Category Archives: theocracy

Clergy Response Team

What should Christian clergy do if the United States government declares martial law? Why, they should follow Romans 13:1, which reads: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” And so the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is training clergy to help their flock accept reductions in civil rights.

Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared
Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law
Feds Train Clergy To “Quell Dissent” During Martial Law
Why is FEMA recruiting CLERGY to preach government propaganda? [more links inside]

Randy Dotinga: Public schools grapple with Muslim prayer

When afternoon recess comes at an elementary school on the outskirts of San Diego, some students rush out for a quick game of hopscotch, while others gather in a room for Muslim worship. Like a growing number of school districts around the country, San Diego’s is changing its ways to meet the needs of its Islamic students. Here, a controversy with constitutional overtones erupted: In accommodating Muslim students, is the school unfairly promoting religion? The school’s policy “presumes that Christians are less religious and less inspired to worship and praise the Lord and come together,” says Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. He is asking the school district to set up special rooms where Christians can pray, too. [...]

For now, about 100 students in the Arabic language program at Carver Elementary School are finishing their first year under a daily schedule that gives them a 15-minute recess period in the afternoon, about an hour after lunch. Many of the students are Muslim and transferred from an Arabic-language charter school that folded. Carver Elementary revised its schedule so the students would have the option to pray at the specific times ordained by their religion, says attorney Brent North, who represents the school district. A teacher is present to watch the praying children but cannot lead or take part in the observance.

[Article continues at link. Since the First Amendment insures that no religion will be favored over any other by the State, I look forward to seperate rooms for Muslim boys and Muslim girls to pray in at public schools. Then rooms for Christians, because it wouldn't be right to favor Muslims over Christians. Then a room for Protestants and a room for Catholics. Then a room for each denomination of Protestants and each denomination of Catholic. Then Hindu, then all the Native American religions. Then all the dead religions, just in case those Gods are real and someone wants to worship them. Don't forget the Jews, and all the denominations of Judaism. Shinto, yes, Shinto. Seperate rooms for all, and time out of the school day for all - that's what equal representation is all about. Or maybe what the First Amendment means is that the State should stay out of the superstition business altogether, and that tax dollars should go to secular public schools not religious schools. There are religious schools, and parents are free to send their kids there. There is home schooling, and parents are free to home school their kids. Options exist outside of introducing superstition play time into the public school day.]

Rachel Bevilacqua

The High Weirdness Project: “As of July 6th, 2007, custody of Reverend Magdalen’s son has been awarded to the boy’s father. Magdalen is conferring with her lawyer and preparing a statement.”

Rachel Bevilacqua’s Blog: Bevilacqua, who performs under the name “Rev. Magdalen,” was stripped of the custody of her 10-year-old son because of pictures found on the Internet of her performances with the satirical comedy group The SubGenius Foundation, Inc. The images were from a members-only yearly SubGenius convention in upstate New York.

The Wild Hunt: Rachel Bevilacqua (an active SubGenius known as “Rev. Magdalen”) had her son, Kohl removed from her custody and was barred from even writing to her child due to her bawdy and satirically blasphemous participation in Subgenius festivals (at which the son was never present). Not only was the son never present at these adult-oriented festivals, but she has been barred since 2000 from “exposing” her son to any information or activities related to the Church of the SubGenius.

[You are next.]

Jacques Berlinerblau: The Religion-Industrial Complex

The 2008 presidential election is probably the first in American history that has spawned a veritable faith and politics industry. Entire non-profit organizations, university departments, think tanks, polling operations, and web divisions at prestigious East coast newspapers, have marshaled their resources in an attempt to make sense of the role that religion will play in the run for the White House. The industry is immense. Its wares displayed on every boulevard, sidewalk and back alley of the mass media. Its potential for influencing public opinion is considerable.

The faith and politics industry also has a variety of “applied” or “hands-on” subsidiaries. There are the lobbyists who work for religious special interest groups. There are demographers who conduct surveys for any client willing to cough up the fee. There is the very lucrative traffic in what I call “religious imaging.” By this I refer to the work of political consultants–an astonishing percentage of whom are graduates of theological seminaries–who advise and often rehabilitate candidates who have somehow drifted off (religious) message.

And did I mention that the industry is completely deregulated? That is to say, there are no standards for entrance, let alone excellence. No one seems to be interested in the identity of the employees or employers in the industry. It doesn’t hold annual conventions in a big, deep carpet-y Hotel where everyone gets to expense their meals back to Headquarters. In fact, no one seems to have much to say about the industry as a whole. It floats under the radar. Which is strange because as regards religion and politics the Industry is the radar.

[Article continues at link.]

U. S. Senator David Vitter

2000: Asked by an interviewer [...] whether she could forgive her husband if she learned he’d had an extramarital affair, as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston’s wife had done, Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: “I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

2004: Vitter Statement on Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage. “This is a real outrage. The Hollywood left is redefining the most basic institution in human history, and our two U.S. Senators won’t do anything about it. We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts’s values. I am the only Senate Candidate to coauthor the Federal Marriage Amendment; the only one fighting for its passage. I am the only candidate proposing changes to the senate rules to stop liberal obstructionists from preventing an up or down vote on issues like this, judges, energy, and on and on.” stated David Vitter.

2004: On WSMB radio last Saturday, a caller who identified himself as Elwood asked Vitter about charges, made by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee in the Weekly that the then-State Representative, had had an affair with a known prosition in the French Quarter. Elwood continued, “Would you be willing to sign an affidavit that you have ever known, met or had relations with one Wendy Cortez.” Vitter responded, “I think you know that that alligation is abosultely and completely untrue…I have said that on numerous occassions…I’ll say that in any forum…Unfortuanately, that’s just crass Louisiana politics, now that I am running for the Senate. I have made that clear that it is alll completely untrue…And, it’s obviously politically motivated.”

June 25, 2007: U.S. Sen. David Vitter last week authored a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressing support for reauthorization of the Title V Abstinence Education Program of the Social Security Act. Twelve senators joined Vitter in writing in support of the program. “This a valuable program with proven results, but it is nearing its expiration. We must reauthorize this program so we can continue the incredible strides we have made in teaching teens about both risk avoidance and protecting themselves from potential abuse,” Vitter said.

July 9, 2007: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.” Vitter’s spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an email sent to The Associated Press. “This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter said in the statement. “Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counselling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there – with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.”

Deuteronomy 23:1
“He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.”

[Articles continue at links. Thanks to Metafilter for the heavy lifting. Unlike Sen. Vitter, I consider consenting sexual relations to be a private affair among adults and not something the government should regulate. I also support sex education, unlike Sen. Vitter. Sen. Vitter hides behind the Bible both in his lies and in his laws. I, an atheist, have never had an affair (unlike Sen. Vitter, I'm not lying when I say that). I wish Sen. Vitter and his family the best in what I'm sure will be hard times ahead. But I hope that they re-consider the virtues of a religion that neither prevents nor heals wounds such as this. I also hope his voters won't be so easily tricked next time someone waves a cross at them come election time.]

John F. Kennedy: I Believe in an America Where the Separation of Church and State is Absolute

[Transcript of video...]

But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured–perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again–not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me–but what kind of America I believe in.

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–where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference–and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish–where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source–where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials–and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew–or a Quaker–or a Unitarian–or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim–but tomorrow it may be you–until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end–where all men and all churches are treated as equal–where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice–where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind–and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe–a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

- John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1960, address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. By way of God is for Suckers.

Stonewall

Today (June 28) is the anniversary (1969) of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. Wikipedia states: Details about how the riot started vary from story to story. According to one account, a transgender woman named Sylvia Rivera threw a bottle at a police officer after being prodded by his nightstick. Another account states that a lesbian being brought to a patrol car through the crowd put up a struggle that encouraged the crowd to do the same . Whatever the case may be, mêlée broke out across the crowd—which quickly overtook the police. Stunned, the police retreated into the bar. [...] Throughout the night the police singled out many transgender people and gender nonconformists, including butch women and effeminate men, among others, often beating them. On the first night alone 13 people were arrested and four police officers, as well as an undetermined number of protesters, were injured. It is known, however, that at least two rioters were severely beaten by the police. Bottles and stones were thrown by protesters who chanted “Gay Power!” The crowd, estimated at over 2000, fought with over 400 police officers. The police sent additional forces in the form of the Tactical Patrol Force, a riot-control squad originally trained to counter Vietnam War protesters. The tactical patrol force arrived to disperse the crowd. However, they failed to break up the crowd, who sprayed them with rocks and other projectiles. [...] Eventually the scene quieted, but the crowd returned again the next night. While less violent than the first night, the crowd had the same energy as it had on the previous night. Skirmishes between the rioters and the police ensued until approximately 4:00 a.m.. The third day of rioting fell five days after the raid on the Stonewall Inn. On that Wednesday, 1,000 people congregated at the bar and again caused extensive property damage. [...] The forces that were simmering before the riots were now no longer beneath the surface. The community created by the homophile organizations of the previous two decades had created the perfect environment for the creation of the Gay Liberation Movement. By the end of July the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed in New York and by the end of the year the GLF could be seen in cities and universities around the country. Similar organizations were soon created around the world [...]. The following year, in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, the GLF organized a march from Greenwich Village to Central Park. Between 5,000 and 10,000 men and women attended the march. Many gay pride celebrations choose the month of June to hold their parades and events to celebrate “The Hairpin Drop Heard Round the World.”

Thank you to all those who have come before us who made the world a better place. More specifically, thank you to those who have moved homosexuality from ‘sin’ to ‘mental illness’ to ‘lifestyle’ to whatever it may be today and tomorrow. Some of those who came before us worked quietly, some publicly; some worked civilly, and some used physical force. I think some of each ended up having their place in making the world as it is today. And I think our work is not yet done.

Where work is needed most is not same-sex marriage, nor renters rights, nor lessening job discrimination, or passing ‘hate speech’ laws. These just aren’t the most important or terrible things happening to homosexuals right now. The most important and terrible thing happening right now is that homosexual men (and sometimes women) are being put to death in Islamic countries. Being stoned to death really and truly is worse than being called a faggot, no matter what cultural relativists may have to say on the subject. All things are related but all things are not equally related. Efforts to make this a better world should continue in many areas, but “people being killed to appease an invisible monster that lives in the sky” trumps what I think much of the West pays attention to on Pride day. That noise about respecting diversity and honoring ancient traditions and the hands-off policy religion gets? That’s all over now. When people stop dying, we can play nice-nice with theists again.

And so on this Pride day for 2007, I will do two things. I will give thanks where thanks is due. And I will suggest that more efforts need to be made toward saving homosexuals in Islamic counties. Homosexuality is still at the ‘sin’ stage in Islamic countries. Not in the all-but secular way the West talks about sin, but in the way religions have talked about sin throughout history: as a kind of germ that physically exists and must be physically destroyed.

Amnesty International has done some work on this topic. The International Society for Islamic Secularization has done some work on this topic as well. Jack Malebranche’s book Androphilia isn’t specifically on this topic, but is in agreement on this topic. What work will you do today?

David Reys: Religious freedom bill raises concerns

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to limit government action affecting religious practice has won support from some religious leaders [...] The Democratic governor said his bill would ensure that state and local laws and regulations, “wherever possible and consistent with the state’s important interests, accommodate religious beliefs and practices.”

[...] The New York State Catholic Conference wants the legislation to go further and include exemptions for people of faith to follow their conscience. “The bill also needs to ensure protecting Catholic service providers, such as Catholic hospitals, from having to perform abortions or Catholic institutions from having to give contraceptives to employees,” said Dennis Poust, director of communication for the conference.

[Article continues at link. I am very much in favor of Catholic service providers, such as Catholic hospitals, to not be forced to perform abortions or give contraceptives to employees. They are private, voluntary organizations and should be free to do as they please. But to be private enough to do as they please and to simultaneously public enough to demand non-profit tax-free status is unacceptable. You get one or the other, not both.]

Steve LeBlanc: Romney looking for gay adoption exemption for Catholic church

Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday he’s trying to find a way to exempt Catholic social services agencies from a law requiring them to consider gays as adoptive parents. Romney said he doesn’t have the power to unilaterally exempt Catholic Charities from the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But he said he wants to let Catholic agencies continue placing children with adoptive parents without violating the teachings of their faith.

[Article continues at link. Governor Romney, let me make a suggestion to you. Let any social service agency make its choice to be a secular social service or a religious social service. Secular social services (even ones that call themselves 'Catholic') have to follow federal and state laws regarding discrimination. Religious ones don't. The Salvation Army has often opted to go secular, the Boy Scouts of America have often opted to not go secular, so there's a precident for success either way. Or we could take the route you're favoring and install a theocracy. Makes sense from a fund raising point of view. Estimated donations to just Protestant churches in the USA is $93 billion (that's $93,000,000,000.00) every year. Poor little pornography only makes $8 billion a year.]

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