Thursday, May 17, 2007


Author's note: As usual has found a way to mess up the formatting (paragraph and sentence structure) of a very long post. To read this article in a SANE format please click on THEOLOGICAL REVISION: EPILOGUE at The Blue Republic where it is cross posted. Or just click on:

Matthew5 and SweetPea

By Matthew 5
Assisted by BibleBelted, and SweetPea

"Government in our democracy, state and national, must be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine, and practice. It may not be hostile to any religion or to the advocacy of no-religion; and it may not aid, foster, or promote one religion or religious theory against another or even against the militant opposite. The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." - Abe Fortas, Epperson v. Arkansas , 393 U.S. 97, 1968. [1]

You'd think that devoutly religious people would be in favor of governmental neutrality when it comes to religion. Granted, we have the First Amendment religion clause which supposedly protects us from an established national church and which protects our religious freedom, but governmental neutrality (separation of church and state, if you prefer) is the mechanism that enforces our the religion clause. I don't know about you but I find it very strange that the most religious people in this country are the same people who are so obsessively determined to undermine the method by which we enforce the religion clause. Considering the fact that under normal circumstances the political/religious pendulum swings back and forth, from left to right and back again, one would assume that the religious right in this country would want to maintain government neutrality to protect their own religious freedom.

Roger Williams (December 21, 1603-April 1, 1684) a figure heard from to infrequently these days, understood this argument very well. A separatist preacher, Williams was banished by the the Massachusetts General Court on September 13, 1635 for advocating religious tolerance and for criticizing the Massachusetts Bay Charter. Initially considered himself a Baptist, but as he aged, Williams revealed himself as one of those rare people who becomes more open minded with age, eventually becoming a nondenominational Christian ( i.e. a seeker). Ironically, while the radical religious right attempts to tear down the wall between church and state, it was Roger Williams whose use of similar terminology way well have inspired Thomas Jefferson's use of the term. Wrote Williams:

"When they [the Church] have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the Candlestick, etc., and made His Garden a wilderness as it is this day. And that therefore if He will ever please to restore His garden and Paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world, and all that be saved out of the world are to be transplanted out of the wilderness of the World." [2]

Note the similarities between the terms "hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world," as used by Williams and the term "Wall of Separation" [3] that Jefferson used more than a century and a half later. Contrary to what the radical religious right would have us believe, the truth of the matter is that both, Williams and Rogers believed that a Separation of Church and State was necessary to protect both, religion and government. We have already read what Jefferson thought about establishment in earlier contributions to this series, but what did Williams have to offer? Well, to be precise, Williams to believed that a marriage of church and state was detrimental to both, the religious and civil authorities and that it was better to keep the two apart. In the preface to The Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Cause of Conscience, Williams issued "Twelve Arguments for Religious Tolerance."

"First, that the blood of so many hundred thousand souls of Protestants and Papists, spilt in the wars of present and former ages, for their respective consciences, is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace. "Secondly, pregnant scriptures and arguments are throughout the work proposed against the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience." "Thirdly, satisfactory answers are given to scriptures, and objections produced by Mr. Calvin, Beza, Mr. Cotton, and the ministers of the New English churches and others former and later, tending to prove the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience. "Fourthly, the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience is proved guilty of all the blood of the souls crying for vengeance under the altar. "Fifthly, all civil states with their officers of justice in their respective constitutions and administrations are proved essentially civil, and therefore not judges, governors, or defenders of the spiritual or Christian state and worship. "Sixthly, it is the will and command of God that (since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus) a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or antichristian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only (in soul matters) able to conquer, to wit, the sword of God's Spirit, the Word of God. "Seventhly, the state of the Land of Israel, the kings and people thereof in peace and war, is proved figurative and ceremonial, and no pattern nor president for any kingdom or civil state in the world to follow. "Eighthly, God requireth not a uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls. "Ninthly, in holding an enforced uniformity of religion in a civil state, we must necessarily disclaim our desires and hopes of the Jew's conversion to Christ. "Tenthly, an enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. "Eleventhly, the permission of other consciences and worships than a state professeth only can (according to God) procure a firm and lasting peace (good assurance being taken according to the wisdom of the civil state for uniformity of civil obedience from all forts). "Twelfthly, lastly, true civility and Christianity may both flourish in a state or kingdom, notwithstanding the permission of divers and contrary consciences, either of Jew or Gentile..." [4]

What does this mean? It means that the wall between Separation of Church and State offers two way protection, not just one way protection of the church. It means that history shows us how violent and brutal establishment has been and that the best thing government and religion can do is to maintain a wally between them for the benefit of all. Unfortunately there are people who truly believe that church state separation and government neutrality is a form of hostility towards their particular religion.

"... the most devoutly religious people should also be the staunchest defenders of government neutrality in matters of religion. Given the awesome power of the modern state, religious people should want to do everything reasonable to reduce the risk that the state will interfere with their religious institutions, and that would include the state coming down against them in theological matters. Accomplishing this requires removing from the government the authority to support them in theological matters as well. "Unfortunately, too few people seem to be aware of this — or, if they are, they don't consider the risk to be high enough to give up the benefits of state endorsement. This may seem like a reasonable gamble, given America's history as having a predominantly Christian population. It's an unwise gamble, though, given how much variety there is within American Christianity and how far religious pluralism has advanced in recent decades. "There are people who believe that government 'neutrality' is the same as government "hostility," but exactly the opposite is actually the case. If the government is not neutral, then the government is taking sides. If the government is taking sides on behalf of one group or belief, then it is also taking sides against the alternative groups or beliefs. Perhaps it isn't the intention of the government to send the message that those alternatives are worse, but it does so necessarily when it signals that the chosen option is favored by endorsing, supporting, or promoting it. That, in turn, qualifies as a form of "hostility." [5]

But what the Dominionists fail to recognize is that theocracy, by its very nature, is a self destructive concept. How many nations, past theocracies, have destroyed the very nation that it took over? Theocracy, if nothing else, is a recipe for both religious and civil corruption. In the end it contaminates everything it touches. It stifles scientific curiosity; degrades the technological advancements that a nation needs to survive; and through internal violence in the form of inquisitions and through external violence through religious wars of conquest, bleeds the theocratic nation dry. That's a hell of a price to pay for imposing a particular religious view on other people.

"The sad reality of Dominionism is that in order to achieve power and control over other men some sort of accord or treaty must be established with the world system. Biblical Christians of the devotional evangelical variety are fully aware of this danger. They see any bid for power and authority in this world as a very dangerous move. The gathering and the 'unity' that is achieved by this means is artificial, cheap, and short-lived. The reason for this is quite simple. Any bid for power is based on compromise with the spirit behind that power. Dominionism is achieved by playing games with the systems of this world. And when they use the ways of this world to establish authority the Church that becomes established finally ends up running counter to true Christianity.

"History bears this out. The recurring pattern is as follows. Establishment Christians make deals with the worldly powers. Then they always end up beholden to these worldly powers. Compromised Christians then find themselves, (through fear of their worldly masters), being forced to persecute their uncompromised fellow Christians. Church history is absolutely full of strange stories based on this corruption. Sadly, it continues today. Dominion Theology will comes to its peak in the Apocalypse. It will become the future Harlot Church John saw. (Rev.17 & 18)" [6]

That's ironic when you consider the fact that it is the radical religious right, the Dominionists themselves who suffer from a paranoid delusion in which they see everyone except themselves as a part of a New Age Satanic plot. which includes:

" Acupressure, Acupuncture, Aerobics at the YMCA, The American Civil Liberties Union, Alcoholics Anonymous, Amway Corporation, Atari Computer Corporation, Biofeedback, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Buffalo (New York) Public Schools, Campbell's Soup Company, the Catholic Church, Catholic Communion, Chrysler Corporation, the movie Cocoon , Norman Cousins, Creative visualization, Ending World Hunger, Environmentalism, Freemasons, Globalism, Mikail Gorbachev, The Grapes of Wrath , Guided imagery for success and prosperity, Health food, Holistic health, The Hunger Project, Aldous Huxley, Hypnosis, Information revolution, Jehovah's Witness, Jewish Kabala, Life Magazine, Lions International, Lockheed Corporation, Minneapolis City Government, Mobil Oil Company, Monsanto Corporation, Mormon Church, Mother Theresa, The Muppets, NAACP, Ralph Nader. NASA, National Organization for Women, NBC Television, Native American religious ceremonies, Networking, Newsweek Magazine, New York City Government, Planed Parenthood, Pluralism, Polaroid Corporation, Pope John XXIII, Positive thinking, Prince Phillip, Princeton University, Proctor and Gamble, Reader's Digest , Rock and roll, Rockefeller Foundation, Rosaries, Save the Whales movement, Self realization, Social Security Administration, Stress management, Transcendental Meditation, Desmond Tutu, U.S. Navy, UNESCO, United Nations, University of Michigan, University of Texas, Lech Welesa, Vegetarian diets, Westinghouse, World Peace efforts, Yale University, Bois Yeltsin. " [7]

In other words, it isn't only gays, lesbians, and abortionists. It's a wide range of people, entities, and practices which the radical religious right has lumped together for persecution, including mainstream Protestant Churches, the Catholic Church, and nonchristian religions in general. And now the bad news. That list comes from late 1993-1994. One can only assume that their recent taste of political power has made them even more hungry, more determined, and more fanatical in their hatred of religious dissidents.

And God knows they've tasted enough power since George W. Bush came to power.

For all intents and purposes the Dominionists compose a mere seven percent of the American population. But, like past radical fringe groups, they are well funded, highly organized, and extremely underhanded. Not only do they operate in the sunlight; like a pervasive fungus they also operate in the shadows, constantly undermining the Constitution and the liberties for which it stands. This of course isn't surprising. Lenin operated in a similar manner during the build up to the Russian Revolution. After the Beer Hall Putch, Adolf Hitler decided to put a happier and friendlier face on the Nazi party to convince the German people that he had moderated his views. But all the time he was working behind the scenes to establish a virulently racist dictatorship. The Dominionists are no different.

FACT: Having converted Christ's ministry into a hellacious bastardization of Social Darwinism, the Dominionists actively seek and collect funds from major corporations which allow them to exert even more influence over both, the Republican Party and the nation as a whole. Tyson Foods, in addition to making major contributions to radical religious entities, has placed 128 part time chaplains--mostly evangelicals or fundamentalists, in 78 plants across the country. Other huge backers include Wal-Mart, Sam's Wholesale, and Purdue [8 ]

FACT. In 2003 faith based organizations received 8.1 percent of the social service budget or $2.005 billion in funding. In Fiscal year 2004 that figure jumped to 10.3 percent, or $2.005 billion in funding.. In 2005 the figure rose to $ 11 percent of all federal competitive service grants, amounting to $2.15 billion. To make matters even worse, many of the religious groups receiving tax payer dollars openly discriminate against gays, lesbians, and people of other faiths. In many cases the only real qualification for employment is that the employee be a Bible believing Christian. [9]

FACT: At the same time the Bush administration was wasting more than $1 billion on chastity programs alone. Programs, incidentally, that a majority of the American people did not want, and which have yet to be proven effective. And yet approximately 30 percent of American Public Schools teach abstinence only. [10]

FACT: Prior to the 2006 midterm elections, Christian Fundamentalists held a majority of seats in 36 percent of of all Republican Party state committees, or 18 of 50 states. At the same time they also held large minorities in the remaining states. Forty-five Senators and 186 members of the House of Representatives had been singled out for theocratic praise from radical right groups such as the Eagle Forum, the Christian Coalition, and the Family Resource Council. [11]

FACT: Tens of millions of Americans depend on Christian broadcasting as their only source of news. Moreover, anywhere from 1.1 million to 2.1 million children are home schooled. Almost all of them are Evangelicals which means that the vast majority of these children will be taught incorrectly that America was established as a Christian nation. Evolution is not taught,and they are almost never confronted with contrary ideas which might contradict their very narrow Biblical world view. Instead they are often channeled into right wing universities such as Patrick Henry University, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, or Pat Robertson's Regent University; the last of which is a level four law school, level four being the worst rating that a law school can muster. And yet George W. Bush has channeled graduates of these institutions into his administration, knowing full well that they are historical and legal revisionists who are more interested in establishing a Christian Theocracy than upholding the law and the Constitution. [12]

FACT: We are all familiar with Ken Blackwell (another die hard religious fanatic) and his coordinated effort with Walden O'Dell, CEO of Diebold to deliver Ohio for George W. Bush during the 2004 elections, but how many people realize that the radical religious right, in addition to infiltrating elected positions and the judiciary, is also attempting to infiltrate the United States Military and law enforcement. This became painfully obvious when senior military officers appeared in uniform in a video to promote a Christian Organization. I am referring to Brigadier General Vince Brooks and the Christian Embassy, a Christian missionary group which concentrates on government employees. [13] And then there's that matter of Blackwater, the world's most powerful mercenary Army which is led by a Fundamentalist Christian/former Navy Seal who apparently has enough money to open Blackwater facilities in strategic areas across the United States. Which raises the question why? Are we seeing the early stages of a Christianized SS or Gestapo? [14]

I think we, as a people need to stand up and take our country back before it's too late. For the most part Separation of Church and State has worked well for more than 200 years. It isn't a panacea for every church-state issue that comes down the pike, but it has preserved our freedom of religion and prevented the establishment of a Theocracy, a form of government that our Founding Fathers would have found repugnant in the extreme. In fact, when you really think about it, the idea that men like Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin, et al would have studied European and American History, recognized the corruption, hypocrisy, and bloodshed that stems from an established faith, only to turn around and then impose the same corruption, hypocrisy and bloodshed on the American people through a Theocratic Constitution is at best laughable.

Personally, I don't care what you want to worship. If you want to believe that America should be a Christian Republic you have a right to believe so. If you want to hate people based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, you have a right to do so. If you want to worship a taco that looks like the Virgin Mary or a grease stain on your garage floor you have a right to do so. But your right to swing your theological fist stops where my nose begins. When you want to use the power and financial resources of the United States government to impose your prayers, symbols, hymns, or doctrine on others you have crossed the line.

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he "declared eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

It was good advice then and it's good advice now. Maybe we should start to embrace it again.

"Be pleased then (honored Sir) to remember that thing which we call conscience is of such a nature (especially in Englishmen) as once a Pope of Rome, at the suffering of an Englishman in Rome, himself observed that although it be groundless, false, and deluded, yet it is not by any arguments as torments easily removed.
"I speak not in terms of the multitude of all nations, which have their ebings and flowings in religion ( as the longest sword and strongest arm of flesh carries it), but I speak of conscience, a permission fixed in the mind and heart of man, which enforceth him to judge (as Paul said of himself a persecutor) and to do so and so with respect to God, His Worship
"This conscience is found in all mankind, more or less: in Jews, Turks, Papists, Protestants, Pagans...
"The maker and Searcher of our hearts knows with what bitterness I write, as with bitterness of the soul I have heard such language as to proceed from yourself and others, who formerly have fled from ( with crying out against) persecutors: "You will say this is your conscience; you will say you are persecuted, and you are persecuted for your conscience. No, you are conventiclers, heretics, blasphemers, seducers. You deserve to be hanged; rather than one shall be waiting to hang him. I will hang him myself. I am resolved not to leave an heretic om the country. I had rather so many whores and whore mongers and thieves come among us.
"Oh Sir, you cannot forget what language and dialect this is, whether the Gardiners and Bonners, both former and latter, used to all that bowed not the state golden image of what conscience soever they were. And indeed, Sir, if the most High be pleased to awaken you to render unto His holy Majesty His die praises, in you truly broken-heated confessions and supplications, you will then proclaim to all the world, that what profession soever you made of the lamb, yet these confessions could not proceed from the Dragon's mouth...
"Oh remember it is dangerous combat for potsherds of the earth to fight with their dreadful potter. It is a dismal battle for poor naked feet to kick against the pricks; it is a dreadful voice from the King of kings and Lord of Lords: 'Endicott, Endicott, why huntest though me? why imprisonest thou me? why finest, so bloodily whippest? why wouldst thou (did not I hold thy bloody hands) hang and burn me?' Yea, Sir, I beseech you remember that it is a dangerous thing to put this to the may-be, to the venture or hazard of the possibility. 'Is it possible,' may you well say, 'that since I hunt, I hunt not the life of my Savior and the blood of the Lamb of God: I have fought against many several sorts of consciences; it is beyond all possibility and hazard that I have not fought against God, that I have not persecuted Jesus in some of them?'
"Sir, I must be humbly bold to say that 'tis impossible for any man or men to maintain their Christ by the sword and to worship a true Christ, to fight against all consciences opposite to theirs, and not to fight against God in some of them and to hunt after the life of the true Lord Jesus Christ. Oh remember, wither your principles and consciences must in time and opportunity force you!...
"Sir I know I have presumed much upon your weighty affairs and thoughts; I end with an humble cry to the Father of mercies that you may take David's counsel, and silently commune with your own heart upon your bed. reflect upon your own spirit, and believe Him that saith it to his over zealous disciples, 'You know not what spirit you are of'; that no sleep may seize upon your eyes, nor slumber upon your eyelids, until your serious thoughts have seriously, calm;y, and unchangeably (through help from Christ Jesus) fixed,
"First on a moderation towards the spirits and consciences of all mankind, merely differing from or opposing with only religious and spiritual opposition,
"Secondly, a deep and cordial resolution (in these wonderful, searching, disputing, and dissenting times) to search, to listen, to pray, to mast, and more fearfully, more tremblingly to enquire what the holy pleasure and the holy mysteries of the most Holy are: in whom I humbly deserve to be.

"Your poor fellow servant, unfeignedly
respective and faithful

A letter by Roger Williams from 1651 from Roger Williams to Massachusetts Governor John Endicott on the occasion of the arrest of of three Baptists in Massachusetts: [15]


[1] From: About: Atheism/Agnosticism Abe Fortas About Government Neutrality Towards Religion Copyright 2007 About Inc

[2] From: Ronald Bruce
Roger Williams Banished: 1635
Separation of Church and State

[3] From: THE U.S. Constitution Online
Jefferson's Wall of Separation Letter
By Steve Mount
Copyright 1995-2007 by Steve Mount
Last modified January 30, 2007
Accessed May 16, 2007

[4] From: The Constitution Society page)
Article titled: "A Plea for Religious Liberty by Roger Williams
Copyright 1994-2005 by the Constitution Society
Last updated November 18, 2006

[5] From: About: Atheism/Agnosticism
Abe Fortas on Government Neutrality Towards Religion
Copyright 2007 by About Inc

[6] From : Dominion Theology in Recent History
By Gavin Finley MD

[7] From: Educational Leadership magazine
Pages 6 through 11
December 1993/January 1994
Article titled "When Two Worldviews Collide
byRobert J. Marzano

[8] From: American Fascists, The Christian Right and the War on America
Page 21
By Chris Hedges
Published by The Free Press
Copyright 206 by Chris Hedges

[9] Ibid
Pages 23-24

[10] Ibid
Page 24

[11] Ibid
Pages 22-23

[12] Ibid
Page 26

[13] From: NPR: The Nation
Religious Group's Ties to Pentagon Questioned
December 11, 2006
Copyright 2007 by NPR

[14] From: Democracy Now
Blackwater Plans for New Facility Near San Diego Draws Fire From Residents, Peace Activists, and Local Congressman

[15] From: A Documentary History of Religion in America to the Civil War (Second Edition)
Edited by Edwin S. Gaustad
Pages 114-117
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids
Copyright 1982, 1993 William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Let Freedom Ring,

The Coalition for a Republican-Free America

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Exploitation Of Supernatural Phenomenon: The Unfortunate Case of Little Audrey

Bloody Mary in Action

If deities get thirst, time for some feeding.

As a sort of continuation from my previous post, which I did in a light-hearted manner, one of the most ardent claims of godly manifestations would be those pertaining to the secreting of liquid substances, mostly of the blood, oil and tears variety from religious statues.

Of course, such superfluous claims are nothing new: Hindu statues of the Elephant God, Ganesh, had been purported to drink milk; Statues of the Virgin Mary were found to have blood stains on the nailed hands, and some even claim to see statues having a life of their own in Hindu temples, but these unvalidated claims are, by nature, spread through the word of mouth and occasionally with the help of the media.

One of the most cruel and bizarre cases, however, has a tinge of child abuse added into it, and one can't feel anything but pure, unadulterated anger at religious people who would subject a paralyzed, innocent child to such ridicule and pure exploitation.

The Case of Little Audrey

The story of little Audrey Santos is nothing short of heart wrenching.

On August 9, 1987, at the age of 3, Audrey and her brother Stephen were playing in the driveway of her grandmother's house, when she inexplicably fell into the swimming pool and almost drowned. She was immediately rushed to hospital, where, according to Audrey's mother Linda, the presiding physician prescribed too much phenobarbital, causing Audrey to lapse into a coma.

Three weeks later, Audrey emerged from the coma into a state called "akinetic mutism"; she was only able to move her eyes and fingers, and had lost her ability to speak.

With such cases, publicity usually follows, and media coverage prompted many people came to pray for Audrey - not only relatives, but family friends and even strangers. The hospital was so inundated with people that Audrey was placed in a private room in the PICU.

While the poor girl was struggling with the condition, her rather thick-skulled mother, Linda, had the gall to bring the paralyzed girl to Yugoslavia, apparently to seek "divine" healing in a popular pilgrimage site. Not only did a miracle not happen, she almost died of cardiac arrest, and surprise, she had to be medically evacuated back to the US.

And just who did she put the blame on? Yes, that dastardly abortion clinic, which was close to the site where Audrey was supposed to witness an apparition! You could almost hear her mother screaming: "Damn those freaking liberals and their baby-killing gulags! They almost killed my daughter too!"

The Oil Oozing Statues

This phenomenon is a little puzzling: When the ancient Volkswagen in the garage leaks oil, one would usually attribute this to mechanical malfunction, nothing new, just the kind of nuisance that requires professional assistance. When statues ooze oil, that, my friends, is an altogether different issue.

Well, we know statues are not supposed to leak oil, but when stories of statues that adorn Audrey's home began leaking oil began to "leak" to the press, it turned Audrey into an overnight saint, and her home yet another destination for pilgrimage. A sample of the oil was sent to a Pittsburgh lab, and lo and behold, the contents of the oil was identified as "80% corn/soyabean oil and 20% chicken fat". So much for a miracle. Hmm.......I wonder where Linda got a soyabean oil from. The Garden of Eden?

Of course, this kind of rational explanation was never going to stop Linda and her superstitious supporters, whom she was going to exploit mercilessly. Not about to pass the buck up, Audrey's mother decided to use this latest media outburst as a means of making a quick windfall: An organization was created on Audrey's behalf, calling itself "Apostolate of a Silent Soul, Inc.", provides a "price list," and sells items such as photographs of Audrey and crucifixes which had been in Audrey's room, while also soliciting donations. These aside, commercially marketable items such as magnets, t-shirts, Audrey's photo, postcards, angel pins, books and CDs become part and parcel of Linda's massive campaign to rake in the cash, at the expense of her daughter.

Throngs of people seeking some kind of cure for their individual illnesses line up in Audrey's home, hoping that in her semi-conscious state, she would somehow muster enough energy to bless their disease/illness-ravaged lives, even though she isn't even capable of extricating herself from her own paralysis.

And what kind of a sick, abominable mother would put up her paralyzed daughter as some kind of a freak exhibit for the fervent, crazy religious folks to ogle and enhance her suffering even further? Of course, some would argue, she's already in a semi-coma state, and probably wouldn't feel a thing, but the issue is, does anyone sane ever hope to gain something out of a tragedy of a young human being, let alone the mother of the stricken child?

Death of Audrey: Not the End of Shameless Marketing

Little Audrey died of cardio-respiratory failure on April 14th, 2007. One would think that with her death, the whole chapter of religious lunacy will come to an end. The truth is, the organization that still exploits the plight of Audrey's misfortune is still in operation today, perhaps in the hope that Audrey's death will precipitate another wave of superstitious sheep for them to fleece money out of.

Although we call ourselves technologically advanced, it seems that our civilization is still rife with charlatans and swindlers of all shapes and sizes, willing to exploit any form of weakness, including that of their loved ones, for monetary benefits.

While there really isn't much we can do from a legal point of view, the least we could do is educate ourselves and our closed ones in terms of reason, logic and rationale. There is no reason why we should be dubbed by such silly claims of bleeding statues and all that nonsense, and much less so when it comes to shameless exploitation of paralyzed people.

(For more information regarding this continuing exploitation, click on the link to the official website here)

Friday, May 11, 2007


Distorted Facts:  The Cultural War Against Gays
By SweetPea

During the 1920s and 1930s the world learned that when sociopathic
leaders, such as Adolf Hitler, were megalomaniacal to put their insane
ideas in print, the world should wake up and listen. Today I would
humbly suggest that the same holds true for public statements made by
megalomaniacal religious leaders on the far right.  If we don't wake
up and both, listen, and infer the lessons from the past, we may not
only lose our Constitution and our freedom.   Some of us may well lose
our lives.


If we take the Holy Bible at face value  there are anywhere from ten,
to eighteen, to twenty-three capital offenses. They are as follows:
Murder (Exodus 21:12, Exodus 21:15);   Murder (Exodus 21:12, Exodus
21:15);  Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16); Disobedience to parents (Exodus
21:17, Deuteronomy 21:18); Juvenile delinquency - incorrigibility
(Deuteronomy 21:18-21);  Bestiality (Leviticus 20:15); Violations of
the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15); Adultery (Leviticus 20:10); Abominations
(Leviticus 20:2); Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16); Incest (Leviticus
20:11); Homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13); Witchcraft (Exodus 22:18,
Leviticus 20:27); False prophecy (Deuteronomy 13:5); Worshiping a
false god (Deuteronomy 13:6-10); Sacrificing to false gods (Exodus
22:20); Sodomy (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13); Sex with a woman
betrothed to another (Deuteronomy 22:25); False witness in a capital
crime (Deuteronomy 19:16-20); Fornication by daughters of priests
(Leviticus 21:9); Failure to abide by a decision of the High Court
(Deuteronomy 17:12); Unchastity (Deuteronomy 22:21-24); Cursing
someone (Leviticus 24:14); Negligence resulting in death (Exodus

Wow!  That's quite a list, but whether like it or not the truth of the
matter is that there are pastors, laity, and members of congregations
who seriously believe that the above list of capital crimes should
indeed result in executions if the perpetrator is found guilty.
Consider the remarks that follow:

"Brute beasts ... part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be
utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."
Jerry Falwell On homosexuals, as quoted in The Bible Tells Me
So, 1996  [2]

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be
blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him
and tell God he died."
The Reverend Jimmy Swaggart in a September 2004 evangelism
 television broadcast [3]

"The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to
prohibit [homosexual] conduct with physical penalties, such as
confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the
subversion of children toward this lifestyle."
Roy Moore in a 2002 concurrence in a custody case involving a lesbian
mother. [4]

"In Stranger at the Gate , I recalled my experience in a fifty thousand
watt Seattle radio station where I had gone to debate a
Reconstructionist Presbyterian Pastor on a Popular call in show.  When
I asked him how he interpreted the passage in Leviticus that calls for
the death of a man who sleeps with another man, he replied without
hesitation, 'It means you should be killed.'  After swallowing hard, I
asked him, 'Who should do the killing?  You church folk?'  He answered
without pause:  'No, that's the civil authority's job. That's why we
have to get more good men of God elected into government.'"   [5]
Mel White describing an encounter with a popular west coast
presbyterian pastor

"(R. J. ) Rushdoony used that verse in the book of of Romans (Romans
1:32) to prove that the Laws of Moses, written thirteen centuries
before Christ, still apply to twenty-first century Christians.  In
Leviticus, the author makes it clear that men who sleep with other men
are an abomination and should be executed (Leviticus 20"13).  I have
met fundamentalist Christian Clergy and laity alike who take the whole
verse seriously and warn me in letters and on radio talk shows that it
s God's will that I be executed for accepting my homosexuality as
God's Gift."    [6]
Mel White on R. J. Rushdoony, founder of the Chalcedon Foundation
and of Reconstructionist theology.

I have no doubt that the majority, indeed a vast majority, of the
people in this country aren't so crazy as to call for the execution of
Gays and Lesbians, but for some reason, certain individuals with
authoritative personalities have obsessed over this issue and it has
become their idee fixe. I'd like to say that they weren't sincere,
that their desire to use the state to commit genocide against the gay
and lesbian community were something beyond the confines of their very
dark and twisted "faith," but the truth of the matter is that when
these people say that gays and lesbians should be put to death, they
are not kidding.  They are operating on the same paradigm and Osama bin
Laden and the Taliban.  One may worship Allah and the other may
worship the Old Testament Yahweh ( I see very little Christianity in
their fanatical rants), but in the end both, the radical right wing
Muslims and the radical right wing Christians operate under the same
principles.  They genuinely believe that their Holy Books are superior
to any secular document such as our Constitution and they want to
replace those governing documents with a very brutal and repressive
form of theocracy that will justify the execution of those who dare to

Part of the problem with a literal interpretation of the Bible is that
it fails to recognize the fact that some passages are more relevant
than others.   Those who accept a literal interpretation of the Bible
believe that all parts of the text are equally without error, so you
literally end up with a form of Christianity in which the four Gospels
of Jesus Christ are as important as the Book of  Haggai or Malachi.
Lesser prophets are placed on the same level as Jesus Christ.   That
is a very twisted form of Christianity when your central prophet is no
more important than any other figure in the Holy Text.  But it does
provide a convenient excuse, a brutal justification for selecting the
violent and repressive parts of the Bible which promote bigotry, hate,
violence, and death.  And it allows your typical homophobe to
ignore the portions of th New Testament which call for love, mercy,
charity,  humility, and forgiveness.

I suspect that there are Christians who either won't admit, or who
can't understand that what they say can have an effect on what other
people do.  I do not deny them the right to speak their minds )freedom
of speech is one of the corner stones of our democratic republic), but
I DO retain the right to counter their hateful, obsessive scorn with
what I perceive to be the truth.   In short, I claim the right to
speak the truth to power--or if you will, I claim the right to speak
the truth to what I consider distortion, revisionism, and, often, out
right lies.

Where to begin?  So much of what the far right says is little more
that Orwellian Double Speak, revision at it's very worst. All to often
the far right attempts to portray itself as the innocent victim of
Gay and Lesbian Propaganda, but when you read their material,
listen to their rhetoric, and watch them on television you realize that
they are actually engaged in some of the most hypocritical projection
one could ever imagine.  In short, they are calling the kettle black.
As a mater of fact, many of the accusations they hurl at my
community sound as if they were penned by Hitler's Propaganda
Minister, Doctor Paul Josef Goebbels.

As an out-of-the-closet gay male I am getting a little sick and tired
of being compared to everyone and everything from Typhoid Mary to
Jeffrey Dahmer.  For all intents and purposes gay males are compared
to the worst kinds of people that you could ever possibly imagine and
the sad truth of the matter is that all too often what the far right
promotes as the truth is often picked at random out of their
proverbial asses.

This is the kind of garbage that we hear on an all to regular basis.


First let's get something straight.  Homosexuality is not a disease.
Countless respected, mainstream organizations will tell you this,
including:  The American Psychiatric Association, the American Law
Institute, American Bar Association, the World Health Organization,
The American Psychological Association, the American Medical
Association, the Academy of Pediatrics, and  the Council on Child and
Adolescent Health.  Moreover, in 1999, the American Academy of
Pediatrics,  the American Counseling Association, American the
Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of
Teachers, the American Psychological Association,  the American
School Health Association, the Interfaith Alliance Foundation,  the
National Association of school psychologists,  the National
Association of Social  Workers and the National Education
Association, issued a document called Just the Facts About
Sexual Orientation in which they:

"Expressed concern about harassment of gay and lesbian youth;
condemned reparative therapy as potentially harmful and of little or
no effectiveness,  and describe transformational ministries as
representing only one part of Christianity--those faith groups which
view homosexuality as outside God's will. and incompatible with
Christianity.  The site other denominations as supporting equal
rights, and protection against discrimination, for gays and lesbians."

The idea that gays are either diseased or the disease itself is
nothing more than a reworking of what Nazi propaganda had to say
about the Jews during the 1920s and 1930s.  In the Nazi propaganda
film, The Eternal Jew, Jews were described as disease spreading rats:
"In this way, they (the rats) spread disease, plague, leprosy, typhoid
fever, cholera, dysentery, and so on. They are cunning, cowardly, and
cruel, and are found mostly in large packs. Among the animals, they
represent the rudiment of an insidious and underground destruction -
just like the Jews among human beings." [8]  Today, right wing
theocrats describe gays as carriers of STDs,  as disproportionately
diseased, as more likely to carry syphilis than straight men. "The
disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many
diseases are present in the homosexual community." [9]  That from
The American Family Association.


In this very weak argument, the percentage of gays in the overall
American population is reduced to a mere one percent.  Having
dramatically reduced our numbers, the would be theocrats then go on
to accuse us of running the entire country!  Haven't you heard?  We
control Hollywood, we're wealthy, we control television and radio.
We're more powerful than other Americans.  Does that sound familiar?

It should.

It was the same thing that the Nazis said about Jews in the
first half of the 20th Century.  Again, from The Eternal Jew: At the
beginning of the twentieth century, the Jews sit at the junction of the
world financial markets. They are an international power. Although only
one per cent of the world's population, with the help of their capital,
they terrorize the world stock exchanges, world opinion, and world
politics. New York is today the center of Jewish power." [10]


According to James Kennedy, "The homosexual community does
not fit the bill (of a legitimate minority) Homosexuals as a whole, are
better educated and better off financially than  Average Americans.
In fact, homosexuals hold a disproportionate number of professional
and management positions in our economy!" [11]  Robert Knight of the
Family research Council agrees:  "Homosexuals are among the most
economically advantaged people in our country. Research by
marketing firms shows that as a group homosexuals have higher than
average per-capita annual incomes ($36,800 vs. $12,287), are more
likely to hold college degrees ( 59.6 percent vs. 18 percent), have
professional or managerial positions (49 percent vs. 15.9 percent..."
[12].  But then again, so did the Nazi Propaganda machine."Fifty-two
 out of every 100 doctors were Jews. Of every 100 merchants, 60 were
Jews. The average wealth of Germans was 810 marks; the average
wealth of Jews 10,000 marks." [13]

To all of that I would ask one question:  "So what?"   Isn't that the
American Dream?  Work hard.  Get a good education.  Move ahead
in life.  That's what the far right itself spews whenever it wants to
slash or eliminate spending programs for the weak and the needy,
but when gays, lesbians, and Jews actually succeed suddenly the
American dream becomes a matter of being a powerful elite or over
privileged.  The message could no be more clear.  The American can
only be dreamed by white, male, reactionary Christians who can pass
a theocratic litmus test. Why am I not surprised? 


"Fundamentalist Christians see homosexuals as the primary threat
to the Christian Church as well. Says (James) Kennedy:  'It's obvious
that many in the homosexual community feel intolerance, even
contempt for the Christian faith.' Dobson:  'For more than forty years
the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master
plan with goals that include muzzling the clergy and the Christian
media.'  Falwell:  'Complete elimination of God and Christianity from
American society is being designed by homosexual activists) right
now.'  Robertson:  'Just like what Nazi Germany did to Jews, so liberal
America is doing to evangelical Christians.  Its no different.  It is the
same thing.  It is happening all over again.  It is the Democratic
Congress, the liberal-based media, and the homosexuals who want to
destroy the Christians." [14}  Those are rather interesting statements,
when you consider the fact that Robertson calls for the assassination
of foreign leaders and makes knee jerk predictions in which he almost
salivates at the idea of mass destruction. As for Jerry Falwell's remark,
what can I say?  The man certainly has guts, because this is the
same person who asked his if his followers would join him in a
declaration of war, stating explicitly that "There is no middle ground...
For Christians there can be no peaceful coexistence with these
sodomites whom God has given over to a reprobate mind."  [15]
And would it surprise you to know that the Nazi propaganda film,
The Eternal Jew, would have agreed with all of the above statements?
"What does the ancient Talmud law teach? Let us hear some quotes...
(now supposedly quoting the Talmud) Praise to the Lord who has set
apart the holy Israelites from other people. The heathen, who do not
keep the law, will be destroyed." [16]


Ah yes.   The age old myth that all homosexuals want to do is
molest children.  Considering some of the sex scandals that rocked
the televangelist community in the 1980s, plus the Ted Haggard
fiasco, you'd think that this would be the last thing our beloved
Theocrats would talk about, but you have to say one thing--our
beloved theocrats certainly have chutzpah, because this allegation
simply is not true.  It's another scare tactic in the right wing war
against the other, against the dissident.  According to Doctor
Nicholas A. Groth, "The research to date all points to there
being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle
and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage
of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male
who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual ."
[17]  But that doesn't stop the far right from spreading the same
old package of prevarications.   "They commit over 33% of the
sex acts with children. Of the pupil molestations, homosexual
teachers commit as many as 80% of those acts."  [18]  Or, if you
prefer, the delusional rantings of Jerry Falwell:  "'Mark my words,"
he writes. (The homosexual's) primary target is the nation's public
schools and our impressionistic children."  Translated into modern
English, homosexuals want to indoctrinate and convert children
(an ironic statement when you consider the fact that it is the radical
religious right which has obsessed over the idea of indoctrinating
homosexuals through restorative or conversion therapy until they
behave like heterosexuals).  Does anyone besides yours truly see
the similarity between this tactic, this particular example of revision
and the manner in which the Nazis dehumanized Jews?  "This
parasitical Jewish race is responsible fpr most international crime.
In 1932, Jews, only 1 percent of the wrld's population accunted for...
47 percent of crooked games of choice--82 percent of international
crime organzations--98 percent of prostitution."   [19]


How do you answer something like this?  According to a majority
of the psychiatric and psychological organizations, homosexuality is
not pathological.  That isn't to say that gays and lesbians don't
suffer from other disorders such as depression as a result of
constant persecution and harassment by their indefatigable opponents,
but would humbly suggest that those who argue that homosexuals,
gays and lesbians, are by nature perverted and/or pathological should
take a few long strides into the 21st century.

 "Some psychologists and psychiatrists still hold negative personal
attitudes toward homosexuality. However, empirical evidence and
professional norms do not support the idea that homosexuality is a
form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology.
"The foregoing should not be construed as an argument that sexual
minority individuals are free from mental illness and psychological
distress. Indeed, given the stresses created by sexual stigma and
prejudice, it would be surprising if some of them did not manifest
psychological problems (Meyer, 2003). The data from some studies
suggest that, although most sexual minority individuals are well
adjusted, nonheterosexuals may be at somewhat heightened risk
for depression, anxiety, and related problems, compared to
exclusive heterosexuals." [20]

The Inevitable Results of Threats and Hate Speech

The verbal attacks continue.  Gays and lesbians are compared to
everything from rats to Devil worshipers, which makes me wonder,
what kind of effect does this have on the society at large?  Well, we
already know, don't we?  It creates an atmosphere in which those who
are less than balanced, in which the highly disturbed feel free to act
on their violent impulses.  Can you say Matthew Shepherd?  Can you
say Harvey Milk?  They were individuals who were quite literally
murdered because of their sexual orientation, and they aren't the only
ones who have suffered such a tragic fate.

*Nicholas Ray West, a 23-year-old Southern Baptist singer was
kidnapped, tortured and executed in a gravel pit because he was
gay. [21]

*January 1994,  Michael Benishek, another gay Texan, was found
dead in San Antonio.  The coroner was uncertain if he died from a
severe blow to his head with a blunt instrument or from a knife slash
across his throat.  [22]

*February 1994, Tommy Musick, age 48, a gay hairstylist from
Midland, Texas, was shot four times in the head.  His 18-year-old
killer, Ramsey Harrell, received a mere twelve year sentence because
the jury held an an obvious bias against gay people. [23]

*In March 1994, police discovered the body of Joe Trevino, another
gay man who had been strangled and bludgeoned to death in his
home by two teenagers. [24]

*April 1994, John Anthony Burwell, age 26, was shot to death by
a 16-year-old youth from San Antonio.  The youth dragged Burwell's
body to his pickup truck, drove his victim's body to a nearby creek,
where he dumped his victim off a forty foot birdge into the water
below.  [25]

*June 1994, Paul Quintanilla's body was found in a field near Dallas
Texas.  The young man had been stabbed twelve times and his
genitals had been slashed.  [26]

* "On May 8, 1995, Bill Clayton, 17,  committed suicide after
having been brutally assaulted for being bisexual. [27]

* "Born Teena Brandon and raised as a girl, he was living as a man
 known as Brandon Teena in Falls City, Nebraska, when he was
 murdered at age 21. In December of 1993, two men who
discovered his gender raped him. His attackers later shot and
killed him after learning Brandon had reported the rape and
was to help police in the investigation."  [28]

* "On August 7, 1995, Tyra Hunter died after DC fire
department emergency medical technicians called her epithets,
backed away, and refused to render treatment on discovering that
she was a transgendered woman." [29]

* "On October 6, 1998, 21-year-old college student Matthew Shepard
was tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming, pistol-whipped, then left
for dead in the freezing night.  He died six days later." [30]

* "Billy Jack Gaither, 39, of Sylacauga, Alabama was bludgeoned
to death by two men on Feb. 19, 1999, then set on fire with
automobile tires because he was gay. [31]

* "Pfc. Barry Winchell, 21, was beaten to death by fellow
service members while sleeping in his cot on July 5, 1999 at Fort
Campbell, Ky.  His Army colleagues thought (correctly) that he
was gay, so they killed him." [32]

* "On September 22, 2000, a man looking to "waste some
faggots" entered a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia and opened fire,
killing Danny Overstreet, and injuring 6 others."  [33]

*On the Fourth of July, 2000, JR Warren, 26, who was black and
gay, was beaten to death by three men in West Virginia, then run
over by a car to make it look like a hit and run."  [34]

The upshot to all of this is that despite what the radical religious
right says about homosexual men being more violent than
heterosexual men, the truth of the matter is that there are more
heterosexual on homosexual crimes than there are homosexual on
heterosexual crimes.

In 2004 there were 738 incidents of anti-male homosexual hate
crimes; 164 incidents of anti-female homosexual hate crimes; 245
incidents of anti-homosexual hate crimes; 33 incidents of anti -
heterosexual hate crimes, and 17 incidents of anti-bisexual hate
crimes. [35]

In a similar vein, there were 855 anti-male homosexual offenses;
201 anti female homosexual offenses; 297 anti homosexual
offenses; 35 anti-homosexual offenses; 35 anti-heterosexual
offenses, and 18 anti-bisexual offenses. [36]

There were 902 male homosexual victims; 212 female homosexual
victims; 314 homosexual victims; 36 heterosexual victims, and
18 bisexual victims.  [37]

There were 832 offenders who acted out against homosexual
males; 163 against female homosexuals; 224 against homosexuals;
22 against heterosexuals; and 17 who offended against bisexuals.


Where does this garbage come from?  Usually from bona fide quacks
in professional garb.  The most deplorable of which is Paul Cameron.
"On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association
sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped
from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American
Psychological Association received official written notice that
"Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a
violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists"
by the APA Board of Directors. Cameron has posted an elaborate
argument about his expulsion from APA on his website,  claiming
that he resigned from APA before he was dropped from membership.
Like most organizations, however, APA does not allow a member
to resign when they are being investigated. And even if Cameron's
claims were accepted as true, it would be remarkable that the
largest professional organization of psychologists in the United States
(and other professional associations, as noted below) went to such
lengths to disassociate itself from one individual."  [40]

Moreover, Cameron, who falsely claims that he is a sociologist, was
also dropped by the Nebraska Psychological Association, which
adopted a resolution stating, "formally disassociates itself from
the representations and interpretations of scientific literature
offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements
on sexuality."  This is important because Cameron repeatedly states
that homosexuals are pathological, that we are perverted; essentially
doing everything in his power to dehumanize gays and lesbians. 
(For more information about Cameron's insane rantings please be so
kind as to see the links in the source given in Footnote Number  [39]


So here we are, two years later, and we have a flip flopping president
who once supported gay rights, but who now sides allies himself with
the most visceral and rapacious haters that the House and he Senate
have seen since the run up to the Civil War.  Consider the following
comments by United States Senator John Boehner, R-Ohio:
"This unconstitutional bill would effectively give the federal government
authority to punish American citizens for 'thought crimes' — a concept
that has Big Brother written all over it. There are already state and local
laws on the books that punish violent crime against any and all
Americans,"  said Boehner..."  [40]

Senator Boehner should talk about Big Brother.  He's the one who is
engaged in Orwellian Doublespeak.  He's the one who is trying to revise
the issue into something else.  Obviously the attempt here is to
convince the American people that the government will try to arrest
people based entirely on what they think, when in fact hate crime
legislation only goes into effect after a a violent or abusive event has
taken place--a minor detail that the Senator seems to have omitted.
As Church Lady might have said, "How con-VEEEEE-nient." 

Other arguments
claim that hate crime legislation violates the 14th
Amendment because it puts the federal government in a position where
it favors one group over another.  Not so. If a group of homosexuals were
to commit murder based on the fact that the victim was a straight man
or woman the hate crime legislation wold come into play.  In other words,
whenever the perpetrator is trying to terrorize an entire community, the
hate crime legislation would kick in.  The only thing that matters is
whether or not the act was intended to send a message to the victim's
community as a whole.  It has nothing to do with the federal government
taking sides. 

Even worse is the phony suggestion that hate crime legislation has been
designed to silence Christian speech.  In many ways this is a return to
the old Nazi argument that Jews want to hurt Christians.  As stated above
it has now been revised to read that gays and lesbians want to hurt
Christians.  It's sheer and utter foolishness on the part of fanatical
paranoiacs, but the point has to be covered.  The hate crime legislation
is primarily concerned with violent crime and what the perpetrator intended
at the time of the attack.  Period.  Granted, I can't blame some Christians
for worrying.  As I have already demonstrated, some of their rhetoric
isn't only ugly, moronic, and paranoid.   It can, and is, at times outright
hateful.  But that doesn't mean that the federal government has a right to
silence the speech.  Indeed, I want the public to hear what these people
are thinking. I don't want to drive their insanity underground where it will only
grow and fester like a deadly fungus.  I want their hurtful sermons, their
half baked sermons exposed to the light of day where it can be debated
and countered with better speech.  But, as I said earlier, I don't have to
like it. I can tolerate, even celebrate their right to freedom of speech, but
I suspect in my heart of hearts that this is a right that they do not
treasure as dearly as I do.


[1]  From: Wikipedia
List of Capital Crimes in the Bible
Last updated on 6 December 2006

[2]  From: Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence  Report/Watch Your Mouth Slide Show

[3]  Ibid

[4]  Ibid

[5]  From:  Religion Gone Bad:  The Hidden Dangers of the
Christian Right
Pages 109-110
By Mel White
Published by the Penguin Group
Copyright 2006 by Mel White

[6]  Ibid
Page 108

[7[ From:   Religious
Professional Associations Statements About Christianity

[8]  From:
Matthew Shepard Online Resources
Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech vs Religious Anti-Gay Speech

[9]  Ibid

[10]  Ibid

[11] From:  Religion Gone Bad:  The Hidden Danger of the
Christian Right
Page 237
By Mel White
Published by Penguin Group
Copyright 2006 by Mel White

[12] From:
Matthew Shepard Online Resources
Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech vs Religious Anti-Gay Speech

[13]  Ibid

[14]  From:  Religion Gone Bad:  The Hidden Danger of the
Christian RIght
Pages 235-236
by Mel White
Published by Penguin Group
Copyright 2006 by Mel White

[15] Ibid
Page 238

[16]  From:
Matthew Shepard Online Resources
Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech vs.Religious Anti-Gay Speech

[17]  From:  Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Copyright 1997 to 2007 by Gregory M. Herek PhD

[18]  From;
Matthew Shepherd Online Resources
Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech vs Religious Anti-Gay Speech

[19]  Ibid

[20]  From:  Facts About Homosexuality and Mental Health
Copyright 1997-2007 by Gregory M. Herek PhD.

[21]From:  Religion Gone Bad:  The Hidden Danger of the
Christian RIght
Pages 307 - 309
by Mel White
Published by Penguin Group
Copyright 2006 by Mel White

[22]  Ibid

[23}  Ibid

[24]  Ibid

[25]   Ibid

[26]  Ibid

[27]  From: home page
Hate Crime Victims List

[28] Ibid

[29]  Ibid

[30]  Ibid

[31]  Ibid

[32]  Ibid

[33]  Ibid

[34]  Ibid

[35]  From: infoplease
Summary of Hate Crime Statistics 2004
(Source: Crime in the United States, 2004,
FBI, Uniform Crime Reports.)
Copyright  2000–2007 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease

[36]  Ibid

[37}  Ibid

[38]  Ibid

[39]  From:  Paul Cameron's Biosheet
House OKs Bill to Expand
Copyright, 1997-2007 by Gregory M.  Herek PhD

House OKs Bill to Expand Hate Crimes Law to Attacks on Gays
Thursday May 3, 2007
Copyright 2007 FOX News Network,2933,269853,00.html

Daniel Andrew Gallagher


WOMEN AT RISK:  The Consequences and Dangers of a Christian Republic
By Donatra, Shakti, and Katie

By Katie
(Katie is a member of the political blog, The Coalition for a Democratic America, at )

How many people do you know still read the Bible on a regular basis? Not many, I'm betting. Even more difficult, can you name anyone who lives by its principles—other than the obvious things like the ten commandments—? I'm also willing to take a leap and say that you can't. There are people, though, who wish to take the good book at its word. I know it doesn't sound scary, but let's take a look at what those words are and what they mean.

There are those who argue that homosexuality is a sin, according to the Bible. Then there are those who say that's complete rubbish and a bad interpretation. So who's right? I think the fact that there's so much debate over it speaks for itself: maybe we shouldn't be jumping all over something we can't prove concretely. Then again, given the track record of those that would insist the Bible does, in fact, outlaw homosexuality, they're probably exaggerating or misinterpreting the verse on purpose. It certainly wouldn't be a surprise.

Or what about that pesky issue of women's rights? We the people finally obtained some semblance of them (at least in America—it seems as though other civilized countries got there way before we did) in 1919 and we've been fighting for them ever since. I'm not going to go so far as to say that the women in America are oppressed, because they're not, but all of this emphasis on "family values" has me wondering. The implication of that statement means a woman at home, raising children and doing laundry, while a man goes off and lives his life. It means sexual slavery and the loss of any kind of control. These are based, in part, on the Bible's teachings that women are subservient to men.

All anyone needs to know about how scary biblical inerrancy really is can click on the following links and find out.

"When you draw near a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.  And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found  in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you.  But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones,the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you.  Thou shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are the cities of the nations here.  But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Hivites and the Jeb'usites, as the Lord your God commanded; that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices which they have done in the service of their gods, and so to sin against the Lord your God."

Chapter 20, verses 10 through 18
Revised Standard Edition of The Holy Bible
Published by William Collins Sons & Co., Ltd

If there was ever a reason for not adopting the Holy Bible as the governing document of the United States it is patriarchal passages such as the one that we selected to open this particular post.  Seriously, read that passage again.  Not only does it reduce women to mere property; it could also serve as a blue print for modern day warfare in the Bush Administration.  If that passage doesn't chill chills down your spine remember this.  The radical religious right (we just can't bring ourselves to call them Christians anymore) believes that every single book, chapter, and verse in the Bible is true and should be used as the blueprint for American government.  That may be good news for the sociopaths and pseudo Christians on the far right but it is not good news for those who do not accept a literal interpretation of the Bible and it is even worse worse news for women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals.

In the classic PBS series, The Power of Myth, the late Joseph Campbell submits that matriarchal societies were finished by the year 1750 BC.  According to Campbell, when you have hunters and herders you have killers "because they're always in movement, nomadic, coming into conflict with other people and conquering the areas in which they move.  And these invasions (in today's Middle East) bring in warrior gods, thunderbolt  hurlers like Zeus or Yahweh."  True, one might argue that transforming the Virgin Mary into a co redeemer is, in some small manner, a way by which far right wing Catholics can assuage some of the guilt that they must have acquired for their abominable attitudes towards women; and one might also argue that the acceptance of female Saints shows a certain reverence for women; but the fact that remains that women in both, conservative Catholicism and Protestantism are considered little more than property, second class citizens to be dominated by their male superiors.  In other words, the Patriarchal Society is alive and well on the far right.

We have to wake up and admit some basic truths.  In so far as the treatment of women is concerned, the Judeo-Christian tradition has a very long and brutal record when it comes to the oppression (and at times, outright slaughter of) women, and a very short,  record for the liberation of women.  It makes us wonder:  might western civilization have been a little different if the matriarchal societies of the Middle East had successfully beaten back the Patriarchal invaders?   As Mister Campbell and Mister Moyers wondered in The Power of Myth, might western society have been more gentle, and more compassionate, and more considerate if the prayer of choice began with the words "Our Mother Which art in Heaven?"

Clearly the Holy Text is not a friend of the "the other," women in particular.

According to the Old Testament, fathers retain strict control over their daughters--to such a degree that they should not be allowed to leave the homes of their fathers until they are married, after which they quite literally become the properties of their husbands. Once married a woman not allowed to leave the home of her husband.  According to the Old Testament women are seldom allowed to appear in public places, and when they do they are supposed to be doubled veiled.  Women are not allowed to speak to strangers and they are not allowed to testify in court.  Moreover women are considered unclean when they learn that they are expecting a child.  After they give birth to a male child they are considered unclean for a week.   When they give birth to a female child they are considered unclean for two weeks.  In the Book of Genesis, men are allowed to have concubines, the concubines having an even lower social position than wives.  Fathers are allowed to sell their daughters as servants; women can be stoned to death if they are not virgins on their wedding night; and of course, women were not allowed to inherit property or other forms of wealth. [2]

Save for a few choice exceptions that are automatically ignored by male theocrats,  the New Testament is little better. Saint Paul specifically states that "Christ is the head of every man and a husband the head of a wife (1 Corinthians 11:3).  Women are commanded to remain silent in the churches and are forbidden to teach  Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, and to learn in quietness and submission, and of course, the New testament wouldn't be complete if it didn't remind us that Eve was tempted prior to Adam, an act for which all subsequent women have paid dearly. [3]

"The Christianization of Europe was accompanied by Inquisition, religious persecution that claimed the lives of an estimated nine million, many burned in public squares between the 15th and 17th Centuries, sometimes referred to as the 'women's holocaust...'"  [4]  In the 16th Century witch hunting evolved into a lucrative business ventures, as the assets of a convicted witch were utilized to pay trial costs.  Women were banned from the the university, and banned from practicing midwifery, in essence buttressing the male dominated medical profession.  Traditional herbal therapies, midwifery, and the feminine role as healers gave way to medical monopolies dominated by the Catholic Church, and with them a wave of quackery which included everything from blood letting to the use of leeches.  At the same time the Catholic Church, through a celibate male priesthood that wasn't supposed to know anything about sex, spread the message that sex, was the root of all evil, a message which eventually devolved into another, even more destructive message,  namely, that women were the root of all evil.  Women, the church insisted, were flawed creations because--you guessed it-- of the original temptation in the Garden of Eden.  To make the situation worse, during the Thirty Years War, both sides, Protestants and Catholics, managed to slaughter each other whole sale, and still had enough time to torture and burn thousands of so called witches.*

The only problem is this:  Some of us**  are getting a little sick and tired of being blamed for what a mythological figure did in a mythological place; and even if the Bible were literally true, you just have to wonder about a God and sexually frustrated (or should we say insecure?) men who insist on blaming an entire group of people for the mistake of one person.

You would think that by the 21st Century most men would have matured to the point where they are comfortable working with and beside strong women, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Rather we have a situation in which  professional misogynists are verbally and politically trying to tun back the clock to Biblical days when women are little more than chattel.  And the thing that annoys us the most is that it's being done in the name of a Christian Republic.  Watch carefully the current administration in Washington; watch even more closely the reactionary base of the Republican Party which, at the very least, can be described in terms of woman hating.   You can judge an administrations, parties, and base constituencies by the kinds of policies that it proposes and promulgates and what we've been getting from the far right during the last twenty years or more can only be described as theocratic and dangerous.   Christian Republic?  Hogwash.   This is nothing less than religious totalitarianism wrapped in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy to make it more acceptable to an unsuspecting public.

Time and time again the far right revealed its obsession with original sin and the original temptation of Eve through it's truly barbaric policies and proposals. Welcome to the bizarre alternative universe of the Theocratic Right where men abandon their wives because women challenge patriarchal values; where wealth disparity among women is a direct result of a woman's refusal to marry;  where women are responsible for men's behavior; and (we just love this one); where husbands protect women from predatory men while women channel the husband's sex drive into productive. non predatory directions.  This is especially disturbing because it quite literally makes women responsible and dependent on a potentially abusive male.[5]  Needless to say that in such a bizarre alternative reality, sex is only for procreation, which of course means that both, contraception and safe, legal abortion must be banned or at least severely restricted. In other words, the fetus is sacred, the adult woman is not. 

But we don't want this to digress into a discussion about abortion.  Rather, we want to discuss some of the policies that the far right has proposed (some successfully passed into law, some not) to further demonstrate exactly how dangerous our modern day theocrats really are.  Consider the following: 

FACT: "The administration requested $546 million for domestic violence programs in fiscal 2007, a decrease of $20 million--or 3.5 percent--from the amount appropriated in 2006, the anti-violence network's figures indicate. The amount does not include any funding for 21 newly enacted programs, the largest of which is a $50 million program that provides services for survivors of sexual assault." [6]

FACT: "Although President Bush vows to leave no child behind, his proposed 2006 federal budget and the budget resolution passed by Congress in April does just that—by calling for a cut of over $500 million from the Department of Education. These budget cuts stand to particularly impact female teens. 'Since women make up a disproportionate share of low-income students, they will be particularly affected by planned cuts to the Perkins Program, TRIO and GEAR UP,' said Jacqueline King, director of Policy Analysis at the American Council on Education. About 61% of the students who stand to lose the Upward Bound and Talent Search programs are female, according to the Washington-based Council for Opportunity in Education. The Council says the budget cuts will leave female teens across the country without a lifeline to higher education." [7]

FACT:  "On March 18, 2005, the Bush administration released a clarification to Title IX, the 1972 federal law that requires equal opportunity for women and girls in education and sports. The clarification allows schools to show compliance with Title IX even if they do not provide equal funding and opportunity for women's sports, provided they show that their female students do not have the same level of interest in sports as the male students. The change also allows schools to avoid a 1996 guideline that states that multiple factors should be used in determining the level of student interest in sports. This clears the way for schools to use a flawed email survey of their female students to duck their Title IX obligations." [8]

FACT:  "Enacted under Clinton, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a serious illness, to care for a seriously ill family member or to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. This important legislation allows workers to avoid having to choose between family and job. Opponents of FMLA - the very groups that fought the law's original passage 12 years ago - are reportedly pressuring the Bush administration to weaken the law by eliminating some of the circumstances in which employees may take unpaid leave and by restricting the use of intermittent leave. Though the Department of Labor reportedly has denied plans to propose these changes, it has said it will make changes to regulations governing notice for leave time." [9]

FACT:  "The Bush administration's plan to curtail mercury emissions is less stringent than many environmental groups had hoped. The plan will allow the coal-burning power plants that are responsible for dangerous amounts of mercury being released into the environment to buy and sell emissions credits as they see fit and as their budgets allow. Mercury is a poisonous metal that has been found to harm the developing nervous systems of infants and fetuses along with women of childbearing age." [10]   In a similar vein this reveals a literal interpretation of the Holy Bible on the environment, specifically, since Jesus will return to destroy the earth anyhow, why bother to preserve and improve the health of the planet, its many ecosystems, and life forms. 

FACT:  "With new leaked White House salary figures and an Excel spreadsheet, crack Washington Post researcher Margot Williams determined in July that men in the Bush White House earn an average of $76,624 a year, and women earn $59,917 on average. That means Bush women are paid about 78 cents for every dollar that Bush men earn—similar to the wage gap that still exists between men and women throughout the U.S. (In 1963, women employed full-time in the U.S. were paid, on average, only 59 cents to the dollar received by men; in 2001 women were paid 76 cents for every dollar received by men.) At the White House, the gap is the result of the predominance of men in highest-paid jobs; 12 of the 17 White House staffers earning $157,000—the top of the pay scale this year—are men. Men and women are paid similar salaries for similar work, says The Post, but fewer women hold top positions." [11]

FACT:  "Overruling the advice of its own scientific advisors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 6 rejected over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception (EC), prompting NOW and other critics to accuse the agency of responding to political pressure from the Bush administration. In December, two FDA scientific panels voted 23-4 in support of making EC available without a prescription. Afterward, the agency was subjected to political pressure from conservatives who argued that increased access to EC would encourage teenagers to be sexually active. While acting drug chief Dr. Steven Galson denied that politics played a role in his decision, women's rights advocates said otherwise. 'The FDA is playing politics with women's lives and contributing to the deterioration of public health in this country,' NOW President Kim Gandy said. 'The FDA has set aside its mission and caved to political pressure from the Bush administration and its allies who oppose birth control.' Barr Laboratories, makers of the Plan B emergency contraception brand, plan to rapidly seek approval for nonprescription sales for people aged 16 years and older. 'It's a matter of weeks and months to deal with this objection,' said Barr chief executive Bruce Downey, saying that means the FDA could reconsider the issue within a year. 'Clearly ... the door's open, and we plan to go through it.'" [12]

FACT: "The Bush administration has quietly deleted and altered information on women's issues from government agency websites, a research group has found. A report from the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), released in mid-April, says the deletion of information on subjects including pay equity and childcare was 'apparently [done] in pursuit of a political agenda.' At least 25 publications were removed from the website of the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau alone. Some items that were not deleted were reportedly altered: For example, information about the use of condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases was changed to say that the effectiveness of condoms was 'inconclusive.' The National Cancer Institutes's website was changed in 2002 to say studies linking abortion and breast cancer were inconsistent; an outcry from scientists resulted in an amendment to say abortion is not associated with an increased risk. The NCRW report also indicated that key government offices such as the Office of Women's Initiatives and Outreach in the White House and the President's Interagency Council on Women have been disbanded, with attempts made at the Pentagon to disband the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. Finally, the report found that as of March 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft had failed to conduct and publish a study required under the Violence Against Women Act to investigate discrimination against domestic violence victims in getting insurance."  [13]  This, as you might have guessed is exactly what we have been talking about.   When theocrats don't like the facts they revise them.  Or in this case, the both, revise and delete them. 

FACT:  "  reports that 'some nonprofit organizations that don't agree with the Bush administration's 'abstinence only' philosophy have been 'repeatedly investigated by the government, while faith-based groups get a free pass.'  Advocates for Youth, a national nonprofit that provides teens with comprehensive sex education, had never in its 18 years as a federal grantee been subject to an audit by the government. Over the past year it has been subjected to three. The organization claims that 'it's being unfairly targeted because of its negative views towards the administration's abstinence-only education policies.' Their claims are supported by a leaked Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo published by the Washington Post in July 2001. The memo describes Advocates for Youth as 'ardent critics of the Bush administration.' And Advocates for Youth are not the only ones being targeted. Three reviews have been conducted over the past 10 months of San Francisco's STOP AIDS program. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SEICUS) has undergone two audits this year. While Advocates for Youth, STOP AIDS, and SEICUS have all 'come through their audits with flying colors,' last year a number of faith-based organizations receiving federal grants were found guilty of misusing government money. For example, a number of sex-education programs funded by Louisiana Governor Mike Foster's Program on Abstinence 'were found guilty in a federal court of openly violating the constitutional tenet of separation of church and state.' However, none of these Louisiana nonprofits have been subject to an HHS audit. James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth says, 'Our complaint is not with getting audited' but 'with the selective and political nature of these audits. Ideology is invading—if not
subverting—science within the Department of Health and Human Services.'" [14]

FACT:  In the 2002 budget, Bush proposed eliminating required contraceptive coverage for female federal employees and for federal employees' dependents. Lawmakers in both houses of Congress indicated they would fight to keep a provision that requires federal health plan providers to offer federal employees the five birth control methods approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Andrea Brooks, director of the women's and fair practices department at the American Federation of Government Employees, called the proposal "extremely discriminatory." [15]

FACT:  "Bush's 2002 proposed budget seeks to cut the Maternal and Child Health Block Grants that provide health care to women before, during and after pregnancy, according to the House Democratic Policy Committee. The budget would also freeze the Healthy Start program, which has been shown to reduce infant mortality and morbidity. [16]

And our favorite!

FACT:  At a recent press conference, George W. Bush indicated through White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer that he does not consider discrimination against women to be an offense as serious as racial or ethnic discrimination. According to Fleischer, membership in a group that excludes women is not 'a disqualifying factor' for candidates to Cabinet posts. However, when prodded, Fleischer stated that racial or ethnic discrimination is a 'very different category for the President.'" [16]

Should we expect anything different?  This is what you get in a patriarchal society where men are frightened of female intelligence and (dare we say it?) female sexuality. 

Sadly, we all know what attitudes such as these can lead to.   We're talking about Domestic Violence (everything from verbal and psychological abuse to rape, physical assault and murder), employment discrimination, glass ceilings, poverty, ad infinitum. 

We already know that when a woman is raped or physically assaulted that there is a 76 percent chance that her assailant was either a former husband, her current husband, a partner with whom she cohabitats, or a date.   Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are women.  Globally, at least one out of three women have been beaten or forced to engage in sexual relationships.  Nearly 25 percent of American Women alone report having been raped or physically assaulted by a former spouse or cohabiting partner.  Women are five times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner. ad infinitum. By all means, click on the link in our foot note.  The statistics you encounter will give you a good idea as to what happens when men fail to respect and accept women as partners and equals. 

Will we return to the bad old days when women will be forbidden the right to own property?  Will we see the establishment of a kind of Christian Sharia?  Will women be required to stay in their husbands and fathers homes?  We don't know.  We don't know because we don't know if the radical theocrats have enough political power to stage a complete takeover.   We'd like to think that the 2006 midterm elections were a sign that the American people have grown weary of being told what to think; that they don't want a narrow minded group of authoritarian theocrats intruding into their homes, personal lives, and churches.  We'd like to think that we have truly come a long way.  But liberty is a tricky thing.  You may think that you have acquired it, only to learn that there have been clandestine or perhaps even violent forces to undermine.

As suggested in Part III, we must be ever vigil, because the freedom that we lose may well be our own. 

Author's Notes by Shakti
For a more thorough discussion of the Thirty Years War please go to "The Thirty Years War" at

**We use the term "some of us" because there is a variety of religious beliefs within our group.  Our group is composed of everything from atheists and agnostics to deists, unitarians, and practicing Christians who support the concept of church/state separation as a means to protect both, our religious freedom and neutral government. 


From:   Wikipedia
Biblical Inerrancy
Copyright Wikipedia Foundation Inc.
Last Moderated 30 April 2007

From:  Online Baptist
Article titled,  You're Just Like Adam and Eve
Copyright 2000 by Online Baptist

SOURCES (Article Proper)

[1]  From::   Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers
Page 169
Published by Doubleday
Copyright 1988 by Apostrophe S. Productions Inc and Alfred van der March Editions

[2]  From:  Religious Tolerance
The Status of Women in Hebrew Scriptures
Passages Treating Women as Inferior to Men
Copyright (c) 1997 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2006-SEP-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

[3]  Religious Tolerance
The Status of Women in the Christian Scriptures
Women in the New Testament's Scriptures
Copyright (c) 1997 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2006-SEP-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

[4]  From:  Democracy Under Assault (Theo Politics, Incivility,  and Violence on the Right)
Page 168-169
By:  Michele Swanson
Published by Sol Ventures Press
Copyright 2004 by Michele Swansen

[5]  Ibid

[6]  From:
Budget Falls Short for Domestic Violence Programs
Washington Lookout
By:  Allison Stevens--Washington Bureau Chief
Copyright 2006 by Womens eNews

[7]  From:  The Truth About George W. Bush
Womens Rights
Copyright 2002-2006 by the National Organization for Women

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid

[16]  Ibid

[17] Ibid

[18] Family Violence Prevention Fund