Archive for the “Separation of church and state” Category
Specifically concerning separation of church and state in the U.S.
After months of simmering discontent, the Enfield, Connecticut school board has decided to defy an ACLU threat to sue them over their practice of holding high school graduations — in a church in another town. The Hartford Courant reports on the controversy and the anger the ACLU has sparked in this little New England mill town (WebCite cached article):
The board of education voted 6-3 Tuesday night to hold this year’s high school graduations at First Cathedral in Bloomfield and challenge a lawsuit threat by two civil liberties organizations.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State last year threatened to sue the district if it continued to hold ceremonies at First Cathedral.
The board insists this blatant and obvious violation of the separation of church and state board is all for the sake of the children’s sake, of course:
“We’re not picking a fight. We simply want to graduate and do honor to our students,” said Chairman Gregory Stokes. “The decision is based on the fiscal situation of the district and not the ideological situation of the district.”
What Stokes failed to disclose is that Enfield — which has two high schools (Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School) used to have its graduations at on the field at one of them (Fermi), until last-minute vandalism in 2008 forced them to use First Cathedral as a stopgap measure. It’s understandable for this to happen once, under what are essentially emergency conditions. But the board insists they have “no viable secular alternative” … in spite of the fact that they had never had a problem, prior to 2008!
They are, quite simply, lying.
What makes this very odd is that Enfield is in Connecticut, not the Bible belt, and is not home to a large number of fundamentalists. It’s much more Catholic than anything else, and Catholics in the US aren’t known for wanting to force their religion on people. So I’m not sure why, all of a sudden, Enfield’s board of education is so fiercely trying to proselytize its graduating high school seniors.
For those of you who think the separation of church and state — as declared in Article VI and the First Amendment of the US Constitution — applies only to the US Congress and not to the states or any other level of government such as a municipal school system, guess again: The 14th Amendment created a principle known as incorporation, which passes some restrictions on Congressional power down to other levels. So they cannot legitimately do this. All the whining about the ACLU being “bullies” is irrelevant compared to that. Completely irrelevant.
At any rate, the town of Enfield CT appears to have been taken over by Bible-thumping proselytizers who want to make sure they have one last shot at indoctrinating kids as they leave high school. Nice.
Photo credit: Tia Ann Chapman / Hartford Courant (12/12/2009)
, american civil liberties union
, bloomfield CT
, enfield board of education
, enfield CT
, first cathedral
, graduation ceremony
, gregory stokes
, high school graduation
, public school
, public schools
, Separation of church and state
2 Comments »
It’s often joked that the Religious Right and its various constituent groups are a “Christian Taliban,” effectively no different from their Afghani counterparts of the same name, except for 1) Their religion (Christianity instead of Islam); and 2) Their existence as a militia within a lawless country. Well, in Amarillo Texas, that latter difference no longer exists. There truly is a Christian Taliban-style militia at work there … and woe to anyone they deem “unworthy.”
Note: I’m posting this in spite of the fact that I am still not 100% sure this story is genuine. It reads too much like something from The Onion for me to be totally confident in it. Nevertheless, it’s getting some play on the Internet, and the more I hear about it, the more certain this story seems to be.
The Texas Observer reports on the the group known as “Repent Amarillo” and its activities (WebCite cached article), beginning with the protest they staged at a “swingers’ club”:
… [I]magine the swingers’ surprise when they arrived at their New Year’s Eve bash to find two dozen protesters, local media in tow, holding signs and singing songs. This was a most unwelcome coming-out party.
Some protesters, mostly young men in their teens and early 20s, wore black hoodies and military fatigues. The men, Amarillo would soon learn, were foot soldiers of Repent Amarillo, a new, militant evangelical group that advertises itself as “the Special Forces of spiritual warfare.” Their leader, David Grisham, a security guard at nuclear-bomb facility Pantex who moonlights as a pastor, explained the action. “We’re here to shine the light on this darkness,” Grisham told the Amarillo Globe-News. “I don’t think Amarillo knew about this place. This is adultery. This is wrong. There’s no telling how many venereal diseases get spread, how many abortions.” The goal, Grisham says, was not just to save the swingers’ souls, but to shut the club down.
Local Amarillo authorities have — effectively — granted this group their blessing, and will not intervene:
For the past year, this Bible Belt city of 200,000 has been consumed by a culture clash between Repent Amarillo and their targets, a list that includes everything from gay bars to liberal churches. For the Route 66 swingers, Grisham’s “special forces” have been a near-constant presence. Jobs have been lost, families estranged, assault charges filed and businesses shuttered. So far, no public official has stood up to defend these businesses, which operate legally. To the contrary, Repent Amarillo has managed to turn the city’s own laws and employees into an effective weapon. Amarillo, it turns out, doesn’t have the stomach to stick up for gays, swingers, strippers or even Unitarians. Absent a peacekeeper, the conflict might end up being settled the old-fashioned way, frontier-style. “This will not end until somebody gets hurt, either us or them,” one swinger warns.
The lax enforcement is seen in how differently local law enforcement, and Texas state troopers, handled one event:
It’s debatable whether all of Repent’s actions are legal. In January, six Repent members showed up at a weekend swingers party at the private home of Route 66’s attorney. During the party, the attorney says the group trespassed on her property and tried to block cars from entering the driveway. She called the police. Sheriff’s deputies showed up, followed not long after by a state trooper.
The two law-enforcement groups apparently had different ideas about how to handle Repent, according to a Potter County incident report. The state trooper took photographs of the Repent vehicles and filled out suspicious activity cards, which go to the state’s intelligence center. The deputies, on the other hand, dismissed the attorney’s account and left Repent to carry on.
Repent Amarillo is not backing down and is not limiting its attacks to just swingers’ clubs:
What’s next for Repent? They’ve posted a “Warfare Map” on the group’s Web site. The map includes establishments like gay bars, strip clubs and porn shops, but also the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center. Repent believes the 600-acre prairie park’s Walmart-funded “Earth Circle,” used for lectures, is a Mecca for witches and pagans. Also on the list are The 806 coffeehouse (a hangout for artists and counterculture types), the Islamic Center of Amarillo (“Allah is a false god”), and “compromised churches” like Polk Street Methodist (gay-friendly).
It is fairly easy for a group like this to operate in Texas, where county sheriffs are effectively sovereign princelings who have the power to permit people they like to operate with impunity, and who can also destroy people they dislike. So long as the sheriff of Potter county (in which Amarillo lies) chooses not to stop Repent Amarillo, they will continue their militant activities, and will ruin more lives.
I’m curious to see how truly committed these people at Repent Amarillo are, to their cause. Would they be willing to engage in this behavior in some other region where they don’t have the protection of local law enforcement? My guess is that they have neither the courage nor integrity to do so.
Hat tip: Unreasonable Faith blog.
Tags: amarillo TX
, christian militia
, christian right
, christian taliban
, david grisham
, earth circus
, potter county
, potter county TX
, religious right
, route 66 swingers
, swingers clubs
, texas christians
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Lots of people remain fuzzy on the “separation of church and state” thing in the US. By “lots of people,” I mean — of course — religionists who wish to use the government to promote their religion and who consider SOCAS to be a violation of their religious freedom. (To them, “religious freedom” means the power and authority to force everyone to follow their religion; if they are ever prevented from doing that, they see it as a reduction of their “religious freedom.”) The Hartford Courant reports on a Connecticut case which reached the US Supreme Court (WebCite cached article):
U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Change Order to Remove Religious Materials
The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand an appellate ruling last summer that settled a dispute in Manchester involving government and religion.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered a small, church-operated post office in Manchester to clear its postal counter of religious materials such as prayer cards and a collection box supporting an outreach mission among the poor. The ruling was limited to the small, storefront post office on Main Street operated, under contract with the United States Postal Service, by the Full Gospel Interdenominational Church. …
The Main Street post office in Manchester is a Contract Postal Unit, one of 5,000 mostly small operations around the country in which the postal service contracts with private parties to sell postal products, rent post office boxes and collect mail. There are contract offices in private homes, gas stations, groceries, seminaries and hardware stores. Several are operated by faith-base [sic] organizations, the appellate court said.
What fierce religionists — who want to use government to promote their religion — don’t realize is that religious liberty overall is fostered, rather than hindered, by government remaining neutral, where religion is concerned. They don’t really care about anyone’s religious liberty but their own.
Tags: 2nd circuit court
, apellate court
, contract postal unit
, contract postal units
, full gospel interdenominational church
, manchester CT
, post office
, religious materials
, Separation of church and state
, supreme court
, united states postal service
, us post office
, us supreme court
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Religiofascism … particularly Christian religiofascism, or Christofascism … is alive and well in the Lone Star state. The Texas Board of Education recently reviewed curriculum guidelines, with an eye toward turning public school social-studies classrooms into proselytization venues. The New York Times Magazine provides a lengthy explanation of the process and what lay behind it: (WebCite cached article):
Following the appeals from the public, the members of what is the most influential state board of education in the country, and one of the most politically conservative, submitted their own proposed changes to the new social-studies curriculum guidelines, whose adoption was the subject of all the attention — guidelines that will affect students around the country, from kindergarten to 12th grade, for the next 10 years. Gail Lowe — who publishes a twice-a-week newspaper when she is not grappling with divisive education issues — is the official chairwoman, but the meeting was dominated by another member. Don McLeroy, a small, vigorous man with a shiny pate and bristling mustache, proposed amendment after amendment on social issues to the document that teams of professional educators had drawn up over 12 months, in what would have to be described as a single-handed display of archconservative political strong-arming. …
The cultural roots of the Texas showdown may be said to date to the late 1980s, when, in the wake of his failed presidential effort, the Rev. Pat Robertson founded the Christian Coalition partly on the logic that conservative Christians should focus their energies at the grass-roots level. One strategy was to put candidates forward for state and local school-board elections — Robertson’s protégé, Ralph Reed, once said, “I would rather have a thousand school-board members than one president and no school-board members” — and Texas was a beachhead. Since the election of two Christian conservatives in 2006, there are now seven on the Texas state board who are quite open about the fact that they vote in concert to advance a Christian agenda. “They do vote as a bloc,” Pat Hardy, a board member who considers herself a conservative Republican but who stands apart from the Christian faction, told me. “They work consciously to pull one more vote in with them on an issue so they’ll have a majority.” …
These folks quite frankly admit their agenda, which is to fashion a specifically Christian government, some time in the future, by turning today’s children into tomorrow’s militant political soldiers for Jesus:
The Christian “truth” about America’s founding has long been taught in Christian schools, but not beyond. Recently, however — perhaps out of ire at what they see as an aggressive, secular, liberal agenda in Washington and perhaps also because they sense an opening in the battle, a sudden weakness in the lines of the secularists — some activists decided that the time was right to try to reshape the history that children in public schools study. Succeeding at this would help them toward their ultimate goal of reshaping American society. As Cynthia Dunbar, another Christian activist on the Texas board, put it, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”
A lot of their reasoning is predicated on faulty logic, of course:
For McLeroy, separation of church and state is a myth perpetrated by secular liberals. “There are two basic facts about man,” he said. “He was created in the image of God, and he is fallen. You can’t appreciate the founding of our country without realizing that the founders understood that. For our kids to not know our history, that could kill a society. That’s why to me this is a huge thing.”
It’s also “a huge thing” to me, too. The truth about the Founders is that they did, in fact, want religion and state to be severed from one another. The author of the First Amendment, James Madison, said so, rather clearly and unambiguously. Don’t just take my word for that … read it for yourself, from his own pen (WebCite cached version).
The Christofascists’ reasoning is also based on more than a little paranoia and conspiratorial thinking:
The idea behind standing up to experts is that the scientific establishment has been withholding information from the public that would show flaws in the theory of evolution and that it is guilty of what McLeroy called an “intentional neglect of other scientific possibilities.” Similarly, the Christian bloc’s notion this year to bring Christianity into the coverage of American history is not, from their perspective, revisionism but rather an uncovering of truths that have been suppressed. “I don’t know that what we’re doing is redefining the role of religion in America,” says Gail Lowe, who became chairwoman of the board after McLeroy was ousted and who is one of the seven conservative Christians. “Many of us recognize that Judeo-Christian principles were the basis of our country and that many of our founding documents had a basis in Scripture. As we try to promote a better understanding of the Constitution, federalism, the separation of the branches of government, the basic rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, I think it will become evident to students that the founders had a religious motivation.”
There is much more to this New York Times Magazine article, which includes tracking out the history of the notion of “separation of church and state.” Sadly, the article leaves out the contribution of Roger Williams, Baptist minister and founder of the Rhode Island colony, which was established with religious freedom as its core. The Founding Fathers a century after him, certainly knew about him and had been influenced by his ideas. The Times adopts and relays the inaccurate claim that the phrase “separation of church and state” originated in Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter to the Danbury Baptists. The truth is that Williams had come up with the phrase over a century before Jefferson. One can debate whether or not Jefferson knew about it particular, but there’s no doubt he knew about Williams’s ideas and career.
In spite of this and other flaws, though, I invite you all to read the Times Magazine article in full. It does accurately relate the duplicity, dishonesty, and the subtle manipulation of the Christofascists in Texas who are trying to raise a new generation of soldiers for Jesus who will — they hope — establish a new Christian theocracy in the United States.
P.S. I contributed an article to Freethoughtpedia some time ago, which goes over the pros and cons of the issue of whether or not the U.S. was founded as “a Christian nation.” Please have a look.
Hat tip: Skeptics & Heretics forum on Delphi Forums.
Update: Religion Dispatches explores in greater detail the relationship between this particular movement and the larger national “intelligent design” movement.
Tags: austin TX
, christian coalition
, christian fundamentalism
, christian fundamentalists
, christian reconstruction
, christian reconstructionism
, christian reconstructionist
, christian right
, don mcleroy
, heritage foundation
, intelligent design
, moral majority
, public schools
, religious right
, social studies
, texas schools
3 Comments »
At the northern end of Los Angeles county (in California), well away from the urban center of that sprawling metropolis, lies the city of Lancaster. As one would expect, it’s not as cosmopolitan as the enormous city to its south. It is, however, a growing region, despite its somewhat remote location. So it’s odd that its elected officials would start carrying the standard of Christianity and try to force it on everyone — and vilify Islam at the same time. The (Los Angeles) Daily News reports on this controversy (WebCite cached article):
Lancaster officials became embroiled in religious controversy this week after the mayor spoke of trying to make the Antelope Valley city a “Christian community” and a councilwoman wrote on Facebook that beheadings are what Muslims “are all about.”
Mayor R. Rex Parris made his comments Tuesday in his State of the City speech as he urged Lancaster voters to approve a municipal ballot measure that would allow prayers – even those invoking a specific deity, such as Jesus – at city meetings.
“We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that,” Parris said to an audience of about 160 people, mostly pastors and their spouses, the Antelope Valley Press reported.
Parris is — as one would expect from the “no-compromise” position laid out in these remarks — not backing down from this statement:
Parris said Friday he was surprised by the objections of non-Christians and secular-government advocates, and said his remarks had been taken out of context.
Note, the “out of context” whine is the religionists’ reflexive objection whenever they’re caught making an incendiary statement. In this case, context is irrelevant; his remarks were absolute, as embodied in “don’t let anybody shy away from that.” Isn’t it interesting how he expressed a “no-holds-barred” view to a group of pastors and their wives, but later is sniveling and trying to back away from them? Hmm.
Anyway, those remarks came in the wake of another comment that was just as incendiary:
Days before Parris’ remarks, Lancaster City Councilwoman Sherry Marquez used her Facebook page to comment on the trial of a Muslim man accused of beheading his wife in Orchard Park, N.Y.
“This is what the Muslim religion is all about – the beheadings, honor killings are just the beginning of what is to come in the USA,” Marquez wrote Jan. 23. “We are told this is a small majority of Muslim’s (sic) in America, but it is truly what they are all about. You disrespect/dishonor them or their religion and you should die (they don’t even blink at killing their own wives/daughters, because they are justified by their religion).”
How nice. I guess Ms Marquez forgot about the latest example of Christians killing people in the name of their religion; i.e. Scott Roeder, who was just convicted of assassinating Dr George Tiller in Wichita KS? Yes, Ms Marquez … and all other Christian religionists out there who would have us believe that Christians never engage in violence in the name of their religion … Christians can be terrorists, too. OK?
Clearly the folks in charge of Lancaster, CA are veering in the direction of theocracy. While their religionism might make them feel entitled to do this, the truth is that the US … and all of its states, counties, and municipalities like Lancaster … are secular governments. And this is the case for good reason. If you wish to understand why , read all about it from the pen of the man who wrote the First Amendment and thus helped ensure it was so (cached article).
Tags: antelope valley
, honor killing
, lancaster CA
, los angeles county
, r rex parris
, rex parris
, Separation of church and state
, sherry marquez
1 Comment »
The linkage of Christianity and the military is age-old. It’s been repeatedly shown that fundamentalist Christians in the US are more likely than others to approve of war (WebCite cached article), and even things like torture of prisoners (WebCite cached article). The confluence of Christianity and warfare has even merged in the US military in a strange way, as recently revealed by ABC News (WebCite cached article):
U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.
The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.
This is problematic, because it violates Pentagon directives:
U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious “Crusade” in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.
Several different Bible passages are included on the sights:
One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as “the light of the world.” John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Despite this being against Pentagon rules, the company does not deny they’ve been doing it:
Trijicon confirmed to ABCNews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions “have always been there” and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them.
The company dismisses complaints about their practices because — they say — the complaints come from non-Christians:
Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian.”
I guess that means they get to break any rules they want and then refuse to listen to non-Christians who object, merely because they aren’t Christians. The company is overtly Christian and militantly so, as ABC News goes on to explain (WebCite cached article):
The company’s vision is described on its Web site: “Guided by our values, we endeavor to have our products used wherever precision aiming solutions are required to protect individual freedom.”
“We believe that America is great when its people are good,” says the Web site. “This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals.”
I guess that makes it OK. They believe it, therefore it’s true … even if it’s not. Typical theist rubbish-thinking, confusing metaphysical beliefs and subjective value judgements with objective, verifiable fact.
Critics have objected to this as a violation of separation of church and state. This may or may not be the case — and even if it is, militant Christians of this sort are not about to admit that church and state even ought to be separated. What’s more salient for them to know, is that this sort of militancy contradicts Christianity itself … specifically the words of their religion’s own founder. Consider what the gospels have to say, about the time when Jesus was being arrested:
And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (Mt 26:51-52)
Militant Christians such as those who run Trijicon are not actually behaving like Christians, when they make weapons this way. They are, instead, warmongers who like violence … and in order to rationalize their love of war, they latch onto a warlike (albeit invalid) version of Christianity, then posture themselves as upright and pious and merely “doing the Lord’s duty.” In other words … they’re full of shit. And they know it.
In the end, they are merely bloodthirsty rogues who who have no idea what Jesus actually said, nor are they even interested, except perhaps in twisting his words to support their own militant, defiant, warlike hyperreligiosity.
Tags: bible codes
, bible passages
, christian right
, militant christianity
, militant christians
, religious right
, scripture passages
, us military
1 Comment »
Or should I call this the Twelfth Post of Christmas 2009?
Well, it’s official. The “war on Christmas” is over, at least for 2009. We have no less an authority on this than Jan Brewer, Republican governor of Arizona. As reported by the Phoenix New Times:
Governor Brewer Puts the “Christmas” Back in “Christmas Tree,” and Makes it Official: Christmas Celebrates the Birth of Jesus
Governor Jan Brewer made it official today: Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Hanukkah is an eight-day festival of lights, and state employees can celebrate either holiday as they see fit.
Brewer signed Executive Order 2009-11 today, which puts the “Christmas” back in “Christmas tree” for state employees after it was renamed a “holiday tree” by former [Democratic] Governor Janet “the Grinch” Napolitano — sending right-wing bloggers into an anti-gay tirade last year.
As written, Ms Brewer’s executive order makes it sound as if the very existence of the United States utterly depends upon Christmas:
WHEREAS, the spirit of good will which has been found each December has been at the heart of our ability to live as one people despite differing faiths and backgrounds;
Honestly, Governor, I’d had no idea Christmas was so important. You’ve certainly set me straight! It’s the solemn duty of every red-blooded American — of whatever religion, or of none — to worship Christmas! Thanks for that clarification.
OK, enough of the sarcasm. Immediately after this “Christmas-is-our-patriotic-duty” implication, Ms Brewer goes on to completely misrepresent the facts:
WHEREAS, the Constitution does not permit the government to tolerate or engage in hostility toward religion, and the United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the public celebration of religious holidays, and the acknowledgment of religious origins, does not offend the Constitution;
That isn’t at all what the Supreme Court has said … as, for example, when SCOTUS ruled against Ten Commandments monuments in e.g. McCreary Cty v. ACLU of KY. Brewer is overstating her case here. Then she says:
WHEREAS, state and local officials in Arizona (and elsewhere) in the past have attempted to strip both Christmas and Hanukkah of their meaning, including establishment of policies forbidding state employees from placing religious items of celebration at their desks, re-naming of Christmas trees as “holiday” trees, and renaming of Menorahs as “candlesticks;”
Excuse me, but there is no way that either Christmas or Hanukkah can ever be “stripped of their meaning.” Renaming things in no way diminishes their metaphysical nature or their function within Christianity or Judaism. Names are, after all, just names. What something is named, in no way alters its spiritual nature, whatever that might be.
Both of these misrepresentations are enough to place Gov Brewer in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.
At any rate, I’m glad to see that Brewer declared victory for the Religious Right in the ongoing “war on Christmas” trope. Maybe it will put an end to this fake, staged dispute.
, christian right
, jan brewer
, liars for jesus
, lying liars for jesus
, merry christmas
, religious right
, supreme court
, war on christmas
, war on christmas 2009
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If you haven’t already figured it out by now, the Religious Right has gone insane. Completely, totally, and utterly insane. They were driven to this state by sheer frustration at having been voted out of control of Congress (in 2006 with further losses in 2008) and the White House (in 2008). They’re so insanely angry that they no longer even understand what they’re saying or doing. An example of their crazy outrage can be seen in their comparison of healthcare reform with Herod’s massacre of the innocents, as reported by Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches:
It’s no secret that the religious right is opposed to health care reform (a.k.a. “death panels,” “government takeover,” or “Obamacare”) but as the Senate races to the winter recess with its bill that’s controversial even to progressives, the religious right is using new Christmas-themed rhetoric to rally the base to oppose it. …
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference whom Sojourners’ Jim Wallis has labeled “one of the most hopeful young Christian leaders of our time,” led the charge for this narrative in last night’s “prayercast” co-sponsored by the Family Research Council and The Call. (For more on The Call and its leader Lou Engle, see my account of its spiritual warfare movement in opposition to gay marriage from last year.) Other participants on the prayercast included FRC’s Tony Perkins, Republican Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas, Reps. Todd Akin (R-MO), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Randy Forbes (R-VA), and Mike McIntyre (D-NC); as well as Shirley and James Dobson; Bishop Harry Jackson, who recently led an unsuccessful crusade against gay marriage in the District of Columbia; and Pastor Jim Garlow, a leading proponent of California’s Proposition 8 who claimed last night the health care bill violates the Ten Commandments. …
In the prayercast, Rodriguez prayed:
Heavenly father, righteous God, in this season as we celebrate birth of our savior, the one who came to give us life, everlasting life abundant, we come in His name to intercede for that very gift of life. Father, the same spirit of Herod who 2000 years ago attempted to exterminate the life of the Messiah today lives even America. …
Get it? If you’re pro-choice, you’re like Herod, trying to wipe out an army of anointed ones, a battalion of Esthers — you’re a co-conspirator on a massive death panel for Christianity.
I hardly know what to say about this, except that it doesn’t surprise me. The Religious Right has been flirting with collective psychopathology almost since its inception. They have existed in a virtual state of denial about reality, for decades now. It only stands to reason that their electoral collapse, which began some 3 years ago now, has driven them over the cliff of emotion, and into the abyss of raging, sanctimonious, paranoid insanity.
As far as I’m concerned, they no longer can be reasoned with. There is no amount of rationality that can reach people who think this way. The Religious Right must be written off as collectively mentally ill and beyond redemption. We have no other choice … because we just cannot allow people this insane to be running our country. It just can’t be permitted any longer.
, christian right
, family research council
, harry jackson
, healthcare reform
, james dobson
, jim demint
, jim garlow
, king herod
, massacre of the innocents
, michele bachmann
, mike mcintyre
, national hispanic christian leadership conference
, randy forbes
, religious right
, right wing
, sam brownback
, samuel rodruiguez
, stupak amendment
, the call
, todd akin
, tony perkins
, trent franks
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