Look, I haven't mentioned Zeus, Buddah, or some religion.
Started by Recusant, April 14, 2019, 02:50:51 AM
Quote from: Bad Penny II on January 03, 2020, 12:34:26 PMQuote from: billy rubin link=topic=16150.msg395664#msg395664very oddThere's a lot of very odd to do with religion Billy.
Quote from: billy rubin link=topic=16150.msg395664#msg395664very odd
QuoteLast Thursday, Jan. 16, was Religious Freedom Day. As befits his mendacious nature, Donald Trump "honored" it by promoting two policies profoundly at odds with the original meaning of what religious freedom is all about: a license to discriminate with federal funds, both in employment and in provision of services, and new pressure on public schools to allow student prayer and religious use of school facilities. The actual substance of the second policy was vastly over-hyped, noted Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Religion had never been banned from education by the Supreme Court in the 1960s, she pointed out — only "mandatory Bible readings and prayers written by the government. It should not be controversial to oppose government-dictated religious practice." But that's clearly the direction Trump was signaling toward, and the public pressure of presidential posturing has real-life consequences, regardless of written laws and regulations.Trump's actions drew swift condemnation from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Center for Inquiry, among others. As CFI noted:Quote[I]f a homeless atheist or LGBTQ teenager went to a federally-funded Catholic soup kitchen seeking nutritional aid, the organization could turn them away without so much as notifying them that alternative sources of aid exist.This amounts to a religious litmus tests to access public services. Welcome to "Handmaid's Tale" America. But this was no surprise, given Trump's dependence on Christian nationalist support, and the fact that he's touted their line before, as I noted last year at this time. As Americans United president Rachel Laser said to Salon, "The Trump administration's constant entanglement of church and state should make our founders turn over in their graves."So what is surprising is the dramatic growth of a broad progressive pushback against this attempt to kidnap the meaning of America's most distinctive contribution to the history of human freedom.[Continues . . .]
Quote[I]f a homeless atheist or LGBTQ teenager went to a federally-funded Catholic soup kitchen seeking nutritional aid, the organization could turn them away without so much as notifying them that alternative sources of aid exist.
QuoteReligious conservatives asked the Supreme Court Wednesday to overturn 38 state constitutional amendments and require taxpayers to fund religious schools.You read that right. The case, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue isn't about whether a state may fund religious schools through a school choice, voucher, or similar program. It's about whether it must.And the conservatives might just win.At issue in the case, probably the most significant church-state case on the 2019-20 docket, is Montana's "no-aid" amendment to its state constitution, which was revised and passed in 1972. Like similar amendments in 37 other states, it prohibits "direct or indirect funding" for any "sectarian purpose."In 2015, the state legislature passed a law that gave a tax credit of up to $150 for donations to a school scholarship program. But in 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the program, saying it violated the 1972 constitutional provision.That's when a group of religious organizations upped the ante. They went to the Supreme Court, seeking not just to reinstate the program but to toss out the "no-aid" amendment entirely – and, as a consequence, invalidate 37 similar amendments across the country.That would open the floodgates to the funding of religious schools, especially since the plaintiffs argue that not funding them—previously the constitutional norm—is actually a form of discrimination.[Continues . . .]
QuoteSince late December, 2019, when retiring editor-in-chief of Christianity Today Mark Galli published his infamous "Trump Should Be Removed from Office" editorial, there's been a great deal of buzz in the pundit class over whether Trump, after a highly publicized impeachment trial, needs to be concerned with possible defections in his white evangelical base. From an analytical standpoint, the buzz is mere noise, horse race politics nonsense from people who don't understand that most white evangelicals have long since come to regard CT as "too liberal." As John Stoehr observed on RD back in December, "It's not going to change much."And, what many failed to notice or recall, is that the editorial itself was entirely milquetoast, attacking only Trump's "gross immorality and ethical incompetence," while agreeing with Trump-supporting evangelicals that "his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy" are among "the president's positives."Although this editorial was never going to make a dent in the unflagging support Trump counts on from his white evangelical base, he seems to have been scared enough by the furor around it to start ramping up his evangelical outreach. It's probably no coincidence that Trump recently became the first U.S. president to address the radical anti-choice "March for Life" event in person.Given that the vast majority of white evangelicals, America's single most right-wing demographic, are Christian nationalists, we should have expected a substantial presence of Christian nationalist rhetoric in yesterday's State of the Union Address, along with coded nods to specific evangelical concerns about abortion, schooling, and "religious freedom."Indeed, all these elements were present in a speech packed chock-full of "lies, damned lies, and statistics," along with reality-show gimmicks including a surprise reunion of Trump guest Amy Williams and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Townshend Williams, and awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to right-wing radio charlatan Rush Limbaugh, whose advanced lung cancer diagnosis does nothing to erase his substantial contributions to the destruction of America's information ecosystem.Trump's appreciation for post-truth bluster and militarism are certainly among the characteristics that endear him to the Christian Right. And while he remains most in his element with the jingoistic rhetoric of borders, "heroes," economic protectionism, and "criminal" immigrants, over the last few years Trump has become visibly more comfortable using language that more directly appeals to the conservative, mostly white evangelicals and radical traditionalist Catholics who represent his base, and with whom he has surrounded himself.[Continues . . .]
QuoteIn early 2018, after a year of confusion over why Donald Trump had been elected, Clemson sociologist Andrew Whitehead and two colleagues provided compelling evidence — which I wrote about here — that "voting for Trump was, at least for many Americans, a symbolic defense of the United States' perceived Christian heritage." That is, it represented "Christian nationalism," even when controlling for other popular explanations such as "economic dissatisfaction, sexism, anti-black prejudice, anti-Muslim refugee attitudes, and anti-immigrant sentiment." The puzzle of why white evangelicals voted for Trump so overwhelmingly turned out to have a simple explanation: It wasn't their religion that he championed — Trump is conspicuously not a person of faith — but rather its place in society.Now, Whitehead and one of those colleagues, University of Oklahoma sociologist Samuel Perry, have a new book taking their research approach much further: "Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States." Donald Trump doesn't figure as a central subject in the book, but then, he doesn't have to. By exploring and explaining the power of Christian nationalism, Whitehead and Perry provide one of the best perspectives possible on the 2020 race, and the larger forces that will continue to polarize America for some time to come. Significantly, the authors explore Christian nationalism's influence on society as a whole — not just on those who embrace it, but on those across the whole spectrum, from adherents to opponents — while not forgetting how extreme its animating vision is. They cite Corey Robin's "The Reactionary Mind" and Jason Stanley's "How Fascism Works," for example, in making the point that while "Christian nationalism seeks to preserve or reinstitute boundaries in the public sphere," its believers are "most desperate" to influence "Americans' private worlds," as is true of "all reactionary movements." [. . .]Your book is about "Christian nationalism." Let's start with explaining what you mean by that.When we talk about Christian nationalism, we identify it as a cultural framework that is all about trying to advocate for a fusion between Christianity, as they define it, and American civic life. This Christianity is something more than just orthodox Christian belief — it contains and overlaps with a number of other things. It operates like a signal to those that hear it, to a certain population, to say "people like us," which is generally white, native-born, culturally Christian. So it intertwines not only with narratives about the Christian heritage of the United States, but also different traditions and symbols and value systems, and really is a fusion of these identities, put together to create what they see as the "ideal" America. [Continues . . .]
QuoteIt's one of the most enduring conundrums of the Donald Trump era: How is it that the Christian right, the self-appointed monitors of American morality, have come to so enthusiastically back a thrice-married chronic adulterer who lies as easily as he breathes? Author Katherine Stewart has the answer: Because the true god these folks worship is power. In her book, "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism," Stewart details how she traveled around the country, getting to know the various Christian conservative figures that are whipping support for Trump and his agenda. She deems the "Christian nationalists" and demonstrates how their supposedly Christian values always come second to their endless quest for power. [interview follows]When you dig a little deeper into what the movement leaders talk about when they talk with one another, they actually advocate for a very wide range of policy issues that don't just have to do with abortion or same-sex marriage. A lot of it has to do with economic policy. A lot of it has to do with foreign policy, social policy. It's important to look at the movement in this broader fashion as a political movement that wants power.Tell me more about that. How does someone argue that there's something Christian about, say, low tax and low regulation?They say that the Bible favors minimal government or no government. The Bible is against regulation, against the social safety net. Unless the social safety net is managed by the church.Someone like Ralph Drollinger — who targets political leaders at the top levels of government — he's got this Bible study group in the Capitol that's been attended by at least 11 members of Trump's cabinet, including Mike Pence. He also has Bible study groups targeting the Senate and House of Representatives, and they're very well-attended. So he's arguably one of the most politically influential pastors in America.[Continues . . .]
QuoteOn March 10, President Trump retweeted a post from conservative political activist Charlie Kirk, who referred to the coronavirus (COVID-19) as the "China Virus." Kirk also exclaimed in his tweet, "Now, more than ever, we need the wall...the US stands a chance if we can get control of our borders." Trump retweeted this and added the comment, "Going up fast. We need the wall more than ever!"At first blush, this exchange might seem like the garden-variety white nationalist xenophobia characteristic of Trump or many of his influential supporters. Fox News' Tucker Carlson and GOP House Representative Kevin McCarthy, in fact, have both insisted on continuing to call the disease the "Chinese Coronavirus." But Trump's retweet, and where it originates, helps shed light not only on the Right's brazen xenophobia, but on the link between America's supposed religious heritage and fears of ethnic pollution. Charlie Kirk is co-founder of Liberty University's Falkirk Center for Faith and Liberty. The Falkirk Center is described by Liberty's newspaper as a "modern think tank set to renew and defend God-given freedoms and Christian principles throughout American politics and culture." That an ambassador of Christian nationalism like Kirk would hold xenophobic attitudes should be no surprise. In Taking America Back for God, we show that such views are fundamental to the Christian nationalist framework. One of the most consistent findings in research on Christian nationalism over the past decade is that Americans who more strongly subscribe to this ideology are more likely to be staunchly anti-immigrant―especially if those immigrants are non-white and/or non-Christian.But Kirk's repeated "China Virus" tweets, and Trump's powerful retweet, both connecting the spread of disease with the need to keep immigrants out, are a clear reminder that white Christian nationalism has always connected non-white immigrants with social and biological contamination. Immigration is framed as an issue of purity or contamination; a righteous body politic or pathological disease. Chinese immigrants have long been the target of such attacks. The Immigration Act of 1882 included the Chinese Exclusion Act, which all but banned immigrants from anywhere in Asia, who were perceived to be plagued with "the social and political diseases of the Old World." Asians in particular, and to a lesser extent Eastern Europeans, were deemed less worthy than immigrants from parts of Europe populated by those more likely to be "White" and "Protestant," which have often been historically been understood to mean the same thing.[Continues . . .]
Quote from: Recusant on March 14, 2020, 10:42:06 PMTopical, but also deserves a place in this thread. The image of Tucker Carlson that accompanies the piece is amusing, but I prefer his perennial "dumbfounded and deeply concerned" look.[spoiler=Don't bother if you know what I'm talking about][/spoiler]...
Quote"The COVID virus has been a gift from God," began Ken Eldred. "The kingdom of God advances through a series of glorious victories, cleverly disguised as disasters."In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Eldred noted, millions of Americans are turning to Christ, Walmart is selling out of Bibles, and online church broadcasts have hit record numbers.But while religiosity was growing, there have been setbacks from the disease outbreak. "Satan has been busy too," Eldred, a major donor to evangelical and Republican causes, explained. "The virus has messed up many of our plans involving our in-person meetings with voters."And the rise of mail-in ballots, Eldred added, would undercut voter identification laws, which have been a pillar of GOP election strategy. "The children of the darkness put early voting into this CARES package," he grumbled, a reference to the $400 million for election assistance programs to states included in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.Following a brief prayer led by Eldred, in which he declared that "we have now turned the corner on the virus" and asked God for an end to coronavirus deaths, the business of the call got started: How Christian voters can be a force to reelect Donald Trump.[Continues . . .]
Quote from: Old Seer on May 26, 2020, 07:22:13 PMThe constitution of the US wouldn't allow a dominionist based government. Actually the Constitution doesn't allow a capitalist state either. Capitalism is a personal choice so it cannot be favored over any other personal choice of sustenance endeavors. (material gathering/needs)
Quote from: Recusant on May 26, 2020, 08:39:26 PMQuote from: Old Seer on May 26, 2020, 07:22:13 PMThe constitution of the US wouldn't allow a dominionist based government. Actually the Constitution doesn't allow a capitalist state either. Capitalism is a personal choice so it cannot be favored over any other personal choice of sustenance endeavors. (material gathering/needs)With a compliant US Supreme Court in place the government could go a considerable way down that road. Trump and McConnell are working steadily to pack the federal courts with right wing Christian judges who are ready and willing to write decisions favoring the Christian religion. They will create precedents for the Supreme Court to point to, especially if the Republicans put another Kavanaugh or two on the bench.