Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Missouri "to become officially Christian"

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

State bill proposes Christianity be Missouri’s official religion

OK, once I recovered from the "WTF" moment, I did some research, and it *seems* (bear in mind, this is how it looks to a Brit who's not au fait with US legal process) that the actual content of the bill is a Resolution (rather than a law), and seems to be mainly concerned with the "Prayer in Public Schools" debate. But still, it seems like the sort of thing that gets flagged around here, especially since I'd be interested to hear what the implications of this sort of thing are viz. The Constitution (etc)

Also... Does this have Dominionist involvement? It sounds like their sort of scheme, but I can't find any links/connections to any of The Usual Suspects...

Current Mood: pensive
dogemperor [userpic]
Fancy that.


Executive Order: Responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security with Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to help the Federal Government coordinate a national effort to expand opportunities for faith-based and other community organizations and to strengthen their capacity to better meet America's social and community needs, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment of a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Homeland Security.

dogemperor [userpic]
Church of Reality demands religious exception to South Dakota Abortion Ban Law

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

American Politics Journal article
Full text of APJ article )

Church of Reality demands religious exception to South Dakota Abortion Ban Law
Excerpt from the edict )

BTW: Per the site, "The IRS has approved the 501(C)3 tax exempt status of the Church of Reality."

dogemperor [userpic]
Government, abstinence-only program agree to wait


The federal government agreed to stop funding a nationwide program that promotes teen abstinence to settle a lawsuit alleging the money was used for Christian proselytizing.

dogemperor [userpic]
x-posted from my livejournal

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

This is my first post here. A friend told me to check out this community so I did... and I thought that something I just posted in my lj would do well in this place.

Rant Here )

Current Mood: snarky
dogemperor [userpic]
Here we go again...

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]cyber_istari) Just saw on [info]state_of_belief:

NC GOP asking state churches for copies of church directories. Fortunately, some state church leaders are warning against it, mostly on privacy grounds.

(Never posted a story before. Forgive me if I missed this one in the community already.)

Current Mood: stressed
dogemperor [userpic]
Something from academia

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

There are times my education comes in handy. This last couple of weeks my English history professor has had us reading John Locke's "A Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689". I've been going over it and it has some very valuable things to say about the separation of church and state (though not in those words, he's talking about government, princes, magistrates, and church; same diff in my opinion...)

If you want to read up, here's the link to it: http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/1651-1700/locke/ECT/toleraxx.htm)

Locke is prized by many of those who love the "philosophy of American Founders" thing and the quotes you can pull out of this document to use on people who want to say that the Church should run the state (or vice versa) may make their little heads just explode. I recommend letting them read this with a warning to keep duct tape on hand to fix the cranial cavity.

Current Mood: enthralled
dogemperor [userpic]
NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness


February 4, 2006
From The New York Times
The italics show how this article relates to this community )

dogemperor [userpic]
Hello... and info


Hello all. Been reading for a long time and thought I'd finally sign in and contribute (what little I might be able too anyway). You have all been a great source of some very horrifying information. Thanks for the many sleepless nights...

If this is not an appropriate topic for here I apologize.

Being an engineer/scientist he following does not sit well with me at all. It details some of the recent garbage going on at NASA:


(More links in the post give further details - very good discussion at http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/04/outrage-at-attacks-on-nasa-science/)

The level to which these types have infiltrated every aspect of our lives, culture, government, and science is truly terrifying.

Current Mood: angry
Current Music: My own
dogemperor [userpic]
Establishment Clause Test


So- how much do you know about the Establishment Clause? Take this test and find out!

I scored 20 out of 21.

dogemperor [userpic]
California Parents File Suit Over Origins of Life Course


January 11, 2006
From The New York Times

A group of parents are suing their small California school district to force it to cancel a four-week high school elective on intelligent design, creationism and evolution that it is offering as a philosophy course.

The course at Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec, which serves a rural area north of Los Angeles, was proposed by a special education teacher last month and approved by the board of trustees in an emergency meeting on New Year's Day. The 11 parents are seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the course, which is being held during the session that ends on Feb. 3. More sneaky Xian bullshit )

dogemperor [userpic]


Ministers from Philadelphia, New York and Washington today criticized plans by religious conservatives to hold a nationally broadcast rally Sunday at an African American church on North Broad Street on the eve of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington and a United Church of Christ minister, called the gathering nothing more "a big play" by its conveners "to gain control over the one branch of government they don't now control."

dogemperor [userpic]
Conservative Judge Chips at Religious Freedom


cross-posted to [info]liberal_bias
[LINK to article]

Judge Richard Suhrheinrich's ruling said the ACLU brought "tiresome" arguments about the "wall of separation" between church and state, and it said the organization does not represent a "reasonable person." The judge went on to say, “the separation of church and state,” which the ACLU referred to repeatedly, an “extra-constitutional construct [that] has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. ... Our nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and[,] in some cases, accommodation of religion.... Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible.”

The "extra-Constitutional construct" that the judge is referring to is commonly called the Establishment Clause, that interpretation of the First Amendment that basically says that "freedom of religion" is intrinsically tied to "freedom from religion", and gave rise to the term "separation of Church and State", which has its basis in the Federalist Papers, and Court precedent going back to the early days of this nation.

In defense of this decision by Judge Suhrheinrich to ignore the Establishment Clause, the conservative talking points of the day emphasize that the Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of modern law, and that the laws and liberties of the United States are an extension of that.

I don't buy it.

Only three of the Ten Commandments are codified in US Federal Law, and all three -- murder, theft, false witness -- are so basic that they have been codified by every culture as far back as there have been codes, and are so intrinsic to the social fabric that they legitimately fall within Rousseau's Social Contract. Three out of ten is not a good basis to say that modern law is based on the Ten Commandments.

The Magna Carta, on the other hand, is the first document in Western civilization to afford civil liberties to all noblemen formerly reserved only for monarchs, and was thus the basis for all subsequent laws that extended or expanded rights and liberties. For historical documents, the Hammurabic Code would be a far better example than the Ten Commandments of the early codification of laws that we now consider dear.

Furthermore, the display is clearly a display of historical documents intrinsic to the founding of the United States of America; the other major documents displayed are the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner". To include the Ten Commandments, one would have to first accept that the Ten Commandments is an historical document (a matter in dispute), and that it is an integral part of the United States' history, a claim with no real basis.

Third, the Ten Commandments, while intrinsic to two major religions of the World -- Judaism and Christianity -- does, when displayed in a courthouse, place a certain expectation on how the Court will view cases and defendants before it. The judge in this case is clearly looking at the display through his pious Christian eyes, rather than the eyes of a defendant, or even an attorney, who perhaps does not believe in the validity of all the Commandments, or perhaps has broken a few that are *not* codified into law. If I appear before a court in this courthouse that is endorsing the Ten Commandments on a par with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, will it work against me in this court if I have been disrespectful to my mother (Commandment #5), not kept holy the Sabbath Day (Commandment #4), or worshipped a different God (Commandments #1 and #2)?

By now, I am sure you have rolled your eyes at me so much that you're getting dizzy, but consider the reality of this. The Court has placed a religious document with only tangential relationship to our laws on equal footing with the actual historical documents upon which our laws and our liberties are based. How can that possibly not be seen as prejudicial and biased in favor of a certain religious view?

Current Music: Al Hirt
dogemperor [userpic]
awake! awake! fear! fire! foes! awake! awake!

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

This is a preliminary post - I found this referenced on Wikipedia and am trying to find corroboration right now.

The Honorable Richard Fred Suhrheinrich is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit serving in Lansing, Michigan. He made national news on December 22, 2005, when he ruled that the US Constitution does not include "a wall of separation between church and state," denying a claim by the ACLU and approving the continued display of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse.

They base the story on Catholic World News.

One chilling quote )

A PDF of the judgement can be found at the 6th District Court here.

The ruling/opinion includes:

The ACLU’s argument contains three fundamental flaws. First, the ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.


Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible.

I'm at work in a call center where research on this decision is problematic in the extreme, so I'm tossing the ball to you folks to take it and run with it. This ruling is just what the Dominionists and their ilk have been waiting for, I'm afraid.

Current Mood: infuriated
dogemperor [userpic]

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

Sigh. Here's a new one.

dogemperor [userpic]
Bill Gothard

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

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Bill Gothard and his Institute in Basic Life Principles. While he’s not as popular as he was during the 70’s and 80’s, he’s still a very big deal in some Christian circles. The church I grew up in was dominated by Gothard’s followers, which eventually lead to a church split.

Personally, I have an intense fear and loathing of the whole organization. A good friend of mine attempted suicide at 13 because of Gothard. One of his main teachings is that any feelings for a member of the opposite sex (who hasn't been approved by your parents as a someone you can marry), beyond “benevolent Christian brotherhood/sisterhood” is sinful. As my friend was a normal, healthy teen girl, she couldn’t get over her attraction to one of the boys in our church. She had already been cut off from any support (her parents felt that her friends were too “worldly”, and she was home-schooled). So, already vulnerable and feeling dirty and incurably sinful, she tried to kill herself.

Links, cut for length. )
The Point: Dominionism and Gothard )

Edit: Tried to clarify second paragraph, see comments for details.

Current Mood: disturbed
Current Music: "Rich Girl" by Gwen Stefani
dogemperor [userpic]
In direct relation to busting dominionists' tax exempt statuses...

In light of first the DefCon America call for people to report dominionist groups violating tax exempt status and a later report of at least the second serious threat against Focus on the Family's tax exempt status, I would like to present both a bit of useful info and history and a very long list of groups that you, too, can file complaint in regards to.
First, the history )

A brief note on the whole 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 stuff...the US tax code allows specific exemptions to federal taxes for certain classes of nonprofit organisations. To make a very long story short, the three main types of nonprofit groups legally recognised under the US tax codes are 501(c)3 groups, 501(c)4 groups, and PACs (political action committees). Both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 groups can be set up as nonprofit groups; 501(c)3 exemptions tend to be used by churches, schools and educational groups whilst 501(c)4 groups tend to be used by actual lobbying groups. (Of note to Dark Christianity, dominionist groups typically register as 501(c)3 groups, and typically under the "religious ministry" or "educational foundation" exemptions (with the exception of groups like the DeVos Foundations, which are organised as private charitable foundations). The very few dominionist groups registered as 501(c)4 groups are uniformly registered as "social welfare organisations".)

The main difference in practice between a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4 in practice:

501(c)3 group donations *can* be counted off on taxes as "tax deductible donations" but 501(c)3 groups generally are not legally allowed to engage in most political activity. (Certainly not advocating certain persons or certain parties for election, even certain issues can be iffy if it's a party-defining issue)

501(c)4 groups have more leeway as far as lobbying in Congress and state governments but donations to these groups are *not* tax deductible.

The specific IRS rules for lobbying for 501(c)3 groups are here and the rules for 501(c)4 "social welfare" groups are here.

Of special note (and of major import for dominionist groups)--groups that lose their 501(c)3 status as a result of lobbying *cannot* apply for 501(c)4 status; they lose their tax exempt status period. (Christian Coalition had changed their status to 501(c)4 just before the IRS yanked their tax exempt status, and it was only after almost seven years before it was restored; even now, they're essentially on "double secret probation" with the IRS.) Also, 501(c)4 groups can't have political lobbying as their *primary* activity (which is much of what got the Christian Coalition in trouble, and what may even get the few dominionist 501(c)4 groups in hot water).

Instead of the 1040C or other business-related tax forms that are normally filled out, organisations that qualify as 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 groups fill out a different form, called a form 990 or form 990-PF (the latter mostly applies to 501(c)4 groups); churches are largely exempt from having to register or file a form 990 (it's "assumed" they're tax exempt unless they show misbehaviour like, oh, distributing blatantly partisan dominionist voter's guides in sermon).

This is important in relevance to the next section:
Form 990 filings and tax exempt statuses for lots of dominionist groups )

I know there are probably dominionist groups I've not listed there--if you've additions, let me know and I can add their tax info (and you can have fun reporting them for their misbehaviour!).

dogemperor [userpic]


"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed an Internal Revenue Services (IRS) complaint against Focus on the Family, a conservative, non-profit organization led by its Founder and Chairman James C. Dobson. The complaint asks for the IRS to investigate activities by the group which may violate IRS regulations and require a revocation of its tax-exempt status..."

dogemperor [userpic]
"In god we trust" my be required on Alabama license plates.

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



dogemperor [userpic]
For the three of you who've not seen this on Talk2Action or DefCon yet

You, too, can do a visible part to fight the dominionists abusing their tax exempt status. (I know we've talked a good deal about it on here before on organising a way to do this. What with large antidominionist communities like Dark Christianity and Talk2Action and DefCon America working together now, we're actually starting to get a "hundredth monkey" effect going with things like this.)

So, to quote Clark at DefCon America:

So in light of the recent action's taken by the IRS against All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA we at DefConAmerica.org have decided to make sure the IRS doesn't miss any tax exempt religious organizations who may have overstepped their bounds.

Have you noticed overtly political sermons, fliers, or events sponsored by or emanating from a local church? Are you collecting information on the political actions of a national religious right organization or megachurch? Let DefCon know! We'll be taking any and all infringements right to the IRS ourselves. We wouldn't want to leave all of our politically active religious right friends out would we?

Email us any info you have at Tips@DefConAmerica.org, and of course stay tuned to DefConBlog.org.

DefCon America (per convo with DefCon Clark and per posts on Talk2Action) got deluged (having to increase the quota on their mailbox because it filled up within the first hour of posting with reports)...but at the same time it's something that is all too necessary, finally has a group with funding to push the complaints through, and can hoist the dominionists by their own petards at the source--the very churches at the center of the dominionist movement.

I've already put in my complaints re the Big Bad Three in my area (Highview Baptist aka home of Justice Sunday I, the dominionist church I walked away from, and another megachurch which has had its tax-exempt revoked before for prosyletisation). You know you all want to do the Right Thing.

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