Massive Evangelical movement spearheaded by right wing activist pastors to affect the 2012 election. There's 'a growing movement of evangelical pastors who are jumping into the electoral fray as never before, preaching political engagement from the pulpit as they mobilize for the 2012 election. This new activism has substantial muscle behind it: a cadre of experienced Christian organizers and some of the conservative movement's most generous donors, who are setting up technologically sophisticated operations to reach pastors and their congregations in battleground states.''"The Christian activist right is the largest, best-organized and, I believe, the most powerful force in American politics today," said Rob Stein, a Democratic strategist who recently provided briefings on the constituency to wealthy donors on the left. "No other political group comes even close."' [more inside]
Albemarle County, Virginia: Pagans have been granted permission to advertise religious events in public schools... thanks to Jerry Falwell!
In July, Georgia federal judge William C. O’Kelley ordered Barrow County to remove a Ten Commandments plaque from its courthouse. The suit was filed by ACLU Georgia, which not only succeeded in getting the plaque removed, but also recovered $150,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. Ten Commandments-Georgia pledged to reimburse the county for its legal expenses. In order for the group to raise the last $52,000 it needs to meet that pledge, it has put the actual Ten Commandments plaque that was removed from the courthouse under the order of the court up for auction on eBay.
Shock and Disbelief: For parents new to the area it comes as a surprise to discover that in 20 locations around West Virginia, public school students are sent to Bible classes in nearby churches.
Mainstream Baptists is an organization which is very concerned about the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) by right-wing fundamentalists. The site includes a daily blog. One post-election entry: "SBC Hardwiring to GOP....There was a day when Baptist preachers and lay people would have been alarmed by and indignant about this egregious violation of the Baptist principle of separation of church and state. Today Southern Baptists are so cowed by and subservient to their denominational overlords that it will hardly raise an eyebrow."
The Jesus Landing Pad "It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists..."
Invitation? What Invitation? Howard Dean says Jimmy Carter asked him to church in Georgia. Carter doesn't think so. Why is Dean so worried about his lead in the last days of the Iowa Caucuse that he needs to lie?
Faith-Based National Parks? The National Park Service has recently approved the display of three bronze plaques bearing biblical verses at the Grand Canyon, as well as the sale of a creationist book on the canyon's origins (here's a review of the book by a professor of geology,) while at the same time blocking park rangers from publishing a scientific rebuttal to creationism. The NPS also wants to remove images of gay rights, pro-choice and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations from a videotape shown at the Lincoln Memorial, though they may be relenting.
House Resolution 153 recognizes the need for the American public to pray and fast in order to secure the blessings of "Providence" (read: Jesus) for our Armed Forces. Seriously. "Resolved that the President should issue a proclamation designating a day for prayer & fasting for all people of the United States". I take back the thing I said earlier about the Freedom Fries being the stupidest Congressional legislation I'd ever seen.
School district memo says seasonal festivities should not be labelled Christmas Merry annual winter celebration of the birth of a gender non-specific child who may or may not have existed in fact, whose mother was reputedly a virgin at the time of his or her birth and whose presumed father was widely regarded as one of many possible deities. And Happy New Year.
When patriotism wasn't religious (nytimes) Last night in front of the Texas Capitol in Austin, the 9/11 memorial vigil featured singing of The Lord's Prayer; a Baptist reverend who talked mostly of caution against the "Islamic government of Sudan" and "Islamic mobs" who attacked Christians and Jews in Pakistan; and a Catholic bishop who addressed "our God" over 100 times. Am I wrong to think this amount of religiosity was inappropriate in front of a mixed public crowd at the statehouse? How can we be free when church and state are so intertwined?
Knock Down That Wall! The wall that keeps the church and state separated, not the one in Berlin. "Two bills currently being debated in the U. S. Congress would allow churches to spend their funds on political campaigns and to endorse political candidates. H.R. 2357, sponsored by Representative Walter Jones (R-N.C.), would remove a longstanding rule that banned churches from using tax-exempt revenue to fund political campaigns."
HR-2357. "The U.S.A. prides itself as being one of the most pluralistic societies on earth, with a stunning variety of houses of worship in many communities. But the right to engage in civic activities, and especially to engage in political speech, is severely curtailed among many faith groups because of the perception that the house of worship will lose its charitable status if 'politics' is discussed." That may be about to change...
"We wish to dissent against the using of the Capitol rotunda and other governmental buildings for prayer meetings that focus on Christian or monotheistic ceremonies." Comments?
July 17th - The Day That Counts. These people have a plan to make their feelings known on the issue of public money being diverted to religious organizations. I had no idea that the atheists were so organized! Is this sort of thing a tremendous waste of time, or do you think it can, or will affect policy discussions?
Is it me, or does this smack of hypocrisy? I mean, on our money are the words "In God We Trust." And when about to give testimony in court, we swear on the bible. I think some judges need to get their heads out of their a$$es.