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Christian fundamentlists are empowering the Top 1 percent.

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    Frank Schaeffer has an excellent "rant" in Alternet (October 13, 2011) entitled, How Christian Fundamentalism Helped Empower the Top 1% to Exploit the 99%.  Schaffer echoes many of my sentiments and that's why I'm calling attention to his article.  A few extracts:

    ."..without the fundamentalists and their "values" issues, many in the lower 99 percent could not have been convinced to vote against their (our) economic self-interest; in other words, vote for Republicans who only serve billionaires."

    "The fundamentalists have replaced economic and political justice with a bogus (and hate-driven) "morality" litmus tests of spurious red herring "issues" from abortion to school prayer and gay rights. The result has been that the masses of lower middle-class and poor Americans who should be voting for Democrats and thus their own economic interests, have been persuaded to vote against their own class and self interest."


    Schaeffer goes on to describe how the Republicans pander to the Religious Right on social issues like abortion and gay marriage in exchange for their turning a "blind eye" as the Republicans "sell the soul of the country to corporate America."

    Read the entire article at the above link. It's not anything that we haven't written about before in this website, but Schaeffer has the credentials to give it more force. He used to be "one of them."

    Comment invited.
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    Explain then how the Democrats are any different in selling out to corporate america? Maybe you don't but you political leaders do. Just the same not all Republicans stand for the same thing. Corporate America is better off now than 4 years ago. The Dems pick winners and losers just as the Republicans. GE is doing pretty good in the sense they haven't paid taxes under this administration. Their CEO is a jobs advisor to the President and yet they are the leader in sending jobs overseas as of lately. So you can push your own views and tell the truth as you have and yet be blind to the fact you support the same behavior from the liberal side. Just because the Liberals say they support one agenda you have to look at what they actually do. You know your mother tells you she loves you but rolls up the windows and locks the door just before she drives off into the lake. Owe mom your the best!!!!
    The 99% are not collective a group. I've been a small business owner that made over 250k per yr and paid 38% to Feds alone. Then state taxes. Payroll taxes. Intrests on business loan. Liability and Workers comp. insurance. At the end of the day I had people working for me doing better than me without the risk or responsibility. Most markets don't allow you to include these type of costs back into your price. No matter how you regulate it, supply and demand will always win out, in any system.
    Usually the liberal view of Christians is what you read about. Most christians don't hate gays but that's not what you hear on social agenda t.v. and news papers. Christians as a whole don't support the act of homosexualitly but don't condemn the person. The truth about the whole gay argument is that all sexual action is a choice. Gay or straight, sex is a choice! The anatomy of science doesn't support the need to have sex for any other reason than reproduction. Yet just about all of us have sex purely for pleasure. It's a choice. To say a person is born gay and to excuse the behavior and then say a rapist or child molester wasn't born that way but makes bad choices is just picking sides on social morality. Yes I think rape and child molestation is horrible because there also includes in this case a victom. But the act is no more unnatural than homosexuality. Say what you want but you have no argument other than just arguing. Call me what you want. Again i don't hate the homosexual person. I just don't agree with the act. I don't agree with cheating on your partner gay or straight but don't have to hate you as a result of the act. That my friend is the popular Christian view. We support the people having power over themselves not business or government.
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    Yes there are Dems that have sold out to corporate America...Ben Nelson is one.  Democrats are not against corporations per se.  There are many good corporations.  But the largest corporations have something that the middle class and poor don't have...lobbyists in Washington that help write legislation that favor them.  Ditto for the rich...the Top 1 percent. Many of them make money through tax legislation written by lobbyists as well.  The point is that whenever the rich and corporations get a tax break, it shifts more of the burden to the middle class.  And the middle class is then also targeted for spending cuts.

    Well the middle class is pissed off.  That's why the Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum. Just take a look at their rising share of the tax burden since Reagan.  We have had a systematic transfer of wealth upwards in this country since Reagan.  Look at the numbers...they're all over the internet.

    Obama has done more to help the Small Business owners with tax breaks than Bush. He recognizes that the job creators are small business owners as they are less likely to ship jobs overseas like the transnationals do. Take a look at this Fact sheet and tell me that Obama has not been on the side of small business owners like yourself. These are the facts. Republicans have sought to scuttle many of Obama's initiatives in this regard, not that they are opposed to small businesses, but that they want to make Obama look bad.

    Regarding one's religious beliefs, you are entitled to believe what you want.  But all I ask from the Christian community is that they don't force their beliefs on me.  The LGBT community are God's children, the same as you or anyone else.  They deserve the same rights and privileges as straight people and are asking nothing more.  Yes, I am one that keeps hammering those members of Congress in the Christian right that oppose gay marriage for their hypocrisy when it comes to gay rights. I don't see how they are harmed if two gay people want to marry.  Republicans are opposed to government regulations, but then they want to regulate our bedrooms.
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    I am not sure if any of you watched MSNBC the other night when Chris Matthews had Ken Blackwell from the Family Research Council on. Of course the topic was 'choice' which Blackwell and his legions of robots are determined to undermine by 'their' particular definition of life. Personally I am so thankful that Ken Blackwell is out of our State politically, but this program clearly showed how myopic and blind and destructive this type of mindset is to our political atmosphere on the larger scale.
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    Thanks...I didn't know that Ken Blackwell is now a member of the tax exempt Family Research Council, a 501(c)(4) organization.

    Wikipedia states:

    "501(c)(4) organizations are generally civic leagues and other corporations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees with membership limited to a designated company or people in a particular municipality or neighborhood, and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. 501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation, and unlike 501(c)(3) organizations they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as campaigning is not the organization's primary purpose. The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities - generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election - is taxable."

    I've seen Tony Perkins on TV often enough, and before him James Dobson and his Focus on the Family.  These guys have pushed the limits of IRS laws in the past, particularly under Bush.  I would hope that they are scrutized closely. I for one am tired of giving so called religious affiliated groups tax exemptions, when in fact they use their "connections" to promote political candidates that will push their anti-gay, anti-abortion agenda.
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    Schaeffer's article is very insightful and may be the sleeper issue of this campaign.   I fully agree with what he has surmised and have little doubt that far right protestants and catholics, with the probable condoning of the Vatican, have made it possible for the top 1% to control the wealth, power and politics of our country in return for passage of right-wing religious-based legislation on abortion, stem cell research, vouchers, tax exemptions for religion, etc.  I think the Vatican has long had the goal of undermining all democracies in which religion is not specifically empowed to rule.

    Also, see Jillian Barclay's wonderful piece on Corporate Theocracy (OpEdnews 3-4 months ago) in which she extensively detailed the way in which far right  corporations have colluded with far right religionists to give control of the country to the religion-favoring Republican Party.
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    Thanks eric...the last few posts in this thread were a bit off-topic but you brought it back.  And yes Jillian Barclay's article on corporate theocracy is a good one.  For those that would like to read it, here is the link: OpEdNews.com, June 11, 2001: Corporate Theocracy: The Death of Democracy, The State By State GOP Extremist Goal.

    I have extracted one paragraph below from Barclay's article but encourage readers to read the whole article:

    "The GOP governors are pushing legislation intended to control immigration, change and limit who is eligible to vote, even legislating morality and destroying collective bargaining rights. In addition to a direct assault on the rights of women, they are cutting funds to the poor, sick and elderly, and at the same time granting tax breaks and relaxation of regulations for big business. As if that is not enough, they are seizing and privatizing schools, outsourcing public sector jobs, selling community assets, all under the guise of fiscal crisis and smaller government. Smaller government? The end game is simple: The death of democracy and the rise of a new corporate theocracy."

    Jillian Barclay's underlying message is not new...many others in addition to Frank Schaeffer have written about it, perhaps most notably, Kevin Phillips, in his best seller, American Theocracy. Phillips labels the GOP,  "the first religious party in U.S. history." Also Chris Hedges in American Fascists, The Christian Right and the War on America addresses the same problem but with more of a focus on the Christian Right instead of the GOP state governors. The question often asked is which GOP group is now leading the attack? The moderates in the GOP have been silenced or purged, and the Tea Party is nothing more than a surrogate organization for the Koch brothers and other corporate entities. Is the tail wagging the dog?

    I have often used the term fascism to describe the end game if the trends to the right over the last few decades continue.  This may be a politcally unacceptable term.  Philospoher Sheldon Wolin introduced the term inverted totalitarianism in which corporations and their lobbying groups are in control, and the government acts as the servant of large corporations. Hedges also borrowed that term in his book, Empire of Illusion

    Whatever you want to call it, it is a marriage of convenience between the corporatists and the Christian Right.  They scratch each others' backs to attain their selfish goals. The military Industrial machine is an intgral part of that corporatist philosophy.  They are all driven by greed...and if left unchecked it will be the death of democracy in the United States.

    I close with a quote from the past from Barry Goldwater delivered on the Senate floor, September 16, 1981:

    On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

    I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

    And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism." -- Senator Barry Goldwater, Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)


    What indeed has happened to the party of Barry Goldwater?
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    I agree with SREED that Christians ( born-again fundamental Bible believing) do not hate gays or anyone else for that matter. Love the sinner but don't condone/accept the sin, 2 gays in a relationship outside marriage is the same as 2 heterosexual people, equality of sin if you like. Because marriage is a religious concept between 1 man and 1 woman I fail to see why the gay community would even want "marriage" other than to shove something else in our faces "because they can" And for the abortion issue every woman has 2 choices, before and then after conception, and they will have to answer to God if they so believe, but as a tax paying citizen I don't want my tax dollars paying for somebody else's abortion. The right-wing group offers places for pregnant women to go and have their child and either keep it or adopt it out, maybe the left-wing should put their money where their mouth is and pay for the abortions they believe in so dearly. Back on topic, Fundamental Christians are far more likely to donate to the poor and needy than any other group. It's plain hogwash to suggest any political party is worse than the other catering to the corporations. They all talk tough when in opposition but when they get in power everything changes, that is why our system of political parties is dysfunctional, if 1 side is for something the other side is automatically against it, even if it's the right thing to do.