You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Separation of Church and State [List Edits]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Archives » Research Forum Donate to DU
 
Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 04:16 PM
Original message
Separation of Church and State
Edited on Mon Mar-05-07 07:15 PM by Taxloss
Transcripts of research interviews undertaken by WP Wiles ("Taxloss") in the summer of 2005.

----------------

INTERVIEW WITH REV. LOU SHELDON
CHAIRMAN
TRADITIONAL VALUES COALITION

Whatís the basis of the rise of Evangelical Christianity in the US?

The basis of that is our history. America was founded with a religion group, who were all from England, the pilgrims, and many others that came for religious liberty reasons. The first document, called the Mayflower Compact, was written when they were blown off course 500 miles, the land that King James had given to them was in Virginia and they ended up in Massachusetts, so they wrote a document, and that document really has a lot of theological and evangelical principles in it, so from 1620 even to 1776 when we declared our independence, revivals were absolutely thriving, into the 1800s again it continued, and in the 1900s itís there. Now in this 21st century you see this revival happening with a number of people, not just one leading voice, like it has been in the last part of the 1900s under Billy Graham. This revival centres itself in individuals who want to live a life that they know the Bible teaches, a life of honesty, fairness, of non-prejudice towards different ethnic groups of people or even different religions like Islam, like Buddhism, or any other. Another factor of the revival is that for the first time in history Catholics and Protestants are fellowshipping, having Bible studies, having joint worship services, things of that nature that are evangelical together. What Iím saying is that the people have been there doing it in different ways, but now, with the electronic world, and with email and internet things are happening very fast.

So itís an exciting time?

Yes. Everyone is examining why did we have segregation against our black brothers and sisters? Why did we seem to look down our noses at Asians and folks of that ethnic background? And now thereís a huge integration of Hispanic, Blacks and Asians into churches together, you see. You go into a church and you will see probably 10% African-Americans, which is a little bit under what our national population is, you will see a larger section of Hispanics now in most churches across America that are in the urban areas.

So itís become more inclusive?

Definitely more inclusive. In other words, the fact that Jesus Christ we believe, is the Son of God and that he died for the sin of the world, not just for Anglo sin, he died for Asian sin, he died for Hispanic sin, he died for Black sinners. So weíre all in this together. And it is in Christ that we come together. So this is taking on great reality.

What are the aims of your coalition?

The broad aim of our coalition is to represent millions of Americans before the Congress and before the legislatures, before state legislatures, county boards, city councils and school districts at the local level. Thatís what we do. Weíre lobbyists, and we predicate out particular special interest on moral principle, not theological principle, but moral principle, because theologically we have different views, you see, Catholics have different views theologically, concerning private confession to the priest, Virgin Mary, and of course another communion. And so we unite under: Does life begin at conception? We all say yes. The sexual relationship needs to be committed to a man and a woman in marriage? We all say yes. Pornography and obscenity needs to be absolutely stamped out? We all say yes. We must keep the state of our backs, and allow for total religious liberties, that means for Muslims as well as Christians and Jews and others, and we all say yes to that. So thatís our unifying factor.

Church-state issues; the decalog. What did you think of the SCOTUS ruling?

The issue about the decision is related to the tyrannical role of our judges. The decision is related to the whole misrumour and big lie of a separation of church and state. The majority five to four decision, those individuals just do not understand American history, that Thomas Jefferson, who they say is their anchorman in the separation of church and state, he attended every Sunday that he was in Washington DC as our President from 1801 until 1808 when he left, he attended a worship service sponsored by the House of Representatives. That is the state. The Congress of the United States every Sunday became a church. Thomas Jefferson sat in the front row with his vice president Aaron Burr. And there they worshipped Jesus Christ. Now they may not have accepted all the teaching that was put forth there. So the Ten Commandments decision has to be seen that these people are dead wrong. And this is why we have the battle at the current time concerning our upcoming new appointment of Sandra Day OíConnor, in the Supreme Court, to replace her in her retirement, and the possibility down the road of our Chief Justice whose health is ailing. So we do not agree with that. The Ten Commandments are in the Congress of the United States. They are in the Supreme Court building, in stone, Moses is the lead lawmaker that looks down in the House of Representatives, from the balcony Ė the galleries, we call it Ė in statue as the great lawgiver. Well, the court very carefully, gingerly stepped around the fact that the Ten Commandments are in stone in the Supreme Court, but they didnít want them down in Kentucky. I mean, itís hypocritical. As we say in the in the political world, their elevator doesnít go to the top floor.

But it was a split decision.

Well, they allowed them to be outside, but not inside. You see, why then was Judge Moore, Roy Moore, who was a Supreme Court chief justice of Alabama, why was he then ordered to remove the tablet stone from the Alabama state Capitol and eventually was dismissed? And by the way heís going to come back and heís going to come back with a huge, huge victory.

Doesnít a secular state protect religion?

No, no, no, that is just a reversal, a cover-up. George Washington, our first president, said it so clearly. He said in his farewell address of 1796: ďOf all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, there are two indispensable supports for that prosperity Ė religion and morality.Ē Now, our founding fathers did not want this false interpretation that the courts since 1947 have consistently tried to give us, although it is waning, believe me, the fact that the tablets can be outside the building on government property, but not inside the building on government property, tells us that heir argument is weakening. And thatís why Bushís next appointment could turn the court around on all these future decisions.

Isnít there a danger established religion will become factional?

You have to understand, the question youíre asking presupposes that thatís what we want. No. What has to be clarified is that we do not want what England has, we came from that, we officially disbanded that, but what we do not want is hostility against religion, and this is what the other four judges have talked about, the hostility against religion. The Ten Commandments are universal, and to say that theyíre not applicable to good government is to then absolutely come against George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and all the early founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin. And we could go on and on. No, we do not want there to be a state religion. No way. We want religion to be left alone. And if a judge decides that he wants the Ten Commandments placed in the capitol building of his courthouse, than that is a decision he can make, any more than just recently a mayor removed a statue of a horse made out of large wood sticks found in the forest outside the town and on many of the sticks it had the Ten Commandments. So he said we donít want that outside our courthouse, we want a separation of church and state. To use that excuse, a separation of church and state is a hostility statement. Thatís not establishing a religion. The first amendment says Ö blah. As a taxpayer, that person who pays taxes in that city, and in that state, that I just mentioned about the wooden horse, the horse made out of sticks Ė thatís a free exercise issue. So where is the balance so that what has happened over the years it has become a imbalance because they do not understand the founding fathers, itís because theyíre activist judges, itís a tyrannical rule now, for instance in 1947 when this all started, it was called Everson Vs the Board Of Education, of Ewing, New Jersey, and what they said was no, the Roman Catholic children, whose parents are citizens of the United States, property owners, taxpayers, those children may not ride with the other children from their neighbourhood on that bus into school and then get off the bus at the school and walk across the street to their Catholic school. They said we must have an impregnable Ė impregnable Ė wall of separation. I mean that was hostility. These are taxpayers. So, absolutely from then on all the liberal judges have taken that position.

You say the Ten Commandments are universal, but for Americans who donít believe in God Ö

No, no, no! Do you know what the percentage is on that? 93% do! Since when does the minority rule the majority Ö Mr Blair was elected, so heís prime minister, Mr Bush was elected, so heís President. You see this is the kind of argument that the media doesnít understand. That 93% of Americans want this. And we did a poll and something like 88% want a constitutional amendment to fully protect prayer in public schools.

Is it true to say that simply because 93% of Americans have religion, they would automatically back the posting of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms?

Itís not that they have religion, itís that religion has them. And they have moral principles. Those things are inside their own other ontological essence of their being. And they see these things, and itís a reminder of what their life is all about. Itís the same thing when you have chaplains in the Congress. Why do we have chaplains in the Congress of the United States and every state legislature? They wouldnít dare do away with them. The people would recall them if the legislatures voted to get rid of the chaplains. So, you see, you have a schizophrenic here Ė the court says one thing, the people cry out for something else. So there is an impending Ö turnaround, I wonít call it a revolution, but itís an impending turnaround, and weíre seeing it now. Itís called blue states versus red states or red states versus blue states. (339)

Remember that 83% of the geography of America voted for Mr Bush. Thatís amazing, when you look at it in terms of whatís happening. And those people will have children. And those children will grow up with those principles. So this is part of the revival. Part of the revival. Awareness that our culture is being destroyed by some of our leaders.

Ten years from now we hope to have a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage, we hope to have definitely pinned the ears back of pornography and obscenity on the internet. We definitely hope to have eliminated much of the abortion on demand except, you know in the cases of rape or incest. We hope to do many of these things. We hope to get the state off the back of the church. Remember that Congress for a hundred years held a Sunday morning worship service, when the Gospel was preached, when offering was taken, to spread the message of Christianity throughout the nation. Now, many people are not Christian in America, maybe less than 20%, but still we want to spread, and I wouldnít necessarily be in favour of doing that, taking an offering, but right now we do have MAJOR Bible studies every day in the Congress of the United States, that members attend, and theyíre in small groups, itís not one-to-one, they use a body you see. So these are things weíre looking forward to. Itís called revival. The founding fathers believed that the key to the continuance of the representative form of government was the revival of religion, because it was religion that gave you virtue, and it was virtue that gave you morals, and it was religion that held it all together. Meaning the Christian gospel. And this is not to infringe upon our Jewish friends, or on our Muslim friends. Because they believe in those principles too.

--------------

INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT BOSTON
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
15 JULY 2005

001 Whatís your reaction to the SCOTUS ruling on the Ten Commandments?

There were actually two decisions, and it was a split ruling from our perspective. The justices upheld the display of the Ten Commandments at the State Capitol in Texas quoting that it was part of a larger array of objects and had some historical value, but then they struck down the display of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky county, quoting that that display had primarily a religious purpose. And in light of those rulings thereís some confusion, and some people are saying Ďwell, how do we know if a display is constitutional or not?í. We would have preferred to see the court strike down both displays, but on balance if you read both opinions, the decisions are not terribly damaging from our perspective Ė the court is basically saying that if the Ten Commandments are displayed, there has to be some historical or non-religious reason for displaying them by government.

040 So it wasnít a disaster?

Any time the court deals with a church-state issue like this, we always face the threat that they will start to rewrite some of the church-state law or overturn precedent or move in a radically different direction because there are organisations primarily led by the religious right urging the court to do that. In the main these decisions are pretty much right down the middle, theyíre reasonable, they donít break a whole lot of new ground or give communities the right to suddenly start festooning all their courthouses with the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols and I think thatís pretty good on balance.

059 Do you find yourself facing more of these cases?

There are organisations that are claiming now that theyíre going to go around and press for these displays, but unless they have time machines and theyíre going to go back 50 years and put these things up itís not going to be a very effective strategy. So thereís a lot of hot air, a lot of people are blustering, and we get the usual ranting and raving from the religious right, itís what they do best. By and large I think that this will probably settle things down. Our organisationís had a couple of cases like this challenging Ten Commandments displays up and down the country and in light of this ruling some of them are scaling back and a couple of others may move forward, but weíre certainly not going to go out and file a bunch of these cases when the court has already ruled.

090 How do you react to the claim by RR groups that religion is being repressed in some respects?

Iíve looked into a lot of these cases and what Iíve found is that they usually donít hold up to scrutiny. You have to remember that cases like this, stories like this, anecdotes, are propaganda. Theyíre told not to right an injustice, but to play on peopleís emotions. So if you tell a story that a little child couldnít pray in school, or had his artwork destroyed because it had religious themes, that gets people very excited and agitated and angry, but oftentimes thereís more to the case than meets the eye. There may be cases where teachers over-react or over-step the bounds, but by and large the cases Iíve looked into there are always mitigating factors. Iíll give you an example. A couple of years ago there was a case involving a young woman at a middle school, somewhere in the South, who was allegedly told that she couldnít write a report about Jesus. Supposedly, these kids were told they could do a report on any topic they wanted, and she chose to write about Jesus, and the teachers threw it out and gave her an F and all these horrible things. But in fact, I looked into that, I called the school, I spoke to some of the officials down there, and it turned out the students werenít told they could do a report on any topic, there were specific parameters they were supposed to meet, and this report did not fall into those parameters, and as a result she was given a failing grade for the same reason any child would be given a failing grade for not following the instructions. So I think some of these stories are just really these tales that go out there over the internet to get people in the churches excited so that they will turn against the public schools.

135 But there seems to be a big increase in that sort of thing.

Yes, I think so, certainly the religious right is very important, theyíre very feeling very powerful in the wake of the re-election of president Bush and all the results in the 2004 elections, thereís no doubt about that, weíve had this phenomenon with us for many years and it seems as if not only is it not losing strength, itís gaining strength.

148 So you see it might be an increasing problem?

Oh yes, definitely, especially with the changes that are going to occur on the Supreme Court, weíre in for some very difficult times, thereís no doubt about that. I think that thereís a good possibility that the religious right will ultimately be too successful and find that thereís a backlash. For instance if legal abortion is overturned in this country I think thereíll be a very strong reaction to that.

170 Terri Schiavo. Did Bush overplay his hand?

Thatís a perfect example where people could see exactly how the RR wants to interfere in their personal lives. This is a case where they stepped in in this case where this woman was braindead and living on a feeding tube, intervened in this case even though they had no connection to the family, tried to over-ride what her husband wanted to do, convinced Congress to pass legislation, interfered in the courts, and had President Bush behind them 100%. The polls showed that most people in the country reacted very badly to that, because most people can imagine a case where they themselves might end up in a situation like that maybe because of sickness or old age, and when that happens most Americans want the right to make a decision for themselves, or want the decision to be made by their family members, not by a bunch of religious fanatics in a big church somewhere.

195 Anatomising the RR Ė a pre-existing infrastructure emboldened by Bush, or the culmination of a movement?

Itís a little bit of both. The modern RR got its start in the late 1970s with the rise of Jerry Falwell and the moral majority, and it had a long-term strategy of building up the grassroots, working through the political system, and not getting discouraged when they had setbacks. And I think that was one of the most important factors, even if the lost, they continued to rally their people, to organise politically, and attach themselves to the Republican Party. The election of Bush was a big coup for them, because he is really the first modern Republican President who doesnít just give them talk, he seems to have a desire to deliver on specific policy initiatives for the RR, thatís what so much of the faith-based initiatives you may have heard about is about and his opposition to abortion, and his opposition to gay rights and all this kind of thing, the desire to fund religion with tax dollars. There are a lot of specific policy objectives that heís putting out there to keep the RR happy. So itís Ö I have to give him credit, itís a well-orchestrated political strategy, it took many years to pay off, and it is paying off, no doubt.

235 To what extent is it a political strategy? It seems to be at odds with other bases of Republican support (corporations, the rich).

Yeah, thereís no doubt about that. Thereís a bit of a tension between the two wings of the Republican party. For the time being theyíve manage to hold it together. I think the reason for that is that Bush or his advisers are clever enough to make sure that both sides of the base are getting something that they want. Bush isnít just focusing on the social issues that the religious right champions, heís also making sure that he pursues an aggressive pro-business strategy, tax cuts, and the sort of thing that keeps the business wing of his base happy as well.

----------


INTERVIEW WITH ANNIE LAURIE GAYLOR
CO-PRESIDENT
FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION
15 JULY 2005

277 How many members do you have?

Weíre very little compared to church denominations, we have just under 6000 nationally in the United States. But we are told we are the largest freethought organisation in the United States. The Humanists may be larger than us.

315 What is the root cause of the current surge in the popularity of the RR in the United States?

I could be a little facetious and say that people are getting dumber. I think it is kind of true. But I think itís a combination of things. Itís the rise of the evangelical churches and the decline of the more mainstream protestant churches, and itís the lack of education, and itís the lack of education both about the Constitution. Civics used to be a very common lesson and small children would be imbibed with a reverence for our Constitution in school, they the study of what made our country distinct from so many other countries in adopting our form of government, a secular form of government. Studying the First Amendment used to be something that was done at all levels, from Kindergarten to high school, for example my mother whoís 78 and went to a one-room schoolhouse got a lot of education about our Constitution and why the separation of church and state was revered in our country. When I went to school, I got very little of that. And the precedent of things like inserting ďUnder GodĒ in the Pledge of Allegiance, which happened in 1954, means that several generations of schoolchildren have grown up with an idea that patriotism and a belief in God are one and the same thing and never knowing that the Pledge used to be secular. And the same with the money. ďIn God We TrustĒ was only put onto coins at the end of the Civil War, and it gradually got onto all of the coins by the 1940s, but it was never on our currency, our dollar bills, until the mid-50s, and that was the McCarthy era. I canít tell you how many times Iíve done a radio show or been interviewed by somebody who says, well, how can say we have separation of church and state when even God is on our money. So that kind of precedent has I think just compounded the ignorance in our country. Whenever there is a violation of the separation of church and state that goes uncorrected, unchallenged, it creates worse violations, and it undermines the establishment clause of the first amendment, so I do think the education in our public school system is partly to blame. And also the lack of evolution.

The rise of "intelligent design"

People have been afraid to teach evolution since the Scopes trial and itís a big issue, itís still a big issue. People who go on to college and into science are getting it, but as far as the mainstream Ö There isnít just a lack of scientific understanding in this country, we lag behind the rest of the world. We are one of the most religious countries in the world, and when you compare us to other nations like that they tend to be developing nations. And that doesnít speak well for our country. We are such an advantaged country, and yet weíre dumb. What weíre doing is rejecting the Enlightenment, and in Europe youíve embraced I, and our country is turning its back on the Enlightenment.

The uneasy alliance Ė will it hold?

Our view of Congress right now is that a third of it is at least Evangelical Christian, which can often mean Fundamentalist Christian. But the largest number I think in Congress and in our country is Catholic, the largest single denomination. So weíre looking at this alliance between the RCC and the Protestant Evangelicals.

I think it was Napoleon who said that religion was good stuff for keeping people down, for controlling people, and I think the corporate interests can see that too. They may genuinely be very devout, I think that Bush probably is truly very religious, and probably Karl Rove is too. But this is a way to control, and get what they want. If you can keep people superstitious and religious and naÔve and cowed, you can get what you want.

The growth of the RR.

I think itís the scariest time for our secular republic that we have ever entered into. Of course with the resignation of Justice OíConnor two weeks ago, who was a swing vote on the Supreme Court, I see a whole host of the Bill of Rights are imperilled. We have Republican-dominated legislature, Bush is Republican, essentially our Supreme Court is Republican, so the checks and balances prescribed in our Constitution, theyíre not really there in reality. We are looking at the Democratic Party at his point capitulating on Gonzales, saying they probably wonít oppose, the attorney general who has essentially endorsed torture. The Evangelicals have been very critical of him in the past because he might not be totally against Roe Vs Wade abortion rights decision, but now theyíre backing down from that, and I am highly sceptical. Iím not a conspiracy theorist type person, but I think the whole thing could be a ruse to make him look more tolerable to liberals, because if thereís some question that heís really anti-abortion, it might help his confirmation. Sometimes people can surprise you when they get appointed to the Supreme Court, and weíve had a lot of surprises, but right now we have litmus tests being adopted by the Republican Party, that they have to appoint somebody who believes that ďUnder GodĒ should stay in our pledge of allegiance, and somebody who believes in overturning Roe vs Wade, and many other ways that would inject theocratic ideas into the Supreme Court. Theyíre very open about these litmus tests, so this is a whole different game than we had before. Weíve had fights before over the Supreme Court, but this is different.

The persecution complex. Why do they feel that way?

Because it helps them raise money first. A persecution complex is a big part of fundamentalism, and they have had this chip on their shoulder since our country was founded with a godless and secular Constitution. The Constitution was adopted with the preamble that sovereignty is invested in ďWe, the PeopleĒ, and this was a complete break from the past, there was no pipeline to a divinity, the fundamentalists have always hated our secular Constitution, and then when the Bill of Rights was added, that even reinforced it. Our Constitution says there should be no religious test for public office, it gives the oath of office for the President and there is no ďso help me godĒ or mention of the Bible. Basically, the only references to religion in our constitution are exclusionary. But in the first amendment we have the establishment clause, that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting free practise thereof. So thereís always that tension between the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. Basically, Focus on the Family would love to see a theocracy and feel persecuted because the government is not necessarily advocating their point of view. People who donít understand the separation between church and state see no difference between their personal views and the government voicing their personal views. If the government isnít endorsing them, and promoting Christianity and their agenda, then the government is persecuting them. And of course, we have a hands-off government and I think thatís contributed to the problem. In the late-1800s the tax-exemption of churches was established and so they have grown and proliferated to unprecedented size in this country. In some cities half of the wealth of the city, half of the land, is owned by churches, itís typically a quarter of the land, and this is untaxed, they do not file the kind of forms that tax-exempt organisations like ours do, that show what they do with the money, there is basically no accountability, and so this has created a great power, itís like a shadow government, and they lobby, even though theyíre not supposed to, and Focus on the Familyís Dobson considers himself a kingmaker. Theyíre pretty overt in using their radio programmes to promote agenda.

And suspicious?

Theyíre not open and they have no accountability. Thatís the kind of thing that led to Jonestown (digression follows. Resumes :) And so we have the separation of church and state, and then this development of the lack of accountability by churches as a result, sort of ironic, and they can have free rein. And they expect free rein. They expect the rules not to apply to them. As is very obvious by the Catholic Church and the kind of statements it has made in this continuing paedophilia scandal. None of this would have come out had it not been for the Boston Globe and other newspapers filing lawsuits and demanding to see these secret settlements. The church is untouchable. Itís a taboo in our society to criticise religion openly. And out name, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, can readily create shockwaves in this country Ė the idea that someone would want to be free from religion, and we point out that you canít have freedom of religion unless you have the freedom to dissent. Theyíre one and the same thing. And many people in our country do not think that you have freedom from religion.

If you could say one thing to a rank and file megachurch attendee, what would it be?

It was Thomas Paine who pointed out that persecution might not be present within our religions, but it is always present went government and religion are united, thereís always one church or one denomination or one interpretation of the Bible that is going to be adopted by the government and that means that those who are outside that, the non-believers, will be persecuted, so if today our government tells us we have to pledge allegiance to a god and put it on our money, tomorrow they can say that itís fine to open government meeting with prayers to Jesus, and then that excludes non-Christians and non-blievers, and then the next day are they going to ally with the strongest church, the Roman Catholics, that will persecute everyone else, are they going to go with the Southern Baptists that will exclude all the other believers. So separation of church and state protects everybody. When the government is neutral on religion, takes no position on religion, than everybodyís rights are guaranteed and protected. Thatís the kind of thing we say over and over again, I donít know if itís being listened to. We look at history, we look at the warfare in Europe, we look at the history of the warfare in our original colonies, where almost all of them practised persecution based on religion, and that is what our founders deliberately wanted to avoid in the future. In Virginia you had to be an Anglican, an Episcopalian, you couldnít preach if you were a minister in another church, you could be jailed if you didnít believe in the trinity. And thatís the kind of history we try to remind believers about.

Ends

-----------------------------

INTERVIEW WITH KATHERINE YURICA
EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, THE YURICA REPORT
Questions set by email; answers received 17 July 2005

I'm the publisher and editor of the Yurica Report.com on the web. (And by the way, I am a born again, spirit filled Christian. I have had first hand knowledge of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements and have reported on many of the events in the religious world for over 30 years.)

1.. What drove you to set up your website?

Frustration! I wrote what I considered to be a very important article, "Fraud Traced to the White House," and I couldn't get anyone to publish it. Even web e-zines didn't respond to my query letters. So I looked at the successful web magazines and was impressed with Salon.com. I actually thought I could produce something that could compete with them. At the time I didn't know much about blogs. But I believed in myself enough to think, "I can do this. I can create a unique web site that features art, analyzes news and reports and creates an important web asset at the same time." My vision was and still is to bring art, music, documentaries-videos, essays and news information to our readers all at one site. I'm still building it, and Google has just upped their web-site rating for us: we're now a six out of ten on their scale of importance. We're visited by the major universities of the world, parliaments, government agencies, heads of state, as well as news organizations and businesses.

2.. How would you define "Dominionism"?

Most people start with a "theological" definition and trace the term to Genesis 1:28, where God, having just completed the creation of the earth and man tells Adam and Eve, "ave dominion over.every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (KJV) But I like Pat Robertson's explanation the best: He defined it for his television audience (5/1/86): "What is dominion?" Pat asked his audience and then answered, "Well, dominion is lordship, to reign and rule."

Dominionism then is the political/religious belief that "Christians" of a certain kind are to reign and rule over the secular world, including the U.S. and every nation on earth.

3.. Why do the Dominionists pose such a threat? What is so alarming about them?

First of all, they outlined their agenda in the mid 1980's. Pat Robertson invited leaders such as Tim LaHaye co-author of the "Left Behind" series), Billy Graham, and Jerry Falwell to his show or in the case of Tim LaHaye, showed a clip of him laying out the plan to take-over America. Listen to this statement made by Tim LaHaye on Sept. 25, 1985 (I transcribed it):

"Suppose that every Bible believing church-all 110,000-decided to raise up one person to run for public office and win. If every church in the next ten years did that, we would have more Christians in office than there are positions.there are only 97,000 elective offices."

Jerry Falwell reiterated the plan a year later. Billy Graham said, "I'm for evangelicals.getting control of the Congress, getting control of the bureaucracy, getting control of the executive branch of government. If we leave it to the other side we're going to be lost." (April 4, 1985)

Secondly, Pat Robertson outlined the steps: the first goal was to gain control of the Republican Party and then through the GOP, gain control of Congress. The second goal was to revamp the balance of powers between the three branches of the U.S. government so that the judiciary would be weakened permanently and the power of Congress would be strengthened-if it were controlled by the religious right. The third goal was to increase the power of the presidency when a "God-anointed" man was in office. The fourth goal was to gain the power to control domestic morality by denouncing the immoral and by breaking individuals and organizations such as the National Education Association.

Thirdly, they have accomplished most of their plans. (I recorded over 1300 pages of statements made on Pat Robertson's 700 Club Show in the 1980's.) Just in February of 2005 at a conference in Florida, Dr. James Kennedy, pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church revealed not only how the idea of controlling America has spread, but how seriously the Dominionists take their new role: Kennedy said:

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors-in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

That is alarming. This isn't a conspiracy theory-it's a real, live
conspiracy!

4.. How would you answer the charge by organizations such as the
Traditional Values Coalition that all they are looking for is a "fair deal"?


I know Lou Sheldon. He was one of several clergymen who came to Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California when it was pastored by Ralph Wilkerson. I was a member of the church at that time. (The church folded because Wilkerson was check kiting with 121 different bank accounts-sorry-another story!) Wilkerson appointed Rev. Lou Sheldon to be in charge of "Crowd Control." Sheldon is a very tiny man. Arnold Schwarzennegger could probably pick him up and put him in one of his pockets! He was the last man in the world for the job of "crowd control."

Anyway, Lou (who is supposed to be an ordained Presbyterian minister)
clearly needed other work. When Jimmy Carter ran for President in 1976, it was Lou Sheldon who jumped on the Carter bandwagon and saw in Carter the "Christian's" dream of a "Godly-man" in office. Sheldon brought Carter to Paul Crouch's "Praise the Lord" TV show in Santa Ana, California. (Crouch now has the largest network in the world!) Sheldon became known for his political canniness. The problem was Jimmy Carter was too much of a Christian!!! At the same time, during the 1970's and '80's the religious right was making plans. They were very aware of the psychological necessity of creating an outside enemy. In fact, the dominionist movement began with the creation of enemies. Lou Sheldon is simply playing the game. He's tapping into America's homophobic fears and it's making him a fortune. If Sheldon's organization claims that all they want is a "fair deal," he's dissembling. Sheldon and the religious right need to have an enemy and they need to scare Americans about the existence of millions of homosexuals in order to gain political power. Psychologically it works.

5.. Do you feel they'll succeed?

Whipping up hatred for others worked for Hitler. The dominionists have the most successful propaganda machine since W.W.II. But no, I don't believe they will succeed. Americans are slowly waking up. Right now forty-two percent of Americans do not trust what Mr. Bush says. And forty-two percent of Americans are willing to impeach him if it is found he lied to get America into war. A house built upon the sand cannot last. A house of cards will fall. It's inevitable. The government that is being built by dominionism's ethics and energy-is a government that owes its success to lies. Lies by their nature are temporary! Lies do not last! Falsity is not eternal! Truth is!

6.. What will be the key 'battlegrounds' over the next five or so years?

There are several major battle grounds forming right now.

First, the battle for fair elections. Americans must regain control of the election process away from the GOP companies that are selling computerized voting machines with no paper trail. My solution is: Every American voter must make his own receipt. And we show them how at the www.yuricareport.com

Secondly, the battle for the air waves. Radio and television stations have been taken over by a few corporate interests. News networks no longer do investigative reporting. People like Paul Jay from Canada are building vast independent stations that cannot be controlled by corporate/religious interests. Air America is another example of people who love democracy building a radio network that is now in 64 American cities and out-pulls Limbaugh when it goes head to head with him.

Thirdly, the churches in America have been hijacked by wolves in drag! Right now, there are hate-group institutions that are dedicated to actually destroying American churches and religious organizations that believe what Jesus taught. Jesus created social and political equality with His statement that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Jesus has always been democratic! Now if we love our neighbor as ourselves-our neighbor has the right to speak and we have the obligation to listen: that's Democracy! Our neighbor also has the right to vote! Our neighbor also has to have all the rights that we have-even if he's despised by some-even if he's gay, even if he's a Muslim-else we don't love our neighbor as ourselves! That's Jesus talking-not me!

So we are in a huge struggle with an apostate church in America. This has never happened before.

Fourthly, the battle for the judiciary in America must be fought and won by people who truly love the law. The dominionists want to decide cases before they have heard them!



I hope these are useful. This is mostly unreleased material; 85% of it has only been seen by me (the rest went into the article I wrote). Copyright rests with me. Feel free to PM with questions. -Taxloss
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Edit | Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » Research Forum Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC