Franklin Graham spoke at the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Wall conference yesterday where he told the assembled pastors that they all needed to be willing to have their heads chopped off for speaking the truth that gays are bound for hell.
"Are we going to be cowards because we're afraid?," Graham asked the crowd. "Could we get our heads chopped off? We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off!"
Graham went on to assert that he loves gays "enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it's the flames of hell for you"
The religious right has been freaking out about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” for what feels like an eternity. And, while the theological complaints seem laughable for their rancor and predictability, it’s time we thought harder about what they represent, because the Christian right’s “Cosmos” agita actually indicates a far deeper problem in religious conservatism — the selective acceptance of Enlightenment values. Religious conservatives have selectively adopted the legacy of liberal Enlightenment, from free speech to science, and jettisoned it when it does not suit their narrow ideological aims.
The documentary shows how not only prominent American conservative evangelicals like Scott Lively and Lou Engle but many missionaries and organizations like the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer
have done a great job convincing Ugandan parents that homosexuals are out to get their children. This “recruiting” notion is as old as time and should have been discredited by now, but it seems to work particularly well in a culture that has not had much experience with sexual minorities. Of course, the irony is that it’s the radical evangelicals who are doing the recruiting here, literally whispering their lifestyle into the ears of kids—as a poignant scene at the funeral of slain activist David Kato shows, actual LGBTQ people are struggling just to stay alive.
“Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures. They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship,” he continued. “Let’s get real, let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.”
The chief justice was speaking at a Pastor for Life Luncheon, an event in Jackson Miss., sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, according to Raw Story.
This guy's comments are imbecilic. The Pilgrims didn't write the Constitution, their worldview was written out of the Constitution deliberately, excluded as a matter of principle. Our godless Constitution was tantamount to a stated objection to the Pilgrims' theocratic Calvinism.
The spirit of the age of the Constitution is revealed here in there words of Thomas Jefferson from his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom:
Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."
Such examples abound and not just from Jefferson's quill but from others among the Founding Fathers. Chief Justice Moore's ignorance is menacing and worthy of official censure. The reason the world sat up and took note regarding our Constitution was that it was founded on reason, not divine right. It begins "We the people," not "In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." It was at the time the single most secular document ever created relating to a nation's governance.
Oh, any by the way, Mr. Moore, the Koran doesn't attest that Mohammed created humankind, Buddhists don't believe that Buddha created humankind, and the only scientific explanation that exists for the existence of humankind is the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Moore claims that Americans don't know their history. Bollocks. It's Moore who doesn't. He does what many members of the religious right do when they expound in a sophomoric manner on early American history: conflate the Pilgrims' adventure with the founding of the United States.
The Pilgrims arrived in 1620. The Constitution went into effect 169 years later in 1789. That's nearly seven generations, what 1845 is relative to 2014.
In 1845, James K. Polk was President, slavery flourished, women couldn't vote, state legislatures elected U.S. Senators, the western-most state was Missouri, most people thought the Earth was about 10,000 years old, Neptune had yet to be discovered, kerosene was unknown, and perhaps most importantly, Adolphe Sax was still a year away from patenting the saxophone. In 2014, are things a bit different in terms of not only technology but political principles and ideals, policy and worldview? Yes. One-hundred-sixty-nine years makes a difference. The Pilgrims came ashore in 1620, but by 1789 there was a republic on these shores that did not obviate or subsume but replaced religion-based colonial entities.
It's Moore who needs the history lesson. It's a nation by, of, and for not "the Christians" but "the People."
Bruce Wilson writes about The Gathering, which provides millions of dollars to religious-right causes.
Like its familial evangelical parent The Family, The Gathering takes the coercive moral authoritarianism inherent to anti-LGBT laws being passed (aided and encouraged by The Gathering-funded groups) from Uganda to Russia, and fuses it to the radical economic libertarianism of the Koch brothers.... ..... [The Gathering] have bankrolled, from Uganda to Russia, the mounting international war on LGBT rights; evangelical opposition to healthcare reform and action to curb climate change; the promotion of young-earth creationism and Intelligent Design; ministries training African leaders in the “biblical worldview”; legal efforts that have fought against same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in the United States, and have forced anti-gay fundamentalist bible clubs into thousands of U.S. public schools....
Its foundation heads are plaintiffs in a legal challenge to healthcare reform now before the U.S. Supreme Court and they are leading efforts to attack organized labor and defund public schools.
The colossus of The Gathering is the National Christian Foundation, which gave out an estimated $670 million dollars in grants in 2013 and has rocketed, in just two years, from spot number 34 to number 12 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Philanthropy 400” list.
Truth Wins Out announced today the launch of its new Center Against Religious Extremism (TWOCARE.org), which aims to hold America’s Religious Right accountable for promoting theocracy at home and shipping its dangerous brand of hate abroad. TWOCARE commenced today with a $100,000 matching grant from philanthropist Henry van Ameringen.
“If you’re like me, you are tired of American extremists literally getting away with murder from Uganda to Russia,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The Center Against Religious Extremism is designed to monitor, counter, and ultimately serve as a bulwark against an ignoble enterprise designed to drag the world back into the Dark Ages.”
PLEASE READ THE REST OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT AND MAKE A CONTRIBUTION AT: www.twocare.org
From Frederick Clarkson's article for Political Research Associates' Eyes Right:
There is much we can learn about the state of the Christian Right from Russell Moore, the point man on public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Like other Christian Right leaders, Moore continues to rely on historical revisionism, bogus science, dubious claims of religious persecution, and hints darkly of tyrannical governmental violence to come. But his arguments in favor of discrimination quickly drift into outright absurdity. ..... [I]t is worth recalling that Moore, as we reportedhere at Eyes Right, recently distinguished himself by featuring two controversial and ethically compromised figures at a SBC “summit” on the Gospel and sexuality: Mark Regnerus, who is best known for his thoroughly debunked study on same-sex parenting (a study bankrolled by Christian Right interests opposed to gay parenting–a fact he attempted to conceal); and Greg Belser, who has been deeply implicated in the cover-up of a notorious child sex scandal among Baptist clergy. The two appeared on a panel on homosexuality at the Summit along with Baptist pastor J.D. Greear, who sparked a stormon social media when he compared opposing marriage equality in the church to opposing slavery in the South at the beginning of the Civil War. Moore is planning an entire conference on homosexuality slated for October 2014.
[Anglican clergyman Christopher] Senyonjo's opposition to discrimination against gays has earned him the status of "an elder" in the eyes of the country's beleaguered gay community, said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent gay leader in Uganda who has known Senyonjo for many years. "Our relationship is one of giving support to each other. The backlash that we receive is equally the same," said Onziema, who added that Senyonjo has taken "a very courageous and brave stand."
Senyonjo said he lives off "gifts" from his children and friends after his pension was severed as "a kind of punishment" over his pro-gay activities.
"They (church leaders) cut off my pension," he said. "It is very difficult even for my family. But I know the truth and it has made me free."
Also, for more information see the documentary being released on DVD in May 2014, God Loves Uganda, an examination on the role of American evangelicals in fostering anti-gay hatemongering in Uganda. View the trailer here.
Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest and the senior religion and sexuality researcher at Boston-based Political Research Associates (PRA), which Religious Right Watch has long been appreciative of, has authored an important contribution in the Los Angeles Times. He wrote the reports "Colonizing African Values" and "Globalizing the Culture Wars."
The vitriol that has fueled U.S. culture wars for so long is now being exported, and some of our most ardent culture warriors are finding a far more receptive audience abroad.
In nations such as Uganda, Russia, Nigeria and Belize, an insidious homophobia engineered in America is taking root. I have seen this hate being spread with my own eyes.
In March 2009, while in Kampala, Uganda, researching reports of U.S. right-wing evangelical involvement in attacks on LGBTQ equality and reproductive justice, I was invited to a three-day conference on homosexuality hosted by the Family Life Network, which is based in New York. The keynote speaker was Scott Lively from Springfield, Mass., who introduced himself as a leading expert on the "international homosexual agenda." I filmed Lively over the course of two days as he instructed religious and political leaders about how gays were coming to Uganda from the West to "recruit children into homosexuality."