Skip to main content

The people behind BattleCry, veteran Christian youth organizer Ron Luce and his backers (who include Charles Colson, Ted Haggard, and Pat Robertson) don't like the America where I grew up. And it's more than just the separation of church and state.

A few months ago, when I read about the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands, I thought back to my own childhood, and my mixed Protestant/Catholic family. I remembered looking at the coverage of  "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland and being honestly baffled about how Protestants and Catholics could kill one another over their religion. Why couldn't they simply get along the way we did in the United States?

The people behind BattleCry, veteran Christian youth organizer Ron Luce and his backers (who include Charles Colson, Ted Haggard, and Pat Robertson) don't like the America where I grew up. And it's more than just the separation of church and state. They don't like the fact that my parents let me watch TV without any supervision. They don't like the fact that I listened to Howard Stern on the radio, that my parents bought me Neil Young records, and that I used to find it easy to sneak into R rated movies like "The Life of Brian" by Monty Python. One thing that always makes me chuckle is remembering Christmas in 1978. My parents had bought my 12-year-old brother the album "Jazz" by the British glam rock group "Queen". Imagine their surprise when my brother unwrapped it under the Christmas tree and a poster depicting 300 naked women on bicycles fell out of the album jacket, a photograph of an all girl nude bicycle race that Freddie Mercury had staged to promote the single "Fat Bottomed Girls". It still makes them laugh. For Ron Luce and the parents and Christian youth leaders who brought their kids to BattleCry's 2-day extravaganza of militarism, racism, and Christian music in Philadelphia last weekend, this kind of thing is deadly serious.

Now don't get me wrong.  Looking back on my childhood there are a lot of things I would have changed. Perhaps "The Collected Works of Shakespeare" would have been a better Christmas present for my brother than "Fat Bottomed Girls". I would not have let my children eat fast food, and no, I don't think Freddy Mercury is a terribly good role model for a 12-year-old boy. Ron Luce, on the other hand, has no objections to mass culture in and of itself. He has no real objection to the manipulative techniques of the advertising industry. Luce's problem with Columbia Records or Disney isn't that they do in fact manipulate vulnerable kids. It's that that they do for the wrong reasons, to make money and not to push them in the direction of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. In fact, he likes them so much he's decided to adopt them for himself.

BattleCry Philadelphia was certainly as vulgar and manipulative as anything I've ever seen from Howard Stern or Freddy Mercury. A two day carnival of militarism, racism, and loud, boring rock music, we were treated to a "sex expert" named "Lakita Garth" who mixed her scare routine about sexually transmitted diseases and the need to remain abstinent until marriage (she's in her late 30s and recently married) with hateful impressions of stereotypical dumb teenagers designed to make us all feel superior. It didn't work. I'm not a young black male and I'm not a California valley girl, the two main targets of her "satire",  but her routine left me feeling angry and depressed anyway. There were the usual ridiculous "Christian Rock" bands, a group that kind of looked like Duran Duran, one that kind of resembled Godsmack or Pearl Jam, and another reminded me nothing so much as a bad imitation of Matchbox Twenty. There was a spectacularly offensive segment about the Ecuadorian Indian tribe that was recently the subject of the movie "The End of the Spear". I hope I never have to suffer through anything like this again. It resembled a Victorian imperialist freak show from the 19nth Century complete with the simpering, tamed native, once violent but now gentle, friendly and willing to serve the white man after his conversion to Christianity brought up on stage like a trained pet while they read passages from something  called "The Pidgin Bible". Hey mon. You find Jesus. You feel good.

But BattleCry Philadelphia was more than just a vulgar carnival designed to suck donations into the coffers of Ron Luce's corporation "Teen Mania". Indeed, it had a point, to recruit the future elite "warriors" in the coming battle against the separation of church and state. It turned dark and frightening on Saturday afternoon. After Franklin "Islam is a Wicked Religion" Graham came out to thunder against the evils of homosexuality and the Iraqi people (whom he considers to be exactly the same people as the ancient Babylonians who enslaved the tribes of Israel and deserving, one would assume, the exact same fate)  we heard an explosion. Flames shot out on stage and a team of Navy Seals was shown on the big TV monitors in full camouflage creeping forward down the hallway from the locker room with their M16s. They were hunting us, the future Christian leaders of America. Two teenage girls next to me burst into tears and even I, a jaded middle-aged male, almost jumped out of my skin. I imagined for that moment what it must have felt like to have been a teacher at Columbine high school. 10 seconds later they rushed out onstage and pointed their guns in our direction firing blanks spitting flames. About 1000 shots and bang, we were all dead.

I then followed the select group of Christian youth out into the corridor into the tent where we were told about Teen Mania's "Honor Academy", some type of Christian fundamentalist boot camp designed to replace the first year of college for 600 dollars a month. This is about the same price that I paid to go to Rutgers way back in the 1980s, but considerably less than it would cost to a decent private university today. I'm assuming this is half the point, that the kids who wind up attending the "honor academy" will be evaluated according how useful they'll be to the Christian right. The select will be given some type of financial help going to college. The financially well off will be fine in any case and the rest will be funneled into the military, Walmart, and various places where they can thump the Bible and act as the foot soldiers in the army for the coming Christian revolution.

Finding myself bored with this, I went back into the atrium of the Wachovia Center and was approached by a young Asian man in his 20s for a project called "The Bridge of Hope," a campaign designed to convert the Indian untouchables (a doe eyed uncharacteristically light skinned example of an "untouchable" graces the cover of their pamphlet) and eventually all 2 billion people in Asia to evangelical Christianity. I chatted him up for awhile. (Got anybody in Pakistan? Nope. But we hope to. How about Iraq? Soon. The Muslims really need the Bible to overcome their wicked, satanic religion. How about Israel? Not at the moment). I went back into the arena and watched a few minutes of a musical group called "Piller", a dark, pseudo grunge band with the usual heavy power chords and a stage show full of pyrotechnics so powerful I felt the heat licking up against my cheeks all the up in the bleacher section. Well, having watched the coverage of the Great White tragedy the previous week, I was in no mood for indoor fireworks, so I shoved my way through the crowd out of the doors and onto the sidewalk where I joined the small group of counter protesters handing out literature and engaging the conventioneers in debate.

This is where I figured out that I had finally had enough of BattleCry 2006, that they were nothing but a gang of right-wing extremist bullies hiding behind teenage kids. Getting into a long debate with someone I thought was safe and relatively moderate (a man in his 30s who looked a bit like George Constanza) I found out that there was no real difference between Nambla and the gay rights movement as a whole, that the ACLU and were both plotting against Christmas, and that my grandmother, a devout Catholic who attended a Latin mass, lit candles for sinners, and raised one son who grew up to be a Jesuit priest, hadn't really a Christian at all and was probably in hell. I moved onto the next man, who told me about a book called "Saddam's Secrets" by an  ex Baathist general (whom I have never heard George Bush mention but don't quote me on it) proving that the weapons of mass destruction were in a big hole somewhere in Syria.

I ended up in a shouting match with a large, ex con who showed me his scars, talked about his days as an addict (yeah, just the kind of guy you'd want watching over your teenage kids), and kept grabbing me and screaming in my face that I was a "salad bar" every time I brought up the fact that Ron Luce seemed very uninterested in the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount (which was never mentioned the whole weekend) or about why Franklin Graham spent so much time talking about the wicked Babylonians and not, for example, the Parable of the Good Samaratin. This man had a real bad concept of personal space since he couldn't really understand it when I kept asking him to let go of my arm. It was getting to the point where there was only going to be one possible outcome, him getting kneecapped or me getting lynched, so my companions pulled me out of the debate and we beat a hasty retreat to my car where we sped up the New Jersey Turnpike back to New York.

Finding myself, at long last, in Orthodox Jewish Crown Heights, then Godless, secular Park Slope, I almost wept for joy. But I didn't. We're much closer today to Belfast than we were in 1981.

Originally posted to WorldCantWait on Sun May 14, 2006 at 09:48 PM PDT.


Is the Christian Right Youth Movement Dangerous or Just Ridiculous

76%1132 votes
13%201 votes
10%149 votes

| 1482 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  what a freak show (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I really feel badly for people that swallow this garbage as 'religion', they have to be either willfully ignorant, or truly satanic to worship at the altar of Ron Luce.

    Any thinking, feeling human being would reject this lunacy.

    But then again, 29% of the American public still think GW Bush is doing a 'good job'.

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus"
    Nasty, freshly-demoted
    -7.63, -9.

    by shpilk on Sun May 14, 2006 at 09:59:41 PM PDT

  •  wow. Navy seals and shots. Bizzaro world! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quotefiend, libertyisliberal

    It sounds just awful and scarey. I didn't think I'd read it all but it was fascinating and sickening. I hope this kind of thing peaks soon. What these kids need are good, well-paying jobs. Ha. Divert there attention onto things...actually anything but that stuff.

    I was raised in a fundamentalist church which I rejected as a teenager. I've never really gotten over some of the hellfire stuff I hated so much, and can't go to church, even though I have faith. I believe in looking as you do apparently at the real meaning of Christianity, or as someone once said, "the word behind the Word."

  •  I alternated (8+ / 0-)

    betwen despair and hysterical laughter while reading this diary.  It might not be very pc to say this here, but I have never been so proud to be Canadian.

    Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

    by Kingsmeg on Sun May 14, 2006 at 10:19:14 PM PDT

  •  If the Iraqi's are so evil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA, Quotefiend

    why the hell are our good Christian soldiers over there trying to save them?  Why not just let them all do each other in?  Why risk our navy SEALS?  

    They aren't recruiting for religious purposes.  Its something much larger than that.  

  •  I could explain The Troubles to you (6+ / 0-)

    but it would require a diary length post.  There's 800 years of British occupation of Ireland.  Since the 1530s when Henry VIII decided to make himself head of the Anglican Church, , you pretty much had to be Protestant if you wanted to keep your title. So the Protestants became the Haves and the Catholics the Have Nots.  Before that point, there were lovely things like the Kilkenny Statutes that forbade intermarriage between  "the wild" Irish and the Norman Irish--yes, miscegenation laws. It got worse under Henry and his successors.

    Despite the Protestant Ascendancy, many Protestants FOGUHT for Irish liberation--Napper Tandy, Wolf Tone, my own ancestor Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and Robert Emmet among them.  They are honored ny everyone in the Republic as Irish heroes. It wasnt'about religion. It was about kicking out imperialist overlrods.

    You might also like to know that Iain Paisley,  member of the unionsit party and one of the leaders of one of the Protestant militias, was close with Bob Jones and Oral Roberts. Despite being every much a terrorist ins element as Gerry Adams, he was permitted to enter this country  for many years--and make the rounds of the Fundy churchers, and go home with about a mil to spend on weapons for his Protestant militias.  No one associated with Irish nationalism was permitted to enter the country hwoever. Protestant terroprists who supported MAggie Thatcher were OK in Reagan and Bush's book.

    I was one of the people you saw on the steps of SAT. Pat's holding a banner the day Bobby Sands died.  I knew Irish history well long before that day--and that was why I was there.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun May 14, 2006 at 10:30:45 PM PDT

  •  I anethelp thinking (6+ / 0-)

    that with the mentality of Battle Cry types--we may well see religious violence here, well beyond the occasional nutjob blowing up a clinic or a gay club--both of which re ghastly criomes, but still limited to a few people.  I think e could easily see suicide bombers and people blowing up liberal Christian churches, Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues.  

    That prospect scares me to death.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun May 14, 2006 at 10:32:43 PM PDT

    •  That's what I fear, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaulVA, Quotefiend

      Liberal churches are going to be viewed as ultimate blasphemers.  

      •  I was brought up in a liberal Protestant Church (8+ / 0-)

        And that was part of the reason I noticed that the sermon of the mount was conspiculously absent from their event. No Blessed are the Meek for these people.

        But they go beyond the reactionary quality of the Catholic Church too. True, the Catholic church has criminalized abortion in El Salvador and Polish TV has banned all sexually suggestive ads during the Pope's coming visit (what a pity the Polish goverment couldn't similarly honor JPII's opposition to the war in Iraq) but these people have a totalitarian quality that Catholics don't.

        At its most basic level it's a lot of lazy fucking parents who need the government to bring up their kids for them. Too bad they don't get a clue and take personal responsibility for it. Hint. If you don't want your kids being "manipulated" by junk mass culture, take them to a museum, buy them copies of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, take them camping. You don't need a theocracy because American Idol sucks.

        There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

        by WorldCantWait on Sun May 14, 2006 at 10:40:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)

          What happened to being responsible for your own children?  

          I was brought up in a liberal environment, too.  Not perfect, either, but I can so relate to your thoughts about what's happened to the America you grew up in.  Its like I live in a different place now.  My parents were overly educated, neither went to college, but they managed to raise children that are capable of thinking for themselves.  They were skeptics...and they encouraged us to question.  They knew we'd have to manage to find our own way in the world someday, and they didn't expect the church or the government to be there to shelter us all of our lives.

        •  Peopelhave a right and duty (0+ / 0-)

          to supervise THEIR children's viewing and reading habits--but nto that of anyone else's.  People want the world tobecoem G rated so they can sit ontheir duffs and not parent.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Wed May 17, 2006 at 10:02:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's also an anti-semitic quality to Ron Luce. (6+ / 0-)

      It's buried but it's there.

      The whole idea that there's some sinister cabal in Hollywood and the media conspiring to enslave our youth wreaks of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      Let's not forget also the anti-semitic Pat Robertson is also one of their supporters.

      There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

      by WorldCantWait on Sun May 14, 2006 at 10:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recommend this diary. This is something we all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, MamasGun, PaulVA, Quotefiend

    should be keeping close tabs on and be informed about. This was a well-done diary, both having the guts to do the research hands-on, and the writing of the post telling in detail what's up.

  •  Hitler Youth Handbook (4+ / 0-)

    If reading this after reading WorldCantWait's diary doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

    Here's the link to the German Propaganda Archives at Calvin and here's a quote:

    Like any genuine, forward-thinking, future-shaping revolution, the German rising of 1933 in the end was the salvation of our national life. It organized all available powers of resistance against decline and the attitude of decline of a dying age. It overcame the splintering of forces and the anarchy of opinions, giving to the present a binding law and a worthy goal. That made life and a future possible once more, for life requires a goal and the future a wide-reaching will. The worldview decision that came through the creative act of the National Socialist revolution ended a dying and weak age, bringing instead a new era. A new idea joined the historic march to self-realization, forming people's attitudes and characters, as well as the style of their lives. A central worldview once more permitted internal unity and thereby the creative strength of a new era.

    And then there's this little gem from Randall Terry:

    "Let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good . . . our goal is a Christian nation . . . we have a biblical duty, we are called of God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. We want theocracy."

    These young people, and many adults, are being indoctrinated into what they believe is a moral and worthy goal by religious zealots who only use Christianity as a thinly disguised veneer (take a shot of whiskey if you if have it!) for hatred and bigotry and way to their ultimate goal, which is world domination.

    For more nightmares here's the link for BattleCry.  Take a close look at their site setup, their photos and their use of red flags and storm clouds.  Then tell me they don't know EXACTLY what they are really doing and who they are trying to emulate.  (Sure as sugar ain't Jesus, Baby!)

    I can't believe I just wrote that.  But it's all too real.  What will it take for people to wake the fuck up?

    "Reality has a well known liberal bias" Stephen Colbert

    by Rogneid on Mon May 15, 2006 at 09:37:41 PM PDT

    •  What I meant by Hitler Youth Handbook (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quotefiend, WorldCantWait

      is that if you can find a copy of the handbook, you can see how the Reich brainwashed the kids.  BattleCry is doing the same thing, even to the red flag imagery, which I seem to remember showing up on lots of HY stuff.

      I had a translated copy once (sold long ago) that belonged to an ex-white supremecist but after looking at BattleCry's site, they obviously have seen it as well.

      "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Dylan Thomas

      by Rogneid on Mon May 15, 2006 at 09:56:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Basttlecry Site is Incredibly Creepy (0+ / 0-)

      If you check out their message boards you will alternqate between wanting to weep and wanting to throw up.  I read a thread where someone thought it would be a good idea to bring back the Inquisition and another thread where their idea of "Christian action" was to go after Victoria's Secret for their advertising.  

      They also seem to fixate on lust, a lot.  They are incredibly self-righteous as well.  But what I find very interesting is that they almost all appear to be, at least in their writing, semi-literate.  One has to wonder if they are products of homeschooling.  

      Their idea of what makes a good Christian is the ability to spout inappropriate and out of context scripture.  I would not be surprised if some of them had never actually read the Beatitudes.

  •  Billy Graham and Franklin Graham (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, Quotefiend

    Franklin Graham spoke in Philadelphia.

    I couldn't help but notice what his father said and compare it to what Ron Luce is saying.

    Billy Graham to Richard Nixon in 1972:

    The Rev. Bill Graham

    "This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain," the nation's best-known preacher declared as he agreed with a stream of bigoted Nixon comments about Jews and their perceived influence in American life.

    "You believe that?" says Nixon after the "stranglehold" comment.

    "Yes, sir," says Graham.

    "Oh, boy," replies Nixon. "So do I. I can't ever say that but I believe it."

    "No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something," replies Graham.

    Ron Luce in 2006:

    A stealthy enemy has infiltrated our country and is preying upon the hearts and minds of 33 million American teens. Corporations, media conglomerates, and purveyors of popular culture have spent billions to seduce and enslave our youth. So far, the enemy is winning. But there is plenty we can do. We need to take action. We need to answer the Battle Cry.

    There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

    by WorldCantWait on Mon May 15, 2006 at 09:42:48 PM PDT

    •  Personally (0+ / 0-)

      I think that Luce and the rest are suffering from projection, seeing in their "enemies" the sins and crimes that they themselves are committing. The intensity with which they proselytise leads me to suspect that this projection is the result of major psychoses.

  •  This is more dangerous than the Hitler Youth. (0+ / 0-)

    The Hitler Youth was a compulsory organization: you had to join it.  So, the density of true believing fanatics was a bit lower.  The ones who joined only because they had to join introduced a moderating influence.

    The people who join BattleCry do so out of choice.  So, there is a very high density of true believing fanatics.

    Put another way, the Hitler Youth was like normal Uranium while BattleCry is like highly enriched, weapons grade Uranium...

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Mon May 15, 2006 at 10:13:14 PM PDT

  •  Tell Me Again Why We Tolerate This? (0+ / 0-)

    Any religion that teaches that their way is the only path to salvation is fundamentally unacceptable in a rational society, of which all liberals should be striving for.  

  •  WorldCantWait - (0+ / 0-)

    Nice piece. You're lucky you survived to write it. I half-expected "salad bar" guy to drag you off to the Honor Academy for some broomstick therapy. Sounds like a lovely group, sort of a cross between Promise Keepers and Young Republicans.

    Ever read any iof Matt Taibbi's stuff? Might get a kick out of this.

    Matthias: Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying "Jehovah". [Everyone gasps]

    Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!

    Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

    Jewish Official: I'm warning you! If you say "Jehovah" one more time (gets hit with rock) RIGHT! Who did that? Come on, who did it?

    Stoners: She did! She did! (suddenly speaking as men) He! He did! He!

    Jewish Official: Was it you?

    Stoner: Yes.

    Jewish Official: Right...

    Stoner: Well you did say "Jehovah." [Crowd throws rocks at the stoner]

    Jewish Official: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle. Even... and I want to make this absolutely clear... even if they do say, "Jehovah."

    [Crowd stones the Jewish Official to death]

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Tue May 16, 2006 at 12:41:23 AM PDT

  •  Does this make me a bad person? (0+ / 0-)

    I really, really, REALLY want a "Satan is a Nerd" T-shirt.

  •  Dangerous (0+ / 0-)

    I checked dangerous, but they remind me far more of the Chinese Cultural Revolution than the Hitler Youth.  Not that this is a good thing.

    •  Red Guards (0+ / 0-)

      Ha. Ha. I was fucking with them about this all weekend. I kept asking them why they were carrying red flags and suggesting Ron Luce was really a communist.

      Most of them hadn't the slightest clue why they were carrying red flags. They were just doing it because they had been told to although I later found it red signified the blood of Christ.

      There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

      by WorldCantWait on Tue May 16, 2006 at 06:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can't put a white cross on their flags... (0+ / 0-)

        because then it would make them look either like the godless watch-and-chocolate-making Eurotrash Swiss or like medieval Crusaders, which might either get them killed in India on their conversion hagiras.

        So it is better to look like unreformed Cominternists, straight out of the  Seventh World Congress of the Communist International...

        People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

        by rgilly on Tue May 16, 2006 at 07:00:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reminds me of the series 'Carnivale' on HBO (0+ / 0-)

    They will be exposed, but how far will it go before they are?  I believe the majority of these kids are swept up into these Christian Youth Groups easily by their parents, but how dedicated these kids are to the cause is questionable. Kids are mercurial.  It's the parents of these kids that worry me. The anger coming from the Christian Right worries me because these groups fostered by the adults obviously enable the minority from the youth groups who are looking for a cause to incite trouble and harm to others. They seem to enjoy using intimidation methods ... will militant-like children fall into these groups easily using God as their justification?

  •  How close are they to falling under (0+ / 0-)

    hate speech laws?

    Then again, I think that will just give them a target to rally around and media attention to exploit it.

    These are just modern-day KKK members.  Bigotry on parade...

    Thinking men can not be ruled. --Ayn Rand

    by Wisper on Tue May 16, 2006 at 10:04:11 AM PDT

    •  Franklin Graham (0+ / 0-)

      Let me see if I can find the text of Franklin Graham's speech so people can judge for themselves.

      There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

      by WorldCantWait on Tue May 16, 2006 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hate Speech (0+ / 0-)

      I can't find it right now. I'll have to do a more thorough search when I get home.

      A lot of it was veiled. There's certainly a lot of Protocols of the Elders of Zion beneath the idea that an evil cabal in Hollywood is conspiring to enslave your nice Kute Kristian Kiddies.

      But while they all came out and openly said they want to convert Hindus and Buddhists it was tough to get them to say it about Jews (although there were a couple of Jews for Jesus types who still considered themselves Jewish but thought that Jesus was the Messiah).

      The bigotry against Muslims was open, not veiled at all. It was very easy to get them to say "Allah is Satan" and Graham compared the Iraqis to ancient Babylonians.

      Honestly their attitudes towards Muslims made LGF seem almost tolerant by comparison. And I'm not being ironic about that.

      There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

      by WorldCantWait on Tue May 16, 2006 at 10:15:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yuck. (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like they literally want us all to die of wholesomeness.

  •  Fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a recovering fundamentalist I gravitate towards these topics. Can’t read enough of them. Nice article. What I don’t see, and what is not reflected in the responses, is the topic of FEAR.

    Fear of death, fear of punishment, fear of losing....everything you hold dear---family, religion, freedom. It is the basic, underlying drum beat of every fundamentalist Brother Salvation Show tent/church. I don’t think enough bloggers out there appreciate the emotional/visceral response to the fear of losing your marriage, children, livelihood and of course, eternal salvation, woven into every sermon, every song, every social encounter with another ‘believer’.

    Everything is a potential enemy. I can recall sermons on tampons, public laundry mats, women working outside the home, music, make up, hair perms (yes, they do focus on lust and women ad nauseam) as being signs of the End of Times.

    Fear 24/7 blocks rational thought, even if you are lucky enough to accidentally run into it. Most Fear Mongers rely on sequestering their patrons—we didn’t even own a TV while I was in the Cult of Fear.

    Arguing with fear-high believers will get you nowhere unless you first acknowledge that fear. I would suggest, to anyone out there who is serious about a dialog with a fear crazed religious and/or republican fellow citizen, to start the conversation with “what are you afraid of?” and then be prepared for a litany. Only then—once they have unloaded their psychosis—can you ask them to consider an alternative.

    And even then, don’t expect much. Remember the average IQ is 100. Fear has been used since the dawn of time to control human behavior. Stupidity + Fear = not many will change. But some of us do! We do!

    So, like I used to encourage my young evangelists, remember you don’t have to harvest the seed you plant! Just plant it!

  •  Excellent diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Mon May 22, 2006 at 05:56:38 PM PDT

  •  They're fascists. (0+ / 0-)

    And they need to be continually exposed for what they are.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Wed May 24, 2006 at 03:32:44 PM PDT

Click here for the mobile view of the site