Missouri Resolves to Destroy Religious Freedom
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Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 05:28:20 PM EST
Missouri House Concurrent Resolution 13: Resolves that voluntary prayer in public schools, religious displays on public property, and the recognition of a Christian God are not a coalition of church and state.
Missouri House Concurrent Resolution 13: Resolves that voluntary prayer in public schools, religious displays on public property, and the recognition of a Christian God are not a coalition of church and state.

You can download a pdf of the full text here. http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills061/bills/hcr13.htm

Recently South Dakota banned all abortions except those that would kill a woman carrying a child to term. If she would be merely maimed or crippled for life, the abortion is still illegal. The religious right is placing its considerable pile of chips on the new Supreme Court. They assume Justice Roberts, Scalia and Alito especially will uphold this vicious and cruel law.

HCR 13 isn't a bill that can be enacted into law. It is merely a resolution. Cynical politicians often make political hay by sponsoring loony resolutions. They are just so much hot air.

I believe it is only a matter of time before some legislative body will test the waters with a unilateral repeal of the 1st Amendment. Let the ACLU sue. The Religious Right thinks they have a stacked court that will lie down and roll over for them whenever they decide to bark a command.

Clearly they are correct in the case of Scalia. It is mostly his rhetoric that they parrot. Uncle Thomas will do whatever Scalia tells him. Roberts and Alito yet remain a mystery. Do they have any honor? Do they love freedom? Do they have any respect for the rights of all Americans? We shall see.

Dan Honig of The Daily Pulse has an interesting ( and thoroughly documented ) position on the Missouri case:

    this is not a "crazy stunt," but is most likely intead just like the South Dakota abortion statute, and intentional challenge of constitutional law, focused on making Scalia and Thomas' minority opinions new majority opinions and the law of the land. [ see link for full piece ]

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 12:15:08 PM EST

Not only would I bet this is meant as a deliberate attempt to "force the hand" of the feds (re official recognition of religion by the state) but I'm willing to bet some very familiar culprits are behind it too.

For those who aren't aware, the two Missouri state legislators who proposed this are from very conservative parts of the state, and one of the major sponsors of the resolution is from an area that is essentially a suburb of Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield should be familiar to any of you who've been paying attention--it's the world headquarters of the Assemblies of God.

Yes, the same Assemblies of God who invented the whole idea of "dominion theology" in the first place.

The same one which had one of its pastors surreptitiously "annoint" the US Senate with Wesson oil in an attempt to literally hex the government into voting for Alito's confirmation.

The same one which has marched with Fred Phelps against schools with Gay/Straight Alliance Clubs--even sending out their alternative to Scouting to do so.

The same one which has used AmWay--which is itself dominionist, and itself spiritually abusive--as a tool for "bait and switch" evangelism.

The same one which has set up an extensive program including in public schools designed to recruit kids without ever telling either teachers or kids WHAT they are being recruited into--and has upwards of at least forty groups targeting various sectors of the population including other Christian groups (including, of note, one founded by John Ashcroft's father).

The same one which actually started the very prototype of how the Institute for Religion and Democracy is now hijacking mainstream churches including spawning one of the most coercive and abusive tactics ever documented in Bible-based groups.

The same one which is increasingly being recognised as coercive itself and whose front groups are recognised as de facto coercive religious groups in and of themselves.

The same one which has promoted theology of which aspects are indistinguishable from Scientology and has this as part of its core theology.

The same one which in its schools uses a curriculum which is best described as dominionist indoctrination 101--and which has been ruled as educationally unfit by the University of California system.

The same one which has had a 60-plus-year history of Bad Behaviour in politics, starting with the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, moving up to being one of the primary parties involved in the hijacking of the Republican Party by dominionists, frank exporting of their Bad Behaviour to other countries (notably Australia), and--of particular note to Missouri politics and an indication of the church's influence--was a contributor to John Ashcroft's senatorial campaign to the tune of twenty thousand dollars US (the same campaign he lost to a dead man).

The same one linked to practically all of the televangelism and radio scandals of, oh, the past ninety years (from Aimee Semple McPherson faking her own abduction, to the televangelism scandals of the 80's, to new scandals coming out regarding misuse of donations by TV preachers starting to come out) partly because the group invented televangelism in the first place and the vast majority of TV preachers are still Assemblies-linked.

Oh, and also the selfsame Assemblies of God of which I am a walkaway from and survivor of 26 years of spiritual abuse at the hands of.

Let's just say that the Assemblies, being based in Missouri, have quite a bit of political influence in the state.  Also, of note, the Assemblies themselves have promoted the "Christian Nation" canard in their churches and have promoted scripture twisting in essentially telling their members to "vote dominionist".  This has ranged from literal promotion of George W. Bush as "God's Own President" to official church statements that claim not to support partisan politics but very much "between the lines" support dominionism:

Does the Assemblies of God involve itself in political issues?

The Assemblies of God is apolitical; that is, it takes a neutral stance on purely political issues. The role of government and politics is different from the role of the church. While the church and government are both institutions ordained by God (Romans 13:1-7) and should respect each other, it is imperative neither institution overstep its given role. Both serve God's purposes through separate functions.

In recent years in America, however, the relationship between church and state has become increasingly complex and estranged. The reason for this change is a growing trend in government to redefine and politicize moral issues. This wholesale sell-out of these once concrete and absolute moral values comes in direct opposition to the message of the church as found in Scripture.

The alarming shift from a Judeo-Christian philosophy to secular humanism as the foundation of American government has created profound problems for all Bible-believing churches. More and more, government is defying biblical principles and interpreting sinful behavior as civil rights, i.e. abortion and homosexuality. The church as the body of Christ is obligated to respond.

While the Assemblies of God as an organization recognizes its calling and will continue to refrain from over-involvement in political issues, it will not abdicate its responsibility to speak out forcefully against immoral laws and oppose legislation which clearly defies Scripture. In these matters it will continue to recognize the supremacy of God's law. Like Jesus' disciples who ignored the order of the established authorities-not to teach as they were; we in the church, "must obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29).

From this position the Assemblies of God encourages its members and adherents to influence society and the political process by voting, maintaining strong moral convictions and holy lifestyles (Matthew 5:13), praying for government officials (1 Timothy 2:2), encouraging and promoting legislation that strengthens the nation morally, and speaking out both corporately and individually against any political issue that would have an adverse affect upon the kingdom of God or His moral absolutes.

(In other words, folks, we can't officially say support something or another, but you KNOW you want to vote for God Folk wink wink)

(Oh, and while we're at it, fun with scripture twisting--see if you can find the coded message! Relevant texts from EText per usual.)

(First, Romans 13:1-7:

  1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
  2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
  3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
  4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
  5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
  6. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
  7. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Verses are originally in context of exortation NOT to set up a theocracy, interestingly, and also notably drop verse 8--a restating of the Golden Rule (love your brother as you love yourself).

Next, Acts 5:29:
29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Verse is originally in context of miracles in regards to imprisoned early Christians (who were, notably, being prohibited by the dominionists of their own time from their religion).

Next, Matthew 5:13:
13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Verse is a scripture-twisting of, of all things, the Beatitudes of Christ (yes, Matthew 5 is essentially a recording of the "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God" speech Jesus did).  They literally lifted the solitary verse talking of damnation from what is possibly the one speech that best exemplified Jesus' entire message--completely neglecting the whole bits about the meek being blessed, the commandment to turn one's cheek when one is being oppressed, and so forth!  (No, in case you're wondering, the scripture-twisters have no shame and will furthermore call you demon possessed for calling them on it.)

Lastly, 1 Timothy 2:2:
2: For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Verse is originally in context of Paul emphasizing to pray for all people--and the chapter is also the source of one of the more interesting bits of woman-bashing in the Bible (which has been used in the Southern Baptist Seminary to justify blocking women from a missionary role, and has also been used explicitly to claim women must suffer during their "monthlies" as a punishment from God (yes, I actually had this line used on me in questions why I couldn't get birth control to mitigate the pain, and so did my sister).)

The churches themselves tend to be even more explicit--the official "church body" in Springfield is actually more restrained than the main body of the Assemblies is at promoting this stuff.

As I put it on a Dark Christianity thread on this--"if the Assemblies aren't involved on some level, I'm not only eating my own hat but everyone else's hat on here as well".

by dogemperor on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:37:54 AM EST

when women who want to retain their civil rights will be forced to divorce rather than move to states that violate women's civil rights.  It will be a sad for day for all women when mothers have to teach their daughters that women's civil rights are dependent on the state in which they live rather than on universal rights guarenteed by the federal government.  It will be a sad for day for the nation when states and regions that wish to maintain the civil rights of women must form political units to defend themselves against the United States of America.  

by tikkun on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:44:26 PM EST

Thanks for addressing this issue. As a Missourian I found it greatly distressing. Here is my take on the issue over at Ethics Daily: Majority Rules.

by Kaylor on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 11:59:14 AM EST

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