Archive for June 2006

Protecting His Cozy Little Christianist Fiefdom

June 30, 2006

The Commercial Appeal reports:

A nontenured Munford High teacher who was the faculty adviser for the newly formed ACLU campus chapter has lost her teaching job.

This was the same school where the kids made the Christianists all excited and happy because they recited the Lord’s Prayer at the graduation ceremony as a protest. It was rude and bullying of them to do it but it was well within their Constitutional rights.

Apparently that wasn’t enough, though.

While Kilzer said she heard a rumor on May 11 about her contract not being renewed, school officials met with her May 12. “That’s when they told me.”

She said she didn’t realize that was the same day as when the ACLU letter was faxed to Munford High Principal Darry Marshall.

The most interesting part of this is this little paragraph near the end:

Before the school prayer issue, Kilzer said her students [the ACLU club] had asked Marshall not to use the school’s broadcasting system to talk about Jesus and religion.

The principal has been using his power as a government official to preach to the students–not just rude and bullying, but also unconstitutional.

With Kilzer’s departure the ACLU club will cease to exist because it must have a sponsor. Considering what happened to the last sponsor, what do you think the odds are of finding another one? None? or zero?

Government Funding of Religion

June 26, 2006

Social Justice Surprise by Stephen Monsma talks in glowing terms of how government money is being used to prosletyze.

What percentage of evangelical programs receive government funding?
One of the surprises was that more evangelical programs were receiving government funding—51 percent, versus 40 percent of the mainline programs.

This carried through also when you looked at the amount of funding: 38 percent of the evangelical programs reported receiving more than half of their funding from the government, compared to 31 percent for mainline programs.

To me this looks like government favoritism twoard evangelical churches. But I could just be paranoid.


What do you say to critics who see incorporating evangelism and religious values as a violation of church-state separation?

Many evangelical programs, when they have Bible studies or devotional activities, make them voluntary. Many of these efforts to encourage clients to make religious commitments are done with private money at a time separate from the other services. That’s a partial answer.

But even more fundamentally, we know that government funding cannot be used for sectarian worship, instruction, or proselytizing. Yet those words are not self-defining. If welfare-to-work staff reassure recipients that Jesus loves them, that work is a way to honor God, and that we all have a calling to fulfill in life—is that sectarian instruction? I think not.

Now the ACLU might disagree with me on that. But to me, this is using broad Christian values to help people overcome tremendous obstacles in becoming economically self-sufficient. I attended similar classes at secular nonprofit organizations. They also used values—non-religious values. They would talk about earning the respect of your family by going out to work or feeling better about yourself. But both evangelical and secular programs use values to motivate and improve the self-esteem of their clients.

Talking about Jesus to the your more or less captive audience isn’t religious at all. Right? You aren’t kidding the ACLU might disagree! So would all the Christians–probably those mainline Christians–who thought Jesus was a religious figure!

In order to enrich themselves with government money and use that government money to spread their religion, they are forced to deny the divinity of Jesus. They are lying, of course, but Peter was lying when he denied his association with Jesus. Do I hear a cock’s crow?

thanks to Red State Rabble for this tip.

Put Homosexuals To The Sword

June 26, 2006

In the article “Put Homosexuals To The Sword” by By Jim Rudd we are treated to a rant saturated in breath-taking arrogance and urged by a “loving” Christian to commit mass murder.

Back in 2003, when the Supreme Court issued an opinion against Texas sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, Republicans started pushing the idea of a “Marriage Protection Amendment” as a solution to the “gay problem.” As we now know the amendment idea is not a solution but a red herring used by crafty politicians to distract Christians away from obedience to the commandments of God concerning homosexuality. It is a political trick used to lure the Church into a humiliating situation of begging the State to “defend marriage,” while allowing civil officials to circumvent their God ordained duty to administer Justice upon sodomites!

When the Supreme Court rendered its Lawrence opinion, every U.S. Congressmen from the state of Texas should have issued an Indictment of Impeachment to have the Supreme Court Justices, responsible for such an abomination, to be kicked off the bench for sexual deviant behavior under Article III Section. I of the Constitution. Across the nation reprobate federal judges sit on the bench at the behest of our U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators.

America is a cursed nation (John.7:49) and “defending marriage” does nothing to cut off the curse. The marriage amendment does nothing to protect the people of the United States from the wrath to come-because of homosexuality. The word of God commands that sodomites are to be executed, and God gives our civil officials the sword to do the job. Until our civil officials turn from their wicked way by administering Justice, we can only be judged with the most depraved pagan nations in history:

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

If you hate your children’s guts, then do not teach them how to administer Justice in the land (Eph.6:4). Just sit back and let the lawless be damned (Matt.7:21-23).

Naturally Mr. Rudd is furious that the US Government will not carry out his murderous and sadistic impulses for him. The Old Testament is soaked with blood. You are ordered to murder unruly, disobedient children. You must murder adulterers–females only, of course. You are required to murder anyone who leaves your religion to go to another one, even murdering anyone who tries to persuade you to do so. You are ordered lop off body parts for an incredible array of trivial offenses.

Modern people ignore all that. Those things are just vestiges of a barbaric past. Modern Christians know that God is a benevolent father who only wants the best for us. God is a God of love, not of blood, curses and vengeance.

Right?

More on the "Public Expression of Religion Act"

June 23, 2006

The latest Christianist attempt to establish their theocracy has been nicely exposed over at “Dispatches from the Culture Wars.” Ed Brayton layes out the issue in wonderful detail. I recommend reading it.

On the Christianist wish list

June 22, 2006

On the Christianist wish list is a law which will not allow plaintifs in a establishment clause law suit to be able to collect damages and lawyer’s fees if they win. I got my little email newsletter from “Stop ACLU” asking me to lobby in favor of this astonishing piece of legislature. The bill in question is HB 2679. A bill like this would not be complete without a dishonest and misleading title. This one is called “Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005.” The bill was introduced a year ago and currently does not have a sponsor and doesn’t have a prayer of being passed. It is languishing in committee.

You can read the bill here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.+2679:

Of course every American has a right to express their religion in public. Children can form Bible study classes and prayer clubs in public schools. Street preachers can do their thing in parks and on street corners. Families can pray over their meal in restaurants. Clubs and organizations can pray before their meetings. You don’t have to sneak into churches. You can have group prayers in church parking lots.

So what’s the problem? The answer is embedded in the word “public.” They don’t mean “in public.” They mean government venues. They are not fighting for the right to pray in the church parking lot or in restaurants. They already have that right. All Americans do. They are fighting for the right to make you pray by using the government to force you.

They keep trying to do that in spite of the law and the Constitution and they keep getting sued by The Dreaded ACLU. Of course, when they inevitably lose, they must pay attorney’s fees in addition to any damages requested and granted. So this bill, if passed, would allow them to break the law, violate the rights of their fellow Americans and not have to suffer any consequences.

Cool trick. Maybe next they will try to decriminalize bank robbery.

Editing the 10 Commandments

June 21, 2006

The Louisianna legislature has been trying to edit the 10 Commandments so they cover all three religions that subscribe to that part of the Bible. They failed.

“Plan sidesteps biblical dispute” by Marsha Shuler reports:
The Legislature bowed out of the debate over what version of the Ten Commandments should be used in displays at government buildings.

Instead, the proposed law sent to Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Monday removed the specific commandants from the bill and referred instead to the wording “as extracted from the Bible.”

The House and Senate gave Senate Bill 476 final legislative approval Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union objected because the measure by Sen. James David Cain, R-Dry Creek, used a Protestant version. Catholics and Jews use different renderings of the Ten Commandments.

The problem underscores the reason why the SB476 shouldn’t be approved, ACLU state executive director Joe Cook said Monday. It violates constitutional provisions aimed at keeping religion out of government.

There were two other things in this report that The Sword of Freedom found especially annoying. One was this:

“It was clearly the intent of the Legislature to introduce religion into public places,” said Cook. And that would put it at odds with U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

by “public places” he means places owned by the public, i.e. government buildings. But by using the word “public” he has set himself up to be dishonestly quoted by the Christianists who love the equivocation fallacy. That is, they will say he doesn’t want them to practice their religion in public, such as preaching on street corners or saying grace over dinner in a restaurant. The ACLU, of course, frequently defends the right of Christians to practice their religion in those kinds of “public” places.

The other bit that annoyed me was this:
The version that went to the governor’s desk also altered the reference to the Ten Commandments as “a foundation of our legal system.” It became “one of the foundations of our legal system,” in the House version.

Either wording is a lie. Seven of the 10 commandments, if codified into law, would be unconstitutional. The legislators, being mostly lawyers, almost certainly know that and therefore their lie is obvious and cynical.

“Corrupt politician” is almost an oxymoron. It’s a given. The corruption of religion should not be a given, but it’s happening in front of our eyes.

thanks for the heads up goes to Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

The Corruption of Christianity

June 20, 2006

In Memorial and Remonstrance James Madison–the man who actually wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution–points out that mixing government and religion corrupts both. After nearly a decade of political power evangelical Christianity is so deeply corrupt that they endorse torture, oppose vaccines that would prevent cancer and are taking a wrecking ball to public education. They are deep in the pocket of big business and run their churches like big businesses. All of the folks who have been indicted for corruption in congress have claimed to be evangelical Christians.

Today on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish I discovered that I’m certainly not alone in my assessment of what evangelical Christianity has become. Sullivan quotes Randall Balmer a committed evangelical.
. . . It begins with an acknowledgement that religion in America has always functioned best from the margins, outside of the circles of power, and that any grasping for religious hegemony ultimately trivializes and diminishes the faith. . .

Balmer’s article is called Jesus is Not a Republican. It’s worth reading. My last post talked about hope. This post also contains a grain of hope. Perhaps there are some evangelicals who would like to retrieve their religion from the pits of depravity.