Dark Christianity
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The Oklahoma Republican Party Platform


Want a sneak preview of what life would be like should Dominionist-ridden Republicans totally take over? Look no further than the Oklahoma GOP. Here's what Left2Right has to say about this platform:

The Oklahoma party calls for state and federal legislation to prohibit same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships, and also a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman. I'm not sure if this is to leave states the room to adopt civil unions, or just carelessness — the party thanks "the members of the Platform Committee who gave two long Saturdays to produce this document" — but I'd prefer to think it's the former. (And yes, it could be carelessness: in short order the platform supports and opposes the same Taxpayer Bill of Rights for the state.)Read more... )

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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... )

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Republican moderates under extremist pressure


This New York Times article talks about the squeeze being put on the more moderate Republicans by the hardliners:

Republican Moderates in Senate Sense Pressures

WASHINGTON, May 12 - The unusual pact that permitted the nomination of John R. Bolton to go forward on Thursday without the support of a crucial Republican senator has exposed, in a very raw and public way, the extreme pressures facing Republican moderates in a Senate that is increasingly dominated by conservatives.

President Bush called the dissenting Republican, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, on Wednesday, the day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which Mr. Voinovich serves, was to take up the nomination, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said.

Karl Rove, the president's powerful political adviser, and Andrew H. Card Jr., the chief of staff, also called to chat with Mr. Voinovich in recent weeks, Mr. McClellan said.

And Mr. Voinovich, who has steadfastly refused to answer questions about any discussions with the White House, is hardly the only Republican who is feeling the squeeze these days.Read more... )

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Heartland Morality, American Politics


This article from Dissident Voice explains the volitile intersection of religion and politics that has become the GOP. Great links.

I encountered the liberal insularity of the 'blue states' that the writer speaks of when I was in NYC. They think that the heartland and especially the South is like Afghanistan or something. And that everyone who lives in these states are a bunch of liberal, tobacco-spit stained, Bible-banging hicks. When I told one totally shocked Long Islander that I was from Arkansas, she looked at me like I had two heads. "Are you a Right wing spy?" she asked me. I looked at her like she had three heads. "Hell, no!" I crisply replied.

Good Gawd.

It was time for my ClueStick™ Prayer: "O Creator, please spare me from too long an encounter with the Clueless, and if I must be stuck with them, grant me the Deep Stillness I will need to keep from whacking their skulls with the nearest heavy object. Amen!"

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More GOP Bullying


This NY Times article talks about the GOP's attempt to turn PBS into another 'fair and balanced' network:

Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases


WASHINGTON, May 1 - The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders - including the chief executive of PBS - to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence.

Without the knowledge of his board, the chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, contracted last year with an outside consultant to keep track of the guests' political leanings on one program, "Now With Bill Moyers."Read more... )

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Craigslist sightings

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

An article and some amusing pics )

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How Fundementalism is splitting the GOP


The New Republic has an article about how fundementalism is splitting the Republican Party.

For conservatives of faith, such pluralism can allow error to flourish--and immorality to become government policy--and therefore must be limited. A conservative of doubt, however, does not regard the existence of such pluralism as a problem. He sees it as an unavoidable fact of modernity, an invitation to lives that are more challenging and autonomous than in more traditional societies. Even when conservatives of doubt disagree with others' moral convictions, they recognize that, in a free, pluralist society, those other views deserve a hearing. So a conservative who believes abortion is always immoral can reconcile herself to a polity in which abortion is still legal, if regulated. Putting government power unequivocally on the side of one view of morality--especially in extremely controversial areas--must always be balanced against the rights and views of citizens who dissent. And, precisely because complete government neutrality may be impossible on these issues, government should tread as lightly as possible. The key in areas of doubt is to do as little harm as possible. Which often means, with respect to government power, doing as little as possible.

Doubt, in other words, means restraint. And restraint of government is the indispensable foundation of human freedom. The modern liberal European state was founded on such doubt. In the seventeenth century, men like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke looked at the consequences of various faiths battling for control of the moralizing state--and they balked. They saw civil war, religious extremism, torture, burnings at the stake, police states, and the Inquisition. They saw polities like Great Britain's ravaged by sectarian squabbles over what the truth is, how it is discovered, and how to impose it on a society as a whole. And they made a fundamental break with ancient and medieval political thought by insisting that government retreat from such areas--that it leave the definition of the good life to private citizens, to churches uncontaminated by government, or to universities that would seek and discuss competing views of the truth.

In the modern world, where disagreement among citizens is even deeper and more diverse than three centuries ago, conservatives of doubt see their tradition as more necessary than ever. As the fusion of religious fundamentalism with politics has destroyed Muslim society and politics, so, these conservatives fear, it threatens Western freedom as well--in subtler, milder, Christian forms. Conservatives of doubt are not necessarily atheists or amoralists. Many are devout Christians who embrace a strong separation of church and state--for the sake of religion as much as politics. Others may be Oakeshottian skeptics, or Randian individualists, or Burkean pragmatists, or libertarian idealists. But they all agree that the only solution to deep social disagreement is not a forced supremacy of a majority or minority, but an attempt to keep government as neutral as possible, power as close to people as possible, and as much economic power in the hands of the private sector as possible.

For such conservatives, divided government is therefore critical. Judicial checks on democratic majorities are as vital as legislative checks on executive abuse. (They are just as queasy removing such parliamentary checks as the filibuster.) The same goes for keeping policy-making as close as possible to states and localities. Why? Because human knowledge is fallible, and those closest to the issues are more likely to get solutions right than people a long way away. The notion that the federal government should actively endorse one religion's perspective on social policy would appall such conservatives. So would the idea that individual states cannot legitimately experiment with policies on which there is no national consensus--such as stem-cell research or marriage rights.

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A wake-up call to the sane majority


This Arkansas Democrat-Gazette op-ed asks some tough questions of the Religious Right. This article is notable that it's in a very right wing paper in a very red state.

Does it strike you as odd that persons calling themselves Christians are furious that the U.S. Supreme Court found executing juveniles unconstitutional? Do you find even odder that such individuals describe themselves, straight-faced, as adherents of the "culture of life"? Are you surprised to learn that people called conservatives would quote Joseph Stalin? Yes, that Joseph Stalin, the former Soviet dictator and mass murderer. And no, I am not making this up. It happened recently at a Washington conclave held by something called the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. If not household names, many in attendance were familiar controversialists, representing right-wing groups like the Family Research Council, the American Conservative Union, etc. Catholic anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly spoke, along with unsuccessful GOP Senate nominee Alan Keyes and Alabama’s Judge Roy" Ten Commandments" Moore. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, having fled the jurisdiction—er, left town to attend the pope’s funeral, addressed the group on TV. But the real headline-maker was Edwin Vieira, allegedly an expert in constitutional law.Read more... )

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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.

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Sunday Morning News Part 2: The bad


Media Matters talks about a new free tabloid in the DC area which was bankrolled by a mysterious and very conservative right wing billionaire:

On February 1, a free daily tabloid arrived on newsstands and in mailboxes in the Washington, DC area: the Washington Examiner. The new paper is owned by Denver billionaire Philip F. Anschutz, an Evangelical Presbyterian who has bankrolled numerous ultra-conservative causes and has donated at least half a million dollars to Republican committees and political candidates. The Examiner's first three editorials all took hardline conservative positions.


Anschutz has a history of supporting socially conservative causes. According to a recent Post article, Anschutz's family foundation gave James Dobson, the founder of the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, an award for his "contributions to the American Family." The Post noted that according to the foundation's website, Focus on the Family works to "counter the media-saturating message that homosexuality is inborn and unchangeable" and that one of the group's policy experts referred to abortion as an example of when "Satan temporarily succeeds in destroying God's creation." Further, as the Post mentioned, Anschutz contributed $10,000 in 1992 to Colorado Family Values in support of the group's efforts to pass a state constitutional amendment to invalidate state and local laws that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. (The referendum passed, but the United States Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional.) According to the Post, "Anschutz's money helped pay for an ad campaign that said such anti-bias laws gave gays and lesbians 'special rights.'"

In May 2003, the Orange County Weekly reported that other Anschutz Foundation beneficiaries include the Institute for American Values, which according to the Weekly "campaigns against single parenting," and Enough is Enough, which "promotes Internet censorship." The San Francisco Chronicle noted on February 20, 2004, that Anschutz also funds Morality in Media. As Media Matters previously noted, the Institute for American Values also receives funding from the conservative Bradley and Scaife foundations, as well as grants from the John M. Olin Foundation, another major financer of conservative organizations. Enough is Enough and Morality in Media have also received funding from the conservative Castle Rock Foundation.

Anschutz has also made significant financial contributions to Republicans. The Washington Post described Anschutz as "an active Republican donor" stating that "he, his companies and members of his family have given more than $500,000 in campaign contributions to GOP candidates and committees" since 1996. Variety noted in its October 4, 2004, edition that Anschutz has supported "a number of Republican political candidates, including John Ashcroft and Peter Coors."

Read the entire article. It's a taste of things to come.

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

I know I'm not saying anything new here, but I wonder: When did "Pray for our leaders" become Praise for our Leader?

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