Here I am again reminding you all of the dangers this country faces if the Religious Right ever takes power. I recently read a book, The Baptizing of America by Rabbi Jerry Rudin. In his book he states his qualifications to write on the subject then goes in to detail on all the facets of our society these people plan to dominate. As most who have read my writings on this subject know, those areas are Government, Education, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Religion, Family and Media. I have written on this before but in reading the Good Rabbi’s book I realized just how deeply these people could threaten not only our country but the world. Rabbi Rudin got down to the nitty gritty in each area of cultural influence so I decided I would write again and use his book as a template. In the first installment, I will cover Government.

IMHO, Iraq and Afghanistan were “tests” to determine how proselytizing would work in the ME or another country but with the use of a military. What other reason could there be for handing out propaganda to our servicemen and women, using religious media by the Pentagon for White House memos or for turning the Air Force Academy into a religious institution? It is well known these people are out to turn the world to Christ and what better way to do it than with the biggest and strongest military in the world? Can you imagine a despot like Kim Jung Il having our military at his disposal? The damage he could do? The reach of his arm? Well why not the Christocrats(this is the name Rabbi Rudin has assigned to them so I will follow his lead)? We already know Iraq was a war for god, Israel is being courted with Evangelical money, donating buildings and such to curry favor there, why not use the Military as your “missionairies for God”?

Chaplains in the military have seen a decrease in Mainline Christian representation as opposed to Evangelicals in the past decade. While just 3 percent of the military’s enlisted personnel and officers call themselves Southern Baptist, Pentecostal or a member of a denomination that’s part of the National Association of Evangelicals, 33 percent of chaplains in the military are members of one of those groups, according to Pentagon statistics. And the disparity could soon widen. Data from the Air Force indicate that 87 percent of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools. If that is not enough to keep you up at night then nothing will. We are seeing situations in Afghanistan right now that would reinforce this school of thought. The burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Force Base, I believe, was not a mistake. And the perceived insults are many: not only troops’ sometimes heavy-handed treatment of ordinary Afghans, or the video that surfaced last month of U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters, but also men and women consorting freely in heavily guarded international compounds, or the consumption of alcohol at restaurants with a mainly non-Afghan clientele. And just this weekend a soldier left his base and went on a shooting spree killing 16 Afghans. Any of these incidents by themselves would be bad but in total they point to a serious problem for non-Evangelicals who are serving as well. If I were an Afghani would I know the difference? Most likely not. But instead of training our military in the culture of the country they will be in, the Evangelicals are more worried about Jesus Tracts, Jesus on military hardware and encourgement by some leaders to actively proselytize in country.

“This is not just about relations with the U.S.,” researcher Martine van Bijlert wrote on the website of the Afghanistan Analysts Network in the first days of the Koran-burning protests. “This is part of a wider struggle over what kind of society Afghanistan is becoming, over who the custodians of religious power will be and what they will use it for.”

The Bible initiative in Iraq was handled by former Army chaplain Jim Ammerman, the 83-year-old founder of the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC), an organization in charge of endorsing 270 chaplains and chaplain candidates for the armed services. Ammerman worked with an evangelical group based in Arkansas, the International Missions Network Center, to distribute the Bibles through the efforts of his 40 active-duty chaplains in Iraq. A 2003 newsletter for the group said of the effort, “The goal is to establish a wedge for the kingdom of God in the Middle East, directly affecting the Islamic world.” Wedge issues seem to be the favorite of Evangelicals and quite frankly they are gaining in their efforts.

The effort is an example of what critics call a growing culture of militarized Christianity in the armed forces. It is influenced in part by changes in outlook among the various branches’ 2,900 chaplains, who are sworn to serve all soldiers, regardless of religion, with a respectful, religiously pluralistic approach. However, with an estimated two thirds of all current chaplains affiliated with evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, which often prioritize conversion and evangelizing, and a marked decline in chaplains from Catholic and mainstream Protestant churches, this ideal is suffering. According to Mikey Weinstein of the MRFF(Military Religious Freedom Foundation), “The vast majority of chaplains now see the military as a mission field with a lot of low-hanging fruit.” A significant MRFF victory arrived in 2011 when the US Air Force, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Foundation, revised its training course taught to nuclear missile launch officers. The course, defended by a spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Training and Education Command as meant to ““help folks understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. In the missile launch industry, it takes a certain mindset to be able to walk in the door and say, yes, I can do that” included a presentation, Who Are You When No One Is Looking: Five Ethical Principles For Service To The Air Force, which largely revolves around Biblical imagery and scriptural text as well as prominently-featured quotations from the Christian Just War Theory of St. Augustine of Hippo in addition to former Nazi Party member and SS Officer Wernher Von Braun, who is quoted as stating that “We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon (the ballistic missile) to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world best be secured.” MRFF client and missile officer training attendee Damon Bosetti recounted to the media that he and his Air Force colleagues would refer to the religious portion of the ethics training course as the “Jesus loves nukes speech”. How much clearer can the Evangelicals make their intentions should they gain the White House again? Nukes in the hands of religious fanatics is never a good thing. Isn’t that precisely what Evangelicals keep telling us about Iran? I doubt if it would be much of a stretch for them to revamp their policies and come up with another false flag operation to justify going to war with another country they feel is not sufficient in their religious practices.

The other piece of their government renovation is city, state and national offices filled with Evangelicals or republicans that are sensitive to their agenda. This has happened all over the country as can be affirmed by the number of wedge issues being taken up by the local, state and national levels. Congressional Republicans or Teapers ran on a platform of jobs jobs jobs. NOT one single jobs bill has made it out of the House but plenty of wedge bills have, mostly targeting women or minorities. In their world women are subservient and minorities just do not count unless they are in alignment with Evangelicals.

And make no mistake their full intention is to change the rules of the road so that they can install a Despot for God in the White House with no term limit. House of Representatives, the Senate and the court systems to boot. What are you currently hearing from Republican candidates with regard to the constitution? From The Nation’s John Nichols:

Embracing a fringe interpretation of Constitutional mandates regarding the scope and character of the federal government, Santorum argues that the judicial branch should be seen as being subservient to the executive and legislative branches because—and Santorum really is serious about this—the section of the Constitution that outlines the plan for a federal judiciary comes after the articles that conceived the presidency and the Congress.

Santorum’s view, which roughly parallels that of Gingrich, represents a radical reinterpretation of the existing power of Congress to create new courts—a necessity in a growing country. It would give members of the House and Senate sweeping authority to police and punish judges who respect the law, as opposed to the demands of political partisans and extreme ideologues.

That, of course, is the whole point of Rick Santorum.

He is not a “constitutional conservative.” And he is certainly not a proponent of the principle, advanced by the founders, that the United States should be governed by the rule of law, not the rule of men. Quite the opposite. For Santorum, it is the rule of men—particularly right-wing evangelical men—that supersedes the rule of law as outlined in the Constitution.

That Constitution has been assaulted all too frequently in recent years by Republican and Democratic presidents. But the battering it would take from Santorum, whose candidacy has been built on a promise to radically rewrite and even more radically reinterpret the document, would be unprecedented.

One thing I have still not figured out is Mitt Romney. While he is a “compliant” candidate, he too has a strong Mormon background and they have their own issues with the constitution that do not mix well with Evangelicals so it is somewhat of a dark horse. Some would ask the question, How would they go about accomplishing a feat like changing our constitution? It is really pretty simple. Look around the country and just think about how many states are currently sponsoring some type of bill designed to erode either minority or women’s rights? Then think about another disastrous election like 2010……that is how it is done. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable regarding these people but when I think of all the years they have had working on their plan I feel like a very small fish swimming in a tank with great white sharks. But I will continue to talk to people. Even if I have reached a small portion of the country it is better than to have remained silent.

I know I do not have to convince most of the readers here however there are still many people in this country who are not sufficiently informed on the issue. I know it is not anywhere near the same thing as the Holocaust however I can still draw parallels to the overall idea. Will they proceed with a systematic killing of Americans? Probably not, but non-believers will certainly not receive the same benefits as believers and will most likely be relegated to the inner cities or rural areas where they can be invisible. Should they have their way most people will shake their heads and ask why? I would not like to be around to tell them exactly why. Truth be told I will probably get out of the country if that happens.

The next segment will cover education. Until then have a great week.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/165371/rising-rick-santorum-would-rewrite-constitution-abolish-courts

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SallyT
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Sherlock, Watson here, with a new article about “The Family”. Not necessarily new information but just reaffirming.

“It’s a new variation on the idea Abraham Vereide began with in 1935: Win the leadership, win the nation. Only instead of trying to persuade a man like Abacha to come over to its side, the Family is seeking to build the next generation of rulers.”

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/3/16/162019/247/Front_Page/Inhofe_To_Maddow_Never_Heard_of_Uganda_s_quot_Kill_the_Gays_quot_Bill_Author_David_Bahati

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Kalima
Admin

Just in case you missed it Sue as I know that you are very busy, here is a story from my updates this morning, and yes I’m up, we just had another quake.

———-

Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/us/ugandan-gay-rights-group-sues-scott-lively-an-american-evangelist.html?_r=1

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kesmarn
Admin

You’ve hit another home run with this article, BFF. The only thing worse than a seriously fanaticical religion-addict is an armed one. So the idea that this Dominionist crew have set their sights on taking over the military is, as you’ve said, really frightening.

Can you imagine how difficult it must be to be a Muslim, atheist, agnostic, non-Santorum Catholic and/or a woman in this military environment? Thank God (literally) for Mikey Weinstein and his group’s work.

And the way they can justify violence and intolerance in the name of religion is mind-boggling. It recalls the way the KKK of days past could identify as devoutly religious on Sunday morning after having tormented — even lynched — black citizens on Saturday night. Can any person live long with such schizophrenic “values” and not go genuinely crazy?

I read with interest the discussion here on the motives for the Iraq invasion and I think that Dubya actually was the incarnation of all three major motives: greed (for the oil and the money it meant), lust for power, and religious fanaticism. He seems more and more — in retrospect — to have been the absolute poster boy for Dominionism. Whether he consciously meant to be that or not, I really don’t know.

I think so often how amazingly fortunate we are to have a sane man in the White House right now. It’s no wonder “they” have such a virulently negative reaction to PBO. He and his allies are such a tremendous obstacle to their ability to accomplish their goals. He infuriates them simply by being a genuinely good man, a man of peace, a man of rationality not fear/anger. It reminds me of what Truman said about the famous “Give ’em hell” comment. “I don’t give ’em hell,” he said, “I just speak the truth and they think it’s hell.”

Thanks seems too small a word for all you’ve done here, BFF. You’re our very own Planetary Sherlock Holmes and then some!

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choicelady
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I never thought I’d be happy that it turned out W was more lazy than he was religious. Had he kept the zealotry in his heart, he MIGHT have made sure he stayed in power. But his basic character asserted itself – playboy slacker – and we got rid of him. Who knew a character flaw would save the world?

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kesmarn
Admin

I totally agree, c’lady. His lethargy (when it came to intellectual work… he could chainsaw brush forever) saved us from utter and total destruction.

As it was, he managed to “accomplish” a remarkable amount of devastation in only 8 years. It’ll take a lot longer than that to fix it all.

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choicelady
Member

I think Iraq was entirely his religious mania – Iraq is “Bablyon” the fall of which presages the Second Coming (among many other things also not coming true…) but his essential stupor and desire to have other people accept ALL the responsibility for his failures actually worked to our advantage. The legacy of his destruction probably can be more properly laid at the feet of Cheney but yes, also his innate shallowness and desire for glory without regard to honor. Witness the flight suited “Mission Accomplished” when his own life was spent AWOL.

If we could stop rewarding superficiality and end paternal influence in promoting unfit kids into positions of power, the world would be a safer place. I have a whole, long list of sons whose daddies got them into places they were unqualified to inhabit. Every one of ’em screwed up the world more than was absolutely necessary.

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SallyT
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choicelady
Member

Great expose, Sue! A couple of points – the forces behind capturing the military really shouldn’t be called “evangelicals” since they actually BASH evangelicals as being “not good enough” Christians. They are, purely and simply, Dominionists. They depart from ALL previous notions of Christianity and thus are not actually Christians at all. The End Times fervor is comparatively new (noting that the Millerites of the 1830s and 40s thought the end was coming, to be sure) and was cranked up only after the 1970s “I Found It” campaign started this new wave.

THE organization fighting Dominionist take over of the military is the Military Religious Freedom Foundation based in Albuquerque, NM. It was started by Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force Academy grad and Air Force office and JAG (Judge Advocate General) once assigned to Reagan’s White House staff by the US Air Force. It was the bashing of his son, a Jew also at the Air Force Academy, that started it all. I would strongly urge people to go to the web site: http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org to read the list of things they have STOPPED, including the “Bible sights” – those rifle sights with Bible verses on them – and the dominant presence of Franklin Graham and other very extremist Dominionists such as former Gen. Jerry Boykin from being the mandatory attendance features of military events.

Mikey has a new book, “No Snowflake in an Avalance” that is excellent and well worth reading. It’s about this critically-important issue AND the sacrifices he and his family have made to fight for our Constitution and end the “new Crusades”. The book is available online at the MRFF “Store”. Although none of us wishes to go over to the AOLHP often, MRFF researcher, an absolutely brilliant woman, Chris Rodda, does post there. You have to enter her name to find her stuff (Arianna buries the good things deeply)but she posts some of the most in-depth stories pretty regularly.

Sue – this, as you note, is one of the most terrifying aspects of Dominionism. Do we WANT our Air Force personnel with their fingers on the nuclear button being trained that killing for Jesus justifies anything and everything they do? That actually happened – and MRFF stopped it after 22 of the 26 or so “nuke officers” complained they were being indoctrinated to think that nuclear holocaust was a God-driven good thing.

Thank you for this rich detail, Sue. This is one other note – there is reason to be concerned that the Sgt. who massacred the Afghan civilians was, indeed, a Dominionist. Don’t yet know for sure, and it probably will be covered up – for the sake of reducing the Afghani outrage – but it may well be the absolute truth. We may never know for sure, but it is in keeping with the self appointed mission of Dominionists. And if so, this is horrific beyond words. A man who would justify slaughering innocents because “Jesus ” (or his chaplain) said it was OK puts the entire US in peril. And that, BTW, is precisely what he wanted to occur.

Be afraid of these people. Be VERY afraid.

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AdLib
Admin

Very eye opening and enlightening, CL, thanks!

Sue referred to Mikey Weinstein and MRFF but really appreciate the details on his site and book.

Not sure how we can truly cleanse the Dominionists out of the military, it appears to be a concerted effort to flood the ranks of chaplains as a backdoor way of capturing control over those in the military.

Mikey and MRFF are doing invaluable and dangerous work, they definitely deserve a higher profile and lots of support.

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SallyT
Member

Isn’t it strange that killing for Jesus is right and killing for Mohammed is wrong? If those young men can be taught to kill for Mohammed, it is for sure our young men can be taught to kill for Jesus. But, as you say, who are behind these instruction? Will we ever know? Will someone recover from brainwashing? As I said yesterday, this war has gone on too long and these young people have been over there fighting a losing battle. When they come home, they are going to need physical and mental help. We need to have the resources to help these trouble soles. They can be just as dangerous here from their confusion.

I am afraid of those behind the curtain.

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Kalima
Admin

Wonderful article Sue, although the subject matter is frightening. The only way to change anything is for people to be made aware of it, and then protest to stop it. As we saw with Limbaugh, if enough people protest, and continue to protest, things can change in a heartbeat. The brainwashing of the military is a scary thing, you only have to look to Nazi Germany to see how devastating it was. Pushing religious beliefs in the military should be treated as highly destructive because these people are payed to carry guns, and have a licence to kill and protect. Religious guidance is a good thing and necessary for those who seek it, one religion’s “proliferation” is dangerous, and surely the military leaders must be aware of it. To let it continue is wrong. To let young soldiers, who are the most vulnerable be subjected to this is unforgivable, and needs to stop.

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SallyT
Member

Sue, great article and informative. I have concerns about the power that these Evangelist and the extremes they will go. Recently I have been looking at this Kony 2012 and the power of this video. Don’t get me wrong, I think this Kony is an evil man but the video is using old facts and figures. When you look at the money behind it and the major contributors it is Evangelical money. And, some are the same people that were supporting the “kill the gays” in that area. Could they be testing the power of the internet, its reach, influence, and money source? I hope there is no concern and I am over questioning here but I do think it needs more looking into.

http://keepittrill.com/online/2012/03/kony-2012-scam-stop-supporting-invisible-children/

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2012/03/11/invisible-children-funded-by-antigay-creationist-christian-right/

http://www.coscampusonline.com/2012/03/08/kony-2012-scam/

However, a good article again from you, Sue. I will be watching for the follow ups!

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Nirek
Member

Sue, I’m Christian (former Catholic {ashamed of priests pedophilia and the church cover up}). I also believe in the separation of church and state.

That out of the way, I am disappointed in the extreme religious folks of any religion. These WARS were started by extremists and continued by the other side (Christians). It is time for sane people to take over the government.

That is how I feel, how about all of you?

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AdLib
Admin

True about extremists, whether it’s religious extremists, neocon extremists or plutocratic extremists, it’s disastrous to have such types making decisions for a nation.

I think Obama has been just that kind of calm and reasoned person we need as a national leader. Now if only we can get a majority in Congress to mirror that.

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Nirek
Member

Adlib, yes and no blue dogs to obstruct. The Rs keep saying Obama had a super majority but he didn’t really.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Sue, I believe that the ideas contained in this quote by Hermann Goering, were applied effectively concerning the Iraq invasion;

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

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Carmen
Member
Carmen

Thank you, Sue, for this insightful and informative article. Recently, I received an email from one of my right wing cousins who was all up in arms over some perceived attack on Jesus. The email said military chaplains were forbidden to use the name Jesus anymore.
It sounds like more bullcrap to me so I just ignored it. At the risk of sounding redundant, I would like to ask, what ever happened to the separation between church and state?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Very good article Sue. I have to disagree about Iraq being a war for God, at least on our side of the equation. I think we went into Iraq (on false intel) so we could establish military bases as staging grounds for attacks on other areas in the ME, like Iran for instance. It was the rabid neo-cons that were pulling the strings then and neo-cons have long been in favor of pre-emptive strikes, especially in the ME. The neo-cons were just itching to invade Iran, and are still banging the war drums today. I think our actions were about the extension of US military power in the region. I think it was imperialism more than anything else. I feel that any religious association to our actions was just a front that would work to get the support of the rabid religious right. Oh, and the oil too.

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AdLib
Admin

There is a crossover between some neocons and the Dominionists, those who want to dominate the ME and its oil as part of moving things towards the End of Times.

Not all but some of them want to horde wealth on Earth until they’re taken up to Heaven…never reasoning out that one precludes the other.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

I’m sure there were/are some neo-cons that believe in the End Times. But I also believe that bush/cheny and others were more concerned about US expansion of power and the huge profits for companies like Halliburton and others. And they reasoned that having a military staging area in Iraq was key to their future plans. I really don’t see bush/cheny, Rumsfeld and others as being genuinely religious at all, though they weren’t above using religion as their motivation.

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Greta42
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Greta42

Sound reasoning, KT – and I agree regarding the motivations about Bush and especially Cheney. Expansion of the empire and war profiteering drove these wars, and are still in play with the propaganda we continue to hear about bombing Iran. You’re correct about using religion as their motivation, especially the evangelical Christians.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Thanks Greta. Another selling point for the invasion of Iraq was revenge for 9/11, though Iraq had 0 involvement in that attack. I remember bush saying that proving Iraq’s involvement was the hardest part of his presidency. Of course it was hard, because it just wasn’t true. The neo-cons sure did try to convince the American people of it. Sadly, many Americans bought that BS hook, line and sinker.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

I think some of these creeps actually do get inspiration from Geobbels remarks.

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AdLib
Admin

Fantastic post, Sue!

I agree, the military is likely covering up the intentional burning of the Qurans with this cover story that it was an accident (since when are books burned as a basic policy of the military, let alone the religious books of other religions?).

There is a hand-in-hand nature of evangelical extremism and racism, the mentality of those who are different in their appearance and beliefs are scary and must be destroyed. So for me, it’s hard to divine which of these hateful motivators is behind their actions.

As to their goal, just as Rush and the GOP in Congress are learning now, you can only push the people so far until they push back and there are far more Americans who don’t want a theocracy than the minority who do.

I can imagine a damaging Presidency and Congress that is populated by such people but I have trouble imagining their being able to sustain it if the majority turns on them.

I have limited optimism about the American people but sufficient to be confident that if a theocratic government took over, they would soon be removed by the majority (though as with Bush, whoever follows would have a huge lift to repair the profound damage such people would do to our nation and the world).

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Any real success by the RR would require vast changes to the Constitution. That is not an easy thing to accomplish. This is why we must have a majority in both the House and the Senate.
I agree 100% about secular Americans being stronger in number than the “religious ones.” Our system of government was specifically designed to keep such changes to the Constitution from happening.
Military personal can not be forced to attend religious services. I can’t speak for today’s military, but most of those I served with in the early 70s were not religious at all. I think any attempts by any religion, to make military policy is surely forbidden by our Constitution.

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LeahLB
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LeahLB

Very good article, Susan! I would add a couple more items. To follow up on John Nichol’s observations, political Christians – Dominionists – such as Santorum, believe that God’s Law supersedes all other man-made law. While he is spot on about the intent by Dominionists to re-write our Constitution, ensuring that it represents their erroneous interpretation that we were founded as a Christian Nation, it goes much deeper. Look for the emergence of the Constitution Party in 2016.

http://www.constitutionparty.com/

Thank you for introducing the most dangerous of the Dominionist 7 Mountain Mandate – The Mountain of Government/Military.

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Greta42
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Greta42

I had not thought about this topic in such a broad way, Sue. Yes, I knew about the Air Force Academy but did not know about the ratio of chaplains having changed so much. The idea that the ME wars were based on spreading the evangelical message seems outrageous considering the intensity of religious fervor in the ME.

Yes, what has been happening within the US, especially since 2010, is alarming. Women have been targeted and if we read the ALEC mission statement, their goals are clear.

Scary times ahead for us – We must rid our government of this influence.

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Dorothy Rissman
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Dorothy Rissman

Terrific piece Sue. I just put it on twitter. TY

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