Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Christian Jihad

Christians are being burned out of their homes and churches in Egypt, and Christians here in America rightly condemn the murderous Muslim bigotry

We’re so much better here in America. Pure Christians do not do violence against deviant heretics like Mormons and Catholics, but they do strive mightily to keep them on the margins.  And be warned, my Israel-loving friends, wherever anti-Mormonism has a home, anti-Semitism lurks just below the surface.

The “Values Voters,” Tony Perkins and religious bigots like Perry-supporter Pastor Robert Jeffress have every right to espouse their narrow views and host their exclusionary forums.  I just wish GOP candidates would drop the knee-jerk urge to pander to them.  When you take your nomination contest to a circus tent, don’t be surprised when the clowns come out.

Rick Perry’s Very Own Reverend Wright
At a gathering of Christian conservative voters in Washington on Friday, evangelical megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, chosen to introduce Texas Gov. Rick Perry, attacked Romney by telling reporters the Mormon Church is “a cult” and “Mormonism is not Christianity.” (WaPo – Religious Bigotry)
Of course, Perry distanced himself from the remarks, ducking the larger issue of how he could be so politically stupid as to allow an anti-Mormon bigot to introduce him.

I was hoping that with winking dogmatist Mike Huckabee bowing out this go around, the 2012 campaign would be blessedly free of Holy Christian Jihad, but then I really don’t understand politics.

Folks, this bs has no place in presidential politics.  It converts no one to the firebreather's side, and it just turns off secular people who otherwise might make common cause with republicans if not for the unhinged religious nutlogs using their 20 seconds of fame to flame their religious rivals.

Such unseemly displays and unresolvable theological debates have no place in political discourse. I don’t care how you worship. I do care about your morals, your actions, and how your faith (or lack thereof) manifests itself in the public arena and in your view of public policy.

Morality is a proper political subject, but when it descends into denominational chauvinism, the GOP needs to grow a pair and give the sectarian jihadis the bum's rush.



A Pissed Off Irishman said...

I'm sorry ti see it but Rick Perry has killed his own chances. I'm in Mr. Cain's corner now myself.

Z said...

I couldn't agree with you more...
there's that expression "we're not voting for PASTOR (OR PRIEST) IN CHIEF", and I believe that's what we should be remembering.
That Perry didn't denounce his introducer says too much about him for me.
Morality, yes...denominational chauvinism, no.

I'm getting less and less 'fond' of Romney every single day, but does that have anything to do with his Mormonism? Absolutely not.

Ducky's here said...

Who benefits from this? The Egyptian military?

Can you be certain the military does not want to ferment violence in order to continue in power?

Are we complicit in backing the Egyptian military?

Lie Pakistan, things aren't always what they seem.

Ducky's here said...

... as for the election. We've known that the Baggers are suspicious of non Calvinists.

For Baggers to say they don't inject religious discourse into politics is so blatantly false that it is dishonest.

Ducky's here said...

We’re so much better here in America. Pure Christians do not do violence against deviant heretics like Mormons and Catholics, but they do strive mightily to keep them on the margins.


Pure Christians? Is this tongue in cheek?

If you and the rest of your Calvinist gutter religionists haven't noticed it's you who will be walled in and quarantined.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is best to get this distraction out of the way. It was going to come up sooner or later, now we know more about Perry. It will be interesting to see how he deals with this tonight.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: Is this tongue in cheek?


This is one of those internecine clashes where lefties like you giddily watch in sly sarcastic glee

Jersey McJones said...

This is all part of the inheritance of the Southern Strategy. In order for the GOP to replace the dixiecrats, they had to woo them from the social-conservative-Protestant angle, as progressive populism was certainly not something the GOP powers that be could embrace. So now we have it - a party with a large, absolutely necessary for majority, part of it's base that is hardcore Protestant sectarian.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I am not criticizing religious people. I am criticizing bringing denominational arguments into a political forum. It doesn't belong.

Jersey McJones said...

I'm not criticizing religious people either. I'm just saying that the GOP brought this one, quite intentionally, themselves, and now they have to live with the consequences. The fact of the matter is that a large portion of the GOP base disagrees with you - they want more religion in government. Especially the Tea Party, by the way.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there will always be vocal minorities in any party that bring only embarrassment to the the given party.

Adrienne said...

Chick Publications? Now there's a fountain of wisdom. /sarc

Silverfiddle said...

Adrienne: Yeah, I remember their tracts and comic books from when I was a kid. Looks like they're still going strong.

Jersey: Especially the Tea Party, by the way.

Can you substantiate that? I don't see the tea parties pushing a religious agenda. In fact, Perkins and the religious right are not happy with tea parties because they view them as dangerously secular and libertarian.

Ducky's here said...

Well Silverfiddle, it's hard to tell. We know that the founders were concerned about this religious infighting (although they assumed the fighting was between Protestant sects) and the right does at times respect that separation. They were unlikely to get upset about an anti Catholic screed.

There has been a lot from the right on just who is a real American, who possesses the correct values and quite a bit of general rubbish.
Nonsense teaching that denies the role of the progressive left in building the country, a general dumbing down by the right of our history in general.

I don't read you as an intolerant person yet you are prepared to call anyone on the left anything but a child of God.

Pardon me if I am left never being sure just how intolerant the right can be.

Anonymous said...

Did you seriously refer to Catholics as "deviant"?

To be deviant means you have to be not mainstream. Catholics make up nearly 50% of all Christians in America. I hardly think that's "deviant."

Mark Adams said...

What the left just doesn't seem to understand is conservatives and TPP’s are interested to know if you are person of faith, but it's not a pressing issue with either one. It won’t make a break a candidate.

As Silver said "bringing denominational arguments into a political forum. It doesn't belong"
On the other hand there are Christian liberation theology churches out there that do drag politics in to Christianity, where once again it DOESN'T belong.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: It's snark! /SARC! Tongue in cheek!

Ducky's here said...

I see Mark, once someone doesn't pass your test of who is a real Christian then what ... denied the vote, condemned to the fires of hell, misses out on the rapture.

"As Silver said "bringing denominational arguments into a political forum. It doesn't belong"
On the other hand there are Christian liberation theology ..."

Man, there is some seriously deep irony there.

Anonymous said...

People seriously devoted to living their lives as

A) Wahabbi Muslims

B) "Observant" and/or "Zionist" Jews

C) Roman Catholics

D) "Evangelical" or "Fundamentalist" Christians

would naturally be unable to divorce themselves from the tenets and doctrines of their respective faiths, because to them it would be heresy, disloyalty to the Supreme Being, as well as mortal sin.

Seriously religious people cannot compromise one iota with the dictates of whatever religious dictates and dogma they follow. Why? They do not want to spend Eternity in Hell. That's why.

Naturally, I am not referring to nominal Roman Catholics like JFK and his brothers, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, et al. who are or were blatant "Cafeteria Catholics" that favor abortion, the right to die, homosexuality, and any other cockamamie liberal notion that might net them a vote.

Nor am I referring to normal, garden variety American, Middle-Class, Protestant Christians who uses the church as much for a social club as they do as a place of worship.

The country was founded primarily by white Protestant Christians of several conflicting varieties. Jews and Roman Catholics were not a politically signifiant presence during the Colonial period and the Federal period that followed the Revolution. "Mohammedanism" as it was then called was nothing more than a mysterious, far-off, but decidedly antagonistic force (read about Thomas Jefferson versus the Barbary Pirates).

Fanaticism of any and every kind -- religious and secular -- is troublesome and probably dangerous, but since we permit the free exercise of any religion, it must be accommodated without our allowing it to take over.

Everything is a Tightrope Walk Over The Abyss for those attempting to deal with serious issues effectively in a way that doesn't fan the glowing embers of antagonism that lurk everywhere ready to burst into flame at the slightest excuse.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Ducky, the sort of virulent, politically-charged rhetoric ejaculated from the pulpit by men of the ilk of Obama's cherished mentor Jeremiah Wright could not possibly qualify as genuinely "Christian," because the thrust of Wright's message is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

That other "Christian" churches throughout the history of the faith have also mangled and perverted Christ's Word doesn't absolve Wright and his followers of culpability in the matter of willful misinterpretation of the Gospel purely to obtain worldly objectives.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

I do partially agree, Freethinker.

Although the idea of believing Obummer is a man of any faith makes me laugh.

The Rev. Wright business is blown out of proportion. It was just a cynical move by Obama.

Wright made him black enough, Harvard made him white enough. It was always a shallow cynically constructed image.

Ducky's here said...

By the way Freethinker, I'm not all that keen on this idea of "everlasting life". It sounds pretty repugnant.

I'm more interested in a doctrine that emphasizes Christ's lessons on how to live and my belief that Christ encountered Buddhism during the "missing years".

Jersey McJones said...

"Jersey: Especially the Tea Party, by the way.

Can you substantiate that?"

LOL! How soon you guys forget!

"More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Their appeal to Tea Partiers lies less in what they say about the budget or taxes, and more in their overt use of religious language and imagery, including Mrs. Bachmann’s lengthy prayers at campaign stops and Mr. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

Yet it is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose. While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity."


Now, don't go lambasting the NYT. Campbell and Putnam don't work for them. They weren't looking at the Tea Party per se. What happened was they were doing studies for their book "American Grace" and stumbled into this data.

I don't know how you missed this. It was all over the news for like a week.


Mark Adams said...

"I see Mark, once someone doesn't pass your test of who is a real Christian then what ... denied the vote, condemned to the fires of hell, misses out on the rapture."

Real Christian? Once again, Duck you missed the point. Policy stands on the top of the heap of a long list of important ideals of a candidate.
Interjecting politics in to Christianity doesn't belong.

Irony? Christian liberation theology is a progressive issue, it injects politics in to Christian faith.
You know, like the left claims that Jesus was a Socialist, for example....

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I remember reading that, and no doubt the tea party is full of churchgoers, but the rallies are not overtly Christian affairs. They focus more on politics and the constitution. I know, I attend them right here in the hometown of Dr James Dobson and Cook Ministries.

Silverfiddle said...

@Ducky: Although the idea of believing Obummer is a man of any faith makes me laugh.

I've never dived into the debate on Obama's religion (Muslim? Atheist? pretend Christian? Other?)

I find it interesting when atheists like you categorically state your belief that he is an atheist. You're not the only one I've encountered; it's quite a few.

What makes you so certain?

Anonymous said...

I always get a chuckle when I hear about people like Jeffress. Decent, intelligent people know that Jeffress and his ilk are classless fools. I say let him blabber on. It's nothing I haven't heard before, and his silly claims (and the goofball claims of those like him) are nothing that hasn't been refuted thousands of times. I understand that many people choose to reject what I believe. That's their choice. It would be nice, however, if they would have the integrity to reject what my church actually teaches, not the straw men they set up themselves based on misinterpretation, misunderstanding, intentionally taking things out of context, and outright lies.

The funniest (in a sad way) thing is when anti-Mormons try to tell me what I believe...

Anonymous said...

Let nothing disturb thee
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing.
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things.
In whom God pleaseth
In nothing is wanting.
Alone God sufficeth.

~ St. Teresa - Lines written in her breviary - as translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace, and be gracious unto you. - AMEN

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, I know you guys play it all secular. Nice try. No one's buying it. You're a hardcore Christian theocrat. Period.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Please provide evidence that I am a theocrat.

btw, it's amusing how you end every imperious pronouncement with a "period."

Finntann said...

"If you and the rest of your Calvinist gutter religionists haven't noticed it's you who will be walled in and quarantined."

What? The threat of the Gulag from the marxist?

Now, who's the zealot here?

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."

~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Anonymous said...

>Please provide evidence that I am a theocrat.

He doesn't need evidence. He has emotion. Which also means that you're a racist.

98ZJUSMC said...

Nonsense teaching that denies the role of the progressive left in building the country, a general dumbing down by the right of our history in general.


98ZJUSMC said...

Bastiatarian said...
>Please provide evidence that I am a theocrat.

He doesn't need evidence. He has emotion. Which also means that you're a racist.

Why sure. Everyone to the right of Rosanne Barr is a racist.

Always On Watch said...

Religion and politics mingled. That drives me up a wall -- never mind all my evangelical-Christian friends.

I'm old enough to recall the furor over JFK's Catholicism and -- Gasp! -- Reagan's divorce from his first wife.

Apparently, America hasn't gotten past the issue of Mormonism although past the other two issues I mentioned in the previous paragraph of this comment.

I don't know many Mormons. But Mr. AOW does have an aunt who is LDS. She is a diehard Republican.

Always On Watch said...

When I participated in one Tea Party, I noted a lot of Christians present. Were they Calvinists? Perhaps.

But I have my doubts on that. Those who are orthodox Calvinists are more into trusting the will of the Lord (predestination) than marching in the streets, IMO.

As for Calvinism itself, well, there is a very positive aspect to it: leaving "it" up to the Lord.

Decades ago, I broke with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church over the matter of Calvinism. When I went to my minister of a decade in a state of grief over the untimely death of my cousin, he said, coldly, that my grief was unwarranted: "This was predestined before Creation."

True Calvinists would be more accepting of the fact that Obama is President.

Always On Watch said...

TULIP: the five points of Calvinism.

Googling calvinism Islam also yields some interesting results. Note THIS, specifically.

Also of interest to me....Many who slam Calvinism embrace Islam (not as religion, though). Just sayin'.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Interesting connection. Have you thought of expanding on this in a blog post?

Leticia said...

I happen to like Pastor Jeffress, he is a good pastor and he is entitled to his opinion.

I have my opinions on Mormons and Jehovah witnesses but I would not have brought to the forefront as it was done, that was tactless.

Silverfiddle said...

And that is my point also, Leticia.

The political arena is not the place to discuss narrow sectarian and denominational issues.

It reflects poorly on Rick Perry, who wants to be president of all the people (at least I think he does. It's hard to tell by his performance.)

Anonymous said...

Speaking with reporters later, Jeffress made his allusion clear. “Mormonism is not Christianity,” he declared. “It’s not politically correct to say, but Mormonism is a cult.”

I'm trying to see what is hateful about what he said to these reporters. Isn't "hateful" too strong of a word, here?

I do not endorse nor believe in Mormonism, Catholicism, Jehovah's Witnesses, or Seventh-Day Adventism. I walk in a covenant with Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Am I hateful if I believe these other "religions" are not true, real, and of Christ? Is that what it comes down to?


The Mormon issue was bound to come up sooner or later. Nothing to see here. Romney is a career politician, like his daddy, so that right there disqualifies him in my eyes. His Mormonism is just a side issue that has nothing to do with his politics but everything to do with his eternity. Meh.

Silverfiddle said...

His Mormonism is just a side issue that has nothing to do with his politics

Precisely. So why did Jeffress bring it up in a political forum?

Silverfiddle said...

ecc102: Hateful is too strong a word. You're the only one who has used it.

Anonymous said...


Hmm. Perhaps you misunderstood my comments or perhaps I simply didn't make myself easier to understand.

Let me try again.

I've no idea why Jeffress brought up the Mormon issue. Maybe he was seeking to whip the Southern Baptists into a frenzy. I wasn't there, so I don't know. I do find it peculiar that you and others would consider that religion and politics have no place together. I mean, does a person turn off their religious beliefs simply because they get elected? Is that possible? True, true, it would be bad form to impose your own religious beliefs upon the American people blatantly and openly, but in deciding policy and in determining the course you would like to see the Nation go, many a person would seek wisdom from religion.

(Just a thought, not a sermon.)

I did use the word "hateful". No one else did. Not here, anyways.

Silverfiddle said...

In this post, I distinguish between morals and denominational religion.

Your religion is between you and God, but your morals affect us all.

Denominational religious debates have no place in politics. I say that because that is what the founders believed, and it's why the put the "no religious tests" clause in the constitution.

And no worries. I didn't take your comments as a sermon. Discussing stuff is what we do here!