Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Idiocy of the Christian Right

SPaul note: At the end of the day, along with their cries of Patriotism and ever expanding definitions of National Security, the Christian Right and their Political allies from the Republican and Tea Parties are trying everything they can to control the American Political system and the minds of its citizens.

In the blindness incurred from this ethnocentric initiative, many of these self-termed Christians seem to forget one very important detail; Jesus was from the Middle East and very much, non-white. They have also conveniently forgotten that our Founding Fathers were endeavoring to escape prejudice and oppression. In their view, our present Patriot Act initiated negation of our Constitutional rights is an exercise to protect America from an invasion of a Global society but the reality is they are using God to promote their own version of oppression.

The United States has often been referred to as a Melting Pot. This name is an indication of not only our multi-racial, multi-cultural richness that has contributed greatly to our success but to the reality that the diversity of its people has often led to a robust mix of intellectual prowess leading to great innovation. This diversity has until recently, taken us to the top of the industrial food chain but now, with the nationalistic isolationism and associative, stagnation of innovation, we are quickly falling behind in the Global Market.

The Christian Right will have us all boarded upon the train of ignorance in the justification of war and the sociological execution of any non-Christian group who they deem as a danger to our Nation (those who disagree with them).

Bryan Fischer: Muslims Have No First Amendment Rights
Jillian Rayfield

Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the social conservative group the American Family Association, says that when it comes to Islam, the First Amendment is a privilege, not a right. "Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam," Fischer wrote today.

"The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam. Quite the contrary," Fischer wrote on his Renew America blog.

He continued:
Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.

Fischer took it a step further, calling Islam a "treasonous ideology" and adding that "from a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America. They have that privilege at the moment, but it is a privilege that can be revoked."

Fischer, also known for his frequent anti-gay, anti-bear rhetoric, has previously called for the U.S. to have "no more mosques, period," because "every single mosque is a potential terror training center or recruitment center for jihad." He's also suggested that we should "handle Muslims just like we handle neo-Nazis."

And his show is a frequent stomping ground for conservative politicians, including potential 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and actual 2012 candidate Tim Pawlenty.

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.”
~Ann Coulter

On Extremist Minorities
Tom McCammon

An often used defense from the left is that Muslim extremism represents such a small percentage of the total Muslim population that the threat it poses is represented disproportionately by critics and the media. While mathematically this is true, it ignores certain truths about the nature of humans operating within political systems. Further, while I opened by talking about Muslim extremists, this same argument also can be applied to the Christian right in the US.

Human beings, by their nature, seek safety for themselves and their families and toward this end generally avoid confrontation. Most people, regardless of religion, seek shelter, clothing, food, and, if left over, some quality time with their loved ones. They hold jobs that provide them these items, and so long as they are reasonably free to pursue them, they keep to themselves. Quiet enjoyment. Yes, moderates vote and are to some extent involved in politics, but not to any great degree. They just want to live their lives and die happy.

Enter extremism. Because their views are outside of the mainstream, and a small percentage of the total population, extremists feel under represented in government. To rectify this, they become hyper political, and seek to project influence disproportionate to their population. They seek equality of representation in government with the mainstream majority. They do this within democratic systems by getting out the vote in very high percentages compared to moderate groups. In less democratic systems, they use intimidation, bribes, and violence.

In a country like Iran, the extremist elements seized control of the state and use it to maintain their stranglehold on culture and morality, despite the majority of Iranians that disagree. But this type of behavior is also possible within more democratic systems like the US though. Evangelical Christians represent under 10% of the total US population, but their influence in electoral politics is sharply disproportionate to their population. They are great at getting out the vote, and finding candidates among their populations that will run for office, and due to these facts they get to control a great deal of the debate, especially on the right, though that influence is arguably waning.

Moderates, on the other hand, have a much tougher battle. Its hard to run a campaign based on being average. Its hard to get people excited to get out the vote for a group that is an overwhelming majority of the population. So, until some electoral or psychological genius figures out a way to get people fired up about being middle of the road, we will likely continue to see extremism wield its out sized influence in politics and we should be aware and wary of such. By no means am I saying that its a phenomenon that is unstoppable, only that we need cognizant of it and seek to spread the values of moderation when possible without being cowed by shoddy arguments regarding the minimal threat posed by small populations. After all, all told, it probably only took a few dozen people to plan and execute 9/11 inclusive of the 16 hijackers.

The Growing Threat of Right-Wing Christians
By Onnesha Roychoudhuri.

"I don't want to be alarmist, but this is actually quite alarming," Michelle Goldberg said. She was referring to the subject of her new book, "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism," which chronicles the steady rise of the neocons of Christianity.

Whether she's attending a Ten Commandments conference or joining Tony Perkins' conference calls to listen in on what D.C. agenda will be passed on to congregations, Goldberg's reporting offers insight into a movement that has reshaped the nation's political and cultural landscape. Goldberg did not go undercover, nor wear any disguise. Rather, she simply showed up, listened and learned. And what she has learned is definitely alarming.

Traveling around the country on her book tour, Goldberg notes that many people have approached her with stories that illustrate the religious intolerance that is the hallmark of an aggressive Christian movement. On a muggy day in Brooklyn, Goldberg sat down with me to discuss the need for Americans -- particularly progressives and liberals -- to recognize the sophisticated intellectual structure of Christian Nationalism, and how it has succeeded in constructing a parallel reality based on Biblical rhetoric and revisionist history.

Read the rest @ Yurica Report

Also see articles On the Rise of Dominionism in America

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