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I'll make this brief, because newly announced presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is not regarded as having much of a shot at the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. For one thing, Huckabee carries a lot of baggage, especially ties to the quasi-theocratic New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement :

For example, former governor Huckabee's remark - back in March 2011, that all Americans should be required, forced "at gunpoint" if necessary (link to video), to listen to David Barton's twisted falsifications of American history. For all practical purposes, Barton can be regarded as an NAR apostle.

Former Texas GOP Vice Chair Barton claims that key concepts from the United States Constitution are drawn from the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy (link to video.) Barton's website features a scholarly article that seems to endorse the enslavement of unbelievers, "biblical slavery" that is.

At the March 2011 conference aimed at drawing pastors into politics, former governor Huckabee also heaped praise on evangelical activist David Lane, who has been organizing such events for many years.

In a 2013 op-ed Lane, who that same year personally blessed and laid hands on Ted Cruz and Reince Priebus, called upon believers to "Wage War To Restore a Christian America". Also in 2013, Lane predicted car bombings in major U.S. cities because of "homosexuals praying at the Inauguration [of Barack Obama]".

But back to Huckabee; in 2008, flush with his success in the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee gave a campaign sermon urging his audience to become "soldiers for Christ" in "God's Army." A few days later, Huckabee would declare that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to sync it with the Bible.

Huckabee emits these Christian supremacist ejaculations so often that some observers have compiled "top 10" lists of his most outrageous declarations (see John Perr's list 1, and list 2.)

But my personal favorite in the Huckabee chronicles was the 2009 VA church event at which Mike Huckabee was prayed over, blessed and anointed by TheCall head and NAR apsotle Lou Engle, a member of an elite group of prophets who get messages directly from God and can, in effect, write new scripture to add to the Bible.

(Lou Engle is a member in the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. led by Cindy Jacobs, who has claimed that God's wrath at Obama's decision to end DADT caused flocks of bird to drop dead from the sky.)

In 2008 Engle issued what was, in effect, a fatwa against abortion and abortion providers titled "The Doctrine of The Shedding of Innocent Blood" in which Engle stated,

"Surely blood requires blood in God's judgment. God so highly values humanity that He protects it with His severe judgment. A day of reckoning is set if man does not obey Him...

Where there is shedding of innocent blood, there is no atonement for the land. There is a blood pollution problem on America's soil. The most "dangerous terrorist" is not Islam, but God. One of God's names is "the Avenger of Blood." Have you worshipped [sic] that God yet?"

The same year, in a huge rally against same-sex marriage, Engle called for "martyrs" to stop legal abortion.

In a March 11, 2009 website post, Engle compared late-term abortion provider George Tiller to Nazi guards at the Auschwitz death camp.  

On Sunday March 31, a few weeks after Engle's post, Tiller was assassinated, with a bullet through his eye, in the lobby of his church.

Less than three months later, Lou Engle would bless and anoint both Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, in a ceremony at the Virginia Beach, VA Rock Church.

The following year, in May 2010 Engle would stage one of his TheCall events in Kampala, Uganda, in apparent support of Uganda's looming, notorious Anti Homosexuality Bill. As I described in a December 2009 report that broke the story of Engle's upcoming Uganda event, Engle has stated that in the early 2000s, he was a roomate to now-Kansas governor Sam Brownback, with whom Engle shared a Washington, D.C. condo.  

Discuss

Yesterday, in an April 14, 2015 Twocare.org story, I covered Senator Marco Rubio's close ties to the Miami, FL megachurch Christ Fellowship, which boasts an anti-gay hiring policy and whose head pastor Rick Blackwood - whose sermons Rubio says he specifically goes to the church to hear, rejects Darwin's theory of evolution and promotes exorcism and Young Earth creationism. But Christ Fellowship is not overtly political. Enter David Barton.

Barton claims the Constitution is based on the Bible, maintains that the separation of church and state is a myth, says Jesus opposed the minimum wage, and has published writing that appears to endorse "biblical slavery" for non-Christians.

And in 2010 Barton helped to rally the dominionist Christian right behind Marco Rubio and to lift Rubio to the United States Senate, from which perch Rubio has now launched a presidential bid.

In 2010, A febrile, Koch brothers-financed, Christian right activist-led political spasm known as the "Tea Party" swept the land.

And, Christian right presidential hopefuls such as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee began to maneuver in advance of the 2012 election. In March 2010 at the annual, arch-conservative CPAC convention in Washington D.C., Huckabee quipped that all Americans should be forced to listen to David Barton's version of American history - at gunpoint if necessary.

The ensuing controversy failed to deter Marco Rubio. Quite the contrary. Up onstage at a September 15, 2010 Longwood, Florida political rally, candidate Marco Rubio appeared for a heartfelt endorsement from former Vice Chair of the Texas GOP and pseudo-historian David Barton (pictured). To hammer home the point Barton then posted a special 5 minute, 52 second video endorsement of Rubio.

Barton and Rubio were the main attractions at the September 15th rally according to advance publicity, with Barton billed as a "constitutional scholar".

Little more than a month later Barton's close friend, New Apostolic Reformation prophet Cindy Jacobs, would release a prophecy forecasting the rise of a church-based third major political party led by "righteous" politicians such as Marco Rubio. Jacobs teaches that dominionist Christians have the God-given mandate to "subdue", "make subservient", and "bring into bondage" all unbelievers.

The dual September 15th appearance by Rubio and Barton was almost unnoticed* by media, except for, most prominently, coverage from Talking Points Memo reporter Brian Beutler - who noted that Barton had just helped orchestrate a wildly controversial religious right campaign to revise Texas textbook standards.

Less than a year later, Barton began publicly promoting the New Apostolic Reformation's "7 Mountains" dominionist program, which advocates that charismatic Christians should, as NAR apostle Thomas Muthee outlined shortly before blessing and anointing Sarah Palin in a 2005 ceremony, "invade... infiltrate" seven key sectors of society: government, business, media, education, arts and entertainment, religion, and the family.

read the rest of this story at Twocare.org

Discuss
"On most Saturday nights, we still attend services at Christ Fellowship, especially if Pastor Rick [Blackwood] is preaching the sermon. His sermons still inspire me to grow in my Christian faith... Some of my Catholic friends occasionally express concern over my continued association with Christ Fellowship. But I don't think you can go to church too often..." - Marco Rubio, "An American Son: A Memoir"

"Evolution is not based on observable evidence. Creation is based on observable evidence." - Rick Blackwood, 2014 sermon

"I could sense the demons going out of this man and the Spirit of God entering him" - Rick Blackwood, describing his 2011 exorcism of a demon-possessed church member

Junior U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has just thrown his hat into the ring and announced his bid for the presidency. Since Rubio made a point of discussing, at length, his religious beliefs in his 2012 memoir "An American Son: A Memoir", it seems fair to have a look. Following his announcement, LGBT rights media have showcased Rubio's lengthy record of anti-gay statements and rhetoric (see 1, 2) but there's a broader pattern.

Among Rubio's two main religious influences, Catholic Church doctrine is a matter of public record. But an investigation of Rubio's Miami Baptist megachurch reveals, notably, an anti-homosexual hiring policy, the promotion of demonology and exorcism, Young Earth creationism, and denial of evolution.

Marco Rubio's walk with God has been meandering and, some might say, fickle. As a child Rubio, who was baptized Catholic, made a brief but fervent conversion to Mormonism. His switch to the Church of the Latter Day Saints lasted three years.

As an adult, from 2000 to 2004 Rubio took a detour from his Catholic roots to exclusively attend Miami's Christ Fellowship, a Southern Baptist megachurch to which Rubio has given at least $50,000.

Now straddling both Christ Fellowship and the Catholic Church, Marco Rubio seems positioned to appeal both to conservative Catholics but also the anti-LGBT, demon-casting, creationist segment of the Protestant evangelical right.

Though he's now primarily and "firmly" Catholic, Rubio has recently told Religion News Service reporter Sarah Pulliam-Bailey that he has "maintained the relationship with Christ Fellowship" and often attends services at the church.

During his Protestant years, Rubio revealed in his 2012 memoir, he nonetheless "craved, literally, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion" (of the Catholic Church.) So, the rising GOP star found a practical, buffet-style solution. Rubio divulged that on Saturday nights he brings his family to worship at Christ Fellowship, and on Sunday the Rubio family attends St. Louis Catholic Church.

Christ Fellowship requires prospective employees to sign the following sexual purity oath:

"I hereby certify that I am a Christian, not a practicing homosexual in accordance with scriptures (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:10)"
Leviticus 18:22 (New International Version) reads, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." Leviticus 20:13 (NIV) is harsher: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

read the rest of my story at Twocare.org

Discuss

Remember George W. Bush's infamous "axis of evil" (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) speech ? Bush's 2002 speech sought compare that trio of nations with the Axis of nations (Germany, Japan, Italy) that America fought in World War Two.

Now, per Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there's a new "axis" (of evil) which includes not only Iran and Yemen but also the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany.

At a cabinet meeting last Sunday, Netanyahu referenced the P5+1 negotiations ongoing in Lausanne, Switzerland, to resolve the diplomatic impasse over Iran's nuclear program. "This agreement, as it appears, confirms all of our concerns and even more so," Netanyahu told his cabinet according to the Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu went on to declare, "The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity and it must be stopped !" To make sure the world got his point, Netanyahu fired off his dramatic declaration on Twitter.

In a responding tweet, the Director of Government Government Affairs for the liberal Jewish-American lobby J Street called upon the Anti Defamation League and AIPAC to condemn Netanyahu's claim that the US is part of an "axis" that poses a "danger to humanity".

In a March 30, 2015 commentary, Middle East expert Juan Cole charged Netanyahu with having "jumped the shark", explaining that, " 'To jump the shark' means to go so far as to become a self-parody that can no longer be taken seriously." Observed Cole,

"Netanyahu now cannot tell the difference between diplomats in pinstripes being stiff around the table in Switzerland and grassroots Shiite tribal forces asserting themselves in Yemen. He sees French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as a Houthi tribesman, beturbanned and attended by goats. Even the idea that the Houthi movement in Yemen can be seen primarily as an Iranian project is a falsehood; it is a grassroots expression of frustration with governmental neglect. Netanyahu has started seeing Iran all around him, giving him nightmares, consuming his every waking moment."
What's especially notable, and grotesque, about Netanyahu's choice of the word "axis" (which of course has great resonance for Jews given that the World War Two Axis included Nazi Germany), is that the P5+1 nations which, according to Netanyahu, are part of a new "axis" of evil include nations that lost millions, even tens of millions of their citizens during World War Two, in the global struggle against the drive, by Germany, Japan, and Italy, for world domination.

Adding another dark note to the drama: one of Netanyahu's principle American allies, who since 2005 through his group Christians United For Israel has been pushing relentlessly for a US or combined US/Israeli attack on Iran (and against negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program), is Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee, known for his claim that Jewish rebellion and idolatry forced God to send Hitler to commit the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews in Europe and Russia.

As I have documented, Hagee has also claimed that Hitler was partially Jewish and part of a lineage of evil "half breed Jews" who have persecuted the Jewish people throughout history.

Another force lobbying against negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program has been the shadowy, defense industry linked nonprofit group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) - recently in the news because of a bizarre lawsuit in which a defamation suit brought against UANI was dismissed by a Federal judge on the basis of secret testimony from the US government.

Cofounders of UANI include James Woolsey, former director of the CIA and a participant in the neoconservative Project For a New American Century - which advocated for an invasion of Iraq. Among the many luminaries of UANI's  board are former US Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has likened pastor John Hagee to Moses, and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson who, along with Bush speechwriter David Frum, has been credited with coining George W. Bush's "axis of evil" term.

 

Discuss
"Ted will be our next senator. And I gave Rafael a word the other day I said, 'This is just the beginning... He's going to become senator - and I believe some day either Supreme Court justice or vice president' " - Megachurch pastor Larry Huch, in prophesy given to Rafael Cruz (link to transcript) on August 26, 2012
Five Thirty Eight's Harry Enten argues, probably correctly, that Ted Cruz' chances of winning the Republican Party's 2016 presidential nomination are very slim indeed; he's too politically extreme and too unpopular.

But what if Cruz isn't really after that nomination ?

More likely, he's after the VP pick. Just as Sarah Palin - Cruz' movement soulmate, did in 2008, Ted's just the guy to energize the GOP's conservative evangelical voter base in 2016. And beyond the VP slot, Ted Cruz can pop up in all sorts of unpleasant places if the Republican Party wins the presidency in 2016:

Consider Cruz as Attorney General. His legal acumen is widely acknowledged. Or, imagine Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court. And why not - he's been before the court many times, to argue important cases.

The problem with liberal mockery of Cruz isn't exactly that it's unwarranted. The problem is that such mockery tends to supplant real reporting and analysis, on Ted Cruz within his proper context - a crown prince of the dominionist Christian right.

There's shocking material on Cruz that needs to be before the general public, that hasn't yet gotten much notice but which might forestall Ted Cruz being installed in other top administration positions, in the event of a GOP win in 2016.

For example:

The general public has not yet seen the video footage from a 2013 ceremony in which Ted Cruz was blessed and anointed, with the laying-on of hands, by pastor David Lane - who has made calls for what sounded very much like a religious war, and by pseudo-historian David Barton - whom Cruz has heartily endorsed and who has claimed that the U.S. Constitution is based on principles derived from the Bible, including from the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Barton, whose recent book on Thomas Jefferson was withdrawn by its publisher because of numerous inaccuracies, has also claimed that Jesus would have opposed the minimum wage: a sacralizing of inequality certain to warm the hearts of the Koch brothers, whose funding networks Ted Cruz has been given entree to.  

And Ted Cruz, by his own account, has spoken many times before the shadowy, far-right Council For National Policy, arguably the religious right's top leadership council.

Cruz has also appeared many times onstage with the apostles and prophets (such as Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., and Jim Garlow) of the dominionist, virulently anti-LGBT New Apostolic Reformation movement that, as it was confirmed in a 2011 NPR interview, helped give America Sarah Palin.

During the 2008 election, a video surfaced showing a 2005 church ceremony in which Sarah Palin was blessed and anointed, with the laying on of hands, by a Kenyan pastor who called upon God to protect Palin against witchcraft, and to supernaturally advance her political career.

Media and the left mocked that too, focusing on the witchcraft bit.

But prior to the anointing ceremony, that Kenyan pastor, Thomas Muthee, gave a short speech in which he called upon believers to "invade" and "infiltrate" seven major sectors of society including government.

Those seven sectors - government, business, media, arts and entertainment, religion, and the family, are known within the NAR movement as the "Seven Mountains", a motivational mantra for the Christian Dominionist movement.

The anti-democratic idea that "believers" must "inflitrate", that they must engage in deception to attain positions of influence and power atop those "mountains", now permeates the American religious right.

The issue of dominionism surfaced briefly in 2011, within the context of the presidential aspirations of two other Republicans with ties to the dominionist movement, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.

But Ted Cruz' own father has promoted dominionism too. Will the media take notice ?

In 2012, shortly after Ted Cruz' upset victory that won him a U.S. Senate seat, Cruz' father Rafael Cruz made an appearance at the Irving, TX New Beginnings megachurch of Larry Huch (link to video and transcript.)

Introducing Rafael Cruz, Huch told his flock that Ted Cruz had been elected to the senate in order to implement "divine government". Rafael Cruz then took the stage and told his audience,

Praise God. What a blessing. The pastor referred to Proverbs 24:13, a little while ago, which says that the wealth of the wicked is stored for the righteous. And it is through the Kings, anointed to take dominion, that that transfer of wealth is going to occur.

God, even though he's sovereign, even though he's omnipotent - he doesn't just let it rain out of the sky; he's gonna use people to do it.

There are some of you, as a matter of fact I will dare to say the majority of you, that your anointing is not an anointing as priests. It's an anointing as kings. And God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield.

And what's the battlefield ? The battlefield is the market place. To go to the marketplace
and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion.

If you remember, the last time I was on this pulpit I talked to you about Genesis chapter 1 verse 28, where God says unto Adam and Eve, "go forth, multiply, take dominion over all creation."

And if you will recall, we talked about the fact that that dominion is not just in the Church. That dominion is over every area: society, education, government, economics."

Rafael Cruz went on to repeatedly hammer home the point that kings were anointed by priests to go into battle and then bring the spoils of war home to the priests:
"But there is a second anointing... Kings who are anointed to take dominion. Kings who are anointed to go to war, win the war, and bring the spoils of war to the priests, so the work of the kingdom of God could be accomplished.

[...]

And they were successful in battle because God went with them. Now, the priest also needed for the king to be successful in battle. Because the priest needed the spoils of war in order to repair the temple, in order to carry out the ministry that God had entrusted him. So the king and the priests complemented each other. And they were both very, very interested in blessing one another."

Taking the stage next was Larry Huch, who prophesied to his audience that one day Ted Cruz - who from the context was clearly presented as one of the anointed "kings" who would one day bring back the "spoils" of war and so help bring about the "great wealth transfer" - would one day become either Vice President of the United States or a US Supreme Court Justice:

"I gave Rafael a word the other day I said, "This is just the beginning. It's going to be much, much, much higher.... He's going to become senator - and I believe some day either Supreme Court justice or vice president"
Discuss

Is the religious right, as a force in American politics, waning ? Look past the survey numbers. We are fast approaching the era of minority control.

The Koch brothers supply the money; the religious right (which has its own billionaire funders) brings the trained activist cadres, the boots on the ground. Leading the charge, for radical privatization and Christian supremacy is Ted Cruz, one of the few politicians (along with Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) admitted into the elite inner sanctum meetings of the Koch brother funding network.  

I've seen a lot of mockery of Ted Cruz in recent days. But he has the backing of the Kochs and elite religious right leadership as well; in fact, Cruz grew up amidst the religious right leaders who gave America its culture wars.

Consider: back in 1999, Ted Cruz personally enabled George W. Bush secure the Republican presidential nomination by locking down the religious right vote. Cruz did this by winning for Bush the support of Cruz' personal friend Paul Weyrich, who had created much of the religious right's early infrastructure: the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and ALEC.  

Once in office, president Bush then diverted billions of dollars to the evangelical right's organizations and activists, through the Faith Based Initiative and foreign aid money as well. This greatly helped the movement which, through its chosen politicians in the GOP, is to this day kicking the secular left's ass.

Kicking ass ? Yes. Consider:

In 2010, and even more strongly in 2014, two electoral waves swept Republican candidates into office. The GOP now controls about 2/3 of state legislatures and 3/5 of governors seats. The result ? Unions smashed; public education gutted; anti-reproductive rights laws passed; the gerrymandering of congressional districts to favor Republican candidates. Not to mention Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

In the grand scheme, in most arenas but LGBT rights and (for the time being) health care, Democrats and the left are losing. Meanwhile, in a schadenfreude that verges on psychosis, many choose to exult in the slow demographic decline of white conservative evangelicals.

But the religious right is gaining among minority demographics (among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, even native Hawaiians); and the 2014 GOP wave that took 69 out of 99 state legislatures wasn't dominated by white male candidates. Reported the New York Times, "Key races hinged on the strategic recruitment of women and minorities". In short, The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working.

And regardless, the ability of small, determined, well organized groups to destroy democracy and establish minority control is demonstrated by the historical record of 20th Century revolutionary communist and fascist movements alike.

Princes of the religious right, from National Prayer Breakfast consigliere Doug Coe to megachurch pastor and Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, are prone to celebrating the fanatical dedication of the followers of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao.

I have been collecting examples of this for years, to demonstrate the pattern. Such leaders, I am now quite convinced, study the history of successful revolutionary movements for tips on how minorities can seize power.

Now, such minority movements tend to hold minority beliefs, minority values, minority ideology, minority wordviews. Thus, their success is inversely proportional to the amount of publicity they receive.

Back in 2005, when I began studying and writing on the religious right in earnest, people on the left cared about the subject; disenchanted secular Republicans who had seen their party gobbled up by the religious right cared the most. In 2007, I even worked for one such Republican, who has built a bulwark against the religious right's ongoing project of taking over the U.S. military.

But in 2012 a survey released by the Pew Research Center, on the now much-storied "nones", almost fatally undermined interest in the religious right: young Americans were moving away from organized religion ! Hope was on the horizon ! But those who delved into the fine print of the Pew report would have encountered this:

"The number of Americans who currently say religion is very important in their lives (58%), for instance, is little changed since 2007 (61%)... Pew Research surveys find no change in the percentage of Americans who say that prayer is an important part of their daily life; it is 76% in 2012, the same as it was 25 years ago, in 1987."
Indeed, another poll in the same year, by Public Policy Polling, revealed a different trend among young Americans, 18-29: their growing belief in supernatural phenomenon such as demon possession. The oldest demographic in the survey was least willing to believe in possession, the youngest the most willing

Meanwhile, the damage that popular misperception of Pew survey did was enormous. The trope of the "nones" spread wildly in the minds of American liberals, secularists, and atheists.

In the newly popular understanding, expressions of Republican political dominance at the state level, such as rampant legislative attacks on abortion rights and contraceptive access, are viewed as expressions of "weakness", even "panic". Really.

In the words of one well-regarded liberal author, "conservative Christians are rapidly losing their grip on power... something has worked them into a panic".  

If religious right and Koch brothers-backed Republican control of the majority of state-level government apparatus across America is an expression of moral "panic", what would 100% control be ? Hysteria ?

And when the majority of Republicans in the U.S. Senate launch an unprecedented, surprise effort to undermine a major U.S. presidential foreign policy initiative, what is that ? Desperation ? A childish prank ?

Meanwhile, only the executive branch remains beyond the movement's control.

So does Ted Cruz have a shot at the 2016 Republican presidential nomination ?

The odds are against him. But Cruz does have a fair shot at the VP slot, as do the Koch brothers' other two chosen captains Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

As VP pick, Cruz would electrify the evangelical vote. It is no accident that Ted Cruz has spoken, by his own accounting, nine or ten times before the religious right dominated Council For National Policy, now headed by Tony Perkins (also head of the Family Research Council, which is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate group".)

And, Cruz has made multiple appearances at the pastors rallies of organizer David Lane where Cruz, like other serious Republican contenders, has been blessed and anointed with the laying on of hands.  

Cruz would be fine, but other anointed movement politicians, notably Marco Rubio or Rand Paul, would suffice too.

There's plenty of precedent for such as arrangement, a relatively "secular", ostensibly centrist presidential candidate yoked to one of the Christian right's partisans as a VP pick : Bush/Quayle in 1988 and 1992, Dole/Kemp in 1996, McCain/Palin in 2008.  

In 2008, when John McCain's desperate bid to shore up the evangelical vote - by winning a political endorsement from Christian Zionism's leading light, pastor John Hagee - foundered on the shoals of my revelation that Hagee had made the claim that God sent Hitler, McCain doubled down by picking Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

And it worked, to win the conservative evangelical vote at least. Unfortunately, Palin scared off the moderates and independents. Members of my own family told me they would have voted for McCain, but for Palin - who they regarded as creepy.

It never even came to light, as later admitted on National Public Radio, that Palin was closely tied to a radical, global charismatic movement that hunts witches, casts out demons, and regards all competing belief systems as satanic.

Like Palin, Ted Cruz also has ties to that movement, the New Apostolic Reformation. Unlike Palin, Cruz has argued briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. It's widely admitted, he is a formidable orator with a razor-sharp intellect.

In 2012, at a Texas megachurch, in a speech in which he described "kings" who were "anointed by priests" to "take dominion" over all sectors of society (otherwise known as the 7 Mountains mandate), Ted Cruz' Father Rafael Cruz joined onstage the head of that church, Larry Huch, who laid down a prophetic word; one day, Ted Cruz would be Vice President of the United States.

It would be a modest achievement for one so young and talented. But win or lose, Ted Cruz will be back. And the movement he has helped enable and build is here to stay.

 

Discuss

As I covered in 2013, Cruz' ties to the dominionist Christian right are deeply woven into Senator Cruz' life story [see: Ted Cruz Worked With Religious Right Founder Paul Weyrich, To Elect George W. Bush (Talk To Action)]; and so frequent public appearances by Ted and Rafael Cruz, onstage with leaders from the most extreme factions of the Christian right, must be viewed in this context, that Cruz and his father have been close to the leadership heart of the movement which has since the late 1970s given America its notorious culture wars [see: Video: Ted Cruz Anointed by Antigay, Pro-Religious War Pastors (Huffington Post), and Ted Cruz's Father Suggested His Son Is 'Anointed' to Bring About 'End Time Transfer of Wealth' (Alternet).]

Today, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz' announcement of his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination renews the relevance of reporting I did on Cruz in mid-2013. Senator Cruz' announcement has triggered an eruption, from the America left, of mockery and attacks on Cruz, for a wide array of reasons.

But there are more important stories to be told: on Cruz' longstanding ties to the elite leadership of the religious right and Christian right that has included a friendship, tracing back to the 1990s, with one of the top architects who helped launch America's culture wars, and concerning the role of Ted Cruz and his father Rafael Cruz, in giving America the presidencies of George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

Ted Cruz' father, Rafael Cruz, has recounted working in one of the original leadership groups of the emergent religious right, the Religious Roundtable, that helped mobilize Christian and religious conservatives to vote for Ronald Reagan.

Co-founder, with Rafael Cruz, of that effort was Paul Weyrich, considered by many to be among the top architects of the Christian right as an effective political movement.

Weyrich helped create much of the movement's early, key infrastructure; besides helping launch the Religious Roundtable, Paul Weyrich mobilized wealthy conservatives such as Richard Mellon Scaife to bankroll Weyrich's culture war crusade - which included co-founding the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Weyrich, a Catholic, also worked to draw conservative Catholics into politics and into a working alliance with conservative evangelical Protestants, and helped assemble the grand coalition, encompassing other factions as well - such as conservative Jews and the secular right, which provided the electoral margin that swept Ronald Reagan into office in the 1980 presidential election.

In turn, Ted Cruz would in 1999 capitalize on his familial ties to Weyrich, to arrange a key meeting between himself, Bush campaign operative Tim Goeglein, and Paul Weyrich that led Weyrich to throw his weight, and the weight of the movement he had helped build, behind the candidacy of George W. Bush.

During the legal battle over the contested vote recount in Florida in the 2000 election, Ted Cruz would also serve on the elite legal team marshaled by the Bush for President campaign to fight against efforts, by the Gore for President team, to force vote recounts that might have sent Al Gore, rather than George W. Bush, to the presidency.

Like the election of Reagan, the election of George W. Bush had a profound, quietly seismic impact that to this day is only poorly understood:

During the Reagan years, Christian conservatives, bearing a covert, revolutionary pro-privatization, anti-government agenda that would be quite familiar to today's Tea Party flooded into government; Under George W. Bush, that influx resumed, and the Overton Window was further shoved towards religious supremacy as dual Bush initiatives - both the Faith Based Initiative but also George W. Bush's far-less noticed PEPFAR program and simultaneous shift of US foreign aid money to conservative evangelical charities, redirected billions of federal dollars towards the partisans of the Christian and religious right. Both initiatives continue to this day and help enable the movement to thrive and, beyond American shore, expand.

And the members of the Cruz family, Ted and Rafael, helped make that possible.

Discuss

Below is a reading - a sermon really, that I gave at a Unitarian Church in October 2000. It concerns climate change, and the reluctance of humanity to address it. I had been tracking the issue of global warming since the early 1990s.

At the time, the environmental movement was organizing to confront the administration of George W. Bush, over its intransigent refusal to address global warming. Then came the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the consequent "war on terror" which fatally vitiated the planned environmentalist campaign. And, America went to war - laying waste to an entire nation which had not attacked us.

By 2004 the drumbeats of war were again pounding, this time for an attack on Iran: a potential catastrophe we narrowly avoided. My curiosity turned towards the American factions beating those drums - especially to the Christian right, and its Christian Zionist faction which, as it happened, tended to oppose action to combat global warming and even went so far as to depict environmentalism as a satanic plot that would help bring to power the Antichrist.

After my decade-long research into the Christian right, it is now 2015 and the drums of war are again beating: for war on Iran, for intervention in the Ukraine. And, again, we risk locking ourselves into conflicts that would consume our energies and finances that, for the sake of humanity and the well-being of our planet, we must instead commit to the technologies to dramatically reduce humanity's output of greenhouse gasses.

Time was short then. It's shorter now.

"A child shames us all"                         
    
--Reading given at the Andover, Mass. Unitarian Church, 10/15/2000, by Bruce Wilson

The historical Buddha died with these last words to his disciples ; "do your best". And I am trying to do my best here, gesturing at some things which disturb me, - things both vague and shifting and as obvious as the side of a cow.

Everything is connected to everything else. Once, this was an insight rare, hard fought and granted to only the spiritually brilliant - The Meister Eckharts, the Boddidharmas, the Sufis, the blessed. Now, to teach us all that insight, the world threatens to rear up to smash us about the head as does a Zen master smite a recalcitrant pupil for stubborn confusion. We will learn, sooner I hope rather than later, that all systems are parts of larger wholes which in turn are pieces of still greater wholes.

As De Morgan paraphrased Jonathan Swift;

"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum."

We all are pieces of greater wholes - families, local communities, cities, nations. But we are also fleas and the earth teems with us and begins to shiver feverishly with our load.

Much is made about the human economy, of our fears at erratic lunges of the stock market, and the need for continual increase in the gross national product. It is only vaguely recognized and then quickly forgotten that we live in a larger economy, that of the biological world.

But the study of this larger economy which some has taken to calling Gaia - for the Greek goddess who drew the world forth from chaos - has gained the momentum of a quiet revolution in many of the biological sciences, for this system provides the oxygen we breathe, cycles the nitrogen which fertilizes plant growth, and somehow regulates global temperature and ocean salinity levels. Everything that we take for granted is given.

Have we proven ourselves wiser than fleas? We take and take from that larger economy and never acknowledge the debt. Someday I feel that we will do so, and I hope that this day comes soon.

But our understanding is dim and our vision is narrowed, in turn, by aches and pains, by the sorrows of life, by the chattering of the television and the screeching of tires, and by the growling of our stomachs.  

When I try to peer back down through the mists of memory at my childhood  I seem to recall a sense I once had that there were adults - whom I suppose I identified by the gray hairs on their heads - who were wise and in control of things. But over the years, as I learned more about the world, this faith of mine that someone, somewhere, was in control ebbed away and was replaced by a view of humans on the earth  as an uncontrolled and untamed process.

As individuals, we all lead our lives with intelligence and some even manage with grace. It is difficult enough to deal with the immediate sphere; our individual decisions and tragedies seem insurmountable enough and to even drive a car every day, through rush hour traffic, is a daily flirtation with death.  

But as species we resemble nothing as much as a collective process. Loren Eiseley likened us, at times, to beavers with mechanical contrivances gnawing and damming our way through through the world's biota -- and in his darker visions he likened us to the slime molds which gather together, as individual amoebae, to coalesce into larger bodies to propel spores upward and outward as Eiseley feared that humans might project themselves upward and outward into space.

"Perhaps", he wrote, "Homo Sapiens the wise, is himself only the mechanism in a parasitic cycle, an instrument for the transference, ultimately, of a more invulnerable and heartless version of himself."  

I worry that as we lust after the conquest of the universe, and as we dream of a future in which we create intelligent machines to do our bidding and transform our world into an earthly paradise, we neglect developments that are happening under our very noses.

The transcendence of the physical world which we seem to seek has not yet arrived and, meanwhile, we are rapidly transforming our planet. It is a race, it seems to me. Will our dreamed of utopian technologies arrive before we lay waste to the earth and thus to ourselves?

We humans once looked to shamans to foretell the future in signs read in entrails and in sticks cast upon the ground. Later, we chose priests and, later still, scientists. Now, I think, we choose no one at all to predict our future for we no longer listen to the scientists when they tell us that our pollution is heating up the earth's atmosphere or that we will soon be responsible for the elimination of half of the number species which currently live on this earth.

I think that we do not look anywhere for guidance as much as we wallow in a cynical and relativistic skepticism which holds that all knowledge is suspect. I think that, in the face of disturbing truths, we retreat from the notion of truth itself.

"Ignoring climate change will surely be the most costly of all possible choices, for us and our children.....Our climate is now changing rapidly....Our new data and understanding now point to a critical situation we face." This quote comes from a joint letter written last February to the London Observer by James Baker, the Undersecretary of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Peter Ewins, head of the British meteorological office. When our leading climatologists take the career risks of issuing such bold pronouncements about our changing climate, we ignore them.  

And when agencies which seek to mitigate the suffering of human conflict - such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - state that "The explosive combination of human-driven climate change and rapidly changing socio- economic conditions will set off chain reactions of devastation leading to super-disasters" we merely shrug.

When we hear that the heat of 1998, which seems to have been the hottest year on the planet in at least the last thousand, caused as much as 5% of the world's population became environmental refugees, we shrug some more. What can be done? There are bills to pay, and our house needs a new roof.

As as we drive on, with fingers clenched on our steering wheels, headlong into the future, we sow the seeds of future conflict. The principle is simple; when besieged by heat, thirst, and hunger, humans fight.


I once saw this demonstrated, during a month long heat wave, in Baltimore Md., when a friend of mine made a cross comment to a local landlords' employee  - who was throwing trash into a collapsing alley garage where rats bred in profusion. The employee ran into his apartment to come out waving, of all things, a scimitar - which he tried to taunt my friend into charging at. Presumably, he meant to lop off my friend's head. Fortunately, calmer natures prevailed and no blood was shed.

But blood will be shed and weapons of mass destruction will be employed unless we stop our collective project of destabilizing the Earth's environment. We can hope that, even though world oil production is now projected to begin declining within 5 to 12 years, that current supplies will allow those adults here today to drive comfortably into the grave. But today's children will witness the aftermath as the world fights over the last of the oil. And we can hope that we do not see what happens when the ice cap covering our north pole disappears, as some have predicted will happen within this century. But today's children will see the results.

We are now laying a grim legacy, of a destabilized climate and a biologically impoverished world, of human conflicts and wars.

And I think that the children and young people of today have the right to be angry at our passivity and the right to demand action. All here who have at least three or four decades behind them are well into that process of entrancement and accommodation to the ways things are which is required to successfully function in human society. But the young can expect to live to see, at least, the middle of the next century and so have a right to be concerned, to be angry even, and to scold us.

They have the right to demand that we plan for them a viable future, that we begin the transition now to cleaner energy sources, that we address the poverty of the world if only to prevent the destruction of the world's remaining forests, and that we relinquish our weapons of mass destruction.  

I think that the time has come for a children's crusade for nothing can shame us more, I think, than the questions of the young. A crusade to demand a future and not the grotesque calamity which we are bequeathing to them, but a real future, a future which has hope and not merely devastation.

Last summer, at a vacation house on Cape Cod, I saw my niece enlist two other children - children of parents with wide divergences in political opinion - to  protest the cutting of a small tree by groundskeepers. It was a small insurrection, really, and insignificant, I suppose, except for what it pointed towards. The children made, on their own initiative, signs saying "don't cut the trees" and "let the trees live" and stood there in a protest to shame larger society, in their desire to protect all life.  And I thought, Let it start there.

Discuss

Some have fingered Bill Kristol. Enter MJ Rosenberg:

"The treason letter [to Iran] is an AIPAC production," charges MJ Rosenberg, who warns, "thanks to this ugly bipartisanship, America could find itself dragged into another Middle East war, a war that will make the Iraq debacle look like a day in the park." Continues Rosenberg:

"On all matters relating to Israel and the Middle East in general, AIPAC writes the legislation (or letters, resolutions, etc) which are then handed over to legislators to drop in the hopper, gather cosponsors, and get it passed or sent. Not only that, the ideas for these initiatives come out of AIPAC... AIPAC does it all, from soup to nuts.

I know this because back in my days working as a Congressional aide, I participated in that process." [emphasis mine, not Rosenberg's]

Drawing on his career experience, MJ Rosenberg attests,
"I suppose it is possible that the Senators treason letter was written without AIPAC. I mean, it’s possible that a meteor will destroy all human life tomorrow, But, believe me, 47 senators are not going to undertake an initiative this serious on AIPAC’s #1 issue without the lobby’s approval. The letter would have disappeared into the ether if AIPAC did not want to undermine the president this way. No senator, let alone 47, would ever treat AIPAC like that. Never.

Can I swear that AIPAC wrote the letter. No. I can only say that in the years I either worked for AIPAC (1973-1975,1982-1986), for Members of Congress or State Department’s USAID  (1982-1986,1987-1995,1995-1998) or at Israel Policy Forum (1998-2009), no Israel initiative ever moved in Congress without AIPAC in the lead. Not one... The only thing that has changed since is that AIPAC is more aggressive and Congress is even more in its thrall." [emphasis mine]

This is not a casual declaration. Be assured that in writing this, MJ Rosenberg has chosen to burn bridges, and sacrifice political relationships. The issue is that important.

And, it is. Rosenberg is correct; terrible though the outcome of the US invasion of Iraq was, an American war against Iran would be many times worse. The widening out of such a conflict into a regional or even a world war is possible.

In the process, much that America must confront would be set aside.

For example, American resources that must be committed to weaning our economy off oil, to slash greenhouse gas emissions and slow the globe's ongoing spiral towards catastrophic climate change, would instead be spent on death and destruction.

Truly, we could become locked into a global religious war: Christianity and Judaism v. Islam. From there, a spiral leading towards catastrophic global destabilization, even nuclear war, becomes possible.

The terrible irony is that, in such catastrophic scenarios, it is unlikely that the geographically tiny nation of Israel would fare well.

Evangelical Christians sometimes refer to the "Kairos moment": a pivotal moment that can determine broad sweeps of human history.

This push - by Netanyahu and Likud, by Senate Republicans, by John Hagee and his Christian Zionists, by AIPAC (or factions within AIPAC), and by a handful of Jewish billionaires - notably Sheldon Adelson (who has advocated a nuclear first-strike on Iran) and Paul Singer (both of whom have helped bankroll the political career of Senator Tom Cotton, ringleader behind the "treason letter") - to force America towards war with Iran represents an existential threat to collective human prospects, not only for Jews in Israel but for all humankind.

Sheldon Adelson seems to believe that his efforts to provoke conflict with Iran can prevent a second Holocaust.

packaging of 2003 Hagee sermon series Iraq The Final War[image, right: packaging of John Hagee's 2003 3-sermon VHS set Iraq: The Final War]

But who is Adelson's evangelical ally in that project ? - a leader who claims that Hitler was a was a "half-breed Jew" and in 2005 broadcast to the nations his claim that Hitler was sent by God to persecute the Jewish people; a pastor whose mass-marketed VHS cassettes, CDs and DVDs have on their covers pictures of nuclear mushroom clouds looming over the Middle East; an evangelical leader who blames the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism on Jews themselves; a man who has distributed Hitler's favorite anti-Jewish conspiracy theory to millions; a man who supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq and predicted it would be "the gateway to the apocalypse" that would "destabilize the Middle East and produce an Islamic army of millions, willing to fight to the death, in a massive all out Holy War" [against Israel].    

Last summer, on July 21, 2014, Sheldon Adelson accepted an award from John Hagee at Hagee's Christians United for Israel annual Washington D.C. summit.

Hagee's and CUFI's ceaseless lobbying for war with Iran, and his longstanding, close alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a matter of record undoubtedly known to Adelson.

But what Sheldon Adelson may not know is the established fact, which I have worked for years to document, that John Hagee has also spread anti-Jewish hate speech to all corners of the globe. And, Hagee's hate speech even includes a key charge employed by Hitler's propagandists to incite hatred of Jews and so enable the Holocaust: the claim that Jewish bankers, led by European Rothschilds, are manipulating global finance to impoverish common people.

The war Mr. Adelson is now pushing for could cause economic chaos that would finish off America's fast-dwindling middle class and consign most Americans to poverty.

People would ask, who had caused such misery ?  America would want answers, and answers would be readily at hand - long ago seeded into America's ideological and cultural soil by demagogues such as John Hagee - it was Jews.

Jews who had pushed for the catastrophic war - in AIPAC, or Adelson and Singer, or Netanyahu - would be safely insulated by their wealth and power. They would not suffer. Nor would John Hagee. Or Republican Senators who had pushed for war. And the military industrial complex would enjoy a financial windfall.

Meanwhile, average Americans would financially suffer; and as a consequence average Jewish-Americans would likely be targeted and scapegoated amidst rising wave of anti-Jewish bigotry and hatred. Thus could Sheldon Adelson help bring about that which he fears.  

Someone should suggest to Mr. Adelson; he needs new friends.  

Discuss

Who committed the Holocaust ? For the overwhelming majority of historians and, needless to say, Jews it's a settled question: Hitler, and his Nazis. But Christians United For Israel (CUFI) head John Hagee, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest American allies, has a different answer: "half-breed Jews".  

Netanyahu meets frequently with Hagee, endorses CUFI, has spoken at numerous CUFI events, and lavishes Hagee and his organization with praise. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently scheduled to speak at CUFI's annual Washington summit, July 13-14 2015.  

John Hagee book Jerusalem CountdownHagee's Christians United For Israel organization currently sells a book by pastor John Hagee, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning To The World, which on page 149 (2006 "revised and updated" paperback edition) claims Adolf Hitler was a "half-breed Jew" and states (p. 97) that Hitler was sent by God, as a "hunter", to persecute Europe's Jews and drive them towards "the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel".

In 2008 media uproar over Hagee's "hunter" claim (as made in a 2005 sermon that was exposed by this author) led presidential candidate John McCain to renounce his long-sought endorsement from pastor Hagee.

Hagee's claim that Hitler was Jewish is not new. In a 2003 sermon broadcast internationally and marketed as a VHS cassette, John Hagee claimed [link to video of sermon] the Antichrist would be "partially Jewish, as was Adolf Hitler, as was Karl Marx".

CUFI head John Hagee also blames anti-Semitism on Jews themselves, writing in Jerusalem Countdown (p. 56) that "It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews... that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day." Hagee's book then traces (p. 57) the birth of anti-Semitism to Jewish idol worship :

"How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for his chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings he had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come."
In Hagee's account "half-breed Jews", Hitler included, have served as the human agents by which God implements a divine curse placed upon the racially pure (non-miscegenated) Jewish people.

On page 149 of Hagee's book "Jerusalem Countdown", in a chapter with the ominous title "Who Is a Jew", Hagee writes,

"Esau's descendants would produce a lineage that would attack and slaughter the Jews for centuries. Esau's descendants included Haman, whose diabolical mind conceived the "final solution" of the Old Testament--the extermination of all Jews living in Persia. It was Esau's descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension.

Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau."

In his next sentence, Hagee goes on to make the false claim that in the 1976 book Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, noted Hitler biographer John Toland "records that Hitler was part Jewish". What Toland actually stated in his Hitler biography was "There is the slight possibility that Hitler's grandfather was a wealthy Jew named Frankenberger or Frankenreither."

Hagee's identification of a miscegenated race of "half-breed Jews" tracing back to Esau seems to originate in theological ideas from the fringe, virulently racist white supremacist Christian Identity movement, as described in books such as Religion and The Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, by leading authority Dr. Michael Barkun.

While John Hagee has for decades loudly and publicly condemned anti-Semitism, his writings and sermons have nonetheless promoted some of the most influential and inflammatory anti-Jewish tropes of the modern era, such as the claim that predatory Jewish bankers control international finance and prey upon the masses of humankind.

John Hagee sermon, March 23, 2003[image, right: John Hagee, giving March 23, 2003 sermon]

In a March 23, 2003 sermon broadcast internationally, Hagee claimed European Rothschild bankers, along with David Rockefeller, controlled the U.S. economy through the Federal Reserve - which according to Hagee was bankrupting average Americans by devaluing the dollar.

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League identifies this type of Federal Reserve conspiracy theory, that places Jewish bankers at the center of the proposed grand financial conspiracy, as a "classic anti-Semitic myth"

Hagee's Jewish banker conspiracy theory was astonishingly similar to claims showcased in the 1940 anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda film "The Eternal Jew", said to have been produced under supervision of Hitler's propagandist Joseph Goebbels [link to video footage] .

promotional poster for Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew[image, right: promotional poster for Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda film "Der Ewige Jude" ("The Eternal Jew")]

The Nazi film claimed (see link, above) that Jewish bankers, led by European Rothschilds, had "spread their net of financial influence over the working man" and were using their influence over global finance to "terrorize world [money] markets, world opinion, and world politics."

In his March 23, 2003 sermon, that was marketed by John Hagee Ministries as a 3-VHS cassette tape series, Hagee explained [video link], to his megachurch members and to audiences viewing Hagee's sermon on evangelical radio and TV networks across the globe,

" It may be shocking to you but I believe that America's economic problems are not created by market conditions, they are planned and orchestrated to devalue and to destroy the value of the dollar. It was done by an unseen government that I'll discuss later in this message.

[..]

Our economic destiny is controlled by the Federal Reserve system that is now headed by Alan Greenspan.  Think about this.  It is not a government institution.  It is controlled by a group of Class A stockholders including the Rothschilds of Europe and the David Rockefellers of America...

So get this one thought. The value of the dollar is controlled by an agency which is not controlled by America.  You don't have to have a Ph.D. in finance to understand that.  The value of your dollar is controlled by an organization, the Federal Reserve that is not controlled by America.  That's a fact."

packaging of 2003 Hagee sermon series Iraq The Final War[image, right: packaging of John Hagee's 2003 3-sermon VHS set Iraq: The Final War, that contained Hagee's March 23, 2003 sermon]

Hagee also aired his Jewish banker conspiracy theory in his book 1996 Day of Deception that was reprinted in 2000 in an edition billed as having sold "over 1.1 million copies". Hagee's Day of Deception is still sold, by Thomas Nelson publishers. In the book, Hagee makes clear that European Rothschilds (not Rockefellers) have majority shareholder control of the Federal Reserve.  

In his March 23, 2003 sermon, Hagee predicted that Jewish financiers were behind a satanic Illuminati plot, based in Europe, that would bring the Antichrist to power. This Antichrist, who in a prior sermon Hagee had predicted would be both partially Jewish and homosexual, would according to Hagee [video link] slaughter up to 1/3 of the world's population and "make Hitler look like a choirboy".

Hagee's claim that Hitler was "partially Jewish" fits into an emerging American right-wing revisionist genre, with both evangelical and secular expressions, that is rewriting the Holocaust by recasting the victims of Nazi persecution, such as Jews, liberals, communists, and homosexuals, as having been themselves the architects of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust.

John Hagee's pro-Israel form of Christian Zionism is an extremely complex phenomenon which over the past several decades has come to play a significant role in Israel politics. (see this analysis, from Boston-based think tank Political Research Associates, by PRA Fellow Rachel Tabachnick, on the tortured admixture of philo-Semitism and anti-Semitism that characterizes the movement).

But Christian Zionism is not new. In the early 1920s, a leading American industrialist - one of the giants of his age, wrote,

"Every Jew ought to know also that in every Christian church where the ancient prophecies are received and studied, there is a great revival of interest in the future of the Ancient People. It is not forgotten that certain promises were made to them regarding their position in the world, and it is held that these prophesies will be fulfilled. The future of the Jew, as prophetically outlined, is intimately bound up with the future of this planet, and the Christian church in large part-at least by the evangelical wing, which most Jews condemn-sees a Restoration of the Chosen People yet to come. If the mass of Jews knew how understandingly and sympathetically all the prophecies will find fulfillment and that they will result in great Jewish service to society at large, they would probably regard the church with another mind."
Henry Ford's The International JewThe author was Henry Ford, who in the 1920s commissioned the writing of the infamous anti-Jewish tract series The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem that expanded upon anti-Jewish conspiracy theories outlined in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious anti-Jewish propaganda document forged by the Russian Tzarist secret police.

Henry Ford placed blame for the start of World War One squarely on Jewish finance. "I know who caused the war: German-Jewish bankers," declared Ford in 1915. In his 1920 tract series, articles such as "Jewish Power and America's Money Famine" attributed the economic misfortunes of average Americans, such as farmers, to alleged Jewish control of gold supplies.  

Henry Ford paid for The International Jew to be translated into German and distributed in mass quantities in Germany. In post-WW2 testimony at the Nuremberg War Crime Tribunals, it emerged that Ford's anti-Jewish tract had deeply influenced leading Nazis such as Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach.

The extended quote above, by Henry Ford, was originally published in Ford's tract series The International Jew.

As may be the case with some contemporary Christian Zionists, Ford did not believe himself to be an anti-Semite. For years the automaker annually gave a new Model T Ford to Rabbi Leo M. Franklin, who lived in Ford's former Detroit neighborhood. After Ford began publishing his series The International Jew, Franklin began to refuse Ford's annual Model T gifts.

When Ford questioned the rabbi about it, Franklin replied, "you're attacking Jews. I can't accept anything from you." Ford replied, "No, I'm not attacking Jews, I'm attacking bad Jews. I would think you'd be supportive of that."

But only a year after the founding of the organization in 1913, Rabbi Franklin had become a local Michigan chapter leader of the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL would go on to help lead the Jewish fight against Henry Ford's  Christian Zionist  Mass Production of Hate.

Discuss

[for more details, see my Huffington Post story Anti-Gay, Anti-Mormon Hate Group Sponsors Reince Priebus' RNC Israel Trip]

Today, Saturday January 31, 2015, the Republican Party officially becomes the party of Christian nationalism and Christian supremacy: the Party of God.

Why ? Well, today roughly 1/3 of the leadership of the Republican National Committee has flown to Israel, on a nine-day all-expenses paid junket paid for and organized by the American Family Association - whose longtime spokesperson Bryan Fischer claims Hitler and top Nazis were gay and that non Christians (e.g. Muslims, Jews, and atheists) should be barred from political office.

Leading the trip is pastor David Lane, who has urged Christians to commit acts of martyrdom to force nonbelievers to either acknowledge Jesus Christ as their ruler or else "begin drinking holy blood". In 2012 Lane stated his refusal to vote for Mitt Romney because Romney is a Mormon who worships a "false god."

Reince Priebus and the RNC are now openly partnering with such people. In PR and marketing terms, it's known as co-branding.

Under the leadership of Reince Priebus, the RNC has now co-branded itself with a group (the AFA) and a pastor (David Lane) that, for their rhetorical and ideological extremity, are as far out on the fringe as the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party were in their heydays.

Indeed, the AFA and pastor David Lane target and vilify many of the same societal groups historically targeted by the American Nazi Party and the Klan.  

The AFA has been venting its virulently hateful anti-LGBT, nativist, religious supremacist, and arguably racist rhetoric across America’s airwaves for years. Hate speech from the AFA’s nationally syndicated radio show targets a wide range of minorities: LGBT citizens, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Muslims (generally), Mormons, Jews, and more.

Consider how far public acceptance of Christian supremacy has advanced in the American public sphere in less than a decade:

Back in 1999, as Republican 2000 election hopefuls jostled for the GOP presidential nomination, John McCain staked out a bold position on religious right leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who, according to McCain, were "agents of intolerance". McCain's principled stance may have cost him the nomination.

By 2005, McCain had apparently come to the conclusion that he couldn't reach the presidency without help from the "agents of intolerance". Senator McCain worked hard to regain support of those religious right leaders he had lambasted back in '99: first Falwell and Robertson. Those two pointed McCain at the real prize, John Hagee.

In early 2008, McCain held a joint national press conference in which Texas megachuch pastor Hagee endorsed McCain and McCain endorsed Hagee.

In May 2008 I released audio from a sermon Hagee had given in 2005 in which Hagee claimed that God had sent Adolf Hitler to punish Europe's Jews for having the audacity of choosing to live anywhere else but in the historic land of Israel. Hagee depicted Hitler and the Holocaust as a divine curse sent to drive Europe's Jews towards what was then the British protectorate of Palestine.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann promoted my story, first picked up by Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. From there, it went viral. Soon, John McCain held a press conference renouncing Hagee's political endorsement.

The incident hurt McCain's shaky relationship with the evangelical right and may have even helped influence his decision to pick Sarah Palin, a true believer close to the radical New Apostolic Reformation, as a vice presidential running mate. Palin won the evangelical vote but alienated independent voters, who found her creepy.

The rest is history.

Now, seven years later, the Overton Window has been shoved very far in the direction of Christian supremacy. How far ?

Looking back, I am disturbed to see American mainstream media's apparent tacit acceptance of political alliances very similar to the McCain/Hagee embrace which, less than a decade ago, proved almost fatally toxic. Now, it seems, such alliances wholly lack newsworthiness.  

But the elements that drove the explosive McCain/Hagee scandal are all present in the embrace of the American Family Association and pastor David Lane by the Republican National Committee:

Leading up to a presidential election, top Republican figures align themselves with religious right leaders whose virulently hateful, Christian supremacist utterances are a matter of public record, even more so now than in 2008; since my early, solo efforts then, an entire research team from People From The American Way's Right Wing Watch project has been hard at work documenting hate speech and ideologically extreme utterances from a wide spectrum of religious right leadership. Thanks to those ceaseless efforts, many of the necessary facts are now close at hand.

But unlike in 2008, mainstream media appears wholly unimpressed that the national leadership of the Republican Party has chosen to align itself with evangelical leaders who espouse radically hateful, Christian supremacist views.

The GOP's embrace, under Reince Priebus, of Christian leaders who suggest that non-Christians (including atheists, Jews, and Muslims) should be barred from public office does not seem to have moved the "serious" heavyweights - the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, not to mention broadcast media (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and so on) to cover the issue.

Let me make that more plain - the Republican National Committee's embrace of leaders and groups who espouse a radical rejection of Article 6 of the United States Constitution, which bars religious tests or oaths as preconditions for public office, does not seem to merit even a peep from America's most influential media.

What does it mean that Republicans, eager and willing to partner with unabashed Christian supremacists who espouse these sorts of radically anti-democratic positions, have apparently gained top-level control of the Republican Party that in turn controls the U.S. Congress and Senate, and over 2/3 of governorships and state legislatures in America today?

We may soon find out.    

 

Discuss

If the National Republican Party had embraced the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party, would mainstream media pick up the story ? Probably.

The American Family Association, sponsor of the Republican National Committee's upcoming Israel trip (organized and led by pastor David Lane), is no less extreme and has been venting its virulently hateful anti-LGBT, nativist, religious supremacist, and arguably racist rhetoric across America's airwaves for years. Hate speech from the AFA's nationally syndicated radio show targets a wide range of minorities: LGBT citizens, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Muslims (generally), Mormons, Jews, and more.  

And this is not a new issue: Time magazine broke the news of the RNC Israel trip (and, more to the point, who was sponsoring it) over six weeks ago, on December 8, 2014. So mainstream media has had ample advance notice.

But so far the main American non-LGBT media venue covering the scandal [see 1, 2] has been MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.

"They were making an overt argument that Mitt Romney should not be elected to public office in this country specifically because of his religion... the Republican Party is now explicitly embracing these guys. Not just people who are related to people who are related to these guys. I mean, the 'I won't vote for Mitt Romney because of his religion' guy [pastor David Lane] is the same guy, the exact person who is taking Reince Priebus and the Republican Party leadership on this trip [to Israel] the day after tomorrow." - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, January 29, 2015, characterizing statements from Bryan Fischer, David Lane, and the American Family Association, made during the 2012 presidential election, concerning the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The "serious" heavyweights - the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, not to mention broadcast media (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and so on) - have thus far opted to not cover the story, which has also been covered by two major Israeli media outlets (by Haaretz and the Times of Israel), by several American Jewish outlets including the Daily Jewish Forward, and extensively in LGBT media.

read the rest of this story here, at Twocare.org

Discuss
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