Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Jeremy Scahill on Soldiers of Fortune


Here is an excerpt.

Scahill: Blackwater USA was founded by a man named Eric Prince. And Eric Prince is ... currently in his late 30s, but at the time of founding Blackwater in 1996 he was believed to be the wealthiest person that had ever enlisted in the U.S. Navy SEALs, which is widely considered to be the most elite force within the U.S. military. And Eric Prince came from a very conservative evangelical Christian family in the state of Michigan. His father was a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps businessman who started a very successful auto parts manufacturing business called Prince Manufacturing. And what the company was best known for was inventing the now ubiquitous lighted sun visor. Any time you’re in your car and you pull down that visor and it lights up, that’s Eric Prince’s family that invented that. So this company was very successful throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and really, young Eric Prince watched as his father used his very successful business as a cash-generating machine to fund the rise of the Republican revolution in 1994 that brought Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America to power. To give the kick-start money to Gary Bauer to start his group, the Family Research Council. They were heavy funders of James Dobson and Focus on the Family. And so young Eric Prince grew up in this family that was very strict Calvinist in their religion and then real free-market-gospel followers. And so he saw this sort of model from his father, and that really has been the model that he has picked up and ran with as he’s built up his Blackwater empire.

Now read the whole thing...if you can take it, that is.

Current Mood: Militant
dogemperor [userpic]
Time Magazine promotes Christian Nationalism


And you wonder why we should blog against theocracy...

Here's the story from Talk to Action:

Only Americans will get the dubious privilege of reading "Why We Should teach The Bible In Public Schools" ; Next week people everywhere around the world except in North America will behold an April 2, 2007 edition of Time Magazine issue very different from what Americans will see. In Asian, European, and South Pacific markets next week's Time will feature a cover story image of a menacingly glaring, black turbaned and bearded man alongside a cover story title "Talibanistan". Time seems to feel Americans deserve something else though, and so Time's domestic US April 2, 2007 edition will feature a cover story entitled "Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public School". Dave Van Biema, Time's senior religion correspondent, has constructed a narrative that sounds mild, reasonable, and evenhanded but advances an agenda, probably inadvertently, that is none of those things. "Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public School" displays a startling lack of awareness of issues underlying the controversy and a creepy oblivion to the existence of a substantial minority of Americans who have good reason to be less than thrilled by Bible classes in school.

"Why we should teach the Bible in Public Schools" may well be a good faith effort, by Dave Van Biema and Time Magazine, to negotiate the controversy over Bible classes in public schools, but even assuming good faith Time's cover story nonetheless carries Christian nationalist themes and advances what is probably the key narrative that's driving the Christian right as a political movement, the bigoted myth of the culture war between the Christian right and the "secular left" or "secular liberals" in which only right wing Americans are held to have valid religious beliefs or, indeed, any religious beliefs at all. Time Magazine, and Van Biema, appear to endorse that key Christian right frame, rooted in a narrative of an alleged war between good and evil and acted out on Earth as a battle between (right wing) Christians and Godless atheists ("secularists"). The Christian right narrative Time and Van Biema seem to endorse is bigoted because it asserts that liberal Christians are not true Christians and don't actually even merit mention as such and so are, in effect, really atheists, and just as importantly, also because the Christian right narrative simply "disappears" all Americans with religious beliefs who are not Christians, as if they simply don't exist. Van Biema refers to "secular liberals" and the "secular left", but his presentation of the controversy over Bible classes in public schools acknowledges neither the 45 million-odd Americans represented the National Council Of Churches (NCC) nor the millions of Americans with non-Christian religious beliefs. American media has long displayed a preference for amplifying the voice of the Christian right and ignoring the spokespeople of the American Christian center and left, and a media blackout on a recent peace delegation of US religious groups, including the NCC and representing upwards of 50 million Americans, to Iran was only the most recent expression of a pervasive blackout: on it's return the Peace delegation held a Washington Press Club press conference to almost total media silence, as if the close to 1/5 of Americans represented by the delegation simply did not exist. In other words, Time's "religious cleansing" of the mainstream to left segment of American Christianity is not anomalous but has been, until very recently with an upsurge in media awareness that an American religious left might actually exist, standard practice.

The original article has more, plus the covers. "Talibanistan" indeed... We have our own 'taliban', creeping underfoot like termites undermining the wall between church and state.

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