Dominionists are coming!

Some contemporary Paul Revere's of the internet write breathlessly about the Christian Right as if the advocates of theocracy have all but won. They conflate a sense of urgency about the situation or concern about the "agenda" of the Christian Right, with the inevitability or even the imminence of victory. I am writing this from the perspective of over twenty years of researching and writing about the Christian Right -- and up front I want to say -- don't believe everything you read. As the song goes in West Side Story: "stay cool, boy."

Has the Christian Right gained great political power? Yup.

Should we take it seriously? Yup.

Do we have a lot to learn? Yup.

Is it over? Far from it.

One more quickie Q&A.

Does this movement have a theocratic political agenda? Yes they do, although most of its leaders deny it, and certainly most conservative Christians would not agree with the more theocratic or "dominionist" elements. They have, however, been sold on a form of historical revisionism that claims that the U.S. was founded as a "Christian nation," and that this legacy has been stolen -- stolen! -- by those who would betray God and the original intentions of the Founding Fathers. This is a powerful myth. And it is but one element of why the Christian Right is the best organized faction in American politics.

But politics is about many things, and it is always in motion. Many people have a tendency to freeze certain perceptions about political realities in thier minds -- hence the danger of getting the notion of the power of the Christian right fixed in one's mind such that one cannot see outcomes other than a Christian theocracy and a looming inquisition. The truth is that this is the stuff of B horror movies.

Well, OK. There is also The Handmaid's Tale. (Margaret Atwood's novel is much better than the movie.) But whether this tale of a future corrupt theocracy is a warning or a prophesy is entirely up to us.

But there are reality-based ways of evaluating the Christian right. And there are a lot of people who have spent a lot of years acquiring the kind of knowledge that will be useful in this time.

Read the whole thing. And grab a copy of "Eternal Hostility" by Frederick Clarkson. It's an excellent overview of the Christian right.

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this is dangerous..

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

Christian Zionism on the rise:

"My first English book. It's written for the Christians," says Elon, sitting in his cramped Knesset office. "I cannot overstate their importance. The Christians here are the key to Christians all over the world. And they are the key to Israel's survival." The rabinically trained Knesset member has been touring the United States for years, courting evangelical leaders from James Vineyard to Jerry Falwell, along with sympathetic red-state pols like Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. [...] Now Elon has a new goal: to make Israel's borders as much of a moral issue to Christian conservatives "as gay marriage and family values." [...]

Elon has spent years trying to marshal evangelical influence on thorny foreign-policy questions. His new book includes a pledge for believers to sign in support of Jewish control of Judea and Samaria—what he calls the "heartland of Israel." Evangelical heavyweights like Kay Arthur and Glenn Plummer signed the pledge earlier this year, when Elon made the rounds at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. A flood of believers followed their lead. "We have thousands of signatures already. We want millions. Then a congressional bill," says Elon. [...]

Meanwhile, Elon, like many anti-disengagement organizers here, is already starting to look past Aug. 17, the day the government starts evicting the remaining Gaza settlers. "The people I speak with in American churches, they are all against the withdrawal. They don't understand it. So, I'm trying to build, with patience, because we'll be back. In six or seven years, we'll be in Samaria again. … I don't think this is the end."

If he can maintain his current level of stateside success, says Elon, "Within two years, at least 200 representatives in America will understand that, for their constituents, Israel's claim to Judea and Samaria is non-negotiable. The Israeli prime minister will be able to visit America knowing that half of Congress understands this issue from our perspective. That is how I define success." It is, he concedes, a long shot. Then again, he reminds me, "I live in the land of miracles."

Full article here

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Back July 20th, 2005 Forward