Nel's New Day

December 2, 2012

Christians Deal with Christmas, Demons, Oil

Usually on Sunday when I write about the ignorance of religious folks who want to suppress freedom for everyone else, I’s the one who gets riled. This Sunday, I’m betting that millions of Christians are equally upset with Fox News. Last Wednesday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly insisted that Christianity is not a religion, trying to protect Christmas from American Atheists president David Silverman. O’Reilly also accused the organization of being “fascists” who, O’Reilly claimed, want to banish Christmas from the United States.

After calling Silverman “insane,” O’Reilly finished his oration about religion versus philosophy by saying, “Again if you are stone-cold dumb and don’t understand the difference between an organized church and a philosophy, I cannot help you.” The conservative host added that those who believe Christianity is a religion “are so stupid, it’s painful.”

Christmas trees are a secular symbol, according to O’Reilly. Actually they are  pagan symbols, worshiped before Christianity in Druidic ceremonies and also during the Roman Saturnalia. For a very funny perspective on Christmas and Christianity, check out this blog on Addicting Information.   

Like O’Reilly, Kentucky hates atheism, so much that the state made it illegal. A state homeland security law requires residents to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God–or risk 12 months in prison. Since the law went into effect in 2006, the state’s Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality.

Because “the safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God,” plaques celebrating God’s power must be installed outside the state Homeland Security Building. Law mandates that these plaques state “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.” Tom Riner, a Baptist minister and the long-time Democratic state representative, sponsored the law.

Pat Robertson doesn’t believe in separation of church and state although he claims religious exemptions for political activity, and he thinks that people who believe in evolution are atheists, “… contrary to the First Amendment.” But he does think that the world is older than 6,000 years, contrary to The Annals of the World written in 1650 by Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher. Yet 46 percent of pastors insist that Ussher is right. So does Sarah Palin. And probably so does GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, putting Robertson to the left of all these politicians.

Robertson hasn’t said what he thinks about a theory espoused by the Christian magazine Charisma: people are gay because they have sex with demons. Demons have become a popular part of far-right Christianity. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a global network of Charismatic Christian ministries devoted to Dominionism, the idea that they must take over public institutions in order to save America and the world from demons and gays.

Bruce Wilson, who’s reported on the movement for years, said,

“For the apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, demon powers, and also divine curses — incurred by human unfaithfulness to God’s plan, are at the root of virtually any and all conceivable misfortunes, from crime trends, drops in the stock market, and declining SAT scores, to headaches and dandruff. I mean that literally.”

Followers of and others with strong relationships to NAR include several presidential candidates and wannabes: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry to name a few. Heads of state in Uganda who want to legalize the murder of LGBT people also belong to NAR. Detroit, the financial markets, and Native Americans are all controlled by demons, according to NAR, as is your own head. Demons are the source of migraine headaches and probably impure thoughts.

For those who wish to help the world and worship God, the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation has a solution: extravagantly waste the Earth’s resources. They claim that there is no global warming and that restricting use of energy hurts the poor. Therefore they proclaim the following—and a lot more: “We call on political leaders to adopt policies that protect human liberty, make energy more affordable, and free the poor to rise out of poverty, while abandoning fruitless, indeed harmful policies to control global temperature.” As the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer said, using fewer fossil fuels is an insult to God.

The final jewel in this Sunday’s sermon is the work that ex-presidential candidate Rick Santorum is doing on Capitol Hill. He and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) are lobbying Senate to reject the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This human rights treaty was negotiated during George W. Bush’s administration and ratified by 126 nations, including China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. (This might not be “religious,” but it’s certainly “anti-Christian”!)

Both Santorum and Lee have pronounced “grave concerns” about the treaty, which forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, the blind, those in wheelchairs, etc. “This is a direct assault on us,” Santorum declared. The treaty directs the other signatories to update their laws to closely match the Americans with Disabilities Act. It would extend American values worldwide and guarantee disabled people equal treatment and freedom from torture and exploitation.

Far from being sinister, the treaty has the support of disabilities and veterans groups; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Republican senators such as John McCain (AZ) and John Barrasso (WY); and conservative legal minds such as Boyden Gray and Dick Thornburgh.

Santorum claims that he has 36 senators who will oppose signing the treaty; treaties require a two-thirds vote in the Senate. It is well-known that his daughter, Bella, has a severe birth defect. He even brought Bella to a Senate hearing to show them why they should vote against a treaty that will help people with disabilities.

Santorum justified his opposition by saying that other countries wouldn’t actually enforce the provisions. “It does not provide any moral leadership,” he said. This is the man who fought to lead our country into the medieval ages. ,

 

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