The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Sep 19, 2014 at 12:10:14 PM EST
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties - both financial, organizational, and ideological - between the community of philanthropists, evangelical leaders, and Christian organizations that revolve around the event known as The Gathering and evangelical promotion of anti-gay hatred and anti-LGBT rights activism on a global scale, from Uganda to Russia. For's extensive coverage of the World Congress of Families, see here]
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Christian-Themed Movies Are More Popular Than Ever. Will The Trend Last?
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Sep 18, 2014 at 01:08:59 PM EST
Christian-themed movies appear to be attracting large audiences these days. While none of the latest crop of religious-themed movies will come close to the box office numbers garnered by Mel Gibson's 2004 film, "The Passion of the Christ" - over $600 million combined domestically and worldwide -- nevertheless, these films are taking church goers out of the pews, and transporting them to local cineplexes across the country. A post-film-watching goal of the producers is to have patrons go home and click on the movie's website and order up a batch of merchandise.
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Race as Religion
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:06:16 PM EST
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer during World War II in Germany.  She was hiding out in what she called the "U-Boat" scene.  That is, hiding out amidst the enemy and no one knew they were there.  She goes for the license and the Nazi official asks the author several questions about her heritage.  She was asked if any of her parents were Jews.  Next the clerk wanted to know if any grandparents were Jews.  The focus of the authorization of marriage became the background check to see if there was any Jewish blood in the family.
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Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Sep 15, 2014 at 10:46:16 PM EST
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of the South, a theocratic, White nationalist group based in Killen, Alabama

Some of its leading members have been running for office in Maryland.  And League president Michael Hill has gone so far as to call for the formation of paramilitary death squads. He now claims that he wasn't doing any such thing, but that if he were, we would just have to find out for ourselves. (We, being liberal "bedwetters.")

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Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Sep 11, 2014 at 12:23:59 PM EST

Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him to pop off regularly.

Fischer's latest eruption is quite a doozy. In a Sept. 10 column provocatively titled, "No atheist should be permitted to serve in the U.S. military," Fischer argues that, well, no atheist should be permitted to serve in the U.S. military.

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Meet the Frackers: Right-Wing Billionaire Brothers' Biblical Ambitions
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 10:54:52 AM EST
A few years back, Forbes magazine called them "undercover billionaires." Meet Farris and Dan Wilks, who, after selling their fracking business and becoming generous donors to right-wing causes, politicians, and the Republican Party, are no longer "undercover." While claiming that Christians are under attack, the Wilks brothers' are "using the riches that the Lord has blessed" them with and are dedicating themselves to getting the Bible back in schools.

The brothers began by working in their father's masonry business, operating mostly in Oklahoma and Texas. In 1995, the brothers founded their own company called Wilks Masonry. However, they "really hit the big time when they got in on the ground floor with fracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique that has boomed over the past decade," People for the American Way's Peter Montgomery recently pointed out in a report titled "The Wilks Brothers: Fracking Sugar Daddies For The Far Right."

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Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Sep 07, 2014 at 09:35:13 PM EST
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had written about dominionism. Conservative columnists from The Washington Post, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among others, were deployed against a wide range of journalists, authors, bloggers and liberal Christian ministers and theologians.

That effort apparently stopped after several of us called the smear campaign what it was, and asked Jim Wallis -- who had joined in the frenzy -- to reconsider. He never replied, but the smear campaign stopped. But not before an aide to dominionist leader Peter Wagner, had called on his followers to pray that God "silence" us. Suffice to say it was a contentious and often confusing time.

Contributing to the confusion about dominionism has been the false assertion that that moderate and liberal Christians have been soft on dominionism. People who made that assertion, clearly had not been reading the work of Chip Berlet, who has not only been one of those who defined and popularized the term, but is an active progressive Christian and a contributor to the book I edited, Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America. They also clearly just not been reading about dominionism. Indeed, dominionism has been a concern of many Christian thinkers, two of whom authored detailed essays on the subject right here at Talk to Action. Their work is as relevant today as it was when it was written. So I am reposting a piece from September 04, 2011 that highlighted their work. (Some of the links may no longer be live, but there is more than enough here to make it worth the time.) -- FC

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Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:30:55 AM EST

Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical literalists must be more ethical, right?

That claim is looking a little thin in light of recent events in Virginia. Yesterday, Robert F. McDonnell, the state's former governor, was found guilty on 11 counts related to public corruption, conspiracy and bribery. His wife, Maureen, whom this "family values" politican tried willingly to throw under the bus, was found guilty on nine charges.

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A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:17:03 AM EST

Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at a meeting of the American Political Science Association here in Washington, D.C.

This report by the Christian Post is worth a read. Reporter Napp Nazworth focuses mainly on the comments made by Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville associate professor of religion and public life at the University of Notre Dame. Read his comments and be afraid - or simply amused. (Do note that this story gets one thing wrong. It reads as if Lipper compared opposition to birth control to racial segregation. Actually, he compared religious opposition to racial integration to the current religious opposition to LGBT integration.)

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Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:02:29 PM EST
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to the pantheon.

Thomas DiLorenzo is a man of contradictions. He teaches university level economics yet he is best known as an avatar of Neo-Confederatism. He teaches at a Catholic university, but subscribes to economic views that have more in common with the libertarianism of Ayn Rand than anything in Catholic social teaching. He is also a leading loather of Abraham Lincoln and a contemporary advocate of nullification and secession -- two zombie ideas that are being resurrected as a means of religious oppression -- often in the name of religious liberty.

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Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:32:20 PM EST

Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to demonize public libraries in the same way that public schools have been successfully demonized by fundamentalists in some parts of the country.

The effort, dubbed "Family Friendly Libraries," fell flat. Americans simply weren't interested in allowing a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists to determine what books they or their children could read.

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Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:34:03 PM EST
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and again, just a few days later, when a speech Page gave to the St. Charles/ St. Louis Oath Keepers emerged. That speech revealed his paranoid and conspiratorial worldview, but it wasn't a one-time event. Page has been making the rounds on rightwing radio and podcasts over the last several months, including an interview with Rick Wiles on TruNews, on the John Moore Radio Show, and on Caravan to Midnight with John B. Wells.  While it would be easy to dismiss these interviews as fringe, they represent a worldview that has been mainstreaming with the help of groups like the Oath Keepers, Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the John Birch Society (JBS).

Following is a short video clip of one of the segments, the link to my recent PRA article on Dan Page, and the complete audio/video from the three interviews.

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Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:38:21 PM EST
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County police force -- was not his first conspiracy rodeo.

The topic for a recent appearance on rightwing conspiracy radio TruNews was:

Retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Dan Page tells Rick why he thinks 2015 is the start date for a series of actions to collapse the USA so that a global regime can emerge.

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Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:00:31 AM EST

OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when it comes to issues of sexuality have really torqued off the Religious Right - so much so that some of them are thinking of going into exile.

Don't get too excited. It's not like they are going to flee en masse to some forgotten island or anything. Rather, some folks on the far, far right of the theological spectrum seem to be contemplating a type of "internal exile." They'd hole up in a fundamentalist denomination until this current age of wickedness blows over.

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Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:11:26 AM EST
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still one of the white hot political stories of the summer.  

In recent days, not only did publish Paul Rosenberg's groundbreaking story about how Peroutka epitomizes the problem of race in the Republican Party, but The Baltimore Sun and the news site Maryland Reporter have already advanced it. The Sun followed-up on Salon's disclosure of a new PAC --  Maryland Reporter further reported the names of the leading Democrats behind the innovative anti-Peroutka site.  The news site also ran a column about how the GOP has "a Peroutka problem."

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WWW Talk To Action

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

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