Short Takes
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 03:57:13 PM EST
When ex-gay ministries turned to dominionist politics; Anti-abortion militant Randall Terry plans to drive the demon Giuliani out of the GOP -- and then turn his attention to the Democrats; The Pope is raising exorcism squads, and has declared gay marriage, abortion and birth control threats to world peace; The Institute for Creation Research is seeking accreditation to award graduate degrees in Texas; Two men have been arrested for the torching of a abortion care clinic in Albuquerque; and an urban legend lives on.
Alternet has an interesting interview between journalist Casey Sanchez and former ex-gay ministry leader Scott Harrison. One part deals with the shift from ex-gay ministries functioning primarily as "conversion therapy" to being overtly political.

Scott Harrison desperately tried to change his sexual orientation in various "ex-gay" ministries for eight years, three of them as a ministry leader in Southern California. Most of his experience with ex-gay groups -- Christian organizations that see homosexuality as a choice that can be changed with proper therapy -- was with Living Waters and Desert Stream, two curricula of a national ex-gay network that has more than 80 branches today. When Harrison joined in 1982, he felt ex-gay ministers were then a band of compassionate outsiders attending to the first AIDS victims. But by the end of that decade, Harrison had taken note of the movement's increasing radicalism, symbolized for him by the minister at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in San Pedro, Calif., who performed an exorcism on him in an attempt to cast out the "demons" said to be the cause of his homosexuality. Harrison finally quit the movement in 1990 after deciding he could, after all, reconcile his sexuality with his Christian faith. Today, he speaks to parents of gay and lesbian children about the dangers he sees in the ex-gay movement. Harrison says the relatively recent alignment of Exodus International, one of the largest ex-gay groups with some 120 ministries in North America alone, with anti-gay Christian "dominionists" -- people who want to impose Christian rules on the secular institutions of society -- has led to ex-gay ministers pursuing a hard-line message with young people that can only end in mental anguish and failure.

Sanchez: Since you left in 1990, the ex-gay movement has become much more political, hiring lobbyists and meeting with lawmakers. How did this come about?

Harrison: Around 1997, the ex-gay movement started to get funding from Focus on the Family [a huge Christian Right group led by James Dobson and based in Colorado Springs, Colo.] and from what I'll call other fundamentalist Christian organizations. Exodus International began receiving a lot of their funding from these organizations. As a result, [the ex-gay groups] began to tell a different story. Ex-gays became a vital part of the battle against gay and lesbian civil rights in society.

Sanchez: At the Exodus Revolution ex-gay conference this summer, you saw a speech by Michael Brown in which he encouraged people to "give up their lives" in the fight against homosexuality. What do you think of that?

Harrison: When you have a keynote speaker like Michael Brown, to me that's unacceptable. It's preaching a message of Christians not just simply opposing gay civil rights and believing a spiritual revival is necessary for this country, but actually calling on Christians to lay down their lives in a spiritual revolution to set up civil laws based on one extreme interpretation of biblical laws from the Old Testament [that calls for the death penalty for homosexuals]. It's Christian Reconstructionism [a doctrine that calls for imposing harsh Old Testament laws on civil society], Christian dominionism. It's abhorrent, and it's dangerous, not just for LGBT people but for our entire society. Because if civil laws are based on [Brown]'s interpretation of the Bible, it's not going to be a democratic society.

Longtime antiabortion militant, recent Catholic convert, and relentless publicity hound Randall Terry, plans to dog the GOP presidential campaign of Rudy Giuliani:    

We are asking God to wake the faithful from their stupor, and 'strengthen what remains and is on the point of death...' within the GOP and the religious right. We invite all who recognize our peril to join us.

Some ask: What about Hillary Clinton and Barak [sic] Obama?

We must not let our preoccupation with enemies outside the camp blind us to the enemies within. An enemy in the camp can cut our throats, poison our food, or engineer a 'palace coup' - a coup which could be far worse in the long run than the temporary victory of an enemy from without. We must cast out our own demons, then focus on the Democrats.

The Daily Mail reports

The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.

Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.

They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."

Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.

The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.

The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.

Meanwhile, according to Religion News Service, the Pope has also issued a statement  

Nuclear arms proliferation, environmental pollution and economic inequality are threats to world peace -- but so are abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage

The Institute for Creation Research, an organiztion that promoted "creationism" long before it was renamed "intelligent design," has moved its HQ from California to Dallas, Texas and is seeking accreditation as a legitimate graduate school providing online degrees.

Two young men have been arrested for the recent arson at an abortion care clinic in Albuquerque,  New Mexico. There are no suspects in the Christmas arson and vandalism at two Albuquerque Planned Parenthood facilities, respectively. Meanwhile,

Ricky Lee MacDonald will be released in February after serving five years in prison for setting fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Albuquerque in 1999, said Michelle Featheringill, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New Mexico...  Featheringill said since she's worked at Planned Parenthood for the last 10 years, she's seen waves of violence against abortion clinics that are cyclical with rashes of serious attacks interspersed with smaller incidents.

She said Planned Parenthood gets phoned-in hate messages and has been spray-painted with graffiti. On Friday, about 50 protesters were picketing Planned Parenthood, she said.

"We completely recognize and understand people's First Amendment right to conduct themselves in a peaceful protest. We have no problem with that," she said.

Featheringill said Planned Parenthood patients have not called with specific concerns related to the attacks, except to ask whether the offices would remain open.
But that doesn't mean the events in recent weeks doesn't worry patients and clinic professionals.

"It's very upsetting for the staff and I'm sure for patients as well to have these kinds of incidents occur," Featheringill said. "I can't think of another way to phrase it, which is intimidation through domestic terrorist activities."

Finally, the Legend of the Life and Death of the Religious Right according to Bill Press... lives!  




Display:
New emphasis on exorcism? Vatican denies report

-------------
"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 05:25:14 PM EST
Hard to know now, who is right.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 07:24:17 PM EST
Parent


Fred, do you know of a reliable source for total numbers of abortion clinic/provider arsons, vandalisms, and violent attacks?
Author of THE FAMILY: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper, May 20)
by Jeff Sharlet on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 09:02:16 AM EST
The National Abortion Federation stats are good and conservatively drawn, based mostly on data from ATF and law enforcement sources. Poke around the NAF web site, and you'll find a pretty comprehensive history with charts and such.

Then there is ATF itself, which has kept stats on bomings and arsons -- but I am not sure the current status of their record keeping. It seems to have gone shall we say, lower profile during the Bush years.

The Feminist Majority Foundation does an annual survey of violence against and harrassment of abortion providers which can be useful too depending on your purpose.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:06:45 AM EST
Parent




It is a must see to see the story of the man who grew up 15 miles north of me.  His name is Charlie Wilson and the Tom Hanks movie about him sheds light on a man the Religious Right would have liked to oust from office.

by wilkyjr on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 09:50:35 AM EST

Re: speech by Michael Brown in which he encouraged people to "give up their lives" in the fight against homosexuality.

This is one of the times when the phrase means different things according to the listener and the listener's style of Biblical interpretation. I have heard this used to mean anywhere from "get over yourself, dude, put down that beer and do something constructive" to "Join God's army and blow up abortion clinic or gay bar or ...." . The ambiguity of the phrase enables it to be used as code phrase interpretable by its context, yet plausibly deniable.

by NancyP on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 04:49:39 PM 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 (330 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 (178 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 (98 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 (93 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 (105 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 (127 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 (115 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 (79 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 (228 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 (55 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 (153 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 (173 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 (53 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 (54 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 (210 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 (240 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 (87 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 (171 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 (143 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 (141 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 (146 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 (144 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 (123 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 (185 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 (142 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 (83 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 (189 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 (77 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 (107 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 (105 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.