Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Prison, a Perception and a Prayer

This past February most of the Lapdog Press fixated on Speaker Pelosi's Plane while the following article went unnoticed in the Washington Post:

    Ban on Prison Religious Program Challenged
    U.S. Judge Ruled Evangelical Rehabilitation Effort in Iowa Is Unconstitutional
    By Peter Slevin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 25, 2007; Page A13

    CHICAGO -- Interested inmates at Newton Correctional Facility in Iowa receive teaching material that declares: "Criminal behavior is a manifestation of an alienation between the self and God. Acceptance of God and Biblical principles results in cure through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State...sued to stop the program...U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt sided with Americans United, ruling last year that the Iowa program is "pervasively sectarian." He heard testimony from prisoners of other faiths who felt unwelcome in a program that gives advantages to inmates who accept the intensive religious teachings.
This is just one of many stealth attempts by what has been misleadingly called the Christian Right to use the power of the State to push a biblical government on a secular society.

Now we have to define two things up front: Who am I talking about and what do they believe? I am referring to a political movement, NOT A RELIGION. It is not as organized as the DNC or GOP, but it does have it's own party website. And while this sounds like the ravings of a lunatic, the Constitution Party really does want to replace our Democratic form of Government with a Theocracy based on their interpretation of the Old Testament.

Mission Statement
Constitution Party Mission Statement

The mission of the Constitution Party is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity through the election, at all levels of government, of Constitution Party candidates who will uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.

Not all believers in Reconstructionist theory belong to the CP. The Republican Party has been infiltrated by these religious fascists over the past 25 years. But how do Dominionist or "Constitutionalist" differ from standard conservatives (even religious ones) when it comes to dealing with the opposition party.

Okay, while it seems incredible it is none the less true: Dominionist elements of the Christian Right believe that those who oppose them are not political opponents with a different governing philosophy. They see them as demons or agents of Satan, literally the Devils minions on Earth. And because they believe that fighting against liberals/gays/ clinic workers is a form of religious warfare, then anything goes, including voter disenfranchisement (Florida), arrest with out trial (Gitmo), arson (abortion clinics) and murder ( abortion doctors).

At this point, some will think the Commander is smoking the good stuff. No I am not:

    Utah County GOP delegate links illegal immigration to Satan
    By Deborah Bulkeley
    Deseret Morning News
    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    The devil is sticking his pitchfork into the nation's immigration politics. At least that's what one of Utah County's Republican delegates thinks. Don Larsen, a district chairman, has submitted a resolution equating illegal immigration to "Satan's plan to destroy the U.S. by stealth invasion" for debate at Saturday's Utah County Republican Party Convention. Referring to a plan by the devil for a "New World Order ... as predicted in the Scriptures," the resolution calls for the Utah County Republican Party to support "closing the national borders to illegal immigration to prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.".
Until you understand the World View of these "spiritual warriors" you can not devise an opposition strategy. Attempting a political dialogue is useless; these people can not be reasoned with or persuaded with conventional political debate. Writer Joe Bageant wrote the following article in May 2004:

    The Covert Kingdom
    Thy Will be Done, On Earth as It is in Texas

    ...Evangelical born-again Christians of one stripe or another were then, and are now, 40% of the electorate, and they support Bush 3-1. And as long as their clergy and their worst instincts tell them to, they will keep on voting for him, or someone like him, regardless of what we view as his arrogant folly and sub-intelligence. Forget about changing their minds. These Christians do not read the same books we do...and in fact, consider even CBS and NBC super-liberal networks of porn and the Devil's lies.
    Given how fundamentalists see the modern world, they may as well be living in Iraq or Syria, with whom they share approximately the same Bronze Age religious tenets. They believe in God, Rumsfeld's Holy War and their absolute duty as God's chosen nation to kick Muslim ass up one side and down the other. In other words, just because millions of Christians appear to be dangerously nuts does not mean they are marginal.
So yeah, they are dangerously nuts. But is Bageant right about their influence (40% of the electorate?) During the election of Nov 2006, CNN exit polls show no change in so called evangelical supporters.

70% of White Evangelicals, those that are mostly likely to follow Christian Reconstructionist or Dominionist beliefs still voted for Bush despite Iraq/Katrina/Jobs disappearing, so the first part seems to be true. But Bageants claim not withstanding, the fact that the D's regained control of Congress demonstrated that it was not enough. The followers of Dominion beliefs and their lackeys do not yet have the numbers to get themselves elected unless the majority of their fellow citizens remain politically silent.

The movement is very patient and tends to take the long view. But they are not omnipotent, and sometimes individual Dominionist forget that they only hold elected office by not calling attention to themselves or openly defying the law. The folly of Roy and his Rock or the Schiavo affair shows what happens when a Dominionist abandons the Stealth Strategy that bought them to power.

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