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Christian America is an invention: Big business, right-wing politics and the religious lie that still divides us

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  • The idea of "one nation under God" is a modern one -- and does not date back to the Founding Fathers
  • Excerpted from "One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America"
  • The GOP’s demonic alliance: How the religious right & big business are dumbing down America
  • Big Bible vs. Big Business

Kevin M. Kruse, Salon

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huckabee_bush_rove.jpgMike Huckabee, George W. Bush, Karl Rove (Credit: AP/Reuters/Joe Skipper/Jason Reed/Rich Pedroncelli/Photo montage by Salon)

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 |  When he ran for the White House, Texas governor George W. Bush took a similarly soft approach, though one that came from the right. A born-again Christian, he shared Bill Clinton’s ability to discuss his faith openly. When Republican primary candidates were asked to name their favorite philosopher in a 1999 debate, for instance, Bush immediately named Christ, “because He changed my heart.” Despite the centrality of faith in his own life, Bush assured voters that he would not implement the rigid agenda of the religious right. Borrowing a phrase from author Marvin Olasky, Bush called himself a “compassionate conservative” and said he would take a lighter approach to social issues including abortion and gay rights than culture warriors such as Pat Buchanan. But many on the right took issue with the phrase. For some, the “compassionate” qualifier implicitly condemned mainstream conservatism as heartless; for others, the phrase seemed an empty marketing gimmick. (As Republican speechwriter David Frum put it, “Love conservatism but hate arguing about abortion? Try our new compassionate conservatism—great ideological taste, now with less controversy.”) But the candidate backed his words with deeds, distancing himself from the ideologues in his party. In a single week in October 1999, for instance, Bush criticized House Republicans for “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor” and lamented that all too often “my party has painted an image of America slouching toward Gomorrah.”

3/9780465049493.jpgIn concrete terms, Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” constituted a promise to empower private religious and community organizations and thereby expand their role in the provision of social services. This “faith­ based initiative” became the centerpiece of his campaign. In his address to the 2000 Republican National Convention, Bush heralded the work of Christian charities and called upon the nation to do what it could to sup­port  them. After  his inauguration, Bush moved swiftly to make the pro­posal a reality. Indeed, the longest  section  of his 2001 inaugural address was an expansive reflection on the idea. “America,  at its best, is compassionate,” he observed. “Church and charity, synagogue and mosque  lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws.” Bush promoted the initiative at his first Na­tional Prayer Breakfast as well. But it was ill-fated. Hamstrung by a lack of clear direction during the administration’s first months, it was quickly overshadowed by a new emphasis on national security after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.


Kevin M. Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton University. He studies the political, social, and urban/suburban history of 20th-century America, with particular interest in the making of modern conservatism.

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Related:

The GOP’s demonic alliance: How the religious right & big business are dumbing down America, Conor Lynch, Salon

  • The American writer, Issac Asimov, once said, “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” Unfortunately, this thread has continued to this day, and individuals like Ted Cruz and Scott Walker are here to remind us that ignorance can be quite competitive with knowledge, as long as there’s money behind it.
  • Christian America is an invention: Big business, right-wing politics and the religious lie that still divides us.

Big Bible vs. Big Business, Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out

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  • “This historic week made one thing clear. There is a new American coalition for equality emerging. It crosses party lines. It touches all sectors of society – from businesses to faith leaders, to elected officials. It is fundamentally reshaping our national politics. And no state legislator peddling a two-bit piece of bigoted legislation is going to fly in our country anymore.” --Chad Griffin, The Human Right’s Campaign
  • 'Religious Discrimination' Laws Have Nothing to Do With Religion
  • Indiana, Religious Liberty, and Religious War
     

The Business Side of the NFL

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  • As the most popular of the four major American sports leagues, the NFL is an industry unto itself.
  • Part 1: The Real NFL Scandal
  • Part 2: Graphic: The Business of the NFL
  • From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Real NFL Scandal

  • Do we want an economy that subsidizes billionaires and private corporations at the expense of the public or do we want an economy that works for all? That’s the question we should all ask ourselves, football fans or not.
  • From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners

Thom Hartmann, Thom Hartmann Program

thom20logo_60_24_228_53.jpgFeb. 2, 2015 | Seattle’s decision to throw the ball at the goal line with 20 seconds to go in last night’s Super Bowl was a costly one. But in the long run, it won’t be nearly as costly to the rest of America as the National Football League itself.

Every year, the NFL rakes in around $9.5 billion in revenue. Its commissioner, Roger Goodell, meanwhile, has an annual salary of $44 million. And while those numbers might make sense for any big business, the NFL isn’t a business - not technically, at least.

According to the Public Law 89-800, it’s a 501(c)6 tax-exempt non-profit. That’s right, a non-profit. In other words, the NFL, one of the most lucrative organizations in all of sports, is subsidized by you and me the taxpayers. If that sounds ridiculous and absurd, that’s because it is ridiculous and absurd.

Thom Hartmann is an American radio host, author, former psychotherapist, entrepreneur, and liberal political commentator. He is the #1 progressive radio talk show host in the US and a New York Times bestselling author, including 4 Project Censored awards.

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Part 2: Graphic: The Business of the NFL

As the most popular of the four major American sports leagues, the NFL is an industry unto itself.

The%20Business%20of%20the%20NFL%20illus.jpgFinance Degree Center

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Related:

From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners, Week Ending March 28, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The Twin Cities and the siren song of the positive economic impact of professional sports facilities.
  • The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners
  • “Sports fans eat shit.” ― George Carlin, Brain Droppings
  • 8 New Items including:
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats
  • The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners
  • Minneapolis and the siren song of economic impact
  • Stop the stadium lease signings now!
  • Vikings stadium funding plan should be formally reviewed
  • Vikings Stadium: It’s a question of priorities
  • Special Project | The Business of Sport: Week Ending September 28, 2014
  • Triple Play: Sports, Politics & Greed

 

Mark Fiore | Religious Freedom and Gay Commerce / www.markfiore.com

Mark Fiore | Religious Freedom and Gay Commerce / www.markfiore.com

Apr 2, 2015 | What do you do when you sign a law that is perfectly fine and simply safeguards Religious Liberty for All in the great tradition of apple pie and God?  Why, you urge your state legislators to revise it and make it acceptable to all those meddling outsiders who just don’t understand the wisdom of your legislation!  Or at least that’s what you do if you’re Indiana governor Mike Pence.

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Section(s): 

TPP Leak Reveals Extraordinary New Powers for Thousands of Foreign Firms to Challenge U.S. Policies and Demand Taxpayer Compensation

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  • Unveiling of Parallel Legal System for Foreign Corporations Will Fuel TPP Controversy, Further Complicate Obama’s Push for Fast Track
  • Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Deal

Public Citizen

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger.

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stopp-tppa.jpgMarch 25, 2015 | The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Investment Chapter, leaked today, reveals how the pact would make it easier for U.S. firms to offshore American jobs to low-wage countries while newly empowering thousands of foreign firms to seek cash compensation from U.S. taxpayers by challenging U.S. government actions, laws and court rulings before unaccountable foreign tribunals. After five years of secretive TPP negotiations, the text – leaked by WikiLeaks –proves that growing concerns about the controversial “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) system that the TPP would extend are well justified, Public Citizen said.

Enactment of the leaked chapter would increase U.S. ISDS liability to an unprecedented degree by newly empowering about 9,000 foreign-owned firms from Japan and other TPP nations operating in the United States to launch cases against the government over policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms. To date, the United States has faced few ISDS attacks because past ISDS-enforced pacts have almost exclusively been with developing nations whose firms have few investments here.

Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital. Since our founding in 1971, we have delved into an array of areas, but our work on each issue shares an overarching goal: To ensure that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.

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Related:

Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Deal, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Stop the Fast-Tracking of TPP!
  • Repeal NAFTA, CAFTA and all other “Free Trade” Deals!
  • Part 1: Key Labor Voices Say: New Strategy Needed To Stop TPP and TTIP!
  • Part 2: Stop the TPP in Its Tracks! Repeal NAFTA!

California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

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As the drought worsens in California, wars over water rights continue. But why do innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply continue to go untapped? It's time we generate mass awareness about this.

Ellen Brown, NationofChange.org

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WaterWars032515.jpgMarch 25, 2015 |  Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons”  – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, the Bush family, and their ilk – who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, author, and president of the Public Banking Institute. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how the power to create money has been usurped from the people, and how we can get it back. Her websites are http://webofdebt.com and http://ellenbrown.com.

Full story … 

Defense Industry Whores

  • Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpgWe must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. --Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Part 1: Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur destroys the ‘defense industry whores’ pushing for war with Iran
  • Part 2: Companies Profiting The Most From War

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur destroys the ‘defense industry whores’ pushing for war with Iran

 

Cenk Uygur lit into “defense industry whores” who will do anything they can to force the United States into a military engagement with Iran.

Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

 

cenk-uygur-nuclear-iran-screen-capture-800x430.jpg16 Mar 2015 | In a new video from The Young Turks, host Cenk Uygur lit into “defense industry whores” who will do anything they can to force the United States into a military engagement with Iran.

Uygur began by berating former Democratic senator Evan Byah for collaborating with a group that produced “one of the worst fear-mongering ads that I’ve ever seen.”

“It’s about our negotiations with Iran — and the point of those negotiations is that they don’t get nukes, and they can verify, absolutely positively, that they will not have nukes,” he continued. “This ad, of course, lies and says the exact opposite — that if we strike a peace deal with them and can verify that they don’t have nukes, they will get nukes.”

Scott Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and an associate editor at The Raw Story. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it.

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Part 2: Companies Profiting The Most From War

Despite the global drop (in world-wide military expenditure(s), weapons producers generated massive profits from arms sales, and U.S. and European companies continued to dominate the top 10 global companies in terms of arms deals. 

Mark Lieberman & Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2750144/images/n-BOEING-large570.jpgBoeing is among the companies that profit most from war. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) | AP

March 18, 2015 | Worldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year.

However, not all countries are spending less. Military spending in North America and in Western and Central European countries has continued to decline, while other countries such as Brazil and Russia have increased their arms investments.

Mark Lieberman & Thomas C. Frohlich are writers for 24/7 Wall St.

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BP oil spill: dead zones for many, profits for the few

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  • As the world ecological situation worsens, only a full-scale reorganization of our economic model will redirect capitalism’s suicidal course. But significant reforms should be pursued on the pathway to revolution, and the seizure of BP’s assets would provide major resources for restoring the Gulf. If the millionaires controlling the company dislike this notion, they should realize that, when you abuse the masses, they’ll rise in retaliation.
  • Four Years After Gulf Oil Spill, BP Is Recovering Faster Than Environment

Kyle Joseph, Liberation

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dissolved_o2_day7-e1425239423644.jpgMar 01, 2015 | When discussing the untold misery capitalism wreaks upon the poor and unwashed, apologists will resort to a defense as old and cynical as the system itself. “The free market,” they proclaim, “represents the untainted natural order, and tampering with its laws will yield devastation.”

How ironic, then, that as the aftermath of the 2010 oil spill devours the Gulf of Mexico, the forces of profit-driven harmony refuse to offer meaningful help. Instead, their money flows towards a different clean-up effort: ad campaigns to polish British Petroleum’s image.

This seems less like a “natural order,” and more like a manufactured farce.

Kyle Joseph: Undergraduate, University of Iowa, Political Science Department. Studies Political Science, International Relations, and Political Economy.

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Related:

Four Years After Gulf Oil Spill, BP Is Recovering Faster Than Environment, Miyoko Sakashita, Huffington Post

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  • Despite the ongoing carnage, little has been done to tighten oversight necessary to prevent similar spills in the future.
  • BP found another shady way to cheat public, get richer.

Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir

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  • City of Bloomington and Mall of America officials must re-think their racist positions to get the black person(s) that organized the #blacklivesmatter rally and show them who is the boss. This racist legacy has traveled over space and time from slavery. Just put a sign on all the doors that says, “People a shade darker than khaki not welcomed.” Hey, we can always shop online…the Internet is truly colorblind.
  • Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities

Don Allen, The Independent Business News Network

I%20Want%20You.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

png?resize=529%2C657Monday, March 16, 2015 | I remember driving to work down highway 77 heading to Eagan, Minnesota in 1985. Every morning before six o’clock I passed by the Met Center and wondering what this plan for a new mega-mall was all about. The radio station I worked for, WAYL-FM thought the new mall was a great opportunity to have events for its listeners…of course I agreed. I watched the turn of events from 1985 to 1989 as the Met Center was demolished and the new mega-mall started to change the city of Bloomington, its people and the state of Minnesota.

Bloomington grew. Hotels, gas stations, small businesses and corporate headquarters seated themselves close to this mecca of shopping, entertainment and great food. A place for international travelers to stop and see this amazing retail wonder, right here in the back yard of Minnesota Nice.

Don Allen, Publisher, The Independent Business News Network

 

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Related:

 

Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities, Bonnie St. John, Huffington Post <http://www.huffingtonpost.com>

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Disability awareness and responsiveness is important to any organization, from large multi-national corporations to small local companies. 

GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled

http://evergreenedigest.org/deepening-our-inclusion-people-disabilities

 

Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities

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  • Disability awareness and responsiveness is important to any organization, from large multi-national corporations to small local companies. 
  • GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled
  • Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir

Bonnie St. John, Huffington Post

I%20Want%20You.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Bonnie%20St.%20John%20%7C%20Live%20Your%20Joy.jpg03/10/2015 | Bonnie: Nowadays, most major corporations have internal "Business Resource Groups" or BRGs to represent diverse communities of employees such as women, veterans, or Hispanic employees. What is special about a BRG for people with disabilities?

Deb Dagit: Disability is represented in all other dimensions of human difference including race, faith, and sexual orientation. Almost everyone will experience a temporary disability at some point in their lives and likely end up with one or more life-long disabilities as they grow older. Also, given that 20% of the U.S. population has a disability, virtually everyone has a friend or family member who qualifies, even if they don't have a disability themselves.

Bonnie St. John: Olympic Ski Medalist, Amputee, Rhodes Scholar, former White House Official, Corporate Leadership Expert, and Best-Selling Author

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Related:

GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled, Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams

  • The claim that either the old-age or disability trust funds has run dry is 'one of the hoariest lies in the conservatives' playbook.'
  • New Budget Chair to cut Social Security! 

 

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Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir, Don Allen, The Independent Business News Network

takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpg

  • City of Bloomington and Mall of America officials must re-think their racist positions to get the black person(s) that organized the #blacklivesmatter rally and show them who is the boss. This racist legacy has traveled over space and time from slavery. Just put a sign on all the doors that says, “People a shade darker than khaki not welcomed.” Hey, we can always shop online…the Internet is truly colorblind.
  • Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities

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