Slimers
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 12:28:07 AM EST
It was just a matter of time before the professional slimers at the neoconservative Institute on Religion and Democracy would squeeze out some propaganda products in response to Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right Hijacks Mainstream Religion by my blogger colleague John Dorhauer and Sheldon Culver -- and that these would be cheered, parroted or uncritically reproduced in some sectors.  I recently reported how a piece written by IRD consultant Rebekah Sharpe, engaged in the writer's equivalent of photoshopping to make it appear that I said things that I did not.  Most recently we have seen IRD web editor Steve Rempe slime John Dorhauer by calling him "insane"; and we have seen James Hutchins of the crank web site, "UCC Truths", joyously join in the sliming.  

What will they think of next? I guess we will find out.  But while we wait, I want to wipe the slime off of a few details, partly to correct the record, and partly to illuminate the IRD method of making stuff up to fit whatever story they are trying to tell.

Rempe writes:

Along with author and political provocateur Frederick Clarkson, Dorhauer has created a website, Talk-to-Action

Rempe also writes, refering to Dorhauer, "he says on his Talk to Action website."  Hutchins, in the course of reveling in Rempe's slime, echoed the claim that Talk to Action is "Dorhauer's blog."

Here are the facts.

Talk to Action is owned by Frederick Clarkson and Bruce Wilson. Originally, Bruce and I and several others posted on a group blog, which operated from April to November of 2005, when we launched an expanded version of the site. Before and after the launch of the expanded site, we invited a number of others to join us. While a committee of us drafted and approved the site guidelines in the run up to the November launch, John was not part of the group at that point, and in fact did not join us until the end of January 2006. John is a friend and a valued contributor, but it's not his blog, and he had nothing to do with the creation of the site or the site rules. John, like all of the front page writers, is responsible for his own posts. No one tells him what to write. It's a blog, not a magazine.  

It might seem like a small thing, but the question of who owns the blog and who is responsible for what, matters. And oddly, it seems to be a big bugbear for the religious right.

Indeed, a few weeks ago another slimer, Jeffrey Lord, a former political director in the Reagan White House, (and current president of a UCC (United Church of Christ) congregation) slimed his own denomination in The American Spectator, comparing it to the Soviet Union -- and made a bizarre attempt to use the Talk to Action site guidelines as a basis for his claim -- even though Talk to Action is entirely independent, and has no affiliation with the UCC, or anyone else.

Rempe makes a further claim that "groups like Talk-to-Action... hold regular conferences to encourage church members to speak out on matters like same-sex marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals".

The fact is that Talk to Action has never held a conference about anything, ever -- let alone regularly. For IRD's professional editor to get so wrong such basic facts about one of the main subjects of his piece is as telling as his sliming of John Dorhauer.

Strange days indeed.

I don't know why Steve Rempe of IRD, James Hutchins of UCC Truths, and Jeffrey Lord, lately of The American Spectator, have each grossly misrepresented in some way Talk to Action, and/or John Dorhauer's or the UCC's relationship to the site.  But, I suspect that they all know better. Slimers usually do.

As I wrote in response to slimer Lord:

Talk to Action operates in the best tradition of both private enterprise and the first amendment: we set the parameters for what can and cannot be published -- just like the New York Times, The American Spectator, or any blog in the blogosphere. Some blogs are free-for-all-open-fora; some are not; some allow comments, some don't. These are the editorial choices of owners of the respective publications and blog sites. It is their right. Some gadflies, rightwing and otherwise, believe that they are somehow entitled to hijack other people's blogs for whatever purposes they see fit. And some huff and puff when they are shown the door. Some never get over it.

Rempe, Hutchins and Lord don't like it that the religious right is excluded from Talk to Action. For the record, here is the part of the Talk to Action site guidelines that has the slimers so agitated:

Talk to Action is a platform for reporting on, learning about, and analyzing and discussing the religious right -- and what to do about it. It is not a forum for discussion, dialog or debate with those who sympathize with or belong to this movement. There is an editorial framework for this site that is different than you will find on other major blog sites, so please read this carefully: We are pro-religious equality and pro-separation of church and state. We are prochoice, and we support gay and lesbian civil rights -- including marriage equality. Therefore, debates about the validity of abortion and gay rights are off topic. We understand that some people who share our general concern about the politics of the Christian Right may not agree on all of these matters. That's fine. Anyone who agrees with the purpose of this site is welcome to participate -- but bearing this in mind. It is our intention to take the conversation forward, and not let it be held back by debating what, in our view are or should be, settled matters of human, civil and constitutional rights.

Meanwhile, what John wrote the other day in response to Rempe is worth quoting:

I must be insane.  This is the argument made by the Institute on Religion and Democracy as they struggle to defend their actions against what I have written about them.

Regent University graduate Steve Rempe, who has worked for the IRD since 1999, posted a front page article about me on the IRD website. Knowing they had to do something to quell the rising tide of information coming out about them, the IRD has deployed a number of people in recent days to discredit me and my co-author, Rev. Sheldon Culver.

They are giving it their best - because a lot is at stake. That this is their best is as much an indictment of their credibility as anything I or anyone else has written or said about them in quite some time.




Display:
As interesting as their means may be, slimers' ends are usually much more interesting.

by Frederick Clarkson on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 02:26:31 AM EST
well said. The slime continues to rise
Shalom, Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer "Time makes ancient good uncouth; we must onward still and upward who would keep abreast of truth." from Lowell, "The Present Crisis"
by John Dorhauer on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 01:59:10 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Mike Pence and The Roots of the Right-Wing "Political Correctness" Conspiracy Theory
The term "Political Correctness" was hijacked by right-wing ideologues in the late 1980s to trivialize and disparage concern for basic human rights for people......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
Mike Pence in 2006 spearheaded a mean-spirited plan to deport all undocumented immigrants
Many of us know Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a nasty homophobe with a carefully-crafted respectable demeanor. But did you know that In 2006,......
By Chip Berlet (5 comments)
What's Past is Prologue: Dominionism is Still Rising
For a half century, a theocratic political movement has been rising in the U.S.  Like any large, successful movement in history, it has a......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
For Salon.com readers - On Donald Trump and William S. Lind
For readers clicking on the first link in Paul Rosenberg's Salon.com interview with Bruce Wilson, here is a link to my recent report (first......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Education For Everyone: In Defense Of `Government Schools'
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a story about a trend among far-right conservatives in Kansas who call public schools "government schools."The......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Southern Churches and July 4th Celebrations
I have noticed a growing trend that is spreading like a prairie wild fire regarding July 4th.  Churches are  celebrating the holiday as never......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Bitten By A Tiger: Huckabee Must Pay For Unauthorized Use Of Song
Former Arkansas governor and Religious Right favorite Mike Huckabee has not been having a good year.Huckabee won the Iowa GOP caucus in 2008 and......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Trump Meets Man Who Inspired 2011 Terror Attack Deadlier Than Orlando Shooting
"It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet" -- President Barack Obama, June 13, 2016,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Terrorism as a "Marketing Method"
On the same day in 2011 during which he single-handedly blew up and shot to death 77 Norwegian citizens (mostly teenagers) and injured an......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Let's Can the Name Calling about Islam
President Obama rose to the occasion in the wake of the horror in Orlando. The president made clear in a speech on June 14th......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
50 Shades of Patriarchal Grey
In what must be one of the worst public relations disasters in university history, wealthy donors to Baylor University recently took out a full......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
Pious Proclamation Panned: Iowa's Governor Goes Around The Bend With Bible-Touting Document
Some elected officials have a bad habit of releasing official proclamations lauding the Bible, Christianity or religion generally.We at Americans United find these proclamations......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Unreasonable Argument: Sometimes What Everyone Knows Just Isn't So
Over the weekend, a group of atheists, humanists, agnostics and others held a "Reason Rally" in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Thousands......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Above The Law?: Ala. Chief Jurist Demands No Accountability
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is in legal hot water again and has no one to blame but himself - but, as usual, he......
By Rob Boston (9 comments)
Thomas More Was No Patron Of Religious Freedom
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is preparing to kick off its annual Fortnight for Freedom. This year the two weeks of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)

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 (13 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 (1 comment)
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 (5 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 (3 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 (2 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 (3 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (9 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (3 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (8 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (13 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.