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Okay, so how is the Christian Right in this country different than Iran and the forthcoming Islamic Republic of Iraq?

Nearly every Monday for six months, as many as a dozen congressional aides -- many of them aspiring politicians -- have gathered over takeout dinners to mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

Through seminars taught by conservative college professors and devout members of Congress, the students learn that serving country means first and always serving Christ.

They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin [...]

The philosophy animating Cameron's lecture -- that federal law should be based on biblical precepts -- troubles the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"This nation was founded specifically to avoid the government making religious and theological decisions," Lynn said. "We are not to turn the Holy Scriptures of any group into public policy."

Kennedy counters that evangelicals have every right to put up candidates who vote what they believe to be God's will -- and let voters judge them.

To which Lynn responds, with exasperation: "He says that because he knows in a majority Christian country, the Christian view is going to be expressed by more voters. They have no problem imposing their biblical worldview on every American."

Evangelical conservatives acknowledge that's their goal.

And they now have a systematic plan for achieving it.

Is there any doubt that the American Taliban has more in common with our Islamic fundamentalist enemies? They're cut from the same cloth -- the belief that a system of secular rules and laws must be replaced with "God's laws".

And while the religions may be different, the core of them is not -- opposition to rival faiths, hostility to science, interference in people's private lives, control over women's bodies, an irrational belief in the supremacy of the male over female, militancy, anti-intellectualism and a rejection of logic, an unassailable belief in their own righrousness, and the deifying of certain unelectable, unaccountable individuals as "spokesmen for god", be it Pat Robertson or the Ayatollahs.

The American Taliban wants for the U.S. no less than what Iran has, and Iraq will soon have.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The American Fundamentalists... (none)
    ...don't have to serve in the military they're so eager to have us use against the Muslim fundamentalists.  

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:31:55 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget: "It's not fatwa, (none)
  •  That's why they've got there own Madrassas (4.00)
    Here a little More on the same place

    From a diary I did on a Brilliant Atlantic Monthly article about Patrick Henry college

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:33:11 PM PDT

  •  You nailed it, Kos. (none)
    They need to be opposed and exposed.
  •  Wrong document (4.00)
    I thought that elected officials in the United States were duty- and legally-bound to follow the Constitution, not the Bible....
    •  In Minnesota (none)
      our Governor, Tim Pawlenty, has found himself in a really tough bind lately. You see, he signed one pledge to an elite group of about a dozen or so multi-millionaires self-labeled "The Taxpayers League"; the pledge was not to raise their taxes, and Pawlenty signed it to secure the Republican party endorsement.

      Then, in January, he took a solemn oath on the Bible "to support the constitution of the United States and of this state and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and ability."

      THAT's a collision not between two divergent choices, but three:

      • the Tax Avoiders League (Grover Norquist, minister);
      • the American Biblicists (James Dobson, minister)
      • and the Constitution of the United States and the State of Minnesota (citizens of our great country and great state, ministers).

      "To love G-d is to love justice." - Paul Wellstone

      by JK Minnesota on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:47:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Minnesotan here (none)
        And it's great to see the repugnant Pawlenty twisting in the wind lately.  

        The man is a shameless opportunist, and he needs to be run out of office -- and perhaps out of town -- on a rail.

    •  No longer "of the people" (none)
      Scalia fits right in with these seditious Jeebus freaks:

      JUSTICE SCALIA: And when somebody goes by
      8 that monument, I don't think they're studying each
      9 one of the commandments. It's a symbol of the fact
      10 that government comes -- derives its authority from
      11 God.
      And that is, it seems to me, an appropriate
      12 symbol to be on State grounds.

      4 Petitioner :
      5 v. : No. 03-1500

  •  They want women stuck in the house (none)
    .....instead of stuck in burkas.

    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." - Cicero

    by KOWALSKI on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:35:56 PM PDT

  •  Article 6 Clause 3 (4.00)
    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
  •  This must be where Pat Robertson (none) the idea that the Bible supports the assassination of foreign heads of state.  It's somewhere in the Old Testament, you can bet on that.
    •  But not Christian (none)
      It's easy enough to find references to murder in the Old Testament, frinstance here and here. What you don't find is references to Christians committing murder, which would be in the New Testament, you have instead Christ telling his disciples that he works a different way. Pat Robertson stopped following Christ and began working for Satan years ago.
      •  Advocating assassination... (4.00)
        Sure doesn't look very "Christian" to least, not the Christianity I've been taught since pre-Kindergarten Sunday School!

        Rev. Pat ignore's Jesus' teachings except when they suit him...i.e, he ignores them almost all the time. Of course, there is the case to be made that he, in fact, has been working for Satan all along.

        "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."--Miguel De Santa Anna

        by GainesT1958 on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:23:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is why the 2nd amendment exists (4.00)
    If the American Taliban were to reach their goal of a theocracy in the U.S., the nation our forefathers founded would be dead.  Unfortunately, there is only one course of action at that point, but fortunately, we are not near it yet and can nip it in the bud before it gets too bad.  However, I do think that the majority of the blame lies on non-fundamentalist Christians for letting these jerks hijack their religion.  If the followers of the Christian faith aren't even willing to stand up to oppose the twisting of their own belief system into one used for evil, why should we take any Christians seriously?
    •  How about blaming (none)
      the moderate Republicans for letting these guys hijack their party?

      Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:05:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then why... (none) the country with the 2nd Amendment further along this perilous path than any other country in the Western world? Why have countries that strictly restrict the sale of firearms done so much better at basic measures of social health such as universal health care and gay rights?

      I would hesitate to draw a direct connection between gun control and social health, but you certainly can't conclude that gun fetishism has made the US a better society, when according to so many measures it's bringing up the rear of the developed nations.

      But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

      by sagesource on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:34:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Puritans Still (3.50)
    Here's my opinion:

    The Puritans were persecuted for a reason, so they had to bring their backwards, paternalistic, autocratic ways to our shores.

    They must be one of the principle reasons we have a separation of Church and State codified in our Constitution.

    We need to tax any minister and all the churches of the religion he preaches should that minister engage in, associate with, or be in any way connected to anything remotely political in America.


    •  you really don't want to go down this road (none)
      The Puritans were fleeing the Stuart kings and their very irritating views on the Divine Rights of Kings and the powers of the Anglican bishops who were appointed by the king.  Relatively speaking, the Puritans probably stood more for liberty than their opponents, but basically, I don't think any of us would have been too comfortable in the seventeenth century.  Religious toleration only existed in Holland and then only some of the time.
      •  Thanks (none)
        That's why it's opinion, and fairly uninformed opinion at that.

        I should learn more about these Puritans... are they not the same people who prosecuted witches, enacted draconian laws, and were written about in Young Goodman Brown?  I am sure they had a good work ethic, and one shouldn't paint with broad brush, but these impressions I maintain seem in accord with the nasty elements of this American Taliban we have to contend with today.

      •  Despite all this the poster had a good point (none)
        which was simply that it was puritanism that was being protected by the separation of church and state, not atheism or agnosticism, which you rightly point out barely existed anywhere and certainly not in any officially-embraced way.

        Separation was a brilliant and useful idea whose time had come, but this doesn't mean that we should try too hard to emulate all the practices or even the philosophy of those who came up with it. We embrace it for reasons similar, but different, from theirs.

        At least that's what I took to be the point.

  •  Here in Michigan (none)
    The Student Statesmanship Institute offers a training course, including a mock state legislature, for high school students. The presenters are a virtual Who's Who in Michigan GOP Politics. I'll put up a diary about these guys after Labor Day.
  •  Suggested Frame (none)
    These people are religious hardliners. Doesn't matter what country, what religion, or what culture they are trying to dominate, this strikes me as the best name for them.

    Do we want religious hardliners running our government? No more than we want Sistani or Al-Sadr running Iraq, or the Ayatollahs running Iran, or the Taliban running Afghanistan.

    Talk doesn't cook rice -- Chinese Proverb

    by OldYellerDog on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:40:06 PM PDT

  •  Even Robertson's CBN acknowledges it (4.00)
    It's interesting to read CBN - they believe that Christians and Muslims are both battling secularism:

    CBN Link

    Quoting from Robertson's CBN:

    "Muslims (like Christians) reject secular modernity, with its materialism, pornography and high divorce rate. Muslim leaders have caricatured the West (and especially America) as the "Great Satan" precisely because the worldly pleasures of Western culture are luring the faithful away from the straight path of Islam, just as it lures many Christians away from a close walk with the Lord Jesus."

    Thus an implicit acknowledgement that Robertson is just like any Muslim taliban type leading his people against "secularism"

  •  Jeez, I guess that does explain (none)
    why John Roberts is currently being proposed as a candidate for the Supreme Court.  
  •  Moral scourge (4.00)
    These so-called "Christian conservatives" are a moral scourge on society. Under the guise of "objective morality" they prostitute the teachings of Jesus for political gain. Make no mistake about it, they start with Republican Party policy and work backwards. They don't start with the Bible and work forward. They are ten times more amoral than the most wretched pornographer. At least a pornographer doesn't pretend he isn't producing filth. "Christian conservatives" are worse because they are hypocrites. Their political movement must be destroyed, or our liberal democracy will be destroyed.
    •  "Christian conservatives" (none)
      "Make no mistake about it, they start with Republican Party policy and work backwards."

      Dead on, Elrod.  

      I heard a guy call Ed Schultz's radio program today, and at first I thought it was an over-the-top parody.  He said point-blank that he was a follower of Pat Roberts, and their RELIGIOUS BELIEF is that God is working through George W. Bush as his chosen one, and that because Bush is representing God, that there's no use resisting or even saying anything in opposition.  

      And because Bush is God's chosen one, he continued, Bush is RIGHT on Iraq, and John Roberts WILL be confirmed to "set things right."

      Whether this guy was completely deluded, or completely cynical, or some combination thereof, he has conflated Republicanism into a RELIGION -- one which has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  •  Big Difference (none)
    The leading religious figures in those countries do not call for the assassination of Bush.

    Step outside of two-dimensional politics.

    by NewDirection on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:43:21 PM PDT

  •  One Always has to ask.... (none)

    "Which version of the Bible are they going to use?"
  •  They're blind (none)
    to any such comparisons. The stock response is always, "We're different, because we're Christians." End of story.

    We'll rise above the scarlet tide That trickles down through the mountain And separates the widow from the bride --Elvis Costello

    by Bob Quixote on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:44:06 PM PDT

  •  "Bananas" starring Mullah Robertson (none)
    by proclamation of the Christian Coalition, we are all to wear our underwear on the outside of our clothing.

    apologies to Woody Allen

  •  When They Try.... (none)
    ...We'll be here to stop them.
  •  It's why I finally gave up my agnostic status (4.00)
    and became an atheist. If this is what belief in god means, I don't want any.

    I have yet to see how religion of any stripe makes anyone a better human being, and I've seen lots of examples of it making someone worse.
    Sorry, all you Christians out there--I know there are good people who are Christian, but honestly, I think they'd be good people anyway.

    I used to at least give lip service to the idea of respecting religious beliefs. I really can't even do that now.

    "I must admit that I don't see a bright tomorrow; still, I must also confess that my hopes are fairly high"--Ass Ponys, "Fighter Pilot"

    by oxymoron on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:47:05 PM PDT

    •  Agnosticism is a wholly valid choice for some. (4.00)
      For me, the key is the simple statement: I don't know.  I consider it very likely that the human brain's capacity to understand the nature of a higher being, if such a being even exists, would be somewhere in the general vicinity of the ability of a paramecium to understand the workings of a Cray supercomputer.

      The problem with Talibanesque movements, whether in Southwest Asia or in the heartland of America, seems to be that they don't seek a greater understanding of things about them; they've determined that they have the One Right Answer, and are forcing it on people - and those who question, who test, who apply to religion the principles of learning (rather than the other way around - those people are The Enemy.

      For myself, I recoil at the definitive statements found in the Bible - especially since they appear to be self-contradictory.  But by the same token, I can't take the atheist's route, and say definitively that "God" is a false concept.

      I haven't got enough neural pathways in my brain to know that, either.  All I can do is worry about this world, and do the best I can by my fellow human beings.  To parrot a belief that requires me to take a leap of faith which is beyond me, to me, would be a greater sin.

      (As an aside, Einstein's equation of mass and energy - the famous E=mc2 - didn't come as a bolt from the blue, but beacuse he took apart the generally accepted theories of everyone who had come before.  He questioned.  And he came one step closer to whatever Ultimate Truth is out there.  No theocon can claim the same.)

    •  well, (4.00)
      I have yet to see how religion of any stripe makes anyone a better human being

      then you aren't partying with pagans!

      •  absolutely!!! (none)
        God and Goddess bless the Pagans!!!  Nothing says fun interfaith party than Pagan Pride Day!
        And, since we don't go out and convert or proselytize, there are no awkward "Have you found Jesus" moments.  Of course, I wouldn't mind hanging out w/a good regular Christian that recalls the virtues of being a good Christian and isn't a poser like the far reich, er, right.  I totally respect other faiths/paths, sadly, not always received w/ respect or even a cool tolerance.  What ever happened to the United States of America where it was SUPPOSED to be a land of the free and home of the brave?  
        "Dissent" nowadays is only tolerated if it pertains to a certain 'gov't sanctioned' perfume...and not opening your yam and actually standing up for what you believe in.  
        Time for the Liberal Lions to put some toothmarks in the far right "Christians" and fight for this country.  
        By the way, padre shrubya and acolytes - our guys/gals in uniform over in Iraq are NOT fighting for the safety of the US, you know full well you are having them fight for YOUR oil profits.  Bring them home now as safe and sound as they can be brought - too many come back in coffins and far too many more are coming home damaged visibly and internally - STOP IT!!!  This is NOT what Jesus would do!!!  Quit thumping your bible, afterall, your 'faith' is in oil, not J.C. and we all know it doesn't ring true in your 'heart'!!!
        Bright blessings all!
        Elspeth R.
    •  It's not what belief in God means. (none)
      But it's not what belief in God means. It's what belief in God means when it's coupled with the worst of what Lakoff calls a "strict father" worldview, and (at least on the extreme end and in the white house) a dose of paranoid thinking.

      "Good people who are Christian" can get along just fine with you and the rest of those who took an objectionable notion of God and said, "I can't believe that." They're probably the people who are most offended by patriarchal nutcakes in power and on camera who abuse the whole Christian name in service of their own dreams.

  •  So when will gov't start looking out for the poor? (none)
    How in the world do these loons justify support for Bush's tax cuts for the rich and the cutting of programs like school lunches and legal aid to the poor? How can they stand by while the death penalty falls disproportionately on those of color and of little means? I'll tell you how: not by trying to decipher What Jesus Would DO but rather finding twisted justifications and slogans for policies they already hold dear. If these people were truly looking in the Bible for answers, why do their politics not evolve into more compassionate policy?

    Upside? They can't blame Clinton anymore.

    by John Campanelli on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:47:35 PM PDT

  •  There are similarities (none)
    but come on, there are also quite a few differences.

    There are no fatwas.
    Women CAN hold position in government.
    Women CAN don't have to wear veils.
    Women CAN have jobs.
    Women DO have property rights.
    Women AREN'T legally killed because of infidelity (emphasis on legally).

    YES, we need to call out the Dobson of the US.  Yes, we need to emphasize the closeminded fundamentalism, and its power in the GOP.

    But simply comparing United States homegrown fundamentalism with Islamic fundamentalism, simply invites derision, because the differences between the two are WIDE.  

    •  really? (none)
      You need to go to James Dobson's site and do some homework. It is only a matter of degree and what they feel they can get away with.

      Change 10% of the electorate and we will have a landslide and a mandate.

      by Jlukes on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:09:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They can NOW ... it's the future that's at stake (4.00)
      The point of those Bible-reading sessions is not to find support for maintaining the status quo, but for plotting future policies.

      These folks are out to fundamentally (no pun intended) change the nature of our government and our culture. They believe that is their mission in life.

      So it may be true that American women may not ever have to wear veils, don't think for a moment that these people don't intend to roll back the opportunities that women have in this country.

      As for non-Christians, well, if these folks get their way, they would need to be prepared to have Christian prayer in every school, a Nativity scene in every town square, and the Ten Commandments in every   public building.

      These Christian Warriors are not playing around. They are out to take over the country by legal means, and they mean business. They have a strategy, they have the passion, and they have the resources.

      They are at war with the rest of us. Problem is, THEY know that and we don't. We change, or our America is toast.

      •  I agree that the future is at stake (none)
        Absolutely.  I don't question the goal of neutralizing the absolutist fundamentalists and their cozy relationship with the Republican party (scarily, they close to ARE the Republican party).

        So I guess it is a question of tactics.  The statement "Christian Fundamentalism is just like Islamic Fundamentalism" is demonstrably false enough - look at the examples I cite - that this statement can end up having the wrong tactical effect - so we are summarily dismissed as loony for making it. Now, hey, what do I know about tactics?  Nothing.  But it is a completely simplistic statement.  If you had a grid with american fundamentalism beliefs in one column, and Islamic fundamentalism beliefs in another column, then you could have a 3rd colum with a "Yes" or "No" to see if there were the same.  

        Down the line, the "No"'s would way outnumber the "Yes"'s.

        That's all I'm saying...

        •  I agree (none)
          Yes, I agree that tactically it would not be effective.  It's too easy to make it seem ludicrous.

          The truth is scarier but more subtle. We need more than good bumper stickers and catch phrases to win these battles.

    •  Islamic terrorists and evangelical Christians (none)
      Most writers and readers of the Daily Kos probably do not have any close friends who are evangelical Christians so it is easy to fall into absurd stereotypes. Many conservative Christians may be a little far to the right and narrow minded at times, but to compare them to Islamic terrorists is hyperbolic. Any movement will have a few loose cannons like Pat Robinson and nut cases like Eric Rudolph, but there is certainly no comparison between the religious right in the U.S. and the Taliban.

      The reality that many progressive activists cannot tell the difference between law-abiding Americans with traditionalist values who express themselves at the ballot box and Muslim suicide bombers is one reason why the Democratic Party has lost the ability to communicate with Middle America.

      •  that wasn't what he said (none)
        Kos didn't compare conservative Christians with Islamic TERRORISTS or suicide bombers. He compared our religious fundamentalists with their religious fundamentalists. Those words are not the same.

        There are many Muslim fundamentalists that work to create political structures that reflect their narrow philosophy, and that is strikingly similar to what the extreme pseudo-Christians are doing here today. Both groups feel they have a monopoly on the truth, seek to stifle dissent, and want to deprive women of their rights.

        It's a comparison worth noting.

        Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

        by saucy monkey on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:17:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And don't you know if you challenge (none)
    them on the basis of their positions, they'll just tell you to be saved you have to read their bible.  And that begs the question, which bible?  
  •  There is a parallel believe it or not:: (none)
    <quote>1.  Women CAN hold position in government.
    1.  Women CAN don't have to wear veils.
    2.  Women CAN have jobs.
    3.  Women DO have property rights.
    4.  Women AREN'T legally killed because of infidelity (emphasis on legally).</quote>

    1a.  As long as they aren't senior positions because the old boys club is still alive and functioning.
    2a.  Provided they're willing to wear aprons.
    3a. As long as they're willing to accept less than their male counterparts.
    4a.  'Til the next time they marry.
    5a.  Well maybe not killed physically, but emotionally and psychologically they are supposed to be subservient to their partners.
  •  I support the GWOT (none)
    The Global War on Theocracy

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 12:55:31 PM PDT

  •  No Limits (none)
    How did fundamentalist christian conservatives come to be the dominant voice in the party that claimed to stand for limited government?  Fundamentalist christian conservatives recognize no limit to the reach of their moralizing, and insofar as they could control government would insist that government have a similiarly unlimited reach.  As George the lesser has said -- and let no one think he was really joking -- dictatorship would be fine with him if he were the dictator.  Fundamentalist christian conservatives oppose the limits and balances that are the conceptual soul of the Constitution, and in so doing they are soul-mates of the fundamentalist dictatorships in the middle east rather than of the Constitution's framers.  Unsurprisingly the rhetoric of limited government was mere cant calculated to win votes rather than to serve as a governing principle.  In fact, in many cases appeals to limited government and the related  states' rights were nothing more than racist appeals in a society where overt racism was no longer politically expedient.  

    Beware the con in conservative

  •  asdf (none)

    It's about extremism.  

    It's about "we're right, you're wrong, and we're willing to kill you over it."

    And we're going to invade your countries.

    And we're going to murder your people.

    And we're going to win.

    Because we're Right.

    Fundamentalists of the World, UNITE!!!

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:00:50 PM PDT

  •  sort of off topic but have always thought odd (none)
    Why are these Taliban (Christian or Islam) so into punishment? If I knew I was right and going to heaven I would feel sorry for someone who was going to burn in hellfire forever. Why that is throughout history these mainly guys but sometimes girls love to torture people before putting them to death? There is something about that has always baffled me.

    Change 10% of the electorate and we will have a landslide and a mandate.

    by Jlukes on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:01:52 PM PDT

    •  Pain... (none) the only way that the insecure can affirm their existence. George Orwell put it perfectly in 1984, through O'Brian when he is torturing Winston Smith:

      He [O'Brian] paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: 'How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?'

      Winston thought. 'By making him suffer,' he said.

      'Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy, everything.... (Part III, Chapter 3, my emphasis)

      O'Brian is a frightened little man, old and tired, as even Winston observes -- as a very perceptive commentator pointed out, 1984, especially the account of Newspeak, is written as a history of the past, not the present or future, implying the ruin and destruction of the Party. But frightened little men can do a lot of damage if no one stops them.

      But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

      by sagesource on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 09:27:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, that really makes sense (none)
        I know some people like to inflict pain on others but usually they are up front about it. I doubt if the very religious ones realize why they are doing it but your explanation makes too much sense and feels right. We are dark souls. I wonder what I am in denial about? My world just got a little scarier.  

        Change 10% of the electorate and we will have a landslide and a mandate.

        by Jlukes on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 10:33:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Silly question ... (none)
    do you really have to look any further than your President to figure why the funders have come to be in positions of power?

    Laura is such a sweet little thingy ... doesn't have a really big role in this Presidency.  BTW, just what is it she stands for or against?  And how could you dare to critize her, she stands by her man!

    There is something very wrong about that marriage--Georgy, the cheerleader, has no sex appeal--I strongly suspect he's attracted to the opposite sex!  But I have no way to prove it.  He's carefully cocooned!  

  •  EWTN--Are we surrendering the Catholic contiituent (none)
    EWTN is celebrating its 25 year anniversary. They are the only Catholic Channel spanning the whole country and the world and shaping many minds.

    I have noticed more and more Protestant Converts on the show and using Republican codewords like Strict Constructionist, Dred Scot,  etc and less emphasis on social justice. In fact one convert who was a guest in Marcus Grodi was a founder of a Right wing political advocacy group.

    I think Democrats should engage more the Catholics and Religious.  Show up and talk about Social Justice.  2004 --was the first time a Republican won majority of Catholics.

    Democrats and Religious Left need to join the conversation and use the present tools and not just whine.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:07:29 PM PDT

    •  From Union Square to Rome (none)
      I know that in my town the evangelicals are lost to us. They're a world unto themselves which thinks it is the world. It seems Catholics here still take the time to think. There's the tradition of Dorothy Day there, a spirit this Democrats can appreciate.
  •  Oops ... typo ... (none)
    should be, he's attracted to the 'same' sex!  
  •  We need someone to stand up and say this! (none)
    We need a nationally known democrat to stand up and start pointing this out....otherwise this undercurrent of fundamentalism is going to gather steam and before you know it we will have had our own version of the Iranian Revolution here in America.  I don't understand why we can't get our democrats to stand up against this crap.  Uuuuugggggghhhhh!
  •  I know this isn't much consolation, (none)
    but Georgy Boy is about to meet his maker.  And suprisingly it may be Cindy Sheehan that is able to finally make George come face to face with reality.  I 'pray' that is the case and the American people hear her wake up call!    
  •  This country deserves the leaders it elects (none)
    And I'm fine with that because I will be a Canadian in a few years. Jesusland can just go to hell for all I care.
  •  I guess the difference is... (none)
    that the American politicians most likely don't believe what they are saying.  Rather, it's just a means to an end for them.  I think the Taliban would probably believe in their rules.
    •  I believe you're right on that (none)
      I think of judge roberts...he apparently doesn't think that women should stop being homemakers and go to law school...keep 'em barefoot and pregnant!....EXCEPT FOR HIS OWN FUCKING WIFE!
  •  "Core" of the religions? (none)
    "And while the religions may be different, the core of them is not -- opposition to rival faiths, hostility to science, interference in people's private lives, control over women's bodies, an irrational belief in the supremacy of the male over female, militancy, anti-intellectualism and a rejection of logic, an unassailable belief in their own righrousness, and the deifying of certain unelectable, unaccountable individuals as "spokesmen for god", be it Pat Robertson or the Ayatollahs."

    As a Christian I find the above statement offensive. I won't speak for Islam, but the "core" of Christianity is the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    I'll make you a bet kos -go find a Christian Bible and then quote me all the passages where Jesus advocates any of the ideas that you say are core to christianity. I'll wait (but I won't hold my breath).

    I agree with most of your postings -but here you're just wrong b/c you're doing exactly the same thing as the cons and tarring everyone with the same brush.

    This is also symptomatic of a larger problem that needs to be addressed -the religio-phobia of the left. Just try to identify yourself as a christian in a crowd of fellow liberals and see if you're not labeled crazy or stupid, or at the very least patronized.  

    I am a Christian, and I hate that the hypocrites twist the words of my savior to support their political (financial) agenda, but I reject the idea that the religion itself is dictated by their duplicity.

    The "American Taliban" may indeed have much in common with the Islamists but they do not speak for all (or even most) Christians.

    •  miscommunication, i think (none)
      "i'd say what we have here is a failure to communicate"

      i don't presume to speak for anyone but myself, but i don't think the statement is an indictment of christ's teachings per se.  rather it is an indictment of the motivations of a particular radical segment.  just as i don't smear islam as a whole because a radical political aganeda has used it to justify a cause, i don't smear christianity as a whole because some unseemly characters are abusing the power of their religion.

      i can certainly see why you would want to protect your right to your faith against disparagement. perhaps more precise language is in order, such as instead of the "core of christianity," the "core of those who abuse chirstianity" or the "core of those mother fuckers who wish to impose, through legislation,  their religious beliefs on my existence."?

      god don't like it, and i don't either- willie mctell

      by cereal breath on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 04:10:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The American Taliban (none)
    Make no mistake about it, Robinson et al are vehemently anti-catholic. Those Catholics like Mr. Donahue who have gotten into the same bed as this bunch does not speak for all Catholics, and are in my opinion a disgrace. People should be careful not to brand all Christians, especially Catholics as subscribing to the philosophy of the American Taliban. I reject them and their ideology completely and totally. Most of the Catholics I associate with, and that is not a small number, do so as well.
  •  Pointing out the similarities (none)
    between the extreme Christian fundamentalists in our country and the extreme Islamic fundamentalists in Iran, et al is important, and kos is very right to repeatedly bring up the point.

    I think it is similar to how the civil rights movement grew after WWII -- people were increasingly embarrassed about how blacks were treated in this country after the experience of Nazism and the other forms of race-based hatred percolating in the middle part of the 20th century.

    I think people (including, and perhaps especially, moderate religious people) will be more and more embarrassed about the actions of Robertson and his band of extremists if we keep them in the news and continue to point out the striking similarities between them and Islamic fundamentalists.

    Great post, and keep them coming.

  •  I think this is the most (4.00)
    important story of the day. Someone upthread said this is about extremism and they are 100% correct.

    The one line that popped a blood vessle for me when I read this first thing this morning was:

    They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin

    That is such an extremist view that it makes me sick. "To consider compromise a sin" yo have to believe the founding fathers and ideals of this country are sinful. If there was ever an "unAmerican" belief, that is it. And it needs to be shown far and wide for exactly what it is. An extremist longing for a theocratic government that will force everyone in this country to follow one religion and all laws are to be taken from that religion's rule book.

    This is their agenda, far more pernicious than the "Gay Agenda's" supposed destructive power.

    I have been a born again. I have seen their desire to rule every aspect of people's lives first hand.  If the silence continues and they are able to get both feet in the door then it will take decades for us to undue the damage they will have done to this country, if it can even be undone.

    This must be exposed for what it is. It is the Randal Terry vision for the United States.

    "I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you... I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."


    "When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it." He added, "I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed."  "

    And it is the end of the experiment started over 230 years ago. I do not believe this is hyperbol, it is what they have been fighting hardest for for the last few decades if not since the inception of our county.

    •  Sad but true... (none)
      I was brought up in a fundamentalist, Pentacostal Bible-belivin' Assmembly of God church.  My view of the experience now is that I was indoctrinated into nothing less than a pathological doomsday cult.  
          These people are NOT religious.  They are members of one of the worst doomsday cults to ever plague the minds of men.
          "Well, it's all just a question of faith." is the familiar, built-in reflex retort I get whenever I confront my family on any of the inconsistencies of their worldview.  They are unreachable.  
          They are religious materialists who reject the material universe.  One of their sorry maifestos in the famous ID "Wedge Document" in which they claim as their goal not the objective pursuit of truth, the goal of any real science, but the 'overthrow of the materialistic worldview'.  

          To this I have to ask... WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH MATTER?  
          What the hell is these people's problem with the material universe...?  Is it not enough for them?  I mean, astronomers have peered into the depths of the cosmos, and what did they find there?  Matter. Not one angel, not one devil and not one intelligent designer. Unless you count the grand totality as a vast, creative intelligence.
          The grand scale of the totality of the cosmos is utterly indifferent to their pathetic little pixies, fairies and invisibe grandfathers. And I think that's their problem.  Does anyone seriously believe that the Biblical worldview has any meaning whatsoever in a universe of supernovas, quasars and such mind warping structures as the Eagle nebula...?  

      Eagle Nebula

      Eagle Nebula Facts

      Did any intelligence design those things? Perhaps, if one can consider the physical laws of nature an intelligence...
      And why would it care if two males of the same species had sex?  Or decided to get married?  Human laws are made for and by humans.  

  •  I diaried this story... (none)
    earlier today, so I'll just repeat what I said at the end of that piece:

    Let me be clear that this [diary] is not a blanket polemic against all religion or all of Christianity. There are many religious people in this country and the world who are appalled by the extremism being practiced here, and who recognize the danger to the country, the world and to themselves if this virulent cancer that calls itself Christianity manages to prevail.

    There have always been religious extremists who think they have a God-given duty to make sure everyone else obeys their tribal taboos. Much of the misery in the history of the world can be traced back to that desire. The Founding Fathers recognized this and built in protections to prevent that from happening here. That's all that's saved us so far, but the protections are weakening.

    These folks want to rule the most powerful nation in the history of the world, the one with the weapons to bring about Armageddon.

    They're playing for keeps, and they're way ahead of us. We have a lot of catching up to do. There's a quote from Jefferson that one of us uses as a tag line: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Jefferson was referring to religious tyranny; his enemies were the rabid preachers of his day. It's time to revive that oath.

    It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by Dan K on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 01:47:22 PM PDT

  •  Peoplein government Identified in the story (none)
    I suspect they are well aware of it, but if you have a concern about your Representatives in Washington being influenced by this kind of thing, you may want to contact the bosses of people identified in the story:

    Myal Greene, identified as "the deputy press secretary for a Republican congressman from Florida" is Deputy Press Secretary to Rep. Tom Feeney, 24th District of Florida.  Rep. Feeney's office can be contacted at:

    323 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington DC 20515
    phone:(202) 225-2706
    fax:(202) 226-6299

    Hanna Woody, identified as "a legislative assistant for a Republican congressman from Kansas" is a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Todd Tiahrt, 4th district of Kansas.  Rep. Tiarht's office can be contacted at:

    2441 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-6216
    Fax: (202) 225-3489

    Rep. Walter B. Jones, of course, already knows what he's up to.  His office is:

    422 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington DC 20515
    Phone: 202 225-3415
    Fax: 202 225-3286

  •  I'd kinda like to attend those sessions (none)
    Just to see if someone who's known the Lord for 35 years, has arrived at very different conclusions from the same Bible, and knows that Bible pretty well, can peaceably introduce some questions that will make them a bit less certain in their worldview.

    And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased, And the epitaph drear: "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East." --K

    by RT on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 02:07:39 PM PDT

  •  as i said on monday... (none)'s a red state constitution!

    now, go take the poll for what religious law we'll be following!

  •  ...which (none) why we have a massive fight in our own backyard over "religious extremism." And if we turn our backs or let up our children and our children's children will be reciting the 10 commandments before school everyday. I say, "Hell no."

    Great post by Kos.

    Jared's Weekly Political Newsletter: "I love America more than you do!" (email me to sign up)

    by Jaredhw61 on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 02:21:11 PM PDT

  •  Bill Clinton Podcasting (none)
  •  "If This Goes On"--R A Heinlein (none)
    Always thought that was an outlandish scenario, reading it when I was a kid--US falls into theocratic dictatorship. Heinlein was fairly astute about the American proclivity for this kind of thing though. Not but what he's a pretty awful writer.
  •  so, can these tools (none)
    and/or the senators for whom they work be fired or dismissed or something?

    To Greene, there could hardly be a more appropriate location. He considers his private faith and his public duty inseparable.

    inseparable, huh?  well the bill of rights and the philosophy of our founders don't agree.

    i know the aides don't take oaths of office, but their bosses do.  can't they get in trouble for doing this?

  •  You should also read this.... (none)
    Follow the link to the article on the BBC's web site: ;tid=14

     Also check out some of the comments on slashdot...

  •  This is hardly new (none)
    You should check out the Yurica Report.

    I hate to admit it but I'm beginning to think that expensive think tanks/lobbies/advertising campaigns may be the only way to counter the rising tide of bullshit the right wing has been pushing in place of sound reason and objective truth.  For a variety of reasons people seem to be all to willing to reject reality and substitute their own.  I've much more to say on the matter but won't do so here.  

  •  Assassinate Chavez... (none)
    and ten will take his place, all across South America. Bush, Robertson, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice - all rank amateurs.

    The fact of the matter is that we need South American crude. They need nothing from us that they can't easily get from someone else. They are not afraid of us. They are rightfully leary of US oil companies. They are going to tell Bush and Exxon-Mobil to take their one way relationships and stick it up their ass. By "they" I mean the populaces, not some dictator holed up in a palace in Caracus or Bogota.

    They have been waiting for an opportunity to tell us to go fuck ourselves for 40 years. Giving them the reason to do so is the rank amateur part.

    What a bunch of fucking morons. OBL is laughing his ass off, with his small investment on 9/11 paying dividends way beyond what he could ever imagine. How about a catalyst to spread Islam into South America - well here, Bush will create a boogeyman in South America to make it a little easier for you. So fucking dumb.

    Someone wake me up when this nightmare is over.

  •  literalists? (none)
    [they] mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

    Literal reading of the Bible, my [posterior].  Capital gain taxes of 30% are non-Biblical, but at 15% they are Biblical.  And how Biblical is the provision preventing Central American countries from producing and importing generic versions of drugs after the expiration of the relevant patents in USA?

    This is AEI theology.  I may have some regard for religious motivations in politics and policy, but this is either delusion or hucksterism (meaning: some of these guys are hucksters, and other are delusional).

    These people claim that they serve Christ "first and always" when they work on highway appropriation bill.  Is it possible to explain it to their "flocks" that this phony?

    Recall that Abramoff and his Congressional beneficiaries are almost to the man "deeply religious".  [Memo: pork is kosher if it comes in barrels.]

  •  CBN (none)
    Put your hands on the T.V..  Feel the power of Christ come into your body.  Yes, Yes, Yes, kill the enemy of the U.S. Those dirty Mexicans (or whatever), they'll never stop!!!

    P.S.  ASP is for chumps!!!

  •  Seeing that Pat Robertson wants Venezuela's Chavez (none)
    assassinated (Robertson the former Republican Presidential candidate and long time 700 Club host) , the Republican Taliban isn't any different from the kooks who make up Bin Laden's followers.  They just read different holy books.

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 05:50:26 PM PDT

  •  45 years ago (none)
    this country debated whether a Presidential candidate would allow his allegiance to his Church prevail over his allegiance to the rule of law in this country.

    Ironically, John F. Kennedy would be disqualified by most of the hierarchy of his Church, and vilified by the Religious Reich, if he were running today...

    "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 06:27:43 PM PDT

    •  'xactly (none)
      The newer Massachusetts Senator JFK went out of his way to go to church every week, was an altar boy in youth, probably never had any affairs as the elder JFK did, held positions very much in line with the ideals of Catholic Church on poverty and not far off on war and abortion, and was still portrayed by the Santorum/Scalia wing of the church as a faithless, secular Catholic-in-name-only who must've not gone to church much.

      We can only imagine in today's much more GOP-controlled media how they'd see "the guy who cheated on Jackie with Marilyn Monroe."  I suppose we can extrapolate not just from Kerry but Kerry's Senate mate and the late former President's brother Ted.

      The GOP's "Catholic Stratege(r)y" is something I've been meaning to diary on and something Dems need to attack.

      "But the people of America have spoken, and they're saying they want four more years of Douchebag!!" -Family Guy Movie

      by BlueEngineerInOhio on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 07:29:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (none)
        Its important to realize that the major divide in the US is between church and non-church goers (has the highest correlation to voting tendencies). And that is why abortion is such a big issue because you have evangelicals on one-side, seculars on the other and catholics in the middle. In general catholics would side with seculars (because they tend to be social liberals - support stuff like universal health care) except the abortion and gay rights issue pull them to the right. I wish I knew how to convince them that these issues are not more important than loving your neighbour (platonically of course), but it seems like the only solution is for the crazies to shoot themselves in the foot.
  •  And they are infiltrating the millitary (none)
    This hit me the other night.

    If you wanted to turn the United States into the Sauidi Arabian social model, and Saudi Arabia represents the Neocon's Utopia in the tradition of Leo Strauss, you have to buttress the Religious state with a police state sanctioning capability.

    Saudi Arabia is the model: An Uber-Uber Class Uber-ales and a massive underclass that is placated and controled by the opium of religion.

    Religion serves as a moral force but it needs to be backed up by a police force.  A hammer, if you will. The military.

    I thought, gee, no matter what the Neocon's do, they cannot change American society. We are to free of a society and people would just walk away from their sillyness.

    The Neocon's cannot change our society unless they have a hammer, a military component to butress the religious component.

    Then if flashes into my head - and I remember, the religious intimidation at the air force academy.  

    The Neocon's are pumping the pipeline into that branch of the military filled with extremist wing nut fundementalist. (How did they manage to do that anyway?)

    When the revolution is complete they will be able to reinforce their control of us through the military and the Airforce will be first amongst equals amongst the branches of the military.

    I've been telling people to read "The Comming of the Third Riech" by Richard Evans to understand what we have been going through. And certainly it seems earily similar.

    Now, I am telling people to read "Shadowplay".

    "Shadowplay" by Clair Asquith advances the thesis that Shakespeare's plays were coded commentary speaking out against Prostestant Police state of Elizabeth I and James I's England.  

    While the English Reformation begins early in the 16th century, Until 1605 the vast majority of England was closet Catholics (according to Asquith). Indeed, Catholicism in England was apparently vastly different than that of the continent, prematurely reformed and intellectually progress producing a budding brilliant humanist civilization that was well wedded to the local society and thus little presure within society existed to reform. This is one reason why England could produce Henry VIII as defender of the faith.  

    All this came prematurely to an end when Henry the VIII couldn't produce an heir. The vast majority of Englishmen longed for and expected the indigenous ancient religion to re-assert it's head. But a small clique of protestants with their own version of Carl Rove, were able to bring about a religious revolution upon the majority that, in the end, took fully 150 years.  The catholic's had perhaps the better arguement as English Catholism was more developed culturally and intellectually than English Protestantism which itself was subject to Lutheran, Zwinglian and Calvinist branches, but the Catholics couldn't get their act together or find a suitable leader to their cause. Meanwhile the Protestant leadership slowly turned the screws of repression until the life of English catholicism was squeezed out and England was a police state.

    I don't intend to take a side on Religion in the English reformation, I could care less. The dynamics, though, is something we all care about.  

    I encourage you to read it. It is earily similar to our times.  Let Shakespeare be your guide. And we do need to get our act together, and soon.

  •  How many innocents.... (none)
    have been caught in a crossfire and been killed in the name of God or Allah in the last 7,000 or so years?  We are here for such a short time anyway, why do we hurry so to leave this life?

    That you link us to them is a reminder of the universality of what I call the human condition.  We live our lives with a morbid understanding of our own mortality.  Carried to the extreme, I believe this is what creates the religious zealots amongst us.  If they can only convince themselves that their beliefs are the true ones, they will be the immortals.  They spend most of their lives convincing others of this, and condeming (or killing off) those whose spiritual beliefs differ.

    That our religious fundementalists are gaining as much political influence as they have now is truly frightening for those who envision the United States being able to sustain itself for another century or two.

    When the middle class is gone, who will support the Republicans in the manner to which they have grown accustomed?

    by keepinon on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 06:43:23 PM PDT

  •  what the f*ck else could be in there? (none)
    Nearly every Monday for six months, as many as a dozen congressional aides -- many of them aspiring politicians -- have gathered over takeout dinners to mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

    Haven't these guys been 'studying' and 'mining' the bible for, like, a couple thousand years now?  
    Honestly, it's not that big a book.  Wouldn't you think that if there was a line in there, somewhere, advocating exporting jobs overseas and switching the tax burden from the rich to working and poor people, we'd have heard it repeated ad nauseum for years now?
    Oh, and I seem to have been asleep when the Constitution was amended to declare the 'King James Bible' the law of the land.  You know, I'm off work this week, so I haven't kept up on current events as much as I usually do, but you'd think I'd have heard about that one.....  

    •  Well... (none)
      ...considering how much the Bible talks about charity to the poor, and how little it talks about tax cuts and gay marriage, they have to mine the hell out of it to get what they want. They drill, they mine, they fire the charges, they sift the rubble, and then they mix it all up into a sort of theological concrete to be cast into any shape they choose. The Albert Speers of theological construction.

      They aren't learning how to read, they're learning how to ignore and how to reshape.

      Speaking as a non-Christian, Christianity would be a lot easier to endure if, like, Christians would pay attention to their own scriptures a bit more.

      But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

      by sagesource on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:42:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing that the evangelicals are the... (none)
    most socially repressed and morally stunted people in the American scene - these people are truly "Merkins" in every sense of the word.

    And even better is how often their leaders get caught out in some of the most hypocritical - and compromising - positions -time and time again.

    This goes for the vast majority of fundamental, hard-core, ReligousTM leaders.

    And it's a sign of the dumbing down of American education that people contiually FALL for this shit.  These are truly dangerous cults.

    "Every day, in every way, I think I'm going to vomit."

    by seronimous on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:02:00 PM PDT

  •  Those silly robes (none)
    I think we have to realize that the major difference between their fundamentalists and ours are that a lot of the islamic fundamentalists where silly looking robes. Its hard to take someone seriously if he looks like he just got out of the shower. Where as our fundamentalists tend to where suits which I think lends a lot of weight to the opinions.
  •  ..Misunderstanding (none)
    .."Is there any doubt that the American Taliban has more in common with our Islamic fundamentalist enemies?"..

    I think kos has misunderstood the meaning of fundamentalist. You should use the word terrorist for the Islamic fundamentalist enemies. Please do not associate islam with any terrorists. Islam do not condone the killing of innocent woman, children etc.

  •  abortion (none)
    It kills me that these Christian kooks are anti-choice when anybody who has ever actually READ the Bible knows that it doesn't say ONE WORD about the issue.

    The New Testament DOES talk a lot about helping the poor, the meek, the down-trodden. It is very likely that Christ, if were around today would be working for an abortion clinic, helping out poor women.  or a battered women's shelter. Or an AIDS clinic. Or would be at Camp Casey.

    I'm not a big fan of Christianity-- or Islam-- for that matter. But, the selective, self-serving "reading" that these guys, the Pope, and the TV fundies engage in is pure poisin.

  •  John Roberts Leading The Way -- Is he Opus Dei? (none)
    There are  serious reasons to be concerned that John G. Roberts, likely the next Supreme Court Justice, since the Dems probably won't go to the mat, will be leading the charge to the fundamentalist State of America.  His background and possible links to an extremist fundamentalist sect, Opus Dei, are discussed on this well documented and researched blog.  John Roberts Research

    I urge serious researchers to check it out!

  •  if there was a god, there would be no religion (none)
    Religion would be completely unnecessary if a god actually existed.

    Why would such an all-powerful being need so many conmen...err...salesmen...err...preachers?

    People that believe in gods are simply gullible. Unfortunately their gullibility makes them easily manipulated by evil men.

  •  Fundamentalists for an American Theocracy (none)
    Your posting was right on the money. May I suggest that Iran and Iraq notwithstanding, I believe the Bush L.L.C. administration is taking its policies for a theocracy from its best friends, the Saudi royals. They have given Bush a play-by-play "roadmap" to establishing a state religion that overrrides any governmental abilities. Suppressing votes is just a side benefit.

    Sue B.

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