"Non-Christians would not be forced to become Christians, but they would have to obey laws that came from the Bible".
December 4, 2001 1:01 AM   Subscribe

"Non-Christians would not be forced to become Christians, but they would have to obey laws that came from the Bible". Bush would like to nominate J. Robert Brame as Chairman of the NLRB. Until recently, Brame was on the board of a religious extremist group with a stated goal of turning the United States into a theocracy.
posted by Doug (66 comments total)

 
I can hear it now...

"Y'all wanna unionize, do ye? Let us pray..."
posted by Bixby23 at 1:49 AM on December 4, 2001


Damn, no more lobster during visits to the US.
posted by rory at 2:11 AM on December 4, 2001


I simply cannot believe President George W. Bush would nominate such an individual.
posted by mmarcos at 2:54 AM on December 4, 2001


Yeah, rory, and apparently pelican tartar is off the list too. Dang.

That's one amazing link, rory! The Leviticus 11 site also includes this page (includes cheesy MIDI soundtrack), which is about a potentially hilarious book called either "Sex, Money and Power: The Bible Show You How" or "Sex, Money and Power: The Bibile Shows You How," depending on whether you believe the link text or the page title. In this book, according to the Web page, you can learn the following little-known Bible facts: "Almost half of the Book of Exodus describes how to construct a self-propelled flying vehicle" and "The garden of Eden was a hollow, artificial planet and is what we now call the planet Venus." Who knew?

Yeah, I'm off topic (let's hope), but this stuff is fascinating nonetheless.
posted by diddlegnome at 2:57 AM on December 4, 2001


Noah’s Flood took place on Mars. Noah’s ark was an interplanetary aircraft.

You're right, diddlegnome, this is comedy gold! Praise be to Google!
posted by rory at 3:44 AM on December 4, 2001


Now that is some scary stuff. The fact that people still think like this just frightens me. To say women should not sit in judgement over men, and that homosexuals should be executed; talk about your extremist views. And their interpretation of the first amendment is not only deplorable, but simply unpatriotic.
posted by benjh at 4:17 AM on December 4, 2001


More relevant than his religious beliefs are positions taken by Robert J. Brame during his three years as an NLRB board member.

"As a Board member Brame found discriminatory standards for distributing literature to be valid. He wrote, 'an employer has the right to engage in … distribution activities and maintain at the same time a valid no-solicitation/no-distribution rule. I disagree that such discrimination amounts either to objectionable conduct or unfair labor practice conduct.' (Beverly Enterprises-Hawaii d/b/a Hale Nani, 326 NLRB No. 37) He found employer interrogation of nurses involved in a union drive to be 'non-coercive.' Following the firing of two union supporters the employer told a nurse she had to ‘choose sides’. Brame wrote 'workers can only be the beneficiaries of such an exchange.' (Westwood Health Care Center, 330 NLRB No. 141)"
posted by Carol Anne at 4:54 AM on December 4, 2001


haha

I like that the group opposing him or whatever is Americans united for separation of church and state..

Or maybe its just to early in the morning.
posted by delmoi at 5:31 AM on December 4, 2001


Which is funnier? "Sidebar: The Much Maligned Maggot" or "Desiccated Liver and Me"? (from leviticus11)
posted by rodii at 5:56 AM on December 4, 2001


It's gotta be the liver. And more Leviticus fun:

Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.

Brame-grilled locust, anyone?
posted by rory at 6:12 AM on December 4, 2001


Will someone please insert a Taliban reference now?
posted by Mocata at 6:17 AM on December 4, 2001


rory: "comedy gold"? Are SomethingAwful catchphrases now becoming part of the general lexicon?
posted by Potsy at 6:19 AM on December 4, 2001


rory:

I assume you know better, but for the record: Christianity does not prohibit lobster or other "unclean" meat.
posted by gd779 at 6:20 AM on December 4, 2001


whoops, I didn't include the full passage there. correct link.
posted by gd779 at 6:22 AM on December 4, 2001


Well, some sorts of Christianity, gd779: 'These Christians have completely missed the point of these texts and have also ignored vital prophecies in Isaiah where the Most High categorically states that on the Day of Judgement He is going to destroy eaters of unclean meats - the mouse and the swine.'

Glad I haven't eaten mouse lately!
posted by rory at 6:42 AM on December 4, 2001


Are SomethingAwful catchphrases now becoming part of the general lexicon?

'Comedy gold' was a catchphrase long before SA.

And back to the Most High and his changing dietary injunctions: you gotta love the way even biblical laws come with a Service Pack. ('Just ironing out the bugs - which, by the way, even these ye may eat.')
posted by rory at 6:48 AM on December 4, 2001


Military tribunals, FBI raids on college students' apartments that contain "questionable" posters, and now our president, whose legitimate election into office is still questioned, wants to appoint a man who advocates executing homosexuals to a high government office?

Would it be a fair parallel to say this statement: "Non-Christians would not be forced to become Christians, but they would have to obey laws that came from the Bible" is akin to something like "You don't have to be a Muslim but you women can't work outside the home, must wear burkas, and everybody has to pray five times a day as stated in the Koran"?

My fears are slightly assuaged by this:

"Once members of the Senate get a look at Brame's record, his chances for confirmation will quickly evaporate," Lynn added. "Brame's ties to radical groups are indefensible."

but not too much since I never would have imagined the homeland security stuff would fly either. Somebody tell me why I don't need to worry about this, so I can joke about eating mice, too.
posted by jennyb at 6:51 AM on December 4, 2001


Paging Margaret Atwood; white courtesy telephone, please...
posted by alumshubby at 7:02 AM on December 4, 2001


jennyb:
"Once members of the Senate get a look at Brame's record, his chances for confirmation will quickly evaporate," Lynn added.

That's what many of us thought about John Ashcroft, too. I don't have a lot of faith in those who currently stroll through the halls of power.
posted by mapalm at 7:03 AM on December 4, 2001


Okay, being serious - but beneath all that fooling I was also making the serious point that anyone who looks to the Bible as a one-stop-legal-shop for the 21st century deserves to be mocked - the NLRB doesn't have a wide-enough remit to enact all of the 'biblical laws' that Brame may or may not wish to see enacted. Plus he'll only be one member of that board; he's hardly about to gain the presidential power to turn the US into a theocratic state. Yes, his presence would be worrying, but in the grand scheme of things not too worrying (relative to the many other things there are to worry about these days). So, heard any good mouse-eating jokes lately?
posted by rory at 7:05 AM on December 4, 2001


"We've been told that Christians cannot impose their religious beliefs on others. Since heaven is at stake, we have no choice. There is no hope outside of Jesus Christ."

Come Mr. Taliban, tally me banana...
posted by o2b at 7:09 AM on December 4, 2001


I just wanna open my eyes and have this whole year be a bad dream, like that season of "Dallas" without Bobby.
posted by briank at 7:14 AM on December 4, 2001


Look. I eat my mother's fried pork chops. Every chance I get. Haven't been struck by lightning yet.

Seriously, anybody going on and on about these dietary laws is misinterpreting the whole of Scripture....

Yes, you will find pockets of people here and there who are into not eating pork, etc. but the majority of Christians believe that Jesus stated that all foods are now clean.
If you want more detail email me, otherwise just take my word for it.
posted by bunnyfire at 7:17 AM on December 4, 2001


Also, one of the most important disciples of the Bible, Paul, agreed with being able to eat any food and not having to abide by the strict diatary laws of Jewish tradition (in oposition to i think it was Peter). Obviously, Paul's point of view won.
Also think that if people are THAT concerned about the food they're eating, they missed the whole point of the Gospals. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not doing things for the true meaning (being closer to God) and rather follow laws just to be show off. Yea, this is a tangent of the main thread, so off to class
posted by jmd82 at 7:28 AM on December 4, 2001


anybody going on and on about these dietary laws is misinterpreting the whole of Scripture....

Well, that's the kosher meats industry gone, then. Wonder what the NLRB will have to say about that.

So, just to confirm: a man with a particular interpretation of Christianity that may or may not accord with the majority interpretation of Christianity (but does accord with at least a minority view, albeit possibly a minority of one) wishes to impose his notion of 'biblical law' on the American people, the majority of whom almost certainly disagree with his particular interpretation of Christianity.

But, on the plus side, Jesus says we can now eat mice. ;)
posted by rory at 7:30 AM on December 4, 2001


"Reportedly Considering" is not exactly an alarm bell for me; actually, it sounds like the sort of hyped-up troll bait that you'd usually find on "The 700 Club". Strange to see it being used on the other side of the fence.
posted by Perigee at 7:37 AM on December 4, 2001


and all the cats said, "AMEN!"
posted by bunnyfire at 7:38 AM on December 4, 2001


the majority of Christians believe that Jesus stated that all foods are now clean

is that where the 5-second rule came from? (you know the one that says if a cookie falls on the floor and you pick up in under 5 secs it's still OK to eat.)
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:08 AM on December 4, 2001


"God above all, man joyfully under God, woman lovingly under man, and the animals at bottom."

^From such a conservative group, this kind of kinky sex talk is quite unexpected.^
posted by daveadams at 8:53 AM on December 4, 2001


From Bush's "Vision" on Labor by Lindsay Sobel: "Brame serves on the board of the reconstructionist organization America's Vision -- a group headed by a man who has advocated the death penalty for abortion doctors and killing of gays and lesbians. America's Vision also informs Brame's views on labor law. According to 'In These Times,' reconstructionists believe that labor unions, civil rights laws, and even public schools should be abolished."

If Robert Brame thinks labor unions (and civil rights laws) should be abolished, he should not become chair of the National Labor Relations Board.
posted by Carol Anne at 8:57 AM on December 4, 2001


Well, we're discussing Jesus and food, so I may as well add this (as seen in MeFi's greatest hits): Jesus was a Vegetarian.
posted by ahughey at 9:04 AM on December 4, 2001


One religious person or group trying to impose a certain skewed version of his faith's law...that's a Taliban reference in itself.

My interpretation on the meat thing: The Jews were given the law to A. set themselves apart from the rest of the world and B. to become closer to God through sacrifice and civilization. Christians also must set themselves apart, not by eating different things or not eating at all, but through their faith.

No one's getting to Heaven by not eating mice. And it is not the way of Christians to force others to take their views.
posted by schlaager at 9:19 AM on December 4, 2001


you would think that Gail Norton, given her involvement in the Sagebrush Rebellion (reborn as the "Wise Use" Movement) would have prevented her from gaining a position purportedly to protect our natural habitats and lands, also. sadly not. i'm worried about Brame.
posted by moz at 9:27 AM on December 4, 2001


IHBT. Thanks, rory.
posted by gd779 at 9:30 AM on December 4, 2001


it is not the way of Christians to force others to take their views

heh.
posted by tolkhan at 9:35 AM on December 4, 2001


REAL christians. Pharisees don't count.
posted by bunnyfire at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2001


real christians were pharisees; it's just that some pharisees disagreed with others (those that became christians believed resurrection required a cult hero, namely jesus christ; those that remained jews did not.)
posted by moz at 9:57 AM on December 4, 2001


aw, pleazzzze, somebody at least read the N.T. before telling me what a Pharisee is.......
posted by bunnyfire at 10:05 AM on December 4, 2001


I dunno, a theocracy doesn't sound so bad. I think the worst part about it though is that I wouldn't be able to kiss the devil anymore because that kind of stygian erotic behavior would no doubt be prohibited in favor of more conservative, human-to-human make out sessions.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2001


REAL christians

doesn't that vary, depending on the sect to which you belong?
posted by tolkhan at 10:15 AM on December 4, 2001


bunnyfire:

i have. what i wrote above was information i'd researched for a paper in a class called "theology of faith" when i was in college (specifically, the paper addressed the -- it turns out, many -- similarities between christianity and Greek mystery cults. just think back to the myth about persephone being kidnapped by hades). i feel that i'm qualified enough to speak about it.
posted by moz at 10:21 AM on December 4, 2001


As a former Texan and an ex-Roman Catholic, boy, does it ever. I'll never forget the time in my suburban Dallas high school that the cute drum majorette I wanted to date quizzed me about my church activities and informed me I was going to hell like all the other Papist swine. Whoops, date's off.
posted by alumshubby at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2001


Turning the irony meter up to 11, from the American Vision web site: To Pledge Allegiance American history textbooks.

"American Vision proudly announces the To Pledge Allegiance history textbook series targeted for junior high and above. First previewed in the April, 1994, issue of Biblical Worldview, the original concept of To Pledge Allegiance has since been under steady development, feverous research, refinement, and production."

Get you copy now! Revisionist history no longer just for liberals!!
posted by edlark at 10:32 AM on December 4, 2001


JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS KILL KILL KILL. Back in my role-playing days, I knew this one kid whose character, regardless of species, class, undeadness, etc., would ALWAYS turn out to be some sort of church knight killing in the name of Jebus. What is it about Jesus that turns people into utter fucking morons?

Back on track, this guy's a maniac and should be locked away, not given a cush government job. The fact that Bush is trying to slip this guy in under the radar is proof that Dubya's a dim dull evil little cretin whose blood is the unholy oil of oblivion. I second that emotion about having a "do-over" on the year 2001.
posted by solistrato at 10:37 AM on December 4, 2001


Yes but Pharisees, were not Christians. They were Hellenized Jews (Hellenic Jews?).

That's the point.
posted by Dagobert at 10:39 AM on December 4, 2001


Or were the Saducees the Hellenic ones?
posted by Dagobert at 10:39 AM on December 4, 2001


It would be incredibly fun to have the US be a theocracy. Then, instead of the usual partisan bickering we get now, we would enjoy Senate Theological Debates! Every election would see a new flavor of xianity come to power. See the twist-and-shake-and-charm-the-snake senators dislocate their extremities trying to out-shimmy each other! Watch the C-Span coverage of the Special Committee to Determine if the Sacrament is Metaphorical or Literal. See the textbook publishers make vast fortunes from having to issue new "correct" versions of their texts every time their state legislatures switch dogmas!

Seriously though - maybe we need to do the theocracy thing briefly just so people can see how really idiotic it is. What so many don't realize is that the separation of church and state works both ways - not only is the government secular, but the churches are free from government influence. Hate what the government does to your community/town/school/etc? Just wait till they mess with your favorite religion!

Just imagine the Seal of the President being changed to have the eagle perched on a cross. That should be a scary image to anyone of any faith.
posted by yesster at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2001


dagobert:

i suppose i'm just arguing over semantics, really. christians were once pharisees according to bunnyfire's and your concepts, and while you two are basically saying that these people are suddenly different now, i'm saying that they're still basically pharisees that happen to disagree with other pharisees about what it requires to be resurrected (a cult hero that justifies resurrection, aka jesus, or not?). at the time that jesus supposedly roamed the earth, there really was very little difference between christians and pharisees by your terms besides this snag about resurrection. more differences arose as christianity became further and further gentile than simply accepting a cult hero for a religion.

saducees were jews that did not accept resurrection at all (mainly the priesthood of the jewish religion, to memory).
posted by moz at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2001


moz,

some later Christians were originally Pharisees. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea and Paul were three. that much is indisputable. after that, it depends on your definition.

the New Testament, and Jesus in it, define 'Christian' much differently form you, let's say as 'people who trust that Jesus was God in a way that changes their life'. it's oversimplified, but maybe it will work for our purposes.

on this definition, some Pharisees chose the Christian path while most didn't.

calling them similar is pretty inconsistent with their own self-views. most Pharisees hated 'the Way', a la Saul (Paul preconversion), and tried even to kill them. Jesus railed against the Pharisees as missing God's entire intent in His work in His people Israel and in His communication in the Law and the Prophets (the Christian OT).

your definition comes from entirely different presuppositions. would it be fair to call them, undisparagingly, anthropological, humanist, and atheist? two different perspectives and certainly not, objectively, the same thing.

if we have anything approximating Jesus' words, He thought there was a very big difference between the spirit of those who would follow Him and most Pharisees. i think we do have a reasonable account of Jesus in the Gospels. if you don't, we're going to have a hard time agreeing on much about Him.

you're right in saying Saducees didn't believe in resurrection. they were, interestingly, more traditional in that regard. however, they were also less spiritual, and they were even more in bed with the Romans than the Pharisees.

the Pharisees did believe in resurrection and Jesus validated that belief in His teachings.

back to the thread: to my understanding theonomists like Brame are far from a reasonable, orthodox, classical Christian viewpoint. to wit, you don't find ideas like this in the early church. i hope we can all distinguish between different 'flavors' among those who call themselves Christians. sure makes it tough to figure out who's who. 'will the real Christians please stand up?'
posted by Sean Meade at 11:24 AM on December 4, 2001


yesster:

Yeah, I immediately flashed on the House Select Committee on Transsubstantiation...
posted by alumshubby at 12:11 PM on December 4, 2001


i hope we can all distinguish between different 'flavors' among those who call themselves Christians

I don't even distinguish among those who call themselves muslims, jews or christians. They are all the same bunch of genuflecting supreme-being asskissers. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:19 PM on December 4, 2001


Okay, go now and read Galatians, especially the part about emasculation.
posted by bunnyfire at 12:37 PM on December 4, 2001


Bravo Sean Meade.

Thanks for bringing a bit of clarity into this discussion.
posted by Danielle_T at 12:57 PM on December 4, 2001


mischief - exactly!

When the evidentiary rules are apparently the same for all the religions, and those evidentiary rules seem to rule in all and rule out none, then to an outsider there is no rational basis for choosing one over another.
posted by yesster at 1:15 PM on December 4, 2001


mischief: and to me a troll is a troll is a troll as well.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:35 PM on December 4, 2001


sean:

your definition comes from entirely different presuppositions. would it be fair to call them, undisparagingly, anthropological, humanist, and atheist? two different perspectives and certainly not, objectively, the same thing.

i suppose that any thought on humanity that is rigorous is also necessarily anthropological, as the term implies the study of humanity. while i am not certain of its humanistic origins (i did not study much of humanism in college), i strongly disagree that it is atheist; my sentiments are agnostic, that is, as objective as i could possibly make them. i did not express doubt of a higher power in any way; i simply did not address that issue.
posted by moz at 1:36 PM on December 4, 2001


moz: i assumed too much on the atheistic bent. sorry. i can see how agnosticism could also fit in this camp. will you please accept my humble apology?
posted by Sean Meade at 1:39 PM on December 4, 2001


I've started a MetaTalk discussion about this thread. Of course, moz and Sean chose that exact moment to go and get all respectful and intellectual on me, thus completely taking the wind out of my sails. Thanks, guys.
posted by gd779 at 1:41 PM on December 4, 2001


Previous post/discussion on Operation Potomac, which is a Reconstructionist venture.

Brame was on the board during the Clinton administration. I admit being more than a little nervous about the religious background of many in the Bush admin, but I think that this would be a nomination bent on undermining the power of the unions rather than executing homosexuals.
posted by kittyloop at 1:54 PM on December 4, 2001


sorry gd. was i being abusive earlier? i try to erase the snarks before i hit the post button, but sometimes i don't get them all; hey, we all have to vent.
posted by moz at 2:46 PM on December 4, 2001


Kittyloop, I agree. I mean, clearly the chairman of the NLRB wouldn't have the power to execute homosexuals, or force a theocracy. However, I'm sure there are tons of people as qualified as Brame, who would be just as conservative and pro-employer, that have not been on the board of an organization as anti-homosexual, anti-woman, and anti-democracy as American Vision. Yet this man is Bush's choice. Very telling, I think.
posted by Doug at 3:10 PM on December 4, 2001


sorry gd. was i being abusive earlier? i try to erase the snarks before i hit the post button, but sometimes i don't get them all; hey, we all have to vent.

Hey now, don't get all nice and respectful on me! Not only does it ruin my point, but you'll make me feel like a freakin' warm-and-fuzzy, love-not-war liberal for making that MeTa post, and then I'll have to go and take a bath.

Besides, your posts never crossed the line for me. They had substance to them, and that covers a multitude of sins in my book.

Congratulations, moz! Your posting now has the official gd779 seal of approval(tm). Carry on.
posted by gd779 at 4:27 PM on December 4, 2001


None of you atheists and flag-burners can deny it, it's a fact, I got written assurance from Satan himself:
I, the undersigned, verify that I am Satan, and that thousands of atheists and evil-doers affix their attentions upon me every day.

X___[signed, Satan]_____
posted by EngineBeak at 6:30 PM on December 4, 2001


Well said, Sean...

It's impossible to paint with too large a brush when discussing Christianity, as it has too many internal schisms to really have the homogeneity requisite for such gross generalizations.

As for Brame, well... let's just hope that he can comport himself in a way becoming a member of a pluralistic society.
posted by silusGROK at 2:59 PM on December 5, 2001


I surmise that true separation of church and state is not possible for Christians. At some point we are compelled to make a decision for the sake of our religious principles rather than do what's "best for the country". Some of these decisions could be in benefit of the local Christian churchs, as opposed to helping other "churches".

Oh bother.

When it all comes down, all this hate and all this ridicule of human behaviour will cease. Those who love Him will be given much, those who don't will die a horrible death.

And, yes, words like these will not be ridiculed.
posted by aaronshaf at 12:48 AM on December 7, 2001


Aaronshaf... huh?
posted by silusGROK at 8:35 AM on December 7, 2001


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