Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]


'Terri Schiavo's husband starts a PAC devoted to defeating the Bible-thumping politicians who used his comatose wife as a football.'

dogemperor [userpic]
'Culture of Life'


Following on from the article just posted on [info]dark_christian about the serviceman's funeral, on the same site there is a fun column which provides some incisive observations against the GOP's so-called 'culture of life', which touches on many recent issues and brings them together: GOP's 'culture of life' is a joke, but no one else is laughing

dogemperor [userpic]

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

BusinessWeek reports on how the GOP's aggressive social agenda is alienating independents:

Independents Are Having Buyer's Remorse

Just nine months after giving George W. Bush the crucial swing votes he needed to best John Kerry, political independents are bolting out of the Republican Big Tent. Angered by GOP meddling in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case, reeling from record gasoline prices, and depressed by the escalating cycle of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, unaligned voters are suddenly lining up with Democrats to give Bush the lowest ratings of his Presidency...

Nearly 30% of the electorate describes itself as independent, though about half of those voters remain registered with a party. So while Republicans have signed up more than 4 million unregistered Christian conservatives in two years, a sizable decline in independent support in the 2006 midterm elections could leave the GOP a net loser outside the South...

The swing-voter stampede started after the extraordinary intervention by Bush and the GOP Congress in the Schiavo case. Now socially moderate independents -- who strongly favor expanded stem cell research and oppose overturning Roe v. Wade -- fear that the majority party is in thrall to the Religious Right. "These people lean more Republican because of fiscal issues, but they're much more liberal on social issues," says independent pollster Dick Bennett of American Research Group. "After Schiavo, they said, 'Wait a minute. We didn't buy in for that.'"

...The indie revolt worries some GOP veterans, but the White House seems unconcerned. Some insiders say Bush ├╝ber-strategist Karl Rove believes Republicans can afford to lose socially liberal swing voters if they succeed in wooing indie and Democratic "values voters" and increasing turnout on the Christian Right. "They obviously have a strategy to change the electorate, and they're willing to give up independents and moderates," says Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg.

Full Story

dogemperor [userpic]
Randal Terry sees FL Senate Seat


From Yahoo News:

Schiavo Activist to Seek Fla. Senate Seat

By RON WORD, Associated Press WriterWed Jun 22, 3:51 PM ET

Randall Terry, who founded the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and helped lead the effort to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, announced Wednesday he is running for the state Senate, setting the stage for a GOP primary in which Schiavo could be the central issue.

Terry will face state Sen. Jim King, one of nine Republicans who sided with the Democrats to block a bill aimed at keeping Schiavo alive. The primary will be in 2006.

Terry said King no longer represents the Republican base.

"The Terri Schiavo matter was unforgivable to many of the Republican loyalists," said Terry, 46. He also said King's appointment of Democrats to key positions in the Senate and his call for higher caps on medical-malpractice verdicts alienated voters.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Talk Radio Again

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

Neal Boortz is a right-wing talk-radio host based here in Atlanta. He is an unmitigated asshole; after all, that's the persona he's going for. He spews vitriol and sometimes tells outright lies because, as he freely admits, that attracts listeners he can "play commercials for." He bashes Democrats at every turn. Same old, same old, mostly.

Nevertheless, I found this in his show notes for April 25:

...the Republicans had a bit of a setback in this particular battle yesterday. I'm referring to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's little satellite broadcast to churches across the nation. The telecast was billed as an event to denounce Democrats as "against people of faith." This "against people of faith" line is a nicer way of saying "anti-Christian."

There's lots more )

Yes, it's taken out of context, but there you have it. Maybe Boortz can become a force for Good as well as Mammon.

dogemperor [userpic]
The Open Center Conference- opening thoughts


These are some initial thoughts culled from my personal journal. I will be writing about more in-depth things in the next few days.

Oh, yeah- the conference... folks, it's making history. No one has ever gathered together such a comprehensive group of influential thinkers, writers, researchers or ministers, and the Open Center is taping the whole thing and editing it down to make available for PBS affiliates to pick up. I am on the list to get a copy of this disk (and the unedited version) when they produce it. I will personally see that our PBS station picks it up- I know one of the program directors personally. And I have a DVD from Theology Watch for the public access channel, which I plan to get shown when I get home.

Here's some of what I learned while there:

Dialogue is more important than name calling when dealing with the Dominionists. They expect being called freaks and extremists (they are pretty extreme), they tend to play such name calling to their advantage- after all, the Bible, which they hold more important than Jesus himself, says that they'll be persecuted.

So, we have to step beyond the wild claims of their leaders, and engage the followers. They're good people going down a bad road- and some of them don't know how bad it is because of the tactics of deliberate deception, stealth and doublespeak practiced by their leaders. I know that most of them would be loath to execute people who might be their own kin- sons, daughters, siblings- just for being gay. And there are men who are not poisoned by the extreme patriarchy preached to them, who see the women in their lives as equals, not helpmeets.

One speaker said that this movement isn't 'Christianity' at all- it's the wolf of fascism and totaltarianism in Christian sheep's clothing. I think he had a very good point. It isn't about religion, no matter how much they want to claim it is. It's about power and greed.

This whole Dominionist thing has only just breached the surface and touched the minds of those who should be alarmed by now. The 'blue states' are very insular, and have for so long looked at the Dominionist movement as a Southern and Midwestern thing that it hasn't registered how far they've gotten until people started putting the puzzle together in the mainstream media recently. The Dominionists crow that the Schiavo case was a 'godsend' to them. In a way, it was also a godsend to us, as it cracked the facade of the Dominionists and showed us their true colors and chilling ideas for the future of this country. That is, if we don't meet them head on and put an end to it. When Mennonites, gentle, pacific Christian people, start muttering about how awful the president is and want to give him the boot, then there's something afoot. If the ugliness of the extremist Dominionists has trickled into their insular and serene community, that's the canary in the coal shaft.

The conference was sold out. They had an overflow auditorium. People from all over the country came. I met [info]kalibex and Katherine Yurica and several of the major speakers. Fredrick Clarkson and Chip Berlet have gotten together and created a website devoted to dialogue about the Christian Right. It's called Talk2Action. It looks like it is going to be a major nexus of ideas and dialogue.

For this community, I have some ideas and plans for it that I will share with you over the following days. I want to take it to the next level- make it a paid account, and then tweak the interface so that you the readers can have access to an ever growing number of excellent blogs. Blogging is the new media- the mainstream are pretty much rubberstamps of each other.

So, that's my entry for tonight. I am worn out, I have a wrenched arm from a sharp subway braking, and I have a notebook full of goodies to share. Stay tuned!

dogemperor [userpic]
Recent vomitrocious sightings

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

Clicky and you'll get to see a pic! )

Current Mood: disgusted
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]
The God Racket: From DeMille to DeLay


This New York Times editorial expresses quite a few relevant points. An excerpt:

AS Congress and the president scurried to play God in the lives of Terri Schiavo and her family last weekend, ABC kicked off Holy Week with its perennial ritual: a rebroadcast of the 1956 Hollywood blockbuster, "The Ten Commandments."

Cecil B. DeMille's epic is known for the parting of its Technicolor Red Sea, for the religiosity of its dialogue (Anne Baxter's Nefretiri to Charlton Heston's Moses: "You can worship any God you like as long as I can worship you.") and for a Golden Calf scene that DeMille himself described as "an orgy Sunday-school children can watch." But this year the lovable old war horse has a relevance that transcends camp. At a time when government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma, the half-forgotten show business history of "The Ten Commandments" provides a telling back story.

As DeMille readied his costly Paramount production for release a half-century ago, he seized on an ingenious publicity scheme. In partnership with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a nationwide association of civic-minded clubs founded by theater owners, he sponsored the construction of several thousand Ten Commandments monuments throughout the country to hype his product. The Pharaoh himself - that would be Yul Brynner - participated in the gala unveiling of the Milwaukee slab. Heston did the same in North Dakota. Bizarrely enough, all these years later, it is another of these DeMille-inspired granite monuments, on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin, that is a focus of the Ten Commandments case that the United States Supreme Court heard this month.

We must wait for the court's ruling on whether the relics of a Hollywood relic breach the separation of church and state. Either way, it's clear that one principle, so firmly upheld by DeMille, has remained inviolate no matter what the courts have to say: American moguls, snake-oil salesmen and politicians looking to score riches or power will stop at little if they feel it is in their interests to exploit God to achieve those ends. While sometimes God racketeers are guilty of the relatively minor sin of bad taste - witness the crucifixion-nail jewelry licensed by Mel Gibson - sometimes we get the demagoguery of Father Coughlin or the big-time cons of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.

The religio-hucksterism surrounding the Schiavo case makes DeMille's Hollywood crusades look like amateur night. This circus is the latest and most egregious in a series of cultural shocks that have followed Election Day 2004, when a fateful exit poll question on "moral values" ignited a take-no-prisoners political grab by moral zealots. During the commercial interruptions on "The Ten Commandments" last weekend, viewers could surf over to the cable news networks and find a Bible-thumping show as only Washington could conceive it. Congress was floating such scenarios as staging a meeting in Ms. Schiavo's hospital room or, alternatively, subpoenaing her, her husband and her doctors to a hearing in Washington. All in the name of faith.

The whole article is worth a read.

dogemperor [userpic]


Note the good doctor's association with a "Christian" bioethics group....


xposted to my journal

dogemperor [userpic]
What's the score?

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

If we were to institute "required reading" on [info]dark_christian, then [info]slacktivist would certainly be on the list. Here's Tuesday's edition:

It is sometimes said, in rants like this against the plague of he-said/she-said journalism, that news reporters behave like they're covering a tennis match. But the real problem is that he-said/she-said journalists are nowhere near as responsible as sports writers. Sports reporters, first and foremost, have a duty as indifferent arbiters of the facts. That's a duty that hard news journalists have long since abandoned.

The paper I work for today is running a Q&A from the Associated Press about "the facts" of the Terry Schiavo case. One of the questions asks if Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state. The Q&A does not provide an answer -- it provides instead two, mutually exclusive answers: Some doctors say she is, but her parents' doctors say she isn't. That's not a Q&A, that's a Q&Q. "Who are we too say?" is not an answer.

The Schiavo case demonstrates the problem of partisan epistemology. We now have "red facts" and "blue facts." Newspapers -- hoping not to upset either faction of their potential circulation -- have no intention in taking sides in such disputes. Thus two competing sets of claims, two very different sets of facts, two opposing narratives, are treated as equally valid. News reporters, unlike sports reporters, feel no responsibility to check the scoreboard, or even to acknowledge that there is a scoreboard. They tend to deny the possibility that a scoreboard might even exist.

In the case of Terry Schiavo there is such a scoreboard, and what it tells us is nowhere near as murky and ambiguous as the AP's Q&Q or CNN's vapid, incurious coverage would suggest. The facts of the matter have been hashed out, again and again and again, in court.

Congress and President Bush, like the absurd hypothetical Gonzaga fans above, would prefer that the facts were other than they are. They have, therefore, declared by legislative fiat that the scoreboard be reset to zero and that the game be replayed. Here, however, the sporting analogy breaks down. If the Red Raiders and Bulldogs were to replay their game, the result might be different. But the facts of the Schiavo case will not change, no matter how many times these facts are replayed and reviewed.

Read the rest of the article here: http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/03/whats_the_score.html
This is interesting, in that Christians in general and Dominionists in particular are fond of saying that there is an objective truth. While I don't disagree with their thesis, it's noteworthy that in this case and many others the "truth" of the Christian Right is relative. Don't like the findings of a state court? Legislate against it in the state legislature. Are you thwarted on that attempt? Then merrily feed the Tenth Amendment in the shredder as you press Congress and the Federal courts to allow you a massive "do-over". The political and governmental-- indeed, the legal-- truth that the case has been brought to its constitutionally prescribed conclusion doesn't matter, because that truth is relative to the reported will of a caliginous god.

dogemperor [userpic]
It's all about the power of the Christian Right


This Salon (day pass or subscription required) article talks about the Christian Right's interference in what should be a private affair:

"This has nothing to do with the sanctity of life"

The Rev. John Paris, professor of bioethics, says Terri Schiavo has the moral and legal right to die, and only the Christian right is keeping her alive.


So what do you think this case is really about?

The power of the Christian right. This case has nothing to do with the legal issues involving a feeding tube. The feeding tube issue was definitively resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990 in Cruzan vs. Director. The United States Supreme Court ruled that competent patients have the right to decline any and all unwanted treatment, and unconscious patients have the same right, depending upon the evidentiary standard established by the state. And Florida law says that Terri Schiavo has more than met the standard in this state. So there is no legal issue. Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
It's not about Terri Schiavo

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

Was randomly surfing around and found this link. Text of article inside )

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