Tag Archives: Tea Party

Evangelical Discontent

24 Jun

Initially, I found Weyrich’s admission jarring. He declared, in effect, that the origins of the Religious Right lay in Green v. Connally rather than Roe v. Wade. I quickly concluded, however, that his story made a great deal of sense. When I was growing up within the evangelical subculture, there was an unmistakably defensive cast to evangelicalism. I recall many presidents of colleges or Bible institutes coming through our churches to recruit students and to raise money. One of their recurrent themes was,We don’t accept federal money, so the government can’t tell us how to run our shop—whom to hire or fire or what kind of rules to live by. The IRS attempt to deny tax-exempt status to segregated private schools, then, represented an assault on the evangelical subculture, something that raised an alarm among many evangelical leaders, who mobilized against it.

For his part, Weyrich saw the evangelical discontent over the Bob Jones case as the opening he was looking for to start a new conservative movement using evangelicals as foot soldiers. Although both the Green decision of 1972 and the IRS action against Bob Jones University in 1975 predated Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Weyrich succeeded in blaming Carter for efforts to revoke the tax-exempt status of segregated Christian schools. He recruited James Dobson and Jerry Falwell to the cause, the latter of whom complained, “In some states it’s easier to open a massage parlor than to open a Christian school.”

Weyrich, whose conservative activism dates at least as far back as the Barry Goldwater campaign in 1964, had been trying for years to energize evangelical voters over school prayer, abortion, or the proposed equal rights amendment to the Constitution. “I was trying to get those people interested in those issues and I utterly failed,” he recalled in an interview in the early 1990s. “What changed their mind was Jimmy Carter’s intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation.”

An excerpt from the 2006 book ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ by Randall Balmer

Advertisements

It just doesn’t matter…

23 Jun

I happen to think the President has it right. Unfortunately, those on the left will say he’s not cutting enough troops and those on the right will say he’s cutting too many. He truly can not win. – wordkitty, 5:17 pm, 6/22/2011

I made that comment roughly five hours before President Obama addressed the nation. I’m not saying I’m the next Nostradamus or anything, but as soon as he announced his troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, it was on.

Obama is Hitler. Obama is a traitor. Obama is worse than Jimmy Carter. Obama is worse than Bush. Obama should listen to his military advisors and not speed up the withdrawal. Obama should listen to the American people and bring all our troops home now. While Obama focuses on domestic issues, he’s failing abroad. While Obama focuses on problems abroad, he’s failing domestically.

Nothing I can write here will change anyone’s mind. If you think he’s wrong and should withdraw faster, the fact that that would place our troops in greater harm and leave the region worse than when we started ten years ago won’t matter. If you think he’s wrong and should stay till the job’s done, the fact that we had no end-game strategy when we started ten years ago won’t matter.

It just doesn’t matter…

The God’s Honest Truth About the Religious Right

21 Jun

The Religious Right’s self-portrayal as mobilizing in response to the Roe decision was so pervasive among evangelicals that few questioned it. But my attendance at an unusual gathering in Washington, D.C., finally alerted me to the abortion myth. In November 1990, for reasons that I still don’t entirely understand, I was invited to attend a conference in Washington sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Religious Right organization (though I didn’t realize it at the time). I soon found myself in a conference room with a couple of dozen people, including Ralph Reed, then head of the Christian Coalition; Carl F. H. Henry, an evangelical theologian; Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family; Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Association; Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Edward G. Dobson, pastor of an evangelical church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and formerly one of Jerry Falwell’s acolytes at Moral Majority. Paul M. Weyrich, a longtime conservative activist, head of what is now called the Free Congress Foundation, and one of the architects of the Religious Right in the late 1970s, was also there.

In the course of one of the sessions, Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let’s remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.

Bob Jones University was one target of a broader attempt by the federal government to enforce the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Several agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, had sought to penalize schools for failure to abide by antisegregation provisions. A court case in 1972, Green v. Connally, produced a ruling that any institution that practiced segregation was not, by definition, a charitable institution and, therefore, no longer qualified for tax-exempt standing.

The IRS sought to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University in 1975 because the school’s regulations forbade interracial dating; African Americans, in fact, had been denied admission altogether until 1971, and it took another four years before unmarried African Americans were allowed to enroll. The university filed suit to retain its tax-exempt status, although that suit would not reach the Supreme Court until 1983 (at which time, the Reagan administration argued in favor of Bob Jones University).

An excerpt from the 2006 book ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ by Randall Balmer

Hope?

19 Jun

We’re starting to see some cracks in the Grover Norquist-controlled Republican Party. It started with ethanol subsidies, and now there are rumblings that the majority party in the House will consider – finally – putting revenues on the table in the debt ceiling/budget negotiations.

A victory for the Obama Administration, a victory for the country I cherish so deeply.

All you need do is look at Greece for what not to do during a global financial crisis. I call it austerity stupidity. Anyone who knows anything about business knows you have to look at both sides of the ledger; money in/money out. You can cut the FDA if you don’t care about what you and your loved ones put in their mouth. You can cut FEMA if you don’t care what happens in the wake of the next hurricane. You can cut Medicare if you don’t care what happens to you or your loved ones when they enter their golden years.

Or you can put everything on the table, make logical spending cuts as well as logical revenue increases. By the way, this is what the Republican Party used to stand for. It’s called “fiscal responsibility”.

The Birth of the Pro-Life Movement

18 Jun

In the 1980s, in order to solidify their shift from divorce to abortion, the Religious Right constructed an abortion myth, one accepted by most Americans as true. Simply put, the abortion myth is this: Leaders of the Religious Right would have us believe that their movement began in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Politically conservative evangelical leaders were so morally outraged by the ruling that they instantly shed their apolitical stupor in order to mobilize politically in defense of the sanctity of life. Most of these leaders did so reluctantly and at great personal sacrifice, risking the obloquy of their congregants and the contempt of liberals and “secular humanists,” who were trying their best to ruin America. But these selfless, courageous leaders of the Religious Right, inspired by the opponents of slavery in the nineteenth century, trudged dutifully into battle in order to defend those innocent unborn children, newly endangered by the Supreme Court’s misguided Roe decision.

It’s a compelling story, no question about it. Except for one thing: It isn’t true.

Although various Roman Catholic groups denounced the ruling, and Christianity Today complained that the Roe decision “runs counter to the moral teachings of Christianity through the ages but also to the moral sense of the American people,” the vast majority of evangelical leaders said virtually nothing about it; many of those who did comment actually applauded the decision. W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press wrote, “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision.” Indeed, even before the Roe decision, the messengers (delegates) to the 1971 Southern Baptist Convention gathering in St. Louis, Missouri, adopted a resolution that stated, “we call upon Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” W.A. Criswell, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, expressed his satisfaction with the Roe v. Wade ruling. “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” the redoubtable fundamentalist declared, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.”

An excerpt from the 2006 book ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ by Randall Balmer

un proyecto de ley puestos de trabajo

9 Jun

As Charlie Sheen’s former life-coach, I know all about tough jobs. He had such low self-esteem… Anyway, I’d hate to be a cop in Alabama after what their Governor just did:

Gov. Robert Bentley on Thursday signed a tough new illegal immigration law that requires public schools to determine students’ immigration status (we all know how much conservatives hate public school teachers) and makes it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride. Knowingly giving an illegal immigrant a ride is a crime? How do you know what someone knowingly knows? I’d hate to be a cabbie in Alabama too!

 The bill also allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they’re stopped for any other reason. Wonder what criteria are supposed to be used to determine “suspectability”… Anyone who employs more than five people is now required to use a federal system called E-Verify to determine if new workers are in the country legally. Even if it’s a small family business and your daughter wants a job – you better check her out, or else!

You know what’s the most amazing thing about this steaming pile of racist you-know-what? Gov. Bentley calls it a “jobs” bill…

Technically Speaking,

8 Jun

We’re screwed:

“The idea of a technical default – essentially delaying interest payments for a few days – has gained backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it forces the White House to slash spending.”

This is technically the same thing as a Greyhound bus heading straight for a cliff and the driver flooring the gas pedal. This is technically the same thing as flicking a lighter in a propane tank filling station. This is technically the same thing as walking up to Manny Pacquiao and saying something not very nice to him about his mother.

Republicans were elected to fix the deficit and create jobs. So far their track record isn’t very good. Sure, they read selected portions of the Constitution into the record and passed a bunch of anti-abortion bills. But jobs? Not so much…

We have a spending problem, and if cutting spending means losing jobs, “So be it.” (John Boehner’s words, not mine.) We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Although, considering taxes are the lowest they’ve been since the buck stopped at Harry Truman’s desk, and considering we have the lowest tax rates of any industrialized country on earth, and considering if our tax rates had never changed since the days of Monica Lewinsky we’d be talking about a surplus right now, instead of talking about killing Medicare to save a buck – considering all that, it’s hard for any sane individual to make that “not a revenue problem” argument.

We have a spending problem, but that’s okay. See, if the U.S. goes into default, we won’t be able to spend anything – because technically, the dollar won’t be worth squat.