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Adam Zyglis | Pope Francis / media.cagle.com

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

  • The rise of Christian fascism is aided by our complacency. The longer we fail to openly denounce and defy bankrupt liberalism, the longer we permit corporate power to plunder the nation and destroy the ecosystem, the longer we stand slack-jawed before the open gates of the city waiting meekly for the barbarians, the more we ensure their arrival.
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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Oct 6, 2013 | There is a desire felt by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment, radically diminish the role of government to create a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and force a recalcitrant world to bend to the will of an imperial and “Christian” America. Its public face is on display in the House of Representatives. This ideology, which is the driving force behind the shutdown of the government, calls for the eradication of social “deviants,” beginning with gay men and lesbians, whose sexual orientation, those in the movement say, is a curse and an illness, contaminating the American family and the country. Once these “deviants” are removed, other “deviants,” including Muslims, liberals, feminists, intellectuals, left-wing activists, undocumented workers, poor African-Americans and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible—will also be ruthlessly repressed. The “deviant” government bureaucrats, the “deviant” media, the “deviant” schools and the “deviant” churches, all agents of Satan, will be crushed or radically reformed. The rights of these “deviants” will be annulled. “Christian values” and “family values” will, in the new state, be propagated by all institutions. Education and social welfare will be handed over to the church. Facts and self-criticism will be replaced with relentless indoctrination.

Chris Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies. He is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City.

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How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington, George Monbiot, Guardian

How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist?

In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List

  • Many Christian leaders are chaplains of the status quo.  Their bottom line is about maintaining profits not being prophets.  Rather than finding their voices and speaking truth to power, they provide the Invocations and Benedictions for those in power—and also punish those who threaten the status quo.
  • The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes
  • Have They No Shame?

William Alberts, The World Can't Wait

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In broad daylight, without a Christian murmur, President Obama has placed a “kill list” on the altar of “American values.”  An unconstitutional, international law-violating, indifferent to innocent civilians, anti-American-breeding “kill list.” 

A national security advisors-created, biographical “baseball cards”-like, “PowerPoint slides-amplified “kill list,” comprised of enemy terrorist suspects, including Americans, whose execution the President alone has the authority to order.

William Alberts, a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. 

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Related:

The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes, Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, Nonviolent Cow

 

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Have They No Shame? Sally Steenland, Huffington Post 

  • Modern Republicans' callousness and willingness to overburden the poor evokes another act of state villainy -- one that is especially pertinent because Republican leaders so often invoke the Bible.
  • Why the Government Shutdown Is Unbiblical

 

 

 

 

Have They No Shame?

  • Modern Republicans' callousness and willingness to overburden the poor evokes another act of state villainy -- one that is especially pertinent because Republican leaders so often invoke the Bible.
  • Why the Government Shutdown Is Unbiblical

Sally Steenland, Huffington Post

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

10/02/2013 | Two weeks ago, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill that slashed $40 billion in food assistance to men, women, and children in need. Soon after, they refused to approve a spending bill to keep the government operating unless the bill contained provisions to cripple the Affordable Care Act, a law that will provide health care to more than 25 million uninsured Americans.

Democrats did not cave in to these demands, and the government was forced to shut down all nonessential services at 12:01 a.m. yesterday. Because of the shutdown, nearly 9 million low-income mothers and their infants stand to lose essential benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, which provides money for baby formula and food.

Sally Steenland is the Director, the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress.

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Why the Government Shutdown Is Unbiblical, Jim Wallis, Sojourners

To be hostile to the role of government is unbiblical, according to the scriptures. And, because of their hostility to government, many of those who are promoting this crisis are also hostile to the poor, who are supposed to be protected by the government. They blame the poor for their poverty instead of asking how government can protect the most vulnerable and even help lift them out of poverty.

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How You Can Help The Most Vulnerable People Hurt in the Government Shutdown, Jessica Prois & Eleanor Goldberg, Huffington Post 

  • From veterans to Head Start to individuals on welfare, read below to see who are the nation's most vulnerable populations are affected by the government shutdown and learn about how to support programs filling in the gaps below.
  • Conservatives Celebrate Shutdown of Government They Hate

 

 

The shame of the Catholic workplace

 

  • Even as the pope moderates, discriminatory practices continue.
  • Can Pope Francis Change the Church?

 

Jim Smith, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

 

 

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September 30, 2013 | The list keeps getting longer.

 

A teacher in New York City. An organist near Atlanta. A teacher in Chicago. A music director in Charlotte. A teacher in Columbus.

 

At an accelerating rate, Catholic schools and churches around the country are firing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees who have decided that they can no longer deny who they are and whom they love.

 

No school better exemplifies this unhappy trend than Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minn.

 

Jim Smith of Minneapolis is program director for DignityUSA, a member of the Equally Blessed coalition, which works for justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Roman Catholic Church and the wider society.

 

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Can Pope Francis Change the Church? Frances Kissling, Nation Magazine

 

  • It would be better still if there were no pope, no infallibility, no bishops with fiefdoms, and if a democratic church emerged. In that church, same-sex marriage would be celebrated, contraception would be the prelude to responsible parenthood and abortion would be understood as a necessary right. It is no accident that many Christian denominations without pope have moved in that direction. 
  • Let’s Face It, Pope Francis Still Ain’t That Great
  • This Pope Could Save the Catholic Church, And Maybe, America

 

Can Pope Francis Change the Church?

  • It would be better still if there were no pope, no infallibility, no bishops with fiefdoms, and if a democratic church emerged. In that church, same-sex marriage would be celebrated, contraception would be the prelude to responsible parenthood and abortion would be understood as a necessary right. It is no accident that many Christian denominations without pope have moved in that direction. 
  • Let’s Face It, Pope Francis Still Ain’t That Great
  • This Pope Could Save the Catholic Church, And Maybe, America

Frances Kissling, Nation Magazine

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican September 25, 2013. (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

September 25, 2013 | “A new pope will change nothing. Not a woman, not an African, not a Latin, not a nice guy. In fact, if anything is to change, the first thing that needs to happen is no pope, and certainly not an infallible one.”

So I said at the height of the hype that surrounded Pope Francis’s election. Church watchers noted that he was a humble man who cooked for himself, took public transport and lived in an ordinary apartment. But despite Francis’s example, no cardinal has followed his lead and moved out of his palace or given up his limo. He challenged the use of church property for profit, telling refugees at a pastoral meeting in a Jesuit center in Rome that “empty convents and monasteries should not be turned into hotels by the church to earn money.” Without doubt that’s what Jesus would do—but it’s unlikely that the pope’s words will lead the bishops to be so generous. US bishops are more likely to seek government funds to feed the poor and shelter the homeless than sell off their considerable real estate holdings. After all, about 54 percent of Catholic Charities’ funding comes from federal and state governments, not church coffers.

Frances Kissling is president of the Center for Health, Ethics and Social Policy and former president of Catholics for Choice.

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Related:

Let’s Face It, Pope Francis Still Ain’t That Great, Truthdig

Sep 21, 2013 | There’s no denying the latest pope is one of the better leaders the Catholic Church has seen. He’s been trying to turn the Vatican’s attention away from its “obsession” with abortion and homosexuality, and opened up the conversation about priestly celibacy. He’s attempted to prove his humility by living modestly and has announced that poverty is his main concern. And yet, despite all of these seemingly important steps, Salon’s Katie McDonough explains he’s “still pretty awful.”

This Pope Could Save the Catholic Church, And Maybe, America, Rob Kall, OpEd News 

  • Can you imagine if the Pope told his legions of Cardinals and Bishops and Priests to tell their flocks that it was evil for the House republicans to take away food stamps for five million people. 
  • A Big Heart Open to God
  • Chris Hedges on American Facists

 

The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes

  • “A Christian priest or minister will be hired to be a military chaplain as long as he or she agrees not to publicly teach all that Jesus teaches and all that his or her Church teaches.” – Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 
  • Chris Hedges on American Facists

Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, Nonviolent Cow

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary G. Kohls

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all-reader supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

September, 2013 | “Chaplains and psychiatrists are not only spiritual counselors: Americans also perceive them, rightly or wrongly, as guardians of the spirit, as guides to right thinking and proper behavior (in this way psychiatrists resemble chaplains more than they do other physicians). The veterans were trying to say that the only thing worse than being ordered by military authorities to participate in absurd evil is to have that evil rationalized and justified by guardians of the spirit. Chaplains and psychiatrists thus fulfill the function of helping men adjust to committing war crimes, while lending their spiritual authority to the overall project.” (Home from the War: Learning from Vietnam Veterans ~ Robert J. Lifton, Harvard Medical School) 

Every bishop, priest, minister, deacon, or pastor of any Church has a binding moral obligation to teach, properly, all that that Church teaches to those for whom he or she is spiritually responsible. If a Church teaches that there are seven sacraments, a bishop, priest or minister has no business teaching only about the four he or she likes and relegating the remaining three to oblivion, or giving them a short-shrift, tip-of-the-hat presentation, so puerile and shallow that all listening could not but agree with the assessment that these three belong in the realm of the ridiculous.

Father McCarthy is a Melkite Catholic priest and author on Christian Nonviolence.

Full story…

Related:

Chris Hedges on American Facists, Susan Armstrong, YouTube 

  • What Does the Christian Right Want?
  • Christian Empire 
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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