Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Apr 26, 2017 at 07:05:54 PM EST
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five separate studies, the research is not about dominionism denial per se. But the findings tend to support the experience many of us have had -- in which people do not want to know what the religious and political right thinks and is doing, even when they arguably have a strong self interest in better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of formidable opponents. The research also helps to explain that ever-strange and stirring stew of dominionism denial and the wider pooh poohery about the ongoing reality of the strengths and resilience of the Christian Right.

Science Daily reports that people anticipate that what they would hear from opposing views would "induce cognitive dissonance."  

This suggests that for some journalists, academics, think tankers, and political professionals -- that cognitive dissonance may also have to do with anticipating being confronted with the fact that that they have been wrong about a lot of things, and in some cases, for a long time.  

(4 comments, 512 words in story)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Apr 18, 2017 at 02:09:49 PM EST

"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well:

"First, women are not called to be pastors, and since a chaplain is supposed to be a pastor in uniform--it exposes their rebellion.

"Second, the office is permitted for men only, and women are prohibited from teaching (1 Timothy 2:12).

"Third, people should be very worried when they see women pastors/chaplains teaching. Why? It could be God's judgment upon them (Isaiah 3, "...and women rule over them")!"

The above are the words of Captain Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, posted as a comment on a blog post by Air Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Dowty on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog -- a blog on which Lt. Col. Dowty has provided his readers with a steady stream of misogynistic, gay-bashing, Islamophobic, and other very "Christian" posts for over a decade.

In the post that Chaplain Hernandez was commenting on, titled "Kansas Army National Guard Commissions Female Chaplain," Lt. Col. Dowty had expressed his opinion that female chaplains are not acceptable, writing: "... there are some who advocate that chaplains should be able to meet the needs of all of their troops, and a `minority' chaplain actually undermines that cause. While every Christian denomination represented in the military accepts a male pastoral leader, a substantial percentage do not accept female pastoral leaders."

(2 comments, 1159 words in story)
The Legacy of Big Oil
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Apr 18, 2017 at 01:58:12 PM EST
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the Osage Indians in the twenties is almost unbelievable.  This tragic saga is the deadly account of greed, murder, racism, and the impact of oil money on the nation.
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Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Apr 15, 2017 at 11:04:08 PM EST
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has been an ideological catalyst for the contemporary Christian Right.

That is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to reading the new book by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America.  The book has received mixed reviews according to a discussion of those reviews by Richard Ostling, a retired writer for the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today.   But in her new book, FitzGerald apparently discusses the theocratic dominionism of the late R.J. Rushdoony and the influential Christian Reconstructionist movement he led.  

This has apparently alarmed Ostling.    

(4 comments, 671 words in story)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 02:43:46 PM EST
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation, also has a habit of telling some pretty tall tales about his own life. There was his claim of being a college basketball star, his claim of having been a translator for the Russian women's national gymnastics team, and most recently his claim of having an earned doctorate. But while most of Barton's bio-embellishing claims have either been proven to be false or are so far-fetched that they are just impossible to believe, there is one that is unfortunately all too true - that he advises many members of Congress on historical subjects. This isn't just another bogus claim made up by Barton to exaggerate his achievements and impress his audience. It has been repeatedly confirmed by members of Congress who have praised Barton by proclaiming that he is their go-to guy when they need historical examples to use in their arguments on current issues and legislation.

So, who are these members of Congress who run to David Barton when they need historical "facts" to justify their political agenda and legislation? Well, they are almost exclusively members of something called the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a House caucus founded in 2005 by former congressman Randy Forbes, with the help of David Barton -- a caucus whose numbers have ranged from ninety to well over a hundred members since its founding.

(5 comments, 3083 words in story)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 12:07:43 PM EST
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Dowty has accused BGen (Select) Goodwin, who has been nominated to be the Air Force Academy's next commandant of cadets, of being a liar. Dowty's basis for this accusation? Goodwin graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1993, but the policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) wasn't implemented until 1994. Therefore, according to LtCol Dowty, Goodwin, who is a lesbian, must have lied about her sexual orientation in order to join the Air Force, asking in his blog post: "How did Col Goodwin -- an open homosexual -- enter the Air Force without lying?"
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It's Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The `Mind-Your-Own-Business' Option
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 11:56:36 AM EST

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to "traditional" Christians that it's time to withdraw.

They don't plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they'd form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

(1 comment, 687 words in story)
Justice Alito And The Dangers Of Redefining `Religious Freedom'
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 20, 2017 at 01:45:04 PM EST

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech to a group of Catholic lawyers that didn't get as much attention as it should have.


Alito addressed Advocati Christi, a group of Catholic lawyers and judges affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J.  The Associated Press reported that the organization works to "provide an opportunity for lawyers learn about the Catholic faith and Catholic social teaching and to help them integrate these into their life and practice."

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Sam Rodriguez: How Do You Like Your Anti-Immigrant President Now?
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 18, 2017 at 01:25:59 PM EST
Since President Donald Trump's immigration policy gave law enforcement officials unprecedented power to aggressively target immigrants in the country illegally, the nation's immigrant communities have been living in fear, from the threat of arrest, detention and deportation.

Department of Homeland Security documents "revealed the broad scope of the president's ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations," The New York Times' Michael D. Shear and Ron Nixon reported late last month.

"The message is: The immigration law is back in business," said a gleeful Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports restricted immigration. "That violating immigration law is no longer a secondary offense."

(3 comments, 951 words in story)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 11:33:15 PM EST
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a Catholic Right organization involved primarily in advocacy at the UN.) Three years ago, Correnti’s boss, Austin Ruse, said that women’s studies faculty “should be taken out and shot.”

Ruse launched into his eliminationist broadside as he guest-hosted a show on American Family Radio in 2014. His remarks so horrified the not easily horrified conservative Christian broadcaster that he was fired and banned from further appearances.

But Lisa Correnti and Austin Ruse rode out the crisis. -- FC

Austin Ruse doesn't understand why people were so upset when he said on a national radio program that university leaders "should all be taken out and shot."  Ruse was reacting to reports that a Duke University freshman had launched a career in porn, partly to pay for her college tuition.  The Catholic Right leader who heads the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) blamed less than one semester of exposure to women's studies for the freshman's choice of part time jobs.

Ruse initially apologized for his violent outburst, claiming, "I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence."  But as I reported at the time, Ruse had nothing to say about the threats of violence and death against the student, (whose stage name is Belle Knox) about whom he pretends to care.  While Ruse is still whining about the episode - he also still has nothing to say about the ongoing threats against young Belle Knox -- who is nevertheless bravely continuing her college education at Duke.

In any case, Ruse's latest comments demonstrate that when he made his original apology -- he didn't really mean it.

(2 comments, 885 words in story)
Controlling Information
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Mar 01, 2017 at 08:13:14 AM EST
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and etc.  He warned them it would be too depressing and was not good for their mental health.  He suggested they just allow him to listen to the "drive by media," and he would digest it and do the thinking for them.
(4 comments, 651 words in story)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Feb 27, 2017 at 03:11:21 PM EST
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to economics, displays no interest in actual Catholic teachings on economics. Perhaps that his because his position is at odds with that of Pope Francis, and as recent news reports suggest, he may also have joined forces with Vatican opponents of the Pope's emphasis on refugees, tolerance, and spiritually.
(3 comments, 926 words in story)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Feb 15, 2017 at 08:39:13 PM EST
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic Mirror.  Douthat's screed attempts to disparage the reform-minded Pope Francis by painting the Pontiff as a Catholic version of Donald Trump.
(2 comments, 473 words in story)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Feb 15, 2017 at 11:32:36 AM EST

Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to offer all of us some pearls of wisdom.

His latest is an old standby: If you don't like a court ruling, find a way to shut down the court.

Buchanan got on this tear because President Donald J. Trump, you might have noticed, is having a little trouble with his ill-conceived executive order that attempted to impose a "Muslim ban" on immigrants and refugees. A federal court in Washington state put it on hold, a ruling that was later upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A separate federal court in Virginia also struck down application of the ban in that state, explicitly citing its church-state faults. (Americans United has been involved in all of these cases.)

(1 comment, 830 words in story)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Feb 12, 2017 at 09:04:59 PM EST
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek common ground can sometimes be just that. Other times, as we have seen too many times, it is a tactical deception. It is always good to be both open and wary. - FC

Focus on the Family says they now want to work with abortion rights organizations to reduce the number of abortions. Taken by itself, it would appear to be a remarkable change of approach by the fiercely antiabortion house that Dobson built -- but a few minutes on the Focus on the Family web site suggests that Focus on the Family is acting in bad faith.

(6 comments, 691 words in story)


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