Archive for the ‘American Taliban’ Category


Why Is Christian America Supporting Donald Trump?

John Fea teaches American history at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He is the author of the new book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump (Eerdmans Publishing, June 2018).

 

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A week ago Sunday, June 24, 2018, First Baptist Church of Dallas held its annual “Freedom Sunday.” The church website described the special service this way: “Celebrate our freedom as Americans and our freedom in Christ with patriotic worship and a special message from Dr. Robert Jeffress, “America is a Christian Nation.”

Not everyone in Dallas was happy about it. Robert Wilonsky, an opinion writer at the Dallas Morning News, wrote that Jeffress and the First Baptist Church were “divisive” for claiming that America was a Christian nation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings agreed. Atheists protested. Eventually, the billboard company contracting with the church removed signs advertising Freedom Sunday.

This, of course, did not stop the service from going forward. The people of First Baptist Church spent the morning of the 24th waving American flags, wearing red, white, and blue shirts, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and celebrating the United States military. Vice-president Mike Pence sent a letter of encouragement.

Was this a religious service or a celebration of nationalism? What was the object of the congregation’s worship?

Jeffress has been preaching his “America is a Christian Nation” sermon for a long time. On Sunday he stuck with his usual script. He indicted the “secularists, atheists, and infidels” for “perverting” the Constitution. He chided the federal government’s failure to acknowledge God in the public square. He told his congregation that academics, historians, and teachers have been lying to them about the religious roots of the United States.

Jeffress made one problematic historical reference after another. He made the wildly exaggerated claim that fifty-two of the original fifty-five signers of the Constitution were “orthodox conservative Christians.” He peddled the false notion that the disestablishment clause in the First Amendment was meant to apply solely to Protestant denominations.

Near the end of the sermon, Jeffress suggested that spikes in violence, illegitimate births, divorce, and low SAT scores in America are the direct product of the Supreme Court’s decision to remove prayer and Bible-reading from public schools.

Jeffress concluded the service with an altar call. He asked people to come to the front of the church and profess their faith in Jesus Christ. I am sure Jeffress was sincere in his desire to lead people to Jesus, but after his message it was unclear whether he was inviting them to accept Jesus Christ as Savior or embrace the idea that the United States was founded, and continues to be, a Christian nation. Maybe both.

***

Robert Jeffress is best known as a Fox News religion commentator and one of the first evangelical leaders to support Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. He has called Trump “the most faith-friendly president in history.”

Within two weeks following the announcement of his candidacy, several polls had Trump leading among white evangelical GOP voters. In November 2016, 81% of these evangelicals cast their vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States. The reasons for this are complex, and we probably need to wait a generation or two before historians can begin to make sense of them, but three young sociologists have published a scholarly essay that suggests the most plausible explanation.

Andrew Whitehead of Clemson University, Sam Perry of the University of Oklahoma, and Joseph O. Baker of East Tennessee State University argue that “the more someone believed the United States is—and should be—a Christian nation, the more likely they were to vote for Trump.” They conclude that “no other religious factor influenced support for or against Trump.”

These sociologists found that the average Trump voter believes the federal government should: declare the United States a Christian nation, advocate for Christian values, oppose the “strict separation of church and state,” allow the “display of religious symbols in public spaces,” and return prayer to public schools. Likewise, Trump voters believe that whatever success the United States has had over the years is “part of God’s plan.”

This essay is revealing, and it confirms much of what I have written about since the 2011 release of my Was American Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction. But it does not address why and how Americans have come to believe these things. The answer to that question invites us to think historically.

Ever since the founding of the republic, a significant number of Americans have supposed that the United States is exceptional because it has a special place in God’s unfolding plan for the world. Since the early 17th century founding of the Massachusetts Bay colony by Puritans, evangelicals have relished in their perceived status as God’s new Israel—His chosen people. America, they argued, is in a covenant relationship with God. The defenders of this idea like to apply Chronicles 7:14 to the United States: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Though dissenters have always been present, the Christian culture of the United States remained intact well into the 20th century. But since World War II, the moorings of this culture have loosened, and evangelicals have responded with fear that their Christian nation is about to collapse. Robert Jeffress is correct about this.

During the 1960s, the Supreme Court removed prayer and Bible reading from public schools, the federal government cut federal funding to Christian academies and colleges that practiced segregation, the country grew more diverse through immigration, and the sexual revolution threatened evangelical patriarchy and gave women the right to choose to have an abortion.

The fear that America’s Christian civilization was falling apart translated into political action. In the late 1970s, conservative evangelicals such as Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye (the author of the popular Left Behind novels), and a group of politicians who had been closely affiliated with the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, developed a political playbook to win back the culture from the forces of secularization. Most of the 81% of American evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 understood, and continue to understand, the relationship between their faith and their politics through this playbook.

This playbook, which would eventual become the culture-war battle plan of the “Religious Right,” was tweaked occasionally over the years to address whatever moral issues seemed most important at the time, but it never lost its focus on “restoring,” “renewing,” and “reclaiming” America for Christ through the pursuit of political power.

When executed properly, the playbook teaches evangelicals to elect the right President and members of Congress who will pass laws privileging evangelical Christian views of the world. These elected officials will then appoint and confirm conservative Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade, defend life in the womb, and uphold religious liberty for those who believe in traditional views of marriage.

The playbook rests firmly on the Religious Right’s understanding of American identity as rooted in its view of the American past. If America was not founded as a Christian nation, the Religious Right’s political agenda collapses or, at the very least, is weakened severely.

To indoctrinate its followers in the dubious claim that America was founded as a Christian nation, the Religious Right has turned to political activists, many of whom claim to be historians, to propagate the idea that the founding fathers of the United States were in the business of building a Christian nation.

The most prominent of these Christian nationalist purveyors of the past is David Barton, the founder of Wallbuilders, an organization in Aledo, Texas that claims to be “dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built—a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.” Barton and Wallbuilders were the source of most of the historical information Jeffress presented in his Freedom Sunday sermon on June 24th.

For the past thirty years, Barton has provided pastors and conservative politicians with inaccurate or misinterpreted facts used to fuel the Religious Right’s nostalgic longings for an American Christian golden age. American historians, including those who teach at the most conservative Christian colleges, have debunked Barton’s use of the past, but he continues to maintain a large following in the evangelical community.

David Barton peddles fake news about the American past. Yet, if Andrew Whitehead, Sam Perry, and Joseph Baker are correct, his work is essential to the success of the Trump presidency in a way that I imagine even Donald Trump and his staff do not fully understand or appreciate.

Trump does not talk very much about America’s supposedly Christian origins. His grasp of history is not very strong. But his evangelical supporters see him as a gift of God—a divinely appointed figure who has emerged on the scene for such a time as this. He is in the White House to preserve God’s covenant with America, to make America Christian again.

The support for the President is a sign of intellectual laziness in the evangelical community. Rather than thinking creatively about how to move forward in hope, Trump evangelicals prefer to respond to cultural change by trying to reclaim a Christian world that is rapidly disappearing, has little chance of ever coming back, and may never have existed in the first place.

The American founding fathers lived in a world that was very different from our own. In the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, America was a nation of Christians—mostly Protestants—who put their stamp on the culture.

Yet, amid this Christian culture, the founders differed about the relationship between Christianity and their new nation. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison defended the separation of church and state. John Adams and George Washington also opposed mixing church and state, while at the same time suggesting that Christians, because Christianity taught an ethic of selflessness, could be useful in the creation of a virtuous republic in which citizens sacrificed self-interest for the common good.

The founding fathers believed in God, but most of them did not believe that God inspired the Old and New Testaments or sent His son to die and rise from the dead as the ultimate payment for human sin. The God of the Declaration of Independence is a providential deity who created the world and the people in it, but there is nothing in this important American document that defines this God in terms of the Incarnation or the Trinity.

The United States Constitution never mentions God or Christianity but does forbid religious tests for office. The First Amendment rejects a state-sponsored church and celebrates the free-exercise of religion. This is hardly the kind of stuff by which Christian nations are made. Yet Barton and Jeffress invoke these founders and these documents to defend the idea that the United States was founded as a distinctly Christian nation.

***

If the Christian Right, and by extension the 81% of evangelical voters who use its political playbook, are operating on such a weak historical foundation, why doesn’t someone correct their faulty views and dubious claims?

We do.

We have.

But countering bad history with good history is not as easy as it sounds. David Barton and his fellow Christian nationalist purveyors of the past are well-funded by Christian conservatives who know that the views of the past they are peddling serve their political agenda. Barton has demonized Christian intellectuals and historians as sheep in wolves’ clothing. They may call themselves Christians on Sunday morning, but, according to Barton, their “world view” has been shaped by the secular universities where they earned their Ph.Ds. Thanks to Barton, many conservative evangelicals do not trust academic and professional historians—even academic and professional historians with whom they share a pew on Sunday mornings.

I know this first-hand from some of the negative emails and course evaluation forms I received after teaching a Sunday School course on the history of religion and politics at the Evangelical Free Church congregation where my family worship every Sunday. Because I was a college history professor—even a college history professor at a Christian college with strong evangelical roots—I could not be trusted.

What David Barton does not understand is that there are hundreds of evangelical historians who see their work as part of their Christian identity and vocation. These historians are women and men who pursue truth about the past wherever it leads. This pursuit of truth is a deeply Christian pursuit, as is the case with all efforts to distinguish truth from error.

When people like David Barton cherry-pick from the past to promote political agendas, they do a disservice to the past, fail to treat it with integrity, and ultimately harm their Christian witness in the world. They make evangelicals look foolish. This is not what Paul described in 1 Corinthians 1:18 as the “foolishness of the cross,” it is just good old-fashioned foolishness. It is a product of what evangelical historian Mark Noll has described as the “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.”

Many of us engaged in trying to bring good history to the evangelical church need the support of Christians who are concerned about the direction Donald Trump, the Christian Right, and the pseudo-historians who prop-up their political agenda are trying to take the country and the church. Good history is complex. It is nuanced. And it is an essential part of truly worshipping God with our minds (Luke 10:27). Unfortunately, complexity, nuance, and intellectual discipleship are not the kinds of subjects that inspire Christians to dig into their pocketbooks.

What would it take to fund evangelical historians to travel to receptive churches around the country and spend some concentrated time teaching American religious history, and American history more broadly, to lay men and women? Perhaps such visits could also include times of worship and prayer?

It is unlikely that such an effort would reach the Robert Jeffress’ of the world. but there are many evangelicals who are open and willing to listen and learn. This was another lesson I took away from my Sunday School class. In fact, the criticism I received paled in comparison with the positive comments I got from those who had never heard a fellow evangelical offer a different, more accurate, view of American history.

American evangelical political engagement is built on a very weak historical foundation. It is time that Christian philanthropists, motivated by an entrepreneurial spirit informed by the pursuit of truth and a concern for the testimony of the Gospel in the world, take the long view and invest in responsible Christian thinking about the American past. The American republic, and more importantly, the witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, depends on it.

 

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genocide

Roots Of Modern Terrorism And Religious Fundamentalism

By G. Asgar Mitha

– Anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with Church dogma must be burned without pity – Pope Benedict III – Pope from 855 – 858 AD.

– Fear is the basis of the whole – fear of the mysterious, of defeat and death. Fear is the parent of cruelty and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand – Bertrand Russell

I‘ve quoted Bertrand Russell after reading his rather interesting essays titled Why I’m Not a Christian delivered on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society, South London Branch and that inspired me to write this article.

The horrors of the Catholic Church are well documented while even today the modernists, historians and politicians are turned off to discuss those horrors and are involved in discussing the horrors of a Muslim civilization. No civilization has been without its dark ages. Europe and America burnt people alive by tying them to stakes after accusations of witchcraft. Ancient Egypt used to cut off the limbs of their citizens from opposite ends and then crucify them. Rome too crucified their citizens. All kinds of horrors have been recorded in history books. One of the best movies I’d seen was The Name of the Rose starring Sean Connery regarding the Holy Inquisition involving the Church. The procedures of the Holy Inquisition involved examination of charges of heresy by the Church. Even those innocent were not spared by trumped up charges. Such was the terrorism due to religious fundamentalism within the European religious system that the Church reaped wealth, mainly from the poor and destitute while protecting the wealthy aristocrats. The Church was not only a religious entity but it also embodied politics.

The Spanish Inquisitions from 1474-1834 AD were held under Pope Sixtus IV mainly against the Jews and Muslims but also against Christian heretics. Those refusing to take up Catholic faith were led to the stake to be burnt alive in a ceremony known as auto-de-fe (act of failth) and their properties confiscated to the Church.

The horrors of the Catholic Church are provided in brief in the above paragraphs. However the roots of current situation of Muslim terrorism and fundamentalism need to be examined. The basis of all terrorism and fundamentalism is not religion (as correctly postulated by Karen Armstrong) which condemns both but rests in politics and powers of the state and the religious authorities. Both politicians and clergy have used religion to consolidate their power over the weakest of their audience condemning them as heretics and kafirs (heathen unbelievers).

While I was growing up in Pakistan until 1968, there was harmony and religious tolerance among the Shia and Sunni sects. Christians and Hindus too were accepted and tolerated and there were no Islamic laws that discriminated them. Hotels used to serve alcohol and advertise striptease shows of women from many countries. After having completed my education in the US, I returned to Pakistan in 1977 under the martial law rule of President Zia-ul-Haq only to find a Pakistani society devoid of all tolerance and one of extreme religious fundamentalism but not yet of visible terrorism. It was in the germinating stages. Zia was a diehard Saudi supporter who closely held the Wahhabist-Salfist belief of forcibly imposing religion upon the people. In exchange Zia received large Saudi monetary aid to breed religious extremism among the Taliban (students) in madressas (religious schools) operated as seminaries to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. The Saudis in turn received the political support from the US. The students were not taught true Islamic values which are based on knowledge and free learning that benefits mankind. The Wahhabist teachings are instead based on fear aptly described by Bertrand Russell.

The other Wahhabist-Salafist fundamentalist Saudi citizen, Osama bin Laden, led the Afghan Mujahideen (holy warriors) and Taliban against the Soviets under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda (the base). He was supposedly killed in Pakistan in May 2011 by the Americans. The Soviet war in Afghanistan lasted over nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. Zia died in August 1988 in a mysterious plane crash. He’d served his masters well and the Americans and Saudis rewarded him with a plea to God to open the doors of Heaven for him and for the houris (female angels) to entertain him. Unfortunately I perceive the same fates for other current Pakistani leaders who are serving their masters.

IS (Islamic States), for example, has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with fear, cruelty, politics and religious intolerance. IS does not represent Islamic moderation, tolerance, respect and knowledge. The IS Jihadists being recruited from Europe and N. America are most likely not mainstream Muslims but lunatics and converts in a society they hate. They could well have been victims of political and extremist religious brainwashing similar to the Taliban. Just like al-Qaeda and Taliban were recruited against the Soviets, the IS may have been created to plunder the Arab countries. The IS is conducting inquisitions against everyone regardless of their minority (Christians and Yezidis) or sectarian beliefs (Shias and Sunnis) and their methods of torture and murder (beheadings and burning) are as horrifying as was practiced by the European Churches.

Following the war’s end, Afghanistan was in ruins and those same political parties (the seven party Jihadists) that had allied against the Soviets engaged in trivial disputes and fighting among themselves. America abandoned Afghanistan and Pakistan only to return in 2001 with a war against the former and military threats and promises of monetary aid for the latter. The Taliban returned victorious to Pakistan after having defeated the Soviet infidels. They now believed they were God’s chosen people and like Zia, it was their bounden duty to forcibly impose Wahhabism upon a nation. Terrorism and fear became their instruments and many of these Taliban also infiltrated the political parties in Pakistan in order to gain power and wealth similar to the norms of the Christian Church of the dark ages. America watched and learnt how hyenas fight over a carcass. Pakistan and Afghanistan were ushering in the dark ages. The lessons were going to be applied throughout the Muslim world with the objectives of once again gaining not only power but control of the precious black gold resource.

Saudi Arabia and other Monarchist Arab Wahhabist countries have been natural economic allies of America and its European vassals as they are weak and in need of protection. America continues to support the Saudis in exporting their perverted religious dogma across the Muslim countries in order to breed religious intolerance, cruelty and terrorism. Some of the countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria and Palestine have been war victims, others like Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt have survived upon American and Saudi aids. Iran is the only Muslim country where America and the Saudi monarchy have failed for exporting terrorism and religious extremism and both fear it as a regional power. Iran has adopted values of democracy, tolerance, moderation, justice, knowledge and learning – the hallmarks of Islam. The roots of Wahhabism are based on an extremist form of Islam, of intolerance of all religions, injustice and implementation of fear by their religious police known as mutawwas supported by the monarchies which the west supports. The one thing common among the Arab monarchies and the western ‘democracy’ is deep hypocrisy.


Quotes from the The American Taliban

Ann Coulter

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

“Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

“Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t answer to the name Mohammed'”

Bailey Smith

“With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

Beverly LaHaye (Concerned Women for America)

“Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”

Bob Dornan (Rep. R-CA)

“Don’t use the word ‘gay’ unless it’s an acronym for ‘Got Aids Yet'”

David Barton (Wallbuilders)

“There should be absolutely no ‘Separation of Church and State’ in America.”

David Trosch

“Sodomy is a graver sin than murder. – Unless there is life there can be no murder.”

Fob James (Governor of Alabama)

“Behind this judicial wall of separation there is a tyranny of lies that will fall… I say to you, my friends, let it fall!”

“A good butt-whipping and then a prayer is a wonderful remedy.”

Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church)

“If you got to castrate your miserable self with a piece of rusty barb wire, do it.”

“Hear the word of the LORD, America, fag-enablers are worse than the fags themselves, and will be punished in the everlasting lake of fire!”

“You telling these miserable, Hell-bound, bath house-wallowing, anal-copulating fags that God loves them!? You have bats in the belfry!”

“American Veterans are to blame for the fag takeover of this nation. They have the power in their political lobby to influence the zeitgeist, get the fags out of the military, and back in the closet where they belong!”

“Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death.”

Gary Bauer (American Values)

“We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There’s a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody’s values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.”

Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics)

“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship.”

“This is God’s world, not Satan’s. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians.”

Gary Potter (Catholics for Christian Political Action)

“When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.”

George Bush Sr. (President of the United States)

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

George W. Bush (President of the United States)

“I don’t think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.”*

“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”

*Comment about Wiccans in the military

Henry Morris (Founder, Institute for Creation Research, died 2006)

“When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data.”

J. B. Stoner (White Supremacist) (1924 – 2005)

“We had lost the fight for the preservation of the white race until God himself intervened in earthly affairs with AIDS to rescue and preserve the white race that he had created…. I praise God all the time for AIDS.”

“AIDS is a racial disease of Jews and Niggers, and fortunately it is wiping out the queers. I guess God hates queers for several reasons. There is one big reason to be against queers and that is because every time some white boy is seduced by a queer into becoming a queer, means his white bloodline has run out.”

James Dobson (Focus on the Family)

“Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world.”

“State Universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.”

“Today’s children… They’re damned. They’re gone.”

James Kennedy (Center for Reclaiming America)

“The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ.”

James Watt (Secretary of the Interior)

“We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.”*

*Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan Admin. Responsible for National Policy regarding the Environment

Jay Grimstead (Coalition on Revival)

“We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way.”

Jerry Falwell (1933 – 2007)

“We’re fighting against humanism, we’re fighting against liberalism…we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today…our battle is with Satan himself.”

“AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.”

“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

Jesse Helms (Senator R-NC, 1973-2003)

“The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian.”

“All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction.”

“Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping and murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior.”

“Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches.”

Jimmy Swaggart (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries)

“The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy?”

“Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest.”

“Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it…Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.”

John Ashcroft (Attorney General)

Civilized people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator.”

John Whitehead (Rutherford Institute)

“The [Supreme] Court, by seeking to equate Christianity with other religions, merely assaults the one faith. The Court in essence is assailing the true God by democratizing the Christian religion.”

Joseph McCarthy (1908 – 1957)(Senator, R-WI, 1947-1957)

“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between Communistic Atheism and Christianity.”

Joseph Morecraft (Chalcedon Presbyterian Church)

“Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol.”

Joseph Scheidler (Pro-Life Action League)
 

 

“I would like to outlaw contraception…contraception is disgusting – people using each other for pleasure.”

Kay O’Connor (Kansas Senate Republican)

“I’m an old-fashioned woman. Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women today, we wouldn’t have to vote.”

Keith A. Fournier (Catholic Way)

“We need a legal strategy which protects the rights of those of us who hold Christian convictions which will afford us the opportunity to contend once again for the mind of this culture.”

Laura Schlessinger

“I want to coin a phrase here, and I don’t mind help. What would be the communication version of “ethnic cleansing?” Because that’s what in particular the homosexual activists try to do.”

Lester Roloff (1914 – 1982)(Texas Homes for Wayward Youth)
 

 

“Better a pink bottom than a black soul.”*

*Roloff opened a chain of homes for “wayward” youth in the state of Texas; he was later jailed in 1973 and again in 1975 for child abuse due to the punitive punishment techniques used in his homes. He was then specifically given permision to re-open his homes by Governor George W Bush.

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin

“George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.”

Pat Buchanan (Presidential Candidate)

“Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.”

“There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The “negroes” of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”

“Rail as they will about ‘discrimination,’ women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism.”

Pat Robertson (Christian Coalition)

“The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers?”

“Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It’s no different…More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”

“When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals – the two things seem to go together.”

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

“You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”

“I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”

“[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers.”

“[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns.”

Paul Cameron

“I think that actually AIDS is a guardian. That is I think it was sent, if you would, about forty years ago, to destroy Western civilization unless we change our sexual ways. So it’s really a Godsend.”

“Homosexuality is a crime against humanity.”

“Causes of homosexuality include: ‘sex with animals'”*

“Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”

*Paul Cameron was discharged from the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association due to his unethical practices and biased research regarding Homosexuals; however his work is still referenced by many fundamentalist organizations as credible.

Randall Terry (Operation Rescue)

“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”

“Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God’s law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies.”

“I don’t think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like – and if you have babies, you have babies.”

“When I, or people like me, are running the country, you’d better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we’ll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed.”

“There is going to be war, [and Christians may be called to] take up the sword to overthrow the tyrannical regime that oppresses them.”

Jerry Vines (Southern Baptist Convention)

“They would have us believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity. Christianity was founded by the virgin-born son of God, Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, the last one of which was a nine-year-old girl.”

Rick Santorum (Senator R-PA, 1995-2006)
 

 

“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [Gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything!”

Robert Simonds (Citizens for Excellence in Education)

“As the church watches from the sidelines, the ungodly elect atheists and homosexuals to school boards and legislatures to enact policies and laws that destroy our Christian children and discriminate against Christian families.”

“Atheistic secular humanists should be removed from office and Christians should be elected…Government and true Christianity are inseparable.”

“We’ll take away their power and their money. Money comes from students. We’ll break their backs by taking 24 million kids out of the public schools.”

“Raising your children under Americanism or any other principles other than true Christianity is child abuse.”

“You do not have the right to be wrong, regardless of what any man-made or demonic charter says.”

“Democracy originated in the mind of a rational being who has the deepest hatred for God.”

“Do you realize that the only thing that gives democracy existence is sin? The absence of democracy is perfect obedience to god.”

“The best way to insure the earth is never over populated is for sensible and righteous governments to clear all forms of atheism and heresy.”

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)(President of the United States)

“For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.”

Roy Moore (Former Alabama Judge)
 

 

“If they want to get the Commandments, they’re going to have to get me first.”*

“Worship With Your Vote”

Rush Limbaugh

“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

“If you commit a crime, you’re guilty.”

“There is only one way to get rid of nuclear weapons… use them”

Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education)

“Anybody that believes in separation of church and state needs to leave right now.”

Tony Evans (Promise Keepers)

“The demise of our community and culture is the fault of sissified men who have been overly influenced by women.”

William Rehnquist (1924 – 2005)(Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court)

“The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”

Michael Savage (Savage Nation)
 

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it.”*

*Statement made on live national television


State Sen. Dennis Kruse Pushes For Mandatory Recitation Of Lord’s Prayer In Indiana Public Schools

Dennis Kruse School Prayer

Indiana state Sen. Dennis Kruse proposed legislation that would require public school students to recite the Lord’s Prayer. (Image via Facebook)

A Republican state senator wants Indiana’s public school students to begin each day by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Dennis Kruse, chair of the state Senate’s education committee, has introduced Senate Bill 23, which would allow Indiana’s school districts to require recitation of the prayer, “In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen.”

The proposal does offer exemptions, including a provision allowing students and parents to opt out of a school’s mandatory prayer. Still, experts and the Indiana Senate legal committee believe the bill to be unconstitutional, the Indianapolis Star reports.

A similar law exists in Florida, but no schools there adopted the measure for fear of hefty legal fees associated with likely litigation, Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, told the Star. A lawsuit against a prayer banner in a Rhode Island school last year, for example, cost the school more than $173,000 in attorney’s fees.

Seidel told the Star he worried requiring prayer in schools would lead to bullying of students who chose not to participate. Still, the Indiana proposal comes as more atheist clubs spring up in high schools across the country, even in more religious states like North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

Kruse’s history in Indiana education has been filled with controversy. He sponsored a bill last year to allow schools to teach creationism that failed in the state House. He tried again in December by announcing plans to introduce new legislation for what he called “truth in education,” an effort that would allow teachers to question scientific principles, such as evolution.


“Perish if you wish; I am safe.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

Russian Abortion Poster

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Perish if you wish; I am safe.” (Jean-Jacques RousseauThe Discourse on InequalityPart One, more than a paragraph after Note 15)

Canada’s Omnibus Bill: ‘There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation’ (The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1967) CBC* Digital Archives

*CBC: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

“Perish if you wish; I am safe.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Discourse on InequalityPart One, more than a paragraph after Note 15)

These words are uttered by the philosopher or person who uses reason only.  He always sleep peacefully.  He is not endowed with the pity/compassion that moderates self-love (l’amour-propre or l’amour de soi-même) in the savage(Part One, more than two paragraphs after Note 15)

The Romney-Ryan Team

Allow me to place in the proper mouths, the mouths of extremists in theRepublican Party, Rousseau’s “Perish if you wish; I am safe.”  I may be wrong, but I suspect that the reason these Republicans can speak like choir-boys on the subject of planned parenthood is that they are sufficiently wealthy to fly to countries where birth-control is available and inexpensive as well as to countries where abortions are not criminalized.  They can also pay a doctor the “right” fee.  In other words, I suspect a substantial degree of hypocrisy.  “Perish if you wish: I am safe.” (On rape, see The Washington Post).  On the “Gag Rule,” see The Huffington Post).

In fact, hypocrisy may not be the only sin.  We are also looking atinequality and at an unjust society.  The rich and wealthy will have a freedom that will be denied the poor.  As I have indicated in earlier blogs, the rich and the wealthy do not need health-insurance.  They can pay for medical treatment and medication.  Well, let’s raise that curtain again: the wealthy, wealthy women, need not give up controlling how many children they will have and when these children will be born.  This is again something they can buy.  In fact, they can also afford several children and help galore, in which they are very fortunate (no pun intended).  They are therefore saying: “Perish if you wish; I am safe.”

So it could be that the debate is not about morality

So, if Republicans are against planned parenthood and abortion, I am inclined to think it has little to do with morality.  I hope I’m wrong, but the debate about abortions seems such a convenient  front.  They will attract the votes of persons who are against abortion and who think naively that because a party does not criminalize abortion, members of that party are for abortion.  This is not the case and there are very real drawbacks to criminalizing abortion.  For instance, what are doctors to do when an abortion is an imperative?

Tying up the hands of doctors: unfit women

An abortion may indeed be an imperative.  What does a doctor do, assuming a woman can afford to see a doctor, if a woman’s life is at risk, if the fetus is abnormal, if she is taking medication that can harm the child, if she is taking drugs or is an alcoholic or if she cannot otherwise face a pregnancy, etc.  What can a doctor do if his or her patient is poor or a woman of humble means?  Under privatized health-insurance, it may again be privatized, not only will these unfit women be told that they are suffering from a pre-existing condition, but if an unfit woman consents to an abortion and a doctor intervenes, he or she, i.e. the doctor, and the unfit patient will face criminal charges.  “Perish if you wish; I am safe.”

Worst-Case Scenarios

A few years ago, I met a woman who had not slept since giving birth.  Her son was three years old but she could not look after him.  Nor could she work.  Fortunately, she lived in Canada so all that could be done, medically-speaking, was done at no cost to her.  However, I doubt that a doctor would have allowed a second pregnancy.   She was sick: severe postpartum depression.  Doctors need a little leeway.

Would that matters had been as they are now when my mother was having her babies. My poor mother carried a child every year knowing that the child would probably die in infancy of a congenital blood disease.  Her first children survived.  But she buried all the others.  I will spare you the number.  To make matters worse, in those days, a good Catholic woman could not say “no” to her husband.  Sexual intercourse was a duty (un devoir).  It was called: le devoir conjugal.  I fail to see what was good in having babies that would die.  This was cruelty.  And I also fail to see what was good in our attending a funeral or two every year.

Saying “no” as the only recourse

If Mr Romney is elected to the office of President of the United States, the only recourse women who are poor and “women of humble means” will have is the word “no” both outside and inside marriage.  There are husbands, such asCharles de Gaulle (rumor has it), who will not ask their spouse to engage in sexual intercourse if she is not prepared to carry a child and give birth to this child.

That is rather noble, but it isn’t very realistic in the case of most couples.  After a fine meal and, perhaps, one or two glasses of wine, hormones tend to take over, crippling intellectual resolve, particularly in younger people.  In fact, even we, older folks,  snuggle up from time to time and just may be induced to “play doctor.”

The above poster: reality

The above poster goes a long way into describing the situation poor and raped women will face (there is no “legitimate rape”) if planned parenthood is criminalized.  Before abortion was decriminalized in Canada, women, particularly unmarried women, who could not face a pregnancy, sometimes used tools that killed (metallic coat hangers) or went to charlatans and, in many cases, they committed suicide.  In the Quebec of my childhood, to avoid bringing shame on their family, young girls who got pregnant were sent to special institutions and when the baby was born, it was taken from them.  The babies were raised in an orphanage or adopted.  It would appear that some were sold.

So allow me to say that when it comes to a woman’s right to choose when and if she will have a child and her right to undergo an abortion when an abortion is necessary, I take matters very seriously.  It would be my view that a woman

  • should not be forced into a pregnancy, especially if she has been raped (there are no “legitimate rape”), including rape within marriage;
  • that she should act responsibly when she engages in sexual intercourse, as should her husband or partner.  Pregnancies can usually be avoided.  And I would like to point out
  • that there are cases when a doctor, with the consent of his or her patient, should be allowed to end a pregnancy.

On Day One: shackling women

However, if Republicans get into office, “On Day One,” not only will Mitt Romney call the Chinese “currency manipulators” and end the health-care reforms introduced by President Obama, but he will also shackle women who are poor and women of “humble means.”  Poor women and women of “humble means” will not have access to what is available to the rich.

The Conclusion

So scratch out most of the paragraph preceding the “On Day One,” because the conclusion is that “On Day One” women who are poor and women of humble means will be denied what will be accessible to the rich.  It will again be all about money and appearing virtuous when virtue is not part of the equation, but a convenient means to an end: being elected.  People who are against abortions will be fooled into thinking that are voting for the morally superior party.

Such is not the case.  If members of that party are elected they will impose on the poor repressive measures that seem virtuous, yet they will be hiding millions and billions, if not more, and demand tax cuts thus acting criminally.  So how can these persons talk about morality?  So wake up; it’s a smokescreen.  What they are saying is “Perish if you wish; I am safe.”

Make sure everyone knows that if the President does not criminalize abortions, it does not mean that he is for abortion.  

Canadians were lucky.  In 1967, future Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau got the Omnibus Bill passed.  One can access the details, including videos by clicking on Omnibus Bill, or CBC* Digital Archives.

Jan Kochanowski over the dead body of his daughter, Urszulka, by Jan Matejko

Micheline Walker©
October 28, 2012
WordPress
 
composer: Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe or Marin Marais
film: Tous les matins du monde (All the World’s Mornings)
performer: Jordi Savall
Sainte-Colombe playing the viola da gamba and dreaming of his wife.
 


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Kirk Cameron: “God IS the Platform”
The Christian Taliban movement
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Today’s moment of right wing religious fanaticism comes from former child star Kirk Cameron, who says, “one of our parties is wondering whether the name God should be in the platform,” but according to America’s founding fathers, “God is the platform!

The crowd cheers this line in a very disturbing way.


Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin raise an American flag before a service commemorating the victims of a mass shooting. A gunman who identified himself as a white supremacist went on a rampage during a Sikh service at Oak Creek, killing six people.

Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin raise an American flag before a service commemorating the victims of a mass shooting. A gunman who identified himself as a white supremacist went on a rampage during a Sikh service at Oak Creek, killing six people.

AP

Rise of far right in US aided by ‘perfect storm’

WASHINGTON // Heated political rhetoric, economic hardships, changing demographics, anti-Islamic fervour and the first African-American president have all contributed to a “perfect storm” for the proliferation of extremist groups in America that some civil-rights groups are warning could become more violent.

The past two months have seen at least a dozen violent incidents involving religious establishments across America, including the massacre of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most of the other incidents involved mosques and Islamic institutions. A mosque in Missouri was burnt to the ground, shots were fired at an Islamic school in Illinois and six other Islamic institutions were targeted in apparent acts of vandalism.

An Arab Christian church in Dearborn, Michigan, a Jewish holocaust memorial in New York and a synagogue in Florida were also vandalised.

If those acts suggest actions of the extreme political right, violence has also gone the other way. Last Wednesday, a man opened fire inside the Washington, DC, headquarters of a Christian conservative group, reportedly upset at its opposition to same-sex unions. A security guard was wounded.

Some fear more violence. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil-rights group that tracks extremists in America, said the Milwaukee killings did not surprise observers, who had been expecting some kind of copy-cat attempt after the shootings and bombings in Norway last July when Anders Breivik killed 77 people.

“I think we are at a very dangerous moment. There’s a kind of perfect storm of factors favouring the development of [extremist] groups and accompanying domestic terrorism.”

The SPLC has documented a nearly 70 per cent increase in the number of American extremist groups since 2000 and an “extraordinary” expansion – from 149 in late 2008 to 1,274 in 2011 – of so-called patriot movements, often loosely aligned anti-government groups that sometimes form armed militias.

Patriot militants were behind a string of domestic terrorism plots in the 1990s, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.

The expansion coincides with the term of Barack Obama, the first African-American in the White House, but it is not necessarily a classic racist reaction, Mr Potok said. Rather, America’s First Family is visceral evidence of the fact that the country’s demographics are changing – 2011 was the first year in the United States in which non-white birth rates exceeded white birth rates, according to the US Census Bureau.

“Every white supremacist in America knows the census bureau has predicted that non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority in America by the year 2050.”

America’s slow recovery from its worst economic downturn since the depression of the 1930s and rhetoric that previously belonged on the fringe gaining more traction have also provided fertile ground for extremists, Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi and author of a memoir, The Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, said in a recent interview.

Mr Meeink joined skinhead gangs in the late 1980s. He said he sees many parallels between now and when Bill Clinton, another socially progressive Dempcratic president on civil-rights issues, took office in 1993 during an economic slump.

The difference, he said, is that rhetoric that used to belong to neo-Nazi groups has become more mainstream and is particularly evident in the language of the Christian Right and the Tea Party, where, he said, some of his former associates had ended up.

“The new lingo is calling everything ‘socialist’.And it’s almost the same as how neo-Nazis used to talk about Jews taking over the government.”

Adding fuel to the situation is the fact that unrestrained political rhetoric is seemingly becoming increasingly common in public places.

In New York City, for instance, posters citing “19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01. It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism” went up last Friday and will be visible for another three weeks.

Buses in San Francisco bear posters proclaiming: “In a war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad”.

Both are paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative, run by Pamela Geller, best known for her role in the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy in 2010 and part of a coterie of what Mr Potok described as “professional Islamophobes and the politicians willing to shill for them”.

The controversy over plans for an Islamic centre near the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 ushered in a year when anti-Sharia legislation began to appear in state legislatures across the country and congressional hearings into the “radicalisation” of America’s Muslims – which took place in early 2011 – were announced.

The same year also saw a 50 per cent spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, according to FBI statistics, bucking a steady decline since 2002 when passions had settled after the attacks of September 11.

Robert Sellers, a professor at the Logsdon school of theology in Texas, warned of a “culture of Islamophobia” at the annual Baptist World Congress in late July.

“I trust that none of us wishes to sin against our neighbours by spreading fear and stereotypes,” Mr Sellers said, according to the Baptist Center’s Ethics Daily website.

Extreme rhetoric has an effect, Mr Potok said.

“When people make completely unsubstantiated and incredibly demonising statements about entire groups of people, they can’t be surprised when those people are subjected to criminal attacks