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SueInCa On December - 20 - 2009

Thirty-four years ago Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission met in Colorado to share with each other a vision they had simultaneously experienced. They talked about their shared belief that God had simultaneously given each of them a message to give to the other. That message was that if they were to make an impact in any nation for Christ, then they would have to conquer the seven spheres, or mountains of culture that represent the foundation of any society.  The significance of this meeting and the revelation that Francis Schaeffer had also had this vision? It was the birth of the 7 Mountains of Culture or The Dominion Process and eventually all three would work together in some capacity to further this vision.

The 7 Mountains of Culture or Spheres are Business, Government, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Education, Family and Religion.  There are, however, many subgroups under these main categories. Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham apparently believed, as did Francis Schaeffer that as a result of these supposed visions, they were being anointed as God’s Chosen Generals or Prophets on the same level as Elijah. In short, they believed God was telling these three change agents where the battlefield of the future was going to be and it was here where culture would be won or lost. Their assignment was to raise up change agents to scale the mountains and to help a new generation of change agents understand the larger story. So, together they started the 7 Mountains movement or “The Dominion Process” as they refer to the actual process of fulfillment. However these are not your everyday normal Christians and their beliefs and practices are a bit on the scary side to say the least.

Their plan is far from simple. They have placed their agents in what they hope is a position to assume control in the 7 Mountains of our society and around the world. They have leaders in every facet of the 7 Mountains that are trained to bring in people for their particular discipline. People like Sarah Palin and Chuck Colson of Watergate fame are involved in this movement. There are some that claim they have ties to The Family.  It is clear they are using the same thought process as the Family to insert themselves in issues around the globe.

One of the leaders of this movement gave this reasoning for controlling the 7 Mountains, “If the world is to be won, these are the (7) Mountains that mold the culture and the minds of men. Whoever controls these mountains, controls the direction of the world and the harvest therein” – Lance Wallnau

How they advise their “Change Agents” to portray themselves is creepy, dishonest and scary all at the same time. It is detailed in the “Government” tab on their website, Reclaiming the 7 Mountains:

“The goal is not just to have Christians in high places, but rather to have Christians who are called to be in high places step into that role. And wearing a “Christian” label on our sleeve isn’t the point. We need to learn to be “as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition. Political righteousness isn’t determined by whether someone calls himself a Christian or not anyway. That’s established by whether the political values they are prepared to defend or establish are actually righteous.” – Johnny Enlow, Daystar Church, Atlanta Georgia

Where else have they infiltrated? The Family is in the same business, so there is no telling just how much influence they have worldwide. Some religious leaders claim the 7 Mountains “change agents” held influence in Uganda’s recent anti-homosexuality legislation. They make no secret of the fact they were on the opposing side of Proposition 8 in California. Below are websites that provide further reading on this subject, as well as the Family. (Uganda link provided below)

Why should we be concerned? While we all know the religious right has plans for this nation, this offshoot seems more sinister.  Focus on the Family, The Heritage Foundation and The Family Research Council are pretty upfront with their agenda, this group seems to want to fly under the radar.  What I have read so far tells me that they intend to try to force their twisted interpretations of the scripture into all facets of our everyday life. How far have they succeeded? I can only guess at this point, but I do know they have people all over this country and many other countries around the world that are currently espousing their beliefs. The fact that Sarah Palin was perhaps 7 million votes away from being in a position to implement their plan at the highest level in this nation is enough to scare the pants off most liberals and independents. I know it does me.

http://www.christianpost.com/blogs/opinion/tag/uganda/

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/9/5/114652/6239

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/sarah-palin-linked-to-spi_b_132819.html

Categories: Featured, News & Politics

Written by SueInCa

I am a soon to be 59 Nana to Anthony who is 11. I live in Benicia CA with my husband and Shih Tsu. I worked in Banking and the Financial Industry for 24 years in Fraud, Risk Management, Account Management, Program Management, Project Management and Customer Service. I was a Fraud Investigator for Credit Card and Merchant Business and investigated internal fraud and responded to Bank robberies. I was also management in most of these positions. Now I am content to find a part time job where I am just a worker bee, no more corporate BS for this gal. I also make jewelry. I can spend hours in a bead shop just touching all the fine baubles. Only another beader would understand that one.

104 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Sue, and who is this man called Robert P. George? I never heard of him and was surprised at his influence when I read this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/magazine/20george-t.html?em

    From the story: “When George W. Bush became president in 2001, George was an active player in weekly White House conference calls for Catholic allies. Bush later awarded George a Presidential Citizens Medal. During the 2008 campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain each sought George

    • SueInCa says:

      He is also founder and chairman of National Organization for Marriage, the people for Carrie Prejean and denouncing gay marriage. They were prob proponents of prop 8 as well

    • SueInCa says:

      Here is what I found out about the council, now being dismantled by Obama…………………

      Critics such as Elizabeth Blackburn, who was fired from the Commission, accused it of being set up to justify President Bush’s positions on stem cell research and abortion, and his alleged distortions of science.

      He served 7 years on a council that normally is only a 2 year term.
      2002 to 2009 as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics

      And here is a partial tie back to the 7 mountains(Charles “Watergate -- convicted criminal” Colson)
      George, a Catholic, has influenced Protestant and Jewish scholars and religious leaders, as well as Catholics. Under the auspices of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, he has worked closely with such figures as the late Father Richard John Neuhaus and Rabbi David Novak, whose 2009 book In Defense of Religious Liberty is dedicated to George. His natural law arguments for traditional moral principles have frequently been invoked by evangelical Christian figures such as James Dobson and Charles Colson.

      In November 2009, George signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.[10

      • bitohistory says:

        Thanks Sue,I guess he has been around and in the public, he flew well under my radar until I read that article I posted.

        Did a search on the oganiztion on source watch and oddly the name of Sen. Ben Nelson is there. 😉

        • SueInCa says:

          I am not surprised. This whole evangelical group which is considered “the third wave” of pentecostal religion are the supernatural people. I swear I kid you not. Once church, Bethel Church, in Redding Ca has a school called “Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry” There are variations of the movement all over but the same names keep popping up as in my research on the 7 Mountains. They want people to believe they can do supernatural things in relation to their worship of god.

    • bitohistory says:

      C’Lady, Are you familiar with Robert P. George? Seems to be the brains behind the bishops.

  2. Emerald1943 says:

    Good morning, all you beautiful PlanetPeople! I trust everyone had a good weekend!

    Sue, I have been a fan of yours for quite some time over on that “other” site. Thanks so much for this article. It is a subject that should be exposed in a very bright light.

    One other point that I believe warrants mentioning…we have a number of these “Family” people in Congress. Coburn, Inhofe, Stupak, and others sit in the chambers of Congress and are responsible for making our laws. I personally have a big problem with this. These men take it upon themselves to travel overseas to “work” with world leaders, side-stepping our State Department and official foreign policy, something I believe is counter-productive. They are promoting their personal agendas, not the policies of the American President. This, IMHO, borders on outright treason!

    I have not yet read Jeff Sharlett’s book “The Family” but plan to download it to my Kindle if it’s available. I do hope that we can keep these people under the microscope. “Dangerous” is an under-statement! Thanks again for posting on this important subject!

    • SueInCa says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I too have been a fan of yours for awhile now. I, too, am concerned about those in congress and I now look at Huckabee in a new light. I know he is a baptist minister but his demeanor fits right in to their mold and he did run in the primaries last year. I wonder if he had won if Palin would have arrived on the scene?

  3. boomer1949 says:

    Thank you Sue. My daughter’s friend became very involved in Campus Crusade while in college; she had a significant change in personality and behavior.

    She believed her “job” was to reach as many people as she could, including close friends and relatives. To that end, she was always asking for donations so she could pay her rent, buy food, pay the light bill; all so she could continue her “ministry.”

    For her work-study student friends, this was an enormous pill to swallow since they were actually working and going to school. I wish I had $100 for each time one of them said they thought she had gone off the deep end and joined a cult.

    • SueInCa says:

      Ny brother did years ago at UCDavis. He was going to destroy his Beatle albums and all other “sinful” music one night after a particular church service. I saved those albums and when he came to his senses a few years later, he wanted them back. Since I was the guardian of what would later be keepsakes(LOL) I told him no. Without my intervention they would have been smashed. I got in to the rebellious religion thing probably about the 9th grade. Of course I was questioning alot of things in those years, starting about 1966.

  4. Scheherazade says:

    Thank you, Sue. This is very informative. It’s also quite sobering.

  5. whatsthatsound says:

    I like the expression, “God doesn’t have any grandchildren”. It can be interpreted in other ways, of course, but for me it means that unless people have gone through some period of intense questioning and challenging of the faith they were brought up in, and at some point come out on the other side of that with a personal spiritual outlook, I’m not sure they can even be said to be “religious” (or at least spiritual). They are just indoctrinated. They will follow orders, top down, hierarchical. They will have cognitive dissonance as regards professing to be devout followers of Christ or Allah while holding disdainful views of others and wishing them ill.

    • SueInCa says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Many of us were, as you say, indoctrinated at an early age. The rule in my family was one church service a week until 18. I started to question very early so you can imagine my rebellion on this rule. At 18, I stopped going altogether and not until recent years have I come to grip and understand you can be spiritual without being religious to a fault.

      • zizyphus says:

        Sometimes I think spiritual and religious are mutually exclusive terms, Sue.

        The holy people I know aren’t spending any time in churches.

        Churches are the fossilized remains of genuine spiritual experiences that someone once had. Like all institutions, they become corrupted over time.

        I can look out and see that every single one of our institutions has become so hopelessly corrupted by greed, that change is no longer possible without first the total collapse of the system, which the endemic corruption is, in all likelihood, going to bring about.

        Our entire American dream has devolved into a fantasy based on unsustainable oil consumption. We can’t change the world, except our own little corner of it. That part, we can strive to make as good as we can. No longer citizens, but only consumers, let us wield power by the way we spend, or don’t spend, our cash. Buy local.

        • SueInCa says:

          My problem is I went totally the other way. I recently read a book, Why The Religious Right is Wrong which really helped me. It is hard to separate the bad in things from the good sometimes and that book helped me. It also steered me to the UCC and I have found attending services there to be quite fulfilling.

  6. AdLib says:

    Wonderful article Sue!!!

    I think the built in obstacle for these stealth Christians is that the extremist base won’t “get” what they’re doing and reject them for not being extreme enough.

    We can think back to Pat Buchanan’s presidential run and his declaration of the Culture Wars though we can go back to Newt and even Back to Reagan to see it going on then too.

    It is an eternal war, between those who want what is in essence an America that is a theocracy and those corporations who want to maintain the current plutocracy and the majority who want a return to a true democracy.

    Questinia nailed it (again), one of their fatal flaws is that they can’t control science, they can try to repress it as Bush & Co. did but it can’t be held down for long.

    And another area is the arts. Okay, they’ve got Christian Rock and Chuck Norris but creativity is necessarily something where the open mind succeeds best. Being an extremist in a religion makes one self censor creativity and disconnect from relating to others who don’t share their beliefs. Thus, a disconnect from the sensibilities of the public at large.

    Plus, the most talented artists and creative people have free and “liberal” minds, it’s not accidental that those in the arts are mostly liberal.

    However, just to be clear, many have sincere religious and spiritual beliefs, they are not mutually exclusive. Being a narrow-minded extremist though is typically mutually exclusive with being open to good and broadly attractive creative work.

    • Khirad says:

      Totally, they’ve got their dog-whistles, but this level of subterfuge is way over their heads.

      Christian Rock… *giggles uncontrollably*

      That and Chuck Norris reminds me:

  7. PepeLepew says:

    You know one thing I’ve personally experienced is that there is definitely a fundamentalist push (conspiracy? Whatever) to try and take over local school boards.

    Here’s what we went through. A few years ago, some school district in Montana, in a really weird town called Darby, started teaching Creationism. Some extremely brave local parents sued, took an incredible amount of abuse for their trouble (Including threatening phone calls in the middle of the night and crucifixes mysteriously appearing in their yards overnight) and, eventually, the Montana Supreme Court a few years ago declared that teaching Creationism is unconstitutional.

    Here, locally, these Christo-fascists ran some of their candidates and got them elected, and while they weren’t *quite* so bold as to try and ram Creationism through the school curriculums), they tried very, very, *very* hard to insert language into the science curriculum that evolution is *just* a theory with many doubts about its validity and should be taught as such. It took some very ugly, stressful battles that I enthusiastically got in the middle of, but the good guys won by a narrow 5-4 vote. Later, one of those Christo-fascists was voted off the board because he opposed a teacher in high school showing a movie called, “The Story of Stuff.” The school board’s ban on this movie caused a huge backlash in our community and local art house theatres and the local library have shown it over and over and now many, many more people know much more about this movie than ever would’ve otherwise. The Christo-fascists’ tactics totally backfired, at least here. But, other communities probably aren’t so lucky.

    The other reaction I had is that I recently had a fight with an old friend of mine. He wasn’t a particularly close friend; he was someone I worked with for two or three years in the early 90s, and I knew he was very, very religious, but I always thought he was a cool guy.

    Well, it appeared to me his religion had taken a darker (and more fundamentalist) turn since then. He was one of my Facebook friends and he was constantly quoting Scripture on his wall. He quoted some religious writer’s quote about Jesus that I particularly liked. It was something to the effect about how Jesus preached compassion for the poor and unfortunate and how many people twisted his words. I responded how I liked that quote and I got a long, and (I felt) very condescending and patronizing speech from him about what did I know about Jesus since I wasn’t a practising Christian and had turned my back on the church and Jesus loved me even if I didn’t love him, etc. He accused me of hating Christians, which is ridiculous since my best friend is an Episcopal deacon. She is able to accept that I am a non-believer, and she has told me I am a good Christian even though I am a non-believer.

    Anyway, this was all on public on Facebook, for all of his friends to read. Sure enough, some of his Christo-fascist friends chimed in as well to lecture me about my “relationship with Christ” and I was forced to “unfriend him.” I was so offended. This person has no idea what I went through as a 12-, 13-, 14-year-old with Catholicism and I felt he had no right to lecture me … in public … on Facebook about such personal things. It just seemed like his fundamentalism had soured him…

    • Khirad says:

      Where I grew up it was the Mormons. And they were very good at it. I went to a really uptight High School. I’m damn jealous of other people’s cooler experiences.

      That’s really cool about you best friend. I’ve been thinking about hanging out with a Bible school teacher, and kinda get weird, ’cause he admits having battled with his faith, and I keep my mouth shut because I sort of think it gets him through his day.

      Also, that’s why I was getting really ticked off with HP’s Facebook crap. I honestly don’t want some of my Facebook “friends” to know what a flaming pinko heathen I am.

      • PepeLepew says:

        What’s interesting about being an Episcopal deacon is that she can travel to any town and show up at the Episcopal church and they have to give her a room and bed to stay. Episcopal churches keep little quarters specifically for visiting deacons. She never has to get hotel or motel rooms.

    • Bernard Marx says:

      That’s an intersting story. Your friend, the Episcopal deacon, sounds nice. But I can’t comprehend the attitudes of the other religious people in this story. For them religion is about controlling others. In this sense, Christopher Hitchens is right to point out that monotheism is totalitarian in nature.

      Why isn’t it enough to have your beliefs and concentrate on simply being a good person?

  8. Bernard Marx says:

    Thanks SueinCa for an interesting article.

    This is the sort of thing that scares me with religion. I don’t like how it’s managing to assert power over humanistic ideals.

    I think religious institutions don’t want to see progressive government because they know it will weaken their own power-base. People who are insecure and vulnerable are more likely to seek refuge in an institution like a church. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people in countries with strong social systems are often the least religious -- Scandinavian countries, for example.

    • choicelady says:

      Cough -- Ummm -- Bernard -- it ain’t true. We have been so overwhelmed by conservative versions of “religion” we don’t recall that it was people of faith who LED most of the US transformational movements from anti-slavery to pro-labor to women’s right to anti-war. Progressive people of faith have used the principles of the Common Good to speak strongly for justice everywhere. Apartheid would not have ended without Desmond Tutu.

      We in the progressive faith movement are well and truly overshadowed by the nastiness and weirdness (admit it -- Palin’s witch hunting minister is WEIRD) who don’t remotely speak for anything like the majority. But wow are they good media! You haven’t a clue how much of what we do is totally ignored by the press and television -- did you know that over 500 interfaith people went to Lieberman’s home to press him to support universal health care? No? Neither did I until someone told me on a conference call. Didn’t show up in MY paper! I can’t get OpEds published because the belief among editors is that speaking out for justice is B-O-R-I-N-G. MUCH more interesting to publish people spewing hate.

      Religion, better describes as spiritual life or faith, is simply NOT the sole province of ONLY small minded people! For members of our denominations (Protestants, NOT fundamentalist or evangelical) those coming together do so for insight, thoughtful discernment and ACTION on major issues of our day, all on the progressive side of the concerns.

      So please don’t tar us all with the same brush. We just are not seen -- doesn’t mean we’re the minority OR that we aren’t here. Look a bit harder, and you’ll find us, marching, working, fighting for the very same things you do.

      We will even share our sandwiches with you. It’s that loaves and fishes thingy…

      • KQuark says:

        So true that’s why I get so frustrated when conservatives claim to co-opt all religions. All religions are not as fanatical as the right wing. They do good works and while it’s not personally my cup of tea if they do good works and leave me alone. The vilification of ALL people of faith is unjustified.

        Unfortunately when people group together is when the group mentality sinks in and some people subjugate their beliefs to someone else or a rigid dogma.

      • Bernard Marx says:

        Sorry, I don’t mean to tarnish you all with the same brush. I need reminding ocassionally that there are good religious people out there doing good things.

        However, I don’t like religion infiltrating government. There’s a reason for the separation of church and state and I don’t want to see religion poisoning politics. There’s no place for it in the politics of such a diverse country.

        • choicelady says:

          Since I work for a very progressive faith organization that actually lobbies -- keep your heart beating -- we come at it from the other way around.

          We urge our members to define what they believe is moral and just -- dollars for essential programs, human rights, abolition of torture, health care for all (we support single payer) -- just as anyone defines their morality, secular or not.

          We NEVER -- NOT EVER -- impose our views ON legislation. We have not only no interest in building a theocracy, we actively work AGAINST it which is why I’m personally on a couple of hit lists, our offices have been broken into, and when W was in office, we had our email hacked. (Long story about how I know that. Another post.)

          Coming from your base of morality, whatever the source, is fine so long as you don’t impose your freaking sectarian views on anyone else. So we speak from a general moral and democratic point of view. It’s just what informs our view, not what we insist you must share.

          From that standpoint, we are 180-degrees different from the Religious Right, and we do stand on our right to participate in this manner. We are devoted to the separation of church and state, but that does not mean we cannot express our views even as they originate in moral theology.

          It’s not tricky to us, but some fear even our involvement, but we know we’ve got the legal separation down, and that we do carry influence along with every other citizen, every other view. That part we believe is fine. So I lobby -- registered and all -- with a completely clean conscience since I am the absolutely last person who’d ever try to get a RELIGIOUS test into law. Hah! No freaking WAY.

          But -- I admit -- it IS fun sometimes to show up in support of things like marriage equality and women’s right to choose with my Ex. Dir. in his clerical collar. Does make for double takes. And we do our best, daily, to piss off the religious right. And we usually succeed.

          Atheists have nothing to worry about from us -- we support any and all views just as long as they are humane, compassionate, and peaceful toward others. Morality does NOT come from God or a church. It comes from within one’s heart, and never mind what you believe. We have no desire to convert since we’re not all that clear what WE believe -- it’s all still a big question. But we do stand for justice. On that, we’re immoveable. And we reach 6.5 million people in CA who think pretty much the same. You just don’t know it.

        • PepeLepew says:

          You hit it.
          My dad was a raging right-wing fanatic, but the one thing he and I would have agreed with is the need for separation of church and state.

          If you read above, my best friend is a very religious deacon … which among Episcopalians is thiiiiiis far away from being a priest, and she is one of the nicest, most giving people I’ve ever known. Her and her father have done a lot of good charitable work in Mexico. I honestly believe that a lot of Episcopalians and Methodists actually “get it,” at least more than a lot of Christian denominations.

          • SueInCa says:

            So does United Church of Christ. A good read from one of their ministers is, Why The Religious Right is Wrong by Dr. Robin Meyers(Meiers?). It is a book I carry with me all the time. B&N has it in paperback and I just ordered a copy.

      • AdLib says:

        Excellent points and very well said!

        Like Bernard and you, I have strong feelings about the conservative and extremist religious entities out there who try to hijack the name of an entire their religion from the many good people who practice it. So, one can understand why we can tend to generalize at times about religion.

        It is important to remind everyone from time to time that these loons don’t speak for all Christians/Jews/Muslims anymore than Bush spoke for all Americans including all of us.

        Because of this aggressive and hostile ongoing assault on our society and democracy by the extremists who trumpet their cultish version of religion, it can seem at times that all organized religions are or have been coming off the tracks.

        Your reminder dispels that generalization.

        Oh, and to add to your list of accomplishments,the civil rights movement championed by a solid segment of the religious community, including the work of the late Rev. Martin Luther King.

        • choicelady says:

          Yikes -- I left that out???? Definitely losing it. Of course -- it’s the quintessential movement. Thanks for the correction. Can’t believe I did that…

  9. kesmarn says:

    This is an area I find fascinating in a grim sort of way, so thanks, SueinCa for doing such valuable research. I’ve had so little time to look into these issues, I have to ask a question. And forgive me if the answer is old news to many here. The question I have involves the fact that I have heard that there’s an element of this evangelical movement that feels it’s important to actually foment conflict and violence in the Middle East (and they form a sort of pseudo-alliance with Israel as a part of their plan) in order to hasten the day of Armageddon and, hence, the Second Coming of Christ. Of course, in their view of things, when Christ does come again, he will then condemn the Jewish people and all other non-Christians of the world! Even those people who’ve been our allies.
    Does anyone else have any information on this? Is there any truth to what I’ve heard?

    • choicelady says:

      You are right. They are known as predispensational Dominionists meaning they have to rid the world of evil (us) in order to bring their own Dominion over the world so Christ will return. Mind you -- it’s nowhere in the Bible, but hey. They also have some that say there’s a code in the Bible that says the Beatitudes (love thy neighbor, etc.) no longer apply, so they’re free to eradicate Muslims, secularists, gays and lesbians, pro-choice people, on and on and on. If you look up James Hagee (who endorsed McCain until there was such an uproar McCain rejected the endorsement) you will get an eyeful. Look up Second Coming, End Times, or anything of that ilk, and you will get even more.

      They are NOT Christians in anything like the meaning of the term. They embrace Old Testament rules (you know -- selling your daughters into slavery) but Jesus so they can claim that acceptance means they’re going to heaven. They believe in the Rapture -- the saved or elect will be swept immediately into heaven (hope they leave their wallets) followed by 7 years of Tribulation. In Tribulation the full scale battle of good and evil will occur, and if you missed the Rapture, you can redeem yourself and go later. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will return.

      Now as a prefix to all of this there are prophecies to fulfill one of which is rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. Thus these lovely pseudo-Christians have a branch that have become huge Zionists not because they love Jews -- they loathe them -- but because it’s very essential to have a toe in Israel and thus a toehold on that Temple. Christian Zionists are part of the Bush-Cheney-Xe Corporation people who started the wars in Iraq just to do away with all Muslims. Mr. Prince SAID so. He’s one of them.

      Are your eyes crossing yet? I will leave the rest to a good Google search. Are they dangerous??? To quote one of them -- you betcha.

      Don’t brush them off. For 8 years they ran the world. Tom Delay is one, all of the Family, for their very thin theology, support the notion. They are hugely dangerous and can’t be let near “The Button” or anything else that matters.

      And the mainstream Christian world IS NOT PART OF THIS. They hate US too. At least I’m in very good company.

      Hope this helps. You are correct. I’m sorry that’s true.

      • kesmarn says:

        choicelady, as always, a wonderfully lucid explanation of the outlook and plans of these American Taliban-wannabes. It’s easy to tell from your other posts that you are anything BUT a fear-oriented or paranoid person; so when you tell us that you’re worried about these people, I’m inclined to take the situation very seriously indeed. I have two nieces (and their families) who are into this “religion” and I can feel them pulling away from the rest of the family. They were assimilated into the Borg (as I see it) about 8 years ago. Initially they rather patronizingly tried to show the rest of us “the light.” But when those of us with functioning brains resisted assimilation over the years, we started to sense an increasingly cool attitude from them. Now their approach is wary and alienated…the way one would behave if one expected to confront “evil” but still had to find a way to be civil. It’s so sad. We had been close to them in their early lives, and I feel as though they’ve been “alien-abducted.” Sigh. They would scoff at the notion of a damned-to-hell Catholic (and, yes, there are progressive Catholics out here, too, who don’t buy in to everything that comes forth from Rome, but still love the core beliefs and tradition!) praying for THEM! But we do. I think they’re on a path to a very sinister belief-system, and they don’t seem to “get” the bigger implications.

        • choicelady says:

          kesmarn -- I’m so sorry this is happening to your family members! I find this not only terribly scary but very sad. What the lure is absolutely escapes me!

          Year ago I had a Jewish (secular Jew) professor whose kids “went over” -- started believing in the Rapture and all. This was after the “I found it” movement started in the 70s. It swept up a lot of kids. I hope most of them moved on, but you never know.

          I don’t know how many of you remember the “I found it” movement, but it featured bold black letters on a yellow background for bumper stickers. The whole slogan was “I found it -- Jesus Christ is my savior” or something like that.

          One day I saw one with a Star of David that said “We never lost it.” LOVED it! Great comeback.

          But ONLY in Los Angeles would you have seen the next one I spotted, same colors, same graphics, that said,
          “I AM it.”

          Yup. Only in LA.

          • kesmarn says:

            LOL! I still remember years ago that Shirley McLaine TV “special” with the “uplifting” ending of Shirley standing, arms outstretched on a California beach, shouting: “I am God! I am God!”

            I thought to myself: “Hey, good luck with that, Shirl. Me? Personally? That’s a job description I wouldn’t want to take on.”

            P.S. c’lady, on re-reading my post, I realized that I needed to clarify that I had no intention of implying that you had ever been dismissive of Catholics or Catholicism. You certainly haven’t. It’s just that there’s been a lot of negative attention to the RC church lately--some of it very richly deserved--and I wanted to assure people that we’re not all creeps, and there are a gazillion of us who are all for birth control, condoms in areas of Africa where AIDS is prevalent, ordination of women and lots of other stuff that might piss off the Pope. We just don’t get a lotta press. Like the 500 Christians who demonstrated outside Joe Lieberman’s house!

  10. Questinia says:

    Ha! What idiots. They forgot one “Mountain of Influence” that they should be most concerned about…. Science: The discipline which, I believe, will have the best shot at silencing this brand of “spirituality”.

    • Bernard Marx says:

      Agreed, but they seem to do a pretty good job of making people question science -- climate change, evolution etc.

      • Questinia says:

        But not the scientists. Science will march on.

        This would be the difference between us and what happened to the Islamic nations of about 800 years ago or so, when science and math were squashed.

        • choicelady says:

          Not sure whom you mean here -- it was the Islamic world that SAVED math and science all during the Dark Ages of Europe. With the c.1483 (I think that’s the date) fall of Constantinople that had welcomed scholars from all parts of the world irrespective of faith, the learning that had been protected but isolated in Constantinople, the scholars scattered, and the breadth of knowledge re-emerged in Europe and the Mid East once again. the Renaissance would never have occurred without the protection the Islamic scholars gave to Greek, Roman, Egyptian and some Celtic learning. The Mulsims did not supress it. They saved it; ALL of it.

          • kesmarn says:

            C’lady, this is what our prof taught, also, in the Islamic Civ course I took back in college. Much of the learning of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt would have been lost were it not for the Muslims’ guardianship of that knowledge. This is a culture with a huge respect for learning.

          • Questinia says:

            To choicelady:

            What you seem to be saying is they valued and preserved it for others.

            My understanding is that after the efflorescence of mathematics and astronomy around 1000 year ago, the Arab world abandoned science for religion. They ceased to be interested in observing the natural world around them, instead turning their eyes to the strictly spiritual. Otherwise, what ever became of their scientific thinking?

            • choicelady says:

              That is not what, as a trained historian (you MAY try this at home), I know of Islam and the Arab world. They did not abandon science for religion but did both. Religious identity re-kindled thanks, yes, to the Crusades -- wouldn’t you? Nothing like getting gutted by crusaders to toughen your identity. But their scholars were highly valued, and they absolutely revered all learning, especially science and math as well as philosophy. They were our intellectual caretakers when Europe was in massive disarray and ignorance. They continued to add to our pool of knowledge until the 19th and 20th C. when the West made them subordinate colonies of European nations. Now they’re just trying to build national movements. But many Islamic people are among some of the world’s intellectual leaders today.

            • Questinia says:

              There seem to be a number of reasons given for what has been seen as a true decline in science in the Islamic world. One of them is the Crusades, but it is much more complex than that; others include internal identity disintegration from vying religious groups and orthodoxies. Religion is not to be discounted, it was a potent force. One only has to see a historical time line to see the drop off. The scientists may have been revered, but they must not have been supported in some seminal way.

          • Bernard Marx says:

            And during the crusades Christians destroyed a lot of books and libraries causing a lot of knowledge to be lost -- especially in Al Maghreb (north west Africa and Southern Europe)

            • Kalima says:

              Still we chose to believe what we believe, so what?

            • Bernard Marx says:

              huh? I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

              I was just adding to what Choicelady was saying about science and math in the Islamic empires.

  11. PatsyT says:

    Sort of OT but did I just hear it right,
    Sen. Coburn told Americans to pray that some one will not make the vote?
    and Durbin asked him to explain…??

  12. PepeLepew says:

    OK, I haven’t had time to digest this or think of a profound comment, but this is stuff I feel strongly about being a fallen Catholic who has fallen a very, very far distance…
    I’ll think of something profound to say later tonight when I’m not so busy!

    • Bernard Marx says:

      Don’t think of yourself as a ‘fallen’ catholic, think of yourself as someone whose raised themself above a destructive superstition.

  13. Khirad says:

    Anybody here interpret prophecy?!

    Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

    …I thought that was so much better than any seven hills of Rome crack.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Here you go Khirad. I know you were kidding, but since I’m into this stuff…

      Kabbalistically, we have Lilith as the counterpart (in the lower world of Asiyah) to the Shekinah (at the level of Malkut). We also have Babylon as the spiritual counterpart to “Jerusalem above” (at the level of Binah). These are the “two females” or “upper and lower mothers” that seek to be connected via the tzaddik (the vav, Messiah ben Joseph, Metatron, Sefirah of Yesod, etc.), or in the case of the Sitra Achra, the false-messiah/tzaddik, who causes separation between the upper “Hay” and lower “Hay.”

      Note that the same or similar angel introduces “Jerusalem above” in Revelation 21:9. Lilith/Babylon is “bride” as Shekinah/New Jerusalem is the bride to Mashiach. When Lilith “replaces” the Shekinah (i.e., Malkut) as the “lower” female (nukveh) then God’s blessings are cut off and in place comes disease, famine, death, etc.

      This is the hidden meaning behind the “women’s hair” of the demons (whom Lilith oversees) mentioned in an earlier chapter.

      LOL--Is that clear?

      • Khirad says:

        Okay, that was too cool. Unfortunately, we don’t have unicode capability here, but I can see the Hebrew letters in my head. That was a most elaborate reading of the Whore of Babylon (whom could I have been quite obliquely referencing? mwahahaha!). It all reminded me of my days when I pored over Occultic texts…

        I’m sure Shahr will have something to say on this, as well! 😉

        • Chernynkaya says:

          We don’t consider Kabbalah occult, but I hear you, Khirad. I did it just for you actually, cuz I knew you’d dig it. My rabbi once said, “Magic is to Kabbalah what pornography is to love.” But we don’t really study the Book of Revelations either. :~))

          • Khirad says:

            No, of course it isn’t, but the hermetic traditions adapted (or bastardized, in the rabbinic view -- I’d say Madonna’s done more to damage it though) it. The language was very reminiscent to reading Crowley, is all I was saying. Plus, I’ll admit, the commentary on Revelation had me thrown off.

            BTW, Hindu metaphysics has some interesting comparative similarities with the superficial Kabbalah I do know.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Yes, it does--Hinduism that is. I think I mentioned I’d studied it a bit. And you are right about Madonna too. She “studies” here in LA and London at the Kabbalah Centre which the Jewish community has ostracized for about 30 years now. And every time I speak to someone about Kabbalah ( which I rarely rarely do) I have to make a disclaimer that it has nothing whatsoever to do with them.

            • Khirad says:

              You may have mentioned that, but I didn’t recall so. I haven’t read a Hindu-related book for over six months, but it’s one of my fortes as far as my broader interest in World Religions go. I think the comparison made most often is to Kundalini -- though Hindu metaphysics encompasses so much more in complexity than just that element, gunas and such, etc.

              BTW, I always make the same disclaimer. It’s not just you, but people who are sympathetic to, oh, I don’t know, authenticity and not fads. I don’t know if you’d find this accurate but it’s always seemed to me to Judaism what the Hare Krishnas are to Hinduism.

    • choicelady says:

      I am NOT a theologian, but that ROCKS! Thanks!

  14. escribacat says:

    A lot of evangelical organizations have big plans to infiltrate all walks of society with their dogma. When I was in high school I got sucked into a group whose motto was “Word over the World.” They still had not come close to achieving that by the time the leader was found out to be screwing his young female followers in an Ohio trailer somewhere (not me luckily).

    Is there any information about how many of these people there are and how much influence they have?


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