Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
VP of the SBLC endorses Domestic Terrorism

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

Mod Note: This is a repost from yesterday; original poster did not correct HTML.

I guess the Baptism of Silence has replaced Baptism of Fire:

And now there is the vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention who publicly endorsed the assasination of a doctor by a member of an underground terror organization, who had been on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. The first two scandals created international news, but the third has not; at least not yet. Since Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story, there has been no press coverage that I can find, except for Ethics Daily; and only a handful of blog posts, notably Mainstream Baptist, Big Daddy Weave, Moiv and me. This merits further discussion.

Rev. Wiley Drake endorsed the murder in signing a declaration of support for confessed assasin James Kopp on the web site of the Army of God.

dogemperor [userpic]
A Time for Heresy


Bill Moyers speech earlier this week at Wake Forest is another 'must read'. Some excerpts:

When Dean Bill Leonard asked James Dunn to join him here at Wake Forest’s new Divinity School, my soul shouted “Yes!” These two men personify the honesty and courage we need to meet the challenge of faith in the fundamentalist dispensation of the 21st century as radical interpretations of both Islam and Christianity seek, in the words of C.Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, “to take over the government and use cause structures to advance the ideology, hierarchy, and laws” of their movement.

James Dunn and Bill Leonard are Baptists. What kind of Baptist matters. At last count there were more than two dozen varieties of Baptists in America. Bill Clinton is a Baptist. So is Pat Robertson. Jesse Jackson is a Baptist. So is Jesse Helms. Al Gore is a Baptist. So is Jerry Falwell. No wonder Baptists have been compared to jalapeno peppers: one or two make for a tasty dish, but a whole bunch together will bring tears to your eyes.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
"Not Enough Christians in Washington"


This Daily Kos diary talks about possible presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's speech to the "Center for Reclaiming America for Christ".

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Faith is not present enough in politics as candidates and elected officials try to court voters too broadly, fearing their values will splinter their base, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister, said Friday at a Christian gathering.

Introduced as a "fine Christian American governor," Huckabee, who is considering a bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, said he will always remain true to his beliefs.

"I don't think most Americans are turned off by people of faith. I think they're turned off by people who are phony," Huckabee said to a small group. He added that Christianity is not represented "nearly enough" in Washington.

Read the whole thing.

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]

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

I'm interested in visiting some of the local dominionist/fundamentalist churches, but I'm not really sure what denominations are currently in the mix (besides the SBC and Assemblies of God), just so I can do some personal research on what services are like, what is being said, etc. Results would definetly be posted in my journal.
I know there's at least one other member in this community who used to live in Waco, TX.
If anyone knows of any groups in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Austin area, that would be cool too.
thank yall.

dogemperor [userpic]
Bible Idolatry: Placing the Bible above God


If you examine the mission statements of many Christian religious organizations, you will discover two distinctive types. The first utilizes the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed to acknowledge their beliefs. This creed usually starts with "We believe in the Father [or God] Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth..." and goes on from there.

The second type states that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and places God and Christ second and third on the list of beliefs. Here's the first three statements National Association of Evangelicals statement of belief:

# We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God,

# We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

# We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

The Mainstream Baptist site goes into detail about the 'demotion' of Christ in their articles of belief.

It might be interesting to note that many of the religious organizations that place the Bible above God also are promoting the Dominionist agenda, too. So, when you examine a church or religious organization, check out their statement of belief. If they place the Bible above God and Christ, reconsider your involvement with them.

dogemperor [userpic]
Theologians Say It's "Against God's Design" To Avoid Having Kids

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

Selections from the article:

The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., ever-controversial president of Kentucky's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has stirred debate by asserting that it's "an absolute revolt against God's design" if husbands and wives purposely avoid bearing children.

The Rev. B.E. Anderson, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Jackson[, TN]... said the bigger issue is the number of "unwanted and undesired pregnancies that are aborted. Those are the real crimes and sins," said the pastor, whose African-American congregation is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention.

Wendell C. Lang, senior pastor at West Jackson Baptist Church, agrees that married couples are called to be fruitful. "I believe that we have a mandate to reproduce godly seed in the world," Lang said.

A bitter response was written for ethicsdaily.com by Miguel De La Torre, a fellow Southern Baptist minister. He protested that whether Mohler realizes it or not, his... theology is "white-supremacy code language advocating for the increase of white babies."

De La Torre also thought Mohler's viewpoint would forbid birth control, since if children are a blessing, then "the best that humans can do is have as many children as possible." However, Mohler didn't oppose contraception, nor did he define the number of children a Bible-based couple should have.

Full Article

dogemperor [userpic]
Shining a light against the darkness...

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

State of Belief starts Sunday on Air America Radio. I have a feeling the topic of Dominionism will come up sooner rather than later, as the host is the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance and a former Southern Baptist Convention official from the days before fundamentalism marched in and stuck a sword through Jesus' heart.

I've created a syndication feed for the show's site at [info]state_of_belief -- looks a bit more ambitious than some of the other Air America Radio sites.

dogemperor [userpic]


From http://www.agapepress.org :

cut for length )

dogemperor [userpic]


The South Dakota initiative would create a special grand jury to hear complaints against judges based on an open-ended list of possible grievances. The list specifically includes not only crimes such as graft but certain flaws in reasoning, such as ignoring evidence and "sophistry."

The grand jury would have power to set aside judges' immunity from civil suits by the people they rule against. It also could levy fines or hand down indictments, subjecting judges to criminal proceedings before special trial juries with the power to sentence as well as convict. After three missteps, a judge would be disqualified from holding office.

The initiative author is Ron Branson, a Baptist minister, a former minor Republican party official in Los Angeles County and a frequent unsuccessful litigator in the state and federal courts.

dogemperor [userpic]
Georgia Baptists Gripe About GLBT Group on Mercer University Campus

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

The Georgia Baptist Convention may be about to cut financial ties with Mercer University over a GLBT organization.

Article from the Christian Index, by the editor himself )

Info on the GA Baptist Convention meeting currently in session )

If it wasn't so tragic, the irony would have me laughing--a bit of Georgia Baptist History )

Please excuse me while I find someplace to be quietly sick about this.

EDIT: The student group was disbanded before the Georgia Baptist Convention voted: The Macon Telegraph- "Gay student support group disbands over Baptist controversy"

dogemperor [userpic]


'When Dr. Voddie Baucham and Bruce N. Shortt first presented their resolution to the SBC's 2005 Annual Meeting urging Southern Baptists to investigate whether their school districts are collaborating with homosexual activists, Baucham and Shortt didn't foresee that the 2005 Annual Meeting would unanimously pass a resolution substantially similar to theirs or that it would inspire Baptist leaders in conventions covering at least 28 states to introduce similar resolutions. They also didn't expect that Dr. Albert Mohler, the SBC's leading theologian, would publicly state in response to the issues raised by the Baucham-Shortt resolution that it is now time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools...'

dogemperor [userpic]
Today's Fresh Air


Today's Fresh Air with Terry Gross is going to feature President Jimmy Carter, who is a born-again Mainstream Baptist (see sidebar for link to their site). According to the blurb I heard this morning, he's going to lay into the overweening evangelical takeover of the government.

That ought to be a treat!

UPDATE- the show is now available to listen to. Carter goes into detail about the takeover in 2000 of the Southern Baptist Convention and the very negative changes that the fundementalist/dominionist people imposed on this faith. He talks about a very restrictive creed that was imposed upon the previously creedless Baptist church, and why he left.

It's very interesting.

dogemperor [userpic]
Dominionists and racial/ethnicity questions

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

Correct me on some of this, please.

One of the things I recall from being a Conservative Baptist is that there seems to be an overriding sentiment that God is strictly behind America (and, to some extent, Israel). And that all other nations have fallen by the wayside or are, in some ways, being punished by God. (The recent reports of starvation in Malawi make me wonder if Dominionists have been saying explicitly that AIDS and starvation are punishments of God towards pagan African nations.)

What, then, of the differences between the races? I have a vague recollection of slavery being justified because the descendants of Ishmael were/are being punished. Am I misremembering this?

Thanks in advance for all of your input and any citations to other sources where possible.

dogemperor [userpic]
On-Campus Religion

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

Hi, first time poster here. I'm currently a member of a fairly fundie church (as in, the SBC just loves us all over), but can't stand half of what I hear there. At least things have gotten better since the temp. pastor left and took his severe misinterpretations with him (You don't tell a church where half the needs list is job-searching by devoted supporters of the church, with the vast majority of the church's jobless too believing in self-sufficiency to put themselves on the list, that those not currently walking on sunshine and swimming in money are unsaved and going to Hell. You just don't).

A friend just gave me the heads-up on an article that appeared in the UGA student newspaper today: Preachers' Message Isn't Christ's.

It appears it is not only now okay to bother everyone in the vicinity with bullhorn-aided yelling, but to offer more personal attention to those you think are "Hellbound" than to those appearing to seek not being "Hellbound".

Current Mood: weeping for my religion
dogemperor [userpic]


Hi! First post. I stumbled across this community through [info]dogemperor's listing of charities.

Short background: I grew up in a heavily Southern Baptist area. I was lucky not to have dominionist parents, but almost everyone else was. We had no sex education in public school and women were somewhat restricted. I was never heavily involved with the church, but there were a lot of things going on that made me uncomfortable. I never realized why until I got to college and realized that not every area was so restrictive and insular.

What's happening nationwide now seems to be a larger echo of what I saw growing up. Quite frankly, this scares me. I want to know, I want to be informed. I never again want to live in the kind of ignorance I grew up in, where the shenanigans I saw there (that are now being repeated on a national scale) seemed normal. I plan to take a look at the links on the community info page and look forward to hearing what all of you have to say.

dogemperor [userpic]
Christian Right may sour Mormon Candidate's run for office


From Boston Globe:

Mormonism may sour Romney for some in Christian right

By Nina J. Easton, Globe Staff | August 30, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Southern Baptist Convention website categorizes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a ''cult" that is ''radically" different from historic, biblical Christianity.

A faith guide issued by the influential Christian right group Focus on the Family declares that ''God cannot be identified . . . with the Mormon religion's notion of god." And each year, evangelical organizers behind the National Day of Prayer bar Mormons from speaking at their proceedings.

As Governor Mitt Romney mulls a race for president in 2008, his strategists expect their ''family values" candidate -- who opposes gay marriage, abortion, and some forms of embryonic stem cell research -- to find a natural base of support among religious conservatives. ''As Mitt's traveled the country and tested the waters, he's gotten very strong responses, including from religious conservatives," said Michael Murphy, a political consultant who advises Romney.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Friday Funnies


I'm about to lose my regular access to the Web because I'm about to leave Seattle, but I found these two gems while doing my rounds...

Open letter to the Kansas School Board

Disney Classics You May Have Missed During the Boycott

dogemperor [userpic]
Evangelical Chaplains Test Bounds of Faith in Military


Here's an NPR segment about the slow and not so stealthy enroachment of specific religions in the military.

Walk into just about any Christian bookstore and you are likely to find a copy of The Soldier's Bible. The leather cover comes in a choice of green for the Army, black for the Navy, burgundy for the Marines, blue for the Air Force and -- just released -- blue for the Coast Guard.

These are handsome Bibles with gilt edges, just the right size for a service member to stuff into his or her pack. Printed on the front is the emblem for the appropriate branch of the armed services. And that's a problem.

One could be excused for thinking that this Bible was put out by the military. But it's not. Holman Bible Publishers of Nashville developed, printed and distributes The Soldier's Bible at its own expense.

Still, critics think the emblem on the front brings up legal questions -- and may even violate the Constitution's ban on government-established religion.

What's especially troubling to some is that this particular Bible is clearly evangelical. Holman Bible Publishers is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. On the first few pages, there's a "Plan for Salvation" that says you must be baptized as an adult believer to have eternal life.

Printed in the back are inspirational words from military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin. He raised a few eyebrows back in 2003, when he said of his battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Evangelicals are playing an increasing role in the military. Department of Defense statistics show that 40 percent of active duty personnel are evangelical Christians. Sixty percent of taxpayer-funded military chaplains are evangelical.

"It does raise the question of whether we are, effectively, as a country -- with tax dollars -- promoting a particular evangelical religious viewpoint," said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Add to that a privately funded evangelical Bible that looks official, and critics say the military has a problem that needs to be addressed.

I'd say they have a problem. A graph on the site demonstrates that the ratio of evangelical chaplains to other mainline and non-Christian religions is quite high: 60 percent of the chaplain corps is Evangelical- mostly Assembly of God. This is no accident. There has been a deliberate and ongoing push to populate the Chaplain corps of the military with AoG and Pentecostal chaplains, who are also the frontline of many Dominionist beliefs.

dogemperor [userpic]
News Roundup


The Washington Post has some very interesting articles today:

Taking Vacations Religiously talks about missionaries at resorts and beaches, and touches upon the problem of the deceptive tactic of 'bait and switch' events:

Some religious groups try to appeal to tourists by offering programs that at first seem entirely secular.

On a recent Saturday night, about 100 teenagers and young adults showed up for a film on the beach advertised on signs throughout town that said only: "Free! SURF MOVIE 8:00 PM." Most attendees were surprised when they realized that the main film featured evangelical surfers talking about their relationship with Jesus. Tables on the boardwalk offered free suntan lotion, "JESUS LOVES ME!" stickers and a "Surfers Bible New Testament."

Tom Clarke, a founder of Florida-based Everlasting Rock Ministries, which organized the event, said he didn't want to scare people off with an overtly religious message in the ads.

"I don't want anyone to think that we're the Jesus freaks," said Clarke, 39, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., as he sat on the boardwalk. "We're not trying to shove religion down anyone's throat. We're just trying to encourage a positive lifestyle."

Matt Tiberi, 15, from Middletown, Del., said he considers himself a Christian but almost never goes to church. But after watching the movie during a day trip to Ocean City, Matt said he felt moved to become more religious.

"It tells you how God helps you out whatever you're doing," he said.

Some groups criticize such advertising as deceptive. "They are using stealth strategies to try and suck people in," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics. "They know if they advertise religion, then people won't go. You really do have to question the ethics here of what they are doing."

We knew this would happen, and it is: Evangelicals are flocking into Iraq and the Middle East.

BAGHDAD -- With arms outstretched, the congregation at National Evangelical Baptist Church belted out a praise hymn backed up by drums, electric guitar and keyboard. In the corner, slide images of Jesus filled a large screen. A simple white cross of wood adorned the stage, and worshipers sprinkled the pastor's Bible-based sermon with approving shouts of "Ameen!"

National is Iraq's first Baptist congregation and one of at least seven new Christian evangelical churches established in Baghdad in the past two years. Its Sunday afternoon service, in a building behind a house on a quiet street, draws a couple of hundred worshipers who like the lively music and focus on the Bible.

"I'm thirsty for this kind of church," Suhaila Tawfik, a veterinarian who was raised Catholic, said at a recent service. "I want to go deep in understanding the Bible."

Tawfik is not alone. The U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein, who limited the establishment of new denominations, has altered the religious landscape of predominantly Muslim Iraq. A newly energized Christian evangelical activism here, supported by Western and other foreign evangelicals, is now challenging the dominance of Iraq's long-established Christian denominations and drawing complaints from Muslim and Christian religious leaders about a threat to the status quo.

The evangelicals' numbers are not large -- perhaps a few thousand -- in the context of Iraq's estimated 800,000 Christians. But they are emerging at a time when the country's traditional churches have lost their privileged Hussein-era status and have experienced massive depletions of their flocks because of decades-long emigration. Now, traditional church leaders see the new evangelical churches filling up, not so much with Muslim converts but with Christians like Tawfik seeking a new kind of worship experience.

"The way the preachers arrived here . . . with soldiers . . . was not a good thing," said Baghdad's Roman Catholic archbishop, Jean Sleiman. "I think they had the intention that they could convert Muslims, though Christians didn't do it here for 2,000 years."

And here's columnist Art Buchwald putting a cheeky spin on the evangelicals in the USAF Academy.

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