Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
The God Racket: From DeMille to DeLay


This New York Times editorial expresses quite a few relevant points. An excerpt:

AS Congress and the president scurried to play God in the lives of Terri Schiavo and her family last weekend, ABC kicked off Holy Week with its perennial ritual: a rebroadcast of the 1956 Hollywood blockbuster, "The Ten Commandments."

Cecil B. DeMille's epic is known for the parting of its Technicolor Red Sea, for the religiosity of its dialogue (Anne Baxter's Nefretiri to Charlton Heston's Moses: "You can worship any God you like as long as I can worship you.") and for a Golden Calf scene that DeMille himself described as "an orgy Sunday-school children can watch." But this year the lovable old war horse has a relevance that transcends camp. At a time when government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma, the half-forgotten show business history of "The Ten Commandments" provides a telling back story.

As DeMille readied his costly Paramount production for release a half-century ago, he seized on an ingenious publicity scheme. In partnership with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a nationwide association of civic-minded clubs founded by theater owners, he sponsored the construction of several thousand Ten Commandments monuments throughout the country to hype his product. The Pharaoh himself - that would be Yul Brynner - participated in the gala unveiling of the Milwaukee slab. Heston did the same in North Dakota. Bizarrely enough, all these years later, it is another of these DeMille-inspired granite monuments, on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin, that is a focus of the Ten Commandments case that the United States Supreme Court heard this month.

We must wait for the court's ruling on whether the relics of a Hollywood relic breach the separation of church and state. Either way, it's clear that one principle, so firmly upheld by DeMille, has remained inviolate no matter what the courts have to say: American moguls, snake-oil salesmen and politicians looking to score riches or power will stop at little if they feel it is in their interests to exploit God to achieve those ends. While sometimes God racketeers are guilty of the relatively minor sin of bad taste - witness the crucifixion-nail jewelry licensed by Mel Gibson - sometimes we get the demagoguery of Father Coughlin or the big-time cons of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.

The religio-hucksterism surrounding the Schiavo case makes DeMille's Hollywood crusades look like amateur night. This circus is the latest and most egregious in a series of cultural shocks that have followed Election Day 2004, when a fateful exit poll question on "moral values" ignited a take-no-prisoners political grab by moral zealots. During the commercial interruptions on "The Ten Commandments" last weekend, viewers could surf over to the cable news networks and find a Bible-thumping show as only Washington could conceive it. Congress was floating such scenarios as staging a meeting in Ms. Schiavo's hospital room or, alternatively, subpoenaing her, her husband and her doctors to a hearing in Washington. All in the name of faith.

The whole article is worth a read.

dogemperor [userpic]
Workplace Religious Freedom Act


Here's what the ACLU has to say about the Workplace Religious Freedom Act which is in the US Senate:

Defend Civil Rights and Health Services

The next time you go to the hospital, you should not have to worry that a nurse might not treat you because it against his religion to provide the service you need. You also should not have to worry that police officers might not enforce certain laws designed to protect you because to do so would offend their religious beliefs.

Yet legislation soon to be introduced in the U.S. Senate would greatly increase the chances of such scenarios actually occurring. One of your Senators co-sponsored this legislation in the last session of Congress; please act now to help ensure that neither of your Senators co-sponsors the bill this year.

Many people came to America to flee religious intolerance and our religious freedom and religious plurality are one of the cornerstones of American society. Because of this freedom, each of us has the right to practice -- or not practice -- the religion of our choice. However, if you are police officer or doctor, you should not be able to refuse to fulfill your duty in a particular situation on religious grounds if it would result in harm to someone else's civil rights or healthcare. Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
God Is Now Above the Supreme Court?


My apologies if this was posted before. A friend of mine told me about this and thought this was the most appropriate LJ Community that I belong to.

Is GOD above the US Supreme Court ?

It seems Washington is pushing a law through Congress that would "acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law, liberty (and) government" in the United States. What's more, it would forbid all legal challenges to government officials who use the power of the state to enforce their own view of "God's sovereign authority." Any judge who dared even hear such a challenge could be removed from office.

The "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004"VIEW is no joke; it was introduced by some of the Bush Regime's most powerful Congressional bootlickers. If enacted, would it transform the American republic into a theocracy, where the arbitrary dictates of a "higher power" -- as interpreted by a judge, policeman, bureaucrat or president -- can override the rule of law.


dogemperor [userpic]
"Under No God But Their Own"


An Alternet article explains why making "Under God" a protected phrase in the Constitution is a serious mistake and could begin the death spiral of our country and constitution as we know it.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to send the Pledge Protection Act to the full House, which is likely to take it up today. The Act – a bill that has many cosponsors – would deprive all federal courts, even the Supreme Court, of jurisdiction to hear constitutional challenges to the "under God" Pledge of Allegiance. This is only the latest attempt by Congress to force a pluralist society into a one-size-fits-all set of beliefs.

This is a remarkable violation of the separation of powers and the Establishment Clause. If the Act were to become law - and if it were, itself, to be upheld as constitutional - only state courts would be able to hear constitutional challenges to the Pledge.


Constitutional Principles and Structure Are at Stake, and Are Being Betrayed

The Establishment Clause was motivated by the fear that Congress would oppress the American People in exactly the way Congress is now trying to do. It says that "Congress shall make no law establishing religion. . ." But by attempting to insulate the monotheistic "under God" Pledge from court review, in the Pledge Protection Act, that is exactly what Congress is trying to do. It's a one-God-fits-all formula that hearkens back to Britain under Queens Mary and Elizabeth, who practiced the same principle, and only differed on which religion received their imprimatur.

From their own experiences in Britain and Europe, the Framing Generation knew the baleful consequences of joining the power of a national government with religion. The colonists came here in the wake of the Reformation and the extreme religious turbulence that resulted when Protestants and Catholics jockeyed for power under the British monarchs. They knew, many of them firsthand, what happens when a centralized government becomes a partner with a particular religion.

This was why the Framing Generation instituted one of the most innovative aspects of the Constitution: a rule that denied any religious entity sovereign power, and thereby privatized religion. The result has been to make America a teeming, robust, and extraordinary marketplace in religion like the world has never seen.

The Framers also believed in the absolute freedom to believe whatever one wants - and therefore, they coupled the Establishment Clause with the Free Exercise Clause. They did not believe, of course, in an unfettered right to act, because actions can harm others, and the framing generation believed bad actions should be capable of being punished, regardless of the identity of the actor. But they believed religious practices ought to be left sacrosanct, as long as they stayed within the bounds of the duly enacted laws. They also believed in protecting, under the Constitution, a diversity of religious beliefs.

This is not a country that is based on any single religious vision - nor do we have a Constitution based on any single source, whether religious or secular. To the contrary, the Constitution was built on ideas taken from more than one Protestant theology, Roman and Greek government, and philosophers like Locke, Burke, and Hume. (The Framers also drew heavily on their experiences under the Articles of Confederation – when the country came very close to dissolving into 13 potentates, as opposed to a collection of states with common interests.)

Many of the Framers had rich classical educations - as did those with whom they corresponded. It is an insult to the Framers to reduce the sources from which they derived the Constitution to one aspect of some of their religious beliefs.

In sum, the House is not doing its homework if it believes that the government imposition of "under God" phrase reflects the views of the Framers. The country we have now is the one the Framers envisioned - one filled with religious believers of every stripe. It is an experiment they initiated that has had breathtaking success. Attempting to impose uniformity at this point through the "under God" Pledge betrays, rather than serves, the Framers' vision.

An Attempt to Destroy the Judiciary's Ability to Provide a Check on Congress

The Pledge Protection Act also betrays the Framers' vision in another way - it is a frontal attack on the valuable constitutional check provided by the federal judiciary.

The Framers, of course, believed in the absolute necessity of limiting power and pitting power against power so that no entity could get overweening power. Yet Congress is now attempting, with the Act, to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction to check Congress's wayward ways – in an arena where Congress was specifically believed by the Framers to be dangerous. (Recall that phrase from the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, "Congress shall make no law.....)

Do the members of Congress genuinely think that 50 state supreme courts - with a host of disparate views - could possibly keep Congress in check? Or do they perhaps, believe that as members of Congress, they need no check? My money is on the latter, but either way, they are very wrong.

Read the rest of the article- it is chilling in its implications. The intent of the people trying to undermine our Constitution by passing this 'Pledge Protection Act' is twofold: they are attempting to establish a state religion, and are also attempting to curb the ability of the judiciary to stop this religious coup.


dogemperor [userpic]
Sneaking in the backdoor


Americans United for Seperation of Church and State has an article about how Congress is sneaking in a tax law change into an unrelated bill:

Proposed Change In Federal Tax Law Comes At Same Time As Bush-Cheney Campaign's Outreach To 'Friendly Congregations'

Republican members of the House of Representatives are attempting to clear the way for partisan politicking by houses of worship by slipping an important change to the nation's tax laws into a job-creation bill, Americans United for Separation of Church and State revealed today.

Two sections of H.R. 4520, the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," deal not with jobs but with partisan politicking by churches. The so-called "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions would essentially gut current law, which forbids churches from endorsing candidates for public office, and replace it with watered-down language giving wide latitude to such activity.

The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. William M. Thomas (R-Calif.), contains provisions that would allow church leaders to "unintentionally" endorse or oppose candidates up to three times per year. It also greatly reduces the tax penalty for church electioneering.

"This is a blatant attempt to recruit churches into partisan politics," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Even worse, this measure tries to make sweeping changes in tax law through the back door and out of public view. I don't think it's a coincidence that this bill will help the Bush campaign's outreach to churches."

Stealth theocracy, folks. You read it here.


dogemperor [userpic]
Lessons from 1994

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

Or, why the "coming" theocratic movement in the US really is still coming, even if it seems alarmist to say so.

In 1994, a band of Republicans staged a "revolution" which resulted in the political shift of the House from Democrat- to Republican-controlled. The new Congressmen and women set out to work quickly, installing a platform which they advertised as the "Contract with America". Some key measures of the "Contract" found their way to law, and these young Turks in the House even succeeded in impeaching a President.

But the revolution was not to last. Some of the revolution's key leaders-- such as Newt Gingrich, who was then a Representative from Georgia-- fell from grace. The rest shied away from the spotlight that was then shone upon them from the media. Eventually, the movement was, so far as the American public can tell, relegated to the history books.

Now, 10 years later, one might ask if such a revolution could happen again. The answer is no. But the reasons why the answer is no are quite surprising.

Read why. )

But then, the first revolution wasn't about the Republican party, either. Sure, it was to some: To Gingrich, to his fellow Georgian [and member of the Class of 1994] Bob Barr, and to old guard Republicans such as Bob Dole, 1994 was all about tilting the balance of power back to the Republicans. But to others-- LaTourette, Brownback, and their supporters in such shadowy organizations as the National Reform Association-- the Revolution of 1994 was the dawn of theocracy in this country. The Republican party is simply the vehicle, just as the party was used as a vehicle for abolitionists and prohibitionists in previous generations.

These theocrats are unconcerned with party affiliations. Unlike Gingrich and Barr, they're unconcerned with the spotlight. Certainly, Steven LaTourette and Sam Brownback are not "household names". Their concern is with what they call "family values", which actually has as much to do with familial love as Mao's "re-education camps" had to do with education.

Family values? )

Meanwhile, Brownback and others continue to bring forth legislation to support the Theonomists' goals. The text of the legislations are, at this point, not important; they're not likely to pass anyway at this point in time. What is important to the Theonomists is that they continue to be well-represented in Congress. They've waited 10 years to get where they are. If it takes another ten, or more, to get where they're going, it doesn't really matter to them. Such a gradual change suits their agenda better, anyway.

dogemperor [userpic]
While you were sleeping...


Anyone who thinks that the extreme Christians are not actively dismantling the Constitution of this country needs to read this very chilling article in The Moscow Times. In it, they detail a new "Constitution Restoration Act" that might end up with us waking up in a nightmare world worthy of The Handmaid's Tale

Read more... )

There's more- lots more, and the Moscow Times article has links to a long list of interesting and diverse references. The bottom line: if we don't expose these people to some very close scrutiny while we are still able to do so, we won't ever be able to without a lot of grief.

Be afraid.. very afraid.


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