Nel's New Day

September 7, 2014

People of ‘Good Faith’ Who Rule by Hate, Fear

Backlash followed the mayor of Winter Garden (FL) after he asked police last week to escort a citizen out of a city council meeting because he wouldn’t stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. The mayor ignored a 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Barnette in which the court disagreed with the mayor. Justice Robert Jackson warned, “[T]hose who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.” Winter Garden officials decided that the city commission will open their meetings with “a moment of silence rather than a prayer” and “no one has to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.” Somebody read the U.S. Constitution.

The Archbishop of Oklahoma City, Paul Coakley, has come to terms with a Satanic group, the Church of Ahriman. The group returned Coakley’s consecrated communion water, and he withdrew his lawsuit against the group holding a Black Mass in Oklahoma City on September 21. In a debate about whether Christians should oppose the Black Mass, one person pondered this question about the Satanists’ actions:

“Why would people of ‘good faith’ –whatever that faith–want to harm an entire group or class of people?”

I wonder the same thing. Why would these people of “good faith” want to harm a class of people?

TV preacher Pat Robertson knows that Robin Williams would not have taken his own life on August 11 if he had not followed the gods of fame and money. All non-Christians are doomed. Williams had been suffering from depression and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Robertson, a famous televangelist, is worth $200 million. He gets his money by telling people living in poverty to send him money. This is a response to a couple in their 80s:

“You know, you can get on the telephone, people are hiring. There are all kinds of things you can do. For example, you may have a bunch of junk lying around in your garage that you can sell on eBay, and get some money that way.There are many, many ways of making money. And you’re looking at the downside of all the bills you’ve got instead of saying, ‘God, I’ve been faithful to you. Now, I claim my blessing, and I ask you to open the windows of heaven and pour me out a blessing. Show me what you’re going to do, show me how I can move into blessing.’ So, just ask him. He’ll give you some concepts. Your mind will open up.”

Lobbyist Jack Burkman, leader of the anti-LGBT group American Decency, has called for an anti-LGBT protest at the Dallas Cowboy’s home opener in Arlington (TX) because the team signed openly-gay Michael Sam after the St. Louis Rams dropped him. Earlier this year, Burkman proposed a bill that would ban gays from the National Football League. Burkman’s openly-gay brother, Jim, thinks that his brother’s actions are “just an attention grab and a media grab to pander to those folks who pay him to lobby on their behalf.”

Pastor Robby Gallaty doesn’t need laws like Burkman proposes; the head of a Tennessee Baptist church just wants homosexuals “put to death” because God would like that. Death is the only way to punish people “infected” with sin. According to Leviticus 20, their murder is their own fault. Who needs Uganda when the U.S. has its own home-grown “kill the gays” minister?

Michael V. Williams doesn’t want to kill LGBT people, but he does want a constitutional amendment to punish them with “ten years in prison at hard labor.” He spreads his word at Preaching Politics.com and asks followers to contact lawmakers so that they can outlaw homosexuality throughout the nation. He wrote:

“Make such a pest of yourself that they’re willing to do anything just to shut you up. And remember, only vote for those who promise to adopt this amendment. We’re in a fight for survival and only one side can win. Let’s make sure it’s our side.”

Former San Diego GOP official Gary Cass, leader of the right-wing group Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, posted this on the group’s website:

“ISSI (sic) has done us all a favor. The true face of Islam is on full display even as Mohammed is burning in hell. We will have to face the harsh truth that Islam has no place in civilized society. Muslims cannot live in a society based on Christian ideals of equality and liberty. They will always seek to harm us.”

Cass continues by giving directions for how to start a “holy war” again Islam. According to this “leader,” violence is the only way to protect Christianity: he and his followers must crush the seed of Ishmael in Jesus’ name. Cass once said, “You can’t be a Christian if you don’t own a gun?”

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) plans to introduce a bill authorizing President Obama “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those countries, organizations, or persons associated with or supporting” the groups namechecked above, as well as “any other emerging regional terrorist groups that share common violent extremist ideology with such terrorist groups, regional affiliates, or emerging terrorist groups.” To paraphrase, the U.S. should bomb anyone who they don’t like and just start World War III.

Tea Partiers also have declared war on other conservatives. Uncivil war broke out in Mississippi after a Tea Party candidate lost a primary run-off to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran who asked blacks to vote for him. Roy Nicholson, the state’s Tea Party chair, led a prayer at Life Church Jackson asking God to commit violence against establishment Republicans. A bit more of his prayer:

“We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state.”

Sometimes conservative leaders go too far for their congregation. Members of the 15,000-member megachurch with 200,000 followers online are protesting Seattle’s Pastor Mark Driscoll for a number of reasons including inappropriate use of church funds, plagiarizing, absolute control that cannot be questioned, and a culture of fear described as “spiritual abuse.” For several years, more liberal Christians have opposed his objectifying women and denigrating LGBT people, but conservatives are disturbed by his demands that church elders and their families be shunned if they don’t agree with him.

Leadership in many Christian churches at this time comes from developing a sense of persecution by anyone who dares to disagree with them. The conservative media rabidly publicizes any whiff of the so-called persecution, as with Kendra Turner, a senior at Dyer County High School (Newbern, TN), who broadcast on social media that she was “sent to the office” because one of her teachers didn’t want her saying “God bless you” in class after another student sneezed. Media attention encouraged her to expand the story by claiming her teacher told her she had no constitutional right to discuss God in the classroom before she was sent to the principal’s office and given an in-school suspension for the remainder of the class period. According to Turner, the classmates’ defense of her required other teachers to be called in to control a mini-rebellion.

Dyer County High School Principal Peggy Dodds tells a different story. There was no punishment, no suspension, no request to leave the classroom. Turner just walked out. She was told, however, that she was not supposed to disrupt the class. The teacher also reported that Turner was disruptive and aggressive. Google the story, however, and you’ll get only Turner’s version.

According to Religious Dispatches from USC, Turner’s stunt is not an isolated occurrence. Harold Cronk’s recent fictional film God’s Not Dead shows a Christian student humiliating a philosophy professor who required his freshman students to sign a pledge that “God is dead” and then converting the other students. Adolescents will enjoy replicating the film because it appears to justify resistance to authority and make them heroic through martyrdom. The fictional student in the film said about school authorities, “I want them to realize that God is in control and they’re not.”

To repeat the question:

“Why would people of ‘good faith’ –whatever that faith–want to harm an entire group or class of people?”

Because conservative religions control through fear. If you don’t do as I say, then I want to bomb you, kill you, put you in prison for ten years, or just get you fired—all in the name of Jesus and a Christian god. It’s a lesson that children learn at a very early age from the growing openly hatred in the United States for anything that they don’t understand.

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2 Comments »

  1. How can you put ‘ideals of equality and liberty’ in the same sentence as a.’society based on Christian ideals’? These are sad, pathetic people who will destroy the country they claim to love.

    Like

    Comment by gkparker — September 7, 2014 @ 2:30 PM | Reply

  2. IMHO fundamentalism is the enemy–and in the US we get to experience mostly the Christian version. Fundamentalist versions of all faiths are ignorant, brutal, and totally obliterate any good the faith might have at its core. The Middle East is home to the fundamentalist version of Islam–and is allowing it to infect much of Europe and some of the US. Non-fundamentalists of all faiths need to step up and reclaim their faiths before we are swallowed up in narrow hate.

    Thanks for reporting all these examples….it’s horrifying but important to know.

    Like

    Comment by jstjohn1 — September 7, 2014 @ 12:10 PM | Reply


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