National Review Story
I think it's worth noting that Chris Hedges is a devout Christian with a masters from the Harvard Divinity School and the son of a minister. Everything else I've ever read from him suggests that his complaint is political in nature, and not religious. As a war correspondent, he has denounced all war-makers. Rather than take sides in such conflicts as the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Israeli/Palestinian rift, he has called on both sides to cleanse their hands of sin. I'd to see the actual piece from Harper's before deciding that he has morphed into a blind Christian-basher.
You may not be aware of the leftist agenda. Certainly part of the agenda is to abolish religion. Christianity is the primary target only because it has the most followers in the US. The real agenda is to rid the nation of traditional values. This is the inspiration for Hillary’s “It takes a village”. The education of the children must be controlled by the state. While the parents work, the children will be tended to by state facilities.
Why this is important to the leftist should be obvious.
Air Force Cadets Complain of Religious Harassment by Christian Evangelicals
By Robert Weller Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 19, 2005
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.
There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.
The 4,300-student school recently started requiring staff members and cadets to take a 50-minute religious-tolerance class.
"There are things that have happened that have been inappropriate. And they have been addressed and resolved," said Col. Michael Whittington, the academy's chief chaplain.
More than 90 percent of the cadets identify themselves as Christian. A cadet survey in 2003 found that half had heard religious slurs and jokes, and that many non-Christians believed Christians get special treatment.
"There were people walking up to someone and basically they would get in a conversation and it would end with, 'If you don't believe what I believe you are going to hell,'" Vice Commandant Col. Debra Gray said.
Critics of the academy say the sometimes-public endorsement of Christianity by high-ranking staff has contributed to a climate of fear and violates the constitutional separation of church and state at a taxpayer-supported school whose mission is to produce Air Force leaders.
A relative had mentioned to me the other day, that there was a very high percentage of Evangelical Christians, admitted to the Air Force Academy, and this was causing problems at the Academy.
What I have read, regarding the dominionists bringing the Kingdom Of Christ to earth, militarily is the most awful future scenario I have read on the web. When senior military staff officers publicly speak of sightings of satan, in combat zones, then I have to believe that we are about to be plunged into a dark age that will certainly make the Dark Ages of ill-fame, look like a Sunday picnic.
The fact is that people may worship any way they like in this Nation, but they may not legislate their religion. Religion may not become law.
I think that blanket statements and innuendoes like the leftist agenda to abolish religion, and the unstated reason why, reflect a simplistic view of life, that is narcissistic. Every religion is best served if governments are not religious, yet tolerant of all religions.
When human rights are respected, including the right to worship, then government has done its job, for all its people. Democratic governments respect the rights of their citizens, both religious and non-religious.
When religion attempts to govern, then everyone so governed ultimately suffers. Religious governments are notoriously dictatorial, and usually very hard on women and children. When individuals imagine themselves to be the favorites of a God that they worship, and then they govern in the name of that fantasy, things degenerate into ungodliness. This is one of the reasons that Democracy was invented, after nearly two thousand years of extremely corrupt government in Europe and the Mediterranean regions, due to monarchy and religious monopoly.
You know, if some idiot attending a Military Accademy or Bootcamp denies the Holocaust, that is ample reason to drum that person out of the military, IMHO.
To a degree, I agree with you. But largely Christian Values can be presented in a very secular way.
Here's an example: Abortion,
A Human Life is that which has a distinct and complete DNA code from any other individual. Upon conception is when human life has those qualities. Evidence of Sentience exists within six weeks of pregnancy, therefore it is scientifically arguable that Abortion, the termination of an unborn human life, is murder.
Since it is scientifically arguable that abortion is murder, it is legally arguable that legal abortion is a violation of the 13th Amendment's prohibition against slavery, or one human having ownership of another, since legal abortion requires that the mother has ownership of that life which grows inside her.
Note: not once did I invoke God, or Jesus, or family values... There was no need to.
My point is this: Christianity is the foundation of Western Civilization. It is so ingrained in it that the attempt to separate it from our society is totally destructive of that society.
Your comments are timely, regarding the Dominionists. Perhaps you read American Fascism via the Dominionist, which included a reference to the cover story of the May 2005 Harper's Magazine, "The Christian Right's War on America: I. Inside the Nation's Most Powerful Megachurch, Jeff Shartlet," and II." Feeling the Hate with the National Religious Broadcasters." For your edification and interest, I shall reprise my citation, to wit:
"What the disparate sects of this movement, known as Dominionism, share is an obsession with political power... Dominionists preach that Jesus has called them to build the kingdom of God in the here and now, whereas previously it was thought that we would have to wait for it. America becomes, in this militant Biblicism, an agent of God, and all political and intellectual opponents of America's Christian leaders are viewed, quite simply, as agents of Satan. Under Christian dominion, America will no longer be a sinful and fallen nation, but one in which the Ten Commandments form the basis of our legal system, Creationism and 'Christian values' form the basis of our educational system, and the media and the government proclaim The Good News to one and all. Aside from its proselytizing mandage, the federal government will be reduced (solely to defense)...some Dominionists (not all of whom accept the label, at least not publicly) would further require all citizens to pay "tithes" to church organizations empowered by the government to run our socia-welfare agencies, and a number of influential figures advocate the death penalty for a host of 'moral crimes,' including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy, and witchcraft. The only legitimate voices in the satte will be Christian. All others will be silenced"(Harpers May 2005, Hedges pg 58).
Referenced in this post:
1) Harper's May 2005: The Christian Right's War on America
To be continued
I agree with every statement following the three words above.
That is partly why I adhere to conservative principles
Hatred toward any group obviously is not to be embraced. At the same time, some right-wing Christians have placed themselves into the political arena with a clear agenda of dismantling separation of church and state. People who oppose this agenda are not oppressing the Christian belief, but are merely trying to protect their own rights of freedom from religion. Those who can't distinguish this important difference, and seek to impose their beliefs upon others, are going to meet resistance, including dislike. Why can't these Christians be grateful for the incredible freedoms they and everyone are able to enjoy in this great country?
I've never heard of Dominionists. That certainly isn't what I was commenting on. I have, however, read some of Chris Hedges' work (he is the man cited as writing the original piece in Harper's to which what you posted was a response) and have always found him to be equitable in his denouncing of all forms of warmongering. In fact, in War is a Force That Gives us Meaning, he quite explicitly states that he does not think religion is to blame for the world's ills. He thinks that it is petty gangsters and corrupt politicians who twist religion as just another excuse to subjugate and make power grabs. This mostly applies to places other than the US, of course. He does denounce the war in Iraq, however, and also says that religion has nothing to do with that. I just find it hard to believe that he would be spearheading a movement to do away with religion in the US, especially considering that he is a master of divinity and a devoutly religious man that was very close to following in his father's footsteps and becoming a minister himself.
I'm not going to rehash the discussions we already had - just want to point out that that ain't the way everyone (ie, people who's job it is to decide, like the USSC) sees it.
To put it as clearly as possible: "Vote for me because I'm a Christian" is not a violation of separation of church and state. "Vote for me because I will require cumpulsory Christian education in schoos" would be, but there is no national movement for that, nor any risk one would succeed even if it existed.
Saying 'I know what they intend to do even if they don't say it' just isn't good enough.
It's not even about religion, but rather individual rights. It's really very simple. An individual's rights end where another individual's rights begin.
People have the right to practice what ever religion they chose, in churches, their homes, etc. But they don't have the right to force their beliefs on me with my tax dollars (e.g., displaying Ten Commandments on government property, Faith-Based initiatives, etc.) or with my time or childs time (e.g., prayer in school). Attempts to meddle with rules in the Senate to further meddle with the Judicial Branch regarding appointment of judges is a clear attempt at dismantling separation of church and state. Yes, we did have this discussion, and as usual you are ignoring everything that was said.
I'm offended that some people spend time developing theories like this. Both the left and christians should be offended. This whole concept just shows christians as being cold and calculating in thier own agenda of blaming the left. At the same time the concept views the left as like some kind of fascist orwellian sinister force with secretive agendas. How daft to make a claim that the left has a secret agenda to abolish religion. Christians should be offended (as I am) that they are made to look like a group of paranoid people stirring up drama. Being a Christian doesn't mean that you have to be a republican. Being a leftist doesn't mean that you're an atheist. Please stop all the profiling.
These two entities: Christian, and leftwingger; are just profiles in our heads (or stereotypes). We like to categorize viewpoints to make things easier for us to understand, but everyone has thier own viewpoint... not everyone is on a bandwagon of some type like Christian and leftist. There are all kinds of Christians and leftists. I bet only a small portion of christians actually believe that the left is out to get them (the extremists), and there probably is a small portion of the leftists that want to get rid of religion, but there is probably an equal portion of republicans that want to abolish religion also. There are also many left wing christians. Please do try to draw lines and pick teams just because you may be bored or something.
err... don't try to draw lines and pick teams when there is no game to play
I got around to reading the original pieces in Harpers. You have to wade through a lot of fluff and pointless details used as literary devices, but the people being profiled (Dominionists) definitely do wish to end any separation between church and state. The reporters who wrote these pieces went to large conventions of Christian broadcasters and there were some pretty outrageous things being said at these things. Some of these guys wanted to institute capital punishment for crimes like apostasy and homosexuality. Real nutjobs, but again, obviously men like this are never going to achieve any official level of political power. That said, these shows do reach millions upon millions of people and some of these groups claim huge membership numbers. Still, I'm not one-tenth as concerned as Harpers wants us to be. My mother is one of the subscribers to Focus on the Family and probably counted as being among the millions of Dobson's supporters. She, however, pays no attention whatsoever to his political lunacy and just reads his family advice, which, from what I can tell, isn't too bad. I would imagine that many of the people counted as members of these organizations are not half as insane as the leaders. Nonetheless, it is a little disturbing that there still exists a rather large contingent of Puritan witch-hunters in this country.
Well, Jason PMed me and changed my mind. The USA will be a Christian fascist dictatorship within 10 years. We'll be pledging allegiance to the Jesus Christ of revelations or getting stoned to death. We need to kill these people now and never vote Republican again.
Oh, goody. I "changed" your mind. Then perhaps you can now set about to expand your mind and not subject me to any more of your more feckless and inane attempts at sarcasm. Hope springs eternal, eh? Check your PMs.
I'm not going to engage in a battle of wits, Jason. Make your case in the thread you created for it. The article you actually posted says little to nothing about what you've talked about privately. Since you've so decisively jumped on small, and rather ambiguous comments of mine that were admittedly dismissive without giving much support, I will post in more detail exactly why it is that I am not worried and exactly what parts of the articles I considered to be needlessly inflammatory 'fluff.' When I have the chance. In fact, I might even forget because frankly I don't care that much, which is why I didn't bother to post in more detail to begin with. You, however, seem to care quite a bit, so perhaps you can share your wonderful insights with the forum and convince that us that if we don't vote democratic, we are implicitly consenting to fascism.
Jason, I told you I wouldn't be reading your PMs any more. Say what you have to about this topic in the thread created for it and don't be so damn combative. This isn't Hardball; make your points by constructing good arguments, not by yelling louder than the other guy. Please don't send me any more PMs; I'll have to block you.
Yes please. I'd like to read what you have to say. Also I think I speak for the majority here when I say that we don't apreciate the harassment of members. Even if it is in the form of flirtation.
Separate names with a comma.