Skip to main content

CNN's groundbreaking series "God's Warriors"--in which promoters of Wahhabist Islam, Haredi Judaism, and "Christian" dominionism are revealed--has caused up quite the stir; dominionists in particular are wanting Christine Amanpour's head in part because she pointed out just how much the Freudian slip of "Joel's Army" is showing.

Much has been made of John Hagee's appearance on the program as well as Ron Luce's Joelkorpjugend; far less well publicised--and which SHOULD be as worrying to Americans, in my opinion--was the statement by the third Assemblies man (Joseph B. Fuiten) on the program:

You see, he doesn't think non-dominionists should be considered citizens...or have rights.  At all.

To quote Genesis, "It's no fun being an illegal alien"

It appears the wonderful Orcinus blog, and specifically walkaway and reporter Sara Robinson, were among the very few who caught that particular missive:

If you go over to Youtube and do a search on "God's Warriors," a disproportionate number of the video clips will show the segment covering Ron Luce's "Battle Cry" movement (which we've discussed at length here in the past). This isn't surprising: "Battle Cry" rallies are designed to have all the visual drama of the Nuremburg Rally -- an apt analogy on all too many levels. The sight of America's own nascent Hitler Youth movement raising their arms and declaring their commitment to the war against secular society makes for great TV. It's also a spectacle that every American should find chilling.

But absolutely nobody has picked up on another little segment I found at least as horrifying -- even before I found out it had a local Seattle angle.

The clip above is Rev. Joe Fuiten, pastor of the Cedar Park Church in Bothell, WA. In it, he carefully explains that Christian-based social conservatism is the way it's always been in America. And anyone who disagrees with that assertion or thinks it should be otherwise, is, he says -- flat out -- an "illegal alien here."

Considering how the GOP has been using "illegal immigration" as an excuse for the demonization of brown people and the suspension of all kinds of civil rights, this characterization should give us at least as much pause as the "Battle Cry" footage does. We've been arguing recently that the Christian right no longer even tries to make a secret of the fact that it considers itself a master race, endowed by the Creator with rights and privileges that exceed -- and even negate -- those of non-believers.

Now, we have the pastor of a large regional mega-church right there on national TV, asserting that those who disagree with his theology are defacto aliens in their own country. Yep. That's right. If you're not a born-again fundamentalist Christian, you can just turn in your passport and your sample ballot now. And don't bother trying to collect on any of the public services your taxes pay for, either. You don't have any more right to be here than someone who spent two days and nights crawling across the Rio Grande to pick strawberries. In fact, according to Rev. Fuiten: you have no rights worth respecting at all.

Lest the Youtube link above and the Orcinus article be doubted, the CNN transcript has it damningly in black and white:

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Turissini was working for a group called Positive Christian Agenda.

FUITEN: And what do we need Danille to do here, to round up the troops?

AMANPOUR: That's her boss, Joe Fuiten, a politically-minded pastor who leads one of the state's most influential mega-churches.

FUITEN: We're trying to hold back the barbarians who want to encroach upon the empire, if you will. And we're saying, no, the values of Christianity should be in the marketplace of ideas. They should be out there for all to see and to contemplate.

Well, congregation, let's dedicate Hannah (ph) to the lord.

AMANPOUR: Fuiten was instrumental in the fight to define marriage in Washington State as one man, one woman. And, although American law prohibits him from endorsing candidates from the pulpit, he gets around that by referring parishioners to a personal Web site to see his "Pastors Picks."

FUITEN: The secularists always say, you're trying to set up a theocracy. You're trying to put your values on us.

And I say to myself, hey, wait a second here. This is the way it's always been in America. You come along with your secular agenda. You're the ones trying to put your values on America, not me. Our values are native here. It's yours that are foreign. You're the illegal alien here, not me.

Yup, Joel's Army slip is showing quite a bit...for once, they revealed on national television that they don't consider non-dominionists Americans at all.

A bit of backhistory on Fuiten and his church

As I noted, Fuiten is one of no less than three separate Assemblies-linked pastors on the program; he is, admittedly, probably the most obscure of the three.

Cedar Park Church is a prime example of what I have described in past as a "Stealth Assemblies megachurch"--it does not reveal its denominational affiliation out in the open, but one has to go to its doctrinal statement to find out that it is in fact an Assemblies of God church.  (This is very, very common with large Assemblies megachurches--and even not-so-large ones like Cedar Park.)

If this is to be doubted, the Assemblies happily lists them in their directory and even notes that there are satellite congregations in a number of other towns.

In fact, Fuiten is not only an Assemblies man but--much like John Ashcroft--is part of a multigenerational family of Assemblies preachers--and has become surprisingly influential:

Joseph B. Fuiten was raised in rural Oregon in the home of a mother and father who were both Assemblies of God ministers.  As a youth he was active in sports, music, debate, student government, and politics.  His youthful dream was to go into law and politics.  Pursuing that dream led him to attend Willamette University and obtain a B.A. in Political Science.

At Willamette University, Joe pursued politics, being elected Chairman of the College Republicans of Oregon, Student Body President of Willamette, and National Student Representative.  His internship was as a lobbyist in the Oregon Legislature working on the Oregon Motorist Information Act of 1971.  He also worked as a chauffeur for Clay Meyers, Oregon’s Secretary of State.

A call to the ministry resulted in a changed direction.  Licensed as a minister while still a student, Joe began preaching to youth during the "Jesus Movement" of the early 1970’s, and helped start the Willamette Christian Body on campus.  He also helped start the Jesus Festival Movement by founding the "Sweet Jesus, Prince of Peace, Rock Festival," in 1971 at McCullough Stadium in Salem.

In 1972, Joe entered formal church ministry as a Youth Evangelist and thereafter as a Youth Pastor.  He has served as an Associate Pastor in Aloha, Oregon with Rev. John Fuiten and as Associate Pastor with Dr. Fulton Buntain at Life Center in Tacoma, Washington.

In 1979, he was elected Director of Christian Education for the Northwest District Council of the Assemblies of God, with responsibilities in Church Growth, Christian Schools, and Sunday Schools for the 370 churches of the Northwest District Council.

He has served as Senior Pastor of Cedar Park Assembly of God in Bothell, Washington since 1981.  Since that time, he has established an organization of eight branch churches, Washington State’s largest private school in six locations with over 1800 students, six campuses, a funeral home, cemetery, mechanics shop, Center for Ministry Preparation, a thrift store, studio, school of the arts, and state licensed counseling centers in Kenmore, Issaquah, and Bellevue.  There are currently four hundred employees who work for Cedar Park.

Joe earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Northwest Graduate School of the Ministry in 1995.  He has served as a faculty member of the Graduate School, now called Bakke University, and as an adjunct faculty member for Northwest University.  Joe is a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.  He has served the denomination on the Ministerial Enrichment Committee, US Missions Committee, and other committees of the General Council. He is an Executive Presbyter of the Northwest District Council of the Assemblies of God and a General Presbyter for the General Council of the Assemblies of God.  He is also the immediate past president of the Eastside Pastor’s Association.

Joe helped found a number of organizations including Channel 20 in Seattle, a Christian television station now owned by Trinity Broadcasting Co. and  Mission of Mercy, a Colorado based missions fundraising organization generating about fifteen million dollars per year.  Joe also helped found Mainstream Ministries, a national Youth Pastor’s training organization.

His interests in the community have been reflected in hosting television and radio talk programs, coaching Little League, serving two Governors on the Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and serving on a variety of boards.  He is President of the Committee for Religious Freedom, a political action committee.  Until July 2006 he served as President and Chairman of Faith and Freedom Network, successor organization to Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government, a political lobbying organization. He is also the convener of Positive Christian Agenda, a collection of Christian organizations that coordinate political action in Washington State.  He has served as state chairman for the John Ashcroft for President committee and on the state steering committee for the Bush-Cheny '04 campaign serving as state director of Social Conservatives for Bush-Cheney.

So let's review--this guy is not only an Assemblies preacher (rather scary in and of itself due to the extensive history of the Assemblies and dominionism), but is very high up in the Assemblies hierarchy (a regional director and also a director of content for their Sunday school program at a time when Assemblies churches were preaching the evils of abortion to six year old children) and is not only a dominionist leader but actively ran state steering committees for John Ashcroft and the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

The reason I say "surprisingly influential" is that--at least in terms of Assemblies megachurches--Cedar Park is comparatively tiny.  It is listed as the 107th largest Assemblies church in the US in a 2004 statistical report put out by the Assemblies, with only 1,412 members (probably not counting its satellite congregations--at least eight exist).  By comparison, Phoenix First Assembly (which is where Ted Haggard now attends) has over 9,500 members, and the church I escaped had almost 4800 members (yes, I am a walkaway from one of the biggest churches in the denomination, so I can safely say this sort of stuff is usual in the Assemblies).

Cedar Park's lobbying wing: "Positive Christian Agenda

Much like larger Assemblies megachurches, Cedar Park is quite active in political dominionism; unlike larger Assemblies megachurches, instead of using the "plausible deniability" of having a deacon run the lobbying wing, they have the pastor run it.

Positive Christian Agenda is a major dominionist lobbying group in Washington state; among other things, they give out advice that can potentially endanger the tax-exempt status of churches by encouraging illegal electioneering.  

Interestingly--in a manner almost unlike any other dominionist organisation I have investigated--PCA does not attempt to use any tax-deductible status and is not registered in any federal or state registry of nonprofit groups.  (In other words, it seems to be operating purely as a political action committee.)

In a method similar to the general operation of cell-church groups in the Assemblies at large, PCA promotes dominionist "activist cells"--specifically, through a group setup called the "Citizen Response Network".  In general, there are six people in a "cell" (counting the network leader), and recruitment--and distribution of "action alerts"--operates in almost the same way that instructions from On High work in an Assemblies cell-church or in a "make money fast" pyramid scheme:

PARTICIPATION IS EASY:

  1. Become a key contact at your church.
  1. Establish a Citizen Response Network in your church.
  1. Register your name/group, so we will know who to alert

when a response is needed on important votes or issues
before the State Legislature.

  1. Establish an Citizen Response Network in your church or

group by recruiting at least five committed people to respond
when action is needed. (See form on reverse. Additional
forms available upon request.)

  1. Keep your entire church family informed.

Especially in Assemblies and "Assemblies daughter" churches which use "cell church" groups anyways, it is extremely easy to recruit a pastor or an influential deacon who essentially can recruit most of the church into dominionist political activism (via the existing "cell church" network); cell-churches conducting steeplejacking attacks on mainstream Christian churches can likewise be recruited.

And just for the record, yes, this occurs on quite a routine basis in Assemblies "cell church" networks.

This is particularly disturbing, seeing as the head of PCA has literally declared all non-dominionists "illegal aliens".  The various platforms don't do much to soothe the nerves, either; they are a particularly major supporter of "Moral refusal" clauses (which can lock non-dominionists out of healthcare entirely) and in general support the usual anti-sex-ed, anti-reproductive-health, anti-LGBT agenda of political dominionist groups in general.

Their proposal to extend the general requirements for post-release sex offenders to all people who have ever been convicted of a felony is particularly telling in this regard:

House Republicans continue to offer solutions with the goal of keeping the public safe. Since the House Majority Democrats have refused to give HB 2084 a hearing, Rep. Kirk Pearson has introduced a similar measure, HB 2393, to again address this urgent matter. Following are the provisions of this bill. You decide for yourself whether these provisions are too tough on felons or if they just make sense.

• Makes legislative findings that offenders on community custody have the same expectation of privacy as offenders in confinement, and that requiring offenders on community custody to submit to random, unannounced inspections is therefore reasonable under the federal and state constitutions.
• Requires courts to mandate as a condition of community custody that offenders must submit to random, unannounced inspections of their person, residence, automobile, or other personal property.
• Requires offenders to submit to unannounced inspections of their person, residence, automobile, or other personal property even without reasonable cause to believe the offender may have violated a condition of community custody.
• Requires DOC to perform random, unannounced inspections of the person, residence, automobile, or other personal property of all offenders who are under DOC supervision pursuant to a term of community custody.
• Requires DOC to inspect the person, residence, automobile, or other personal property of offenders on community custody whenever DOC has reasonable cause to believe they may have violated a condition of
community custody.
• Authorizes DOC to impose on offenders who violate conditions of their community custody a sanction of total confinement for any period of time that does not otherwise exceed their remaining terms of community custody.
• Eliminates 50% and 33% good time for offenders (leaves 15% and 10% earned early release as is).
• Requires DOC to develop a performance review whenever offenders on community custody are convicted of a new crime to determine whether the department contributed to the circumstances that allowed the crime to occur, and to submit copies of the reviews to the governor and the legislature.
• Requires DOC to submit an make report to the governor and the legislature on the number of offenders on community custody, the number of offenders who violated a condition of their community custody and the number convicted of new offenses that were committed while on community custody, and to conduct a study to determine whether DOC has the capacity to adequately supervise all offenders who are on community custody.
• Provides DOC and its employees who supervise offenders in the community immunity from civil liability unless they are grossly negligent, and requires clear, cogent and convincing evidence of gross negligence in order to prevail in any civil action against DOC or its employees.
• Includes an emergency clause since the bill is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public safety.

Seeing as the group also wants to make providing or assisting a woman in obtaining abortion services one of these "felonies" and even goes to the point of promoting bizarre "snowflake baby adoption" schemes ("snowflake babies" are the dominionist term for unimplanted embryos left over from IVF treatments, and one of the growing schemes in the dominionist community is offering "embryo adoption"), I'm not exactly comforted.  

Especially considering that being an "undocumented alien" is technically a felony (especially if the undocumented alien comes back to the US a second time), as is bringing in undocumented aliens and hiring undocumented aliens.

And the Rev. Fuiten has already made it quite abundantly clear that he considers anyone who isn't a dominionist in the category of "undocumented aliens". :P

Some of PCA's electioneering definitely steps across both a legal line and a potential line of coercion.  The Seattle Times described a recent call to oppose a bill in the Washington legislature to mandate both abstinence and birth control education in state sex ed programs--because birth control was covered at all:

Fuiten said the scientifically accurate "designation is a pseudo-intellectual cover for getting rid of abstinence, which presumably isn't scientifically accurate." He also objects to the bill because it covers private schools, too, including church schools like the six Cedar Park operates:

So the Legislature is going to require me to teach their version of sex education. We have a top of the line sex education program but that's not good enough for the state. Not the greatest separation of church and state when the state mandates what the church must teach. The arrogance of that is astounding.

Fuiten's message to supporters included a "prayer alert" asking people to share a special prayer with "your pastor and church and/or organization prayer chains or prayer groups." It says in part:

Please pray that God will give the righteous legislators patience and wisdom and that those who claim to be Christians yet vote against Biblical principles will have their eyes opened.

Sara Robinson probably puts it best herself in summing up the danger here:

But it's not just a bad interpretation of the past that makes Fuiten's statement so dangerous. It's what this kind of logic can lead us to in the future. Fascism requires purity crusades against an out-group that's seen as polluting the national body politic. The line between pseudo-fascism and the real deal is crossed at the point where the state sanctions the use of violence in furthering that crusade, as it did on Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany.

Asserting that non-fundamentalists are "illegal aliens" in their own country -- the one that our own ancestors fought, paid taxes, and worked all their lives to build; or risked everything to get to and start over in -- is a potent statement of that exact kind of purity crusade thinking. It's the same libel Nazis told the Germans about their native Jews: We are something other, something less than, something not-American (and thus potentially treasonous), and perhaps not even quite human. We are not like the good volk of the heartland; we are decadent urban intellectuals who seek to corrupt all that is good. Our very presence desecrates the pure soul of the nation. We have been ejected, in their minds, from the protection of American law and the community of American citizens.

For that reason, we don't belong here; and this country does not belong to us. And, underlying it all, there's the hint of a threat that as soon as the theocrats consolidate their grip on power and finish dismantling those pesky rights (they're oh, so close now), they will be fully justified in putting us behind barbed wire, removing us from "their" country by force, or simply dispatching us on sight like the vermin we are.

To put it bluntly: Fuiten's little toss-off statement is giving his fellow-believers a fresh rationalization -- pre-loaded with more connotations that I can reasonably list here -- for a cleansing campaign of eliminationism targeting anyone who doesn't share their beliefs.

Originally posted to dogemperor on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01:59 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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

  •  Tip jar (51+ / 0-)

    If at all possible, please distribute this widely--I've also mirrored this on Talk to Action and Street Prophets, but the more this gets out the more important it is--it's one of the first bits of hard proof that has been obtained on what has been preached behind closed doors in Assemblies megachurches for at least twenty-five years (and probably far longer).

    •  yo, dogemperor... (4+ / 0-)

      I've been negligent in not getting back to you via email about our earlier conversation online.  And the more of your stuff I read, the more I am thinking that we may really be "in for it" unless there are concerted efforts made across the entire spectrum.  

      I'll try to email tonight when I get back from field (I have to scoot shortly to a couple of clients' sites).  

      I wonder about this as a potential element in a broader strategy:  focus efforts on specific locales to reverse dominionist influence and "vaccinate" the public against it creeping in, and then point to the measurable outcomes in these places such as lower levels of teenage pregnancy and so on, as proof of the point.   At the same time, there would have to be aggressive actions at the state level to preclude dominionist moves that might in some way shut down the local measures, for example w/r/t educational funding & curriculum, and so on.  

      Seems to me we need some kind of organized leadership here in terms of promoting and undertaking a very specific counter-dominionist agenda.  

      •  Yup. (5+ / 0-)

        All of those suggestions you mention are of course needed--I think a big thing that needs to be focused on, and which has gotten scant attention from even a lot of anti-dominionist groups, is general "cult-proofing" of the population (which WOULD largely kick the legs out from under the Assemblies and the neopente groups, among others).

        This is, I am afraid, going to be a longterm effort, and at this point may be more of keeping the dominionist cancer in remission for now until the "national immune system" can kick in--but I do think we can do it :3

        •  cult-proofing is key (4+ / 0-)

          Problem is, most of the powers-that-be depend on the psychological factors that also make people vulnerable to cult influence, so this is a tough one.

          What I think would be interesting, would be a K-12 curriculum oriented in this direction, but indurectly: for example, more math theory, more on scientific method as such, etc.: ideally things that can be taught as completely ideologically neutral but that equip kids with the tools, methods, and ways of thinking, that will enable them to see through cult recruitment efforts later in life.  

          There are also subtle ways this stuff can be slipped into otherwise conservative or middle-of-the-road content: for example in teaching kids to resist peer pressure to use alcohol and other drugs, we can teach them to resist peer pressure in general by thinking for themselves and reasoning out consequences and recognizing emotional pressures that conflict with reason and so on.  In teaching kids to resist the influence of gangs, we can teach them the same tools that will enable them to recognize cults for what they are.  

          So much of this resembles nothing so much as pure 1950s mainstream America vs. communism, it isn't even funny.  

          •  Based on other diaries, though (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, dogemperor, 73rd virgin, jimmyboyo

            This:

            a K-12 curriculum oriented in this direction, but indurectly: for example, more math theory, more on scientific method as such, etc.: ideally things that can be taught as completely ideologically neutral but that equip kids with the tools, methods, and ways of thinking, that will enable them to see through cult recruitment efforts later in life.  

            Is a really good idea, but won't work for kids being raised in a cult or cult-like environment, will it?  Since more and more of them are being home-schooled.

            •  have to do something about home schooling (6+ / 0-)

              It became a loophole big enough to drive a cult through.  

              What's needed is:  curriculum standards, testing conducted with standard tests in public institutions under proper control, etc.  

              Really we have also got to get over the idea that a child is its parents' property, and be more willing to intervene when parental influences are effectively rendering a kid unable to go on to higher education,  or skilled jobs.  

              And this cult stuff is as bad as gangs & drugs.  Religious freedom can't be used as cover for a program that ultimately leads to overt lawlessness.  

              Truly we are facing something that works similarly to communist subversion, cell structures included, is equally totalitarian if not more so, and is if anything more dangerous because it appears to be home-grown.  

              •  *nods* (5+ / 0-)

                One possible way to get around this is to require the use of either accredited curricula or a curricula package approved by a state-certified inclusive homeschool association (exclusive groups like HSLDA would be expressly prohibited).

                Another step (just as needed) would be having state minimal requirements for all curricula based on grade level with a set of requirements that are non-negotiable.

                That way, unschoolers could actually (for the most part) operate in the same way they do now--for the "teaching evolutionary science" section, an unschooler could file a paper that they would be covering this by reading Robert Bakker's "The Dinosaur Heresies" and other books on evolutionary science combined with field trips to museums or even fossil digs--whilst dominionist curricula would not be able to be certified (as it would not meet minimal standards).

                I'll get into much more of this tomorrow, promise :3

          •  We've got clue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            linnen, dogemperor

            There's been a lot of research done over the years (much of it by Devin Burkhart and the SPLC) over how towns can face down white supremacist violence. I believe that the techniques used there can be equally effective here.

            The thing that's most important for us, as the netroots, is to know that these strategies exist -- and be ready to use them as soon as religious eliminationism rears its ugly head in our communities.

            The key thing to remember is that these people believe that they're saving the community. They have to be told -- swiftly, firmly, and in no uncertain terms, the very first time they cross the line -- that the community actively rejects what they're trying to sell. You need the City Council standing up to denounce them. The cops coming to arrest them. The newspapers writing fierce editorials. Signs in every window on Main Street saying "This town stands for religious freedom."

            Like so much that the netroots does, the most effective coordination happens locally. Stopping an eventual takeover (and I agree that they're gearing up for this) is a town-by-town fight. If we are looking for it -- and slap them down HARD the first time they try it, they won't try it again.

            It must be nipped in the bud, because every time they succeed, they gain power. The Nazis got a foothold because they crept in so smoothly and quietly that nobody could mount a defense until it was too late. That's an error that vigilant local netroots groups can make damned sure we don't make again.

            I'll try to put together a more in-depth post on this at Orcinus in the next week or two. This fall, I'm also doing a futures framework project as part of my master's that will look at various scenarios for how this might play out, which I'm hoping to share with the progressive community as the basis of some strategic planning around this issue. If you want to keep track of this as it evolves, stay tuned at Orcinus.

            And Dog -- this post is beyond fabulous. Thanks for the AOG deep background. I'll be throwing you a link.

  •  Fight Fire With Fire (5+ / 0-)

    We should petition liberal (sane) legislators to introduce, one for one, bills dominionists would hate. How about a camera in every church? How about all houses of worship must have their full name and affiliation on the outside of their buildings?

    How about laws that limit the size of churches? How about a law that formally sanctions athiesm? How about a law declaring a fetus is not a human?

    It;s not about a law's ability to pass. It's about letting them know we know what they're doing.

    One for one, on and on...eternal vigilance.

    I weigh 666 pounds in zero gravity; COME AND GET ME!

    by thirdnostril on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:11:14 PM PDT

  •  Bolder (7+ / 0-)

    The movement seems to have become much bolder.  I see any number of people that seem to accept the logic that if your religion calls on you to serve as a politician, then the normal rules don't apply to you.  "You can't tell me what to do, only Jesus does; and Jesus says it is right and proper to establish God on our coinage, to erect crosses as official war memorials, to force your children to listen to our prayers every day.  Are you a heathen?"

    Keep up the information flow, dogemperor.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell. SmokeyMonkey.org

    by smokeymonkey on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:12:51 PM PDT

    •  The *public* face is bolder, you mean (10+ / 0-)

      In private, in the Wednesday-night and "revival" and longterm-member early morning meetings and especially in the cell-church groups, they've been stating this to their own members as long as I can remember.

      The big sea change is that they no longer seem to even be taking pains to have the "private face" and the "public face", and have been letting much more of their Freudian slip showing as of late (as they see themselves in power).

      I will state this for the record--I hope to whatever Gods there may be that this finally shuts up those people who have claimed that we walkaways who have witnessed this for years have been "making shit up" and "exaggerating" about dominionists.

      This is a regional head of the Assemblies of God, the second largest dominionist denomination in the US, possibly the largest in the world, and the denomination with the earliest documented history of dominionism of any church saying this.  In public.  On a national television program.  He is most assuredly doing this with the full blessing and support of his denomination, too.

      THIS and worse is what they've been telling their own for ages and ages now, folks.  THIS is why we cannot let them win.  (Their ultimate plan for those who won't be "named and claimed" is rather similar to Paul Cameron's plan for LGBT people--kill 'em all, once they can get the chance and get the laws to back 'em up.)

  •  they say the darndest things, don't they? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, dogemperor, 73rd virgin, jimmyboyo

    lindsay over at majikthise had this up the other day.
    what the reverend wiley s. drake hands out at his church;

    Under the heading, "HOW TO PRAY," he listed all 31 verses of Psalm 109, in which King David appeals to divine justice. Drake provided his congregation the King James Version of the psalm, including Verse 9, which says: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

    old school death threat, eh?

    Sometimes selfishness even gets to be a cause, an organized force, even a government. Then it's called Fascism. - Born Yesterday

    by rasbobbo on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:13:53 PM PDT

    •  Saw it, and this distresses me to no end (7+ / 0-)

      Seeing as Baptist churches have historically been the earliest targeted by the Assemblies for steeplejacking (not just the SBC, but Reformed Baptist congregations as early as the 1910s and 1920s in eastern Europe), it is very worrying to me to see an SBC pastor (in fact, the third in command of the entire denomination) essentially spewing Assemblies-style "hexing in the name of Christ"--there are, sadly, more and more signs (especially near the seminaries) that the denomination's original steeplejacking is being solidified to the point that (if it is not checked) I really do expect the SBC to essentially become Assemblies of God Lite.

      (And yes, these kinds of imprecatory prayers are very, very, very common in the Assemblies :P)

  •  This gets to the heart of the problem (8+ / 0-)

    Namely why the F$#@ are so many Americans open to this crap?

    A tip to DHS - if you want to investigate/control a terrorist organization, investigate these folks. The lunatic right has received a free ride during the Bush years and these groups have grown, become wealthier and better armed. There is not the big Ruby Ridge incident right now, but that is because the loony right has just about all it wants in the current administration.

    "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." U.S.Grant

    by shigeru on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:23:05 PM PDT

    •  I think it is genetic.....bear with me and read (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dogemperor, 73rd virgin, shigeru

      there are no silver bullets, no single miracle event, etc

      BUT, 1 huge factor might just be genetic.

      Where did many of the ancestors of americans come from?  What kinds of background?

      The puritans were their day's version of branch davidians or better yet Jim Jones esque followers.  
      They were told to get out or be jailed.  

      Many a religous wack job left europe and came to america.  Many a criminal (debtor's prisons) were sent here.

      Europe without knowing it cleaned up its gene pool as far as religous nuttyness goes.  look at Europe now.  Very secular (of course going through 2 world wars had a lot to do with it to), and a much smaller crime rate.

      Our gene pool was based on criminals and religous nuts and look at us today.

      I hope I made a bit of sense.  The voices in my head said i did.  :-)

    •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dogemperor

      Here is an interesting link I found wandering through all of the links provided above.  I loved this list of whys:

      No matter how much we read in the Bible about how Christ and the early church were totally unconcerned with getting control and power over the world or the nation or even their own villages, we can't get this conquest stuff out of our heads. Power and control are the stuff of Ba'al or Mars worship, not of the One who died at our hands.
      No matter how much we're called to share the only key to spiritual power (the gospel of Jesus Christ), we want to believe there's insider stuff that matters, and that we are among the good few who know.
      No matter how many signposts of the Kingdom God puts into the daily life around us, no matter how much the New Testament teaches us to have a spirit of forgiveness and grace, too many of us want to start damning those 'others' around us and pushing them out of public discourse.
      No matter how much Jesus and Paul speak of being servants, we keep getting sucked into to the magnetic idea of being in the master class.
      No matter how much it is clear that God only sends real, flawed humans like us to lead the Church, and calls on them to be servant-leaders instead of masters, we want to have flawless superheroes and übermensch.

      There is simply no basis for Dominion theology anywhere in the New Testament. It is, in fact, vigorously anti-Christian in the attitude it breeds. It just isn't the way God operates in the Scriptures.

      I guess this sums up why I find these people and their message so disturbing.

      "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children." Bonhoeffer

      by LAMaestra on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 08:32:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  new testament says some pretty bloody stuff (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dogemperor

        The whole

        "I did not come to bring peace but a sword to divide the believer from the non believer"

        "A mother shall turn against her children, a son against his father,......etc....for the sake of me."

        Those 2 right there are not all that peaceful and are 2 things used by violent religionists to justify a violent spread of the gospel.

        Paul though not violent was Pro-slavery.  When asked if recently converted slaves should run away from their masters 9having a new master in jesus and all) he said "slaves OBEY your masters"

  •  Such scary folks... (8+ / 0-)

    These people don't realize how much harm they do.  Actually, they probably do, but like anyone with that righteous feeling, they think it is the right thing.  They're sickos, is what they are.  

    I don't care if they want to worship their own way.  I do care that they want to force others to worship their way.  What scum.  Call me an alien in my own nation.  Go learn some history and stop harassing people that could care less about you and what you do in your own homes.

  •  I'd be very interested in (6+ / 0-)

    a Myers-Briggs profile of the average follower. That is, are there certain personality types who find comfort in the structures offered by dominionism so that they are willing to set aside or compartmentalize the remainder of their knowledge of the world?

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:37:12 PM PDT

    •  Oh, in the case of the Assemblies it's dead easy (8+ / 0-)

      I've actually written on this in the context of abusive "cell church" and "discipling and shepherding" groups (of note, these had their origins in Assemblies megachurches.

      Among other rather disturbing findings, it's been found that people involved in coercive religious groups (including abusive "Bible-based" neopente groups using "discipling and shepherding" and cell-churches) have a measurable Myers-Briggs profile change over past, present and future scales to ESFJ (the study in question covered the Boston Church of Christ but also covered Maranatha, Scientology and the Moonies--Maranatha's model is probably closest to the one used in the Assemblies, but Scientology also has a similar "minder" model to "cell churches" in neopente groups).  The full study is quoted in "The Discipling Dilemma" (chapter 2 covers the study, and the appendices contain figures from the study).

      Of note, the trend towards ESFJ (including, in some cases, complete reversals of Myers-Briggs type from INTP to ESFJ) and lesser trends towards ESTJ and ENFJ of a similar nature were documented in nearly all of the groups in the study recognised to be coercive religious groups by exit counselors (Maranatha, the Hare Krishnas, Scientology, the Unification Church, and the Boston Church of Christ) but were not documented in mainstream Christian churches or even other Church of Christ denominations that do not use the "cell church" model--this is a strong indication that "cell churches" as used in neopente groups (including the Assemblies of God) are inherently abusive in practice.

      •  I have family members (6+ / 0-)

        who found religion and lost their family in the process, and this analysis seems dead on to me.  Thanks.

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  substantial personality change.... (4+ / 0-)

        Oh man, I was writing a piece of science fiction years ago on exactly that theme.  The relevant item being the "Conversion Clause," a law by which prisoners could get out of their sentences via religious conversion or "any provable instance of substantial personality change" while incarcerated.  This on the basis that one can't punish the body when the soul has been cleansed, with a generic provision to appease secularists.

        The story focuses on someone who has been sentenced to death for a terrorism charge, where the death penalty provision was applied ex-post-facto to his case.  (Ex-post-facto law is classically unconstitutional, from which you can infer much about the regime I was depicting.  And yes, executions were televised, in a program called Final Sanction.)  

        One more piece from the story: the gas chamber is back in use, after a Supreme Court ruling that the "and" in "cruel and unusual" means literally "both," thus cruelty by itself is acceptable so long as it is the usual practice.

        The more I see of the present Regime and its ideological devotees, the more I keep thinking, "this s--- is stranger than science fiction."  Yeah it sure is.

  •  I was raised AG (7+ / 0-)

    ... and it's way more dangerous than you think.

    Family members still ensnared hold beliefs that run counter to everything that makes us who we are as a people. Some of them include the conviction that gays should be placed in concentration camps, that those who kill doctors who perform abortions are not committing murder and that their members should not wait for divine retribution against non-believers and, instead, begin the process of ostracism and destruction now.

    They also believe that whatever beliefs they hold or whatever actions they take ... all of them ... are justified because they are Christ's true representatives on Earth.

    If you walked out of one of their services or prayer meetings with a $10 bill for every time someone there said, "God spoke to me and said ...", you would have some nice pocket money for the coming weeks.

    They are a haven for pedophiles, schizophrenics and violent racists and you and I are powerless under current law to stop them.

    •  Yup. (7+ / 0-)

      Oh, trust me, I hear you.  We had people in the Assemblies church I escaped from (seventh largest in the nation) that actively saw the Army of God domestic terrorists as doing God's work.  I also remember the sermons on LGBT people being rounded up in concentration camps and witches being put to death when they got into power (and people wonder why this young transgendered bi man in the body of a woman doesn't come out to his parents...).

      Part of what I'm doing is hopefully to show people the real face of things--I do have enough faith that when people get pissed enough, they can take action.  They can't let people know if they never find out, though.

      (This, by the way, is where walkaways like you and I come in.  Of anyone, we have the best idea on what they're saying to their own--hell, we've lived it and have the psychic scars to live with as a result.)

      As an aside, I would encourage you (if you haven't already) to tell your story--the more people hear from us survivors that this shit is going on, the more people are going to see smoke and realise that there may just be a need to start a bucket brigade, so to speak.

      •  When I used, 'you,' ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... I meant a general "you" to kos readers, not you specifically. Yeah, you get it because you lived it.

        I try to be a resource for people with questions, but I haven't found it too healthy for me to relive my childhood in detail. Maybe someday.

        I am heartened by how much people are waking up to the threat. Those whose church experience is vastly different that those of a person who grew up in a dominionist church used to find themselves stuck behind a barrier to understanding, but those days are fading, mostly because of diaries like yours.

        •  about reliving events... (4+ / 0-)

          This may be helpful:

          Visualize the events as being depicted on a small black-and-white TV screen, where you are sitting there watching the story.  Then remind yourself that you can change the channel or turn down the volume if something disturbing comes up, or turn it off entirely and do something else.  

          Also helpful: the more you talk to others about stuff, every time you tell the story, the emotional stuff becomes less intense and it become more like any ordinary narrative.  

          Note, there are theories of peer counseling that are based on having strong emotional discharges when talking about events; these theories are terribly misguided because for some people they can result in reinforcing the difficult feelings.  What works better is to, over time, emphasize that the emotional content of the events is becoming less and less strong each time you tell the story; and have friends listening who will give you emotional support for moving in that direction.  For an example (in fiction) of how this works, check out Aldous Huxley's Island, in the beginning of the story where the lead character has a rough time getting to the island, and tells the story to some local kids, until after a while he ends up laughing at himself over it.  "And then, I was almost bitten by a snake!"  "But the snake didn't bite you, did it?"  "No, it didn't..."  that kind of thing.  Huxley was writing that part based on clinical psych techniques that were known at the time, and are still viable today.  

  •  Founders thought different than the dominionist (4+ / 0-)

    "A just government founded on liberty has NO need for the cleregy"  Madison

    "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches"  Ben Franklin

    "The priests of every age are the enemies of liberty" Thomas Jefferson

    Particularly since our government was based on Greco Roman pagan Law, British common law (which predated christianity coming to british isles by centuries), etc

  •  He's nuts. They all are. (5+ / 0-)

    ANd if they hadn't all read revisionsit hsitory and ignored the fact that most of their claims about this being intended to be a CHristian Nation by the FF were debunked at the time the constitution was ratified with thhe ban on religiosu tests included (most of their claims were made back in 1783, and they LOST BIG DOG STYLK)they'd knwo the truth:thatall religioins are treated the sme.

    Oh, BYW, I need help getting a comment hidden in my diary here. It's by Joyce Busey and is anboput halfway to the bottom

    Sure, the drunken jocks who lined up to have sex with the drunken slut were shamefully wrong - what fun is a drunken blow-up doll? - but the drunken slut was just as wrong. Spread your legs to any and all, and any and all will oblige if they're drunk enough.

    Where is the crime here? The victim was too drunk to know what happened, the jocks were to drunk to care, and the witnesses were simply disgusted by the grotesque display. I'd say every single one of 'em needs a good 6 weeks' worth of intensive therapy in behaving like sensible human beings. I doubt any of them needs 20 years' worth of prison.

    it's offensively sexist.  Ad completely misogynist, and ignores the fact that sex with someone who is drunk or passed out is illegal even if they consent because legally they cannot.

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

    by irishwitch on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 03:47:01 PM PDT

  •  are they asking God for progressive politicians? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, dogemperor, 73rd virgin, jimmyboyo

    Please pray that God will give the righteous legislators patience and wisdom and that those who claim to be Christians yet vote against Biblical principles will have their eyes opened.

    This is what I want also, except I believe we are 180 degrees apart on our ideas of what God wants. My representative is Jamie Pederson, active in his Lutheran church, dedicated to his partner, Eric Cochran. My state Senator, Ed Murray, was also standing in line to be one of the first couples in Washington state to register as domestic partners. (Pictures of many couples (PDF) here!!  )

    I am sure Fuiten would like to replace my legislators with somebody else. However, he can't really do it in the current climate.

    In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

    by Lefty Mama on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 04:23:17 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site