Bruce Wilson

Cruz Super PAC Head Promotes 'Biblical' Slavery for Non-Christians

Since 2013 (and with growing interest, especially since Ted Cruz mounted his bid for the presidency), various authors have sought to address Cruz' ties to the diffuse but widespread movement known as dominionism. 

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Marco Rubio's Miami Church: Exorcisms, Creationism, Anti-Gay Policies

"On most Saturday nights, we still attend services at Christ Fellowship, especially if Pastor Rick [Blackwood] is preaching the sermon. His sermons still inspire me to grow in my Christian faith... Some of my Catholic friends occasionally express concern over my continued association with Christ Fellowship. But I don't think you can go to church too often..." -- Marco Rubio, An American Son: A Memoir

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The Loch Ness Monster Is Real: What Students Are Learning From Publicly-Funded Christian Textbooks

Thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana received state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from a Christian curriculum that suggests the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution and states that the alleged creature, which has never been demonstrated to even exist, has been tracked by submarine and is probably a plesiosaur. The curriculum also claims that a Japanese fishing boat caught a dinosaur. 

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Almost Two-Thirds of 18-29 Year Olds Believe in "Demon Possession" What Is Happening to America?

Are Americans becoming less religious? While church affiliation is probably declining, don't expect the atheist revolution anytime soon:

Over one half (63 percent, to be exact) of young Americans 18-29 years old now believe in the notion that invisible, non-corporeal entities called "demons" can take partial or total control of human beings, revealed an October 2012 Public Policy Polling survey that also showed this belief isn't declining among the American population generally; it's growing.

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Where Did Paul Ryan Find Inspiration for 'Reforming' Social Security? A Brutal Military Dictatorship, Naturally

While the Republican Party and its wealthy plutocrat backers have been accused of waging an elitist virtual war against the American majority, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have financial and ideological ties to rich Latin American elites who have waged real wars against average citizens in their countries.

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Almost 1.4 Million Pledge For Jesus as Write-In Candidate in 2012, as Disgruntled Evangelicals Vent Their Anti-Mormon, Anti-Obama Ire

As of October 18, 2012, when I reported in my story Graham's Romney Endorsement Accidentally Spreads "Mormonism is a cult" Meme to Millions - about superstar evangelist Billy Graham's disastrous effort to woo Protestant evangelical voters to vote for Mormon Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, I was unaware that the meme might, by then, already have spread to over a million disgruntled evangelicals who had reportedly pledged to vent their anti-Mormon (and anti-Obama) ire at the ballot box this November 6th.

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The Republican Rape Advisory Chart

I first titled this piece "Mourdock Inflames GOP's "Divine Rape" Problem", but then came across this - a truly inspired graphic (click on image for full graphic) from a Daily Kos website contributor that presents various controversial Republican statements on rape in easy-to-grasp color-coded categories,"Gift-From-God Rape", " Legitimate Rape", " Honest Rape ", and so on. Enjoy. [Article continues after the image]

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Paul Ryan Is an Ayn-Rand Loving "Satanist" and Romney Is in a "Cult?" The GOP's Religion Woes

Back in 2011 a series of attacks from leading conservative evangelicals darkly warned that Ayn Rand devotees, Paul Ryan included, might be worshiping at the altar of crypto-satanism. Now, within the last 24 hours, a flurry of mainstream media articles cover a controversy erupting after evangelism superstar Billy Graham prayed with (and in effect endorsed) candidate Mitt Romney and observers noticed that an article on the website of Graham's flagship Billy Graham Evangelistic Association identified Mormonism as a "cult".

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Right-Wing Crazies Who Fight Witchcraft and Demons Are Taking Over a State Near You

Editor's note: This story is about a radical right wing movement in charismatic Christianity that claims to fight demons but, leaving demonology aside, is demonstrably close to seizing the reigns of power in entire US states.

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GOP Senators Appear On TV With anti-Gay Christian Martyrdom Advocate

Last night's segment of the Rachel Maddow show provided footage, which first appeared at Talk To Action, of a Christian evangelist who is quite influential but also little known to secular Americans: Lou Engle, founder of TheCall. The Maddow segment highlighted an event noted a few days ago by RightWingWatch, an anti-health care reform "Prayercast," held by the Family Research Council, led by emergent, highly militant leaders of the Christian right such as Lou Engle and also by Republican senators Brownback and DeMint, and GOP Representatives Bachmann and Forbes.

Pentagon Paying Taliban Who Are Killing US Troops

"It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting." - Aram Roston, The Nation

Why has president Obama chosen to reject all options, on Afghanistan, presented by his national security team ? Perhaps he's come to believe that the American military enterprise in Afghanistan may be untenable.

A new article in the November 30, 2009 issue of The Nation, by Aram Roston, should be a game changer. As Roston reveals, "US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon's logistics contracts--hundreds of millions of dollars--consists of payments to insurgents."

Afghan government security officials told The Nation, "It's a big part of their income."

How The Religious Right is Infiltrating the Democratic Party

'Hispanic Karl Rove' Helps Craft Democratic Party Centrist 'Third Way' Position on Gay & Reproductive Rights

"Progressives and evangelicals have begun to build coalitions on issue like the environment and Darfur, but we believe that we can go even further." - Rachel Laser

"We have radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists. We need radical, born again, spirit filled Christians to arise ! Do you follow me ? We don't need any sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians. We need prophetic, devil stomping, demon rebuking, blood washed, Bible believing, free-from-sin Christians !" - Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, prominent Come Let Us Reason Together Governing Agenda co-author.

Al Jazeera Special Covers Advance of Fundamentalism in US Military

A June 23, 2009 report from Al Jazeera (English) by Josh Rushing, "Fault Lines - Religion in the Military", expertly covers a topic the US media has been reluctant to address: an aggressive effort, often abusive, coercive and even illegal, to advance a heavily sectarian, supremacist form of Christianity in the United States military.

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Rick Warren Proposes Hitler Youth as Model For Christian Activism

On April 17, 2005, at the southern California Anaheim Angels sports stadium thirty thousand Saddleback Church members, more than ever gathered in one spot, assembled to celebrate Saddleback's 25th anniversary and listened as Rick Warren announced his vision for the next 25 years of the church: the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.

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Palin Linked to Second Witch Hunter

If Mary Glazier's claim, that Palin joined her prayer-warfare group almost two decades ago, is true it raises the possibiity that Sarah Palin personally participated in a 1995 campaign to drive an alleged "witch" out of Alaska.
At two key points bracketing most of 2008 GOP vice-presidential Candidate Sarah Palin's meteoric rise to political prominence, we find Palin tied to self-described witch-hunters. Not one, but two.

That alone is striking enough but Sarah Palin is also closely associated with an insurgent religious movement, within Christianity, whose members claim to cure crime and addiction by casting out demons, both from individuals and from whole geographic areas, and by hounding accused witches out of cities, towns, and U.S. states.

McCain Pursued Hagee Like a Dog In Heat

As someone who was over a year ago covering McCain's snuffling after the power that issues from John Hagee & his fundament I feel a special glee that pastor Hagee has opted to reopen the controversy, over his endorsement of McCain, by getting interviewed by a New York Times Magazine reporter concerning Hagee's views on gays, the Catholic Church and other hot-button positions. It's like watching nude mud wrestling, while a mob tries to catch a greased pig, at a monster truck rally.

The under appreciated Greg Mitchell, of Editor and Publisher Magazine, has just reported on an interview Pastor John Hagee has granted, due to show up this Sunday in the New York Times Magazine, that will confirm the obvious - that John McCain pursued John Hagee's political endorsement like Hagee was a bitch in heat called politicized apocalyptic fundamentalism. As readers would have picked up last year, in February, had they read my Talk To Action post on the McCain-Hagee tie. Mitchell showcased one critical point: Barack Obama didn't call a national press conference to trumpet a political endorsement from his ex-pastor, Reverend Wright. McCain chose to splash Hagee's endorsement across the national media landscape and therein lies all the difference. Vive le difference, and one day our mainstream media may just get up the jeuvos to underline that point.

Recently, I interviewed George E. Lowe [short video with audio clip of interview], a man who worked with John McCain's father, Admiral John McCain who, Lowe told me, "would be turning over in his grave" at his son's pursuit of political endorsements from men like John Hagee. Lowe says he and Admiral McCain were in a secret navy intelligence "cabal" which fought would-be fascists of the day, both religious and secular, and this does not mean that Admiral McCain was somehow a liberal. Far from it. It's simply that he would have been appalled, Lowe tells me, at his son's courtyard of people like Hagee (whose "thrilling worldview" I've covered at length). John McCain's father was, among other things, a man of this century and would have been sorely disappointed, it seems, at his son's apparent choice to regress, politically and culturally speaking, hundreds of years - back to the Sixteenth Century.

FBI Investigates Alleged White Supremacist Death Threats From Former Washington Times Writer

Unification Church head Sun Myung Moon has been a deep-pocketed funder of Bush family members, and Moon largesse has backed world-ranging Moon empire affiliated groups ostensibly promoting World Peace and racial harmony. Meanwhile, Moon's questionably earned millions have also subsidized the Washington Times, a newspaper that is apparently not a real business given that it seems to have never turned a profit. Moon's expensive Washington D.C. megaphone also has a history tinged with what Max Blumenthal, writing for The Nation in October 2006, characterized as "racial animus" :

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Massachusetts Gay Marriage Foes Back Fake American History Advocate

"We can look at those places where same-sex marriage has been legalized to see what the future looks like" - Ron Crews, President of The Massachusetts Family Institute, as quoted in the Washington Times, March 10, 2004
In Massachusetts, going into the state's 3rd year of legal gay marriage, the societal apocalypse that MFI head Ron Crews warned of, in the event gay marriage were made legal, never happened.

Legal gay marriage in Massachusetts is going into its 3rd year and the sky has not fallen. But, for the Massachusetts Family Institute, ideology may well trump facts; the MFI has repeatedly, in recent years, hosted public speaking visits by arch-historical falsifacationist David Barton.  

Bush Threatens Veto To Enforce Anti-Reproductive Rights Agenda

In The "Values Action Team" and Bush's Veto Threat, my research colleague Chris Rodda writes on a an almost totally overlooked vet-threat letter George W. Bush sent to Reid and Pelosi on May 2nd.

Congressman Joe Pitts ( R-PA), head of the "Values Action Team", recently bragged that Bush's letter was an indication of influence, within the Bush Administration, of the "Values Action Team".

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VA Chaplains Force Christianity On Disabled Jewish Vet ?

"Since moving back to Iowa about two years ago I have been thrust into a struggle with the Iowa City Veterans Hospital & Clinics over religious discrimination and Christian proselytizing." - Jewish Navy Veteran David "Akiva David" Miller
As part of a pervasive pattern of religious discrimination a disabled Jewish US Navy veteran says he has encountered at the Iowa City Veterans Administration Hospital and Clinic, David "Akiva David" Miller writes: "Over time it has become clear that each experience of discrimination is not isolated from the others; in fact the problem of religious discrimination is systemic to the Iowa City VA.... I am a disabled veteran who served my Country honorably in the US Navy. I am also an Orthodox Jew ....not only did the hospital refuse to notify my Rabbi, as I requested, they sent a Protestant chaplain in to see me each time. The first two visits by the Protestant (Assembly of God) Chaplain were all about trying to convert me - trying to convince me that I needed Jesus, that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews too - this while I was suffering chest pains and wired to a heart monitor!  ....The Federal Courts have ruled that publicly funded hospitals may not engage in proselytizing. Clearly the actions of the Iowa City VA are in violation of the Constitution's provision for the separation of Church and State as well. So, now I am fighting back in earnest." [for full text of Miller's description, and follow up posts, see extended story]

Blackwater Opens New Base In Illinois

[ABC Local News, Illinois]"The world's most controversial security service is now open for business in Illinois. But is Blackwater, Inc. looking to make Illinois an outpost for what has been called the world's largest private army?

This is the same Blackwater that has become the icon for private security services in Iraq. According to critics, Blackwater is nothing more than a corporate warlord, based in North Carolina, with a payroll of hired gunslingers-- hundreds of them now protecting diplomats and contractors in Iraq. Blackwater executives say they and their mission near a rural town south of Rockford are greatly misunderstood-- that to know them is to like them-- and that they want their new neighbors in Illinois to know them.

On the ground in nine nations around the world, Blackwater is what one company executive calls the most "notorious" in the fast-growing business of private security. For 10 years the firm has been headquartered on almost 7,000 acres in North Carolina. More than 100,000 people have been trained there, the majority of them active duty US Marines, sailors and soldiers. That makes it the largest private military training base in the world.

The firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars in State Department security contracts the past few years. But Blackwater also has a law enforcement training division. And the company says the facility it just opened in northern Illinois is for police training."

The Case Against The Bible In Public Schools

[ When the April 2, 2007 edition of Time Magazine came out last month, I wrote a number of essays ( 1, 2, 3 ) criticizing Time's cover story, a piece of advocacy journalism entitled The Case For Teaching The Bible that offered a qualified endorsement of Bible classes in public schools. Subsequently, I came across the following analysis, by Tim Mitchell, that I thought was quite remarkable for it's thoroughness and sensitivity to issues of cultural, religious, and philosophical diversity and which made many arguments, against Time's case, that I hadn't thought of. Tim told me that, in fact, the series I'd written was what had inspired him to write his own take in the first place, and I'm grateful he did because I think his treatment, below, adds tremendously to what really needs to be a national conversation about the controversy over Bible classes in American public schools - Bruce Wilson ]
Examining Bible Classes in Public Schools and Religious Literacy
by Tim Mitchell

A few weeks ago, Time magazine ran a cover story entitled The Case for Teaching The Bible, which was written by Time's senior religion writer David Van Biema. Van Biema's basic argument is that the Christian Bible should be taught as a class in public schools, but with careful precautions taken to ensure that the class remains secular and constitutional.

Social Conservatism As a Coercive Tool Of The State

James Veverka's writing transcends categories and typologies, and he runs his analysis back over a thousand years:

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What If God Tells You Your Blender Is Evil?

More and more, Americans may be turning to magical reasoning, rather than logical and scientific thought, as a framework to navigate their daily lives. Evolution has long been under assault, and the construction of multiple "Creationist" theme parks around the country, depicting humans and dinosaurs in Edenic coexistence, hammers home the point ; magical explanations are big business, as if 70 million-odd books sold from Tim LaHaye's and Jerry Jenkin's "Left Behind" book series didn't make the point bluntly clear enough. But lately, new permutations of unreason have sprouted up to confront the view that we should first look to empirically based, causal explanations of our experience. Should we turn to prayer, rather than media reports, for information on defective consumer goods ?

Video shorts, of prominent Evangelical preacher Chuck Missler claiming to rebut the Theory of Evolution with a jar of peanut butter, and actor Kirk Cameron arguing that bananas were specifically fashioned by God to exactly fit the human hand, have proved popular to the Christian right and adherents of Evolution alike, though for different reasons. Now, in an audacious shove of the Overton Window of public thought well along towards magical explanation, a new video to be found on YouTube, and GodTube ( Tube for God ? God-In-A-Tube ? ) warns us of the danger inherent to ignoring that little voice in our heads warning us : "The new blender is evil" ; If that voice is from God, woe to those who pay it little heed !

As the Christian right has grown ever more media savvy, a new generation of young auteurs is springing up to advance the cultural and religious precepts they have been raised amidst, growing up in Christian right enclaves walled off from secular American culture and buttressed against a mainstream culture felt to be under the sway of Satan. That this portion of America has long been drifting towards views which could be termed "a-rational" can be gleaned from video clips found on the new YouTube for the American religious right, GodTube, where competently produced video shorts aggressively attack the presumption that modern life and the natural world are best explained and coped with via logic, and reason. Is the Theory of Evolution akin to a soggy computer moniter in a pond ? Does God broadcast consumer product warnings on defective blenders straight into the heads of pious Christian wives ? Whether those are rational suppositions or not GodTube, to adopt the quasi-immortal words of "Jean Luc-Piccard", makes it so.

LA Times Misses Fake US History Tie in To TX Bible Class Bill

Check it out: Chuck and Geena Norris are really into the NCBCPS Bible class course curriculum.

OK, cool... But, do they know it contains falsified US history ?

Well, before you judge Chuck and Geena too harshly, consider that the LA Times, which just wrote a story on the Texas bil that's soon coming up for a vote and would force Texas high schools to offer elective Bible classes, doesn't seem to know that the course curriculum the Texas bill favors contains fake US history either. Why hold Chuck and Geena Norris up to a higher standard than the one set by the LA Times ? The LA Times is a fairly decent paper, and if it's oblivious, well then ; Chuck and Geena have a right to be oblivious too !

Time Magazine Cover Story Pushes Bigoted Christian Supremacy

[ images: two editions of Time will go out next week. One for Americans, another for everybody else in the World]Time Magazine cover
Is "vibrant access" to the Bible is a Constitutional right of every American school child ? Is ensuring that access is the patriotic duty of every American citizen ? That's one of many claims to be found in next week's issue of Time Magazine. But only Americans will get the dubious privilege of such naked, bigoted expressions of Christian nationalist ideology. Why ? Well, next week people everywhere around the world except in North America will behold an April 2, 2007 edition of Time Magazine issue very different from what Americans will see. In Asian, European, and South Pacific markets next week's Time will feature a cover story image of a menacingly glaring, black turbaned and bearded man alongside a cover story title "Talibanistan". Time seems to feel Americans deserve something else though, and so Time's domestic US April 2, 2007 edition will feature a cover story entitled "Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public School". The story appears to say that Christian right beliefs are the only true expressions of Christianity, that liberal Christians are little more than atheists in disguise, and that all other religious beliefs on Earth are invalid and only Christians can achieve a fully meaningful life. Time's story has vanished 45 million moderate to liberal American Christians from the debate over the Bible in schools but Americans with non-Christian religious and philosophical beliefs, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and so on, fare even worse....

Welcome to America, 2007.

Note to readers: this critique has been through several substantial rewrites, and I've posted a version 2.0 now that contains substantial new material. In version 1.0, I came out swinging, in version 1.1 that you're reading here on Alternet, I toned down the rhetoric and firmed up the analysis. In 2.0 I've pushed that trend much farther along and gone into very specific detail on how Time Magazine's cover story advances Christian nationalist, bigoted ideology that may well be inadvertent but that hardly matters the groups and minorities Time has seemingly excluded from the debate over Bible classes in public schools.

Ann Coulter enthusiastic about Domestic Terrorism

"Reclaiming America For Christ", one bullet at a Time? That seems to be the message of Ann Coulter's March 3rd. rhetorical salvo fired off at D. James Kennedy's Reclaiming America for Christ conference hosted in Fort Lauderdale this year by Kennedy's "Center For Reclaimimg America". Journalist Frederick Clarkson, who has written extensively on the violent US antiabortion movement, places Coulter's enthusiasm for the assassination of abortion clinic workers into historical context in Ann Coulter Says She Can "Understand" Domestic Terrorism: "In demagogic fashion, Coulter first presented the shocking view -- and then wink, wink -- said she didn't really mean it; but in doing so, still held fast to the argument that leaders of the underground Army of God have used for years to justify the murder of abortion providers -- which she calls "a procedure with a rifle." ".

The assassinations and hundreds of bombings and attempted bombings during the 1990's, after a long period in which the US media and even the FBI ignored pervasive Antiabortion movement violence, will finally get portrayed in a new video documentary. But Coulter is only one of many on the US right who both advocate or encourage terrorism and indirectly sympathize with violent goals and tactics of terrorist groups, and rhetoric such as Coulter's helps create a cultural atmosphere in which intimidation and death threats against plaintiffs in church/state separation legal cases has become routine in many parts of the United States. Coulter's eliminationalist rhetoric, further, helps to mainstream violent religious extremist views to the point that long time advocates for antiabortion terrorism can become Washington D.C. PR consultants and special prosecutors for the State of Kansas.

Coulter's public speech fits a piece of larger pattern in which eliminationalist rhetoric from the American right targets vast societal groups and leading Christian right cultural warriors advocate, as a foreign policy approach or "pacification" program, the nuclear destruction of entire defenseless civilian populations in the Middle East [see inside].

Right Wing rumor mill funded by Shark Poaching Ring?

The past several months have been quite a season for scandals on the American right, and now a new one might even top the Haggard debacle, in significance if not in tawdry splashiness. For years, hundreds of millions of dollars, at least, in Unification Church money has bought influence among American politicians and journalists, and top leaders of the Christian right [ click on image for video of George Bush Sr. and Barbara Bush attending Moon's wife's birthday party ] and Unification Church owned media has spread lies, rumors, and slant.

Sources feeding the church's apparently endless coffers have been murky and dubious to say the least and one, apparently, has been a mammoth west coast illegal baby leopard shark poaching ring. In the yearlong criminal proceedings against the ringleader, as Robert Gammon from the East Bay News writes "previously undisclosed evidence [ video of a sermon posted on a Unification Church website ] suggests that the conservative newspaper publisher and church supreme leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon both knew of and encouraged Thompson's illegal operation... Torres and Assistant US Attorney Maureen Bessette, the lead prosecutor in the case, have been tight-lipped about the investigation. But according to a source familiar with the audio, both have been sent copies of the sermon that implicates Moon."

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