Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
The is long but worth the time...

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]mizliz) An excellent article from Philip Pullman, who has done more to reframe a rational cosmology with his "Dark Materials" books (ostensibly for children) than anyone I know. 

This is worth the reading, I promise.

dogemperor [userpic]
Megachurches: According To A Frenchman

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

Tonight's editon of "The Daily Show" featured an interview with the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who was promoting his book, American Vertigo.

During his interview he cut straight to the heart of the Christian Church's problem in America; In reference to MegaChurches (Willow Creek in particular), he said "There's a lot of good people out there, but there's also a lot of crooks". He then then went on to rail against the teaching of ID as science, and to give huge credit to Bono (who, he suiggested, would be a good guest for the show).

Not exacly an in-depth analysis of the issues, but it certainly made a good point, and thus I considered it woth a mention here.

Go here and click on the "Watch Bernard-Henri Levy" link to hear it in full.

dogemperor [userpic]
Apocalyptic Fiction

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

OK; Most folks around this group are aware of Dominionist-sponsored "Left Behind" series.

But Left Behind is not the only Apocalyptic Fiction out there: Slacktivist.com correpondents seemed full of ideas, some of which seemed heavily theological, some less so. Everything from James Beauseigneur's "Christ Clone" trilogy (another exploration of End Times, but apparently less Dominionist than LB) to Walter M Miller's A Canticle For Leibowitz (recommended mainly for being "a good book with Post-Apocalyptic leanings")

I was just wondering what anyone else around here might have read, or read about... Whether anyone had recommendations, or anti-recommendations...

dogemperor [userpic]
Question Time ????

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]navytron89)

While visiting my mother at Christmas I stopped at a truck stop and found a nasty little dominionist-type book called "Armed & Dangerous" the author is named Ken Abraham and has over 60 pro-Christian books under his belt as well as several biographies of famous Christian individuals (including Bill Gaither, Chuck Norris & Jim "Sleaze and  Grade: A Scumbag" Bakker).

Other books by this guy include the Progidal Project (basically an end-times series), Promises of a Messiah (another dominionist pile of used toilet apper),  & Stand up and Fight back :a (dominionist) guide for teenager.

I've googled and looked for him in several places, yet have found little information other than a basic bio.

Can anyone else fill in the blanks on him and where he rates on the scumbag scale of dominionism?

Current Mood: discontent
dogemperor [userpic]
Sam Harris Lecture on KQED-fm

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

Sam Harris, author of the book The End of Faith will be on KQED-fm (88.5, I think) at 2 a.m. on the morning of Fri., 12/23/05 (about two hours from now as I post this). KQED-fm is a radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I heard this lecture, which closely follows his book, while driving home from work tonight. He speaks about the dangers of religious fundamentalism and religious moderation -- Harris feels the latter apologizes for fundamentalism and provides a buffer against rigorous intellectual challenges aimed at religious extremists. He also speaks a bit about dominionists.

I'll post the name of the lecture series later when I can gather that information. The lecture may be available as an audio stream, podcast, etc.

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dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting article


What the "Left Behind" series really means

These media products are more than harmless American Christian kitsch culture or just more American religious swill. Swill it may be, but it is also dangerous propaganda and the writers know damned well that propaganda value. Just as the propaganda value of associating Jewish people with rats in Nazi Germany helped the German populace accept persecution of the Jews, the Left Behind books foster a morality that excuses horrors done to "non-believers." Forget about sanity and reason. Christian fundamentalist media promotes a hermetic worldview cut off from reason. From the standpoint of those who consume such media messages, it is not so much propaganda as it is an abundant offering so complete as to be a parallel bizarro world of its own. It gives answers to questions not even asked.

dogemperor [userpic]
Sen. Gary Hart on Talk To Action


Senator Gary Hart talks about God and Caesar in America:

The revelation that a senior White House official "cleared" the since-failed nomination of Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson reminded me of the huge controversy caused by John Kennedy's campaign for president in 1960. Then it was the religious conservatives who were up in arms about the separation of church and state and about preventing "the Pope from taking over the White House."
Can you imagine their reaction if, in 1961 when President Kennedy nominated Byron White to the Supreme Court, Ted Sorenson had placed a call to the Pope to seek his approval of the White nomination?
Reflections such as this in the context of today's political rhetoric of "faith" and "values", and the high-jacking of the Republican party by the religious right, together with my own evangelical background and divinity school studies of theology, caused me to write God and Caesar in America: And Essay on Religion and Politics.

Here's a quote from his book:

The full agenda of religious right "values"--laissez-faire economics, antigovernment biases, neo-conservative foreign policies, and rightist orthodoxy--requires a judiciary compliant with it. It does no good to convert a Jeffersonian public school system into private parochial schools, to make churches the instruments of the state by transferring public funds from social programs to them, to pass laws restricting reproductive rights, to expand law enforcement's intrusive reach in the name of security, or to torture or indefinitely detain terror suspects if a judge or court from the pre-revivalist past overturns those actions on constitutional grounds. The full religious revolution cannot be realized without a federal judiciary, up to and including at least five members of the Supreme Court, that shares those ideals and goals.

Here's a man who gets it. Read the whole post on the site.

dogemperor [userpic]
Mother Jones seems to have recently noticed the Domionists

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

Well worth the time.

A Nation Under God
Let others worry about the rapture: For the increasingly powerful Christian Reconstruction movement, the task is to establish the Kingdom of God right now — from the courthouse to the White House.

Original Intent
Revisionist rhetoric notwithstanding, the founders left God out of the Constitution – and it wasn't an oversight.

And here's another one of interest, from 1997...

Does the Bible Tell Me So?
How Americans Misread the Good Book

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
dogemperor [userpic]
Jimmy Carter speaks


From The LA Times

This isn't the real America
By Jimmy Carter
JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," published this month by Simon & Schuster.

November 14, 2005

IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Book Reviews.

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

Two book on the subject of dominionism and dominionist groups that I enjoyed, but can't completely recommend as they are both rather out of date, are Close Encounters With The Religious Right, by Robert Boston, and Facing The Wrath, by Sara Diamond. They're good and thorough, but the first was released in 1999-2000, and the other in 1996, are very out of date. But they ARE good for historical reference, and knowing where these people came from. Bostons book in particular gives a more or less decent history of how these groups rose up. Another one that seems largely devoted to that topic, how these groups rose up in the late 70s, is, damn, I can't recall. Its called "In Gods Name" or something to that effect. Its by the same publisher as Close Encounters. It's more focused on how these groups rose to power.

Another one is an old but good book called American Militias, though it may be out of print. It's largely about the militia movement, though one chapter details the connections with more well known dominionist groups, and how new world order conspiracy theories, racism, homophobia, conspiracism, and other beliefs that often form the foundation of far right militias intersect and are shared by more conventional dominionist groups.. (Conventional meaning groups more akin to "ordinary" political groups.)

But the best, by far, is called Too Close For Comfort:Right Wing Populism in America, by Chip Berlet. It gives the entire history of right wing populism in America, starting in the day of Francis Bacon and going up to the 21st century. Some may object to it being about "right wing", as if all right wing populism is dominionist, but lets not kid here. Anyway, it details everything, from anti mason and anti clericalism and political parties based on these in the 1800s, to the rise of the religious right, and how "mainstream" right wing populist and political groups have connections to dominionists, "reconstructionists", militias, the extreme far right, etc. It also explores the mindset of these groups, as well as just their histories and political activites, which gives it a more timeless quality than the other books I've listed. Its a thick book. 350 pages, another 150 or so of notes and references.

Some good resrouces are as follows.

Skeptical and Humanist publisher Prometheus Books publishes a lot of books on the subject of dominionists, separation of church and state, and the religious right.


Some individual titles that I think look interesting are;


I hope this all doesn't seem too ad-like. I don't work for this publisher. XD

Anyway, I think those last two in particular would be good reads for this group. Degree Mills are often employed by dominionist "experts", especially the anti evolution crowd. I think it would be helpful if we knew more about this phenomenon and were able to more easily spot potentially fake credentials.

The Dobson book is a few years old, I think, but I also think its very important, since Dobson has emerged as the leading religious right spokesperson these days.

The other books I mentioned...

The history of right wing populism one is the work of Chip Berlet, of the Political REsearch Associates group, a group that monitors hate groups and extremist right wing groups. In the past few years, they have given much focus to dominionist groups. I see a link to his blog on the left, but not one to his groups website; http://publiceye.org

They have some good documents on the site that seek to reveal how dominionism is influencing the GOP and current policy, both dmoestic and foreign.

Sunfell said he/she would like it if we had regular book reviews. That would be nice, but I have a slightly more ambitious idea. What about our own reading group of sorts? Every month or two we pick out a relevant book on the topic that none or most of us have no read, and we read it, then have a discussion post on it?

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dogemperor [userpic]
Jehovas Witness book and Jesusland.

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

Since this group has an interest in coercive religious groups, I thought I would bring up these two books.

One is called The Awakening of a Jehovas Witness, or something similar. I flipped through it and read a few chapters in it, and it seemed interesting. Anyone else read it all the way through? I knew the Jehovas Witness had some freaky beliefs, but some of the stuff the book spoke of I had no idea about, like the stuff about the "watchtower" being some direct office of god on Earth, and the stuff about "paradise" involving people aging forward and backward to their "prime." I knew the JW's were a coercive religious group, but I haven't know a lot of details on it.

Another book is titled Jesusland, a memoir, about a girl who grew up in an abusive, controlling religious environment. Anyone read this? Is it worth reading? I haven't read any of it yet. I was wondering if anyone here checked it out yet.

dogemperor [userpic]
Jimmy Carter interview


Talk To Action examines Jimmy Carter's new book. Here, he talks about the deterioration of common courtesy on Capitol Hill:

Nowadays, the Washington scene is completely different, with almost every issue decided on a strictly partisan basis. Probing public debate on key legislative decisions is almost a thing of the past. Basic agreements are made between lobbyists and legislative leaders, often within closed party caucuses where rigid discipline is paramount. Even personal courtesies, which had been especially cherished in the U.S. Senate, are no longer considered to be sacrosanct. This deterioration in harmony, cooperation, and collegiality in the Congress is, at least in part, a result of the rise of fundamentalist tendencies and their religious and political impact.

Fortunately, this degree of rigidity and confrontation has not yet taken hold among the general public.

Fred Clarkson continues:

Carter is right. But it will take some effort to learn how to engage in constructive conversation, and to learn with whom it is worth having such conversations and with whom it is not. I am not going to try to lay out a plan on this short essay. But rather to stake out the ground that it is not only possible, but necessary.

That's why is wrong to write off, as some do, all conservative Christians as beyond all conversation and all reason. I find the routine derisive language used by many against those with whom they disagree on matters of religion to be incompatible with the values of tolerance and equality to which progressives have historically been all about. It borders on religious bigotry -- and all too often falls well over the line.

Jimmy Carter is a conservative Democrat. He is also an evangelical Christian. His faith is an important to his identity. He is also hero of civil and human rights. He supports the separation of church and state. And he opposes the fundamentalist enforcers who have taken over the Southern Baptist Convention. He left the SBC out of principle. He opposes, among other things, their insistence on the subordination of women, and the banning of women from positions of leadership in the denomination.

dogemperor [userpic]
Forgive me if this is off-topic, but I felt I had to post this...


(cross-posted to my personal journal ([info]enkinhou))

I do this a lot on my personal journal, but I thought it would be fitting in this community, so I'm going to post it here. If the moderators think the material here is inappropriate to this community, then they have my permission to delete this post. I promise not to put up a fight about this, since I trust your wisdom in what goes into this community and what does not.

I know this is going to be very dramatic and very polemical, so I ask you all to be patient and charitable concerning this tract. I believe there is content to which everyone in this community should take heed in some degree or another, but I will openly admit that my beliefs may be wrong. If I am wrong, then I trust the moderators of this community to do what is appropriate.

This is going to be a rant and a rally cry... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Book Banning at an all-time High


From today's Washington Post: "In 2004, the last year for which statistics are available, the [Library] associations received 547 challenges -- formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content. (A year earlier, 458 formal challenges were made.)"

Reasons for listing the top 10 challenged lists come right out of the neocon/evangelical playlist: homosexuality, religious viewpoint (put "not our" in front of that), political viewpoint (ditto), and modeling bad behavior.

Full text under cut )

dogemperor [userpic]
Taking action, doing homework


Today's Talk To Action entry talks about what books and magazines to read, what websites to monitor, and other things you can do if you think that the Religious Right is a problem.

If You Think the Religious Right is a Problem....
There are lots of things to be done.

One of the first things to do --- is to learn more about it.

The Christian Right is one of the most successful political movements in American history. Yet people's level of literacy about the subject is often, well, shockingly low. The Christian Right is the dominant faction in the GOP. There are reasons for that. But few seem to know what those reasons are. If we are going to have intelligent conversations about all this, let alone be able to have coherent discussions about what to do, we need to have more people who share a common base of knowledge and the language necessary to have meaningful conversations. After many years, I know that useful knowledge and conversation in this area can be hard to come by.

So here is my up-by-the-bootstraps, do-it-yourself program for coming up to speed: books, magazines, conferences, videos, blogging -- and a radical idea.

Fred Clarkson goes on to list various places to go- including this board!- to learn more about the Religious Right. It's an excellent reference.

dogemperor [userpic]


On the positive side of the debate fence: Have any of you heard of, or read, two books by Parke Godwin, called Waiting for the Galactic Bus and The Snake Oil Wars?

He doesn't use the same terminology, but the books seem to be written as a very large statement against dominionist beliefs and practices. I'd be more encouraged if more people had heard of the books.

dogemperor [userpic]
A book of possible interest...

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

Contempt: How the Right Is Wronging American Justice by Catherine Crier. She's written a piece today at the Huffington Post explaining her reasons for writing the book, and how it's becoming ever more important that we confront the radical right's attempts to toss out American legal tradition in exchange for biblical law.

Figured the people here would be interested in hearing about the book. It's good to see someone in a national media role recognizing this threat for what it is and identifying it as such.

dogemperor [userpic]


I decided, for aome reason, to read Thomas Paine's The Rights Of Man on-line, probably because of the role the phrase plays in Britten's Billy Budd, which is playing on the radio as I write this. I came across the following passage, which put me in mind of The Presidential Imposter and his Mullah - allies:

" When a set of artful men pretended, through the medium of oracles, to hold intercourse with the Deity, as familiarly as they now march up the back-stairs in European courts, the world was completely under the government of superstition. The oracles were consulted, and whatever they were made to say became the law; and this sort of government lasted as long as this sort of superstition lasted.

"After these a race of conquerors arose, whose government, like that of William the Conqueror, was founded in power, and the sword assumed the name of a sceptre. Governments thus established last as long as the power to support them lasts; but that they might avail themselves of every engine in their favor, they united fraud to force, and set up an idol which they called Divine Right, and which, in imitation of the Pope, who affects to be spiritual and temporal, and in contradiction to the Founder of the Christian religion, twisted itself afterwards into an idol of another shape, called Church and State. The key of St. Peter and the key of the Treasury became quartered on one another, and the wondering cheated multitude worshipped the invention.

"When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon."

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Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Britten: Billy Budd
dogemperor [userpic]
Christians Unite to Burn Harry Potter Books


Author and Gospel singer Bob Miller, a registered Republican, said today that it was not carved in stone that President Bush will meet with Rev. T.D. Turner Sr. of the Jesus Non-denominational Church, Greenville, Michigan and others who have burned or advocate the burning of Harry Potter books. Rev. T.D. Turner Sr., a church bishop, said the congregation "will burn Harry Potter books and other witchcraft items to let the world know that there are true followers of Jesus Christ who will not call evil good."

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