If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here. We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at a single time involving multiple entities (the Atheists of Florida really dropped the ball on those IMO), and some of those lawsuits included the sheriff's office. This place can be very unpleasant for non-Christians and non-dominionists because of dominionist activity.
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of Capitalism.)
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped to fan fears about a Muslim arbitration panel serving the region's Muslim community. She and her allies have framed their stance as a response to the so-called threat of Muslim law, called Sharia, to America's constitutional order. The events in this case provide an example of how anti-Muslim sentiment arises in a community and comes to shape the political landscape.
"I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" - Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan (to Kim Klein of the Washington Post, 1970)
"if a man smite thee on one cheek, SMASH him on the other!" - Anton LaVey, from The Satanic Bible (Section III, paragraph 7)
Ayn Rand has long been the intellectual darling of many both on the secular right but also the religious right, and that's curious given Rand's writing is widely credited with having inspired Anton LaVey, founder of the Church Of Satan and author of The Satanic Bible. Cited in the rather staid academic work Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology, Anton LaVey is quoted as having admitted that his religion was "just Ayn Rand's philosophy with ceremony and ritual added."
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been a rallying point for both groups. Still, the philosophical disharmony between Christianity and Objectivism (Ayn Rand's philosophy) has presented problems for anyone seeking to straddle the two worldviews. Just ask Paul Ryan.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the West" -- and reintroducing fears of witchcraft.
Igwe seems unaware that fear of witchcraft, here in the West, isn't being promulgated just by African immigrants but also by plenty of middle-class and well-to-do white people, especially in the Bible Belt, as part of the teachings of various leaders of the "New Apostolic Reformation."
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while normally poles apart, converge at one crucial point; Christian Zionism.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”
What a society we've become!
The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things change the more they stay the same. The more we pride ourselves on invention and the progress of civilized society and it’s technological wonders, the more our majority loses its innocence and the most vital aspect of living … imagination.
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, where links to the rest of the series can be found. -- FC
Welcome to this sixth installment of my series on the Dominionists, one example of radical, theocratic Christianity. As we have seen in the previous installments, the Dominionists desire nothing less than the application of biblical law to every aspect of American society and government.
In this installment we will consider another essay by Thomas Wang, the editor of the booklet America, Return to God! This essay, entitled "Ambush Alert: The Barbarians are Here" traces the history of America's spiritual decline through the great intellectual movements of the past 600 years, framed in the context of the cosmic battle between God and Satan.
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 and torn by infighting, and the far right Tea Party faction as represented by Chris McDaniel is definitely not in a conciliatory mood.
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 notarization, one of the bank’s assistant managers claimed she couldn't witness the signatures or attach the State's official notary seal to the documents because of "personal reasons."
The Christians later related the story in a Facebook post saying, “Even though we had a valid, legal document and valid, legal identification —she was legally able to refuse me service.”
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 for that rightward swing. Last week, I mentioned that John Benefiel stopped by Cindy Jacobs' webcast show and claimed that the United States was under satanic control because ancient Egyptians came to North America and dedicated the entire continent to Baal. Well, just yesterday Benefiel stopped by again and claimed that for the last decade, he's been doing his part to reverse that curse in his home state of Oklahoma. People for the American Way got a clip.
Benefiel said that back in 2004, he and a team from his Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network were prayer-walking in the Oklahoma State Capitol and casting out demons. Wen the sergeant-at-arms of the state house found out what they were doing, he invited them to come into the state house chamber and pray over it as well. They spent an hour in there praying and "making our declarations about Baal." Later that year, the Republicans gained a majority in the state house for the first time ever--and according to Benefiel, much of that majority was made of "born-again, conservative Christians." They did the same thing just before the 2006 elections in the state senate--with similar results even as the Republicans were getting their heads handed to them nationally. Needless to say, Jacobs and her husband, Mike, were delighted.
They were even more delighted when Benefiel told them that the state's four highest elected officials--Governor Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, state attorney general Scott Pruitt and state house speaker Jeff Hickman--all have longstanding relationships with him. He even claims that he helped lead Fallin in the baptism of the Holy Spirit several years back.
Friends, this is a BFD. The NAR believes that it can bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world. A major part of that task is taking control of government--one of the "seven mountains" that influence our society. So a significant number of Oklahoma's elected officials may be in bed with an overt fascist. And not only that, one who thinks the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol, that homosexuality is an Illuminati plot and that the 2012 DC earthquake was divine punishment for Masonry. Even for a state that has foisted the likes of Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn on us, this is freaking scary.
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 the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, one of the numerous prayer networks that is at the grassroots of the NAR. Among other things, he thinks that the Statue of Liberty is an idol, that homosexuality is being used by the Illuminati to control the world and that his prayers caused DC to be hit with an earthquake in 2012 to punish us for the influence of Masonry. Well, this weekend he paid a visit to Cindy Jacobs, the mentally unhinged "prophetess" who is one of the NAR's top leaders. Benefiel claimed that the entire North American continent, including the United States, is under satanic influence because ancient Egyptians dedicated it to Baal. People for the American Way got a clip.
Benefiel and the Jacobses were talking about the need to do "spiritual archeology" in order to better understand how to break demonic curses over our nations. Benefiel then discussed an "assignment" that God had given him. He claims that thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians came to North America and left scads of rock art, or petroglyphs, claiming it for Baal. One problem--Baal was not an Egyptian god. I know that these fundies think that anyone who isn't a Christian is a closet satanist, but this is ridiculous. Watch the whole thing on Vimeo, if you can stand it.
PFAW thinks that Benefiel may have based a lot of his "research" on the findings of Barry Fell, a marine biologist who delved into the origins of numerous inscriptions found all over North America. Fell claimed that several of these inscriptions are proof that several Old World civilizations visited North America years before Columbus. That claim has been completely debunked by several better-versed scholars, and some of his claims have been called outright fraudulent.
That being said, I have to wonder--is this claptrap being taught in Christian schools and Christian homeschool curricula? Wouldn't surprise me if it was.