Aug 28, 2018

GOP's War On the Constitution: Religious Liberty (Christians Allowed To Discriminate As They Wish Like A Theocracy) VS Constitutional Freedom (Everyone Is Equal Under The Law)

1. Archive: The GOP's "Religious Freedom Laws" Portrays Bigots As Victims
2. GOP's Height Of Hypocrisy Series Part 10: Rule of Law Hypocrisy - More Evidence Of The GOP Obstructing Justice & Other Constitutional Abuses
3. GOP's War On The Constitution: Outlining Some Of The Attacks On The Constitution By The GOP's Bush Administration (Pre & Post 9/11)
4. GOP's War On the Constitution: Lack Of Impeachment Over The Emoluments Clause Indicates Republicans Don't Respect The Constitution

GOP and their religious supporters (a small but active segment of the Christian population) are busy breaking down the wall the Founding Fathers set up between Church & State and building a theocracy where not the Constitution but God is the mover of the nation. The "Religious Liberty" law actually respects one religion above the rights of others under the law and is thus fundamentally anti first amendment (anti-Constitution/Tyrannical):“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  This post is just meant to document this war on the Constitution by Republican Christians.

Point to ponder: There is a reason a wall was erected between Church & State by the Founders (near east and western religion is by dictatorial in nature as it seeks to spread its view everywhere);

Related Article: Evangelicals put to shame: Atheists tend to be more religiously tolerant than Christians New research also indicates those who believe in God are least willing to grant basic civil liberties to Muslims

And sure enough, Republican Christians are out there attacking the Constitution because it is fundamentally intolerant, as its scripture shows (the parts they actually follow).

  Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.  Such evil must be purged from Israel.  (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

(The intolerance of Christians certainly explains the Native American Genocide)

Latest Ongoing Attack On The Constitution By The Christian Right As Reported On fact Based Media;

Religious liberty for only one religion, Christianity, to inflict its bias on others. In other words, Sessions is trying to join Church and State (using State powers to provide protection for unconstitutional - or at least criminal/conning - activities)...

Jeff Sessions Is Living His Best Confederate Life |The Daily Show
Despite enduring constant abuse from President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has still managed to pursue a whole range of extremist and discriminatory policies.

Religious Liberty Task Force- Rev. Al Sharpton discusses Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new Religious Liberty Task Force, and its implications on civil liberties in the Trump era. Joining him is Ria Tabacco Mar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ and HIV Project.

This is a decades long strategy to destroy this aspect of the Constitution by the Christian Right;

Secrets of the extreme religious right: Inside the frightening world of Christian Reconstructionism The zealots pushing a horrifying vision of “religious freedom” really have in mind a new biblical slavery

an unprecedented shift in public opinion brought about the legalization of gay marriage, a vigorous counter-current has been intensifying under the banner of “religious freedom”—an incredibly slippery term.
Perhaps the most radical definition of such freedom comes out of the relatively obscure tradition of Christian Reconstructionism, the subject of a new book by religious studies scholar Julie Ingersoll, "Building God's Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism."  As Ingersoll explains, Reconstructionists basically reject the entire framework of secular political thought in which individual rights have meaning, so “freedom” as most Americans understand the term is not the issue at all. Indeed, they argue that such “freedom” is actually slavery—slavery to sin, that is.
Reconstructionists aim to establish a theocracy, though most would no doubt bristle at that description. They do not want to “take over the government” so much as they want to dismantle it. But the end result would be a social order based on biblical law—including all those Old Testament goodies like stoning gay people to death, while at the same time justifying “biblical slavery.”  These extreme views are accurate, Ingersoll explained, but at the same time quite misleading in suggesting that Reconstructionism is a fringe movement with little influence on the culture.
'If someone wants to understand these people, I think the smart thing to do is to take those really inflammatory things, acknowledge that they are there, and set them aside,” Ingersoll advised. “And then look at the stuff that's less inflammatory, but therefore, I think, more important. I think the Christian schooling, homeschooling, creationism, the approach to economics, I think those kinds of things are far more important.
"The fights that we're seeing right now over how religious freedom and constitutionally protected equality for the LGBT community, how those two things fit together—or don't—that fight was presaged by theologian Rousas John Rushdoony in the '60s. He talked about that fight. Not particularly with regard to LGBT, but with regard to the expansion [of rights]—it was civil rights. He didn't say explicitly racially-based civil rights, but that's what he was talking about in the era.”
As Ingersoll's book explains, the influences she just mentioned are quite significant.  But in order to understand them, and how they've succeeded, we need to understand the worldview they come out of.  In the book, Ingersoll explains:
According to Rushdoony, biblical authority is God's authority delegated to humans, who exercise dominion under God's law in three distinct God-ordained institutions: the family, the church, and the civil government. Each of those institutions has carefully delineated and limited responsibilities. When humans decide that those institutions should serve any functions beyond the ones ordained by God, they presume the autonomy and supremacy of human reason and thus violate biblical law.
So, “tyranny” is violating that law, and the God-ordained “separation of powers” behind it, and “freedom” is opposite of “tyranny”—following the law. Understanding where this conception comes from, and where it leads to helps to shed a great deal of light on what Reconstructionists are up to, which in turn helps us begin to see the influence it has  The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Christian Reconstruction is the term that many people may not be familiar with this. I'd like to begin by asking you to explain what it is.
This is a term that was given by Rushdoony to talk about this approach to Christian theology that focuses on reconstructing society in a way that overcomes the effects of the Fall. So, for these folks, God created Adam and Eve, put them in the Garden of Eden to have dominion-- and the Fall interrupted that. With the Resurrection, people are restored to their original purpose. So Rushdoony set out a strategy for reconstructing the Kingdom of God as it was intended to be, in the way that he understood it.
As you describe, three of the most significant aspects of Reconstructionists are pre-conceptualism, post-millennialism and theonomy. Could you explain these ideas for us and why they're so significant?
Presuppositionalism comes from [theologian Cornelius] Van Til, and it basically says all knowledge starts with presuppositions. And in Reconstructionist thought, there are only two places you can start. One is you start with the revelation of God in the Bible, or you start with anything else – and “anything else” hangs together for them in the sense that if you don't submit to God's authority, then you are relying on your own reason, your own rationality to adjudicate right and wrong.  "Everything else” gets lumped into that category of humanism, because it is all, in their minds, a failure to submit to God's authority, and to develop knowledge by relying on God's  revelation.
So, presuppositionalism is very important. It leads to the idea that there is no neutrality. You can't have a secular sphere. Secularity is humanism. Secularity says, “Well, I'm not looking to God, to know whether this policy is the best one or not. I'm going to use quantifiable science through measurement, through rationality and maybe debate.”

Onward, Christian soldiers: Right-wing religious nationalists launch dramatic new power play
Evangelical extremists mount “Project Blitz,” a covert campaign to re-create a Christian America that 
never existed
But the power of the presidency isn’t the only way Christian nationalism is advancing its agenda in America today. As Frederick Clarkson, senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, reported last week at Religion Dispatches, a coalition of Christian right groups — including the Congressional Prayer Caucus FoundationWallbuilders, the National Legal Foundation and others — have organized a major legislative initiative called “Project Blitz.” Its goal is to pass an outwardly diverse but internally cohesive package of Christian-right bills at the state level, whose cumulative impact would be immense.
The agenda underlying these bills is not merely about Christian nationalism, a term that describes an Old Testament-based worldview fusing Christian and American identities, and meant to sharpen the divide between those who belong to those groups and those who are excluded. It’s also ultimately "dominionist," meaning that it doubles down on the historically false notion of America as a “Christian nation” to insist that a a particular sectarian view of God should control every aspect of life, through all manner of human institutions. Christian nationalists are not in a position to impose their vision now, and to be fair, many involved in the movement would never go that far. But as explained by Julie Ingersoll in "Building God's Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction" (Salon interview here), dominionist ideas have had enormous influence on the religious right, even among those who overtly disavow them.
“The authors of the Project Blitz playbook are savvy purveyors of dominionism,” Clarkson told Salon. “They are in it for the long haul and try not to say things that sound too alarming. ​But they live an immanent theocratic vision, and they sometimes cannot help themselves, such as when they describe the resolutions as seeking to ‘define public policies of the state in favor of biblical values concerning marriage and sexuality.’
"Among the ways they are seeking to implement 'biblical values,'" Clarkson continued, "is by seeking religious exemptions from civil rights laws and professional licensing standards.” The two-tiered society this would create reflects the essence of Christian nationalism, as Whitehead describes it.
Whitehead told Salon: “Our work shows that believing that the United States is a ‘Christian nation’ and desiring a close, symbiotic relationship between Christianity and civil society is significantly associated with a number of stances like opposition toward same-sex marriage, antipathy toward religious minorities and a tendency toward endorsing stricter racial boundaries in romantic and family relationships." So it makes sense, he continued, "that these groups who advocate for a formal recognition of the 'Christian nation' narrative are also seeking to formalize support for particular definitions of marriage, gender identity and family structure” — definitions that elevate some people and effectively subjugate others.

The Religious Right Moves to Cement Political Power Under President Trump Conservative evangelicals have seen more victories in a Trump administration than they probably would have under any other Republican.

During his campaign, Trump offered conservative evangelicals a deal: help him take the White House and he would make them more politically powerful than ever before. They took the deal, urged voters to overlook his glaring character flaws, and helped put him in office. Trump’s conservative Christian cheerleaders have told him repeatedly that he is on a divine mission and that God intervened in the election. Religious right leaders upheld their end of the deal and delivered an overwhelming majority of white evangelical votes to Trump. Now he’s upholding his end by giving them more than they might have expected even from a President Pence.
One of Trump’s biggest boosters is Lance Wallnau, among the “prophets” who has declared that Trump was anointed by God. In his pre-election book, God’s Chaos Candidate, he specifically argued that the religious right would get more out of Trump because other people wouldn’t be watching for it. “If you think about it,” he wrote,
no candidate other than Trump would even risk the political liability of promoting a faith-based solution to a problem, especially if they ran as an evangelical Christian. Can’t you see them jumping all over President Cruz or Huckabee if one of them started pushing ‘faith based’ initiatives? With Trump it’s a different story. No one thinks he’s a Christian so nobody suspects him of trying to push religion on people.
Trump’s payback to conservative evangelicals started with his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Religious right activists now envision hundreds of Gorsuch-like federal judges reversing Obama policies as a warm-up to rolling back Great Society and New Deal programs—not to mention LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights.
Trump made cabinet appointments that even Pence or Cruz might not have dared to propose: Jeff Sessions, the infamous civil rights violator took over at the Department of Justice; Betsy DeVos, one of the most outspoken advocates for privatizing public education, heads the Department of Education; Tom Price, an anti-reproductive-choice zealot, leads Health and Human Services; Scott Pruitt, a longtime EPA adversary runs the EPA. Ben Carson and Rick Perry also got tossed to the mix for good measure.
Trump and Pence have thrown open the doors to religious right leaders, who stream into the White House for listening and strategy sessions. It’s not just the figures you might expect, like the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. It includes Cindy Jacobs, a Trump-supporting “prophet” who says God is using the president to “turn the tables” on Satan; televangelist scammer and convicted felonJim Bakker, who is back on TV supporting his “ministry” with the relentless hawking of buckets of dried food to get your family through the coming times of trouble; and Trump’s “spiritual adviser,” Paula White, the prosperity-gospel televangelist who preaches that those who bless her ministry with their hard-earned cash will in turn receive the blessings of God. Several members of Trump’s cabinet now gather for regular Bible study sessions with pastor Ralph Drollinger, who teaches that the prayers of non-Christians go unheard by God, social welfare programs are un-Christian, and Christians with government jobs are obligated to hire only other Christians.
When it comes to policy, the religious right is in the driver’s seat. Trump and DeVos propose to take billions from public schools while spending hundreds of millions on a school voucher plan, a longtime pet project of right-wing activists hoping to dismantle public education and give that money to church schools. Trump tweeted an announcement that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the armed forces in any capacity, a policy change that was sought by and made to order for the religious right.
Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department intervened in a civil rights case to argue that laws protecting people against discrimination on the basis of sex do not forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Trump dramatically expandedthe scope of the anti-abortion “global gag rule” in a way that threatens the health and well-being of countless poor women around the globe. Moreover, in a sign of things to come, at a May Rose Garden ceremony, Trump took the first step toward dismantling legal restrictions that keep churches from using charitable donations to run political campaigns.
Religious right leaders have a hard time believing their good fortune. They talkabout how often they’re at the White House. The Christian Broadcasting Network rivals Fox in its adulation of Trump. Trump’s silence during LGBTQ Pride month did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. On the rare issues on which Christian conservatives been disappointed—decisions not to immediately relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem or pursue broad religious exemptions from laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, the president has told them to be more patient.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s using religion more cynically, Trump or his right-wing religious boosters. Trump’s evangelical advisers have been sticking with him even as corporate CEOs started walking away after Trump gave political cover to white nationalists. As long as President Trump is giving them what they want, the religious right continues to explain away his dishonesty, cruelty, and recklessness, and even portrays his political opponents as enemies of God. “Values voters,” indeed.

More perspectives;

John Oliver Calls Out Televangelists Who Exploit Religion to Make Millions
Televangelists: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with almost anything. We know this from personal experience.

The Religious Right | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS
The untold story of how Christian conservatives went from politically inactive to never shutting the hell up. #NotAllChristians

The Religious Right: Part Two | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS
Full Frontal goes deep inside the weirdest anti-abortion art film you've never seen.

Joke: Colbert Meets A Religious Liberty Task Force Special Agent
Stephen welcomes one of Jeff Sessions' Religious Liberty Task Force special agents (Rob Corddry) to explain the purpose of the new agency.

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