Monday, June 13, 2005

The Christian Threat

Shrimp here: Not ranting today, just wondering how many of us are seeing the connection. Speaking to a colleague this weekend who said what the Left is truly scared of is Christianity. Muslim extremists they fear not. Listen to Air America, seems many think the Bush family engineered Sept 11. What they truly fear is a Christianity that threatens their secularist values.

There are more than a few amusing conspiracy theories. JOournalist Chris Hedges spoke on Now this past weekend of the looming danger of theocracy and how the fight against gay marraige is but one sign of the evil plans Christians have to control America's minds. From PBS' web site:

"Hedges on Religion and Politics
Former New York Times war correspondent and senior fellow at The Nation Institute, Chris Hedges comes to NOW to talk about the role of religion in American politics. In May 2005, HARPERS magazine published an article by Hedges which has aroused the ire of the Christian right.

Stanley Kurtz responded in THE NATIONAL REVIEW with the following:

The most disturbing part of the HARPER's cover story (the one by Chris Hedges) was the attempt to link Christian conservatives with Hitler and fascism. Once we acknowledge the similarity between conservative Christians and fascists, Hedges appears to suggest, we can confront Christian evil by setting aside "the old polite rules of democracy." So wild conspiracy theories and visions of genocide are really excuses for the Left to disregard the rules of democracy and defeat conservative Christians — by any means necessary.
At the heart of this particular battle of religious wills is the definition of "Dominionism." The broad concept of Dominionism is based on the Bible's text in Genesis 1:26:
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'"
This text is interpreted by some Christians to suggest that God gave humans a stewardship role over the Earth, rather than total control. Some Christians, however, apply a more assertive interpretation — that God has commanded Christians to bring their faith to the Earth as a whole through religious and secular institutions. This is, some critics maintain, tantamount to establishing a theocracy — ensuring tough-fought battles over the interpretation of separation of church and state."

Of course, Howard Dean has seen the threat Christians represent for quite awhile. The following from Chris Johnson

"He has a contempt for any kind of transcendent truth," says Cable. "We ran an ad [against his same-sex civil unions bill] in all the papers in Vermont and he went nuts and wouldn’t answer our questions. We found out after all this occurred that he had been making promises to gay activists for 11 years before civil unions happened...He was always a radical but a smart one."

Cable noticed an "innate animus" against not just Christians but anybody who would question his secularist assumptions. His disdain for traditional religion would seep out in various gaffes, but because the Vermont press corps was in his pocket the gaffes never did him any real damage.

For example, Dean thought nothing of dismissing religious wedding ceremonies as "hocus pocus." In a 2003 interview with Vermont public radio, he said, while discussing his own marriage, "Judy is Jewish and I’m Methodist and I did not want to go through all that hocus pocus to get married in a church. So we got married by a justice of the peace."

When Christian pastors opposed his same-sex civil unions bill, Dean didn’t mind bullying and pulling secularist rank on them. "I think they need to watch out about their tax-exempt status," he said in an attempt to neutralize what he called their "politicking."

Vermont political observer James Dwinell remembers how quickly Dean would resort to crude caricatures of his religious opponents as reactionaries who wanted to go back to the days when "raw sewage was running down hills."

After the Democrats lost "values voters" to George Bush, Dean and Nancy Pelosi, among others, made a great deal of noise about the party’s renewed outreach to Christians and other believers. This charade didn’t even last a year. Journalists who were planning to help Dean with this con job are now very disappointed in him. He has gone and made explicit what they hoped would remain hidden, that the Democratic party is no place for the religious. As Vermonters expected, Dean is back on the bike path against Christianity.

The biased point of view of a Christian conservative? Maybe not:

A federal judge said Tuesday he isn’t sure many people will understand the religious message from the vanity license plate a West Rutland man has filed a lawsuit to get for his 1966 Ford pickup.

Shawn Byrne filed his lawsuit against the state Department of Motor Vehicles in January after the state rejected his request for a vanity license plate.

The state contended, and Byrne’s lawyers have since conceded that two of his requests on his vanity plate application, "JOHN316" and "JN316" did not adhere to a provision for vanity plates in Vermont that they not contain more than two numerals to avoid confusion with standard-issued license plates."

I'm wating to see how GetReligion handles this.

How does Christianity threaten your life?

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