How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook - "The triumph of evangelical Christianity is profoundly reshaping many aspects of American politics and society... This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to 'plant' 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. 'We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers', says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board... Many of today's evangelicals hope to expand their clout even further. They're also gaining by taking their views into Corporate America. Exhibit A: the recent clash at software giant Microsoft
posted by kliuless
on May 15, 2005 -
Spengler of the Asia Times.
Right-headed, wrong-headed, at times off-headed, but always interesting. You can spend a lot of time wading through the archives. The fellow, anonymous for whatever reason, has written on US/China trade
, Ratzinger as a dark age theologian
, the American empire
, how Europe might be re-Christianized
, US vs Islam
, religion vs philosphy
, Tolkien vs Wagner
, internet stocks
, and anti-semitism
. A bit of something for everyone.
Also runs a lively little forum
posted by IndigoJones
on May 14, 2005 -
The Uses of Canaries--and what canaries need to do
--...Why go to all that trouble when we have reduced the homosexual, himself, to nothing more than a body part? Remove the homo -- he's just a diseased body part, after all -- and the problem is solved.
Of course there will always be those so pathologically sex-panicked that they have to rely on their Think Pieces to get their pornography fix. Not worth worrying about, generally. But when United States Senators start in with the Depravity Fillip, and the DF starts showing up in the campaign literature of various groups... well, you want to keep your eye on that sort of thing. You maybe want to start thinking about that famous canary in the mine-shaft. ...
posted by amberglow
on May 9, 2005 -
Smell The Brimstone
--Have you ever asked yourself, "Self, what if the folks at JibJab made another political cartoon, but before doing so were to remove their souls, morals, intellect, decency, and common sense?"
--Good as You's review
of this little flash piece, from the GodHatesFags crew (Phelps). I think it's so poorly done and insane, it's actually funny, but NSFW and offensive.
posted by amberglow
on May 7, 2005 -
Al Gore calls it like he sees it
- It is no accident that this assault on the integrity of our constitutional design has been fueled by a small group claiming special knowledge of God's will in American politics. They even claim that those of us who disagree with their point of view are waging war against "people of faith." How dare they?
posted by beth
on Apr 28, 2005 -
The "Constitution Restoration Act".
`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'
article claims that this bill is almost certain to pass, and that if it does that no
Federal court or judge will have jurisdiction over any Federal, State, or
local government entity or official who claims God's law.
Are these claims true? Why isn't there a fuss
posted by lupus_yonderboy
on Apr 8, 2005 -
A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates
The sociologist Peter Berger once remarked that if India is the most religious country in the world and Sweden the least, then the United States is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. Not anymore. With a Jesus lover in the Oval Office and a faith-based party in control of both houses of Congress, the United States is undeniably a nation of believers ruled by the same.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 19, 2005 -
Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms
Nearly one in two Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict civil liberties for Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide Cornell University poll on terrorism fears.
The survey also found respondents who identified themselves as highly religious supported restrictions on Muslim-Americans more strongly than those less religious.
Curtailing civil liberties for Muslim-Americans also was supported more by Republicans than Democrats, the survey found. The amount of attention paid to TV news also had a bearing on how strongly a respondent favored restrictions
posted by Postroad
on Dec 18, 2004 -
Born-again liberal Christians.
Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast
, buddy. Many scholars
think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State
's Marcus J Borg
, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God
, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people.
It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition
that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language
. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities
There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event
but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence
among them, after his execution
. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'.
Just don't be afraid
to ask questions
. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 19, 2004 -
Breeders are winning
. "Conservative, religiously minded Americans are putting far more of their genes into the future than their liberal, secular counterparts." (WaPo link, bugmenot
says try email@example.com and
fedup if you don't care to register. Definition of genetic fitness here
posted by jfuller
on Sep 6, 2004 -
, the new novel by Brooklyn-based Contemporary Press
, just got denied
a reprinting by St. Louis-based Plus Communications
. Although they printed the first edition less than one month ago, the publisher says that their religious clients would be upset by the book's 'language' and have refused to reprint it.
I guess that is in the same spirit as Rev. Breedlove's attempt to rekindle
the tradition of book burning earlier this month.
posted by Miyagi
on Jul 28, 2004 -
"How do we nurture the healing side of religion over the killing side? How do we protect the soul of democracy against bad theology in service of an imperial state?
OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out. And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, 'The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.' The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don't work, and punitive public policies."
Bill Moyers on democracy excruciate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Jul 15, 2004 -
A View from the Eye of the Storm.
An Arab intellectual in Europe ponders on the Muslim world and comes to some interesting conclusions. Israel is a sideshow. Iran is the most dangerous country in the world.. in the long run the only way for us (the West) to win the war of terror is to force the problem nations to reform both politically and culturally.via Steven Den Beste weblog
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 25, 2004 -
Have You Prayed Today?*
Today is the National Day of Prayer in the US (I had never heard of it). Oliver North!?! is the honorary chairman
this year. Here are the President's remarks
today. Meanwhile, Larry Flynt is calling for a different sort of prayer today.
*Muslims and Mormons need not apply.
"We're in an election year, and we believe God cares who's in those positions of authority," said Mark Fried, spokesman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. "But we're not endorsing a candidate, just praying that God's hand will be on the election."
The private task force, which operates from the Colorado headquarters of the Christian organization Focus on the Family ....
... since the mid-1980s the ceremony has been organized by the nonprofit task force headed by two prominent evangelical women: Vonette Bright, widow of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
She also made no apologies about the task force's exclusion of Muslims and others outside of the "Judeo-Christian tradition" from ceremonies planned by the task force on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. "They are free to have their own national day of prayer if they want to," she said. "We are a Christian task force."
posted by amberglow
on May 6, 2004 -
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus
on Mar 24, 2004 -
Freedom from annoyance vs. freedom of religious expression
A municipal bylaw restricting when Jehovah's Witnesses can go door-to-door protects residents' right to privacy and does not violate the group's right to religious freedom and expression, a lawyer argued Tuesday.
The City of Blainville, which believes many of its residents don't want Jehovah's Witnesses at their door on weekends and in the evening, is appealing a lower-court ruling that declared its bylaw unconstitutional. But the three justices cautioned Mr. Paquin that it's dangerous to distinguish between someone's right to religious freedom and their right to express their religious beliefs.
posted by orange swan
on Jun 17, 2003 -
US quietly eases rules for faith-based groups.
The Bush administration has quietly altered regulations for the nation's leading job training program to allow faith-based organizations to use ''sacred literature,'' such as Bibles, in their federally funded programs. Further, the change made by the US Labor Department last month, could allow faith-based groups to use religious books as historical texts. (via dp)
posted by four panels
on May 9, 2003 -
The New Chosen.
After reading about six Congressmen living in unbelievably cheap housing
owned by a religious organization called "The Fellowship Foundation" (or "The Fellowship" or "The Foundation") (via Fark
), I became curious about the group. They sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast, but they'd rather you didn't know that - they go to great pains to give the impression that it's an official government function. (President Bush's remarks from 2002
, and Rev. Rob Schenck's take
on missing the same breakfast.) In March, Harper's Magazine
ran Jeffrey Sharlet's first-person account on being a Fellowship neonate
, in which he describes the group's organizational structure (which takes its clues from terrorists, Hitler, and the Mafia). In 2002 the Los Angeles Times
published an examination of the Foundation's political activities
(hosted at toobeautiful.org
, which recounts an interesting episode in which three Congressmen, all Fellowship members, take the opportunity to proselytize to a foreign head of state while on official government business. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids
on Apr 22, 2003 -
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.
posted by jonson
on Mar 27, 2003 -
390,000 Jedi in Britain
In a recent census 390,000 U.K. residents declared their faith in the Star Wars religion following an e-mail campaign that claimed 10,000 declared Jedites would make Jedi a 'legal and official religion.' So what happens now? Who will build the first Jedi church? (I reckon this says more about British attitutudes to form filling than attitutudes to religion).
posted by rolo
on Feb 13, 2003 -
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?
posted by skyboy
on Sep 12, 2002 -
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."
posted by nofundy
on Jul 11, 2002 -
Managing Fundie Eruptions.
A short course on how Karl Rove manages the fundamentalists who so often disrupt the regime's plans. He gives them what they want, but secretly, kinda like fundie sex.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 3, 2002 -
Among the 'American Taliban' in Smalltown, USA.
"I discovered that Taliban-style attitudes are not restricted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They exist tenaciously in American towns like this one. Sometimes tolerance prevails in small towns; other times the dark fears and hatreds of the "American Taliban" -- vicious fundamentalists -- are resurgent."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Mar 29, 2002 -
Troll of trolls
In this one tiny piece in Modern Healthcare
hot button issues are pressed all over the place: abortion, public funds ($40 billion) for religious doctrine, contraception, patients rights, etc. etc. Of course none of this would be an issue if poor unwed mothers would take West Virginia up on their offer of $100 to just get married
. Flame away...
posted by victors
on Jan 25, 2002 -