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Onward, Christian theocrats: the Yankee Taliban on the attack

"Our goal is a Christian nation," says Terry Randal. "We are called by God to conquer this country."
Onward, Christian theocrats: the Yankee Taliban on the attack

by Tamara A. Turner



There's no escape: religious moralism and promotion of Christianity are everywhere.
Turn to classical music on your radio and you'll be treated to an ad recruiting for a fundamentalist congregation in exurbia. Switch the dial to a news or talk station and you'll hear the latest diatribes against loose women, depraved homosexuals, treasonous liberals, and godless secular humanists.

Evangelicals like Randall Terry, founder of anti-abortion Operation Rescue, are endeavoring to accomplish nothing less than replacing the U.S. Constitution with biblical law. Intrinsic to their aim of creating an American Taliban is eliminating the separation between church and state, in tandem with a host of other freedoms and protections.

"Our goal is a Christian nation," says Terry. "We are called by God to conquer this country."

For corporate interests who must hold down the wages and conditions of workers and stifle dissent at home in order to compete against the European Union for world markets, the religious right is a literal godsend. It provides them the ideological cover they need to advance their objectives.


The wall comes tumbling down. The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Thomas Jefferson famously called this the "wall of separation" between church and state.

The wall has never been absolute. U.S. religious organizations, for example, enjoy tax-exempt status, worth an estimated $185 billion in annual revenue. Their combined assets now exceed $331 billion; one can only imagine what the fisherman of Galilee would think.

Today, however, religious extremists brazenly assert that the constitutional separation of church and state is a myth "a lie introduced by Satan and fostered by the courts" according to Rick Scarborough, head of a group of "patriot pastors" and a close ally of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The new crusaders are gaining ground in their efforts to openly shape public policy. They dominate in the executive and legislative branches of federal government, and their influence everywhere is spreading.

Bush's "faith-based initiatives" pour billions into religious groups, although these organizations cannot supply even a fraction of the social services formerly provided by the government itself. The $20 billion allocated to them for the next 10 years is less than what the federal government used to spend annually on Aid for Dependent Children alone.

The faith-based groups can refuse to hire gays, employ only Christians, and deny social services to anyone who won't participate in daily prayers and Bible readings discriminatory practices defended by the Justice Department although countless lawsuits are pending.

"Pro-choice" John Kerry and zealot Rick Santorum are joint sponsors of a Senate bill to legalize pharmacists' refusal to fill prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception that "violate their beliefs." Four states already have such laws; in other states, pharmacies restrict women's access to these drugs by not stocking them.

The House approved a bill making it a federal crime to avoid parental consent laws by taking minors across state lines for an abortion. Senate approval is expected.

Abstinence-only programs are the only sex "education" for which federal money can be used, even though teenagers in these programs have the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

Teachers in a dozen states cannot legally mention evolution unless "creationist" or "intelligent design" theory is presented as equally valid.

In April, a Washington state bill to prohibit anti-gay discrimination was defeated for the 29th time in as many years. Microsoft Corporation dropped its long-standing support for the bill under threat of a boycott by a local evangelical preacher. (A backlash caused Microsoft to reverse course two weeks later, after the bill had already died.)

Although same-sex civil unions are now legal in a few states, rightwing appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court are pending.


Partnership for power. What is the relationship of the religious right to reactionaries who don't fly under the banner of God? The convictions they hold most strongly in common include opposition to the rights of women and sexual minorities, contempt for unions, hatred of socialism, and reverence for "free enterprise," private property rights, and authority. And these two components of the right wing grow cozier every day.

Fundamentally, the goals of the right wing are economic, and their sights are now set on the judiciary. As legal theorist Richard Epstein asserts, "There are many blatantly inappropriate statutes that cry out for a quick and easy kill" including the minimum wage, Social Security, and laws governing the environment, occupational safety, and child labor.

Two of Bush's nominees for lifetime federal judgeships who have invariably ruled in favor of business are Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen.

Currently on the California Supreme Court, Janice Rogers Brown is an African American with a long record of rulings against affirmative action and anti-discrimination laws. She assails the New Deal of the 1930s, which created Social Security, as "the triumph of our socialist revolution."

At an April meeting of Catholic legal professionals, Brown tagged opponents of Bush's nominees as atheists and secularists hostile to religious traditions. This witchhunting intimidation tactic, reminiscent of McCarthy-era redbaiting, is becoming standard for religious rightists and those currying their favor.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, for example, attacked Senate Democrats trying to block Bush's nominees as "against people of faith" in a videotaped address to an April 25 rally of rightwing churches in Louisville, Kentucky. In the same speech, Frist specifically went to bat for Priscilla Owen, a Texas Supreme Court judge elected with the help of donations from large corporations including Enron obligations she consistently repays from the bench.

It's worth noting that this April gathering of Christian marauders prompted hundreds of other religious folks in Louisville to hold a counter-rally.


Window of opportunity. The religious right is gaining steam because the troubled capitalist system needs its help and cover.

Polls show that the majority of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, and with good reason. Over the last three years, while corporate profits have shown an annual growth rate of 14.5 percent after inflation, wages and salaries have grown less than a tenth as fast. Outsourcing and layoffs have eradicated better-paying jobs; unemployment is rampant; the Iraq war, at $4 billion a month, is draining U.S. taxpayers; and the social safety net is in tatters.

People are fearful, and they want answers. The religious right defends corporate interests by deflecting people's anxieties onto scapegoats and by providing moral justification for inequality, sexism, racism, homophobia, and poverty.

And, should the system's crisis worsen, the religious right offers the potential to rally a mass movement around a program for fascism capitalism's weapon of last resort.

Canadian communist writer David Lethbridge notes that in 1930s Europe, "religion and fascism formed a united front of terror: a cross in one hand, a machine gun in the other." Despite the Patriot Act-era devastation Bush and his cohorts have wreaked on civil liberties, that reality is not yet ours today. But to guarantee that a fascist movement does not arise again, now is the moment for opponents of the political agenda of the Christian right to unite and take action.



Freedom Socialist

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Liberation News

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Time for America's Christian fascists to turn their other damn cheek/s ... 02.Jul.2005 17:58

glen, Portland's infamous "Fuck YOUR children for Jeses" guy

... Turning the other cheek is the bahavior those monsters impose on
their victims--all wrapped up in a straitjacket of shame and
censorship.
.
I here include an excerpt of a reply to an email I sent to a high
school classmate yesterday:
.
--- Christopher Fletcher wrote:

> My wife Ann MacKinnon was contacted by a Merrill-Lynch person who was
> interested in finding gay lawyers, etc. in Santa Fe (or elsewhere?)
> as ML is now developing programs and tactics to attract the gay
> investment crowd. As you remember my wife is a CPA. She thought you
> would find this either despicable or amusing based on your past
> experience working for them. If you want to learn more, contact her
> at annm@smt-cpa.com
.
For benefit of those to whom this email will be later circulated, Chris
Fletcher, MD, was a high school classmate of mine at St Mark's School
of Texas, class of 1969. Robert Decherd CEO of Belo Corporation / The
Dallas Morning News is another classmate.
.
AUDIO from Glen on portland IMC
. post by theKnownUniverse@yahoo.com on portland IMC
.
RE Merrill Lynch:
"Fuck their children for Jesus."
.
go ahead and google
"godless gays with guns"
and then, just for fun, do a whois on GodlessGaysWithGuns.net
.
By the way, the event of 10am Sept 2nd 1067 was not a mere hazing--and not
just because my groin was kicked and hair cut off (body mutilation).
That act of unprovoked sexual violence against a minor was autherozed
and sponsored by adult clergy, the Rev Richard Jenkins, acting as agent
for the principal, The First United Methodist Church of Dallas, Texas.
It was endorsed by denial combined with criminal conspiracy witness
intimidation by the North Texas Confenerce of the United Methodist
Church (mathodistSpeak for diocese) in January 1986. The statute of
limitation for a child abuse civil action passed a few years ago. But
if I could just get them in a countersuit for liable (an effective
impossibility) that would be The Holy Grail of restitutional
avengementr.
.
I will be delivering that story sometime this year on KBOO-fm News and
Public Affairs (26,500 watts, reaching at least a third of the
population of Oregon and, through online streaming, reaching the
world).
.
One of the many benefits of working with the KBOO radio community is
that 95% of the people there and mosrt of the listeners hate and fear
America's Christian fascists almost as much as I do and for not
dissimilar reasons.
.
KBOO website can be reached at http://kboo.fm
.
The entire contents of this email is explicitly PUBLIC INFORMATION
(You got that Fatherland Security?)
SIGNATURE at foot of page
.
.....................................................................
On behalf of Everybody, Everywhere : theKnownUniverse@yahoo.com
~~GlenOwen~~503 287 3473
for quick response please use phone
.
for KBOO business:
20 SE 8th Ave, Box 62
Portland OR 97214
KBOO main phone 503 231 8032
Fax 503 231 7145
air-room/on-air/call-in line 503 231 8187
.....................................................................


contact info included in text of comment

Taking the Message out of the Message 02.Jul.2005 21:39

Pilgrim

What is interesting is that before the neo-cons took over the American Christian revival movement in the 1980's, the political message of evangelical preachers was quite different. Before the neo-cons made their back room deals with the big time, stadium filling televangelists and preachers, good old Bible thumping evangelists the world over preached abstinence not only from fornication and booze, but also from political activity, including voting in elections.

The idea comes from an interpretation of scripture, for example Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The fundamental concept is that this world is corrupt and already condemned, so therefore all attempts to change things by political process are doomed and the best way a Christian can serve God is by evangelizing and spreading the Gospel as much as possible. The neo-con take over of the American evangelical movement was well described in the BBC series "The Power of Nightmares", part 2. (www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares) It is no joke that so many people who profess "born again" do not know the Bible or its teachings.

Spirit does seem to find a way - as now the institutional church is everywhere giving away to the house church movement (www.home-church.org). Rather than focus on national politics or a church hierarchy, house churches are small fellowships that meet in each other's houses to empower each of its members to express fully the gifts of the Holy Spirit: conversational prayer, healings, repentance, visions, prophecy, even tongues and resurrections. This is the picture of truly devout Christians who place no faith in the temporal world of politics and every faith in Jesus Christ.

The Gospel Message and Politics 20.Sep.2005 17:47

R. H

To believe that Christians are only to deal with so-called spiritual things aned leave the "worldly" matters to unbelievers is to denigrate the power of redemption in the lives of all types of people including political leaders. I expect a Christian leader to act differently because the Scriptures command it. Leaders must honor Christ or be judged by Him. Christ's rule extends to every realm and I believe that as the Gospel continues to advance nations will be won to Christ therby transforming political structures not by violence but rather the truth of God,s Word. As a former house church member, I do not see the movement as a whole promoting a comprehensive Scriptural worldview but rather embracing the same errors of the past, namely charismatic extremism and egalitarianism that is not founded on sound exegesis of Holy Writ. But hey, thats just my opinion.