What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution. – James Madison
If you want to get me heated up, convey your support for theories of Christian Nationalism. If that doesn’t work, tell me the Bears shouldn’t have traded for Cutler.
In light of the Sanford and Ensign scandals, I’ve been reading a lot about the C-Street House, a tax-exempt house where pious Christian legislators apparently go to pray or get laid far away from the watchful eyes of their wives. It depends on the day of the week. There are even exorcisms , and on the 2nd Wednesday of every month Tom Coburn gives pelvic exams! You know, a little something for the conservative in all of us. This place is affiliated with “The Family,” essentially a religious lobbying group of powerful, skin-deep Jesus Freaks. A great backgroundcan be found here. As Jeff Sharlet writes:
One needn’t be a Marxist to findfault with the Family’s mash-up of New Testament andunfettered capitalism — Adam Smith himself would have recognized that theology as a disingenuous form of self-interest by proxy. Such interests have led the Family into some strange alliances over the years. Seduced by the Indonesian dictator Suharto’s militant anti-communism, they described the murder of hundreds of thousands that brought him to power as a “spiritual revolution,” and sent delegations of congressmen andoil executives to pray to Jesus with the Muslim leader. In Africa, they anointed the Somali killer Siad Barre as God’s man and sent Sen. Grassley and a defense contractor as emissaries. Barre described himself as a “Koranic Marxist,” but he agreed to pray to Grassley’s American Christ in return for American military aid, which he then used to wreak a biblical terror on his nation. It has not yet recovered.
Now I don’t give a shit where these guys put their St.Peters. The hypocrisy of these moralizing, Christian crusaders is obvious and well-documented. Whether these douchebags keep their jobs due to such hiccups as misappropriation of funds related to these trysts is an issue for their voters or state legislatures. While the fact that this fucking frat house qualifies as tax-exempt infuriates me, that is not the subject of this post.
Feel free to use for your band's album cover.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is on a quest from God. This quest is to rewrite American history and falsely indoctrinate students, the naive and The Dumb as to the historical origins and governmental foundations of this country.
On may 4th, 2009 Randy Forbes re-introduced the text of the resolution, as House Resolution 397, which currently has 74 co-sponsors. This reads:
Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history andexpressing support for designation of the first week in May as “America’s Spiritual Heritage Week” for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.
Although the First Amendment might conflict with this resolution (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”), the text is fairly innocuous. What’s troubling is that the Resolution contains 75 historically dubious footnotes detailing how America is a Christian nation.
What instigated Forbes? According to this post:
The trigger for the reintroduction of the falsified US history fussilade was, by Randy Forbes’ own statements, president Barack Obama’s April 7, 2009statement during a public appearance in Turkey, in which Obama declared that “one of the great strengths” of the United States is that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Obama’s declaration set off a firestorm of criticism from Christian conservatives in Congress and the Senate, with GOP Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann attacking Obama, in an April 21 speech on the House floor in which Bachmann cited the falsified “Washington’s prayer” as evidence that the United States was in fact a Christian nation. Mention of the falsified “prayer” is not at all unusual in Congress. The Congressional record notes multiple citations of the “prayer” in Congress, including by Senate chaplains associated with The Family.
In a May 6th speech on the floor of the US Congress, Randy Forbes asked the questions, “Did America ever consider itself a Judeo-Christian nation?” and “If America was once a Judeo-Christian nation, when did it cease to be?” Forbes’ speech, posted as a YouTube video segment, has so far received over 2 and 1/2 million views.
In a May 7th, 2009 press conferenceRandy Forbes attacked Barack Obama’s Turkey declaration, stating,
“I suggest the overwhelming evidence suggests that this nation was born andit was birthed with Judeo-Christian principles and I would challenge anybody to tell me that point in time that we ceased to be such, because it doesn’t exist.”
Forbes went on to issue an even more explicit challenge, in a July 1, 2009 appearance on the Jody Hice Show, during which Forbes declared,
“I challenge the president or anyone else — come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold — we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation — and you can’t do it.”
The problem with debating these issues (as Chris Rodda offered) is that the facts are so apparent and contrary to Forbes’ view, that even engaging Mr. Forbes gives some credence to his distorted views. Of course, sometimes a person must descend to that level and I would enjoy watching Ms. Rodda dismantle Forbes in a debate on the subject.
However, the “debate” should end with the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The rebuttal from the Nationalists usually hit 2 points:
1. The Declaration of Independence states: “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
2. The Founding Fathers were Christians and intended the U.S. to reflect their religious affiliation.
1: There is no mention of Christ, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, our any of the other biblical characters – only a supreme force. (Also, the Constitution makes no mention of God at all.)
Which brings me to #2:
Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and James Madison is the “Father of the Constitution!” (also a Disney movie coming 2010) These two men were deists and had the most input on the political theories and actual text of the documents on which our country was founded. It’s infuriating. I’ll also throw in that Lincoln was likely a Deist/agnostic, and the Christian convictions of George Washington are far from established. Yet where does this leave the historical beliefs of our country?
Over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, an entire parallel historiography, based on fabricated historical details, falsified founding father quotes, quotes taken out of context, deceptive textual ellipsis, and a host of other methods, has arisen and been incorporated not only into books but also textbooks and curriculum, including that taught in the national Junior ROTC program.
That falsified American history campaign has apparently had some effect. Over the last three decades, the percent of Americans who incorrectly believe the United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation has increased significantly. A 2007 poll from the First Amendment Center showed that 65%, nearly 2/3, of Americans believe the founders intended the US to be a Christian nation and 55% from that poll thought the US Constitution establishes the US as a Christian nation.
As Frederick Clarkson, journalist and author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy wrote in the commentary History is Powerful: Why the Christian Right Distorts History and Why it Matters published in the Spring 2007 issue of Public Eye, a publication from Political Research Associates,
“The notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is a central animating element of the ideology of the Christian Right. It touches every aspect of life and culture in this, one of the most successful and powerful political movements in American history. The idea that America’s supposed Christian identity has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement. No understanding of the Christian Right is remotely adequate without this foundational concept.
But the Christian nationalist narrative has a fatal flaw: it is based on revisionist history that does not stand up under scrutiny. The bad news is that to true believers, it does not have to stand up to the facts of history to be a powerful and animating part of the once and future Christian nation. Indeed, through a growing cottage industry of Christian revisionist books and lectures now dominating the curricula of home schools and many private Christian academies, Christian nationalism becomes a central feature of the political identity of children growing up in the movement. The contest for control of the narrative of American history is well underway.
Gods help us.