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By Frank Schaeffer
on 11/23/2009, 1:15pm PT
Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer
Following my recent appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, where I was talking about my new book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism) and where I warned her viewers that that the religious right is now “trawling for assassins” with the use of inflammatory items like T-Shirts calling for President Obama’s death, I got a lot of email. What is interesting to note is just how unimaginative and downright stupid the hate mail from the right is.
Speaking of “trawling” (this time for reactions to President Obama) I’d unwittingly conducted a little experiment without meaning to: a basic intelligence test of the right and left...
The cretinism and unhinged nature of the responses from the anti-Obama legion is scary. No, I didn't pick just the worst examples. Trust me: this is all they have! (See below).
On the other hand the thoughtful response from so many is heartening. (Again, examples here are typical).
The question is: can these two groups coexist peacefully within our borders? I’m not so sure they can. What is expressed here isn't two points of view but the raw truth about two countries within one border: Sane America and hater Cretin America.
Here’s a sample from the right:
Gotta tell ya,,I thought you looked dumb on the clip form Lesdow. I mean you seriously believe that those of us who don’ t like Obummer really want him dead? That’s not the way I see it and I am buying a shirt today thanks to you. Maybe before long you will wake up and see the mistake you are making in support of a Communist,,,but then again probably not considering that you aren’t that bright considering that you are in cahoots with MSNBC and their il.
Here’s an sample from the other America:
Dear Mr. Schaeffer,
...The religious right is playing out a 'death wish'. As a group, they are engaging in a type of 'self-initiation' into a dangerous and eschatological cult-like movement.
Some classic warning signs are evident:
They are cutting off ties with 'family', which can be seen as moderate Republicans. They vilify 'former members' who have left the fold. They advocate extremely harsh treatment of non-members.
Their cult leader is not one person, but rather a 'collective trope' comprising a rigid, dominant complex of ideology, behavior, culture, and language.
They are dependent on the 'collective trope' for direction, instruction, and reasoning. Independent thought or criticism of the 'collective' is punished. Criticism of the 'collective' is deemed persecution.
I realize you are intimately aware and knowledgeable about this perspective. And no doubt you are also aware of the issues involved with 'deprogramming'. Typically, deprogramming occurs only through 'exit counseling' or intervention. For 23% of the nation's population, intervention is unrealistic, and voluntary deprogramming is exceedingly rare and only an option for intelligent, honest, introspective, and educated individuals (such as yourself).
When I hear you speak I typically hear you issue warnings. I hear you inform. I hear you educate. I hear you raise awareness. Thank you.
But, respectfully, we need a plan. We need a realistic viable 'grown up' plan for de-escalation, deprogramming, and re-integration of the religious right. Alternatively, we need a serious assessment of the possibility that such a plan is not viable, and that there may be an insurmountable cultural rift between two different peoples that were formerly of one nation.
To most Americans, the idea of a partitioning of ourselves into two nations is utterly unthinkable. But if 70 million citizens are dedicated to creating a society and government which is in fair measure is mutually repugnant to another 230 million people, such ideas must at least be considered.
When you use language such as "trawling for assassins", you are at your best because you are vividly describing a forward looking, speculative assessment of the state of things. I urge you to do more of that. I urge you use your experience, intelligence, and intuition to look even further into the future and describe what you see.
I counted myself as an evangelical Christian for 3 years. Not a long time by common standards I suspect. But I understand the power of lifestyle, culture, and peer groups in creating a zone of comfort for believers. I understand the ways in which a sense of empowerment is derived from evangelical participation. I understand the tenacity of belief, the sense of righteous correctness, and the divine mandate to not sway or veer from the one truth. I understand the danger this assuredness poses to both individuals and to the greater society at large...
Again, sincerest thanks,
What these email writers were reacting to was that I said that the T-shirt vendors selling the Psalm 109:8 logo as in prayer that the President dies, had crossed a line into a place that is nothing more than the organizing of a death squad, or “trolling for assassins” as I put it on Maddow's show, and as I wrote here at The BRAD BLOG some weeks ago.
Here’s what is in the Psalm they quote:
May his days be few; may another take his office!
Here are what the other verses in that Pslam call for (in case you didn't "get" verse :
9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!
10 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15 Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
Where is the response from the evangelical leadership to what --- from a “Bible believing” point of view is a blasphemous misuse of the Bible in a hate crusade?
The Christian leadership that fails to denounce this fiasco is morally bankrupt. If the president is killed ask the editors of Christianity Today magazine where they were and what they did to stop the hate. Where’s the Catholic League on this one? Where are the editors of far right Obama-hating World magazine? Where’s Franklin Graham, and Chuck Colson and James Dobson and Rick Warren?
The far right "Christian" leadership managed to crank out a new deceleration against abortion and stem cell research just last week called the "Manhattan Declaration." Here's the list that signed it. Where are these people's deceleration of conscience against their own followers and fellow "Christians" when it comes to not murdering the President and/or seeming to encourage violence with Bible verse bumper stickers?
- Dr. Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, N.C.)
- Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Abika, Nigeria)
- Randy Alcorn, Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) (Sandy, Ore.)
- Rt. Rev. David Anderson, President and CEO, American Anglican Council (Atlanta)
- Leith Anderson, President of National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, D.C.)
- Charlotte K. Ardizzone, TV Show Host and Speaker, INSP Television (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Kay Arthur, CEO and Co-founder, Precept Ministries International (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- Dr. Mark L. Bailey, President, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas)
- Most Rev. Craig W. Bates, Archbishop, International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (Malverne, N.Y.)
- Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Chairman, Campaign for Working Families
- His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop Basil Essey, The Right Reverend Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Wichita, Kan.)
- Joel Belz, Founder, World Magazine (Asheville, N.C.)
- Rev. Michael L. Beresford, Managing Director of Church Relations, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Ken Boa, President, Reflections Ministries (Atlanta)
- Joseph Bottum, Editor of First Things (New York)
- Pastor Randy & Sarah Brannon, Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church (Madera, Calif.)
- Steve Brown, National Radio Broadcaster, Key Life (Maitland, Fla.)
- Dr. Robert C. Cannada, Jr., Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando, Fla.)
- Galen Carey, Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, D.C.)
- Dr. Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis)
- Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver
- Timothy Clinton, President, American Association of Christian Counselors (Forest, Va.)
- Chuck Colson, Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, Va.)
- Most Rev. Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, Calif.
- Dr. Gary Culpepper, Associate Professor, Providence College (Providence, R.I.)
- Jim Daly, President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
- Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, Va.)
- Rev. Daniel Delgado, Board of Directors, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Pastor, Third Day Missions Church (Staten Island, N.Y.)
- Patrick J. Deneen, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor and Director, The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy, Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
- Dr. James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
- Dr. David Dockery, President, Union University (Jackson, Tenn.)
- Most Rev. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, N.Y.
- Dr. William Donohue, President, Catholic League (New York)
- Dr. James T. Draper, Jr., President Emeritus, LifeWay (Nashville, Tenn.)
- Dinesh D'Souza, Writer and Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
- Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America (Ambridge, Pa. )
- Dr. Michael Easley, President Emeritus, Moody Bible Institute (Chicago)
- Dr. William Edgar, Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia)
- Brett Elder, Executive Director, Stewardship Council (Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Rev. Joel Elowsky, Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
- Stuart Epperson, Co-Founder and Chariman of the Board, Salem Communications Corporation (Camarillo, Calif.)
- Rev. Jonathan Falwell, Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, Va.)
- William J. Federer, President, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis)
- Fr. Joseph D. Fessio, Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins, Colo.)
- Carmen Fowler, President and Executive Editor, Presbyterian Lay Committee (Lenoir, N.C.)
- Maggie Gallagher, President, National Organization for Marriage (Manassas, Va.)
- Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor, Skyline Church (La Mesa, Calif.)
- Steven Garofalo, Senior Consultant, Search and Assessment Services (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
- Dr. Timothy George, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.)
- Thomas Gilson, Director of Strategic Processes, Campus Crusade for Christ International (Norfolk, Va.)
- Dr. Jack Graham, Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, Texas)
- Dr. Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theological and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary (Phoenix)
- Dr. Cornell "Corkie" Haan, National Facilitator of Spiritual Unity, The Mission America Coalition (Palm Desert, Calif.)
- Fr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor, CEO and Archpriest, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Yonkers, N.Y.)
- Dr. Dennis Hollinger, President and Professor of Christian Ethics, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, Mass.)
- Dr. Jeanette Hsieh, Executive Vice President and Provost, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
- Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr., Senior Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (Newport Beach, Calif.); Chairman of the Board, Christianity Today International (Carol Stream, Ill.)
- Rev. Ken Hutcherson, Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, Wash.)
- Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, Md.)
- Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse, President, American Orthodox Institute; Editor, OrthodoxyToday.org (Naples, Fla.)
- Jerry Jenkins, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Moody Bible Institute (Black Forest, Colo.)
- Camille Kampouris, Editorial Board, Kairos Journal
- Emmanuel A. Kampouris, Publisher, Kairos Journal
- Rev. Tim Keller, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York)
- Dr. Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College (Mass.) and at the Kings College (N.Y.)
- Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.
- Jim Kushiner, Editor, Touchstone (Chicago)
- Dr. Richard Land, President, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, D.C.)
- Jim Law, Senior Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church (Woodstock, Ga.)
- Dr. Matthew Levering, Associate Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University (Naples, Fla.)
- Dr. Peter Lillback, President, The Providence Forum (West Conshohocken, Pa.)
- Dr. Duane Litfin, President, Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.)
- Rev. Herb Lusk, Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia)
- His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop Emeritus, Roman Catholic Diocese of Detroit
- Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine
- Rev. Francis Martin, Professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary (Detroit)
- Dr. Joseph Mattera, Bishop and Senior Pastor, Resurrection Church (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
- Phil Maxwell, Pastor, Gateway Church (Bridgewater, N.J.)
- Josh McDowell, Founder, Josh McDowell Ministries (Plano, Texas)
- Alex McFarland, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Most Rev. George Dallas McKinney, Bishop, Founder and Pastor, St. Stephen's Church of God in Christ (San Diego)
- Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop, Convocation of Anglicans of North America (Herndon, Va.)
- Dr. C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University (Jackson, Tenn.)
- Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.)
- Dr. Russell D. Moore, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.)
- Most Rev. John J. Myers, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.
- Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, Kan.
- David Neff, Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today (Carol Stream, Ill.)
- Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Evangelical Free Church (Leawood, Kan.)
- Niel Nielson, President, Covenant College (Lookout Mt., Ga.)
- Most Rev. John Nienstedt, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- Dr. Tom Oden, Theologian, United Methodist Minister; Professor, Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
- Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief, World Magazine; Provost, The Kings College (New York)
- Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
- Rev. William Owens, Chairman, Coalition of African-American Pastors (Memphis, Tenn.)
- Dr. J.I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College (Canada)
- Metr. Jonah Paffhausen, Primate, Orthodox Church in America (Syosset, N.Y.)
- Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)
- Eric M. Pillmore, CEO, Pillmore Consulting LLC (Doylestown, Pa.)
- Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (Bartlesville, Okla.)
- Todd Pitner, President, Rev Increase
- Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, President, Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Dr. David Platt, Pastor, Church at Brook Hills (Birmingham, Ala.)
- Rev. Jim Pocock, Pastor, Trinitarian Congregational Church (Wayland, Mass.)
- Fred Potter, Executive Director and CEO, Christian Legal Society (Springfield, Va.)
- Dennis Rainey, President, CEO, and Co-Founder, FamilyLife (Little Rock, Ark.)
- Fr. Patrick Reardon, Pastor, All Saints' Antiochian Orthodox Church (Chicago)
- Bob Reccord, Founder, Total Life Impact, Inc. (Suwanee, Ga.)
- His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Frank Schubert, President, Schubert Flint Public Affairs (Sacramento, Calif.)
- David Schuringa, President, Crossroads Bible Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Tricia Scribner, Author (Harrisburg, N.C.)
- Dr. Dave Seaford, Senior Pastor, Community Fellowship Church (Matthews, N.C.)
- Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
- Randy Setzer, Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church (Lincolnton, N.C.)
- Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Dr. Ron Sider, Director, Evangelicals for Social Action (Wynnewood, Pa.)
- Fr. Robert Sirico, Founder, Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Dr. Robert Sloan, President, Houston Baptist University (Houston)
- Charles Stetson, Chairman of the Board, Bible Literacy Project (New York)
- Dr. David Stevens, CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Association (Bristol, Tenn.)
- John Stonestreet, Executive Director, Summit Ministries (Manitou Springs, Colo.)
- Dr. Joseph Stowell, President, Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Dr. Sarah Sumner, Professor of Theology and Ministry, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, Calif.)
- Dr. Glenn Sunshine, Chairman of the History Department, Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, Conn.)
- Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, Calif.)
- Luiz Tellez, President, The Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, N.J.)
- Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)
- Michael Timmis, Chairman, Prison Fellowship and Prison Fellowship International (Naples, Fla.)
- Mark Tooley, President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)
- H. James Towey, President, St. Vincent College (Latrobe, Pa.)
- Juan Valdes, Middle and High School Chaplain, Florida Christian School (Miami, Fla.)
- Todd Wagner, Pastor, WaterMark Community Church (Dallas)
- Dr. Graham Walker, President, Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, Va.)
- Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster, Ph.D., Archpriest, Orthodox Church in America; Professorial Lecturer, The George Washington University (Ashburn, Va.)
- George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)
- David Welch, Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Director, US Pastors Council (Houston)
- Dr. James Emery White, Founding and Senior Pastor, Mecklenburg Community Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church (Naples, Fla.)
- Mark Williamson, Founder and President, Foundation Restoration Ministries/Federal Intercessors (Katy, Texas)
- Parker T. Williamson, Editor Emeritus and Senior Correspondent, Presbyterian Lay Committee
- Dr. Craig Williford, President, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
- Dr. John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Ill.)
- Don M. Woodside, Performance Matters Associates (Matthews, N.C.)
- Dr. Frank Wright, President, National Religious Broadcasters (Manassas, Va.)
- Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
- Paul Young, COO and Executive Vice President, Christian Research Institute (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Dr. Michael Youssef, President, Leading the Way (Atlanta)
- Ravi Zacharias, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (Norcross, Ga.)
- Most Rev. David A. Zubik, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
- James R. Thobaben, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Bioethics and Social Ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)
By their silence they are in bed with people who write things like this: “those of us who don’t like Obummer really want him dead…”
If it happens, you know who to blame. The moral cowards listed above are expert at judging the "secular culture" and denouncing it but never at coming together to denounce their own blasphemous rabid followers.
They are like the Muslim leaders that right wing people complain about for never denouncing their extremists. Well, now that we have an American Taliban threatening domestic violence by misquoting our version of the Koran where are the people on the list above speaking out?
* * *
Frank Schaeffer is the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back and his new book, Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).
Reader comments follow below ad...
READER COMMENTS ON
"Moral Cowards vs. The American Taliban"
(48 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 1:34 pm PT...
Unfortunately, Christian leaders all too often allow the missuses of scripture to pass by uncommented on when it suits their political/historical agenda. Even worse, they sometimes misappropriate the scriptures themselves. Case in point, President of Westminster Seminary and signatory to the declaration Peter Lillback issued a tour guide to Philadelphia, scripture proofs and all. all
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 1:44 pm PT...
"The moral cowards listed above are expert at judging the "secular culture" and denouncing it but never at coming together to denounce their own blasphemous rabid followers."
I challenge you to ask any one, or for that matter each and every one of the people listed above whether they agree with this statement I quoted from your article. To a man everyone of them will denounce any and all violence against Obama. I dare you.
Setting up a straw man is not journalism.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 1:48 pm PT...
These folks all stand up when it never costs them anything, in other words against the Big Bad "World" but never speak against the commercial corruption of Christianity let alone the way it has become series of personality cults --- Warren, Graham etc. Post "Tea Baggers" anti health care reform these are the guys that didn't do anything about the Bush torture machine but are ready to parse theoretical details about stem cells. Now that the right is gathering in its cave to threaten our President they the Christian leaders are back where they were in the 1900s to 50s see no evil when it comes to a black man their friends are fixin' to lynch.
PS thanks for reading my article.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 1:53 pm PT...
By the way I took your "dare" already. All they all have to do is write a piece condemning both the tone and the substance of what is coming from the right vs the President and sign it.
Where is that? Or don't you think there is any implied threat in wishing a man gone and his children fatherless? This is their scared Bible being quoted after all.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 2:28 pm PT...
FS says: "The question is: can these two groups coexist peacefully within our borders? I’m not so sure they can. What is expressed here isn't two points of view but the raw truth about two countries within one border: Sane America and hater Cretin America."
That's about the best way I've heard it put, fantastic. Let me take it a step further: North/South??? Red State/Blue State??? Is that the dividing line? Republicans happen to be Red States happen to be the South.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 2:34 pm PT...
You're dead-on with the "American Taliban" thing, too. You don't mince words, Frank, and you're dead-on with what you're saying. People are afraid to call them the "American Taliban", but you're right and that's a perfect description. And what enables them is people/media NOT "saying it like it is", like you are.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 3:50 pm PT...
Frank - I think you are misquoting the first sample fromt he right. He says "I mean you seriously believe that those of us who don’t like Obummer really want him dead?" He is actually mocking the connection between the dislike of Obama and the desire to see him assassinated. He is saying this is a ridiculous connection.
Now I think there are plenty who do make that connection. But this "sample" doesn't appear to be one of them.
You go on to misquote this same sample at the end of your article, saying that the silence of the listed religious leaders is akin to agreeing with "those of us who don’ t like Obummer really want him dead?" while conveniently leaving out "I mean you seriously believe that..."
The dangerous cretins on the right say plenty that is abhorrent and treasonous that is directly quotable. Take that numbskull David Black who had posted here of late.
You do a disservice to the left by misquoting the right.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 5:29 pm PT...
The american left is just as bad as the american right. they both denigrate the other. There is no middle ground to go to. Why, Is there some basic idiom or block in the mind that expouses only a hatred of those who do not agree with you, or them? Bullshit, as a relitive once said. Remember both Stalin, Mao, and Hitler all had their day, just as Christ, Mohammad and Budda had their days. One tried to convince you with the butt of a gun, the other tried to educate you with pearls before swine. Think of the comparissons and relate that to today, and see the middle ground is getting smaller.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 6:07 pm PT...
The american left is just as bad as the american right.
Patently untrue. I won't bother to elaborate.
Stalin, Mao, and Hitler all had their day...tried to convince you with the butt of a gun
They were all totalitarian megalomaniacs. What did they try to "convince" people of? Their ideology was false, they knew it, they simply wanted supreme power. They were not political in the sense that politics requires an exchange of ideas. They existed to serve themselves and their cronies, to subvert all power to themselves. I don't understand your point in bringing them up at all - is it to make a comparison to Obama? If so, that is laughable. Much as I take issue with Obama's continuation of the Bush administration in many regards, he is doing so within the confines of our highly flawed contemporary "beltway" machine. He does not possess a megalomaniacal bent, much as the right-wing media would have you believe. He just gets some very bad advice.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 6:11 pm PT...
Here's my "GOLD STANDARD" on dangerous cults. Meet the ABCDEF.
NOTE: It also applies to corporate owned media.
The only thing I can come up with to fight such cult dangers are to force the FCC to force networks to make their "public file" available online to the public, and use the comments in it to evaluate if the station is serving the public interest, and if they are not in the public interest to YANK their Station ID and Frequency Allocation. You'll also note the original FCC's Mission Statement is MISSING.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 6:18 pm PT...
Those are nobel sentiments. Some I agree with and some I don't.
Personally I believe the left is getting shriller because we're getting ignored...The left has been denigrated and smeared since Reagan. Only the right has had unfettered access to mainstream media and shaping the debate in public policy, any left ideas or policies are smothered in infancy. America has become a right-wing authoritarian country...even with Obama in the whitehouse.
The right which has lost the whitehouse, senate and congress would have the American public believe that the public sentiment is with them. They have in effect neutralized the last 2 national elections. They're still driving public policy; they're doing it now with their media machine. I have never seen a smaller group of folks drive the debate in policy issues. That's fascist.
I wish the Dems and Obama had the gonads to stand up to this without flinching. But Dems have abandoned the left and gone for the middleground which isn't where the majority lies....I submit to you that the left is ready some some leftist policies that would help alleviate poverty, give every American healthcare, restore the civil-constitutional rights that Bush-Cheney shredded and end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those aren't "middle ground" issues....they're issues that may restore America's moral compass...As it is now America is being driven by an amoral, power mad, lying cabal.
When it comes to Truth and lies....there is no middle ground.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 6:46 pm PT...
the american taliban, aka sarah p and her possee of right-wing religious fanatical teabagging birthers.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 7:48 pm PT...
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 7:49 pm PT...
I note that the religious leaders listed above are nearly all male.
My prediction: Any that respond will publicly decry any and all violence against the President, and totally dodge the issue about that particular Bible quote.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Adam (Not the 1st man)
said on 11/23/2009 @ 8:04 pm PT...
As I read this Article and also the Manhattan Declaration a few things came to mind.
I do not believe in the ability of man. Did man create knowledge?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 8:05 pm PT...
Truly. If you stop to think about it, you will agree that we are all already primed to believe some rabid Jesus Camp type did it, the moment, should it come, Obama is shot.
This is part of the real danger of such heedless polemicizing: One is turning one's own brain off for the bad guys.
I wonder how many "religious kook" patsies they have in the pipeline already....
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 8:11 pm PT...
Thing is, 99, regardless of who does it, if it is done...we will never know the truth of it. We will be lead down a preconstructed path, which - who knows - may be the truth...or we may be diverted wholly from it. We'll just never know.
In the end, we are all patsys...no? Some just more willing and able than others.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
bored by the left
said on 11/23/2009 @ 9:23 pm PT...
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 10:42 pm PT...
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 10:44 pm PT...
Yuh, we'll swallow the official story and give up more of our rights and hiss and spit and call dirty names at anyone who makes so bold as to point out the obvious, or, fates forfend, dig up facts that bely the mainstream fable. I'm such a jackass! I'm continually thinking we will wise up. Guys like Rove and Emanuel... and Beck and Limbaugh... know better. It's like taking candy from a baby.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2009 @ 11:15 pm PT...
[W]hen we talk about lying, and especially about lying among acting men, let us remember that the lie did not creep into politics by some accident of human sinfulness. Moral outrage, for this reason alone, is not likely to make it disappear. The deliberate falsehood deals with contingent facts; that is, with matters that carry no inherent truth within themselves, no necessity to be as they are. Factual truths are never compellingly true. The historian knows how vulnerable is the whole texture of facts in which we spend our daily life; it is always in danger of being perforated by single lies or torn to shreds by the organized lying of groups, nations, or classes, or denied and distorted, often carefully covered up by reams of falsehoods or simply allowed to fall into oblivion. Facts need testimony to be remembered and trustworthy witnesses to be established in order to find a secure dwelling place in the domain of human affairs. From this, it follows that no factual statement can ever be beyond doubt—as secure and shielded against attack as, for instance, the statement that two and two make four.
It is this fragility that makes deception so very easy up to a point, and so tempting. It never comes into a conflict with reason, because things could indeed have been as the liar maintains they were. Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear. He has prepared his story for public consumption with a careful eye to making it credible, whereas reality has the disconcerting habit of confronting us with the unexpected, for which we were not prepared.
“Lying in Politics” in Crises of the Republic (1972)
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 6:19 am PT...
‘Rogue’ or ‘Rouge’? Many are mixing the two up
Dare I venture a guess as to which 'side' is unable to tell their ass from a hole in the ground?
And the media....absolutely no surprises there. Faux couldn't even get it right.
Wasn't the 'Rouge' book only available online from the publisher?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 6:36 am PT...
Agent 99 @21
Be assured that I'm standing and applauding...damn good quote.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 7:48 am PT...
I grew up in an evangelical Christian home and it took me 30 years to overcome some of their programming. Even now, I cringe over things like saying "Happy Halloween" (Satan's holiday) or even just saying "Good luck!" (Christians don't need luck, they have God!)
The loving, gentle, peace loving Jesus I grew up loving, has turned into a hate mongering capitalist fascist. How very sad.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 10:55 am PT...
It seems that this is another classic case where the antics of a handful of crazies are being used that to make a caricature of a much larger group of people who in no way countenance such things. The scholars and pastors who signed the Manhattan Declaration, hardly represent the "far right" but are more in line with mainstream Evangelical Christianity... such terms as "far right" and "far left" are terribly unfortunate anyway since they inherently suffer from a lack of nuance and often obfuscate issues, causing far more heat than light in public debate.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 11:02 am PT...
The Soviets produced an elegant little seven-minute visual for this "sides" business that I think applies: Конфликт....
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 11:30 am PT...
Thank you 99, that was a GREAT link. Sad, but true.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 12:02 pm PT...
SR#9 - I've been reading your comments for years, and generally agree wholeheartedly, but there is no longer any difference between the "left" and the "right" in America. Sure, in a PR sort of way there is, but all the "successful" politicians, with a very (painfully, woefully, embarrassingly) few exceptions, are bought and paid for by the same murderous merchants of death who run America, and every other country in the "developed, civilized, Western world." Sorry, but it's true. It doesn't matter who it is you "vote" for, it doesn't matter who "wins" an "election" - we lose, and Smirky/Sneery win, and that's that...
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 1:45 pm PT...
"Sane America and hater Cretin America"
Which one blamed a Census worker suicide on the other without proof? Oh, that would be the "Sane America" wouldn't it?
Weird that Sane America is perfectly willing to jump on a claim that this killing is definitive proof of the hate from Tea Parties, specific conservatives, etc. without any proof or evidence.
I guess only cretins need proof or evidence. And unthinking hate of Conservatives doesn't count as hate. Good job Sane America.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 2:42 pm PT...
Comment #8 "the left is just as bad as the right".
What a joke! I don't see people on the left implying we should KILL people on the right! wtf? There's NO comparison! The worst the left does, is "joke" about the right. Ooooooooooooooo........
Or point out where they're lying. That's it in a nutshell: the right hates it when the left points out their lies. They call that "liberal". Also, they call reality "liberal".
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 2:46 pm PT...
With the census worker suicide: here's what I don't get - he's a cancer survivor, and then he kills himself? I find that hard to believe.
Why didn't he let the cancer kill him, then? Why did he battle cancer for years...and then kill himself? Someone explain how that makes any sense.
Here's what we're supposed to believe: the guy battled cancer for years, proudly spoke about it to people...then committed suicide. That stinks to me. It doesn't make sense.
Furthermore, why is it assumed "the left" first said the census worker killed himself to begin with? Everyone thought he was killed, not just "the left". Where do people get that "the left" said he was killed? That's what EVERYONE thought!
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 3:09 pm PT...
Forget about the left/right thing when I say this:
How come people will believe something like Obama isn't an American citizen when there appears to be very little if any evidence proving otherwise...but everyone knows a cancer survivor but not one who beat cancer and then killed themselves but they're quick to believe that? Even though THAT doesn't pass the smell test at all!
Raise your hand, if you know a cancer survivor who then killed themselves AFTER beating cancer. None? I thought so! Now, that may end up being true, but that doesn't make any sense.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 3:11 pm PT...
Now, raise your hand if you would be apt to believe that a politician could get as high as senator, let alone president, and not be an American citizen. Like no one checked this out when he was a senator. They thought: "let's keep this under wraps, this unknown guy may become president someday, and THEN we'll bring it out!!!"
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 5:54 pm PT...
Czaragorn @ 8 said:
there is no longer any difference between the "left" and the "right" in America. Sure, in a PR sort of way there is, but all the "successful" politicians, with a very (painfully, woefully, embarrassingly) few exceptions, are bought and paid for by the same murderous merchants of death who run America
While appreciating the general sentiment --- yes, many of the big boys, on both sides of the aisle, are bought and paid for by the mega-corporations --- I'll still disagree with the sweeping "there is no longer any difference" sentiment.
The smaller difference: One party serves as the operative for the corporations, the other (often) tries not to be, even while grappling with absurd realities of campaign financing, and the need to not turn those corporations *against* you, and in complete favor of your opposition. A cynical tight-rope to walk, but still a difference in party mentality.
The bigger differnce: The smaller things, that don't make Fox "News" ever, or CNN/MSNBC most of the time. Eg., what has been quietly going on at the EPA is a sea change from the previous administration. Are they perfect there? No. Too slow still in many regards? Yes. But every single day, virtually, some absurd corporatist, enviro-raping policy is being rolled back and returned to sanity. It doesn't make the big big headlines, but it means a very important to change to some very important issues. Similarly, other below-the-radar differnces are vast, even if not making the big font headlines at HuffPo and friends.
I certainly understand the cynicism, but we should be work hard to guard against it, else why bother trying, working, educating, fighting to make anything better. I'll take no part in that.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 6:20 pm PT...
How did a guy who had cancer, get two $600,000.00 life insurance policies? If that's true, I want the name of the company! My wife had cancer and is cancer free and we can't get any life insurance. Pre-existing condition. Get me the name of the life insurance company Sparkman took out policies with recently, so I can get some. I'm serious. Can you picture in this environment right now of people being rejected for pre-existing conditions, getting two $600,000.00 life insurance policies if you had cancer? I just find that hard to swallow. Even if it's true that he committed suicide, I want to know how he pulled that off, a person with cancer getting two $600,000.00 life insurance policies.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 6:21 pm PT...
Don't reporterd DIG anymore? That's the first thing I thought of!
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 7:48 pm PT...
You lose all credibility when you accuse the religious right, or the members of the Manhattan Declaration, as wanting Obama to die. There is scant evidence of that, except for a few nutcases.
To make such an extravagant claim, reveals your own lack of responsibility.
I certainly want to oppose Obamma by every legal means, because he reprsents a great threat to the most important American values.
What would an extremist like you, do, if we had a president that you thought might destroy America?
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 8:23 pm PT...
Whenever people bring scripture from the Bible into current events; my mind wonders off to la la land and all I hear is blah, blah, blah because what we hear is based on someone's opinion and not based on facts. These days anybody can turn anything into an argument just for the sake of arguing. People need to get over it and live in reality.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 8:49 pm PT...
Gene Thompson @ 37
As to Frank Schaeffer's "credibility", I think you may wish to look up his background, if you're unaware of it, before suggesting such a thing in the regard you did. He's got nothing if not credibility on this very subject, and among these very people.
As to this:
I certainly want to oppose Obamma by every legal means, because he reprsents a great threat to the most important American values.
Really? Like what? What "important American values" does Obama threaten?
What would an extremist like you, do, if we had a president that you thought might destroy America?
I can't speak for Frank (which is who I presume you're directing your comment to?), but when we had a "President" who *did* destroy America, I raised holy hell, started a blog, made the case through actual, independently verifiable documentation showing how he was doing exactly that, called for legal accountability where he violated the law, and his impeachment for where he violated the Constitution and virtually every American value on which this country has stood.
I hope you'll do the same. (Hint: One of the best ways to assure this President and any future ones do not violate our Constitution and/or our values, is to hold the one who actually did do that accountable for having done so. Sends a pretty good message to others, don't ya think?)
I never once suggested that he should be killed, as per Psalm 109:8, or as per "Blood of tyrants..." t-shirts, "We came unarmed this time" signs, etc., and quickly condemned any and all who did anything even close to it.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 10:02 pm PT...
I think you need a coup of the federal reserve,the president if he is upholding them and anyone who would serve corporate interests instead of the voters interest. Treason is being commited. The right wing are trying to make capital of the fact that Obama appears to be a right wing plant and I think he is.
However his assasination and their ascendance will bring something worse and the facists would love that. Their propaganda machine is like an octopus. There is no truth emerging from any side because they are feeding a compliant media with bucket loads of horseshit. Paid corporate actors seem to have center stage and will create scenes of all descriptions to confuse the public.
Its like nothing I've seen before.
The left wing must get rid of corporate schills and double agents within their ranks.
Obama and a number ( but not all ) democrats are not democrats at all. The real democratic movement are the good guys and the real republicans are few and far between but they are now facists and they have control of both parties.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2009 @ 11:45 pm PT...
Some nitwit at #37 said:
"What would an extremist like you, do, if we had a president that you thought might destroy America?"
Well, after 8 years, ya know, if he was a really, really big fuck up, we'd probably vote him out and try the other party's candidate, and hope that THAT guy (or gal) wasn't quite so much of a fuck up.
Because, as has been noted earlier in the thread by my overseas friend, the ones in suits are pretty much all fuck ups.
Speaking of fucking up, I wish our President would stop listening to military "leaders" quite so much. I hear the target is 34K troops in Afghanistan. But apparently we will get a timetable (wait for it...yes, that was the faint foreshadowing of the GOP saying that timetables are a friend of the enemy.)
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2009 @ 3:11 am PT...
Frank since you have a background that understands how these people think can't you engage in speaking tours or something to show them how wrong their interpretation of the bible is and how wrong violence is if you haven't already tried to reach out to them?
Don't understand why Christians who are supposed to preach love, peace, goodwill instead follow a path to violence and hat and war.
Tell thinking for themselves is a Christian virtue.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2009 @ 7:03 am PT...
Read your first book and now have Patience w/God on hold at library. Thank you for all you do in attempting to educate people about these religous fanatics. It seems to me that you are truly in this for THE GOOD of the country. If there really is a God, may he bless you and keep you safe.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2009 @ 1:12 pm PT...
screw religion its the reason why this world is so jacked up in the first place. Everyone is killing everyone is the name of their god being the most powerful, chosen one. The facts are simple, The SUN is the creator and science has constantly proven the church WRONG with the church later conforming to accept science as the truth. Case in point: The sun is at the center
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2009 @ 5:25 pm PT...
Just heard a terri gross interview with the author of a book on The Family. Apparently these folks are grooming politicianans in Uganda and one of them has proposed constitutional changes to make 'aggravated homoswxuality' a capital crime. If you drink at a bar & then go home to have sex with someone of the same sex, it's aggravated and you can be executed if convicted. I guess Africa is a wonderful training ground for the faschists of the Right. Yikes.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2009 @ 5:29 pm PT...
P.S. Sorry for typos. For some reason, much of the time the text does not return in the box & I can't see what I'm typing. Not dyslexic or incapable of spelling, tho' my crapberry does cause inadvertent mistypes more than I'd like .
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 11/29/2009 @ 7:10 pm PT...
Bravo, Frank! Many, many years!
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 12/1/2009 @ 6:06 pm PT...
Frank - I'm intrigued by the Declarations claim that someone wants to force a change in the religious definition of marriage and the signatories would rather die that have that change forced on them.
Who is forcing this change on religions? No one. Who is forcing this fear? That list of folks you provided.
I was Chrismated in the OCA and have even conversed with Jonah when he was abbot in the Monastery in California. I was a communicant in an Antiochian Parish where Bp Basil was often commemorated. I had no idea there were such liars in the hierarchy.
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