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Obama, Bush and Carson believe this nonsense?

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  • Our faith-addled, God-fearing leaders need to put superstition aside.
  • We expect dimwits like Huckabee to buy into the fire and brimstone. Must President Obama overindulge the faithful?
  • Christian America is an invention: Big business, right-wing politics and the religious lie that still divides us.

Jeffrey Tayler, Salon

carson_obama_jeb.jpgBen Carson, Barack Obama, Jeb Bush (Credit: AP/Reuters/Chris Keane/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/M. Spencer Green) 

Sunday, May 17, 2015 | CNN might wish to rename its show “This Week in Politics” as “This Week in God”; it’s getting that bad.  Just in the days between May 1 and May 7, for example, the Seventh-Day Adventist evolution-denier Ben Carson announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican nomination, as did the Southern Baptist and onetime pastor Mike Huckabee.  The Episcopalian-turned-Roman Catholic Jeb Bush has puzzlingly refrained from following in their footsteps, but that he gave this year’s commencement address at that stronghold of unreason and superstitious darkness, the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University, the site of the Southern Baptist Ted Cruz’s announcement in late March, augurs ill for rationalists and other sane folk.  Bush will announce, it’s just a question of when.

I note the religious affiliations of these potential contenders for the presidency because all are flaunting their faith, rather than keeping it a private matter of conscience, which in any other developed country it would be.  The gist is, unless you profess a piety befitting the mullahs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, things are going to get much, much more unpleasant for you before one or another God-coddler enters the White House in January 2017 to replace President Obama.

Jeffrey Tayler is a U.S.-born author and journalist. He is the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributor to several other magazines as well as to NPR's All Things Considered.

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

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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

When the Catholic Church owns your doctor

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  • The insidious new threat to affordable birth control
  • Eight of the largest health systems in America are now Catholic-owned. More and more won't prescribe contraception.
  • John Oliver Shows Why It Sucks To Be A Working Mother In America.

Patricia Miller, http://salon.comhttp://salon.com

doctor_church-620x412.jpg(Credit: gualtiero boffi, salajean via Shutterstock/Salon)

Monday, May 11, 2015 | Angela Valavanis had already had one bad encounter with the Catholic health care system when St. Francis Hospital, the hospital in Evanston, Ill., where she delivered her second baby, refused to allow her OB/GYN to tie her tubes because of Catholic restrictions on the procedure. When she went to her doctor’s office for a check-up after the birth and asked about going back on the Pill, since she hadn’t gotten the sterilization she wanted, she got another shock: “My doctor told me that she couldn’t prescribe birth control because she had sold her practice to a Catholic health system,” said Angela. “My mouth dropped open. I was so confused to hear those words coming out of the mouth of an OB/GYN.”

An OB/GYN who can’t prescribe birth control? It’s not some bad joke. It could be a reality if your doctor’s practice is purchased by a Catholic health system that then imposes the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a set of rules created by the U.S. Bishop’s Conference that prohibits doctors from doing everything from prescribing the Pill to performing sterilizations or abortions.

Patricia Miller is the author of Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work on the intersection of politics, sex and religion has appeared in Atlantic, Salon, Nation, Huffington Post, RH Reality Check, and Ms. Magazine.

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John Oliver Shows Why It Sucks To Be A Working Mother In America, Ed Mazza, Huffington Post

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  • “You can't have it both ways," Oliver said. "You can’t go on and on about how much you love mothers and then fail to support legislation that makes life easier for them."
  • TX Republican Lawmaker Wants Women To Carry Deceased Fetuses - To Full Term

“I just don’t believe this anymore”: Why I abandoned my faith

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  • Sarah Morehead of the nonprofit group Recovering From Religion reflects on her tortuous path to godlessness.
  • From the Archives | Easter Messages, 2014

Valerie Tarico, AlterNet

god_jesus.jpg (Credit: Wikimedia)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 | Americans are leaving their religions at a faster rate than ever before, and that means more are looking for help with the transition. People who are casually religious may walk away and not look back. But for others religion is at the very heart of their identity, worldview and community, and having a safe place to process doubts can be a metaphorical godsend.

“Reclaimers,” people who are actively working to rebuild their lives after a period of religious immersion, may struggle with harmful ideas and emotions from the beliefs they once held or the behavior of fellow believers. Alternately, they may find that leaving is lonely and disorienting. Marlene Winell, a human development consultant who assists people leaving their religion, coined the term Religious Trauma Syndrome to describe a pattern she saw in some clients, in particular those leaving closed, authoritarian, fear-based communities. But even doubters who don’t experience this level of distress may find themselves feeling confused, afraid, self-doubting or overwhelmed.

Valerie Tarico is a former fundamentalist Christian, psychologist, and writer in Seattle, WA, and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of "Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light" and "Deas and Other Imaginings."

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From the Archives | Easter Messages, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Jesus was killed because he was a speaker of God’s truth. He was an unrelenting advocate of justice. The resurrection stories make a profound declaration: Truth can never be killed and the truth-teller can never be defeated. 
  • Part 1:Telling the Truth about Easter
  • Part 2: Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

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

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • 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
     

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