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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:34 PM
Original message
"a Republican party dangerously dominated by Southern fundamentalist..."
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 09:36 PM by madfloridian
From Kevin Phillips "American Dynasty", from the preface.

SNIP..."I must also acknowledge that the party of my youth and middle age
has changed enormously. For fifteen years after I published The Emerging
Republican Majority in 1969, I supported the GOP campaign argument that
public policy had gone too far in trying to squeeze religion out of American
life.
Now the voter backlash against that early squeeze has so reversed
the national discussion that the opposite threat is crystallizing: there
is a Republican Party dangerously dominated by southern fundamentalist and
evangelical constituencies, willing to blend biblical theology into U.S.
Middle Eastern policy and attach faith healers to the advisory structure of
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


I am just starting American Dynasty by Phillips. I knew this, but it struck
me again because I live among this fundamentalism. I was raised in this
culture, I am respectful of it, but I fear it. I left my church because
of it.

What worries me is how to fight against it. One of the churches here is now
giving out bumperstickers which say "We stand with President Bush and
support the war."

So....what do we do? One school of thought is to tread easy, avoid pointing
this out, avoid confrontation. That is the path that our county party seems
to be taking.

Most people here are not even aware of this alarming situation. It is just
a part of who they are. I know a lot of good people who just need a little
nudge to be really aware and alarmed. We have gotten some people to wake up
by talking to them and showing them literature. It should be easier now,
but the churches are working overtime about praying for our president,and
that stuff. It is real, it is going on here.

Just after the war started, we had 4 neighbors with yard signs supporting
the war......given out by their churches. They believed Iraq caused 9/11.
Most do until this day. We did convert one. I asked her if it bothered her
that her country let her think that Iraq caused the 9/11 tragedy. She was
furious at us that day, said she would pray for us and for Bush. She has
turned against the war now.

But I guess that it will just continue. It would take a bunch of voices and
a lot of media to get them to confront the truths that the churches are
glossing over. There are not that many voices, and thus the ones who want
to speak out are usually silent.











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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Make a point out of...
...the fact that separation of church and state is actually there to protect their religion as well as those of others.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I do make that point, and it works. It takes more than just one.
That is my worry. I have been able to at least get some to listen. It is a huge issue though, bigger than just the few of us who speak out here.

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. As a Christian, it infuriates me
to see so-called Christians supporting that fucker and the war and everything that goes along with it. He's no more Christian than Osama Bin Laden. And how many of these fundie nutballs have to worry about THEIR kids being sent over to fight and die for a lie, anyway? It's time to quit being nice, it's time to quit being afraid of confrontation or "offending" them. It's time to tell it like it is, because nothing less than the very future of the country is at stake.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Amen to that
I've started asking people how * exemplifies Christian values. One of my favorite email replies to repub crap about * and the war, etc.? Hey, Thou Shalt Not Kill, remember?

It's sad what's (again) being done in the name of Christianity :(
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. I use to live in the Bible Belt...
Literally there is one church in every corner. They are constantly being reinnovated and new ones being built. These people donate a lot of money I believe its called tiding. Most all of them are Repubilcans and are blurring the line between church and state. Our cause is waaay out gunned when it comes to these people. We are not coordinated and simply don't give as much money for our cause. I have no problem with them practicing religion but they are blurring the line between church and state. It's a tough fight but I am not going to give up!!!
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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. this sounds all too familiar
Grew up in a Baptist church where Ronald Reagan was revered far more than Jesus Christ. I never bought into their political doctrine, thank God (literally in this case). Though I quit the church in 1987, I did go back a few times for Christmas, Easter etc. and found that nothing had changed. Haven't set foot in there since Junior was selected and I shudder to think what they're saying about that bastard. If Reagan was annointed, then Junior would probably be the second coming of Christ in their eyes. :scared:
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. That is two of us who left our churches over this.
I think there are a lot more who would at least use common sense...not necessarily leave.....but be more moderate. I don't see a way to point all this out to them.

The very thought that a church is giving out yard signs and bumper stickers for war should be a talking point for some with a voice.

Bill Nelson won't speak on it, he and his wife are very much part of the ultra religious culture. I know, I used to be. Bob Graham has never said a word on the issue, though he knows.

No one will say it.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. For what's it's worth, my fiance belongs to a Baptist church that
is quite different. Oh, I'm sure they're very, very conservative on social issues -- the pastor even denounced evolution one day -- but they're singing a different tune on other issues. This pastor has chastised Bush a number of times when it comes to the war. "I don't listen to a word he says," the pastor stated, "I don't care what religion he says he belongs to."
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Moloch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I have a question about Baptists
What do they believe that other Christians don't? I ask because Jerry Falwell is a Baptist, but Jesse Jackson is also and the two are as different as night and day on ideology.
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. Dangerously Close?
Crazy concept..Close? They have complete control, except for the influences of the insurance and free traders- aka corporate sell out America shills. I think these last two elements are not comfortable with the right wing religious zealots..But, if the Fallwell et al organizers get them a de-regulated America, they are welcome for the ride.
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. Yes, more than dangerously close
We are over the edge.

Remember before the start of the war, all the church leaders and groups that urged Bush to seek a non-violent solution? There were tons of them, of all faiths and denominations.

But there was also the so-called "Land Letter" from prominent Southern Baptists that urged Bush to go to war and went on about how it was a "just war".

http://tinyurl.com/39enk

This letter was the complete opposite of Jimmy Carter's evaluation of what constituted a "just war".

Bush did what the religious fundamentalists of the SBC wanted, because it was what he wanted to do, anyway.

I'm often unsure which group is using the other more to advance their agenda, the imperialist neocons or the end-times religious fundamentalists. Either way, they are a combination that will end our Democracy, and maybe our world.
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beanball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. The southern Church folk.
I say to them get knowledge and with all your getting,get understanding.Hate,greed and stupidity will do more to destroy America from within than all of our enemies from abroad.
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salonghorn70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. Fundamentalists and Church Folk
There are right wing fundamentalists in the south who will never vote for our party. There are moderate "Southern church folk" who vote for Democrats like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. If Democrats ever hope to re-take the South, then there must be an appeal to the moderate Southern church folk. It does our Party no good to be anti-Christian. Afterall, a huge majority of Americans say that they believe in God. Of course, I am a "Southern church folk." :)
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Not be anti-Christian. That is not what I would like.
I am a Christian, and I am not anti-Christian. I just don't have a church right now.

Most will not vote Democrat, but they are the ones our party here is catering to. They are the ones we are choosing not to offend....the ones who won't vote Democratic anyway.

Many of the candidates do not have their positions on Womens' right on their website. If you don't bring it up, then how will they be aware of how far this guy plans to go in taking away these rights?

Most just ignore the war. What if we pointed out as a party all the inconsistencies, instead of not offending them. This is really not a real religion issue, it is a power issue by the far right. Most do not know that. Why? The media here does not cover it, and no one speaks up to it.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
12. Time to do some research of our own that gives a counterpoint
to all the simplistic and hate/fear-based ignorance that parades as Christianity in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, there are a lot of regular and good, ordinary people caught up in it because they've been taught that anything else is evil or just aren't aware there's anything better.

Some are just so tired at the end of the week they want to park their brains at the door before they come in.

But that does take some digging. One reason that all this fundamentalist theology has mushroomed is that it can usually be boiled down to slogans and easy formulas. Theology of any depth takes some time and effort. But I've come to realize that there need to be some "talking points" from moderate-to-progressive Christianity instead of nothing. The right wing of the church believes that anything less than fundamentalism isn't Christianity anyway, but why not be informed about what Christianity COULD be if we understood and followed it in a different way?

I would tell all of you who want to see something different to go and visit churches from most any mainline denomination. But there are fundamentalists within them who have steadily been undermining the kind of social witness and critical thinking that has actually benefited society. Thirty to forty years ago, during the Civil Rights/Vietnam era, some very courageous church people were willing to speak out and fight against injustice.

So part of the key is to do some scouting around the internet at good websites or find some good books. If you haven't given up and may be inclined to visit a church somewhere, I would suggest checking the web or newspaper. Here's what may be helpful:

Find out if they use the Revised Common Lectionary, or the Episcopal or Lutheran version of the Lectionary. Simply put, it's a three-year cycle of biblical readings used in worship that draws heavily from the gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke (each one is highlighted for one year). When I was growing up, the minister chose the topics they wanted to preach on, then searched the Bible for the passages that related to the topics. You can imagine how easy it is to leave out the biblical teachings about how we use our money, treat the earth, and treat others. But with the lectionary, the teachings and life of Jesus are what drives the sermon and liturgy, and not the other way around.

Do some checking around and find out whether or not a church is more interested in being self-serving or if they are visionary about what's really going on in the world. The best ones are more willing to ask difficult questions and live with them for awhile than they are at giving quick and easy answers. Also, find out how well-educated the leaders are. Even if you're not too comfortable on worship or if you have bad memories of that, check out the adult education program. If it sounds like an intelligent and stimulating approach, find out more. (If not, use your precious time looking elsewhere.)

Wish I had more time to list everything here, but here are a few more good sources:

Sojourners magazine online
The Other Side magazine online
Some books I'm most familiar with:

"The Upside-Down Kingdom" by Donald Kraybill is excellent

"Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt" - a quick read for inquiring minds! Could almost be titled "Being Mainline in the Bible Belt". Deals with how to deal with fundamentalism.

"The Gospel for the Person Who Has Everything" is at least 20 years old but is still a quick and interesting read.

"Christian Doctrine" by Shirley Guthrie - more in-depth, but it's a forty-year-old classic still extremely relevent!

"Strength to Love" by MLK, Jr.

Books by the late Robert McAfee Brown

"The Good Book" by Peter Gomes

"A New Kind of Christian" by Brian McLaren

The "Cotton Patch" versions of Matthew & John or Luke by Clarence Jordan (the idea of Habitat for Humanity actually originated from this Georgia farmer/biblical scholar/storyteller/race relations pioneer.)

Also, I hear that "Credo, the new book by William Sloane Coffin, is great.

That's for starters. I'd be more than happy to provide more stuff periodically.

BTW, THIS WEBSITE IS VERY INFORMATIVE ABOUT ALL THE MAJOR RELIGIONS, AND DOES DEAL WITH THE DIFFERENT BELIEFS WITHIN CHRISTIANITY.

Whew! Do take notice of the quote underneath this sentence.






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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Excellent post. There are good sites about the SBC churches.
They are one of the worst on this. Look up Southern Baptist Seminary and see their teachings. Check out Dr. Al Mohler, its head.

The Church of Christ, I believe, teaches we must not question our leaders. It is a tenet in their church.

Most members do not have a clue what is happening, though some are wondering why churches are giving out war signs.
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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. "The Church of Christ teaches we must not question our leaders"..."
Not sure which "Christ" they pray to then. Because the Christ I know openly questioned the so called leaders. Especially the ones who had it all wrong. Rather than follow His example, they choose to follow that of the Pharisees who refused to question anything out of their fear of the Romans.
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:25 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Bush belongs to the fundamentalist movement and...
People from all across America belong to that right wing. I must say that the most gentle and fair view is Methodist, Edwards is Methodist. Bush's foreign policy in the Mideast is a quest by the far right. I'll post this link and it may explain why Bush strikes fear in my heart. However, I do believe he uses his power to his advantage. Also believe he really believes this is the right thing to do. Which makes him even more scary.
Not all Southern Baptists would believe this- I left them years ago, for obvious reasons. This article does show the view Bush has. He really needs to be voted out. Every time he says God, he gets another vote. He scares the heck out of me.

Enjoy--

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0420-03.htm

For me Bush is part of the problem. Leaning heavily on his belief that God has chosen him for this period in time. I never studied the 'Rapture' theory, but a lot have. And are being led down a path by a leader they think is a 'true beliver.' In my book 666 is man himself. Corporate greed overcomes a nation and leads it on the path to distruction. In other words, I myself think that Bush is the so called 'Antichrist.' A lot see him in that light. Draw your own conclusions combined with your knowledge of his actions concerning war and the Mideast.
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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
16. Not fundamentalists...racists, plain and simple
They have a new group to hate...Arabs. But they still hide behind the other labels we give them. The wealthy elite still know how to play these fools for the idiots they are just as they did during the Civil War. The elites, the landed gentry, still know they can appeal to inner fears and racism to get the dolts to fight and die in wars to protect the interests of the elites while making them believe it's for 'patriotism' 'Christianity' 'freedom' 'safety' or whatever the latest byword of hysteria is. Nothing has changed in the 200 plus years of this country's existence. Cheap labor and a milita...that's the name of the game.
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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. www.TheocracyWatch.org
For all of the frightening details check out this website on how the Religious Right has hijacked the Republican Party.

It documents the whole sad story, it's an excellent resource on this: http://www.TheocracyWatch.org /
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. Quick response to Right Wing Christians:
Jesus never said a word about abortion or homosexuality. He did talk a great deal about the evil of wealth, saying that it is impossible to die rich and get into Heaven. The rich are supposed to give a lot of their money to the needy, according to Jesus.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
21. "Many will come in my name, there will be false messiahs...
You shall know them by their works".

No where does Jesus instruct anyone to wage war on their enemies. No where does Jesus say to kill those that oppose you. And NO WHERE does it say that these things should be done in his name.

bush is as much a Christian, as I am a barking baboon. Christians, those that truly know what the walk is, would never do any of the things that bush has done. He has stomped on the poor, taken medicine away from the sick, and helped to overload prisons on having maniacal activist judges appointed to the bench for life. He has shown glee at signing the death warrants of people while gov of TX, and has taken the wealth of this nation and squandered it on the rich. No one in the history of the United States has ever done so much to destroy what we value, than bush. If given another 4 years, he would be happy to leave the earth a smoldering cinder, and say it was "God's will".

His 'reward' is already awaiting him. He will spend the rest of his life as an anathema to humanity, and as usual with bush, people of dignity and character will have to clean up the mess.

O8)

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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Yo Raspy, I totally agree. But for Bush,. he will enjoy his life oblivious
to our comments and,,, History? He sez he will be dead, and "so what?" meaning he could give a rats ass.

The man is not a man, he is despicable beyond belief.
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-26-04 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
24. the diversity of the south shall eventually break the camel's back...
How long can Republicans allow guest workers to be treated as cattle, while American workers remain unemployed and uninsured? How long can Republicans use Democrats as their scapegoats in a single party government? How long before the ethnic minorities become the new majority and white voters are the minorities in America?

How long can patriots praise leaders, citizens cry war, soldiers kill or die without pay, and the free hate liberty?
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