Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Apocalyptic Imperialists: A Short History of the Christian Right


From CounterPunch

April 23, 2007

Chris Hedges is a journalist who for two decades was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times spending much of his time reporting from conflict zones in El Salvador, the Middle East and from Serbia covering the Balkan wars of the 1990s that divided and destroyed a country under the guise of humanitarian intervention providing cover for naked imperialism. There it allowed NATO (meaning the US) to expand into Central and Eastern Europe to keep predatory capitalism on the march for markets, resources and cheap labor everywhere using wars to get them and eliminate "uncooperative" heads of state like Slobodan Milosevic who was kidnapped, Mafia/Mossad style, by the ICTY kangaroo court in the Hague, hung out to dry when he got there, and in the end effectively or, in fact, murdered to shut him up and prevent ugly truths coming out about what the conflict was really about and who the real criminals were.

The wars and subsequent show-trials had nothing to do with myths about it fed us by Western media. Those wanting the truth can find it in excellent books like Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade; the extensive research and writings of Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, law professor Michael Mandel; and the newest book out on the subject titled Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice by British journalist John Laughland. Edward Herman wrote a superb review of the book in the April, 2007 issue of Z Magazine now available in which he pointedly says "the rules of the (illegally constituted) ICTY (established by the US and UK) stood Nuremberg on its head" and Laughland states "instead of applying existing international law, the ICTY has effectively overturned it" to hide NATO's crimes and allow more of the same playing out now in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

The Christian Right supports these type crimes and motives for them readers will understand from Hedges' new book... )

Current Mood: cynical
dogemperor [userpic]
The Accidental Modernist: The real legacy of Jerry Falwell


From ReasonOnLine

By Jesse Walker
May 16, 2007

One of the great jokes of Jerry Falwell's career was that the TV program that made his name was called The Old Time Gospel Hour. Was there really anything old-time about that show? Television itself was young when the series debuted, and even the radio preachers had been around for only a few decades; the idea that you might get some or all of your weekly dose of the Lord from an electric picture-box was a fairly radical idea. To many old-time devotees of the gospel, TV itself was a suspicious export from the secular world, best kept outside the home. As far as they were concerned, the revelation would not be televised.

Not so for Falwell, who died May 15 at age 73. He and his fellow televangelists overturned those old assumptions, and in the process radically transformed American media, American politics, and American religion. Like so many alleged reactionaries, they actually functioned as fierce modernizers, turning isolated, apolitical, denominationally diverse religious communities into a national and increasingly ecumenical political movement. Like earlier generations of conservative Christians, Falwell's audience was alienated from the modern world, especially the government and the mass media. Unlike those earlier generations, Falwell's audience dealt with this alienation by plunging headfirst into the modern world, including the government and the mass media.

That shift required intervention from above, in this case from the FCC... )

Current Mood: Fascinating
dogemperor [userpic]
"Silently Longing for Christianity"


Is this the Pope's version of the "They were asking for it. Did you see how they were dressed?" defense?

"Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step. In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said."

Since he's rewriting history, I can't wait to see how he spins the Crusades, or the Inquisition.

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dogemperor [userpic]
Navy Vet: Chaplains Tried Converting Me


Navy Chaplains Tried Converting Me

Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones.

Miller, 46, an Orthodox Jew, said he was repeatedly proselytized by hospital chaplains and staff in attempts to convert him to Christianity during three hospitalizations over the past two years.

He said he went hungry each time because the hospital wouldn’t serve him kosher food, and the staff refused to contact his rabbi, who could have brought him something to eat.

Miller, an Iowa City resident and former petty officer third class who spent four years in the Navy, outlined his complaints at a news conference in Des Moines on Thursday. The event was sponsored by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an activist group based in Albuquerque, N.M.

He described the Iowa City facility as an institution permeated by government sponsorship of fundamentalist Christianity and unconstitutional discrimination against Jews.

Here's an 15-minute audio interview with Miller by Jews On First.

dogemperor [userpic]
Capitol Ministries: making disciples of every state legislature


Jews on First has an extensive set of articles about "Capitol Ministries", whose goal is to make disciples of Jesus Christ in state legislatures. Why should we be concerned?

Capitol Ministries aims to "reach every elected official in every nation of the world at every level of government with the uncompromised, saving message of Jesus Christ," according to its website. So far, the California-based group has, again according to its website, "singularly focused on establishing biblical ministries in State Capitols throughout our nation ... in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ within the political arena, at every level."

Last week, at the invitation of some of Capitol Ministries' supporters in the Pennsylvania legislature, the organization held a prayer breakfast in Harrisburg with an assertively Christian program.

So far, in addition to Pennsylvania, Capitol Ministries has established programs that include Bible study groups for elected officials (and separate study groups for their staffers) in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Programs in Montana and Missouri are set to begin and, the CM website says: "Our 2007 Ministry Leader Training Class, which commences in May, includes prospective Ministry Leaders for the following states: Maryland, Michigan, Illinois and Texas. If all goes according to plan, these four states will be online by the end of 2008."

An extreme organization
The growing roster of states is worth noting because of Capitol Ministries' extremism.

The group's leader, Ralph Drollinger, is so extreme that the Los Angeles Daily News reported this month without qualification that he "has a long record of bashing Catholics, gays and mothers of young children who serve in the state Legislature."

The Daily News so described Drollinger in reporting the protest that erupted last week against the participation of the mayor of Santa Clarita, California at a sectarian prayer breakfast at which Drollinger was scheduled to speak. She opted to attend, in order to chide Drollinger and his local sponsors.

Sadly, I've seen this group at work. Their intensity is scary. Are they after your state government?

Drollinger claims support of church-state separation
In the interview with the Sacramento News & Review, Drollinger differentiated his operation from religious right organizations. They, he said, lobby on bills, whereas Capitol Ministries works to win souls (the same distinction he made at the Harrisburg breakfast)..

He also insisted that he supports the separation of church and state, because the two insititutions are biblically ordained to serve different purposes, according to the SNR.

The group's own descriptions of its activities suggests quite the opposite. A 2002 "Bible study lesson series" aimed at Tennessee government workers was titled "Decision-Making and God's Will," according to the Nashville Business Journal.

In 2002, Capitol Ministries leader for North Carolina said the group was "saturating the North Carolina General Assembly, senators, representatives, staff, lobbyists, security, maintenance and bystanders, with Jesus Christ and with His Word,” according to The Charlotte World, a Christian publication.

In 2005, based on an interview with Drollinger (mostly about his days as a basketball player), the Dallas News reported: "Being liked isn't Drollinger's goal with Capitol Ministries. Spreading the gospel to state legislators, and ultimately the U.S. Congress, is."

In 2005, in a retort to the speaker of the California Assembly's statement that all are "children of God," Capitol Ministries' national "expansion" director, Sean Wallentine, said: "While it is nice to believe that God is everyone’s Father, it is not true." Only those who are "born again" become God's "adopted children," Wallentine said in a written statement quoted by the California Observer blog.

The Daily News report on the prayer breakfast in Santa Clarita quoted Wallentine disparaging an alternative Interfaith event. "I would just say they're allowed to have their meeting," he said, "but we wouldn't be supportive of a meeting that taught that there are many ways to heaven. There are not."

dogemperor [userpic]
Is this image offensive?


In the interest of fairness, and to assuage my curiosity, I have a question for the community.

Is this image offensive? It's on the community userinfo page, so it is possible to have missed it. It's been there since nearly Day One.

To my eyes, Jesus doesn't look too happy to be holding that weapon, even though it is obviously a toy, as indicated by the red tip on the barrel. Such a marking is a federally mandated indicator to make sure that law enforcement officers do not mistake it for a genuine weapon. He seems to be saying, "Here- this is your weapon, not mine. I am a man of peace." The picture was meant to illustrate the large break between Christ's teachings and what some of his more militant believers want him to represent.

It's a subtle message, but it's there for those who have the eyes to see it and understand the irony.

Your interpretation of the picture might be different, which is what art is all about. However, if it truly is offensive, I'll take it down.

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dogemperor [userpic]
Essay in Response to Falwell's Passing

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

I would like to invite you to read this essay, written by a professor of philosophy (who also happens to be my husband) in responce to the passing of Jerry Falwell.

It invites some serious thought and discussion on the nature of religion, society, and culture, and as such, is just the sort of thing this community is interested in.

The essay is here.

Tags: ,
dogemperor [userpic]
non-apologies and Jerry Falwell

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

It's not often that linguists have occasion to comment on things that are of interest to this community, but in this case, I thought this post from [info]languagelog would be an exception. In it, our favourite recently-deceased hate-monger is being discussed, and in particular, one of his quotes that I'm sure all of you will remember, said immediately in the wake of 9/11:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way--all of them who have tried to secularize America--I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'

Reporters on several news programs have replayed this quote, and followed it up by saying that Falwell later apologized. But, as the lingusits at Language Log point out, Falwell's "apology" was really a perfectly good example of a non-apology... he apologized for leaving the "impression", not for what he actually said.

Current Mood: thoughtful
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