[Hedges] spent the last 18 months researching the Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists. ..... According to the program, Chris' entire lecture was recorded, and will be made available for purchase on the website of the Rothko Chapel.
It's good to that there is a growing community of scholars, journalists, activists, bloggers, and countless American citizens (not to mention several organizations) who--in ways small or large--are seeking to illuminate the motivations and machinations of the Religious Right. And it is exciting to see that community pressing ahead with new projects and ideas. I look forward to discovering the results of Hedges' 18 months of work.
The House passed the Public Expression of Religion Act (H.R. 2679) yesterday on a party-line vote that the ACLU's legislative director called "election-year red meat for the Christian right."
The Act, which has little chance of becoming law, would "prevent plaintiffs from recovering legal costs in any lawsuit based on the Establishment Clause," The Washington Post reported. Essentially, it prohibits judges from ordering defendants to pay the legal fees of organizations that successfully challenge unconstitutional government displays of religion.
The Religious Right supports the measure because it would make life more difficult for watchdogs who hope to prevent government establishments of religion. Many of these organizations and public interest law firms operate on shoe-string budgets. If they cannot recoup the costs required by legal battles, they will be unable to fight unconstitutional displays of religion. Fewer watchdogs means more violations of the Establishment Clause can slip through the cracks.
The proposal once again reveals that conservative legislators are all too willing to sacrifice judicial independence in the pursuit of garnering government support for religion.
Many leading Muslims have whined, protested, burned and murdered over a quotation the pontiff cited in a densely academic speech about reason and truth within Western Christendom. The quote, from a 14th-century Byzantium emperor, called Islam "evil and inhuman."
The response by many Muslims reveals a disturbing anti-intellectualism. Benedict made his remarks, wrong as they may be, in pursuit of a theological thesis. If Muslims, or anyone else, disagrees with his theoretical proposition, the appropriate response would be made in the world of the theory. One should respond to ideas with ideas.
The response, however, has been to disrupt political relations between Christian and Muslim communities and, more radically, threaten violent war. Another example of the danger of anti-intellectualism.
Earlier this week, antiabortion crackpot David McMenemy attacked a women's health clinic in Iowa by pouring gasoline inside his car and crashing it into the building. It's horrifying to see suicide-bomber-type tactics being used by the antichoice movement; fortunately, no one was hurt. The especially weird part is that the clinic in question, the Edgerton Women's Health Center, doesn't perform abortions or refer patients to abortion providers. It's a primarily obstetrical facility that also runs the local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, according to the Feminist Daily News Wire. McMenemy mistakenly thought it was an abortion clinic. This situation certainly wouldn't be any better if he'd successfully targeted an abortion provider. But it's interesting to note that the politicization of women's health is such that, for some people, the term is synonymous with abortion.
A terrorist is someone who uses violence against civilians for a political end. David McMenemy is a terrorist.
Whether your brand of theocratic inclination is dominionist or Sharia, and whether you beat up gay people or not, chances are you'd legislate them out of existence or--at the very least--deny them civil right, if you could.
In the last 12 months, the Gay Police Association has recorded a 75% increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator. Verbal abuse and physical assault against gay men and women is a criminal offence and should always be reported to the police.
The Clash thesis [that the planet is at war along "West" vs. "East" or "West" vs. "Muslim" lines] isn't just wrong. It's dangerous. A replication of Cold War theology, it obscures schisms and considers Religion, capital R, a synonym for ideology. It reduces actual lived religion to official doctrine, and it paints conflicts of many factions, splitting not just along religious lines but also along racial and political and historical fractures, as simple dichotomies, leaving the public with a knowledge gap as big as the hole at Ground Zero -- or the crater created by one American fascist's truck full of fertilizer in Oklahaoma City.
[S]ince 1965, long before [Moon] made the news for seducing teenagers, he was working assiduously to form alliances with politicians -- including a smattering of Democrats, but overwhelmingly tilted towards the Republican world and the Christian right. He made them offers they couldn't refuse, and in return became a pervasive figure in the backrooms of God politics.
Incensed legislative leaders moved yesterday to reverse new restrictions on stem cell research, accusing health regulators in Governor Mitt Romney's administration of overstepping their authority and endangering the state's position as a leader in science.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey split with Romney, branding the regulations a mistake that would signal stem cell scientists that they are not welcome in Massachusetts.
The rules adopted Tuesday by the state Public Health Council generated widespread concern among scientists who expressed concern that the regulations could subject them to criminal penalties for certain activities used in human embryonic stem cell research. Some Democrats also said Romney, who appoints members of the health council, was taking a conservative position that could help him if he runs for president in 2008.