Religious Right

Christian Leaders Reject Rightwing Perversion of Christ's Teachings and the New American 'Theology of War'
Religious Right

US Newswire: "As the debate over the war on terrorism continues, 200 Christian theologians and ethicists today issued a new "Confession." Because of a deep and growing concern about an emerging national "theology of war," the increasingly frequent language of "righteous empire," and official claims of "divine appointment" for a nation in a "war" on terrorism, more than 200 seminary and college professors have signed "Confessing Christ in a World of Violence." Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners, explained: "A climate in which violence is too easily accepted, and the roles of God, church, and nation too easily confused, calls for a new confession of Christ. No nation-state may usurp the place of God." The statement identifies five points that are central for followers of Jesus [all of them anti-violence], and rejections of the current teachings that nullify those points."

Sicko Bush Films Portray Dubya as (gag) the Messiah on a Mission from God
Religious Right

"George W. Bush: Faith in the White House," a truly scary religious rightwingnut movie just released on DVD paints Dubya -LITERALLY- as the second coming..IHT reports:" It transforms [Bush] into a prodigal son with the "moral clarity of an old-fashioned biblical prophet." Its Bush is not merely a sincere man of faith but God's essential and irreplaceable warrior on Earth. [Bush at one point] is shown with a flag for a backdrop in a split-screen tableau with Jesus. The message isn't subtle: They were separated at birth...Anyone who stands in the way of Bush completing his godly battle, of course, is a heretic. Facts on the ground in Iraq don't matter. Rational arguments mustered in presidential debates don't matter. Logic of any kind is a nonstarter. To ask such questions is to be against God and "with the terrorists." Hmm...didn't Revelation say the the Anti-Christ would appear as someone purporting to be a messiah?

Pat Robertson Says Evicting 3.5 Million Muslims from Palestine is 'Part of God's Plan'
Religious Right

Functioning paranoid schizophrenic [according to the opinion of a shrink we know] Pat Robertson is once again seeking to dictate White House policy. Al Jazeera reports that Robertson said "Israel should not have to give up land for a Palestinian state but Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt should take in the 3.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "I see the rise of Islam to destroy Israel and take the land from the Jews and give East Jerusalem top the Palestinian Authority... I see that as Satan's plan to prevent the return of Jesus Christ, the Lord," said the evangelical broadcaster. The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network unabashedly said he favoured Israel over the Palestinians, saying "it isn't a question of politics, it's just a question of God's plan." And this guy represents Bush's core followers! SCAAAAAARY!

'Christian' Ministers Ask IRS for Permission to Launch 'Pray for Bush' Swing State Tour
Religious Right

This is so outrageous that we wondered if it was a thumbnail for a Saturday Night Live skit! US Newswire reports: "National Christian ministry seeks clarification on this point in a letter sent to the IRS as they prepare for a two-week prayer tour in cities throughout the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Quoting from the letter sent by the American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of the Christian Defense Coalition it states Rev. Mahoney plans to, '...offer prayer during the evening services in the churches he visits that God grants President Bush four more years as President and that Senator Kerry does not become President.' " So what's next? The Bush-Cheney-Halliburton 'Pray for Profits' Traveling Road Show?

Falwell Brags That He and His Fundie Fanatics Control Bush and Congress
Religious Right

SignonSanDiego: "The Rev. Jerry Falwell said yesterday that evangelical Christians, after nearly 25 years of increasing political activism, now control the Republican Party and the fate of President Bush in the November election. 'The Republican Party does not have the head count to elect a president without the support of religious conservatives,' Falwell said at an election training conference of the Christian Coalition. Falwell said evangelical Christians are now 'by far the largest constituency' within the Republican Party, their route to dominance beginning in 1979 with his founding of the Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition. "

The Rapture Racket
Religious Right

Bill Berkowitz writes: "'The rapture is a racket,'writes Barbara R. Rossing in the first sentence of her recently published book The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation... Rossing, a New Testament scholar and an associate professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, maintains that the Rapture is a fraud of monumental proportions, as well as a disturbing way to instill fear in people [as Rev. Tim LaHaye does with the 'Left Behind' books]. 'Whether prescribing a violent script for Israel or survivalism in the United States, this theology distorts God's vision for the world,' Rossing writes. 'In place of healing, the Rapture proclaims escape. In place of Jesus' blessing of peacemaking, the Rapture voyeuristically glorifies violence and war. [...] This theology is not biblical. We are not Raptured off the earth, nor is God... God created the world, God loves the world, and God will never leave the world behind!' "

Bush Tries to Hide Rightwing Religious Wacko Base by Keeping them Away from Convention Podium
Religious Right

San Fran Chronicle: "Don't expect to see the reverends Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson or Franklin Graham at the podium during next week's Republican National Convention, whose planners hope to keep fire, brimstone and the Christian Right offstage at Madison Square Garden. About the only big name Christians making prime-time noise at Madison Square Garden at next week's Republican gathering will be Third Day, a popular evangelical Christian rock band." The move is such a transparent political ploy to pull in moderates! As if they'd be so rampantly deceived a second time! But gushes Bush fundy groupie Roberta Combs: it's is not necessary to have Christian conservatives making prime-time speeches in New York. "We have the president...He's a professed, born-again Christian.'' Yeah, one who only trots his "born againness" out when it's politically expedient!

Falwell Dismisses Critics as 'Left Wing Thugs," Offers Fundie Preachers Tips on Evading Taxes
Religious Right

AP via Guardian UK: "The Rev. Jerry Falwell, beset by civil liberties groups questioning his ministry's tax-exempt status for backing President Bush, has set up a seminar to train conservative pastors "not to be intimidated by left-wing thugs." Falwell said the September seminar will advise clergy that they can speak their minds on moral issues and weigh in on politics, as long as they don't spend tax-exempt money doing it. Churches that go too far in advocating for or against a political party or candidate jeopardize their Internal Revenue Service religious tax exemption. In complaints filed with federal agencies by the Campaign Legal Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Falwell himself was accused of improperly engaging in politics by endorsing Bush's re-election in a newsletter published on his Web site, falwell.com..." The latest installment of "Fundies Gone Wild" now avail. for immediate shipment...

Fanatical Religious Wacko Presenting herself as a 'Doctor' Attacks Ron Reagan
Religious Right

You will note that nowhere in this press release attacking Ron Reagan are "Dr. Janet Crouse's" credentials cited. The idea, of course, is to imply "Dr. Crouse" is a medical doctor of some sort. But an internet search reveals no medical background - she is apparently a doctor of theology (if that). Her only apparent credential? She's a card-carrying member of the Beverly LeHaye Foundation, founded by "Left Behind" author Tim LeHaye's wife. The "Left Behind" series revels in creating scenarios of global genocide against all non-rightwing-Christians. Crouse, backed by her "Concerned Women" cohorts, claims Ron's "real agenda" is to try to promote human cloning! What a sicko! She also claims that the UN is trying to do an anti-stem cell treaty, which, of course, it isn't - it has only considered a treaty dealing with human cloning. But this is the quality of the rightwing "experts." Here's a "Dr. Crouse" "credential: http://www.all.org/communique/cq010809.htm

Ashcroft Persecutes Muslim Charity - After Bush Channels $1.1 Billion to Christian Only Charities
Religious Right

A few days ago, we posted a link to the 'Jesus Factor', a Frontline story run last April that revealed that Bush has quietly funneled well over $1.1 BILLION dollars to religious charities - even as Congress debates the constitutionality of this action. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/etc/script.html The show also revealed that no funding has gone directly to Muslim or Jewish groups. Now, as if to justify this discrimination, the Bush administration is accusing a US-based Muslim charity of funding Hamas - even though Hamas itself denies there's any connection. The idea, of course, is that when confronted by his discriminatory shoveling out of cash to Christian only groups, Bush can claim "national security" as his excuse. Can't wait to see what excuse they trump up for not funding Jewish charities. We'd also love to know how much of the $1.1 Bil. was give to Christian Zionists funding terrorists.

Latest Christian Fundie 'Novel' Glories in Ethnic Cleansing and Violence so Horrific it would Make Terrorists Cringe
Religious Right

The 'Left Behind' series of novels, wildly popular with Bush's 'base' - far right Christian fundies - give frightening insights into the viciously intolerant mindset of this group. Nicholas Kristof writes: The latest [novel] is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety. If a Muslim were to write [such a book], jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. In "Glorious Appearing," Jesus merely speaks and the bodies of the enemy are ripped open. Christians have to drive carefully to avoid "hitting splayed and filleted bodies of men and women and horses....The riders... even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated." This, folks, is the sicko mindset that has set the stage for, and condoned, aberrations like Abu Ghraib.

Repugs Abortive Anti-Gay Amendment Bid Called a 'Train Wreck'
Religious Right

Ya know what they say: Give 'em enough rope and they'll hang themselves. Or, as Craig Hinnes of the Houston Chronicle observes, give 'em a shovel and let em just start digging. "Proponents of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage began the Senate debate in a hole and have kept on digging. They're far short of the two-thirds majority needed for the Senate to adopt the proposal. They're short of the votes needed to shut off debate. In fact, they may even be short of a simple majority for the discriminatory business.If you'd like to see a small legislative train wreck, tune in to live Senate coverage on C-SPAN about 11 a.m., Houston time, today and watch Republican leaders lose the debate-limiting cloture vote they've demanded â?? only moments after insisting on a full discussion of the controversial issue." And this was predicted by Repug analysists last winter to become the TOP GOP campaign issue!

A MUST READ: US Christian Right's Grip on Middle East Policy
Religious Right

The Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently quipped: "The good news is that the Christian coalition is fundamentally collapsing. The bad news is that the people who ran it are all in the government." He noted, for example, that when he goes to the Justice Department, he keeps seeing lawyers formerly employed by prominent right-wing fundamentalist preacher Pat Robertson. As the Washington Post observed, "For the first time since religious conservatives became a modern political movement, the president of the United States has become the movement's de facto leader." Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed marked the triumph by chortling, "You're no longer throwing rocks at the building; you're in the building." He added that God "knew [President] George [W] Bush had the ability to lead in this compelling way".

Religious Delusions of Rightwingnuts are Driving Bush Foreign Policy
Religious Right

Christian Science Monitor: "For Christian Zionists, the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of God's covenant with Abraham and the center of His action from now to the Second Coming of Christ and final battle of Armageddon, when the Antichrist will be defeated. But [first must come] the return of Jews from other countries; Israel's possession of all the land between the Euphrates [Iraq] and Nile rivers [gotta get Syria too]. These beliefs lead to positions that critics say are uncompromising and ignore the fact that most Israelis want peace. "Pressuring the US government away from peace negotiations and toward an annexationist policy, that has a direct negative impact on the potential for change in the Middle East," says Gershom Gorenberg, a senior editor at The Jerusalem Report newsmagazine." A CSM poll finds that 81% feel that Israel should distance itself from Christian Zionists, who are working to fulfill the [imagined] prophesy, NOT for the good of Jews.

Evangelicals Are Moving Away from the Republican Party
Religious Right

"The National Association of Evangelicals has drafted a 'call to civic responsibility' that affirms many Bush administration initiatives but implicitly questions others, from the invasion of Iraq to the White House's anti-environmental policies. Because the document represents a consensus among liberals and conservatives, it could signal trouble ahead for the White House's strategy to get the votes of religious conservatives. While not referring to the Iraq invasion specifically, the draft says: 'The peaceful settling of disputes is a gift of common grace. We urge governments to pursue thoroughly nonviolent paths to peace before resorting to military force. We believe that if governments are going to use military force, they must use it in the service of peace and not merely in their national interest.' The document also calls for helping the poor, protecting the environment and taking affirmative action to remedy the effects of racial discrimination -- progressive stances all."

US Southern Baptists Pull Farther to the Right, Creating Schism with World Alliance
Religious Right

Bloomberg: "The Southern Baptist Convention, which represents the U.S.'s largest denomination of Protestants, voted to leave the Baptist World Alliance, the Washington Post reported. The Southern convention, which has 16.3 million members, cited the alliance's increasing tolerance of homosexuality, support for women in the clergy and ``anti-American'' statements, the newspaper said. Experts said the move shows growing polarization among Baptists, who historically, have accepted differences in beliefs and practices, the paper said. "

Will Evangelical Voters Realize Bush is the Anti-Christ?
Religious Right

"'I know there are a lot of evangelicals who are disillusioned with the war and worried about a lot of things, the Woodward book, the Clarke book ... (and) how we got into this thing,' said Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., referring to recent books on the al Qaeda threat and the Iraqi war and occupation. Compounding that is the growing scandal about prisoner abuses by U.S. troops in Iraq. Evangelical Christians are still expected to vote overwhelmingly for Bush, but the erosion of support could reduce their turnout on election day, a potentially ominous development for the incumbent president. If the race is very close in several states, experts said poor turnout by this core voting group could conceivably cost Bush the election, especially if a cliffhanger like the Florida contest in 2000 were to reoccur."

Yet Another Media-Disseminated Myth: Christian Right is a Huge and Growing Group
Religious Right

The "growing Christian right movement" is a myth concocted by political opportunists like Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay. In reality, the number rightwing Christians is small and shrinking. In 1990, 90% of adult Americans identified themselves as having any religious affiliation. . By October 2001, this had declined to 81%. Of these, 77% describe themselves as Christian - down from 86%. By contrast, the numbers describing themselves as no religion has grown from 8% to 14.3%. Only 54% of "religious" Americans attend church, while 40% are not members of any church. Protestants have lost the most numbers of followers: 8%. Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, and other groups commonly described as "fundamentalist" or evangelical account for about 25% of all church-going Americans (1 in five of all American adults). Only 1.2% describe themselves as "born again" Christians.

Son of Religious Right Activist Randall Terry is Gay
Religious Right

ABC News: "The son of Christian activist Randall Terry, known for his strident opposition to abortion and homosexuality, says he is gay. In an article in the May issue of Out magazine for which he was paid $2,500 Jamiel Terry, 24, says he first realized he was gay seven years ago, when a male friend with whom he'd been intimate asked if they were gay or bisexual. 'I didn't know how to respond,' he writes. 'I mean, we had been having sex for ages, but I'd always believed I couldn't be gay: I was the son of Randall Terry, a major leader of the Christian right's anti-abortion movement and now a leader in the fight against marriage for same-sex couples.' Before the Out article was released, Randall Terry published his own essay, 'My prodigal son, the homosexual,' on several Internet sites, including RandallTerry.com, writing his son 'sold out our family's privacy and private discussions for cold cash.' "

Their Beliefs Are Bonkers, But They Are at the Heart of Power
Religious Right

When we first pointed this disturbing issue out over a year ago, people thought the idea was too crazy to be true! But Bush's irrational behavior regarding Iraq has lead some mainstream journalists to look into the matter. What they are finding shocks them: the rightwing fundies - Bush included - are living out a delusional religious fantasy in Iraq - all at the expense of the rest of us. They WANT an Armageddon sited in the Middle East, because then, says George Monobiot, "before the big battle begins, all "true believers" (ie those who believe what they believe) will be lifted out of their clothes and wafted up to heaven during an event called the Rapture. Not only do the worthy get to sit at the right hand of God, but they will be able to watch, from the best seats, their political and religious opponents being devoured by boils, sores, locusts and frogs, during the seven years of Tribulation which follow. The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about."

Progressive Catholic Leader Condemns Media Violation of Kerry's Right to Religious Privacy
Religious Right

Writes Frances Kissling: "There is something profoundly disturbing about the current media attention focused on Senator John Kerry's religious practice. For reporters to follow whether or not the senator receives communion is an inappropriate invasion of private and sacred space. When a few bishops chose to use the sacrament of the Eucharist as a political tool, they debased that which is most holy in the Catholic tradition. Through these threats, these bishops have turned the practice of religion and faith into a three-ring circus in the same way heavy-handed Vatican officials and ultra-conservatives demand that Catholic policy makers follow church dictates in secular law or risk public censure. This returns us to a day when Catholic policy makers were not trusted to be independent thoughtful contributors to the nation's public life. Such demands by church leaders are a breeding ground for anti- Catholicism."

The Real Reason Hubble Is Being Killed: The Wrath of the Religious Right
Religious Right

Now here's one that astounded even us, jaded as we have become by the excesses and outrages of the religious rightwingnuts. Working on a tip, we discovered that the Hubble Telescope has been at the center of a controversy involving the age of the universe and nature of star formation (overnight God trick or long-term process). The HST funding was declared withdrawn as the scope began to provide increasingly strong evidence of the Big Bang, and vast age of the Universe, thereby refuting assertions of creationist astronomers (yes, Virginia, there are such beings). http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/age_universe_030103.html. The creationists want to prove the universe is young enough to conform to Genesis. When Hubble said otherwise, the Bush Admin said "Off with its head! " This page shows how much HST figured into the creationists' ruminations.

An Obscene Portrayal of Christ's Passion
Religious Right

James Carroll writes: "The Passion of The Christ' by Mel Gibson is an obscene movie. It will incite contempt for Jews. It is a blasphemous insult to the memory of Jesus Christ. It is an icon of religious violence. Like many others, I anticipated the Gibson film warily, especially because an uncritical rendition of problematic Gospel texts which unfairly blame 'the Jews' for the death of Jesus threatened to resuscitate the old 'Christ-killer' myth... The centerpiece of the film is a long sequence constructed around the flogging of Jesus. It is the most brutal film episode I have ever seen, approaching the pornographic. Just when the viewer thinks the flaying of the skin of Jesus can get no crueler, it does. Blood, flesh, bone, teeth, eyes, eye sockets, ribs, limbs -- the man is skinned alive, taken apart. In these endless moments, with the torturers escalating instruments and vehemence both, the film puts Gibson's decadent 'Braveheart' imagination on full display."

Reverend Doomsday: Tim LaHaye and Bush
Religious Right

"It might seem unlikely that the commander in chief would take his marching orders directly from on high -- unless you understand the views of the Rev. Timothy LaHaye, one of the most influential leaders of the Christian right, and a man who played a quiet but pivotal role in putting Bush in the White House. If you know LaHaye at all, it's for his series of best-selling apocalyptic novels [the 'Left Behind' series]... In 1981, he helped found the little-known but vastly powerful Council for National Policy, a secretive group of wealthy donors that has funneled billions of dollars to right-wing Christian activists... LaHaye's free-fall began in the mid-1980s... What set it into motion was his connection with the weird would-be messiah Rev. Sun Myung Moon, whose Unification Church cult of 'Moonies' was viewed by most Christians as laughably heretical... [There were] reports that he'd received substantial funding from the wealthy Moon" as did Falwell and the Bush parents in the '90's.

America's Taliban Having a Field Day with Breast-Gate
Religious Right

"The baring of pop singer Janet Jackson's breast during the halftime show at Sunday's Super Bowl football game has become the occasion for a vast and hypocritical outpouring of official moral outrage in the US. It has given rise to demands for further censoring the television airwaves and provided yet another opportunity for whipping up the Christian fundamentalist 'base' of the Republican Party. The guardians of American decency are up in arms, including National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, the religious right, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and executives from corporate giants PepsiCo, America Online and CBS."

The Democrats Need to Take Back Jesus
Religious Right

As Jim Wallis opines in the NY Times, the radical right wins both religious and southern votes by claiming religion. Yet their agenda, hatred and deliberate harming of the poor and the helpless, along with worship of greed, is about as anti-Christian as it gets. Republican policy is totally against all the teachings of the New Testament or of any of the great religions. The Democratic candidate needs to slam the radical right with their religious hypocrisy instead of continually allowing these vile scrooges to own the "religion" turf.

Would the FMA Make it Possible to Ban Non-Marital Sex?
Religious Right

From the Demagogue Weblog: "When revisiting this passage where [the Family Research Council] quote[s] Scalia's dissent in Lawrence, something jumped out at me that I hadn't thought too much about before... Lookie here: 'State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality... Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision.' Um, what's with the inclusion of fornication to that list? Fornication is sex between unmarried people. Does Scalia think states should have the right and/or moral obligation to ban fornication? Do the anti-gay groups that support the Federal Marriage Amendment support bans on fornication as well? Focus on the Family says yes. So does the state of Utah. What about the others? I'd hazard a guess that the answer is yes. Well, I'd like to see them say it publicly -- that to save America we need to ban all sex except among married heterosexuals."

Religious Right Terrorists Use Terri Schiavo Tragedy to Seize Power
Religious Right

"Religious conservatives say that with an arsenal of prayer vigils, Christian radio broadcasts and thousands of e-mail messages to Florida lawmakers, they played a pivotal role in the legislative battle this week over whether to feed a brain-damaged woman who has been kept alive artificially for 13 years... Randall Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said he and other conservatives intended to use what they consider a stunning victory here to pressure lawmakers elsewhere to chip away at court rulings allowing abortion and banning organized prayer in schools and the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, among other issues... Mr. Terry, who had largely retreated from public life since the aggressive and sometimes violent abortion protests of the 1980's and early 90's, stood with the parents of Terri Schiavo as they pleaded for her life on television last week and lobbied legislators in Tallahassee before their vote on Tuesday."

Boykin's Evangelical Certainty is Bad for Democracy
Religious Right

Robert Jensen writes, "It seems pretty clear that Boykin is anti-Islam and anti-any-religion-other-than-Christianity, just as are many evangelical Christians who claim a 'literalist' view of the Bible. Such folks agree that everyone should be free to practice any religion, but they also believe those religions are nothing more than cults. That's what Boykin meant when he said what he said about the Muslim and Christian Gods... [Boykin's] job requires him to deal with a number of predominantly Muslim countries. But beyond the question of Boykin's fitness to serve, his remarks show that the crucial culture gap over faith is not between those who are religious and those who aren't, but between those who are 100-percent convinced their religion is the only way to salvation and those who are willing to live with a little less certainty."

Pentagon Scrubs Apology Note from Bush's Holy Warrior
Religious Right

CNN: "An apology from Lt. Gen. William Boykin for casting the war on terrorism in terms that offended some Muslims originally included a promise that he would no longer speak at religious events, CNN has learned. But that language was SCRUBBED on the advice of Pentagon attorneys and the press office, a Pentagon spokesman said. Other statements also were SCRUBBED by the Pentagon, a spokesman said, includ[ing] Boykin's belief that God put Resident Bush in the White House. It's not clear why the changes were made... Among the other excluded language: 'I believe that God intervenes in the affairs of men, to include nations, as Benjamin Franklin so eloquently stated. Yes I believe that George Bush was placed in the White House by God as well as Bill Clinton and other presidents.' 'As a Christian I believe that there is a spiritual war that is continuous as articulated in the Bible. It is not confined to the war of terrorism.'" Do YOU want this Holy Warrior anywhere near America's WMD?

Rumsfeld Supports Rightwing Fundie General's Religious Delusions
Religious Right

"US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has declined to criticise a senior army officer who told audiences the war on terrorism is a battle with Satan. Evangelical Christian Lieutenant-General William G Boykin was also quoted as saying a Muslim warlord in Somalia had an 'idol' for a God. Secretary Rumsfeld, questioned by journalists, defended the general's statements as 'a private affair'." Meanwhile, Boykin has been making the rounds of churches, spouting his medieval crusader diatribes whilst dressed in full military attire. That doesn't sound too "private" to us!

'Army of God'? 'God Put Bush in Office'? Meet Rummy's New Deputy
Religious Right

LA Times: "Lt. Gen. William G. 'Jerry' Boykin, the new deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, is a much-decorated and twice-wounded veteran of covert military operations... Yet [he is] also an outspoken evangelical Christian who appeared in dress uniform and polished jump boots before a religious group in Oregon in June to declare that radical Islamists hated the United States 'because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan.' Discussing the battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, Boykin told another audience, 'I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.' 'We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this,' Boykin said last year. On at least one occasion, in Sandy, Ore., in June, Boykin said of Resident Bush: 'He's in the White House because God put him there.'"

White House Plays Kiss and Make-Up with Pat 'Just Nuke It' Robertson
Religious Right

From an October 14 White House press briefing: "Russell Mokhiber: Scott, a couple things. Pat Robertson said this weekend that he wanted to nuke the State Department. The direct quote is, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer. You've got to blow that thing up.' Does the President have any reaction to that? Scott McClellan: Yes. I think that, one, he has since said that he should not have said that and changed what he said. But I do not view those as helpful comments. And it was wrong for him to say that. David Gregory NBC: That's it? Wait, wait. Scott McClellan: No, no, those were harmful comments. He has now since said that he should not have said that."

Howard Ahmanson Launches Multi-Million Dollar Hate Campaign against Episcopal Church
Religious Right

Among Bush pal Howard Ahmanson's rightwing causes: "the Chalcedon Report, which carried an article calling for gays to be stoned; the Claremont Institute which promoted a video in which Charlton Heston praises 'the God-fearing Caucasian middle class'; and a scientific body which rejects the theory of evolution. Now Ahmanson is using his cash to try to rip the Anglican/Episocalian Church apart. His spearhead: the American Anglican Council (AAC) based in D.C. The AAC has close links to the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), which operates out of the same office as the AAC, and on whose board Ahmanson's wife, Roberta, sits. Between 1997 and 2002, the IRD, spent at least $2.5 million to monitor and resist the liberalisation of America's churches. Much of the IRD's money comes from the conservative philanthropist Richard Scaife, heir to a banking and oil fortune."

10-Year Old Gets Arrested for Bomb Scare, While Pat Robertson Doesn't Merit Investigation
Religious Right

Pat Robertson said, "I read your book. When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer.' I mean, you get through this, and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up,''' Robertson said during the interview talking about Joel Mowbray's book, Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Endangers America's Security. But in Bush's country, a Bush financial supporter would never get investigated or arrested. However, a 10 year old boy, with no access to any explosives, or even an understanding what he was doing, gets arrested for making terroristic bomb threats. By the way, this was not the first time Pat Robertson has said something like this. Back in June, he said, "Well, it looks like Congress had better do something, and maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up."

Delusional Pat Robertson Suggests Nuking the US State Department
Religious Right

"The US State Department has lodged a vehement complaint with prominent conservative televangelist Pat Robertson for comments suggesting that its Foggy Bottom headquarters should be destroyed with nuclear weapons, officials said Thursday. Spokesman Richard Boucher called the remarks - which Robertson made last week on his nationally televised '700 Club' program - 'despicable' and a senior department official said a protest had been made 'at the highest level.'... Robertson... made the offending comments during an interview with a like-minded critic of US diplomacy, columnist Joel Mowbray... 'I read your book,' Robertson said... 'When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer'... I mean, is it as bad as you say?" Robertson asked. Mowbray responded: 'It is.' Mowbray's book accuses the State Department of endangering the security of the US."

Tell CNN, Larry King Live to Stop Promoting James Dobson's Anti-Gay Attacks
Religious Right

From GLAAD: "Write to Larry King Live executive producer Wendy Walker Whitworth using GLAAD's TAKE ACTION function by clicking 'Take Action' above. Tell her that you expect Larry King to stop allowing Focus on the Family and James Dobson to launch one-sided, unchallenged attacks on the LGBT community. Let them know that after Dobson's anti-gay diatribes on Sept. 5, you expect Larry King Live to produce a show featuring individuals and/or couples who can challenge Dobson's attacks on our lives and talk about the harm caused by our nation's refusal to extend basic protections, rights and dignity to same-sex couples and families. GLAAD is currently requesting this in direct conversations with CNN producers, so please help us by making your opinion known!"

Sweet Home Alabama
Religious Right

Blogger Molly Bloom observes Judge Moore isn't the first judge in Alabama who has taken it upon himself to overrule the United States Supreme Court on the establishment clause. In the early 1980's Governor Fob James' son wrote a school prayer which was adopted by the legislature (the governor and his family were known at the time "as Fob the father, Fob the son and the holy host"). After that failed, the legislature adopted "a moment of silence or prayer" statute. The result was Wallace v. Jaffree. In that case, the federal district court judge in Mobile (a Reagan appointee) ruled that the establishment clause of the first amendment does not prohibit a state from establishing a religion. Justice John Paul Stevens (a Ford appointee) noted in footnote 26 of that case that "Needless to say, only this [Supreme] Court may overrule one of its precedents."

The Florida Dept. of Campaigning for Rightwingers-er-DCF Changes Mind About Oklahoma Campaign
Religious Right

Mark Lane writes that Jeb's "Department of Children & Families Secretary head theocrat Jerry Regier decides not to help run an Oklahoma political campaign after all. He was helped along in that decision by Jebthro Bush who had his chief of staff call him and tell him that the campaign work "is not worth fighting over." The AP version of this story has this interesting detail -- A check of records show Regier has still not registered to vote in Florida and could not have voted for Bush in 2002. A check of public records by The Associated Press showed Regier still owns a home in Oklahoma City and also is registered to vote in Oklahoma."

Pat Robertson Runs to the Defense of Charles Taylor -- Who Let Robertson Invest in Liberian Gold Mines
Religious Right

"Charles Taylor, the Liberian president who has been indicted by an international court for crimes against humanity, has few remaining supporters in the United States. But one prominent American who has stuck with the West African leader is religious broadcaster and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson. In recent broadcasts of his cable TV show 'The 700 Club,' watched by an estimated 1 million households, Robertson has defended Taylor as a fellow Baptist and Liberia's 'freely elected' leader. The 'horrible bloodbath' taking place in Liberia, he has repeatedly said, is the fault of the State Department... What Robertson, 73, has not discussed in these broadcasts is his financial interest in Liberia. In an interview yesterday, he said he has 'written off in my own mind' an $8 million investment in a gold mining venture that he made four years ago under an agreement with Taylor's government." Hey Pat, you can write it off in your own mind, but will God forgive you?

Meet 'The Family'
Religious Right

"In April, the AP broke the story that six U.S. congressmen were paying the bargain rate of $600 a month each to live together in a swanky DC townhouse owned by a secretive fundamentalist Christian group known as the Fellowship or the Foundation... Who is this organization, and what is its agenda? The group, the AP reported, is best known for holding the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the White House, which offers scores of national and international heavy hitters the opportunity to praise God in close proximity to the President... The Fellowship is one of the most secretive, and most powerful, religious organizations in the country. Its connections reach to the highest levels of the U.S. government and include ties to the CIA and numerous current and past dictators around the world. Last month, Harper's magazine published a rather extraordinary article by Jeffrey Sharlet... The piece chronicled Sharlet's three-week semi-undercover stay at Ivanwald, the Fellowship's mansion."

Bush's 'Civil Religion' of Bloodshed and Denial
Religious Right

Frank Kroncke writes, "For the American Tradition, the journey to the Promised Land is the waging of endless war. It is an Endless War which is endlessly denied. We claim ourselves as Chosen and Holy, never as Evil Ones...This generation is compulsively engaged in war based upon the flimsiest of information, the shadiest of reports, the known corruption among our leaders. This is not a new generation, at least in spiritual terms. They are re-asserting the fundamentalist 'Civil Religion' tenets of our own culture: in which there is only America, the Good Ones...The Appointee every evening ascends the media pulpit and preaches the Sermon of Bloodshed. He has no other way of imagining. No other way of life is there for him or us. Ah, the Dark Night of the Soul. And in daylight a world drenched in blood. On every lip the call: Kill!"

Pentagon Offends Pentagon Muslims
Religious Right

Reuters reports, "Muslims at the Pentagon are incensed by what they say is an insensitive invitation to evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham, who has called Islam an 'evil religion,' to preach on Good Friday at the Defense Department. In letters to the Pentagon chaplain's office, Muslim office workers complained strongly about Graham's plans to lead Good Friday prayers. The Muslim employees urged officials to find a 'more inclusive and honorable' religious leader to replace Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham and head of an evangelist association in his father's name. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ryan Yantis told Reuters that Graham was invited months ago to deliver the homily at the Good Friday service and the chaplain's office would not rescind the invitation." The Washington Post notes that Graham delivered the invocation at Bush's 2001 inauguration, and "has long championed efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity."

Exposed: The Evangelical Conspiracy in Congress
Religious Right

Jeffrey Sharlet writes, "'The Family' is, in its own words, an 'invisible' association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men. Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as 'members,' as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities."

Why Do 'Christians' Want to Rumble?
Religious Right

Elisabeth Bushlover writes, "George W. Bush is turning out to be one of the most openly religious presidents in American history. He prays daily. He delivers speeches and national radio broadcasts that sound like sermons. He oversees a White House full of Bible study groups. Most important, he favors lowering the barriers between church and state by giving government money to religious charities. But in recent weeks, the leaders of the many mainline American churches opposed to a war with Iraq - including the resident's own church, the United Methodist - have grown frustrated that they have not been able to see Mr. Bush to express their anxieties. The group represents nearly every faith and denomination, including Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists and mainstream evangelicals. The Southern Baptist Convention, conservative evangelicals and some Pentecostal leaders are supporting the resident, while Jewish leaders are divided."

Crusader Babbitt
Religious Right

Gene Lyons writes: "So have we really been transported back to the 12th century A.D. with Bush as Richard the Lionhearted and Osama/Saddam as Saladin, in a replay of the Third Holy Crusade? We'd better hope not, because although medieval prophets convinced Richard that recapturing Jerusalem from the Muslims would bring about the Second Coming and usher in the millennium, he dragged back to England defeated in 1192...The origins of Bush's flirtation with End Times rhetoric, however, are no more remote than the New York Times Best Seller List, specifically the prophetic novels of Hal Lindsey ('Blood Moon') and Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' 'Left Behind' series. Selling in the millions, these books are a florid updating of a 19th century school of bible-based soothsaying called 'premillenial dispensationalism.' Radio and TV evangelists, including the ubiquitous Jerry Falwell peddle this gibberish to millions."

'The Last Jihad' is Coming to Your Town: Right-Wing Talk Radio Helps 'Christ-Salted' Book Rise on Best Seller Lists
Religious Right

"A well-connected conservative activist/writer develops a storyline 'ripped from today's headlines' featuring simultaneous terrorist strikes on the US, London, Paris and Saudi Arabia, an oil deal between Israel and the Palestinians that threatens to unleash a war with Iraq, and a possible pre-emptive nuclear strike. Largely written before 9/11, Joel C. Rosenberg's new novel, 'The Last Jihad' is charging up the best-seller lists -- with help from right-wing talk radio...A business jet, packed with thousands of pounds of fuel and explosives, attacks the presidential motorcade outside of Denver. At the same time terrorists strike targets in London, Paris and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. U.S. forces go on alert and the CIA traces the attack to Saddam Hussein. Simultaneously, a secret oil deal is being negotiated between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Hussein gets wind of the deal and threatens to use weapons of mass destruction on Tel Aviv, New York and Washington if the deal is consummated."

Fundamentalist Christians Rank below Lawyers and just above Prostitutes in Public's Perception
Religious Right

"Researchers from the Barna survey asked respondents how they felt about evangelicals, born-again Christians, ministers, and other groups of people in society. According to the survey, evangelicals came in tenth out of eleven, narrowly beating out prostitutes. Speaking to distressed members of the AFA, George Barna said, 'We may not be 'evil' people, we may not be 'bad' people -- we may be completely loving and wonderful. But somehow we are being perceived by non-Christians in America as a group of people who are not particularly loving [and] not particularly generous, kind, or understanding.'" Gee, George, maybe it's because they worship ignorant, hateful, and oppressive Republicans like Bush!

Hatemongering Institute on Religion and Democracy Targets Liberal Denominations
Religious Right

A few minutes spent reading some of the mean-spirited bilge on the IRD site is enough to show that these "good Christians" apparently got nothing from the New Testament. However, they sure know how to lobby (here's an ex.: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=3601). They also spy and report on denominations they consider liberal (scroll to bottom of http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=4242). Here's an article promoting war against Iraq and branding all religions opposed to war as "mainline liberals." Btw - the facts presented here on: church membership in "liberal congregations" are highly distorted. Also, they fail to mention that fewer than 1 in 3 Americans describe themselves as conservative or fundamentalist Christians. (Bush with IRD reps: http://www.ird-renew.org/News/News.cfm?ID=486&c=3)

Rightwing Religious Groups Push Dangerous Entitlement Acts through State Legislatures, While Nation Looks the Other Way
Religious Right

"A series of measures with grandiose titles reminiscent of the odious 'Patriot Act' are being sneaked through state legislatures as the nation looks the other way. For example, the Pennsylvania proposal, S. 1421, had been ushered through the legislature by groups like the state Catholic Conference, which lobbied hard (no doubt needing cash after its sex abuse payouts!). An action alert from the Conference argued that the state "Religious Freedom Protection Act" would guarantee "that Pennsylvanians continue to enjoy free and unburdened religious practice." "They're misleading the public with claims like this," said activist atheist Ellen Johnson. "This isn't about the right to worship or believe in a particular religion. It's about giving churches, mosques and temples a 'free pass' from the enforcement of neutral, civil laws having to do with zoning, environmental issues and other regulations that everyone else -- from private individuals to businesses -- has to follow."

Christian Right Uses Corporate Propaganda Techniques to Sell School Vouchers
Religious Right

Christianity Today makes a convoluted case for vouchers that seems to come right out of a corporate propaganda handbook. "The crisis in corporate America that has shattered investor faith and rocked the markets was not, I think, brought about by an insufficiency of laws; rather, it was brought about by inattention to righteousness. It is against this backdrop that it is most useful to consider the Supreme Court's narrow decision on school vouchers this past June. Although attacked by liberal critics, the ruling may actually help shape the morality of the rising generation of young Americans...Americans have had enough of policies aimed merely at churning out smart people. We need, desperately, policies that churn out good people" - as long as it's the right "brand" of good, that is.

Henny Penny Rapture Ravers and Beltway Biblethumpers - Not Your Daddy's Christians
Religious Right

"The Beltway Biblethumpers and the folks who cheer them on are a long way from being the sort of Christians my father was, who kept his life and his faith on the same page. The Beltway Biblethumpers not only don't keep their lives and religion on the same page - they keep two sets of books. At the end of the day, the way I see it - simple guy that I am - Faith means faith. Period. Not second guessing God. No choosing up sides because you only feel safe in a crowd. No breaking the commandments left and right in the name of 'National Security.' You are either a 'good Christian' with faith - or you're a faithless fearmonger. I don't think there's much question which sort we have in the White House right now." So writes C.L. McElvaine.

Bush to Hand Sharon $14 Billion To Drive His War Machine, Fulfill Biblical Prophecy
Religious Right

Ha'aretz reports that Bush is expected "to quickly approve" Israel's staggering $14 billion request for aid. At a time when the U.S. economy is sagging and Bush wants to embark on a multi-billion-per-month war in Iraq, this decision seems not only ill advised but also irrational. One school of thought suggests Bush is simply shoring up his most hawkish, pro-Iraq attack ally. Another suggests he is simply adhering to his fundamentalist belief (held also by mentor Billy Graham, who believes Armageddon is at hand) that to fulfill biblical prophecy, Christians must support Israel until the "rapture," which will be preceded by Armageddon - which must be fought in what is now Iraq.

Bush Mentor Billy Graham Believes Armageddon is 'In Preparation' and Will Take Place in Iraq
Religious Right

"The armies of the world will focalize on a point known as Armageddon, the Mount of Megiddo [which is in northern Israel], and there the final world conflict will take place. The extent of this conflict is indicated in the ninth chapter of Revelation, where the army that is to cross the Euphrates River is described; and in that chapter the immensity of this final world war is carefully described ... We are aware of the shuffling of the stage in preparation for the greatest battle of all time that will certainly take place in the years ahead. The crisis of the present hour should shatter the optimism concerning human nature of every person listening to my voice. The only reliable hope for the future must be bound up in a living faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord," reads Billy Graham's 2002 website. The Euphrates River flows through Iraq and joins with the Tigris to form Iraq's southern border.

Bush and Mentor Billy Graham Really DO Believe Only Christians Deserving of 'Salvation'
Religious Right

When the story hit back during Bush's campaign that he once asserted that only Christians could make into heaven, the spin doctors and their toadies in the media quickly intervened. They stammered that Bush didn't mean it and, in any case, that his mentor Billy Graham had "shown him the light" in this matter. Well, here's the true story, from a fellow fundie, no less: "Dr. Graham came on the line and Barbara Bush told him about her discussion with George W. With great wisdom, Billy Graham said that as a follower of the New Testament, he had to agree with her son that the only way to heaven is through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." This certainly explains Bush's indifference to the suffering of Muslims and his total lack of interest in intervening in Israel.

Conservative Religious Vote Swept GOP to Victory in Many States
Religious Right

Reverend Moon's WashTimes.com reports: "A mobilized conservative religious vote probably swept Republicans to victory in Georgia and the Carolinas on Tuesday and pro-life Catholics and Protestants made the difference for the GOP in Missouri, political analysts said yesterday. Exit-poll data from Voter News Service that asks voter religious affiliations and values is not yet available, but election-watchers nevertheless pegged some victories to religious-motived voting. 'We were very happy that 74 percent of religious conservatives voted for the pro-life Saxby Chambliss for U.S. senator in Georgia,' said Ronn Torossian, media director for the Christian Coalition. 'Our voter guides had a great influence."...This year, the coalition posted voter guides on the Internet and urged supporters to download and print them for distribution, saving considerable amount of money compared to the 2000 presidential race, when a claimed 75 million color glossy guides were printed and shipped."

Bush And Right Wing Christians Support Israel To Bring On Armageddon
Religious Right

"Many fundamentalist Christians embrace the state of Israel because of its role in their own end-of-time theology. For its part, the right wing in Israel welcomes the economic and political support it receives from conservative Christians around the world and particularly in the United States. Religion and politics. It's an incendiary combination anywhere, and particularly in the Middle East where Christian fundamentalists, often working in tandem with Jewish Messianic settlers, promote the formation of a Greater Israel that they believe will usher in Armageddon itself. Many of this country's most ardent Christian supporters of Israel welcome that prospect. Others... worry that the agenda pushed by the tactical alliance between Jewish and Christian fundamentalists will transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a battle between two nationalities into a war of civilizations that will engulf the world."

Christian Coalition Convenes, Mobilizes to Oust Liberals; Bush Greets Group with Supportive Videotaped Message
Religious Right

CNN.com reports: "Christian Coalition leaders fired up the faithful Friday with a pro-Israel rally and a pitch to renew the group's power by rousting out the vote in November for conservative candidates. 'Get the few liberals out. If you don't do it, it ain't gonna be done,' Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, told the crowd at the Washington Convention Center. 'You will be doing the Lord's work, and he will richly bless you for it.'...Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, after 40 years of Democratic majorities. Seventy million voter guides and 1 million get-out-the-vote calls helped elect George W. Bush...in 2000. Bush sent the convention a videotaped message Friday, greeting the Christian conservatives and promising an administration that would advocate the group's key agenda items: anti-abortion activism, low taxes, limited government and judges who don't legislate."

'Divider, Not Uniter' Bush Will Address Christian Coalition on 10-11
Religious Right

Remember Bush's promise to be a "uniter, not a divider"? Then what the HELL is he doing addressing Pat Robertson's so-called "Christian" Coalition on 10-11? Among his infinite outrages, Robertson and his sidekick Jerry Falwell blamed 9-11 on "pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians." Bush never denounced either man for their hateful remarks. And on 60 Minutes (10-6-02), Falwell called the prophet Mohammed a "terrorist", to the shock and outrage of 1 billion Muslims. How can Bush speak at a Robertson/Falwell event? We call upon the media to demand that Bush cancel his appearance, and denounce Falwell's latest hate speech!

Falwell Pushes World Closer to Armageddon
Religious Right

In an interview with 60 Minutes to be shown Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Jerry Falwell all but declares war on Islam. "I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough... by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war... Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammed set an opposite example." As CBS reports, "Many Fundamentalist Evangelicals believe there will be catastrophic events on earth, some occurring already, including the turmoil in the Middle East, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon in which Christ will triumph and begin ruling the earth. At this point, they believe, non-believers will be destroyed, good Christians saved and any remaining Jews converted to Christianity. Says Ed McAteer, a founder of the Moral Majority and known as the godfather of the Christian Right, 'I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully, and, without exaggeration, [it] makes me breathless.'"

Is Bush Forcing the 'Rapture' By Initiating Armageddon? Rightwing Fundies Backs Bush War on Iraq
Religious Right

The rightwing fundies (which includes Southern Baptists, Pentecostals such as John Ashcroft, and other sects) believe that Armageddon is the prelude to the Rapture, at which point all "good Christians" will be sucked up into Heaven. We have covered the disturbing involvement of fundies in international policy lobbying in past stories and raised the question: Are these extremists trying to "force the Rapture" by forcing a war in the Middle East, where according to these folks' interpretations of scripture, the Big Battle is supposed to get underway? Now we find it very troubling that the only religious group in the U.S. so far to come out in FAVOR of the war are the rapturist Southern Baptists. Are we being shoved over the cliff by rightwing religious zealots? See http://tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5489 and http://www.unknownnews.net/cdd-archive.html#040302

Christopher Reeve Slams Bush Over Stem Cell Research
Religious Right

Christopher "Reeve says the Bush Administration had caved in on the issue of embryonic stem cell research after the Catholic church expressed opposition to cloning. Reeve, paralyzed from the neck down when he was thrown from his horse, says he is 'angry, and disappointed' that Bush has hampered developments in stem cell research which Reeve believes might have led to human trials aimed at rebuilding the nervous systems of quadriplegics. 'If we'd had full government support, full government funding for aggressive research using embryonic stem cells from the moment they were first isolated, at the University of Wisconsin in the winter of 1998 - I don't think it unreasonable to speculate that we might be in human trials by now,' says Reeve. 'I think we could have been much further along with scientific research than we actually are.'" Bush and the GOP are slaves of the religious right - defeat all Republicans!

Stop the Pat Robertson Bill to Subsidize Church Politics!
Religious Right

Pat Robertson's so-called "Christian" Coalition is collapsing because Robertson is a corrupt Republican hack who sold his soul to elect Bush by trashing war hero John McCain. So now Robertson wants to get his hands on OUR money by getting government subsidies for church politics. This is a direct assault on religious liberty, which provides tax subsidies for churches as long as those subsidies are NOT used to influence elections. Call your Senators and Representatives (202-224-3121) and tell them to OPPOSE Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition Tax Subsidy Bill, also known as Walter Jones' HR 2357.

Religious Coalition Responds to Orrin Hatch's Accusation that Pro-Choicers Consider Religion 'Crazy Talk'
Religious Right

The following statement from Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice on July 25: "Senator Orrin Hatch was off base in his statement, made at the July 23 hearing on the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Associate Justice Priscilla Owen for the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals, that pro-choice and other mainstream organizations shy away from religion in public life as 'crazy talk.' In fact, many individuals are pro-choice because of their religious beliefs -- and say so publicly. However, they emphatically do not impose these beliefs on others or insinuate them into public discourse in the guise of secular facts." Right on, Rev. Veazey!!

Texas Religious Fanatics Beat the Crap Out of 11-Year-Old Boy
Religious Right

"Austin police arrested a church pastor and his twin brother Tuesday, alleging they used a tree branch to beat unconscious an 11-year-old who misbehaved in Bible class. Joshua Thompson, 22, a pastor at Capitol City Baptist Church, and his brother Caleb turned themselves in Tuesday and were released on $25,000 bond, KEYE-TV reported. They were charged with injury to a child, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, the station reported. The alleged beating took place July 3, according to reports. The brothers thought the boy did not take his Bible verses seriously enough during a church-sponsored summer camp for Spanish-speaking students, officials said... Court records obtained by Reuters alleged that the beating lasted for 90 minutes, broke blood vessels and caused the boy's kidneys to fail."

God Inc.
Religious Right

"God is a corporation. The evidence is irrefutable. Whether through one of 'his' subsidiaries--Islam, Catholicism or Christian Evangelical--it's clear that God believes in one world under capitalism and demands of his minions a healthy investment portfolio of stocks and mutual funds, and an unquestioning faith in the corporate purveyors of greed and corruption." So write John Stanton and Wayne Madsen.

Southern Baptist Missionaries Dedicated to Converting Jews...er...'Sharing the Gospel'
Religious Right

The Christian rightwingers know a red hot opportunity when they see one - and they see one in non-orthodox Jews. In this article about urging groups to "share the gospel with Jews" the fact that targeted groups are "middle class or well-to-do" appears to be of more interest than their spirtual ties. 'Missionary' Steve Barack itemizes desirable convertee attributes: "There are secular and well-to-do Jews who attend synagogue on the High Holy Days, mixed-marrieds with an assortment of spiritual ties." ("Spiritual ties" is of course but a vague after thought). Barack apparently hopes that money will attract money: "I network with California doctors and Dallas cardiologists -- those guys can go into New York City and speak the same language." The article expresses a special interest in South African Jews "the vast majority of whom are middle to upper-class professionals." Wonder how long it'll be before Tom Delay and the RNC hit the new "converts" up for donations to the GOP?!

Christian Right Opposes International Initiative to Reduce the Misery of Millions of Children
Religious Right

Each year, 10 million children die from malnutrition and preventable diseases while 250 million under the age of 15 are victims of child labor, including millions forced into the commercial sex trade. Armed conflict has killed over 2 million children in 10 years and left 25 million homeless. AIDS has orphaned 10 million children. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by 191 countries, seeks to address this horrendous situation. Who could possibly oppose such a humane and long-overdue move? Who else? The American Christian right! These "good folks" have lobbied Congress to block the treaty. Why? They fear promoting the rights of children may jeopardize their chances to discipline their kids as they see fit (scary!). Meanwhile Bush is refusing to sign a treaty that would bring war criminals - the creeps who slaughter and orphan children - to justice.

God, Make Bush Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?
Religious Right

David Corn writes in the Nation, "Do you think Americans should ask God to grant George W. Bush the power to fly? House majority whip Tom DeLay, the ability to predict the future? Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, X-ray vision? In a prayer written for the National Day of Prayer, May 2, the Reverend Lloyd Olgivie, the Senate chaplain, asks God to 'bless our President, Congress, and all our leaders with supernatural power.' He didn't beseech God to endow them with strength and wisdom--a more reasonable request--but to make them superheroes."

A Powerful Alliance Between Rightwing Christians and Jews Now Calls the Shots in the White House
Religious Right

The rightwing Christians and their Israeli counterparts have become the tools of politicians eager for conquest of land and power. Back in the 1970s, Israel's Likud party worked to undermine Jimmy Carter. The strategy was to turn evangelical and fundamentalist Christians against Carter, while using the conservative Christians' belief in Israel's role in the "End Times" to convince them to oppose the United Nations' proposed Middle East peace conference. It worked - some analysts credit Carter's defeat by Ronald Reagan with Carter's loss of evangelical Christian support. Since then, the politically manipulated alliance between conservative US Jews and the Christian right has grown more and more powerful, with extremists being flagrantly lobbied by Likud politicians (Jerry Falwell, for example, was given a Lear Jet by Israel in 1979). It's time for progressives to fight back! Less than 30% of U.S. voters are fundamentalist Christians or Jews, yet we are letting them call the shots.

Are the Rightwing Religious Wackos In the White House and Congress Putting the U.S. on an Insane Course Toward Disaster?
Religious Right

David Corn writes in Tompaine.com, "Many within the religious right do share [Oklahoma Senator Jim] Inhofe's view that God gave Israel and the West Bank to the Jews in the Bible." Inhofe, Ashcroft and several others share a belief in the "Rapture", which claims selected "good Christians" will all be plucked up to heaven just before Armageddon. "Many also subscribe to "dispensationalism," a Christian theology developed in the mid-1800s that holds that the existence of Israel is a necessary prelude to the rise of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ. (As part of the End Time scenario, Jews supposedly have to be gathered together in one spot, and Israel offers logistical potential.) Consider this the ultimate conspiracy theory - and it prompts evangelists to be fervent supporters of Israeli hawks." But, asks Corn, does Bush - who refused to rein in Sharon until too late - also share this insane belief system? Corn says probably not, but we wonder...

Oh My! Are the Reverend Jerry Falwell's Shorts in a Knot? The Good Rev Files Suit Against Parody Website!
Religious Right

The Reverend Jerry Falwell, in an apparent snit over a parody website that makes fun of his accusations that liberals and the Godless caused 9-11, has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against the developer of www.jerryfalwell.com. Falwell says the site violates a "common-law trademark" of his name. Gary Cohn of Highland Park, Ill., says Falwell "is trying to shut down a noncommercial Internet site that makes fun of Falwell for blaming the Sept. 11 bombing of American landmarks on the supposed moral decline of America, and quotes the Bible at Falwell in the exact same way that Falwell likes to quote it at other people."

What a Relief! Billy Graham's Anti-Semitic Remarks on the Nixon Tapes Were Aimed Only at 'Elite Jews Who Controlled the Media'
Religious Right

Or so stated Franklin Graham, the Reverend Graham's son and chosen successor, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, before a prayer breakfast on Tuesday. Graham claims his father's anti-semitic comments about Jews that were recorded at the White House in a taped conversation with Richard Nixon "were not directed at all Jews but at a small media elite who controlled the major outlets at that time. The issue has never been Jewish people," Graham continued. "His concern was liberalism in that time in the media. And it's changed." At least you admit that today's Media is not liberal.

Pat Robertson Launches Campaign for a Law Enabling Churches to Endorse Political Candidates
Religious Right

Pat Robertson left his post with the Christian Coalition only a month ago, promising to devote himself to spiritual leadership. Instead, he used his Christian Broadcasting Network today to mobilize conservatives to support legislation recently introduced that would further tear down the wall the Founders set up between church and state, which ranks as one of the great achievements of the American revolution. Robertson and the bill's more than 100 co-sponsors -- almost all Republicans -- are helping the Bush White House prepare itself for this Fall's congressional races, since Bush & Company think that legislation designed to stir up the far-right is their ticket to victory.

Pat Robertson Resigns From The Christian Coalition - Did They Finally Realize He Was Giving Them A Bad Name?
Religious Right

"Evangelist Pat Robertson resigned on Wednesday as head of the Christian Coalition, the powerful conservative political organization he founded in 1989 after a failed campaign for the U.S. presidency. Robertson, in a letter delivered to the board of the Virginia Beach, Virginia-based group, said he was stepping down to focus his energies on his Christian ministry and The Christian Broadcasting Network, the group said." As we have reported, Robertson has been receiving some negative press lately not only for his demented remarks, but also for his greedy interests in African diamond and gold mines. There is also the matter of the lawsuit against his oil refinery in California.

Pat Robertson, Man of Gold, Diamonds and Oil
Religious Right

"Yesterday The Post published a letter from Christian Coalition founder...'Pat' Robertson, responding to columns I have written concerning his pursuit of gold in Liberia...He attacked The Post, accusing us of calling for the downfall of his late friend, President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire...Could Robertson's loyalty and devotion to Mobutu have anything to do with the diamond-mining rights in Zaire that Mobutu gave him?…He denounced Mobutu's admittedly contemptible successor, Laurent Kabila, as "a Marxist butcher." But that comes from right-to-lifer Pat Robertson, current investor of millions of dollars in the People's Republic of China, the world's largest Marxist regime, which also proudly pursues a policy of forced abortions...In [So. California], lawsuits are swirling around him like confetti. It seems Robertson, owner of CENCO Refining Co., has his heart set on constructing and operating a long-mothballed oil refinery in Santa Fe Springs."

TBN's Jan and Paul Crouch Buy $5 Million Home In Costa Mesa, CA
Religious Right

"Televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach house for close to $5 million, Orange County Realtors say. The home was described as 'a palatial estate with ocean and city views.' The Crouches had been living in a smaller house in the same neighborhood. The house they bought has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier. The three-story, nearly 9,500-square-foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain. The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch had been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs, sources said." So reports the LA Times. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." [Luke 16:13]

Pat Robertson Says God May Allow Even Worse Attacks on the US
Religious Right

On September 11, Pat Robertson strongly agreed when Jerry Falwell blamed liberals for turning God against America. Four days later, Robertson blamed ALL of America for failing to repent. "I believe we're going to get our teeth kicked in by what's going to happen. We have not begun to see the extent of the terror. We have not begun to see saren gas dropped on our cities. We have not begun to see various biological types warfare. We have not begun to see suitcase-style nuclear weapons. We have not begun to see our installations around the world, the victims of terrorism. And yes we need to go do what Mr. Wolfowitz and the Secretary of State and others have said. But at the same time, if God is departed from us, ladies and gentlemen, we' in for a long, hard, difficult time and we need to be prepared for it... So if there was ever a time to pray, ladies and gentlemen, this is it. And not just pray, repent! We've got to turn as a nation back to God and say, I'm sorry."

Pat Robertson's African Gold
Religious Right

Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King writes: "To hear [Pat] Robertson tell it, one of the abominations prompting God to hide his face from America is this country's self-indulgence, pursuit of financial gain and focus on wealth... What, pray tell, does the Good Lord make of Pat Robertson's gold-mining venture in Liberia with Charles Taylor, international pariah and one of the most ruthless, greedy and terror-producing heads of state in all of sub-Saharan Africa?" And what about Robertson's unholy alliance in diamond mines with Zaire's bloodthirsty dictator Mobutu? It's time for Robertson to stop accusing others, and start explaining his own horrendous activities around the world.

The Shunning of Falwell Begins: Defrock Him, says Columnist
Religious Right

Scripps-Howard columnist Dan Thomasson calls Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "two of America's champion evangelical zealots" for their shocking attempt to blame gays, feminists and others for the attack on America. Thomasson urges their contributors to vote "a resounding 'no' to this behavior with one's checkbook would be quite appropriate." And he says "the Baptist Church at the very least should move to censure Falwell... The use of the title 'Reverend' for such a person is not only a mockery to Christianity, but is blasphemous."

Conservatives are Republican Whores - and the Right-to-Life Movement is Dead
Religious Right

If you're a genuine religious conservative, Bush's decision to approve federal funding for stem-cell research is evil for 3 reasons. 1) "If life begins at conception, as Bush has professed to believe, destroying it is a form of murder, no matter who might benefit from it." 2) "Giving away the principle means the next surrender is much, much easier. There'll be enormous pressure now to widen this research." 3) "Read his lips. He lied." These are three powerful reasons why EVERY conservative should be denouncing Bush with every breath in his or her body. So, with a handful of exceptions, why are they all silent, hedging, or even APPLAUDING Bush (like the National Right to Life Committee)? Because conservatives are simply Republican whores, who will eagerly do for Bush what Monica would never have dreamed of doing. Are we wrong? Ask every conservative you know how they can defend Bush's sellout. The right-to-life movement is now dead - yet another victim of the Executioner-in-Chief.

The Idol In The Bush Administration's Closet
Religious Right

The masses of people in America who are termed "less fortunate" are the exact same people whose fate the Bush Administration plans to place in the hands of the Conservative Christian Organizations. Are we to believe that miraculously overnight these Christian Conservative Organizations are going to lose their interest in the big business of making millions of dollars and turn their full attention to the "less fortunate" in America? It makes one wonder what the outcome would have been in America if every penny of the millions spent by the Conservative Christian Organizations to date had been channeled into the support of the less fortunate for housing, food, education and such. It is possible - in fact, quite possible - if this had occurred there would be no need for abortion, adoption, hunger or homelessness in America!

'Uniter' Bush Is Dividing And Alienating People With His 'Faith-Based' Scheme And The Divisive Statements Of Its Cheerleaders
Religious Right

"Two words spoken in testimony before a House subcommittee on Wednesday have set off a new furor over President [sic] Bush's proposal to channel government money to religious social service programs. The words were those of the Rev. John D. Castellani, president of the drug-treatment program Teen Challenge International U.S.A., who testified that while some of the Jewish clients who had gone through his evangelical Christian program returned to their Jewish faith, others had become 'completed Jews.'" Said Abraham H. Foxman, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, Castellani's statement "clearly illustrates the concern we have that there is no way to separate the efforts to proselytize from the efforts to reform people."

Bush Kicks Off New Era of Religious Bigotry with HIV/Drug Abuse Funding Plan
Religious Right

Shrub's the worst kind of religious bigot - he's not only self-righteous and controlling, he's cowardly. Furtively waiting until the press was riveted on the energy plan unveiling, he has attempted to sneak through a proposal that would offer new federal funds for HIV and drug abuse prevention ONLY to religious groups. What's next - court-appointed lawyers available only to members of the "First Pentecostal Church of Ashcroft" (which holds daily prayer meetings in our nation's Justice Department building)?

Reptilian Ralph Reed Elected Chairman Of The Georgia Republican Party
Religious Right

"Ralph Reed, former point man for the Christian Coalition and more recently an Atlanta political consultant, was elected chairman of the Georgia Republican Party...Mr. Reed mostly steered clear of talking about his hard-right politics and concentrated instead on the need for Georgia Republicans to break through and succeed in electing a governor and taking over the state's Legislature. That was his sole goal in running for the chairman's office, he insisted, leaving unsaid that the office in many states is often a steppingstone to a subsequent run for governor or Congress." A Bush advisor, it was exposed that Reed was also hired by Microsoft to lobby candidate Bush. Moreover, Reed has spoken at Reverend Moon events. Moon is a key Bush and GOP benefactor. In one of his books, Reed even praised Robert Grant, the head of the American Freedom Coalition, a Moon front group. Reed is also a member of the Council for National Policy, the secretive headquarters of the Religious Right.

Bush's 'Faith-Based' Plan Will Permit Employment Discrimination; JC Watts Bizarrely Plays Race Card To Demonize The Democratic Opposition
Religious Right

Many congressional Democrats oppose Bush's "faith-based initiative" to give religious organizations government contracts. One reason is that "the so-called charitable choice bill, sponsored in the House by Representative J.C. Watts [R-OK]…would allow faith-based groups to hire only workers who agree with and adhere to their religious views and practices. " Watts claims that Democrats are concerned "that the president's initiative will aid African-American churches and wean their inner-city clergy and congregations away from their historic ties to the Democratic Party." No JC, we are concerned that this is a step towards replacing our Democracy with theocracy, which you seem to be implying in this quote: "When you start talking about empowering poor people and making them less dependent on 535 politicians in Washington, that rubs some of my colleagues the wrong way." Maybe this explains why Bush/GOP benefactor Reverend Moon toured the country wooing African-American congregations?

Pat Robertson Condones China's Forced Abortions - Concerned For Their "Racial Purity"
Religious Right

"…Pat Robertson has condoned China's policy of forced abortions, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer last night that the Chinese are 'doing what they have to do' to keep the lid on a spiraling population. " On the other hand, Robertson stated "that China is courting 'a demographic catastrophe' by aborting more girls than boys. He speculated that in 10 or 20 years Chinese men will have to import wives from Indonesia." Robertson declared that this "will, in a sense, dilute the--what they consider the racial purity of the Han Chinese." Barry Lynn of Americans United said that "these statements tell us a lot about Robertson's true priorities. Apparently, he's willing to put profits ahead of principle whenever convenient." This was the case when Pat partnered with Zaire's bloody dictator Mobutu in that country's diamond mines. Or that Robertson now embraces Dubya for his pro-religious right stance, even though Pat called Bush Sr. a pawn of the antichrist in his book "New World Order."

Bush Benefactor Reverend Moon Continues Nationwide Tour
Religious Right

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon has been on a nationwide tour. He told a Baltimore audience of 300 that women must bear children because "that's the way you will deserve praise from husband that yes, you did your mission." Moon also denounced homosexuality and lesbianism. As we have reported, Rev. Moon has had a long-standing relationship with the Bush family. He has paid George Sr. and Barbara up to $10 million for speaking engagements and other services rendered (Go to our "Compass" search engine and enter "Moon"). As the publisher of the Washington Times, Moon has also had several prominent Republicans speak at his events, including John Ashcroft at the inaugural prayer. Often, these GOP heads claim -- like the follower quoted in the below article -- that Moon is for "family values." It's alarming that Republicans think family values include using cult techniques to estrange people from their natural families, and then pairing them with strangers in arranged mass weddings.

Bush Greets Irish Extremist
Religious Right

The Rev. Ian Paisley was a guest at the White House St. Patrick festivities on March 16, yet more proof that the Shrub is being watered by the religious right. The Rev. Ian Paisley is a hard-core Catholic hater and leader of the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party who holds an honorary doctorate degree from the racist and religiously bigoted Bob Jones University.

Rev. Moon Fires Back at Rev. Robertson
Religious Right

Pat Robertson has been complaining recently about federal funds going to the Moonies under Shrub's "Evangelical Pork" program. Well, Rev. Moon isn't exactly the kind of Christian who turns the other cheek. Instead, his Washington Times propaganda organ took an eye for an eye, calling Robertson's Christian Coalition all but dead. The principal cause of death seems to be the sellout of the Coalition's core social issues by the Republican Party's corporate slaves. "I do hear disappointment since '94 with those who were elected, disappointment that more has not been done, that they didn't hold their ground firmer on tax issues and the homosexual agenda — too many compromises, too much giving away on our issues," says Georgia state director Sadie Fields. "Because of lack of follow-through from the '94 elections, you have people who are disillusioned, not energized." Sounds a lot like trash talk, evangelical-style.

Pat Robertson Is Worried About Funding For the Moonies, But He Still Hangs Out With Them
Religious Right

Another major concern is that Bush's plan will allow government funding of extreme groups like the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church, which is headed by Bush benefactor Reverend Moon. Even Pat Robertson has stated these concerns, but we think that Pat is trying to distance himself publicly from the likes of the Moonies. Recently, the unholy alliance between the traditional christian right and Reverend Moon has been coming to light. Moon bailed Jerry Falwell out of debt, and Falwell and Robertson meet with Moon's representatives in the Council on National Policy.

10 Black Employees Sue Christian Coalition
Religious Right

Ten black clerical employees at the Christian Coalition of America's Washington headquarters filed a racial discrimination suit in February, alleging that the office bars black workers from using the front door and maintains segregated eating facilities. No surprise here - the Christian Coalition chose neo-confederate John Ashcroft to undermine the nation's civil rights laws.

What Would Jesus Do?
Religious Right

The Republican right establishes its legitimacy on the foundation of a belief in Christ. But they’ve really just co-opted Jesus for their own narrow, exclusionary goals. An examination of Christ’s teachings indicates he would be preaching against most of the more high profile Republican policies.

The Year 2000 Chutzpah Award Goes to...
Religious Right

Yes, the Christian right wing wins our new award. They are now whining that Ashcroft was victimized for being a Christian. For tough guys, they sure like to play the self-pity card.

Who Wants to Tell Bush and the Christian Right?
Religious Right

According to Arthur Caplan of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, the human "genome reveals, indisputably and beyond any serious doubt, that Darwin was right - mankind evolved over a long period of time from primitive animal ancestors... The history of humanity is written in our DNA. Those who dismiss evolution as myth, who insist that evolution has no place in biology textbooks and our children's classrooms, are wrong." Some of us are just more evolved than others, we guess.

Congressional Republicans Push Far-Right Agenda
Religious Right

Buoyed by President Bush's appointment of Attorney General John Ashcroft, his creation of a religious outreach office, and his halt to funding overseas family-planning agencies, social conservatives are pressing the administration with a right-wing agenda that was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters on Election Day. Congressional Republicans, led by Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), are meeting weekly to plot assaults on the rights and freedoms of Americans. They are pushing for: education vouchers for parochial schools, pornography filters on public-school computers, a larger tax credit for adoptions, the unconstitutional "partial birth" abortion ban, revoking the approval of RU-486, and stopping stem-cell research.

Who Does Jesus Belong to?
Religious Right

No matter what faith you abide by, you probably find the GOP's ongoing efforts to co-opt Jesus sanctimonious and offensive. Jesus isn't "owned" by Dubya and his religious right co-horts. In fact, one could argue that Jesus would condemn these narrow-minded self-righteous dunderheads. Don't let them wrap themselves in Jesus or the flag.