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

I had an interesting discussion with my mother today. Mom's a pastor in a fairly conservative denomination (Nazarene...same one that Dobson came out of, actually). I asked her if she believed that the rights of Christians are being taken away in America, and if she thought the world was getting more hostile towards Christians. After all, so many dominionist leaders install fear in their followers by claiming that the "liberals" want to make Christianity illegal.

Well, mom just looked at me for a moment, then answered, "If Christianity becomes illegal in America, it will be the Christian's fault. There's always backlash. Remember, if you take away the rights of any group of people, what will happen when that group comes into power?"

Just thought it was an interesting response.

Current Mood: awake
dogemperor [userpic]
Talk To Action Launches Today


From Frederick Clarkson:

New National Bog Site Takes On The Religious Right

Talk to Action, the first national interactive blog site devoted to discussing the theocratic Christian Right and what to do about it launches on Monday, November 21st, 2005.


Talk to Action, founded by author Frederick Clarkson, blogger Bruce Wilson, and 13 other writers, seeks to advance the national conversation on this subject.

"We are concerned about the theocratic tendencies of the religious right in the United States," said Clarkson. "Among other things, claims that America is a Christian Nation; sectarian approaches to public policy such as efforts to require the teaching of "intelligent design"; the movement to redefine our laws in terms of religious laws; and a growing culture of religious intolerance and religious supremacism. We welcome anyone who shares our concerns to think and learn with us. Strategize with us. Debate with us."

Clarkson, the author of the book, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, has written about politics and religion for more than 20 years. Among the founding writers are: Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates; Max Blumenthal, Joan Bokaer, founder of Theocracy Watch; Cynthia Cooper, author and playwright; Michelle Goldberg, Senior Writer at Salon.com; Esther Kaplan, author of With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy and Democracy in George Bush's White House; Dr. Bruce Prescott, Executive Director, Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists; noted blogger, Pastordan, a minister in the United Church of Christ who operates the blog site, Street Prophets; and Joel Pelleteir, an artist whose painting American Fundamentalists, is touring the United States.

On Tuesday, November 29th, Talk to Action will, in partnership with the San Francisco-based Mother Jones magazine, host a national "e-conference," on the Talk to Action site, featuring writers and editors of Mother Jones which is publishing several articles about the religious right in the next issue. (For information, contact Richard Reynolds, rreynolds@motherjones.com )

Talk to Action, like such major blog sites as The Daily Kos, uses "scoop" software, that has proved to be highly conducive to online discussion. The site differs from other major sites, however, in that it seeks to be less freewheeling in tone as well as content. Talk to Action seeks a more thoughtful, civil, and nonpartisan tone than is found on many sites. While anyone can read the site, those who agree with it's general purpose are welcome to become registered users, publish their own essays, and comment on the posts of others.

"We favor religious equality and separation of church and state," Clarkson said. "We support reproductive freedom and gay and lesbian civil rights -- including marriage equality. Therefore," he says, "debates about abortion and gay rights are off topic on this site. We understand that there are those who may be concerned generally about the politics of the Christian Right, who may not completely share our view on these matters. They are welcome to participate anyway, but bearing this in mind. Our purpose is to take the conversation forward, and not let it be held back by debating what, in our view are or should be, settled matters of human and civil rights.

I am proud to say that I am part of that stable of writers, although I will be working more in the background at first. Everyone here is welcome to go and check out TTA- they will welcome everyone from similar communities. Fred reads this community, as do many of the folks who will be posting there, and our community is prominently featured. The interaction and intercommunication of communities like ours is vital to our ability to counter the Religious Right, and each blog and community has its role to play. Go and give them a big welcome, and spread the word yourselves.

dogemperor [userpic]
Falwell threatens people who 'subvert' Christmas.


Falwell fighting for holy holiday
He threatens to sue, boycott groups that subvert Christmas
- Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, November 20, 2005

Evangelical Christian pastor Jerry Falwell has a message for Americans when it comes to celebrating Christmas this year: You're either with us, or you're against us.

Falwell has put the power of his 24,000-member congregation behind the "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," an effort led by the conservative legal organization Liberty Counsel. The group promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces.

The 8,000 members of the Christian Educators Association International will be the campaign's "eyes and ears" in the nation's public schools. They'll be reporting to 750 Liberty Counsel lawyers who are ready to pounce if, for example, a teacher is muzzled from leading the third-graders in "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Another "Christmas war" article


This one is from Salon.com (day pass or registration required.) An excerpt:

As the holidays approach, the right is making ever more fevered preparations to thwart this ostensible conspiracy. Last week, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights launched a short-lived boycott of Wal-Mart, charging the megastore with "insulting Christians by effectively banning Christmas." The American Family Association called for a Thanksgiving-weekend boycott of Target because of the chain's purported refusal to use the phrase "Merry Christmas" in its advertising (Target denies having such a policy). A few days later, Jerry Falwell announced he was joining with the Christian right legal group Liberty Counsel's "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," which intends to sue officials who try to curb religious Christmas celebrations in schools or other public places. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "The 8,000 members of the Christian Educators Association International will be the campaign's 'eyes and ears' in the nation's public schools. They'll be reporting to 750 Liberty Counsel lawyers who are ready to pounce if, for example, a teacher is muzzled from leading the third-graders in 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.'" Meanwhile, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian right legal outfit co-founded by James Dobson, has ramped up its three-year-old "Christmas project, " organizing over 800 lawyers to defend the sacred holiday. "It's a sad day in America when you have to retain a lawyer to wish someone a merry Christmas," says Mike Johnson, senior legal council for ADF.

Despite Johnson's lamentations, one can in fact offer Christmas greetings without legal counsel. Christmas trees are permitted in public schools. (They're considered secular symbols.) Nativity scenes are allowed on public property, although if the government erects one, it has to be part of a larger display that also includes other, secular signs of the holiday season, or displays referring to other religions. (The operative Supreme Court precedent is 1984's Lynch v. Donnelly, where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a city-sponsored Christmas display including a crèche, reindeer, a Christmas tree, candy-striped polls and a banner that read "Seasons Greetings" was permissible. "The display is sponsored by the city to celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday," the majority wrote. "These are legitimate secular purposes.) Students are allowed to distribute religious holiday cards and literature in school. If the administration tries to stop them, the ACLU will step in to defend the student's free-speech rights, as they did in 2003 when teenagers in Massachusetts were suspended for passing out candy canes with Christian messages.

In fact, there is no war on Christmas. What there is, rather, is a burgeoning myth of a war on Christmas, assembled out of old reactionary tropes, urban legends, exaggerated anecdotes and increasingly organized hostility to the American Civil Liberties Union. It's a myth that can be self-fulfilling, as school board members and local politicians believe the false conservative claim that they can't celebrate Christmas without getting sued by the ACLU and thus jettison beloved traditions, enraging citizens and perpetuating a potent culture-war meme. This in turn furthers the myth of an anti-Christmas conspiracy.

"You have a dynamic here, where you have the Christian right hysterically overrepresenting the problem, and then anecdotally you have some towns where lawyers restrict any kind of display or representation of religion, which is equally absurd," says Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates and one of the foremost experts on the religious right. "It's a closed loop. In that dynamic, neither the secular humanists or the ACLU are playing a role."

It's a myth, folks! That must be our counter to the 'war on Christmas' fake hysteria.

dogemperor [userpic]
The Salvation Army


I originally posted this as a link in a comment, but the more I think about it, the more I think it deserves its own post.

As I've mentioned before, the Salvation Army is among the Dominionist Churches. Yes, many people's reactions are "What, that charity that helps the poor? I didn't even know they were a church group." They are not only a church group (set along strict Calvinist/Methodist lines), but a coercive church group. They also are a multi billion dollar international business masquerading as a charitable organization. I would also say that they represent the business model that many Dominionists would like to see as the standard for how business should be done.

Wealth & Power: Assets or Addictions? — Chapter 6: Religious Corporation

Some excerpts... )

Keep this in mind as you pass by the person in the red apron ringing a bell in front of your supermarket or mall this holiday season. This is what you are paying for if you toss a coin into the bucket, or give your old coat to their donation boxes.

Current Mood: wary
dogemperor [userpic]
Insightful article about the evolutionn vs. ID battle


I found Evolution and God...Again on the "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" blog. It's long, but well worth your time.

An excerpt:

With prominent conservatives like George Will and Charles Krauthammer speaking out strongly in favor of evolutionary theory and against ID lately, you knew there would be a reaction from some of their ideological brethren. George Neumayr, executive editor of The American Spectator, offers this commentary in an attempt to argue that evolution and atheism are one and the same. He begins by trying to poison the well with a false charge of disingenuousness:

Only a small percentage of the American people support the evolutionary claim that life arose through purely material causes. Consequently, many Darwinists, recognizing that they need to win new converts lest they completely lose control over the debate, now loudly argue that Darwin's theory harmonizes with religion. As Brown professor Kenneth Miller put it in the New York Times recently, Darwin's theory isn't "anti-God." But this PR strategy of emphasizing the compatibility of Darwinism and religion is running into a problem: Darwinism's most celebrated experts -- that is, the scientists who understand the theory most purely and deeply -- admit that it is an intrinsically atheistic theory.

Notice how he automatically assumes that Ken Miller argues that evolution is not anti-God purely because of "PR strategy"? This is an example of what I call the preemptive accusation - if you accuse your opponents of doing the very thing that you yourself are doing, it puts them on the defensive and distracts attention from your own behavior. He has not a shred of evidence that Miller is not entirely sincere, nor does he attempt to produce any. I don't know Miller personally, but we have many mutual friends. To a person, all would testify to his integrity and sincerity. Indeed, even the most deeply convinced IDer would not stoop so low as to claim that he is not entirely sincere both in his advocacy of evolution and his deeply held Christian faith.

On the other hand, there is solid evidence that tying evolution to atheism is an integral part of the PR strategy of the intelligent design movement. The Wedge document, for example, is full of arguments conflating evolution and atheism. It's also important to note that it is the ID movement's main thinktank, the Discovery Institute, who has hired a PR firm to help shape their arguments, not Ken Miller or evolutionary scientists.

Reading this article will give you insight about how the ID people spin things and twist them. It's a fascinating read.

dogemperor [userpic]

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

I am hot on the trail of dogemperor's proposed IRP. (Individual Research Project) The mission is to research charities for dogemperor's big NOLA list. I was rereading journals and realised I had never returned all the many favors dogemperor has done by answering my questions.

I have run across something I need a little direction on....are there now, or have there always been (last 30 years) quakers who prescribe to dominionist theology? The reason I ask is I have seemingly uncovered a nest of them (dominionists), wrapped inside a quaker educational institution...yet strangely it reaches into an evangelical group in Africa, across to abstinance only faith based and community initiative money, and a medical rescue/mission...Quakers and Evangelicals? Mixed on each others board of directors?

(sung to the tune of bert and ernie....one of these things is not like the others...)

Anyway, I am hoping to give a little back for the dogemperor...

I know the Vineyard movement (known Coercive, via Rick Ross, was born after the Quaker founder was asked to leave the Quakers....on to Calvary Chapel....on to Vineyard.) Anyone know of dominionist influences in Quaker establishments?

Any tips?

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday III scuttlebutt.

(Sunfell, you are welcome to copy and post this in full in the Talk2Action forums. I apparently don't have front-page posting privs but do intend to post this in my own diary there.)

Per DefCon Blog, the date of Justice Sunday III has supposedly been changed from December 4 to January 8. Per the DefCon Blog article, supposedly the event is to be held at a Philadelphia-area megachurch (anyone from that area wish to comment?)

The Family Research Council has been surprisingly quiet re Justice Sunday III (compared to the previous two Justice Sunday events)--the Justice Sunday website has not been updated, and what little press there is seems to be mostly through the dominionist "parallel media"; one gets the very real impression they are trying to keep it as low-key and stealth as possible.

Unfortunately for them, there's a lot of folks who feel the need for some good, cleansing light.

Among other things for those wanting to do some friendly intel:

I’ve actually discovered what satellite network is responsible for covering the Justice Sunday stuff. It’s a network called Sky Angel (which features dominionist-friendly-only programming including radio and TV satellite feeds of dominionist networks and stations–the particular dominionist group I walked away from is involved in it via Sky Angel carrying Voice of Hope Jerusalem (presently operated by High Adventure Ministries, which is a front group for the specific church I left); the only four secular channels carried at *all* on Sky Angel are Fox News, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel).

Sky Angel’s parent company is Dominion Video Satellite (and no, I do NOT think the name is coincidental); Sky Angel does not appear to own any satellites itself but rather rents satellite space from Dish Network’s EchoStar satellite system.

This listing gives one an example of the fun sorts of stuff produced by Sky Angel’s partners–including, notably, both Justice Sunday broadcasts (so it’s extremely likely Sky Angel will be carrying the third one, too). They’re even kind enough to post interactive schedules on their website (and I, as a walkaway, am kind enough to post the link not requiring you to register with them :3) which are supposedly good two weeks in advance.

In fact, they’re even nice enough to brag about their involvement in the previous Justice Sundays, down to reminding us all that they were carried on Angel Two (an in-house channel used by Sky Angel for their own original programming, just like your cable or satellite service has their in-house production channels).

Needless to say, we should DEFINITELY be able to find out some hard info on Justice Sunday III within about two weeks of the 8th, if only because they have to list it in their channel listings :3

One of the interesting things speculated on in the DefCon Blog entry is that the Family Research Council may be deliberately lying low because of Frist and DeLay's involvements in political scandals directly tied to FRC (and, notably, directly involving violation of elections laws). Perhaps I'm optimistic, but I also like to think that in general they're starting to run afraid because people are waking up (there are more mentions in the media on dominionism, including notably in Harpers and Mother Jones magazines as well as Rolling Stone).

dogemperor [userpic]
Book Review - Moral Politics / Don't Think of an Elephant!


This is the book review I kept griping at myself to write. It's actually a report on two books, but they are by the same author and very closely related, so I'm giving them both together.

In 1996, George Lakoff wrote a book called Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, endeavoring to explore US politics through the lens of cognitive psychology. In 2002, he wrote a second edition, to clarify a few points, and use the tools he offers in the book to analyze key political events since 1996, like the Clinton impeachment and the 2000 presidential election race. These books endeavor to be even-handed and detailed views of the political climate.

more review... )

Again, I highly recommend you all make use of these resources:
Moral Politics
Don't Think of an Elephant!

Current Mood: hopeful
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