American fascists

Chris Hedges is the author of, “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” and his thesis is that christians are duped into their faith by the despair of capitalism and the false consciousness of religion. The hatred implicit in this is palpable and one can well imagine where this kind of rhetoric and demonization could lead to in the near future.

The engine that drives the radical Christian Right in the United States, the most dangerous mass movement in American history, is not religiosity, but despair. It is a movement built on the growing personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans, who watched helplessly as their communities were plunged into poverty by the flight of manufacturing jobs, their families and neighborhoods torn apart by neglect and indifference, and who eventually lost hope that America was a place where they had a future.   ~alternet.org
Mr. Hedge's thesis is yet another example of how liberals and the left (aka progressives) view America and the world around them. More than anything, his thesis about these, "American Fascists," he hates seems to be more of a reflection of the way he feels about the world than an accurate representation of christians. His characterization of christians is little more than a projection of his own psyche.

In describing the Christian Right as being, "built on the growing personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans," he is attempting to demonize and deligitimize the religious views of millions. What he's actually doing is describing how he sees America. Personal and economic despair are supposed to be the conditions for fomenting a mass movement for social justice. But those fascists pastors moved in before the revolutionary vanguard could do their job.

This explains the pessimism and worldview orientation of modern liberalism. they see America as a gutted, hollow shell of a country, a prison for millions of enslaved victims of capitalism and an oppressively rich oligarchy.
During the past two years of work on the book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, I kept encountering this deadly despair. Driving down a highway lined with gas stations, fast food restaurants and dollar stores I often got vertigo, forgetting for a moment if I was in Detroit or Kansas City or Cleveland. There are parts of the United States, including whole sections of former manufacturing centers such as Ohio, that resemble the developing world, with boarded up storefronts, dilapidated houses, pot-hole streets and crumbling schools. The end of the world is no longer an abstraction to many Americans.  ~alternet.org
As he drives through where normal everyday Americans live and work Mr. Hedges feels "vertigo." Very much like a living ink blot test, he sees through the lens of his own utopian ideology. One so deeply ingrained in marxist/socialism that he may not even know where his worldview originates.

This same worldview was expressed last week at a conference attended by democratic congressmen Kucinich and progressive media activists. Bill Moyers explained that all this "vertigo" is caused by a conspiracy of the rich to keep everyone else poor.
None of this is accidental. Nobel laureate economist, Robert Solow, not known for extreme political statements, characterizes what is happening as “nothing less than elite plunder,” the redistribution of wealth in favor of the wealthy, and the power in favor of the powerful. In fact, nearly all the wealth America created over the past 25 years has been captured by the top 20% of households, and most of the gains went to the wealthiest. The top 1% of households captured more than 50% of all the gains in financial wealth, and these households now hold more than twice the share their predecessors held on the eve of the American revolution.  ~democracynow.org
This is the basis for all liberal proposals and programs. To be an anti-dote to oppression and exploitation there must be some oppression and exploitation to counteract. Thus whether or not it actually exists, those who have converted to this ideology will see oppression and exploitation everywhere.

So why is christianity a, "theology of despair,"?
Marx gets the term ‘alienation’ from Hegel and Feuerbach. Feuerbach builds his interpretation of Christianity upon the concept of alienation that lies at the foundation of Hegel’s philosophy. Marx accepts Hegel’s view that man can be alienated from himself, but he (Marx) rejected the view that nature is a self-alienated form of the absolute mind. On the contrary, Feuerbach argues, our idea of God is really just an idea of the human essence, and the essence of religion is men’s estrangement from himself (Bloch, 83). When human beings create and put above themselves an imagined higher being, they are alienated from themselves.  ~people.bu.edu
Religion is the opiate of the masses because it exists in opposition to the utopian dream of communal or communitarian politics. Thus the demonization of religion is not without purpose. It is an enemy of the delusionary dreams of millions.
Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. [Emphasis added]
What Mr. Hedges is expounding has been pronounced by others before him. His is merely a regurgitation of an older prejudice based on bad information and even worse economic and political theory.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.  ~Karl Marx
Posted by Eric Simonson at January 20, 2007 6:13 PM
Comments
Comment #204188

One person told me this a long time ago. He said IF I BELIEVE IN GOD AND DIE BELIEVING AND FIND OUT I WAS WRONG I LOSE NOTHING I JUST LIVED A DECENT LIFE BUT IF I DON’T BELIEVE AND DIE AND FIND OUT I WAS WRONG SHAME ON ME.

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #204202


If I don’t believe in God but I live a decent and caring life, will God send me to hell because I didn’t believe in him?

Eric: I believe the author has made some valid observations based on your hand picked assertions alone. Many people are frustrated about conditions in working America and most of them are religious to one degree or another. The leaders of the religious right use that discontent and despair. Rather than confront capitalism for it’s treatment of workers as just another commodity to be used and discarded, the leaders of the religious right scapegoat the liberals, the homosexuals, the pro-choice people, etc. and blame them for all of Americas problems.

The people in Ohio aren’t loosing their factory jobs because of progressives, They are loosing their jobs because capitalists would rather make deals with the communists than their own people.

Posted by: jlw at January 20, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #204215

This is just recycled Marx—this notion that religion (the opiate of the masses) is a tool of the capitalists to keep the workers from rebelling.

What’s really going on is the author is a religious fanatic himself, and his religion is socialism, which he imagines would flourish if it didn’t get so much competition from Christianity.

There are just so many HUGE problems with this notion.

For one, from the Abolition Movement, to the Civil Rights Movement, Christianity has been a huge part of “progressive” politics in the United States since the beginning. Christianity has even featured pretty prominently in the history of the unions, with preachers of all stripes getting involved in very high profile ways in the advocation of worker’s issues.

Another major problem is a great many people who are NOT Christians in any way do not share for a second this ridiculous picture the writer draws of America as a giant slum ruled over by merciless capitalists.

Would these “tens of millions of people” who are supposdely distraught thinking “they don’t have a future” in America prefer to live in a non-Christian nation someplace else?

Where might that be? Cuba? China?

Millions of people living overseas who are NOT Christians at all are dying to get into this hellish fascist nightmare we call America.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at January 20, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #204216

jlw
I don’t know and can’t answer that question. All I can say is that it’s between you and God. BTW jobs leaving Ohio is because of taxes and greedy unions.

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #204217
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step towards the diminution of war, every step toward the better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has ever been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately, that the Christian religion as organized in it’s churches, has been, and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”

Betrand Russell
from Why I Am Not a Christian
1927

Posted by: Tim Crow at January 20, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #204218

Kap - “Jobs are leaving Ohio because of taxes and greedy unions”

I read the posts on this board because they give me a good laugh. Thanks Kap!!

Posted by: charles Ross at January 20, 2007 9:39 PM
Comment #204219

Tim Crow
I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn’t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, NOT EVEN MINE.
Bertrand Russell
I would never die for my beliefs, I might be wrong.
Bertrand Russell
2 of his famous quotes

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #204220

Fascism:

An authoritarian form of statism that advocates

1. private property
2. State-centralized economy
3. militarism
4. nationalism

The Christian Right tends to be libertarian regarding private property, save for their insistence on special tax treatment by government.

The Christian Right idolizes the state centralized economy in American form wherein, capitalists have every right to make government its puppet, and oligopolies are viewed as inherently good for the economy. They respect the need for the SEC, and the powerful Chamber of Commerce, and the Federal Reserve System. Which together constitutes in large part, a state centralized economy.

The Christian Right is adamantly militaristic, believing and championing military suppression of any threats real or potential toward either Christianity or the U.S.

The Christian Right is fiercely nationalistic, believing America has a manifest destiny to spread Americanism around the globe for the salvation of all mankind. And as importantly, they seek to make the U.S. officially a Christian nation, which in turn means spreading Americanism around the globe shall include spreading Christianity around the globe.

Taken thus, it would appear the author you refer to Eric is right in viewing the Christian Right as fascist at its underlying philosophical premises - though there is a modest stretch in applying the state-centralized economy criteria to the Christian Right, requiring an American re-definition of the term which once described Mussolini’s Italy as a state-centralized economy.

And as for authoritarian, the Christian Right are purely so. Their stance on both permitting the President to author his own laws and rules for running the country is purely authoritarian. And their belief that all should support the President or keep their mouths shut, is also fiercely authoritarian. Finally, with Christ as the author of all things good and moral, it is safe to say, that Christians are truly supportive of Authoritarian concepts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 20, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #204222

Charles Ross
Ohio has some of the highest corporate taxes in the country. Local communities such as Cleveland will not give consessions. Union workers in Ohio are some of the highest paid and will not give consessions. Laugh if you want. If I owned a company I wouldn’t want to stay or come into0 Ohio.
.

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #204223

David

Do you think in Nazi Germany you could enjoy your rights to private property if you planned to do anything the party didn’t like?

Fascism and communism are heresies of the same totalitarian religion. The business people do not control the state in either. The state controls and business, tolerating only those who are politically correct (original use of the term). A believer in free market opposes both.

Posted by: Jack at January 20, 2007 9:52 PM
Comment #204224

Re religion

People are referring above to Pascal’s dare. Pascal was a pioneer in decision theory. He made a simple payoff chart to argue for religion, since in the worst case, the believer got the same as the non believer and in the other cases he did much better.

There is the problem of believe, however. If you DO believe, belief makes sense. IF not, no logic can prevail on you (and vice versa)

If you do believe in God, you probably cannot negotiate with him. If you do the wrong thing, and God sends you to hell, I do not think there is an appeal to a higher court. Non believers would end up there too. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

I guess the old saying, “see you in Hell” is meant for that.

Posted by: Jack at January 20, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #204228

Kap, there are union lovin’, high tax, blue states (they vote democratic); then there are god fearin’, union bustin’, tax hating red states (they vote republican). money flows between these states through the federal government. Take a guess which way the money flows (red to blue or blue to red, take a guess, you have a fifty percent chance of being right).
If you do make the correct guess (blue to red) then ask yourself the following: if taxes and unions are bad for a state’s economy, why is it that the states that posess those elements have the money to donate to the charity red states?

Posted by: charles Ross at January 20, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #204230

So, Jack. What you seem to be implying that people should accept jesus into their lives as sort of an insurance policy. I mean, all you pay is the words for possible eternal salvation, a place on the lifeboat to heaven from a boat that may or may not sink. It’s nice to know that christian faith stems not from highest ideals of love, compassion and realization but from economy, caution and outright fear.
It says much about the pitiful state of christianity.

Posted by: charles Ross at January 20, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #204231

Eric,

I was first introduced to the idea of our Democracy becoming a Theocracy in about 1980. I thought it was nonsense. We’ve never come closer than during the George W. terms.

We’re now moving a bit further away, not far enough, but still further away. I fear that Bush may go for the “closer”, that is to create armageddon. I certainly think he’s loonie enough to do it.

If you doubt the strength of the Theocratic movement you need look no further than this:

McCain makes nice to James Dobson
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070116/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_conservatives_2

It seems that McCain would sell his soul to be pres.

Selling souls seems to come easy to Republican’ts.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 20, 2007 10:57 PM
Comment #204233

I was logging off and the headline is:

“At least 20 American service members were killed in military operations Saturday in the deadliest day for U.S. forces in two years”

Explain why!

I say call Bush, wake his ass up and tell him to smell the coffee.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 20, 2007 11:05 PM
Comment #204234

Eric,

Given your hate filled rants about Liberals, Leftists and Progressives, it is more than a little ironic when you call them hate filled. I guess you miss the days of Rush’s arc of air wave supremacy as you watch people tire of these demagogic tirades.

Posted by: gergle at January 20, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #204236

Eric,

It is funny that Mr. Hedges uses Kansas City, Cleveland, and Detroit as vertigo inducing examples. These three cities are some of the most liberal Democratic cities in America. In fact, if it weren’t for Kansas City and St. Louis and the voter fraud that happens there every election, Missouri would be a solid red state instead of a toss-up.
Personally, if I were driving through a bunch of Democratic-controlled cities like the ones he mentions and saw the despair, crime, etc., I would probably get a little car sick myself, then proceed to pull off to the side of the road and pray for them to come to their senses!

David Remer,

1. Would you prefer that Christians be for state ownership of all property?
2. When was the last time you heard a Christian advocating that lobbyists and corporations should take over the government? A capitalistic society is dependent upon freedom, and small government, and the right to own private property. That is what this country was founded upon. Are you going to blame Christians for that? I thought most of the liberals and moderates keep saying this country is not founded on Judeo-Christian principles. You can’t have it both ways!
3. When was the last time you saw the church take up arms? However, the church does expect the United States to defend it militarily if necessary since freedom of religion is guaranteed within the Constitution, and our military as well as the President, Congress, and other government employees have the obligation to defend the U.S. Constitution. As for the spread of Democracy and Christianity, you are right. About the first groups to lead the charge of humanitarian assistance to those around the world suffering from oppression is the faith-based organizations who are designed to be the best charity work organizations on the face of God’s earth.
4. You are absolutely 100% correct on your fourth point. Christians are incredibly nationalistic when it comes to America. In other socialist nations, however, Christians are despised and persecuted mainly for their challenges to oppressive regimes. Christians are indeed considered a threat by those governments that do not wish for a free people, and who practice tyranny. The nationalism of the American Christian is unprecedented because we love our freedom. We realize that this is the greatest country in the world, and the most free to practice whatever religion we choose. I believe it is this insatiable and undying love for our country that causes us to be so despised by the liberal elite!!

Jack,

If your sins are covered by the blood of Christ, God sees nothing wrong, but only sees the blood. Judgement is passed over for you, and you enter regardless of your past. It is as simple as that if one believes. The believer simply trusts God to be truthful to His Word. Judgement is therefore, greatly anticipated, not feared.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 20, 2007 11:26 PM
Comment #204240

Jack said: “A believer in free market opposes both.”

Is it a free market that church’s, the storefronts of corporate religion, should receive exempt tax status while other corporations do not? The Christian Right does not believe in free markets. They believe in markets that benefit them and convert the world to their mind, whether they be freer or rigged, as benefits them, and their cause.

Was it free markets that the Christian Right used in converting the American Indians to Christianity? Not even remotely. Is it free markets when Christian Right aid overseas is married to Christian religious training of those receiving aid? In a free market, The Christian Right would give aid through the temples, mosques, and churches of other religions closer to the people and already part of their culture, as so many other Christian and Jewish charities do.

But the Christian Right’s brand of religion does not sell based on its own merits so easily, and converts must be bribed with enticements like food and medical care so desperately needed to sustain life. The Christian Right believe in monopoly.

They believe in one religion for all mankind. And one government ruling all, theirs. And corporations which endow their religion and defeat contenders. Listen to the FREC’s sometime on religious TV. All these and more are their basic tenets and visions of the future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 20, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #204243

Uh, JD, in regards to question #2 up above: what christian is advocating the take-over of the federal government by lobbyists and corporations, the answer would be tom delay.

Posted by: charles Ross at January 21, 2007 12:02 AM
Comment #204245

David Remer,

So, by your standards the Christian should upon seeing a people in need of clothing, water, shelter, or food, simply pass by saying” God Bless You!”, yet give him nothing to meet his need. What a warped sense of compassion you have my friend!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 21, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #204247

Good brought by Christianity:
1)shortened dark ages by preserving old roman/greek stuff after the atheist/pagan barbarians burned it all. Christians did not cause the dark ages, as many liberals claim.

2)stopped muslims from conquering the europe. As Europe goes more and more atheist, this might falter

3)invented freedom of religion

4)ended slavery

5)civil rights movement. Martin Luther King was a pastor. As are the “Reverends” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

6)helped defeat USSR. Solidarity was largely Catholic.

Christianity has probably been the greatest force for good the world has ever seen. Atheism, on the other hand, set back progress by a thousand years or so after it ruined the Roman Empire. The so-called Christian Right, however, is not true Chrisianity but rather a hijacking of it for cheap political purposes. Christ was far more concerned with social justice, for example, than homosexuality. This does not excuse homosexuality, but if given a compromise to end global poverty and make homosexual marriage legal, I would accept in a heartbeat. Anyone who wouldn’t is not a Christian as I would call them.

Posted by: Silima at January 21, 2007 12:22 AM
Comment #204248

Connecting fascism with religion seems like a stretch, although the Republican Party meld of Christian evangelicals and Corporatists certainly came close. I have not read the book by Hedges, but the basic dichotomy in the now nearly defunct Republican Party, the alliance between fundamentalists and the K Street Corporatists, seems to have been broken by factors mentioned in the article by Eric; the failure of the Corporatists to deliver domestic benefits to the fundamentalists.

The War of Terror- “I can”t believe it”s not a crusade”- came close to satisfying both factions. But domestically, the Corporatists betrayed the evangelicals. On the Supreme Court, Roberts and Alito have proven to be Corporatists, not evangelical activists. The Terry Shiavo debacle blackened the reputations of both Republican factions. In economic terms, the recovery benefited the wealthy, but obviously left most people, including evangelicals, holding an empty bag.

On another note- Pascals wager sounds great, assuming a vague belief in God would be sufficient to guarantee reward. Unfortunately, most Middle Eastern religions (and their offshoots, such as the Mormons) insist that reward is only possible by belonging to the correct group, and believing the correct dogman. Failure to do so means damnation.

In immediate terms, it means only the people believing in the one, true religion are rewarded by God. If it turns out the Cargo Cult worshipping John Frum turns out to be right, everyone else is simply screwed. Too bad. Lost the wager.

In terms of the article, adherence to a particular religious dogma guarantees an “us versus them” mentality. This, in turn, feeds into a delicious and distinctly fascist, totalitarian flavor in any religious state, regardless of whether it is Christian, Jewish, or Islamic. (Ask a Palestinian if the Jewish State of Israel is a good deal!).

Finally, this turns back to what might be the greatest and most valuable asset of American government, the separation of church and state…

Posted by: phx8 at January 21, 2007 12:27 AM
Comment #204249

JD said: “Would you prefer that Christians be for state ownership of all property?”

That’s a nonsense question.

“When was the last time you heard a Christian advocating that lobbyists and corporations should take over the government?”

Fundamentalist Right Evangelical Christians and many other Christian organizations lobby the government all the time. Therefore, they must believe in lobbyists controlling the decisions of government. Else, why would they lobby?

The Roman Catholic Church is the single most wealthy organization in the world. And as so, they are incorporated, all over the world. Their corporation lobbies many governments in the world. These facts would indicate they do indeed believe their corporation and lobby should control government decision making.

Some Baptist churches were centers for KKK activists just 40 years ago in America in the South and Midwest. They took up arms against federal troops in the streets of the South.

Weapons need not all be defined by gunpowder. Weapons can also be money, bribery, lobbying and propaganda campaigns like attempts to debunk empirical science for creationism.

“Christians are indeed considered a threat by those governments that do not wish for a free people”

Odd, and here I thought 97% of Cuba was Christian. Seems to contradict your statement above, JD.

Reality JD, one must learn to look past what one wishes to see, in order to see reality and deal with it successfully. It is one of the reasons Christianity is not the dominant religion in the world. Too often they refuse to see reality for what it is preferring instead to bask in what it should be according to their own needs, wants, and desires.

Not surprising, Bush is a reborn Christian Rightist, also unable to see reality for what it is. He continues to insist reality in Iraq is what his vision says it must be. The Emperor’s New Clothes however, leave his little impotent masculinity swinging denuded in the wind for all others to see.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 21, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #204250

Charles

I personally am agnostic. But I can follow the logic.

I think it is interesting that people who claim not to believe in God get offended when those who do imply they are going to hell. If you really don’t believe, what do you care? I had extensive contact with Gypsies who used to curse me for not giving them money. I just think it was funny because I know their superstitions are bogus. I suspect those insulted by others beliefs perhaps think they might be right.

On the other hand, hell may be unavoidable for the non believers. They do not have to believe that, but it will not change it. I mean, if a man who falls in the ocean refuses to hop into the boat because he believes the ocean will save him, he still drowns. The guy in boat advising him to get in is not at fault.

David

Re tax exemption, it is a well established tradition. I see no reason to object to it in general.

Please see above re religion. It depends on what you believe. It does not necessarily make sense to be ecumenical. If you truly believe you have found the way, how can you accept anything else. If someone plans to fling himself out a fifth story window, I cannot really just say that it is an alternative way to get to the sidewalk.

Religious people are much more generous than non religious people as a group anyway.

Posted by: Jack at January 21, 2007 12:36 AM
Comment #204251


JD: What about liberal Christians? David was talking about the Christian right. You seem to think that all Christians believe the same things that you do. If I am not mistaken, 78% of Americans claim to be Christians to one degree or another. This seems to suggest that there are moderate and liberal Christians. Also, one of the latest polls has 68% opposed to the president’s surge in Iraq which seems to suggest that a few Christians are having second thoughts about riding on the right wing wagon.

Posted by: jlw at January 21, 2007 12:37 AM
Comment #204252

Silima said: “Christians did not cause the dark ages, as many liberals claim.”

Quite right! Feudalism replacing the Roman Empire caused the dark ages due to landlords requiring only wealth to be landlords, not education. The monks preserved the knowledge of ancient times.

That said, it was the Christians that delayed the Renaissance, and supported the authoritarian regimen of torture and intimidation and heresy that resulted in a revolution within the Christian communities spawning so many break away sects of Christians such as the Calvinists and Lutherans.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 21, 2007 12:38 AM
Comment #204253

The amazing thing about this administration is that there are still days when I hear about things like this and still find myself going “Holy shit, has an official of the federal government actually dared to say that?”

Apparently, Alberto Gonzales just told Arlen Specter on Thursday that the constitution doesn’t expressly grant Habeas Corpus. Specter didn’t seem to buy it.

But I mean damn. This is what fascism is, right here. It’s people who can argue themselves out of honoring and protecting freedoms they swore to protect and uphold because they’re simply in the way of their agenda, well-intentioned or not. It’s people so drunk on power, or wracked by their thirst of it that they no longer have any decent guide of when they have crossed the line. God save the Democrats and all Republicans who remain in office from falling victim to this depth of corruption.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 21, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #204256

Stephen, what you cite is evidence of authoritarian rule, not fascism. Authoritarian rule is a component of fascism. Authoritarian rule is governance by the rule of those in power without regard for Constitution or laws that preceded their elevation to power.

The Bush administration is authoritarian - they author their own laws and rules as convenience and wishes dictate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 21, 2007 12:52 AM
Comment #204258

David R. Remer-
The counter argument to religion as the cause of these problems would be two fold:

1)The Christian monks of Ireland preserved much of the Western Tradition that the Renaissance and the Muslim golden age would flower from.

2)Islam itself encouraged and preserved, respectively, much of the study and the knowledge of the ancients within their libraries and universities. Many of the advances of the Renaissance are at least a partial product of interaction with the lands of Islam.

It’s more complex than Religion Bad, Secularism Good. Religion can be both a motivation to shut out competing ideas, and to pursue further illumination. So can politics. So can any strong philosophy, school of thought, or social movement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 21, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #204260

Stephen D. said: “The Christian monks of Ireland preserved much of the Western Tradition that the Renaissance and the Muslim golden age would flower from.”

You must have missed where I wrote this exact same thing. The monks preserved the knowledge of the ancients.

Of course, trade with cultures of the East via Marco Pollo had a lot to do with the Renaissance as well.

You said:” It’s more complex than Religion Bad, Secularism Good.”

I agree entirely, as a Buddhist. It was not teachings of Christ that brought rule through torture, intimidation and witchcraft and heresy, but the corporate power structures of the church.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, whether that power is in the Pope, or Church of England, Southern Baptist Ministries, or Japan’s form of WWII militant Buddhism.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 21, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #204261

OK, let me get this straight.

Because Christian groups lobby on issues of which they are concerned, that makes them lobbyists trying to take over the federal government. Hmm! I wonder if we could insert plenty of other left wing and centrist groups in the place of Christians on that, and see if your analogy still holds up in your mind.
On the flip side, you would prefer to silence Christians from having any say in the decisions that legislators make concerning those issues, even though Christians in America do vote for those legislators? What is next David, taking away the right for Christians to vote?

As for taking up arms, was it the Baptist Church, or the KKK that took up arms to promote racism? Be careful how you answer!
As for weapons, I agree. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but rather mighty in the Holy Ghost, for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. That includes misconceptions from the left.

Are not the people including the Church in Cuba controlled by the government of Cuba? There is a difference between a free Church as we are trying to hold onto here in America, and a government controlled Church, as we are moving in the direction of on the left. Perhaps, you would be comfortable in the Church of Cuba and other dictator-led countries since they are controlled by government, but I would not.

Funny that you should depict the Church as basking in the realities of their own needs, wants, and desires. It seems rather to me that the Church is warning against the consequences that may befall those that would succumb only to their own needs, wants, and desires, without any regard to morality or righteous living. I prefer to think, sir, that you have it completely backwards. One does not need to be the most dominant religion in the world to be legitimate or significant. However, I would say that Christians are the most dominant religion in the U.S., though I’m sure that really grates on your nerves. Come on David, let me hear you say, God Bless the U.S.A.!!

Regarding Bush’s masculinity, I’m sure that Laura would disagree with you heartily.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 21, 2007 1:10 AM
Comment #204262

Kap, there are union lovin’, high tax, blue states (they vote democratic); then there are god fearin’, union bustin’, tax hating red states (they vote republican). money flows between these states through the federal government. Take a guess which way the money flows (red to blue or blue to red, take a guess, you have a fifty percent chance of being right).
If you do make the correct guess (blue to red) then ask yourself the following: if taxes and unions are bad for a state’s economy, why is it that the states that posess those elements have the money to donate to the charity red states?

Posted by: charles Ross—-

Michigan. Blue State, fairly high taxes, unionized… and going down the crapper.

Those who deal in absolutes, are absolutely wrong.

Posted by: Matt at January 21, 2007 2:35 AM
Comment #204269


Ohio, red state. Big cuts in income tax ofset by cost of living taxes. Wholesale assult on American labor by corporations who like communists more than Americans and by criminal contractors hiring illegal immigrants. Rank— 47th in job creation, 50th in new business startups.

Posted by: jlw at January 21, 2007 4:17 AM
Comment #204272

Oh my God! This entire commentary and many of the posts that follow it exemplify the great tragedies that result from mixing religion, philosphies, and politics. I suppose one small comfort is that most individuals truly searching for spiritual enlightment are not likely to come upon this blog. But for those few that do end up here these few statements for you—I hope they will be helpful.

1. Believe in Christ and “Christianity” is NOT the same thing. In his brief time here on earth, Jesus Christ did NOT know, appoint, are create any “Christian.” The term “Christian” orginated as a derogatory term used by the enemies (political, religious or otherwise) of the 1st century church.

2. Christ “supported” the ideas of “separation of church and state—from an ideological standpoint.” Reading this particular blog might give some indication as to why he would be in favor of such a concept.

3. It has always been man’s notion to blend spiritual (theological), political, or philosophical ideologies. Again, the potential tragic consequences of this action on influencing thought, intellect, maturity. etc are evident in many of these posts.

Aside—
In defense of the character, legacy, and integrity of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What influence his actions and thoughts that “sparked” the Civil Rights movement in this country was the life, work, and character of the HINDU Ghandi.

It would be so nice, not to mention, respectful if bloggers here would not use the unimpeachable characters of individuals such as Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, etc. to support the almost exclusively short-sighted and biases fodder contained in these blogs.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 21, 2007 8:27 AM
Comment #204278

Most Christians are actually pretty nice guys. And, calling them right-wingers is not fair. There are some conservative viewpoints, but also many liberal ones. 60s era philosophies included God. “Be cool,” unto each other. Dont really fit into a right or left category.
Problem is, neo-libs come out with some obscene and offensive ideas that people must protest. These people include christians.
You cant call christians, fascists. These guys go door to door spreading the good word. Youve seen them. They prosthelatize, but they do not usurp your way of life by passing laws. That is for the neo-libs to try to do.
It is tough to make out what a christian really is sometimes because it is a very diverse group. This is just more attacks from the leftist biggots.

Posted by: JoeRWC at January 21, 2007 10:48 AM
Comment #204285

The real issue here is this: what do we observe in this country- the rule of law, or the rule of men?

What draws people to accuse the Republican Party and its associated groups of fascism is the tendency towards idolizing the politicians and the party to the degree that they are held as above reproach. A big example is the Bush cult of personality, where criticism of him was held as tantamount to disloyalty to the country. People talk about Bush hatred, but they don’t acknowledge the high walls of Bush apologia that were thrown up.

The problem was, Bush fell far short of the infalliblity his supporters ascribed to him, and the course that he took was so badly wrong, people couldn’t help but lay seige to the edifice of Bush’s political support. Seige warfare, by its nature, is fierce and persistent. Without walls, though, you don’t see such conflict develop.

Bush should have both acted better, and admitted his fallibility and acted accordingly in both setting courses and changing them. Instead, he tried to cheat the system, and in cheating the system, he’s endangered our Democracy by trying to make ours a unitary government, one where the executive wields near absolute power. As a liberal, I don’t mind the executive branch having broad powers, but I expect other branches to exercise their power just as broadly, so that each side of our governmental triangle checks and balances the other side.

Bush and many Republicans have a real problem with being checked and balanced. When a court decision goes against them, they call it judicial activism. The Republican Congress loved to set up mandatory minimums, essentially taking the discretion of judges concerning sentencing away. When Congress decides against what Bush wants, he makes a signing statement that essentially both re-writes and interprets the law, which steps on the toes of the two other branches and grinds them to boot. When power wasn’t in Republican’s hands, they worked to undermine it. When it was, they worked to expand it.

What people want is power in service to the people, not in defiance of them. While a president must be prepared to do the right thing even when unpopular, to make a policy of defying the will of the American people is not merely bad politics, but also a betrayal of the promise all American officeholders are sworn to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 21, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #204287

There seems to be some confusion here in this thread. The author of the article specified his opinion regarding the Christian RIGHT. This does not include all Christians or even Christians in general. It may surprise many Christian Fundamentalists who are to the extreme RIGHT, that there are many more liberal Christians than Right Wing Fundamentalist Christians. The Right Wingers don’t want you to believe this and the Right Wingers themselves are the ones who promote this idea that all Christians are with THEM (the Right) on all major issues. This is pure hogwash, of course.

The author has some merit to his argument and he can argue his case without denouncing Christianity in general. Likewise, BushCo. and others argue that we are at war with Islamic FUNDAMENTALISTS not Islam in general. There are many, many Muslims who would agree with that point. I understand that Islam is the largest religious population on Earth. Certainly, if we were at war with all of Islam, it would be a massive undertaking.

The fact is, the subgroup of Christians known as the Christian Right, can be discussed without including all Christians in the criticism of that subgroup.

So, Eric, don’t mislead us here. Your interpretation of Mr. Hedge’s article to include all Christians is unfair and you only make that leap to incite those easily offended. But you know that, of course, and make that leap to meet your ends.

Posted by: LibRick at January 21, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #204297

Eric,

Again you are funny. Instead of actually arguing against a viewpoint, you quote it, giving your opposition a stronger voice than your own. You simply cannot see the implications of the facts cited in your quotes and so don’t understand that you need to deal with them. These articles of yours have no persuasive force. They simply reiterate without reflection you share with your ilk. The rest of us just roll our eyes.

Posted by: Trent at January 21, 2007 1:31 PM
Comment #204308

Trent -
“The rest of us just roll our eyes.”

Is that before or after you roll your reefer? And what do you do with them after you roll them?

Posted by: Don at January 21, 2007 4:28 PM
Comment #204315

JD, the KKK invoked God, the Christian Church, and country in their meetings regularly. At their family rallies, there the attendees were nearly a mirror image of the Sunday Church roster. The KKK were Christians, run by Christians, and dedicated to making Christianity the nation’s one religion if only the means could be found.

Then there is the ongoing pedophilia of the priesthood of the Catholic Church, a pretty right wing organization by and large, which sought for decades to hide its problem rather than solve it.

My wife is Christian, my father was a Catholic and my mother a Methodist. My father revered the KKK and thought the U.S. needed another Adolph Hitler to make this country white and right again. Many of my parents family still believe this.

I know from whence I speak. I became a Buddhist at the age of 17, having lost faith with Christians who sought to redeem the souls of others through conquest while ignoring their own.

I have a great love and respect for most of Christ’s teachings. It is fundamentalist Christians I reject out of hand - far too many view their mission as the same as that of fundamentalist Muslims today who seek eradication or conversion of all others.

In the hands of the educated prophets, religion is a powerful tool for civilizing people and making them ready for their mortality. In the hands of organized religious institutions, religion is a powerful tool for expanding the wealth of the church, mosque, temple, and those running them, and influencing governments and politicians. It has always been thus, and it will always be thus, where separation of church and state is not tenaciously maintained.


Posted by: David R. Remer at January 21, 2007 5:20 PM
Comment #204341

Remer -
“I know from whence I speak. I became a Buddhist at the age of 17, having lost faith with Christians who sought to redeem the souls of others through conquest while ignoring their own.”

How sad for you. Apparently you didn’t have the excellent examples of faith and self-sacrifice that many of the rest of us had growing up.

Sad also that since then you have carried this grudge against Christianity. It’s time to move past your hurts. I recommend counseling.

It is always the few who mess things up for the vast majority. Pointing to failures is the easy part. Finding the good fruit among the thorns takes diligence, but is tremendously rewarding.

Posted by: Don at January 21, 2007 9:26 PM
Comment #204358

Don, your comments are off topic. Remer is not the topic of this article. Please observe our Rules for Participation in the link below the comment text entry box.

Consider yourself counseled on our Rules.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at January 21, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #204361

David,

That some in the KKK would also call themselves Christian is not surprising to me. Some liberals are also doing the same here, though I do not consider that their liberalism holds up to Christ’s teachings.

But, now that we are talking about the KKK, I believe many in the Southern Democratic Party were staunch members of the KKK at the times you mentioned and even rose to leadership positions. Are you as vehemently opposed to having the Demo”crauts” in leadership roles as you are Christians?

There is a very problematic pedophilia in the State-run school systems as well, primarily made up of liberal teacher’s union Democrats. However, it is not given near as much media hype as the Catholic Churches problems. It would seem when it is a woman doing the statutory rape of small boys they are almost applauded by the left as being liberated rather than being sent to prison as they should be. When it is a man, he is reprimanded, but does not necessarily get jail time. There have also been two recent horrendous cases in New Jersey, an extremely liberal state, in which two pedaphiles were not given any time whatsoever because the judges felt they would benefit more from therapy programs. Sounds like the Catholic Church, a so-called right wing organization, may be more in line with the left wing liberal justice system than those on the left would like to admit!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 21, 2007 11:27 PM
Comment #204364

Kim-Sue,

So, you really believe it was Ghandi that totally influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., and you want to completely wipe away his Lord, who totally influenced his chosen life profession and works within the Black community? Surely you jest!!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 21, 2007 11:52 PM
Comment #204370

JD asked: “But, now that we are talking about the KKK, I believe many in the Southern Democratic Party were staunch members of the KKK at the times you mentioned and even rose to leadership positions. Are you as vehemently opposed to having the Democrats in leadership roles as you are Christians?”

Not going to fall for your false choice question, JD. I am not opposed at all to Democrats in leadership roles, nor am I opposed to Christians holding leadership roles. Too, I am not opposed to Republicans holding leadership roles. Tancredo has my respect on his immigration and ethics stances.

I am opposed FREC’s holding leadership roles in government IF their agenda is to further the tearing down of the separation of church and state doctrine, using the force of government to make second class citizens of any who do not profess Christ their savior.

A majority of Christians in this country want to protect the separation of church and state and keep America a free nation for all religions. The majority of Fundamentalist Right Evangelical Christians, who cost Republicans this last election by staying home, want the U.S. declared a Christian Nation, and much more.

Pedophilia is wrong and injures young people’s lives, regardless of political persuasion of the perpetrator. As for the judge’s rulings, I don’t know the facts of the cases. However, pedophilia does not receive treatment in most prisons. If a judge assessed based on some objective criteria that those individuals would likely cease to be predator’s of children with therapy, then the goal of halting pedophilia may be enhanced.

My thought is that pedophilia crimes should require prison time as matter of justice for the victim, and professional treatment within the penal system should be administered with or without consent of the perp. Without means no parole or and extended sentencing for bad behavior.

Pedophilia is both a crime and a mental illness. Justice for the crime and treatment for the mental illness should both be administered. Has nothing to do with liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat.


Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2007 2:27 AM
Comment #204371

JD, you are right to respond as you did to Kim-Sue’s comment. MLK was influenced by Gandhi, but, the influence was Gandhi’s proof that non-violent means of non-cooperation with unjust laws, can in fact, overcome the might of guns and slave masters.

But, MLK was predisposed to recognize the value of Gandhi’s example from the teachings of Christ who too, was a pacifist and changed the world without acts of violence.

Kim Sue is also wrong about Gandhi being a Hindu. Gandhi was born into a Hindu family, but, became a student of all the world’s major religions and adherent to basic tenets of them all. At the root of all the world’s major religions, the basic tenets about how to live a good life, are not dissimilar by much at all.

‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is a basic tenet of all the great religion’s prescriptions for a good life. Even Judaism prescribes this along side its other prescription, and eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth. What men do with the teachings of the great prophets, which these men set down in text, is where so much contradiction takes place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2007 2:42 AM
Comment #204380

And here I thought Christian’s were “duped” into their religion by the promise of forgiveness and eternal love. Silly me, I must have missed the day they taught about the horrors of capitalism at Sunday School. Not to mention, of course, more than a millennia of pre-captitalist Christianity.

The premise that people are some how tricked into believing in a religion annoys me. Also do broad statements, such as “tens of millions of Americans”. Does anyone else find it odd that several states worth of despairing (and possibly militant) Americans have supposedly gone unnoticed? And while I’ll admit that statistics are extremely malleable, I still wonder where he got his or if he even bothered. Why research when it’s so much easier to pull numbers out of the air (and better for agitating people too).

As for this doom-day view of middle and suberan America, I get the impression that he slept through his history classes. Empty streets, boarded-up stores and abandoned towns are far from a recent development. What of the old coal mining towns of the east coast or the boom towns in the north and west? Many of these towns emptied out as fast as they filled up. People leave as jobs change and sources are relocated.

I’m not even going to touch upon the elitist arguments. That’s a whole rant in and of itself.

The whole argument rings of hyped-up and over dramatized Marxism. It’s only purpose seems to be to provoke and inflame it’s readers.

Posted by: Friday at January 22, 2007 9:49 AM
Comment #204425

The beginning of this constant barage of Christian bashing on the left was the election of Ronald Reagan, for the most part. Reagan united a religious movement at the time among the right wing conservatives, and the blue dog religious conservative Democrats. The far left believe they must destroy this union and common ground between the moderate Christian Democrat, and the conservative right Republican if they want to regain / keep control of the Congress and the Presidency. The ability of a great communicator to touch the hearts of the Christian world in America as Reagan did is the greatest threat to the Democratic left losing all of their power. That is just the way it is. I suggest people go back and look at how Ronald Reagan swept this nation in his re-election. The Democrats have vowed that such will never happen again by villifying the Christian Church and particularly the Christian right. They must be very careful not to offend the Christian moderates, or they are doomed to having the so-called blue dog Democrats walk out on them once again as they did with Reagan. That is the bottom line, and the tactic of the Democratic Party.

JD

JD

Posted by: JD at January 22, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #204451

JD:

This ‘constant barage of Christian bashing’ rings hollow. Once again, a promotional tool of the Right. Again, many, many, many Christians are moderates and liberals. If I am against being forced to listen to proselytizing of religious view and tenents at PUBLIC forums, does that fall under the category of ‘Christian bashing’?

Watch the news, turn on a radio, read a newspaper… where is the ‘Christian bashing’? You’ll find plenty of talking heads speaking of progressives as ‘USA haters’ and using the word ‘liberal’ as if it was the lowest form of insult on the planet. So the Right feels free to attack and slander my political stance, not on merit, but on a personal level, as if I am a fool, a traitor, and a liar (to quote the Hannitys, Coulters, Limbaughs, and O’Reillys of the world).

If I argue that a woman has a right to choose to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester, or if I stand up for a person’s right to choose their life partner, the Christian right takes it personally and suddenly are being ‘bashed’ and attacked.

The difference here is in the tack on the argument. For too long, the Right has tried to cry foul and “Help, their attacking my religious beliefs” if I want to argue policy. At the same time, the Right pushes the “They’re just BAD people” button so as to avoid a policy discussion.

Take off your blinders.

BTW, liberal though I am, I play bluegrass, don’t drink, and love to flyfish. I’ve somehow gotten on several of those email forwarding circles that are pushed and published by individual Right wing conservatives. I guess they figured a non-drinking bluegrasser would be a Conservative. I have NEVER, EVER in my life seen such hateful cr@p spewed about people in my life! This hate is NEVER directed at the policy positions of the targets. It is ALWAYS a direct personal attack. Think Rush Limbaugh’s famous Chelsea Clinton looks like a dog attack.

I’d say the Conservative Right Wingers have definitely got an edge on the ‘bashing’ spectrum of politics. We liberals cannot hold a candle to you.

Posted by: LibRick at January 22, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #204495

Sorry about the ‘tenents’ thing when clearly I meant to type ‘tenets’. I am not ignorant of the English language, just impatient and didn’t preview my writing.

LibRick

Posted by: LibRick at January 22, 2007 9:53 PM
Comment #204507

LibRick,

I am talking about a concerted effort by Hollywood, the elite left wing News, and the Democratic Party to mischaracterize and demonize Christians, and Republicans. This has been happening since Reagan used conservative Christians in his campaign as a very organized grass roots group who brought him many votes. His optimism, Christian message, and love for country reverberated to blue dog Democrats that were also mostly moderate Christians.

This infuriated the Democratic Party to lose so many “swing” voters. They have been trying to spew hatred toward the Christian movement ever since. This is one of the reasons why there is such a double standard within the media, and with voters. When a Republican falls to temptation and is caught in wrongdoing even though he may not personally be a Christian, the Press immediately aligns the wrongdoer with Christians within the Republican Party saying the Republicans are hypocrites. This was particularly true of Foley. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice how the Press and the Democrats beat up on Foley for being gay simply because he was in the so-called Christian Republican Party. Had Foley been a Democrat, they would have been making excuses, and would have accused Christian Republicans of gay-bashing. When their own had actually had sex with interns and pages, their excuse is that Democrats never claimed to be saints. Even Barbara Striesand’s excuse for Bill Clinton was, “He’s the President, not the Pope.” A perfect example of making excuses for her Party while trying to take a swing at the so-called Christian Republicans. Democrats try to justify their own misbehavior and sometimes criminal behavior by distancing themselves from any moral or religious affiliation. All the while, they demonize any misbehavior or criminal behavior by Republicans claiming that the Republicans are controlled by the Christian right, therefore, their behavior is worse. This is actually a two-fold process. By grouping Republicans and Christians together, they can demonize both by finding individuals within each group to target. Foley was one example. Any Christian minister that falls is also automatically linked to Republicans in an attempt to demonize the Republicans regardless of whether there are political connections. Certainly, the Republican Party has reached out to Christian conservatives, but the Party is not run by Christian conservatives. However, it is advantageous for the Democrats, and those who favor and support the Democrats to make people believe that they do. In this way, the Democrats have more individuals to demonize, and more issues to use as ammunition against both of these groups that Democrats despise. It has been a very successful tactic of the left. It is what I call the “We need not be held accountable, because we are not the Party of moral integrity” strategy.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 22, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #204550

JD,

I admit that I do not see the liberal conspiracy and certainly not the liberal ‘elite Left wing news’. I mean, the media was certainly unkind to our last Democratic President and repeated every allegation in the Whitewater case even when the Special Prosecutor (the first) had declared no wrong doing worth persuing in the land deal. It would be difficult to deny that Bush has been treated with kid gloves by the media even when it was proven over and over again that he was misleading us? Why didn’t the liberal press beat Bush to pieces? I don’t see this liberal bias and bashing that you so clearly see.

If I cannot see what you so clearly see as bias in the news and attacks from the Left, then perhaps you cannot see the Right leaning news media and the vitrolic demonization and personal attacks that I so clearly see coming from the Right.

I suppose we might agree that these personal attacks and ‘bashing’ is unproductive for our great nation, though perhaps both sides brandish the claim of victimhood and the sharp steel of demonizing the other side for political gain.

One cannot claim unassailable positions based on personal religious beliefs to those who don’t hold that belief. At least one cannot expect automatic assent without some measure of rebuttal. Pardon me, but I don’t ask you to hold to my spiritual and religious beliefs (and yes, I have some). Would you hold that Islamic Sharia Law be accepted by the US just because a population of US Muslims believe with all their heart and soul that is what God wants? If you disagreed would you be ‘bashing’ their beliefs and Islam in general? Is there some unassailable positions that I hold dear which I feel you cannot disagree without repudiating me and my beliefs? You can see how this is totally skewed by one’s perceptions, can you not?

Perhaps the most powerful message here is that even the far Left and the extreme Right should stick to debating policy and stay away from ‘bashing’.

Posted by: LibRick at January 23, 2007 1:09 AM
Comment #204571

The Media is a Rorshach Test, people see in it what they want to see in it. Ergo, it is biased both left and right and every way in between in a sampling of opinion according of consumers.

Me, I seem to have no trouble getting the facts about most anything I want if I am patient, and not relying on the Bush government as an original source. (They classify everything. They fired an apprentice chef for asking too many questions about what and when the first family ate.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2007 4:58 AM
Comment #204612

David said : ‘They fired an apprentice chef for asking too many questions about what and when the first family ate.’
Urban legend? Certainly funny and believable in an UL kind of way.

Erix said ‘American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America’
Yup, but you’re the good guy fascists, unlike the muslim bad guy fanatics. Right?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 23, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #204662

LibRick,

You can’t possibly believe what you just said. There were fourteen persons, to my knowledge, convicted in the Whitewater investigations. One of them was the Governor of Arkansas. Clinton was in the thick of it, but was very good at what he did. He was also able to keep certain “persons of the opposite sex” quiet about his involvement in the deals as I remember it.

As for Bush, I would love to have the Democrats try to impeach the President based upon their accusations that Bush mislead the Democrats in Congress concerniong their votes on the War on Terror. It would be refreshing to rehash all of the information that the Clinton Administration, and the intelligence agencies of other nations believed about Saddam Hussein and other terrorists around the world. Again, as Bush gives his State of the Union speech tonight, one may wish to go back and read Clinton’s State of the Union speeches. You will find Saddam mentioned in nearly every one of them, (with reference to his weapons of mass destruction). It would also be refreshing to see all of Clinton’s blatant failures in responding to earlier terrorist attacks paraded across the media airwaves during Bush’s defense of his decision based on a previous Administration’s policies that did not work at all, and gave us 9/11. This is the only reason why the liberal Press will not go there.

Instead they chose to hammer at our military, characterizing them as uneducated bumpkins, unable to do anything right in this war, and reminiscent of the Nazis. Then, they tied it to the leadership, and finally the Commander in Chief. How can you say that the Press did not go after Bush and Co., especially Rumsfeld? They have been characterizing them in every hateful way one could possibly imagine.

However, this post is not about Bush. It is about the hateful mischaracterization of Christians. Mention the term Christian conservative to a liberal, and watch him go ballistic. That is the truth! You don’t even have to mention the word conservative. Just say Christian and most liberals will shriek like demons. Again, it is a part of their political strategy stemming from the outright hatred that possessed them toward Ronald Reagan and the Christian movement that attracted the primarily Christian blue dog Democrats of the 80’s. The left has to split Christians into so-called wacko right wing fundamentalists and other progressive Christians so that they do not lose the blue dog Democrats once again. They proclaim this in almost the same manner that G. W. Bush separates the terrorist Muslim from the moderate Muslim. You will hear the left characterize the Christian fundamentalist as being just as dangerous as any radical terrorist Muslim, though no Christian has taken to blowing up 3,000 people in New York. You can read such characterizations here in this blog when discussing the Christian right. The left tries to link the violence of radical Islam with the threat of Christians in leadership positions, with no evidence of any such likeness in actions. They accuse G. W. Bush of fearmongering when it comes to radical Islamic terrorists, however, they promote a hateful campaign of smear and fear when discussing Christians. If you can not see this, you better look up more articles in which the Democratic left discusses Christians. I encourage everyone to do so. It may open the eyes of those Blue dog Christian Democrats once again.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 23, 2007 6:14 PM
Comment #204767

To All,

From Beliefnet, a religious site:

February 27, 2004

The following are key statistics from a survey conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on molestation of minors by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy. The study was conducted for the National Review Board, a panel of prominent lay Catholics, which released its findings on Friday.

U.S. clerics accused of abuse from 1950-2002: 4,392.
That’s about 4 percent of the 109,694 serving during those 52 years.

Individuals making accusations: 10,667.

Victims’ ages: 5.8 percent under 7; 16 percent ages 8-10; 50.9 percent ages 11-14; 27.3 percent ages 15-17.

Victims’ gender: 81 percent male, 19 percent female.

Duration of abuse: Among victims, 38.4 percent said all incidents occurred within one year; 21.8 percent said one to two years; 28 percent, two to four years; 11.8 percent longer

Victims per priest: 55.7 percent with one victim; 26.9 percent with two or three; 13.9 percent with four to nine; 3.5 percent with 10 or more (these 149 priests caused 27 percent of allegations).

Abuse locations: 40.9 percent at priest’s residence; 16.3 percent in church; 42.8 percent elsewhere.

Known cost to dioceses and religious orders: $572,507,094 (does not include the $85 million Boston settlement and other expenses after research was concluded).

What has the church done about this?
Pay hush money and ignore the problem.

An organization that ignores and covers up child rape but calls out Harry Potter and masterbating is…well……hypocritical.
Christians who go to church on Sunday and beat their kids on Monday, gamble, cheat and justify bigotry by quoting the bible are…..well…..hypocritical.
It’s not Christians who are not trusted just the hypocritical ones.
Choose life, go to war just doesn’t work.
What would Jesus do and Gay marriage is an abomination don’t go together.
The hypocrites and closet freaks hide behind the Bible. The louder the preaching, usually masks the weirder the person is who’s doing the preaching.
Good Christians don’t judge, that’s god’s job.
Good Christians don’t look down on others. They understand the word of god, they don’t cherry pick lines from the Bible to oppress others or justify irrational bigotry and ignorance.
Good Christians don’t feel the need to ram their religion down other peoples throats.
Good Christians love their fellow man, lead good lives and do good deeds.
Far right wing kooks are not good Christians.
They are dangerous.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 24, 2007 10:04 AM
Comment #204787

Andre,

A report on MSNBC stated that nearly 4.5 million children in the U.S. have suffered sexual abuse from employees in the schools across America. The report cited that 1 in 10 from the time of K - 12th grade will be sexually abused by their teachers or other employees of the school system. That is ten percent of the students in America. Which is the greater danger? Sending your kid to a private Catholic School or sending your kid to the public schools? Seems like if 10% of kids in the public school system across America are being molested, propositioned, or raped at their schools we should be hearing aboput this nightly.
I found another referenced article from the NY Post that supposedly did a study and concluded that at least one kid in the NY public schools suffers some form of sexual abuse every day. Unfortunately, I could not enter into the NY Post site because I am not a subscriber. Therefore, I could not read the article for myself, but had to rely on the accuracy of the posted reference. Where are these stories being plastered for weeks on end within the Main Stream Media? I sure haven’t seen them. Have you? I guess it just does not serve a particular agenda to go after members of the almighty teacher’s and school worker’s unions that back the Democratic machine, right? Maybe we could use a little more prayer in school after all! This same article stated that most of the teachers were given desk jobs rather than termination.

“It’s not Christians who are not trusted, just the hypocritical ones.” Andre Hernandez

Care to be a little more specific there, Andre?

“Choose life, go to war, just doesn’t work.” Andre Hernandez

Choose life, defend one’s country and its citizens, works for me!

“What would Jesus do, and, Gay marriage is an abomination, don’t go together” Andre Hernandez

I suggest you read both 1st and 2nd Corinthians. You might also touch up your knowledge on the purpose and intent of marriage created by God, and to whom marriage was alotted.

“The hypocrites and closet freaks hide behind the Bible. The louder the preaching usually masks the weirder the person is who’s doing the preaching.” Andre Hernandez

Just keep on believing that expressing one’s opinion makes one weird, Andre. Christians don’t hide behind the Bible. One doesn’t light a candle and place it under a bush. Instead he places it in a high place where everyone can see its light. I find that generally one who expresses his opinion loudest is the one that is trying to be silenced by those in power.

“Good Christians don’t judge, that’s God’s job.” Andre Hernandez

Sorry, Andre. Have you not just judged the hypocritical Christian from the “regular Christian”? Actually, Christians are instructed to judge all things, even spirits and angels, whether they be good or evil. Generally, it is not wise to judge individual people, but their actions and words, or fruits (as Jesus called them) are what they are judged by.

Andre, your last three lines are exactly right, if you would have just left out the one about the far right kooks being dangerous I would have thought you were on to something. That last line disappointed me.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 24, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #205248

Just the other day I was driving by a Baptist Church when a group of fascist raced out and cut the heads off a dozen people who disagreed with their beliefs. And then all the headlines where Methodist fly planes into buildings killing men, women and children in the name of Jesus Christ.

Or what about the time the Church of Christ murdered entire families and cut their heads off for stepping on a bible and disrespecting their holy book. And everyone knows how the Assembly of God will hunt you down and murder you in the name of god if someone has a cartoon of their leader and most high preacher and founder of that religion.

Yep, those Christian people are the cause of world hunger and they feed the children and poor as a way of getting in and butchering their babies.

Just the other day I was watching how the Christians all around the world were sponsoring an abortion clinic so they could stop the birth of people who did not agree with them.

One thing about them Christian fascist is how they barely follow their convictions.

Posted by: im at January 26, 2007 4:09 PM
Comment #205557

Man, im,

When I first started reading your post I thought you were one of those serious left wingers. But, the more I read it, the more I realized you were just being facetious.

Hey, be careful what you say about those Assembly of God folks, though! You can call us Holy Rollers, but murderers is going just a bit too far there!

It is just amazing, and I’m sure you will agree, how some people have been so duped by the misconceptions about the Christian Church perpetrated by the left wing radicals and their political buddies in the Press. It just astounds me every day.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 29, 2007 1:27 AM
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