Manhattan has been fortified, well as much as the remaining residents of New York can with their limited resources. Now they wait, for what, they are not sure. On October 22, 2022, New York is the last bastion of what was once a free country. Within hours, the last bastion of free society has capitulated. They tried, they really did but fighting a new President who has the military at his disposal, militia and the National Guard now under his control as well as the Joshua Brigade, the 22 states that were a hold out and refused to remain with this new America, had no chance in a losing proposition against the new Christian-based government. You say, what? How can this be? How could a President completely take over in the space of a year? We are the bastion of the world in Democracy, this is just not possible. Well, it is possible because they did so from within, they did so slowly, they did it in small ways, they did it using the same ideas people tried to warn you about. They used a Shock Doctrine to erode the rights of the people, they used fear to bend the will of the people and they used the legions of people they had been placing in local, state and national offices all over the country to take control. They did not manage this in a year, they waited patiently for many years to reach this pinnacle. Many people across the country are puzzled but why should they be? The Religious Right told them they were going to take over, why was it so hard to believe they did what they told the people they would do?
The above is a synopsis (without giving away the whole plot) of a book called, Christian Nation by Frederick Rich. The plot of the book revolves around a New York City attorney(Greg), and his college buddy, an internet entrepreneur, Sanjay. Sanjay begins to feel that things are going in the wrong direction and starts researching the Religious Right. What he uncovers, is what many of us have uncovered in our search for information regarding their activities. He tries to warn people and eventually with Greg’s help, he starts to make some inroads but it is way too late. In the book, McCain won the Presidency and of course Sarah Palin was his VP. As planned, they gave her little to do but no one really counted on the fact that within a few months McCain would die of an aneurysm and that Palin would become the new President. For a short period of time, not much changes. Oh there are little things happening here and there, Sam Brownback is appointed VP and Steve Jordan from the Faith and Freedom Coalition is set up in an office at the White House as an “unpaid political consultant”. In the event others want to read the book, I will not give away much more of the story. What I will tell you is that it is a valid version of what COULD happen if America does not wise up and pay attention and act, most importantly action is needed.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction – Blaise Pascal – Pensees
We have seen this in action all throughout the history of the world and the people planning on doing that evil always warn us, we may not always hear them but they do warn us. People are trying to tell all of us what they will do if they ever reach the White House again. Hobby Lobby was a huge warning shot over the bow. Internet chatter from trolls who claim civil war or a revolution is coming. The hints of religion in the halls of our government offices. Our Supreme Court making decisions that are directly in conflict with our Constitution. They are all thumbing their noses at us and privately and sometimes publicly gloating. In fact, it is my guess that even if they do not win the White House, they might attempt a coup based on their sheer madness in not being able to fulfill the destiny they think that God has for them. Throughout history we have seen over and over what religious fundamentalism will do to a people. We see it in countries all over the world. What is supposed to be a peaceful and loving experience is taken to the opposite end of the spectrum. And that opposite end always ends in violence. I was recently given an article from a very good friend and it really drove home to me just how much of this fundamentalism has already impacted our country’s decisions and our conduct in war. When you have a soldier who is proud of the number of Iraqis he has killed and who makes no secret of his fundamental religion, do you think there might just be a slim chance that there are many more and that he truly believes that he is doing God’s work? And perhaps there are many more whom it would not take much persuasion to do the “right thing for their Lord and Savior?” Call me silly but I know how deeply the religious right has infiltrated our military and it sometimes keeps me up at night.
We have many people in this country that would institute their own form of Sharia Law faster than you could blink, if they were given the opportunity. It should be a secret to no one in this country who can read that there is a nasty undercurrent in our politics that has far more to do with a power grab than actual hate. I am not saying that there is not hate involved, but I do believe the drive is more toward control than anything else. And when you add a religious fanaticism to that drive for control, the endgame is not pleasant. I have studied the religious right for the past 6 years, some call me an expert(unprofessional, that is), but I can tell you, I have not even scratched the surface. I have not been able to dedicate full time to it and trying to set up a database would be a herculean effort. What I can tell you is that it is no joke, these people are determined to rule this country. What will happen is if you profess your allegiance to their “God” you will be fine, if you do not, there will be any number of forms of retribution but they will give you a chance to reform first. Despite their twisted view of Christianity, or maybe because of it, they do so enjoy proseltyzing so you will get a certain amount of time to make a “sincere” decision. I do not have a crystal ball to tell people exactly how, when or where it will be, all I can tell you is it will be hard.
So how do we prepare or head it off completely? All I can say is be vigilant, listen to these people when they talk, listen carefully. I can guarantee that even if they are not addressing us as a whole, they are addressing people they know and their plans are being communicated among themselves. Hannah Arendt dated her awakening to February 29, 1933, the day the Reichstag burned down. “From the moment Adloph Hitler began using the fire as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and crush dissent”, Arendt said, “I felt responsible” (Samantha Power, Introduction to 2004 edition of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism). We are seeing our police forces meet peaceful protests with riot gear, we are seeing police more violent with the citizens they interact with, these are signs of a change in the structure of our country. What I see is intimidation and intimidation is a driving force in creating a populace who does not speak up, speak out and certainly not fight back. While you cannot tie them directly to the Religious Right, surely you can see it as a step toward a docile population. A population for which the majority will not fight back. How much easier would it be for fundamentalists to take over with a population that has been conditioned not to fight back? Here are some quotes from religious right leaders. Read them carefully and see if you can see the underlying message that is being sent.
The Religious Right proclaims they are being muzzled and it is their rights that are in jeopardy in spite of their freedom of speech on politics, within certain boundaries. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council: “What liberals who misread America’s original document are really saying is that the Federal government should not only silence churches but also exclude their members from any influence on government. In the name of tolerance, they would be intolerant to others.”
What? In a system that is designed to encourage religious freedom for everyone, Perkins is branding it as silencing churches and being intolerant. Our Constitution provides protection for the rights of all citizens but to tell the truth, the rights of ALL citizens are not the Religious Right’s concern at all.
“It is not possible for there ever, in the United States of America, to be a separation between God and government because God is the source of every single right which government has a sacred duty to protect … not a single one of our unalienable rights will be safe in the hands of a president who believes that we evolved from slime and we are the descendants of apes and baboons … look at the nation states in the 20th century which rejected the creator God of the Judeo-Christian tradition – Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Communist China. The one thing all of these secular states share in common is dead bodies.” Bryan Fischer, American Family Association
The dead bodies are a true statement, however, Hitler would beg to differ with Bryan Fischer about Christianity:
The national government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built up. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life. February 1, 1933
Ralph Reed (on his prowess as a political operative for the Christian right wing in 1991):
I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag.
I hope I live to see the day, when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them.
Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the 10 Commandments.
—Michael Schwartz, chief of staff to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), in 2004
I’m a radical! I’m a real extremist. I don’t want to impeach judges. I want to impale them!
Cornerstone Church’s Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed John McCain during the 2008 presidential race.
As soon as Jesus sits on his throne he’s gonna rule the world with a rod of iron. That means he’s gonna make the ACLU do what he wants them to. That means you’re not gonna have to ask if you can pray in public school. We will live by the law of God and no other law.
Rev. Andrew Sandlin, Chalcedon Report, March, 1994 (Rousas Rushdooney’s Chalcedon Institute)
If Christians are charged with exercising dominion in all spheres of life (Gen. 2:26-28), to abandon public education to Satan is to compromise our calling. The attitude and approach of Christians should be that they never expose their children to public education, but that they should work increasingly to expose public education to the claims of Christ. Certain specially suited Christians, in fact, should pray and work tirelessly to obtain teaching and school board and even administrative posts within public education. The penultimate goal of these Christians should be the privatization of these larcenous institutions, and the ultimate aim the bringing of them under the authority of Christ and His word.
Need any more? These people have made no secret about what their intent is and if you look around you at the state our populace is in relation to their lack of respect for and belief in a good public school education, you just might think some of these people and their followers have had a lot to do with it. Like Ralph Reed said, they are going to come in the night, they will lull the public to sleep and then by virtue of some national tragedy(real or false flag) they will make their move and do Exactly What They Said They Would Do. Where will you be? I hope I am in a world where people finally woke up and stopped this for good, but I am not holding out much hope.
***I have also done some other work here on the Religious Right, you can find them in the archives here.
President Kennedy had some foresight into domination by Christianity, he talked about it in his speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1963
Religious Fundamentalism in the War on Terrorists
This is a religious civil war: Hobby Lobby only the beginning for religious theocrats
I’m Terrified of these Religious Zealots – Claire Connor Mork
Sue, another strong addition to your series and very important in the simple instructions it gives…when extremists warn you of what they’re capable of, believe them!
That is a chief difference between religious fanatics and well adjusted people, they lack the regulators in their brains that would keep a normal person from acting on severely hostile ideas.
Very interested in Christian Nation, I like alternate reality stories, really gives the opportunity to extrapolate out what could happen. It is fiction of course and I would argue that In such a scenario, there would be many Americans of conscience who would never back down and would build a national protest movement that would eventually prevail.
Still, the scenario of the insanity and oppression that a RW religious extremist could unleash on this nation if she/he had the power of the Presidency is alarming.
They do seek that power, the SCOTUS Five are doing all they can to pave the way for them. Their focus on winning local elections has been successful and the support of billionaires like the Koch Bros. give them the public megaphone they need. They are a real threat and I’m reminded of one of my favorite lines from The Cotton Club, “If you don’t know you’re in a war, you’ve already lost.”
Thanks. The entire time I was reading this novel, I was thinking about how I could change it in to a post for PP. Once I started writing, it just happened.
Things that worry me are the infiltration into the military. I read an article, may have posted it here on OT, about a soldier who fought in Iraq and he dealt with everything he did and that happened, with religious terms. It was a bit scary to read and know that we have many more soldiers out there doing the same thing. When you get religious fanatics, you never know what the outcome is going to be and I hope you are right that Americans would rise up. I hope you are right but with the great numbers of people who are distracted, illiterate, uninformed, it makes me nervous.
Take the NRA ammosexuals who are still planning their march through one of Houston’s black communities, armed and dangerous. They are trying to spark a riot or a plain old fashioned gun battle. This kind of stuff bothers me no end. Quite frankly, minorities in this country have been very patient and we have not had another Watts Riot, or a burning of Detroit, but everyone has their limits.
All of this hate and prejudice is building to something and when it hits, it will not be pretty. Fanatics always think they have more cover than they really do and a spark can become a flame before you know it even without the cover they think they have. We laugh at nutballs like Santelli down at the Border but what if they did set something off with Mexico’s border patrol? They are itching to hurt someone and I don’t think they care who or where.
Back to the dominionists, I just hope, if something happens, I am online with Planet POV and my friends here from my laptop in The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama or some other tropical country. That will mean I prepared and was able to leave. And Of course, I would try to prepare others as well. The book was really good. It would be a good book to take on a business trip or vacation.
Thank you for chiming in, thank you for posting the articles that Sue has written regarding the RR. I still say I see no reason she should have been offended. I felt she misunderstood what I was saying and tried to put off my work with members of the RR as something other than what she was talking about. I tried to explain my position. If that insulted her, I feel bad that she felt that way. I feel it was a misunderstanding, and if it wasn’t, please explain why/how it wasn’t.
My pleasure, monicaangela, I’m sure you will both sort it out amicably. Sometimes it’s difficult when we just write things and are misunderstood. It’s often harder explaining ourselves than actually speaking face to face.
See you soon.
Kalima, I hold no animosity toward Sue, I actually admire the work she has done. I’m sure you are correct, this can be worked out amicably as far as I am concerned. I don’t feel this should cause a rift between us, at least I hope not. Thank you for always being there. You are truly appreciated.
As I said, sometimes in blogging there are misunderstandings, and they could be for any number of reasons we might never know about in the other person’s private life, so we often have to go the extra mile to try to explain exactly what we mean.
You will sort it out I’m sure. I’m in and out today, but I’m glad I was passing through when I did.
Take care, and have a nice what is left of your evening. Greetings from my Tokyo morning and thank you.
No Monica I was asking you questions about your work with the religious right and what offended me was this statement:
“No Sue, I was talking people who belong to organizations that are a part of the Religious Right. You write as though you think the religious right is a building or something.”
After all the research and articles I have written both here and another site, that was insulting. I am sorry if you cannot see that but having 7 years of your work summed up as you did mine, was insulting.
From my statement: I see from your response, you do not understand fully what I am saying regarding working with Christian Right Evangelicals. First, let me say that I do not believe in organized religion and do not believe that working with the leaders of cults will bring change to the cult. When I say leaders of cults, I mean the leaders of the RR.
Later in the statement I mention that most people I work with are individuals involved in the RR movement and explain to you why I work with individuals rather than the leaders of Religious Right Churches.
In your statement you wrote that you have worked with the California Council of Churches a coalition and that that organization had had no success in getting the RR churches to come to the table.
I go further in my statement to tell you this: Many of the people I have worked with and helped to understand the problems with the Religious Right Evangelical movement have been people who had also volunteered to work with others through the NOHS. “We, many of the volunteers working alongside these people, found that many of those that were volunteering from these churches were in effect proselytizing.” This is how I came into contact with them, purely by accident, and how I had the opportunity to work with them.
After writing this in a statement you return with this: “I see, so you were talking people in general and not the religious right which is what my article was about. I get it now. I wondered how you were able to get intractable people to bend, now I see you were not referring to the Religious right.”
If you had read my statement completely you would have realized that the people I was talking about were members of RR churches. I also explained to you how we got what you feel are intractable people to bend…..Did you read my comments in their entirety?
Kalima posted some articles you wrote on the RR. Let me say, I had no idea you had wrote those articles. It appears you have put a lot of work into exposing the RR. That’s a good thing IMHO. However, you asked what my method was when I have worked with members of the religious right, I answered you and you came back with “I see you were talking people in general and not the religious right which is what my article was about.” The RR is made up of individuals with politically conservative ideas. The organization is politics and religion at its worst, but is made up of individuals who try to convince other individuals to follow their ideology. If the RR had come to the table when you and others were trying to invite them to work with the California Council of Churches, would it not have been individuals that came to the table representing the RR churches?
monicaangela – you don’t know me yet. I do know Sue. I also have had YOUR experience and can say there is truth in it. Sue knows that through calm persistence I actually succeeded in getting a major Dominionist to understand one point I had about the separation of church and state. We traded funny stories and nice comments for over three years. It happens.
It did not and will not stop him from his mission. It let him know one person who is a progressive person within the faith community was a kind human being. That’s worth a lot just as everything YOU do is worth so much the same way. But the movement is driven by fanatics, and they are on a ‘mission from God’ (though they have no memo FROM God about that!) and therefore beyond our reach.
The single largest religious movement in America is ‘walkaways’. These are the people – maybe some whom you have touched – who are abandoning the extremist congregations. But it’s not enough because it doesn’t really matter how many followers are just so long as those who are part of the ‘reverse altar call’ (taking vows to do whatever is needed) hold some kind of political power.
We can marginalize some of this, but not all of this. We can turn hearts of individuals, but until they become sufficiently numerous to vote out Tea Party extremists, we have to deal with them.
Sue and I both know how dangerous they are as a movement (not bricks and mortar but as a political body).
That is why she has to keep writing, I have to keep working, and yes – keep touching people where we can as you are and I hope I am. But when you have Hobby Lobby morph into Wheaton College (where Billy Graham attended and where his archives lie) and then into a total violation of employee religious rights in the CRA, you have an institutional embodiment of theocracy right in the top court of our land. THAT is why they are dangerous. And no amount of humanity one-to-one can change that despicable violation of democracy and the Constitution. That’s what Sue is asserting, and while I agree with you that changing hearts and minds is critical, it is simply not enough. Not yet.
Thank you for expressing your thoughts here. Let me just say this about the subject. My “experience” was just that, an experience with persons who professed to be members of the RR, Christian conservative and very political from what I saw. “Worked with them” is a stretch, there was no need for work, it was conversation. In my comments I mentioned that they had volunteered on a project for NOHS, the same project that myself and some of my friends had volunteered for.
I personally don’t call that my working to rid the world of the RR, what I was doing was in effect debating the issues with people of this ideology and in the end was able to convince them that what they were doing was not in any way Christian, or even moral. Sue asked me how I did this, and I explained it to her, the conversation should have ended there. Most people who claim to be RR including many of the ministers have ulterior motives, prejudices, and a need to feel superior.
I don’t have the need to feel superior, so I don’t work tirelessly to try to rid the world of any organization, to each his/her own is my motto. Also too, I do not have a problem with Sue. Maybe she thinks she has one with me, but believe me if you knew me, or when you get to know me you will learn that I don’t find myself having problems with people who have disagreed with me or who I have disagreed with. That person has his/her opinion and I have mine. Opinions of which we both are entitled. I haven’t noticed a shingle posted for anyone on this site stating that person is the absolute authority on a subject. So until I do, every comment is an opinion…nothing more.
Last but not least, my assertion was not that humanity or anything else can change the RR. That in my mind would be like trying to herd cats, it would be like saying through conversation someone could change the activities of the U.S. governments foreign policy strategy, or convince weapons companies to beat their swords into plowshares. I know that will never happen through someone who is of a difference of opinion, a person who would honestly try to convince those entities to cease and desist. LOL !! I believe it is impossible because as with the RR, they have an ulterior motive….GREED.
In summation, I’m happy you took the time to express your sentiments and believe me I don’t have a “problem” with anyone on this site. If I did, you would definitely know it. Enjoy your day, it was wonderful to have this opportunity to converse with you and if you leave this conversation with nothing more than this, remember: I do not work to try to rid the world of the RR, my work is with human beings no matter what their religious or political leanings. The organizations I volunteer to help are interested in meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations.
This is what I spend some of my time doing and some of the problems of the people I work with:
Children of Substance Abusers-Youth and adults who are children of substance abusers. Examples are adult children of alcoholics, children whose parents’ abuse alcohol or other drugs, and children raised in or chronically exposed to situations involving substance abuse.
Delinquent/Violent Youth-Youth who display risk factors for delinquency or violence or who have been determined to be delinquent or violent. Examples are youth declared delinquent by a state child welfare system, youth who have been arrested for juvenile delinquent behavior, youth who are chronically truant, and youth who display chronic or periodic violent behavior, including youth who display antisocial behavior (e.g., chronic fighting, hitting, using weapons).
Economically Disadvantaged-Youth and adults considered to be underprivileged in material goods due to poor economic conditions. Examples are youth and adults living in poor housing conditions or who are enrolled in state or federal public assistance programs.
Physical/Emotional Abuse Victims-Youth and adults who have experienced physical or emotional abuse. Examples are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, incest, emotional abuse, and domestic abuse.
In other words, people who IMHO really need help and assistance.
I see from your response, you do not understand fully what I am saying regarding working with Christian Right Evangelicals. First, let me say that I do not believe in organized religion and do not believe that working with the leaders of cults will bring change to the cult. Just listening to what I just said should make you understand what I feel about the futility of working with church leaders who are those that indoctrinate their cult members in the first place.
It is well known that in order to rescue someone from a cult you have to work with the individual or individuals that are searching for answers to questions they have that the leaders in their organization are not or cannot provide. Most people I work with are individuals.
My rule with working with these people is the following: Understand what you believe. Sounds strange, but the place to start is with yourself. What do you believe about God? About Jesus? Do you have a good grasp of Scripture? If you do, then you are equipped to speak with someone who belongs to a right wing christian organization.
I also believe that you need to be as well versed in other religions as you possibly can because you will need to make comparisons when discussing religion as a whole, after all, most evangelicals are trying to convince those they wish to indoctrinate to believe the only true religion is their religion and their method of practicing the religion.
As for the organizations I have worked with, I have volunteered to work with many, most recently the NOHS (National Organization for Human Services). We work with many different types of problems that human beings encounter. Many of the people I have worked with and helped to understand the problems with the Christian Right Evangelical movement have been people who had also volunteered themselves to work with others through the NOHS and other organizations. We, many of the volunteers, found that many of those that were volunteering from these churches were in effect proselytizing. We instead of complaining or trying to have them removed from their volunteer positions began meeting with them. We would have discussions regarding religion, we would remind them that the goals of the organization we were volunteering for did not include what they were doing, and get them to stop proselytizing.
Through these meetings, we were able to reach many Christian Right Evangelicals and to this day, continue to notice the change in them, some of them have even been able to assist others who attended the churches they once attended and convinced them to relinquish the strong hold that some of these churches have on their members.
As I said, I volunteer where I feel I can be of service to my fellow man. I work with Native American organizations, African American organizations, and just about any organization that is involved in helping human beings and whose objective is to serve, not indoctrinate.
The right wing christian evangelical movement members are not people that I generally volunteer to work with. I have noticed over the past ten years, while dealing with other problems, for some reason I have encountered, had conversations with, became friends with, and eventually helped many who when we first meet believe they are doing what they have been taught is the work of God. I do not plan to work with these people. I guess I have been lucky enough to encounter these people, have some kind of effect on them, and convince them without negativity that the way I feel about problems with the organizations they serve and what they teach has merit.
Sometimes trying to work through Christian coalitions is the worst way you can go when trying to reach individuals, because most coalitions, especially Christian coalitions have their set of rules, rules you cannot deviate from and can whether sincere or not try to convince you of the sincerity of their beliefs. This for me can only wind up being an argument over differences in church doctrine, something that will not change if on coalition is trying to convince another it has THE correct version of religious practices.
I see, so you were talking people in general and not the religious right which is what my article was about. I get it now. I wondered how you were able to get intractable people to bend, now I see you were not referring to the Religious right.
No Sue, I was talking people who belong to organizations that are a part of the Religious Right. You write as though you think the religious right is a building or something. The religious right is organizations made up of people, those people help to keep the ideology and practices of the leaders of those organizations in effect. How do you topple a structure such as that, one member at a time. There is no way to just walk in and convince those that are profiting from this concept to change their minds or shut down. I truly hope you don’t believe you will be able to do that.
The term religious right may refer to religiously motivated right-wing or conservative movements such as:
Hindu nationalism (Hindutva, Sangh Parivar)
Christian right or religious right is a term used in the United States to describe right-wing Christian political factions that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Christian conservatives principally seek to apply their understanding of the teachings of Christianity to politics and public policy by proclaiming the value of those teachings and/or by seeking to use those teachings to influence law and public policy.
In the U.S., the Christian right is an informal coalition formed around a core of evangelical Protestants and Catholics. The Christian right draws additional support from politically conservative mainline Protestants, Jews, and Mormons. The movement has its roots in American politics going back as far as the 1940’s and has been especially influential since the 1970’s. Their influence draws, in part, from grassroots activism as well as their focus on social issues and ability to motivate the electorate around those issues. The Christian right is notable today for advancing socially conservative positions on issues including school prayer, stem cell research, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, and pornography.
In order for these mostly political organizations to infiltrate the system they need foot soldiers. If you want to stop an army, you have to eliminate the tentacles (soldiers) they use to carry their message.
If you are going to insult me, this conversation is over.
There is no need to feel insulted, but since I do see you might be feeling that way, consider the conversation ended.
Monicaangela, if I may just butt in, the reason Sue would feel insulted is that she has written about the RR extensively here and on another site, and has researched them for years.
Here are some of her articles on the subject. The bottom link is to all of her other work here.
When you refer to coalitions, if you are referring to California Council of Churches, it is many faiths working together, respecting each others’ religious affiliation. Just want to make that clear.
I know what the California Council of Churches is and what they do.
The California Council of Churches serves as a prophetic witness to the Gospel by educating faith communities to pursue justice, equity, and fairness in the treatment of all people, in particular those most vulnerable in society. The Council represents 21 Protestant and Orthodox denominations and over 1.5 million church members throughout California. The Council lifts up issues of concern to California’s faith community such as hunger, homelessness, health care, child care, violence, civil rights, economic and environmental justice, and religious liberty.
It is a wonderful organization. I was born in California, Los Angeles to be exact, still have family there, some of them are a part of that 1.5 million church members.
Let me just say, anyone reading what this wonderful organization stands for and tries to do in the community would tell you right away they would never be able to get the Christian Right to agree with them or even come to the table for the discussion. Hunger, homelessness, health care, child care, violence, civil rights, economic and environmental justice, and religious liberty. The politics of the religious right would never allow them to get involved with activities such as these..environmental justice, health care, civil rights, economic justice? The Christian Right is a conservative political group using Christianity to try to prevent the aforementioned items, not enhance or promote them.
I have come back to make my substantive comment, but before I do that…I have sent about a dozen people to your comment here from Daily Kos and from several of my personal contacts. ALL have said that it is a very important comment. Several asked if you could provide a list of links to your comments on this subject for easy access.
So,if you have any interest in crossposting I stand ready to assist. If not, then, with your permission, I would like to do a diary about your post here (a summary with my content added in and a link to the full article).
Just trying to be respectful of the authors wishes.
————–you know from previous conversations re. religion is idolatry and zealotry that we agree on virtually everything you have posted here and earlier——- so let me just say “ditto” to your excellent selection of a book that paints a religious dystopia in ways that quite convincing especially when paired with your analysis and documented case…..
And let me add. The issue of medicaid expansion in Missouri. As we have discussed before one has to be virtually destitute, 15 percent of federal poverty guideline, or a pregnant mother or a child to get medicaid. This means that most of the poor are not covered, and this is particularly galling for the working poor, many of whom uses the public access clinics and their sliding scale payment systems (the big problem being that there are way too few of them and they have trouble getting hospital based services like MRI’s and CT Scans.
A number of churches have gone to bat for this.
You will note that these articles all reference churches with a liberal orientation.
The right leaning (usually pro-life proclaiming) churches remain silent in public statements but they certainly pass on a particular set of beliefs to their congregants.
Here is something I have seen posted in a number church bulletins and letters (note- not on-line- hmmmmmmm)
THE BIBLE SPEAKS ON WELFARE
Since 1964 the United States Governments (Federal and State) have transferred over five trillion dollars from the middle class and the rich to the poor. Are the poor better off today or have they become more enslaved and dependent on government?
How much is five trillion dollars? A billion dollars is one thousand million dollars. A trillion dollars is one thousand billion dollars, thus five trillion dollars is five thousand billion dollars. That amount is inconceivable to the human mind. That is how much government has taken from the middle and rich class and transferred it to the poor. This money did not cost the poor anything. They did not have to earn it. It was given them.
This scenario described is why so many are up in arms about the subject of welfare. There are still over three million Americans on the welfare rolls. Some are being helped by it and learning to stand on their own feet someday. This is the goal. Others have become enslaved by it and are dependent on it. Some are second, third and even fourth generation dependents on welfare. There are special cases where some are worthy of help and compassion such as the disabled veteran, other disabled, orphans, handicapped, retarded and other extraordinary cases. These can be helped when there is no one else to help them.
The average middle class worker today works till the middle of May each year for the government. Everything they earn from January till about the middle of May is taxed and taken by the government in some form. These hard working people are feeling slighted that some of their money is given to some poor people who have not earned it and do not deserve it. Needless to say, welfare is a very volatile subject and our goal again is to find out what the Bible says.
1. No work, no eat.
II Thessalonians 3:6-12, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
This is the simplest answer in the Bible concerning the subject.
2. A man who does not take care of his own is despicable.
I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
It is about the worst indictment a man could receive to be called “worse than an infidel.” This is not the governments job, but a man’s job to take care of his own. Even deadbeat dads should be hunted down and forced to care for their own as long as they live. Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota said, “It’s not the governments job to make up for your mistakes.”
3. Widows are to be cared for by their family, not government or church.
I Timothy 5:3-10,16 “Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.” Leviticus 22:13, “But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.”
There is such a widow that is worthy of Church support. She is called a “widow indeed” or “desolate” in this text.
As you note the requirements, she is a rare case:
• Desolate – I Timothy 5:5 (No living husband, children, nephews etc.).
• Over 60 years old – I Timothy 5:9.
• Never been divorced – I Timothy 5:9.
• Well reported of having done good works for others – I Timothy 5:10.
• Brought up her children – I Timothy 5:10.
• Lodged strangers – I Timothy 5:10.
• Washed feet, humbly served others – I Timothy 5:10.
• Relieved the afflicted – I Timothy 5:10.
• Followed every good work – I Timothy 5:10.
These are certainly extraordinary conditions before such a widow can receive welfare from the church (I Timothy 5:16).
4. The extended family is to care for all family members.
I Timothy 5:4, “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.”
Not only should children care for their parents, but nephews should care for their aunts and uncles! We are far from this today. We do not even think like this today. Yet this is Bible.
The word “requite” means “pay back.” If parents have taken care of their children for twenty years at the beginning of their lives, then children should be willing to take care of their parents for twenty years at the end of their lives. The word “piety” means “respect” or “support.” This is God’s social security plan.
5. Government should strengthen the hand of the poor and needy, not weaken it.
Ezekiel 16:49-50, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
One of the reasons God destroyed the four cities on the plain was that they did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
Government should try to strengthen the poor, not make them weaker. If the government is going to give things away, instead of giving fish, they should give a fishing pole. Then the poor would have the means to go out and catch their own fish. If government, church or individuals help the poor it should only be in such a way to get them started in helping themselves.
This principle is taught in the law of God:
Leviticus 19:9-10, “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 23:22, “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
(The widow Ruth practiced this in Ruth 2:1-3.)
By giving away free handouts (the fancy word today is “entitlements”) the poor are weakened. They do not learn the value and self satisfaction of industriousness. The poor should not be weakened but strengthened. People should depend on themselves not on the government.
6. Even in great distress the poor paid what they could for help from government.
Genesis 41:53-57, “And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.”
No handouts here. The poor paid for what they could from the government. Remember, this was all by the directive of God through Joseph who had been sold into Egypt as a slave. He grew and by the blessing of God became second to the leader, Pharaoh, in all the land. Even in great distress the government should avoid the practice of free handouts. Some state governors are replacing welfare with workfare.
7. Government should judge the poor.
Psalms 72:2,4, “He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.”
Proverbs 31:9, “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Isaiah 11:4, “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
Some of the poor need a helping hand until they get on their own feet. This should only be in times of great distress and for as short of duration as possible. Other poor need a kick in the pants. The government should make this righteous judgment. The church should make this righteous judgment. Individuals should make this righteous judgment. Those who are worthy should be helped. Those not worthy should not be helped.
Jesus said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Righteous judgment of the poor would be included.
Helping the poor is certainly part of the Christian faith. Giving to the poor that be worthy is taught throughout Scripture. Revival in this teaching and practice in the Christian church could relieve all government welfare programs.
Let us illustrate: There are 260 million Americans. Forty percent of them attend some sort of a “Christian” church each Sunday. That is 104 million. These attend 1.5 million churches across America. There are 3 million recipients of welfare in America right now. If each church helped two families get on their feet if possible, welfare could be eliminated. Remember, there was a day when our country did not have welfare. Families and Christians helped each other. Now we have relied on the government and socialism is creeping in. Welfare seems to be the card some in government are playing to promote their socialist agenda.
Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones- bible in hand- said this from the House floor in April.
“We believe in the American dream, more importantly we believe in the Biblical dream, the Godly vision, which depends on every able bodied American to contribute and work because that is what God want for as individuals, as families, as communities. Ours is a society that has been the most prosperous in the world because it promises that people can keep what they earn but they must earn it by the sweat of their brow. In casting out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise, the Lord did not leave them without hope. He gave them the blessing of work, of labor, of personal independence. This is a grace from God. Nations that guarantee benefits others have earned fail. Conservatives understand that and know that expansion is nothing more than massive growth of the welfare state and a direct threat to our long-term economic health, our families and our faiths. There is a reason why socialism and atheism go hand in hand.”
Wow Murph. That church sure spent a long time on that bulletin and consequently I would ask, wouldn’t their time be better spent helping the community instead of passing on talking points and finding bible verses to fit their talking points? I just shake my head at people like that, their priorities seem somewhat shaky to me.
MO does have a Dem governor but I imagine his hands are tied similar to the Presidents hands. I notice he vetoed that abortion wait time bill last week, or was it ultrasound? It is hard to keep up with all the ways these men and women are trying to take away women’s rights.
I am not sure how welfare is a threat to faith. If people do not have money, aren’t they more likely to walk in to a church for their “entertainment” or to seek help from God, out of their problems? I truly do not know how you survive in Republicanland but I have to hand it to you, I know I never could.
I have your email address from long ago, I will send you a test so that we can deal with the daily kos thing off of PP.
The thing is that it is not just from one church….a bunch I know of and the language in it keeps popping up in public statements by “christian” public figures.
As to our governor (and indeed the entire state executive branch) is Democratic thanks to three urban areas but the legislature is overwhelmingly GOP. A tool the GOP uses very well here is put things on ballots as binding referendum- one such was that the no ACA related program could be done without the support of a) both houses of our legislature AND b) a passed referendum on an open ballot.
Look forward to your contact.
It seems that there is nothing but strife everywhere these days. I would say I need to disconnect from it all but I cannot be irresponsible in that way.
I had a tough time with irresponsible and remembering that is the right term…..getting old 🙂
I get weary….really do…you have alluded to how taxing life is in a hostile environment…where is there an environment these days that is not hostile?
I have gotten pulled into the children refugees crisis. A local church full of good people offered to assist in finding temporary placements for about 50 kids (with all of the background checks etc. in place). They also started a drive to gather basic necessities for them. In particular they offered to assist with teenaged boys since those appear to be the most difficult to place and are the most at risk. Their idea was that a placement in a rural, midwestern setting would give them some space from the gangs to which a good many are connected if not affiliated.
WELL, local “patriots” are up in arms, literally. Lot of protesting and last night nasty graffiti on a church wall.
I don’t belong to the church but I support the effort and that is getting me heat as well.
I don’t know how most of these people do what they do all week, then show up in the pews on Sunday. They have got to know by now that Bush signed this in to law, do any criticize him for it?
I feel for you, living in that environment.
Thanks, Murph – so much of this is drawn by them from their favorite section of the Bible – the OLD Testament. They are grounded in the ages-old tribalism, NOT in the universal inclusion that is exactly what made Jesus so dangerous to the existing hierarchy.
I am beyond any capacity to deal with the religious right anymore. They have and will continue to ignore the directives that are the foundational principles of Christianity. We call them Dominionists for the politics they make clear that they intend to take over the world – have Dominion over it. The problem is that they are really “Old Testamentarians” for whom Jesus is just the ‘get out of jail free’ card they hope will be played at death.
Hey Sue – another outstanding presentation. You know my story. You know my feelings. I really appreciate the time you take to discuss the internal workings of this very dangerous movement.
I will get the book and read it when I have the strength to do so! I’m still getting the occasional acts of vandalism thanks to these ‘true believers’ but they are reducing in number and strength. But it is clear evidence of what you’re saying – they are devoted to their own superiority making even craven acts up to and including murder, totally justified in their own minds. Every one of the murders of abortion providers has been rationalized by the assassin AND his supporters as a ‘Biblical’ deed.
This is not something to laugh at and ignore. Thank you as always for keeping the spotlight on their movement.
Thanks CL, as always you reinforce, from extremely close contact, the serious nature of this problem.
I think you will enjoy the book, it is a fast read but knowing what you and I know, kind of a horror story.
Hope you are doing well, slow down when you can Lady. 🙂
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to all !!
I have taken the time to read many of the comments on this thread. I have of course read the well written article by SueInCA, and am after reading all of this coming to the same conclusion I come to after contemplating almost every other issue I discuss here.
Religion, politics, discrimination, you name it all appears to return to the same root.
We ask ourselves, some of us, how can people be so adamant about this issue or that. How is it that they cannot see what is happening when religion, politics, or discrimination is being hijacked and utilized by those that would cherry pick evidence they find that meets their personal need.
How is it that there are so many different religions, most of them with generally the same principle in the the beginning but then somehow converting into what would appear to be a monstrosity like interstate highways or the world wide web. Yes people somehow find that thing in religion that goes along with or affirms what they choose to believe in order to feel comfortable with their practices and investigate no further.
How is it that some people can discuss their political party and say for example “I’m a republican but I don’t go along with much of the party platform or the right, right wing portion of the party.
I ask myself, how is it that some people can say, I do not discriminate, do not believe in discrimination but….
For me the answer is simple. We, many of us rather than educating ourselves on the issues, whether it be Religion, Politics, Discrimination or what have you, choose to investigate only so far. We tend to find that barrier that requires a bit more work in order to reach our goal and decide, oh well, I’ve read enough to understand and realize that the majority of this coincides with what I believe, that’s good enough for me.
Any person who studies Christianity in America should realize the religion has been utilize to dominate those that would think differently or in the early years appear different than those in power.
In politics, it is a bit more difficult because we have more or less a two party system that is tantamount to having one party, so we pick and choose between the good and bad policies of the party we subscribe to, again, only investigating to the point where our issue or in some cases issues appear to be addressed, and thereafter ceasing to investigate further we say, that is my party, after all, just look at the other party, they don’t subscribe to what I believe in and are not addressing my issues….and so what if the party I support doesn’t cover everything, they’re the lesser of the two evils. Instead of saying neither party completely addresses my issues so we need another party/more political parties that will address all of the needs of the people we accept that portion we can live with and move on. Many forget that this is supposed to be a government OF, BY, and FOR the people, all of the people, not just the wealthy or those that shout the loudest or spend more money to bribe politicians in order to get more of what they want.
I included discrimination in this list because whether you wish to agree with me or not, we fall into the same circumstance when it comes to discrimination, discriminatory practices in religion, politics and almost every other aspect of our lives. If we are in the majority, we tend to investigate a situation, if it appears to be against our principles, but doesn’t affect us personally, it is so easy for us to say: “I don’t agree with what is happening to those that are being put upon, and I really think something should be done to stop what is happening.” We leave it there, and do not in any way try to alleviate the suffering of others because well, it isn’t us inflicting the pain so just making a statement of dissent is sufficient and instead of investigating the situation and trying to do something that would allow our feelings regarding what is taking place to be realized, we move on.
We must remember to try to stamp out oppression wherever it occurs: Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions or people, and anxiety. We oppress others when we refuse to allow them their equal rights under law, whether it be religious, political, or whatever.
Until we in this nation are of the mind that we are our brothers keeper, until we realize that we, and all that surrounds us are connected and that what happens to one of us has an effect on the rest of us, we will not be able to stop the religious right, the republican party or those in the democratic party that are not there for the best interest of the electorate. Until we investigate the history of this nation and together right the wrongs that have been committed in the name of ALL the citizens of this nation, from the Holocaust against the Native Americans to the enslavement of African Americans to discrimination against women or discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation, we will never get it right.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ this statement in the Bible has much meaning for me, I look upon it as a challenge, I also look upon it as saying, if you did not help others, you in effect did not help yourself.
If we do not stop as a people and learn to unite as a nation. If we do not take into consideration what is best for all of us in this nation, the rest of us around the world, and even Earth itself which is also a part of us, then the lack of interest in things that go beyond our personal circle will be what causes this nation to implode and those of us who realize how intertwined this nation is with the rest of the world also realize the implications of an imploded American Empire for the the rest of the world.
Sorry for such a long diatribe but this is the way I feel about the subject. You can’t just take one issue and believe that is the cause of the problems in the world. We have to begin with ourselves and work our way through solving the problems that cause so much unnecessary pain and suffering on this planet.
Thanks for your “diatribe” 🙂 I agree with you, however, how do we bring people to the table that just do not want to come and sit? How do we force them to sit down and discuss our shared interests? Also what we think are shared interests are not always the same as well. I think the Presidency of Barack Obama is a clear example of the contraction from the right. President Obama, despite knowing their disdain for him, has tried many times to bring together the left and the right. to no avail. How do you make a social contract with people who refuse to admit you have ideas and resolutions?
To be quite honest, I did not become fully aware of the deep divide until around 2004. When I did, I honestly tried to open dialogue with many on the right and most times it was their way or the highway. The people who were open to dialogue, I have continued to work with but despite outreach to many other groups, the divide has only gotten wider. And admitting this country has done many wrongs just does not appear to be a pastime for many on both sides. I was registered Peace and Freedom party for many years. I did so because in the state of California other parties will allow cross party voting, except for the Republican party. How do you come to common ground with a party that, even at that level, they refuse to allow other opinions even if it will generate votes for their party?
Until this country truly accepts that it is ok to be intellectual, thirsty for knowledge and willing to search for answers, I think we will be mired in this conundrum. The article you posted from Chris Hedges explains all of this better than I ever could but he pretty much has come to the same conclusion, Americans have allowed themselves to be dumbed down because it is easier. There is no stress in ignoring the news of the world. There is no stress in looking at an object to be able to ring up a burger on a cash register, we do not have to learn joined writing because so much is done with the computer keyboard. Something as simple as cursive writing will fall by the wayside because we chose expediency over depth of knowledge. I am totally there with you on bringing people together but I am also realistic that you are going to lose many because their sense of instant gratification will not be fulfilled if they have to compromise with others.
I believe the first key step is learning what people are like, and what is important to them. It doesn’t matter if they are democrat, republican, libertarian, whatever, the first step for me is always to try to get to know an individual then find out what it is that person believes he or she wants. You would be surprised at how many people believe they want something different than you do, when really what they want isn’t much different than what you want.
I believe the way we go about getting what we want is where we encounter problems. Chris Hedges explains it very well, and does kind of leave the listener in despair when it comes to solutions, but I believe when you are dealing with someone who sees things differently than you do, you have to learn to speak with them on their level.
Just as a parent would not argue with their 3 year old, we sometimes have to realize that when we are engaged in conversation the difference between ourselves and the person we are having the dialogue with could be that extreme. Tactical thinking, critical thinking, and one on one involvement is IMHO how we will eventually through trial and error learn to reach people. I am doing this everyday, no, not online or on social network sites. I believe trying to reach someone in that manner is futile. We have to have one on one face to face contact with the people we are seriously trying to educate or have educate us. Each one teach one was and still is the way to go once you have agreed upon things you have in common. Love, understanding, and persistence is winning out, slowly, but surely.
I have volunteered and have worked with many different communities here in Ohio and across the country since I retired in 2005. Many people that thought they would never be able to find common ground with me have done so and today are volunteering and trying to help others. I still have contact with many of them, people who when I began working with them had to be shown videos or had to have things recorded for them to listen to because they would not read, maybe because they couldn’t, or maybe because they didn’t have the time, or maybe because they never learned to comprehend what they read it appeared to me that they learned better through video and recordings. If one is serious about helping his/her fellow man anything is possible, we just have to keep trying. 🙂
I agree with all of that but have you ever really gotten in the trenches with the religious right? I think we are talking about two different kinds of people. I have definitely been around and worked with people who only need a little nudge to want to learn and “each one teach one” has been my motto for a long time. I am talking about people so entrenched in their religion that the only way you can get them to understand you is to join their religion. These people are not looking to learn from “liberals” or as they call us behind closed doors, “secular” which is a much dirtier word in their speak. To them that means not concerned with religion(theirs) or worldly. They have no use for us unless we want to come to their way of thinking. I would certainly applaud anyone who could get them to come to the table and agree to disagree at the very least.
I get into the trenches, so to speak, with the religious right often. I have one rule when dealing with everybody I become involved with. First as I said before, I need to know what it is they want. What is it that has caused them to adhere to this way of thinking, why have they accepted it. How convicted are they to what they consider the best avenue for them which in this case would be the teachings of those considered the Christian Right.
You would be surprised at how little anything that has to do with Christianity is involved, and how often prejudice, discrimination, domination, hatred, and the like are at the root of the problem.
Some who are honest when discussing the issues you present to them will begin to realize how little their cause is connected to Christianity and will agree that the leaders of their cause are using Christianity to indoctrinate and yes, will decide what they are involved with isn’t for them.
Then, there are always those who are involved in what I consider this “Cult” that will not discuss honestly what exactly the “Christian Right” represents and will not debate the issues because they do not wish to relinquish this “Cult” that has taken up “their cause” not their religious beliefs, but their cause and under the auspices of Christianity are making their what I consider Jim Crow type beliefs, somehow in their minds, proper and acceptable. The way they think things in this world should be. When you encounter people like this, you have to agree to disagree and move on, after all each one teach one, means there are more people than yourself trying to effect change. If you cannot reach someone you have to agree to disagree and hope that someone else who is better equipped to handle that particular situation will be able to reach that person.
Agree to disagree, it’s okay, you are never going to convince everyone, the idea is to remain calm, be kind, be courteous, and know when to say “oh well, to each his own.” Use your time more wisely by helping someone who truly wants to listen to reason or who wants to gain a better understanding. Some people are entrenched in their beliefs, and no matter what you say or do they will not change. The idea is not to convince everyone, that isn’t possible, in my mind the way to win the battle is to be of the majority opinion and after investigation, consultation, and much prayer come to the knowledge that that majority opinion is the correct opinion for everyone, not just yourself and your group.
I hope I explained myself a bit better. 🙂
Monica I think everyone would like to work with the religious right but they are not generally open to it. I worked on a project with the CA Council Of Churches and not one evangelical church of that type chose to work with the project to open lines of communication between all. Perhaps you have a secret that we did not and I would sincerely like to hear of right wing religious groups you have worked with to effect open dialogue on both sides. How did the compromise come about? Did you have long term success? What sort of projects have you been able to collaborate on?
Generally, the people I am referring to have an almost fanatical belief that they are going to end public education, they are going to rule in the House of Representatives and they will enter the White House again and their comments do not give me much hope that they are going to welcome liberal/secular input. You may know different but after 7 years of researching them, I do not see where a liberal agenda fits in their world view.
Sue, great article that resulted from a lot of work. Yes, it could happen. It did happen. After 9-11, we were lead in the wrong direction with war against Iraq. True, some knew it was wrong but we went. The axle of evil, the “with us or against us”, all the rhetoric you write about. Our country killed innocent people and our young military people were killed. You can again hear the drums of war pounding. The Religious Right are preparing for the Second Coming. Israel, do you know what that entails?
I do not believe in the Second Coming but I do know this: if Jesus were to come back, He would be appalled at what is being done in His name. His true teaches ignored. Greed and capitalism to the extreme was never His goals. The poor, the weak, the children where.
These people are as you say, Sue, dangerous and must be watched. Must be exposed. Their guns are in the hands of people that follow the rhetoric and want the fight. Our police forces are being supplied by the military industrial complex. No war? You still have to make stuff and it has to go somewhere or you don’t get the government substitutes. I’ll do my best, Sherlock, to expose them but I think I will be the subject of another Salem Witch Trial. I do not and will not believe as they do.
Sally it is my firm belief that they were trying under Bush but I think that he was just not the right person to push their agenda. For one thing, he used to make really stupid statements about God and the end times and he would make those statements to leaders of other countries. Second, he was not really their type of Christian if he is one at all. But remember all that talk about Iraq and the “Crusades”, it being “God’s war” etc. The only reason I can think of that they decided on Iraq as their biblical symbol is that it is considered the cradle of civilization. I am not that well versed in biblical times to know the detail of that area.
One thing I do know is that Tony Blair is a radical christian like they are. He has built up an army of his own Joshua Brigade kids in Britain and some parts of Europe. He was also supposed to be some kind of envoy to Israel when the time comes for peace to be negotiated. It has been awhile since I read all of that but could prob find it again if you want to read it.
Here is the answer to my lamenting below about Americans not being curious about what is going on right under their noses:
“The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both.”
These “Christian” right groups may just succeed and the reason is laid out by Chris Hedges in an article he wrote. Here is some of the article and the link to the article if you would care to read it:
America the Illiterate
By Chris Hedges
November 16, 2008 “Truthdig” — – We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.
There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.
The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia. It is style and story, not content or history or reality, which inform our politics and our lives. We prefer happy illusions. And it works because so much of the American electorate, including those who should know better, blindly cast ballots for slogans, smiles, the cheerful family tableaux, narratives and the perceived sincerity and the attractiveness of candidates. We confuse how we feel with knowledge.
The illiterate and semi-literate, once the campaigns are over, remain powerless. They still cannot protect their children from dysfunctional public schools. They still cannot understand predatory loan deals, the intricacies of mortgage papers, credit card agreements and equity lines of credit that drive them into foreclosures and bankruptcies. They still struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers. They watch helplessly and without comprehension as hundreds of thousands of jobs are shed. They are hostages to brands. Brands come with images and slogans. Images and slogans are all they understand. Many eat at fast food restaurants not only because it is cheap but because they can order from pictures rather than menus. And those who serve them, also semi-literate or illiterate, punch in orders on cash registers whose keys are marked with symbols and pictures. This is our brave new world.
Thanks for that post, I read the whole thing and it actually answered some questions I was having and solidified some thoughts I have as to the literacy of this country. We see it all the time, words misspelled, incorrect use of terms like their, there, your you’re and if you gently remind the person, you are then the grammar police. Well um no, if the grammar police were really a true entity, you would not be spelling incorrectly or using incorrect grammar lol. The numbers of illiterate people is staggering.
The post did remind me of why people that are really trying to have serious conversations are rebuffed, or told to lighten up and Chris hit the nail on it’s head: “The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both.”
We really do have so many people who believe this myth. They are set in America so no need to venture in to unknown or difficult areas of study or conversation. It is really a shame and I do not think there is much hope of turning it around until we have had that downfall and come back.
Read my comment above, It is my answer to how we can turn this all around if we actually want to turn it around.
Sue, they are not real Christians. If they were they would be caring for the poor, the hungry, their neighbors, and NOT threatening to kill or return the refugees to their tormentors.
Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the 10 Commandments.”
First, they are blaspheming when they say God wants them to kill. One of the commandments is not to kill.
They are breaking most if not all of them.
I know that and you know that, Nirek, but the huge percentage of illiterate Americans who thrive on pictures instead of the written word are not as knowledgeable as we are. Their minds simply are not geared to take on that much information which is why they will usually try to make the person who is bringing that unpleasant news to them feel like they are the problem. “lighten up” “don’t take it so seriously”, “chill out”, all phrases to entice the person who is speaking to stfu, you know?
You can’t dismiss them by saying they are not real Christians. In their minds they believe they are as much of a Christian as you are. I believe we have to begin to say in effect, they are not “Christians” at all. You can’t be a Christian to a certain degree. You either are or you are not IMHO.
Great article SueInCA,
I will have to leave a comment for you later, I am on my way out for dinner and a movie right now. I have nothing but accolades for your well written and much needed post, and yes, I have read the book. I believe it should be required reading for the entire electorate, especially those who decide they would rather stay home and not vote during elections.
No problem Monica, I am patient. 🙂
Terrific, Sue! Those quotations are absolutely chilling. Some of them sound like they could have come right out of the Inquisition. Talk about “forced conversions”!
Just today I was reading an article about these militia fanatics who are gathering on the Texas border to protect us all from terrified 6 year-olds. One of their most visible leaders is “Chris Davis, a 37-year-old truck driver who was discharged from the Army in 2001 “under other than honorable conditions in lieu of trial by court martial,” according to a summary of Davis’ military service obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.”
Here’s what Chris has to say about himself:”I believe in the King James Bible, The Constitution, and Bill of Rights! I am a Future Veteran of the Refounding. Molon Labe! III%! Spirit of 1776!”
I have no idea what the III% and the Molon Labe mean, but I can pretty much guess what “being a veteran of the Refounding” is all about.
Are these guys willing to resort to violence? Well, here are his instructions for what his militia boys are supposed to do if/when they encounter an “illegal”: he describes plans for “securing the border:” “How?” he asked on the video. “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’ ”
I guess if the border crosser doesn’t understand English that’s his bad luck.
Granted, I think (well, hope anyway) that people this far off the rails are a minority, but there are many more people who fill the chairs in fundamentalist mega-churches every Sunday who are being taught that it has always been God’s will that this country be a Christian nation and it’s their mission to see that this happens.
The purported “literal inerrancy” of the Bible is gradually being extended to include the Constitution. More and more the word is that God virtually dictated the Constitution to the Founders. And they’re now elevated to the level of the original 12 Apostles. Challenging their interpretation of the Constitution is — increasingly — considered as strictly taboo as challenging the literal accuracy of the Bible. In other words: heresy.
Now, with the help of the Kochs, Capitalism (always with a capital C) is increasingly linked with America. The new holy trinity is Church-Constitution-Capitalism. Dare to challenge capitalism as being anything other than God’s own economic system? Once again: heresy.
And we all know what happens to heretics.
Like you, Sue, I’m hoping that Americans will soon start to connect the dots. (Not always easy, since they do love to operate in stealth mode, as you noted.)
Because if we don’t, one of these nights some of us are going to wake up with a Chris Davis in our bedroom. In full body armor.
And he’ll be packing plenty of holy heat.
In the United States of America, both the original Greek phrase and its English translation (Molon labe) are often heard from pro Second Amendment activists as a defense of the right to keep and bear arms. It began to appear on web sites in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
In the Second Amendment or firearms freedom context, the phrase expresses the notion that the person uttering the phrase is a strong believer in these ideals and will not surrender their firearms to anyone, especially to governmental authority. Challenge coins similar to those used by military service members have been created with the Molon Labe text and firearm images.
As for the III%:
Scary? You bet, and imagine this mess is connected to what these people think is Christian principles.
Don’t Tread on Us…. remind you of something?
I remember the Black Panther Party, a group that was nowhere near as extreme as these people. Remember what happened to them? Why isn’t the government tracking down and taking whatever means necessary to break up this organization the way they did the Black Panthers…I have my ideas, but I don’t have time to get into it right now.
Just know that these people are what you get from the Tea Party, the Molon labe, the III% and irrational Christian Right groups.
Monica, let them have their fire arms. But lets stop ammo from being made and sold.
If only that were possible, however I believe if these people couldn’t buy ammo for their weapons they would begin to create ammo or something much worse that would accomplish the destruction they appear to be addicted to.
Many thanks, Monica!
Sort of an equivalent to Dubya’s “Bring it on!”
And then that III% video — Good grief… if they weren’t so dangerous, they’d be laughable.
The background music. Really? The flaming skulls? The melodramatic and highly paranoid verbiage. How old are these people? 12?
But sadly, no. They’re alleged adults and they have ridiculous amounts of fire power thanks to the NRA.
These people IMHO have been indoctrinated by Koch ministries, the NRA, the White Supremacist movement, the Tea Party, Heretic Preachers and who knows how many other awful organizations that abound in this nation. Sad, but true, Sue is correct in her article when she says that our doom/defeat will come from within. It appears History does repeat itself….most Empires tend to implode.
And sadly, the feature that FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, the NRA, firebrand RW preachers , the Tea Party and the White Supremacist movement all have in common is that they all communicate rage. And — paradoxically — people seem to find that comforting.
I think it must somehow resonate with the fear and anger that they suppress every day of their lives, but aren’t allowed to express — or maybe have pushed down so deeply that they barely recognize its existence themselves.
But they know it when they hear it. They recognize it. And they say: “Hey, that guy gets it!”
Maybe the left needs to find a way to tap that anger vein without exploiting it. Respectfully. Because — really — people do have a lot to be mad about. But at this point a lot of them are blaming the wrong people and/or institutions.
Elizabeth Warren seems to be one person on the left who’s pissed off and I think that’s one reason she’s so popular. But the good thing is that she’s putting her anger-based energy into constructive activity.
It would be great if that would catch on.
Human manipulation. These guys, Rush and rest of them have learned how to manipulate their base, they first instill the fear into them and then exploit that same fear with every half truth and lie they can muster.
Kes, if these people are Christians they are NOT following Christs teachings. They are fakes! Radicals! Just as bad as the radicals of Islam or any other religion.They have perverted their religion.Changed it to suit their wishes.
Amen Nirek, that’s it in a nutshell. 🙂
Exactly, Nirek! If Christ came back in person, he’d be horrified at what these people are doing in his name.
Perversion of religion is a totally accurate description of what they’ve done.
Thanks Kes and your comments here target some of my fears. Some of these militias are just that but when you have a Militia group that goes in using God as their shield, you have a fanatic that thinks they are being guided by God himself. And if God said to kill, that is what they will do.
I think people in the US really believe that no such thing as a coup could take place but with all the knowledge we have of these people and their incursions into local, state, federal politics plus their insidioue meddling in our Military, it gives me cause for concern. I have seen how these supposed Christians have attacked, viciously, people who work with Mikey Weinstein. They try to discredit him all the time as do some progressives as well. It makes me want to scream, especially the progressives.
It is so hard to get people to understand the danger here and I am at a loss of just how it can be accomplished on a grand scale. There are many out there waling the walk but there is no one place where all of the information is housed. I know I don’t have the money to build such a site but I can tell you, I would be more than willing to help out in such an endeavor.
And our own Choicelady has had personal experience too with being harassed by them, as you know Sue.
Even just the number of candidates in the GOP recently who have claimed that “God told them to run” is very worrisome. There are a lot of other countries in the world where saying that would be a prime reason for a total loss of credibility. But not here.
I was just reading the piece by Chris Hedges and he had a message for me in it. I have puzzled over the lack of real interest in what is going on in this country and think to myself all the time, when “It” happens, what are the majority of Americans going to think, do or say. Hedges has a partial answer – they will go back to their forms of entertainment, well those the new leaders will allow them to keep.
“The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both.”
This is a big part of our problem.
That is one brilliant paragraph. Perfectly worded. No doubt it’s both alarming and somewhat depressing, but it sure sounds like reality-speak to me.
Before making a substantive reply, may I please ask if you are going to repost this elsewhere? I would like permission to repost it at the Daily Kos. We will need a really catchy title and an equally catchy lead paragraph to catch the attention of the scanners over there but I think this is worth sharing.
At Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Nation-Frederic-C-Rich/dp/0393240118
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (July 1, 2013)
Have you seen the reviews for the work- all over the place? Reading them tells me that those who found the subject matter disagreeable were likely to rate it poorly….often arguing from a evangelical perspective.
More thoughts on this later.
I guess it is ok, not sure Daily Kos readers will be too interested but if you think they will, we can repost it there.
When you say new opening paragraph, what do you have in mind?
Sue, it’s your work, so it should really be be cross-posted as it is, with full credit to you and The Planet at the top where people can see it. That’s always been our policy for cross-posting articles elsewhere. If people at DK want to read it, they will.
Thanks for the input. I actually thought the opening was appropriate for the way I wanted to tell the story. I would not mind changing the title because in retrospect, it is the same title as the book’s author used. That might be considered some type of infringment. Perhaps we should go ahead and change it. Perhaps Adlib can help out here, he is much better than me at picking titles. Or maybe:
Coalition of Church and State: Destroyed from Within.
How about that? It keeps with the theme of my series and would come up in a similar web search. I would put America but I can see people going ballistic if I added it to the title……
The opening is the key to the whole article, Sue, and yes, you could change the title just in case someone decides to do a Google search, just to be safe.
Sorry I haven’t got to your article yet, have a bit of a crisis here, but will be back as soon as I can.
Great to see you posting articles again btw. 🙂
Do you want me to change the title to this post, and if so, should I use the one you have suggested as I think it’s perfect?
I went back and it won’t let me edit now that is has been published. If you can edit it when you have the time, that would be great.
Ok Sue, is that the title you have decided on, let me know and I’ll update it straight away, or I can put it back in Draft for you so you can change it yourself. Either way, no problem.
Yes, thank you Kalima. Hope you are staying dry. If you have internet, the storm must have passed by now. That last typhoon in the Phillipines was a monster and so devastating. I hope you are high and dry.
Thanks Sue, your post will disappear shortly but will have it back up as soon as I can.
To to be sure, is this it?
Coalition of Church and State: Destroyed from Within.
By the time the typhoon reached Tokyo, it had weakened considerably, so we just had a lot of rain. Today is blue skies and 33C.
All fixed, Sue. 🙂
Now I’m off to do some work here. Take care and see you soon.
Thanks Kalima, I can rest easy now. Have a good day.
My pleasure, Sue. Have a good evening too and see you later.
Oh my Kalima, I have been here since 2009 and did not know there were boxes under the posts to share on twitter and fb. I was always copying and pasting the links with a short blurb to introduce what the post was about
Morning Sue, just caught this before I sleep, so I’ll answer quickly. All posts automatically go to our Twitter account, and yes, just click on Facebook under the post, and it goes to your Facebook page. 🙂
It’s never too late to learn. In fact it’s fun. This is my message for you. 😀
Thanks Kalima, love learning from song. Also just love the background on that song. The words too, but that beat makes me want to move. 🙂
We are so O/T, but it’s your post. 😆
I’m dancing my way to the kitchen now, listening to the song, so I’m moving too. You are such a good sport, Sue, always fun to talk to. Have a good Saturday, and goodnight from me in Tokyo.
Hi Sue- I have learned at DK that the number of posts that float through the pages there means that one has to catch the attention of the readers who scan through the titles. When you hover over a title you get the first 30 to 40 words of your opening paragraph. So unless the diary is a regular feature and folk know it, or you have an established reputation for good stuff that is when you have to grab them.
I liked your paragraph order on the front page and your new title with the change I suggest:
The United States Destroyed from Within by a Coalition of Church and State
“On October 22, 2022, New York is the last bastion of what was once a free country. Within hours, the last bastion of free society, a hastily fortified Manhattan, has capitulated. They tried, they really did but fighting a new President who has the military at his disposal, militia and the National Guard now under his control as well as the Joshua Brigade, the 22 states that were a hold out and refused to remain with this new America, had no chance in a losing proposition against the new Christian-based government.
Are you a member of the Daily Kos Community? That’s the key. If you are, then publishing is a snap. If not, then your work could be published by someone who is as a “with permission” article from the Daily Planet.
I find it very persuasive and it puts forth a topic not much discussed there (although I find the the breadth of coverage quite impressive on most days). I would probably write another diary spinning off of it based on my experience here in Mo. In that diary I would then cite yours. Of course, if you would rather not…..that is fine as well.
I think that what you have to say is worth hearing.
It is the way they parse words that are the real danger. Dominion (to take care of) becomes domination (to take control of). It would be in all of our best interest to get a petition going to eliminate the faith-based initiatives before it is too late. And someone needs to take the Koch Bros out before they take us all out. Think this is hyperbole? Would you like for me to tell you
the story of my tattooed Bubbe (yiddish for grandmother)?
There’s a reason for those two simple words, no SLM?
Yes. But we have forgotten, in so many places, and for whatever reason, deem their citizens unworthy of rescue.
SLM No you do not have to remind me again, my other area of interest is The Holocaust and Nazi Germany and I have read a ton on it. I have a book right now that I need to get through, Auschwitz: A History by Sybille Steinbacher. I think that because I have been so steeped in Holocaust readings and the hell that was Nazi Germany I am so alarmed with the Christian right here. I see so many parallels in their rhetoric and their actions. All I can do is keep writing and hope that someday more people will understand.
I didn’t mean to word it in such a way that you should feel I was singling you out. It was to the reader of the comment, in general.
Not at all SLM. I knew how you meant it, it was a general question to everyone. I was only telling you that, yes, I have done a great deal of research on the Holocaust as a basis for why I am so unnerved by the religious right’s actions. No offense was taken at all. None.
Sensitive subjects sometimes require better use of language… ;=}
It is an important time in history to understand. I’m sure people of that day said it’s the 1940s why can’t we act like we’ve evolved.
Sue, at the moment I’m about 2/3 of the way through Emmanuel Ringelblum’s “Notes From The Warsaw Ghetto.” It’s just stunning. I’m not sure it’s in print these days (I got an early edition — 1958 — from the library) but if you get a chance to have a look at it, it’s well worth the time.
SLM I read a fictional book about an American(originally a French citizen) who was caught in the 3rd Reich’s sweeps of Poland. In the book he was ok but the author told the story of a Jewish Scholar who was documenting all that was happening from the early days of the Nazis through the end of the war. He was documenting everything down to births, deaths, any activity of interest. I am trying to remember the details but it was to be left in a secret underground vault for anyone who survived the war to go back and claim.
I wonder if the author was telling a loose interpretation of Ringlebaum’s life?
Forgive me for chiming in, but this nation has its own holocaust to overcome..much of it due to the utilization of “religion.”
Oh make no mistake, Monica, most educated Americans know the whole story of America and it is not the pretty face put to other nations.
When you have the religious right meddling in public education, books like The People’s History are left by the wayside. They don’t need no damned truth.