Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Christ Inc.: Faith-Based Fascism


"When a triumphal George W. Bush declared his intention to cash in on his “political capital” in the days after the election, he was merely reaffirming his commitment to hand over the reins of power to a higher authority than even Dick Cheney. The religious right, with its enormous political stake in the “End Times” outcome of America's latest Imperial misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, have seized upon Bush's continued pledge to transform the “Homeland” into a locked down religious theme park with the organizational zeal they had previously reserved for bilking gullible parishioners out of their social security checks.

"Like Halliburton, Christ Inc. has become the latest recipient of taxpayer largesse, having won the contract to keep the media out of the news business, and to ensure that power speaks to truth, as opposed to the other way around. Purging the “news” of news is just the latest attempt by religious Brownshirts to stamp their poisonous insignia on every major institution that they don't control lock, stock and barrel."

dogemperor [userpic]
The New Blacklist


This article talks about the pressure that the Religious Right is putting on corporations who have any kind of inclusive regulations:

The New Blacklist
Corporate America is bowing to anti-gay Christian groups’ boycott demands

Spurred on by a biblical injunction evangelicals call “The Great Commission,” and emboldened by George W. Bush’s re-election, which is perceived as a “mandate from God,” the Christian right has launched a series of boycotts and pressure campaigns aimed at corporate America — and at its sponsorship of entertainment, programs and activities the Christers don’t like. [This writer uses 'Christer' instead of 'Dominionist' or 'Christocrat'. -ed]

And it’s working. Just three weeks ago, the Rev. Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (AFA) announced it was ending its boycott of corporate giant Procter & Gamble — maker of household staples like Tide and Crest — for being pro-gay. Why? Because the AFA’s boycott (which the organization says enlisted 400,000 families) had succeeded in getting P&G to pull its millions of dollars in advertising from TV shows like Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. P&G also ended its advertising in gay magazines and on gay Web sites. And a P&G executive who had been given a leave of absence to work on a successful Cincinnati, Ohio, referendum that repealed a ban on any measures protecting gays from discrimination was shown the door.

“We cannot say they are 100 percent clean, and we ask our supporters to let us know if they discover P&G again being involved in pushing the homosexual lifestyle,” growls the AFA’s statement of victory over the corporate behemoth, “but judging by all that we found in our research, it appears that our concerns have been addressed.” The Wall Street Journal reported on May 11 that “P&G officials won’t talk publicly about the boycott. But privately, they acknowledge the [Christer] groups turned out to be larger, better funded, better organized, and more sophisticated than the company had imagined.”Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Leave my child out of your evangelism


There are individuals who go door-to-door in a desperate attempt to convert others to their faith. Those of us who are not interested in this face-to-face equivalent of spam either refuse to answer the door or blindly take the pamphlet that is handed to us, knowing that we will be throwing it in the trash.

I am a Pagan, so their conversion attempts are annoying, to say the least. Luckily for me, because of my honesty and courtesy toward them, there is usually no problem.

Then they decided to prey upon my child.

dogemperor [userpic]
"Just Give Me That Old Time Atheism"


Salman Rushdie comments on religion versus science:

Just give me that old-time atheism!

"Not believing in God is no excuse for being virulently anti-religious or naïvely pro-science," says Dylan Evans, a professor of robotics at the University of West England in Bristol.

Evans has written an article for the Guardian of London deriding the old-fashioned, "19th-century" atheism of such prominent thinkers as Richard Dawkins and Jonathan Miller, instead proposing a new, modern atheism which "values religion, treats science as simply a means to an end and finds the meaning of life in art."

Indeed, he says, religion itself is to be understood as "a kind of art, which only a child could mistake for reality and which only a child would reject for being false."

Evans' position fits well with that of the American philosopher of science Michael Ruse, whose new book, The Evolution-Creation Struggle, lays much of the blame for the growth of creationism in America — and for the increasingly strident attempts by the religious right to have evolutionary theory kicked off the curriculum and replaced by the new dogma of "intelligent design" — at the door of the scientists who have tried to compete with, and even supplant, religion.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
New Voices Emerge in Religion Debate


This op-ed column talks about the 'hijacking' of religious language by extremists.

New voices emerge in religion debate

Among the most dishonest features of current political theater is the insistence by some on the Christian Right that religious faith requires supporting specific policies.

The tactic is clearest in the repeated charge that "activist" judges are engaged in a "war against people of faith." So it is really encouraging to see religious voices emerge to set the record straight.

When President Bush gave this year's commencement speech at Calvin College, a small evangelical school in Grand Rapids, Mich., the unthinkable occurred: Eight-hundred students, faculty members and alumni signed a letter of protest that ran as a full-page advertisement in the Grand Rapids Press. The letter challenged Bush in explicitly religious terms, saying in part "Your deeds, Mr. President -- neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment, and misleading the nation into war -- do not exemplify the faith we live by."Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Focus on what you *do* want, not what you don't want

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

Here's a thought I had tonight...

We're all pretty clear, for the most part, on what we *don't* want where theocracy and dictatorial rule are concerned. An arguably (no pun intended) harder thing is to figure out what we *do* want, but maybe we might be better off focusing more on that instead of all the negatives associated with the threat. I don't remember where I read or heard it, but it boils down to a sort of principle involving energy and attraction. If you focus on what you DO want, and take steps to achieve it, you can often make it a reality. By the same principle, focusing on all the negative makes it that much more likely that it will come to pass.

It could be said that dominionists are using this principle well, though they likely aren't aware of it or, if they are, are almost certainly using much different terms to describe it. But perhaps it's worth a try, in that attracting more moderates and preserving basic human rights/freedoms are what we want to do (as both goals would go a long way towards overturning the theocratic plague).

Not saying, of course, that we should totally ignore the negatives every time one pops up. But dwelling too much on negatives can't be productive either.


dogemperor [userpic]
Blog: "I am not a Christian"


"My Thoughts, exactly" has an entry about how, even though he teaches Sunday School, he isn't really a Christian:

I then paused (yeah, for effect) and then announced to the class that I am not a Christian. I told them I knew they must be shocked since I was a Sunday School teacher and I desperately want to be in the ministry full-time, but I simply was not a Christian (again, a pause for effect). The term “Christian is used three times in Scripture (see here, here, and here). The context of each of these uses indicates that the name “Christian” was applied and therefore defined by those who were not “Christians”. In other words, non-Christians define what it means to be a Christian. At this, some in my class gave me knowing looks as if they knew where I was headed. After my dramatic pause, I told them that to be a Christian in America means four things. A Christian is one who (1) opposes gay marriage, (2) opposes abortion, (3) is pro-war, and (4) is Republican. I then proceeded to shock the class even more by announcing that I could not be a Christian because I am not a Republican.

The whole entry is quite interesting.

dogemperor [userpic]
Battling theocracy- words of advice from Daily Kos


I really like a lot of the writers on The Daily Kos- which is a collection of blogs/diaries from -yes, I'll admit it- progressive Democrats (with some progressive Republicans mixed in). Today's selection is a bit of very sage advice which we here should do our best to take to heart. It's about name-calling- specifically our labels for the Religious Right. Here's what "Troutfishing" says we're doing by using perjoratives:

It's a campaign of skillful persuasion:

A campaign to persuade some of those 100 million Americans who call themselves evangelical Christians or born-again Christians they should side with a left-progressive agenda rather than with the theocratic right.

Slinging rhetoric - in this very public forum - which informs those 100 million Americans that they are extremist, ignorant, or flat out dumb is akin to going to the OK Corral with a Colt .45 while Wyatt Earp waits in a pillbox with a machine gun and an RPG.

Folks on Daily Kos who attack the theocratic right with language that accidentally brands a large group of Americans who do NOT support theocracy are like trial lawyers with Tourette's, blurting out obscenities during their closing statements in murder trial.

"extremists", "wing nuts","dumb bastards"?Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Christopher Hitchens: Why I'm Rooting Against the Religious Right


Christopher Hitchens talks about the Religious Right:

Why I'm Rooting Against the Religious Right
Save the Republic from shallow, demagogic sectarians.

Thursday, May 5, 2005 12:01 a.m.

I hope and believe that, by identifying itself with "faith" in general and the Ten Commandments in particular, a runaway element in the Republican leadership has made a career-ending mistake. In support of this, let me quote two authorities:

* The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100%. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. . . . Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some god-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Daily Kos: "Children of the Corn"


I like Daily Kos. Yes, it's a steaming pile of Democratic and liberal opinion, mixed with heady wit and insightful writing, but I am there for the heady wit and insightful writing. So, here's a small taste of it to get you hooked.

By now everyone's heard of the events in Kansas:

The hearings in Topeka, scheduled to last several days, are focusing on two proposals. The first recommends that students continue to be taught the theory of evolution because it is key to understanding biology. The other proposes that Kansas alter the definition of science, not limiting it to theories based on natural explanations. [...]

"Part of our overall goal is to remove the bias against religion that is in our schools," said William Harris, a chemist who was the first witness to speak Thursday on behalf of changing the state's curriculum. "This is a scientific controversy that has powerful religious implications."
Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Max Blumenthal: The Real Struggle


Here's another writer who can see through the smoke-screen, and Max Blumenthal tells it like it is. Lots of great links.

dogemperor [userpic]
Christian Right Goes Nuclear


This AlterNet article talks about the 'constitutional option':

It's a joke that the right wing claims it is against "judicial activists." What they want are judicial activists who agree with them.

I was all set to write a column about the nuclear option -- the proposal to change the rules of the Senate in order to get President Bush's most questionable judicial appointments through -- when, lo, word came that there is no nuclear option anymore. It is now called "the constitutional option."

Who changed it? Why, the Republican Party, of course. Having found that "nuclear option" does not poll well, the Republicans simply decreed the rules change can no longer be described by that name. Further, the Republican Party sent media operatives around to major news organizations to inform them that anyone who fails to obey the new diktat on usage will be demonstrating the dread "liberal bias."

Since this particularly fateful rules change was first christened "the nuclear option" by Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi in 2003, and has been called "the nuclear option" ever since -- by Republicans, along with everybody else -- I have to say this is a distinctly Orwellian development.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Living will is the best revenge

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


Living will is the best revenge )

Current Mood: amused
dogemperor [userpic]
Editorial on "Intelligent Design"

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

From Scientific American:

Okay, We Give Up

There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.

This is taken from their April issue, naturally.

Current Mood: amused
dogemperor [userpic]


One of the most respected figures in the Republican political establishment turned on his own party yesterday, accusing the leadership of falling hostage to the religious right.

dogemperor [userpic]
Conservatives are starting to take notice


This NYT op-ed by former Republican senator John Danforth addresses the infiltration and domination of the Republican party by Dominionist Christians. An excerpt:

St. Louis — BY a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.

Standing alone, each of these initiatives has its advocates, within the Republican Party and beyond. But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party.

Christian activists, eager to take credit for recent electoral successes, would not be likely to concede that Republican adoption of their political agenda is merely the natural convergence of conservative religious and political values. Correctly, they would see a causal relationship between the activism of the churches and the responsiveness of Republican politicians. In turn, pragmatic Republicans would agree that motivating Christian conservatives has contributed to their successes.

High-profile Republican efforts to prolong the life of Ms. Schiavo, including departures from Republican principles like approving Congressional involvement in private decisions and empowering a federal court to overrule a state court, can rightfully be interpreted as yielding to the pressure of religious power blocs.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Bill Moyers talks again


This article talks about the very serious consequences of Dominionist rule of the government:

There are times when what we journalists see and intend to write about dispassionately sends a shiver down the spine, shaking us from our neutrality. This has been happening to me frequently of late as one story after another drives home the fact that the delusional is no longer marginal but has come in from the fringe to influence the seats of power. We are witnessing today a coupling of ideology and theology that threatens our ability to meet the growing ecological crisis. Theology asserts propositions that need not be proven true, while ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. The combination can make it impossible for a democracy to fashion real-world solutions to otherwise intractable challenges.

In the just-concluded election cycle, as Mark Silk writes in Religion in the News,

the assiduous cultivation of religious constituencies by the Bush apparat, and the undisguised intrusion of evangelical leaders and some conservative Catholic hierarchs into the presidential campaign, demonstrated that the old rule of maintaining a decent respect for the nonpartisanship of religion can now be broken with impunity.

The result is what the Italian scholar Emilio Gentile, quoted in Silk's newsletter, calls "political religion"—religion as an instrument of political combat. On gay marriage and abortion— the most conspicuous of the "non-negotiable" items in a widely distributed Catholic voter's guide—no one should be surprised what this political religion portends. The agenda has been foreshadowed for years, ever since Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other right-wing Protestants set out to turn white evangelicals into a solid Republican voting bloc and reached out to make allies of their former antagonists, conservative Catholics.

What has been less apparent is the impact of the new political religion on environmental policy. Evangelical Christians have been divided. Some were indifferent. The majority of conservative evangelicals, on the other hand, have long hooked their view to the account in the first book of the Bible:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

There are widely varying interpretations of this text, but it is safe to say that all presume human beings have inherited the earth to be used as they see fit. For many, God's gift to Adam and Eve of "dominion" over the earth and all its creatures has been taken as the right to unlimited exploitation. But as Blaine Harden reported recently in The Washington Post, some evangelicals are beginning to "go for the green." Last October the National Association of Evangelicals adopted an "Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility," affirming that "God-given dominion is a sacred responsibility to steward the earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part." The declaration acknowledged that for the sake of clean air, clean water, and adequate resources, the government "has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation."

But even for green activists in evangelical circles, Harden wrote, "there are landmines."

Welcome to the Rapture!

This may be a repeat of an earlier Moyer essay- but it is worth reading again.

dogemperor [userpic]
Welcome to Doomsday

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

Another Bill Moyers editorial, this one from The New York Review of Books.

dogemperor [userpic]
The Gospel of the Rich and Powerful


This Salon commentary by Joe Conason hits the nail on the head:

Watching the behavior of Republican politicians during the past several days, we are learning the true meaning of "compassionate conservatism." Not the public-relations version promoted by George W. Bush and his party propaganda apparatus, but the core philosophy enunciated by the deep thinkers of the religious right.

With legislative maneuvering designed to punish and deprive the least fortunate among us -- working people at the lower end of the American economy and their children -- the Republicans don't seem to be upholding the caring Christian ideals often proclaimed by the President. They're pushing down wages, snatching away tax credits and food stamps, slashing Medicaid and children's health insurance, and removing bankruptcy protections from families that suffer medical catastrophes. But they're extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains, and making sure that those bankruptcy laws still protect the richest deadbeats.

In short, they are stealing bread from the mouths of the poor and stuffing cake into the maws of the wealthy.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]

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

Post from my LJ that Sunfell thought I should post here.


Tremors )

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