Friday, May 12, 2006

Hugh Hewitt can't handle the truth...and has nothing but contempt for those who "agree" with him.

I dislike Andrew Sullivan's writings for many reasons, but his recent pronouncement of "Christianist" agitators (heh heh just try getting "Buddhistist" off your tongue) is spot on. And sure enough not only does Hugh Hewitt get into high dudgeon over it, but he repeats the same nonsense he's repeated whenever confronted with the theocratic threat:

Again, send me a list of 25 prominent "Christianists" with their demands for theocracy. How about 20? 10? 5?

Oddly enough Hewitt links to Sullivan's update on "Christianism." And guess what...?

Besides Hewitt, Sullivan names David Barton, Rick Santorum, Robert George, and references an article that mentions the American Life League, and of course "Focus on the Family." You'd think that'd be enough for Hewitt.

But Hewitt has such great contempt for his readers that he thinks none of them are going to read the Salon excerpt of Michelle Goldberg's book Kingdom Coming...

On November 13, 2003, Moore was removed from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court after he defied a judge's order to remove the 2.6-ton Ten Commandments monument he'd installed in the Montgomery judicial building. On the coasts, he seemed a ridiculous figure, the latest in a line of grotesque Southern anachronisms. After all, Moore is a man who, in a 2002 court decision awarding custody of three children to their allegedly abusive father over their lesbian mother, called homosexuality "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated," and argued, "The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle." He's a man who writes rhyming poetry decrying the teaching of evolution and who fought against the Alabama ballot measure to remove segregationist language from the state constitution.

To the growing Christian nationalist movement, though, Roy Moore is a martyr, cut down by secular tyranny for daring to assert God's truth.

It's a role he seems to love. The battle that cost Moore his job wasn't his first Ten Commandments fight. In 1995, the ACLU sued Moore, then a county circuit judge, for hanging a Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom and leading juries in prayer. As Matt Labash recalled in an adulatory Weekly Standard article, "The conflict's natural drama was compounded when the governor, Fob James, announced that he would deploy the National Guard, state troopers, and the Alabama and Auburn football teams to keep Moore's tablets on the wall."

That case reached an ambiguous conclusion in 1998, when the state supreme court threw out the lawsuit on technical grounds. By then, Moore had become a star of the right. Televangelist D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries raised more than $100,000 for his legal defense fund, and Moore spoke at a series of rallies that drew thousands. His right-wing fame helped catapult him to victory in the 2000 race for chief justice of the state supreme court.

Moore installed his massive Ten Commandments monument on August 1, 2001, and from the beginning, he and his allies used it to stir up the Christian nationalist faithful. He gave videographers from Coral Ridge Ministries exclusive access to the courthouse on the night the monument was mounted, and on October 14, D. James Kennedy started hawking a $19 video about Moore's brave, covert installation on his television show...

A few days before Bush's second inauguration, The New York Times carried a story headlined "Warning from a Student of Democracy's Collapse" about Fritz Stern, a refugee from Nazi Germany, professor emeritus of history at Columbia, and scholar of fascism. It quoted a speech he had given in Germany that drew parallels between Nazism and the American religious right. "Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics," he was quoted saying of prewar Germany, "but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured [Hitler's] success, notably in Protestant areas."

It's not surprising that Stern is alarmed. Reading his forty-five-year-old book "The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology," I shivered at its contemporary resonance. "The ideologists of the conservative revolution superimposed a vision of national redemption upon their dissatisfaction with liberal culture and with the loss of authoritative faith," he wrote in the introduction. "They posed as the true champions of nationalism, and berated the socialists for their internationalism, and the liberals for their pacifism and their indifference to national greatness."

Fascism isn't imminent in America. But its language and aesthetics are distressingly common among Christian nationalists. History professor Roger Griffin described the "mobilizing vision" of fascist movements as "the national community rising Phoenix-like after a period of encroaching decadence which all but destroyed it" (his italics). The Ten Commandments has become a potent symbol of this dreamed-for resurrection on the American right.

True, our homegrown quasi-fascists often appear so absurd as to seem harmless...

Still, it's worth noting that thousands of Americans nationwide have flocked to rallies at which military men don uniforms and pledge to seize the reins of power in America on behalf of Christianity. In many places, local religious leaders and politicians lend their support to AVIDD's cause. And at least some of the people at these rallies speak with seething resentment about the tyranny of Jews over America's Christian majority...

Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough are Baptists, D. James Kennedy is a fundamentalist Presbyterian, and John Eidsmoe is a Lutheran. All of them, however, have been shaped by dominion theology, which asserts that, in preparation for the second coming of Christ, godly men have the responsibility to take over every aspect of society.

Dominion theology comes out of Christian Reconstructionism, a fundamentalist creed that was propagated by the late Rousas John (R. J.) Rushdoony and his son-in-law, Gary North. Born in New York City in 1916 to Armenian immigrants who had recently fled the genocide in Turkey, Rushdoony was educated at the University of California at Berkeley and spent over eight years as a Presbyterian missionary to Native Americans in Nevada. He was a prolific writer, churning out dense tomes advocating the abolition of public schools and social services and the replacement of civil law with biblical law. White-bearded and wizardly, Rushdoony had the look of an Old Testament patriarch and the harsh vision to match -- he called for the death penalty for gay people, blasphemers, and unchaste women, among other sinners. Democracy, he wrote, is a heresy and "the great love of the failures and cowards of life."

Reconstructionism is a postmillennial theology, meaning its followers believe Jesus won't return until after Christians establish a thousand year reign on earth. While other Christians wait for the messiah, Reconstructionists want to build the kingdom themselves.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: genocide fucks things up far worse than the reprehensible abomination of attempting to wipe out a whole bunch of people- it spawns crap like Rushdoony's ideas.

Even so, it is clear that this is as much, if not more a present danger to America than Communism ever was.

And Hewitt - I respect his intelligence- is completely complicit in all of this, which leads me to believe that he indeed is part of the problem.

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