Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
The American Empire


This Sierra Times article is very interesting:

The American Empire: An Unholy Alliance between Church and State
Lee R. Shelton IV

The man hailed as the first Christian emperor of Rome was Constantine, whose alleged "conversion" in 312 A.D. came on the eve of a great battle for the Roman throne. In the simplified version of the legend, Constantine saw a flaming cross in the sky emblazoned with the words "In hoc signo vinces," meaning "By this sign, conquer"--and he proceeded to do just that.

Constantine the Great, however, was far from Christian. Throughout his life, he remained a worshipper of Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun) and retained the title of "Pontifex Maximus," which meant that, in addition to his duties as emperor, he served as the chief priest of the Roman pagan religion. (Ironically, the Catholic Church continues to bestow that title on its popes.)Read more... )

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

I just had to share this, from my journal.

I'll do you folks the courtesy of cutting, though. )

dogemperor [userpic]

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

Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Oh, my. History really DOES repeat itself!

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]wolfsinger2k)

In my perusals of various "old documents", I ran across a reprint of a lecture  titled "Protestant Menace To Our Government", given by L.K. Washburn to the Ingersoll Secular Society at the Investigator Hall in Boston, MA on 1/27/1889 concerning an attempted passage of a Congressional bill establishing Sundays as an official Christian church day and imposing other regulations with the bill.

<a href="http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/lemuel_washburn/protestant_menace.html">Full text</a>

The section referring to the Bill in question:

"Let me read enough of the text of this proposed law to show how far the Christian Church would go to save its institutions. The bill, which is expected to become a law, was introduced in the Senate of the United States by Mr. Blair, on the 21st of May, 1888. It was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Education and Labor. On December 18th, 1888, it was ordered to be reprinted. This bill is entitled; A bill to secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord's Day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of religious worship." It reads as follows: --

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in, Congress assembled, --
That no person, or corporation, or agent, servant, or employee of any person or corporation, shall perform or authorize to be performed, any secular work, labor, or business to the disturbance of others, works of necessity, and mercy, and humanity excepted; nor shall any Person engage in any play, game, or amusement, or recreation to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord's Day, or during any part thereof, in any territory, district, vessel, or place subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States........

See. 2. That no mails or mail matter shall hereafter be transported in time of peace over any land postal-route, nor shall any mail matter be collected, assorted, handled, or delivered during any part of the first day of the week."

There are certain provisos which are not important to our purpose. Sections 3, 4, and 5 relate to commerce between the States and with the Indian tribes; drills, musters and parades; and the payment and receipt of wages. Sec. 6 refers to such labor and service as are not deemed violations of the act, but says that "the same shall be construed so far as possible to secure to the whole people rest from toil during the first day of the week, their mental and moral culture, and the religious observance of the Sabbath Day."

The rhetoric is amazing.

This section in particular:

"Here is a deadly blow aimed at religious liberty in this country. Such a bill as this is the attempt of religious despair. Any endeavor to explain it on the ground of public necessity, or in the interest of public morals, is the veriest hypocrisy. Who demands such a law as this bill proposes? What is it demanded for? Have not the people who wish to go to church on Sunday the liberty to do so? Does any one deny them this right? Does any one object to their going or try to stop them? "


"Let us ask the Protestant Christians of the United States, who are working to get their religion endorsed by the Government, if they are suffering from political injustice, if they are victims of political wrongs? Are they singled out among the inhabitants of this country for legislative afflictions? Are they compelled to observe against their convictions any particular day of the week as sacred above another? Is their property taxed unjustly; taxed to support a worship which they cannot join and a religion which they cannot accept? Are their children compelled by the laws of the State to listen to the reading of religious books which are obnoxious to them. Do they hear prayers in our legislatures that are offensive to their ideas of right? The necessary and just demand is not for the Government to give further aid to the Protestant Church, but to stop the immunities which this church now enjoys. In view of the many wrongs and evils which others have to bear on account of the privileges granted to this church, every Christian should hang his head in shame and blush with guilt before the American people. The truth is this: The Protestant churches of the United States want to control our Government for the advantage of their religion. They already have secured enactments in all of our legislatures which give them power to injure in mind and estate those who do not accept the Christian faith. Yet in face of this fact, and in face of the National Constitution, which says that Congress shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion, there is a movement among the Protestant party for greater ecclesiastical authority.

We cannot be blind to the efforts being made by Christian fanatics, nor can we see such attempts to weaken our political Government and strangle our political liberty without a protest. That the people who are seeking for religious power in this country are honest and sincere in their endeavors, is not any reason why our citizens should stand idly by and see their political institutions overthrown, and the freedom won by the patriots of the Revolution destroyed by the bigots of the Christian Church. "

Scary that this was only 116 years ago - barely over 100 years since the founding of this nation.

Current Mood: shocking
dogemperor [userpic]
for reference


The Christian Nation Myth

dogemperor [userpic]
Enough to make one sick

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

Heads up from [info]kynn.

MIDDLEBROOK — A small fire was set in St. John’s Reformed United Church of Christ this morning and anti-gay graffiti was painted on the side of the building.

The outside of the church was vandalized with anti-gay messages and a declaration that United Church of Christ members were sinners. The graffiti’s message appeared to be a reference to the national church’s decision earlier this week to endorse gay and lesbian marriages.

This has eerie echoes back to the burning of black churches in the civil rights movement.

dogemperor [userpic]
Point, counterpoint


If you sometimes get the feeling that the members of the Extreme Right dwell in a parallel universe, you might be right. Here are a pair of op-ed columns from the Ft. Wayne paper. The first is from a right wing theocrat, and the second one is the rebutal to the first. Both are fascinating reading.

Remember Puritan roots of liberty

The Independence Day we celebrate this weekend offers the occasion to get in touch with the mystic chords of American memory.

It is tempting to look only to Philadelphia and conclude it was the start of something big. The taproot is not there. Instead, the American Revolution that shaped our great country begins with the Puritans, those remarkable individuals who put forward ideals that still can motivate. The Pilgrims showed us the power of combining individualism and public spirit, giving us a religious republic comfortable with a wall and no established church.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Are we a "Christian Nation"?


Nope. No way. Na-ah.

Here's what the Founding Fathers had to say about the US being a "Christian Nation". There are some pretty pithy remarks by some pretty hallowed people.

dogemperor [userpic]
Founding Fathers "Not Christians"

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

This may not be news to some of you, but as a non-US resident, I found it very interesting....

Nyogtha, 4th July

This is a folklore/mythology-related column, which takes apart some of the myths and stories that surround Independence Day, and the Revolutionary War as a whole. The interesting bit is at the end of the column; The author doesn't like the Dominionists any more than we do...

Current Mood: geeky
dogemperor [userpic]
History repeating?


[info]ebonypearl takes a closer look at the Declaration of Independence.

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News Roundup


Chuck Currie has a great blog post about the religious right adapting the tactics and strategy of 1930s Germany:

After listening to James Dobson and his evangelical Christian colleagues talk about controlling the federal judiciary through the Republican majority in Congress – to the extent of punishing judges and defunding courts – one can’t help recalling the events in 1930s Germany. The National Socialists removed judges who didn’t go along with the party program. Law became what they party said it would.

Dobson, speaking on his radio show it April, imagined political change proceeding this way: “The troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately.” He complained that “Congress has not had the political gumption to take any such action.” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has encouraged such views: “We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse.”

Dobson seems not to realize that an independent judiciary is essential to the rule of law. As one prominent jurist explains: “If we are to be a nation of laws and not of men, judges must be impartial referees… By insulating judges from external retaliation and from internal temptations of ambition [by life appointment and irreducible salary], the framers hoped that the judiciary would be free of pressure not only from the government by also from the people.” These words are not from the left-wing fringe; they belong to archconservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The whole post and some of the comments are definitely a must-read.

The transcript of the June 10 segment of "NOW" is up. It features an interview with writer Chris Hedges and the '10 Commandments Judge' Roy Moore. I may post the transcript seperately. There's lots of good stuff in it. Hedges wrote the article in the May Harpers about the Religious Broadcasting convention.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a feature about the 'holy war' against gays.

Here's an example of what might be called the "pro-discrimination" (or even the 'pro-hate') movement targeting homosexuals. More about it here.

dogemperor [userpic]
Stumbling Toward Fascism...


Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed
to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Does any of this sound familiar?

dogemperor [userpic]
Four Pearls of Wisdom


A few quotes apropos the total disaster that is unfolding in the United States this year.

1. " Naturally the common people don't want war...That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists..." -- Herman Goehring

2. "I am not going to give you a number for it because...it's not my business to do intelligent work." -- Donald Rumseld

3. "Great Britain will imperialize itself out of existence, Germany will militarize itself out of existence, and the United States will spend itself out of existence." --Vladimir Lenin. (He's been right so far)

4. "This is how liberty dies -- to thunderous applause." -- from "Revenge of the Sith"

dogemperor [userpic]
"Gays Should Wear Warning Labels"


Anyone remember Stars of David or Pink Triangles in Nazi Germany? It's back, and it's here... )

dogemperor [userpic]


The Nazi/Dominionist comparisons are justified. Proof:


dogemperor [userpic]
Fast Times in Tehran (a bit off-topic)

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

This Time magazine article delivers an inside look at the sociopolitical situation in today's Iran. The author describes how the theocrats in power have bribed the nation's restless young people into "grudging acquiescence" -- at least for now.

Anyway, I was particularly struck by this quote:

"You have a situation," says my friend Karim Sadjadpour, an analyst in Tehran for the International Crisis Group, "where the majority of Iranians have neither the luxury to risk their livelihoods waging political protest nor the nothing-to-lose desperation and rage that result from penury."

This sounds very, very familiar to me.

dogemperor [userpic]
Purgatory Without End


The Economist asks, "Why is America so prone to wars of religion?"

IN 1782, a French immigrant named Hector St John de Crèvecoeur predicted that America was destined to be a much more secular place than Europe. In America “religious indifference” was rapidly becoming the rule, and “the strict modes of Christianity as practised in Europe” were being lost. “Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction, are the food of what the world commonly calls religion,” he argued. In America, their absence meant that religious passion “burns away in the open air, and consumes without effect.”

Suffice to say that de Crèvecoeur has not found a place alongside Alexis de Tocqueville as an anatomist of the American soul. In Europe religion doesn't rise to the level of burning away “in the open air”; in fact, it barely smoulders. Most European politicians would rather talk about sexually transmitted diseases than their own faith in God. The hugely bulky European constitution doesn't mention Christianity.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
The Fall of Atheism

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

The Fall of Atheism
by Harun Yahya. (A Turning Point in History)


"We are living at an important time. Atheism, which people have tried for hundreds of years to portray as “the way of reason and science,” is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance. Materialist philosophy that sought to use science for its own ends has been in turn defeated by science. A world rescuing itself from atheism will turn to God and religion. And this process has begun long ago."

Article is actually quite good - a brief survey of history and philosophy of atheism.

Comments, anyone?

- xposted -

dogemperor [userpic]
A Spiritual Olive Branch for the Far Right


Here's the first editorial about the Open Center conference I attended this past weekend:

A spiritual olive branch for the far-right faithful
Ellis Henican

May 1, 2005

Chip Berlet isn't the devil. He doesn't even look the part.

He's a big, burly guy in suspenders and a sport shirt who was raised Presbyterian in northern New Jersey. He's spent most of his adult life at the intersection of journalism and community activism - in Colorado, Chicago and Boston. Over the years, he's become one of America's leading experts on the steady rise of conservative Christianity and its growing role in political life. He was onto this long before George W. Bush came into the White House.

These days, Berlet thinks of himself as an organizer, a researcher and a radical left-wing Christian. Yet he counts among his friends quite a few people whom his other friends consider whacked-out right-wing religious zealots.

"Actually," Berlet was saying on Friday afternoon, "I don't like those labels at all, calling people 'religious extremists' or 'radical religious right.' You can't have a conversation when you start that way. I want to talk to these people. I want to engage them. ... I want to have a real discourse about religion and politics."

Welcome to backlash against the latest scary rise of America's Religious Right.Read more... )

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"America's Godly Heritage"


Many people in the Dominionist movement either homeschool their kids or send them to Christian schools. Many of these schools use David Barton's "America's Godly Heritage" as a teaching text about the founders of America and its supposed Christian underpinings. His book contains many quotes purported to be from our founding fathers- including Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and others.

Barton's work has been quoted extensively by evangelicals, teachers, and even members of Congress.

But evidence and research has revealed that a good lot of what Barton has written is questionable, or even false. One Baptist site has even publised a critical commentary on his work.

David Barton, in his taped presentation called America's Godly Heritage, peddles the proposition that America is a "Christian Nation," legally and historically. He also asserts that the principle of church-state separation, while not in the Constitution, has systematically been used to rule religion out of the public arena, particularly the public school system. This is not a new argument, but Barton is especially slick in his presentation. His presentation has just enough ring of truth to make him credible to many people. It is, however, laced with exaggerations, half- truths, and misstatements of fact. His citation to supporting research is scant at best and at times non-existent.

The whole article including the refutations of his 'quotes' is worth a read.

This leads to the question: why are there so many charlatans who don religous plumage and so baldly lie to believers? They are present in many faiths, but it seems that evangelical Christianity attracts them like squirrels to nuts. Maybe it can be traced back to Paul himself, whom some critics peg as being the first evangelical flim-flam artist- after all, he never even met Christ in person, and he was avidly pursuing the destruction of the faith before his conversion on the road to Damascus. (Maybe it wasn't a 'conversion at all...) Maybe his model has pretty much set up the assembly line for those who follow him.

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