Developing Dominionist Cities
Mainstream Baptist printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:17:14 AM EST
Silja Tavli has written an important essay entitled "Cult of Character" that is posted on the In These Times website.  She examines the work of Bill Gothard and his Character Training Institute.

Like Tavli, I suspect that the Character Training Institute is a Dominionist organization that employs stealth methods to spread its message.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBill Gothard websites: Advanced Training Institute International[ATIL] "is a Biblically centered home education program for families....Download the operational definitions of 49 character qualities in a convenient one-sheet chart"Image hosted by Photobucket.com click on image (right) for
"49 character qualities" chart
The Children's Institute "The goal of the Children’s Institute is to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6)"
In the 1970's Bill Gothard led popular seminars and confrerences on "Basic Youth Conflicts" for evangelical Christians.  His message was that all the conflicts that youth faced while growing up were related to rebelliousness against higher authority.  He counselled youth to blindly obey those above them in a hierarchichally ordered, divinely ordained chain of command.

In those days Gothard was focused on the family, not politics.  At the apex of his chain of command was the pastor, under him (definitely a him) was the father, then the mother, then other goldly adults in positions of authority over young people.  He was famous for describing children as being "diamonds in the rough" that God was chiselling to perfection by the blows of flawed and sometimes abusive parents.

[ home schooled ] "Speaker Robert Greenlaw is among the pioneers of Character First! Education. He continues to write large portions of the elementary curriculum and travels the world to train teachers, parents, and mentors how to use the program effectively." [ source: Character First! website ]

Image hosted by Photobucket.comimage caption, from BillGothard.com "Taiwanese students listen attentively to Robert [Greenlaw] and Rebekah [Greenlaw]."

Gothard was also noted for publishing books and materials on Christian character called "Character Sketches" which were derived from his interpretations of Biblical personalities, proverbs, and stories.  He associated character traits with animals and then had a very talented artist draw sketches of the animals that illustrated his character traits.

In the 1980's Gothard left the evangelical seminar circuit, repackaged his character sketches -- removing the biblical references and citations -- and began selling his "secularized" materials to businesses, government agencies, and schools as "character training" materials.

I suspect that a lot of what Gothard is doing is just making money repackaging old ideas.  His organization is also developing contacts with key civic leaders in America and around the world.  I also suspect that elements of the "Shepherding" movement's accountability system are either being woven into the materials or are being privately encouraged for those who undergo their training.




Display:
Here's a link to the information on the Character Training Institute's website about how your city can become a "Character City."

Substitute "Christian" for "character" and you'll have a list of cities in which some key Christian leaders are being trained on how to exercise dominion.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:59:57 AM EST

I was going to say that "Character" is one of the Christian Right's 'code words' for people who possess a particular set of religious and moral beliefs which coincidentally are exactly those of the Christian Right.

I remember when 'character' meant 'eccentric'. I miss those days...

by Lorie Johnson on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:57:08 AM EST
Parent

Yes indeed, "character" is a dominionist code-word for "someone who practices dominionist-friendly theology and lawmaking"; someone "with character" is basically someone who toes the dominionist party line.

I've also in my other reply pointed to extensive evidence of spiritual abuse (both in the religious and secular programs) promoted by these folks.

by dogemperor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:37:01 PM EST
Parent

yoga poses. Thanks for this very useful info you have provided us. I will bookmark this for future reference and refer it to my friends. More power to your blog

by roneybhatt on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 06:12:12 AM EST
Parent



Just came across this link tonight. Looks like Cincinnati has bought into character building. Pretty frightening when you see the list of "supporters."

by Psyche on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:01:34 PM EST
Parent


...if shepherding and other spiritually abusive and coercive practices aren't being woven in this, I'll eat my hat.  Seriously.

The whole thing smacks of classic "stealth evangelism" by dominionist groups--including the suckering-in of normally progressive groups that would run screaming in the other direction if they knew fully what they were supporting.

One example I've seen that is very similar to what Gothard is doing is how the Ezzos ("childrearing experts" popular in the dominionist community who have supported blatantly abusive techniques of childrearing that have caused infants to require hospitalisation) market the same book to two different communities--"Babywise" (with most religious commentary stripped) and "Growing Kid's God's Way" (with religious commentary intact).

This page has a good expose of both the abusive tactics promoted and how they are "co-promoted" in secular and dominionist communities.

Gothard himself is connected to both coercive and spiritually abusive tactics in general and specifically religiously-motivated child abuse.  A large number of articles detail specifically abusive practices documented in Gothard's groups:

http://www.batteredsheep.com/gothard.html (documentation of abusive practices in a book, also notes that Gothard has attempted SLAPP lawsuits against book's author)

http://www.nospank.net/fortune.htm (notes in regards to religiously motivated child abuse that Gothard promotes "woman must submit to man as man submits to God" ideology often promoted in dominionist groups; Promise Keepers (a group which is regarded increasingly as coercive due to its use of shepherding) has also promoted similar ideology)

http://billgotharddiscussion.com (homepage for a Yahoogroups list for discussion pro and con of Gothard; notes nearly all front groups used, as well as major criticisms; gives indication Gothard may be connected to coercive word-faith or "third wave" movements ("rhemas"--revelations above and beyond the Bible--are often promoted in pentecostal dominionist groups into word-faith and "third wave" teachings) and also notes Gothard's promotion of coercive "deliverance ministry" teachings that claim all diseases are result of demonic infestation, also pointing to word-faith beliefs)

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=659247
(A series of investigative reports from WISH-TV in Indianapolis details regarding abuse at a Gothard-operated center for "troubled youth", which was apparently receiving state funding)

http://members.tripod.com/ronhenzel/GothardZone/08-BG2BG/index.html (a somewhat irreverent look at the controversies regarding Gothard; of note, one major influence was Watchman Nee, who invented the coercive shepherding movement used in dominionist "cell churches" and who is regarded as a major influence in multiple spiritually abusive movements; also notes possible promotion of dominion theology; notes Gothard explicitly has promoted coercive shepherding tactics)

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/gothard/general.htm
(notes how Gothard is explicitly dominionist and "Christian Nationalist", involvement in dominionist movements including "Latter Rain" (one of the two main theologies, along with word-faith theology, that formed the basis of dominion theology in pentecostal circles and ultimately the "Brownsville" aka Third Wave movement); notes again promotion of deliverance ministry and "third wave"-esque theology (claiming that trolls and Cabbage Patch Kids dolls prevented a woman from being able to conceive, claiming the toys were demonised); notes heavy emphasis on "spiritual warfare" theology promoted in dominionist circles)

http://www.pfo.org/bgothard.htm (again notes emphasis on "deliverance ministry", again notes Gothard's peculiar idea that Cabbage Patch Kids are possessed by the devil (which actually WAS being promoted heavily in pente churches into "deliverance ministry" back in the 80's-90's), promotes the particular flavour of dominionism that the "saved" and Israel are "God's chosen nations" and that the US must be converted to a theocracy to "secure God's blessing" and to "claim dominion of this land and drive the devil out" (the common rationalisation for dominionism in pentecostal pre-millenial dispensationalist churches); claims even "Christian rock" is Satanic because it "causes children to dishonour their parents")

http://www.pfo.org/evol-fad.htm (further evaluation of Gothard, including claims that Cabbage Patch Dolls were "idolatrous" because of the "adoption contract" one had with them and even claiming that all dolls were potentially idolatrous; notes Gothard is promoter of "Generational Curses" theory popular in "Third Wave" circles (the idea that demons can harass families over multiple generations due to sins of ancestors) as well as coercive deliverance-ministry theology, going so far as to claim problems with adopted children are the result of generational curses;  again notes promotion of shepherding and coercive family structures; legalism extends to specific dictation of how services in churches are to be performed and how often and what times people are supposed to have intercourse (!))

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/i13.html (Apologetics Index expose of Bill Gothard's "secular" programs, including indications that the same coercive tactics promoted in the religious-oriented material are being promoted in the secularised ones and that the materials are being promoted in schools via "stealth evangelism")

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/journals/bill_gothard.htm (a documentation of a typical "religious" Gothard seminar, wherein the people who attended note there are serious problems with Gothard's tactics--of note, this is coming from an Evangelical group itself)

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/journals/mystical_approach.htm (notes promotion of dominion theology as practiced in word-faith churches--including "deliverance ministry" and the concept of "generational curses", and also promotes dominionist ideas regarding birth control (that it is a sin, and "God will provide" even if childbirth is medically contraindicated)--this time from a walkaway from a Bible-based cult who worked for the (old, pre-Scientology-hijacking) Cult Awareness Network))

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/journals/gothard.html (notes explicitly not only the promotion of coercive tactics but that Gothard is a "Christian Nationalist"

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/02-OnlineReference/04-Etc/01-TheJournal/Volume3/No4-Bi llGothardsEvangelicalTalmudPt1.html
http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/02-OnlineReference/04-Etc/01-TheJournal/Volume3/No5-Bi llGothardsEvangelicalTalmudPt2.html
http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/02-OnlineReference/04-Etc/01-TheJournal/Volume4/No3-Bi llGothardsEvangelicalTalmudPt3.html
(investigation of Gothard and his group by religious countercult organisation, wherein the same major problems documented in other articles including promotion of coercive tactics and spiritual abuse are documented)

http://members.aol.com/excognito/gothard1.html (evaluation by a walkaway-turned-activist of Gothard's actions, notes heavy emphasis on shepherding and "submission" whilst group promotes itself as elect)

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/02-OnlineReference/02-UnorthodoxyGuide/105-IKnowSometh ing/Gothard-IBLP/
(extensive coverage of Gothard and promotion of coercive tactics by a Christian group opposed to promotion of spiritual abuse)

http://members.aol.com/excognito/gothard2.html (responses to above articles, including from Gothard's supporters--some of whom blatantly promote "Joel's Army" theology common in "Third Wave" and Latter Rain circles of an "end-time army")

http://www.rickross.com/groups/gothard.html (Rick Ross Institute's extensive research archive on Bill Gothard's activity, including the "Character First" promotions; includes a mirror of the Silja Talvi article)

http://home.datawest.net/esn-recovery/artcls/transit.htm (Notes links between Gothard and owner of Hobby Lobby (who has been documented as funding dominionism and is a dominionist himself)--all the more reason not to shop that chain)

http://www.spiritualabuse.org/experiences/upc/jeff.html (statement from a UPC and AoG walkaway--notes how Bill Gothard's coercive tactics have been embraced by the Assemblies of God; not surprising, as many of the tactics promoted are identical to spiritually abusive tactics promoted by word-faith and especially "Third Wave" teachers in AoG churches including Paul Yonggi Cho)

http://www.lyingspirits.com/ (site fighting promotion of "Theophostic Counseling" aka "Christian Counseling"--an "alternative" to "secular" psychiatry that has many practices that are extremely coercive and in fact are essentially identical to known coercive tactics in Scientology; notes Gothard's role in promotion of "theophostic counseling")

http://www.undergroundbride.com/gothard.html (aimed as warning to homeschooling mothers--notes promotion of Gothard in dominionist circles promoting "satanic panic" and deliverance ministry, as well as fact he operates homeschool curriculum which explicitly teaches the same coercive tactics he promotes in seminars)

by dogemperor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:40:58 AM EST

Again I will comment on the practices of the religious right....child abuse is another issue we should take seriously and I do agree  it is hideous and awful. Especially when supposedly spiritual people support such nonsense, in the view that psychotherapists and psychiatrists have said that it is detrimental to a child's wellbeing and mental health as well as physical health. But again you are dealing with spiritually ignorant people who do not have a correct understanding of the teachings of Christ... personally I believe they have distorted them to achieve their own agenda.. I consider my self Christian and I do not promote violence or abuse  of children in any way shape or form... Children deserve to grow up trusting adults who will not harm them or violate them. A loving  parent will not inflict pain,suffering or torture on an innocent child period... If we want our children to grow  up mentally well balanced,spiritually healthy... then again we must not endorse child rearing practices  that harm them. We live in a violent enough society as it is..we don't need to promote more of it.

by akaladystar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:21:12 PM EST
Parent
Most of the coercive aspects in dominionism are either not scriptural at all (like the ideas of shepherding, etc.) or they are based--more often than not--on "scripture twisting"...the taking of a piece of Scripture completely out of context and using it to justify their own claims (even though the actual context may hint at something else entirely!).

And yes, this includes the child abuse that occurs in those groups, too.

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:56:18 PM EST
Parent

 I totally agree with you...what they forget is that Christ always demonstated compassion and wasn't violent... he said the greatest commandment was to love one another...I hear the religious right talking  alot about God's wrath and vengence, but they forget what Christ demonstrated on the cross toward his enemies... he forgave them..in the face of horrendous abuse and torture. I personally don't attribute malice,meaness,pettiness and revenge to a loving God.. and I certainly don't think  a loving God would justify child abuse.. I personally understand what abuse does to a child, being a victim of it.... it certainly didn't mold me into a good person... I was very angry and frightened and distrusting of adults.... I had alot of personal healing to do, and had to do alot of soul searching and introspection in my life to become the person I am now.... fortunately I had the help I needed. Thomas Paine wrote , "The belief in a cruel God makes for a cruel man... I personally agree with him... and again that is not what Christ taught.... and while I support Christianity , I'm also open minded and tolerant of other religions..... I think that as the hindus have said there are many faces of God... many have universal themes.. I personally don't believe there is one absolute right way that fits all people...there are many paths and many ways to understand God..Even the bible says there are diversities in ministries,gifts and other things, but they all work in the same spirit...instead of being divisive, we should  look to the things that unify us in humanity..there will probably always be disagreement over theology...But we  have much to learn from each other.The problem with the religious right is they believe they have the exclusive right to call themselves believers,while those who don't follow their example are considered nonbelievers or even anti -christ...In other words, they are right and everyone else is wrong....They talk of executing vengence and the wrath of God, but they say little about the God of love and mercy...as I said they are a relgious cult....they do not practice the teachings of Christ. Why I say they are a cult is they are all about controlling others and dominating our culture with their religious zealotry. Throughout history we've seen the atrocities committed in the name of God and religion, the results of religious persecution.and what fanatics are capable of doing.Religious tyranny and oppression have no place in our democratic culture... as I said before , our founding fathers in their wisdom kept church and state separate for obvious reasons...to keep the church from dominating and exercising tyranny and control over our elected officials..even though they endorsed religious freedom... they wanted  to keep the powers in check from being unreasonably influenced by I suspect those who were promoting their own agenda or who would support coercive practices in the church and wanted complete power  or"dominion" over others to further their cause ....In essence I think our founding fathers wanted to avoid a religious dictatorship and wanted to promote religious tolerance to keep tyrants from ruling. They did not want the church to have unreasonable power over the state , and it needs to be kept that way.

by akaladystar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:19:45 PM EST
Parent




I'm reading the "In These Times" article, and it contains the stuff of nightmares:

Again, here is the fundamental premise: what the IBLP hopes will come of these myriad efforts on secular and religious fronts is a patriarchal, hierarchical Christian government that truly has no place for dissent, for disbelievers, or for those whose character qualities fall short of expectations. Government, from this viewpoint, is akin to the right hand of God: Nothing or no one should stand between the two entities, or question their right to rule over our lives.

"God ordained government to carry out His will in matters of justice. Rulers are to praise those who do well and punish those who do evil," reads the IBLP's Power for True Success. "Because civil authorities derive their power from God, they will be judged if they violate the Laws of God." Church leaders, fathers and husbands, and even business leaders, are given nearly the same power in this conception of a well-ordered society: "Employees are to obey employers with wholehearted service."

Totally mindless obedience. Not my cuppa, really. If I must obey an authority of any sort, I would prefer to do so mindfully, not because the excuse is 'God said so'. Upon those three words, many horrors have been launched.

by Lorie Johnson on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:49:43 PM EST

As I noted above, the guy has a long history of being involved in frank spiritual abuse (including the specific flavours of spiritual abuse most connected with dominionist movements in the US).  

Not only that, but (as I've noted as well, though probably not as well as I noted the spiritually abusive stuff) he is a pretty explicit "Christian Nationalist" dominionist (not quite a proper Christian Reconstructionist but more of the particular flavour of Christian Nationalism popular in pentecostal circles):

(from Midwest Outreach article)

Theonomians are a small, fringe group of evangelicals whose origin traces back to Reformed scholar Rousas J. Rushdoony, who insisted in his 1973 book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, that the Church should work to bring Mosaic civil laws and penalties (e.g., the death penalty for adulterers, idolaters, and sorcerers) into the law books of modern "Christian societies." Sometimes called Christian Reconstructionists, their views have spread beyond their Reformed birthplace into Pentecostal circles.

Theonomians depart from the Reformed view in that only the moral aspects of the Law apply today, and they believe that only the ceremonial aspects of the Law passed away in Christ. Thus, Gothard is not a Theonomian. However, we can say that, of all the interpretations of Matt. 5:17, this one comes the closest to his position. Like the Theonomians, Gothard believes Christ's basic meaning was to reaffirm the validity of the Law for all time.20

Nonetheless, Gothard's view goes beyond that of the Theonomians. He, too, believes that modern civil laws should be based on Scripture,21 but he also strongly promotes the ceremonial requirements of the Law for Christians today. In this, his belief comes closer to that of a group outside of evangelicalism: Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA).


(Footnotes: 20. See especially point 25, "We Despised His Law," in The Power of the Living Church: A Biblical Strategy for Courageous Pastors and Congregations, (IBLP), p.34.  (IBLP in this case is Institute for Basic Life Principles, a Gothard-operated group.)

21. Be Alert To Spiritual Danger, (IBLP, 1980), p.12.)

(In other words, in some ways, the "Christian Nationalist" faction of dominionism is more extreme than the Reconstructionists.)

(from expose of Gothard)

Gothard operates what appears to be a paramilitary-like training school for teenagers on a 2,200-acre former college campus in Big Sandy, Texas, as part of his ALERT program (Air Land Emergency Resource Team) -- purportedly for domestic missions work via the providing of disaster relief and humanitarian aid (see second paragraph of Endnote #9). Gothard states that "ALERT is an intensive program in which young men [male graduates of ATI] ages sixteen and older are trained in Biblical principles, Godly character, and practical skills. ALERT utilizes military disciplines to train young men to restore life, rather than take it, and to bring peace and encouragement to those in distress. The present program involves the following phases: (1) Discipline: in physical strength, endurance, and self-control; (2) Skills: in a wide range of vocational specialties; and (3) Emergency Services: in response to calls from cities, states, and nations." (Source: IBLP Internet web site, 8/97.) As of July, 2000, the program had 181 enrolled and 600 graduates.

Since the hyper-spiritual warfare motifs of the Latter Rain movement are beginning to take a sinister shift towards actual military, Gothard's involvement in paramilitary-like things causes us to wonder if there is a connection. Don't forget that Joel's Army has a "chosen seed" (the coming generation) to carry out its purpose on earth, which is dominion (both physical and spiritual). In this context, Christians should have some grave concerns about Gothard's activities.

Along these lines, Gothard has clearly bought into the "Christian America Myth" (ATI Wisdom Booklet 53). He believes that "Christian" conviction can be equated with Biblical faith. But, all religions offer some form of moral basis for society. Christian conviction cannot save a nation that continues to reject true faith in Jesus Christ. America flourished upon a "Biblical ethic" that has sustained it until recent years. But a Biblical ethic is not necessarily evidence of a Biblical faith.


(Yes, Gothard is one of the people responsible for active infiltration of the military by dominionists.)
g) Views spiritual warfare for the believer to include mandatory binding and rebuking of Satan and his demons, and "praying a hedge of thorns" around one's estranged spouse (see Rebuilder's Guide, pp. 115, 119-121, 124). (Gothard also teaches the concept of "ancestral" demons.) Ed Silvoso, a charismatic "spiritual warfare expert" has also appeared with Gothard at his seminars.20 A 1992 booklet, Ten Reasons for Alumni to Be Encouraged, describes a typical demon deliverance ritual then being conducted at various IBLP meetings.21

Even spiritual warfare guru Neil Anderson (author of The Bondage Breaker) appeared with Gothard at a 6/94 Homeschooling Training Seminar in Knoxville, Tennessee. Almost without exception, demonizers are eradicationists. Via their experience-centered error, the old man is "crucified, dead and gone -- extinct." Hence, it is a simple matter to substitute a demon for the indwelling old Adamic man. Cast out the demon of a specific symptom, and the individual is "delivered." (Source: Miles J. Stanford, 4/97 report, Gothardism: Charismatic & Covenant.)


(A note on this.  In the "dominion theology" promoted in pente churches in particular, part of the basic theology is that aside from those things that dominionists have marked and have "control" over, Satan runs everything.  Much of the theological basis for dominionism in the Assemblies of God and similar churches is one of "taking dominion back from Satan" and securing America's place as a "chosen nation".  In other words, dominionism in these churches,  "deliverance ministry", and "name it and claim it" are all part of the same root, so to speak.)

by dogemperor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:35:34 PM EST
Parent
I've placed the footnotes for the second post quoted from in its own section because a) I was absentminded and forgot to add them and b) the footnotes themselves are rather extensive.

Anyways:

20 Prominent Southern Baptist evangelist Mickey Bonner has also spoken for Gothard. The 8/97 Charisma said: "Although [Bonner] was Southern Baptist, he was widely accepted by charismatics because of his emphasis on spiritual gifts such as healing and deliverance." (Emphasis added.) Bonner collapsed and died 6/5/97 while preaching a sermon on humility and brokenness. He was addressing 16,000 people who had gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee for a home schooling conference sponsored by Bill Gothard. (Source: 8/15/97, Calvary Contender.)

21 "... several men were trying to cast various evil spirits out of the young man. The spirits would leave and then return. ... I (Gothard) asked him if he would like to learn what bitterness had done to his soul. He eagerly listened as I drew a chart illustrating how his bitterness had given 'ground' to Satan and how from that 'ground,' Satan had built his strongholds of false conclusions and was tormenting him with depression, fear, anger, and other destructive emotions. ... After he understood how Satan had gained areas of jurisdictional authority in his soul when he 'let the sun go down on his wrath,' he took the following three Scriptural steps. These steps appropriate the victory that Christ already won for us with His death on the cross: (1) He confessed the sin of bitterness; (2) He claimed the blood of Christ; (3) He asked God to regain 'ground' in areas of his soul given to Satan. ... he finally uttered the words, and immediately his uncontrolled trembling stopped and a peace came over him. ... I explained that immorality will also give 'ground' to Satan and that on that 'ground,' Satan will build false ideas (strongholds) from which wrong conclusions are made. He acknowledged that there had been much immorality, so we repeated the steps in order to regain surrendered 'ground.' ... Great praise went up to God for this marvelous demonstration of His power. ... the next evening as attendees heard this new material on conquering bitterness and regaining 'ground.' Throughout the remainder of the week, others who applied these steps could be heard in the hallways exclaiming, 'I'm free! I'm free!' ...

"From his strongholds, Satan's tormentors invade other areas of the soul with unexplainable fears, mental confusion, deep depression, and uncontrollable anger or lust. No matter how these teenagers try to battle these destructive emotions, they find little success ... 'Bill Gothard told me that because I had received and accepted these thoughts over the years, Satan had taken a lot of "ground" in my soul. He asked me if I would like to pray and ask the Lord to take back the "ground" I had given to Satan. ... As soon as I said the words, my shaking stopped. I just felt relaxed, and I could see clearly. ... I felt a complete freedom! ... To this day, I have not dwelt on or considered suicide again. I am completely free from the hold Satan had on my life.' ... Any bitterness, greed, or guilt will darken your eyes and give Satan jurisdiction in your soul. ... A booklet describing this vital truth is available for you to order." (Emphasis added.) (Source: Ten Reasons for Alumni to Be Encouraged.)

The second note in particular gives an idea as to the kind of "deliverance ministry" stuff promoted by Gothard--and his stuff, by extension, being promoted in AoG and Southern Baptist churches.

by dogemperor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:43:54 PM EST
Parent

Frankly, I had no idea that there was so much information about Gothard available on the internet.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:21:56 PM EST
Parent



 I remember  a tv program where Bradshaw was commenting about blind obedience to authority figures, and he was talking about how german children were raised in these authoritarian ( if that term is correct)homes and where blind submission and obedience were the aspect of child rearing.He said because of the german culture at the time and the way children were raised, it helped Hitler's rise to power. Blind obedience to any authoritarian figure, gives that person a heckuva alot of power to control others... think of how abusive that kind of power can be. Cults are renowned to use that kind of coercive power over their followers..(Jim Jones for example) Think for a moment if you were to follow some charismatic leader who demanded blind obedience to his rule...and he told you to do things that were not necessarily in your best interest to do... suppose he told you to kill someone or yourself, would you blindly follow that?That kind of power over others is dangerous....We all hear of controlling husbands beating their wives into submission... is that healthy? Of course not. Dictaorships have absolute power over their subjects and we've heard the stories of how Hitler, Stalin,Sadaam Hussein have abused that power and tortured and killed many people... Now is that reasonable? I'm sure many parents have beaten and even abused their children for not "obeying" them... or  for not being submissive enough....even though the parent was being unreasonable.. Again I cite another biblical verse, "do not become the slaves of men...." When respect for authority is due it should be given... but blind allegence to any authority figure , especially those who would unreasonably rule over our lives is foolish and even hazardous.

by akaladystar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:18:51 PM EST
Parent
I'd like to also add to my previous comments that I'm not advocating children be disrespectful or defiant of their parents... But I've seen parents who blatantly abuse their authority over their children, I know of one man for example, who forced his 15 year old son to drink eleven beers, even though that could of caused alcohol poisoning and was certainly detrimental to the child...he also forced his sons to watch pornography... and even took them to prostitutes as a lesson on sexuality...As a parent I certainly want my child to obey me  for example,when I tell him not to run out in the street.... but my interest is in his wellbeing, I certainly don't want him to be hit by a car... and as a society there are certain rules we need to observe and respect, for example, not running a red stop light... those rules serve for the greater good..and public safety...   but  blind obedience to any authority figure would be unreasonable, especially if that authority wields unreasonable power over us and abuses that power, and if that power acts against our self interest, preservation, and welfare.

by akaladystar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:05:26 PM EST
Parent
Also interesting to note is ,Christ was not a weak or submissive  personality, he openly challenged the views  and thinking of the religious leaders of his day(The pharisees) many times about the sabbath, their practices, and their so called worship of God...often calling them hypocritical....he evn instructed his disciples to beware of the "leaven"(teachings) of the pharisees.

by akaladystar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:38:11 PM EST
Parent



absolutely true....well we've seen  how absolute power corrupts... Cults often have this power over their followers...as in the case of Jim Jones and David Koresh...Jim Jones for example had his followers commit suicide...

by akaladystar on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 01:39:27 PM EST
Parent


[ATIL] "is a Biblically centered home education program for families....

Just as homeschooling is not synonymous with cloistered (in the socialization non-controversy about homeschooled kids), so too is homeschooling not synonymous with "Biblically-centered."

Yes, religiously-minded parents homeschool.
No, not all homeschooling parents do it for religious reasons, nor for abusive-control reasons.

That any couple or parent can choose homeschooling opens it to all manner of folk, just like bowling, gardening, and driving automobiles.

In reference to the "chiseling" of children, I have a collection of links at my page titled, "We're Against Beating Our Children With Sticks."  I specifically named it that after finding out about the ads for a "rod" -- with a cushioned grip, no less.  (one of the "rod's" distributors stopped production because the cushioned grip was no longer available)

Even though my site isn't religious in nature, some of the links at my site are from Christians.  Concern for the well-being of children isn't restricted to one group.
http://home.kc.rr.com/milhmschlhq/controversial_topics_discipline.htm

[I just fixed a couple of dead links that will appear only after my next update.  
Gentle Christian Mothers is now at:
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/
Project NoSpank is at:
http://www.nospank.net/main.htm ]

by ValerieM on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:04:16 PM EST

Incidentially, Valerie, welcome to the list (I've actually used your materials a good deal to show people how dominionist groups actively promote abuse in "Biblical childrearing" programs in reports I've written on Dark Christianity).

And no, homeschooling does not equal dominionism (despite attempts of groups like HSLDA and exclusive dominionist groups to restrict--by law in some cases--the definition of homeschooling to dominionist correspondence-school programs in order to lock out "unschooling" and inclusive programs).

by dogemperor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:39:48 PM EST
Parent

Who reared and homeschooled a whole pack of the most wonderful kids - 7 in all. She's a minister's daughter, but does she self-identify as a Christian ? I don't know, I never thought to ask. It didn't seem relevant. She certainly is not a Dominionist.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:43:21 PM EST
Parent



Okay, I think it is important not to turn this particular abuse of the concept of "character" to be a rejection of the importance of character.

Our entire criticism of these people is that the poor character of those who engage in this type of behavior. They are arrogant and  deceptive with no regard for truth.

More importantly, they are intellectually lazyness. ("Intellectually reckless" would be more accurate.) Their idea of good character is a nation of dumb and obedient sheep.

Preventing this is very much an issue of promoting good character traits -- traits that include intellectual discipline where conclusions are carefully evaluated in the face of available evidence.

Bad things do happen when these traits are not developed.

We can attribute our involvement in the Iraq war to this type of intellectual backwardness -- the inability of people in this administration to reach conclusions based on a careful study of the evidence.

So, let us not turn this into a battle against "character". Let us recognize that good character is important, and what these people are teaching is quite the opposite of good character.
Alonzo Fyfe

The Atheist Ethicist
by Alonzo Fyfe on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 12:49:48 PM EST

I have been told more than once that I am a real 'character'- that my combination of eccentricity, intelligence, and humor keeps them on their toes, simply because they have no idea what I might say or do next.

But, for me, the glue that holds all of that together is an inner integrity gained from the University of Hard Knocks. Lack that, and I would become a boring old crackpot.

"Character" isn't a dirty word, but we must do what we can to keep the concept from being hijacked by those who would twist it into something unpleasant.

by Lorie Johnson on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 02:17:04 PM EST
Parent



"CHICAGO -- Responding to concerns from students, the Chicago Board of Education is investigating two assemblies held Wednesday at Lane Technical High School.

A senior at the high school contacted School Board lawyers concerning the 50-minute "character education" seminars presented by a group called the Seven Project, which The Chicago Sun-Times identified as a ministry of the Assemblies of God, an evangelical Christian denomination.

George Soto, 18, called School Board lawyers earlier this week after teachers announced that on Wednesday morning, two 50-minute, school-wide assemblies would be held featuring presentations by the Seven Project, a ministry of the Assemblies of God, an evangelical Christian denomination.

Soto and four other students sat out the assemblies in the prinicpal's office, the published report said.

"We had some concerns about separation between church and state, and we don't like these kinds of assemblies being pushed on us," Soto said. "I'm a Roman Catholic, and I believe in Christ, but I think it's something that should stay outside of school."

Lawyers responding to Soto's concerns contacted Lane Tech's principal, Keith Foley, warning him that the assemblies should be canceled if there were any religious content involved in the presentations, according to a public school spokesman, Eric Cunningham.

Cunningham said that an e-mail to that effect was sent to Foley. The message also suggested that the students be given an option about attending the assemblies, according to the published report.

The Sun-Times said that Foley insisted that there was no religious content in the Seven Project's assemblies, which nearly all of the school's 4,300 students attended."....



by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:06:49 AM EST
Are heavily promoting, it seems, "Character Education" :

"...Paul Kirschbaum, originally from Monroeville A/G, has been ministering to young people in the Detroit and West Palm Beach area for the past fifteen years, having the opportunity to speak to thousands of young people in the public high schools across America. Paul is now investing his efforts in developing the Youth Alive program here in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He is raising up campus missionaries throughout the district and equipping them to reach their schools for
Christ and also developing an ongoing school assembly program, called The Seven Project. The Seven Project has been drawing thousands of students back to the night rallies where they have heard a clear-cut presentation of the gospel. This is truly a revolutionary approach to Campus Ministries and the revolution is here in the Penn-Del District!"


by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:31:03 AM EST
Parent
Fully one third to one half of the identified of the known front groups of the Assemblies of God target youth or children, very often under the guise of "character education" programs.  (And thanks for letting me know of one that isn't on my list!)

Gothard's books themselves, as well as Gothard as a speaker, are also heavily promoted in the AoG (in fact, as I've noted, he is essentially promoting "dominion theology" as taught in the AoG, complete with the heavy emphasis on "spiritual warfare", exorcisms on everything, generational curses, "name it and claim it", etc.).

by dogemperor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:27:25 AM EST
Parent



The "Seven Project" (which, as it turns out, was on my all too informal list of AOG front groups after all) is a campaign the Assemblies have had going for some time--specifically as stealth evangelism targeted at youth.  

In typical fashion for Assemblies of God front groups (of which there are at least forty), the group does not put any obvious links on its website that it is in fact an AoG ministry--one has to go to the Assemblies' own website to determine that, yes indeed, "Seven Project" is part of the multiheaded hydra of Assemblies of God "ministries" (very few of which reveal anywhere on their site that they are in fact affiliated with the Assemblies of God--this even includes Convoy of Hope, the disaster charities front).  In fact, the only material on the "Seven Project" website that even hints at the group being an AoG-affiliated group at all is their privacy statement and contact page--and even then, one would not necessarily link it with the Assemblies of God unless you knew that http://www.ag.org is the AoG's homepage and that the address given is part of the Assemblies of God's headquarters complex in Springfield, Missouri.  (Yes, this is TYPICAL for Assemblies of God-affiliated groups.)

In yet further attempts at obfuscation (which are--again--the general rule for Assemblies of God-related "ministries"--which generally work more as front groups than as genuine ministries per se) adult leaders are directed to a completely different domain which--distressingly--shows promotion of the program in multiple public schools, most of whom are likely unaware they are allowing a blatantly sectarian and dominionist group (in fact, the very group that invented dominion theology) on their campus.

Again, literally the only ties on the website that show this is an Assemblies of God group are the contact info pages--and that's only if you know that a) Youth Alive is yet another front group of the Assemblies of God and b) that the AoG's headquarters are in Springfield, Missouri.  

Youth Alive is itself an AoG "youth ministry" that actively tries to promote other forms of "stealth evangelism"--including training of youth how to prosyletise to other students, promotion of "Seven Project", and efforts to get dominionist-operated "Bible clubs" in schools.  They are only slightly more open about their Assemblies of God connections; the contact page shows an address at the ag.org domain and a physical address at the AoG's headquarters in Missouri, and also has a link at the bottom of the page to "National Youth Ministries"--which leads to the master page for the Assemblies of God's "youth evangelism" page where it is revealed that "Seven Project" is, indeed, an AoG front.

by dogemperor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:54:36 AM EST
Parent

Just went to the Seven Project website to find out more and I copy below what they had about what the Seven Project was. Strange stuff! They did have a link to a testimony that talked about Jesus and God but there is no Jesus on their "reality" statement.

Free stuff. You gotta love free stuff.

Power. You gotta love power. Well, who doesn't?

Free stuff, power...what do they have in common? SEVEN. What does that mean? SEVEN gives you power...and it's free (this is so not complicated...) Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. The big goose egg. That's the price tag. How can SEVEN give you free power? Keep reading.

SEVEN is about YOU. Pretty simple. How is it about YOU? SEVEN is your platform. It's your ACCESS; your EXPRESSION; your ENTERTAINMENT; your INTERACTION. SEVEN is your COMMUNITY.

It's your world--you live it, breathe it. Your world is whatever is REAL to you. SEVEN is your chance to tell other people about it.

Here's the POWER part:
SEVEN's mission is up to you. YOU decide it. What will SEVEN be? What will SEVEN say? What will SEVEN look like? What will SEVEN feel like? It's all up to YOU.

SEVEN is FOR students, BY students. It is a student community. It is a student world. It is a student reality. It is a student lifestyle. It becomes what you think, how you feel, who you are. SEVEN is YOU.

Here's the FREE part:
SEVEN is FREE (profound, huh?). It is a no-cost, free-of-charge way for YOU to share YOU with the rest of the world.

Why is that important? When you express yourself, people learn more about your world, your reality, and-this is the heavy part-YOU learn more about THEM.

So what is SEVEN? It's free stuff, it's power, and it's whatever you want it to be. SEVEN is YOU.



by Carlos on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:55:55 AM EST
Parent
This is actually a classic "stealth evangelism" technique--they even explicitly teach people not to even mention God or Jesus at first to "sucker them in".  (And yes, that is the whole purpose of the "Seven Project"--recruiting future AoG members.)

by dogemperor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:56:43 PM EST
Parent
SEVEN is about YOU. Pretty simple. How is it about YOU? SEVEN is your platform. It's your ACCESS; your EXPRESSION; your ENTERTAINMENT; your INTERACTION. SEVEN is your COMMUNITY.

It's your world--you live it, breathe it. Your world is whatever is REAL to you. SEVEN is your chance to tell other people about it.


Seven is a diet cola, a breath mint, a megaphone, a hookup, a community.

Seven does it all.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:34:41 PM EST
Parent

"Seven--it slices, it dices, it jullienes!  Order now and get the free meatgrinder attachment!"

*ahem* Seriously, though, it shows you the coercive mindset that is actively promoted in the "Seven Project" (and, really, throughout the Assemblies).  In fact, the statements above would probably trigger some major warning bells among exit counselors.  According to a list from Dr. Margaret Singer's classic Cults In Our Midst (which is unfortunately in table format, otherwise I'd post it here) the "Seven Project" would fit almost all the characteristics of a thought-reform group--what is, to be blunt, generally what is termed as a cult:

Focus of body of knowledge: Body of knowledge centers on changing people without their knowledge.

("Seven Project" has their website set up that there is very little to show it is in fact a youth evangelism group--much less a "stealth evangelism" outreach of the Assemblies of God's Youth Ministries wing.  Teens unaware of "Seven Project" or the folks running it could be easily sucked in--which is the whole intent.)

Direction & degree of exchange: No exchange occurs, communication is one-sided.

(There is quite literally almost nothing on the website to let you know what "Seven Project" is about and just about the only way you can find out is to join as a member.)

Ability to change: Change occurs rarely; organization remains fairly rigid; change occurs primarily to improve thought reform effectiveness.

(With "Seven Project" it's hard to tell, as the group is relatively new.  It is part of a pattern of "stealth evangelism" of various sorts that the Assemblies of God has practiced for well over fifty years, however, the major changes being in the number of groups and the tactics of "stealth evangelism" (hiding links to the AoG, or that the group is even a "Christian" group at all, until one is well and truly hooked in).  In fact, this has occasionally involved targeting of other churches.)

Structure of persuasion: Takes authoritarian & hierarchical stance; no full awareness on part of learner.

(This is screamingly obvious hitting "Seven Project"'s website.  You are given almost no info on the group at all (not that it is an evangelical group, not that it is a youth ministry of the Assemblies of God, not even that it claims nominally Christian theology with major doses of scripture-twisting) until you have already joined.  The tactics used to sell are in some ways even more subtle than with other coercive religious groups, and are reminiscent of the "psychological tests" used in Scientology "churches" in attempts to recruit members.)

Type of relationship: Group attempts to retain people forever.

(This is more obvious with, say, people once they're in.  In fact, in a lot of AoG churches, it is expressly preached that walking away is "blaspheming the Holy Ghost"; it would not be surprising to see both this and an incredible amount of peer pressure brought on youth to stay in the group.)

Deceptiveness: Is deceptive.

(Quite obvious from the website.  "Seven" is promoted on the pages as being just about everything from a Source of Power to a cure for acne, but you're never told just exactly what the heck "Seven" is.  You have to actually join up to find out.)

Breadth of learning: Individualized target; hidden agenda (you will be changed one step at a time to become deployable to serve leaders).

(Again, very true.  People are introduced in steps as they are recruited.  There are actually various guides given out to the instructors, but even here, the group is highly deceptive in claiming there is no religious content.  Generally only the actual project members (youth and adults) are given the full information, and usually not even at the start.)

Tolerance: No respect for differences.

(Again, quite apparent--"Seven" is quite literally marketed as a be-all, end-all, and once one is in one may quickly discover that, for instance, Catholicism is not welcomed.  Alcohol use is condemned even though it is a socially accepted part of many cultures, even in the US (the Assemblies of God are officially teetotaler and even substitute grape juice for wine during the rare times communion is held), as one example.)

Methods: Improper and unethical techniques.

(Blatantly obvious.  Kids are recruited in with literally almost no information on the actual goals of the group; even public school systems have allowed "Seven Project" in being completely unaware that it is a youth missions project of the Assemblies of God whose whole purpose is "stealth evangelism" to youth.  (This is done because they know damned well no public school system would let them in otherwise.)  School systems are even explicitly lied to in claims that there is no religious content.)

What "Seven Project" doesn't tell you:

SEVEN is your platform. It's your ACCESS (to the wonderful world of dominionism and spiritual abuse, that is; you'll be encouraged to join groups like "Youth With A Mission" which are so blatantly cultic that practically every exit counseling group warns about them)

your EXPRESSION (as long as it's in a manner that is acceptable to the group leaders, that is; being extremely obnoxious "for Jesus" is perfectly okay and even encouraged, we'd be glad to see you at the next "See You At The Pole" event (don't forget to write down all the names of people you want to become fellow "Seven" members so we can nail them on crosses and pray for them to be miserable till they convert!), but expressing doubts is a sign the "Devil is working in your life")

your ENTERTAINMENT (throw out all your secular music, your Harry Potter books, your anime, and burn them; from now on, you'll only want to listen to "Christian" artists, read "Christian" books and listen to "Christian" radio and TV programs, otherwise you could "open doorways for Satan in your life" and Really, Really Bad Things Could Happen)

your INTERACTION (you will be expected to only associate with fellow "Saved" people (aka fellow pentes and charismatics); associating with people outside, unless it's to convert them, can "open doorways to Satan" and lead to Bad Things like acne and pregnancy and AIDS and eternal damnation--we'll even tell you where to get "Christian Yellow Pages" directories so you don't have to associate with non-pentecostal pagans)

SEVEN is your COMMUNITY. (Because you're not going to have anything outside of it.  You do want to be pulling your weight as a member of Joel's Army, don't you?  Remember, doubts lead to backsliding, and every time you backslide you're riding with Satan, kiddies!)

(Yes, in case you couldn't tell, I happen to be a bit of a walkaway from the Assemblies of God.  I'm, sadly, all too familiar with the actual theology as taught...hence why I can note pretty much what they really mean.)

by dogemperor on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 12:21:55 AM EST
Parent








WWW Talk To Action


Houston Mayor Ignites Fervor of Religious Right
The best take on Houston Mayor Annise Parker vs. the churches in her city is the story written by Marv Knox in the Baptist......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Four Stories
LGBTQ Nation   In my first bi-weekly column on religious liberty, I discuss how  "Religious liberty is a progressive and liberatory value, over which......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Christian Right Voter Mobilization -- The Season Finale
One of the secrets of the success of the Christian Right over the years has been that opponents have taken the movement with insufficient......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Sins Of Omission: When Religious Right Leaders Speak, The Whole Truth Is Often Left Behind
When an individual doesn't feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation
Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has long been a symbol of the ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
"The $1-Billion-a-Year [Religious] Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of"
In honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily......
By Bruce Wilson (5 comments)
(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past
The Religious Right's annual "Values Voter Summit" (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there.......
By Rob Boston (7 comments)
The Christian Right's Voter Mobilization Strategy for 2014
My latest post at Political Research Associates is about how this weekend's Values Voter Summit fits into the Christian Right's wider electoral strategy for......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
NYT's David Brooks to Speak at Antigay Luncheon of Billionaires Who Fund Racist Preacher
Recently, government-encouraged outbreaks of mob violence against LGBT persons in countries from Uganda to Russia, and draconian new anti-gay legislation in those countries too,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
D'Souza's Downfall: Religious Right Favorite Sentenced For Campaign Donation Violations
Yesterday conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza was sentenced to five years of probation and a term of community service for violating federal campaign laws. He......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
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......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
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......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)

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)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else © 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.