God loves you and, btw, sex is filthy…

Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.

Butch Hancock

The way I see it, the crises we face in this country and the world are symptoms of a power structure gone wrong. Way wrong.

We, the citizens, need to reconfigure the power structure. In order to do that, we need to understand how the invasion of theocrats, outsourcing of essential governmental functions, mega media ownership concentrated in the hands of corporatists, and global corporate domination/trade agreements have shaped the world right now: the war in Iraq, health care, education, taxes, war, poisonous industrial processes, environment and climate change, energy, et al. While all these issues are, on their own, daunting and urgent, none of these issues will be resolved without repairing our governmental infrastructure. Period. The story tonight is about the theocrats’ impact on our deteriorating social structures.

Divine Transmissions

PhotobucketWhat is most disturbing… about the Bush administration, is not merely its devout corporatism, but the way in which it uses religion in the service of the corporatist agenda.

It does so in a way that explicitly identifies the Bush agenda with God’s, and suggests that Bush’s every step is divinely inspired. Bush asks his followers to stick with him as an act of faith — he’s a good man with good advisors and he prays and he’s not Clinton, so he must be right.


It became apparent early on in George Bush’s presidency that he was facilitating the infiltration of our government by theocrats. Theocrats: evangelicals, but ramped up and with one looming objective: to legislate their version of control Christianity.

Theocrats are foot soldiers of the corporatists, a relationship that delivers a one-two punch. Social control satiates theocrats, while corporatists run everything else. And they all want it run brutally. Until the only thing left for us is the desperate hope that God will save us in the next life… as long as we subscribe to certain behaviors in this one. What a fucking set up.

Their strategy was beautifully simple…  Howard Dean’s state-by-state idea emulates it now. The theocrats filled seats on school boards, township committees, and state houses. They got their infrastructure in place FIRST. Not quiet or like they were hiding anything. Because the brains of the operation had us… yeah, you and me… all figured out. We’d be dismissive, ignorant, and just too damned consumed by our own small perspectives to worry about whether the Ten Commandments hung in a federal courthouse or if creches really belonged on municipal property. The Ralph Reeds knew we didn’t take them seriously. Further, we arrogantly thought they were ridiculous. Oh… and they could never take over… those things don’t happen here.

For evangelicals, a bid to reclaim America

“We have God-sized problems in our country, and only God can solve them,” Richard Land, a prominent leader of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), told the group. Their mission is not simply to save souls. The goal is to mobilize evangelical Christians for political action to return society to what they call “the biblical worldview of the Founding Fathers.” Some speak of “restoring a Christian nation.” Others shy from that phrase, but agree that the Bible calls them not only to evangelize, but also to transform the culture.

Theocratic strategists knew our politicians were terrified to wade into Constitutional debates over separation of church and state. In fact, Democrats and Republicans alike pandered to the zealots among us. Yup, those very same theocratic groups who work hard at restoring America thusly…

Anti-evolution teachings gain foothold in U.S. schools

Janet Gastil, a 13-year incumbent with a safe seat… in San Diego County, did not even realize she was facing serious opposition in the 1990 election until she woke up on the morning after the vote. She had been defeated by an obscure Christian candidate who had avoided public appearances and had instead promoted himself in church newsletters, leaflets and “in-pew” registration at churches.

Theocrats Target Military

Mikey Weinstein…has talked with hundreds of present and former cadets and staff at the academy, and has become convinced that the conflict is not between Christians and Jews, but between aggressively evangelical Christians and everybody else.

Preaching Politics from the Pulpit

… Pastor Russell Johnson… one of the most important figures in Ohio politics today… runs an organization that mobilizes so-called “patriot pastors”… to elect candidates who agree with conservative Christians on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

A Loss Of Faith

 

Now, here’s my problem. Because I get the theocrats. I get George Bush. What I don’t get are the Democrats. These guys were supposed to be on our side. Bill Clinton was the E age: energy, environment, elderly, education, ‘ealth care, ecology… these were people who said they wanted to end racism/sexism/ageism et al. These were supposed to be the good guys. btw, I recommend watching Kuo’s interview by Bill Maher.

So why didn’t the good guys grab onto David Kuo? I would have. In a heart beat.

Wouldn’t it have been a coup to work with Kuo, the former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives? Kuo wrote an incredibly important book, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, about the sacrilegious marriage of politics and Jesus and the unfulfilled promises of the Bush administration to fund its own faith-based initiative. Wouldn’t Kuo’s story have the potential power to neutralize support for BushCo, even if it didn’t garner votes for Dems?

Part of the problem, Kuo says, was indifference from “the base,” the religious right. He took 60 Minutes to a convention of evangelical groups – his old stomping ground – and walked around the display booths, looking for any reference to the poor. “You’ve got homosexuality in your kid’s school, and you’ve got human cloning, and partial birth abortion and divorce and stem cell,” Kuo remarked. “Not a mention of the poor.”

“This message that has been sent out to Christians for a long time now: that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda – as if this culture war is a war for God. And it’s not a war for God, it’s a war for politics. And that’s a huge difference,” says Kuo.

Kuo said that after four years, Bush’s promises remained unfulfilled. Unbelievably, the tax incentives for charitable giving were stripped at the last minute from the $1.6 trillion tax cut legislation to make room for the estate-tax repeal… legislation that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthiest among us and did nothing for the least among us. So you tell me, why didn’t the Democrats grab this guy and his story?  Even if the Democrats couldn’t convince the evangelicals to vote for them, they might have convinced them to stop supporting BushCo. But anyone who knows me already understands what I’m thinking… Democrats weren’t (and apparently still aren’t) interested in changing the power structure…


Here’s more on how those cwazy Theocwats have been restoring America…

Tennessee Evolution Statutes, 1925 & repeal

Kansas OKs Anti-Evolution Teaching Rule

Louisiana Parish Affirms Teaching Evolution’s Faults

Evolution/Creationism News

Fringe Evangelicals Distort US Military Policy

Marching as to War

Evangelicals Are a Growing Force in the Military Chaplain Corps

Religious right groups are raking in the cash

In the now-here’s-a-good-idea department…

Stephen Prothero, Chairman, Department of Religion, Boston University, asks… “How can we engage a politician who is rightly or wrongly invoking the Bible or using religion for political purposes without knowing something about religion ourselves, as citizens, journalists and academics? Prothero thinks the impact of religious illiteracy on foreign policy is even more significant: Did we understand Iraq as a place where people are, in many cases, primarily motivated by religion?”

And in the this-guy’s-a-hero department……

Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock

The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute “voters’ guides” that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn’t the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?

After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

In his six sermons, Mr. Boyd laid out a broad argument that the role of Christians was not to seek “power over” others – by controlling governments, passing legislation or fighting wars. Christians should instead seek to have “power under” others – “winning people’s hearts” by sacrificing for those in need, as Jesus did, Mr. Boyd said.

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    • pfiore8 on March 9, 2008 at 5:04 am
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    i’m xposted at orange  

    • C Barr on March 9, 2008 at 6:57 am
  1. and i would, too, if i werent still considering going back to my preschool teaching job.  cant have any ‘morals’ charges and still work with children….

    p.s….im not even sure jesus knows that america exists 😉

  2. filthy sex!

    Just kidding… this is hot shit girl… your brain has been churning nicely.

    • TMC on March 9, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I remember this interview. I was rather impressed with Kuo’s assessment about the Christian Right in this country. I plan on checking his other videos and I may even buy his book.

  3. use subterfuge and deceit to gain power over others?

    According to their Bible, the Serpent in the Garden of Eden used the same tactics.

    Their monumental hypocrisy is only one of the multitude of reasons why I have such seething contempt for evangelicals.

    BTW, good filthy sex reference!

    But pfiore, why no sports reference?

    That’s not fair to those of us who love sports almost as much as we love sex.

    • DWG on March 9, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Tipped and rec’d you here and big orange.  It is nice to see something over there that is not the primary pissing contest.

  4. You take a bunch of people.  

    Stick them in a rural area.  

    Educate them to the level of twelve year olds.  

    With not much to do after a day on the farm they sit in front of a TV.  The TV syncronizes the brainwaves to a lower state and broadcasts sex or violence memes every thirty seconds.

  5. http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/404/

    • Edger on March 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    ‘We Could Control This Country’: 33 Extreme Reasons to Give Bush the Boot

       Of course, there are plenty more extremist groups out there, with plenty of clout. And in addition to sharing an incestuous relationship (Famed Reconstructionist Dr. George Grant, for example, is affiliated with Coral Ridge Ministries, which is run by former National Council for Policy member D. James Kennedy, who sat on the board of directors of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, which was also organized by Tim LaHaye), they seem to be driven by a single-minded determinism. “There are forty million people who claim to have been converted. If every one of those would simply win one other person to Christ, we could control this country,” televangelist Kennedy once said.

       On the other hand, America is still the home of great thinkers who would surely fight back. “Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler,” Kurt Vonnegut recently wrote, proving that not everyone grasps the compassion of these conservatives.

       And that’s the thing. These folks are not promoting the promise of America at her best, but are instead advocating the ills the Founders tried to protect against. They are striving to remake American in their stark revisionist image, and in doing so, are aiming for what America could become, at her worst.

    Why is Iran so scary? Because they are a competing theocracy, probably.

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    • Edger on March 9, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    “The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
    — Hunter S. Thompson

    Kill or Convert, Brought To You By The Pentagon

    Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest member of the famous Baldwin brothers, is no longer playing Pauly Shore’s sidekick in comedy masterpieces like Biodome. He has a much more serious calling these days.

    Baldwin became a right-wing, born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks, and now is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official arm of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a “Military Crusade in Iraq” in the near future.

    “We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region,” OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. “We’ll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq.”

    The Defense Department’s Chaplain’s Office, which oversees OSU’s activities, has not responded to calls seeking comment.

    “The constitution has been assaulted and brutalized,” Mikey Weinstein, former Reagan Administration White House counsel, ex-Air Force judge advocate (JAG), and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me. “Thanks to the influence of extreme Christian fundamentalism, the wall separating church and state is nothing but smoke and debris. And OSU is the IED that exploded the wall separating church and state in the Pentagon and throughout our military.” Weinstein continued: “The fact that they would even consider taking their crusade to a Muslim country shows the threat to our national security and to the constitution and everyone that loves it.”

    The Left Behind videogame is a real-time strategy game that makes players commanders of a virtual evangelical army in a post-apocalyptic landscape that looks strikingly like New York City after 9/11. With tanks, helicopters and a fearsome arsenal of automatic weapons at their disposal, Left Behind players wage a violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers who, according to LaHaye’s interpretation of Revelation, represent the armies of the Antichrist. Each time a Left Behind player kills a UN soldier, their virtual character exclaims, “Praise the Lord!” To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture. They also have the option of reversing roles and commanding the forces of the Antichrist.

  6. Are we to infer that sex among Democrats is filthy, but sex among Republicans (although quite rare) is just fine?  😉

    I have to plead guilty to underestimating the political impact of the religious right.  Their level of organization is undoubtedly effective.  For example, look how many local school board elections they win by opposing the teaching of evolution.  The Democratic opponent loses too many times thinking their constituents will laugh the anti-evolution candidate off the ballot.  But the religious right’s GOTV efforts then win the election.  Laughing at the opponent is rarely a good political strategy.

    As Americans we should be humiliated by the strength of the anti-evolution movement here, and need to take it much more seriously as a political issue.  I don’t have any kids in school and therefore didn’t pay much attention to school board elections.  I was wrong to do so.  

  7. the greatest difference between Europe and America – as I see it

    In Europe sex is good – violence is horrible

    You can show sex in movies — but please no violence

    In America violence is good and sex is horrible!!

    You can show as much violence as you want in movies – but God forbid, – no sex.

    • Edger on March 10, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.

    — Butch Hancock

    Buck Fush….

    • Edger on March 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Sex with someone who thinks that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth would be the most awful, filthy thing on earth. I imagine it’s like burning in hell.

    No wonder they’re so angry all the time, if that’s where praying gets them.

  8. on both sites. Separation of Church and state, was supposed to not allow this unholy alliance. Then again both sides have no interest keeping the basic laws, structure of our government in place, as they both work for the same entities, and it’s not us the people or the laws, both secular and Christian. It always seemed to me through out this nightmare that the Democrat’s had no interest in increasing there base or listening to the one they had. Bill Mayer once asked ‘Why don’t the Democrat’s fish in their own pond, instead of trying to get the same fish as the Republicans?’.

    This election is sadly making it pretty clear that they prefer to use the same issues, fear, chest thumping and business is good, to promote the same corporate feudalism. Hard to do when the obvious results of unfettered capitalism  run amok is staring everyone in the face here and globally. I still have trouble turning the other cheek as far as the reformed? religious wingnuts who call themselves conservative goes, especially when they complain about how Bush let them down.

    Both parties love them as they are by their nature prone to have blind faith and are at heart not believers in the separation of their God’s law and those of a decent society. Strangely I find those that pester me to be a Good Democrat,sign loyalty pledge work or for the good of the heirachy of party remind me of the religious nuts who come to my door singing songs of Jesus and hate. No matter which party one votes for ‘faith’ be it political or religious the worst and stupidest reason to ‘unite’ with either party or candidate.

             

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