Archive for the ‘the tea party’ Category

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To the cheers of Tea Party members everywhere, Larry Klayman called for a coup to overthrow our elected government, and replace it with a new dictatorship. Now he has expanded this, and given the dates for the armed insurrection in Washington DC:

Last Wednesday, the great usurper, Barack Hussein Obama, after having been indicted by an Ocala, Florida citizens’ grand jury, was convicted by a people’s court of defrauding the American people and Floridians by proffering them with a fake birth certificate. See http://www.citizensgrandjury.com. As readers of this column and http://www.wnd.com know too well, Obama is not a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the United States, as he was not born in this country to two American citizen parents. However, to justify his fraud and his elections to the highest office in the land, and after years of inquiry, in 2011 the Obama White House posted on its website a birth certificate purporting to show him having been born in Hawaii. The problem is however, according to forensic experts, the birth certificate is altered and forged.

The day of reckoning has come. Obama, having failed to plead in response to the indictment that was served upon him, waived his right to a jury trial. Thumbing his nose at We the People, as the citizens’ prosecutor, I appeared before a citizens’ court judge and presented evidence from Cold Case Posse investigator Michael Zullo showing that Obama tricked voters into electing him in 2008 and 2012. As a result, the citizens’ judge found him guilty on two counts of falsifying information to federal and state election officials. He was thus sentenced to the maximum prison term for these offenses of 10 years, and ordered to immediately surrender himself into the custody of the citizens of the United States and Florida.

Of course, Obama will not willingly obey the law of the people. He will attempt to hide behind the iron fences of the White House, perhaps cowering under his desk for fear that the people will rise up and demand his ouster.

On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama’s criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

I further propose that we borrow the techniques perfected and used by such epic crusaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, to show Obama and his enablers that the American people are more than fed up and will not take it any more. The millions who are being summoned to our nation’s capital should, like Gandhi did in India and South Africa, peacefully shut the city down, by blocking roads and massing in front of the White House chanting for Obama to get out of our nation’s capital. In addition, I propose bringing the victims of his reign of terror to a podium across from the White House in Lafayette Park to give their testimony on how he has singularly severely harmed and in some instances even killed their loved ones through his actions.

In the words of Thomas Paine in the days leading up to the first American Revolution, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” The nation under Obama and even his inert and castrated political opponents, the Republican Party, have driven our country into the bowels of impending doom. The moral and ethical fabric, our economic underpinnings, and our national confidence and prestige are in the tank. Russia has become the leading world power, however evil and compromised under its communist KGB leader Vladimir Putin. The United States is a mere shell of its prior self under real modern leaders like Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, to name just a few.

We must act now. Our Founding Fathers pledged their sacred honor, fortunes, and lives to form a new nation under God. They knew that the odds of defeating the British were not great, save for His Divine grace and intervention. Now, 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, the nation has come full circle to the tyranny that has been imposed by a new despot, one far more evil than King George III. King George III may have been a greedy “control freak,” but at least he was a Christian. The United States is being run by a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots.

Life is not easy. It requires risk and sacrifice. If as a nation we want to restore our freedom, and we are on the verge of being enslaved under Obama’s socialist Muslim inclinations, we must take our fight to a new level. Tea partiers, bikers, construction workers, police officers, school teachers, farmers, truckers, clergy, housewives, husbands, students, doctors, lawyers and all elements of our society who see our nation slipping away into the abyss, must now stand tall and descend on the capital, much like the Egyptians recently did in ousting another radical Muslim, their then president Mohammed Morsi. If the Egyptians can seek to rid their country of the poison of the Muslim Brotherhood without any real history of democracy, then we Americans, who know what democracy is and have practiced it prior to the ascension of the great usurper, can and must succeed.

Obama has now been convicted of having defrauded the American people into electing him as president. Even more so than Nixon during Watergate, he has no legitimacy to remain president and must be forced to resign. If We the People do not demand justice and remove him from office, then we will be furthering his fraud and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for the death of the greatest nation ever to have been on this earth.

In the words of one of our great Founding Fathers and an architect of our Constitution, “we must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin walked the walk along with the likes of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Let us now walk in their footsteps and march into to Washington, D.C., this November 19th, and rid the nation of the criminal who lurks in our White House. Let us send a message to the other corrupt government officials of all political persuasions, that this is our nation, not theirs. Let’s “Occupy Washington” and restore freedom to our shores!

Of course, there was no jury involved.  As established, his “Citizens Grand Jury” was not convened by a judge, therefore has no legal authority.

And now, this, a call to overthrow the democracy of the United States and impose their religiously-driven ideology onto the United States.  On a schedule too.  November 19th, they plan to march on Washington and, as pointed out in his previous call, they plan to send Obama to “72 Virgins,” a thinly veiled death threat.  And it’s only a matter of time before they snap, and then try and force their flawed and broken view of the world upon us all.

From ADDICTING INFO author 

images-246I wonder how many people actually fully grasp what the Republicans in the House are doing right now and how they are seriously harming this country in their attempt to discredit the president and hold America hostage.  It’s shameful, and if you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.

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First – a super-duper simple (I mean RIDICULOUSLY simple) explanation of some really boring concepts.  I’m leaving out lots of details…but here’s the gist.

Concept #1:  The national DEBT and the DEFICT are not the same thing.

The DEBT is how much we owe.  US government indebtedness has been the norm in our financial history for 200 years.  We have been in debt every single year of our existence, except for the year 1935.  Every president has added to the national debt.

The DEFICIT is the difference between what we spent versus what we took in, usually expressed per year.  One way of looking at it:  It’s how fast, or how much, the debt is growing.

Think of it like this:  Your credit card balance is your DEBT.  How much you put on your credit card this month (because your cartoon-boehner-liberty-hostageexpenses were more than your income) is, let’s say, your DEFICIT for the month.

Concept #2:  The BUDGET and the DEBT CEILING are not the same thing.

The BUDGET is passed by Congress every year.  The budget details projected tax collections and outlays and, therefore, the amount of borrowing the government will have to do in that fiscal year.

The DEBT CEILING neither increases or decreases the budget deficit.  The debt ceiling does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to borrow money.  Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay our obligations already incurred.  The decision to raise it is a formality.  It’s like the “decision” you make to pay your credit card bill.  The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962 including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W. Bush, and three times under Obama.  If we don’t raise the debt ceiling (which takes a vote from Congress), we cannot pay our debts.  And if we don’t pay our debts…well, bad things happen.

Remember, if the debt ceiling is not raised, the federal government risks defaulting on some or all of the obligations it has already images-245incurred.  Defaulting on our debt does NOT make it go away.  Raising the debt ceiling has nothing whatsoever to do with new spending.  It simply allows the government to pay off debts it has already incurred.  To the contrary, it increases the interest rate on the debt.  A higher interest rate means the amount of the debt also increases, making it even more difficult to pay off.

Experts say that if we were to default today, it would be…well, bad.  One went so far as to call it a “financial Armageddon.”   We are finally recovering financially from the Bush years…defaulting on our debts could set us right back to 2008, or worse.

Next, some important FACTS:

  • Repeat after me:  Obama has cut the deficit and slowed spending to its lowest level in 50 years.
  • Last month (August, 2013) the United States debt did not grow by a single penny.
  • The deficit has been shrinking faster than at any time since WWII ended. 

pic 2However you spin it, Obama has been GOOD for our economy. 

OK, now we’re finally there:  What the bastards are doing.

It’s time for Congress to pass the budget.  If they don’t, the government shuts down, services will be cut and millions of federal employees will be left without paychecks.  They pass a budget every year – they have to.  It’s their job.  NEXT:  Soon it will be time for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.  If they don’t, as previously mentioned, bad, bad things will happen to our economy, and, of course, to people’s lives.

HOWEVER, the Tea Party faction of the Republican party is attempting to sneak legislation past the voters and blackmail Obama into swallowing their extreme positions.  The basic idea is this:  If you don’t give us what we want, we will crash the economy.     

The scheme:  The Republicans are threatening to refuse to pass a budget or raise the debt ceiling unless Obama agrees to delay the health care individual mandate, approve the building of the Keystone pipeline, limit abortion, expand drilling, cut social services, and approve provisions favorable to Wall Street banks.

This is basically a list of things Republicans would like to do if they ran the government.  But (news flash!) they don’t run the government.  Instead, they are contending that it is a valid legislative strategy to use the leverage of the debt ceiling — which will cause an economic crisis if it is not increased — to demand their way on absolutely unrelated issues.

50ddcdebef148.preview-620The pretense that debt limit fights are about the public debt is over.

This blackmail/hostage-holding is unprecedented.  And dangerous.  And absolutely not in the interest of our country.

And here’s more bad news:  We’re going to be stuck in this nightmare at least until the 2014 elections, or perhaps beyond.

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Conservatives still think there’s a liberal media bias.
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While I, too, as a liberal, am frustrated with the media, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

Don’t believe me?
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If you know anyone who still believes in a “liberal media,” here are 12 things everyone would know if there really were a “liberal media.”

 photo outsourcing_zps2cf6f1b0.jpg1. Where the jobs went.Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as multinational corporations account for only about 20 percent of the labor force.

When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

2. Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.

In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1 percent alone held 35 percent of all net worth.

The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80 percent held 18 percent of net worth.

 photo ownership_occupy_poster_zps7879609f.jpgThese statistics are not Democratic or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?

3. ALEC.

If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the “liberal” media would report on them?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:

  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters.

4. The number of people in prison. 

Which country in the world has the most people in prison?

You might think it would be China, with over a billion people and a restrictive government, or former Soviets still imprisoned in Russia.

 photo incarcerated_americans_zpsb7c891bd.jpgWrong. The United States has the most people in prison, by far, of any country in the world. With five percent of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners – 2.3 million criminals. China, with a population four times our size, is second with 1.6 million people in prison.

In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number had grown to 2.3 million. Yet from 1988 – 2008, crime rates have declined by 25 percent.

Isn’t anyone in the liberal media interested in why so many people are in prison when crime has dropped?

In 2009, non-Hispanic blacks, while only 13.6 percent of the population, accounted for 39.4 percent of the total prison and jail population.

In 2011, according to FBI statistics, whites accounted for 69.2 percent of arrests.

Numbers like these suggest a racial bias in our justice system.

To me, this is a much bigger story than any single incident like Travyon Martin. Or, at the very least, why didn’t the “liberal media” ever mention this while covering the Martin story?

5.  Our planet is burning up

Click HERE and HERE

6. U.S. health care costs are the highest in the world.

The expenditure per person in the U.S. is $8,233. Norway is second with $5,388.
Total amount of GDP spent on health care is also the highest of any country in the world at 17.6 percent. The next closest country is the Netherlands, at 12 percent.

As a liberal, I’d like to ask why the market isn’t bringing down costs. I’d think a “liberal” media might too.

7. Gerrymandering.

When was the last time you saw a front page headline about gerrymandering?

Before the 2010 election, conservatives launched a plan to win control of state legislatures before the census. The idea was to be in power when national congressional districts were redrawn in order to fix them so Republicans would win a majority of districts.

The Redistricting Majority Project was hugely successful. In 2012, Barack Obama was elected President by nearly 3.5 million votes.

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In Congressional races, Democrats drew nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republicans yet Republicans won control of the House 234 seats to 201 seats.

How is this possible?

By pumping $30 million into state races to win the legislatures, Republicans redrew state maps in states such as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Ohio to place all of the Democrats into just a few districts.
In this manner, Democrats win heavily in a couple districts and lose the rest.

In North Carolina, the statewide vote was 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican yet 9 Republicans won and only 4 Democrats.

Where is your coverage of this vote stealing, “liberal media?” You’re willing to cover voter ID laws; why can’t you cover real vote stealing?

8. The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress.

The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster.

In 2013, during the first six months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. This is eight fewer than in the first six months of 2012 and 19 fewer than 2011.

Also, until the Senate recently threatened to reform the filibuster, the GOP had succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.

Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

* crickets *

9. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision

In a 2011 Hart poll, only 22 percent of those polled had actually heard of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision before taking the survey.

If 77 percent believe that corporations have more control over our political process than people, why isn’t the liberal media talking more about the Citizens United decision?

10. The GOP racist strategy

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

7B889eff7f-911e-41ae-a5a8-41f243594This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party. Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the “liberal media” (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

“P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

11. Tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthy. A progressive tax program is designed to tax people very little as they are starting out and progressively increase their rates as they do better.

Republican plans seem designed to do exactly the opposite: shift the tax burden off of the wealthy and onto working people.

Take the repeal of the estate tax. In Ohio this was recently repealed by Republicans. The benefit is only realized by people with estates larger than $338,000 (as the first $338k was exempt) and realized most by people with even wealthier estates.

This also explains why Republicans want to shift the system from income taxes to consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are paid most by those at the bottom as basic consumption remains the same regardless of income.

It also explains why capital gain taxes are so low. Income through capital gains is only taxed at 20 percent (increased from 15 percent in 2012) instead of at the rate of other income (closer to 35 percent).

It also explains why Republicans were so willing to let the payroll tax cut expire. The payroll tax cut benefited people who were getting paid, not those issuing the paychecks. How much fight did you see to save this tax cut?

While tax cuts are sold to us as benefiting everyone, they really benefit a select few at the very top.

If everyone knew who tax cuts really benefit, would so many people vote for them?

12. Media consolidation

Six corporations – Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS –control roughly 90 percent of the media in the U.S.

These companies are in business to make a profit.

This is why you’ll find plenty of advertisements in the media. Entertainment? Check. Sports? Definitely. Weather? Yep.

You’ll also find plenty of “if it bleeds, it leads” stories designed to hook you in. Vendors, witnesses recall Venice hit-and-run horror. Fort Hood trial turns bizarre as shooter grills witnesses.

There’s also plenty of political bickering: Democrats said this, Republicans said that. We let you decide (but we never weigh in with any facts or fact-checking).

What won’t you hear? You won’t hear the “liberal media” discuss the corporate media.

What to make of this

If the media were “liberal,” it would serve the public interest and shine a light on issues like the ones above.

More people would also have a better understanding of global warming, peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government’s role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues.

What you’re more likely to see in the media, however, are stories designed to get you to buy their paper, or watch their show, or listen to their radio station. If it bleeds, it leads. This is why the media is concerned with scandal, celebrities, gossip, and fear.

If anything, our news consists of paid advertisements and outlets too scared of offending anyone to publish much of substance. Investigative journalism is also expensive; entertainment is cheap.

The way this corporate media behaves may not be surprising. I apologize if you feel any of this is beating you over the head.

This Buzzfeed-style list wasn’t intended to introduce this idea as new (others have done a much better job), but rather to highlight the sheer absurdity of a “liberal media” for an audience who may not see it.

One way to approach the topic is to simply ask: If we have a “liberal media,” where are the liberal stories?

 

 

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Another small step toward the creation of a “Christian nation!”

images-216In 2010 the Texas Board of Education’s conservative members took another major step toward indoctrinating American’s children toward a more “Biblical” worldview. They decided that it’s about time someone corrected the long-standing liberal bias in education – so they “corrected” the history text books.

Keep in mind – Texas produces most of the country’s school text books…these changes will be taught as fact to millions of children across America!

Examples of the changes:

  • The slave trade will now be referred to as the “Atlantic Triangular Trade.” Isn’t that nice? No longer do we need to burden our children with the ugly (and humanizing) word “slave.”   (African-Americans are now descendants of…triangles?)
  • Capitalism can only be referred to as “free enterprise system,” largely because of the negative connotations of the word “capitalism.” Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with capitalism, but they should consider teaching that unfettered greed can be bad for society.
  • The board has diminished Thomas Jefferson’s role in history because of his belief in the separation of church and state.
  • Students also are required to learn that America’s founding documents were influenced by various intellectual traditions, “especially biblical law,” and principles laid down by Moses. The social conservatives, creationists and religious fanatics who dominate the Texas State Board of Education want to redefine the Constitution as an explicitly Christian document and highlight the role of God in the establishment of the US.
  • The board approved dropping references to a landmark court case that barred schools from segregating Mexican American 314264.zoomstudents.
  • Joseph McCarthy’s campaign against suspected communists is now toned down.
  • The amendments also cast the United Nations in a critical light, with students asked to evaluate whether the UN and its committees undermine US sovereignty – a familiar tune for conservatives.
  • Students would be required to learn about the “unintended consequences” of Title IX, affirmative action, and the Great Society, and would need to study conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation, and the Moral Majority.
  • And get this: if you read the transcripts of the board discussions, you’ll find that they actually considered NOT including President George W. Bush’s controversial 2000 election outcome OR the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.
  • The board added positive references to the Moral Majority, the National Rifle Association and the GOP’s Contract with America.
  • The history books will no longer include the philosophical rational for the separation of church and state.
  • The books now herald “American exceptionalism” and the U.S. free enterprise system, suggesting it thrives best without government intervention.
  • Numerous attempts by the more liberal members of the board to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history also were denied.
  • Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students “explain how institutional racism is evident in American society.”
More than 1,200 historians and college faculty members from across the nation have signed a petition calling the standards academically shoddy.

Some board members themselves acknowledged that the process for revising curriculum standards in Texas is seriously broken, with politics and personal agendas dominating just about every decision.

*********-Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for religious freedom.

images-217The Texas Board of Education voted and approved all of the changes.

For the CONSERVATIVE view of all this, by Phyllis Schlafly…click HERE

Here for references:  Huffington Post   NY Times

Here for:  What will happen when the Christian Right takes over

Here for:  Personal journey:  In which I come clean about my faith

Here for:  Lock and load:  The new Christian rhetoric

 

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See part 1:  What will happen when the Christian Right takes over
See part 2:  The 4 things the Christian Right needs before they can take over

Does anyone else remember in the 1980s when the Christian Right (think “Moral Majority”) was obsessed with sex and violence in the media? They campaigned against sex and “gratuitous violence” pretty relentlessly…remember?

So, when was the last time you heard a fundamentalist Christian decry violence in the media? Sure, they’re still going to town on the sex thing…but violence? Not so much.

In the 1990s the Christian Right’s disapproval of violence lessened to the point of almost non-existence.

And at the same time their own use of violent rhetoric increased dramatically.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing lately about Christian Dominionism – the belief that Jesus will not come again until America is ruled by Christians and has the Bible as the basis for all law. (Click here for part1 and part 2.) Well, as I’ve read more about this, I’ve noticed something really scary within this really scary theology: Many Dominionists believe that there will literally be armed, violent struggle involved in “taking back America for Jesus.”

This might sound a little paranoid…but if you want people to take up arms, they need two things. They need to have arms, and they need to feel that the use of those arms is acceptable. People have to lose their fear of and resistance to using violence.

more gunsViolence is a HUGE part of the modern Christian conservative verbiage. And get this: it’s not always about THEM being in violent struggle against their secular enemies. (Although there has been plenty of that, with the whole “culture war” with its “battle for souls” and “holy wars” and “taking back America, one battlefield at a time” and all that shit.) No, now it’s the opposite. Suddenly its the secularists who are at war with them! The gays are conducting a “war against marriage and family.” Those who advocate separation of church and state are “at war with believers.” The governor of Texas says that America has “declared war on religion.” It’s the evangelicals who are “under siege.” They are being “relentlessly and brutally attacked by the culture.”

This is very clever – you don’t advocate violence against your enemies – you just convince people that your enemies are engaged in a violent march-enq-cartoonstruggle against you! What follows is natural. You fight back.

The secular media never likes it when I say this, so let me say it twice. Man your battle stations! Ready your weapons! They say this rhetoric is so inciting. I came to incite a riot. I came to effect a divine disturbance in the heart and soul of the church. man your battle stations. Ready your weapons. Lock and load…”

-Rod Parsley, prominent pastor, television host, author

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I don’t see how you can be President without a relationship with the Lord.
-President George Bush, 2005

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The second coming of Christ is everything that I’m living for. I hope the rapture comes tomorrow.
-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, 2007

America has no King but Jesus
-Attorney General John Ashcroft, 2004

The Republican Party of Texas affirms that the United States of America is a Christian Nation
-Official platform, GOP, Texas

Apparently some people think it can’t happen here in America – at least according to many of the comments on the various places my last article appeared. (See part one: “What will happen when the Christian right takes over”.)

Well, let’s discuss this.

Can you think of other examples throughout world history in which fundamentalist, right-wing, religious extremists have gained images-210power and plunged their country into a dark ages-like society of ignorance, oppression and fear? I’m sure you can – I can think of probably eight examples right now, without even using Google. So why couldn’t this happen here? All it takes are four ingredients, all of which are present right now in America.

1. A large group of religiously inspired fundamentalist leaders who are committed to seeing their religious texts made to be the law of the land. Check.

2. A large group of religiously inspired citizens willing to follow and support said powerful people. Check.

3. A perceived enemy. Check.

4. A persecution complex. Check.

Let’s briefly take these one at a time:

A large minority of religiously inspired fundamentalist leaders who are committed to seeing their religious texts made to be the law of the land.

images-211Dominionism, as I’ve written about previously, simply means that Christians have the responsibility to take over every aspect of society and to govern solely in accordance with Biblical law. These Christians believe that until we have a theocracy, Jesus will be delayed in His return.

In short, Jesus will come only after Christians succeed in establishing Christian rule over the earth.

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish.
-George Grant, executive director of D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, in “The Changing of the Guard.”

Let’s go back to 2005. By that time, the Christian right was well on its way to gaining control. James Dobson and his ilk had succeeded in bringing their brand of fundamentalist Christianity from the fringes of American life to the heart of political power.

images-212By 2005, 42 out of 100 US senators were entirely supportive of the Christian right agenda, holding ratings of 100 percent from the Christian Coalition. Extreme fundamentalists entered the US Senate, including Tom Coburn of Oklahoma (calling for the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions) and Jim DeMint (wanting to ban unmarried pregnant women from teaching in public schools). Fundamentalist Christian theology was already driving our federal policy on medical research (with the ban on stem cell research), sex education (which the government decreed should focus exclusively on abstinence), and US foreign policy in the Middle East (where an important driver of US policy was the need to have Jerusalem in the hands of the Jews in order to satisfy a biblical condition to the second coming of Christ). The federal government was channeling billions in taxpayer funds to evangelical organizations.

And new legislation was being introduced almost weekly. A few examples, among hundreds: Have you heard of the Constitution Restoration Act? This law would have prevented federal courts from hearing church/state separation cases. Seriously. How about the House of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, which would have allowed tax-exempt churches to engage in partisan political activity?

And all this has continued, and it has actually picked up speed.

Did you know that there are many Christians, including in government, who believe that all Old Testament punishments, includingNew-Fundamentalism stoning, should be restored?

Did you know that in Oklahoma, to name just one example, most state-wide executive offices are held by evangelicals, along with over 85% of the legislature? And most of them support the entire agenda – criminalization of homosexuality, adultery and blasphemy (seriously!), the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions, reinstatement of mandatory school prayer, a requirement that Genesis be taught in science classes – all based on the Bible as ultimate law. They call their vision of America a “Christian Nation,” and all that stands in the way of that vision is the federal court system.

A large group of religiously inspired citizens willing to follow and support said powerful people.

73%-76% of Americans self identify as Christian.

Six-in-ten white evangelical Protestants say that the Bible should be the guiding principle in making laws when it conflicts with the will of the people.

Seven-in-ten white evangelicals (69%) believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people and a solid majority (59%) believes that Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Significantly, those who believe that God gave Israel to the Jews and that the state of Israel fulfills biblical prophecy are much more likely than others to sympathize with Israel in its dispute with the Palestinians.

An overwhelming percentage of Christians (79%) say they believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, and fully 62% of white evangelicals say the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally.

A perceived enemy

Anti-Semitism served other totalitarian movements well, but it is currently off-limits. Communism worked for a while, but has faded as a credible threat following the fall of the Soviet Union. So which enemy did American fundamentalists choose? They picked two:

1. Secularism is the big one, which, they argue, is really a competing religion. It’s what they’ve been fighting for years.

images-2132. The “homosexual agenda.” Preachers preach that the rise of homosexuality is the surest sign of the coming end times. Conservative preachers remind the faithful over and over that the rise of homosexuality is God’s way of testing humanity – if we tolerate the abomination, then we are irrevocably lost and abandoned by God.

The official platform of the Texas Republican Party states:

Homosexuality is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

A persecution complex

robertsonA common strategy of fundamentalists the world over is to claim victimhood, and our country’s evangelical preachers have successfully tapped into the “persecuted church” paradigm. The growth of a modern, secular, and tolerant society, they argue, really is about the tyrannical suppression of Christianity, because the idea of a secular and tolerant society is inconsistent with Christian claims to dominion over civil society. In an Orwellian twist, “religious tolerance” becomes, to the right-wingers, intolerant and tyrannical. Extension of basic civil liberties to those who engage in a sexual practice that is taboo to fundamentalists becomes an attack on the Christian church in which Christians are the true victims. Permitting gays to marry becomes an attack on marriage in which married people are somehow victimized. Abortion is seen as an attack on God and, by extension, on Christians. Not allowing teachers to teach scripture as science is now “persecution” of Christians. See how this works? Basically, if they can’t have things their way, they are being persecuted.

Pat Robertson kicked this whole thing off in the early 1990’s when he stated:

Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to Evangelical Christians. It’s no different. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media, and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority group in history.

Do you hear how bizarre, how sick this thinking is? A former candidate for president asserting that the treatment of evangelical Christians by “liberal America” was more terrible than the treatment of Cambodians at the hands of Pol Pot, of the Tutsi minority by the Hutu majority in Rwanda, the Bosnian Muslims by the Serbs, the Jews by the Nazis, the early Christians by the Romans, the Native Americans by the Spanish, the slaves by the slave owners? Just…wow.

According to the fundamentalists, if our society does NOT base its laws on the bronze age morality found in the Christian Bible, then it’s Christians who are being persecuted and victimized.

oppression

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So, again I ask – why do people think that religious extremists could never plunge this country into the kind of hell that’s going on in Afghanistan and so many other countries around the world? Because our extremists follow a different religion and read a different set of sacred texts?

In Salem, Massachusetts, in 1683, 83% of taxpayers stated that they “had no religious allegiance.” There is not a single mention of God in the US Constitution. And although deists and theocrats and religious dissidents of all stripes were among the earliest settlers of the New World, the political project that was America was first and foremost a project of the enlightenment, where freedom from state religion – the source of so much turmoil and tragedy in European history – was among the core objectives.

See part 3:  Lock and Load!  The new Christian Right rhetoric

The activists pushing the latest Tea Party cause can’t explain how their effort to stop health-care reform could ever possibly succeed. Will they shut down the government?

The Tea Party has a new obsession: killing Obamacare by stripping the funding needed to implement the law. Thirteen Republican senators have signed on to the effort, which would likely lead to a government shutdown, since Democrats and President Obama are unlikely to agree to gut the president’s signature domestic achievement.

Sen-Ted-Cruz-Dallas-Defund-Obamacare-Town-hallMany Republicans are deeply skeptical of the idea, fearing it is yet another suicide mission by the far right that will hurt the party politically. Republican Senator Richard Burr, for example, called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” The Beltway conventional wisdom is that this idea is doomed to fail.

But activist groups say their members are passionate about the idea, and they plan to keep the heat on politicians to join the fight. The groups include Heritage Action, which is spending $550,000 on online ads in Republican districts and holding rallies in nine cities; an event in Dallas featuring Senator Ted Cruz drew 1,000 attendees on Tuesday. The Senate Conservatives Fund isairing radio ads against three non-supportive Republican senators, including Burr. Meanwhile, two more national grassroots organizations, the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica, are teaming up on their own six-state tour and online ad campaign, which involves calling eight Republican senators “chickens” for refusing to support defunding.

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