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.
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.
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
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 the 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 and let people watch mature adult videos if they so wish, 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.