Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
non-apologies and Jerry Falwell

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

It's not often that linguists have occasion to comment on things that are of interest to this community, but in this case, I thought this post from [info]languagelog would be an exception. In it, our favourite recently-deceased hate-monger is being discussed, and in particular, one of his quotes that I'm sure all of you will remember, said immediately in the wake of 9/11:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way--all of them who have tried to secularize America--I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'

Reporters on several news programs have replayed this quote, and followed it up by saying that Falwell later apologized. But, as the lingusits at Language Log point out, Falwell's "apology" was really a perfectly good example of a non-apology... he apologized for leaving the "impression", not for what he actually said.

Current Mood: thoughtful
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]
Can't Preach on Christmas, it's a Sunday!


Apparently, several megachurches are canceling Christmas services this year to "allow staff members and volunteers to spend the holiday with their families." To make up for lost preaching, most of these churches are planning extra services on Christmas Eve.

The churches listed in the article are:

Does anyone know what's up with this? Anything involving multiple megachurches is instantly suspect to me, and combined with the whole "War on Christmans" meme that the Religious Right is pushing lately, it makes me very suspicious, but I don't see what the point behind this is. I also don't know whether or not these churches normally do this (megachurches have much higher lay staff requirements than traditional ones), and this is much ado about nothing.

Also, possibly unrelated, the article mentions Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY is holding a single service (apparently with skeleton staff), and really pushing their Christmas Eve services instead.

(Snagged from [info]chipuni)

PS: Mods, could we have a "War on Christmas" tag?

dogemperor [userpic]
Statements of Faith


[This was originally intended to be a reply to this post by [info]thornewilder, but I got interrupted halfway through writing it, and I realized it was of more general use, so I decided to make it a separate post.]

Many churches and other religious organizations put forward a "Statement of Beliefs" or similar document. Many of us are trying to figure out which churches and other religious organizations are Dominionist, which are scary but not Dominionist, and which can be either safely ignored or safely worked with. It would be very useful to know more about these Statements of Belief and what they do and don't tell us about the group we want to know more about. This post explores this issue, using the Statement of Beliefs of the Nazarene group linked to in an earlier post.

Statements )

I'd say, chances are they aren't Dominionist (but don't expect sweetness and light out of them), but don't count 100% on that.

From a more general viewpoint, I hope I've better illustrated how these Statements can be used as part of an exploration of a group.

dogemperor [userpic]
Identifying a Church


My recent foray into Harriet Miers's church reminded me of a complex question I've had for a while.

How can an outsider tell what a church believes/teaches?

I mean, sometimes it's easy, Urbana Assembly of God Church is an Assembly of God church, and you can assume that it adheres pretty closely to the beliefs and teachings of other AoG churches.

Often, however, the churches are more coy about it, and just say they are "Christian" or "Non-Denominational". What ways are there to tell if a church is teaching Christian Reconstructionism? Or is Pentecostal/Charismatic (or some variation)? Or is supporting Dominionist causes and organizations? Or is preaching dangerous attitudes like "name it and claim it" prayer and regular "chastening" of children?

What should we be looking for when we run across a church? I mean, even if they want to hide their true nature from outsiders, they still want to attract like-minded people, so I assume they would keep their beliefs somewhat visible, even if it's encoded in some way, don't they? Or is that not a safe assumption?

dogemperor [userpic]

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

I just had to share this, from my journal.

I'll do you folks the courtesy of cutting, though. )

dogemperor [userpic]
Congress Assaults the Courts, Again


From the NYT Op-ed pages:The theocrats continue to chip away at the courts...

Congress Assaults the Courts, Again
June 18, 2005

The House of Representatives took a little- noticed but dangerous swipe at the power of the courts this week. It passed an amendment to a budget bill that would bar money from being spent to enforce a federal court ruling regarding the Ten Commandments. The vote threatens the judiciary's long-acknowledged position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. It is important that this amendment be removed before the bill becomes law.

During consideration of an appropriations bill for the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, Representative John Hostettler, Republican of Indiana, introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds from being used to enforce Russelburg v. Gibson County. In that case, a federal court ruled that a courthouse Ten Commandments display violated the First Amendment and had to be removed. Mr. Hostettler declared that the ruling was unconstitutional, and inconsistent with "the Christian heritage of the United States."[emphasis mine- ed]Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Stumbling Toward Fascism...


Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed
to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Does any of this sound familiar?

dogemperor [userpic]
Rising meme?


This is the second article within the span of a week I found on the subject of the burgeoning theocratic movement in the US. Could it be that the mainstream is close to discovering the snake in its bed? Is this meme now emerging from its carefully crafted obscurity and finally close to being covered by the major media outlets?

It would be good if it was, because it isn't too late.

Here's the latest article, listed on Wren's Nest, a Pagan news blog:

America the Theocracy

Read more... )

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