Arthur's Journal on God & Politics
What Does It Mean to be Christian in America?
A God of War
Apocalypse & End Times
Biblical Literalism
Christ Path
Conformity & Orthodoxy
Fear, Shame & Guilt
God & Politics
Goodness, Morality & Sin
Heresy & Heretics
History, Mystery & Doubt
Kindergarten Religion
Mental Spiritual Constructs
Mystical Christianity
Mythical Proportions
Passion of The Christ ...
Someone Else's Magic

We aim to exercise DOMINION over this planet just like God told Adam and Eve in the Garden

Don't ya love all these Republican moral values demonstrating themselves?

"We won the election because we stand for moral values! Why we're so moral we're going to let Mr. Delay keep delaying and cancelling the really good things in America while that no-moral-value Texas DA persecutes Tommy's righteous stealing of American integrity."

And don't ya just love those moral-value believers who think keeping us safe from gay weddings is more important than the morality of war-deaths, collateral war losses and the deaths of Iraqi civilians, men, women and children?

I can hear Falwell and Robertson - the new Pharisees - right now ...

"We're pro-life! We're anti-abortion! We don't think that killing a pregnant Iraqi mother is the same pro-life issue as anti-abortion in this country. Besides, she's not Christian and God only cares about the unborn babies of Christian women!"

And with a majority in both Houses, can't you just hear those born-again Republican Fundamentalist's?

"We aim to exercise DOMINION over this planet just like God told Adam and Eve in the Garden. 'Have dominion over the earth,' God said. That means that we are to exploit the earth all the way to its death. Where lillies grow in fields, God wants us to clear out the flowers and drill for oil. Where there are fish in the water, God means for us to poison the water in the name of Holy Unfettered Capitalism and the fish can fend for themselves."

"We believe in consuming all things. God didn't want us to learn to fish, he just provided the fish for our consumption. God didn't want us to learn to farm, he just wants us to take and eat without replenishing. Replenish means more people, it doesn't mean tending the garden of Earth."

"You know why, Brother? Because the End Times are near. The state of the earth doesn't matter at all. Jesus is going to come and take us righteous out of the mess we've made. You can do what you want after we're gone!"

To those elected and claiming a mandate and to those who voted for them I say ... Support your War President now! Put your money and resources right up there with your moral voices. Say no more to me until you have signed every one of your children up for the military. No excuses!!!


I see a "showdown" as not between conservative and liberal Christians nor as between conservative Christians and a coalition of every other citizen in this country.

What I see is the possibility of the extreme conservative Republican congress persons (are there any radical religious Republican women elected?) driven by the radical religious horses that got them there actually going so far as to legislate something that seriously alters how life is lived in this country.

I see these foolish people - remaining however a minority and not representative of traditional conservative Christians - triggering a showdown between right/left and liberal/conservative that explodes in an uncontrollable way that forces the rest to choose sides.

It's one thing to enact laws the keep taverns 200 feet from churches. It's something else to enact laws that seriously alter our national habitual understanding of - for example - our Bill of Rights.

If that happens, these radicals who thought changing the laws was all that was needed will have no clue as to why rioters don't "play fair" just because "it's the law now" and quietly go to jail themselves instead of striking back.

If laws were enacted, the first time a jury found a Taliban executioner of an accused gay, liberal or abortionist not-guilty and I think the Pharisees would have more than they could handle.

Would you just sit around and moan if every week a van came down your street and you watched as your gay neighbors, your neighbor who had a private abortion, or liberal speaker-outers were loaded up and hauled off?

Not for long ...

That's the naivete behind the assumption that enacting laws enacts a specific morality.

God, the Environment and Exercising Dominion
The closest thing I've seen to a biblical justification for exploiting and abusing the environment is the Genesis command to multiply and replenish the earth and to exercise dominion over it.

What we're doing to the planet today and what the current administration has done about it while they've been the responsible party of control is the equivalent of perceiving that God filled the banquet table with all the food needed without understanding that the food was for a banquet and that after the dining, we would be on our own -expected to fill our own tables in the future.

God did not give us a fish. He expected us to learn to fish. He didn't give us turnips, he gave us turnip seeds.

He also didn't command us to form fish and turnip seed corporations to dominate our self-sustaining efforts at the expense of common sense. Otherwise, why did he create spawning grounds for more fish to appear and inspire us to learn crop rotation?

I'd like to see any of those born-again anti-environment politicians tell me that environmentally we have nothing to worry about because if we fubar it badly enough, Mr. LaHaye's fantasy includes the promise that Jesus will sweep it all clean, whitewash the fences anew, flush the water sources clean, refreeze the polar caps and glaciers, smile in amusement at foolish mankind while he restores the forests with a magical sweep of his hand, and -like superman - suck all the pollution out of the air and in one gigantic whoosh spew it out of his mouth into outer darkenss.

a philosophical/idealogical monopoly

Whine....... During the week I come home too tired to write creatively and more often than not limit my weeknights to answering emails, reading my subscriptions, watching Aaron Brown, Bill Moyers, Bill Maher, Chris Mathews, Law and Order and CSI. Oh! And taking time to watch O'Reilly long enough to see if he's still wasting our time before switching channels (that usually takes less than ten minutes).

What I personally would like would be for the Democratic Party and all liberals to to augment the liberal viewpoint to include some sort of public acknowledgement about their internal framework around why they feel the way they do.

I grew up in the Mormon church in Idaho 50 miles from the Utah border. That's a society in which you can count the number of registered Democrats in each congregation on one hand even tho the range of covervative/liberal thinkers is much broader than that. The political stance of the LDS Church is conservative which perceptually is the domain of Republicans. That's why Utah for years has consistently voted Republican. Orrin Hatch does not have to proclaim his personal testimony in Utah as much as he simply maintains a strict conservative political attitude that stays in harmony with LDS leadership.

Kerry's political fortunes are not so easily sustained in the same manner. I know he has duplicated something Kennedy had to do and that was publicly acknowledge that he would not be subject to the influence of the Pope. That's not much of a testimony. I'd like to see him stop limiting himself to politically-safe point-by-point-policy attacks on Bush and the administration and include the Quaker Oats' slogan: We ought to do such and such because "It's the Right Thing To Do."

The first link in the article is formidably detailed in its discussion of the organization and political progress of the Extreme Religious Right which has therefore also pleased Religious Liberals in that there are more politicians in place who aren't reluctant about their beliefs.

I also think that the massive get-out-the-vote and lets-vote-as-a-block activity that seems to have commenced in earnest in the 1990's by religious conservatives is something not to be overlooked and certainly respected.

The here and now is the existence of a Republican-controlled Senate and House which is not by definition a bad thing. On the other hand, however, just as we've always had the citizen's responsibility to pay attention to what our Congress is doing, we have no reason to trust the Congress just because there are more "God-fearing" people on the job.

I left the LDS Church years ago because, among other reasons, I refused to let the Church tell me what to think and how to vote. I felt that I had to charge that particular moral high ground dominated by someone else's magic and make it my own.

"Republicans in general" are needed politically in this country. So are Democrats in general. Our experience and history fully testify that a philosophical/idealogical monopoly is not the best guarantee that the interests of the entire populace will be served.


Christians would of necessity have to band together and live in communities where they are the majoriy.

With peaceful people not wanting to quarrel with neighbors or co-workers about faith. Until the day comes when moderates, liberals, and non-Christians realize they are afraid to make their real views known in public. Because the consequences will be too unpleasant.

This - to some degree - is the reason for speaking out as we are able against false religious justifications..

Whining about replacing so-called biased judges with other judges with another bias, is an attempt by a party and a Christian minority to have it both ways - an attempt to replace consitutionally-biased judges with religiously-biased judges who, presumably, will facilitate a "reform" of what's wrong with this country.

Unpleasant consequences for now are left in the area of emotions, a sense of offendedness and victimization and indignation fueled by cynical politicians and outraged vocal Christians who are defending those things most important to them.

If the politicians succeed in their dreams and want to remain in office they will have to continue to deliver to a religious political base that is not shy about having put them there and being willing to remove them if not satisfied.

The concern I have as that as the line between church and state disappears, the imposition stuff starts. If, perish the thought, the imposition stuff starts, then "unpleasant" as a definition of the consequences won't suffice.

The range of ethics/non-ethics and morality/immorality in this country is far too vast for a peaceful transition into a Christian Theocratic State.

If we slide into a theocracy, we will have replicated what we've already seen abroad in Serbia, Bosnia, The Middle East, Rwanda, Darfur and Northern Ireland.

We cannot kids ourselves that such could not happen here.

The reason for that is the simple fact that with the attempted execution of new theocractic laws and policies, those who desire and legislate proscribed freedom of worship and proscriptions against civil rights formerly allowed will be in the social minority in this country.

If the consequences of radical Christian lawmaking goes too far - and who's to say it wouldn't - things could move to a place where Christians would of necessity have to band together and live in communities where they are the majoriy. And we've seen that abroad also.

Justice Scalia is a powerful and earnest voice declaring that the government is the will of God and that capital punishment by the government acting as God's agent is God's will. Scalia is in harmony with his co-religionists who want to reform our constitution or replace it based on Old Testament Law.

Legislation and radical judicial decisions authorizing capital or extreme punishment for violating laws passed by a theocratic government inevitably leads to resistance and civil war.

I don't know that we would ever come to civil war over abortion or gay marriage. But a theocratic state doesn't stop with single issue reform.

Dominionists mean to use political process to assume a Christian domination of the government and do not try to hide that goal. But it is not the possibility of their future success that scares me.

What scares me is the potentially violent consequences of a response from the real American majority that is currently ignorant or apathetic so long as nobody passes a law that interferes in their lives or results in a loss of something they do not want to lose.

Movement Toward Theocracy

No worries, people ...

I basically agree that there are no worries based on your scenario which presumes a theoretical "hammer it out" convention where a socially religious majority holds the equivalent of a "constitutional convention" to define what a future government would look like.

What would be hard to assume would be such a convention's attitude toward the esxisting constitution, it's amendments, "it's Marbury vs. Madison" consequences and separation of church and state - if included - would look like.

However, what seems to have happened historically is that as a society is moved albeit gradually by a vocal minority in the direction of a more prominent religious/moral approach to government, a small but influential minorities have moved - at a critical moment - to usurp the movement toward change. They have in fact accomplished a "coup," if you will, where the gradual movement transforms into a gigantic and rapid great leap.

The "great leap" or "coup" remains an attempt or an experiment temporarily "legitimized" only so long as the control group remains in control.

This seems to be what has happened in all the countries who slipped into some form of theocratic government. Displacing them has not been the inevitable outcome in every case.

And in retrospect, viewing the "coup" of 2000 where an influential minority kept their objectives mostly secret, displacing the philosophical and political power behind the Bush administration proved to be more difficult in 2004 than expected.

That minority had as an agenda

(1) Turning U.S. foreign policy into open imperialism using our military blood as the prime weapon in our arsenal.

(2) The culmination of 60+ years of conservative opposition and effort to repeal the national legislation that came out of FDR's victory, Hoover's defeat which formalized the end of the Gilded Age.

(3) The destruction or disempowerment of labor unions and escalated evolution of market capitalism that with the repeal of all things "New Deal" that came out of the Great Depression, leaves all of us trapped within a social and economic Darwinism.

Conservative activism post-Goldwater accelarated in the 1980's when Limbaugh-like propaganda explode publicly and relentlessly coupled with courtship between the Republican Party and an aroused and agressive Christian coalation began with gradual movement toward acceptance of another "New Deal" regarding American social and political form. Is the attempt succeeding?

That movement - now much more powerfully public and in our national social awareness - was the context of the election of 2000. Had that campaign management's inner circle publicly proclaimed and campaigned by openly advocating the three items listed above, they would have lost the election in 2000. Americans have been sleeping but were not THAT asleep.

Bushco people (political and religious components) in the preceding 4 years RUSHED to make their desired changes as rapidly as possible - all the while finding many ways to hide and obscure those same 3 objectives.

2004 revealed that they had done their work well. We who opposed Bush electorally find ourselves still as the loyal opposition. We remain obligated to stand up and speak out. Only in our most naive state can we just sit back and content ourselves with theological debates around religion as a lifestyle separated from social consciousness.

2004 also finds us facing a political, social and economic philosophy that has revealed itself as more interested in private good than public good.

My worries are not about your pre-Armageddon scenario of theocratice takeover. As a social worker who administers public welfare, works with homeless, aged, under-educated, broken families and individuals, my worries are about where the above 3 objectives are leaving and have left the rest of America.

My worries are about apathy and what it takes to wake up slumbering majorities.

In this regard Liberal Christianity in the 21st Century, which began as an attempt to speak theologically to Bishop Spong's and others' criticisms of contemporary Christianity has become my and others' forum of speaking out about religion, politics and society.

As we should be doing ...

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