A Heartbeat Away, or Why Palin's Churches Matter
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:35:53 AM EST
Sam Harris - an emergent, outspoken American atheist - has written a new Newsweek op-ed which shows what is to my mind very appropriate concern over Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy. But Harris also garbles Palin's likely religious beliefs, under the rubric that all religion is suspect. Precision, whether in surgery, politics or religion, matters. It is unlikely that Sarah Palin believes in the premillennial dispensationalist "Rapture" and, to move beyond the realm of wonkish religious terminology; "speaking in tongues" is not the proper issue of concern - it's just a form of religious expression, no more or less, and not a wise human behavior, if any could be, to mock.

Hundreds of millions worldwide think glossolalia is a valid form of religious expression and, more to the point, charismatic Christianity is not necessarily a stronghold of the political right. Indeed, currently a left-wing Pentecostal, non-violent movement of Brazilian peasants is challenging landlords and elite power structures, in Brazil, over farming rights.

"Muthee exclaimed, "We come against the spirit of witchcraft! We come against the python spirits!" Then, a local pastor took the mic from Muthee and added, "We stomp on the heads of the enemy!" - Journalist Max Blumenthal, describing Palin-anointer Thomas Muthee's appearance at the Wasilla Assembly of God, September 20, 2008

Disturbing evidence pointing towards the likely nature of Sarah Palin's religious beliefs continues to emerge. Yesterday "scrubbed" footage, from a 2005 "anointing" of then-Alaska gubernatorial contender Sarah Palin, resurfaced on the website of the net-based alternative news service The Irregular Times. The footage showed Kenyan minister Thomas Muthee not only praying over and blessing Sarah Palin, to advance her bid for the Alaska governorship and protect Palin from a "spirit of witchcraft", but, prior to the blessing, Muthee gave a seven to eight minute speech in which he called on believing Christians to "infiltrate" a number of key areas of secular society including Banking and finance, schools and education, media, politics and government. [continue reading this story]

Harris mentions "The Rapture" in his op-ed but also declares that Sarah Palin may believe in a conquering "end-time" Christian army of true-believers that will cleanse the earth of evil.
On that latter possibility Sam Harris is appropriately concerned.

Religious behaviors are in themselves mainly irrelevant. What we can observe in Sarah Palin's churches is a form of Christianity in which the experiential aspect of religious experience has been dramatically amplified but from which theological content has been largely drained away. "Jesus is perfect theology" declares Wasilla Assembly of God head pastor Ed Kalnins but "Jesus" in this case in an empty vessel. We're not studying the New Testament Book of Mark, declares Kalnins, nor are we studying the words of Moses. We are studying Jesus, declares Kalnins, but Jesus is not so much "studied" as felt, or intuited, and because what "Jesus" means is almost completely undefined such a Jesus can function as an empty vessel into which leaders of the Third Wave and the New Apostolic Reformation can pour their aggressive and intolerant political ideology. Parallels to the religious ideology held by The Family, as described by Rolling Stone and Harpers author Jeff Sharlet, in The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at The Heart of American Power are striking. When religion becomes mainly experiential, when theological content is stripped away, it can serve as a powerful and dangerous vehicle for political ideology.

So, religious behaviors, in the case of the Christianity of Sarah Palin's churches, matter insofar as they are yolked to religious doctrines that effect the temporal, earthly realm. Triumphal and exceptionalist religions teaching their believers to "infiltrate" and gain control of governmental, business, educational and media sectors are toxic to the pluralist ethic that has characterized  America's over two-century long pioneering experiment with democracy.

That's why Sarah Palin's churches matter : not because people at Palin's churches speak in tongues or for any specific gestural or behavioral expression. These things are deeply felt and not properly mocked or stigmatized, Rather, Palin's churches matter because pastors in those churches espouse an aggressive form of Christian nationalism and also the doctrine that all forms of religious and philosophical beliefs other than their own are invalid and even under demonic influence.

Christians caught up in the Third Wave or New Apostolic Reformation tend to believe that all Christian sects and denominations are invalid and even under demonic influence because their theological substrate holds that when Adam and Eve sinned in The Garden, God withdrew his protective cover from the Earth and demons flooded in. Palin's churches are demon-haunted churches which tend to view the Catholic Church (especially) as well as all Protestant denominations as invalid and as manifestations of a "religious spirit" that's held to be demonic. Things devolve from there - the Third Wave stigmatizes much of Protestant and Catholic Christianity but it vilifies and literally demonizes Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and all non-Christian religions and belief systems as manifestations of "witchcraft", to be driven from the Earth by "spiritual warfare" and by a physical, end-time, purifying last-generation army.

What would it mean for America to have a vice president, let alone a president, who might feel (though she would of course deny it) that Catholics and most Christians, and all non-Christians, hold invalid religious or philosophical beliefs and are under demonic influence ?

Phrases Mr. Harris uses indicate to me that he might be reading the articles my research team has written. So, if that's indeed true I'd like to suggest the following to Sam Harris :

Precision matters - in politics, in surgery and in religion. My research team's efforts led to the 3:40 video, shown around the world, credited by the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and Newsweek with forcing John McCain to renounce the political endorsement of Texas megachurch evangelist John Hagee. That simple video three minute, forty second video was informed by years of research on Hagee and the Christian right. In other words, there is much to learn about contemporary religion, and politicized religion, of our age. And, religious traditions evolve and change, sometimes very rapidly. Understandings of American fundamentalism rooted in research done years or decades ago may no longer fit emerging traditions - many fundamentalist Christians are no longer waiting for the Rapture.

What does Sarah Palin believe ?

We'll never know for sure if she doesn't make a public declaration, and beliefs can change, of course, over time as well.

But Sarah Palin has spent roughly two and one half decades, most of her adult life so far, at the Wasilla Assembly of God. At twelve year's old, Palin - along with her entire family, was baptized at the church.

According to the Wasilla Assembly of God head pastor, Ed Kalnins, Palin maintains a "friendship" with the church including going to special church events.

One of those 'special' events might have been a May, 2005 anointing of Palin, shown in a video that was scrubbed from the Wasilla Assembly of God website and which has just resurfaced.

IN 2005, as she was starting her bid for the Alaska governor's seat, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was "anointed" by three pastors, in a ceremony at the Wassila Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska.

Two of the pastors who anointed Palin have stated that believing Christians, as they define those, can learn to raise from the dead. Those two pastors have also made statements indicating they believe that crime and social pathologies are caused when "demons" possess geographic areas and that "curses" can be transmitted from one human generation to the next.

[below: "May 2005 anointing of Sarah Palin, courtesy of The Irregular Times ]

I have no interest in disputing the validity of speaking in tongues, being "slain in the spirit", or miraculous healing. Many major religious have traditions that allow for such phenomena, real or not.

But in terms of dealing with the prospect that GOP Vice Presidential contender Sarah Palin might be a heartbeat away from the presidency of the most militarily powerful nation on Earth I'd suggest this approach : let's try to ascertain what her core beliefs might actually be.

Religious belief matters and is a valid subject for discussion - especially if a vice presidential candidate, who might be a heartbeat away from the US presidency, might believe that her sectarian form of religious belief is the only valid form of religious belief on earth.

Judging by statements made by the pastors who blessed and anointed Sarah Palin, as shown in a newly-surfaced May 2005 video taken at the Wasilla Assembly of God church, Sarah Palin may well believe that the majority of Christians on Earth, and all humans living with non-Christian religious and philosophical belief systems, hold beliefs that are not only invalid but also even demonically influenced.

For the last several weeks I have been working in a research team that has been mapping out the emerging Christian religious stream Sarah Palin falls in. It is not synonymous with Pentecostalism or the Assemblies of God. It is a new, highly experiential and extremely militant form of Christianity that, until now, has outstripped the best efforts of journalists and academics who might have classified it. You can read about the New Apostolic Reformation, and the third Wave, in the following series of Talk To Action articles:

Sarah Palin's Churches

Series of Documentary Videos and Supporting Articles

Sarah Palin's Churches and the Third Wave, Part One


 Sarah Palin's Churches and the Third Wave, Part Two


 Sarah Palin's Demon Haunted Churches, Complete Edition
With videos, documentation , and article


 Palin's Churches and the Holy Laughter Anointing,
Video, Documentation, and Article


YouTube Censors Viral Video Documentary on Palin's Churches


Palin, Muthee, and the Witch- Journalists Miss the Major Story

The "Lions in the Pews"


Direct video links:

Sarah Palin's Churches and the Third Wave, also titled
Palin's Demon Haunted Churches


Palin's Churches and the Holy Laughter Anointing



One of the leaders of my former movement, Leo Lawson of Every Nation Churches, taught that EVERYONE has demons.

Including ALL CHRISTIANS.  Especially ALL CHRISTIANS.  Including those who identify as "born again."

In order to be truly "free" of these demons, one has to go through "inner healing and deliverance," which is really mind and behavioral control.

Anyone who resists this movement is under the influence of a demon and needs to be cleansed of that demon.  Check out one of C. Peter Wagner's tomes, Freedom from the Religious Spirit, which features a chapter by Lawson on how to deal with dissent, er, I mean those who disagree with them because they have a religious spirit.  So... even Christians who stand up to them are the enemy.  Not to mention everyone else.

If these freaks actually succeed in their plans, it will be like giving Fifth Monarchists WMDs.  Very, very scary.

by ulyankee on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:24:06 AM EST

writer. All religion is delusion. Ok. Heard that one. His ignorance and bigotry (as has been so well-exposed by Chris Hedges) makes him an exceptionally poor choice to present as an informed commentator in any respectable forum.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:56:18 PM EST
Harris is notable among the new wave of atheists, in that he doesn't quite agree with Hitchens that "there is no eastern solution" when it comes to religion.

There's a touching moment in "End of Faith" where Harris tells the reader there's a shelf of Hindu/Buddhist literature behind him, and he's going to reach back and pluck a random volume off, open to a random page, plunk his finger down on a random passage, and then read the passage off, cold. The effect is stunning, and serves to highlight his thesis; there are traditions which few people would hesitate to call "religious," and which are to creed-based faiths as night is to day.

So I would say your suggestion that Harris has blown his wad is not quite right on at least one count.

by razajac on Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 09:50:03 AM EST

Bruce, you said,

What we can observe in Sarah Palin's churches is a form of Christianity in which the experiential aspect of religious experience has been dramatically amplified but from which theological content has been largely drained away.

I have to disagree with this statement, though I also understand why this seems to back up your observations.  There IS a theology, a warped, non-systematic one, but a theology nonetheless.  However, since it is so off the wall, and most pew sitters in these churches wouldn't go along with it if they knew what it was (or knew right away), it is couched in experientialism and biblical-sounding rhetoric.  Also, since many of the non-denominational churches in the NAR movement attract so many youth and otherwise new converts, they don't have the theological or historical background to be able to figure out anything is wrong, allowing themselves to be gradually and totally indoctrinated.

I liken the NAR's leadership to a small, elite cult which is infiltrating churches in order to turn them into cult recruitment facilities.  Or even if they don't actually get in the church, they attract people out to go to conferences and large-scale events like TheCall, where they can then be recruited into their ministries and/or training programs.  Youth are the main targets.  However, middle aged folk like me are important--our job is to support and finance the thing, even if we don't exactly know what "it" is.  So many pew sitters are left in the dark for exactly that reason.  My former group was especially conscious about not exposing too much too soon, or committing too much to writing, because of what happened with Maranatha Campus Ministries... the last thing they want is to be labeled a cult like Maranatha was.

However, the myriad training schools and programs that NAR churches and front groups very definitely teach a theology to their acolytes.  In my former group, that theology was a fusion of Christian Reconstructionism, Latter Rain-ism, Shepherding, Moral Government Theology, and enough classical Pentecostalism, Reformed, and generic Protestant theology to make seem palatable.  (Poison is seldom served straight up.) There are differences among NAR groups but Latter Rain type charismaticism and at least some Shepherding tenets tend to be common threads.  Most of the pastors of my former local church also used to be in the Assemblies (they came out of Texas and were influenced by YWAM and Agape Force) so we also had a Master's Commission... where they taught demonology and practiced very, very heavy Shepherding, but it was couched in something that looked like classical A/G Pentecostalism on the surface.  Anyone who knows anything about Christian theology would know right away that you can't make those widely disparate pieces fit into a coherent, systematic whole.  Wars have been fought over them!  Right.  Cognitive dissonance abounds in these places.  The leaders in my movement insist over and over that they aren't dualists but who else could be so obsessed with demons and curses?  But if you hear it enough times, you begin to believe it, even if it totally conflicts with the facts.

The glue, at least in my group, was the constant insistance that our leaders knew what was best for us and if we were good Christians, we would submit to them.  They spent a lot of time trying to build trust in the leadership.  That's also where the experientialism comes in.  Once members have their trust, then they get strung along bit by bit.  

So they do make their members blank slates so they can imprint them with their "spiritual DNA."  But there is a most definitely a theology.  It's just not apparent to those visiting and observing.  It's generally taught to those who take the bait and are recruited into their "leadership training."  And even then, they don't get the full of it.

BTW, the closest thing to a systematic theology in the Latter Rain movement was George Warnock's Feast of Tabernacles, which is still considered a "foundational" text.  That was recommended reading in my former group's training school.  However, since that was recommended verbally and not in writing, all I have are handwritten notes as proof of that. :-)

by ulyankee on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:31:38 PM EST

One way of reconciling what we've both wrote might be through the question - theology for whom ? In other words, I very much agree that there's a highly specific theological viewpoint in play here. But, as you seem to suggest, it's a theology for an elite class rather than for average adherents - who get steered towards the experiential realm. But, that's just my current viewpoint. Interesting re Warnock - recommended, yet covert. Best, BruceW

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:53:39 PM EST
Ok, that does reconcile our viewpoints.  I've heard leaders in my former group say things like "in my theology" like it's a purely personally held thing rather than something that drives the movement.  There's several reasons for that.  (1) If questioned, then the leadership can say, "well, it's just one person saying that and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the movement."  They actually said that about Jim Laffoon's "To Reach and To Rule" after the text was posted online, even though that sermon contains the raison d'etre of the movement and completely reflects Every Nation's and the NAR's theology. And (2) then it allows them to hide between Matthew 18... so if you question something, it is considered personal disagreement between you and the leader (even if you've never met the person) and you have to deal with it as a personal offense, rather than as a public teaching.  Oh, and (3) it keeps people from leaving and taking their tithes with them.

I've debated with other former members (some activist, some not) over how important it is to piece together the leaders' theology... I've argued that it's extremely important to know what they believe since beliefs determine behavior, and as a result I have spent a lot of time piecing together and studying their teachings.  While it isn't a coherent whole (impossible) I think I have a pretty good idea, and I can also document it.  Others have argued that their behavior has backed some of them into their beliefs, and that most rank and file don't care about theology anyway... that if you talk about botched finances, leaders living in mansions, emotional and mental control and abuse, acolytes cut off from their families, etc. then people will be more likely to leave.  True, but I'm also interested in breaking the pattern, especially since several churches and ministers have left my former group over finances and abuses but with their belief systems still intact. As a result, there's the risk they'll stay in the larger NAR/Third Wave movement, or worse, possibly join up with or morph into something more virulent.  Or go into a previously healthy church and infect it with the NAR "spiritual DNA," as I know has also happened.  And the risk is high that a rank and file walkaway will go back into something just as bad if not worse if they can't articulate the underlying reasons why they need to leave not just the church but the larger movement.  This requires addressing the underlying theology, worldview, belief system, whatever you want to call it, even if it's not always consciously held.

Not to mention that those who do care about theology, namely ministers of churches at risk of being infiltrated or taken over, often don't have a clue how dangerously warped this movement is. They NEED to know, as you've said, since it is most definitely a war upon other churches.  I know the young missionaries in my former movement are strongly encouraged to raise support OUTSIDE THE MOVEMENT rather than in their home churches, including in mainline and non-NAR evangelical churches.  They also try to recruit youth from these same churches.   (Do not let your kids go to TheCall or to Campus Harvest!!!!!)  They also have actively tried to "take over" college campuses, including denominational, evangelical Christian ones, under the guise of "reaching students with the gospel."

My hope is that ministers learn how crazy and cultic dominion theology is as a whole in all its forms so that they stop defacto supporting it.  I know just from my experience with my former group that if you cut off these leaders from money, good publicity, support, and new recruits, and not just for a short while but permanently (since they won't stop on their own ever due to "their theology"), then changes might start to take place.

by ulyankee on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 08:30:58 AM EST

So after becoming famous for anointing someone called Palin Muthee rails against the "python spirit"...

(sorry, obvious and lame...)

by Richard Bartholomew on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:15:44 PM EST

Bruce says: "'speaking in tongues' is not the proper issue of concern - it's just a form of religious expression, no more or less, and not a wise human behavior, if any could be, to mock."

Y'know, I'm an extraordinary liberal guy. In my life, Ive handed out benefits of my doubt like so many fistfulls of Chicklets.

But there comes a time when you salvage something mindful and self-respecting. And "tongues" is one area where the barrier has long been breached.

I speak English, a little French, and a little Chinese; and it takes a smidgen of knowledge of languge to know when someone is squeezing phonetic scrambled eggs though a funnel. It grates me no end on the occasions where I've been in fundie groupings where someone starts "speaking in tongues." I have no doubt that, if you took aside 5 people who claimed the phenomenon to be real, and asked them each to write down a translation, three of them would admit they have no idea--just that it's, like, you know, a "gift from God"--and the other two would proffer two distinct interpretations. In other words, nothing of any actual meaning to anyone is being said. Furthermore, folks I've known who leant credence to tongues as a divine phenomenon were the kinds of folks who weren't tremendously invested in "meaning" anyway--which is, itself, quite telling.

Add to this the fact that researchers did an MRI neuron firing "brain mapping" study of glossalalia, and found the the firing wasn't taking place in the language centers.

Now, I know I can be easily accused of being overly rational, not "available" to the divine, etc., etc. I just feel that such an accusation, when it comes to this issue, is facile. There comes a time when a person understands that a human institution has been bouncing around in the woods, far too deeply, for far too long. I think tongues is one of these institutions.

I'm perfectly content to see Harris bash away at this sacred cow.

by razajac on Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 10:12:27 AM EST

First, I have a "smidgen of knowledge of language"- I've got quite a few graduate level hours spent in Linguistic Anthropology, as well as several undergraduate hours in that branch of Anthropology.  I do know a little bit about it, and a little about language in general (including things like language structure, creation and formation, acquisition, and so on).

While I mainly speak English, I also have studied some Spanish and French (many years back), and know a few words in Italian and my ancestral tongue- Muskogean.  I have also been exposed to quite a few of the world's different languages at one time or another.  So I am not exactly monolingual, although I cannot claim to really talk any of the other languages.  (And I can say that I'm familiar with the "sound" of some of the languages).

(1) The "neuron firing" study you mentioned also had another very important point- that the section of the brain to do with identity, self, and knowledge was quiescent.  This I also consider important, as important as the section of the brain dealing with language being inactive.   Maybe even more important.

(2) Glossolalia is not restricted to fundamentalist Christianity- it is NOT unknown in other religions.  Now, I don't remember the source of that tidbit, but I do remember that the source was rather authoritative on the subject.

(3) I know people who seem to have been born with this- beyond the infantile babbling (in one case, a person generally prayed in tongues until an adult unbeliever heard that person at several years of age and "beat it out of him/her".  In this case, the person had no exposure to fundamentalism).  I myself pray (at times) in tongues- it's a private thing, and in my case, not generally for "public consumption".  Also, in my case, I began doing it without the "laying on of hands" (required according to the dominionist churches I attended decades ago), and it's not an especially emotional thing for me.  So, many of the things taught about this are not necessarily correct- and by this I mean there's far more to it than the narrow teaching of a still more restrictive sect.

I've listened to people speaking in tongues- and there is a wide variety of things I hear.  Some are obviously mimicking or possibly even faking it.  Others seem to be basically babbling (or even as you put it, "squeezing phonetic scrambled eggs though a funnel".  That is not always true in every case.  In some cases there is a clear cadence and phonetic stream that has (to describe it best) the "music" of a spoken language.  Now, I recently spent 5 weeks in Sicily.  In that area, many of the Sicilians spoke their native tongue for most things, and spoke Italian as a second language.  I could hear the "music" of their native tongue both when they spoke it AND as an accent in their Italian.  I've had many other confirmed experiences where I could hear the "music" of a different language behind the one being spoken, and in a few cases could even identify it.  We've all had this experience with the languages we speak- but it is also possible to "hear" this in languages we do NOT speak.

So, consider that I may sometimes be able to actually identify language being spoken, without understanding it- and tell the difference between language and "phonetic scrambled eggs squeezed through a funnel".

There is something very real there.  In my own case, this "gift" as it were helps me in times of pain or trouble.  It helps me to focus, and in some cases to "unfocus" when I need to.  I don't use it all the time, but it is there.  It's helped my faith.

So, I would advise not denigrating glossolalia.  I would be the first person to tell you that my experience with people who focus on the "gifts" is that they generally become very harsh-hearted and legalistic.  This may be because of their focus, or it may be because of the influence of the dominionists that usually "push" this sort of thing.  I will admit that I'm cautious around people who focus on tongues and things like that- but again, I strongly advise NOT to denigrate it.

One final point- there are sounds in one language that are not in another, and in some cases if a person doesn't grow up with using that sound or combination of sounds, it becomes very difficult to make them.  I've heard anecdotal evidence that this has been observed in glossolalia.  It would REALLY make me interested to encounter this, and especially to document it!  Hopefully- the person doing so would not be "faking it".


by ArchaeoBob on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:15:30 PM EST

One more thing: My statement above actually dovetails quite nicely with Bruce's thesis. In the end, Bruce nails the demon to the tree: He correctly characterizes the central problem with this "new wave" theology as being actually bereft of theology.

Well, there's another, more telling way to word it: It's bereft of meaning. The second you try to get someone to say something meaningful--to actually insist on real communication--in such hyper-religious settings you may as well have asked them to renounce God. And you did: You asked them to renounce their God, who apparently has nothing more going than a kind of protracted cocaine peak of "spirit filling", the vacuum neatly filled by a convenient (for the leaders) authoritarianism.

The genuine quest for meaning is the bane of authoritarianism, and that the authoritarian meaninglessness of these gatherings is peppered with folks spouting glossolalic gibberish is nothing less than further confirmation of Bruce's core thesis. In fine Talmudic tradition, the quest for meaning was an overarching theme of Christ's teachings. As Bruce notes, it's absent from these new churches, and glossolalia--a meaningless distraction--is therefore certainly a benign pastime in such groupings.

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دردشة صوتية
شات صوتي
غرف صوتيه
غرف صوتية
سيرفرات صوتية
سيرفرات صوتيه
دردشة صوتيه
دردشه صوتية
شات طعون
دردشه طعون
طعون الصوتيه
طعون الصوتي
شات طعوني
دردشه طعوني
طعوني الصوتيه
طعوني الصوتي
نيو طعون
دردشه نيو طعون
شات نيو طعون
نيو طعون الصوتيه
نيو طعون الصوتي
شات بطره
دردشه بطره
بطره الصوتيه
بطره الصوتي
شات هجران
دردشه هجران
هجران الصوتيه
هجران الصوتي
نيو هجران
ملوك هجران
فويس رومز
شركة فويس رومز
سيرفرات صوتيه
غرف صوتيه
رومات صوتيه
دردشه الهضبه
دردشة الهضبه
شات الهضبه
الهضبه الصوتيه
الهضبه الصوتي
ملوك الهضبه
دردشه ملوك الهضبه
شات ملوك الهضبه
ملوك الهضبه الصوتيه
ملوك الهضبه الصوتي
شات اساطير الهضبه
دردشه اساطير الهضبه
اساطير الهضبه
شيوخ الهضبه
اسطوره الهضبه
نيو الهضبه

by newcaam on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 04:26:59 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (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 (9 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 (3 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 (1 comment)
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 (0 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 (0 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 (3 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 (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

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