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I first covered Yale's promotion of anti-LGBT fast food provider Chick-Fil-A, as an alleged exemplar of positive spiritual values in the workplace, in a March 7, 2011 post titled Yale Faith Institute Puffs Virulently Antigay Chick-Fil-A and I revisited the subject in a February 3, 2012 story titled More On Yale's Templeton-Funded "Spiritual Capital" Initiative in which I asked,

Should Chick-Fil-A be known for its extensive ties to, and funding of, some of the most aggressively anti-gay groups in America, as well as its role in catalyzing the national "Protect Marriage" (by fighting same-sex marriage) movement -- or should the fast food chicken chain be regarded as an exemplar of the spiritual value of "gratitude"?

According to a project under the aegis of the Yale Center For Faith and Culture called the Spiritual Capital Initiative, that's funded with almost $1.9 million dollars from the John Templeton Foundation, it's the latter: gratitude.

So far, such dubious uses of rightwing foundation money in academia have received comparatively little attention. But major funding entities such as the Templeton Foundation are underwriting efforts that paint giant, predatory corporations as upholding spiritual and moral values in society.

Tempeton Foundation money has also backed an academic effort, spearheaded by American sociologist Margaret Poloma, that depicts major figures in the New Apostolic Reformation, such as C. Peter Wagner and Che, as "exemplars of godly love".

The NAR, perhaps the most aggressive and extreme element of the contemporary Christian right, is closely tied to Uganda's so-called "Kill the gays" bill and its leaders call for NAR followers to burn or destroy objects, scripture, and books associated with competing  belief systems.

Co-architect of the religious right Colonel V. Doner, in a new book titled Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America, has warned that the movement he helped create, inspire, and organize, now risks becoming a Christian analog to parallel militant, violent Islamic movements such as the Taliban.

Doner identifies Sarah Palin, and the NAR movement from which she emerged, as the vanguard of the increasingly militant tendency within politicized Christianity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They're right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8

    If you inject spirituality into the world, you get this nonsense, always.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:47:53 AM PDT

  •  very true (13+ / 0-)
    Co-architect of the religious right Colonel V. Doner, in a new book titled Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America, has warned that the movement he helped create, inspire, and organize, now risks becoming a Christian analog to parallel militant, violent Islamic movements such as the Taliban.
    Prior to and during the Iraq War, Republican reps referred to our military as "Christian soldiers" - and it was disgusting the way Republians USED hate and fear to incite "christians" to cheer for war and bash those who questioned it.
    And now the NRA owns many of these "christians" who touch their guns more often than their Bibles.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:53:23 AM PDT

    •  if anyone clicks the link, you'll find that his... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troutfishing

      ..... website is still under construction.   Some of the topic headers on the site go to pages with nonsense text that looks like Latin.  That's a common technique for putting filler text into a website that's still under construction.  So no, your browser isn't infested with bugs.  

      Presumably he'll fill in the text soon enough.

      If not, someone needs to remind him.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:08:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've done that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MartyM

        ...but Doner has a lot going on. He runs a ~50 million a year nonprofit that does aid work in Africa. I'm going to send his publicist another note on the website. Thanks for mentioning it.

        •  if they need help fixing that... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troutfishing

          .... you could write the texts for the missing sections, and I could ask my coworker who does web, to volunteer the time to do the technical stuff to put it up there.  

          If you're up for doing the writing, suggest it when you contact them.  You of all people could do a perfect job of it.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:37:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gratitude for giving an excuse to bigotry? (11+ / 0-)
    should the fast food chicken chain be regarded as an exemplar of the spiritual value of "gratitude"?
    I don't get it  How does gratitude for the Jesus who preached about the Good Samaritan and the wrongness of prejudice make a person show his gratitude by picking and choosing a few obscure passages that ratify his prejudice against gays?

    Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? -Paul Krugman

    by Judge Moonbox on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:22:03 AM PDT

    •  speaking of Leviticus... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, Troutfishing

      Check out this diary: interesting how the religious right picks & chooses, and ignores anything that might impinge on their "freedom of money."

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

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:04:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in answer to your question: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, spacecadet1

      The religious right could care less about consistency.

      They pick and choose the words and emotional narratives that advance their agenda of dominion, and they simply stonewall or duck any questions about inconsistencies.  

      In essence: "You're a nobody, we don't have to answer to you."  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:10:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I try to follow Christ's teachings, and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, Ice Blue, G2geek

    I am bewildered and confused by what "the" Christian "right" are doing.

    They are picking and choosing bits and pieces of the book they claim to believe is the entire, literal truth to the point where they clain the earth is 6000 years old.  They claim to love the Jews, but pick out parts of the Old Testament, interpreting them differently than those who follow the Jewish faith do, in order to justify hating abortion and homosexuals in the name of the Lord who told them to love their enemies as themselves, turn the other cheek,  to judge not lest they be judged, and to do for the least amongst us as it was for Him.  

    We don't go to a church, anymore.  It's become too confusing and painful.  We are just trying to live our faith as we understand it.

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:56:53 AM PDT

    •  hook up with other religious progressives here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr

      There are many.  Commonmass seems to be one of the key people here, he knows many more.  A faith study/discussion group online isn't quite the same thing as regular worship services, but it could bring a lot of folks together.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:40:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, it is spiritual in the sense of not being (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troutfishing, side pocket, G2geek

    material to attempt to control the behavior of other people with money--a figment of the imagination--rather than by depriving them of food directly, if they don't do what they are told.
    Exacting subservience to a secular nation or homeland is an insult to the human spirit, as opposed to a physical attack or the imposition of physical restraints, such as shackles or chains.

    Making the absolute subservience of some humans to other humans illegal behavior does not eradicate the impulse to subordinate and/or exploit their own kind from the human brain.
    The designation of slavery as a legal status added insult to injury.  So did DADT. We institute government by the people to counter abuse, not perpetrate it. Still, the impulse towards what I call human husbandry persists. It can be argued, and probably is, that exploitation and abuse, being not immediately lethal, are lesser insults to the human psyche.  From where I sit, there are some things worse than death, and institutional support for abuse is it.

    Some of our establishments of religion have been very successful with the argument that obedience is a virtue and that exacting obedience, whether from religious acolytes or workers, is equally virtuous.  It isn't. Obedience to the laws of man and nature that's freely chosen is a virtue.  As soon as it is exacted, either with bribes or threats, it becomes abusive.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage"

    by hannah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:15:36 AM PDT

    •  two people here you should hook up with: (0+ / 0-)

      Robert Fuller and Breakingranks.  

      Hannah and Trout: I'd seriously suggest checking out their diaries.

      Bob is one of the folks at the root of the "human dignity" movement.  His ongoing diary series, that surprisingly seems to have been largely ignored so far, is oriented toward building a bridge between the core values of progressive religion and the core values of progressive rationalism.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:45:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Dignity" may well be a better word than (0+ / 0-)

        right because of the latter's locational significance.

        I suppose "dignity" comes from digit -- to point with the finger and identify as worth noting. So, dignity would be worthy of note -- i.e. not to be lightly dismissed or ignored.
        Human rights, of course, rely on being respected to be recognized. They don't really exist if there's no-one to take them into account.  Other creatures aren't able to do that. At best they can avoid us and get out of our way.  Would that humans were able to do that in regards to things/creatures they don't like.

        Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage"

        by hannah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:13:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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