Is the Religious Right engaged in a seditionist bid to take over America?

I’ve just finished reading a long and somewhat alarming essay titled Infiltrating the U.S. Military: Gen. Boykin’s “Kingdom Warriors” by Katherine Yurica. The essay puts forth a very compelling argument that the hard-line Christian Right has been working towards infiltrating and usurping control over various institutions for decades starting with the Southern Baptist Convention then the Republican Party and more recently the U.S. Military all with the aim “to dominate and control American institutions, the American government, and the American culture by ‘Christians’ of the hard right.”

Since GOP leaders have tasted the heady stuff of unlimited power and watched the success of their bullying tactics, they seem to take pride in the fact that intimidation and coercion silences all opposition. They’ve begun to step more boldly toward the goal of taking control of the judiciary-and it appears that nothing can stop them from destroying the system of checks and balances built into our constitution. Americans don’t seem to mind. We love the swagger of the cowboys in charge.

We must love Tom DeLay’s boast, “I am the government!” else voters would throw him out on his ears. So those of us who sit and observe are spectators in the GOP’s sport of dismantling American constitutional rule. The Bush administration quietly sends the names of religiously ideological judges down to the Senate for confirmation, while the House devises diabolical bills to rip the heart out of our nation’s jurisprudence. By submitting legislation that seeks to strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdictional power, the House leaders hope to delimit what cases the federal courts can or cannot review. The hard right House leaders have gone so far as to introduce a bill that will grant congress the ability to overturn a Supreme Court decision that finds a law passed by congress is unconstitutional. It appears that the entire constitutional structure of our nation could be hanging in the balance in the 2004 election.

How has the Republican Party been so radicalized and transformed? The consequences that flow from the fact that a secret religious infiltration of the Republican Party took place over a period of years prior to the last two elections have simply been underreported in the press. Infiltration and control of the GOP has placed the religious hard right comfortably in control of the party, which in turn places our republic in danger of being controlled by a heretical religious core that began its program of dominance in the 1980’s.

It’s the sort of essay that I would normally brush off as more fodder for the conspiracy nuts, but it’s exceedingly well-written and is fully footnoted with supporting references and citations. Katherine Yurica is also very careful to mention possible explanations that run counter to her main argument and never claims that her conclusions are the only ones possible, but rather she lays out her points and allows you to connect the dots along the way. A lot of the material she draws from are events that have received a good amount of press coverage and that’s part of what makes the picture she paints so troubling as well as convincing. If she’s right then all the talk from the Conservatives and the Fundamentalists about how we’re engaged in a “Culture War” here in America takes on a very new significance that should be of concern to all Liberals, let alone atheists.

I know I’m going to have to further look into the Dominionist movement after reading this essay to see what I can learn about them as that section alone was quite an eye opener. Particularly this bit:

    According to the plan proposed by Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Free Congress Foundation, to secure the success of the hard right’s control and domination of the American culture, the subversives must “develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side” with the cultural institutions of America. Eric Heubeck, the author of Mr. Weyrich’s manual wrote: “Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions…”

Go read it and mull it over. I’d be interested to hear what some of you folks think about it.

28 thoughts on “Is the Religious Right engaged in a seditionist bid to take over America?

  1. Arrest The Grammar-whores…
    Someone here recently commented on how, as a rule of thumb, posts that lack proper editing, spelling, and grammar usually lack good reasoning skills and general quality of thought.  The above quoted piece is a fantastic example of how good editing, grammar, and spelling say absolutely *nothing* about the text’s reasoning, or the author’s.  Gimme bad grammer, po’spellin, and sound reasoning any day.  Like my daddy used to say, some of the most poorly dressed people on the planet are often the richest and/or smartest—and vice versa.

    Now, back to the matter of the Sky Is Falling…
    If anyone, seriously, believes that Congress could actually pass a law limiting the power of the Judicial Branch is, well, not thinking clearly.  There are surely things to fear from the Fundamentalist Right in our nation—but such silly bills would, 1) never stand muster of our generally learned and wise present Senate members, and 2) wouldn’t last the SJC’s scrutiny or absolute rebuke.

    Without some New Gilead/Atwood-esque coup, this just won’t happen.  Remember, the Judiciary, ultimately, has the power of arrest.  And, like my bigtime fav political scientist once said:

    “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”

    And before you go thinking the military’s top brass would suddenly delcare martial law, detain the SJC, or lock the doors to the House and Senate chambers and only allow members in who take loyalty oaths to Pat Robertson or Gary Bauer—there is still the problem with well over 50% of Americans simply hating the Christian Fundamentalist Right. That’s not something to ignore, or treat lightly.  It’s a powerful, civil-war making fact(or).  If the Christian Republican’s are a potential 5th Column to our democracy, the Far Left of the Democratic party poses an even deadlier threat when contemplating the aftermath of some (sci-fi-poli-sci-esque) fundamentalist coup.

    Take huge, realistic comfort in the fact that we are a nation equally divided on such matters.  Such a coup, and a violent coup it would need be, would be strongly (and violently) opposed by circa 50% of the nation—or more if you count the various militias in NDakota and East LA.  It’s time we worry ourselves with more pressing matters than a Christian Coup, or spelling, or grammar for that matter.

    rob@egoz.org

    P.S.  Abandon grammar, spelling, and paragraphs and embrace coherent thought.  After all, Mark Twain was a friggin genuis compared to most authors.

  2. I just had an interestin thought. I’m not sure what it means, but:

    At the end of that article, they mention miltia deployment (in my home state of Texas no less) by November first.

    Recently, George W. Bush allowed a bill that banned assualt weapons to expire. Now with that civilians can own military grade weapons.

    Now, if we were to have martial declared in the U.S. (which seems very likely, I won’t know until the end of the month wether or not I’m being paranoid), what would be more effective? Handguns or something much more deadly? Granted, they both kill people, but one does it with more efficiency.

    Think about it.

  3. Hmmm…it’s still up in the air whether or not the Bushies will find some way to “temporarily postpone” the elections come November, especially if he starts falling behind Kerry… Also, see the UN Anti-Gun treaty that is set to go into effect in 2006. That one REALLY has the NRA, etc in an uproar. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if they might have captured Bin Laden or something and are just keeping him in hidden protective custody so they have a big fanfare around election time by announcing his “recent capture.” Think about THAT one.

    As for the Religious Right, they have never made it a secret that what they are after is full control of the US Government, so no surprises that there is a wealth of info pointing to this fact. The bigger question is, are “We the People” going to allow it to happen, or will we just sit back on our asses once again.

  4. rob, I still stand by my comments about poor spelling. Because the mistakes in the entries I meant obviously are at least partly there because the person is too lazy. I am also talking about simple things like spacing, ending your sentences with a *dot* and starting the with a capital letter. If a poster doesn’t obey those rules we can certainly *guess* that this person is likely to be less worthy of consideration than another.

    And while a well-written style says nothing about the validity of an argument as such, I still do believe that you can – again – *guess* at the validity of a piece of paper by noting what rhetorical means the writer uses – but even more by the way he avoids some (like cheap short-cut reasoning, or unsubstantiated statements).

  5. And then there are the typos we make because we are too lazy to click ‘preview’ and end up wishing Les had an ‘edit’ option (though I can guess at why Les doesn’t provide one).

  6. If anyone, seriously, believes that Congress could actually pass a law limiting the power of the Judicial Branch is, well, not thinking clearly.

    Well, put me in that ‘not thinking clearly’ group because last I heard, congress passed an amendment prohibiting the Supreme Court from hearing cases regarding the pledge of allegiance.

    The Christian Right has an interesting strategy that they are laying out consisting of domination, fear and self-proclaimed persecution.  I don’t see a conspiracy such much as an underlying religious cleansing movement.

    The recipe seems to be the same for evangelicals on both the micro and macro levels when they don’t get their way.  We’ve even seen it from the trolls that pop by SEB on occasion.
    1.  Pressure and coercion
    2.  Guilt and demeaning
    3.  Condemning and destroying
    4.  Claiming persecution from opponent

    Onward Christian Soldiers…marching on to war…with the cross of Jesus…going on before.

    The fundamental right does have an Achilles heel as they tend to see everything in black and white in a red white and blue country.

  7. It’s a scary, scary time to be an American.  I’m almost to the point of hoping for a civil war, so maybe we can rid ourselves of this creeping taint once and for all.

    That being said…

    It’s, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching AS to war,” not “ON to war.”  Subtle difference, yes, but one that can completely alter the interpretation.

  8. No. It is the Washington Redskins that have engaged and successfully taken over America. For they have managed to ‘determine’ who wins the election ever since they were formed in 1936.

    If they win their final game of the season the party in power wins the election. If they lose, then the party in power is kicked out. So in effect, they determine the elections. Not the skull and bones or the religious conservative but the small cabal of washington skin board members determine the elections.

    On a more serious note, US has become more religious over the past few decades. Therefore the to claim that the right is trying to take over America would be ignoring the changes in the make up of the citizens and their belief.

    The change in the Republican party some would argue results from the ‘Dixiecrats.’ These are democrats who left the democrats to join the Republicans due to the civil rights movement. Nixon then adopted the Southern strategy to win the elections. Many of the Dixiecrats are now key members of the Republican party and hence the change in direction of the party.

  9. ok, so i guess everyone seems to be, for the most part, in agreement that this is happening. i’m a somewhat conservative Christian and i see it happening, which is more than a little unnerving.

    what i don’t understand is how we Christians can honestly sit back and go “Yup, this is how God intended things to go down.” i don’t want a nation state. i don’t care what religion it is, including my own, i don’t want it. i spent my childhood in almost-militaristic ‘christian’ schools that told me how to speak, when to speak and what to say and i’ll tell you: i don’t want my government doing the same.

    Christians don’t seem to want to admit one thing: there are other religions as well as people with no ‘religion’ as it were that share this country. i’ve read the Bible front and back many times, and so i know God tells us he’s it. *when we decide to follow him* our options are limited to him. period. but many, many people share this place. and what i want to know is how this ‘religious right’ would feel should this be a different religion trying to enact the takeover (for lack of a better word). what then? i can just about be we christians would be screaming much the same things we’re hearing from the other religions, atheists, absurdists, agnostics, etc, and so on.

    that argument might be a little short-sighted, and it’s certainly painted with very braod brushstrokes, but i think it begs asking.

    i know, personally, i neither support this sort of takeover, nor do i believe it’s something God would actually sanction. you’d think we’d learn from the Crusades. or from 9-11. or just about any period in history that sees a religion takeover, only to see it and the world it overtook crumble. those who do not remember the past are, i suppose, condemned to relive it.

    again and again and again.

  10. oh, and by 9-11 i meant a religious-minded grouping of people not neccessarily representative of the whole religion attempting to take matters into their own hands no matter that cost.

    just to be clear.

  11. Here’s the problem I have. There may well be such a Christian Right conspiracy, although considering the time span you would expect quite a few credible high-profile leaks and disgruntled conspirators. And of course, if you look for a conspiracy you’ll find one.

    The more troubling question is to what extent a combination of a demographic right shift and an external bogeyman can make the goal of such a conspiracy attainable. Reading the news, I see no reason to be complacent.

  12. 0ops wrong thread! That was intended for the next thread over(David Limbaugh). Have no clue how that happened. Sorry.

  13. Scary thing: earlier today, I was at my job (the local Target) getting shopping carts out of the lot with the other attendant and four (count ‘em), yes four military helicoptors flew over us close enough that we could almost read the insignia painted on the sides.

    That really made me wonder.

    And I guess no one is buying into my gun theory?

  14. Ok, let’s get some FACTS on the table regarding this Christian Coup In The Making…

    “Well, put me in that ‘not thinking clearly’ group because last I heard, congress passed an amendment prohibiting the Supreme Court from hearing cases regarding the pledge of allegiance.”

    This is just simply wrong.  No constitutional ammendment has been passed.  NONE, so please, put down your assault rifles, put away the ski-masks and stop mapping out where the Christians live in your neighborhood.  We’re not quite there, by a long, long shot.

    Is it really “Congress” you meant, or House?
    The term “Congress” is often used in pop-culture America news to denote what is properly called The House.  In fact the word “congress” is korrectly used to refer to BOTH the House *and* Senate.  FACT:  The House did pass just such a BILL, but it takes the Senate’s vote, too, never mind the President’s.

    “House bill would block Supreme Court on Pledge”
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/23/pledge.undergod.ap/

    See how they use two very important words:
    House * Would

    They did not use the words Congress or Will, denoting that such an ammendant/law had passed both chambers.  That’s a seemingly minor, nit-picking point i’ve made, i know, but pardon facts getting in the way of political fanatasy and negative bonding.  But, lo, it’s terribly important when we use such news as examples of some kreeping tyranny.

    Did the Senate pass this bill, too?
    This is a very, very important question.

    Has it been tested in the Supreme Court?
    (ditto)

    Constitutional Muster Matters…
    If you listen to politicians speak of certain bills, you’ll often hear the phrase “pass constitutional muster” in reference to a probable Supreme Court test.

    Do any of you (seriously) believe that groups like the ACLU wouldn’t test just such a law that radically limited the Judicial Branch’s powers?  Seriously now ?

    Or, is the ACLU also being infiltrated by these Chrtistian Coup’ers ?  No, they are quickly weeded out when refusing a bong hit at the yearly Kwanza Party or when they start eating McDonalds at their desks, forgoing the tofu-rich company cafeteria.  (well, maybe that last part is a lie).

    The Left’s integrity is destroyed buch such utter silliness as this thread’s seed story.  One would think this was some maoist-commune in NewMexico’s websites.  Re-group yourselves and help purge the Left of such talk and talkers.  We need a NewLeft that is sane, reasoned, calm, and with properly vetted members.  We’s no Harvard Square democratic party any mooh, thank G-d.  And their’s o good use trying to re-make it so, either.

    rob@egoz.org

  15. The Left’s integrity is destroyed…

    And the Right’s integrity is destroyed by even trying. Nu?

    Do any of you (seriously) believe that groups like the ACLU wouldn’t test just such a law that radically limited the Judicial Branch’s powers?

    Oh, please. Yes, such a law would be tested. Is it, however, a foregone conclusion that such a law would be overturned? Would it cause a constitutional crisis? If overturned, how do you undo the damage done while it was in effect?

    Bad laws like the DMCA are chilling enough. Fucking with the separation of powers and the constitution are yet a different matter.

    Rob, methinks you are a bit too docile.

  16. I just read the “Yurika Report” and did a little searching on the Internet for “Christian Dominion”  Maybe it’s because I just saw “Fahrenheit 911” last night (yes, I’m behind the times), but Yurika sounds believable to me.  On the “Coalition on Revival

  17. I have been studying Dominionists and AOG churches for some time, and have seen this growing into the virulent mess it currently is.

    To be blunt: it scares the crap out of me. Yes, the mainstream press continues to either ignore or gloss over the Dominionists steady subversion of our country because they’re still stuck in that ‘oh, they’re just fundies, and you know how those fundies are- they’re just a bunch of harmless cranks’ mindset.

    No, they’re not. They’ve taken over the Republican Party, creep like kudzu into our school boards, and government, and have been steadily infiltrating our military for at least two decades. I saw the latter first hand, where ‘sky pilots’ were tolerated, if not encouraged, and anyone not a ‘true believer’ was harassed, hassled, and sometimes even drummed out of the forces.

    And if you still don’t believe me, consider this: the cover story on October’s “Wired” magazine is about the Dominionist’s ‘war against evolution’- they want to replace it in schools with a barely disguised Creationist-inspired “Intelligent Design”. In some places, they’ve actually succeeded.

    Scary stuff…

    Sunfell

  18. Some people get a little confused by the fact that there are two opposed factions within American Calvinism, one of which believes that ‘The Church’ has replaced ‘The Jews’ as ‘God’s Chosen People’ and the other which does not – this latter group are the Dispensationalists, who are waiting for the Rapture and therefore are not interested in any sort of world-wide ‘Dominion’. What we are talking about is therefore the former group. Its leading ideologue nowadays for my money is Gary North, who writes for Lew Rockwell Dot Com. This in itself is strange considering that Lew Rockwell is (a) Catholic and (b) Libertarian. The connection seems to be that they all regard fiat money (i.e. the inflationary non-gold-based stuff your divinely guided government is currently trying to buy up the planet with) as the root of all evil.

    Some key funders in the Christian Right are in both camps, such as Howard Ahmanson. To be precise, he is a Dominionist but his wife Roberta appears to be a Dispensationalist, with what look like links to Chabad-Lubavich. Naturally, the question of whether Israel will be destroyed before or after it becomes the center of a New World Order raises much speculation among these people : according to the Dominionists, Jesus will appear in the rebuilt Temple and one third of Israel will recognise him while the other two thirds will be killed in the battle of Armageddon, while according to the Dispensationalists Jesus will appear in the rebuilt Temple and reconfirm the Old Testament covenant with the surviving Jews, all true Christians having been raptured. Either way, the money shot is this – either way, the essence of ‘God’s Promise’ as all of them agree is that financial imperialism is divinely ordained as a means of rulership : “For YHWH thy God will bless thee, as He promised thee; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over thee. ” (Deuteronomy ch 15, v 6). This may seem not to apply to the USA, currently the world’s largest debtor, but you must remember that the real rulers are not the politicians, who are simply hired help, but the bankers.

  19. So long as liberals view themselves as “other” in the realm of politics, they fail to gain the ear of those who view themselves as “united.” We need to reclaim the language of discussion and engage in speech that all find relevant. No more the wordy declamations of the educated – and therefore perceived as privileged – what we need are selling points. Hot buttons. Talk to me, I am barely able to understand most of the posts here, yet I am an educated, atheist, feminist, Democrat woman. What is our problem? Why can’t we just say what we mean? IE: I don’t mind paying taxes, if it means my children will be well educated. I don’t agree with amending the constitution to eliminate rights. Am I stupider than I thought, or are you guys too smart for my kind?

  20. Lizwah, the discussions here can be a little intimidating at times, I’ll agree. But I doubt the answer to our woes is to dumb ourselves down. How about if we just provide people with dictionaries?

    Sound bites and simple phrases can be effective but they also can mislead if too simple. For instance, the “War on Drugs” seems like an innocent goal we can all get behind. But what about the other pushers/suppliers: the doctors and pharmaceutical companies? Prescription drug addiction is just as much a problem as illegal drug or alcohol abuse. Are we fighting a real war on drug abuse or just a pretend one?

    Often the message, hot button, or remedy really can be too simplistic and uninformative.

  21. I’m English, so I have some distance from the US and its woes, and I can tell you this :in the US the meanings of the words ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have actually been reversed from what they would have been in traditional European usage say a hundred years ago. ‘Liberal’ used to mean a supporter of the Free Market, versus ‘conservative’ which meant a supporter of the traditional society headed by the Church and the Monarch, who were expected to restrain the market in favour of a more classical notion of ‘civilisation’. In the US now it is only the ‘paleo-conservatives’ who have any sense of this change, and they have delusions of their own (see what I said about Lew Rockwell Dot Com in my previous post.)
    Similarly, the word ‘anti-Semitic’ has come to mean anti-Jewish, so that it is now possible to accuse anti-zionist Arabs of being ‘anti-Semites’, despite the fact that the average Arab is more Semitic than the average Jew.
    These alterations and indeed reversals of meaning are not random. They are products of your media ownership with its specific biases and projects.

  22. A little off topic for a laugh:
    Ok, Les: your trackbacks are now 666, is that not awesome?!

    Total damage done so far:

      * 2599 entries
      * 18888 comments
      * 666 trackbacks

  23. To Sunfell:

    Damn right this push for creationism is happening. In Barron County, WI, USA. The County passed a resolution which mandates that “Intelligent Design” be taught in SCIENCE classrooms! This is the real dumbing down, where we consign the next generation of leaders to the intellectual trash heap of anti-science flat worlders. Scary stuff? Hell yes…

  24. looks like I was attributing too much ‘Lubavich’ to Mrs Ahmansons … it was the comments she made to ‘salon.com’ about 613 versus 7 Laws that did it …

    With financing from a handful of conservative donors, including the Scaife family foundations, the Bradley and Olin Foundations and Howard and Roberta Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Company, the 23-year-old institute [on Religion and Democracy] is now playing a pivotal role in the biggest battle over the future of American Protestantism since churches split over slavery at the time of the Civil War.

    The Institute has brought together previously disconnected conservative groups within each denomination to share resources and tactics, including forcing heresy trials of gay clergy members, winning seats on judicial committees and urging congregations to withhold money from their denomination’s headquarters…

    Rev. Robert Edgar, a former Democratic congressman who is general secretary of the National Council of Churches, an ecumenical alliance that is dominated by the mainline churches and a principal target of the Institute’s criticism, argued that it spoke for only about a third of mainline hurchgoers. “They have caused so many internal issues that some progressive leaders are afraid to take the courageous positions they would have taken a few decades ago because a third of their parishioners would cut their legs off.”

    But in an interview last week, Roberta Ahmanson, a member of the Institute’s board and the wife Howard Ahmanson, a banking heir from California, contended that the Institute’s orthodoxy resonated far more widely…

    Mrs. Knippers and Mrs. Ahmanson both noted that the impetus for the founding of the Institute came from a labor union activist, not right-wing
    financiers. Mrs. Knippers said the initial idea came from David Jessup, a staunchly anti-communist union activist and Methodist who objected to church aid to Vietnam and Nicaragua under their leftist regimes.

    The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Roman Catholic priest and former Lutheran minister, wrote its founding statement and other neoconservatives joined an advisory board. (In addition to Father Neuhaus, the Institute’s board of directors currently includes Mary Ellen Bork, wife of Judge Robert H. Bork, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and Fox News, and Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute.)

    Ms. Knippers, who spoke during two interviews in the last three months, said that during the 1980’s the Institute’s initial budget of about $300,000 came entirely from a few conservative foundations, including the Scaife family foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation as well as from the Ahmansons’ philanthropic arm Fieldstead & Company…

    Mrs. Ahmanson, who is Presbyterian, said she and her husband, who is Episcopalian, were motivated mainly by theological concerns. “My husband and I are what we call classical Christians,” Mrs. Ahmanson said, explaining their view that Christians should stick to the the fifth century St. Vincent of Lerins’s orthodox standard of “what has been held everywhere in every
    time by everyone.” She added, “It is only in the last hundred years or so that there has been an elite, if you will, who have argued with that.”

    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/ConservativesPlantoSplitChurches.html

  25. There are well over 1,000 formal organizations dedicated to Religious Conservative activism, with vast sums of money involved. The Far Right has many thousands of dedicated True Believers who work mightily for Christian Supremacy in the U.S., meeting very little opposition. Politicians won’t touch the subject for fear of committing quick professional suicide.
    When Hillary Clinton used the phrase “VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY” there were a hundred conservative web sites that sprang into action to ridicule the idea that they were in a conspiracy. NOw there are a thousand such sites all dedicated to praising any stupidity of Bush to realize their dream of a Christian theocracy. They will swallow any administration adventure and will readily change our Constitution to suit their specific religious beliefs.

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