DO WE WANT A NATION “BLESSED” BY GOD?
Numerous Christian organizations are eager for America to seek the “blessings of God.” But have they studied what happened to that other nation “blessed by God,” the nation of Israel? Hmmm, let’s see…According to the Bible, the God of Israel tried to kill Moses (and failed); struck dead two sons of Aaron; commanded “brother to kill brother” leading to the deaths of 3,000 Israelites (right after He gave them the commandment, “Do not kill”); opened up the earth and buried alive “wives, sons and little children;” sent a fire that consumed 148 Levite princes; cursed his people to wander in the desert for forty years and eat 40,000 meals of quail and “manna” (talk about a monotonously torturous diet--and when they complained about it, God killed 3,000 Israelites with a plague); had a man put to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath; denied Moses and Aaron entrance into the “promised land” because Moses struck a rock twice with his staff instead of talking to the rock; delivered to his people a “promised land” that was parched, bordered by desert, and a corridor for passing conquering armies; sent fiery serpents among Israel, killing many; wanted to kill every Israelite and start over with Moses and his family (but Moses talked God out of that plan); drove the first king of Israel to suicide; killed someone who tried to steady a teetering ark of the covenant; murdered king David’s innocent child; sent plagues and famines upon his people that killed men, women and children; ordered the execution of 42 children of the king of Judah; “smote all Israel” killing half a million men of Israel in a civil war between Israel and Judah; “delivered into the hand of the king of Israel” 120,000 Judeans massacred in one day along with 200,000 Jewish women and children; gave Satan the power to kill Job’s children and servants (in order to win a bet); let the Babylonians conquer the holy city of Jerusalem, and then the Greek forces of Alexander the Great, followed by the Romans; and finally left the Jews homeless and persecuted by Christians and Moslems for nearly 2000 years. Furthermore, the large number of laws in the Hebrew Bible concerning the treatment of lepers and those with sores demonstrates that the Israelites were far from being blessed with unparalleled good health. And archeological evidence indicates that in ancient Israel the infant mortality rate was as high as fifty percent.
So, knowing everything that happened to that nation “blessed by God,” I’ve got to ask the Religious Right WHAT THE #%$?! ARE THEY THINKING?
E.T.B. [See the Bible for all of the cases mentioned above, except for the archeological evidence concerning ancient Israel’s infant mortality rate. For the latter see, Drorah O’Donnell Setel, “Abortion,” The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible, ed. by Bruce Metzger and Michael D. Coogan (Oxford University Press, 2001)]
ANOTHER NATION THAT INVOKED “GOD’S BLESSING”: THE SOUTH
After the states of the South seceded from the Northern states in the U.S., the Confederacy drew up its own separate Constitution and made sure it contained an invocation to God: “We, the people...invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God…”
Learning what the South had done, a few legislators in the North drafted bills to have a Divine invocation added to the Constitution in the North, but all such bills were voted down. To this day (2004), the U.S. Constitution does not mention “God” nor invoke “God’s favor and guidance.” It does however, guarantee “freedom of religion.”
E.T.B. (See The Confederate Constitutions, compiled by Charles Robert Lee, Jr.)
“FORCED RELIGION STINKS IN GOD’S NOSTRILS”
The "godly and zealous" Roger Williams was a prime example of an extreme separatist. He arrived in Massachusetts in 1631 and was elected minister of the church in Salem in 1635. But his opposition to the alliance of church and civil government turned both ministers and magistrates of the colony against him. He insisted that government magistrates should have no voice in spiritual matters and that "forced religion stinks in God's nostrils." He also advanced the radical idea that it was "a national sin" for anyone, including the king, to take possession of any American land without buying it from the Indians. For these teachings he was banished by the General Court. Williams departed Massachusetts in January 1636, traveling south to the head of Narragansett Bay. There he worked out mutually acceptable arrangements with the local Indians and founded the town of Providence. In 1644, after obtaining a charter from Parliament, he established the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The government was relatively democratic, all religions were tolerated, and church and state were rigidly separated. Whatever Williams's temperamental excesses, he was more than ready to practice what he preached when given the opportunity.
Dr. Priest’s Magical History Tour, AP U.S. History, On-line History Textbook, Chapter One, Europe Discovers America
KEEPING THE LORD’S DAY “HOLY” IN AMERICA (FOLLOWED BY QUOTATIONS ON THE "RELIGIOUS RIGHT")
Stringent laws regarding the Christian Sabbath were enacted in New England in Puritan days. (These laws were called “blue laws” because they were written on blue paper.) The prohibition against working on the Sabbath was strictly enforced. A public flogging was the penalty for violation. No food could be cooked, no beds were to be made, cutting hair and shaving were prohibited. A mother could not kiss her child on the Sabbath. Riding on this holy day or walking in the garden was prohibited. Even a sick relative or friend could not be visited if it were necessary to ride to his house. The only thing permitted was to walk “reverently to and from church.”
One man was fined for being about on the Sabbath; his excuse that he was running to save a man from drowning did not help him. As late as 1831 a lady was arrested within sight of her father’s house and fined for unnecessary travel on a Sunday. To violate these provisions of the Sabbath observance in a manner calculated to “defy” the Lord was punishable with death.
A charge of non-attendance at church was brought against William Bladgen of New Haven in 1647. He pleaded that he had fallen into the water late on Saturday, and since he could not light a fire on Sunday to dry his clothes, he had lain in bed to keep warm while his only suit of garments was drying. His excuse was not accepted, and he was sentenced to be “publicly whipped.”
When Captain Kemble returned to Boston in 1656 after a three years’ journey, his wife met him on the doorstep, and embraced and kissed him. For this “vulgar” display of human affection on Sunday, he was kept in the public stocks for two hours.
An incident recorded in the Columbian Centinel of December, 1789, is worth mentioning: “The President [George Washington], on his return to New York from his late tour through Connecticut, having missed his way on Saturday, was obliged to ride a few miles on Sunday morning in order to gain the town at which he had proposed to attend divine service. Before he arrived, however, he was met by a tithing man, who, commanding him to stop, demanded the occasion of his riding; and it was not until the President had informed him of every circumstance and promised to go no further than the town that the tithing man would permit him to proceed on his journey.”~
In 1658, James Watt was reproved “for writing a note about common business on the Lord’s Day, at least in the evening somewhat too soon.” In 1646, Aquila Chase, of Newbury, and his wife were fined for gathering peas from their own garden on the Sabbath. In 1772, William Estes, of Wareham, acknowledged that he was guilty of raking hay on the Sabbath, and was fined ten shillings. In 1774, another citizen of Wareham was fined for “pulling apples on the Sabbath.” A Dunstable soldier, for “wetting a piece of old hat to put in his shoe” to protect his feet, was fined forty shillings.~
A New Haven man was severely whipped and fined for declaring that he received no profit from the minister’s sermons. In Windham, in 1729, a most unregenerate citizen was guilty of “vile and slanderous expressions” when he declared that “I would rather hear my dog bark than Mr. Bellamy preach.” In 1631, Phillip Ratcliffe, for “speaking against the church,” was whipped and had his ears cut off. An extremely wicked man in Hartford who had the temerity to say that “he hoped to meet some of the members of the church in Hell before long, and he did not question that he would,” was put in the pillory and severely whipped.~
Even as late as 1840, a rich old lady provoked a nine-day discussion by providing herself with a cushion to sit on to relieve her aching back caused by the hard, straight-back benches.
In the law books of that period is recorded this case: “His Majesty’s tithing man entered complaint against Jona and Susan Smith, that on the Lord’s Day during Divine Service they did smile.”
The petty insults and embarrassments, to say nothing of the beatings and whippings inflicted on “sinners” of that time by the fanatical Sabbatarians, seem incredible.
So fanatical did the Puritan Christian become in the observance of the Sabbath that in order to be certain that he would not violate a single minute of the precious day, he began to observe it from sundown on Saturday until Sunday night. Superstition filled the air, and the slightest infraction of the rules and regulations intensified the fear.
An incident is recorded of a man who was hired by the day to finish a job and who worked an hour after sundown on Saturday. The next day his little child was left alone for a while. She fell into an uncovered well in the cellar of the house and was drowned. It is said that the father freely, “in open congregation, did acknowledge it the righteous hand of God for his profaning his holy day.” Imagine believing that a God would kill a child in retaliation for her father’s working on the Sabbath!
As late as 1855, shops in Hartford, Connecticut, were not open on Saturday evening. However, there lived at that time some people with both a sense of humor and a bit of courage, and here and there a poet with a little reason would write:~
“And let it be enacted further still
That all our people strict observe our will;
Five days and a half shall men, and women, too,
Attend their business and their birth pursue,
But after that no man without a fine
Shall walk the streets or at a tavern dine;
One day and halt ‘tis respite to rest
From toilsome labor and a tempting feast.
Henceforth let none on peril of their lives
Attempt a journey or embrace their wives;
No barber, foreign or domestic-bred,
Shall ever presume to dress a lady’s head;
No shop shall sell (half the preceding day)
A yard of ribbon or an ounce of tea.”
And there is still heard this rhymed warning:
“Better a child had ne’er been born
Than cut her nails on a Sunday morn!”
“Sunday shaver, Sunday shorn,
Better hadst thou ne’er been born!”
How fanatical human beings could become over their observance of this Commandment is shown by Carl Sandburg in discussing “Stonewall” Jackson:~”Stonewall’s reverence for the Sabbath went so far that he wouldn’t mail a letter to his wife on Sunday, or open one from her that arrived that day. But, ‘with the blessing of an ever-kind Providence,’ he would, ‘fight, slay and deliver doom to the enemy if on the Sabbath the enemy looked ready for punishment.’”
The stringency of the Sabbath laws in this country is described by Herbert Asbury.~”When I was a boy in Farmington, Sunday was a day of dreadful gloom; over everything hung an atmosphere of morbid fear and dejection. In the morning the whole town donned its Sunday suit, almost always black and funereal and depressing, and therefore becoming to religious practice, and trudged sorrowfully and solemnly to Sunday school and to church, there to wail doleful hymns and hear an unlearned man...beseech the Lord upon the universal prayer theme of ‘gimme.’ Then the village marched, in mournful cadence, back home for Sunday dinner.” After removing their Sabbath raiment until after supper, “the family clutched its Bibles and wandered forth despairingly to evening service. We could not play games on Sunday; card playing was an invention of the Devil and could not be played on any day, but on Sunday the children were not allowed to play such games as Lotto, Old Maid and Authors. The Lord did not approve of Sunday-night suppers, and so we could not have them. In the homes of the godly, there was only a cold snack for the evening meal. It was considered sinful to light a fire in the cookstove after twelve o’clock. Dancing on Sunday was considered the Sin of Sins. Sunday newspapers were not considered religious.”
On July 27, 1927, Governor John G. Richards of South Carolina made a statement expressing his determination to “close up South Carolina tight on Sundays.” He said: “I regard the great national sin today, the want of a proper observance of the Sabbath. Much of the present-day lawlessness can be traced to the fact that people are neglecting religion in order that they may make a sporting event of Sunday. Normal conditions can be restored by regard for religious requirements of the Sabbath.” The Governor admitted that with blue laws enforced, there was still much lawlessness in the State, but he thought that could be remedied if everything was closed down on the Sabbath day.~
On Sunday, July 31, 1927,~in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, these conditions prevailed: No automobile was permitted on the streets; no cars could pass through the city from midnight Saturday until midnight Sunday; parking in front of one’s own home was prohibited; no man, woman or child was permitted to bathe in the surf; a messenger could not deliver a telegram on his bicycle, but had to walk a mile from Asbury Park, or get off his bicycle and wheel it into Ocean Grove. A newspaper published a photograph of William Young, a messenger boy, wheeling his bicycle to deliver a rush telegram. No ice cream could be purchased; if one wanted a plate of ice cream, one had to go to a restaurant owned by the Sunday Association and order a whole meal costing a dollar. Sunday newspapers were taboo. Even special-delivery letters could not be delivered. Dentists were not permitted to treat patients, and all drugstores were closed.
The delicious dish of ice cream covered with syrup now known as a “sundae” is an invention to circumvent the law passed in many States prohibiting the sale of ice-cream sodas on Sunday as a desecration of the Sabbath. Soda dispensers circumvented the law by serving ice cream, which was considered a food, covered with syrup, as a Sabbath substitute for ice-cream sodas, and so the “sundae” came into existence!~
On November 9, 1930, Richard Hannah, 18, was shot to death and his brother George, 22, was wounded while they were resisting arrest for violating the blue law prohibiting Sunday hunting in Chardon, Ohio.
On December 2, 1927, members of the City Council of Lawrenceville, Illinois, planned to introduce an ordinance prohibiting housewives from preparing dinner on Sunday and to prevent physicians from attending the sick.~
On May 2, 1927, an artist was arrested in Baltimore, Maryland, for painting a picture on Sunday.
Blue laws in East Orange, New Jersey, prohibited the showing of moving pictures on Sunday, but they were permitted in Orange, New Jersey. A theatre on the borderline between the two cities divided the theatre with a rope, and special ushers were hired to see that no one sat on the side of the house that was in East Orange!~
On December 12, 1926, in Irvington, New Jersey, ninety-five people were fined for violating the Sabbath law. These arch criminals were guilty of selling cigars, toothpaste, gasoline, shoe polish, ice cream and tin whistles.
Joseph Lewis, The Ten Commandments: An Investigation into the Origin and Meaning of The Decalogue and an Analysis of its Ethical and Moral Value as a Code of Conduct in Modern Society, “The Fourth Commandment,” sub-section, “Christianity and the Sabbath” (Freethought Press Association New York, N. Y., 1946) [online]
Zachary Taylor, the winner of the U.S. presidential election of 1848, took the “Lord’s Day” so seriously, that he refused to take the oath of office on a Sunday. So David Rice Atchison, president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, stood in for him as president for 24 hours, and Taylor was sworn in on Monday.
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
Religion is a queer thing. By itself, it’s all right. But sprinkle a little politics into it and dynamite is bran flour compared with it.
Finley Peter Dunne’s “Mr. Dooley”
The Christian Right do not call upon their faith to certify their politics as much as they call for a country that certifies their faith. Fundamentalism really cannot help itself--it is absolutist and can compromise with nothing, not even democracy. It is not surprising that immediately after the Islamic fundamentalist attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers and the Pentagon, two prominent Christian fundamentalists (Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) were reported to have accounted it a justifiable punishment by God for our secularism. In thus honoring the foreign killers of almost 3,000 Americans as agents of God’s justice, they established their blood brotherhood with the principle of righteous warfare in the name of all that is holy, and gave their pledge of allegiance to the theocratic ideal of government of whatever sacred text.
E. L. Doctorow, Reporting the Universe (Harvard)
I’m not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers.
William H. Gascoyne, “One-liners,” Op/Ed section, San Jose Mercury, Jan. 20, 2004
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IN IRAQ
In post-Saddam Iraq many children are being educated in private Islamic fundamentalist schools where they learn to memorize the Koran, rather than being prepared for a world of complex diverse knowledge and higher paying jobs. Therefore, such schools breed further misunderstandings between world cultures, as well as perpetuate poverty, which in turn perpetuates anger. Moreover, as pointed out by professor W. Andrew Terrill (professor at the Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, and the top expert on Iraq there), “I don’t think that you can kill the insurgency in Iraq. If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist that occupation. Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators. There’s talk of angels and the Prophet Mohammed coming down from heaven to lead the fighting, talk of martyrs whose bodies are glowing and emanating wonderful scents.”
W. Andrew Terrill, [Cited by Sidney Blumenthal, firstname.lastname@example.org, “Far graver than Vietnam,” The Guardian, Thursday September 16, 2004]
FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN LEADER, PAT ROBERTSON, FLIP FLOPS ON THE NECESSITY OF “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE” DEPENDING ON THE COUNTRY
If the United States tries nation building [in Iraq], it’s got to [have] at the very top of its agenda a separation of church and state…It’s… imperative to set up a constitution and safeguards that say we will maintain a secular state.
- Pat Robertson, 700 Club broadcast, March 17, 2003 (cited in a March 18th press release from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State)
We have had a lie foisted on us that there is something in the Constitution [of the U.S.] called separation of church and state.- Pat Robertson , speech at the Christian Coalition “Road to Victory” Conference Oct. 12, 2002 (cited in a March 18th press release from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State)
President Bush is worried that Iraq is going to be overrun by religious fundamentalists. Hey, if it’s O.K. for the Republican party, it’s good enough for Iraq.
Jay Leno, The Tonight Show
We don’t want the establishment of a state religion here, as in Saudi Arabia, where the religious police are permitted to whip with sticks any woman not modestly attired. There aren’t enough trees in North America for the necessary sticks. You’d have to level Yellowstone just to deal with [insert name of hot female rock star].
James Lileks, “Bow Wow,” Fresh Lies
GUESS WHICH NATION’S CONSTITUTION EXPLICITLY EXCLUDES MENTION OF “GOD.”
America is the first and only country to adopt a Constitution that specifically excludes all reference to a higher power. I say “specifically” because those meeting at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia considered and rejected any such reference. [They also considered and rejected whether or not to open their meetings with public prayer.--E.T.B.] Many bishops and preachers of the time warned that God would punish such decisions, but many were the preachers who said the same about the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, which did no more than state that no citizen could be obliged to pay for the upkeep of a church in which he did not believe.
Christopher Hitchens, “Believe It or Not: Making a Patriotic Case for those of Little Faith,” a review of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby, in the Book World section of the Washington Post, April 25, 2004 [slight editing and one added sentence by E.T.B.]
DID JESUS PURSUE THE SAME GOALS AS TODAY’S RELIGIOUS RIGHT LEADERS?
Was Jesus For Or Against the Separation of Church and State?
Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
- Matthew 22:21
Was Jesus For Or Against Public Prayer?
Jesus said, “And when thou pray, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.~But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret shall reward thee openly.”
- Matthew 6:5-6
Did Jesus Rail Against Abortion or Infanticide?
Jesus didn’t mention either topic, though the Hellenistic world not only employed abortifacents, but also abandoned unwanted newborns, usually females, to die (or be picked up by anyone who wished to raise the newborn as their slave).
So What Did Jesus Rail Against?
Jesus railed primarily against two things: 1) “the rich,” and, 2) overly pious, legalistic, self-righteous religious “hypocrites.” Those were his two priorities when it came to a good railing.
Jesus does not sound like the kind of person today’s Religious Right would let lead them.
WHAT IF JESUS RAN FOR PRESIDENT?
Washington, D.C.--Jesus Christ formally declared himself a contender for the Republican presidential nomination today, amid growing controversy over his purported “anti-family” views.
Mr. Christ’s principal rivals for the GOP nomination were quick to cite an occasion reported in Luke 9:60, where Mr. Christ refused to allow one of his campaign volunteers time off to bury his father. One senator added that the next two verses of that same chapter show that Mr. Christ does not even permit his volunteers to so much as say goodbye to their families when they join his campaign. “That’s just plumb shameful,” deplored the senator.
Leaders of the religious right were even more critical of Mr. Christ’s stand on family issues. The head of the Christian Coalition quoted Matthew 10:35-36--verses, he insisted, that revealed Mr. Christ’s “secret plan” to destroy the traditional family: “For I am come to set a man at variance with his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” The head of the Christian Coalition added, “What further proof do we need that Mr. Christ is the enemy of all that is good and wholesome in American family life? Even the most extreme elements of the homosexual lobby haven’t proposed anything as subversive as this!”
Responding to rumors that Mr. Christ had sought to address a mass meeting of the male Christian organization known as “The Promise Keepers,” and had been turned away, the organization’s founder said that Mr. Christ’s appearance at the Promise Keeper’s rally would be “inappropriate,” given the organization’s avowed purpose of helping men become better husbands and fathers. Mr. McCartney said it is common knowledge that Mr. Christ is over thirty years of age, still unmarried, hints at the ideal of becoming “a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 19:12), and leads a rootless, itinerant lifestyle. Furthermore, he noted, Mr. Christ encourages his married followers to leave their families behind when they come to work for him.
Hal Gordon, article in The Texas Triangle, Dec. 1, 1996
IF JESUS RAN FOR PRESIDENT, HOW WOULD HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS COUNTER HIS STATEMENTS?
Jesus: “Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.”
COUNTER: Jesus favors more government handouts for welfare cheats.
Jesus: “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
COUNTER: Jesus is soft on crime.
Jesus: “Render unto Ceasar the things which are Caesar’s.”
COUNTER: Jesus will raise your taxes.
Jesus: “Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other.”
COUNTER: Can we trust Jesus to fight the War on Terror?
Jesus--Wrong on social services. Wrong on crime. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.
THE CHRISTIANIZED ROME EMPIRE STILL FELL
After Christian Emperors assumed the leadership of Rome and began throwing state money and support at Christianity, many concrete “worldly” problems were no longer treated as such, but began being blamed on “Satan,” while the finest minds of the Empire were reduced to brooding over Biblical minutia and spiritual problems, from “sniffing out heresies” to “preserving one’s virginity.”
BIBLICAL ETHICAL RELATIVISM
In the Bible you cannot find any verses that say polygamy, concubinage, slavery, or genocide are always and everywhere “sins.” In fact, according to the Bible such practices are perfectly acceptable to “God,” even praiseworthy--depending on the circumstances.
IS MORE CHRISTIANITY “THE ANSWER” TO A NATION’S WOES?
The percentage of the U.S. population that is in prison is the highest percentage for any nation on earth. One child in five grows up in poverty in the U.S. (a conservative estimate). So we do not appear overly “blessed” when compared with nations that have lower crime rates, less poverty, and far fewer “Christians” than we do. Yet the U.S. spends more money on weapons of mass destruction than all other nations combined. Which makes you wonder, how exactly do those other nations, with fewer Christians, less Bible reading and less churchgoing, achieve lower crime rates, less poverty, lower rates of unplanned pregnancies, and higher educational test results?
Maybe “more Christianity” isn’t necessarily “the answer” to a nation’s woes?
THE UNITED STATES OF JESUS?
For those who were caught off guard by the fundamentalist take-over of the Southern Baptist Convention (after which, the Southern Baptists suffered schisms, loss of donations, and isolated themselves from the rest of the world’s Baptists by quitting the World Baptist Alliance), consider this…What if fundamentalists took over the U.S.A.? Here’s their game plan as of 2003…
Rev. D. James Kennedy
For 30 years, the 73-year-old Reverend has been broadcasting The Coral Ridge Hour on Sunday mornings (with a combined listening and viewing audience of about 3.5 million) in front of his 9,000-member congregation. Kennedy held the first Reclaiming America conference in 1994. A year later, Kennedy opened the Center for Christian Statesmanship in Washington, D.C., and in 1996 founded the Center for Reclaiming America in Fort Lauderdale.
Richard Land is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and a speaker at the Reclaiming America conference. In 2001, Bush appointed Land to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which he is now chairman. Land has the ear of Karl Rove, the president’s closest adviser. In other words, he’s essentially part of the administration.
O’Neal Dozier founded the Worldwide Christian Center in 1985 in Pompano Beach. In 2001, Jeb Bush appointed him to the 17th Judicial Nominating Committee, which is the board that recommends lawyers for judicial seats in Broward County. A former linebacker with the Chicago Bears, Dozier received a law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Dozier freely mixes politics and religion in the pulpit…Quoting from the Old Testament book of Leviticus, Dozier declares that homosexuality is “an abomination,” which he defines as “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit.” “Why is it one of the paramount of sins?” he poses. “Well, it is a very bad kind of sin because it really hurts society in so many ways.” God, however, found a way to punish the homosexuals through HIV-AIDS, he says. “It is a type of judgment for such a sin as this one, homosexuality.” (E.T.B.’s Comment: See the sections on AIDS, HOMOSEXUALITY, and, DIVORCE)
Then there’s the matter of the death penalty. “Listen, God is 100 percent for capital punishment,” Dozier pronounces slowly and emphatically. “Oh, yeah, God knew some were going to slip through, a few innocent ones. He knew that. But you cannot have a society without capital punishment.” Murmurs of accord rise from Dozier’s audience. “You’re right,” calls out one woman. Dozier sees one sure way to ensure that these lofty ideals become the immutable law of the land: take over the world’s economy. “We ought to be the ones in charge of economics on this Earth,” he says. “Secondly, we as Christians must take control of the government. We should be the ones in charge of the government. Wouldn’t you agree with that?” Everyone nods and mutters in agreement… (E.T.B.’s Comment: Christians must take control of the government? See the sections, AMERICAN CHRISTIANS (BEFORE THE U.S. CONSTITUTION), THINGS CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN AGAINST, and, KEEPING THE LORD’S DAY “HOLY” IN AMERICA)
Dozier also talks about “faith-based initiatives” that would provide federal tax dollars to church-run programs for the poor, elderly, and ill. “Do you know what it would mean for Christ if the church could have the money to take care of the poor?” he asks. “That means that the poor would come to the church and the poor would see Jesus as their God and not the government as their god.” (E.T.B.’s Comment: Funny, that’s exactly the way it was in the days of the Roman Empire under the Christian Emperors, “Imperial supplies of food and clothing, granted to the clergy to distribute to the poor, turned the ferociously inward-looking care of fellow-believers for each other, which had characterized the Christian churches of an earlier age, into something like a public welfare system, designed to alleviate, and to control, the urban poor as a whole.” [Peter Brown, The Rise of Western Christendom, 2nd Ed., (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), p.78] And we know how that turned out. Christians competed with each other over doctrines, influence and money (both for the poor and for their churches), and the Empire still crumbled, all the while invoking the blessings and protection of the Christian God.)
Atlanta political activist Phil Kent is there… handing out fliers called “Defending a Christian General,” referring to Jerry Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense, who came under fire for disparaging Islam. In one instance, Boykin told an audience that a Somalian warlord boasted that Allah would protect him from capture. “Well, my God is bigger than his god,” Boykin said. “I knew my God was a real god and his was an idol.” Kent’s defense is thus: “This is true!” Concerns by “left-wingers and atheists” that Boykin would inflame “our radical Islamic enemies” is a “joke,” according to Kent. (E.T.B.’s Comment: The real “joke” is that Boykin equates the “bigness” of his God with the size of America’s annual defense budget, larger than all other defense budgets of the world combined. Of course God does tend to “answer the prayers” of the most well equipped army, even if they aren’t praying.)
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore… covertly placed a 5,300-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building…A federal court ordered the monument removed, but Moore refused…A state judicial ethics panel removed Moore from the Alabama Supreme Court for not complying with the court’s order. It’s not just Moore’s views on blending church and state that make him a hero to theocrats. Moore also hits a sweet spot with his views on gays. In denying a gay parent custody of a child in one court case, he wrote that homosexuality is “an inherent evil, an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it,” though he went on to do so: “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature.” Government has the power “to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution,” he wrote. (E.T.B.’s Comment: See the sections on HOMOSEXUALITY, and, DIVORCE)
Wyatt Olson, “United States of Jesus: The Folks Who Are ‘Reclaiming America For Christ’ Are Pushing An Agenda For A Taliban-Like State Where Scripture Is Law,” copyright New Times Broward-Palm Beach all rights reserved
I am in favor of the separation of church and state. I figure, either of those institutions screws you up so much on its own, put them together, you got certain death.
George Carlin, Saturday Night Live, 1984