Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
First post here


I'm new to the comm, so hopefully this post is something that will fit in with the overall theme. I just feel that this is another case of fearmongering on the part of the Religious Right.

Pat Robertson says recent natural disasters are a sign of the End Times.

(From the article)

Robertson isn't the only one raising the End Times issue, as author and WorldNetDaily columnist Hal Lindsey has weighed in.

"It seems clear that the prophetic times I have been expecting for decades have finally arrived. And even worse, it appears that the judgment of America has begun," Lindsey said on the Sept. 9 broadcast of the "International Intelligence Briefing" on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. "I warn continually that the last days lineup of world powers does not include anything resembling the United States of America. Instead, a revived Roman Empire in Europe is to rule the West, and then the world."

dogemperor [userpic]
Faith-Based Military Recruitment


Molly McKasson writes in the Tucson Weekly:

Last winter, about the middle of my son's senior year, he dropped in on his friend Jim (not his real name), who was in the midst of being rushed by an Army recruiter. Clay recognized the sergeant from Tucson High, where he'd been "working" the cafeteria for several weeks, catching potential soldiers during lunch. Clay sat quietly waiting for him to leave.

The conversation went something like this: Jim didn't have money for college. No problem; the Army would provide up to $70,000, plus other expenses. Jim didn't think he'd like being ordered around so much. No problem; his Army aptitude score would quickly put him in a position of authority.

At the end of his pitch, the recruiter turned to Clay, who wasted no time in laying out his opposition to the occupation of Iraq. The recruiter leaned in close and said softly, "You obviously don't know what kind of world it is out there, man. Have you ever read Revelation?"

Clay must've given him a blank stare. "From the New Testament?" the recruiter said.

Clay didn't recall it from Sunday school. "Read it. You'll change your mind."

dogemperor [userpic]
Another excellent article


This Mother Jones article details the religous impetus behind the environmental degradation of the planet.

dogemperor [userpic]
Forcing The Rapture


While Jeff Rense's website can sometimes rightfully be called a bastion of foilhattery, sometimes I'll still find an article that resonates with the purpose of this community. This article is one of them.

Trying To Force The Rapture

By Johnathan Richards

Recently the US Secretary of State, Condi Rice stated -

"The Lord is going to come on time - if we just wait."

For all two of you on planet Earth who don't understand the significance of what this means, the US Secretary of State has publically acknowledged the US governments allegiance to a higher power, which is supposed to be the accepted excuse for government ineptitude and incompetence. Frankly, this statement by a government official borders on the verge of dementia.

The neocon junta in the White House wholeheartedly subscribes to the literal viewpoint that Jesus is indeed coming - and very soon, which is the tendered reason (and widely supported) for their attrocious behavior and gross mediocrity. In other words, worry not about governmental malfeasence, lying, torture, murder, environmental destruction, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, or even government sponsored terrorism, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings is soon to come. Jesus will fix everything. The great tragedy of this belief system is that it is nothing more then a modern myth, steeped in fiery indigination and gross interpretation and a deliberate and malicious ignorance of of facts and history.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Condoleeza Rice tells hurricane victims to wait for Rapture?


Condoleeza Rice commented in a press conference (with an AME Zion church leader):

Rice, the Bush administration's chief defender against charges that the government's sluggish response showed racial insensitivity, later echoed the call for patience.
''The Lord is going to come on time - if we just wait,'' she said.

Very few people outside the evangelical or dominionist community realise it, but that is dominionist code-speak. Let me explain...

wherein I explain what Condi said and what it means to the deliverance-ministry type of dominionist )

(EDIT: Noted that the specific religious affiliation of the church is AME Zion, not AME proper. AME Zion is a decidedly more conservative denomination than the AME proper is)

dogemperor [userpic]
Faith versus Reason


From AlterNet:

Widespread Ignorance
By Sam Harris, HuffingtonPost.com
Printed on August 10, 2005

President Bush has endorsed the pseudo-scientific notion of "intelligent design" (ID) and declared it to be a legitimate alternative to the theory of evolution. This is not surprising, as he has always maintained that "the jury is still out" on the question of evolution.

But the jury is not out -- indeed it was well in before President Bush was even born -- and anyone familiar with modern biology knows that ID is nothing more than a program of political and religious advocacy masquerading as science.

It is for this reason that the scientific community has been divided on just how (or whether) to dignify the spurious claims of ID "theorists" with a response. While understandable, I believe that such scruples are now misplaced. The Trojan Horse has passed the innermost gates of the city, and scary religious imbeciles are now spilling out.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Good article on apocalyptic dominionism...

http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2004/10/27/scherer-christian/ (if this is a repeat, my apologies in advance)

Very good article in regards to the apocalyptic variants of dominionism (as practiced by "Christian Zionists" and dominionists into the whole "deliverance ministry/spiritual warfare" theology).

Also, some backgrounder:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalist (dispensationalism, one of the more common lines of thought in dominionism--that essentially God gives specific "missions" or "dispensations"; the dominionists into the "third wave"/"deliverance ministry"/"spiritual warfare" type theology, like AoG, even go so far as to say that the dominionist movement *itself* is part of a Grand Dispensation to "win America for Christ" and "claim dominion over the territorial demons" across the country (and again, this isn't restricted to America--dominionist political parties exist in Australia and Canada); this Wikipedia article is especially good in describing this particular bit of dogma in relation to dominionist movements)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Reconstructionism (Your typical article on Christian Reconstructionism, but of note as the Wikipedia article is one of the very few I've seen that mentions *premillenial* (aka Rapture-then-Tribulation-then-Millenium) Christian Reconstructionists; most info I've seen on the subject seems to assume all Reconstructionists are *postmillenial* (Millenium-then-Tribulation-then-Rapture). The AoG is hard dominionist and in some instances is bordering on outright Christian Reconstructionist but is premillenarian (their particular flavour of dominionism is couched in "third wave"/"deliverance ministry"/"spiritual warfare" trappings that teach that *everything* outside the church is literally crawling with demons and that they must, in essence, exorcise the planet to save as many souls as possible before Jesus comes back), so whilst it is different than the traditional Rushdoony flavours of Christian Reconstructionism it *is* largely similar in practice.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_Now_theology explains how "premillenarian" Christian Reconstructionism/"Avengelical" thought and dispensationalism mesh in pentecostal dominionist groups like the one I walked away from.

dogemperor [userpic]
[info]ozarque's thoughts on the Religious Right


[info]ozarque has an excellent blog where she touches upon many interesting things, mostly about linguistics and language. Her recent Religious Language post has some observations about the Religious Supremacists:

When I used the phrase "imminent threat to humankind" I was not thinking of the beliefs the group in question holds about abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, gun rights, inclusive language, or the Patriot Act. Not at all. Whatever my own positions about those beliefs may be, they weren't what was in my head.

My concern is with that element of the Christian Religious Right whose unifying metaphor -- the metaphor that serves as a filter for their perceptions -- is this one: "This present time is the End Times." That worldview carries with it some or all of the following set of beliefs...

1. Every word of the Bible, including the prophecies in Revelation, is literally true.

2. There's no need to conserve any of the Earth's resources. We human beings have only a very short time left, and there's more than enough of everything to last that long.

3. War in the Middle East is a good thing and must be supported, because it moves us forward toward the Second Coming and the Rapture. The Second Coming can't happen until all of the "Holy Land" belongs to the Jews as God promised, so that a new temple can be built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem -- and war in the Middle East is the only way to get to that point and see those prophecies fulfilled.

4. There's no need to be concerned about the various catastrophes all around us -- the tsunamis and famines and plagues and floods and droughts and genocide and civil wars and insurgencies and all the rest -- because all of that is just part of the troubles predicted in the Bible for the End Times. All these horrors are just signs that we're coming to the end of this wicked present world now and moving closer at last to the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

Those four ideas, which I can hear all around me both on and off the Internet, are the ones that I had in mind when I said I saw "an imminent threat to humankind." They're not rare ideas now, and they're not the ideas of some band of ragged poverty-stricken demented outsiders wandering the streets with signs that order us to repent. These ideas are at the very top of the food chain now, part of the belief system of the most powerful people among us. I do find that a threat, and I see no way to turn it around except by persuasion. As a number of you have said in your comments, it can't be turned around by force. That, it seems to me, leaves only surrender or persuasion. Surrender doesn't strike me as rational.

I think that she sums up quite neatly what it is that also discomfits me about this religious trend. It isn't their beliefs as much as it is what they're doing with them. How do you reason with someone who believes that Jesus is a'comin', and we don't need this old world much longer? How do you deal with people who believe that double-crossing another faith will get them a fast track to heaven? The "End Times" stuff has been around for as long as Revelation has been, but it has become a virulent new meme in today's world. It is a meme which needs to be dealt with head on, and soon. They believe that they can force the hand of God, and are trying to make it happen. Is there a way that this energy can be redirected to a less volitile and dangerous end? How can we change our language and change the world?

"Imminent threat to humankind" is strong language, but language that needs to be taken seriously if we want to keep our planet intact.

dogemperor [userpic]
Rapture Politics


From the Toronto Star:

Rapture politics


"Unique among nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus."

— John Ashcroft, former U.S. attorney general

Since the re-election of George W. Bush last November, religious fundamentalists have been in overdrive in their effort to define American politics through a reductive and fanatical moralism.

This kind of religious zealotry has a long tradition in American history, extending from the arrival of Puritanism in the 17th century to the current spread of Pentecostalism. This often ignored history, imbued with theocratic certainty and absolute moralism, has been powerful in providing religious justification to the likes of the Ku Klux Klan, the parlance of the Robber Barons, the patriarchal discourse of "family values," the National Association of Evangelicals' declared war on "the bias of aggressive secularism," and the current attack on a judiciary that is allegedly waging war on people of faith.

But American religious fundamentalism in its most recent incarnation extends far beyond the parameters of extremist sects or the isolated comments of radical Christian politicians, evangelical leaders and pundits; it is now operative in the highest reaches of government and "more radical and far-reaching than in the past," according to the conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan.

The fundamentalist tendencies of President Bush are now commonplace and can be seen in his official recognition of "Jesus Day" while governor of Texas, his ongoing faith-based initiatives and his endless use of religious references and imagery in his speeches.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting article (from some sites I linked to earlier)


Very good article on how the dominionist right thinks, as explained through the "Left Behind" books--and how this is influencing US foreign and domestic policy (which is honestly something I've seen for a while, but this puts it rather better especially for folks who may not entirely be familiar with dominionism).

One thing of note that I have not seen before--apparently one of the folks directly advising Shrub on dominionist/"Religious Right" issues, Doug Wead, is AoG; in other words, the very dominionist denomination of which I walked away from, which pretty much has hijacked the Armed Forces chapliancy program to create "Christian Soldiers", the one which Ashcroft is a member of--is directly steering the President of the United States in all his kowtowing to the dominionists. (It would *ALSO* explain why there is so much specific AoG friendliness and imagery in the present administration. I would also not be shocked to see a lot *more* links with that specific group; as an AoG walkaway, I can say that they've been working at this for a goodly forty years :P)

One of the things I'm impressed on is showing the specifics of the armageddonist theology implicit in at least the AoG-flavoured branches of dominionism (which is actually an excellent primer, and also matches what I remember in the group I walked away from) as well as how Shrub is being influenced by these folks and is actively sympathising with them--in other words, it gives a rare glimpse into the thought processes involved.

dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting articles re "Messianic Judaism" et al

Whilst the ADL is rather less blatantly antidominionist than SPLC and still actively courts Evangelical Christians (which IMHO is a *huge* mistake on their part, partly due to the fact so much of the "evangelical" community has been infiltrated by dominionists and/or are blatantly dominionist themselves), they ARE quite concerned about "Messianic Judaism"--aka the propensity of dominionist groups (very often associated with Southern Baptist or Assemblies of God, or "non-denominational" pentecostal groups) to specifically target the Jewish community and essentially convert them to "Christians who keep kosher".

http://www.adl.org/special_reports/jews4jesus/jews4jesus.asp has an excellent article on this, including specifically something we've seen for a long time in the dominionist community--"evangelism by stealth".

http://www.outreachjudaism.org/response.html has a *very* interesting post from a Jewish perspective on "messianic Judaism" and on things pushed in the dominionist community (especially the whole "blood atonement" thing--it's actually actively promoted in dominionist churches that Jews were absolved of sin by blood atonement and that Christ was supposedly the "final blood atonement" (and, at least in the particular AoG church I walked away from, also supposedly spent three days in hell wrestling Satan down...) so it was a duty to convert the Jews because the poor things had to keep kosher and no longer had priests to sacrifice animals *rolls eyes*)

As an aside (and please forgive me for the minor aside here, I think it's important to mention this in context of dominionist groups and the general misuse of Biblical quotes by them--a common practice in coercive "Bible based" cults in general)...they do mention a specific Bible verse, Numbers 15:30-31 (in context of Numbers 15:27-31):

"But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be on him."

This particular phrase was used in the specific dominionist group I walked away from, and (from what I have heard) in many other coercive and dominionist groups--the dominionist group specifically used this to claim that anyone who had been in the church, and later walked away and rejected its teachings, was PermaDamned (tm) because they "acted defiantly" and were "blaspheming the Lord". This included specifically gay people who walked away, or *any* walkaways or kids who were being "defiant" and *especially* people who were outspoken against the church after walking away; this was also specifically termed the "One Unforgivable Sin" (suicide was also considered unforgivable, but only due to the technicality that one could not repent after one was dead for "self-murder").

The verses, incidentially, are part of a larger whole (noted in the article) on absolutions for accidential rather than deliberate sins *in the context of the ancient Hebrew priesthood*--in other words, someone who killed someone else in cold blood was not going to be allowed into the sanctuary, whilst someone who accidentially killed another could get absolution from the priests. http://www.searchgodsword.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T7552 actually gives a fairly decent explanation of the historical context here.

The above link also gives (as another small aside) some info on why certain armageddonist dominionists are trying to produce a line of red calves (and misunderstanding that red calves are for very specific sorts of sacrifices).

http://members.shaw.ca/leemarsh/soc-death.html mentions specific misuse of Numbers 15:30-31 among Jehovah's Witnesses.

(And I do hope you all can forgive me a bit regarding the minor detour; I just thought it useful to show some of the various tactics used by dominionists to keep control of their own flock.)

http://www.outreachjudaism.org/evangelize1.html (on targeting of the Jewish community by dominionists--again, info on "stealth evangelism" including a discussion of the tactics used by dominionist groups; this and the link below also specifically detail how the dominionists' eschatology essentially sees Jews as a pawn to start Armageddon and trigger the Rapture)

http://www.outreachjudaism.org/evangelizingthejews2.html (More on "messianic Judaism" and specific tactics used by dominionists, including taking people to dominionist-run "retreats"--as an aside, the dominionist group I walked away from owns several hundred acres known as "Prayer Mountain" specifically as a church owned retreat, and is even used as a camp by the church's "Christian alternatives" to the Boy/Girl Scouts (the Royal Rangers and Missionettes--yes, even the Boy Scouts are seen as "not Christian enough"))

http://www.adl.org/Interfaith/left_behind_and_jews.asp (more on dominionism and their general escathology in regards to Judaism. In essence, many dominionists essentially see Israel and the Jewish people as a "rapture trigger" or "armageddon trigger"--when all the Jews are reunited in Israel and when a certain number are converted to dominionism, that will trigger the End Of Things. Many dominionists see the existence of Israel itself as a sign of the End.)

dogemperor [userpic]
The Slactivist on the "Left Behind" books


The Slactivist talks about why the "Left Behind" series are the worst books ever written:

When we were first putting together the Evangelical Environmental Network, I was kind of jealous of our partners forming similar groups among Catholics, mainline Protestants and Jewish congregations. They all had structures to work with. Those groups had organizations and hierarchies that allowed our partners to quickly and officially establish legitimacy with the constituencies they were trying to reach.

Evangelicals have no such structures. Instead of church polity, we have a marketplace. Influence and authority are not determined by tradition, by hierarchy, by spiritual discernment or democratic election embodying collective wisdom. Instead, they are determined by book sales, TV ratings, fund-raising acumen, and how many radio stations one owns.

This is a hell of a way to run a church.

Some of these market mechanisms can, I suppose, be passable proxies for a democratic form of church governance. Take for example the recent rise to national prominence of the Rev. Rick Warren. One could argue that the success of his book, The Purpose-Driven LIfe, represents the wisdom of the people -- that the body of believers has voted with their dollars to elect Warren as a pseudo-bishop in our market-driven church. But this kind of "election" usually has more to do with the flim-flammery of marketing than it does with the will of the Holy Spirit. I'd trust the system more if we just cast lots like the early church did in selecting a replacement for Judas.

This market-driven ecclesiology gets more disturbing the more you learn about the cynical, pragmatic outlook of groups like the NRB and the CBA. That would be the National Religious Broadcasters and the Christian Booksellers Association (although books account for less than a fifth of their sales). Think of them as our colleges of pseudo-cardinals, or the pseudo-archbishops who with their money and marketing appoint our pseudo-bishops.

This is part of what frightens and angers me about the phenomenal popularity of the Worst Books Ever Written. LaHaye and Jenkins are spreading their political agenda and worldview -- their triumphalist, Jonah-like delight in the damnation of their enemies, their sociopathic lack of empathy -- and the popularity of this agenda in turn lends it a kind of spiritual authority. And that is part of why this quixotic, elliptical-but-thorough assault on these awful books means more to me than simply a diverting way to spend my Fridays.

Interesting comparison- evangelicals use money as a means to determine authority rather than a hierarchy. I have sometimes privately wondered if money isn't actually more important to some sects than actual worship of Christ. Especially the 'non denominational' megachurches.

dogemperor [userpic]
Wisdom from "The Wittenburg Door"


Reconstructionist crusaders don't fool God

By Ole Anthony & Skippy R.
Issue #162 January/February 1999

King John of England made an unusual request on his deathbed.

John, an unsavory character, even for medieval royalty, had amassed a fortune in other people's gold. Yet he was so stingy that he allowed his wife only two dresses and a cape, while he dressed in finery and had jewels stitched onto his riding gloves.

His greedy land grabs made the barons so mad they forced him to sign the Magna Carta, forever limiting royal power. For a time he was excommunicated by the Church. Needless to say, the guy didn't have many friends.

As his life drew to a close, tradition says, he asked his attendants to dress him in a white crusader's tunic emblazoned with a red cross, in hopes of tricking St. Peter and sneaking into heaven incognito.

No doubt the ruse failed.

But a similar plan is alive among Reconstructionist Christians and other groups working for a "return to America's Christian heritage."
Their plan is to camouflage the whole United States of America and smuggle it into the Kingdom of God – all 50 states, from sea to shining sea, everything – including New Jersey and Congress – even our offshore oil rights and the interstate highway system.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Verichip Forum!

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

Goody, goody! Now there's a Verichip Forum(http://www.theverichip.com/forum/)!!!
There's an entire section on "The Mark of the Beast"...here's a small section of the e-mail announcement;

The discussion board is nothing
fancy, just a place you can go
and post questions, receive
Verichip news, and basically
meet and engage with others
that are interested in the
Verichip, the mark of the beast,
prophecy, and related subjects.

Current Mood: cynical
Current Music: Spazz
dogemperor [userpic]
The "Anti-Christ."


The setting: Wal Mart. The plot (or that other term I forgot): clothes shopping, for my brother. So, naturally, I have nothing to do with it...and one favorite place of mine to venture off to is the magazine rack - always has been. AND, so well perched, to the left of the rack is a string of books, most being Christian is publication.

But, on a small island of books outside of the aisle, one book particularly caught my eye. Still knowing this rack is mostly Chrisitan titles, I pick up this "one" book, holding my breath... ...and by it's idiocy, makes me want to gouge out my eyes: "The How-to's Guide to Survive the End of The World." (OR something of that nature.)

I flip to one spot, and find: "How to spot the Anti-Chirst." Ok... I read, and find shit I already knew: the head wound, "enemy of God," blah blah. But, then I turn the page and see the word, "Jewishness." I wanted to cry. It says that one of the pre-requisites of the Anti-Christ IS to be Jewish. Just then, the NEED to get over the PA system chot through me. TO TELL the rest of the store of idiocy in print.

(However, I didn't. And I regret it. ::smirks::) The chaos would be fun - but with a purpose.

Current Mood: annoyed
dogemperor [userpic]
A couple of breaths of fresh air


Although the church-state situation is grim and getting grimmer (especially if the Senate Republicans trigger the nuclear optionConstitutional option, there are Christians who are still practicing what Jesus preached. Here are a couple of sites where they do:

Jesus on the Family
The Wittenburg Door

I want to see if Barns & Yarns has the latest issue of the magazine- there are some articles in the current issue that look quite interesting: "Why should you spend four years and $100,000 when Jesus will probably return before you graduate?" and "Christian Bookstore Survival Tips: Be careful around the ceramic baby Jesuses. Breaking one is bad karma."

Yep, levelheaded and humorous, too!

dogemperor [userpic]
More about the Verichip

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

Here's the most recent of my e-mail updates from the Verichip Company. I've put the text that seems especially relevant to me in bold, any comments of my own will be in italics.
Deception... )


Current Mood: anxious
Current Music: Try Redemption- Fuck Redemption
dogemperor [userpic]
Rockridge Institute: "Rapture Cult Heresy"


Here's another Rockridge Institute forum about the "Rapture Cult Heresy".

The Rapture Cult Heresy by Carol Wolman

Millions of Americans are caught up in a delusion I call the rapture cult. This heresy teaches that God intends to destroy life on planet earth. Those who believe in the rapture theory and voted for Bush will go to a better place, and the rest of us will be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust or some such catastrophe. Meanwhile, it's fine for the cult leaders to get as rich as possible as quickly as possible, and to indulge their lust for power, blood and oil as much as they want, with no regard for the teachings of the Prince of Peace.

Unlike most cults, the rapture cult has the power to destroy not just its own members, but all life on earth. It has taken over the government and the military of the world's only superpower, and seems hell-bent on destruction.[Emphasis mine- ed.]Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting blog


Rigorous Intuition talks about "Heavenly Deception" in this interesting post:

There was a thoughtful and rather uncomfortable piece by Bill Moyers that appeared a couple of weeks ago, one I'm sure he never expected to write, entitled "There is No Tomorrow":

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.
I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy.... The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 -- just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Homer S. ponders being "Left Below"


I've got to draw attention to Sunday night's episode of The Simpsons. It's a very funny spoof of the "Left Behind" balderdash. For a synopsis of this episode, click http://tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/GuidePageServlet/showid-146/epid-384298/

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