Over the past few days, I've done reporting on Sarah Palin's extensive dominionist connections--including the attempt to run her as a "stealth" dominionist candidate and her connections to some scary dominionist groups including not just "Joel's Army" folks but a far-right Christian Reconstructionist political party linked to domestic terrorism.
As bad as all this--and the scandals regarding her misrule in both Wasilla and as state governor--are, there's apparently still more.
Today, we find that part of those funding scandals include the tax money of Alaskans used to pay for youth programs at Juneau Christian Center. We also reveal info regarding a particularly disturbing Assemblies frontgroup Palin recently did a talk at, and we go into researching the dominionist connections of her most recent church--Wasilla Bible Church.
A few days ago, I wrote one of the first articles out there regarding Sarah Palin's VP nomination as a "stealth dominionist"--a "stealther" with extensive Assemblies connections (and to particularly scary segments of the Assemblies as well as a particularly nasty "Assemblies daughter", as we'll get into) as well as dominionist orgs like Campus Crusade frontgroups and deceptive "feminist" anti-reproductive-healthcare groups.
The thing is, I may have just scratched the surface.
Much has been made of the recent revelation that Sarah Palin may be connected to the "Alaska Independence Party", but not revealed is its connection to the far-right Constitution Party--and she not only has attempted censorious campaigns in office, but was also apparently put in the GOP vice-presidential spot by none other than the kingmakers of the dominionist movement in the US.
The big news, obviously, in the blogosphere today is John McCain's surprise pick for the Republican veep nominee--a relative unknown by the name of Sarah Palin, whom--at least in the more conventional political circles--would appear to be a complete cypher.
Unfortunately, if one digs just a bit deeper, Palin is found to have some very interesting--and very disturbing--connections...among them, being potentially the first Assemblies-linked VP candidate and having a number of links to dominionist groups targeting kids via "bait and switch" evangelism.
The "Bible boot camp" and "kiddie gulag" industry have been frequent subjects of writing here in this diary--from reports of abuses in "Bible boot camps" to an expose series on the Assemblies-run "Teen Challenge" chain.
One thing I've been big on is efforts to shut down the "kiddie gulag" industry by requiring federal standards for facilities of this type (many of these facilities are entirely unregulated due to operating as "faith-based" dominionist "parallel economy" alternatives to legit social work and mental health services. And it turns out that just such a model law--originally entered this Congressional session as HR 5876 (with a new bill number, HR 6358)--has passed its first big hurdle in that the House version is approved.
In yesterday's post, I noted how the Assemblies of God are rallying around Kenneth Copeland's latest attempt to derail Sen. Chuck Grassley's investigation of nonprofit groups.
There's a very valid reason why the Assemblies may be quite concerned, should Congressional attention focus on them.
Namely...not only is illegal electioneering rife within the denomination, but there is some troubling evidence to suggest that violations may be crossing over into direct contributions to Assemblies-favoured candidates--possibly the most blatant 501(c)3 violations ever documented.
People who've followed the hijinks of the Assemblies of God in regards to televangelist scandals--and the history of televangelism, for that matter--know that the denomination has a long association with televangelism--and as the Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard scandals have shown, often a quite unsavoury one at that.
So today's news that the Assemblies are hip-deep in the latest televangelist scandal is no shocker--the thing is, they may have tangled themselves rather deep, as the latest association is with an explicit defense of Kenneth Copeland--one of six televangelists targeted in a Congressional investigation.
Even worse, the Assemblies are now trying to use the very scandal as a wrecking-ball to knock down the separation of church and state and scuttle all attempts to require accountability.
In yesterday's post on a case of an ambulance driver's "moral refusal" of taking a woman in severe pain to a women's clinic, a frequent criticism came up: "But wouldn't the EMT get in trouble if she died? Surely they could revoke his license?"
This, sadly, can no longer be assumed. In at least one state--Mississippi--the scenario of an EMT conducting a "moral refusal", the woman dying as a result, and the EMT getting off scot free is an unfortunate possibility.
Even worse, Mississippi's law is now considered a model "moral refusal" statute--as we'll see below.
In Part 2 of the miniseries which we began yesterday, we discuss how "moral refusal" clauses are increasingly going far beyond just doctors and pharmacists, and are now extending to the most basic thing we associate with healthcare--the trip in the ambulance to have emergency surgery.
Yes, you're reading this right--dominionist ambulance drivers are now refusing to take people to women's clinics just because the woman needs a medically necessary abortion.
And at the end of the post--because I never like to just bring bad news without discussing ways to fix what's broken--I present some possible solutions to the problem of "moral refusal".
I have written rather extensively on Talk to Action regarding dominionists and reproductive health--one of the larger issues being the spread of so-called "moral refusal" clauses that do not just ban medical abortion but go towards banning the pill and even go so far as refusing reproductive health services to LGBT people and refusing prescriptions outright--including for antibiotics and prenatal vitamins--because they came from a women's clinic.
Now, in an end-run against "must dispense or refer" laws in several states, dominionists are now expanding the large "parallel economy" to a new area--namely, the dominionist-run pharmacy not providing contraceptives at all...and there are disturbing indications that a prediction I made re broad "moral refusal" clauses may have come to pass.
Barack Obama has recently announced a new initiative to reach out to non-dominionist evangelicals. It is a wonderful idea in practice.
Unfortunately--partly due to neopente dominionists--Barack's initiative may have a wee bit of a naming problem.
Whilst the term "Joshua Generation" has been used in African-American churches to denote the generation of people to bring social justice (much as "Moses Generation" was used for the Freedom Riders), "Joshua Generation" unfortunately has a very different connotation outside of the African-American church community...and one which Barack Obama will likely not want to be associated with.
Over the past few days, we've gone over a history of dominionist prosyletisation efforts during the Gulf War and how they are endangering not only Christians but our own military to boot.
Today, we get into the real heart of why some of us are so worried about the "God Warrior" tendencies in neopentecostal dominionist groups.
Everyone who hasn't been completely isolated from the outside world knows by now about the revelations of torture and human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and other facilities used for "extraordinary rendition" (or, more properly, gulags).
Not so well publicised is the fact that the very denomination responsible for the "Teen Challenge" chain of "kiddie gulags" is in fact at the very core of the torture scandals--and that the Assemblies' own chaplains were in fact ringleaders of torture.
As amazing as it sounds, dominionists may in fact be fomenting terrorism--not just the domestic terrorism like bombings of women's clinics we normally associate, but the very "Islamist terror bombings" that the GOP loves to use to frighten America into voting a red ticket.
We detailed yesterday on how Christians in Iraq (including communities literally founded by the apostle Thomas) have been targeted due to aggressive prosyletisation by dominionist "missionary" groups; today, we focus on how our soldiers are targeted and becoming targets due to the actions of dominionists...and how some of the very folks targeting both our nation's fighting folks and Iraqis are essentially dominionist rogue agents in the US military's chaplaincy.
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