A Fiendish Strategy To Infiltrate and Break up Traditional Democratic Party Coalitions
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:44:10 PM EST
[note: for my previous (and related) stories concerning Vallejo and the candidacy of Pastor Anthony Summers, see story links at the end of this article]  

Imagine a fiendishly clever Republican and right-wing Christian plot to infiltrate and break up a traditional liberal coalition that has for decades elected Democratic Party politicians to office - by peeling off urban African-American churchgoers and alienating an increasingly important Party constituency, LGBT citizens and their supporters.

It's real.

Last Monday on the liberal/progressive activist website the Daily Kos was a post titled On the "Killing The Gays In Uganda" Meme in Vallejo, which decried the use of the so-called "meme" against candidate for Vallejo city council Anthony Summers, who as a simple point of fact (see my linked "related stories" at article end) has starred in and even sells a promotional video from an evangelist, Ed Silvoso, who has worked directly with a Ugandan evangelist who claims to have helped conceive Uganda's notorious (President Obama called it "odious") so-called "kill the gays bill".

I heard an interesting anecdote, concerning the somewhat improbable rise of this meme in the upcoming city council election in Vallejo, CA, where acrimonious debate over the candidacy of pastor Anthony Summers for city council has driven deep wedges between coalition constituencies that have been key to recent Democratic Party electoral successes.

A prominent Vallejo union leader who backs Summers approached a young man on the street and told him, "You should support the candidacy of Anthony Summers for City Council; He really doesn't want to kill gay people."

The young man, who was gay and had recently moved to Vallejo from San Francisco, replied, "That's supposed to get me to vote for him ? He doesn't want to kill me ?"

I am certain that the "kill the gays in Uganda" meme can be and indeed is, on occasion, deployed unfairly, and so I feel a certain responsibility -- because my research and writing has played a major role in documenting the very real ties between evangelist Ed Silvoso, who has major church-based "transformation" initiatives going on in Vallejo and other cities across the U.S. and the world, and Ugandan evangelists - notably Julius Oyet - who have lustily backed eliminationist Ugandan legislation, the so-called "kill the gays bill", that would all-but legislate Uganda's LGBTI citizens out of existence.

Silvoso has publicly denied he has anything to do with the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill. But in a 2007 book, evangelist Silvoso cited, as models for his followers to emulate, violent, ruthless secular political movements of the 20th Century - Lenin's Bolsheviks (among whose most effective weapons were stealth and deception), Mao's Red Guards, and the revolutionary Islamic followers of Ayatollah Khomeini.

And, in footage from one of his yearly international conferences that I uncovered in 2009, Silvoso openly described the need to kill opponents of his movement - like "rats". Ed Silvoso is also prone to tell, during his globe-trotting visits to megachurches around the world, an anecdote of a San Francisco man who kidnaps children and turns them into sex slaves. (see videos, at story end.) These data points do not a flattering composite make.

Another basic point I would make is this - Ugandan evangelists in the forefront of the anti-gay crusade in Uganda have not been shunned by Ed Silvoso's colleagues. They have, into 2012 and even the current year, continued to make pilgrimages to visit their American movement counterparts. And in Uganda, anti-gay hate speech from such leaders, speech credited with helping provoke the savage murder of Ugandan LGBTI rights activist David Kato, killed in early 2011 with a hammer, continues.

Meanwhile...

In Vallejo, we see union leadership, conservative African-American churches, and the local Democratic Party ranged against LGBTI rights advocates and disaffected union and Democratic Party members aghast at their local party's endorsement of a candidate, Anthony Summers, who says he does not support legal abortion and has in the recent past - according to Vallejo residents who spoke against Summers at a contentious October 19, 2013 Solano County Democratic Party meeting - worked with virulently anti-gay groups such as the Pacific Justice Institute (whose head Brad Dacus in 2008 likened passing the anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8 to stopping Hitler), in an apparent attempt to thwart a court-mandated anti-bullying initiative in Vallejo public schools.

But it's not just what many would consider core party principals - support for LGBTI and reproductive rights that are under attack.

While Vallejo's public safety unions have clearly aligned themselves with allies who have promised the best deal (and that's reasonable), leaders of the Transformation movement they have cut a devil's deal with are so virulently anti-union that leading up to the 2012 election they called upon their followers to pray for the destruction - by name - of California's biggest five unions, including SIEU.

In Newark, New Jersey, where another of the myriad "transformations" initiatives sponsored by Ed Silvoso mobilized a citywide coalition of politicized churches, labor unions did not fare so well against the Silvoso "transformation" initiative-backed mayor Cory Booker, who in 2010 - in the face of union lawsuits - fired 167 of Newark's police officers, helping drive a 71% increase in Newark's crime rate in 2011. Then, in 2012, during an incident that ensued when Cory Booker staged a surprise attempt to pack the Newark city council, the local SEIU head was doused with pepper spray.

As the author of the original Daily Kos diary titled On the "Killing The Gays In Uganda" Meme in Vallejo had very aptly observed in a previous diary,

"It has been a standard political practice of Republicans on the national level to use political shorthand and cultural wedge issues in a divide and conquer strategy to win elections. What is not well appreciated is these methods are also being used on the local level, reflexively, as if this is the normal way of engaging in civic discourse."

This is very true, albeit misleading since the author appeared to be politically aligned with architects of that strategy. Nonetheless, since 2009 I have been writing of such a plan - which relies on the construction of something I dubbed the "rainbow right".

As I wrote, in April 2009, concerning the passage of California's anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8, in Proposition 8 : A Proving Ground For The New 'Rainbow' Right,

"It was a both a proof-of-concept and a prophetic warning for the Democratic Party. In the minds of many on the American left, the GOP, dominated by the Christian right, is a dwindling revanchist bastion of retrograde white supremacy. Although that faction still is significant it is well on the way to political irrelevancy within the party because, in 2008, an emerging ethnically and racially inclusive form of the Christian right flexed newfound electoral muscles and won.

The left has not noticed..."

In a subsequent September 2009 story, I wrote,

Organized around an anti-gay marriage and anti-reproductive rights agenda and a Christian nationalist vision for America, the Rainbow Right reflects ground-level developments on the Christian right as a decade long push to make the movement more racially and ethnically  inclusive is coming to fruition so that many churches on the Christian right, such as Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee's San Antonio Cornerstone Church, now boast an impressive level of ethnic and racial diversity.

Behind the Rainbow Right is a rapidly growing charismatic movement within conservative Christianity that has gained enough influence that 2012 presidential election hopefuls such as Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee pay its leaders public obeisance....

But Evangelical leaders in this new charismatic tendency aren't merely content wielding influence within the Republican Party. Rising young lions in the new charismatic tendency such as the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, who as President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council purports to represent over 15 million Hispanic Christians, also are helping shape initiatives within Democrat-centrist think tank efforts such as the Third Way.

Over the course of the last three years, this movement has begun fielding its own,  typically pastors, as Democratic Party candidates -- of which Pastor Anthony Summers is far from the first. One, Max Meyers, vied in 2013 to become the Democratic Party nominee for governor of Pennsylvania. In 2011, NAR apostle Kimberly Daniels campaigned for, and won, as a Democrat, a seat on the Jacksonville, Florida city council.

All of these candidates have been associated with the dominionist movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation - a tendency which gave us 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and in 2011 helped launch Texas governor Rick Perry's presidential bid.

As I have previously documented, in writings and at rallies Silvoso and his NAR movement colleagues have urged their followers to adopt a mentality unnervingly similar to that which led to the 2001 dynamiting of a UNESCO world heritage site in Afghanistan, the Buddhas of Bamiyan. In my story Burning Buddhas, Books, and Art: Meet The New Apostolic Reformation I wrote,

"Top NAR leaders, including C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Ed Silvoso and, Chuck Pierce, have repeatedly emphasized in their writings the need for believers to destroy or neutralize, by burning, smashing, or flushing down toilets, objects deemed to be unholy, including profane books and "idolatrous" religious texts (such as Books of Mormon), religious relics (such as statues of Catholic saints, the Buddha, or Hindu gods), and native art (such as African masks, Hopi Indian Kachina dolls, and totem poles.)

According to New Apostolic Reformation doctrine, objects to be destroyed include those associated with Mormonism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hinduism, eastern religions, Christian Science, native religions, and Baha'i."

[videos, below: for an appreciation of the ideological extremity of the global charismatic Christian movement behind Transformation Vallejo, known as the New Apostolic Reformation, consider the following two short video excerpts, from Ed Silvoso's 2008 annual International Transformation Network conference in Argentina (which since 2009 has been held near Honolulu. Hawaii).

In the first video, Ed Silvoso encourages his followers to exterminate, like "rats", their opponents.

In the second, Cindy Jacobs prophesies their movement will take all the "nations of the earth" and asks her audience to bring "idols" and "witchcraft items" from their homes, for a special mass-burning ceremony. Jacobs also predicts that, one day, Christian will become as wealthy as "those Jews" and in a mass-exorcism ceremony casts out spirits of "homosexuality, bisexuality, and perversion".]



related stories

Vallejo City Council Race : Democrat-Endorsed Pastor Tied To Anti-Union, Anti-LGBT Movement (Talk2action.org, Bruce Wilson, 10/31/2013)

Anti-Gay Christians Target Vallejo, CA Government, With Democratic Party Help (Talk2action.org, Bruce Wilson, 10/22/2013)

Political Notebook: Vallejo pastor, LGBT residents clash over city council race (Bay Area Reporter, Matthew S. Bajko, 10/31/2013)

Get Straight Or Just Die (Vallejo Independent Bulletin, Marc Garman, 09/19/2013)

Anthony Summers Responds (Vallejo Independent Bulletin, Marc Garman and Anthony Summers, 09/23/2013)

October 19, 2013 Solano County Democrats meeting concerning the endorsement of the candidacy of pastor Anthony Summers (video, ~1 hour)




Display:
article by Ms. Tabachnick before reading this one. My question remains; why are Democrats involved in nominating candidates not seeming to care about the awful baggage attached to their choices?

by trog69 on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 01:15:20 AM EST
...it appears that the politicized Christian right has partially captured the local Democratic Party ; this isn't the first electoral cycle in which a candidate association with or endorsed by the local Democratic Party and who carries heavy anti-LGBT baggage has run for city council.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 08:05:42 AM EST
Parent
Most voters leave the local politics alone. People can't name their state representative or state senator. The preliminary jockeying for party apparatus support, before official filing for primary candidacy, is completely invisible to most voters, even those who regularly vote in primaries and know their representatives. Major decisions can be executed by relatively few people in a venue where few recognize or bother to investigate the kingmakers.

by NancyP on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:16:39 PM EST
Parent



Way back in the Christian Coalition days (mid 90s) both Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed claimed in 15 years "Christians" would control the Democratic Party just as they controlled the Republican Party. It has taken a little more than their predicted 15 years but the Dominionists have been slowly working their way into the Democratic Party.

Remember, before Obamacare passed the big holdup was from a religious Democratic senator from Nebraska who held that legislation up.

by JerrySloan on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:52:50 PM EST



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