Dark Christianity
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Impart Faith


I was a practicing fundamentalist Christian for many years until I found I could not reconcile fundamentalism with what Jesus actually taught. I hope that will suffice as an introduction.

Recently my wife alerted me to this:


In light of a recent article on the Daily Kos that talks about the recent marriage between militarism and fundamentalism, and in light of the Yurica Report, I thought that link might be interesting to some. Particularly the flash graphic, which sends quite a different message than they might intend.

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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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Op eds wading into the fray


It's apparent that the Dominionists have hoist their Jolly Roger, and shown their true colors- and people around the country are starting to awaken to the monster in our midst.

The Rutland Herald has an editorial on "Religious Bullying".

The New York Times talks about Bill Frist's 'religious war'.

Here's a refreshing voice of reason- a Presbyterian minister at William and Mary.

And I seem to have stumbled upon a potential solution- or at least a potentially powerful means of pushing back against the assault the Dominionists have mounted upon our lives and freedoms and faith. I bought "The Isaiah Effect" (by Gregg Braden) a year ago, but hadn't yet read it. While searching for a book about Fundementalism, I found it sitting on top of the book I sought. Instead of reading "Casting the First Stone", I felt compelled to start reading "The Isaiah Effect". I'll talk a little more in depth about it when I finish it, but for those of you who are metaphysically, or prayerfully inclined, I highly recommend this book. And I just started it. We can reshape the world. We can stop this darkness and reseed the light. And we can do it in a powerful and nonviolent way.

Oh, and let's add Chuck Currie's blog to our small, but growing collection of Christian voices of reason. Like The Slacktivist, Currie sees through the Dominionist smoke screen. He is also a minister of the United Church of Christ, who had that ad about religious inclusivity that was banned by the networks for being too 'controversial'.

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"Balloon Juice" on the upcoming "Justice Sunday"


The blog Balloon Juice (I love that name!) has their own take on the Dominionists little problem with persecution and the upcoming "Justice Sunday" broadcast:

Vote Republican Or You Hate the Baby Jesus

This is so patently offensive that I don't have adequate words to describe how truly wrong this is:

As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees. Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

If you don't share our politics, you hate the baby Jesus.

If you don't share our politics, you hate religious people.

If you don't share our politics, you are evil.

Congrats, Republicans. Our leaders have now taken the traditional rhetorical demonization of our opposition and elevated it to heavenly heights. I assume my friends on the right are going to spend the week-end attacking me for being a 'religious bigot' because I rightly point out the inappropriateness of this behavior. The usual suspects are front and center:

Some of the nation's most influential evangelical Protestants are participating in the teleconference in Louisville, including Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Chuck Colson, the born-again Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; and Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

But why are you reading me? I hate religious people because I respect the role of religion in people's lives, but don't want religious texts or leaders dictating our domestic and foreign policy. And I really don't want them using God and religion as a weapon for petty partisan gain.Read more... )

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Another moderate observes our "Pharisee Nation"


This article has another timely criticism of the Dominionists. In Christ's time, they were called "Pharisees". Christ didn't have a lot of good things to say about them. I would doubt that he'd hold today's Dominionists in high esteem, either.

Pharisee Nation

American Nation Brainwashed

by John Dear

02/17/05 "CommonDreams" - - Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

I was not at all surprised that George W. Bush was reelected president. As I travel the country speaking out against war, injustice and nuclear weapons, I see many people consciously siding with the culture of war, choosing the path of violence, supporting corporate greed, rampant militarism, and global domination. I see many others swept up in the raging current of patriotism. Since most of these people, beginning with the president, claim to be Christian, I am ashamed and appalled that they support war and systemic injustice, that they do it in the name of God, and that they feign fidelity to the nonviolent Jesus who gave his life resisting institutionalized injustice. Read more... )

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"Air Jesus"


Media Transparency, who watches, among other things, 'faith-based movements' published a very interesting article about Christian broadcasting and its players. 'Christian persecution' was the main theme.

An excerpt:

...Plummer wasn't opposed to having religious extremists subvert a greater society. His critique of Islam, couched in the language of spiritual warfare, was only meant to cast it as Christianity's most dangerous competitor. The Christian Right's dominionist intentions, a theme of the convention, were particularly in evidence at a seminar called, "Taking Over Cities For Christ: The Thousand Day Plan."

The seminar was led by Raul Justiniano, the Bolivian president of the Confederation of Ibero-American Communicators (COICOM), NRB's Latin American counterpart. Like a counter-revolutionary version of Che Guevara, the goateed Justiniano laid out his three-year plan to "invade" Latin American cities one by one by establishing cells in local churches and spreading outwards to "take possession of all parts of the city."

In the past decade, Justiniano has plastered Latin American cities with apparently non-religious billboard advertisements soliciting people to evangelization centers, saturated local media with Christian-themed commercials and films, and hosted stadium-sized revivals across the sub-continent. All in all, he claims to have won millions of souls through 61 "invasions" in six countries.

"Christian media is the air force and the church gives us people on the ground to mobilize our troops," Justiniano explained. "People will take notice and those are your targets. Everyone will be networked in eventually."

Like Justiniano, Olivia Gans was fluent in the language of cultural counter-revolution. A chipper, middle-aged woman leaning against an orthopedic cane, Gans manned the booth of America's oldest and largest anti-abortion group, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC - website). While the much of the Christian Right's leadership uncompromisingly demands a reversal of Roe v. Wade, NRLC has quietly shifted its focus from overturning Roe to what Gans calls, "changing the culture."

It's also called 'swarming'. It's really scary to see 'swarming' in action. Read the entire article- it's quite interesting.

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More examination of Dominionist tactics



By Peter Fredson

One approach of aggressive Christians, who love to spread their beliefs, is through misdirection, deceit, instigation, stealth, and downright imposition. Whenever there is a sudden spurt of demands to install Christian artifacts, icons and symbols in public places, you can bet that instigation is at work. How does it work?

A preacher at a Sunday School gently asks his students “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell your public school friends about how you love Jesus?” “Isn’t it a shame that nobody has posted our lovely 10 Commandments in your school?” “I wish we could put up these posters someplace where people can see them.” “I’ll bet that if you asked if you could form a prayer club in your school that everybody could get saved quicker.” “When you graduate maybe you can pray for us.” “Just before the football game starts, you might ask God for help in winning the game.” “Be sure to wear this cross at all times.” “People should be told that Christ died for them.”

A modern technique is to create your own lawyers who cleverly evolve strategy to make things appear different from what they are. Aggressively promote your strategy through politicians in exchange for monetary support, votes and volunteer workers. God Advertising pays big dividends for politicians. Modern church data bases, web sites, and links can muster up millions of responses overnight. Displaying one bit of a nipple produced 300,000 complaints, most worded identically, to politicians complaining of the great breakdown in morality.

At meetings of top level evangelists with their lawyers they have evolved a plan to get Christianity “acknowledged,” despite the fact that courts ruled against them. They took a semantic approach that looked or sounded different, but had precisely the same application. For instance, if mentioning God during law trials is deemed inappropriate, try The Creator, Intelligence, Tradition, Customary Usage, Spiritual. If saying Christian prayers is deemed inappropriate then try Silent Contemplation, Reflection, Meditation, Moment of Silence, or Voluntary Individual Prayer, Non-curricular Clubs, Private Student Speech, or Spiritual Development. Read more... )

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More Spiritual Warfare insight


Here's another Beliefnet story about Christian Spiritual Warfare. This is an excerpt from a book by Dr. Bobby Welch. The last paragraph is particularly interesting:

Expand: Increase the force-multiplying army. The goal is for each person to become an individual force multiplier. This will significantly increase the war fighting potential in the home, class, and army. This also increases the likelihood of the mission being accomplished. Force multiplying is the vehicle upon which fresh reinforcements will arrive. If the Warrior Leader will develop and equip force multipliers, he will always be victorious in advancing the Great Mission. The mission-vision gives the focus to do just that.

Recruit, recruit, recruit. That is the only real mission of this 'army'- advancing the 'Great Mission'- converting everyone to Christianity. Battling Satan is just a cover story. If such people only stuck to battling Satan, we'd be a lot better off. Unfortunately, everything is now Satanic to the more fanatical, and if you are not 'in' their 'army', you are an enemy, and a target.

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Christian Spiritual Warfare


There have been a number of articles in the last few days about "Christian Warfare"- the desire to reclaim a 'warrior' posture, the distaste of 'weenie' men, and some very aggressive posturing from the more extreme fundementalists.

Here is an overview of some Beliefnet articles:

Ear-Ripping-Off Battles With Satan: This preacher gets down and dirty (and pretty ugly) with his idea of spiritual warfare.

And what is spiritual warfare? That is when the powers of evil out of Satan, the devil, his camp, his command, come against the believer and society around the believer.

Why do we need warrior leaders now, particularly?

We’ve always needed them, and the Bible is full of warrior leaders—the biblical leaders who are on the side that is making a difference for God and His kingdom. I believe there needs to be a fresh view of that today, because so many have been lulled into the idea that if we leave the devil alone and leave the world alone and we stay in our churches and gated communities, everything will work out right. But that is not biblical. We need today to take a new look at the fact that we are in this warfare and that we must be prepared to engage it and to rise above it victoriously.Read more... )

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The Saga of the 'Philadelphia Four' (Far Right Religious Spin Tactics)


Description of classic evangelical 'We're being Victimized for merely being Christians!!' spin.


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Another interesting Dominionist article


Although the main thrust of this Seattle Weekly article is a debate on whether Bush is the "AntiChrist" or not, it also hits on the hypocracy, and dare we say, heresy of the burgeoning Dominionist movement:

Bringing Back Heresy

Lang argues that followers of Jesus, not Bush, should call an Antichrist an Antichrist—or rather, its spirit. "The progressive church should bring back—and this sounds so crazy—the word 'heresy.' The end times theology and this other thing called Dominionism or Christian Reconstruction—those are heresies." [emphasis mine] Lang says not to believe Christian Coalition leader–turned–Whore of Enron–turned Bush/Cheney campaign lieutenant Ralph Reed when he claims the Christian right has no plans to upend the Constitution and impose its religion on civic life. "He's a liar," says Lang. "Dominionism is the notion that God has given the dominion, the governance of the world, to the church. And so Christians literally are born to rule, by force if necessary, to bring the Kingdom of God on Earth. I believe that the theology that drives the Bush administration affirms this." When Falwell preached, "We must take back what is rightfully ours," his ambitions did not stop at U.S. borders. This is a Church of a Law Unto Itself.

In the Greek, the word "anti" doesn't just mean "against." It also contains the meanings "equivalent to" or "a substitute for." Nero was anti-Christ because he falsely claimed to be God. The idea of deception is crucial. The Antichrist isn't the devil, the opposite of God. He's an evil human masquerading as a golden god. The Antichrist appears to humanity not as the hideous Beast but as handsome Nicolae Carpathia, who resembles Robert Redford without the facial erosion. "That could be our next Republican president," quips Lang.

In this sense, the Bush church is Antichristlike indeed. It is institutionalized deception, anti-American ugliness with a beguiling face, a neocon job. Only when necessary does it employ the perilous bald-faced lie, the outrageously transparent duplicity—the political equivalent of Robertson arguing that "Do unto others" indicates Christ's support of capitalist selfishness. More often, a smoothly dissembling surface is preferred. Rove notoriously emulates Machiavelli; the Christian right is a stealth movement, infiltrating school boards and mainstream churches and every institution of democracy like a thief in the night—in order to undermine, overthrow, and replace democracy with theocracy. Bush is the father of lies. The Union of Concerned Scientists proclaims Bush's lies about science "unprecedented." In With God on Their Side, Kaplan concludes, on mountainous evidence, "The goal is not to engage your opponents in the public square, but to kneecap them, or send them into exile."

"It is a conspiracy in the sense that they have not been public and accountable to their ideology," says Lang. "Follow the money! The same filthy-rich foundations that have funded the rise of neocons are funding the rise of the religious right." He suggests that you check out the exposé Web site The Yurica Report for the terrifying particulars.

I like the rational tack of this entire article- especially the insight about that the 'antichrist' really is. "Institutionalized deception"- a perfect phrase to encapsule what the next four years will be like if we don't holler "Heretics!" loudly enough to get the sleeping majority's attention. People like us might get kneecapped, but we'll be heard.

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An evangelical speaks


In this article, an evangelical talks about what evangelicism is really about, and why we need to be concerned with the 'unholy alliance between the free-market and religious fundamentalism.

Well worth a read.


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A plug for my new community


Invite to a New community - Army Of Christ )

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Post- 9/11 America is a Religion


An interesting essay on Alternet suggests that the US has become a religion instead of a nation.

The explanation is wearing a little thin. Are we really expected to believe that the members of the U.S. security services are the only people who cannot see that many Iraqis wish to rid themselves of the U.S. army as fervently as they wished to rid themselves of Saddam Hussein? What is lacking in the Pentagon and the White House is not intelligence (or not, at any rate, of the kind we are considering here), but receptivity. Theirs is not a failure of information, but a failure of ideology.

To understand why this failure persists, we must first grasp a reality which has seldom been discussed in print. The United States is no longer just a nation. It is now a religion. Its soldiers have entered Iraq to liberate its people not only from their dictator, their oil and their sovereignty, but also from their darkness. As George Bush told his troops on the day he announced victory: "Wherever you go, you carry a message of hope – a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, 'To the captives, "come out," and to those in darkness, "be free".'"

So American soldiers are no longer merely terrestrial combatants; they have become missionaries. They are no longer simply killing enemies; they are casting out demons. The people who reconstructed the faces of Uday and Qusay Hussein carelessly forgot to restore the pair of little horns on each brow, but the understanding that these were opponents from a different realm was transmitted nonetheless. Like all those who send missionaries abroad, the high priests of America cannot conceive that the infidels might resist through their own free will; if they refuse to convert, it is the work of the devil, in his current guise as the former dictator of Iraq.

Post 9/11 America is a Religion


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