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dogemperor [userpic]
Biola prof/IDiot says it doesn't matter if Rowling says Dumbledore is gay

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

because Dumbledore is not Gay, which is a lesson in "Taking Stories More Seriously than the Author," written by John Mark Reynolds, a professor at Biola University who's known as a proponent of Intelligent Design. This article was found through Pharyngula. This ties in in a way with the curricula challenges and the whole Christian second culture that tries to function separately from secular culture. I must say, though, that if I tried to analyze something like this in my literature courses, I would've been laughed out of the department.

Recently, J.K. Rowling announced to the world that one of her characters, the heroic mentor of Harry Potter, Dumbledore was gay.

Nonsense. There is no evidence of it in the books and the books (at this point) are all that matter. I have always thought the books deeply Christian not because Rowling told me so (which she recently confirmed), but because the text is full of Christian images and ideas. She had a chance to give Dumbledore a boyfriend, but she muffed it. I refuse to denigrate friendship by reading every close one as sexual . . . and she gave us nothing else.

No offense to an excellent author, but Dumbledore no longer belongs only to Rowling. He also belongs to her readers who have been given a series of books in which Rowling was free to say what she wanted to say. She wrote about Christianity openly by Book Seven, but if Dumbledore was gay, she decided to hide it. She hid it so well that there is no evidence of it.


Rowling chose to hide her “opinion” of Dumbledore’s sexuality until the story arc was done, Dumbledore dead, and his life written. Now her opinions no longer matter, just her text. If she could point to anything in that text that suggests something greater than friendship, mentoring, or a professional relationship, then that would matter. She has not and cannot. She carefully hid the “fact” and now it is too late to introduce it.


What if Rowling writes a guide to her characters in which she gives new “back story” to the characters?

That too will not matter...

I do not react this way because Rowling has said something I find personally distasteful. I do find homosexual behavior contrary to nature and the laws of God. However, I do not find the tendency to homosexual behavior shocking or particularly distasteful. We live in an imperfect world and if Dumbledore lived a celibate life giving himself to his work, then he is a perfect (fictional) model of how to deal with disordered affections.


It does not matter if she had Dumbledore’s failings in mind as she wrote, since she censored it out so heavily as to be of no use in understanding her novel. Unless we are give word’s new meaning, she chose words like “friendship” to describe Dumbledore’s relationships.
This is something of a follow-up to [info]dogemperor's post about waiting for the apoplectic fit. Just to reiterate: there have been basically two extremely-socially-conservative responses to the Harry Potter series: 1) it's evil or, much more rarely, 2) it has Christian themes and we should look for these and ignore the rest. The author of this was one of those "Christian themes" people, and this is his response to the author's latest statement about her character.

dogemperor [userpic]
"God's Harvard"

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

Patrick Henry College (PHC), located in Virginia some 40 miles west of Washington, is one of American evangelicalism's recent success stories. It opened in 2000, became known for placing interns in the White House and other strategic spots, and in so doing became an object of intense media interest. When a group of professors resigned in spring 2006, charging the college with restricting their academic freedom, press ears perked up again.

Over the years Time, The New York Times, and many other publications have run largely superficial stories about PHC. One writer, Hanna Rosin, formerly of The Washington Post, went deeper. She embedded herself at the college for a year and a half and witnessed tumult among both professors and students. Her new book, God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Harcourt), shows the curiosity of an Israeli-born, Jewish New Yorker asking, "What does it mean to keep up a running conversation with Jesus in your head, and at the same time to function in the modern world?"

WORLD Magazine has a Q&A with the author here. Note: While author Hanna Rosin is no evangelical, WORLD Magazine itself can be classified as "Religious Right"--which makes the article all the more interesting, really.

[Edit: The previous link seems not to work for those of us who don't subscribe. However, if you go to this blog post and follow the link from there, you should be able to read it.]

dogemperor [userpic]
A New Generation Expresses its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]navytron89) While browsing the [info]dailykosI saw this interesting article from the Barna Group. 

A New Generation Expresses its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity

I'm curious after reading this does frustration towards Christianity come from the fact that Fundies and Dominionists are making such a bad name for Christians and is that why Christianity is losing the flock. This would also explain why they Fundies and Dominionists are thriving as to fight to keep Christianity alive against the loss of faith, they are using it to justify their existance. 

I find that the perceptions about Christianity are showing why its so disliked and I believe its do the the Fundies and Dominionist leaving their dirty handprints all over the place involving themselves where they don't belong and aren't asked to be. 

I think I'll be adding this to my reading list while deployed and then give you all feedback later. Please note the feedback may be slow as I will be gone for 7-8 months. Books are my time killer on cruise.

The other thing is the Barna group involved with or tied to a Fundie/Dominionist group?

location: work
Current Mood: curious
dogemperor [userpic]
Upcoming book

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

Frank Schaeffer: Crazy For God -- How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

Excerpt. Click Headline for Schaeffer's promo site for the book. )
It's apparently scheduled to be released in the coming month, and the reviews look like it will be very interesting. From The Nation article Frank Schaeffer Goes Crazy for God, we read:
Excerpt. Click Headline for full story. )
For those not aware of him, you can read more about Frank Schaeffer at Wikipedia. His father Francis Schaeffer was influential in urging political action by such people as Tim LaHaye and Randall Terry of Operation Rescue. You can read more about his influence in "Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence" by Frederick Clarkson.
Excerpt. Click Headline for full story. )
ETA: BookFinder link.

dogemperor [userpic]
Fascinating concepts in sci-fi novels based on possible Fundie Dominionism in the future:

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


'Julian' Is Set In Depleted America

Multiple-award-winning SF author Robert Charles Wilson, whose novella "Julian: A Christmas Story" is a current finalist for both the Hugo Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Award, told SCI FI Wire that the story takes place in an oil-depleted and depopulated future America in which the Union has 60 states.

"Julian Comstock is the nephew of the reigning president, who fears Julian might become a competitor; Adam Hazzard is Julian's 'leasing class' friend and the narrator of the story," Wilson said in an interview. "A conscription drive for the War in Labrador takes aim at Julian, and Adam has to make some stark decisions about whether to defend his friend or remain loyal to his hometown of Williams Ford."

The narrator, Adam, is an aspiring author but very much a product of his rural environment, Wilson said. "[He's from] a small town run by an elite Eastern family and controlled by the Church of the Dominion," he said. "Julian, on the other hand, was raised in Manhattan, a cultural Mecca even in an age of oil depletion and coal technology, and he introduces Adam to new—and deeply troubling—concepts such as evolution and the history of space travel."

The most unusual thing about the story is the voice in which it's written, Wilson said. "Adam's voice, which is really the old American voice, [is] humble but unbowed, instinctively ironic, gullible and skeptical at the same time," he said.

In order to adopt a perspective of 150 or so years in the future, Wilson immersed himself in American literature and history from the latter part of the 19th century, he said. "What I was asking myself was: How much and how profoundly does a culture change over the course of a century and a half?" Wilson said. "And how can I write that degree of change into a depleted, radically unraveled world like Julian's?"

The character Adam represents the side of Wilson that wants to trust people and take them at their word—and that runs the risk of getting gulled from time to time, Wilson said. "Julian Comstock, by contrast, is my inner atheist: skeptical, perhaps, to the point of condescension, but aware of the intricate complexity of nature and evolution," he said.

The story grew out of Wilson's desire to write about the prospect of climate change and resource depletion, along with the potential dominance of a political-religious hierarchy in a post-collapse America, he said. "[Also,] my own discovery of 19th-century American children's literature and such now-forgotten authors as William Taylor Adams," he said. "There is also, of course, the real-life story of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate, who tried to overturn Constantine's conversion of the empire to Christianity. [The story] loosely follows the historical precedent."

"Julian: A Christmas Story" is available now from PS Publishing as a stand-alone volume, but Wilson is currently working on expanding the story into a novel, he said. —John Joseph Adams

dogemperor [userpic]
"Every Man's Battle"

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

Those of you who enjoy Slacktivist's excellent series of Left Behind critiques might also be interested in the Cynic Sage's posts on Every Man's Battle. For those unfamiliar with EMB, it's a series of books (and seminars and lunchboxes(?)) marketed to Christian men who are concerned about their masculinity and sexual purity. If you tune into your local Christian radio station, there's a good chance these books or books like them will be part of the conversation after a while. Interesting look at the intersection of marketing and cultural warfare.

Current Music: The Ark, "Deliver Us from Free Will" (heh)
dogemperor [userpic]
Apocalyptic Imperialists: A Short History of the Christian Right


From CounterPunch

April 23, 2007

Chris Hedges is a journalist who for two decades was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times spending much of his time reporting from conflict zones in El Salvador, the Middle East and from Serbia covering the Balkan wars of the 1990s that divided and destroyed a country under the guise of humanitarian intervention providing cover for naked imperialism. There it allowed NATO (meaning the US) to expand into Central and Eastern Europe to keep predatory capitalism on the march for markets, resources and cheap labor everywhere using wars to get them and eliminate "uncooperative" heads of state like Slobodan Milosevic who was kidnapped, Mafia/Mossad style, by the ICTY kangaroo court in the Hague, hung out to dry when he got there, and in the end effectively or, in fact, murdered to shut him up and prevent ugly truths coming out about what the conflict was really about and who the real criminals were.

The wars and subsequent show-trials had nothing to do with myths about it fed us by Western media. Those wanting the truth can find it in excellent books like Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade; the extensive research and writings of Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, law professor Michael Mandel; and the newest book out on the subject titled Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice by British journalist John Laughland. Edward Herman wrote a superb review of the book in the April, 2007 issue of Z Magazine now available in which he pointedly says "the rules of the (illegally constituted) ICTY (established by the US and UK) stood Nuremberg on its head" and Laughland states "instead of applying existing international law, the ICTY has effectively overturned it" to hide NATO's crimes and allow more of the same playing out now in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

The Christian Right supports these type crimes and motives for them readers will understand from Hedges' new book... )

Current Mood: cynical
dogemperor [userpic]
Book Recommendation

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

Lenny Flank, Jr., who runs the "DebunkCreation" Yahoo group (and similarly named website) has just published a book entitled Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America. This book focuses on the creationism/ID movement in this country, but rather than a scientific debunking, he focuses on the political motives behind the movement, namely, as a wedge by the Domionists/Christian Reconstructionists to infiltrate the schools as part of their wider theocratic goals. The infamous "Wedge Document" that was leaked from the CRSC is also included.

dogemperor [userpic]
Amy Goodman interviews Chris Hedges


Don't miss this one, folks. Best interview I've heard in a long time. They discuss Hedges' new book a bit, but within the context of Dominionism and fascism, they manage to touch on virtually every major issue that we are currently facing.

Both audio and video versions are available on demand. This interview begins after the headlines, about ten minutes into the program.

Democracy Now!, Monday, February 19th, 2007

Chris Hedges on “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America”

The blurb:

A new book by Chris Hedges called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America” investigates the highly organized and well-funded "dominionist movement." The book investigates their agenda, examines the movement's origins and motivations and uncovers its ideological underpinnings. “American Fascists” argues that dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. According to Hedges, the movement bears a strong resemblance to the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s.

Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times for many years where he won a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" and "Losing Moses on the Freeway." Chris has a master's degree in theology from Harvard University and is the son of a Presbyterian minister. He is currently a senior fellow at the Nation Institute - and he is here with me now in the studio.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: impressed
dogemperor [userpic]
Quotes on the RR


David Kuo (the deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2001 to 2003, and the author of “Tempting Faith”) has an op-ed in today's New York Times. He quotes John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute:

Modern Christianity, having lost sight of Christ’s teachings, has been co-opted by legalism, materialism and politics. Simply put, it has lost its spirituality. [...] Whereas Christianity was once synonymous with charity, compassion and love for one’s neighbor, today it is more often equated with partisan politics, anti-homosexual rhetoric and affluent mega-churches.

Evangelicals are beginning to see the effect of their political involvement on those with whom they hope to share Jesus’ eternal message: non-evangelicals. Tellingly, Beliefnet’s poll showed that nearly 60 percent of non-evangelicals have a more negative view of Jesus because of Christian political involvement; almost 40 percent believe that George W. Bush’s faith has had a negative impact on his presidency.

One can but hope...Dominionism is as much a corruption of evangelical Christianity as "abstinence-only" sex ed and clinic bombers.

Current Mood: cheerful
dogemperor [userpic]
Left Behind: Eternal Forces

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

Yesterday, on T2A, we were introduced to The Purpose Driven Life Takers. An ultra-violent video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, based on scenes from the first four novels in the Left Behind novel series, puts you "on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state". It's to be rated T for Teens, meaning it is targeted at the 13-19 year old age group, and is "slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping rush".

You can read another article on this travesty here: So Much For Rick Warren Being a Warm-and-Fuzzy Evangelical.

This is NOT what Christianity is about. Period, end of sentence. It's just so sad to see such a great man's philosophy so seriously corrupted.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37ff)
I simply cannot understand how these people can reconcile the game with his two commandments.

x-posted to [info]wyldraven. Find it here.

dogemperor [userpic]
Attempt to ban The Handmaid's Tale

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

Attempt to ban The Handmaid's Tale in San Antonio TX fails, for now.

Lyman said Thursday that he believed to book does not meet community standards. He said he would not want his own children to read the book.

More here.

Superintendent Ed Lyman pulled the book, saying it was too explicit for high school students.

Personally, I am convinced this is why it got pulled in the first place. Highlighting mine.

The Handmaid’s Tale centers on a fundamentalist Christian group that forces women to act as sex slaves. Those who sided with Lyman feel the book is sexually explicit and offensive to Christians.

I think this one bears watching.

BTW: The College Board exams given to advanced placement students for college credit include questions about the book.

dogemperor [userpic]
Apocalyptic President

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

By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian UK
Thursday 23 March 2006

Even some Republicans are now horrified by the influence Bush has given to the evangelical right.

In his latest PR offensive President Bush came to Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday to answer the paramount question on Iraq that he said was on people's minds: "They wonder what I see that they don't." After mentioning "terror" 54 times and "victory" five, dismissing "civil war" twice and asserting that he is "optimistic", he called on a citizen in the audience, who homed in on the invisible meaning of recent events in the light of two books, American Theocracy, by Kevin Phillips, and the book of Revelation. Phillips, the questioner explained, "makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this? And if not, why not?"

Bush's immediate response, as transcribed by CNN, was: "Hmmm." Then he said: "The answer is I haven't really thought of it that way. Here's how I think of it. First, I've heard of that, by the way." The official White House website transcript drops the strategic comma, and so changes the meaning to: "First I've heard of that, by the way."

But it is certainly not the first time Bush has heard of the apocalyptic preoccupation of much of the religious right, having served as evangelical liaison on his father's 1988 presidential campaign. The Rev Jerry Falwell told Newsweek how he brought Tim LaHaye, then an influential rightwing leader, to meet him; LaHaye's Left Behind novels, dramatizing the rapture, Armageddon and the second coming, have sold tens of millions.

The rest behind the cut... )

The article can be found here.

dogemperor [userpic]
Salon Review of "American Theocracy"


Decline and fall
Kevin Phillips, no lefty, says that America -- addicted to oil, strangled by debt and maniacally religious -- is headed for doom.
By Michelle Goldberg

Mar. 16, 2006 | In 1984, the renowned historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Barbara Tuchman published "The March of Folly," a book about how, over and over again, great powers undermine and sabotage themselves. She documented the perverse self-destructiveness of empires that clung to deceptive ideologies in the face of contrary evidence, that spent carelessly and profligately, and that obstinately refused to change course even when impending disaster was obvious to those willing to see it. Such recurrent self-deception, she wrote, "is epitomized in a historian's statement about Philip II of Spain, the surpassing wooden-head of all sovereigns: 'No experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence.'"Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
American Theocracy: A Clear and Present Danger


This NYT book review is a must-read. I want to get the book, too...

Although Phillips is scathingly critical of what he considers the dangerous policies of the Bush administration, he does not spend much time examining the ideas and behavior of the president and his advisers. Instead, he identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration's policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country's immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future.


Phillips is especially passionate in his discussion of the second great force that he sees shaping contemporary American life — radical Christianity and its growing intrusion into government and politics. The political rise of evangelical Christian groups is hardly a secret to most Americans after the 2004 election, but Phillips brings together an enormous range of information from scholars and journalists and presents a remarkably comprehensive and chilling picture of the goals and achievements of the religious right.

He points in particular to the Southern Baptist Convention, once a scorned seceding minority of the American Baptist Church but now so large that it dominates not just Baptism itself but American Protestantism generally. The Southern Baptist Convention does not speak with one voice, but almost all of its voices, Phillips argues, are to one degree or another highly conservative. On the far right is a still obscure but, Phillips says, rapidly growing group of "Christian Reconstructionists" who believe in a "Taliban-like" reversal of women's rights, who describe the separation of church and state as a "myth" and who call openly for a theocratic government shaped by Christian doctrine. A much larger group of Protestants, perhaps as many as a third of the population, claims to believe in the supposed biblical prophecies of an imminent "rapture" — the return of Jesus to the world and the elevation of believers to heaven.

Prophetic Christians, Phillips writes, often shape their view of politics and the world around signs that charlatan biblical scholars have identified as predictors of the apocalypse — among them a war in Iraq, the Jewish settlement of the whole of biblical Israel, even the rise of terrorism. He convincingly demonstrates that the Bush administration has calculatedly reached out to such believers and encouraged them to see the president's policies as a response to premillennialist thought. He also suggests that the president and other members of his administration may actually believe these things themselves, that religious belief is the basis of policy, not just a tactic for selling it to the public. Phillips's evidence for this disturbing claim is significant, but not conclusive.

"Charlatan biblical scholars"... truer words have not been written. Our country is being run into the ground by True Believers™ who believe in the crap spoon fed to them by charlatans and fear-mongerers.

dogemperor [userpic]
Follow-up to my Dr. Dobson post

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

I wrote a follow-up to my critique of Dr. Dobson's view of the sexual revolution. It's about what I've termed the counter-sexual revolution. Check it out if you're interested: http://velvetpage.livejournal.com/428044.html

dogemperor [userpic]
Dr. Dobson book

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

A little while ago, someone on this community suggested that I read and critique a Dr. Dobson book I found on my shelves, rather than summarily pitching it. Well, I began the critique, but I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate for this community, so if anyone is interested in reading it, it's in a public post in my journal: http://velvetpage.livejournal.com/427459.html?view=2327747#t2327747

PoAC stands for Post of Actual Content, btw.

You're welcome to pop by and add your (polite, respectful) commentary.

Tags: ,
dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]another93)

Thy Kingdom Come
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006. From America’s Providential History, by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, published by the Providence Foundation. The authors hold courses and seminars based on the book that were attended by more than 25,000 people in 2004. Originally from Harper's Magazine, February 2005.
Sources read more )

Current Music: A23 - King of Insects
dogemperor [userpic]
Interview and book


Interesting interview from the author of a pretty good book:


The book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1560257970/sr=8-1/qid=1139917993/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-7715334-3867924?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Current Mood: working
Current Music: Spocks Beard
dogemperor [userpic]


Per [info]catvincent's suggestion, I am starting this thread so we might exchange ideas on reading material that helps to illustrate the hows and whys of why separation of church and state and the idea of democratic freedoms can so easily be subverted and taken away.

These are just suggestions , of course, but they tie into what we talk about here in thie community and they could be helpful when trying to illustrate points to people who are not convinced of the threat the dominionist faction presents.

Here's the list so far from the earlier thread.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles - R.A. Wilson
The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk & sequels
His Dark Materials ' trilogy - Phillip Pullman
1984 - George Orwell
Animal Farm - George Orwell

Comic Books

Sandman - bNeil Gaiman
V For Vendetta - Alan Moore
Promethea - Alan Moore
The Invisibles - Grant Morrison
Transmetropolitan - Warren Ellis

More suggestions?

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Music: Basin St. Blues - Dr. John
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