U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Nov 18, 2015 at 09:57:37 AM EST

According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built the pyramids to store grain.

Not far behind Carson (or leading him, other polls say) is Donald Trump, a millionaire real estate developer whose platform consists mainly of insults delivered while he waves his arms and screams.

Other GOP candidates - among them several current or former senators and governors - look at this state of affairs and are flummoxed. Why are people gravitating to these strange outsiders who have never held political office?

These candidates have options. They could challenge Carson and Trump and point out that their policy experience is non-existent and some of their proposals are thin and anchored chiefly in incendiary rhetoric.

But they have not done that. Instead, these candidates have chosen to try to outdo Carson and Trump with policy proposals that are even more bizarre.

The recent terrorist attack in Paris has provided a platform for numerous demagogues and those who prefer petty pandering over professional policy. It isn't enough to vow that Muslims refugees will no longer be admitted to the United States. That ante was quickly upped, and now anyone hoping to break out of the pack needs something even more extreme.

Enter Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who yesterday proposed the creation of a new federal department - one that will work full time to spread "Judeo-Christian" values overseas.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Kasich said, "U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering opponents' propaganda and disinformation. I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share."

And you thought the "faith-based" initiative was bad!

There are a few problems with this proposal. Let's consider some:

It's blatantly unconstitutional: The creation of an entire federal bureaucracy that does nothing but spread religious concepts in an attempt to proselytize people is an obvious violation of the First Amendment. Unlike many politicians, Kasich is not an attorney -- but that shouldn't stop him from reading the Constitution.

It's patronizing: The proposal has the feel of the bad old days of colonialism. Those poor souls in other parts of the world can't get it together without our help. Their own customs, values and religious traditions are insufficient. They need to adopt ours!

It's simplistic: It's a core belief of many Christian conservatives that if people who are acting badly would just embrace "Judeo-Christian" values, everything would be all right. (And guess what, those values always turn out to be more Christian than Judeo - and fundamentalist Christian at that.) Although this view is popular especially in the criminal justice field, no empirical evidence backs up the claim.

It's kind of creepy: So we're to have an entire ministry - I'm sorry, department - run by the federal government that exists to change the way people think about religion and persuades them to adopt new beliefs. The agency would do this, we must assume, by disseminating propaganda prepared by someone in government who has been given the authority to prepare an official theology that reflects the state's political goals. Ew! In all honesty, this sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel.

Just a few months ago, Kasich was being lauded by some in the media as the "serious" Republican candidate who was being sadly overlooked in a crowded field dominated by loud-mouths, xenophobes and fundamentalist zealots.

This daft proposal will likely put a damper on that talk.

I don't think this will put a damper on the talk, although I really hope it would in one way (because it IS such a bad and even EVIL idea).  If they actually propose something like that, they have to think of it first... and I would argue that their thinking is probably even more militant and abusive than the proposal - because they ARE proposing something in a pluralistic society (and they want to win - not just attract attention).

I think of the dominant "We Christians are SO persecuted in America" meme that all of us encounter (and when we point out that isn't true, we're ignored or our words rejected).  Back when I was in the Assemblies, the mindset was that America was barely Christian and under attack from those hated Liberals, Communists, and Devil-worshipers.  I know that the attitude was even then that the US government was discriminatory towards "Christians" (meaning that the fundamentalists faced resistance when they tried to force their religion on others), and that attitude hasn't changed one iota - from what I've seen, heard, and experienced it's gotten far worse.  When you combine that with the "Take Back America for Jesus" battle cry and the 7 Mountains Mandate (and all of the other things we know about) - this proposal is just an extension of the mindset of the people we resist.  It really doesn't surprise me that SOMEONE put it on the table.  That IS a natural progression in the attempt to destroy this nation and make it over into their utopia (and everyone else's hell on earth).

I find the proposal extremely chilling, and I hope it DOES get people to start waking up from their "Reality TV"/Latest Hollywood Gossip/church-induced coma.  They need to vote against people like that... our only hope for continued freedom.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 18, 2015 at 11:42:36 AM EST

And in a similar way hard line Christians say the same thing about anyone who questions them. They cast a wide net over any who disagree with them in any way in any area are just not them---Americans. They question anyone's loyalty, citizenship, religion etc and if you don't measure up you become an enemy automatically if you down synoptically align. It makes for a very small and narrow elite.

The core has gotten so extreme and its aim for a LASER like purity is making even the old hardliners look "liberal" next to their new leaders of the party. The problem is what they demand they will never get following the rules. Only people in the hinterlands like them and voted them in, with a generally helping of gerrymandering to weakening those who are against their values. Values that they say cannot be argued with or compromised. For them stopping govt function is part of their modus operandi. 100% or 0. Their way or stopped govt.

by Nightgaunt on Fri Nov 20, 2015 at 08:13:47 PM EST

A retrogressive adult, but an adult still. Well, no.

Here's hoping the Ohio voters decide that he has a few screws loose and dump him like hot bricks, or like Missourians dumped Todd Akin. I don't think Kasich is a realistic Presidential candidate, though he may be hoping for VP.

by NancyP on Wed Nov 18, 2015 at 09:12:25 PM EST

I voted for Ted Strickland the first time around and FitzGerald the second time, but Kasich still won. I am flabbergasted by the collective stupidity and fearmongering.

by khughes1963 on Thu Nov 19, 2015 at 07:52:52 PM EST

It was created under GWB and continued under BHO. Which gives money directly to faith based aka Christian organizations from the govt till. Blatantly unconstitutional and because Pres. Obama is a Democrat he is allowed to do this. Just the latest in the many holes punched into that "wall of separation" that is crumbling before our eyes. An invasion by acquiescence of govt against all of us.

Pres. Obama if he ever was a Liberal, is a Neo-Liberal now which is really Republican. He isn't acting as our president, he is acting like a president to Christians and to Plutocrats, not to us.

by Nightgaunt on Fri Nov 20, 2015 at 07:52:59 PM EST

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by tadobre on Wed Jul 10, 2019 at 06:14:14 AM EST

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