Annointing Senators' Seats in the Name of 'Higher Law'
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Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:35:19 AM EST
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A group of three ministers who have a history of advocating that the Ten Commandments should trump the U.S. Constitution have told the Wall Street Journal that they entered an unlocked Senate hearing room  in order to anoint with oil the chairs that will be used for the confirmation hearing next week of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito.

"We did adequately apply oil to all the seats," said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington. He was accompanied by Rev. Pat Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, and Grace Nwachukwu, general manager of a group called Faith and Action, of which Rev. Schenck is president and co-founder. Rev. Schenck, Rev. Mahoney, and Rev. Nwachukwu spearhead the National Ten Commandments Project, launched in 1996, and claim to have distributed more than 400 plaques of various sizes that can be seen in offices throughout the Capital.
Rev. Schenck was trained at the Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. Along with fellow Elim alum Randall Terry, Schenck helped found the underground Operation Rescue, which has invoked "higher law" to justify not only peaceful civil disobedience, but also bloody revolution with "real bullets" and "real blood." Schenck later founded the National Community Church, a charismatic Pentecostal congregation in Washington, D.C., whose members included the then-junior Senator from Missouri (and future U.S. Attorney General) John Ashcroft, along with Ashcroft's family and several congressional staffers.

Rev. Schenck and Rev. Mahoney have both rallied support for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's placement of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court Building -- a move which violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

"Governor James and Judge Moore affirm the best ideals of America," said Rev. Mahoney. And his Christian Defense Coalition issued a statement: "Chief Justice Roy Moore has shown great courage in refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from the Alabama State Supreme Court. It is essential that we support him in this historic struggle for religious freedom and justice. In light of this, national Christian leaders are calling for the church to honor God, obey His Word, resist tyranny and stand with Judge Moore. Please commit to this powerful move of the Holy Spirit as we come together to repent, pray, seek God and cry out for the Ten Commandments not to be removed. We also hope that our Christ-centered response to the Ten Commandments, here in Montgomery, will ignite a spiritual awakening that will sweep across our nation."

Moore has claimed that biblical law undergirds all of American law. "In this case, we don't beat around the bush," he said. "We don't say the Ten Commandments are there just as an historical document. We say the Ten Commandments [are there] acknowledging the moral foundation of our law -- and to do that you've got to acknowledge the God of the holy scriptures from which that moral law comes."

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit unanimously ruled against Moore for using the power of his office to turn the Alabama State judicial building into a forum for proselytizing his sectarian religious views. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant Moore's request for a review of the appellate court's decision, which had found that Moore's monumental error had violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its principle of separation of church and state. So for now, at least, the Constitution still trumps theocrats' notion of the Ten Commandments as "higher law."

What do these avowed theocrats hope to accomplish by "consecrating" the seats and doors of the Senate hearing room? Do they expect a different kind of Supreme Court from the one that refused to hear former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's appeal in the Ten Commandments case? And if so, are they basing their blessing of Judge Alito on wishful thinking or on something else?




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For more on the Ten Commandments Project, and what it hopes to accomplish, visit the Faith and Action website. A description of the project includes a partial list of the recipients of Ten Commandments plaques, such as Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Dan Coats, Richard C. Shelby, Orrin G. Hatch (a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee), and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has been indicted for money laundering, thus allegedly running afoul of the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." Or maybe the money-loving Hammer's sin was rooted instead in the command, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."


by jhutson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 11:18:32 AM EST

I'd ask for a new chair.... :)

I wouldn't want to ruin my clothes by getting them oily...  ;>

-Emily
emilywynn.blogspot.com


by EmilyWynn8 on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 12:43:55 PM EST


There they go again with the Wesson wars...

I was taught that the use of anointing oils was reserved for sacred occasions- like baptism, confirmation, receiving holy orders, and similar things. The oil was prepared with a specific recipe, stored in a specific manner, and used for specific things by specific people. In the Bible, the holy oils were created to an expensive and exacting recipe dictated directly by God, and only used for specific and exacting purposes. To do otherwise was to be cut off from the people.

But apparently, something got lost in the translation, because there are folks who think it's perfectly OK to use ordinary cooking oil from the local grocery store, load it into a Super Soaker (like some college students did to consecrate their campus) and smear it on everything, and everyone.

If anything, this is an insult to the God of the Bible, as well as an insult to the chairs and the clothing of the poor people who have to sit in them.

Shame be upon them.

by Lorie Johnson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 01:01:23 PM EST

Yes, you are correct, Lorie! Fifty points for the House of Griffindor.

Ye Olde Holy Oil Original Recipe is given in Exodus 30:23-33:
"Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 500 shekels of cassia--all according to the sanctuary shekel--and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. Say to the Israelites, 'This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. Do not pour it on men's bodies and do not make any oil with the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from his people.' "
Now 500 shekels weighs about 12 1/2 pounds; and a hin of olive oil is about four quarts. If you start with an olive oil base, four quarts, and then mix in 12 1/2 pounds of liquid myrrh, 6 1/4 pounds of cinnamon, 6 1/4 pounds of sugar cane, and 12 1/2 pounds of cassia (an aromatic bark similar to cinnamon), then what you would produce is a fragrantly perfumed oil, almost a syrrup.

Now, if the ministers who claim to have consecrated the Senate hearing room used Ye Olde Holy Oil Original Recipe, then we'd like to know where they came up with the liquid myrrh and cassia. But if they cut corners by just blessing some olive oil, then they've got some explaining to do, because they claim to want the Ten Commandments and their narrow, literal interpretation of biblical law as the law of the land. And a narrow, literal reading of Ye Olde Holy Oil Original Recipe, and its proper application, seems to indicate that sloshing sacramental oil around a secular Senate hearing room is a defilement of the religious purpose of holy oil, which was to set apart items that are sacred, not secular. Oiling up a senator's seat and smearing oil on a hearing room door makes a mockery of a religious rite from ancient Israel.

by jhutson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 02:53:36 PM EST
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I don't think it was sugar cane that they used (wrong part of the world for that)- I think it was either sweet flag, Acorus Calamus (Calamus) or the now-nearly extinct wood aloe. Some say it's hemp, but it's doubtful. Rabbis have been arguing about that last bit for centuries.

If they used olive oil for their smear tactics, I'd be surprised, considering its price and distinct odor. But from what I've heard, these folks go for the Wesson, which is plain old vegetable oil.

by Lorie Johnson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 03:16:24 PM EST
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Would have cost in Biblical times, translated into 2005 US dollars.

I'd guess they'd be tens or hundreds of times more expensive than the same volume of cheap cooking oil.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 03:24:47 PM EST
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I'd be interested in costs myself, but to give an example, even at the time of the birth of Jesus frankincense and myrrh were seen as so precious as to be worth their weight in gold if not moreso (being two of the gifts given by the three wise men, for ingredients for annointing oil).

Some of the ingredients would be next to impossible to obtain nowadays, being either very rare or from protected species, but (just for funsies) here's a rough estimate of costs for actual Biblically-based annointing oil (and not the schlock AoG preachers promote as "annointing oil" for their spiritual territorial peeing):

500 shekels myrrh (12.5lb):

Biblical costs: 11-16 denarii per lb, 137.5 denarii total, per this page; per this site average daily wage was 20-40 denarii for most people; based on modern cost of living probably close to $140 if not more

Modern costs: per this site selling myrrh oil for $116.50 per 1 floz sufficient myrrh oil would be...$3300.  Ouch.  Cheaper source found online is a bit better; myrrh tincture is $26 per 16 floz or $325 per 500 shekels.  Myrrh essential oil from the same retailer is closer to $130.43 per 16 floz or $1630.38 per 500 shekels.  Still ouch.  Even buying at the cheapest bulk rate it's still $2658.50 per 25lb (very ouch).

(For comparison, this source has noted how myrrh gifted to the young Jesus would be worth $4000 in modern money.)

(For even better comparison, 50lb of liquid myrrh will happily buy a Kia Rio. O_o  25lb will buy a VERY nice Alienware gaming PC. O_o)

250 shekels cinnamon (6.25lb):

Biblical pricing: per this source, approximately 300 denarii per lb was going rate for cinnamon, total cost 1875 denarii (ouch)(again, keep in mind, average wages daily were 20-40 denarii). Probably close to $2000 in modern money.

Modern pricing: Liberty National Herbs cinnamon quills for aromatherapy use are (at cheapest bulk rate) $17.21 per 250 shekels, or (if one buys the next largest bulk shipment) $25.50 for 10lb.  (Here we benefit from modern pricing!)

500 shekels cassia (12.5lb):

Biblical pricing: per this source, cassia was approximately 125 denarii per lb, being 1562 denarii (and change).  Figure about $1600 modern costs.

Modern pricing: I was unable to find a source of cassia herb, but cassia essential oil at this site sells for approximately $19.66 per 16 floz or $245.75 per 500 shekels.  At cheapest bulk rate it's $273.75 per 25lb.

250 shekels "Sweet Cane" aka calamus:

Most Biblical scholars seem to agree that the "sweet cane" mentioned in the Biblical recipe refers to sweet calamus or sweet flag.

Biblical Cost: Unknown--I've been unable to find early pricing for calamus.

Modern Cost:  Firstly, calamus is going to be difficult to get in some cases.  Per this article, most uses of calamus were banned in the late 60's by the FDA (the only remaining legal use is in aromatherapy), and some areas regulate calamus as a psychoactive (as the plant does have hallucinogenic properties in high doses, and Native American groups have historically used it in shamanic journeys).

Calamus oil and raw calamus can be had if one knows where to look, though.  Per Liberty Natural again (which is a good source for bulk aromatherapy supplies, hence why I refer to it often) calamus essential oil is sold at $36.23 per 16 floz or $226.44 per 250 shekels.  The cheapest bulk rate is at $272.40 per 10lb.

For raw calamus root, this source has raw calamus root at $34.99 per lb and $12.99/lb for sifted calamus root; even here, the costs are still around $100-200 per 250 shekels.

Four hins olive oil (1 gal US):

Biblical cost: Per this source 1 sextarius of olive oil (the closest equivalent measure in modern times is a pint)  was approximately 40 denarii; 8 sextarii of olive oil (1 gal US) would be approximately 240 denarii.  (Figure approximately $250 US.)

Modern cost: Olive oil for use in perfume base is per  Liberty Natural approximately $40.46 per gallon.

Adding all this together:

Cost for preparation of 1 gal (4 hins) annointing oil:

Biblical costs: 3815 denarii (close to $4000 US), and this is not accounting for the cost of sweet flag.

Modern costs (using aromatherapy quality ingredients as per Biblical directions to make an aromatic oil or perfume): $3838.15.  (Way ouch.)

This gives you an idea of how expensive realistically it was to make this stuff at any rate.  (We won't even add in fees to actually render the stuff into a perfume.)

The cost of this stuff per ounce is close to
$60 per floz in cost of preparation and materials in modern terms.  One of the few places I've seen that sells potentially "authentic" annointing oil sells it at approximately $16 per floz.

Needless to say, this stuff is NOT common Wesson Oil!

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:48:08 PM EST
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Where I had noted four hins, please note that as one hin instead (one hin = one gallon US).

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:50:46 PM EST
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Could team up and submit this to Harper's Magazine or McSweeny's : Your breakdown on the cost of Biblical sacramental oil and Lorie's initial observation on those who douse entire college campuses with Wesson oil from super-soakers.

I'm quite serious.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 01:05:03 PM EST
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I can tell you from my own experience that rendering these costly ingredients into quality perfume would probably cost almost as much as the ingredients themselves. So, double the price, and add in inflation. Plus, such skills are now rare. You can go to France or Egypt to find the skilled artisans to do this- and the Hebrew people used Egyptian techniques- which are very exacting. They are still the best perfumers in the world.

Bottom line: You can anoint your 'territory', or you can buy a luxury SUV.

Which makes the Wessoneers even more insulting to the Almighty.

by Lorie Johnson on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 10:08:20 PM EST
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My clever wife is a perfumer. She has a small business making soaps and skin products based on her scents (I won't directly link to her business here, because I think that would be tacky, but if anyone is interested, write to me). She works with all kinds of oils and can probably settle any confusion about the ingredients for us. When I started to explain the problem to her, her first question was why the scent oils and the olive oil are in different units. Is one unit weight and one liquid? Is anyone conversant in this? If we can clarify the units, she can probably give us an accurate answer on the cost of annointing oil, find us the best wholesale sources, and make a reasonable bid to mix some for us.

by John McKay on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:03:28 AM EST
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Shekels are a weight unit (that are also a basis of currency--one shekel (currency) was based on a one-shekel (weight) measure of gold); hins are a volume unit of liquid measure.

The closest equivalents in US measurements would be pounds (which are also simultaneously a measure of weight and currency--a pound Sterling used to (in the Middle Ages) be equivalent to one pound of silver) and quarts; the closest Metric equivalents are kilograms and litres respectively.

My apologies for the confusion in not making this clear. :3

by dogemperor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:34:35 PM EST
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"...In the Bible, the holy oils were created to an expensive and exacting recipe dictated directly by God, and only used for specific and exacting purposes....apparently, something got lost in the translation, because there are folks who think it's perfectly OK to use ordinary cooking oil from the local grocery store, load it into a Super Soaker (like some college students did to consecrate their campus) and smear it on everything, and everyone."

That makes a very nice quote.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 01:37:38 PM EST
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From a thread on the DC community:

"We should be grateful they at least applied lube before the committee screws the people."

by Lorie Johnson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 01:48:31 PM EST
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The version of "annointing" that is generally practiced in groups into "spiritual warfare" is not the same as practiced by the old Priests of Israel.  Yes, it is a mockery of it, a sad parody, but the methodology and intent are quite different.

The original annointing (as practiced by the Priests of Israel), as I understand it, was of sacred and rare herbs in an olive-oil base that were consecrated to God and then used to consecrate people and objects to God (such as the kings of Israel).

The use of annointing-oils by the "spiritual warfare" crowd has a different intent and a different purpose--almost an entirely different theology.

Generally, the "spiritual warfare" crowd--quite unlike the priests of Israel--quite literally see annointing an object with oil (and according to their words, it can be olive oil, but if olive oil is unavailable Wesson oil will do--the important thing is the "faith" behind the wielder) as a way to "bind" or "tie" an object--to leave a physical link to "claim the object or person for Jesus".  In other words, they are using it quite literally as a form of territorial pissing (and forgive my minor crudeness in that, but the intent is EXACTLY the same as a dog peeing on a fire hydrant--marking an object or person as theirs).

One of the most common uses of "annointing with Wesson oil" is marking of literal physical territory that is claimed to be "possessed by territorial spirits" and "claiming it for Christ"; another common use is--and I do not use this term lightly--literal cursing of people in the name of Christ.

Specifically, a common method of cursing someone in the name of Christ is to annoint their personal belongings--bedding, chairs, etc.--surreptitiously, and then have prayer gangs (of two or more) pray that the person will be miserable--to the point of suicide, often--unless and until they do exactly what the group of people praying want.  (Sometimes this is to cease drinking; sometimes this is to convert to the church; in this particular case, it's to vote in a specific way.)

This particular practice seems to have actually originated in the Assemblies of God among word-faith preachers (which is where dominion theology started in that denomination) where they would annoint people with Wesson oil "to annoint them and secure a healing over them" and has been practiced for at least thirty or more years among the group--it's an especially sick form of scripture twisting designed to literally hex people.  The hexing is actually an extension of the use in "word-faith" aka "name it and claim it", which is very very tightly bound with "spiritual warfare" theology in the AoG and other pente groups in particular that are involved in dominionism.  (Ted Haggard's New Life Church is an example of a neo-pentecostal group that, while not directly affiliated with the Assemblies of God, preaches almost identical theology.  Many "charismatic" (actually neo-pentecostal) churches, including the Vineyard churches and churches embracing the Brownsville aka Toronto aka Kansas City Pastors aka Third Wave theology, also have this as an essential part of their theology and also do the Wesson-oil "annointing" thing.)

They, ironically, do not see it as hexing even though there are actual Biblical warnings against cursing people in general and taking of the Lord's name in vain (or in some translations, misuse of the name of the Lord).  They see it as "establishing a stronghold", "driving demons out"...but it is cursing, all the same.  (Yes, this was actually one of the things that led me to become a walkaway--realising that they are cursing people, which I found (along with other practices of theirs) to be highly un-Christian.)

Now, one thing that could well be brought up (as far as Homeland Security type stuff) is what three unauthorised persons were doing in the first place in the Senate chambers--they could have been placing things on chairs that were a lot less innocuous than Wesson oil (the fact they're cursing people in the name of Jesus is bad enough, but I'm thinking along the lines of someone who used to work in a federal facility where non-employees had to go through full baggage screening and metal detectors--and that was just the Department of Commerce!).  That's one thing I would raise all kinds of heck about, but that's me.

But yes, having grown up in a group that practiced this very sort of thing--I'm willing to bet they were "marking" the senators, praying they'd be forced somehow--even by personal tragedy--to vote for Alito "or else".  I've seen it practiced too much on people when I was in the church, have had it attempted on myself, and had it attempted on other family members (in fact, practically every member of my family at one point or another). :P

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 07:41:05 PM EST
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Generally, the "spiritual warfare" crowd.....are using it quite literally as a form of territorial pissing (and forgive my minor crudeness in that, but the intent is EXACTLY the same as a dog peeing on a fire hydrant--marking an object or person as theirs).

One of the most common uses of "annointing with Wesson oil" is marking of literal physical territory that is claimed to be "possessed by territorial spirits" and "claiming it for Christ"

I don't know why this didn't occur to me. Of course. "Territorial marking".

It works for dogs, sure, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to believe the spiritual realm is yanked hither and fro or delineated by dribbled Wesson oil.

As far as its other uses ( your later comment ) that sounds rather reminiscent of Santeria.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 01:11:15 PM EST
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To understand what I mean by "territorial marking" one has to understand a little about some of the underlying theology behind dominion theology in pentecostal churches.  (A lot of this is probably going to sound downright heretical to people not from that tradition.  I'm only now really realising how heretical.)

Basically, dominion theology in places like the Assemblies of God (and its "descendant" theologies like word-faith (aka "name it and claim it"), deliverance ministry groups, the whole Third Wave movement, etc.) operates like this:

a) In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve are tempted by Satan, this causes all of mankind to fall.

b) Satan thus gains dominion over the earth (as man was supposed to hold dominion by God's command).

c) Jesus is born, preaches, gets crucified, spends three days in hell either being tortured by Satan or wrestling Satan.

d) EVERYONE screws up Jesus and Paul's ministry, especially the Catholics, until the pentecostal movement comes around in the 1900s.

e) The Pentecostals are seen to them as the only ones in nearly 2000 years who "got it right", seeing as the fact that they are yammering in tongues and barking at "demons" is seen as the One True Sign they actually got it right.

f) Earth is still held largely in Satan's dominion, but the "saved" (in AoG terms, those who not only have confessed to Christ being their saviour but who have been "baptised in the Holy Ghost" with the evidence of same being the talking-in-tongues thing) can take dominion back by claiming things in the name of Christ.

This extends to not only claiming dominion over one's body, but in word-faith theology also "naming and claiming" healings, physical possessions like houses and cars (wickedly lampooned by Janis Joplin in her song "Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes-Benz"), jobs, etc.); in "deliverance ministry" claiming dominion over "territorial spirits" in areas or demons of quite literally everything possessing people, objects, countries, governments, etc., and in the Third Wave manifestations actually explicitly preaching that the church is to take dominion over the entire world and purify it.

In dominion theology in the Assemblies of God and word-faith theology in particular (which is where the whole Wesson oil thing stems from), it's explicitly taught that the purpose is to "mark" a person or area, and if Wesson oil is rubbed on a person or area and the area or person claimed by two or more people in the name of Jesus that "demons must leave".  (In fact, the song "In The Name of Jesus", a deliverance-ministry gospel song, is very commonly used as a "trigger" for "manifestations" in Assemblies of God churches.)  

The oil does not have to be specifically sanctified--the word-faith preachers (whom this started with) actually claim that the faith of someone who is "truly Saved" can "sanctify the oil, even Wesson oil" so that it can be used to "mark territory".  (Again, as noted, they quite literally see everything as either the territory of "God's people" or of Satan--including other human beings.  That's right--they literally do not see people outside the church as human.)

So yes, it is territorial marking.

Examples of this in dominionist circles include this page (which shows the original bit of scripture-twisting used by word-faith preachers to do the whole "annointing with oil" thing; the site's links page is explicitly not only dominionist but premillenial-dispensationalist), this site (demonbuster.com is a dominionist "deliverance ministry" site) that uses excerpts from an exorcism manual distributed by Moody Bible Institute; a dominionist "word-faith" healing manual that notes the use of Wesson oil (this church may be affiliated with International Foursquare, a descendent denomination of the Assemblies of God (and the world's first "radio church") or the Evangelical Covenant Church, and is apparently premillenial dispensationalist); and finally another example from a dominionist church noting how the Wesson oil is seen mostly as a "tie" or "representing the Holy Spirit", not explicitly to bless someone. (The last is from a church affiliated with Calvary Chapel, which also operates one of the largest "religiocasting" networks in the US--largely via a multitude of front companies and largely as translator networks.)

by dogemperor on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 12:31:29 PM EST
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Who the heck would leave a Senate committe room unlocked?

I mean, we lock up all our committee rooms at my workplace, why don't they?

Someone over on Dark Christianity wondered if these guys were really terrorists, putting oil mixed with toxins onto furniture that Important People were going to sit on and touch, therefore poisoning them?

Makes you wonder. Sure hope that someone changes out the chairs in there before Monday...

by Lorie Johnson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 03:31:57 PM EST

They might have gotten permission!

by Psyche on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 03:48:54 PM EST
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As I've noted before, this isn't something I can totally discount either--as noted, the pastors who did this are affiliated with a denomination that has one of the earliest involvements in the modern dominionist movement of any religious group in the US, and there are at least a few governmental sympathisers (the Assemblies of God, being one of the earliest "adopters" of dominionism, has unfortunately had a chance to get itself fairly established in government both here in the US and to an extent in Canada, Oz, and South Korea--much of the basic theology of the AoG, especially as relates to spiritual warfare and "dominion theology", is de facto dominionist at its core).

This list of famous AoG members gives a partial list of sympathetic members that have been in the government; one person who may or may not be AoG but may be a sympathiser is Texas Senator Cornyn.  

Tom Delay and Sam Brownback may also be sympathetic, based on this posting from an Assemblies of God church (the same church even explicitly endorsed an opponent to Senator Biden for office as well as explicitly endorsing the Republican Party in church newsletters); James Inholfe may also be AoG himself or closely related based on this article from the AoG's official newspaper.

(To give you an idea how closely the AoG is friends with dominionist groups--their official newspaper is a surprisingly open source for this.  Per this Religious Tolerance article on Schiavo, almost all the persons interviewed by the AoG's paper were members of dominionist legal groups (American Center for Law and Justice and Alliance Defense Fund).  Also, per this Mother Jones article (among many, many other sources including just turning on TBN and watching most of the televangelists) the AoG is explicitly premillenarian dispensationalist and "Christian Zionist".  As I've noted, they have a very early history of involvement in dominionism both directly and via "outreach ministries" like Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International; in fact, per an article from a dominionist group (complaining Bush wasn't being friendly enough to dominionists!) the AoG was involved as early as the mid-70's in hijacking the Republican Party.)

To give an example of how this type of "annointing" is done to "friendlies", there is a good description of the "annointing" John Ashcroft had done to him by his father upon taking of political offices.  The AoG in turn donated approximately 20,000 dollars to Ashcroft's reelection campaign in 2000--where he famously lost to a dead man.  (As an aside, Ashcroft, like many other dominionists, is linked to racist groups including "neo-Confederate" groups.)

Have I mentioned that these folks are bad news all around?

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 08:57:17 PM EST
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One of the things I would note that should be investigated pronto is whether or not the people in question got formal permission to do this.

If not, that points to serious lapses in security--as noted, even when I worked at the Census Bureau (possibly the least-funded branch of the government other than the National Endowment for the Arts, not seen as a major terrorist threat, quite literally the only folks threatening were the militia nuts who didn't want to anonymously fill out the long form) non-employees not only had to sign in (showing legal ID) but had to go through metal detectors and any purses, etc. had to go through an X-ray machine, and electronic devices like phones, Palm-pilots, etc. had to be demonstrated...and the photo feature of phones turned off.  (Yes, just like what you go through in getting on a plane!)

And this is for what (in federal terms) is a relatively puny division of the Department of Commerce.  The fact that three people were allowed in--one of which is a member of a group that has had RICO investigations in past against them for terroristic threatening (and was being considered at one point for formal listing as a domestic terrorist organisation--yes, during Clinton's era, there was real talk of this, especially considering the relationship between Operation Rescue and Missionaries to the Preborn)--to a secured chamber of legislators and allowed to rub (again, thinking with the Homeland Security hat) God-only-knows WHAT on the chairs...

Yeah, that's just a weeeee bit of a security concern.

If they WERE given formal permission, on the other hand, this gives a completely different reason for concern.  This means that someone in charge of security of the Senate is likely a dominionist sympathiser, if not one of the Senators on the committee themselves.  (This is entirely possible.)  At least one senator is a member of the Assemblies of God, the denomination which two of the parties in question seem to be affiliated with (based on some background research on the Elim Bible Institute (which per its academic programs page may be linked with the Assemblies of God seminary, and both it and its parent church (Elim Full Gospel) may be either AoG or part of an AoG splinter group and has been specifically linked with the "Brownsville" nee Third Wave movement in that denomination; "Elim Full Gospel" is also a term almost exclusively used by AoG churches and seminaries, as sort of a "brand name"); the association of John Ashcroft with the church the ministers run (John Ashcroft is part of a multigenerational AoG family, and reportedly had a similar "annointing" ceremony done by none other than Clarence Thomas and his father (an AoG preacher) upon his nomination to the US Attorney-General; research on the National Community Church itself which--though it does not mention the links on its webpage--is  an AoG church; and the general practice of this sort of "annointing" being especially peculiar to the AoG and the churches spawned from it including Foursquare, Calvary Chapel and Vineyard).  Seeing as the Assemblies of God are one of the earliest groups documented as being involved in dominionism ("dominion theology" was essentially invented in the AoG and other pentecostal churches, and there is documentable dominionist activity dating from the 1950's via the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International and from the 1960's-1970's directly from the AoG itself--they were a founding partner in the Conservative Caucus, the first group that planned the hijacking of the Republican Party by dominionists) this is rather a bit of a major red flag.  (Those interested in hearing a history of the AoG and dominionism are directed to multiple replies and posts of mine.  Seeing as I grew up in one of the crucibles of dominionism within the AoG itself, I'm unfortunately a bit of an expert by necessity; I just hope I don't sound too much like I'm in need of a tinfoil hat at times!)

As I've also noted, this particular flavour of "annointing" is pretty much peculiar to the AoG and its descendant churches, and is often used as a specific form of cursing in the name of Christ (the oil is to have a territorial "link"--to basically "mark" the person as a target for prayers for good or ill).

by dogemperor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 08:20:22 PM EST
Parent



One of them has now rebuked the people of Tallmansville, West Virginia (the site of the recent Sago mine disaster) for "calling on God only when they need Him".

I've also found quite a number of interesting links with the "National Clergy Council" he is head of--not only is it effectively a subsidary group of Faith and Action, but fully three quarters of the members are some flavour of pentecostal group and fully over a half of the "pastors" on the executive council are members of the Assemblies of God (the rest belong to independent Baptist churches, smaller pentecostal organisations, and in a very few cases no clear denominational affiliation can be found--Rev. Patrick Mahoney does not even appear to be a pastor at any church, among other things).

by dogemperor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:34:14 PM EST



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