South Park Blasphemy | Right Wing Fox News Cronie Seeks Government Inquisition


Fox News Host Wants Federal Investigation into ‘South Park‘ for Blasphemy

Fox News’s Todd Starnes is sick and tired of ‘South Park’ and Hollywood getting a free pass. The Fox News commentator participated in the Values Voter Summit panel on “Religious Hostility in America” over the weekend.

The panel featured the familiar argument that Christians in America are somehow a beleaguered minority that is under constant assault. Starnes claims to have a pile of stories stacked up on his desk about “instances of people who have been facing attack because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
Speaking of the controversy surrounding the laughably bad “Innocence of Muslims,” Starnes asked why the federal government isn’t investigating “shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths.” He also demanded to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced Hollywood.
We have the seen the administration come out and say, “we condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.” And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film.
Well, that’s well and good, but my question is, when has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?
Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?
Religious Right activists have been the most vocal supporters of the filmmakers, if you can call them that, and have rightfully pointed out that the First Amendment protects their activities. Starnes, however, seems to have a double-standard when it comes to speech that he deems offensive to his religious views.
As it turns out, the only investigation going on around the “Innocence of Muslims” concerns whether one of the purported “filmmakers” violated the terms of his probation. Otherwise the government has no place policing speech, regardless of who is offended, and the president is not the film critic in chief. President Obama can be excused, however, for speaking out when Americans are being killed over an amateurish YouTube video.

Religious Nutcase Kirk Cameron Causes The American Taliban To Drool


Kirk Cameron: “God IS the Platform”
The Christian Taliban movement
Wingnuts

Today’s moment of right wing religious fanaticism comes from former child star Kirk Cameron, who says, “one of our parties is wondering whether the name God should be in the platform,” but according to America’s founding fathers, “God is the platform!

The crowd cheers this line in a very disturbing way.

Looney Religious Right Promotes Fake “Crucifixion” | Religious Hoaxes


Jonathan Kay: Egypt’s “crucifixion” hoax becomes an instant Internet myth
Jonathan Kay | Aug 22, 2012 12:53 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 25, 2012 9:31 PM ET More from Jonathan Kay | @jonkay
PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Egyptian anti-government demonstrator holds a cross and the Koran at Cairo’s Tahrir Square back in 2011.

Have you heard the one about how Christians are being nailed up on crucifixes and left to die in front of the Egyptian presidential place?

It’s a story worth dissecting — not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect medium of truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

The Egyptian crucifixion story gained critical mass five days ago, when WorldNetDaily, a popular right-wing web site that promotes anti-gay and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories from an Evangelical perspective, published a story entitled “Arab Spring run amok: [Mulsim] Brotherhood starts crucifixions.”

“The Arab Spring takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood has run amok, with reports from several different media agencies that the radical Muslims have begun crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi,” author Michael Carl declared. “Middle East media confirm that during a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives ‘crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.’ ”

The article quickly went viral. It has been tweeted thousands of times, and has 14,000 Facebook “likes.” Education is apparently no defence against this sort of web-peddled nonsense: Some of the people who credulously sent me a link to the article in recent days included an Ivy League-educated U.S. lawyer, and a former Canadian Senator. Britain’s Daily Mail reported the story, as did thousands of blogs.

It is, of course, theoretically possible that Muslim radicals truly have “crucified” someone, somewhere, sometime, in Egypt. Islamist mobs have staged countless murderous attacks on Copt “infidels” in recent years — and a crucifixion would hardly be a more barbarous tactic than truck bombs and beheadings.

But the story doesn’t just allege that a crucifixion has taken place somewhere in Egypt: It alleges that multiple crucifixions have taken place in front of the presidential palace. That would be the equivalent of, say, mass lynchings taking place in front of the White House, or a giant gang rape taking place in front of Ottawa’s Centennial Flame fountain.

“If that happened, wouldn’t someone, you know, take a picture?” I asked one of the friends who emailed me the WorldNetDaily link. Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?

And yet, not one of the stories I saw had a photo — or even names or descriptions of any of the supposed crucifixion victims. So I decided to check out the “several different media agencies” that supposedly have reported the crucifixion story.

WorldNetDaily, and other sites that are reporting the story, all trace the claim of multiple Arabic sources to a Jewish web site called algemeiner, which has published its own highly-trafficked article on the subject, and to something called The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Like the cited Arabic sources, they in turn base their claims on reports from Sky News Arabic — a recently formed joint venture between BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. Sky is supposedly the original source on the story, everyone agrees. Yet neither algemeiner nor WND nor any of the other sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly outlines the facts.

That’s because there is no Sky report on the subject.

Yesterday I contacted the management of Sky News Arabic, and asked them about the crucifixions. According to Fares Ghneim, a Sky communications official, the crucifixion claim “began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached us.”

“Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website,” he added. “The story — which was taken down within minutes — was based on third-party reports and I am not aware that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is quoted in the article [by WorldNetDaily] … What’s unclear is where websites in North America got [the] Sky News Arabia bit from. As mentioned [previously], none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented on it. Clearly there is an intermediate source the websites got the info from, but as of yet we haven’t been able to identify it.”

Nevertheless, web surfers already had begun sourcing the story to Sky, at which point it went viral in portions of the Arabic media, and then on U.S. Christian web sites, and pro-Israel blogs. And thus was born an Internet urban legend. (Update: In response to my article, WND has posted a new article claiming they have confirmed the original Sky report — but the only relevant new evidence produced is an obscure Youtube video produced by a third party, which purports to reproduce text from the deleted Sky web story).

Enter the terms Brotherhood crucifying 2012 into Google and you get numerous hits, the most prominent being the articles I have discussed in this column. Every single one of them swallows this made-up story whole. Indeed, some are even more emphatic than the original WorldNetDaily story, such as a well-trafficked Free Republic headline that claims, plainly, “Muslim Brotherhood Are Crucifying People.”

Such sites also have carried other nonsense articles about the Muslim Brotherhood, such as that it plans to blow up the pyramids — which the New York Times thankfully took pains to debunk back in July. Yet till now, no one (that I can tell) has taken the time to investigate or debunk the crucifixion tale, even though it only took a few emails to Sky to show that it was bunk. (Ordinary Egyptians also could have helped debunk the story. Here’s how one Copt put it in an email to WorldNetDaily: “I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, i.e. Egyptian Christian, my mother and members of my family live within a stone throw from the presidential palace. I talk to my mother every other day. If something like what you mentioned in your article took place, she [would] be the first one to know.”)

Why do so many people believe this made up story? For the same reason that people believe all urban legends — because they play to some deeply held narrative that resides in our deepest fears. In this case, the narrative is that the Arab Spring is part of an orchestrated Islamist plot to destroy Western civilization (beginning with Israel). Believers in this narrative (who are especially numerous in America’s right-wing Evangelical circles) are so hungry for news items that purport to offer confirmation that they ignore the credibility of the messengers. If they had checked out the credibility of WorldNetDaily, for instance, they would have found that the site’s past “scoops” have included the claim that drinking soy milk makes you gay, and that Barack Obama himself is gay (presumably from aforesaid soy milk).

As James Callaghan once put the old adage, “a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” He was British PM back in the 1970s, decades before the Internet expedited the process. These days, the truth doesn’t even bother rousing itself from bed. It just turns over its sleep, and puts a pillow over its exposed ear to drown out the nonsense from the world’s web-enabled conspiracists.

AUGUST 24 UPDATE Earlier this week, I debunked the story — spreading like wildfire on WorldNetDaily and other Internet sites — that Christians were being crucified by the Muslim Brotherhood in front of Egypt’s presidential palace. As I noted, the story was based on nothing more than a social-media rumor that had been posted for a few minutes on the Web site of Sky News Arabic, before an alert Sky editor deleted it. From that small seed of nonsense, it traveled far and wide, as such urban legends do in the Internet age.

In response to my debunking, WorldNetDaily published a new article purporting to “confirm” the original crucifixion story. But the only relevant new evidence WND provides is a link to a video that purports to show the deleted text from the Sky web site. Since I already reported the existence of the original, short-lived Sky article, I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove. (More generally, the article also supplies links to Arabic-media images of people who have been brutalized — allegedly at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. I have no reason to doubt that these photos are genuine. But as I made abundantly clear in my original article, I don’t dispute that Egypt’s hardcore Islamists are a nasty lot. My article was limited to debunking the crucifixion claim. And none of the photos provided show any hint of crucifixion.)

Over the last day or so, I have had an ongoing email correspondence with Michael Carl, the WND reporter who wrote the crucifixion article. He tells me he is sticking by his story. When I asked him if he has “any information from any of the tens of thousands of people who would have seen an actual ‘crucifixion’ if one really did take place in front of the presidential palace,” he told me that he had. Tantalized, I pressed him for details. Alas, he refused to divulge any of the evidence to me — or anyone else. If he did, he explained, the Muslim Brotherhood “would kill my sources.” And so ended our correspondence.

More enlightening than my emails with Father Carl (he describes himself as a priest, as well as a reporter), was a note I got from a reader pointing out that this is not the first time that Islamists in the region have been falsely accused of crucifixions.

As Nathan J. Brown pointed out in early 2009, on the web site of the Carnegie Endowment, an internet rumor circulated in late 2008 to the effect that Hamas was “celebrating” Christmas by crucifying Gaza’s non-Muslims. And amazingly, it wasn’t just the conspiracy theorists at WND who got sucked into this one. According to Brown, it was featured in blogs connected to such respectable publications as The New Republic, National Review and Commentary. Even the Simon Wiesenthal Center was pushing the story.

Here is the real story, as Brown describes it:

Some officials of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Justice (answering to Hamas) have been drafting a new criminal code based on Islamic criminal law. They have not released its work (at least outside of Gaza), but they did hold a workshop to discuss a draft. A copy of this document fell into the hands of a reporter for the Arabic daily al-Hayat. While that newspaper is generally reliable enough, the reporter made a significant mistake: He thought the draft had been fully and finally passed by the parliament, not that it was the subject of a small group discussion. And he quoted from some passages in the law — including the title of a section dealing with categories of punishment that mentioned crucifixion (a legal category in Islamic criminal law). There was no evidence that the law went beyond using the term as a legal category. And since the reporter did quote some fairly strong provisions in other areas it seems unlikely that he would have missed the opportunity to mention any actual provisions for crucifixion. The small (and mistaken) article in al-Hayat was picked up by the Jerusalem Post (it also circulated in some Arabic media outlets) which — in perhaps the only glimmer of responsible journalism in this strange episode — added that it could not confirm the report. But that qualification got lost. So did the explanation from Hamas legal officials that no law had been passed. One Israeli activist working hard to circulate the charge (Itamar Marcus) actually went so far as to cover up his mistake by claiming that the Hamas denial (which was actually quite accurate) was simply a “lie” … And so columnists (generally on the right side of the political spectrum) began to claim that Hamas had legislated crucifixion — in the more lurid report — for any “unbelievers,” “enemies of Islam,” or even Christians. And few could resist mentioning that the timing coincided with Christmas.

The people reporting this false story were not deliberately lying. As I noted in my original post, they have simply become so wrapped up in the idea that we are fighting an existential war against militant Islam, that they are willing to believe any nonsense story they come across without checking it. If it sounds like it could be true, then it must be.

The first casualty of war, as always, is truth.

National Post jkay@nationalpost.com Twitter @jonkay

Secularism vs. Theocracy | The Good Guys vs. Superstitious Ignorance


Secularism vs. Theocracy
Freedom vs. Theocracy
Freedom vs. theocracy is appropriate for this image because today’s Democratic Party is anything but secular. Instead of standing up for our secular democracy, many have adopted a path of pandering to the religious. For us, regardless of our political leanings, it is about secularism vs. theocracy.
Here’s how Adam Lee (Daylight Atheism) recently put it:

It’s secularism against theocracy, the free intellect against dogmatism, conscience against barbarity, the future against the past. Like it or not, it’s one of the defining struggles of our time. And there are many decent, well-intentioned people who don’t want to confront the full scope of the problem, who turn their gazes from it or try to paper it over with soothing platitudes. (Or worse, they claim that we, the people who are pointing out the problem, are the ones who started it all, and everything would be fine if we’d just be quieter and more respectful.)

I encourage you to read Lee’s entire post. It is one of those rare gems I plan to bookmark and re-read whenever I feel like giving up.

Catholic Fascist Robert Spencer Defends Genocidal Bigots


Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Anders Breivik's choice for the "Noble Peace Prize," Robert Spencer

Anders Breivik’s choice for the “Noble Peace Prize,” Robert Spencer

Via:- Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Extremist far right anti-Muslim, MEK-Terror linked, Terrorist Inspirer, and conservative Catholic apologist Robert Spencer‘s bigotry and hatred for Islam and Muslims is evident to most rational individuals. Just take a brief glance at our copious documentation of his words, statements and activities if you are unsure of what we mean. You can also see what others have said about Spencer.

Spencer is so stuck in his goofy 11th century Crusader mentality that he is once again defending open calls to genocide. I guess he didn’t learn anything from the Anders Breivik fiasco, you know, the “insane” terrorist who thought Robert Spencer deserved the “Noble Peace Prize.”

This time Spencer is going to bat for the loony-even-by-Geller-standards, BareNakedIslam website, which was briefly shut down by WordPress for violating its terms and conditions.

A few days ago Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim reported on the unanimous cacophony of sadistic joy displayed by the owners and commenters on BareNakedIslam regarding the repeated arson attacks on mosques in France.

An anti-Muslim site called Bare Naked Islam has posted an article celebrating this. The article is titled “WOO HOO! Yet ANOTHER anti-Muslim attack on a French mosque”.  Just in case they take it down, CAIR has saved the page here.  The headline of the article states Apparently, Hell hath no fury like a Frenchman scorned. It’s the third attack on a mosque just this month. Will the Muslims ever get a clue that they are not welcome in France?

Most of the comments below the Bare Naked Islam article are hateful.  Some examples:

1
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5
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Musaji notes:

This last comment by Keith Mahone is the most extreme, and a particular concern since he says in his long rambling rant that he regularly drives past a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and that the sight of that mosque causes him distress.

I waded through a few articles on the site and the comments, and found that this sort of rabid hatred of Muslims and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, but also actually murdering them is common.

Read Sheila Musaji’s complete piece, it details even more examples of the rabid and visceral genocide calling on BareNakedIslam.

Spencer has linked to BareNakedIslam for years now and they seem to have a mutual admiration for one another. Spencer does not take issue with BNI’s anti-Muslim genocidal rants nor does he condemn them, rather he resorts to conspiracy theory and forwards the argument that BNI is a victim of “Islamic supremacist” warfare.

Instead of apologizing for associating with BNI he rushes full hog into their corner, lauding them as an “anti-Jihad website.” He gives the meager caveat that “he doesn’t agree with everything they write,” and that “he doesn’t condone threats” but then he goes onto deflect, saying they were just a few “unhinged comments.”

No, Spencer, they aren’t a few comments they are just an example of the consistent violent anti-Muslim rhetoric pervasive in the Islamophobesphere, including your own blog (one example out of many):

Spencer also oddly attempts to deflect by posting screen shots of comments by commenters “Mosizzle” and “RefutingActs” on Spencerwatch which he interpreted as a threat, but which even some of his own followers considered a ludicrous stretch. It is really a pathetic attempt at “deflection” when anyone with half a brain knows that what is written on a daily basis on JihadWatch and BareNakedIslam cannot compare to our meticulous care in deleting hateful or bigoted remarks and even allowing some Islamophobes such as “halal pork” to post.

At the end of the day, Spencer is so far down the rabbit hole he probably doesn’t understand what he is doing. At this point he’s hoping for a Hail Mary that may somehow redeem his hateful and bloody fantasies of a world without Muslims.

Suspected White House Shooter’s Right Wing Ideas


The Suspected White House Shooter’s Right Wing Ideas
An anti-government religious fanatic who thinks Obama is the anti-Christ
Charles Johnson

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama, and in light of the right wing blogosphere’s ongoing attempts to link Ortega to the Occupy Wall Street protests, it should be pointed out that what we know so far about his delusional ideas falls much more in line with right wing religious ideology: Idaho Man Threatened Obama, Officials Say.

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez’s family had reported him missing in Idaho Falls last month, after he drove away in the Honda Accord, the complaint said. The Secret Service has said it did not have Mr. Ortega-Hernandez on record as having made any threats against the president. But after the shooting, several acquaintances said he had been fixated on Mr. Obama.

Besides the one friend who told investigators that Mr. Ortega-Hernandez had said he believed the president was the “Antichrist” and that he needed to kill him, another friend said he stated “President Obama was the problem with the government,” was “the devil,” and that he “needed to be taken care of.” The second friend also said he appeared to be “preparing for something.”

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez has had legal problems in Idaho, Texas, and Utah, including charges related to drug offenses, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, officials have said. He is said to be heavily tattooed, with the word “Israel” on his neck and pictures of rosary beads and hands clasped in prayer on his chest.

The crazy idea that President Obama is the anti-Christ is a very common meme on the religious right; here’s one of many articles at World Net Daily promoting this idiocy: Did Jesus actually reveal name of the ‘antichrist’?

The name that “Jesus revealed,” according to this article, is Barack Obama.

Hitler Was God’s Chosen Hunter: Hunting Jews! Claims Crazy For God John Hagee!


The Religious Right habitually camouflages it’s nefarious Christian Nationalist Worldview behind a phoney “pro-Israel” facade.

Religious fanatic John Hagee believes god sent Hitler to exterminate Jews and thus, as act and prophetic directive of his god, obviously a righteous and just genocide.

Like Catholic Hitler, John Hagee believes that unless Jews are converted to his Christ, they will be eradicated in the fires of hell that is, their final annihilation.

One has to wonder how even certain Right Wing Jews can be so utterly blind and continue support a religious buffoon who considers the destruction of Jews an inexorable, righteous and prophetic dictate — of his
psychopathic god?!

Jerry Taliban Boykin: Churches To Occupy


Boykin: The Church Is Called To Occupy
      Submitted by Brian Tashman

Jerry Boykin last week sat down with Paul Crouch Jr. of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s show First To Know to discuss a new movie based on his autobiography “Never Surrender.” Boykin, who earlier this month demanded that mosques be banned in America, told Crouch that the Church needs to become more politically active because of threats to religious freedom from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and MoveOn. He called on viewers to work “so that the Church emerges as the dominant influence in America,” adding, “I refuse to believe that we can’t, because God told us to occupy.”

Watch:

Boykin: The Church had the dominant influence in America. Today we have ceded that to other organizations like the ACLU and MoveOn.org and Code Pink and ACORN. It is time for the Church, for Bible-believing Christians regardless of denomination, to unify and understand that we truly serve the same God, Jesus Christ, and we need to come before Him and ask for His forgiveness for where this nation has gone and how we’ve turned our backs on God, and ask God to lead us to do our part, individually, to do our part to make a difference in America so that the Church emerges as the dominant influence in America in what we were called to be, again, the salt and light for this nation.

Crouch: And that in your opinion, that is possible? We can take this nation back, in your opinion?

Boykin: We absolutely can take this nation back and I refuse to believe that we can’t, because God told us to occupy.

Religious Right Exploits Churches as Politcal Fronts


Clergy Should Be Wary Of Religious Right Attempts To Politicize Churches, Says Americans United
   September 28, 2011

‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ Is Stunt To Lure Churches Into Illegal Electioneering, Watchdog Group Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on the nation’s clergy to reject Religious Right attempts to turn houses of worship into centers for partisan politicking.

This Sunday (Oct. 2) the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is sponsoring “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an event in which evangelical pastors are urged to break the law by endorsing or opposing candidates as they conduct religious services.

“This is an appalling attempt by the Religious Right to turn houses of worship into houses of partisan politics,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Americans attend church for spiritual guidance, not to get a list of candidates to vote for on Election Day.

“I know the Religious Right would like to forge fundamentalist churches into a partisan political machine,” Lynn continued, “but the law doesn’t allow it, and the American people don’t want it.”

The ADF, a legal group founded by TV preachers, insists that pastors should have the right to endorse candidates from the pulpit. But Americans United points out that all non-profit groups in the 501(c)(3) category — whether religious or secular — are barred under federal tax law from using non-profit personnel or resources to intervene in elections.

AU’s Lynn noted that the American people do not support church electioneering. A recent study found that 73 percent of Americans agree that religious leaders should not intervene in elections.

Americans United sponsors Project Fair Play, a project that educates clergy and congregants about the requirements of federal tax law. Through Project Fair Play (www.projectfairplay.org), Americans United makes a variety of educational materials available that explain what houses of worship can and can’t do in the political arena.

In cases of flagrant violations of the law, Americans United reports offending religious institutions to the IRS.

“Church electioneering is illegal, and the people don’t support it,” Lynn remarked. “It’s time for the Religious Right to stop trying to drag churches into backroom politics.”

The Internal Revenue Service is charged with enforcing this tax law provision. Religious groups that have been either sanctioned or investigated include:

Christian Broadcasting Network, Virginia Beach, Va.: TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network was stripped of its tax-exempt status retroactively for the years 1986 and 1987 for supporting Robertson’s presidential bid. CBN was required to make a “significant payment” to the IRS, pledge to avoid partisan campaign activities in the future, place more outside directors on its board and implement other organizational and operational changes to ensure tax law compliance.

Old Time Gospel Hour, Lynchburg, Va.: The late Jerry Falwell’s TV ministry lost its tax-exempt status retroactively for the years 1986 and 1987 after a four-year IRS audit determined that the ministry had diverted money to a political action committee. The ministry agreed to pay the IRS $50,000 for those years and to change its organizational structure so that no future political campaign intervention activities would occur.

Church at Pierce Creek, Binghamton, N.Y.: This church lost its tax-exempt status after running newspaper ads in 1992 urging people not to vote for Bill Clinton. Assisted by attorneys with TV preacher Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, the church sued to get its exemption back but lost in federal court.

Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas: This prominent Texas church endured a three-year IRS audit after the church was reported to the federal tax agency for alleged involvement with a special project in 1996 designed to encourage members to attend a GOP precinct convention with the aim of electing certain individuals to local committees.

Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, N.Y.: This church was visited by IRS agents and its pastor, the Rev. Floyd Flake, was asked to sign documents stating that he would not intervene in election campaigns after he endorsed presidential candidate Al Gore from the pulpit in 2000.

Bill Keller Ministries/Live Prayer, St. Petersburg, Fla.: The founder of this ministry was contacted by the IRS, which sent him a list of detailed questions to answer about his political activity, after he issued a “devotional” on the ministry’s website in 2007 asserting that voting for Mitt Romney is the same as voting for Satan.

In addition, in 2006 the IRS issued a report stating that it examined 132 non-profits during the 2004 election cycle. The tax agency noted that “fewer than half” of the entities examined were churches and concluded that in many of the cases, significant violations of the law had occurred. Written warnings were issued in 55 cases.

In 2008, the IRS took the step of sending letters to officials in the national political parties, reminding them that houses of worship and other tax-exempt entities cannot endorse candidates.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Source:- http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/archives/2011/09/clergy-should-be-wary-of.html

Peter King Catholic Fascist & Terrorist Apologist is Chair of House Homeland Security Committee?!


Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011 11:59 ET

At U.K. terror inquiry, Rep. King defends I.R.A. terror

At a parliamentary hearing on Muslim radicalization, the New York Republican condones Irish radicalization

[Is Catholic commissar Peter King the new Joseph (Catholic fascist) McCarthy and fueling a new Inquisition?]

AP
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) stood by his past support for Irish terrorism during an appearance today before a British parliamentary inquiry into the roots of Muslim terrorism.

King, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, came under fire as a hypocrite earlier this year when he launched his own hearings into “domestic radicalization” in the American Muslim community. Critics, including a civilian survivor of a 1990 Irish Republican Army bombing in London, called out King for being an unrepentant supporter of the I.R.A. King built his career in the Irish Catholic community of Nassau County as a pro-I.R.A. firebrand in the 1980s, and was even involved with a fundraising organization suspected of providing the militant group with money and weapons.

So it was a bit of surprise when the Home Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons invited King to testify in its “Roots of violent radicalisation” inquiry. Inevitably, King’s I.R.A.-supporting past came up.

It was the longtime Labour MP David Winnick, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 1966, who confronted King.

“There’s been some surprise in the United States but also in Britain that you have a job looking into and investigating into terrorism,” said Winnick. King, the MP added, “seems to be an apologist for terrorism.”

Winnick cited a King quote from 1982:

We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.

And another from 1985:

If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.

“Do you stand by that?” Winnick asked King.

“I stand by it in the context of when it was said,” King responded, without hesitation.

He later added that those quotes were designed to “put [the conflict] in a perspective” for an American audience that was too often exposed to anti-I.R.A. points of view.

He then offered this lengthy defense of the role he played during the conflict in Ireland. Conspicuously missing from it is any denunciation of, or expression of regret for, I.R.A. terrorism.

I stand by it in the context of when it was said. … I can cite you Tony Blair, as recently as March of this year, put out a long statement defending my record both in the 1980s and throughout the Irish peace process. I was just out in the hallway and Baroness Kennedy came up to me to thank me for the work I did in the Irish peace process. Paul Murphy came by last evening.

What I was saying — and I stand by it — is that the situation in northern Ireland — there were loyalist paramilitaries and obviously Republican paramilitaries — and I believe that, I had gotten to know Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. And I was very confident that if the Republican movement could get to the table, you would see a peace process. And I believe the United States had a very significant role to play as an honest mediator, as an honest broker. And I worked very closely with Bill Clinton, I was very much involved in the Good Friday agreements, I was very involved in getting Gerry Adams’ visa, but also involved in getting loyalists into the United States. I felt that when it was on the table, that Adams and McGuinness would be able to, if you will, control the republican movement. And it’s worked. Tony Blair said I made invaluable contribution to peace, Bill Clinton has cited me in his memoirs as a person who was very much involved.

It was never my position as an Irish-American, whether or not Ireland was united, to me there were injustices in the north. There were good people on both sides. I spent a lot of time meeting with the loyalist community, the unionist community, at the same time, and I came away from that convinced that there was a role for the U.S. to play. What I was saying with those quotes, I was also trying to put in perspective. All of the quotes were anti-I.R.A. in the United States, no mention [ever] made of the UVF or the UDA or the Red Hand Commandos or whatever. I was trying to put it in a perspective to show that there were people — that this is not just the terrorist mayhem it was made out to be — that there were significant leaders on the Republican side.

It’s also worth noting here that this year King defended his support for the I.R.A. to the New York Times by claiming that the group had “never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.” He did not repeat that explanation to the parliamentary committee.

Winnick followed up on the exchange by asking about British use of torture against the I.R.A. being used as a recruiting tool, and whether there is a parallel to post-9/11 U.S. torture policies. King said he did not believe there was.

Watch the exchange, beginning at the 10:18:50 mark.

http://salon.com/a/svEMfAA

  • Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at jelliott@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

Godly Terrorist Anders Breivik Inspired by American Catholic Fascist Robert Spencer, Jewish Hatemonger Pamela Geller & Fascist Religious Right


Anders Breivik’s spider web of hate

Anders Breivik’s manifesto reveals a subculture of nationalistic and Islamophobic websites that link the European and American far right in a paranoid alliance against Islam and is also rooted in some democratically elected parties.

The Guardian has analysed the webpages he links to, and the pages that these in turn link to, in order to expose a spider web of hatred based around three “counter-jihad” sites, two run by American rightwingers, and one by an eccentric Norwegian. All of these draw some of their inspiration from the Egyptian Jewish exile Gisele Littman, who writes under the name of Bat Ye’or, and who believes that the European elites have conspired against their people to hand the continent over to Muslims.

As well as his very long manifesto, Breivik also laid out some of his thoughts on the Norwegian nationalist site Document.no. In his postings there, Breivik referred to something he called “the Vienna school of thought”, which consists of the people who had worked out the ideology that inspired him to commit mass murder. He named three people in particular: Littman; the Norwegian Peder Jensen who wrote under the pseudonym of Fjordman; and the American Robert Spencer, who maintains a site called Jihad Watch, and agitates against “the Islamisation of America”.

But the name also alludes to a blog called Gates of Vienna, run by an American named Edward “Ned” May, on which Fjordman posted regularly and which claims that Europe is now as much under threat from a Muslim invasion as it was in 1683, when a Turkish army besieged Vienna.

All of these paranoid fantasists share a vision articulated by the Danish far-right activist Anders Gravers, who has links with the EDL in Britain and with Spencer and his co-conspiracist Pamela Geller in the US. Gravers told a conference in Washington last year:

“The European Union acts secretly, with the European people being deceived about its development. Democracy is being deliberately removed, and the latest example being the Lisbon Treaty. However the plan goes much further with an ultimate goal of being a Eurabian superstate, incorporating Muslim countries of north Africa and the Middle East in the European Union. This was already initiated with the signing of the Barcelona treaty in 1995 by the EU and nine north African states and Israel, which became effective on the 1st of January, 2010. It is also known as the Euro-Mediterranean co-operation. In return for some European control of oil resources, Muslim countries will have unfettered access to technology and movement of people into Europe. The price Europeans will have to pay is the introduction of sharia law and removal of democracy.”

Spencer’s jihadwatch.org is linked to 116 times from Breivik’s manifesto; May’s Gates of Vienna 86 times; and Fjordman 114 times.

Spencer and Geller were the organisers of the protest against the so-called 9/11 mosque in New York City. They also took over Stop Islamisation of America, a movement with links to the EDL and to a variety of far-right movements across Europe. Of the two, Spencer is less of a fringe figure. He has been fulsomely interviewed by the Catholic Herald in this country and praised by Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, who called him “a profound and subtle thinker”. Damian Thompson, a leader writer on the Telegraph, once urged his readers to buy Spencer’s works, especially if they believed that Islam was “a religion of peace”. Last week, Spencer’s blog re-ran a piece from Geller’s Atlas Shrugged website claiming that Governor Rick Perry, the creationist rightwinger from Texas, is actually linked to Islamists via Grover Norquist, the far-right tax cutter whom Geller claims is “a front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. Geller also once republished a blogpost speculating that President Obama is the love child of Malcolm X.

As well as the “counter-jihad” websites such as Spencer’s and May’s, analysis of Breivik’s web reveals a dense network of 104 European nationalist sites and political parties. Some of these are represented in parliaments: Geert Wilders’s Dutch Freedom party; the French National Front; the Danish People’s party, the Norwegian Progress party (of which Breivik was briefly a member before he left, disgusted with its moderation); the Sweden Democrats. Others, like the EDL, are fringe groupings. Then there are those in between, such as the Hungarian far-right party Jobbik. But they range all across Europe. They are united by hostility to Muslims and to the EU.

One place where these strands intertwine is the Brussels Journal, a website run by the Belgian Catholic MEP Paul Belien, a member of the far-right Vlaams Belang party. The British Europhobic Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan appeared for three years on the Brussels Journal’s masthead. Hannan has since denounced the European neo-fascist parties as not really rightwing at all.

To appear on this list is not to be complicit in Breivik’s crime. Peder “Fjordman” Jensen was so shocked by it that he gave himself up to the police and gave an interview to a Norwegian paper in which he appeared genuinely bewildered that his predictions of a European civil war should have led anyone to such violence.

It is still more unfair to blame Melanie Phillips. Although she was cited by Breivik at length for an article claiming that the British elite had deliberately encouraged immigration in order to break down traditional society and she has written that “Bat Ye’or’s scholarship is awesome and her analysis is as persuasive as it is terrifying“, she has also argued, with nearly equal ferocity, against the “counter-jihad” belief that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim.

The world view of the counter-jihadis echoes that of the jihadis they feel threatened by. The psychological world of the jihadis has been described by the British psychiatrist Russell Razzaque, who rejected recruitment by Hizb ut-Tahrir when he was a medical student. It is not just a matter of a black-and-white world view, he says, though that is part of it. “It’s a very warm embrace. You felt a sense of self-esteem, a sense of real embrace. Then it gives you a sense of purpose, which is also something you’ve never had so much. The purpose is a huge one. Part of a cosmic struggle when you’re on the right side: you’re another generation in the huge fight that goes back to the crusades.”

This clearly mirrors Breivik’s self-image. What makes him particularly frightening is that he seems to have radicalised himself, just as jihadis do, before he went looking for advice and guidance on the internet. But he was able to take the last few steps into mass murder all alone, so far as we know. Jihadi groups also withdraw from the world into a cramped and paranoid universe of their own. Suicide bombers such as the 9/11 and 7/7 groups spent months psyching each other up before the crime, talking obsessively for hours every day. But Breivik, though he withdrew from society to his farm, seems to have spent his time alone with the internet. It allowed him to hear his own choir of imaginary friends, and hear inside his head their voices cheering him on to murder and martyrdom. Here they are, mapped.

Original post: Anders Breivik’s spider web of hate

Religious Rights Republican Crusaders


The Christian right‘s “dominionist” strategy

Reuters/Richard Carson
Rick Perry

An article in the Texas Observer last month about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s relationship with followers of a little-known neo-Pentecostal movement sparked a frenzied reaction from many commentators: Dominionism! Spiritual warfare! Strange prophecies!

All the attention came in the weeks before and after “The Response,” Perry’s highly publicized prayer rally modeled on what organizers believe is the “solemn assembly” described in Joel 2, in which “end-times warriors” prepare the nation for God’s judgment and, ultimately, Christ’s return. This “new” movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, is one strand of neo-Pentecostalism that draws on the ideas of dominionism and spiritual warfare. Its adherents display gifts of the spirit, the religious expression of Pentecostal and charismatic believers that includes speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing and a belief in signs, wonders and miracles. These evangelists also preach the “Seven Mountains” theory of dominionism: that Christians need to take control of different sectors of public life, such as government, the media and the law.

The NAR is not new, but rather derivative of charismatic movements that came before it. Its founder, C. Peter Wagner, set out in the 1990s to create more churches, and more believers. Wagner’s movement involves new jargon, notably demanding that believers take control of the “Seven Mountains” of society (government, law, media and so forth), but that’s no different from other iterations of dominionism that call on Christians to enter these fields so that they are controlled by Christians.

After Perry’s prayer rally, Rachel Maddow featured a segment on her MSNBC show in which she warned,

“The main idea of the New Apostolic Reformation theology is that they are modern day prophets and apostles. They believe they have a direct line to God … the way that they’re going to clear the way for it [the end of the world] is by infiltrating and taking over politics and government.”

Maddow’s ahistorical treatment of the NAR, however, overlooked several important realities. For anyone who has followed the growth of neo-Pentecostal movements, and in particular the coalition-building between the political operatives of the religious right and these lesser-known but still influential religious leaders, the NAR is just another development in the competitive, controversial, outrageous, authoritarian and often corrupt tapestry of the world of charismatic evangelists.

Before the NAR came along, plenty of charismatic leaders believed themselves to be prophets and apostles with a direct line to God. They wrote books about spiritual warfare, undergirded by conspiracy theories about liberals and Satan and homosexuality and feminism and more (my own bookshelves are filled with them). They preached this on television. They preached it at conferences. They made money from it. They all learned from each other.

Before the NAR, Christian right figures promoted dominionism, too, and the GOP courted these religious leaders for the votes of their followers. Despite a recent argument by the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg that “we have not seen this sort of thing at the highest levels of the Republican Party before,” it’s been there since at least 1980. Michele Bachmann is a product of it; so was Mike Huckabee. Ronald Reagan pandered to it; so did both Bushes; so does Perry.

In 2007, I saw Cindy Jacobs and other “apostles” lay hands on Shirley Forbes, wife of Rep. Randy Forbes, the founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which boasts some Democrats as members and many of the GOP’s leading lights. “You are going to be the mother of an army,” they told Forbes, prophesying that she would “speak the power of the word into politics and government. Hallelujah!”

The idea that Christians have a sacred duty to get involved in politics, the law and media, and otherwise bring their influence to bear in different public spheres is the animating principle behind the religious right. If you attend a Values Voters Summit, the annual Washington confab hosted by the Family Research Council, you’ll hear speakers urging young people to go into media, or view Hollywood as a “mission field.” That’s because they insist these institutions have been taken over by secularists who are causing the downfall of America with their anti-Christian beliefs.

A few days ago, the Washington Post’s religion columnist, Lisa Miller, took Goldberg and Maddow to task for overhyping dominionism as a plot to take over the world. Miller, though, misses the boat, too, by neglecting to acknowledge and describe the infrastructure the religious right has built, driven by the idea of dominionism.

Oral Roberts University Law School, where Bachmann earned her law degree, was founded with this very notion in mind: to create an explicitly Christian law school. Herb Titus, the lawyer converted by Christian Reconstructionism who was instrumental in its launch, describes his mission in developing a Christian law school as a fulfillment of a “dominion mandate.” After ORU was absorbed into Regent University in the 1980s, Titus was the mentor to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who last week was elevated to chair of the Republican Governors Association and is widely speculated to be a possible vice-presidential pick.

Christian Reconstructionists, and their acolytes of the Constitution Party, believe America should be governed by biblical law. In her 1995 book, “Roads to Dominion: Right Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States,” Sara Diamond describes the most significant impact of Reconstructionism on dominionism:

“the diffuse influence of the ideas that America was ordained a Christian nation and that Christians, exclusively, were to rule and reign.” While most Christian right activists were “not well-versed in the arcane teachings” of Christian Reconstructionism, she wrote, “there was a wider following for softer forms of dominionism.”

For the Christian right, it’s more a political strategy than a secret “plot” to “overthrow” the government, even as some evangelists describe it in terms of “overthrowing” the powers of darkness (i.e., Satan), and even some more radical, militia-minded groups do suggest such a revolution. In general, though, the Christian right has been very open about its strategy and has spent a lot of money on it: in the law, as just one example, there are now two ABA-accredited Christian law schools, at Regent (which absorbed the ORU law school) and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. There are a number of Christian law firms, like the Alliance Defense Fund, formed as a Christian counterweight to the ACLU. Yet outsiders don’t notice that this is all an expression of dominionism, until someone from that world, like Bachmann, hits the national stage.

John Turner, University of South Alabama historian and author of “Bill Bright and the Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America,” said that the NAR’s “Seven Mountains” dominionism is “just a catchy phrase that encapsulates what Bright and many other evangelical leaders were already doing — trying to increase Christian influence (they would probably use more militant phrases like ‘capture’) in the spheres of education, business and government.”

Bright, like Perry’s prayer cohorts, believed America was in trouble (because of the secularists) and needed to repent. One of the most well-known evangelicals in the country, Bright had agreed to let Virginia Beach preacher John Gimenez, a charismatic, organize the rally, despite evangelical discomfort with charismatic religious expression. In his book, Turner describes the Washington for Jesus rally of 1980:

From the platform, Bright offered his interpretation of the source of the country’s problems, asserting that “[w]e’ve turned from God and God is chastening us.” “You go back to 1962 and [196]3 [when the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer and Bible-reading],” Bright argued, “and you’ll discovered a series of plagues that came upon America.” Bright cited the Vietnam War, increased drug use, racial conflict, Watergate, and a rise in divorce, teenage pregnancy, and alcoholism as the result of those decisions. “God is saying to us,” he concluded, “‘Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!'” … “Unless we repent and turn from our sin,” warned Bright, “we can expect to be destroyed.”

Unlike Perry’s rally, Ronald Reagan the candidate wasn’t present at the Washington for Jesus rally. At a 2007 gathering at his church, Gimenez recounted how he and Bright later met with President Reagan, and Bright told him, “You were elected on April 29, 1980, when the church prayed that God’s will would be done.”

In August 1980, though, after Reagan had clinched the nomination, he did appear at a “National Affairs Briefing” in Texas, where televangelist James Robison (also instrumental in organizing Perry’s event) declared, “The stage is set. We’ll either have a Hitler-type takeover, or Soviet domination, or God is going to take over this country.” After Robison spoke, Reagan took the stage and declared to the 15,000 activists assembled by Moral Majority co-founder Ed McAteer, “You can’t endorse me, but I endorse you.”

That was also a big moment for Huckabee, who worked as Robison’s advance man. It was even imitated by then-candidate Barack Obama, who met with a group of evangelicals and charismatics in Chicago and repeated Reagan’s infamous line. Obama’s group included publisher Stephen Strang (an early endorser of Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid) and his son Cameron, whose magazines Charisma and Relevant help promote the careers of the self-declared modern-day prophets and apostles. Huckabee appeared with Lou Engle at his 2008 The Call rally on the National Mall (like Perry’s, billed as a “solemn assembly”) in which Engle exhorted his prayer warriors to battle satanic forces to defeat “Antichrist legislation.”

When I interviewed former Bush family adviser Doug Wead for my 2008 book, “God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters,” he gave me a lengthy memo he compiled for George H.W. Bush in 1985, to prepare him for his 1988 presidential run. In the memo, he identified a thousand “targets,” religious leaders across the country whose followers, Wead believed, could be mobilized to the voting booth.

In my book, I examined the theology and politics of the Word of Faith movement (also known as the prosperity gospel) and how Republicans cultivated the leading lights of the movement. Primarily because of television, but also because of the robust (and profitable) speaking circuit these evangelists maintain, they have huge audiences. All that was in spite of — just as the scrutiny of NAR figures now is revealing — outlandish, strange and even heretical theology. What’s more, Word of Faith figures have endlessly been embroiled in disputes not just with their theological critics, but with watchdogs and former parishioners who charge they took their money for personal enrichment, promising that God would bring them great health and wealth if they would only “sow a seed.”

At Gimenez’s 2007 event, Engle and the other “apostles” were not the stars; rather, the biggest draw was Word of Faith televangelist Kenneth Copeland. In 1998, writing to Karl Rove, Wead called Copeland “arguably one of the most important religious leaders in the nation.” At Gimenez’s church, Copeland, who has boasted that his ministry has brought in more the $1 billion over his career, preached for two hours. The sanctuary was packed, with the audience hanging on every word. Gimenez introduced him as “God’s prophet,” and Copeland urged them to “get rid of the evening news and the newspaper,” study “the uncompromised word of the Holy Ghost,” and take “control over principalities.”

The commenters who have jumped on the NAR frequently overstate the size of its following. Engle’s events, for example, are often smaller than advertised, including a poorly attended revival at Liberty University in April 2010, where one would expect a ready-made audience. When I’ve covered these sorts of events, including smaller conferences by local groups inspired by figures they see on television, it’s often hard to see how the often meandering preachers are going to take over anything, even while it’s clear they cultivate an authoritarian hold on their followers. I meet a lot of sincere, frequently well-intentioned people who believe they must be “obedient” to God’s word as imparted by the “prophets.”

Most chilling, though, is the willingness to engage in what’s known in the Word of Faith world as “revelation knowledge,” or believing, as Copeland exhorted his audience to do, that you learn nothing from journalism or academia, but rather just from the Bible and its modern “prophets.” It is in this way that the self-styled prophets have had their greatest impact on our political culture: by producing a political class, and its foot soldiers, who believe that God has imparted them with divine knowledge that supersedes what all the evil secularists would have you believe.

Last week CNN’s Jack Cafferty asked, “How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to dominionism?” That worry crops up every election cycle. If people really understood dominionism, they’d worry about it between election cycles.

Australia’s Rising Religious Right


Religious Right Groups

Understanding that mind makes reality, one must then understand why belief
is the enemy. Belief systems have often been created to shape the mind into
narrow reality-tunnels that exclude other modes of perception. If you can
control what people believe – as Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators realized –
you have a method of coercion better than a thousand tanks or the death penalty.

– Steve Mizrach (aka Seeker1)

Moses and Ten Commandments

Listed below are links to information we have researched about Religious Right groups in Australia. On the detailed information pages, we include links to these groups’ own websites in order to encourage thinking Australians to visit these sites and critically examine the ideas they are promoting. Many of these groups have close links with each other, and spokespersons for one group often publicly represent another.

These groups all have a common agenda – political lobbying under the banner of “biblical family values”. They oppose abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, prostitution, adult shops, pornography, Islam, embryonic stem cell research and even Harry Potter. They campaign strongly for censorship of material that offends them and they generally believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, including Genesis.

Above Rubies
A virulently anti-feminist group which actively encourages women to ‘submit’ to their menfolk.

Australian Christian Lobby
Formerly the Australian Christian Coalition founded in 1995, this group is based in Canberra and headed by former SAS chief, Brigadier Jim Wallace. Its aims are “to reclaim our society and our government for God and to have the Christian voice heard”. It advocates rules of conduct prescribed by the Bible, as contained in the Ten Commandments and the first five books of the Old Testament.

Australian Family Association
An off-shoot of the Catholic-based National Civic Council founded by Bob Santamaria. Bill Muehlenberg is the main national Spokesperson, but the group also has spokespersons in various States.

Australian Federation for the Family
A relatively low-key group run by Jack and Margaret Sonnemann who came to Australia from the USA in the early 1980s. Maintains close links with US groups.

Australian Festival of Light
A moral reform organisation formed in 1973 by evangelical Protestants who drew their inspiration from Mary Whitehouse’s British FOL. Principal personnel are Fred and Elaine Nile in NSW, and David and Roslyn Phillips in SA.

Catch The Fire Ministries
A small Victorian church associated with the Assemblies of God. Its pastor Danny Nalliah has obtained great notoriety through the publicity about a religious vilification case brought against them by the Islamic Council of Victoria.

Christian Democratic Party
A political party originally formed in 1981 (then named the Call to Australia Party) by Rev. Fred Nile from the Festival of Light. The group has had two members of the NSW Legislative Council for a number of years by exploiting the upper house quota election system at alternate elections.

Creation Ministries International (Australia)
Formerly called Answers in Genesis Ministries, and prior to that the Creation Science Foundation, this group originated in Australia but spread to several other countries including the USA. Its mission is “to bring reformation by restoring the foundations of our faith which are contained in the book of Genesis.”

Democratic Labor Party
The DLP was originally founded in Victoria in 1955 as a conservative Catholic breakaway from the Australian Labor Party. A national political party with close ties to the National Civic Council (NCC).

Endeavour Forum
A small but relatively influential group run by Babette Francis. It was formerly known as “Women Who Want To be Women”. Its objectives are “to counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family.”

Exclusive Brethren
An operating church with political goals which include the election of socially conservative governments and the implementation of policies such as the restriction of abortion and the curtailment of homosexual rights.

Exodus Asia Pacific
A Christian group whose proclaimed purpose is “to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming His desire and incredible power to release people from homosexuality.”

Family Councils
These groups exists in several states, the largest and oldest group being in Victoria. They are umbrella organisations, with membership from the usual Religious Right groups but also include some unexpected members such as the Moonies and the Mormons.

Family First Party
A political party which ‘wants to make sure every piece of legislation helps every Australian family reach their potential’. In practice, the FFP promotes a strong Religious Right agenda, including opposition to school sex education, euthanasia and prostitution, and outspoken support for censorship.

Fatherhood Foundation
A recently formed organisation (2002) whose public activities indicate strong Christian fundamentalist tendencies in all matters relating to the family.

Focus on the Family Australia
A group headed by Colin Bunnett that claims to have the objective ‘to reconnect families with the ageless wisdom of Judaeo-Christian values’. It is believed to receive financial support from the much more powerful Focus on the Family (US) headed by Dr James Dobson.

Life Ministries
A small, strongly American-influenced group which cooperates effectively with like-minded organisations, and which has flown the Religious Right’s flag in Western Australia for many years.

Light Educational Ministries
A Canberra-based group which provides materials and promotes a Christian Reconstructionist version of education throughout Australia.

Media Standards Australia
A small WA-based group, formerly called the National Viewers and Listeners Association of Australia. It focuses its attention on attempting to influence the broadcast and other public media to adopt more conservative policies, particularly in relation to sex and violence.

National Alliance of Christian Leaders
A loosely organised grouping of leaders of conservative Christian organisations which aims ‘to facilitate the coming together of Christian organisational leaders, to work together towards shared objectives’.

Right To Life Australia
A large, militant and once powerful organisation whose influence has faded somewhat. Its platform is largely concerned with opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

Salt Shakers
Founded by Peter and Jenny Stokes and located in Melbourne. Peter Stokes also represented the Festival of Light before the Senate Committee inquiring into superannuation entitlements for same sex couples in March 2000.

Seymour Hersh: Military Branch Being Run By ‘Crusaders’


Seymour Hersh: Military Branch Being Run By ‘Crusaders’

The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh alleged in a speech in Qatar that key branches of the U.S. military are being led by Christian fundamentalist “crusaders” who are determined to “turn mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh was speaking at the Doha campus of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service earlier this week. He made the comments while discussing a forthcoming book he is writing. A writer for Foreign Policy magazine attended the event and reported his remarks.

“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” Hersh said.

He said that the attitude that “pervades” a large portion of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is part of the military’s special forces branch and which has carried out secret missions to kill American targets, is one that supports “[changing] mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh also said that Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before his tenure as the top general in Afghanistan, as well as his successor and many other JSOC members, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.” Blake Hounsell, the reporter for Foreign Policy, speculated that Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Catholic organization.

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh said. “They do see what they’re doing…it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”

He also criticized President Obama, saying, “Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn’t get one.”