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Religious Freedom for All


This article from Tom Paine talks about misleading things from "Justice Sunday III". It's very enlightening.

Religious Freedom For All
Melissa Rogers
January 11, 2006

Melissa Rogers is an attorney who currently serves as visiting professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest University Divinity School.

“From our founding forward, Americans have celebrated liberty and honored God in ways both public and private. Now activist judges seek to end all mention of God in the public square.” So reads the flyer for the third “Justice Sunday” event sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC) last Sunday night at a Philadelphia church.

If the goal of this effort is to cause religious people to feel fear, alienation and anger, it succeeds brilliantly. If the goal is to tell them the truth, it’s a miserable failure.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
On Justice Sunday III

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

I had originally thought to post this in the comments section of the Justice Sunday III post, but I wanted to get a bit more exposure, and ask for some opinions on the topics I am brining up.

First off, the church in which this event was held has received over $1 million in government grants, and also files as a 501(c)(3). I’m sure that most of us agree that the faith-based initiatives program is about as unconstitutional as it gets, but what about the combination of FBI and 501(c)(3) exemption? Should an organization be prevented from double dipping?

Does holding the Justice Sunday event count as support of a political candidate? In my mind, yes. While the event was held to support an appointed position, there was a definite political bias. Tax exempt status should be immediately revoked from the Greater Exodus Baptist church and any church that showed this event to their congregation.

Should Senator Santorum be censured for participating as a speaker in this event? Again, I say yes. His endorsement of the event clearly shows a bias toward one specific religion in direct violation to the Constitution, which he made an oath to uphold.

What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

dogemperor [userpic]
Salon Report on Justice Sunday III

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

A time traveler from the civil rights era would have been flabbergasted at Justice Sunday III last night. The third annual rally to proclaim God's support for Bush's judicial nominees, sponsored by the Family Research Council, was held at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, an African-American congregation in downtown Philadelphia. The nationally televised event roared with full-throated gospel and foot-stomping enthusiasm. Martin Luther King Jr. was invoked over and over -- his niece, Alveda King, a frequent presence at religious right confabs, summoned the memory of Rosa Parks and sang a yearning version of "We Shall Overcome."


The entire evening had a surreal, upside-down quality, as if history had been caught in a whirlpool and come back all jumbled. Appearing via video, David Barton, a theocratic revisionist historian, invoked the words of Thomas Jefferson to argue that the founders intended for religion and government to be intertwined. ("I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just," he quoted, not bothering to mention that Jefferson was talking about the sin of slavery, not secularism.) A cast of white conservatives, several with past links to racist groups, presented themselves as heirs to the preachers who led the fight against segregation. The moral authority of the black church was invoked against the judges who have most fervently defended civil rights.

Full Article

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday III location announced...

The location of Justice Sunday III was recently announced in an email targeted at pastors in the Philadelphia area:

Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. :3

(per the article)

Greater Exodus seems to be affiliated with People for People (a group founded by a former NFL football player who became a pastor and who also was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes--a group occasionally associated with "stealth evangelism" including "stealth altar calls" at public schools), and IS a Baptist church (per this this document) and apparently has quite a history of political involvement including crossing the line to frank politisation at times:

http://www.pewtrusts.com/news/news_subpage.cfm?content_item_id=301&content_type_id=13&page=nr2 (includes actually hosting Republican National Convention events at the church itself--a definite legal no-no)

One of People For People's pet projects is voucher programs--not surprising as they run a charter school (registered as a 501(c)3) and the organisation itself is also registered as a 501(c)3.

Needless to say, the good folk at DefCon America and Talk2Action are being notified posthaste :3

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday III scuttlebutt.

(Sunfell, you are welcome to copy and post this in full in the Talk2Action forums. I apparently don't have front-page posting privs but do intend to post this in my own diary there.)

Per DefCon Blog, the date of Justice Sunday III has supposedly been changed from December 4 to January 8. Per the DefCon Blog article, supposedly the event is to be held at a Philadelphia-area megachurch (anyone from that area wish to comment?)

The Family Research Council has been surprisingly quiet re Justice Sunday III (compared to the previous two Justice Sunday events)--the Justice Sunday website has not been updated, and what little press there is seems to be mostly through the dominionist "parallel media"; one gets the very real impression they are trying to keep it as low-key and stealth as possible.

Unfortunately for them, there's a lot of folks who feel the need for some good, cleansing light.

Among other things for those wanting to do some friendly intel:

I’ve actually discovered what satellite network is responsible for covering the Justice Sunday stuff. It’s a network called Sky Angel (which features dominionist-friendly-only programming including radio and TV satellite feeds of dominionist networks and stations–the particular dominionist group I walked away from is involved in it via Sky Angel carrying Voice of Hope Jerusalem (presently operated by High Adventure Ministries, which is a front group for the specific church I left); the only four secular channels carried at *all* on Sky Angel are Fox News, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel).

Sky Angel’s parent company is Dominion Video Satellite (and no, I do NOT think the name is coincidental); Sky Angel does not appear to own any satellites itself but rather rents satellite space from Dish Network’s EchoStar satellite system.

This listing gives one an example of the fun sorts of stuff produced by Sky Angel’s partners–including, notably, both Justice Sunday broadcasts (so it’s extremely likely Sky Angel will be carrying the third one, too). They’re even kind enough to post interactive schedules on their website (and I, as a walkaway, am kind enough to post the link not requiring you to register with them :3) which are supposedly good two weeks in advance.

In fact, they’re even nice enough to brag about their involvement in the previous Justice Sundays, down to reminding us all that they were carried on Angel Two (an in-house channel used by Sky Angel for their own original programming, just like your cable or satellite service has their in-house production channels).

Needless to say, we should DEFINITELY be able to find out some hard info on Justice Sunday III within about two weeks of the 8th, if only because they have to list it in their channel listings :3

One of the interesting things speculated on in the DefCon Blog entry is that the Family Research Council may be deliberately lying low because of Frist and DeLay's involvements in political scandals directly tied to FRC (and, notably, directly involving violation of elections laws). Perhaps I'm optimistic, but I also like to think that in general they're starting to run afraid because people are waking up (there are more mentions in the media on dominionism, including notably in Harpers and Mother Jones magazines as well as Rolling Stone).

dogemperor [userpic]
"Justice Sunday III" planned


DefCon has an article up about "Justice Sunday III", a religious right- sponsored simulcast to hundreds of churches meant to stir the faithful to continue to breach the theocratic church/state wall.

Here's an excerpt from the site.

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday II


Chuck Currie offers an overview of last week's "Justice Sunday II":

Justice Sunday II Speakers Unleash Radical Rhetoric In Support Of John Roberts And In Opposition To Basic Civil Rights; Mainline Religious Leaders Reject Message

Justice Sunday II was held today in Nashville with charges shouted about that the federal courts represented a threat against the American people with so-called liberal activist judges working to tear apart the basic fabric of our society. The event was organized by leading religious right groups critical of federal courts.

Speaker after speaker told the audience in Nashville (and on television, radio and the web) that enemies of Christianity are at work in America to oppose religious values.

Viewers were asked to contact their senators urging support for President Bush’s nomination to the Supreme Court of John Roberts. (Related Post: More Background On John Roberts )

Tony Perkins, the religious-right activist who heads the Family Research Council - and who in his own political activities maintained ties with David Duke and other white supremacists - claimed that the courts had found “a right to kill unborn children and a right to homosexual sodomy,” but at the same time had limited religious rights and even “taken away the right for children to pray.”

The vision that Perkins articulated is far from the Kingdom of God. Perkins and his allies preach hate and fear when the Gospel calls for love and justice. He doesn't even bother with the truth. Children have not been told they can't pray in America. In fact, I led children in prayer just this morning and no government agent came to stop me.

Religious Right Watch (listed on blogroll) has some excellent links to this event also.

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday II


Chuck Currie talks about the upcoming "Justice Sunday II":

Washington, July 14 – Today, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance, responded to the announcement that leaders of the religious right will host – in a church -- another simulcast television program, "Justice Sunday II.”

“Here we go again!” Rev. Gaddy said. “And, this time the imagery and the implications of the message advanced by leaders of the religious right are more offensive, sacrilegious, and undemocratic than those so integral to Justice Sunday I.

“Right now, the most serious threats to the fundamental rights and liberties in our nation are not coming from a lack of God’s interest but from a small group of religious right leaders who have assumed the mantle of national religious authorities and seek to impose on the whole nation and its constitution their particular views on religion, the courts, politics, and justice.

“One can only wonder about the sincerity of the prayerful plea, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court” when members of the religious right have disparaged certain members of the Supreme Court and some even have prayed for the demise of these members.

“There is no confusion, only manipulation—a manipulation of the holy name of God and a manipulation of the United States Constitution—in the implicit suggestion that only a Supreme Court nominee who wins the approval of the religious right is a suitable, God-endorsed candidate for the highest court in our nation.

dogemperor [userpic]
Supreme Contradiction

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

The good folks at tompaine.com have posted an interesting column on the Family Research Council and its "Justice Sunday" event this coming Sunday.

From the column:

It has become fashionable to say that the court is demonstrating hostility toward faith when it prevents the government from promoting faith for us. But those who make this argument are either ignorant of or willfully blind to the rationales expressed in Supreme Court precedent in this area. The court traditionally has refused to promote or to interfere with religion not because it is anti-religious, but because it wants to leave people free to make choices in matters of faith and to ensure that religious people and organizations may worship as they see fit, rather than as the government sees fit. Further, anyone who suggests that the court has scrubbed religion from the public square is inexplicably missing the rich religious landscape all around us—a landscape that has thrived in the midst of the Supreme Court’s so-called “hostility” toward religion.

Current Mood: thoughtful
dogemperor [userpic]
Opposition to "Justice Sunday II" is growing...


Today's Talk To Action details the growing opposition to the upcoming "Justice Sunday II" and the overt sabre rattling of the religious supremacists:

Next weekend we will be treated to yet another rally for religious supremacism, Justice Sunday II, organized by the Family Research Council. Like the first Justice Sunday, the event will be broadcast to churches and Christian Rightist groups in hopes of whipping up support for some of president Bush's controversial judicial nominations. And as before, the rally claims that anyone who doesn't support these nominees is an opponent of "people of faith."

Meanwhile, a coalition of religious leaders who affirm the importance of separating church and state will be hosting events across the country and speaking out in the media. Among these will be Rev. Bob Edgar, president of the National Council of Churches, Dr. Susan Thistlewaite, president of Chicago Theological Seminary, and Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, President, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

According to a general press release today:

"Different groups' plans include a tele-conference Thursday with religious leaders, "Justice Everyday" events around the country and a counter-rally in Nashville preceding the Justice Sunday service on August 14th. That prayer service is being used as a platform for injecting right-wing religious views
into the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle. Rep. Tom DeLay headlines a list of speakers intent on breaking down the wall between church and state and undermining the independence of the federal judiciary.

Though all groups are not participating in all events, they are united in their support for the careful balance struck in the First Amendment, supporting the free exercise of religion and preventing its imposition on the American people. In events throughout the week and in media appearances.

More links and details are available at Talk To Action.

dogemperor [userpic]
DeLay Joins Rally for Religious Supremacism


Talk To Action talks about the upcoming "Justice Sunday II: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith" and its lineup.

More from Chuck Currie.

dogemperor [userpic]
Daily Kos diaries


Here are a couple of Daily Kos Diaries that are relevant to this community:

A Black Baptist Minister Takes on the Theocrats Writes Rev. Carlton W. Veazey:

"Progressives who think warnings about 'theocracy' are an exaggeration should take a closer look at 'Justice Sunday: Filibustering People of Faith,' Veazy wrote. The event was "beamed into conservative churches across the country: a political rally from a large, comfortable mega-church in Louisville, with a middle-class audience listening with rapt attention to political operatives who self-identify as religious leaders-and at the bottom of the screen, streaming video with the photos, names and phone numbers of targeted U.S. senators. The visual message was clear: the church is dominant over the state and senators should toe the line on eliminating the filibuster and confirming Bush judges or pay the price."


"There is a right way and a wrong way to engage religious voices in the public square. I believe "Justice Sunday" reflects the latter and highlights several disturbing trends... As a Baptist minister for more than 40 years with a profound respect for religious freedom and pluralism, I fear it will get worse. In fact, I think we are teetering on the brink of theocracy and the Christian Right could conceivably use the battle over the judiciary and weakening support for reproductive rights to push us over the edge...."

Fredrick Clarkson, founder of Talk To Action, says that this essay should be read in its entirety, and spread far and wide. I heartily agree. It is people like this- people of faith who see the big picture and understand what is at stake- whom we need to find, engage, and work with to reverse the Dominionist onslaught.

And here's another diary written by a USAF member, who wrote a letter to the Stars and Stripes earlier this week about religious intolerance.

Breaking Free From a Theocratic Upbringing

The writer says that he hasn't gotten any feedback or fallout yet, but he expects that he will.

dogemperor [userpic]
Justice Sunday II


Today's Talk to Action blog has another post on debunking Christian Nationalism, which mentions a second "Justice Sunday", this time featuring a bigger celebrity cast, and a harder push to get rid of so-called "activist judges".

Once again, the theocratic Christian Right is making a big show of conflating the notion of "people of faith" with membership in he Christian Right of the Republican party. The rhetoric is a tad less strident, but the message is the same.

But the preach-fest of last time has been replaced with a more dramatic production, that will include three country music stars. Notably Lee Greenwood, the singer-songwriter best known for his patriotic hit, "God Bless the USA." This song has been an anthem at Christian Right rallies for years, and no doubt it will be the emotional highlight of what we can expect will be a carefully choreographed program.

Like last time, religious leaders who do not share the theocratic agenda of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and his allies can be expected to be outraged. The first to speak out was the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance:

"Here we go again!" Rev. Gaddy said. "And, this time the imagery and the implications of the message advanced by leaders of the religious right are more offensive, sacrilegious, and undemocratic than those so integral to Justice Sunday I."

"Right now, the most serious threats to the fundamental rights and liberties in our nation are not coming from a lack of God's interest but from a small group of religious right leaders who have assumed the mantle of national religious authorities and seek to impose on the whole nation and its constitution their particular views on religion, the courts, politics, and justice."

"Here we go again," indeed.

dogemperor [userpic]


Z Magazine has an article about the NYC conference about the Christian Right:

Taking on the Christian Right
By Susan Chenelle

Less than a week after religious conservatives held “Justice Sunday: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith,” a nationally televised rally featuring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in Louisville, Kentucky, more than 500 activists, academics, clergy, journalists and other concerned individuals gathered in New York for a conference called “Examining the Real Agenda of the Religious Far Right.” Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Talk T o Action: 'conflation of the Bible with the Constitution


This is a very interesting excerpt from Democracy Now! about the rise of the Christian Right.

An excerpt:

The level of conversation in the media is rising regarding the Christian Right. One good example was a recent interview, on the nationally syndicated radio program, Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, titled The Christian Right and the Rising Power of the Evangelical Political Movement. The program featured an interview with journalist Chris Hedges and Rev. Joseph Phelps, of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, who hosted a counter event to the Christian Right's rally for religious bigotry, Justice Sunday.

Here is some of what was said:Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
On the brink of theocracy


This column from The Center For American Progress talks about "Justice Sunday":

On the Brink of 'Theocracy'

by Reverend Carlton W. Veazey
May 5, 2005

Progressives who think warnings about "theocracy" are an exaggeration should take a closer look at "Justice Sunday: Filibustering People of Faith," the Christian Right telethon headlined by Senate Majority Leader William Frist. Envision the carefully designed image that the far-right Family Research Council, the main organizer of the April 24 event, beamed into conservative churches across the country: a political rally from a large, comfortable mega-church in Louisville, with a middle-class audience listening with rapt attention to political operatives who self-identify as religious leaders-and at the bottom of the screen, streaming video with the photos, names and phone numbers of targeted U.S. senators. The visual message was clear: the church is dominant over the state and senators should toe the line on eliminating the filibuster and confirming Bush judges or pay the price.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Interfaith Alliance response to "Justice Sunday"


This Interfaith Alliance response to the "Justice Sunday" of two weeks ago is very insightful:

“Response to Justice Sunday”

Audio Press Briefing

The Interfaith Alliance

Washington, DC

April 25, 2005

Don Parker: This is Don Parker. I am press secretary for The Interfaith Alliance. Our web site is www.interfaithalliance.org. I’m in Washington, but like most of you, our speakers are on the line from locations around the country. I’m going to introduce the moderator for this event.

The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy is the president of The Interfaith Alliance and The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, based in Washington. He also serves as the pastor for preaching and worship at Northminster Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana. Dr. Gaddy is also one of twenty international religious leaders on the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, a group formed to improve dialogue and understanding between the Western and Islamic worlds.

Dr. Gaddy and all of our speakers today are available to the news media for commentary on issues relating to the intersection of religion and politics in general and on this issue in particular. Dr Gaddy …

Welton Gaddy: Thanks, Don. Good morning and welcome to all of you who have joined us for this press briefing. We’re very pleased to have a distinguished panel with us today. The panel includes the Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, the Rev. Dr. Carlton W. Veazey, the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr., and Rabbi David Saperstein. In just a moment I’ll introduce each of these people to you in brief statements.

For the past several days, as you know, an event called Justice Sunday has pervaded the news. The purpose of the event was to garner support for Senate leaders seeking to do away with the historic practice of the filibuster when dealing with judicial nominations. Organizers of the Justice Sunday event had identified opponents of this initiative as “anti-faith.” Read more... )

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Verdicts in on "Justice Sunday"


The Revealer has a great article about the aftermath of "Justice Sunday" with lots of great links to various opinions about it. Overall opinion? One big, fat, loud raspberry.

Justice Revisited
27 April 2005

By Kate Hawley

Two days after "Justice Sunday," the reviews are in: the Church telecast starring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) that sought to end the use of a filibuster to block judicial nominees was, "a big mistake," "misbegotten," "fully ideological, largely partisan," "shameful," "a distressing new low," a "grotesque religio-political circus," and finally, "almost too stupid to rebut." Almost, but not quite.

Columnist Cal Thomas was one of the few to complain, "Why is the republic in danger only when conservative religious people speak and act? Why are only conservatives seeking to impose a 'theocracy' and liberals are never charged with such motives?"Read more... )

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Salon checks in on "Justice Sunday"


This Salon article (day pass or subscription required) talks about the real implications of "Justice Sunday".:

The right to impose Christianity
The religious right worked itself into a righteous fury at "Justice Sunday," using the stalemate over judges to tar Democrats as enemies of God.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
More reportage on "Justice Sunday"


Tom Paine talks about the Right's 'siege mentality'.

To hear them tell it, conservatives are always the underdog, besieged and kept down by those with the real power. The act of hanging an American flag on their porch could bring a Molotov cocktail thrown through their front window by roving gangs of thought police; a cross worn on a necklace sure to bring arrest; the ordering of a Budweiser greeted with withering contempt from the microbrew cognoscenti. The triumph of liberal totalitarianism, with the abolishment of the family and religion and free speech that all honest people hold dear, is forever around the next corner, at the bottom of a slippery slope down which we find ourselves eternally tumbling. Like end-timers assuring us that though they were wrong last year and the year before, this New Year’s Eve will surely bring Armageddon—they are slowed not a bit by being proved wrong again and again—the coming American Sodom always a result of next year’s wedge issue.

Look at some of the titles offered by Regnery, the right’s premier publishing house: Invasion Within: Overcoming the Elitists' Attack on Moral Values and the American Way; Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing Our Kids; Mugged by the State: Outrageous Government Assaults on Ordinary People and Their Property; Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage; Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity; Power Grab: How the National Education Association is Betraying Our Children; Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security .

The message of each is the same: Sinister, powerful liberals are attacking you, your children and everything you believe in. While good Americans lie slumbering in their complacency, the mighty liberals continue their assault, and if we don’t wake up soon it’ll be too late, as our nation tumbles into a moral abyss and the streets run red with the blood of innocents. The end is near.
Read more... )

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