Tag Archives: Christian right

Failed Presidential candidate Gary Bauer complains about Christian privilege

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One of the most ridiculous stories that comes up when talking about separation of church and state is the constant complaints of Christian persecution from right wingers. Gary Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and a failed US Presidential candidate, tries hard to claim that Christians are hurt more than Muslims in this country.
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Christians want Feds to close Islamic school

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I have posted here many times showing the hypocrisy of the religious right when it comes to religious liberty. Time and time again they want our government to provide special rights to their Christian religion but when it comes to liberty for all religions and the non-religious, they throw a hissy fit.

On October 18th, news outlets reported a federal panel wanted to see an Islamic school in Virginia, funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, to be closed because of reports of a textbook used at the school encouraged religious intolerance.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom singled out the Saudi-supported Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Northern Virginia in a broader report that accused Saudi Arabia of promoting Muslim extremism and religious intolerance six years after the Sept. 11 attacks. The panel, created by Congress and authorized only to make recommendations, voiced concern about what the private school was teaching.

The commission report did not make specific criticisms of the school’s curriculum. Commission deputy director Tad Stahnke said the panel wrote to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, who is chairman of the academy’s board of directors, asking to see the school’s textbooks but got no answer. Stahnke said the commission did not try to contact ISA staff.

Commissioner Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he knew enough about ISA’s textbooks to be “very disturbed that this is going on within eyesight of the capital.”

The report relies heavily on a 2006 analysis of Saudi textbooks that found inflammatory passages against Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims. One example for ninth-graders said that the hour of judgment “will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”

Federal panel wants to shut Islamic school in Va.

Noticed how no one having an issue with the textbooks has actually seen one. I saw on CNN where a reporter got a student to give him one but since it was written in Arabic and they would need to have it translated.

Regardless if the claims are true, I need to point out that the school is a private school. Private school curriculum normally isn’t subject to oversight by the federal government and I have never heard of a school being closed because of what is being taught. As long as students are making progress according to state education standards then it is basically hands off.

Then there is the fact that the concern is religiously based:

A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year (2006) reveals that, despite the Saudi government’s statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the “monotheists”) and unbelievers (the “polytheists” and “infidels”).

Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Undeterred by Wahhabism’s historically fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world’s authoritative voice on Islam — a sort of “Vatican” for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated– and these textbooks are integral to this effort. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, “Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools” available.

This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

Here is an example (translated from a book):

FIRST GRADE

” Every religion other than Islam is false.”

“Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________.”

The example was correct as of 2006 so it is probable the books used at the Islamic Saudi Academy might contain the same type of religious indoctrination.

If the people concerned about the school get the federal government to close it, then I want to see them close Christian schools that teach condoms don’t work, evolution is false, abortion is murder, and man lived with the dinosaurs.

Crap would hit the fan then wouldn’t it?

I say if the federal government isn’t going to close a Christian school for teaching lies about science then they need to leave the Islamic Saudi Academy alone.

Christian victims? Give me a break

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My heart is in the sanctity of life and marriage and values and defense against terrorism. I support what the president’s doing in Iraq, and if they’re spending too much money, then I’ll let someone else yell about that. But this president — it’s like this Mark Foley thing — that’s not going to discourage any evangelicals I know from voting. We lived through Bill Clinton, and this situation with Foley is minuscule in comparison. So, I really think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill.

Rev. Jerry Falwell on CNN’s The Situation Room 11/02/2006

Yes, Rev. Falwell, defender of the sanctity of life, marriage, and values, doesn’t seem to have a problem with child abuse.

It isn’t real surprising that Falwell said what he did. You can predict what a religious leader will say by just looking at the politics of the object he/she is discussing. I am pretty sure Falwell would put former Congressman Foley’s actions in proper context had Foley been a Democrat.

That is a big reason the current special relationship that religious conservatives and Republicans proves the point that church and state should be separate. Politics not only can corrupt a person but can corrupt your religion. I mean if your political values can allow you to think that child abuse is less of a moral problem than a blow job then you might need some remedial religion classes.

Of course hypocrisy isn’t the only problem with the mixing of religion and politics.

Last month, my local paper did their obligatory conservative-Christians-as victims election season report as if it were a new trend. Conservative Christians feel put upon because their anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-religious freedom, anti-science bigotry isn’t shared by everyone.

“The Christian majority is sick and tired of things like same-sex marriage and the (removal of the) Ten Commandments in the court- house,” he said. “Two people get upset, and the ACLU comes in. People are tired of things like one guy with a lawyer changing the entire face of a government building because of the Ten Commandments. What the hell was it hurting?”

Bob Burney, who hosts a Christian radio call-in program on WRFD (880 AM) in Columbus, hears the complaint a lot.

“It’s the clash of two worldviews,” he said. “Things have been declared to be unconstitutional that have been constitutional for 200 years,” he said. “Evangelical Christians are energized by their very strong perception that those on the left want to remove the Godly heritage that we have and move to a completely secular state.”

From “Enough was enough” Columbus Dispatch 10/09/2006

I wrote a letter to the editor about the article and it was published on October 18th:

I wanted to comment on the Oct. 9 Dispatch article “Enough was enough.” It doesn’t surprise me that conservative Christians would vote for a candidate solely on religious beliefs. We have some voters who choose a candidate simply because they recognize the name of the person on the ballot or because some relative served years before.

Unfortunately, atheists and secular humanists such as myself don’t have that luxury. Since the conservative Christians have invaded the political process, we have a de facto establishment of religion and no atheist or secular humanist candidate can pass the religious test that group has put in place. We have to vote for the whole package that a particular candidate brings into the campaign.

The New York Times reported on Oct. 8 that, since 1989, religious groups have received more than 200 special arrangements, protections or exemptions in congressional legislation, on topics from pensions to immigration to land use to exemptions from federal employment-discrimination laws.

These special arrangements also have come from winning court decisions and federal-agency rule changes. Ninety-eight percent of the special treatment goes to Christian groups. As The Times put it, “As a result of these special breaks, religious organizations of all faiths stand in a position that American businesses — and the thousands of nonprofit groups without that ‘religious’ label — can only envy.”

So forgive me if I don’t shed a tear the next time I hear the myth that conservative Christians are under siege.

Removing the 10 Commandments from public buildings promotes equality by removing the religious bigotry inherent in the Decalogue. Allowing gays to marry gives them the chance to formally share in what it means to commit to the one you love and removes the 2nd class status that comes from not being allowed.

Conservative Christians use politics to force their subjective “values” on others. Politics should be about doing the best for the most people. It should be about promoting shared values that have little to no negative impact on others.

Christian Coalition is shrinking

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The Washington Post published a story today that talked about the slow death of the Christian Coalition.

The group was founded, in 1989, by Rev. Pat Robertson as the political fundraising and lobbying engine of the Christian right. It was lead for many years by Ralph Reed and is still included in many meetings with the White House and Congress.

Money flowed to the coalition in the mid-1990s, when Bill Clinton was president. But, Michele Combs said, with a conservative president and a conservative Congress, things are different. “It’s harder to raise money when the agenda you’ve been working for all these years is moving forward and you have a place at the table,” she said.

After years of battling the IRS, the Christian Coalition reached a settlement a year ago that secures its status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) lobbying and educational institution.
But the settlement requires the Christian Coalition to allow candidates to write up to 25 words of explanation on each issue in the voter guides. In the past, the guides listed topics such as “unrestricted abortion on demand” or “adoption of children by homosexuals” and described the candidates’ positions simply as “supports” or “opposes.”

Christian Coalition Shrinks as Debt Grows

Please, someone hand me a tissue…..