Who's Secular Now? Take the Quiz! (Part 2)
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:32:21 AM EST
Last week, I wrote that the religious right has for a generation, framed the principal struggle in America as one between Christianity and secular humanism. The wording varies, but the frame remains the same. Variations include faith vs. secularism; people of faith vs secular fundamentalism, and so on.  We also hear a variation on the frame when we hear people speak of "secularists" or "the secular left," supposedly trying to drive expressions of faith from "the public square." The alleged perpetrators, whether individuals or organizations, are rarely, if ever named. Thus strawmen are repeatedly knocked down in colorful rhetorical barrages.

Unfortunately, the frame has been deeply internalized by people who are not part of the religious right, most notoriously by author Jim Wallis, and by Sen. Barack Obama, in his speech last week at a conference sponsored by Wallis' organization Call to Renewal. Obama's usage in particular shows the way that that term and its variants are routinely used to disparage rather than to describe; as the speaker works off of the frame.

After taking Obama and Wallis to task for their counter-productive contributions in this area, (while also acknowledging other of their good words and good works), I followed up with a quiz that sought to show the various ways that the terms are being used and abused. They may mean very different things depending on who you talk to. So in the interest of further underscoring the many ways the problem is manifested, here is Who's Secular Now? Take the Quiz! (Part 2).

To make it extra fun, the pool of characters has  changed a bit from part I.  In this quiz you have to identify ten quotes from different people, out of a pool of 20 well known public figures.

See if you can figure out who said what.

David  Brooks -- columnist, New York Times

George W. Bush -- whatever

Bob Casey -- Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from PA

Sen. Hillary Clinton -- (D-NY)

Ann Coulter -- conservative commentator, author

Bill Donohue -- Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Rev. D. James Kennedy -- Televangelist, Coral Ridge Ministries

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Network of Spiritual Progressives

G. Gordon Liddy -- conservative broadcaster

Sen. Joe Lieberman  -- (D-CT)

Rush Limbaugh -- conservative broadcaster

Sen. Barack Obama -- (D-IL)

Bill O'Reilly -- conservative broadcaster

Cardinal Sean O'Malley -- Boston

Pope Benedict XVI

John Roberts -- senior correspondent, CNN

Rev. Rob Schenk -- National Clergy Council

Rev. Jim Wallis -- Call to Renewal

(You'll need to keep your own score.)

1)

Secular nations have one thing in common - mass graves, and the reason is that they believe the government is the final arbiter of right and wrong and good and evil.

George Bush
Pope Benedict
Bill O'Reilly
Rob Schenk

2)

Like many countries . . . Canada is today suffering from the pervasive effects of secularism... One of the more dramatic symptoms of this mentality, clearly evident in your own region, is the plummeting birth rate.

Pope Benedict
Bob Casey
D. James Kennedy
Bill O'Reilly

3)

And the question was, "Are you promoting religion by using people's, taxpayers' money?" And I said, "No, I'm promoting lower recidivism rates, and we will measure to make sure that that's the case."

A results-oriented world says "let's achieve some common objectives and some common goals," and if teaching Bible study or the Qur'an is a method that works, we should welcome it, so long as it's a voluntary program and people, of course, there is going to be a secular alternative that's called 'regular jail.' But so long as the prisoners can pick and choose.

George W. Bush
Hillary Clinton
Joe Lieberman
Jim Wallis

4)

I would like to see him [Bush]level the playing field and eliminate the mood that's been inflicted on America... that the struggle in America is between an aggressive dangerous Christian theocracy and a benign secularism that's good for everybody. That isn't true.

And I think George W. Bush, not in any way that will make anyone uncomfortable, except perhaps those who were desperately eager to see more secularism in America, all he's going to do is say the struggle in America today is between two competing faiths: the faith of the Judeo-Christian traditions, and the faith of aggressive, fundamentalist secular liberalism.

David Brooks
Daniel Lapin
Michael Lerner
Jim Wallis

5)  

Now, America is a divided country. We are fighting a fierce war on terror overseas, and an intense culture war at home. No longer is the "American way" something to be proud of...  It is also the product of the rise of a well-funded and well-organized secular-progressive movement in America.

The secular-progressive philosophy would rattle even Superman. Led by moneymen George Soros  and Peter Lewis who have bought enormous internet access, the secular-progressives are  selling the theory that the USA needs radical change, a complete overhaul. Think about it:

 Almost every day, the secular-progressive press bombards us with messages that America
violates human rights, that it is bigoted against gays and other minorities, that the rich control everything and don't pay enough tax, and that the rights of women are trampled  if any restrictions are placed on abortion.

Ann Coulter
G. Gordon Liddy
Rush Limbaugh
Bill O'Reilly

6)  

Certainly, on the world scene, the forces of secularism are something that the Church has got to deal with. To be able to evangelize and teach the faith in a society which is no longer a Christian society, that has the same way of looking at reality -- I think that is a big challenge.
 

David Brooks
Bill Donohue
D. James Kennedy
Sean O'Malley

7)  

For years, Democrats, unlike Republicans, have been afraid to wear religion on their sleeve.  It's to the point that they're perceived as a party of secular snobs, and it turned off a large slice of America. But now, they want to try to win that slice back.

Bob Casey
Hillary Clinton
Joe Leiberman
John Roberts

8)  

Next has come the effort to expel [Sen. Joe] Lieberman from modern liberalism. In a dark parody of the old struggle between Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey, the highly educated, highly affluent, highly Caucasian wing of the Democratic Party has turned liberalism from a philosophy into a secular religion, and then sought to purge a battle-scarred warhorse on the grounds of insufficient moral purity.

David Brooks
Michael Lerner
Barack Obama
John Roberts

9)  

God forbid that we who were born into the blessings of a Christian America should let our patrimony slip like sand through our fingers and leave to our children the bleached bones of a godless secular society. But whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: God has called us to engage the enemy in this culture war. That is our challenge today.

D. James Kennedy
Daniel Lapin
G. Gordon Liddy
Sean O'Malley

10)  

The Left is dominated by secular humanists who do not believe in God and have advocated for a misinterpretation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution's prohibition against the establishment of religion by the federal government as a "wall separating church and state." No where in the Constitution is there any mention of a wall separating church and state.

G. Gordon Liddy
D. James Kennedy
Rob Schenk
Jim Wallis




Display:
The sleep of reason produces Harrises and antisecularists.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:52:41 AM EST
Parent


After reading this, I would say that the battle isn't over religion as much as it is over TRUTH.

I find it ironic and disgusting that the Religious Right would fight so hard to keep the truth from people... like finding out about torture, violation of people's human rights, spying on the American people, and so on.  

Yet they say it is a battle over religion.

Even more ironic is the fact that they seek style over substance.  I remember hearing conservative voices rant and rail about that- yet they would rather have the false Beaver Cleaver image of America than investing the energy to have a truly good nation worthy of honor.

I've been doing some reading for a class I am taking, and one article in a sense predicted the situation we're fighting against.  In essence, the author demonstrates that fundamentalism and Biblical inerrency are the cause of the very thing that they claim to abhore!

The article (A Dangerous Crusade by Washington Gladden in: The Biblical World Vol 44 pgs 3-14) was written in 1914!!!

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:19:33 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (111 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (35 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (27 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (28 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (29 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (32 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (24 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (23 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (12 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (14 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (17 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (26 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (15 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (30 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (46 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (70 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (20 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (28 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (33 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (19 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (21 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (20 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (25 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (23 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (24 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.