Believers Think We Need Religion to Behave Like Good, Moral People — Here’s Why They’re Wrong | Belief | AlterNet

Believers Think We Need Religion to Behave Like Good, Moral People — Here’s Why They’re Wrong | Belief | AlterNet.

I believe this article says it all.  Individual beliefs in God or the non acceptance of God is one’s choice. Individuals will make choices based upon the their convictions and values.  Morality is not Christian, Jewish, or any other faith.  It is generally accepted and believed that people of faith live a better life morally. I suggest we allow our fellow human beings make those type of decisions. There is good and bad in all of us. We can only try to do our best.

Their are Christians who are demanding prayer at or some reference to God for all burials for veterans in Texas, and in Arlington. They have overreached their duty and legitimate role by interfering in the privacy,wishes, and religious freedom of an American.  The referenced Web site below has a number of other cases dealing with evangelical or religious harassment.

There appears to be an effort by some in the Military Services who are using a Spiritual Fitness Test (odd name ) to evaluate soldiers with or susceptible to PTSD. The problem is the test is religiously oriented and is intimidating to soldiers of Atheist belief.

As I have said, let us leave our fellow man alone.

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Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party Part 2

Gary North speaking at the Mises Institute aft...

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“Dominionism” as a Term or Description

The term “dominionism” is used different ways by different people. When new terms are developed, that is to be expected. If we are to use words and phrases to discuss ideas, however, it pays to be on the same page concerning how we define those terms. This is especially true in public debates.

In her 1989 book Spiritual Warfare, sociologist Sara Diamond discussed how dominionism as an ideological tendency in the Christian Right had been significantly influenced by Christian Reconstructionism. Over the past 20 years the leading proponents of Christian Reconstructionism and dominion theology have included Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, Gary North, Greg Bahnsen, David Chilton, Gary DeMar, and Andrew Sandlin.

Diamond explained that “the primary importance of the [Christian Reconstructionist] ideology is its role as a catalyst for what is loosely called ‘dominion theology.'” According to Diamond, “Largely through the impact of Rushdoony’s and North’s writings, the concept that Christians are Biblically mandated to ‘occupy’ all secular institutions has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.” (italics in the original).

In a series of articles and book chapters Diamond expanded on her thesis. She called Reconstructionism “the most intellectually grounded, though esoteric, brand of dominion theology,” and observed that “promoters of Reconstructionism see their role as ideological entrepreneurs committed to a long-term struggle.”

So Christian Reconstructionism was the most influential form of dominion theology, and it influenced both the theological concepts and political activism of white Protestant conservative evangelicals mobilized by the Christian Right.

But very few evangelicals have even heard of dominion theology, and fewer still embrace Christian Reconstructionism. How do we explain this, especially since our critics are quick to point it out?

The answer lies in teasing apart the terminology and how it is used.

Christian Reconstructionism is a form of theocratic dominion theology. Its leaders challenged evangelicals across a wide swath of theological beliefs to engage in a more muscular and activist form of political participation. The core theme of dominion theology is that the Bible mandates Christians to take over and “occupy” secular institutions.

A number of Christian Right leaders read what the Christian Reconstructionists were writing, and they adopted the idea of taking dominion over the secular institutions of the United States as the “central unifying ideology” of their social movement. They decided to gain political power through the Republican Party.

This does not mean most Christian Right leaders became Christian Reconstructionists. It does mean they were influenced by dominion theology. But they were influenced in a number of different ways, and some promote the theocratic aspects more militantly than others.

It helps to see the terms dominionism, dominion theology, and Christian Reconstructionism as distinct and not interchangeable. While all Christian Reconstructionists are dominionists, not all dominionists are Christian Reconstructionists.

via Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party.

Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party 1

Soft Dominionists are Christian nationalists. They believe that Biblically-defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy. They fear that America’s greatness as God’s chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals. Purists want litmus tests for issues of abortion, tolerance of gays and lesbians, and prayer in schools. Their vision has elements of theocracy, but they stop short of calling for supplanting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Hard Dominionists believe all of this, but they want the United States to be a Christian theocracy. For them the Constitution and Bill of Rights are merely addendums to Old Testament Biblical law. They claim that Christian men with specific theological beliefs are ordained by God to run society. Christians and others who do not accept their theological beliefs would be second-class citizens. This sector includes Christian Reconstructionists, but it has a growing number of adherents in the leadership of the Christian Right.

It makes more sense to reserve the term “dominion theology” to describe specific theological currents, while using the term “dominionism” in a generic sense to discuss a tendency toward aggressive political activism by Christians who claim they are mandated by God to take over society. Even then, we need to locate the subject of our criticisms on a scale that ranges from soft to hard versions of dominionism.

Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates

via Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party.

Scalia To Synagogue – Jews Are Safer With Christians In Charge

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Ju...

Scalia To Synagogue – Jews Are Safer With Christians In Charge.    This article is from 2004.  It is just one of several that have comments and a track record on Justice Antonin Scalia.  I have read numerous accounts and have come to the conclusion that his interpretations of law, and the Constitution are wrong. Being conservative is not wrong. Using your conservatism and personal religious views together in judging a case can violate the essence of the Constitution.  Cases must be judged on the merit of the law not what this judge or another judge may feel.

Progressives Must Lead

The Progressives spoken of in the 20th and early 21st Centuries must be a thing of the past.  The concept of Liberalism of the past 50 years is due an overhaul.  There are those who are members of the Democratic Party that are afraid of change, they are the Liberal faction unwilling to lead or to move decisively into the future.

The Progressives going into the future must be macro and micro economic intelligent to maintain the strength and vitality of the United States.  The Progressives must lead, communicate and articulate what their plans and goals are for the country. They cannot make the country’s wealth seem inexhaustible, for we have just gone through a political and economic crisis that literally was self-inflicted. The LIberals and the Conservatives were the blame. Their ideological and petty arguments politically motivated to get reelected.  Both parties today speak of constituents and angry voters, yet they pander to the Corporate and Industry leaders who lobby for what is good for them. The Laissez-Faire theory of Adam Smith is their guiding light. (let Alone)

The Progressives of tomorrow must be economically savvy, politically astute, willing to compromise, and put the country first above all else. They cannot be Liberal to a fault by instituting and maintaining social programs that are self-defeating for both the individual and the nation. They cannot be destroyers of the Constitution by allowing Industry and Business control of the political arena. The money of big business is part of the problem not the solution, to our problems today.

Progressives are also conservative in thinking, therefore the Conservative of today must move away from inconsistent and politically motivated ideology. If we are to maintain our place in history it will require compromise, strong leadership in all aspects of government. If Progressives and Conservatives are the future then and only then can the leaders of both political parties sit down and bring together those aspects and polices best for the nation.

National Defense, immigration, healthcare, foreign affairs, agencies, departments and all entities of the federal government must be seriously and consistently administered and evaluated. These actions must be done without regard to lobbyists or special interests.

We have the United States Constitution with many enumerated rights, duties and responsibilities. It is the “Supreme Law of the Land” and some states seem to forget that it is. The basic rights of Americans is paramount. That means the President, Congress, Supreme Court along with the states must adhere to the tenets of the Constitution. Some are powers  distinctly belonging to the states some belong to the people, and there are rights not enumerated in the Constitution.  In having said that three branches of government and the states  must adhere to the Constitution, We the People must be ever vigilant  to insure that we ourselves don’t become violators of our most important protection.

Progressives must move into the Future, take the Nation with it, and continue the Legacy of this great Nation.

Political Parties versus Fiscal Responsibility: Standard and Poor’s Reacts First

The holders of the United States national debt...

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Standard and Poor’s Global Credit Portal essentially lowered the United States Rating from AAA to AA1/2 due to three major factors that are negative.  One, Political Risks, second, Rising Debt, and Third the Negative Outlook.  All of these factors were not considered nor addressed when the budget and debt ceiling debate was being haggled.

Standard and Poor’s Overview

  • The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.
  • More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
  • Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.
  •  The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

It appears that Congress and the President received a bitter pill on August the 5th.  It was and continues to be of their own making. The Director’s Blog, provides the Congressional Budgets Office outlook for 2011 long term. About 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be the federal deficit. The CBO has grim and bad news for Congress and the President. The current system of tax and spend is unsustainable. Our outlays with continued deficits will severely hamper the government’s ability to pay its debts.

The Democrats want to maintain social services, Republicans do not want taxes, you cannot have both. The budget deal and raising of the debt ceiling was cowardly and dangerous and all parties to include the president knew it.

The proposed scenario from the CBO is raise taxes substantially as a percentage of GDP and decrease spending significantly from projected levels.  It is necessary to make the corrections now so that the future is more robust and sustainable.

It is my hope that a light of wisdom comes on somewhere, but at the moment it is still the blind leading the blind.  Senator Reid, did say, that the S&P action showed that  Democrats preferred policy approach was the right one. He was speaking of balancing cuts with taxes.  I am a skeptic only because the devil is in the details.

Representative Boehner, commented that Democrats needed to stop tinkering around the edges. Rep. Boehner also says that the S&P noted that reforming and preserving our entitlement programs is the key to our fiscal sustainability. Rep. Boehner, neglected to put this in proper context because it also dealt with raising taxes.  His entire comment does not properly address what the S&P suggested.

I shall not point fingers into anyones eyes..Politics is the second oldest profession, it is about me, ideology, and reading and speaking with forked tongue.  Standards and Poor’s got everyones attention. The presidential wannabes are spouting off about solutions and not having the foggiest idea what they would have done.

Let us hope that they seriously look at the budget and carve and not cleave.  Raise taxes on corporations and businesses so that the individual American does not have to carry the burden.