Disorder on the Right - the TVC
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Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 10:56:54 PM EST
Cross-posted from the blog, Contextual


The Traditional Values Coalition (I call this group Tedious Vapid Christists), is a relatively well-known organization in the perverse web that ties together the Christian right-wing.  It was founded in 1980 by the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, a Presbyterian minister.

TVC has experienced enough steady growth so that a couple of years ago it could claim some 43,000 affiliate churches representing 12 denominations.  The TVC organization is similar to most Christian right groups these days, opposing reproductive freedom, the teaching of evolution in public schools, and sex education (unless such education promotes abstinence and excludes information on birth control and disease prevention).  TVC also lobbies for the right of public school students to pray publicly.  The organization sends out reports and emails and press releases, along with church bulletin inserts.  The executive director is Andrea Lafferty, a former official in the Reagan administration.  She also happens to be Sheldon's daughter, and she and Daddy often appear on television news programs to explain TVC's views on various social/cultural issues.

In addition, TVC is quite active politically, and Sheldon is reported to have "close ties to White House political strategist Karl Rove, the Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and other senior Bush administration officials."  TVC lobbies Congress in support of its agenda and sends "alerts" to its churches with regard to issues TVC believes the churches should oppose.  

TVC also has a "Judicial Nominee Monitoring Project," which lobbies for "a conservative judicial system and right wing judicial nominees/appointments."

But the main concern of this Christian right outfit has to do with homosexuality.  This derives mainly from Sheldon's lifelong homophobia.  Sheldon and the TVC are committed to making gays and lesbians as miserable as possible in this life and sending them to hell in the life to come.  We'll look at this homophobic "ministry" in greater detail in the days to come.

When I began my research into TVC, I was struck with the feeling that I'd suddenly entered a time machine and it was the 1960's again.  Sheldon is still fighting communism!  For example, a "commentary" about Earth Day which appeared on his Website on April 20 [Earth Day was celebrated today, Saturday, April 22] somehow related Earth Day to the great dead Red threat!

Sheldon believes that environmental concern such as that exemplified by Earth Day is mostly a plot of the commies and the socialists.  "The first Earth Day," he says, "was held on April 22, 1970 and was organized by leftwing anti-Vietnam War activists and environmentalists.  Coincidentally or not, the date was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lenin, the brutal dictator of Soviet Russia who condemned millions to death."  Please note that Sheldon wrote this on April 20, 2006!!!  

Here he not very subtly suggests that supporters of Earth Day are closet Leninists and bear some responsibility for the deaths of millions of Soviet citizens back in the early part of the 20th century.

Sheldon is frustrated that "This Saturday, hundreds of thousands of left-of-center environmental activists will gather in parks around the U.S. to hear Earth Day speakers rail against capitalism and President Bush for failing to sign the Kyoto Treaty on the environment.  Unfortunately, the Chicken Little brigade will undoubtedly monopolize media coverage over this weekend."

In this minor diatribe, it's hard to determine if he's more pissed about all the lefties gathering together to try to do something about environmental degradation, or that they're going to get more publicity than he will.

Sheldon sees radical commie lefties everywhere!  They are found not only in the environmental movement but also in the courts.  Accordingly, "One of TVC's primary goals during the next several years is to take back our federal courts from radical leftwing activist judges who have no respect for the Constitution or the laws passed by state legislatures or Congress."

Just about everybody that Sheldon finds distasteful, he calls radical, leftist, socialist or worse, communist.  Recently Sheldon attacked the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourner's, a respected magazine representing the more moderate evangelical movement.  But Wallis is way too "moderate" for Sheldon.

By looking at Sheldon's treatment of Wallis, however, we may be able to gain greater insight into Sheldon's character and how he interprets and lives out his Christian faith.

What follows was derived from Sheldon's article:   "Special Report:  Pastor Jim Wallis:  Liberalism's `Religious' Strategist."

Sheldon begins by calling Wallis "a darling of secularist liberals who attempted to use him in the 2004 elections to seduce evangelical Christians into voting for presidential candidate John Kerry."

Seduce?  That is a loaded term!  We should assume I think, that Sheldon is not speaking of seduction in a sexual manner, yet it's interesting that he uses that particular word.  And obviously, he believes that John Kerry is beyond the pale of the faithful.

"Wallis," Sheldon continues, "is also a darling of the liberal medial.  He is often quoted in articles critical of conservative Christians or of President Bush's faith."  But that is relatively minor compared to the fact (according to Sheldon) that Wallis has supported Communist regimes for the past 30 years.  Wallis has had a "consistently radical--and even Marxist--worldview."

It all began years ago, says Sheldon, when Wallis was in seminary.  Instead of learning the true faith, Wallis founded an anti-capitalist magazine and "called for the redistribution of wealth and government-managed economies."

It gets worse!  Wallis, cries Sheldon, is not only anti-capitalism, but he's anti-American!  And the reason he's anti-American, Sheldon explains, is because he "was an anti-war activist against the Vietnam War."

But Sheldon's attempt at character-assassination reaches new heights when he claims that he is not making all of this up, he's got proof that Wallis is a liberal chickenhawk, anti-capitalist, communist-loving preacher.

His "proof" consists of an online group's lengthy expose on "Jim Wallis' far-left background, including his anti-capitalist views and his support of Communist or terrorist regimes throughout the history of Sojourners."

In addition, Sheldon says that back "In 1983, Joan Harris with Accuracy in Media, published a lengthy book on the far-left policies of Sojourners and Jim Wallis.  In The Sojourners File Harris took 53 political positions of Sojourners on such issues as the right of Israel to exist, human rights, terrorism, socialism, capitalism, etc., and compared those positions to the official positions of the Soviet Union.

"In all 53 position statements, Sojourner's views were in line with the positions of the Soviet Union."

Am I missing something here?  Sheldon writes these words on March 30, 2006!!  Is there still a Soviet Union hiding somewhere that I don't know about?  Who the hell is talking about Marxism these days?  The only thing the Marxists have going is China, which is moving toward capitalism.  You could count Cuba and maybe Venezuela, but neither of these make very good poster boys for the "Marxists!"

Not only that, but Accuracy in Media, although claiming "Fairness, Balance and Accuracy in News Reporting," is in fact a right-wing organization that promotes the conservative agenda at the expense of the truth.

AIM was founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine, and since its inception has been supported by right-wing groups and large, conservative, corporate donors.  Any group or person that leans left of AIM's definition of centrist, is suspect.  The publisher of the Washington Post noted some years ago that Mr. Irvine was frequently calling people with whom he disagreed, communists.  Just one example:  Years ago when Irvine met with CBS executives, he called Walter Cronkite a "Soviet dupe."   Walter Cronkite!

A recent press release will show how "fair and unbiased" AIM really is.  In this release, AIM suggests that the "Media Create Civil War in Iraq."  It also claims that "Today's Hollywood, with the help of the `mainstream' media, regularly savages those who stand up to America's enemies."  Another headline reads "Will The Media Let Us Win In Iraq?" and a companion piece says "The headlines of major print media could be enough to make the less informed think we are losing the war."  And finally, an article titled, "Ape?" which asks "Is the debate over evolution really a case for separation of church and state, even though that phrase is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution?"

Accuracy in Media is anything but accurate.  Mostly, it is an organization that uses innuendos and inaccuracies and in some cases, blatant untruths to make its case.  It is one of the last organizations a person would look to find accurate information about Jim Wallis or anyone else.  But I think Louis Sheldon knows that.  I don't think Mr. Sheldon gives a flip about truth or accuracy.  He's about taking down someone with whom he does not agree, or someone whom he finds disagreeable.  

Unfortunately, because Sheldon is a "reverend" and claims to be a follower of Jesus, many hundreds, even thousands of "good" church members will believe what he has to say.  He has destroyed the Rev. James Wallis in their eyes by littering the landscape of his publications with lies.  As I recall that's said to be a "no, no" in the Bible!    

To be continued...

Lou Sheldon, has never been challenged about his claim that he represents 43,000 churches. I do not think he represents anything close to that. For instance, if each church would send him the modest sum of $ 100 a year that would give him a budget of $ 4, 300, 000 a year. His budget dosen't come close to that.

From my observationsn of him for the last 20 years, around election time, he is scrambling to find a sponsor for his election endorsements.

What Lou has been good at doing is organizing minority pastors - African-American, Hispanic, to some extent Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Lately he has been VERY sucessful at organizing the Ukrainian pastors throughout the state of California.

Through his efforts the Ukraines are routinely bussed to the California State Capitol Building to oppose equality legislation for gays and lesbians.

In the last month over 400 hundred Ukraines have appeared at two Sacramento City Unified School District Board meetings opposing a resolution supporting The Day of Silence.

Since 1977 he has built a family business on the backs of the G/L/B/T communities.

by JerrySloan on Tue May 09, 2006 at 01:00:31 AM EST

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