The Religious Right Hates America

Via Talking Points Memo, I’ve come across a story I still find almost unbelievable. It happened at the “Values Voter” debate for Republican presidential candidates that took place last week in Fort Lauderdale.

This event was skipped by the major candidates, Rudolph Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney, which left seven minor candidates who spent the evening attempting to one-up each other in competing for the Republican base. If you, readers, have ever wondered about the roughly 25% of Americans who still support George W. Bush, look no further: this debate provided a raw glimpse into the furious, fanatic heart of what remains of the party and its distorted carnival-funhouse-mirror worldview. Inflammatory anti-Islam rhetoric, anti-gay rhetoric, denunciations of the judiciary, and calls for constitutional amendments to ban abortion and gay marriage were the order of the night. Several of the candidates, in wording more suitable for a church revival meeting than a political debate, spoke at length of how they converted to Christianity and how much they adore Jesus.

But these grotesque panderings were not the highlight of the evening, amazingly enough. That designation rightfully belongs to another event which took place at the opening of the debate, and fortunately, it was filmed. The video, posted at Right Wing Watch, simply has to be seen to be believed. In what is best described as a seething rant set to gospel music, the Church of God Choir from Springfield, Ohio sings an altered version of “God Bless America” – but rather than calling for God’s favor, the rewritten song bitterly reviles America for all the sins it has supposedly committed, and denounces us as unworthy to receive God’s blessing. I am not in any way making this up. Right Wing Watch has the video, and here are the lyrics:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ’62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”
O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God, has gone astray

In ’73 the Courts said we
Could take the unborn lives
The choice is yours don’t worry now
It’s not a wrong, it’s your right

But just because they made it law
Does not change God’s command
The most that we can hope for is
God’s mercy on our land

The non-response to this event in the mainstream media showcases the shameful double standard of the country’s pundit class. If a Democratic debate featured an altered version of “God Bless America” denouncing America for its misdeeds, Republican spokesmen blast the party to high heaven on every media outlet in the land, and the chattering sycophants of the press would have a field day over how this proves that the Democrats are too radical and extremist to be elected and how badly this will damage their political fortunes in 2008. Instead, from the conventional media, there has been silence. This does not excuse the Democrats for their own lack of fortitude in standing up to George W. Bush so far despite an enormous popular mandate, but it does show how progressive politicians must fight an uphill battle in a media landscape that is still strongly tilted against them.

This also shows that the religious right, for all their phony claims of patriotism, does not like or admire America at all. The only thing they desire is an America obedient to their beliefs and ideals, a country that has become a right-wing Christian theocracy with themselves as the rulers – one where women’s bodies are the property of the state, where gays and nonbelievers are second-class citizens by law, and where the government draws up mandatory religious exercises for schoolchildren and other captive audiences. If they cannot have this, they angrily reject and attack the nation as a whole; their affection for America is solely a function of whether it bows to their demands. If it will not, the religious right in all its arrogance has no hesitation in threatening all the rest of us with divine retribution from their angry, mythical god.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Andreas

    Imagine if these theocrats got to rule America. It would soon implode by the weight of its own stupidity and ignorance.

  • Andreas

    Imagine if these theocrats got to rule America. It would soon implode by the weight of its own stupidity and ignorance.

  • Brock

    This is scary stuff. I’ve been following it through Americans United for Separation of Church and State for several years, and it seems to be getting ever more strident and radical. Witness the posts to your recent blog on the military) I sometimes feel like I now know what Jews in Germany felt like during the thirties.

  • BletchleyPark

    I disagree with your anti-Bush statements. These disturbed people about whom you write, having a rally in Florida, have deplorable ideas. President Bush does not do the things these folks do. Yes, I know he’s mentioned god, and he shouldn’t have held a meeting in the National Cathedral after 9/11. It’s unfortunate, but most Americans support his occasional reference to god, and very few have/had a problem with his choice of venue after our national tragedy. Most people probably don’t understand what a problem the whole concept of “faith-based” initiatives really presents, either.

    President Bush’s 25 percent approval rating has to do with Americans’ perception of how the war in Iraq is going. If the media make it sound like we’re making steady progress against the militant Islamists, then his approval rating would be higher. The main media outlets, at least until lately, have portrayed the war the way they see it. Most folks don’t understand that you have to research things for yourself, and that you can’t believe everything you read or see on TV. Most folks don’t understand that maybe we don’t have all the information necessary to make a unqualified judgment for or against the war in Iraq. I’m not saying we shouldn’t form an opinion just because we don’t have military backgrounds or reconnaisance photos–but we need to support or protest carefully.

    Not all Republicans are wackos, and not all Democrats at “saints”.

  • http://spaceghoti.blogspot.com Michael

    Wow. Bush has made a focused attack on American liberties and values since occupying the office, and you think he’s in no way associated with these Christian nutjobs who believe God is condemning America for our social sins? The majority of his policies are directed toward making them happy!

    Please, stop ODing on the Rove Kool-Aid and open your eyes. There’s more to Bush’s unpopularity than just the Iraq war. The man is a walking definition of a would-be dictator, and the authoritarian right-wingers want nothing more than to see him permanently occupy the Executive office. If that doesn’t describe an organized effort to kill what America stands for, nothing does.

  • andrea

    Bush has made it clear that he thinks that America should be only for Christians and that God told him to wage war. His father said that atheists shouldn’t be citizens. bush and his ilk are no better than those “good Christians” mentioned in the articles.

    Not all republicans are wackos but it’s the way to bet.

    I have all the knowledge that I need to know about Iraq. It was started on false pretenses and the “reasons” we went to war have changed about every 6 months. It was begun with a lie.

  • cmills

    Because it is human nature to seek structure and leadership, people for centuries have bought into religion. We as a nation need to expose, on a world-wide platform, the evil of religion for what it is and begin discrediting religious zealots at every opportunity in order to create confusion. Hopefully people will begin to rely on rational thinking and common sense rather than following one particular person or set of ideals. Eventually a new religious following will rise and begin a new period of religious rule. It is simply a matter of governmental and religious life-cycles (religion having the longer lifespan), between which either golden ages, or bloody chaos rules. Christianity is nearing it’s end, and so christians are becoming very aggressive. Of course I am looking more at the big picture of things than what will affect us in our lifetime, but that’s just how I look at things.

  • Brock

    This is not a political site, but discussion of Bush transcends politics in this case. Bletchley Park mentions the “faith-based” (i.e. Religious–let us eschew the euphemism henceforth)initiative, but in a manner which makes it unclear whether he supports it or not. In fact, the entire idea is blatantly unconstitutional, is designed as a massive giveaway to xian charities, and has been described by a former White House staffer as intended to provide opportunities to bring people to Jesus. Bush has used his power to bypass a congress which has consistently balked at enacting legislation in support of religion, and to release funds by executive order to support the programs. There is no evidence that religious programs are any more effective than secular programs, and several proven programs have been denied funding in order to provide money to unproven religious programs. I object to every penny of my money that goes to support religion, and that includes the extra taxes I pay to make up for the fact that churches already have a free ride in that they pay no taxes at all. It is unconscionable that they have this privilege in a supposedly secular society, and it is incredible that they are not satisfied and are demanding more, and it is insane that our elected –Republican!– representatives are abetting them in this barefaced robbery of the American people!
    Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I had his Cromwell, and George III…may profit by their example. –Patrick Henry

  • KShep

    Bletchley Park:

    These disturbed people about whom you write, having a rally in Florida, have deplorable ideas. President Bush does not do the things these folks do.

    No, Bush just sends our soldiers to overthrow a despotic dictator and occupy his country, for no apparent reason except his own personal benefit, claims god told him to do it, and these “values voters” are the ones cheering the loudest.

    Bush has also made a direct attack on our—YOUR—freedoms and liberties, with the permission and encouragement of those same religious nutjobs. In fact, many in that crowd think Bush hasn’t gone far enough! And you think Bush doesn’t go along with them? Pay attention, man!

    It’s going to take a generation to undo the damage this jerk has done, if not longer.

    Brock:

    There is no evidence that religious programs are any more effective than secular programs, and several proven programs have been denied funding in order to provide money to unproven religious programs.

    You are right, and additionally, it was recently revealed that the religion-based “abstinence only” sex education curriculum promoted by Bush is a gigantic waste of money. Kids had sex at the same age and frequency with the new curriculum as they did before. No change, except the country is poorer as a result.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “…but it does show how progressive politicians must fight an uphill battle in a media landscape that is still strongly tilted against them.” — Ebonmuse

    While I agree with the thrust and tenor of your excellent (as usual) article, I do disagree with the above quote. The media in this country is pretty evenly divided between the two political poles, with perhaps a slight edge to the liberals for controlling the most prestigious outlets, for the most part.

    * * *

    Forgive me for adding to Brock’s comparison to Nazi Germany, which seems to me overdrawn in the sense that we haven’t built death camps, but there is one parallel that I find very telling. When in 1945 it was obvious that Germany would lose, Hitler promulgated an order to destroy the entire infrastructure of Germany. When his Minister of Armaments Albert Speer objected that this would cause a national catastrophe, Hitler merely replied to the effect that the “stronger Eastern country had won”, and that the German people had proven themselves unworthy of life. Odd that these thoughts should so mirror each other.

    Then again, Hitler was a Christian, too. Perhaps this eschatology is somehow buried in the structure of Christian thought.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “…but it does show how progressive politicians must fight an uphill battle in a media landscape that is still strongly tilted against them.” — Ebonmuse

    While I agree with the thrust and tenor of your excellent (as usual) article, I do disagree with the above quote. The media in this country is pretty evenly divided between the two political poles, with perhaps a slight edge to the liberals for controlling the most prestigious outlets, for the most part.

    * * *

    Forgive me for adding to Brock’s comparison to Nazi Germany, which seems to me overdrawn in the sense that we haven’t built death camps, but there is one parallel that I find very telling. When in 1945 it was obvious that Germany would lose, Hitler promulgated an order to destroy the entire infrastructure of Germany. When his Minister of Armaments Albert Speer objected that this would cause a national catastrophe, Hitler merely replied to the effect that the “stronger Eastern country had won”, and that the German people had proven themselves unworthy of life. Odd that these thoughts should so mirror each other.

    Then again, Hitler was a Christian, too. Perhaps this eschatology is somehow buried in the structure of Christian thought.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “President Bush does not do the things these folks do.” — Bletchley Park

    In this your are wrong, sir. He most certainly does strive to deny equal rights to people, he most certainly does wear an air of superiority based on his faith, and he has no respect for our civil liberties. The only thing they do that he doesn’t is that they, at least in this instance, admit these things. Bush, sadly, is awfully alienated from the truth, and probably does not see the terrific damage he is doing to our nation.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “President Bush does not do the things these folks do.” — Bletchley Park

    In this your are wrong, sir. He most certainly does strive to deny equal rights to people, he most certainly does wear an air of superiority based on his faith, and he has no respect for our civil liberties. The only thing they do that he doesn’t is that they, at least in this instance, admit these things. Bush, sadly, is awfully alienated from the truth, and probably does not see the terrific damage he is doing to our nation.

  • Alex Weaver

    Forgive me for adding to Brock’s comparison to Nazi Germany, which seems to me overdrawn in the sense that we haven’t built death camps,

    I imagine that’s why he specified “during the thirties.”

    Thump, any chance you’ll provide some support for the supposed liberal bias of certain media outlets? My experience has been that the only people who seriously believe that the media has a liberal slant are people whose mental map of the political landscape places “far left” slightly to the right of center.

  • Alex Weaver

    Forgive me for adding to Brock’s comparison to Nazi Germany, which seems to me overdrawn in the sense that we haven’t built death camps,

    I imagine that’s why he specified “during the thirties.”

    Thump, any chance you’ll provide some support for the supposed liberal bias of certain media outlets? My experience has been that the only people who seriously believe that the media has a liberal slant are people whose mental map of the political landscape places “far left” slightly to the right of center.

  • Brock

    Thumpalumpacus:
    My reference to Germany in the thirties was not intended to imply that the Religious
    Right is planning to ship us all off to the 21st Century equivalent of Treblinka, but to evoke the feeling I am getting more and more often that I am considered in some quarters to be a second class citizen.

  • Polly

    NSPD-51 / HSPD-20

    “President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.” – Worldnetdaily

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55824

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “Thump, any chance you’ll provide some support for the supposed liberal bias of certain media outlets?” — Alex Weaver

    Alex, I’m glad to oblige. Consistent reading of the LA Times over the last twenty years has provided me with a personal view of one outlet. While I am indeed conservative politcally, I am, I like to think, sensibly so. I’m financially conservative and socially liberal. I cannot thus deny that my own bias might be in play, but I do take pains to read their editorials as fairly as possible. Further, I will look into their endorsement habits over the same period so as to provide you hard data.

    Of course, I need not mention (I hope) the NY Times, which was just caught giving MoveOn.org a 60% discount for a full-page ad which the paper admits violates its own policies in attacking General Petraeus. Like the war or hate it (and I’m vociferously anti-war) this ad was distasteful, and the NYT’s ombudsman has acknowledged that it ought not have run. Nor is this the only example. Earlier in the year they were caught having created Iraqi characters in a “report” on the effects of the war on civilian life. It is my understanding that this report was negative (naturally enough), but the fact that is was based on conflated characters calls into question the paper’s honesty. That they should publish an article critical of this war based on a fiction is evidence of their weighing a slapdown of Bush as being more valuable than their own credibility. That politicization, that bias must be powerful indeed.

    Then there’s MSNBS, host to the often funny, often right, and always liberal Keith Olberman. Nor is he the only liberal talking head on that channel; in fact, the only conservative on the channel is Joe Scarborough (buried at 4AM PST) — unless you count Dan Adams on those days when his panties are in a wad.

    Please do not mistunderstand me. I am not arguing that the entire media suffers a liberal bias, nor am I arguing that the only biased outlets are liberal in bias. There are outlets with a conservative bias as well, and about as many. Allow me to reiterate: “The media in this country is pretty evenly divided between the two political poles, with perhaps a slight edge to the liberals for controlling the most prestigious outlets, for the most part.” You’ll note that I do not assert a liberal bias with any sort of certainty. First, I lack sufficient data, and second, what data I do have does not support such a conclusion.

    Please give me a couple of days on those endorsement tallies.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “Thump, any chance you’ll provide some support for the supposed liberal bias of certain media outlets?” — Alex Weaver

    Alex, I’m glad to oblige. Consistent reading of the LA Times over the last twenty years has provided me with a personal view of one outlet. While I am indeed conservative politcally, I am, I like to think, sensibly so. I’m financially conservative and socially liberal. I cannot thus deny that my own bias might be in play, but I do take pains to read their editorials as fairly as possible. Further, I will look into their endorsement habits over the same period so as to provide you hard data.

    Of course, I need not mention (I hope) the NY Times, which was just caught giving MoveOn.org a 60% discount for a full-page ad which the paper admits violates its own policies in attacking General Petraeus. Like the war or hate it (and I’m vociferously anti-war) this ad was distasteful, and the NYT’s ombudsman has acknowledged that it ought not have run. Nor is this the only example. Earlier in the year they were caught having created Iraqi characters in a “report” on the effects of the war on civilian life. It is my understanding that this report was negative (naturally enough), but the fact that is was based on conflated characters calls into question the paper’s honesty. That they should publish an article critical of this war based on a fiction is evidence of their weighing a slapdown of Bush as being more valuable than their own credibility. That politicization, that bias must be powerful indeed.

    Then there’s MSNBS, host to the often funny, often right, and always liberal Keith Olberman. Nor is he the only liberal talking head on that channel; in fact, the only conservative on the channel is Joe Scarborough (buried at 4AM PST) — unless you count Dan Adams on those days when his panties are in a wad.

    Please do not mistunderstand me. I am not arguing that the entire media suffers a liberal bias, nor am I arguing that the only biased outlets are liberal in bias. There are outlets with a conservative bias as well, and about as many. Allow me to reiterate: “The media in this country is pretty evenly divided between the two political poles, with perhaps a slight edge to the liberals for controlling the most prestigious outlets, for the most part.” You’ll note that I do not assert a liberal bias with any sort of certainty. First, I lack sufficient data, and second, what data I do have does not support such a conclusion.

    Please give me a couple of days on those endorsement tallies.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    Brock –

    Sorry I misread your comment. Would you pass the humble pie, please?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Earlier in the year they were caught having created Iraqi characters in a “report” on the effects of the war on civilian life. It is my understanding that this report was negative (naturally enough), but the fact that is was based on conflated characters calls into question the paper’s honesty.

    I’ve never heard of the claim you’re presenting here, although if this is a reference to the Iraqi policeman Jamil Hussein, please be aware that he did exist (some right-wing commentators’ claims to the contrary). Also, why should the MoveOn ad “not have run”? Shouldn’t anyone be allowed to purchase advertising space in a national paper? I’d be much more disturbed by the idea of the Times’ filtering potential ad buyers by ideology.

    Any discussion of political bias in the Times should remember that in 2004, they admitted that their pre-war Iraq coverage was overly credulous and aggressive and often failed to exercise due diligence in vetting the Bush administration’s claims. These are hardly the sins of a liberal newspaper. And far from having learned their lesson, they’re now giving equally credulous coverage to Michael Gordon’s equally dubious and inflammatory claims about Iran, most of which simply repeat the Bush administration’s belligerent, warmongering assertions – including the truly ludicrous assertion that Shi’ite Iran is deliberately arming and assisting Sunni insurgents. (Glenn Greenwald has been covering this matter for some time.)

    That’s not to say that I think the Times has a conservative bias either. Aside from obviously and unabashedly partisan outlets like Fox News, I think the media’s worst failure (and here I’m talking across the board) is not adherence to any political ideology, but an obedient and uncritical assent to the claims of whoever is in power. The traditional media in America has become ingratiated with the Washington power structure and is loath to seriously challenge the assertions of any politician, even when that politician is very obviously lying. At best, we get a lazy, irresponsible “he said/she said”-type reporting that offers readers no guide into who might actually be correct. This is usually coupled with a self-destructive tendency toward blind groupthink which judges claims as either “respectable” or “radical” based on whether they’re supported by the professional pundit class. Since the Republicans were in power for years up to the 2006 election, the media still largely reflects that party’s viewpoint and attitude. It doesn’t help that the Democrats have historically been much more averse than Republicans to strongly protesting negative coverage and media distortions.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Earlier in the year they were caught having created Iraqi characters in a “report” on the effects of the war on civilian life. It is my understanding that this report was negative (naturally enough), but the fact that is was based on conflated characters calls into question the paper’s honesty.

    I’ve never heard of the claim you’re presenting here, although if this is a reference to the Iraqi policeman Jamil Hussein, please be aware that he did exist (some right-wing commentators’ claims to the contrary). Also, why should the MoveOn ad “not have run”? Shouldn’t anyone be allowed to purchase advertising space in a national paper? I’d be much more disturbed by the idea of the Times’ filtering potential ad buyers by ideology.

    Any discussion of political bias in the Times should remember that in 2004, they admitted that their pre-war Iraq coverage was overly credulous and aggressive and often failed to exercise due diligence in vetting the Bush administration’s claims. These are hardly the sins of a liberal newspaper. And far from having learned their lesson, they’re now giving equally credulous coverage to Michael Gordon’s equally dubious and inflammatory claims about Iran, most of which simply repeat the Bush administration’s belligerent, warmongering assertions – including the truly ludicrous assertion that Shi’ite Iran is deliberately arming and assisting Sunni insurgents. (Glenn Greenwald has been covering this matter for some time.)

    That’s not to say that I think the Times has a conservative bias either. Aside from obviously and unabashedly partisan outlets like Fox News, I think the media’s worst failure (and here I’m talking across the board) is not adherence to any political ideology, but an obedient and uncritical assent to the claims of whoever is in power. The traditional media in America has become ingratiated with the Washington power structure and is loath to seriously challenge the assertions of any politician, even when that politician is very obviously lying. At best, we get a lazy, irresponsible “he said/she said”-type reporting that offers readers no guide into who might actually be correct. This is usually coupled with a self-destructive tendency toward blind groupthink which judges claims as either “respectable” or “radical” based on whether they’re supported by the professional pundit class. Since the Republicans were in power for years up to the 2006 election, the media still largely reflects that party’s viewpoint and attitude. It doesn’t help that the Democrats have historically been much more averse than Republicans to strongly protesting negative coverage and media distortions.

  • Reed

    I think Stephen Colbert said it best. “The media, like reality, has a liberal bias.” Conservatives see a liberal bias when the facts more often than not don’t support their position. It’s similar to some of the cries of persecution from the vast christian majority. Reality has a distinct atheist bias and when they encounter the facts that make it so, they claim their rights are being trampled.

  • Reed

    I think Stephen Colbert said it best. “The media, like reality, has a liberal bias.” Conservatives see a liberal bias when the facts more often than not don’t support their position. It’s similar to some of the cries of persecution from the vast christian majority. Reality has a distinct atheist bias and when they encounter the facts that make it so, they claim their rights are being trampled.

  • cmills

    I believe that the lyrics to that song closely follow the beliefs of that one church in kansas who thanks god for AIDS and dead soldiers. Maybe most christians believe what they do, but simply don’t have the gall to say so publicly.

  • KShep

    Reed—-you beat me to the punch about reality having a liberal bias.

    You never hear the word “conservative” spoken as if it were an epithet like conservatives use the word “liberal.”

  • Thumpalumpacus

    [All quotes below are from Ebonmuse]

    “I’ve never heard of the claim you’re presenting here, although if this is a reference to the Iraqi policeman Jamil Hussein, please be aware that he did exist (some right-wing commentators’ claims to the contrary).”

    No, the fictional characters I refer to here (there were two) were conflations of five or six real children — as if the problems ONE Iraqi child faces isn’t bad enough, no?

    “Shouldn’t anyone be allowed to purchase advertising space in a national paper?”

    According to CNN, the ad violated the NY Times’s standards for advertising in that it represented a direct attack on a specific individual, and that is why the ombudsman stated that it shouldn’t have run.

    “I’d be much more disturbed by the idea of the Times’ filtering potential ad buyers by ideology.”

    That, in effect, is exactly what has happened here, given that MoveOn.org received a discount which Fox News, to take the most obvious example, would probably not get.

    “Any discussion of political bias in the Times should remember that in 2004, they admitted that their pre-war Iraq coverage was overly credulous and aggressive and often failed to exercise due diligence in vetting the Bush administration’s claims. These are hardly the sins of a liberal newspaper. And far from having learned their lesson, they’re now giving equally credulous coverage to Michael Gordon’s equally dubious and inflammatory claims about Iran, most of which simply repeat the Bush administration’s belligerent, warmongering assertions – including the truly ludicrous assertion that Shi’ite Iran is deliberately arming and assisting Sunni insurgents.”

    Not being a New Yorker, I am not a regular reader of that paper, and was thus unaware of this. Thanks for the link.

    “I think the media’s worst failure (and here I’m talking across the board) is not adherence to any political ideology, but an obedient and uncritical assent to the claims of whoever is in power.”

    Maybe a few years ago that was the case. I don’t think Bush could assert an Easterly-rising Sun nowadays without a vigorous debate occurring, which is fair enough. Liars should be doubted.

    “Since the Republicans were in power for years up to the 2006 election, the media still largely reflects that party’s viewpoint and attitude.”

    I’m not so sure of this. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t more than 70% of reporters in Washington registered as Democrats? I cannot remember when I read that (the pratfalls of aging, gah) but I’ll try and dig it up. That would seem to be a telling statistic, in that insofar as national political reporting is concerned it is the Washington beat which would provide any extant bias-filters. (Of course, being a registered Democrat does not automatically make one a poor reporter prone to bias, either).

  • HW

    When it comes to stereotyping and hatred I advise many of you to take a close look in the mirror, as I have lost count of the number of times christians have been refered to as “nutjobs” here. Or is it only hatred when conservatives engage in name-calling? I have neither the time nor the patience to attempt to shed light on the mis-information contained in many of these posts, and it would probably exceed the size limit for posts were I to do so.
    In my opinion, most of you would probably find that the most conservative of administrations would infringe a mere fraction on civil liberties compared with Sharia law.
    The difficulty with situational ethics and relative truth is that a good synonym for either is anarchy.
    My final point to ponder would be to ask whom you think would feel more at ease, atheists or christians, were we to have the opportunity to attend a social occasion with those who drafted our constitution and led the United states for her first hundred years? Were you to be intellectually and historically honest, you would acknowledge that it would be the christians. While many may be happy with the rise of secular humanism, it is simply inaccurate to deny the christian roots of this nation. Why are so many offended when christians mourn how close those roots would seem to being severed?

  • OMGF

    When it comes to stereotyping and hatred I advise many of you to take a close look in the mirror, as I have lost count of the number of times christians have been refered to as “nutjobs” here.

    Please cite some evidence of stereotyping and hatred. Thank you.

    I have neither the time nor the patience to attempt to shed light on the mis-information contained in many of these posts, and it would probably exceed the size limit for posts were I to do so.

    Many have tried, and have been found wanting. If you have some information to impart to us that isn’t the same boilerplate that we’ve heard a million times before, then please do so.

    In my opinion, most of you would probably find that the most conservative of administrations would infringe a mere fraction on civil liberties compared with Sharia law.

    I’m sure the Dominionists would disagree with you.

    My final point to ponder would be to ask whom you think would feel more at ease, atheists or christians, were we to have the opportunity to attend a social occasion with those who drafted our constitution and led the United states for her first hundred years? Were you to be intellectually and historically honest, you would acknowledge that it would be the christians.

    Huh? Are you saying that if you and I travelled back in time that you would be treated better than I by our founding fathers? You may well be right judging by the attacks made on Jefferson and Paine during that time period. What’s your point though?

    While many may be happy with the rise of secular humanism, it is simply inaccurate to deny the christian roots of this nation. Why are so many offended when christians mourn how close those roots would seem to being severed?

    By that you mean what? If you mean that Xianity was the dominant religion, well that’s true, it was, and still is. So what? If you mean to assert that this nation was founded on Xian principles or somesuch notion like that, then you’ll have to explain to me why the Constitution was derided as an atheist document, why Adams wrote that this is in no way a Xian government in one of our first national treaties, and why Jefferson explicitly stated that his intent was to erect a wall of separation between church and state…for starters.

  • MJJP

    These disturbed people about whom you write, having a rally in Florida, have deplorable ideas. President Bush does not do the things these folks do.
    Comment by: BletchleyPark
    ==============
    “In the programmeElusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, which starts on Monday, the former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath says Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,’ and I did.”

    “And “now again”, Mr Bush is quoted as telling the two, “I feel God’s words coming to me: ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.’ And by God, I’m gonna do it.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1007-03.htm
    =======
    I think you are terribly misinformed about GW.

  • MJJP

    My final point to ponder would be to ask whom you think would feel more at ease, atheists or christians, were we to have the opportunity to attend a social occasion with those who drafted our constitution and led the United states for her first hundred years? Were you to be intellectually and historically honest, you would acknowledge that it would be the christians. While many may be happy with the rise of secular humanism, it is simply inaccurate to deny the christian roots of this nation. Why are so many offended when christians mourn how close those roots would seem to being severed?

    Comment by: HW
    ================
    Your assumptions regarding history appear to be flawed.The founding fathers were not Christian or at least Christianity was not that important to many of them. Not one document refers to a Christian God. Check this link for starters and begin your new education. We will welcome you when you are finished.

    http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/ffnc/

  • KShep

    HW:

    When it comes to stereotyping and hatred I advise many of you to take a close look in the mirror, as I have lost count of the number of times christians have been refered to as “nutjobs” here.

    I have never seen a post here that contains any hatred nor sweeping generalizations like you claim. I have used the word “nutjob,” and I’ll keep using it to refer to various nutjobs out there. Just to be clear, we’re talking about people like Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, Phelps, Haggard, Koresh, and of course, Bush. These people have all exhibited megalomaniac behavior and they’re using fear of a fictional god to manipulate people into following them. That qualifies them as nutjobs in my book and I have no problem saying it.

    Think about it: how are any of those men different from the stereotypical delusional guy walking down the street wearing a sandwich board and screaming, “Repent!!! The end is near!!!” to anyone within earshot? I’ve seen people doing just that (minus the sandwich board), and they are no less a nutjob than any other nutjob. The nutjobs I’ve listed above are just more successful at fooling people, that’s all.

    I’ve also used the term in reference to my in-laws, who, among other things, complain about their pastor, who drives a BMW and receives $80,000 in yearly salary. This same guy lobs guilt bombs at his followers who can’t afford to pony up every week. Hello? Do I have to explain what should be obvious? They are intelligent, kind-hearted people, but yet they still go—every week. And dump all their spare cash in the pot. I’m not trying to blame the victim here, but it seems that you almost have to be a delusional nutjob to ignore the obvious and let someone con you out of your money week after week for years. The old “fool me once….” advice should apply at some point.

  • OMGF

    Speaking of “fool me once…

    Classic.

  • chronomitch

    In response to the claim of liberal bias in the media, I would just like to remind everyone of the Clinton sex scandal. The media, both conservative and liberal, made sure EVERYONE around the world knew that Clinton had had multiple affairs and had lied about them. While I don’t endorse Clinton’s actions in these affairs or his dishonesty, I think it is clear that these affairs and lies had little to nothing to do with the state of our nation or the world. Yet, the media made such a big deal of the scandal that many people voted Republican in the next presidential elections because they wanted a more honest President who would restore honor to the office.

    Now zip forward to the Bush administration and compare the lies about the Iraqi War (among other things) to those of Clinton. Even though Bush and his cronies were not on the stand when they lied, you would have to be delusional (and many neo-conns are) to think that Clinton’s sins can even compare to those of the current administration. But in the case of Bush, where was the media when we found out there were no WMDs in Iraq? Where was the outrage when we found that Saddam had nothing to do with the 9/11 hijackers or Al-Quaida? The lies of the Bush administration should have taken an even bigger role in the media than the Clinton sex scandal. It should have been covered 24 hours on the news networks. It should have been the front page story of every major newspaper for weeks. The media did such a poor job in this case that there are still a large number of people who believe Saddam helped the 9/11 terrorists and who swallow the ridiculous lies of our leaders in office.

    I think it is clear what kind of bias the media has.

  • OMGF

    I think a big difference between the Clinton story and the Bush story is how the administrations handle the media as well. The Bush admin. is very tight-fisted and it has been suggested that they have threatened reporters and papers with being kept out of the reporting rooms if they write things that are too inflamatory towards Bush. This puts the papers in a bad spot. If they write the truth about the lies of Bush and co. then they might never again gain access and their competitors will be able to scoop them continually.

    This isn’t meant as a rebuttal to chronomitch’s point, but more as expanded discussion of the differences between the situations.

  • KShep

    Here’s why the media covered the Clinton scandal differently than Dubya’s antics:

    S. E. X.

    That’s what sells, period, either because of the tittilation factor or to the holier-than-thou types.

    It didn’t hurt that Clinton’s most vocal critics were (and still are) foaming-at-the-mouth xtians (nutjobs, if you will) strangely obsessed with everyone else’s sex life. It all added up to big ratings.

    I shouldn’t have to remind anyone here about Clinton’s biggest nemesis—Newt Gingrich, who also had a little sex scandal of his own. Funny how that didn’t get as much airtime in the liberal media as Clinton’s did.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    While your point about the differences between Monicagate and this war is apt, I’d disagree about the media sandbagging the public, at least here in SoCal, where the LA Times certainly made much hay about the missing WMDs. I’d also argue that a gullible public, uncomfortable with critical thinking, wary of nonconformity and those who practice it, and preferring a steady diet of “reality” shows must be held at least equally culpable in not knowing the facts about 9/11 vis Iraq. None of this touches on the jingoistic variety of patriotism which would be severely damaged in a true believer were he to admit to himself that his gov’t lied to him.

    The public must accept its share of the blame in remaining so ignorant, because it is most often a choice to do so. I was aware of the falsity of the Czech meeting shortly after Powell used it as casus belli (amongst other reasons) against Iraq, and I’m no rocket scientist.

    And Alex –

    I have a letter out to the Reader’s Representative at the LA Times for the endorsement slate for the Nov 06 elections, and will post it here as soon as I receive it. Thanks for your patience.

  • KShep

    Thump—

    Point well taken. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t trying to blame the media entirely–they are a money-making business and they have to have a product that people are willing to buy. And I was seemingly a voice in the wilderness here in S. central Michigan, a conservative hotbed. I knew something was fishy from the very beginning, and I yelled at my TV screen many times for the media to do its job.

    We’re really getting off-topic here.

  • http://www.socialfarts.com howard

    Pray for Religion?
    (… wherein we hope for round #2 …)

    Pith: Religion has failed to revive the human species. Religion, like anything else in life, has the potential for either lifting our spirits and bringing out the best in us, or generating some of the worst distortions of thinking and action that humanity has ever known.

    Explanation: Every attempt to distill all of life into a few thousand pages and induce everyone to accept it as gospel has failed miserably to date. The tendency of many followers to check their brains at the door has further retarded progress, if indeed the word is applicable to religion. The drive to homogenize humanity with sin and guilt has always been the enemy of individuality, creativity, and true freedom of spirit. Despite their archaic substructure, the church and the synagogue and the mosque and the temple all have many modern heroes who have given tirelessly of themselves to fight oppression and injustice, ironically, as the lesser of evils.

    Consequences: As a generator of community, religion has the power to lead the world to a better way of living, but only if it gives up playing mind games and terror tactics against its own people. The only guarantee in the information age is that religions will increase in variety and receive more public scrutiny than ever in history. Under such circumstances they will either evolve into something more useful or die resisting change. Pray for success, if anything.

    see more at http://www.socialfarts.com


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