12-04-2007, 01:59 PM
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it people will eventually come to believe it."
-- Joseph Goebbels
Christian political extremists in the US (which I shall henceforth refer to as "the Religious Right") are only a small minority of the population, but they are well-organized and wield political power far beyond their numbers. They have their own tv stations and they run the Republican party, yet they claim to be victims of "religious persecution". They skillfully manipulate public opinion through letter writing campaigns, to make their extremist views look mainstream. They lie, but they lie so loud and so consistently and so pervasively that many people think they are speaking the truth. When they make up a new untruth, they inject it into their own media machine, at which time it becomes repeated over and over on far-right radio stations across the country, then picked up by the conservative punditocracy on the cable news channels, then by the "liberal" mass media as a whole. Sometimes, the lie ends up being proclaimed as truth on the floor of congress. It is the strategy of the big lie: repeat a deliberate untruth as often as you can, and eventually, it will become a fact in the public consciousness. One of the biggest lies of the right, the one lie that serves all others, is the endlessly repeated assertion that the conservative mass media are liberal. In response to that charge, the mass media go to great lengths to include far-right viewpoints in their coverage, making the Garry Falwells and the Jerry Bauers regular guests on their political shows, while truly liberal viewpoints are always absent. When was the last time you saw Gore Vidal as a guest commentator on The Capital Gang? Or Noan Chomsky?
Christian political extremists have many different organizations, but only one agenda. That agenda is to establish a christian fundamentalist theocracy in the United States. But you will not hear Gary Bauer or Pat Robertson admit to that on CNN. When they are on national television, Religious Right leaders exercise moderation and restraint. They pledge their "love" for the people they hate (=everyone who doesn't share their views), and their deep concern for this nation, and, invariably, "our" children (as if liberals did not have children). They monopolize the word "family", acting as if only extreme-right, fundamentalist christians can be good parents. They have the impudence to claim that they represent "Judeo-Christian" values, but they do not even represent mainstream christianity. They claim the exclusive monopoly on morality - their own very special brand of "morality". They glorify the "golden 50's", a time when the US were supposedly a "moral" nation.
But the truth is that the 1950s were a deeply immoral time. Institutionalized racism, discrimination of women and gays, rampant abuse of wiretapping powers by the FBI and witchhunts against political dissidents were only some of the hallmarks of that "moral" time. Those social ills were finally adressed in the 1960s. But for those who define morality not by "justice and equality for all", but by what is going on in our bedrooms, the 60's mark the begining of the "moral decay" of our nation. According to Pat Robertson, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, inflation, the oil crisis, Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, the attempted Reagan assassination, the national debt, drug use and the high divorce rates are directly related to the 60's decisions of the Supreme Court to end religious coercion in public schools. source
These are the kinds message they have hammered into the minds of the people for two decades, and it is working. An increasing segment of the population is buying into the "moral decay" lie and supports legislation and constitutional amendments that would forever take away the civil liberties that we take for granted. Never mind that many of the social problems that fuel such sentiments, such as youth violence and crime, are exacerbated or even created by right-wing obstructionist policies, designed by Religious Right leaders and their political minions to make sure their own predictions of gloom and doom come true. First block any meaningful reform in the legislatures, than blame the resulting problems on "lack of moral values". The Religious Right's campaign against public education is just one example of that destructive, cynical strategy. In implementing that strategy, christian extremists know no shame. They aggressively blamed liberal values (= lack of values) for the Columbine massacre, as if Littleton, CO wasn't an affluent, conservative community with a disproportionately high number of evangelical christians! It happened right in James Dobson's back yard, but they have the impudence to blame liberals for it.
Religious Right leaders make no secret of their utter contempt for the constitution and the freedoms it represents. When Phyllis Schlafly makes her hysterical pleas for "no more Clinton judges", what else is she but saying that the US constitution (which gives the president the right to appoint judges) has no meaning to her? What else is Pat Robertson but an enemy of the constitution when he calls for the impeachment of every judge who disagree with his agenda? What could be more unconstitutional than Gary Bauer's presidential campaign promise to permit state facilities to post the ten commandments?
Exposing these people as enemies of constitutional freedoms is easier than taking candy from a baby, but the "liberal" mass media - which are many things, but certainly not liberal - usually shy away from the task. These "liberal" media never expose the hypocrisy of the Religious Right, and the highly selective reading of religious scripture that is behind most of its ideologies. Not that that would be hard - ever wondered why Jerry Falwell is not wearing a beard (Lev. 19)? Ever wondered why Pat Robertson is not giving away his millions to the poor (Matt 19 [23-24])?
Many other Religious-Right myths just beg to be challenged: Premarital sex is against christian values? Not according to the bible, which condems adultery, but not sex between two people who are both unmarried (see the responses page for a dissenting viewpoint, and this for an excellent rebuttal. ) Abortion is murder? Not according to Exodus 21 , which considers killing a fetus only a minor misdemeanor (reference). Homosexuality condemned by "millenia of moral teaching"? Pure fiction. The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations considered homosexuality perfectly normal, so normal that in fact they did not even have a word for it. Many native societies considered it normal and acceptable as well. And even in the Christian world, there was never a universal agreement that homosexuality was wrong. In the words of Ken Collins:
Some modern Christian teachers allege that the church has officially considered homosexuality to be morally wrong, but that long dogmatic tradition doesn't extend much farther back than the 1960s, and even then only in certain sects. For example, the current edition of the United Methodist Book of Discipline has a lot to say about homosexuality, but the topic doesn't even appear in 1965 edition or in any earlier edition of the same book. If this is such an important historic dogma of the Christian Church, we might reasonably ask why it is not listed as such in historical documents. We might ask, 'Why were the seven ecumenical councils silent on this topic?' Historically, there has always been a debate among Christians on this topic, and the categorical judgments against gays are recent, not ancient.
I would add that even if such universal and long-standing condemnation existed, it would be irrelevant, considering the many grave errors in moral judgement that Christians commited throughout the centuries, of which approval and defense of slavery is only one example.
The United States of America: A Christian Nation?
When the US House recently passed the "Defense of the Ten Commandments" amendment to the juvenile justice bill, the supporters of the bill reiterated the christian-right mantra that the USA is a Christian Nation, and that our legal system is founded on the Christian Bible. In a press conference attended by Gary Bauer, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R, Alabama), the sponsor of the amendment, said: "The Ten Commandments represent the very cornerstone of the values this nation was built upon, and the basis of our legal system here in America".
I challenge everyone who subcribes to this belief to tell me where the Ten Commandments speak of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the form of government, free elections, separation of powers, checks and balances, separation of church and state, and virtually everything else that defines our system of government. The fact is that the very first commandment ("I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me") runs contrary to the establishment clause of the Bill of Rights and is nothing but a sectarian claim to religious supremacy. The fact is that the principles of modern democracy were not laid out in the bible, but by political philosophers such as John Locke in the 17th century. The fact is that our legal system is rooted in the common law of ancient Rome, not in the capriciousness of biblical authoritarianism. Ever wondered why good law schools require reading knowledge of latin, not greek or hebrew? That's why. The fact is that societies in the Mediterranean and the Middle East had highly developed legal systems millenia before Christians walked on the face of the earth. As far as moral or secular law is concerned, there is nothing original or unique about the ten commandments. Why not post the holy laws of all the other religions in public spaces as well?
Read this article for an excellent rebuttal of the arguments behind the radical right campaign to impose an ancient Hebrew tribal code on modern society. I also recommend Is America a Christian Nation? by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a short, but excellent article which debunks common Religious Right arguments that supposedly show that the United States were founded as a Christian nation.
"The first four commandments: no other gods, no graven images, not take name in vain, and remember the Sabbath are wholly religious in nature unrelated to any civil or criminal law. That is 40 percent of the commandments. Two other commandments: the fifth commandment to honor thy father and mother, and the tenth commandment not to covet are semi-religious social and psychological norms which would have to be enforced by thought police." (...)
In Mark 10:19 Jesus said, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother." Thus he omitted five of the original Ten Commandments--- most notably those dealing with God and the practice of religion---- and added a new one of his own. Elsewhere, in Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus replied that the greatest commandments were the golden rules rather than any of the Ten Commandments. source
I have created this site to contribute my own small part in the fight against the Religious Right agenda. I don't want to live in a "Christian Iran", and I'm sure most people don't either.
If you have comments or criticism, or you discover factual inaccuracies, feel free to send me an email.
Separation of Church and State and George W. Bush
"(...) Even if "Charitable Choice" is expanded across the board, barriers to the use of federal funds by faith-based groups will remain. Governor Bush believes a concerted effort to identify and remove all such barriers is needed."
source: George W. Bush's Official Website
"The appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, [is] contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment'"
James Madison, February 27, 1811
What is your opinion of biblical morality?
Religious Right extremists in their own words
As President, I will oppose the political agenda of the organized "gay rights" movement, including same-sex marriage and "special rights" legislation, permit voluntary prayer in public schools, protect religious freedoms and pass federal legislation to permit state facilities to post the Ten Commandments. Gary Bauer on his presidential campaign 2000 website
Gary Bauer apparently was too cheap to keep his domain for another 2 years, because going to Bauer2k.com now redirects you to a celebrity porn site.
"I am sure that only a Christian-controlled country is going to be able to stand up to the impending threat and avert the approaching disaster that our nation is facing." Rev. D. James Kennedy, president of the Center for Reclaiming America
"When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" Pat Robertson, in his book The New World Order
"Those who practice homosexuality should swiftly be put to death by the government. God emphatically condemns the practice of exchanging proper gender characteristics among men and women. God justly calls for the death-penalty for anyone who practices homosexuality. " Citizens for the Ten Commandments
"The perversion that follows homosexuality is bestiality and then human sacrifice and cannibalism." (Barbara Blewster, a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the Arizona State Legislature)
The Right and the Righteous : The Christian Right Confronts the Republican Party
Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church and State
James Dobson's War on America
The Antigay Agenda : Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right
Sex and the Church
The Gay Agenda : Talking Back to the Fundamentalists
Media, Culture, and the Religious Right
Perfect Enemies : The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s
Roads to Dominion : Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States
The Godless Constitution : The Case Against Religious Correctness
Change is possible.
Are you trapped in the destructive, unhealthy Christian fundamentalist lifestyle? Think that you don't have a choice? The truth is: christian political extremists can change. You have a choice to walk away from Christian fundamentalism.
It's not about hate. It's about hope.
excerpt:Quotes off the site:he United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, June 10, 1797.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
Thomas Jefferson, in his historic Danbury letter, January 1, 1802
"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?"
James Madison, in "Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785
"The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of church and state." James Madison, March 2, 1819
Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State."
The U.S. Supreme Court, 1947
"They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore."
Pat Robertson, adressing the ACLJ, 1993
"A Christian nation. That is the phrase that drives the liberals mad. That is the concept that infuriates them all. It is infuriating because it is true.
Primary source documents will simply not allow humanists or atheists to declare with any kind of intellectual integrity that our Founding Fathers were either unreligious or irreligious. "
From a July 4, 2001 article on the American Family Association's Website
"The national government ... will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality."
"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life" (Hitler, Adolf. My New Order . New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941., Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933).
12-04-2007, 02:08 PM
Taken from website:http://www.apologeticsindex.org/r10.html
Definition of Christian reconstructionists:An extremist movement in Christianity, that advocates the modern-day application of Old Testament law in ''reconstructing'' the Kingdom of God (lost with the Fall) on earth. Constructionism is advocated by individuals, groups, organizations, and churches collectively known as the ''Christian Right.''
Excerpted from the website:Reconstructionists also believe that ''the Christians'' are the ''new chosen people of God,'' commanded to do what ''Adam in Eden and Israel in Canaan failed to do. . .create the society that God requires.'' Further, Jews, once the ''chosen people,'' failed to live up to God's covenant and therefore are no longer God's chosen. Christians, of the correct sort, now are.
Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law consciously echoes a major work of the Protestant Reformation, John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. In fact, Reconstructionists see themselves as the theological and political heirs of Calvin. The theocracy Calvin created in Geneva, Switzerland in the 1500s is one of the political models Reconstructionists look to, along with Old Testament Israel and the Calvinist Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of Biblical ''warfare'' is the centrality of capital punishment under Biblical Law. Doctrinal leaders (notably Rushdoony, North, and Bahnsen) call for the death penalty for a wide range of crimes in addition to such contemporary capital crimes as rape, kidnapping, and murder. Death is also the punishment for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ''sodomy or homosexuality,'' incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, ''unchastity before marriage.''
12-04-2007, 03:03 PM
Just what we need a Christian taliban, they'll have to reinstate the old hebrew laws on sabath too, stone 'em when they work on the sabath.( how many people work on Sunday by the way, that means firefighters, police officers, emergency medical workers, nurses, people who have to work on this day,yep gotta stone 'em too) I know this sounds awful but sometimes I'd like to take a rock and stone them especially for being "stoopid" and interpreting the bible the way they do.
Even biblical scholars don't have the audacity they do,nor would they interpret the bible to mean what these people think it means.
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2005/09/09/911_and_the_sport_of_god.php Excerpted from the article:My spiritual forebears did not take kindly to living under theocrats who embraced religious liberty for themselves but denied it to others. “Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils,” thundered the dissenter Roger Williams as he was banished from Massachusetts for denying Puritan authority over his conscience. Baptists there were a “pitiful negligible minority” but they were agitators for freedom and therefore denounced as “incendiaries of the commonwealth” for holding to their belief in that great democracy of faith—the priesthood of all believers. For refusing to pay tribute to the state religion they were fined, flogged, and exiled. In l651 the Baptist Obadiah Holmes was given 30 stripes with a three-corded whip after he violated the law and took forbidden communion with another Baptist in Lynn, Mass. His friends offered to pay his fine for his release but he refused. They offered him strong drink to anesthetize the pain of the flogging. Again he refused. It is the love of liberty, he said, “that must free the soul.”
Such revolutionary ideas made the new
.....................As I look back on the conflicts and clamor of our boisterous past, one lesson about democracy stands above all others: Bullies—political bullies, economic bullies and religious bullies—cannot be appeased; they have to be opposed with a stubbornness to match their own. This is never easy; these guys don’t fight fair; “Robert’s Rules of Order” is not one of their holy texts. But freedom on any front—and especially freedom of conscience—never comes to those who rock and wait, hoping someone else will do the heavy lifting. Christian realism requires us to see the world as it is, without illusions, and then take it on. Christian realism also requires love. But not a sentimental, dreamy love. Reinhold Niebuhr, who taught at Union Theological Seminary and wrestled constantly with applying Christian ethics to political life, put it this way: “When we talk about love we have to become mature or we will become sentimental. Basically love means…being responsible, responsibility to our family, toward our civilization, and now by the pressures of history, toward the universe of humankind.”
Christian realists aren’t afraid to love. But just as the Irishman who came upon a brawl in the street and asked, “Is this a private fight or can anyone get in it?” we have to take that love where the action is. Or the world will remain a theatre of war between fundamentalists.
on dispensationalism:http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2004/10/27/scherer-christian/index.html(End times) Excerpted from the article:
Many years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to his "religious grandparents," who, whenever they were asked about the future, proclaimed, "Armageddon's comin'!" And they believed it. Christ was due back any day, so they never bothered to paint or shingle their house. What was the point? Over the years, I drove by their place and watched the protective layers of paint peel, the bare clapboards weather, the sills and roof rot. Eventually, the house fell into ruin and had to be torn down, leaving my friend's grandparents destitute.
In a way, their prediction had proven right. But this humble apocalypse, a house divided against itself, was no work of God, but of man
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