Independence Day has always been a mixture of emotions for me. While I believe that America may be the world's best hope for universal human rights and peace, its antecedent history is permanently marred, always with an asterisk, because of the geneocide that wiped out 90% of First Peoples and an economy based on slavery, the repercussions of which are damning us to this day. When I was young, I coped with this dissonance by focusing on individual independence: that it should be a day when we each reflect our own liberation from ideas that restrain and diminish our own selves. ...Read More›
"American power worldwide, unfettered capitalism, no unions, no programs to help poor people, all with this idea that godly, powerful, rich men should get as many resources as possible personally and they should just privately help everyone else." (Rachel Maddow's impression of The Family after reading one of Jeff Sharlet's definitive, investigative books on the organization, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2009) and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (2011) Jeff Sharlet. This continues our month-long series on the The Family (aka Read More›
It's important, now more than ever, for progressives to understand the wide divide separating two distinct concepts: religious freedom and religious liberty. The religious right have become the champions of religious libertarianism because of the association of the word, liberty, with release from captivity and the bondage of sin. Intentionally, their use of the words, religious liberty, has nothing whatsoever to do with religious freedom, or how or why it was incorporated into our founding documents. The religious right's point of view is best understood by what is driving it: the political and religious philosophy of Read More›
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty." And, "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." (Thomas Jefferson)
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." (John Adams)
"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together." (James Madison)
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave making, and monopolize power and profit." (Thomas ...Read More›
Back now from a few days meditation on the shifting political sands brought about by recent Supreme Court rulings (healthcare, marriage, and against gerrymandering) and other intersecting events, such as President Obama's Eulogy for Clementa Pickney. I've been soaking in all that has been written about this extraordinary week and how it relates to the future fortunes of the religious right. You can catch up with the last few weeks of my posts which have focused exclusively on the religious right, and in particular the dominionist, political-religious philosophy that ...Read More›
In his dissenting opinion to today's Supreme Court decision that has made marriage equality the law of the land, Justice Antonin Scalia was very emotional and just as dissembled as he was yesterday after the American Care Act was upheld, and many days before. But his few court-published words this morning in particular make them tower in importance because they are so succinctly self-incriminating (something I like to call self-repudiation). "Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court." I recently posited that ...Read More›
Self-repudiation: (def.) the ability to shoot one's self in the foot by one's own words and deeds.Custer was part of a murderous US political-military strategy that wiped out 95% of the indigenous First Peoples. Pause to think about today's survivors and how they see the American flag's stars and stripes as a relic of terrorism and racism, just as much as we are trying to make the flag of the confederacy disappear. Today the progeny of these religious European expansionists continues attempts to silence (perhaps not be murder) nearly as many of us because we don't ... Read More›
"The laws regulating people’s sexual behavior originated in the interpretation of the Bible and religious texts by some citizens, providing the rationale for government intrusion in other citizens’ private lives," wrote Robert Levine.I have long posited that the anti-science, anti-women, anti-LGBT, and xenophobic aggression coming from the religious right springs from something very deep inside these white men, a place of sexual repression and fear so great that they dare not examine it closely. Just as much as they seem to abhor legislating human rights and equality, the monster they fear the most is their own self -- what ... Read More›
American Fundamentalists are succeeding in denying science and establishing punishing, religion-based legislation for one reason only. They have wisely aligned themselves with interests of corporate profiteers. The scheme is as old as time, and today's clearest example of this unholy marriage of religion and money is an organization called The Family (aka The Fellowship), something I have been writing about here for weeks. Like all cults of its ilk, The Family carries forth the dominionism doctrine, brought here by the Puritans. Dominionism is a political and religious philosophy calling for the end of the rule of law and the ...Read More›
Wistfully, I recall presidential candidate John F. Kennedy speaking before a skeptical audience of Protestant clergy in 1960 who had been questioning whether his Roman Catholic faith would allow him to make important national decisions as president independent of the church.
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote …"
Asked, and answered. The last presidential candidate to do so.On Saturday as part ... Read More›