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It's both appropriate and also quite easy, in the case of a November 15, 2008 column by Newsweek's new religion writer Lisa Miller, to lambaste Newsweek's editors for Miller's journalistic catastrophe which suggests that calling Barack Obama the "Antichrist" might be rational.

Agreed.

But, having fired off our letters to the editor (well worth the time) let's try and turn from legitimate outrage towards the logs that might be caught in our own eyes, obscuring our own perspective.

Lisa Miller appears to have been trying to make the point, however clumsily, that apocalyptic Premillennial Dispensationalist Christians waiting for the coming of the Antichrist and the "Rapture" aren't "nuts".

Well, if functionality is any indication of rationality, then the Christian right is arguable more "sane" than most on the American left, for the simple reason that the right has for decades effectively used politicized religion to bash the American left and so gain an improbable electoral edge.

With unprecedented mobilization of the pro-Obama coalition the hard religious right has been set back for the moment but they'll soon be back in force, in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The reason is simple:

The American left still doesn't fully understand how the American religious right has used used politicized religion to power the American political right and by recent indications the problem is getting worse.

Lisa Miller is, it would seem, living back in the 1970's or 1980's, when a spate of books, fronted by Hal Lindsey's global bestseller The Late Great Planet Earth, inspired a glut of pulp apocalypse potboilers from authors looking to cash in on the trend.

Now, with the year 2000 behind us, the avante-garde of the Christian right aren't hunkered down in caves eating Tribulation food, just scraping by and glumly waiting for the "Rapture". No way.

They're advancing the "Kingdom", moving in to seize the "Seven Mountains" of society. They want Dominion.

Lisa Miller's noxious Obama-"Antichrist" gaffe is inexcusable, but my take is that it may have been accidental and, in any case, the American left has much to reflect on concerning the past election.

It was a victory yes. But amidst the victory, the political left flubbed a chance to slam Sarah Palin as having confirmed ties to two prominent religious leaders who claim to have successfully fought witches. In 2000, according to AP, Palin herself  even borrowed an inspirational video about how to reduce crime, alcoholism and traffic accidents by driving out witches and demon spirits. Again, those were confirmed facts.

What was going on there ?

The left is, still, largely clueless and, as with Lisa Miller, still under the assumption that tens of millions of Christian fundamentalists thumb though, perhaps daily, their Hal Lindsey paperbacks and their Scofield Reference Bibles.

Not.

Apocalyptic Premillennial Dispensationalism, AKA "Rapture" Christianity, has been dying for several decades (at least). What's replacing it is almost certainly worse, and it's unlikely you'll read about that replacement ideology in Newsweek but by the same token you won't likely read about it on the blogs, however big, of the political left.  

You can, however, read about it here:

http://www.talk2action.org

And, you can read about Sarah Palin's ties to the new Christian right here:

http://www.talk2action.org/...

Knowledge is power. In early 2008 I used specific knowledge on the Christian right, John Hagee specifically, to shift the 2008 election. McCain's renunciation of John Hagee's political endorsement probably dampened GOP enthusiasm for attacking on Barack Obama because of his association with Pastor Jeremiah Wright. And, McCain's rupture with Hagee arguably helped propel McCain towards his rash decision to select Sarah Palin as a running mate, in an ill-considered ploy to shore up McCain's voting support among Christian conservatives. The rest is history.

To those who might claim the American Christian right is on the way out, I'll note this:

In the mid to late 1980's, following scandals that toppled the careers of prominent televangelists such as Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, US mainstream media asked, in all earnestness, if the Christian right was dead or dying. Less than a decade after, Newt Gingrich and the new Christian right, powered by Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and other new Christian right political organizing groups, rolled in to take control of Congress and the Senate. To dismal results.

That may well happen again if the American left is as clueless now as it was prior to the 1994 election.

Knowledge is power. Meet the new, global, Christian right :

The new Christian right that you'll likely soon be contending with, in the political sphere, the cultural sphere, in your business or in your church, looks nothing like what your mental pictures might be, on what people on the fundamentalist Christian right look like.

The New Christian right looks and talks almost as if it just walked out of Woodstalk. Many of its members dress as hippies of the 1960's might have dressed, and they can play African drums: expertly even.

Plus, they cast out demons, chase purported 'witches' out of town, claim to be able to raise the dead, and  map out local Freemason, Catholic, Mormon and Scientology influence.


Palin's Churches, Thomas Muthee, Witchcraft and The Third Wave from Bruce Wilson on Vimeo.

Originally posted to Troutfishing on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:16 PM PST.

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  •  Let's not repeat the insanity. (376+ / 0-)
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    Who is sane ? The ostensibly sane who lose ? Or the "crazy" who prosper ?

    The choice, ultimately, may be yours.

  •  The Newsweek article raised an important point (29+ / 0-)

    What if Obama is indeed the Antichrist?  It would be irresponsible of serious journalists not to at least take the idea seriously.  I for one would like to congratulate Newsweek for addressing this most important question in a responsible and evenhanded way.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:19:20 PM PST

  •  Thank goodness we got Obama in (16+ / 0-)

    and not some religious nut armageddon-lover or 'The Family' type.

    Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

    by drbloodaxe on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:20:41 PM PST

  •  The Left ALSO Is a Generation Behind Repubs in (28+ / 0-)

    understanding how the Constitution works. And that it has serious holes, and where they are.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:21:16 PM PST

  •  Other scrurilous attacks on Obama (5+ / 0-)

    are more secular.

    As I wrote about here.

  •  Miller and editors could not be that clumsy (7+ / 0-)

    I hear you, and i thought it myself. But it just  doesn't wash.

  •  Nope. (14+ / 0-)

    People who believe that stuff are psychotic and delusional, not rational.

    We should give them treatment, not sympathy.

  •  Evangelicals for Obama. (12+ / 0-)

    Part of Obama's victory came from Evangelicals who (a) think improving the lives of their fellow people is a more important Christian duty than enforcing a bunch of rules, and (b) have woken up to the fact that the GOP has been making cultural promises they'll never keep in order to win Evangelical support for Big Business.

    See: Matthew 25 Network.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:29:43 PM PST

    •  I don't buy your premise.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, moiv, FutureNow, irishwitch

      On the "promises never delivered".

      That's demonstrably incorrect. And, there's no sharp line, now, between the Christian right and the GOP either. Solid academic studies demonstrating that have been available for years.

      •  Abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools. . . (12+ / 0-)

        Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land. Gays are getting more rights, and generally gaining in public influence and esteem. There's still no school-sponsored prayer. The Repubs have made lots of noise to Evangelicals about changing these, but it's just amounted to noise.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:42:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True but evangelicals were also the key (7+ / 0-)

          to bringing about the second term of George W. Bush. Troutfishing is right about knowledge being power but I'd also add that, to many, religion is all about power too.  And organized religion can, has and will in the future try to influence governments whenever it possibly can - especially ours.

          This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

          by Snud on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:51:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Religion is effectively dead in much of Europe... (7+ / 0-)

            Its influence will decline here as well.  Technology and generational/demographic shifts will destroy religious fanatacism as it now stands...it will not have the political influence it has now.

            And this is not like the 80s.  This decline will be more permanent...the recent technology revolution will make sure of that.

            Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

            by toadvantagedressed on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:56:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All you have to do is look at the demographics (4+ / 0-)

              Religion by age? 1/3 of the 18-35 group (according to the last poll I looked at) are atheists. Most of the rest are christians, but half of those are far more secular ones.

              The religious right is literally dying.

              •  That's a 1/2 truth... (9+ / 0-)

                The religious right has also become a truly global movement and the death throes of the movement may trigger, along the way, global catastrophe.

                •  Who says that this is the death throes? (7+ / 0-)

                  One thing that I really agree with from your diary is the implication that the Left really needs to better understand religion, the way that it (purports) to understand politics. Put it this way: the current election may have been the culmination of a movement. The rise (and fall) of the religious right must also be seen as the result of a movement, only it is not just political: it is known as revivalism, and, historically it has been a most powerful and transformative instrument of change.

                  ...there's a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove - Stephen Stills

                  by NuttyProf on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:46:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure I agree with you. (9+ / 0-)

                Though I wish it were true, evangelicals tend to have large families. They raise those families in their churches, so in a sense, they are creating a spiritual warfare society for the future. There are evangelical leaders using marketing to appeal to younger audiences, as well, and holding these huge concerts and rallies in order to indoctrinate teenagers.

                I doubt they are going away any time soon.

                "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

                by missLotus on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:31:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Science education is of paramount importance (12+ / 0-)

                  These Evangelical kids need to be taught some basic cosmology, so that their parents' head may explode. Tell them about the hundreds of billions of stars in a galaxy. Tell them about the hundreds of billions of galaxies in the OBSERVABLE universe. Make them deny the concept of speed of light, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki stood as historical proof of the concept of speed of light. Make them say that God put the stars and fossils there to fool humanity, making such God a deity full of deceit.

                  •  I think you're off base. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PsychoSavannah

                    Except for the fossil bit. The rest is, I think, quite compatible with most fundamentalist Christian belief.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:26:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't see how that is, (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      i like bbq, kyril, BYw

                      How can a believe in the universe that is 13 billion years old, proven by the existence of a galaxy which now should be 46 billion light years away (which was closer to earth 13 billion years ago but has now drifted away but the light from the early days just arrived on earth) which was indicated by red-shift, which in turn indicates a very old solar system and 4 billion years earth, be compatible with fundamentalist Christian belief that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago?

                      Oh, unless you're talking about the God that put all those proofs to test our faith. Ouch! I wonder how the conversation would be when I go to meet the maker...

                      God: "Oh ye of little faith, how dare you doubted my Words!"
                      Me: "Buh buh buh but God... all those observed natural phenomenon... the geological evidence... the fossil.... starlight problem..."
                      God: "Silence! I put those to test your faith! Now go to the depth of hell where there are gnashing teeth!"
                      Me: "Nooooo!!!!"

                      •  Talk to some fundies and see. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        tikkun, PsychoSavannah, Ajipon

                        If you believe God created Earth 6,000 years ago, I don't see how that rules out God creating trillions of stars 6,000 years ago, and setting them in whatever motions God pleased.

                        Or maybe some fundies think God created all the stars 46 billion years ago, and just got around to Earth 4,000 years ago.

                        You're trying to impose your logic on their faith. You're trying to tell them what they can and can't believe. I don't think it's going to work.

                        Just so we're clear: I'm a practicing Christian, but not a fundamentalist. I believe God created the Big Bang umpteen billion years ago (nobody has a better explanation for the Big Bang), and that life on Earth has evolved from one-celled organisms, or amino acids, or whatever, over the last 4 billion years.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:09:53 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Education is key, yes. (7+ / 0-)

                    Which is why so many of them believe in homeschooling. That way they can control what their children are learning. Wouldn't want to teach evolution, now would we?

                    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

                    by missLotus on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:04:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Here in East Texas... (8+ / 0-)

                  the christian right breed like crazy because children are not only "blessings" from god, but they believe that god actually owns them, not them.  

                  Also, they home school for the most part  as they don't want their kids exposed to the evil secularism of public schools and the false science of evolution. Their children only get associate with other home schoolers or kids enrolled in christian academies for extra-curricular activities like sports.  When they’re done with high school, they ship them off to bible colleges to round out their indocturnation.

                •  the aggressive breeding strategy is (6+ / 0-)

                  truly insidious.

                  Men who are freaked out about sex but want their whoopie anyway, using baby-making as a rationale to get all the whoopie they want.  

                  Women who see their role as submissive baby-maker.  

                  Offspring who are brainwashed in the attempt (usually successful) to program them for Joel's Army.

                  Meanwhile, sensible people have fewer kids due to the need to reduce global overpopulation as far & fast as possible by voluntary means.  

                  You can see where this is going.  Demographically we are heading for a major problem in a decade or at most two.  By this I mean a kind of tribalism akin to what you see in the Middle East e.g. in the Iraqi civil war or the faction fighting elsewhere in the region: and all of it exacerbated by the resource shortages that will accompany climate change.  Think about the consequences of those trends coming together.  

                  Somehow we have got to break into the loop here; and the best way I can see to do it is to intervene in the brainwashing of these kids.  

                  That means intervening in the prevalence of homeschooling, requiring competence on science and civics tests, and majorly increasing the amount of science and civics material in the media.  

                  For the latter, start with stuff that has undeniable interest, such as space exploration and medicine.  Always include information on general methodology: this is the way we learn these things about the universe, about our bodies and disease, etc.  

                  We need nothing less than a media saturation for science, to the point where it is inescapable.  

                  We also need media saturation for basic civics: not the "how" of democracy, but the "why."  The Founders, their writings, all of that stuff.  Discuss the philosophy behind it in detail.  

                  We can't take for granted that anyone has the basic knowledge to live in a civilized modern democratic society, especially with all these kids being homeschooled Madrassas-style.  We have to make this stuff so accessible that no one with eyes in their head will miss it.  

                  •  You talk about this breeding movement (0+ / 0-)

                    But the numbers are evident.
                    http://www.gc.cuny.edu/...
                    http://www.gc.cuny.edu/...
                    http://www.gc.cuny.edu/... (compare to 1991: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/... )

                    Here's the full list: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/...

                    Oh, and church dropout rate is extremely high for younger people as well.
                    http://www.usatoday.com/...

                    My generation is kicking religion to the curb where it belongs.

                    •  what part of the country are you in? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sc kitty, Yamara, i like bbq

                      Reason I ask is, because the rightie-nuts are especially strong in certain regions such as the southeast.  And an increase in numbers there can make up for a decrease in numbers elsewhere.

                      One key to the baby marathon is to get girls interested in professional and skilled trades jobs at a young age.  This will entail that they get on the track for post-secondary education, whether college or union apprenticeships, and that in turn will make them serious about school.

                      Once that happens, the rest follows.  Where females have equal education with males, birth rate drops by half.  

                      And this is also vital in terms of dealing with the climate crisis and other ecological & resource issues.  In our lifetime.  

                  •  indoctrination (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek, i like bbq

                    Somehow we have got to break into the loop here; and the best way I can see to do it is to intervene in the brainwashing of these kids.  

                    That means intervening in the prevalence of homeschooling, requiring competence on science and civics tests, and majorly increasing the amount of science and civics material in the media.  

                    Yup, kids are very vulnerable when young and are defining reality. Having religion imposed on them at that age is unfair to kids too young to understand or make choices among belief systems. Call it indoctrination or brainwashing the end result is the child is denied the right to choose.

                    Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                    by SoCalHobbit on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:44:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i wonder about this... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      i like bbq, SoCalHobbit

                      What's needed is some serious research on the things that got people to change their minds about their belief systems.  And also the things that got people to change their emotional responses.  

                      That could lead us to some insights that could be applied here.  

                      For example, it seems to me that it's very very difficult to kill off a person's curiosity entirely, unless it is done with no counteracting inputs over a fairly long period of time.  Humans are basically hardwired for curiosity.  

                      In that case, what we do is, encourage curiosity via the educational system, the media, and the culture at large.  

                      Curiosity, a sense of humor, and the ability to empathize with others, are key values and traits here.  These can be encouraged in ways that abusive parenting can't entirely shut down.  

            •  I wish I had your optimism (15+ / 0-)

              and I hope you're right. But in the mean time, not even a month ago, we (i.e. the whole world) just dodged a bullet where a women whom I personally think is completely, batshit crazy could've actually been a 72 year old, tortured heartbeat away from becoming the president of the United States. And she got there based solely on her religious qualifications.

              It sounds like they're still pretty powerful to me - at least for now.

              This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

              by Snud on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:06:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The followers of the religious right (5+ / 0-)

                are ignorant, functionally illiterate and quite crazy.  And there are a lot of them.  But the leaders have to be more functional than that.  There are a lot of skillful leaders, who are happy to lead their flocks off of cliffs if that's what it takes.

                Snake oil sales have never been better.  The salesman have a ready pool of recruits.

                It's never been clear to me why the US is such a vast pool of gullible crazy people.  But it has been this way for a long time.  And it certainly is a credible threat.  To me, the real question is whether anything can be done about it?  You can convince reasonable people that they are wrong.  But people who believe what the religious right believes are not people who respond well to logic.  If they are convinced to support criminal behavior as a part of their delusion, you aren't likely to convince them of the folloy of their ways.

                One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different

                by Imavehmontah on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:54:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My theory... (5+ / 0-)

                  The United States pretty much began as a Puritan colony. The Puritans were the Christian equivalent of the Taliban - very extreme.

                  They played such an important role here that we're about to celebrate a national holiday in their honor called "Thanksgiving".

                  This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

                  by Snud on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:06:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Don't blame the Puritans. (0+ / 0-)

                    I would suggest reading David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed, which distinguishes and describes four settling waves of immigrants from the British Isles: the Puritans; the Cavaliers (Southern plantation founders); the Quakers; and the "border folk" of northern England, southern Scotland, and northern Ireland. It is the last group, who came from a half-millennium-long history of constant warfare, that gave us our fundie subculture.

                    While the Puritans were extreme in many ways by modern standards, their subculture also set the stage for political progressivism and intellectualism in the Northeast. The border folk were anything but interested in matters of the mind, and their descendants have by and large followed suit.

                •  You give them too little credit. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moiv, G2geek, i like bbq

                  A lot of conservative Christians are well-educated and sane. Mysterious but true.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:29:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Conservative Christians vs Fundamentalists (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    i like bbq

                    is a slippery distinction, I agree.  It think making that distinction is key to having this discussion unfold in a meaningful way.

                    Fundementialists (which I think it a more accurate way of saying it), are at their core delusional.  They are truly crazy people.  They act in ways and vote in ways that run counter to their actual interests, and they offer illogical explanations for why they do so.  They blindly follow leaders who use words or concepts that have special meanings that are hidden to "non-believers".  They are apologists for actions and words that are unacceptable.  They are socially regressive.  

                    Christian conservatives (and other religious conservatives) have superficial similarities to Fundamentialists.  If you engage them on discussions about their religious beliefs and you are a non-believer, you might be convinced that they are also delusional.  However, if you observe their actual behaviors, there are important differences.  They may be somewhat dysfunctional if how they vote and who they support, but they do so in a more thoughtful way.  You can engage them in logical discussions in which they can actually see that there is another point of view that they might be persuaded by.  The hold very strong values, but their values are derived from their religious beliefs rather than being undifferentiated from their religious beliefs.  They can distiguish between myth and metaphor.  They understand that myth exists.  

                    I recognize the gray areas, but overall I think these are useful kinds of distictions.

                    One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different

                    by Imavehmontah on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:53:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  As Australians are happy to say... (11+ / 0-)

                  "Thank goodness we got the criminals and the 'mericans got the Puritans."

                  The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

                  by realalaskan on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:40:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  To the contrary... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              "Spiritual matters" are an increasingly larger concern for many of the world's people.  Granted, I agree with you that the role of orthodox Christianity will decline, based as it is on the Bible.  But the new world religion that will spring up....

          •  That ties in with my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            Part of the reason for the shift from Dubya in '04 to Obama in '08 is that Evangelicals shifted from solidly for Dubya in '04 to somewhat for Obama in '08.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:25:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree on Roe v. Wade. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matilda, moiv, FutureNow, i like bbq, BYw

          They've been making incremental progress towards overturning that by trying to take over the Supreme Court since 1973.  Got pretty close, too.  I'm friends with a number of pro-lifers who recognize that this is an issue that no politician could deliver on quickly.

          I completely agree on the other issues, though.

          •  Nah, the Republican powers-that-be... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            LIKE abortion or they would have ended it by now.  In their pointy-little-heads, they imagine it is a good way of getting rid of a lot of "useless eaters" as their hero Henry Kissinger so kindly pointed out.  They just make it seem like they're doing what the evangelicals want in order to keep them on the hook.

            •  Then the often-repeated idea that, (0+ / 0-)

              if the Republicans had won the White House, they would have appointed the final pro-life justice needed to overturn Roe vs. Wade -- that was just overblown rhetoric?

              •  Not clear that would happen. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, I

                Alito Signals Reluctance to Overturn Roe v. Wade

                By Charles Babington and Michael A. Fletcher
                Washington Post Staff Writers
                Wednesday, November 9, 2005; Page A01

                Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. has signaled he would be highly reluctant to overturn long-standing precedents such as the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling, a move that has helped to silence some of his critics and may resolve a key problem early in the Senate confirmation process, several senators said yesterday.

                In private meetings with senators who support abortion rights, Alito has said the Supreme Court should be quite wary of reversing decisions that have been repeatedly upheld, according to the senators who said it was clear that the context was abortion.

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                Alito's reluctance to overturn longstanding precedent is mainstream jurisprudence. Which isn't to say it never happens -- it does -- but just that it's rare.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:35:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  In a word, yes. They... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                could say that because they knew that they were unlikely to retain the White House and on the off-chance that they made it, they would have figured some way that they didn't have to make good on it.  The "evil Democrats" would have blocked their favorite pick and necessitated picking someone who was softer on abortion.  They totally game the Christian Right.

        •  Abortion is unavailable in most of the US... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sc kitty, i like bbq

          Meanwhile, hundreds of millions in PEPFAR money has gone to relgious groups inflicting abstinence only, to grim result, on African nations.

          I could go on and don't have the time at the moment, but I'll just say this :

          You're pushing a discredited narrative.

      •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

        there's no sharp line, now, between the Christian right and the GOP either. Solid academic studies demonstrating that have been available for years.

        The stupidly high approval ratings that Palin gets from the Goopers would seem to support the lack of a sharp division.

    •  I would think that even if the promises (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, sc kitty

      they have been working on for decades now haven't materialized, haven't they been getting fed through the "Faith Initiative" Bush set up to give tons of religious organizations federal money? I'm pretty sure that was why they re-elected Bush in 2004.  I am surprised no one has brought this up yet.  Is this sort of thing, "Obama is the anti-christ" a shot across the bow to pre-empt cutting the funding for these fundies?  These organizaitons are not funded solely by their congragations, they have been getting federal funding also.

  •  The Rapture (44+ / 0-)

    I am a Christian and a believer. Left wing. I found her article not only scurrilous and obnoxious, but ill informed. I wrote the Newsweek editors too, basically saying, if we are to exam these beliefs seriously, let's do a serious article about what the Bible really says about the Antichrist and what it doesn't say about the Rapture. The Rapture is a 19th century concept proffered by an itinerant, illiterate preacher. It has no more Biblical basis than Santa Claus. On the other hand, there were those of us in the 80's who thought Reagan was the Antichrist....

    •  Well, thanks for writing your letter... (7+ / 0-)

      In my experience, many Premillennial Dispensationalist writers would have done a more credible job.

    •  They have Biblical "evidence," but... (14+ / 0-)

      it's pretty thin, and requires the believer to really read between the lines.  Here're the passages from Revelation cited at Rapture Christ.com:

      Revelation 7:3-4
      Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the slaves  of our God on their foreheads.
      And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.
       

      The other group consists of descendants by faith.  It is made up from every nation on earth.

      Revelation 7:9
      After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from EVERY NATION and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

      Revelation 7:10
      and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.

      Most of the site's other quotes from Revelations (and a couple from Isaiah and Thessalonians) concern what'll happen during the Tribulation, but God never does come right out and say that He's going to save 144,000 of his chosen ones before it all begins - good thing we had a charlatan come along 1800 years later to discern His will. I guess the moral of the story is, beware the rantings of itinerant, illiterate preachers.

    •  The Rapture may be a bunch of hooey but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sc kitty, artmartin

      there are a lot of people who seem to take it very seriously.
      Have you seen the video with Rev John Hagee at the CUFI convention?  McCain sought and then rejected Hagee's support.  Hagee is scheduled to visit Palin’s church in Alaska.  

      Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  So if the left is still clueless, what do we do (4+ / 0-)

    about the Christian right?  I can see that they are powerful (as much as I want to think otherwise), but then what?  How do we address the problem?

  •  A Practical Question (9+ / 0-)

    Where is all of the money to support these entrepreneurial religious organizations coming from?

    And what do the sources of this funding expect?

    •  Here's another practical question: (4+ / 0-)

      How do we cut this funding OFF?

      And more importantly, what are the most effective ways we can fight this dominionist movement and prevent it from re-gaining influence in our government?

      The media image of a "center-right" U.S. is a myth and a joke.

      by boofdah on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:12:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tax the churches (7+ / 0-)

        Seriously, the money that flows through some of these organizations is insane. Awfully fortunate for them that there are plenty of wealthy Republicans more than happy to invest in mega-churches and whatnot as a tax-free real estate scam.

        Let the small, locally-based parishes function below a certain level of taxable income, but I find it awfully hard to accept that simply claiming religion is a justifiably lawful excuse for not contributing to society (as opposed to contributing to their vision for society).

        My other car is a pair of boots.

        by FutureNow on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:26:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, FutureNow, that will hurt innocent people... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sc kitty

          and will not stop the Dominionists as they get their funding secretly through right-wing plutocrats.  You have no idea how many evangelical organizations are receiving money this way--it is why Bushie was so keen to get "faith-based initiatives."  It will guarantee that they actually get stronger because the restraining influence of genuine Christians will be reduced.  While I don't agree with taxing churches, I do think they should be forced to show where ALL their funding comes from.  

          •  I'm sorry, but I'm afraid (4+ / 0-)

            you're going to have to elaborate much more on how requiring an organization (of any sort) to pay their fair share of taxes would "hurt innocent people" to convince me of your point, and then further demonstrate that this alleged "hurt" would not be offset and better, more equitably administered by a secular government program.

            Likewise on the <ahem!> "restraining influence of genuine Christians."

            My other car is a pair of boots.

            by FutureNow on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:39:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Question on taxes (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sc kitty, PsychoSavannah, MT Spaces, BYw

              Let me start by saying this is coming from a discussion with a practicing Mormon, the home health nurse for my mom.

              She said "Well, we are getting a lot of trouble over that California thing, but we knew that would happen."

              Me: "They should! They had no business poking their noses in other's business."

              She: "Well, it wasn't like it was in the newspapers or anything, they just talked to us at the ward and told us we should work to pass it"

              Me and Mom: "@##$%%%^^^^!!!!!*&^%**!!"

              Now the question, was that the line being crossed in her ward?

              There still are two Americas. I live in the other one. John McSame wants me to stay there.

              by high uintas on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:43:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Just take the Salvation Army as... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              creamer

              a case in point.  The Salvation Army feeds hundreds of thousands of people every week.  If you force them to pay taxes, they will have fewer resources to do so--thus hurting innocent people.  Secular government programs are always at risk of being canceled by politicians (think about the Bush administration and Congress under them).  There is definitely a restraining influence of genuine Christians, although their influence is waning because genuine Christianity is fading.  Jesus predicted this would occur prior to His return.

              •  Its about service, and millions of Christians (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wings Like Eagles

                vote their conscience. I'm glad some ofyou recognize that Christians are individuals with a shared belief system. We have this whole basket of "christian" beliefs, some being essential (Christ died for our sins), some not essential( speaking in tongues, rapture etc.).
                The "religous right" is a label that applies to that group the GOP has co-opted into believing they represent their intrest. They tend to be fundmental extremist who our intolerant of most of the world, and I have long denounced them as wrong and dangerous.
                The need for some on the left to use any discussion of religion to attack religion, seems to point to their own identity issues.

              •  The Salvation Army isn't a church (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sc kitty

                Wouldn't the SA continue to function, as they always have, as a non-profit organization?

                In any case, while there's nothing inherently bad about NPOs working for the public good (I volunteer with Food Gatherers myself, a local secular-based organization) I would hasten to add that services predicated on charitable contributions will always be at an overall disadvantage vis a vis federally-mandated and administered programs, which have the enormous advantages of dependable tax-payer funding and national, non-discriminatory distribution of services. Would you rather depend on a volunteer fire department or a professional, ready-to-serve fire department? Would you rather get medical treatment from a nationally-subsidized health care program or from a free clinic? The services provided by these charitable organizations are better than nothing, but they're not better than a federally-mandated program would be.

                My other car is a pair of boots.

                by FutureNow on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:43:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Wings, what about this: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sc kitty, PsychoSavannah, i like bbq

            Apply the concept of checks & balances here.

            Tax churches above a certain threshold size, that encompasses only the largest of the big-money religious organizations.  

            This leaves the mainstream and local community churches untaxed.  

            I understand your point about not throwing out the good with the bad, but the bad stuff happens at the levels where the money turns into power and corrupts people more than anything else.

            ---

            IMHO the problem at that level is Mammon-worship.  These people are not dedicated to God but to their own worldly gain.  See also the whole "prosperity gospel" routine.   It becomes "all about the money," and all about the glory and power that money brings.  And also a distortion & perversion of the Calvinist doctrine of the elect being known by their worldly success.  That becomes twisted into, "we can do anything we want because we are the elect (or the saved)," and that becomes the means by which power runs rampant and unchecked.    

            There's enough overt heresy there to fill up a few more rooms in Hell.  

            •  I agree with everything you have... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, sc kitty, PsychoSavannah, Sarea

              said, G2geek and I laughed aloud at a thought that popped into my head.  Wouldn't it be a hoot if they told the churches that they had to pay taxes on anything they took in that did not directly go to benefiting the poor?  Not that I think any legislator would dare go there, but I can just imagine the consternation of those who are getting rich off of gullible Christians.  That would separate the wheat from the chaff fairly quickly, wouldn't you think?

              •  brilliant idea! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sc kitty, Wings Like Eagles

                Charitable or educational purposes.  The latter could be free schooling, for example, though we should be careful of the American equivalent of Madrassas.  The wheat from the chaff indeed, or the lambs from the goats.  

                I also wonder, how many of the Mammon-infested celebrity preachers of our time could adapt to having to conduct their sermons and services beneath the trees in the forest.  No special effects, just creation in all of its beauty.  Might give them a dose of humility.  

    •  Palins's 7 million dollar book deal? nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Oddly enough... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, PsychoSavannah, RJP9999

      I believe the funding for these religious organizations comes from the same place Obama's funding did- the grassroots.  Of course, it's a different grassroots, planted in a different place.  But it's coming from the people.  

      These folks have been raised since day one to contribute, or tithe, to their churches and religious leaders.  It's an open sin not to in many communities.  

      The funding sources expect their congregations to be sheep- no questions, no challenges, no limits.  And that's exactly what they get.  These people are paying the church to tell them what to think, and who their friends should be, and that's exactly what they get, too.

      •  If so, that's kinda interesting (0+ / 0-)

        Because there are some many competing entrepreneurial "ministries" out there from Pat Robertson down to some guy in a storefront or renting a school auditorium on Sunday.

        At what point does this group tap out its grassroots?

    •  sources of money (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sc kitty, PsychoSavannah, BYw

      Read all the diaries by Troutfishing and by Dogemperor: there's enough detail there to fill up a couple of books, including about where they get their funding.  

    •  Funding for the Christian Right (0+ / 0-)

      I'm no expert on this but I read a very interesting article on this point. Anyone know if this article is credible?

      EXPOSÉ: THE "CHRISTIAN" MAFIA

      Where Those Who Now Run the U.S. Government Came From and Where They Are Taking Us
      By Wayne Madsen
      http://www.insider-magazine.com/...

  •  I'm very concerned about the Anglican split (8+ / 0-)

    Seems like when some of us get radically progressive, the rest get even more hateful and shrill.

    previously, the hateful/shrill Christians have usually been too fractured to matter. And mainline protestant denominations have not been involved. This changed in the last decade or so, and I fear unholy unions of conservative Catholics, petacostals, and splitsville Anglicans.

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

    by Lefty Mama on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:42:14 PM PST

    •  They are a tiny minority (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Mama, G2geek, ibonewits

      that is simply hoping to loot the church. Even if they succeed in "seceding", anglicanism will survive in North America in roughly its current form with the vast majority of its parishes intact. When you have to look to another continent for leadership you have pretty  much admitted you've lost.

      •  I call it the Anglican 419 scam. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Mama, sc kitty, BYw, Munchkn

        "419 scams" are a national sport in Nigeria, keyword search and read.  

        No doubt you've received these scam emails:  Greetings kind sir, I am a barrister (attorney) with a client who has an enormous fortune.  We will reward you beyond your wildest dreams if you can help us..."

        What that Anglican Bishop in Nigeria is doing, is nothing less than a worldwide 419 to gain control of Episcopal church assets in the USA and Anglican assets in other parts of the world.  

        However that does not in the least diminish the damage that man is capable of doing with his hate-spew rhetoric.

        And by contrast, consider Bishop Desmond Tutu, Anglican Bishop of South Africa, who was a key person in bringing about the peaceful end of Apartheid, and who was one of the founders of the Truth & Reconciliation movement.  Tutu is right up there with MLK and others of that stature, an amazing man and someone who truly practices the principle that God's love is boundless.  

        •  this helps (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          It makes sense that the news media would rush to report churches that join Akinola, because it's sensational. It's true that none of the Episcopalians in my neighborhood have done this.

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

          by Lefty Mama on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:53:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  conservative traditionalists are a far cry from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dburbach, sc kitty, PsychoSavannah

      the millenialists, pentecostals, dominionists, etc.  Commenters above are right; we on the left need to get educated about who believes what instead of tossing all conservative believers in the same flaming pit of hell.

  •  Troutfishing: What exactly are you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shih Tzu, Minerva, larryrant, boofdah, dmhlt 66

    trying to say with this diary? You seem to be all over the place.

    •  Politicized religious has electoral force. (11+ / 0-)

      And, the left doesn't understand how or why.

      In longer form:

      With unprecedented mobilization of the pro-Obama coalition the hard religious right has been set back for the moment but they'll soon be back in force, in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

      The reason is simple:

      The American left still doesn't fully understand how the American religious right has used used politicized religion to power the American political right and by recent indications the problem is getting worse.

      •  What would the "new Christians" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boofdah

        do differently than the old Hal Lindsey, Pat Robertson type Christians, in terms of political goals? Aren't the new Christians supposed to be more aware of social justice issues?

        •  They fight witches and demons. Here. Now. (9+ / 0-)

          That's a start.

          C. Peter Wagner's advice for "spiritual mapping" reads like a counterinsurgency guide. It's about bringing God's kingdom to Earth, via social and religious cleansing.

          New Apostolics are currently "mapping" out cities and towns around the US.  

          •  where can i find a copy of (0+ / 0-)

            Wagner's stuff that you said reads like a CI guide?  

            It would be interesting to have some progressive military folks with appropriate training, look that stuff over.  

            For example when you talk about "spiritual mapping," does this refer to something purely metaphysical?  Or are these people going out and taking down the addresses and phone numbers of e.g. stores that sell things they disapprove of, womens' clinics, and so on, as might be done for targeting for a terrorist campaign?

            Seems to me that the first bullet that flies or bomb that blows up, will be reason enough to take down that entire organization as a terrorist org.  If the DOJ is prepared to have the guts to take it on.  

          •  they aleady are preaching that (0+ / 0-)

            the unbelievers property can be taken by the believers...I mean The Believers™.
             When are they going to take the next step and say their lives may be so taken?

             At least the crazy ass Muslims give you a chance to convert.
             I really think religious wars are mass insanity from having too many people, and is genetic in origin, but what do I know?

            'Thank goodness we Aussies got the criminals and the 'mericans got the Puritans."

            by KenBee on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:36:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There were a few days, (0+ / 0-)

            early in his career, when Wagner made more sense.

            "We must become the change we want to see." -Gandhi    PublicChristian.com

            by larryrant on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:41:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The way I've looked at this... (11+ / 0-)

        Religion like this is about social acceptance and social norms.  Once you're involved in an active evangelical group, it moves into every area of your life.  It's hard to extricate yourself without having to rebuild your life.  Even when people disagree with what the common wisdom of their leadership are saying and supporting, they don't speak out because they don't want to lose that social base.  

        I really think they're less afraid of the wrath of God than they are the wrath of their family, friends and church community.  

        •  Bingo (8+ / 0-)

          If there is even an appearance of incorrectness or difference in word, or function, then you are no longer one with God or "in the Spirit". To disagree with anything is divisive. To keep this all in line, there has to be an enemy. Witches, Satan, or in my experience, everyone who wasn't "in the church".  That even included any Christian who didn't meet with us. FBI even checked us out in the late 70's and asked members if they would take up arms for our leader/church - yes, some would have.  

          I can again taste it and feel it in this political religious right we are dealing with currently.  

          The threat of this kind of mentality is real because they base it in spirituality and being one with God.  How to fight it?  Exposure, truth and time. I got out after 15 years and yes, had to completely rebuild my/my families life.      

    •  I think it's that the left (7+ / 0-)

      needs to take the religious right very seriously. I'd agree.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:53:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Taking them seriously (4+ / 0-)

        as a threat is one thing.  Being able to make an impact that is positive, progressive, and moves the evolution of the species in a positive direction is quite different.

        I can see, hear, feel the threat.  I feel in my bones that this is real.  Anyone have any concrete suggestions?  There really is not a lot of common ground on which you can communicate with people who follow the kinds of beliefs that the religious right seems to subscribe to.

        One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different

        by Imavehmontah on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:04:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am wondering the same thing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      I really take this diary as a warning, but then how do we combat this new "Seven Mountains" force?

      I fear that, if we try to expose it, people will blow us off as whackos.

      The media image of a "center-right" U.S. is a myth and a joke.

      by boofdah on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:10:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  LEAVE A PHONE MESSAGE FOR LISA!!!!!! (8+ / 0-)

    http://www.newsweek.com/...

    Call: (212) 445-4000
    Enter "2" at the prompt
    Enter "mill" at the prompt
    Enter "er#" when asked for more digits

    Leave a message for Lisa about how you feel about her journalism.

  •  The Left understands (12+ / 0-)

    The American left still doesn't fully understand how the American religious right has used used politicized religion to power the American political right and by recent indications the problem is getting worse.

    The Left understands.  We've gotten it since about 1978.  It's the centrists that are still trying to fight your way out of a wet paper bag over this.

    This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:47:57 PM PST

    •  I strongly disagree. Here's why (6+ / 0-)

      I just shifted the 2008 election. The NYT, LA Times, WaPo, Newsweek ( on and on ) gave credit.

      Did one political activist let alone person from the Democratic Party ask me 1) how I did that or 2) what else might be done with similar approaches ?

      No.

      Not a single political activist from the left asked any such questions.

      The Hagee/McCain affair is, however, supposedly being written up in a book concerning the political uses of the Internet.

      But, look -

      Pre-election, my co-researcher and I were feeding summaries, of our Palin research, to someone now on the Obama transition team, who in turn posted them on a major political left list-serve: concerning - Palin tied to 2 "witch hunters", all sorts of bizarre and seemingly scandalous, well-researched material.

      Reaction from the left ?

      Zip.

      •  some of us here did ask and did listen. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, Pete Rock, minachica

        I know I did.  I understood what you did with McCain and that nutcase preacher and his antiCatholic rants etc., and I've been effusive in praise of what you did and the difference it made*.  I want to actively support this, and in fact I have a project backstacked for Dogemperor along those lines (which I may be able to spend more time on over Thanksgiving holidays, but I've also got a bunch more projects backstacked....).  

        However, I'm a little nobody around here, and I agree that the bigwigs in the activist scene are not paying attention.  Yet.  

        Clearly what we need to do, those of us who understand this stuff, is to get Markos and others to pay much closer attention to this stuff.  

        You need to get his attention; and we are here to help you do that.  I think this system has a method for us to write email to him and to a few others in his editorial circle & tech support.  We need to have a few hundred of us flood their inboxes in an organized manner to make sure he sees this stuff.

        Now strictly speaking, this diary is responding to a news piece, and many people won't get it unless they have the background from your other stuff.  Fine, whatever; we'll have to make sure they read all of it.  

        Bottom line is, tell us what we need to do to get traction & action.  And that should include things we can do that don't involve money since the economy is so badly flatlined.  We're here and we're ready.  

        ---

        *For all we know, you could very well have tipped the election to Obama via the outcomes that occurred as a result of your action.  Now don't let it go to your head or anything!:-)

      •  It's the media trout (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        And the highest commandment of the established mainstream media is 'thou shall not rock the boat nor insult the powerful.'

        And the mainstream press, no matter how debauched, corrupted, or inept, still sets the agenda in this country.

        The real question is why wasn't this stuff on the front page of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, or The Economist. Mainstream business outlets and the economic elite should have been terrified by Palin and the theocratic know-nothingism she represents. The media elite just don't get the danger because to them they are just well-meaning moral types who are playing a 'role' in the 'game' of politics that they cover. It's all a game to them. They don't know what real fascism is because they are ignorant of history, don't want to accept it for what it is, or are still stuck in a time warp that sees the counter-culture left as being more dangerous than the theocratic right.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:36:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Demography and progress are against them... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shih Tzu, Old Gardener, dotster, TheCid

    these fanatics will die off...most people who believe this nonsense are of an older generation.

    Religion as a whole will die in the US as we move into the future...it is part of the inevitable arc of progress in Western countries.

    Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

    by toadvantagedressed on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:48:41 PM PST

    •  I really doubt this will happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leap Year

      This country was founded by religious zealots. It has been a refuge for all kinds of religious claptrap since day one. All the wacko religious people fled Europe to come here. It will take generations upon generations for the religious strains in Appalachia, the Deep South, rural Midwest, etc. to die out. Maybe hundreds of years. Comparing old Europe and the U.S. in terms of religious history is like comparing apples to oranges.

      •  But you are not accounting for the fact that we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Gardener

        have progressed tremendously...no more slaves, women can vote etc etc.  The puritan zealots described by de Tocqueville, their "mores", don't hold sway with the newest young generation.  Biological and technological innovations are eroding the backwardness of previous generations...

        If you think religion will continue to hold the same sway or that demographic or intellectual environment is in any way comparable to previous generations, you are deluding yourself.

        Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

        by toadvantagedressed on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:59:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Haven't you seen how they breed? (5+ / 0-)

          Those fundamentalist Christian families all have like 10 kids. They pump them full of that religious dogma 24/7. Think about what effect that will have on the demographics of this country.

          •  Knee-jerk comments about breeding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee

            are exactly the sort of irrationality we don't need on the left.  There are many kinds of fundamentalists.  Some (like orthodox Jews and traditionalist Catholics and obedient Mormons) tend to have large families.  But there are other kinds of fundamentalists who look and act just like your typical yuppie family with 2.1 kids.  

            •  as a matter of fact, hard scientific fact, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yamara, FreeStateDem

              overpopulation and overconsumption are presently killing the planet.  

              Keyword search:  "ecological footprint."

              We are in a phase known as "overshoot of the resource base," and in 100% of living species studied, overshoot leads directly to "collapse" which means "dieoff."  This is happening in our lifetimes.

              So in the big-picture view, yes, breeding, like consuming, is due for some serious criticism, to put it mildly.  

              And the necessary solutions, which include full legal and cultural and educational equality for women worldwide, and unlimited access to family planning and birth control worldwide, are all anathema to those who would conflate religion with their own worldly power.  

          •  Largest family at the SBC church I left was 9. (0+ / 0-)

            And that was with the full anti-abortion, no birth control, look at you weird if you were married with no kids social pressures.

            Incomplete list of McNames in profile. Personal favorites include McSogynist, McNopoly, and McThuselah, and McCambrian.

            by Cassandra Waites on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:53:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It might surprise you... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Yamara

          ...we have progressed tremendously...no more slaves, women can vote etc etc

          ...to know that genuine Christians were at the vanguard of the abolition of slavery and at the head of the drive to give women the vote.  I fear a world in which true Christian morality does not hold sway.  

          •  That may be but we are talking about the farcical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            religion promoted by Sarah Palin and the like.

            Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

            by toadvantagedressed on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:20:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dominionism (Sarah Palin's religion) is not... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Alexandra Lynch, Sleepwalkr

              orthodox, Biblical, Christianity.  It is some weird invention of humans that misses the point of Christ's sacrifice.  

              •  Well, even mainstream religion in America is on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wings Like Eagles

                the decline.  From Pew:

                The United States is 78 percent Christian and about to lose its status as a majority Protestant nation, at 51 percent and slipping.

                More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith of their childhood for another religion or no religion at all.

                One in four adults ages 18 to 29 claim no affiliation with a religious institution.

                The majority of the unaffiliated — 12 percent of the overall population — describe their religion as "nothing in particular," and about half of those say faith is at least somewhat important to them.

                The Roman Catholic Church has lost more members than any faith tradition . . . roughly 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics.

                Non-denominational churches are growing.

                Although evangelical churches strive to win new Christian believers from the ‘unchurched,’ the survey found most converts to evangelical churches were raised Protestant.

                Atheists or agnostics account for 4 percent of the total population.

                Which brings me back to my first point:  The Christian right will not set the agenda in America in the future; demography and shifting attitudes are strongly against them.

                Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

                by toadvantagedressed on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:37:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Genuine Christianity... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moiv, G2geek, Sleepwalkr

                  is fading and there is a severe leadership crisis in evangelcalism (some evangelicals are Christians and there is a growing number who are not).  I have been out in the trenches and I can see that there is something very weird going on in religious circles these days.  What I see growing is NOT Christianity.  It seems to be all about political power and money and that is decidedly NOT what Jesus taught His disciples to be about.  

                  •  Genuine Christianity (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SoCalHobbit

                    How does their disorder differ from non-genuine Christianity?

                    We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

                    by Chicagoa on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:47:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Chicagoa, I assume that your question... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      creamer

                      was intended to mock and not to be a serious question.  However, I will attempt to answer your question for the sake of those who might have a serious intent in pondering the question of how genuine Christianity differs from the ersatz "Christianity" that is known as Dominionism.  The most direct argument against Dominionism is that it runs counter to what the gospels teach us about Christ's instructions to His followers.  He taught us to go through the world teaching of Him and the Kingdom (the Kingdom will be brought by Him when He returns--not put in place by human hands).  He also taught us to do acts of mercy for mankind and in so doing, show our love for God. He also said that we could not serve God and money at the same time--chasing after wealth from the oil fields and being willing to kill to get it is hardly a Christian thing to do.  

                      When Christ's instructions have been seriously followed by believers, mighty things have been accomplished.  The Western nations have benefited greatly.  When "Christians" have succumbed to worldly desires for money and power, all hell has broken loose--this time will be no different.

              •  i'm with you on this. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wings Like Eagles, creamer

                It's all about Christ's teachings, which are also entirely accessible to those of different religions or no religion at all.  

                The stuff the dominionists are up to is overt heresy, Mammon-worship, and antiChristian in the full sense of the word.  

                On the other hand:  Martin Luther King, the Berrigans, Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu... these peoples' lives should define the real meaning of Christian activism: through their actions, God's love was shown as boundless.  

              •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SoCalHobbit

                Truly orthodox victims of Christianity believe equally absurd things.

                (like a bearded Jew from Nazareth died and then rose from the dead to save the souls of humanity)

                We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

                by Chicagoa on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:56:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Freethinkers were at that vanguard long before (0+ / 0-)

            the Christians showed up. See Susan Jaocby's book.

            If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

            by Words In Action on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:55:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There were genuine Christians.... (0+ / 0-)

              opposed to slavery when there were no "Freethinkers".  I'm assuming that by Freethinkers, you mean those who follow the traditions of the Enlightenment?

              •  Read Jacoby and then we'll talk. "Opposition" (0+ / 0-)

                to slavery and the abolitionist movement itself are two different things. The abolitionist movement of the 19th century was almost entirely peopled by Freethinkers. In fact, with the exception of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Christians were late as a major, cohesive force to the Civil Rights movement of the mid-19th century.

                If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

                by Words In Action on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:10:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  While I agree with much of... (0+ / 0-)

                  what Susan Jacoby says, her attack on Christianity is unwarranted (even though understandable in terms of her father's history).  Genuine Christianity has an extremely long tradition of fostering education.  The anti-intellectual aspect is a recent acquisition--garnered as a "defense" against the intellectual attacks launched by unbelievers within the churches themselves, during the 20th century.  There was no need for this, of course, but Christians then did not have the intellectual prowess that many do have now.

                  •  I agree with some of this, but (0+ / 0-)

                    "The Closing of the Western Mind" does an excellent job of demonstrating how the rise of Christianity caused the Dark Ages.

                    If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

                    by Words In Action on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:15:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, where Alan Bloom... (0+ / 0-)

                      made his mistake was to blame Christianity when, in fact, it was the marriage of the Roman Catholic church to temporal power in Europe which was to blame.  The crowned heads of Europe desired to use religion to control European populations--then.  The Republithug plutocrats desire to use the religion of the "Christian Right" to control Americans.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  

                      •  Whoops, I thought you were... (0+ / 0-)

                        referring to the Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom.  Have not read the Closing of the Western Mind.  However, the same criticism applies from my POV.

                        •  Criticism of Closing of the American Mind... (0+ / 0-)

                          by Bede's Library:

                          Freeman’s next book was the now notorious The Closing of the Western Mind (2002).  It went down like a lead balloon among people who know something about late antiquity, but was rather popular with those who don’t.  To his credit, Freeman wrote a rejoinder to his critics on Amazon.com which is humble, if unrepentant.  The Closing of the Western Mind is also extremely well written and thoroughly enjoyable but its central thesis is completely wrong.

            •  From the Wiki article on abolition: (0+ / 0-)

              Abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and emancipate slaves in western Europe and the Americas. The slave system aroused little protest until the 18th century, when rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment criticized it for violating the rights of man, and Quaker and other evangelical religious groups condemned it as un-Christian.

               It is doubtful that Northerners who signed up to fight the South over slavery would have been highly influenced by Freethinkers although Jacoby is correct in thinking we have been "dumbed" down since those days.

              This, while acknowledging the contribution of some Christians, fails to appreciate the enormous influence of William Wilberforce (a devout evangelical Christian) who struggled on, mostly alone, for thirty-five years to secure the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire.  He died (1833) just three days after being assured that the abolition of slavery bill would pass in the British Parliament.

        •  bottom line is, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yamara, Pete Rock

          take nothing for granted, and never ever underestimate an aggressive adversary.

    •  This stuff goes through cycles (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, G2geek, PsychoSavannah

      This last big cycle started back in 1992-1993.  It's taken this long for it to wind down some.  And it's only a matter of time before another one takes it's place.  

      I think that might be what the OP is after- we have to be prepared for the next cycle, and how to combat the group-think that comes along with it.  Progressives were not organized enough before to fight it, but we might be now.  

      Even if you think they're zealots, kooks, or just plain mislead and incurious, that doesn't mean they don't need to be dealt with when they form a uniform voting bloc against all things logical.  

      •  We got a double whammy this time (0+ / 0-)

        Not only the Millennial Mania that came with "The Year 2000", but also the secular hysteria over the "Y2K Bug" (or "Year 2000 Time Bomb"). IMHO the entire population of the USA (including me) and a high percentage of the population of the rest of the world are still struggling with the effects of PTSD from the megahype of these Siamese-twin non-events.

        NOW the doomsters have already started yapping up the year 2012 and the alleged "end" of the Mayan Calendar (it doesn't end, it just rolls over the way a car's odometer does when it hits all 9s).

        Originally I had hope that after a decade or so the trauma would wear off and sanity would return. Now? I don't expect to see it in what's left of my lifetime.

        Yes We Did! Yes We Will!

        by TheOtherMaven on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:28:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You have heard of the Mormons? (0+ / 0-)

      Just checking...

      The McCain-Palin Campaign: a transitional medium through which Monty Python skits are transformed into SNL skits

      by Minerva on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:54:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mormons, like Dominionists... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, RJP9999

        are not Christians.  They have all manner of non-Biblical teachings.  Like Dominionism, they make it up as they go along.

        •  Heck, the trinity is non-Biblical... nt (0+ / 0-)

          If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

          by Words In Action on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:57:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Trinity is quite Biblical... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            creamer

            Christ told His followers to go throughout the earth making disciples and to "baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."  It is unlikely He would have said this unless His intention was to teach the triunity of God.  There have been mountains of doctrinal studies done on the Trinity by droves of serious Biblical scholars.

            •  The trinity, like the Bible, was a product (0+ / 0-)

              of the Nicene council, some three centuries after Christ lived.

              In fact, it was so controversial and novel to some that splinter groups, such as the one that ultimately became known as "Unitarians," resulted.

              If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

              by Words In Action on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:04:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, Words In Action... (0+ / 0-)

                you have been misinformed.  The Bible, was

                collated

                and formalized as the canon at the Council of Nicea but the writings contained therein, were in existence from the early days after the Resurrection.  The first generation believers wanted to ascertain that the accurate accounts would go forward.  These manuscripts were taken as Scripture from the moment they were penned and many copies circulated widely in the churches from the very early days.  They gospels were eye-witness accounts from the Apostles, either written themselves or received from sources who spoke to them and recorded what they said.  

                In fact, it was so controversial and novel to some that splinter groups, such as the one that ultimately became known as "Unitarians," resulted.

                That does not make unitarianism true, just because some balk at the concept of the Trinity.  The main objection I have to unitarianism is that it makes Jesus into a ventriloquist speaking to Himself at the time of His baptism.  That is why it was rejected by orthodoxy.  

                •  Wrong. Not a single book of the bible (0+ / 0-)

                  was actually written during Christ's generation. The first was written toward the end of the 1st century, the rest, thereafter. Moreover, the books were chosen as much on political grounds as anything.

                  Re: Unitarianism, what it demonstrated was that until the Nicene Council, the Trinity was not an established doctrine...

                  If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

                  by Words In Action on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:18:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not sure where you are... (0+ / 0-)

                    getting your information from but it is incorrect.  You can see that much of the writings of Paul took place in the very early days of the Church.  There were people living in Paul's day who could have refuted his writings if they were erroneous.  

                    Even if the Bible were suddenly wiped out, we could reconstruct 95% of the Bible from the writings of the early church fathers of the second and third centuries who referred to the ancient manuscripts (or copies of them) that they had seen or possessed.

                    They were not chosen "as much on political grounds as anything"--they were chosen by Church scholars who rejected anything which did not have a sound pedigree as being kept in continuous custody of the Church from the time it was received from the Apostles or those who penned the autographs--or had questionable authorship such as the apocryphal "Gospel of Thomas" or "Mary Magdalene" or "Judas" since they appeared much after the deaths of these figures and are quite at odds with the rest of Scripture.  The real writings included in the Canon were sacred works and treated as such from the beginning.  

                    The Book of Revelation was the last-written Book to be included in the Canon and that was written about 95 A.D. a mere 60 years after the Resurrection.  Many secular works from the ancient world haven't a fraction of the historical support the Bible has yet we accept them without question.

                    There is so much support for the Bible (historically, archeologically, textually, etc) that it isn't even a point of debate among scholars any more.  

                    Biblical archeology has moved on to a point that was not anticipated by the writers of anti-Biblical tracts that were current in the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th, which is likely where much of your misinformation comes from.

        •  And you are not a unicorn. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces, Chicagoa, claret63

          As an atheist I find it either extremely funny or totally sad that believers in what I consider fantasy can quibble with a straight face over who is "Christian" and who isn't.

          I attempt to live my life by the Golden Rule, I give to charity and help those in need, I am a care-giver and the only mother six 10 week old kitten have known since they were less than a week old.

          (Try bottle feeding 6 every four hours, making them pee and poop and cleaning them while caring for a disabled mother some time).

          I don't see why I'm not a Christian. Why are those Mormons who are marching against their own church's stand not Christians? Who are you to say?

          I'm terrified of the Dominionists, fundy Mormons or Muslims or anything and IIRC, the Spanish Inquision was the product of Christians.

          There still are two Americas. I live in the other one. John McSame wants me to stay there.

          by high uintas on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:57:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed! n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas

            We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

            by Chicagoa on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:57:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, high uintas, they were... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            creamer

            I'm terrified of the Dominionists, fundy Mormons or Muslims or anything and IIRC, the Spanish Inquision was the product of Christians.

            ...not Christians.  Killing someone because he/she  does not believe as you do is distinctly NOT a Christian thing to do.  It is quite easy to make the determination of who is and who is not a Christian.  It has two parts:  A Christian is one who believes in Christ and what He taught (not adding to or subtracting from the Bible) and a Christian is also marked by his/her love for God and others.  Simple.  Easy.  

      •  Minerva? Athena here. Great user name. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yamara
  •  Functionality is not the test to use. (5+ / 0-)

    Are these people dangerous to themselves and to others is the test.  And the answer is yes, so they are insane.

    If you don't have an earth-shaking idea, get one, you'll love building a better world.

    by hestal on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:51:57 PM PST

    •  Well, if so, that's irrelevant : (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      They can function in the political sphere with great effectiveness, it would seem, regardless of insanity.

      •  I am only responding to what you said. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, PsychoSavannah

        Here it is:

        Lisa Miller appears to have been trying to make the point, however clumsily, that apocalyptic Premillennial Dispensationalist Christians waiting for the coming of the Antichrist and the "Rapture" aren't "nuts".

        Well, if functionality is any indication of rationality, then the Christian right is arguable more "sane" than most on the American left, for the simple reason that the right has for decades effectively used politicized religion to bash the American left and so gain an improbable electoral edge.

        So you are saying that Lisa Miller has a point when she says that the Christians waiting for the coming of the Antichrist and the "Rapture" aren't "nuts."

        Then, to support her point, you say that functionality is an indication of rationality and since it is, then the Christian right, because it is more functional than "most on the American left," is more "sane" than the American left.

        Well this is not a sound argument.  Functionality is not a measure of insanity.  As someone said, Hitler was highly functional -- but I am saying that while that may be true he neverthless was insane.

        So if you are going to distinguish between "sane" and "insane" people then you ought to use the true definiton of insanity, which is to be dangerous to yourself or others.

        Functionality is not an indication of rationality or sanity.

        If you don't have an earth-shaking idea, get one, you'll love building a better world.

        by hestal on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:53:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

          "Well, if functionality is any indication of rationality, then the Christian right is arguable more "sane" than most on the American left..."

          You have just made a similar point , no ?

          "Functionality is not a measure of insanity.  As someone said, Hitler was highly functional -- but I am saying that while that may be true he neverthless was insane."

    •  Not "insane" as much as deluded.....n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Functionality is very important (0+ / 0-)

      High functionality plus psychosis equals "Danger Will Robinson!"

      Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

      by SoCalHobbit on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:44:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would respectfully put it another way. (0+ / 0-)

        Functionality is what makes some insane persons very dangerous.  Those insane persons who are barely able to function are unable to do great harm to others.  But those insane persons who are able to be effective are able to great harm to others, because their functional effectiveness is too often devoted to insane ends.

        If you don't have an earth-shaking idea, get one, you'll love building a better world.

        by hestal on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:34:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Me, I just wish Newsweek had warned me (12+ / 0-)

    about all this before I voted for the man.

    You would think that one candidate possibly being the prophesied incarnation of pure evil might be pertinent information that the American public would want to be aware of when choosing a candidate.

    But, hell, the Times held the wiretapping story until Bush was reelected. I guess we can give Newsweek a pass.

  •  What it's really about is that they have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leap Year, TheCid

    wallpaper paste for brains.

  •  Bill Maher's been on a "crusade" (15+ / 0-)

    (pardon the expression) about this and I can't say I disagree with him. He talks about it in his movie "Religulous". He feels agnostics and atheists should be more outspoken.

    With all of the competing faiths in the world - all of which really are quite, well... eccentric, why latch on to any of them, let alone allow any one of them the power of governance at most any level?

    Who can say what would have happened had McCain won, passed away during his first year and left Sarah Palin in charge? And what if some accident/crisis/disaster happened? Would she take that as a sign of the Apocalypse and sit on her hands? I don't know and I doubt if she knows but that's Maher's point: You believe in a "space god" as he calls Him and all rational bets are off.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:01:28 PM PST

  •  That video is incredibly depressing (9+ / 0-)

    It's all about control and power. Not about truth or compassion. These people scare me--from what was presented they do not believe in anything that I can recognize as a belief in justice and peace. The video was about revenge for not being paid attention. Like two year old children throwing a tantrum.

    820 Illinois-427 Senate Sponsored-152 Senate authored. Obama record on Bills. Palin record 0-0-0. Palin Lies-1 big one and counting.

    by marketgeek on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:06:56 PM PST

    •  Because they are tired of waiting for God (15+ / 0-)

      Jesus just NEVER comes back. So it is time to make the earth over in god's will as if it were the 1000 years that Jesus will reign. They are tired of waiting so they are taking it all into their own hands because waiting for judgement day for God to send all these heathens to hell, is taking too long. They want revenge on the happy sinners NOW.

      •  That is exactly what the... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        XOVER, G2geek

        Apostle Peter said--that in the last days would come those who said that Jesus wasn't returning, and then He would come.

        •  Except haven't people always been saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wings Like Eagles

          both that he is and isn't coming, in every generation, ever since? So don't all generations fit the equation?

          If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

          by Words In Action on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:01:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that the idea that He isn't... (0+ / 0-)

            coming has gained currency more recently especially among those discouraged by the bloody 20th century and what appears to be starting as the equally bloody 21st.  Most generations of Christians (including those of the first generations of Christians) have believed that His return was immanent.  You can't really count unbelievers as they would not know enough of Christ to even be aware of Peter's prophecy.

            •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

              except that many non-believers are believers who, given a careful inspection of the information at hand, came to the conclusion that he wasn't coming.

              In fact, there's a book out (reviewed on Fresh Air a while back) from a minister/priest who lost his faith and ultimately left the ministry, though for him it was the fact that, after decades of careful research and consideration, he concluded that none of the classic theological explanations for the existence of suffering in the world had any merit.

              If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

              by Words In Action on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:01:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  what strikes me about this is (4+ / 0-)

          the sheer hubris of those who believe that they can force the hand of God.

          All the worse that they believe that they alone know the mind of God and are acting as God's representives on Earth.  From that point of view, everything they do and plan to do is justified, without limits.  

          That is the path to the evil of power for power's sake, from which comes atrocities.  

    •  Agreed. That "be the head, not the tail" ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... gave me the same impression. It plays into their manipulative tactic of victimhood, that they are up against a world of unbelievers and 'woe is us! we will not be persecuted any longer!' What is worrisome is that these evangelical fundamentalists travel the world to find converts. They go into small villages to woo people who are poor and downtrodden, and they promise to lift them up with images of glory and triumph. It's disturbing on a number of levels.

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:21:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, according to Palin dominionists, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        missLotus, PsychoSavannah, marketgeek

        With wealth and riches.

        How can any poor, ignorant person say 'no' to wealth and riches?

        Never mind what Jesus actually says about those with wealth.  That's just taken out of context.

        To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

        by XOVER on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:22:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is the exact same technique (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        missLotus

        used by the "terrorists".  They recruit in much the same way, using vengence as a motive, paying poor families to "sacrifice" their young to a "greater cause", promising "virgins" in the afterlife, while Christians get 'sit at the right hand of god".  All the same shit, just different packaging.  

  •  "Spiritual Warfare" Christianity. (10+ / 0-)

    This is some seriously very, very scary stuff.

    Their reality would tip our reality into irrelevancy.

    We all need to be watching this extreme wacko movement carefully and not underestimating the threat and danger of it.

    Thanks Troutfishing for keeping for keeping this important subject front and center.

  •  Sorry, even it I was willing to admit (6+ / 0-)

    that their religious beliefs are not insane, to continuously believe that every new liberal political leader is anti-christ is insane.

    Religion? If they must...but I won't forgive them for checking their minds at the door.

    All that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

    by davewill on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:09:33 PM PST

  •  They may be sane but the religious right (0+ / 0-)

    accomplished exactly nothing.  They were the lemmings properly positioned by those who took advantage of their beliefs and their inability or unwillingness to use their God give gift of intellect.

    They were as bright as the arrow shot from the well aimed bow.  These people, for the most part, have been played by people willing to manipulate their beliefs for their own ends.

    •  Trouble is... (19+ / 0-)

      They've had a taste of being at the side of power, and they want that back.  

      They're like Sarah Palin- she's gotten to see how the other half lives, and if you think she's going back to live in little old Wasilla, you're mistaken.  

      These religious right leaders liked that power, even if it didn't result in what they wanted.  Now, they're just figuring out what that's going to take.  They're not going away.  They're just regrouping and brainwashing more followers.  

      •  I agree. Just don't think the premise of the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jampacked, Interceptor7

        argument is correct.  The people who believe these things are not the strategists or the thinkers.  They are the weapons.  To give them more dignity then that is wrong.  Also, I don't believe for a minute that Tony Perkins and the rest of his ilk actually believe what they're peddling--Obama is the anti-Christ?  No.  They just know a good play when they see one.

      •  the fundies' lust for power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        An Affirming Flame

        is like a junkie's need for crack.
        These people will never give up, ever.
        That's why we need to succeed in governing and stay active, keep campaigning, keep donating, and stay vigilant.
        The new Theocrats are our enemies and we must never give up the fight.
        We can be sure they will do the same.

        -7.88/-4.41 "Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future." Jimmy Carter

        by Interceptor7 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:59:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  they accomplished nothing? (31+ / 0-)

      Tell it to the teenage girl in any number of states, raped by her molester uncle and unable to tell her abusive dad in order to get the parental permission needed to get an abortion.

      Tell it to the gay couple in a number of states, where one partner gets in an accident and lands in the hospital, and the other partner is denied the right to visit.  Even on their death bed.  

      Tell it to the Army infantry soldier or the Air Force fighter pilot, who has been subjected to the pressure of hardcore proselytizing by his fellow warriors or even commanding officer, and who wonders, as he faces down death every day in battle, if they will cover his back because he's not "saved."

      Tell it to the employee who joins a company and discovers that he will be expected to attend prayer services or he won't have much of a future, while he worries about how he's going to get health insurance for his daughter who has a chronic illness.

      Tell it to the guy who gets busted for pot possession and sentenced to drug treatment, only to discover that the treatment center has a ferocious religious agenda and if he doesn't go along, they will fail him out of the program and send a letter to his probation officer that will result in his being sentenced to prison.  

      Tell it to the prisoner who is faced with the choice between joining a religious group in prison that subscribes to dominionist theology, or being placed in a "general population" cellblock where he will probably get repeatedly raped in the ass without condoms and stands a good chance of getting HIV or some variety of hepatitis.  

      Tell it to the Jewish family who move into a neighborhood in Maryland, and object to a local teacher proselytizing in the classroom, and get their house vandalized and receive death threats as a result.  

      Go ahead, tell them.  And try telling us that the religious rightie nutcases have been ineffective at getting and using power.  

      YES, ALL OF THESE THINGS REALLY HAPPEN. .

      So better yet, read all of Troutfishing's diaries, and Dogemperor's diaries, and all the stuff on Talk2Action.  Read and get real scared.  Because these people are the American equivalent of the Taliban, and they want power, and they take it wherever they can find it until they occupy every possible niche in the system.  

      And as that guy in WW2 said, "When they came for the Jews I didn't protest because I wasn't a Jew ...but when they came for me, there was no one left to protest for me."  

      These people are the single largest threat to American democracy in living memory.  By any rational standard they are insane, but the fact is that they are doing everything they can do to take over.  And they will if we let them get away with it.  

      •  THANK YOU. (9+ / 0-)

        What really gets to me is that people are so willing to write off this stuff 'cause "it's the status quo" or "what do you expect."

        The problem with the "religious right" in the US is that it is incessantly trying to insinuate itself INTO the status quo, into becoming what one has to be to be "normal."

        The RR brand of "Christianity" in the US is very much positioning to be what Shinto in WWII Japan was, or what "atheism" in Stalinist dictatorships tends to be: an intrinsic part of the social system that dictates mores for everyone and which everyone must at least give "lip service."

        And unlike either, what makes it even more insidious is it's not top-down for the most part. It's not the jackboot to the face, it's the questioning stare and the "why aren't you like me?"

        Let's walk on that road of love. . . ♥ PATA ♥ HEY JESUS FUCK YOUR FRYING PAN - the GazettE

        by MiscastDice on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:41:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh it's the jackboot alright. (11+ / 0-)

          When the teenage girl can't get the abortion after her uncle rapes her, she has to bear the pain of labor and childbirth of her incestuous rapist's baby, and that's agony.

          When the gay couple are kept apart while one is in the hospital and may be dying, that's agony.  

          All the way down the list, agony upon agony.

          Enforced in some cases with paperwork, in other cases with prison bars, in other cases with death threats, in other cases with overt physical force as in rape.  

          The jackboot was a symbol of unfettered power to, as Orwell said in 1984 make people suffer.  In the hands of those who live by the will to power, power is for power's sake, and power is for making others suffer.  The means change, but the mentality of denying another person's humanity is the same, and the result is endless needless suffering.  

          Interestsing analogy to Shinto in WW2 Japan and to atheism under Stalin.  To which I would also add, the Taliban in our own times, who outlawed dancing, music of all kinds, and playtime for children; and had beheadings at half-time in soccer matches.  

      •  Yes. (7+ / 0-)

        Those of us who are pagan already know. I live in the world headquarters of the Church of God, and I wear my pentacle on a very long chain and tuck it under my shirt, and you can't see my altar from the front door.

  •  Great diary. Let's start working on a (4+ / 0-)

    on a "fundy nutcase" meme.  These people should be ridiculed, vilified, humiliated and hounded back to the shadows they came from.

    "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

    by Simian on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:12:15 PM PST

    •  But to the media... (6+ / 0-)

      ...and to (I believe) the majority of people in this country, their opinions and beliefs are every bit as valid as any "facts" you might offer against them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion you know. It's a free country and all that.

      Rationality and empiricism are largely dead in the media and rapidly dying in the population at large. Home schooling and NCLB mean that kids don't learn to think, just memorize. The Enlightenment was just a passing fad.

      (At this point I start running around in circles yelling "We're doomed! Doomed, I tell you!")

      "That which I am writing about so tediously may be obvious to someone whose mind is less decrepit." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:35:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So don't throw up your hands. (0+ / 0-)

        Fight back.  It only got to be this way because the fundy nutcases have been attacking science consistently for decades.  I say fight back.

        "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

        by Simian on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:39:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  also call them out from within religion. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simian

      The hubris of believing that they know the mind of God and can force the hand of God.

      The overt departure from the teachings of Christ to their very antithesis.  

      The Mammon-worship of money and worldly gain and power.  

      These and more are overt sins according to the core of their own religions, a core that they have long since left behind as they have moved toward the dark side.  

  •  Bla, bla, bla (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    nicta
    Hidden by:
    MiscastDice

    "The left" is "clueless", "insane", "doesn't understand".

    Whatever.

    I doubt the diarist even has a "clue" about what "the left" is.

  •  The religious right won't stop (9+ / 0-)

    Until they are seriously slapped down by the supreme court, and their lackey politicians lose their seats.

    The left needs to start emphasizing total religious neutrality.  That does not mean non-denominational.  That means NO RELIGION.  Period.  Stop falling for the "our christians are better than your christians" crap.

    Focus on the Family just had to lay off 200 people because they spent so much goddam money on prop 8.  I say, let's bankrupt all of them.  The churches, get their fucking 501c3 taken away.  They want to play ball, then PLAY.  But be prepared - your church, and your religion are in much more danger than our constitution is.

    You can't play both sides - either you want religious freedom and you keep it to yourselves, or you play ball and be ready for a REAL secular society.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:16:07 PM PST

  •  That video is uplifting to me (4+ / 0-)

    Really, it is.  Hidden among this call to action to take these "seven mountains" is a lament about how their culture is being destroyed, how they need to take control, and so on.  Not one of those "mountains" is one they've managed to dominate -- their own videos say so.

    Then of course they can't talk for two minutes without saying something so nutty that the mind of any non-convert recoils.

    These are the rantings of an increasingly discredited ideology.  You go ahead and keep an eye on 'em, because I could use the entertainment.

    •  and hitler was just a raving nutter too. (7+ / 0-)

      Ignore these people at your own peril.  

      Yeah it's fun to watch them froth at the mouth like end-stage rabies cases.  Whatever.  

      Fact is that their numbers increase daily and they are out for power, and they believe God has given them justification to use any and every means to get it and use it without restraint.

      If you think the Bush Regime's disregard of the law in pursuit of power was alarming, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  

  •  A part of fighting the Christian right (12+ / 0-)

    is to reach out to and organize the Christian left, and the broad spectrum of the religious left.

    Millions of Christians (as well as people of other faiths) voted for Obama. The Catholic vote, for exmaple, played a huge role in his victory. We need to capitalize on this success.

    •  I believe truely following the teachings of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, PsychoSavannah, Zoltan, KenBee

      the great monotheistic traditions is a good thing!  Compassion, love, justice, equality, charity, fairness... if these teachings were truly taken to heart by all then everyone would be a Democrat for these values are non-existent with the Republican brand.  

      I say an excellent strategy is to use Biblical teachings to expose the false prophets and crooks who seek to exploit religiosity for power and profit.  Turn the words of Jesus against the poseurs and charlatans!

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:32:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh man I disagree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalHobbit

      The key is to reach out to the Christian left with rationality. They've already shown they can make sensible policy decisions, so take the sensibility one step further and they can embrace reason.

      Chip away at all superstition and mental disorder. Treat the victims of religion with a healthy dose of science education, and over time the disorder can be cured.

      We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

      by Chicagoa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:02:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Miller is simply religulous. Newsweek = Enquirer (4+ / 0-)

    Miller makes a buck being religulous musing over odd superstitions of bizarre religious sects who see the devil in lottery tickets and Jesus in cake frosting.

    Newsweek running such a headline is on par with the National Enquirer which runs the "Is X (someone currently in the news) the devil, an alien, an adulterer dying."

    People will buy the media which headlines those stories.

    Of course, next time Newsweek asks to be taken more seriously than National Enquirer (a seat at White House press conferences for example) we can remind them of their level of journalism.

    •  Cancelled my subscription more than a decade ago (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, MT Spaces, Yamara

      Right after one of their moron columnists (Klein?) tried to argue the Unibomber was really just a whacked-out liberal...

      If one happens to take a look at a Newsweek from, say, the 1970s - back when it still employed some real journalists - the differences between that publication and the modern rag are stunning...

      The McCain-Palin Campaign: a transitional medium through which Monty Python skits are transformed into SNL skits

      by Minerva on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:58:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is Lisa Miller. Bio here: (9+ / 0-)

    from her Newsweek bio:

    Lisa Miller, who was named Society editor in July 2000, added Religion editor to her duties in  October 2006.

    This indicates that her specialty was FLUFF, hence the writing style in the Antichrist article which was completely inappropriate for the subject matter. A religion column in a national magazine of such prominence SHOULD NEVER BE WRITTEN LIKE A SOCIETY COLUMN. Whoever is her Editorial Boss at Newsweek should have caught that gaffe right away. Big screwup and SHAMEFUL.

    She reports, writes and edits stories on spirituality and belief and writes the weekly BeliefWatch column in the Periscope section of the magazine. Miller wrote "The Politics of Jesus" cover story (10/13/2006), which examined the impact of religion in the midterm elections.

    Ok, that means they trusted her to write these articles and thought she did fine on the religion beat, so they didn't closely vet her antichrist drivel piece. Editorial mistake #2.

    As Society editor, Miller oversees reporting on religion, education, family and health.

    Fascinating. So Newsweek thinks that your usual Society column drivel tracking the debutante parties of the rich IS THE SAME AS reporting on ordinary folks' religion and education matters. Wow. That sucks.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:25:08 PM PST

    •  Forgot the link to her bio (0+ / 0-)

      here.

      I seem to be a bit spacey today.

      Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:26:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More about Miller's bio (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Akonitum

      Miller came to Newsweek from The Wall Street Journal, where she was an award-winning senior special writer covering religion for the paper's front page since 1997. She was also an editor for the Marketplace page (1993-94), where she helped launch the weekly "Health Journal," and a travel reporter (1994-97).

      She started her journalism career as an editorial assistant (1984) at the Harvard Business Review and later became manuscript editor there (1985-87) before moving to The New Yorker (1987-92) and then Self magazine (1992-93), where she was senior editor for arts coverage and created their "In Focus" section in the front of the book.

      Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:34:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Holy shit! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    XajaX

    Two recommended diaries dealing with Barry the Anti-Christ?

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:27:02 PM PST

  •  Drive the wedge (6+ / 0-)

    deeper between business conservatives and the New Christian Right & we've got a chance. The unholy alliance of the greedy (with their money) and the self-righteous (with their foot soldiers) is splitting, and it would be good if it splintered altogether.

    And ya know, Mittens may yet be just the wedge that's needed. He'd still be the business guy, and still be considered a heretic by the NCR. Hope that old varmint shooter is still around in 2010.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camera

    by ironpath on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:27:44 PM PST

  •  These people scare the shit out of me. (7+ / 0-)

    When I read this stuff, and I do read a lot about these groups, (thanks Troutfishing) all I wonder is how have so many people in the USA gone so batshit crazy about religion? I mean sometimes religion serves a purpose (comfort), but to believe these pompous control freaks is just so antithetical to the progression of the world.

    They are the ones who've started this stupid culture war. They are as batty and as much a danger as bin Laden, IMHO.

    •  This is nothing new (9+ / 0-)

      There are always religious communities, cults and fundamentalists, and have been for a long time.  

      The difference is, the religious right got a taste of being at the side of power in the last 15 years, and they want to actually get what they want this time.  They're regrouping, and they will be back.  

      You're right- it's all about control and power.  They're not concerned about God.  They're concerned about themselves, and how many people they can get to follow and donate to them.  

    •  They are more dangerous than bin Laden, because (9+ / 0-)

      they have a very concrete plan to gain control of all levels of business and government in the most powerful nation on earth. It can in fact be argued that they HAVE been in control of this nation for the past eight years, or at least have leant their services to vile, greedy and manipulative men who HAVE controlled this nation, and who only too gladly have cynically and unapologetically made use of their power.

      That means you, Dick. You too, Karl. Not to mention the likes of Ashcroft with his obligatory morning prayer sessions.

      We have NOTHING to be ashamed about in calling ourselves a responsible, ethical and yes, liberal secular society. We should be scared of these dominionists, or at least we should not underestimate them. They must not be coddled.

      Joe Must Go! Hasta la bye-bye!!

      by flitedocnm on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:27:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Insanity Means No Mutual Understanding (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, XOVER, moiv, Dave925, G2geek, drmah

    "Sanity" is when any two people can understand each other, because they share enough common frame of reference. Insanity is when they don't, so they can't understand each other. The more familiar insane people don't share a frame of reference with anyone, and many don't even maintain a consistent frame of reference with themselves.

    These cultists dedicate their lives to creating a frame of reference with each other, so they don't think each other is insane. But the rest of us don't share that frame of reference, or have great departures (eg. the antichrist is real, and moving into the White House in January), so they're insane to us. We, conversely, are insane to them.

    But insanity isn't purely relative. If your frame of reference disagrees with physical reality, your schizophrenia will be recognized as insanity by most people, because most people's frame of reference is governed by physical reality.

    And that's what we've got with these cultists. Their faith is so powerful that physical reality means nothing to them. Obama is a "secret Muslim", even though he's not, and no proof can convince them, because faith is independent of proof.

    If they were just nuts, but functional, we wouldn't care. But they're so nuts that they insist that everyone share their frame of reference. They are dangerous, especially since they're functional, because they want to destroy us. Therefore they must be destroyed, or brought close enough to sanity that they're not a threat, whichever comes first.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:32:22 PM PST

  •  Will Mormons and evangelicals unite?? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, G2geek, drmah, badger1968

    ...that is the thing, above all, that is going to reshape politics and religion in America in 2012 and beyond. Go to the blogs and see how the Right hates on Huckabee but loves some Mitt Romney. But recall that his LDS affiliations made the Republican base extremely nervous. I predict that religious difference, at least those bothersome theological and doctrine differences between Catholics, Mormons, fundamentalists and evangelicals - will be dissolved in the coming years after a sudden and forthcoming "crisis." And then what?

    ...there's a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove - Stephen Stills

    by NuttyProf on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:34:04 PM PST

    •  Mormons have nothing in common (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sacrelicious, G2geek, Words In Action

      with other groups on the religious right as far as I can tell.  They are way off on their own tangent.  The only way that Mormons can even appear to be on the same planet is the rest of the religious right is to invoke the name of Jesus Christ and then lie about their belief or try to establish some linguistic metaphorical link that pulls still more wool over the eyes of those on the religious right.

      The common thread of all on the religious right is the need to oppose progressivism.  Regression is their creed.  They are threatened by knowledge, by evolution, by change.  Ultimately, they are doomed to fail, because biology is determined that evolution will continue.  But in the meantime, they are capable of causing great destruction, even the annihilation of the entire human species if given the right tools.

      "Over my dead body" is my reply.  But I fear that could be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different

      by Imavehmontah on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:14:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nor did others who united to form (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smellybeast

        the extreme religious right.

        Look up pre-millenial vs. post-millenial, or pre-tribulation vs. post-tribulation.  Look up the doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Protestantism.  Look up Jerry Falwell's outreach to ultra-orthodox Jews.  

        All of them got over serious doctrinal differences and united on the common ground of the aggressive pursuit of power.  Along with them came their fellow travelers and supporters who were motivated by the aggressive pursuit of money.  These people operate under no ethical or moral checks and balances.  They believe that the ends justify all means.  

        By analogy with physical chemistry and biology, these groups are dissipative structures that feed off prevailing entropy-flows: anywhere there is entropy they will latch on and feed and engorge themselves.  Social problems of any kind, chaos, economic trouble, anywhere old structures are starting to wear away at the edges or overtly crumble, these organizations will be there slurping up whatever and whoever they can get.  

        So yes, I believe the LDS leadership will eventually join forces with the rest of this coalition.  They will overlook their doctrinal differences.  They will collaborate for practical goals.  And they will reinforce each other.  

        So we cannot underestimate them one bit, not one microgram or millimeter.  

        We have got to take this as seriously as a heart attack.  

  •  The diarist lost me with "the left" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicta, Dave925, XajaX

    Who the hell is "the left?"  Are they the cheeto freaks that Morning Joe talks about?  Are they the scary meanies that O'Riely foams-the-mouth about?

    Or, are you talking about me?  An American History teacher, little league Mom, Christian, middle aged white lady living in the Midwest who can barely stay up to watch Rachael Maddow -- boy, I'm sure a scary radical that these people need to defend our nation against.

    I might have been a bit more afraid of the fundamentalists who would like to see our country become a theocracy if they had LOST big time, this time.  But, they threw everything nasty and crazy and racist that they could at President-elect Obama, and he still won.

    With four more years of 60 Minutes experiences with the Obama family and first puppy episodes (not to mention a bailout of the car industry in the rust belt, a tax cut for the middle class, and a sincere effort at health care) ... I trust Americans to start seeing the fundamentalists yelling "terrorist" and "Antichrist" as being even more nutty than they just did in November.

    "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

    by bkamr on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:35:32 PM PST

    •  The left is the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Sleepwalkr

      antiright.

      the US MSM, enemy of informed democracy

      by XajaX on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:38:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "the left" at this point is... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, KenBee, Night Train

      ....everything to the left of Bush.  That includes almost every Democrat in Congress and elsewhere.  Also includes sensible Republicans, of whom there are many, though their voices are usually drowned out by the screeching from the lunatic rightie fringe.  

      But we shouldn't be arguing over definitions of words such as "left" and "right."  The bottom line is that the dominionist threat is real, it is growing, it will be looking to stage a comeback in the next elections, and the time to get started dealing with it is now.  

  •  chasing witches out of town -- (11+ / 0-)

    chasing witches out of town and casting demons out of whole regions filled with "demon-infested" civilization --
    whoa.
    These are Not Good Things.

    the Dominionist world view is horrific. skip the christ/anti and the bible quotes -- look at the PROGRAM which intends to cause a world-wide POGRAM.

    americans have a history of these kind of actions which have resulted in genocide, denial of basic rights, lynchings and burning-at-the-proverbial stake.

    Obama is not the focus. i am. you are.

    the foundation is simple: the Other -- who is In Our Way and Not Like Us -- doesn't deserve to live.

  •  Wow.... it looks like coming battles between (5+ / 0-)

    reason, logic, evidence versus insanity, superstition, distorted religion.

    What a horror.  These people are in serious need of.... something to bring them back to reality.

    droogie6655321 lives!

    by YucatanMan on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:44:41 PM PST

    •  and put sane religion on the side of reason there (6+ / 0-)

      Keyword search "steeplejacking."  The rightie-nutters also go in and subvert mainstream churches and congregations.  Look up what's going on in the Anglican and Episcopal churches right now.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.  

      Most people in general are quite sane.  Most religious people are quite sane.  The place to draw the line isn't with respect to "reason" on one side and "all faith-based beliefs" on the other.  It's with "reasonable" on one side and "out for unlimited power" on the other side.  

      We don't have to all agree about ontology, epistemology, and theology.  What we have to agree on is only that we have to preserve a democratic and pluralistic society, in which each person is free to believe what they choose and no person may impose their personal beliefs upon society at-large via the mechanisms of government or equivalent power.  

      •  Sane religion? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

        by Chicagoa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:05:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes. sane religion. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smellybeast, creamer

          Religion that speaks to the issues of theology, thanatology, and ethics, in ways that are uplifting to its members, and encourage them to act with good will toward others.  

          Religion that is at peace with the fact that science describes our physical universe, and religion that embraces scientific findings and encourages its members to learn about them.

          Religion that accepts the fact that religions differ in their beliefs and their methods and their approaches to faith and ethics, and seeks to make peace across the spectrum of faiths.  

          Religion that is at home in a pluralistic society, recognizing that its own freedom depends on the freedom of everyone to believe what they will, including to believe that there is not a deity or a hereafter.  

  •  Miller's Newsweek Piece Was Satire (4+ / 0-)

    It is obvious that it was written as satire or at least as tongue-in-cheek.

    The problem was that its poorly written and therefore its irony will be lost on most readers.

    I agree with the diarist that there is a movement within right wing Christianity that is dangerous (i.e., the dominionists) but Miller's piece was (IMO) a clumsy attempt at humor.

    "None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by Sarea on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:44:46 PM PST

    •  It had a sarcastic tone which in itself was (5+ / 0-)

      inappropriate not only in how clumsily it was written, but in the current times we live in, to insult both Obama and his most whacked out opponents in such a sloppy manner was truly inexcusable writing.

      The fault lies with the publishing editor who should have said, Lisa, add something to the column that either shows you're kind of joking, or shows you're showcasing these fringe folks as nutty, or the article doesn't run.

      Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:06:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enough 2 say "left behind will have web sites" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, doinaheckuvanutjob

        I agree with you.   But I also think it was an obvious joke, when she started discussing  the guy who has already registered Rapture domain names and how those of us "left behind" can read about it on the Internet.

        (Because if he will be gone/"raptured" then what is the point of thinking ahead and registering these domain names?)

        "None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by Sarea on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:11:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a culture of smug style of sarcasm in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, KenBee, Sarea

          much journalism outlets, but they get themselves in trouble when they overdo the tongue in cheeck thing to the point where it's indistinguishable from endorsing the views. Context also matters. Had this been written by a known liberal columnist and published in, for example, the SF Chronicle, everyone would know it was satirical. In the context of Newsweek, in a column by a mainstream, fairly conservative sounding writer, who has often sounded like she endorses conservative religious views or at least gives them equal voicing, it comes off as an endorsement.

          Personally I find the column inappropriate on many levels and just wrote Newsweek to tell them so.

          All they had to do was write the article slightly differently and everyone would shrug it off. The way it's written is a slap in the face to everyone, out of their own little insular culture.

          Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

          by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:19:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I thought it was obvious sarcasm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sarea

          This line was a give away.  I laughed pretty hard.

          "In the event that RaptureReady crashes during the apocalypse, anyone who needs an update will, with a simple Google search, be able to get one. "

  •  The tone of this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revsue

    strikes me as a bit, um, phobic, or paranoid, or something.

    Maybe that phobia is justified; maybe I'm overly optimistic, coming off a big Demoratic win, or a few. I'm certainly aware of the new evangelical Christianity the diarist describes; there's a thriving congregation one block from me. But I'm just not sure the new evangelical Protestantism (with the tie-dyed African drummers) can be as easily co-opted by the political right as the familiar stuff from the 80s was.

    Is it really the new "Red Menace"?

    •  Can you describe, analytically.... (4+ / 0-)

      What this movement is ?

      If not, on what basis do you call my characterization of it 'paranoid' ?

      •  I'll do the best I can. I'm no sociologist. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FeastOr, alexa100

        I became quite familiar with the local church scene a few years ago, when I was doing educational outreach for SB 840, California's legislation for single-payer  healthcare. My job was to approach congregations about hosting our speakers.

        It was as you'd expect, in terms of the more "liberal" congregations, those with "social justice ministries," being most likely to host speakers for SB 840. The more "conservative" Christian congregations--those tending to emphasize a literalistic interpretation of scripture and traditional social roles (I listened in on some sermons :)--were much less inclined to host our speakers when I approached them.

        While it's well-documented that literalistic religious belief foments political conservatism, my experience really made me wonder if the traditional hold of political neoconservatism on evangelicals isn't slipping, at least a bit.  

        A reply I got again and again when I approached the more conservative  congregations about hosting speakers was, "While we encourage our members to be politically involved and to vote their beliefs, we aren't pushing any particular brand of politics here." Sure enough, they might have been stonewalling me because of my "liberal" agenda :) But could this reply also mean these churches can't be co-opted by the right to the degree that they once were?

        When I visited one thriving, newer evangelical congregation (and that's the ONLY honest description for it) in my neighborhood, I remember the Billy Graham books on the literature table, and the young pastor, during the sermon, expounding on the Book of Leviticus, and disparaging WalMart. I don't think there were drums during the service, but I do remember electric guitars and trippy lighting. The pastor didn't say anything that I recall about homosexuality or abortion, even as an aside. But he did exhort his parishioners to volunteer at a local homeless shelter as a church service project.

        I think the landscape's changing out there. We have my personal hunch, based on experience, and we have Christian evangelicals saying in public that they're "tired of being taken for granted" by the political right and "tired of its message of hate." If they aren't going to work to change social roles--as by promoting marriage equality, for example--perhaps they also aren't going to get in its way.

        Not that the Christian right isn't still very influential politically; I'm hardly disputing that. But I wonder if that isn't more because of the 30 years it has had for its disciples to percolate upwards into government--NOT that the political right is still so very successful at wooing the grassroots via churches.

        •  "Marriage equality" maybe not the best example. (0+ / 0-)

          I understand Proposition 8 in this state had significant religious backing. But was that victory as sweet as it would have been, 20-30 years ago? What, only 52% ? Couldn't those Mormons do better?

  •  The media acts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillwaters

    like these people are "respectable" and won't call them on their bizarre, dare I say terrorist, plans!  They just bend over backward to say they aren't attacking anyone for their religion.

    Fox news: Even better than meth!

    by get the red out on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:47:07 PM PST

  •  This makes me sick. As a former (4+ / 0-)

    Christian church-goer, raised in a "fundamentalist" church with which I broke, I am horrified by the people on this video and their views. They are so much worse than any people I ever knew, those decades ago. Those people turned it inward and these folks turn all their rage and confusion outward.

    Christians. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, says he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might. Obama's own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage... (my emphasis)

    Obama has stated support for "traditional marriage." Staver is mistaken on that point.

    Palin, to me might as well be a witch. She is that bad.

  •  One problem with 6-6-6 (4+ / 0-)

    11/05/2008          Evening Pick 3      6-6-6      

    11/04/2008          Evening Pick 3   8-4-5              
    11/04/2008          Evening Pick 4      2-7-2-0            
    11/04/2008          Little Lotto        02-09-21-29-30      
    11/04/2008          Mega Millions       10-21-23-41-55 (09)  
    11/04/2008          Midday Pick 3       6-0-5              
    11/04/2008          Midday Pick 4       9-3-8-2            

    IL lotto

    6-6-6 was the November 5 evening winner.  Note that the election took place on November 4, and Fox called it at 11:00 pm Eastern time.  

    Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

    by Yamaneko2 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:59:54 PM PST

  •  i posted this same comment yesterday, (7+ / 0-)

    (so forgive me if you've already read this).

    jimmy carter was openly born-again Christian.  as a Catholic, i had no problem voting for him, because he kept his religious beliefs separate from his politics.  he spoke of his beliefs occasionally, but i never felt threatened that he would try to impose those beliefs by changing laws.

    i have been trying for some time to figure this out:  when did the religious right go into over-drive?  when did they decide to legislate their religion, when Carter--who was one of them--never did?  was there some specific event, or series of events that led to this change in their thinking?  or some individual who preached it to 'em?

    i fear them.  i fear the whole concept of palin, or any palin-like candidate. i think it would be extremely useful to understand this whole movement. these people's political ideas are the antithesis to what the founding fathers wrote, but they don't understand that.  

    •  same time the Catholics did - trying to manage... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      everyone's sexuality through civil law with regular assists from the pulpit.

      The Church was certainly a powerful force in the 2004 election.

      Was it before that? It's been a while.

    •  Carter Was Never One of Them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smellybeast

      it's kind of important for Progressives to be a lot more literate about religious history and politics.  Evangelicals cover a very broad spectrum of theology and politics.  Many are actually progressive politically.  Their theology encourages them to support both peace and justice politics.  Both Jim Wallis and Jimmy Carter are cut from that cloth.  They are not part, nor have they ever been part, of what we are describing as the religious right. Dominionists and milleniallists have been around forever but this current crop evolved out of some weird strains from the 19th century.  Its very American in that it isn't a movement that would likely emerge from Western or even Central European religious thinking and tradition.

      This is a topic that can't be covered in a comment on someone else's diary but you can probably find more about it at Talk2Action.

      The truth about John McCain's Keating Cheating

      by tikkun on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:54:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The American "Reawakening"... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Sarea, Words In Action

    ...is just a corollary of the utter failure of the American education system - we have vast and growing legions of undereducated people with few prospects who are increasingly unable to either recognize or cope with reality.

    The McCain-Palin Campaign: a transitional medium through which Monty Python skits are transformed into SNL skits

    by Minerva on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:04:01 PM PST

  •  161 on Rapture Index near year's low (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    XOVER, RJP9999

    Rapture Index

    The current Rapture Index has fallen to 159.  The year's low is 158;  the high is 170.  The record low was 57, on 12 Dec 1993 (during the Clinton Administration).  

    Item 34, "The Antichrist", is at 2 out of 5.  

    Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

    by Yamaneko2 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:06:52 PM PST

  •  What I wrote in the comment box and to Newsweek (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    easong, moiv, revsue

    "Strandberg says Obama probably isn't the Antichrist, but he's watching the president-elect carefully."  Probably?  As in, possibly, maybe, perhaps, let's watch?    Dear Newsweek, once again your New York sensability does not play well beyond your borders.  Sure all this Anti-Christ looks silly to you, and you think that a site called Raptureready would look silly to the rest of the world as well.  It does not.   This is bad writing, worse editing, and extremely poor decision making on the part of the editors.  Now my son and I (who is going to major in Journalism in college and reads every word of Newsweek) are going to have a long talk on all the reasons why an article like this is wrong.  One of which is: interview a real religious scholar, not an internet nut case looking to make tons of money on his ad spaces.  Lots more money this week thanks to Newsweek.

    And, those Christians who really are rapture ready and fearful of the Anti-Christ::  Shouldn't you be thrilled?  Shoudn't you be sewing up your white ascension robes?  Isn't this what you have always wanted and prayed for, the return of Christ?  Shouldn't you be welcoming an Anti-Christ with open arms?  Or, hmm, perhaps  you are worried that you are not really that rapture ready.

    "You don't ever want a crisis to go to waste. It's an opportunity to do important things you would otherwise avoid." Rahm Emanuel

    by Im nonpartisan on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:08:23 PM PST

    •  Exactly. Why Don't They WELCOME the Anti-Christ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eunomia

      You would think they finally found that Last Big Wave they plan to ride straight up to heaven to be beside the Old White Guys in Robes on a Cloud™ and be reunited with all their deceased family, friends, and former pets (all apparently reborn in the good-looking stage of their lives). If Obama is the lynchpin, what are they afraid of?

      JEEEE-bus is a comin'...Hal-e-Lu-Jah! Git ready!

      The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by easong on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:18:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For various reasons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    XOVER, stillwaters

    this is a movement that can't be defeated let alone destroyed, and it's pointless and dangerous to even try. I think that the best and most promising course of action is to treat them as we did the Soviet Union. I.e. with a combination of containment, divide and conquer, tactical strikes or accomodations intended to weaken them, vigilance, fortitude, smarts, and most of all patience, in the hopes that they slowly just fade away, over decades. Which they basically have in most of the developed world.

    I.e. give them enough room, rope, and nudging, to slowly hang themselves.

    The Communist revolution dissipated and died. The Iranian revolution dissipated and is dying. The same will eventually happen to them too. Their Jesus is no more powerful than their Karl or Allah, however much they kid themselves otherwise. Atrophy from within can work wonders over a generation or two. We just have to keep them out of power until then. That's where containment comes in.

    The liberal soul shall be made fat. He who waters shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25)

    by kovie on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:12:51 PM PST

    •  There's much that's good in the movement... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      Though I bitterly disagree its ideology.

      I do not think 'containment' will work at all. We must engage with this.

      •  Containment IS engagement (0+ / 0-)

        Did we not continually engage the USSR during the cold war, albeit indirectly, whether wisely and effectively or not? Spying, proxy wars, the space race, strategic alliances, economic, ideological and cultural warfare, etc., were all forms of indirect engagement, that ultimately prevailed. Surely we can do this with these forces? I'm just saying that it would be futile and counterproductive to directly try to convince its members that they're being lied to and misled by megalomaniacal and/or crazy leaders, which would be likely to only further empower them in their delusions.

        It's like talking down a jumper or knife-wielding crazy person. You DO NOT want to enrage or confront them. But you definitely can and should engage them, to contain any damage that they might do to themselves and others, and slowly talk them down.

        The indirect, passive-aggressive path tends to work best with the insane.

        The liberal soul shall be made fat. He who waters shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25)

        by kovie on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:16:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Christian right rallies around Jesus. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid

    What do progressive Democrats rally around?

    "The great way is not difficult. Simply let go of all likes and dislikes." Buddha

    by independentvoice on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:16:50 PM PST

    •  Barack Obama and 'change'? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yamara, DHinIA, your neighbor

      Perhaps you haven't read a newspaper in two weeks?

      My two-part plan for raising $700 billion. 1) Reinstate the inheritance tax. 2) Send Dick Cheney on a hunting trip with 700 billionaires.

      by RickD on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:32:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The C/R rally around Republicans not Jesus (6+ / 0-)

      They have no knowledge of the teachings of Jesus.  They know only lust for power and money.

      He practiced love not hate;
      He stood for peace not war;
      He taught people to love their neighbor as themselves;
      He brought hope, not fear;
      He did not ask whether someone was gay or straight when he fed 5,000 men plus women and children;
      He healed and he did not kill;
      He taught respect for women, the poor, the stranger;
      the children (in other words those who had the lowest social standing in the society of his day);
      He taught that those with much should sell what they have and give to others with less;
      He taught forgiveness not revenge;
      He asked the religious right of his day when they would learn that God preferred mercy over sacrifice.

      The Christian Right follows none of these principles.  They bring up their children to hate those who are different.
      They support war and the killing of innocent children of other countries.
      They keep their followers in line through fear.
      They do not forgive.  
      They show no mercy.  
      They have no understanding of peace.  

    •  They most definitely DON'T rally around Jesus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      creamer

      Jesus did not approve of hate, selfishness, ignorance and greed. He did not torture and bomb people. He did not care about the rich at the expense of the poor. He did not pollute. He was no corrupted.

      Don't ever further this mistaken idea that the Christian Right has anything to do with Jesus.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:10:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Beer... (0+ / 0-)
      Oops, did I say that out loud?

      "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

      by Boisepoet on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:24:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A way of thinking (0+ / 0-)

      that moved out of the dark ages.

  •  Follow me here for a bit (22+ / 0-)
    The so called Christian right have two things in common: delusion, brought on by believing what their leaders tell them and an inability to focus on the foundation of their faith- Jesus Christ.

    They have built a fortress of belief and you cannot get through to them unless you understand their language and dogma. Having grown up in the deep south an the 60's I know this very well. And they are not bad people as a whole, but they are reluctant to question what they are being taught.

    Their concept of Christ is built upon salvation through belief- IOW, simply believing that Jesus is your savior will get you to heaven. But their churches need fear to keep them in line and to keep them coming back. And here we come to their weakness: salvation through works, most specifically, following the teachings of Christ. Christian leaders have this innate dichotomy- salvation through works or salvation through belief. And, by and large, all will agree that they should be following the teachings of Jesus, but few will really take a hard look at this.

    Al this crap about the left not understanding the religious right is just that- crap. What we do not how to do is to talk to them, and what follows is the gateway:

    They all claim to be Christians. We know that. What we do not know is why they do things that are anti Christ- against what Jesus taught.
    There is one simple way to break through: ask them if they are a Christian. Then ask them what did Christ teach about whatever bit of dogma they are talking about. They will respond with "the Bible says--" and you respond with, "yes, but what did Christ say? What did he say were the two commandments above all others? Did he not say he was here to replace the ways of the old testament? What did he teach in the sermon on the Mount?" Whatever their response is, it will more than likely be to quote another Bible verse that is not the teaching of Christ. Ask them, is this is what Christ said? If they start to minimize what you are saying then you have them. All you have to do is to say to them, "so you know, but refuse the words of Jesus, your savior?"

    This is the bomb. This is the foundation of their faith. This is holding their feet to the fire and making them admit that they are doing something Christ said to not do. Hating gays? What did Jesus say about that? Love your fellow man, wasn't it?. Repeat a lie about someone- thou shall not bear false witness. Complain about poor people not having health insurance? Jesus said to help the less fortunate. Gossip? Judge not, lest ye be not judged. If they quote Bible verses to you, then tell them to quote the Beatitudes. Ask them if the teachings of Jesus aren't good enough for them. Stay on point.

    I have a couple of fundies in my family and they will spout verses to me to support whatever hate their preacher is off about. And all I have to do is to steer them back to what Christ taught. They will eventually stop it, or back down. One actually quit her church when she finally took notice of the fact that the preacher was telling them to do something that was exactly against what Christ taught.

    Now for my opinion and it is worth the paper this email is printed on: Modern Christianity, both Protestant and Catholic, has strayed way away from the foundation of what Christ taught. I am not a Christian per se, but I believe in the value of what he taught. Most church goers have had a moment of doubt when their preacher gets up and rants about something that does not jibe with this. We, on the left, without actually trying to, tend to do the things Christ taught by our nature.We are tolerant. We avoid hate. We help those who are weaker than us. We defend the weak and rise to their defense. We care about others, no matter if they are like us or not. Corny as it reads, we care about love. We try to work with our fellow man and understand him or her, and value the things that make us different.

    Sometimes I think the religious right hates us because we are more "Christians" than they are, and they know this deep inside.. Think about it.

    Never forget New Orleans. And how Bush destroyed it.

    by azureblue on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:20:14 PM PST

    •  Amen! Right on! and highly recommended! (8+ / 0-)

      Everyone read the posting above.  Azureblue is right on target with all of it.  There's nothing I can add to what s/he said about this.

      And, even folks here who dismiss religion entirely should understand this: holding someone to consistency with what their teacher taught does not imply that you agree with their theology or anything else.  It's all about consistency with their own teachings.  And that is the point at which we can defeat the rightie nutcases who use religion as their excuse for the overt will to power.  

    •  You summed up my thoughts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      on this pretty well, azure. Jesus wasn't a right-winger.

      I think the problem is a lot of people on the left don't read the Bible or know what Jesus taught. They don't know it well enough to engage in arguments with right-wingers who use the Bible as a source of authority.

    •  My Christian beliefs can be summed up in your (3+ / 0-)

      Comment:

      I am not a Christian per se, but I believe in the value of what he taught.

      The teachings of Jesus Christ are worthy of consideration regardless of one's views as to his divinity.

      To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

      by XOVER on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:58:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I spend hours on this site (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      but yours is far and away the best reason for continuing to read around here I have seen in weeks and weeks.  Absolutely.

      Certain bretheren claim to be like Christ, and want credit for that. Then there's us.

      Others care not a whit about the credit or the claim but they try hard to do all the challenging things
      that being christ like entails. Without claiming to be identical   or just like him.

      That is the biggest antagonism right there.

      Resentment and fear of us for showing them
      up in everyday life, in practice.

      cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

      by Pete Rock on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:39:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary, Trout. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troutfishing, moiv, Loose Fur

    That's what... 5 inna row? 6?

    No shit, man.

    Good work.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:20:48 PM PST

  •  They have colleges and universities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Sleepwalkr

    specific to legitimizing their ideas and "realities".  Hundreds of thousands of graduates from schools of higher learning convinced of the righteousness of Falwell and Pat Robertson.  All summoned to get into government and communities and fight for their causes.  Think about that...it's absolutely frightening.

  •  The Triple 6 fix has happened before, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sleepwalkr, Loose Fur

    Perhaps Ms Miller doesn't know PA lottery history? Yes, the daily lottery number drawn in Pittsburgh, PA on April 24, 1980 was 666. The announcer had someone inject the balls with a gas so that only certain number combinations would go up the tube. He and his buddies had all bought lottery tickets with those numbers.

    Did the people of Pittsburgh think Reagan or Carter were the "Antichrist"? No, they knew something was up and launched an investigation.

  •  More people have died... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, Yamara, Pete Rock, RJP9999, Loose Fur

    in the name of religion than have ever died of cancer.  And we try to cure cancer.

    Makes one wonder what else we should be trying to cure.

    -9.25; -8.56 Republicanism: "the worship of Jackals by Jackasses."

    by JAS1001 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:28:46 PM PST

  •  So you know that (0+ / 0-)

    and I know that. The question is does McCain and his handlers know that?

  •  huh? Is this a joke? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, nicta, dmhlt 66

    I don't understand what the bottom line is. I don't think anyone expects the Christian right to just go away. I think we are hoping they will, and what was up with the hippy comparison? I honestly don't think the republicans are going to go away, but I have a seriously hard time believing that they will be able to do what they did in the 90s again. People know better now. I'm just kind of confused by this whole diary to tell you the truth.

  •  All fundamentalist movements are class warfare (4+ / 0-)

    And class can be defined beyond solely economic measures.

    emerging research proven

    by bob zimway on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:45:16 PM PST

  •  Dominionists=Jonestown (9+ / 0-)

    Funny this comes up so close to the anniversary of one of the worst of umpteen religious mania convulsions. There really is no limit to the potential magnitude of these gyrations away from the love of God. None of these people actually believe that God's kingdom will come without warning "like a thief in the night." They have a sort of spiritual greed for making it all happen now, in their lifetimes, so their looniness will be validated and they will be rich, and powerful and respected. This is actually wallowing in selfishness and sin I believe and takes them further from love, makes it harder for them to love or be loved. These people are very dangerous.

  •  as always, thank you for your work here... (5+ / 0-)

    the most bitter irony is that jesus was trying to expose the right wing nutjobs of his time as hypocritical money changers and freaks who invaded people's private lives (the temple congregants of his time apparently sold doves to menstruating women for example).

    some things never change:  people will seduce people with religion...

    but maybe one day a critical mass will be reached of people that reject the assault on society of religious-induced hate.  

    yes i understand the good that some religious people do and have done but all things considered, christianity's only redeemable trait is the fact that they allowed jesus' story, albeit grossly edited, to survive.  

    ironically once again, their use of jesus will come back to bite them because they can never edit out the temple sequence, the "destroy this temple" sequence in the bible...

  •  such unchristlike christians. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, G2geek, Tchrldy, Loose Fur

    there is a core insincerity to these folks. what do they want? money & power. & they are ruthlessly banal in its pursuit.

    who cares what banks fail in yonkers - as long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:52:50 PM PST

    •  Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo, claret63

      so anyone trying to build Christ's kingdom on this World is ignoring Jesus Christ and is preaching False Doctrine and that action is condemned by Jesus as "False Prophets"and"wolfs in sheep's clothing".

      •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

        A 1800 year old book written piecemeal by different people from different time periods - all of them a generation after the events - claims that he (the supposed Jesus of Nazareth) said "My kingdom is not of this world".

        So... the quote is as reliable as anything I might attribute to Calypso from The Odyssey.

        The answer isn't to change Christianity, we need to make it like Greek mythology - silly but entertaining myths that no one considers legitimate history.

        We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

        by Chicagoa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:11:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  knowledge is power: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    concerned about the religious right? then you should know about the convention clause of the constitution. the convention clause is our best shot at securing governance from religious convictions: http://wiki.lessig.org/...

    Billion dollar presidential campaigns are for losers.

    by john de herrera on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 07:57:42 PM PST

  •  Knowing that I'll draw flames, (10+ / 0-)

    but not really caring, I'll say: organized religion is bullshit. It's brainwashing combined with wishful thinking combined with intellectual laziness.

    If you define "religion" as a sense of wonderment and awe of the Universe, then hey, I'm religious. If you define it much more narrowly than that, call me an atheist.

    If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. -Carl Sagan

    by LightningMan on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:01:33 PM PST

    •  The reason it's bull (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LightningMan

      Organized religion has always been political and always will be.  It's nice to say we should keep church and state separate but that's not what organized religion is striving for.  That's what I think this diary points out.  

      This Seven Mountains Strategy send chills down my neck.  I wonder if they realize that Rome is known as the city built on seven hills?  The Roman Catholic religion during the time of the Crusades is probably not something you would seek to draw parallels to I'm thinking.

      Also, of course there are many God fearing, Jesus following people out there that believe in the second coming.  I have no problem with those people, they are faithful believers in my book.  It's the organized evangelicals who are actively putting their people into places of power, namely government, that everybody should be concerned about.  These are the same people who have no problem with calling Obama the Antichrist to mobilize their rabid followers.

  •  Keith O showed those videos (5+ / 0-)

    and spoke at length about Rev. Muthee.

    I believe Rachel Maddow covered this angle of Palin's story as well.

    But the story never got much traction, and neither Keith nor Rachel has the platform that Newsweek has, and the piece of dangerous tripe spewed out by "journalist" Lisa Miller will be seen by several times as many as see any single show starring Rachel or Keith.

    And the rest of the bought-off corporate media couldn't generate any interest in the story. I think it's why the Rev. Wright stories died down like they did -- everyone was afraid that the left would bring up Muthee and McCain's preacher buddies.

    However, I read a number of the comments after that article, and there were any number of posters who completely agree with the alleged premise Miller started with. Of course, their comments show pretty well that religion shapes their whole lives.

    If this was satire or an attempt to be clever, it failed massively. This story should have never made it to print. (Or pixels.) It should have been spiked or sent back for a rewrite first.

    The editors that let this piece go by as they did should be reprimanded.

    There are lots of good writers and editors out there these days who know what journalism really is. Sadly, most of them are looking for jobs. Perhaps Ms. Miller and her editor(s) could use a permanent vacation and be replaced by someone competent enough not to run such garbage and try to pass it off as legitimate discourse in the modern world.

    "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

    by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:06:24 PM PST

  •  I just don't agree with you (0+ / 0-)

    I know so many on the religious right and they resemble the fundamentalists I remember from my youth attending Baptist revival meetings far more than hippies.  My parents used to do a children's ministry.  They bought an old school bus painted it rainbow colors and would go around and pick up all the kids whose parents didn't take them to church.  We may have looked like the partridge family but in reality they were rapture believing, hell and brimstone fundamentalists.  I wasn't allowed to watch "bewitched" because of witchcraft.

    Fast forward 30 years....There is a woman I know at work.  She is into spreading the good news too.  She believes in the rapture and witches.  She works in a high tech medical field, has two masters and actually believes Harry Potter is evil and wants to ban it.  You can slap different wrapping paper on anything but it's still the same underneath.  

    Where

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:18:19 PM PST

  •  Just another day in the MSM... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gtghawaii, Words In Action, Loose Fur

    Just another flaming example of MSM stupidity in legitamizing completely insane people and their propaganda.  

    I've seen crazy homeless people ramblin' on in NYC.  Should be give them their own talk show?  Should we show deference to their opinion?  Hell, give them a column at Newsweek!  

  •  According to the Right, she's wrong (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is this.  If you read the 'prophecies' written by the Right, and I have. Then she would know several things.  According to them:

    1. Christ will not come back until the outer wall of the temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt
    1.  The anti-christ will be the leader of the European Union
    1.  The anti-christ will most definitely NOT be of the same race as Christ.

    In the times of Christ the region that is now referred to as the middle east was then referred to as North East Africa. Indigenous Egyptians did not look Arabic as they do today, they had traditional African features.  Lastly, if Christ was able to "hide out" in Africa as the Bible says, then he looked like the people he was hiding amongst.  Therefore there is no way (according to her prophets) that Obama can be the anti-christ.

  •  Wrestling for Jesus.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, lazybum

    This isn't the first time the MSM has tried to legitamize crackpots.  Jake Tapper on ABC did a piece on World News Tonight about a group called "Wrestling for Jesus" (seriously).  This group would wrestle for fun, then go to church (or vice versa, not sure what the order was).  

    Now, the real reason to be disturbed was not these yokels trying to merge idiotic wrestling moves with Jesus, but that Tapper and ABC actually took these morons seriously.  Tapper spun it as "faith in America".  More like stupidity in America.  

  •  great, somebody else pretending to be "reasonable (8+ / 0-)

    This was a gaffe?

    A columnist in one of the leading weekly magazines in the country publishes a column that treats as possibly credible the notion that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?

    It's not the time to be "reasonable".

    It's not the time to lecture others about how the GOP has mobilized the religious vote.  Some of us have been around for the past few decades and have already noted this obvious fact.

    It's time to kick Newsweek's ass.

    My two-part plan for raising $700 billion. 1) Reinstate the inheritance tax. 2) Send Dick Cheney on a hunting trip with 700 billionaires.

    by RickD on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:29:34 PM PST

    •  Love the sig line. Agree with you, too. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lazybum

      If your actions speak louder than your words, you're not yelling loud enough. - Stephen Colbert

      by Words In Action on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:18:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  here comes another voice of reason (0+ / 0-)

      having just read the column from the link, so I presume it is complete?  I don't see what all the fuss is about either.  At various points during the past 8 years George W was also accused of being the Anti-Christ, the Rapture movement may be dying but that is natural.  Have Jews For Jesus been abolished yet?

      All the Great Awakening movements, the Apocalypse is Coming etc. have their ebbs and flows, usually, maybe always at the time of the turning centuries and in this case Millenium.

      I just don't understand why people don't just use these times and stuff like this to learn a bit more about other belief systems and how they impact mainstream society, instead of using them to pour more flames on already blazing fires of intolerance, and desire to stifle dissenting voices.  

      If the blogosphere is going to be this negative for the next eight years there are some hot times ahead. Adding to global warming.

      I did not itinterpet it as the writer inferring Obama may be the AntiChrist, I read that she said that some people interpret it that way, which is true.  What's more i would hazard a guess that the president elect doesn't give a damn either way.

  •  Early translations of Revelation have 616 not 666 (5+ / 0-)

    That's because both numbers refer to Nero.  Any further interpretation is just that and contravenes the "true meaning" of the book and the somewhat hallucinatory author.

    Obama doesn't look like Thomas Jefferson, just Jefferson's children.

    by OHdog on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:35:28 PM PST

  •  Did you mean to type woodstalk? Do you think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troutfishing, annan

    these leaders are just trying to take advantage of their followers so they (the leaders) can amass power and wealth? Do you think all these leaders believe in what they are saying?

  •  Oh, For The Days Of The Millerites... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, Words In Action

    When these Millennialist cults merely sold all their belongings, fled to a mountaintop, and left everyone else THE HELL ALONE!

    And why did Jon Meacham feel moved to let Miller's gratuitously provocative column slip into print?  Are they so desperate for newsstand sales at Newsweek?

    I daresay that the road ahead would be far easier for Obama were he to possess some supernatural powers, especially since -- in addition to the two Wars, the tanking world economy, the failing healthcare system, and the failed educational system -- now he has to worry about relieving a few anxious cultist Christian sects that he is not, indeed, the Anti-Christ.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:49:24 PM PST

  •  Speaking Of Anti-Christs... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lazybum, Sarea, Words In Action

    Everyone here remembers, I'm sure, that rumors were rife in the Vatican back in 2003 that His Holiness, Pope John Paul II was himself rather worried about whether our esteemed President George Dubya might be the prophesied Anti-Christ.  And I do believe it even rated a paragraph's mention in Newsweek.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:53:55 PM PST

  •  Jesus is turning in his grave... (0+ / 0-)

    whichever it is. ;)

    All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:02:06 PM PST

  •  God Forbid these people ever take power (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwintx, lazybum, Words In Action

    Because you will see a bloodletting in this country the likes of which it's never seen before. Corporate Republicans don't scare me at all. They are rational. They can be reasoned with. They're only in it for the money.

    These people? These people terrify me. They can't be reasoned with. They are the opposite of reason. May they be met with blood and with iron.

    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

    by Benito on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:10:07 PM PST

  •  Kudos to you Troutfishing for (5+ / 0-)

    continuing to bring this message front and center. I think secular people have no real idea of the power of these folks. They don't understand what it is like to be swept up in this movement because most never have been.

    I consider myself a deeply spiritual person, having gone through the stages of development from this kind of "external authority system" with its emotional, anthropomorphic God, to a contemplative and highly personal relationship with what I call the Power of Life as it evolves itself in and through and as us. As a result I am a pluralists and a progressive. But not everyone takes that journey.

    When people here can't understand the deep emotional and spiritual connection fundamentalists feel, they blow them off as crazy. They are not - unless you mean crazy like a fox.

    What they are is determined. They feel they are warriors for Good. They believe they MUST save us and the world - that God expects them to do so. They are becoming willing to do greater acts of faith - beyond tithing and into "spiritual warfare" and possibly becoming a "martyr for Christ."

    I believe that while their intention to create a moral society is at its heart noble, human bias is unavoidable and therefor renders any movement imperfect and susceptible to corruption. But humans also have a huge capacity for good. I believe in every person's inherent good when they are free from stress and threat, and the fear that twists the mind and silences the heart.

    Most religions operate from the premise that there is only one right way to live (worship) - only one right way to God. Even so, within each of these religions, the faithful and even many leaders are waking up to see we must look for the BEST of religion to bring us together. Not what divides us but what unites us. We must look to COMPASSION which is at the core of every single tradition.

    Troutfishing - The interfaith community and the ecumenical spirit that is simultaneously arising in this nation and around the world just may be the best answer/antidote for these folks.

    Here's one such effort (video) that speaks to the best of what religiosity and spirituality can offer our world.

    There are lots of gifts and wisdom which can be accessed to steer us toward a different outcome. I hope this community will remain open to engage as many as possible to make sure the narrowness of "the right way" doesn't win out - whether its Christian, Jewish, Islamic or even Buddhist extremists trying to force their will on others. (Yes even Buddhism can be co-opted - think Jacarta)

  •  I'm not sure I get your point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boilerman10

    We've been taking the Christian Right seriously for a LOOOOONG time.  Yes, that movement is changing, and we need to stay vigilant and remain one step ahead of them in the political arena, but I doubt anyone here is thinking that they've been vanquished.

    And, sorry, but anyone who believes that Obama is the AntiChrist is batshit crazy.  They might also be effective organizers and therefore very dangerous, but they're definitely crazy.  

    We're not going to defeat these people by treating them as reasonable beings.  

  •  Did you see this? (0+ / 0-)

    The Cardinal of Baltimore spouts off

    This isn't some fringy holy-roly character running off at the mouth, but a mainstream Catholic Cardinal lost in both hysteria and Racism.  Yes, I said racism.

    I love the way the glow of the medieval auto-da-fe pyres is visible in his eyes.

    the right will attack us...from the church.

    I urge every Wiccan to make ready for trouble.  The madness is about to come upon America.

    Today, 11/16/08, 4201 Americans, and untold Iraqis are dead, tens of thousands more maimed. Bush lied; President elect Obama, it is your war now.

    by boilerman10 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:36:06 PM PST

  •  How Sad (0+ / 0-)

    There certainly are a good many people who need to get a life.   If they put even a small percentage of the effort they waste on this mystical crap, and channeled it into making the world a better place, everyone would be a lot better off.   Folks, we have a lot of challenges faces us, our children, our planet.  

  •  wow. 7M business-talk = scary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwintx

    The portion of the youtube starting around 4:30 is wild.

  •  Fucking lunatics. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwintx
  •  Christ vs. responsible government (0+ / 0-)

    To many of those on the right looking for an answer, well, the whole point of the republican party is to make sure government doesn't work thereby adding truth to the idea that only looking to kool-aid drinkers is the answer.  We've been down this path before, as you mentioned, and we'll go there again.  We need to close the hole created by despair that causes this kind of nonsense.

    "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

    by maggiejean on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:51:17 PM PST

  •  Libary? Video rental? (0+ / 0-)

    Palin herself  even borrowed an inspirational video about how to reduce crime, alcoholism and traffic accidents by driving out witches and demon spirits.

    Are we talking about something Palin borrowed from a library? If we are I don't want anybody's library record used against her if it's Sarah Palin. I don't want to limit what I read and look at because someone might suspect me of something. That's McCarthyism.

    Joe? Where are you? Where's Joe?

    by Red Bean on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:04:59 PM PST

  •  We need to educate the world about these lunatics (0+ / 0-)

    These people are fake Christians in every way: brainwashed, dogmatic and, worst of all, aggressively ignorant. They are basically religious fascists. We must fight them back the same way that the Obama campaign prevailed over the nasty smears from the right: by upholding truth and facts and exposing their divisive, manipulative agenda.

  •  R U related to (0+ / 0-)

    the fella a few years back who legally changed his name to "Troutfishing in America"?

    Just curious.

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:21:39 PM PST

  •  Great. 2 crap diaries on the rec list (0+ / 0-)

    based on a misreading of a clearly satirical piece.  And they say people on the left have no sense of humor!

    Miller doesn't suggest that apocalypticism is "rational"; she notes, quite correctly, that spikes in apocalypticism are tied to catastrophic events like war:

    Millennialist movements, as they're called, gain prominence especially when the world grows chaotic, during wars and at the turn of every century.

    This is exactly right, and historically sound.  Look at the fin de siècle scene in Europe, especially in places like pre-revolutionary Russia.  People welcomed World War I, which is something our distantly removed culture may have a hard time understanding.

    Presenting this as a historical phenomenon with clear sociological motivators (which it is) isn't trying to make it seem "rational" or any less nuts.

    As for the satire, maybe it was a little dry for your tastes, but when the first expert you cite is Victoria Jackson, you have to appreciate the subtle undercutting of the message.  

    I'm with the commenters in the other diary who suggested this is a redux of the New Yorker cover debacle.  Only it seems this time even less people are getting the joke.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:26:36 PM PST

    •  I study religion and politics 24-7 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bwintx

      Do you ?

      I used that knowledge to shift the 2008 election by exposing John Hagee's "God sent Hitler" statement...

      Did you ?

      Meanwhile, I identified no "expert" named Victoria Jackson. That's simply not in the text of what I've written.

      I think you're being a bit hostile. Why ?

      •  You shifted the election? (0+ / 0-)

        That's a laugh.  Most people have no idea who Hagee is, and couldn't care less.  I'm glad you exposed one of McCain's stupid gambits, but if you think you had more than an insignificant impact on the election, then you're just as delusional as the apocalyptic-driven nutcases you write about.

        Speaking of arrogance, rather than address my critique of the Newsweek article versus your interpretation of it, you throw out your credentials.  Sorry: a bad reading is a bad reading.   You read the article wrong, and between you and the other diarist who decided to whip up a tempest over nothing, this poor writer is getting flooded with hostile letters about her incompetence and stupidity.  

        Maybe that's why I'm being a bit hostile.  Someone writes a deflation of the Obama=antichrist meme, and you and an army of people with no sense of irony attack her for it.   That's why I compared it to the New Yorker cover debacle.  Righteous indignation with an almost religious fervor, and equally delusional.

        By the way: to clarify my other point above, you didn't discuss Jackson - the author of the Newsweek article did.  Jackson's a flaky comedian that hasn't had a job in over a generation, so when the author cites her as her first "expert", it's as clear a joke as the run of internet domain names towards the end.  

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:56:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dozens of mainstream media outlets... (0+ / 0-)

          Cited my website, Talk2action, as causing the McCain/Hagee split.

          You might be unaware of that. But, you can read about it here on dKos, from Mike Stark:

          Meet Bruce Wilson: BlogPac Hero

          You can read about it here on the LA Times blog or as re-posted, by Micah Sifry, on the Personal Democracy Forum:      

          The Making of the "God Sent Hitler" Viral Video, and McCain's Break From Hagee.

          Or you could conduct a Google search and see who the New York Times and countless other mainstream media venues credited: Talk To Action. I put the website URL at the end of my video. Wolf Blitzer mentioned the website on CNN.

          I think you'll find I'm not one to press advantage, meaning: we all make mistakes. Me included. But, your personally directed vitriol is unprofessional and less than constructive. You may be upset, but I hope you'll reconsider your position.

          Best,
          Bruce Wilson

          •  Let's separate out our two conversations, (0+ / 0-)

            because we're crossing wires here:

            What I'm angry about is your misreading of the Newsweek article, and the fact that between you and the diarist who first posted about it here, a swarm of angry bloggers fired off angry letters both to the author of that article and to the editor.  A critique of the article's assumptions about apocalyptic strains in contemporary American evangelism is fair game, of course.  But you misrepresented the article, badly, and when I countered with an explanation of why the author's explanations were right, you threw credentials in my face.  So don't talk to me about "unprofessional".  

            It's perfectly fair of you to say that Miller doesn't understand the more contemporary strains of Dominionism - I have no disagreements with that part of your diary.  It's not fair of you to say that she's rationalizing belief in the antichrist, or to operate on the assumption that her article wasn't undercutting the antichrist meme by mocking it.  

            The second part, about your role in the election, seriously boggles my mind.  In my comment I credited you with deflating one of McCain's angles - but to take credit for shifting the election shows an arrogance that's just beyond my ken.  Not one of the links you provided discusses anything like impact on the election (other than Stark's suggestion of what it might do within the McCain campaign), but if you can point to any tangible result, I'll gladly take back my criticism.  

            What you did was do damage to Hagee's public credibility, which isn't a bad thing at all.  Take full and deserved credit for that.  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:09:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I read Miller's article... (0+ / 0-)

              I am not speaking from a place of arrogance but, rather, from a place of knowledge based on extensive study. I've paid my dues, in thousands of hours of research which have pioneered new fields.

              "It's not fair of you to say that she's rationalizing belief in the antichrist, or to operate on the assumption that her article wasn't undercutting the antichrist meme by mocking it." - Did I say that ?

              "The second part, about your role in the election, seriously boggles my mind.  In my comment I credited you with deflating one of McCain's angles - but to take credit for shifting the election shows an arrogance that's just beyond my ken." - If you don't know what what the interrelationship of the GOP and the Christian right is, I cannot magically impart that to you.

              If you want to read about the electoral influence of the Christian right within the GOP, here is a good starting point:

              Spreading Out And Digging In

              If you don't know why John McCain repudiated his 2000 GOP primary vow (made multiple times, on TV, to never court the hard religious right), and pursued Jerry Falwell for perhaps two years and then Hagee for at least a year subsequently, that's beyond my immediate didactic powers to teach.

              If you aren't aware of why John McCain might have declared, to John Steward, he was going into [Christian right] "crazy base world", I cannot quickly impart to you an explanation.

              A friend of mine (now 80) worked with McCain father. I talk to him fairly often. McCain's father, in the US Navy, fought the Christian right. McCain is not their natural ally. He was forced, from his desire for power, to court the hard Christian right.

              My 3:40 video, literally shown around the world, forced McCain to disavow his endorsement from a leader on the Christian right McCain had courted heavily.

              John McCain and John Hagee both, within 24-48 hours of my viral video being shown on television, literally around the world, went on television repudiating each other.

              Meaning: McCain repudiated his Christian right emissary to McCain's Christian right voting base. And more.

              McCain's choice of Palin's was, in part, meant to repair that damage.

              •  You did indeed say that: (0+ / 0-)

                It's both appropriate and also quite easy, in the case of a November 15, 2008 column by Newsweek's new religion writer Lisa Miller, to lambaste Newsweek's editors for Miller's journalistic catastrophe which suggests that calling Barack Obama the "Antichrist" might be rational.

                That's not at all what she suggests in her article.  Refer back to my very first comment in this thread - she explains that antichrist belief, and in fact apocalypticism, is strongly tied to certain historical trends.  And she's right.  That's not a suggestion of "rationality", that's a description of how it's played out in the past.

                So no, it's not "appropriate" to have lambasted her for that, given that it's a basic tenet of the history of the topic.  

                But here we have god knows how many angry letters emailed to her and her editor for what is fundamentally a misreading of what she said, both in content and in purpose*.  That is why I responded so angrily: we're promoting a culture of reactionism rather than one of careful reading and processing.

                (* - "in purpose" because the article's subtle mockery speaks volumes about her own attitudes.)

                As I said, you're on solid ground if you want to suggest that Miller isn't aware of more contemporary developments in the movement, or what its shape really looks like.  But it's irresponsible of you - doubly so with your large readership, given that you've "pioneered new fields" and shifted the election and all - to promote this kind of misreading.  It's not even debatable: the disjoint between what the article says and how it's being discussed here is outright egregious.

                I have nothing against you personally - I don't even know you.  But when I saw at least a handful of people in the other Newsweek diary criticizing the author for not understanding the article, and then no one in this diary following up on that, I couldn't let it pass without comment.  

                p.s.: I know people who've actually, concretely, pioneered new fields in the humanities and in science.  None of them would ever be caught dead claiming that.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 01:38:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're defending Miller ? (0+ / 0-)

                  Let's look again at:

                  1. The headline on Miller's story.

                  'Is Obama the Antichrist?

                  The winning lottery number in Illinois was 666, which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast.'

                  Translation: 'Is Obama the human incarnation of ultimate evil ? - [just kidding. we're not really asking that.']

                  For much of American fundamentalism, there's no worse characterization than to depiction someone as an Antichrist. It's viscerally probably worse than accusing someone of child molestation.


                  1. The characterization in question.

                  No wonder, then, that Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, says he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might. Obama's own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, Staver says, positions that "religious conservatives believe will threaten their freedom." The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they're not nuts: "They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared," Staver says.

                  Miller quotes Mat Staver, sure.

                  If she had quoted a white supremacist likening blacks to monkeys, without qualifying that accusation by noting that it was widely considered the height of racist bigotry, would that also have been OK ?



                  'p.s.: I know people who've actually, concretely, pioneered new fields in the humanities and in science.  None of them would ever be caught dead claiming that.' - Since you don't know what fields am claiming to have pioneered, you do not what the magnitude or strength of those claims are in the first place. I am referring to research in the intersection of religion and politics, an area of study that you may not consider as a valid field of research regardless of the fact that I have just deployed knowledge derived from my research to shift a presidential election.

                  •  You are a terrible reader, (0+ / 0-)

                    and I can only hope you approach your "fields" with a bit more rigor than you read newsweek articles.  Let's re-approach Miller's article again:

                    Is Obama the Antichrist?

                    The winning lottery number in Illinois was 666, which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast.

                    "As everyone knows" = condescending dismissal of the idea that 666 is the number of the beast.  A journalist never uses "as everyone knows" in the title of an article unless s/he is trying to mock the idea.  

                    Paragraph 1: she describes RaptureReady.com as "the eBay of prophesy" - it's her own description of it, not Strandberg's.  Then a note that this latest bout of antichrist-fevor was started by a washed up Saturday Night Live comedienne (notice Miller calls her an ingénue instead of, say, actress).  Another "as everyone knows" tied to the 666 tradition.

                    Paragraph 2: brief history of Millenialism.  Notice that she distinguishes between "most Christians" who don't believe in this, and "a few...mostly conservative" Christians who do.  Hardly an endorsement, eh?

                    Paragraph 3: dry humor at Matt Staver's defense. The sections you highlighted aren't Miller's opinions, but Stavers' rendered in third person subjective.  This is a basic method of condensing a long quote into a shorter article by presenting its main points outside of quotation marks.  

                    Paragraph 4: if you couldn't see the dry sarcasm here, then I don't know what to tell you:

                    Strandberg is so certain that the Rapture is coming, he's bought a number of Internet addresses in addition to RaptureReady: AntiAntichrist, Tribulationus and RaptureMe. In the event that RaptureReady crashes during the apocalypse, anyone who needs an update will, with a simple Google search, be able to get one.

                    Unlike you, I'm not relying on a few carefully pulled lines to support my reading.  This is the article in its entirety, and if you're trying to present it as a rationalization of the Obama=antichrist meme, then you're a terrible, terrible reader.

                    Miller has since published a response saying that it's not her job to put a disclaimer on an article saying that the people she's discussing are idiots - that's an unprofessional tack for any journalist to take.  But I really pity the day when a decently written article like this gets torn apart by hordes whose heads are shoved so far up their asses that they can't read it for what it is.  

                    Fanaticism is an ugly thing, regardless of what side of the aisle it springs from.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:38:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there's your problem: maybe if you slept (0+ / 0-)

        a few hours a day, you wouldn't have been too tired to notice that Miller wrote the words "Staver said" THREE $%^&ING TIMES in that paragraph.

        And might not have gone on to write the above pile of tinfoil-hat nonsense with which you've embarrassed everyone who writes here regularly.

        Well,  not everyone:  there were hundreds of other Kossacks with similar reading impairments,  whose outpouring of indignation has,  doubtless,  got at least some of the editorial staff at Newsweek referring to the site as "Daily Kooks"...

  •  Adolf Eichman was declared "perfectly sane". (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tracker, BR Janet, An Affirming Flame

    As Thomas Merton (a Christian author/ radical peace activist who died in 1968) noted. He wrote a very interesting piece (at once very serious and very satirical)  on what that means, and our definition of sanity and being socially "well-adjusted" mean in this day of the Bomb (hey, we still have that) and wars of aggression (we still have that, too, with more to come, from our perfectly sane leaders, no doubt). Read the whole thing here, and it comes highly recommended even for secular-type folk... but here's a bit of it.

    One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane. I do not doubt it all, and that is precisely why I find it disturbing.

    If all the Nazis had been psychotics, as some of their leaders probably were, their appalling cruelty would have been in some sense easier to understand. It is much worse to consider this calm, "well-balanced," unperturbed official conscientiously going about his desk work, his administrative job which happened to be the supervision of mass murder....

    The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing. We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.

    It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missile, and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared. ...

    Merton goes on say that it is in Time magazine that we read of the "Ban the Bomb" people, how eccentric they are, probably not really well-adjusted or "realistic". These are the people who are kept out of high government office - you can be sure of that.

    The sane ones, the ones who can speak easily of "oblitarating" a nation of 65 million people for example (for rational and secular reasons, mind you!)... these kind of folks are given top diplomatic posts. These people are sane.  Like Eichmann.

    The determination of our President to prosecute the war, and the probability of his success. is made evident by the puny opposition arrayed against him.

    by Tom J on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:48:26 PM PST

  •  You better believe it baby. (0+ / 0-)

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:52:25 PM PST

  •  Palin was chosen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redtex

    as McCain's running mate. Now think about how close one of these lunatics got to the white house.  

  •  I'm Confused (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dmhlt 66, creamer

    It seems like the author of this diary is putting down people with religious beliefs. I have nothing against Palin's beliefs but her ignorance, lack of experience, and lack of knowledge on foreign policy issues showed that she was not equipped to be a VP candidate. I believe that there are a lot of people who are center-left politically that believe there are demons, angels, spirits etc..

    You have to watch what you say because you make it seem like everyone on the left is an athiest and this just plays into what the right wing has been saying for years.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    by hypnyx on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:39:33 PM PST

  •  Boy who cried wolf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady

    Should any Antichrist come to power, it would be obvious anyway. Which is why the fundgelicals have played the Antichrist card to death, so that when he finally comes, everyone will ignore them.

    President Obama, Bonzai!

    by Kip the Dip on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:11:46 AM PST

  •  holy crap. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I've got a cabinet full of failed universes, and they're two a penny.

    by barnaclefarm on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:57:34 AM PST

  •  Holy Banking. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MA Liberal, bwintx, redtex

    It's a Ponzi Scheme.  PTL Club Version 3.0.

    "First, we must take back the mountain of business."

    Gad.
    ______________________

    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:17:59 AM PST

  •  I'm glad to see some people here are finally (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, spacecadet1, redtex, north40th

    understanding the difference between a Premillenial and a Dominionist.

    The Premillenials are actually conceding leadership of the RR movement to the Dominionists, despite opposing them theologically. For instance, Sarah Palin is a Dominionist but the Rapture Ready folks are huge fans of hers anyway. I suspect they don't know she's a Dominionist, but if they don't, I'm surprised they haven't done the research.

    This blows me away that this country is this stupid to put this evil man [Obama] into office. -- From a post at RaptureReady.com

    by Kimball Cross on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:36:17 AM PST

  •  Minor correction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troutfishing, 2d

    It's "Scofield," not "Scoefield." I was one of those Fundies back in the '70's (I got better) who had one (still do, as a matter of fact). Problem was, I actually sat down and read the whole thing, Genesis to Revelation, King James language, margin notes, and all. I discovered the Fundies' dirty little secret: there are only SOME parts of the Bible they take literally, though which parts are utterly critical vary from denomination to denomination. The "divinely-inspired" remainder? Not so much.

    Radarlady

  •  We are still not comfortable (0+ / 0-)

    talking about religion in public.  It bothers many of us still that Obama has been so open and vocal about his faith.  We accept that reluctantly, almost as a flaw, because we believe so much in his ability to lead and govern.

    It's also tricky to publicly criticize someone's faith.  That make an easy target for backlash from even less crazy believers.  That's the reason that getting politics and religion together is such a horrible idea.  Any moves to point out the balmy fools who are advancing this rapture/end-times nonsense  has to be both well-constructed and dispassionate.  ("Just the facts, ma'am.")  Even that will cause them to go all goofy about persecution.  This is a terrible spot to be in....

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:20:58 AM PST

  •  Vicious circle, the more you pile on to these (0+ / 0-)

    Fricktards, the weirder they get. 'Cuz
    they think you're the devil and they must
    fight you. It's how religious fundamentalists
    are created.

  •  Last time "The Church" had control of the 7Ms (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, MA Liberal, bwintx, BR Janet, north40th

    it started in Constantinople and brought death and destruction to people, killed science and exploration and today we call those the DARK AGES. They married The Church to the State, forcefully converted non-believers (on pain of tortuous death), enforced their rule of woman as "less than", prayerfully pillaged all communal resources and righteously built up vast kingdoms of wealth for themselves on earth. It took hundreds of years for the West to come out of that hell, built through the Church's control of all aspects of culture. The culmination of the Reformation and the Enlightenment that brought Western culture out of the Darkness of Church control was the establishment of a free democracy in a new land they called America. Our freedoms and liberty is the anti-thesis of church control of culture.

    And now a pack of greedy wolves raised up and made fat on screwed up histories and made up stories wants to take us all back to the Dark Ages again?

    Yeah. Great idea. They have to kill our freedoms to make us free. I've heard that somewhere before ...

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:39:35 AM PST

  •  Prop 8 is a shot across the bow! (4+ / 0-)

    The efforts and money raised to pass California's Prop 8 is a shot across the bow!

    Christian LIES wed Christian HATE.
    Begot a child. It's named Prop 8!

    People are gonna be who they're gonna be. And we need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love. - Ellen DeGeneres

    by MNW on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:17:10 AM PST

  •  If I had a dime for every "end times" prediction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    looknostamp

    I'd be a republican.

  •  they are our domestic Taliban (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fernan47
  •  They will not be going away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MahFellaMerkins

    anytime soon. The south is a bastion of this type of wingnuttery. I live in TN and megachurches and Christian broadcasting networks are ubiquitous.

    When you meet someone for the first time, often the first question they ask about is what church you attend. College students in the UTK education dept admissions process cite prior experience with children as having taught sunday school.

    No, the christian power coalitions are not going away quietly.

  •  new frames for old ideas.... (0+ / 0-)

    The 7M movement seems to me to be a neo-frame of the basic fundamnetalist "christian" ideology under which I was reared.  Except it now has a new and much uglier twist -- it has thrown off its humility and its persuasive, witness-based nature to become agressively activist.

    The idea of exercising dominion of the entire culture, achieved through "spiritual warfare", is decidedly and openly bold and agressive.  It fits in quite nicely with the neocon philosophy of PNAC, which believes that America can only survive by similar dominionist tatics -- spreading its dominance over the globe by unilateral action to enforce the adoption of free markets and "democracy".

    Scary stuff.

  •  Sir Robert Anderson (0+ / 0-)

    In the study of biblical prophecy the forerunner was Sir Robert Anderson. He was an inspector for Scotland Yard.

    He wrote a book called "The Coming Prince." It can be found online.

    But, his writings launched much of the prophecy movement.

    You gave Obama a To Do List. What is your To DO List?

    by redtex on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:36:05 AM PST

  •  These people need to get a life. (0+ / 0-)

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:43:23 AM PST

  •  This frightens me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, MA Liberal, Yamara, smellybeast

    I don't know how to counter this.  My religion, if one would call it that, is critical thought -- self analysis, and it isn't so attractive.  The end of the second video so strongly indicates an unwillingness to expose oneself to other ideas, to self-analyze one's beliefs.  

    I am a horrible sales person because I don't want people to blindly buy.  It isn't that successful a meme.

  •  lol the New Christian Whatever is overrated (0+ / 0-)

    Trust me, I've seen them up close and personal.  I suppose it's good to be aware that they exist, but steeling yourselves for a Christian Evangelical onslaught is silly.

  •  Ha ha! Layoffs to come to Focus on the Family (0+ / 0-)

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/...

    Maybe they'll then have time to Focus on their own damn families?

    "She is apparently a lot more tolerant of me than I am of her."
    --Barney Frank on Sarah Palin

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:55:26 AM PST

  •  My question (0+ / 0-)

    had I been the journalist would have been is the word "Antichrist" an ideology or a person?

    Unfortunately many jump to the conclusion that the antichrist is human but the antichrist could just as easily represent an evil ideology taking over the world.   The false ideology has to be beaten back so that peace can reign for 1000 years.

  •  I'm tired of wincing... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when my Christian friends play the Antichrist card.

    So I decided last week to take all the power away from that label.

    I started a blog, Antichrist?, where every day I cast another figure as a possible Antichrist. I was very happy when Lisa Miller gave me more material!

    Christians who try to name the Antichrist indulge in the same innately human trait that UFO watchers and JFK conspiracy hunters do, but it still adds nothing to our discourse, and only serves to frighten people.

    [Sorry that my first comment after signing up is a link to my blog. I've been lurking around for years and this incident finally pushed me to join the Kos. Thanks for reading]

  •  Please put the videos at the front (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troutfishing

    of your diaries and keep getting them out there.  They are very informative.

    Longing for a return to decency and civility.

    by Percheronwoman on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:16:08 AM PST

  •  SNOPES already debunked this myth (0+ / 0-)

    ha ha
    Barack is the antichrist?
    FALSE

    http://www.snopes.com/...

    "He will make Cheney look like Gandhi." Pat Buchanan on John McNasty

    by FilipinoMonkey on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:17:13 AM PST

  •  Man are these people nuts! (0+ / 0-)

    how about that guy near the end who kept rocking back and forth while talking. He looked and sounded like someone who belongs in an institution.
    And Palin is one of them. If she ever again does anything nationally, I want someone to ask her:
    What are the 7 mountains?
    Do you believe in the third wave?
    Do you believe that there is witchcraft and demons controlling the government?
    Someone has to seriously call her on this bullcrap.

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:29:13 AM PST

  •  I just got here (0+ / 0-)
    and there are exactly 666 comments!  oh noz!
  •  OOOH Creepy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suspiciousmind

    There were exactly 666 comments when I looked at this diary. Yikes!

  •  Expert "Woodstalk" drummers (0+ / 0-)

    Expert "Woodstalk" drummers... I'm terrified.

    "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

    by rmwarnick on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:08:07 AM PST

  •  None of this matters now anyway.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....the rapture's already happened.

    It's just that nobody noticed. There's really nothing more to say.

    I'm fired up and ready to go!

    by suspiciousmind on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:26:08 AM PST