Pharyngula

Be afraid

Everyone must read this article about ‘Joel’s Army’ and be afraid. It’s a movement by radical Dominionists to build an informal paramilitary organization (at this time, it seems to be more attitude than organization) to prepare to fight to impose a kind of Christian fascism on the world. It may be a group small in number (but not that small, I fear), but they have a lot of fanaticism and lunacy to amplify their power.

Todd Bentley has a long night ahead of him, resurrecting the dead, healing the blind, and exploding cancerous tumors. Since April 3, the 32-year-old, heavily tattooed, body-pierced, shaved-head Canadian preacher has been leading a continuous “supernatural healing revival” in central Florida. To contain the 10,000-plus crowds flocking from around the globe, Bentley has rented baseball stadiums, arenas and airport hangars at a cost of up to $15,000 a day. Many in attendance are church pastors themselves who believe Bentley to be a prophet and don’t bat an eye when he tells them he’s seen King David and spoken with the Apostle Paul in heaven. “He was looking very Jewish,” Bentley notes.

Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that read “Joel’s Army.” They’re evidence of Bentley’s generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that’s gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful of other “hyper-charismatic” preachers advancing the same agenda, Joel’s Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian “dominion” on non-believers.

“An end-time army has one common purpose — to aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion,” Bentley declares on the website for his ministry school in British Columbia, Canada. “The trumpet is sounding, calling on-fire, revolutionary believers to enlist in Joel’s Army. … Many are now ready to be mobilized to establish and advance God’s kingdom on earth.”

These people are insane. They’re fed on a diet of lies and encouraged to believe that violence will be the answer, and reason is to be rejected.

The anti-intellectualism is overt. They’re actually proud of their contempt for learning; the article discusses the influence of a Canadian (errm, what is it with all the mild-mannered Canadians in this outfit?) Pentecostalist, William Branham.

Michael Barkun, a leading scholar of radical religion, notes that in 1958, Branham began teaching “Serpent Seed” doctrine, the belief that Satan had sex with Eve, resulting in Cain and his descendants. “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood — the intellectuals, bible colleges,” Branham wrote in the kind of anti-mainstream religion, anti-intellectual spirit that pervades the Joel’s Army movement to this day. “They know all their creeds but know nothing about God.”

I’m rather offended to be lumped in with bible colleges, but compared to Joel’s Army, the bible colleges actually are beacons of rationality. And if you think that’s bad, an insider, Ernie Gruen, has revealed some of their other doctrines…which sound vaguely familiar.

According to Gruen’s report, students at the school were taught that they were a “super-race” of the “elected seed” of all the best bloodlines of all generations — foreknown, predestined, and hand-selected from billions of others to be part of the “end-time Omega generation.”

Though he’d once promoted these doctrines himself, Gruen became convinced that the movement was turning into an end-times cult, marked by what he summarized as “spiritual threats, fears, and warnings of death,” “warning followers to beware of other Christians” and exhibiting “a ‘super-race’ mentality toward the training of their children.”

Let’s hope this is a fringe cult that will fade away, rather than rising to greater power. Let’s hope. But … Sarah Palin’s home church is dominionist, with connections to Joel’s Army.

Afraid yet?

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Swanson
    August 30, 2008

    Afraid, yes, and vaguely nauseated. :( I console myself by believing these are the final death throes of religion before it finally leaves the human mind.

  2. #2 El Herring
    August 30, 2008

    Religion is killing America.

    And where America goes, we all usually follow.

  3. #3 ZacharySmith
    August 30, 2008

    And I thought Ben Stein said it was science that kills and that Darwinism lead to “super race” mentality.

    Ben, care to comment?

    Ben, you there?

  4. #4 Sven DiMilo
    August 30, 2008

    Lives wasted on insane bullshit.

  5. #5 Doug
    August 30, 2008

    Too bad he missed the part of the Bible which bans marring of the flesh as in tattoos. The sad thing is in Minneapolis the police are raiding the homes of peaceful people watching movies and sharing food before their planned peaceful protests of the GOP convention. But cult members bent on wrecking violent havoc in America with assault rifles and home made bombs are given tax exempt status and protected under a twisted view of the First Amendment.

  6. #6 The Science Pundit
    August 30, 2008

    The whole “elected seed” is total statistical bullshit! If you go back enough generations (which is less than biblical times) the seeds all mix.

    These people are fucking crazy!!!

  7. #7 Lee Picton
    August 30, 2008

    Oh, my. And I thought I had heard of most of the whackjob groups – silly me. Why, oh why, won’t America wake up?

  8. #8 Kel
    August 30, 2008

    Well that ended my high which I got from watching The Colbert Report. How sobering.

  9. #9 JStein
    August 30, 2008

    Now this, this is really scary.

  10. #10 raven
    August 30, 2008

    The only rapture monkeys I’ve ever dealt with have been online. There must be some on the WC but they aren’t common and don’t seem to live around here.

    The ones online universally seem to be dumb, uneducated, and mostly of dubious sanity. It really takes someone miserable to hope that god solves their problems by destroying the earth and killing 6.7 billion people.

    Joe’s Army sounds like a Peoples Temple-Guyana, Heavens Gate, Branch Davidians, FLDS, or Al Qaeda in the making. Wonder what the body count from this cult will be?

  11. #11 The Chemist
    August 30, 2008

    It does seem attitude more than anything. I would argue that most whacko religious nutjobs already have their fingers enough in the mainstream in this country that they wouldn’t feel the need to associate with these folks.

    Besides, so what if she’s a Dominionist? OBAMA MIGHT BE A MUSLIM!!11!1!! Let’s not lose sight of what’s important.

  12. #12 TSC
    August 30, 2008

    Bob Mathews all over again. Fuck, I thought those hick tards who burned pictures of Heath Ledger were stupid enough. Jesus Fucking Christ. Tardensity levels are on red alert. Teh stupid just broiled a casserole of teh dumb.

  13. #13 RamblinDude
    August 30, 2008

    These are the people who shout the loudest, “We ain’t descended from no apes!”

  14. #14 MikeG
    August 30, 2008

    These are the people who shout the loudest, “We ain’t descended from no apes!”

    …While they thump their chests and hoot.

    Scary indeed.

  15. #15 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    There are enough natural disasters, such as hurricane Gustav now wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, tornadoes, eathquakes and other diasters of natural origin, without having to endure dangerous movements perpetrated by deranged religious madmen. We have no control over what nature unleashes on us, but when deranged humans cause suffering and unrest by their insane ideaologies, then it encumbent upon us to use as much restraint to prevent them from running amuck and directing and demeaning our society. These deranged morons have to be constrained in any manner necessary to prevent our sane society from collapse. I can endure a natural disaster because I have no control of it’s form and action, but I’ll not tolerate religious cretins bent on mayhem with their “godly” insanity. They may fade away as suggested, but may also reappear in a more pernicious form. Perhaps an “intelligent designed” tornado sweep them up with the rapture!

  16. #16 Michael X
    August 30, 2008

    Aw hell. My father was telling me about how amazing this Bentley guy was just last month. Even though my dad is filing for bankruptcy, can you guess what he’s saving up money for? A plane ticket. To Central Florida. Of course, he’s going to finish his tapes he purchased from T.D. Jakes first.

    It’s things like this that make family reunions difficult.

  17. #17 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2008

    from the KOS article:

    A look at the home website of Palin’s church tends to be revealing. Among other things, a particular Assemblies buzzword associated frequently with Hillsong A/G and New Zealand Assemblies churches shows up (“Destiny”, here, is a buzzword for “Joel’s Army”, and is being preferred even as the phrase “Joel’s Army” is getting enough negative spin that even the Assemblies is now having to do some rather massive spin control)

    Interesting.

    anyone know just how much of a connection there is between the “Destiny Church” in New Zealand and this wacky “Joel’s Army”?

  18. #18 Kryth
    August 30, 2008

    Freaking sad. I can never understand how people can be so stupid. How do people go so wrong in life? Seriously, these people are robbed of having a real life. Freaking sad wacko.

    “They’re actually proud of their contempt for learning” Too bad that doesn’t keep them from using machine guns, bazookas, and nukes. Technology and education are bad unless they help you kill the enemy. Hypocritical fucktards.

  19. #19 LisaJ
    August 30, 2008

    Yes, I am afraid. This is incredibly disturbing.

  20. #20 speedwell
    August 30, 2008

    Let me know when you intend to be glad that a few of us are stone cold atheist libertarians who can shoot straight and who teach our children science and atheism at home because the schools won’t. Until then, I’ll just shut up about it.

  21. #21 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2008

    in a related, linked KOS story, further linkage between xian fundies and cults are explored:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/15/15587/1892/116/515505

    It has been interesting watching the development and investigation of various xian churches as what I always felt they are:

    cult groups.

  22. #22 Fernando Magyar
    August 30, 2008

    Yes, I’m afraid we may be witnessing the perfect storm or storms brewing all at once on many fronts. I am posting this again sorry if no one is interested in this, I promise not to post this again but I think the shit is going to hit the fan and I sure hope I’m wrong. Looks like the vultures are already circling.

    OT special request

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4468#comments_top

    [-] Prof. Goose on August 30, 2008 – 11:55am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

    We hope that you will help us spread around this coverage of Gustav to every website and friend that you know. We do not ask you this out of ego, but out of a chance to educate as many people as we can.

    Gustav could be another key event in the advent of peak oil. The more people who can understand the tenuous balance between supply and demand, and what an outage like this means to that balance, the better they might be able to understand our situation.

    If you think Christians are a problem and a threat to civilized democracies and therefore science, check this out.

    [-] ptoemmes on August 30, 2008 – 11:13am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

    Just an FYI that my son and others he knows received this email apparently from a list he forgot he was on (long story). I did ask him to verify that it was not SPAM and he claims it is not.

    Actual email had fancy BW logos, etc on it.

    FWIW,

    Pete

    Security for Hurricane Gustav

    Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.

    Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

    Law Enforcement Officers (all criteria must apply)

    1. Current sworn [may be full time, part time or reserve]

    2. With arrest powers

    3. Armed status (must indicate Armed and/or Semi Auto. Revolver only not accepted) expiration must be greater than 60 days out

    4. Departmental credentials (not just a badge)
    Armed Security Officers (all criteria must apply)

    Only from the following states: OR, WA, CA, NV, NM, AZ, TX, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, IL, OK

    1. Current/active/licensed/registered armed security officer

    2. All training verification [unarmed and armed certificates of completion]

    3. Current state issued face card indicting armed status [expiration must be greater than 60 days out]
    Applicants will be required to provide an electronic copy of the above required credentials/documents, recent photo within the last six months with response to this AD prior to consideration for deployment.

    Personnel who meet the above qualifications and are interested, please send resumes and files to: 25505@blackwaterusa2.hrmdirect.com

  23. #23 A bstruse
    August 30, 2008

    Do they have child brides? Because I don’t join groups unless they have child brides.

  24. #24 Bee
    August 30, 2008

    Looks like Bentley’s managed to scare even the fundiest of the fundy leaders lately – godly dirt, dissent,and delusion all mixed in the comments following the article.

    http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2008/08/15/todd-bentley-b-c-bad-boy-stirring-up-a-faith-healing-storm.aspx

  25. #25 Paul Burnett
    August 30, 2008

    I’ve been saying for years that there will not be an election held this coming November, because of a “September Surprise” (or an “October Surprise”) which will cause the Bush regime to cancel public gatherings and impose martial law (among many other things). McCain knows about this and nominated Palin just to distract the media and the public as the dominionists and reconstructionists ready their home-schooled shock troops for their fundagelical rebellion.

    Anybody remember the name “Nehemiah Scudder”?* Sounds like Todd Bentley comes close.

    * See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22If_This_Goes_On%E2%80%94%22

  26. #26 CalGeorge
    August 30, 2008

    From some of Pastor Mike’s sermons, sounds like they are anti-Semitic.

  27. #27 likestryavoltage
    August 30, 2008

    Branham wasn’t Canadian – he was born in Kentucky. I was raised in the cult, known by followers as “The Message”, that sprung out of his teachings. He was “God’s final voice to the final age” and all that. Took me years to recover from that good old fashioned brainwashing.

  28. #28 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    I just watched several of the videos of Todd Bentley on YouTube; a few minutes for each clip was all I could stomach. Lisa, this is beyond disturbing. This is only a fragment of what can happen if you had been still embracing religion. There are a lot of unsound minds out there who no doubt will be attracted to this demonic horde.

  29. #29 genesgalore
    August 30, 2008

    with six billion plus on the planet and soon to be 9, these guys are chump change.

  30. #30 Longtime Lurker
    August 30, 2008

    Makes me nostalgic for those Heaven’s Gate nutjobs- at least THOSE freaks had the decency to leave my secular ass out of their eschatological fantasy!

  31. #31 woody, tokin librul
    August 30, 2008

    Wonder what the body count from this cult will be?

    As long as the only people they kill or injure are themselves or each other, I don’t really care.
    Of course, they spill over, and you get things like Oklahoma City’s Murrah Bldg. bombing, and the subsequent cover-up that left the radical, violent, cult-xian haven of Elohim City, out on the Arky/Okie line in tact…that’s where McVeigh was heading when he was happenstantially stopped…

  32. #32 Kobra
    August 30, 2008

    Dear God,

    If you exist, please rapture away all of your insane followers.

    Thank you,
    Nonbeliever

  33. #33 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    I’m anti-gun, but if this kind of shit ever happens and someone wants to kill me for being an atheist, I will happily be a Rifle-Toting Rationalist/AK-47-Toting Atheist/Bow-Wielding Bright/Pistol-Toting Positivist and pick off any fundies that try to kill me or another atheist.

    At least, welcome to religion’s final death throes, folks.

  34. #34 genesgalore
    August 30, 2008

    Posted by: Katharine | August 30, 2008 8:37 PM … depends on where you live hun. if you live in the country guns are like shovels. if you live in the city, they are way too dangerous to have.

  35. #35 alcari
    August 30, 2008

    If we’re lucky, they’ll just kill themselves, without shooting and/or blowing up any innocent bystanders. I’m putting good money on 2012, that is when the rapture/end of the world/whatever is coming right?

    If we’re really lucky, they’ll hurry and do it before more idiots gravitate towards them.

    Best thing we can do is NOT give these people any atention. The more newspaper articles and interviews there are, the more succes they’ll have.

  36. #36 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Yeah, there’s logistical problems with guns.

    The point is, if these people genuinely start acting on their batshit urges , what’s going to happen?

  37. #37 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Paul Burnett @ 25

    You are joking of course.

  38. #38 KarenC
    August 30, 2008

    Aw, looks like he’s recently fallen from grace. He recently agreed to step down from his Fresh Fire ministries because he had entered into an “unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff”.

    http://www.freshfire.ca/

    More of the same…

  39. #39 craig
    August 30, 2008

    Afraid, yes, and vaguely nauseated. :( I console myself by believing these are the final death throes of religion before it finally leaves the human mind.

    I don’t think so. The vast majority of people do not understand the technology we have today, they don’t understand science, they don’t understand much of anything.

    When people don’t understand things, most of them fear it and turn to superstition. In the next 100 years, technological and scientific advances are going to make 2008 look like the stone age.

    It seems to me that the trend is towards MORE superstition and generally illogical thought. UFOs, New-Age woo, Faces on Mars, people killing themselves because of a comet…

    100 years from now, perhaps 1 percent of the population will understand the technology. Maybe 10 to 20 percent won’t really understand it, but will generally accept it and not worry to much about it.

    The rest, hundreds of millions, will fear it, worship it, think it came from god or gods, think it IS a god, or at the very least will fear it enough to be able to be completely controlled.

    People will be hating each other over, fighting each other over, killing each other over their fear of and misunderstanding of science and technology. There will be massive cults worshipping either the technologies or the gods they image created them.

  40. #40 anaglyph
    August 30, 2008

    @genesgalore: >>with six billion plus on the planet and soon to be 9, these guys are chump change.

    Yeah, chump change with weapons. And murderous rage. And limited intelligence. And a Biblical agenda. A lot of damage has been done in the past with those kinds of ingredients.

  41. #41 genesgalore
    August 30, 2008

    let me rephrase that:..Posted by: Katharine | August 30, 2008 8:37 PM … depends on where you live hun. if you live in the country guns are like shovels. if you live in the city, they are way too dangerous to have and you probably don’t own a shovel.

  42. #42 Norman Doering
    August 30, 2008

    Chris Swanson wrote:

    I console myself by believing these are the final death throes of religion before it finally leaves the human mind.

    Alas, that seems to be an irrational and faith based belief. Do you have any evidence of it?

    Joseph McCabe thought when he wrote, in “Is The Position Of Atheism Growing Stronger”: “That the growth is such that if freedom is again generally secured in the next 10 years we may justly expect Atheists to be more numerous than genuine Christians in 20 years.” That was almost seventy years ago and it never happened.

    I’ve got some Joseph McCabe links in this post:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/08/consequences-of-belief.html

  43. #43 Kobra
    August 30, 2008

    I’ve had to readjust my spectrum of lunacy a bit:

    http://www.kobrascorner.com/etc/joelsarmy.png

  44. #44 Joe Cracker
    August 30, 2008

    Some Holy Shit is about to hit the fan !!!

  45. #45 grinch
    August 30, 2008

    Well our bikie mate Todd has had a serious fall from grace.

    Wonder what kind of dent that will put in Joel’s army.

  46. #46 rich (richmanwisco)
    August 30, 2008

    Disturbing on many levels.

    Did this info not surface during vetting? If not, why? More chilling: what if it did surface? How would McCain knowingly allow this?

    How will the MSM handle this? Especially with Gustav dominating the cycle? There’s a good chance all of this is quietly ignored. Is this why McCain would delay the convention?

    My prediction: Palin is replaced before the end of September.

  47. #47 genesgalore
    August 30, 2008

    Posted by: anaglyph | August 30, 2008 8:49 PM .. no doubt bud. i sure wouldn’t want to tangle with china. talk about an asswhipping.

  48. #48 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Kobra @ 43

    That’s better. You had me a little concerned at # 32.

  49. #49 craig
    August 30, 2008

    “The only rapture monkeys I’ve ever dealt with have been online. “

    A couple of years ago I had what looked like a yard sale, but I was giving away books – my book-selling business. Free books. Crowds of people.
    An older couple came up, straight from church, wearing flag pins and red/white/blue ribbons and all kinds of flair, and with brain-dead smiles on their faces asked if I had any “Left Behind” books.

    Creepy. Superstitious people have nightmares about coming face to face with werewolves, vampires, demons. I had that feeling to a small degree, that chill running down your spine experience, coming face to face with these people.

  50. #50 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Kobra, why must you make my brain threaten to asplode? To see Christians and creationists on the relatively sane end of that spectrum (at least atheists are at the top, agnostics only slightly lower) makes my head hurt. A lot.

  51. #51 Wowbagger
    August 30, 2008

    In the correct thread this time…

    If we’re really lucky there’ll be some sort of power struggle with a resultant schism and the subsequent sects will do their darndest to wipe each other out before they bother anyone else. The thing I’ve found with religious believers is that many of them are more concerned about other groups with minor variations on the the belief structure than they are true unbelievers.

    One place I worked at I used to talk religion with a Greek Orthodox and a Romanian Baptist; they spent more time arguing with each other over whose version of ooga-booga was the more valid than they did trying to convince me atheism was wrong.

  52. #52 craig
    August 30, 2008

    “Did this info not surface during vetting?”

    Why the hell do you think he chose her? They saw the campaign failing and so they picked a raving lunatic fundie. And there’s a decent chance it will work.

  53. #53 Longtime Lurker
    August 30, 2008

    Hopefully, the fundies will form a circular firing-squad. Here is another group of god-botherers’ take on “Joel’s Army”:

    http://www.discernment-ministries.org/JoelsArmy1.htm

  54. #54 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Katherine @ 50

    Yes, I sort of find it demeaning to be in such close company with the religionists; they should have been one shade above Joel’s army. Leach that color down, Kobra!

  55. #55 mayhempix
    August 30, 2008

    “… Branham began teaching “Serpent Seed” doctrine, the belief that Satan had sex with Eve, resulting in Cain and his descendants. “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood –”

    Reminds me of the Khmer Rouge who believed they could purify their country by killing all the intellectuals. The anti-intellectualsim celebrated by the right in the US feeds into this insanity.

  56. #56 mayhempix
    August 30, 2008

    And now it appears that GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin is a member of a church with direct links to Joel’s Army…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/29/163234/559/495/579213

    “…Mike Rose, pastor of Juneau Christian Center (Palin’s church), is noted to be connected with the “Third Wave Movement”–a movement in neopente dominionist circles that is the major theological home of “Joel’s Army”. In fact, he’s quite closely connected with Rodney Howard-Browne, a major (in fact, for some years, the major promoter) of “Third Wave” neopente dominionism, and actively promotes this insanity in his church…”

  57. #57 afarensis
    August 30, 2008

    Small world, that’s the guy Dembski went to see!

  58. #58 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    I’m an atheist. To be lumped in with the fundie retards is insulting.

    Kobra, change that chart.

  59. #59 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Chris Swanson @ # 1, and Norman Doering @ 42

    All supposition and so incorrect that religion would be in it’s death throes. We will always have religion as long as the majority of the population irrationally embrace it. And we will always have atheists as long as the rational minority continues to counteract that insane majority.

  60. #60 ihateaphids
    August 30, 2008

    Check out Brian Wood’s DMZ comic. It’s a terrifyingly realistic plausible-future comic series about a “redneck” militia-army takeover of most of the US excepting holdouts in the northeast. The comic is not necessarily focused on the militia aspect, but it’s there, scary, possible, stuff.

    These guys should not be ignored.

  61. #61 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Katherine @ 58
    I suggest a new chart which I think we would like and eagerly endorse, one which will totally eliminate the “undesirables”. A chart showing ATHEISTS at the top, and Agnostics at the bottom! Of course, if we really want to be truly selective, a chart showing the word ATHEIST from top to bottom with no other designation! How’s that?

  62. #62 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Holbach @61

    Man, I think Kobra just needs a longer chart. Say, 200 pixels wide by 10000000000000000000000000 pixels long.

  63. #63 mayhempix
    August 30, 2008

    - Posted by: The Chemist | August 30, 2008 7:55 PM
    – “so what if she’s a Dominionist? OBAMA MIGHT BE A MUSLIM!!11!1!! Let’s not lose sight of what’s important.”

    There is a big difference between alleged and actual associations. In Obama’s case it was a demonstrably false smear. This is not a smear of Palin. If she were to to leave her church and/or renounce it, then she would deserve the benefit of the doubt. I hope she is questioned about it and has to explain her position and beliefs.

  64. #64 Robert Madewell
    August 30, 2008

    I thought Bentley stepped down as evangelist because he had an “inappropriate emotional relationship” with a woman on his staff.

  65. #65 Gordon
    August 30, 2008

    Check out Todd Bentley’s website http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Id=1 and note that as of August 15th he stepped down from the board of directors and his fall ‘supernatural training centre’ has been cancelled. Apparently he had entered into an ‘unhealthy’ relationship with a female staff member. Of course the Bibbbble is their guide, except when it doesn’t suit their hormones.
    These people are so completely fucked-up it just amazes me that anyone pays any attention to them.

  66. #66 Kobra
    August 30, 2008

    @pretty much everyone:
    Look, the only reason the religious nuts are anywhere near the atheists and agnostics on that chart is because of how fucking insane the JA nutters are. The reason they’re that close is to illustrate how insane they are.

    Take the Joel’s Army morons out of the equation, and it looks like this:

    http://www.kobrascorner.com/etc/spectrumoflunacy2.png

  67. #67 Colugo
    August 30, 2008

    “a long night ahead of him, resurrecting the dead, healing the blind, and exploding cancerous tumors.”

    He’s so good at it that he must have healed the cancer of a fellow Christian pastor all the way in Australia! Praise God!

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&nolr=1&q=Guglielmucci&btnG=Search

  68. #68 Longtime Lurker
    August 30, 2008

    According to Gruen’s report, students at the school were taught that they were a “super-race” of the “elected seed” of all the best bloodlines of all generations — foreknown, predestined, and hand-selected from billions of others to be part of the “end-time Omega generation.”

    I wonder if the Bene Gesserit are involved in this project… maybe it’s time to brush up on my crysknife fighting skills.

  69. #69 Bride of Shrek OM
    August 30, 2008

    I just watched a You Tube vid in which it is stated that Todd Bentley takes out of body trips to, amongst other places, Australia.

    Apart from the the fact he’s breaking the law by not obtaining a visa, I have shares in Qantas and think the fucker should stop evading fares and buy a ticket like everyone else.

  70. #70 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Kobra:

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2l9tvzk&s=4

    FTFY (sorry for the bad picture quality).

  71. #71 atg
    August 30, 2008

    I was thinking the same thing as mayhempix (post #55). This
    is the same kind of insanity that led to the Khmer Rouge executing Cambodians for wearing glasses. After all, only an intellectual would need to wear glasses.

  72. #72 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Kobra @ 66
    Really, you should move the agnostics closer to the christians, for after all they are more doubtful that a god exists, whereas we atheists know that a god does not exist. They aren’t sure whether to eat the cake; I’ll gobble it down in a flash!

  73. #73 The Chemist
    August 30, 2008

    @mayhempix,

    I was merely lampooning the distraction strategy that I have no doubt will be employed by the McCain camp.

    That said, and I don’t think it can be said enough, even if Obama’s case were true, so what?

  74. #74 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Holbach @72

    To be fair to the agnostics, neither are they sure about whether to drink the kool-aid.

  75. #75 Holbach
    August 30, 2008

    Katherine @ 74

    You mean the koolaid that was dispensed at Jonestown, Guyana?

  76. #76 TX CHL Instructor
    August 30, 2008

    “Joel’s Army” is considered batshit insane even by mainstream Christians. I would not be terribly concerned about a (small) group of potentially-violent Christian fundies when there is a MUCH WORSE threat out there…

    You see, there is a sizeable faction of Islam that is the same batshit insane, but is actually ACCEPTED by mainstream Islam. Islam is the most dangerous superstition on the planet, and it is not particularly helpful to be distracted from that by “Joel’s Army”.

  77. #77 mayhempix
    August 30, 2008

    @Chemist #73

    Fair enough.. thanks for the clarification. Agreed on Obama.

  78. #78 bigjohn756
    August 30, 2008

    For some reason, probably going back to my Catholic childhood, I thought that Paul was a Greek. I need to check that out.

  79. #79 mayhempix
    August 30, 2008

    Funny how TX CHL Instructor #76 is so worried about what we think… that must be why he’s a gun freak.

  80. #80 Jared
    August 30, 2008

    I’m not one to promote violence in any way, but if they attempt to shove ANY religion down my throat by military force, I am more than prepared to fight back. This is partially the reason I am a firm believer in the right to keep weapons (but think training should be mandatory). In a perfect world, they wouldn’t be needed, but alas, it is far from perfect. After violence in Baton Rouge following the ghetto refugees from New Orleans erupted, I quickly decided arming myself was a good idea…

  81. #81 Longtime Lurker
    August 30, 2008

    Islam is the most dangerous superstition on the planet, and it is not particularly helpful to be distracted from that by “Joel’s Army”.

    Yeah, Tex, ‘cos getting beheaded by a mooslim is so much scarier than getting burned at the stake by a Christain (spelling intentional).

    It just hit me while I was over at “Sadly, No”…

    ZOMG! PALIN IS HUCKASHE!

  82. #82 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2008

    You see, there is a sizeable faction of Islam that is the same batshit insane, but is actually ACCEPTED by mainstream Islam

    tell it to the vast hordes of self-professed Catholics who sent death threats to PZ just because he threatened to trash a cracker, let alone when he actually did.

    funny, but at the same time, he trashed a Koran, and a copy of “God Delusion” (IIRC).

    the “batshit” xian horde outnumbered the “batshit” muslim horde by two or three orders of magnitude.

    You will find at least as many muslims decrying fundamental extremism as you will xians decrying the same thing in their religion.

    you really haven’t the slightest clue as to how this stuff works, do you.

    nope. You just cower in fear as Feaux News drumbeats the word “terrorism” into your tiny little brain.

    sucks to be you.

  83. #83 Feynmaniac
    August 30, 2008

    The article says,

    “Despite their overt militancy, there’s no evidence Joel’s Army followers have committed any acts of violence”

    I got evidence that Todd Bentley commited violence. Here is a video of him KICKING A MAN WITH STAGE IV METASTATIC COLON CANCER IN THE GUT to ‘heal’ him. Careful it’s hard to watch.

  84. #84 Prohibitoid
    August 30, 2008

    I agree with Doug, way above, that the great irony here is that these people have tax exempt status (they do, right? i have not checked into it, but churches generally get it while atheists do not).

  85. #85 Sastra
    August 30, 2008

    Creepy, creepy, creepy.

    Faith has no brakes on it. Believers put the stops where they will, based on their background, situation, personality, whatever. But having hope that God is real, and that God speaks to you, and that God has a plan for the world, doesn’t have any built-in checks to it. If you’re really, really, really sure you know what God wants, then faith tells you to go for it. If you’re right about God, then you win.

    In the story of Abraham and Issac, the God character sins. The sin wasn’t telling Abraham to kill his son. The sin was expecting and encouraging and rewarding Abraham for believing he heard God’s voice. It shouldn’t have made any difference whether it really WAS God’s voice or not. People shouldn’t be that sure.

  86. #86 Eli
    August 30, 2008

    That IS frightening… but especially so that Sarah Palin is involved (if only tangentially) with the death cult. I mean seriously… these people need psychiatric evaluation. Most religion, though irrational, is one thing… huge crowds of willfully ignorant, violent people with nothing to lose is quite another.

  87. #87 mnphenow
    August 30, 2008

    Between this post, the one about the fascist tactics used by the Minnesota law enforcement agencies, the utter insult to the intelligence of every US citizen embodied in the VP choice by the GOP (in fact, all of the candidates from the establishment parties), and of course countless other examples–I would like to welcome everyone to the Dark Ages 2.0.

    What’s funny is that Christianity is so bereft of imagination that they couldn’t even propose a worse hell, though clearly they are more than capable of bringing one about.

  88. #88 mnphenow
    August 30, 2008

    And this is why Dawkins insists on “militant atheism” (of course not in the physically violent sense–that would be irrational), but these people cannot be given one inch of ground to stand on in any serious discussion of anything civilized. Rational people need to stop being so polite and ramp up their efforts to smash all of the fairy tales, myths, fables, superstition, pseudo-science, and irrationality that is so woefully pervasive.

  89. #89 Mike Allen
    August 30, 2008

    Obama was a member of a racist, black separationist church for 20 years (and quit only when exposed). His wife wrote a black separatist paper in college.

    One is a VP candidate (and you’re going by something from Daily KOS. Who’s the fanatic?) the other (Obama) is running for president.

    Somehow, I think you’re the ones sounding reactionary and ignoring a bigger issue.

  90. #90 Katharine
    August 30, 2008

    Mike –

    Somehow, I don’t think you understand how dangerous this shit actually is. ‘Black separatism’ has largely died down and PALES in comparison to batshit insane fundies.

    Let me guess: you’re a conservative.

  91. #91 thetailofdogma
    August 30, 2008

    Todd Bentley?

    The one who had to step down for banging someone other than this wife?

    http://www.freshfire.ca/

    I realize that seldom matters, but I must say this is amusing.

  92. #92 jojo
    August 30, 2008

    I wait (in vain) for an american candidate who’ll come out and bitch slap evangelical x-ians back into their nasty little hole in the body politic….
    WHERE THEY BELONGS!

  93. #93 Noni Mausa
    August 30, 2008

    You asked: (errm, what is it with all the mild-mannered Canadians in this outfit?)

    There’s a Maxwell’s Demon on the border. All the mild mannered Americans head north, all the nutjob Canucks head south. We’ve known it for decades up here.

  94. #94 uncle frogy
    August 31, 2008

    the more information the better put them on the front page of time magazine let us all hear what sick people really sound like put them on the 6:00 news
    this is what religion and “blind faith”

  95. #95 Sioux Laris
    August 31, 2008

    Unless the “Republicans” are willing to openly embrace such people and mold them into an SA (something I wondered might happen early in the Bu–sh– 1st term, but didn’t), I have no fear of such insane, pitiful kooks: the FBI and police would easily crush them w/o much effort, like the Branch Davidians, etc: “Dominionism” is strictly a hook for shitkicking idiots. The powers that be would never let such people get in the way of “business.”

  96. #96 Quiet Desperation
    August 31, 2008

    There’s only one rational question about any cult like this, and it’s “How’s the sex?”

  97. #97 usagi
    August 31, 2008

    It may be a group small in number (but not that small, I fear)…

    You are, tragically, very wrong about that. Small or not, they have been inserting themselves in to the armed forces and key federal civil service positions, especially for the past seven years.

  98. #98 Fly44D
    August 31, 2008

    Very afraid.

    This is right out of a bad novel, nut case religious kook gets VP job, old fart President kicks the bucket (naturally?), now nut case is in charge and her secret religious army rises to try to take over the country, killing and imprisoning the “intellectuals” and “elite”.

    Bad novel? How about recent history. Iran. Afghanistan. 1930’s Germany. Many Afican countries? I’m sure there are more…

    McCain / Palin must not win.

  99. #99 heather
    August 31, 2008

    looks like the joke is on you. it is violence against ‘religion’ violence against evil (ie ‘satan’ and things such as fear, hatred, murder, molestation. the spirits behind those things.

    that is what the violence is against. not people, not other ‘religions’ but the ‘religious’ people who sit in their pews and spew their dogma ‘wear this, don’t wear that’ don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t hang out with people who do’ do good, be seen ‘doing good’ etc… and it isn’t physical ‘violence’ it is spiritual, as in PRAYER against tyrannical powers in their throne in hell.

    you guys just don’t get it. this is about reversing the curse of sin and death, so now we have a good relationship with our Father God and LIFE. it has nothing to do with taking over people.

    if God wanted to have robotic submissive subjects He could have done that but instead He created people who have choice. just like you have a choice. no one wants to come force you into Christianity, they want to force the devil out of power so people stop hating, stop lying, stop adulterating, stop killing.

  100. #100 uncle frogy
    August 31, 2008

    I don’t know what happened but part got left out

    this is what religion and “blind faith” lead to.

  101. #101 Ichthyic
    August 31, 2008

    it has nothing to do with taking over people.

    uh huh.

    tell it to the folks who run the church cells:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/15/15587/1892/116/515505

    I wonder how many cultists end up saying their idiotic beliefs have nothing to do with the cults they belong to?

    gotta be near 100%

    they want to force the devil out of power so people stop hating, stop lying, stop adulterating, stop killing.

    LOL

    boy satan sure gets the short end of the stick with you culties.

  102. #102 Ichthyic
    August 31, 2008

    There’s only one rational question about any cult like this, and it’s “How’s the sex?”

    You should ask heather ^

  103. #103 Ichthyic
    August 31, 2008

    are willing to openly embrace such people and mold them into an SA (something I wondered might happen early in the Bu–sh– 1st term, but didn’t)

    oh?

    did you happen to look where Bush recruited most of the legal talent for the majority of his legal appointments from?

    example:

    http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/04/08/scandal_puts_spotlight_on_christian_law_school/

    there are/were over 100 Bush appointees from Regent roaming the nation.

    he might have done it to placate a fundie base, but the results have already become obvious.

  104. #104 Ichthyic
    August 31, 2008

    oops, sorry make that over 150 Regent grads, not 100.

  105. #105 mayhempix
    August 31, 2008

    Heather:

    God put Adam and Eve in the Garden and said whatever you do, don’t eat that apple on the tree of knowledge, otherwise you condemn all of humanity until I kill my son for your sins and he returns again sometime in the future to condemn everyone who didn’t keep the faith.

    That’s like putting a 6 year old in room filled with sweets, telling him not to eat any or he and everyone else will be punished, then locking him in. When he finally breaks down and eats a cookie he and everyone else are beaten daily for the rest of his short lived life but promised he will live forever in the kingdom of desserts if he repents and forsakes all other sweets until he dies.

    That’s God’s freedom of choice for you.

  106. #106 Heather Kuhn
    August 31, 2008

    Well, if you feel the need to keep track of these nutjobs, there is a LiveJournal community dedicated to keeping an eye on them and their antics. BTW, the author of the piece on DailyKos is a member of this group.

  107. #107 SC
    August 31, 2008

    don’t drink, don’t smoke,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3g5G0PFuXQ

    (Sorry.)

  108. #108 gracem
    August 31, 2008

    When I first found Pharyngula, RichardDawkins.com, followed some links and found more and more sites like them, and especially when I read the comments from other readers, I was happy to see that rationality did exist and there is hope. Then I started reading about this and other groups like this and, frankly, it scares the daylights out of me. Seems like every day yet another bunch of lunatics comes to the fore. I cannot understand how anyone can think this BS is real, but then I was not indoctrinated from early childhood to believe it. Still, I need to believe that reason and critical thinking will prevail because if it doesn’t… At the risk of sounding paranoid – there is a heck of a lot more of “them” than there are of “us.”

  109. #109 Katharine
    August 31, 2008

    Heather –

    From the news stories mentioned, it seems as if your fundie bunch (yes, you are religious, no matter what you say – if you think there’s a deity, you’re religious; you’re screaming dogma yourself) is, in fact, violent, and apparently your answer to this perceived ‘devil’ in people (which is apparently as harmless as simply not being Christian) is to force people into Christianity, which you asshats perceive is the only way to be a good individual.

    And please develop a brain; your silly deity does not exist, and this silly devil-evil-spirit does not exist, either. You have no proof. Get out of your cult and grow a few brain cells.

    Unless you have something worthwhile to contribute to this discussion, go away, twat.

  110. #110 Newfie
    August 31, 2008
  111. #111 speedwell
    August 31, 2008

    “Twit,” please, not “twat,” do you mind? A twat is something to have fun with.

  112. #112 Katharine
    August 31, 2008

    speedwell @111,

    Mea culpa. Twats are actually quite awesome. I think ‘assbag’ should suffice as a strong epithet.

  113. #113 Katharine
    August 31, 2008

    Twats as in vaginas.

  114. #114 mayhempix
    August 31, 2008

    The only factual statement @ MIke Allen #89 is
    “… Obama is running for president”.

  115. #115 Feynmaniac
    August 31, 2008

    heather #99,
    “and it isn’t physical ‘violence’ it is spiritual….”

    Please explain how this isn’t physical violence.

  116. #116 mayhempix
    August 31, 2008

    Posted by: Katharine | August 31, 2008 1:25 AM
    Twats as in vaginas.

    Last night on the Daily Show Samantha Bee called it a “love pita”.
    Now all we need is some olive oil…

  117. #117 gracem
    August 31, 2008

    Kobra (#43)
    Your Spectrum of Insanity illustrates my point – there ARE so many more of ‘them’ than ‘us.’ It’s bloody scary!

  118. #118 Steve_C
    August 31, 2008

    Well, if you can stomach it… you can listen to sermons from Palin’s pastor here:

    http://jccalaska.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=FaithHighway/10000/3000/582JU/sermons&ExpIgnore=true

    Not sure how out there they are, but if someone wants to stomach listening, go right ahead.

  119. #119 Strakh
    August 31, 2008

    This shit is going on all the time and is growing. I notice, however, that whenever I bring it up on this site I get “You’re so paranoid.”
    Pay attention, folks…there is a life outside the ivory tower, and it’s really, really ugly sometimes…

  120. #120 speedwell
    August 31, 2008

    Katherine, no offense taken, just didn’t think you meant to call someone “vagina” as a curse. :)

    I don’t know why we use such confusing, outdated words to curse with anyway. We could use such great modern concepts for “thing nobody likes or wants around and that quite frankly stink.” Week-old cat boxes. Toxic waste. Oil slicks. Rabidly anti-gay politicians caught with their hands in another man’s (ahem) “pockets.” Televangelists.

  121. #121 Eric Paulsen
    August 31, 2008

    I think I’ll be blowing the dust of my handguns and going to the range. I’ve lived in Detroit and Pontiac, been to some seriously seedy areas of New Orleans but it’s the religious that scare the hell out of me.

  122. #122 bastion
    August 31, 2008

    “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood — the intellectuals, bible colleges,” Branham wrote

    But…but…didn’t all of Cain’s descendants drown in The Flood? How is it some survived to eventually open bible colleges?!

  123. #123 Katharine
    August 31, 2008

    Strakh,

    Do you think the ‘ivory tower’ is one of the last real safe havens for people of reason?

    Regarding me, I plan to stay in the ‘ivory tower’ permanently, because from what I know, most stuff outside of it sucks. Besides being a great place in itself, it’s a nice buffer from the ugly festering dung heap that is places outside of it.

  124. #124 Steve
    August 31, 2008

    While I’d be thrilled to see Palin outed as a dominionist, so far, I don’t think the evidence presented is going to be enough. This has to be locked down tight and beyond dispute or it will just look an attempt to smear. I’m hoping that there will be a smoking gun in the near future.

  125. #125 Steve
    August 31, 2008

    While I’d be thrilled to see Palin outed as a dominionist, so far, I don’t think the evidence presented is going to be enough. This has to be locked down tight and beyond dispute or it will just look an attempt to smear. I’m hoping that there will be a smoking gun in the near future.

  126. #126 Buffybot
    August 31, 2008

    Icthyic, I was wondering precisely the same thing about Destiny Church and these Joel’s Army nutsacks, and looking into it. Hope I don’t have to go to another damn Destiny Church service.

  127. #127 bastion
    August 31, 2008

    At #63, mayhempix wrote:
    There is a big difference between alleged and actual associations. In Obama’s case it was a demonstrably false smear.

    Calling Obama a Muslim is a lie, or the statement of someone who is both misinformed and mindless, but “a smear”?

    Yes, I know that those who make the claim that Obama is a Muslim intend it to be a smear, but I have to ask:

    Why would Obama’s being a Muslim be more terrible than his being a Christian is?

  128. #128 Tony Sidaway
    August 31, 2008

    One can only hope that, if they mean what they say, they will take the Kool-Aid route rather than use of Sarin.

  129. #129 Donovan
    August 31, 2008

    Besides, so what if she’s a Dominionist? OBAMA MIGHT BE A MUSLIM!!11!1!! Let’s not lose sight of what’s important.

    Might be a Muslim? Like he has a prayer blanket in a closet somewhere? Sarah Palin has possible connections to an end-times genocidal anti-reason cult bent on violent world domination and you compare that to the possibility Obama believes in the wrong sky fairy? Not to mention Obama’s links to Islam have been firmly refuted. Palin’s links to Joel’s Army are still questionable.

    So what IS important in this election? What shouldn’t we lose sight of?

  130. #130 mayhempix
    August 31, 2008

    @bastion#127
    “Why would Obama’s being a Muslim be more terrible than his being a Christian is?”

    It’s not and I never claimed or inferred it was. As an atheist I would prefer he was neither, but I would vote for him no matter his chosen faith because I agree with much of what he has to say and strongly disagree with the opposition.

    A smear is spreading a falsehood knowing enough people will react to that kind of crap so that the damage is done. Spreading the falsehood that Obama is Muslim is a fear tactic and red meat for the rightwing base and used to herd back in those who might try to stray and think for themselves.

  131. #131 ajrw
    August 31, 2008

    > Everyone must read this article about ‘Joel’s Army’ and be afraid

    Fear is the mind-killer! I’m not afraid of these douchebags, just as I’m not afraid of a McCain presidency. But I will add them to my list of credible threats.

  132. #132 Strakh
    August 31, 2008

    Meant only in the most general sense, Katharine at #123.
    The main point is no one seems to be paying attention and whenever I bring the above shit up, I immediately get slammed with smug little comments reflecting an inward gaze rather than an outward…
    Not peculiar to academia, for sure, but I always like to hope that those smart enough to be scientists will also be smart enough to be better citizens…
    Alas, I’ve been wrong before…looks like I am again…

  133. #133 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    You people are totally full of bullshit, paranoid, and “batshit insane” (as you so love to say).

    Sarah Palin may hold conservative and religious views that I don’t agree with or believe in myself, but this is absolute crap, and you all should know better. I didn’t vote for her, (I voted for Tony Knowles) but I’ve watched her as our governor since she was elected and she has done nothing toward this Dominionist crap. What she HAS done is her best to try to weed out corruption in this state and the people in bed with “Big Oil. She’s governed this state as best as her small town experience could let her, despite her screechy voice. And she’s done fabulously, not afraid to confront the “powers that be” (read, “the good ‘ole boy system” which has been rampant in this state for decades. You should be able to see evidence of this in both our current Senator and Congressman now currently under the national spot light for their nefarious dealings …and presently under Federal indictment.

    I agree she’s probably not qualified to go from “Mayor of Mayberry” to President of the United States (and neither was Abraham Lincoln). But this article is absolute crap. Shame on you for bothering to blog it, and the rest of you idiots for slurping it up as truth.

  134. #134 mayhempix
    August 31, 2008

    @Bob Vogel#133

    I can appreciate that she may be a good governor relative to the current corrupt environment in Alaska and does not let Dominionist ideology cross the line into her public life. So far it would appear she is a basically good and responsible person and I would have no reason to believe otherwise.

    But the fact is that one of the big reasons she was chosen was to placate the hardcore religious right because of her hard right religious affiliations and views. That puts the issue on the table and she should have to publically explain her positions in regard to this. The fact that she has previously advocated “teaching the controversy” is a valid public policy concern and needs to be addressed.

  135. #135 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    You people are totally full of bullshit, paranoid, and “batshit insane” (as you so love to say).

    So Joel,

    Is it your contention that the church Palin belongs to does have the Dominionist connections the DailyKos says it does ? Or is it your contention that whilst her church may or may not have such connections, such views are not shared by Palin ?

    Only if it is the later you can see why it would still be cause for concern.

  136. #136 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Mayhem (#134) I couldn’t agree more with you. But do you think this will happen in our current national political/religioso climate? Probably not.

    I just don’t think that she’s involved in any “Dominionist Conspiracy” to take over our country. I’ve seen nothing to indicate this living here in Alaska. If anything, she has been blindsided by being chosen for VP as much as the rest of us have been. And so true, she’s being used by the Repubs as just another pawn in the game to win. Unfortunately, it just may work. However, Sarah Palin’s a wildcard I’m not sure even the washington good ‘ole boy system could handle. And I mean this in a good way.

  137. #137 Bob Vogel`
    August 31, 2008

    @135 Matt – to answer your question forthrightly – I don’t think her church knows a damn thing about this and neither does she. Her church may be as “batshit insane” as the rest of the creationshits, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have a clue.

    Should I call them tomorrow morning to find out for sure? Hell, maybe I’ll just go down there. Man, this is stupid.

  138. #138 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Oh, and BTW, Matt (#135), my name is Bob, not Joel.

  139. #139 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Bob Vogel,

    So the DailyKos got it wrong ? Her church has none of the links it claims it does ? How much checking have you done ? Have you checked with Kos on this ?

  140. #140 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Matt, come’on. You can trust the Daily Kos about as far as you can trust Fox News.

    What I know of Sarah Palin is from actually living here. Sure, she has a conservative/religious bent. Hell, seems like everybody in Alaska does. But her actions have not belied this as you’d expect to see in some religious extremist. Instead, she’s proven to be an incredibly pragmatic force in this state, somewhat of a breath of fresh air. There have been at least seven state senators indicted on corruption charges since she took office, and at least two people now serving prison sentences. You think if this lady had some weird ulterior motives to help take over our country, she’d even bother with this small time stuff? This is just too weird.

  141. #141 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Bob,

    This is not about what Palin thinks, so stop trying to claim it is. It is about the church to which she belongs, and the links that church may have to dominionist groups. You have failed to address that issue, but instead talk about how Palin has performed in office.

    Do you deny the church she belongs to has any links to dominionist groups or to Joel’s Army ?

  142. #142 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Matt, seriously, who the hell cares. This would have all the relevance and importance that Obama’s church has (or had, rather) since the media also made a huge thing out of that)) What IS important is what she has done and how she has behaved. She sure as hell hasn’t behaved or, for that matter, even talked like Huckabee has – wanting to change the U.S. Constitution to make it conform to “god’s law.” She’s actually been a pretty good leader, even if I don’t agree with her stance on gay rights, et al. She certainly has not come across as any religious extremist. I just think PZ’s pushing the envelope with this one.

  143. #143 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Bob,

    So you refuse to answer the question ? Do you not know the answer ? In do, why claim you did ?

    As to who cares ? Well you clearly do, since you started off saying the claims were rubbish, now you seem to have given up on that.

    Clearly you do not share my view that the organisations a person belongs to tells us something about that person. For example if someone belongs to a club that does not accept women members that tells me, but not you it seems, that they are not as concerned about equality as I would like them to be.

  144. #144 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    My correction… there have been at least eight people indicted on corruption charges here, one of them a state senator. Several state senators are currently under investigation, but not yet indicted. Man, this is a tough place to live and keep a straight face.

    I’m not a big champion of Sarah Palin, just trying to tell it like I see it. Her husband is a blue collar guy who works on the north slope – not a “big BP exec” like you’ll hear rumored. They are both grass roots people and are both reviled and admired here – mostly reviled by people she’s shined a spot light on, as far as I have seen, and who’re currently squirming. I really don’t see her as this evil dominionist witch. Hey, my old church once supported Hitler. And I’m a bleeding heart lib;

  145. #145 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Matt, I don’t have the answer to your question and never claimed to. Im fact I couldn’t unless I went and did quite a bit of background research. (Hey, like the daily kos probably never did.) Gotta call probable bullshit on that one. My point is – who cares about her church? Its what shes does is what’s important. So far, in this state anyway, she’s got a pretty high approval rating from both Dems and Repubs. So I don’t know where this conspiracy crap comes from. This stuff always seems to trail people on boths sides of the street running for election, like some sort of parasite. Pandering to it doesn’t make it any truer.

  146. #146 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Matt, I don’t have the answer to your question and never claimed to.

    Sorry Bob, but you did.

    @135 Matt – to answer your question forthrightly – I don’t think her church knows a damn thing about this and neither does she. Her church may be as “batshit insane” as the rest of the creationshits, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have a clue.

    Its what shes does is what’s important

    And being a member of a church is not part of what she does ?

  147. #147 Christian Ridley
    August 31, 2008

    This is actually proper scary!

  148. #148 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Okay, Matt, I reread your original question @135. My answer is NO, I do not think Palin in the slightest would concur with the Diminionist bent of her church (if indeed is bent that way). Based only on my own observations of her, which are firsthand from knowing who she is. I think she has the usual conservative views of anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, etc, reflected in her public comments. But I have NEVER seen ANY evidence of the weird crap these people proport. I have only witnessed a smart, tough lady take on issues and organizations that most people at first thought were far above her level. So far she’s fared extremely well.

  149. #149 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Bob,

    And you do not think that the organisations a person belongs to tell us something about that person ?

    For example if someone is a member of a golf club that does not allow women to be full members can we draw any conclusion from that about the person’s commitment to granting equality to woman ? Even that person thinks women should be allowed to become full members, does not their membership give support to clubs that have misogynistic policies in place, and does it not say something about that person’s judgement ?

  150. #150 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    @ 149 Not necessarily, Matt. A person could choose to be a member of that club just because they like golf or have other motivations that have nothing whatsoever to do with discriminating against women. Hell, I was a member of the U.S. Air Force for 21 years simply because I wanted to feed and clothe my family. It didn’t stop me from becoming a card-carrying and donating member of Greenpeace.

    I think Palin’s fairly religious and she might even attend a local church that holds conservative and even questionable(bible-based) views (they all do here). Should she quit to get elected? (Obama did)

    Thing is, I don’t care what church she attends. FACT is, she doesn’t seem to carry either her church or her religious beliefs into public office with her. This is the beauty of what we call The Separation of Church and State.

  151. #151 Mystyk
    August 31, 2008

    I just got back from lunch (I’m stationed in Kuwait right now) and a Sergeant at my table was arguing that Palin was a “Maverick, just like McCain, and makes complete sense as a great choice of VP.”

    I pointed out that every position she’s gone public with was a hard-line neo-con religious extreme, and he didn’t want to hear it. I pointed out that for someone who seems to want to talk politics, he sure doesn’t want to hear anything against his views, and he told me to “keep your fucking opinions to yourself.”

    I told him that if he wants to ignore evidence, he’s within his rights to do so, but he will watch his language and especially so in uniform (I was in civilian clothes – it’s my day off). He said “And what the hell are you?” I said it shouldn’t matter, but since he asked, a Captain (which I am). His eyes got big, he said “sorry, sir” and gathered his things and quickly left.

    That vicious defense of the indefensible is becoming increasingly common in the Army, and it was only by a technical aspect of his behavior that I was able to stop his spewing hate – for a few minutes anyway.

  152. #152 Nibien
    August 31, 2008

    Thing is, I don’t care what church she attends. FACT is, she doesn’t seem to carry either her church or her religious beliefs into public office with her. This is the beauty of what we call The Separation of Church and State.

    Uhm – I may be mistaken here but didn’t she want to put “intelligent design” into schools?

    Oh. Right. I guess that’s not religious at all. It’s completely different from creationism. Silly me. Separate. Yeah.

  153. #153 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Matt, to take this one step further… Ken Miller, the esteemed and renown biologist at Browns University is a member of the looniest and most damaging churches on the face of the planet. Yet look at what he, as an individual has done! This is all I’m trying to say. I think Sarah compartmentalizes most of what she “believes” just as much as any religious person. You gotta give her credit, however, for giving birth to her Down Syndrome child. She could’ve taken the easier way out there. I don’t know if her religion had anything to do w/that decision, (perhaps) but she surely has gained even more respect from people for doing so.

  154. #154 Mystyk
    August 31, 2008

    Kobra,

    My advice on the chart, is to segment it into different levels. You’d have categories such as “Sane”, “Slightly quirky”, “A bit weird”, “Noticeably odd”, “Strikingly out of touch”, “Off the handle”, and finally “Batshit insane”. Then what you can do is draw a second bar that is simply an expansion of one of those segments, complete with little lines showing which segment it is an expansion of (I’m clearly thinking the batshit insane for this part). Put YEC’s at the shallow end of the expanded group, and “Joel’s Army” at the deep end.

  155. #155 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Nibien #152 – Yep, she did. Utterly stupid IMO, too. This is why I didn’t vote for her. Sure doesn’t make her an evil conspiracist, tho. Its the other good stuff she’s done here is what’s impressed me. It still doesn’t make her qualified to be Pres, tho. Just sayin’.

  156. #156 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    Well, its not 6 am, rather after 2am Alaska time. I need to get to bed. Thanks for the conversation, Matt. I’ve read your posts elsewhere and enjoy them.

  157. #157 bric
    August 31, 2008

    #153 It seems to be at least possible that she didn’t give birth to a Down’s baby
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/30/121350/137/486/580223

  158. #158 Claudia
    August 31, 2008

    Just to stir the pot…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/30/121350/137/486/580223

    This is the first I’ve come across DailyKos, but it did feel a bit muck racking to me. The story is intriguing at any rate…

  159. #159 Matt Penfold
    August 31, 2008

    Not necessarily, Matt. A person could choose to be a member of that club just because they like golf or have other motivations that have nothing whatsoever to do with discriminating against women.

    I don’t think we can separate things likes this. Later on you give Ken Miller as example. Miller is a catholic, and such he does bear some responsibility for the positions of the Catholic Church regardless of whether he personally agrees with them or not. Now it is true that membership of organisations is not the only factor to consider when assessing a person’s character, nor do I think it is one of the more important ones. I do though think it is relevant, and belonging to an organisation that, for example, advocates discrimination against certain groups does mean the person gets a tick in the “negative” column.

  160. #160 Claudia
    August 31, 2008

    *raking* :D

    “All the muck that’s fit to rake!”

  161. #161 Bob Vogel
    August 31, 2008

    #157 and 158 … Daily Kos… christ, that’s where the article for this thread came from, right?

    christ, now I am going to bed. (walks away amazed)

  162. #162 Matt Heath
    August 31, 2008

    Little known fact*: The religious affiliation listed on Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page switched from “Assemblies of God” to “Christian, non-denominational” in the last day.

    *sorry for the meming.

    Incidentally, AofG are one of the biggest Protestant denominations here in Portugal, thanks to Brazilian missionaries (this still means they are small; country is mega-Catlick).

    They are proper “send us money to get to heaven, rolling in the pews nuts.

  163. #163 Ichthyic
    August 31, 2008

    Icthyic, I was wondering precisely the same thing about Destiny Church and these Joel’s Army nutsacks, and looking into it. Hope I don’t have to go to another damn Destiny Church service.

    nice to see you again, buffybot.

    yes, if you find out anything, shoot me an email and/or post it here.

    I’ll be in your neck of the woods come November.

    cheers

  164. #164 negentropyeater
    August 31, 2008

    Well, McCain keeps telling this story about this supposedly Christian Vietnami soldier who helped him when he was POW…
    He did it again at Rick Warren’s faith values forum on the presidency on Aug.16. He told this anecdote in response to the question, what does it mean for him to be a Christian ?

    Just tells you what role he sees for Christianity if he’s elected president.

  165. #165 Iain Walker
    August 31, 2008

    exploding cancerous tumors

    Now I have this image of Joel’s Army as a bunch of villains from a David Cronenberg movie, stockpiling gristle guns and programming their followers with VHS cassettes inserted into various orifices.

  166. #166 Science Goddess
    August 31, 2008

    Much as I hate christian orthodoxy, I can be sure that the Inquisition would’ve handled his ass right away. Where is Torquemada when you need him?

    SG

  167. #167 DNA
    August 31, 2008

    Dear Katharine #33:

    “I’m anti-gun, but if this kind of shit ever happens and someone wants to kill me for being an atheist, I will happily be a Rifle-Toting Rationalist/AK-47-Toting Atheist blah blah …”

    No, actually, you won’t. Because if you “anti-gunners” succeed in making it virtually impossible to procure such firearms in the places where most liberals and atheists live–like here in NYC where I live–then where, may I ask, do you think you’re going to get your Semi-Automatic Rifle That Looks Like An AK-47? and you wouldn’t know what to do with it even if you had one, because your irrational hate and fear of an inanimate object with no life of it’s own insures that you’ve most likely never even touched one.

    You’ll be disappointed to learn that guns don’t operate like they do in the movies, where any citizen sidekick can just pick up a rifle and start blasting bad guys by the dozen on full auto, but they don’t work that way, and they don’t fire themselves (despite what hoplophobes may think).

    So no, if it ever came down to the wire, your tough talk would mean nothing. The well-armed and well-trained fundie lunatic American Taliban armies would absolutely annihilate most of us atheists, who just so happen to also be liberals and probably favor extremely restrictive gun control laws. Most of us would be sitting ducks.

    ….

    In any case, it’s funny watching the other lunatics get their panties in a bunch about Todd Bently – TODD BENTLEY AND THE FLORIDA REVIVAL EXPOSED. My favorite part is the hysterical dramatics when they’re talking about his tattoos:

    Such as the band called, “Mortification”, a ‘death metal’ band. Todd is into this band. Here is one of their videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmuxmtiK06o (WARNING: again, very satanic, pray for protection before watching and plead the blood of Jesus over your household and heart).

    Pray for the blood of Jesus? And they say Islam is a death cult?

  168. #168 David Marjanovi?, OM
    August 31, 2008

    Joseph McCabe thought when he wrote, in “Is The Position Of Atheism Growing Stronger”: “That the growth is such that if freedom is again generally secured in the next 10 years we may justly expect Atheists to be more numerous than genuine Christians in 20 years.” That was almost seventy years ago and it never happened.

    Depending on your definition of “genuine”, it may well have happened. For example, how many Catholics are there who believe every single Catholic dogma, or even just half of them?

    Small world, that’s the guy Dembski went to see!

    To be fair, Dembski didn’t like it at all, and comes off looking practically sane! Highly recommended article.

    Really, you should move the agnostics closer to the christians, for after all they are more doubtful that a god exists, whereas we atheists know that a god does not exist. They aren’t sure whether to eat the cake; I’ll gobble it down in a flash!

    Wrong. Agnosticism is the position that it’s unknowable whether anything supernatural and sufficiently ineffable exists.

    You see, there is a sizeable faction of Islam that is the same batshit insane, but is actually ACCEPTED by mainstream Islam.

    Erm, no, it isn’t. The reason you haven’t heard any great big condemnations is that there is no central authority in Islam, and because Western media tend not to care what, say, the al-Azhar University of Cairo says.

    For some reason, probably going back to my Catholic childhood, I thought that Paul was a Greek. I need to check that out.

    Greek in culture, but Jewish by religion and background.

    After violence in Baton Rouge following the ghetto refugees from New Orleans erupted, I quickly decided arming myself was a good idea…

    Buy a bulletproof vest for the case that anyone ever draws faster than you. (You didn’t think of that possibility, did you?)

  169. #169 Dancaban
    August 31, 2008

    But God is with the Republicans why do they need a Police force to protect them?

  170. #170 Nick Gotts
    August 31, 2008

    @157/8,
    Life imitating Desperate Housewives?! But even if it’s true, I don’t think it’s relevant.

    Matt Heath@162,
    Now that is interesting, and relevant. So far, however, I have to agree with Bob Vogel that the evidence she’s actually a Dominionist looks thin, though even an association with the Assemblies of God is worrying.

  171. #171 raven
    August 31, 2008

    “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood — the intellectuals, bible colleges,” Branham wrote

    But…but…didn’t all of Cain’s descendants drown in The Flood? How is it some survived to eventually open bible colleges?!

    That is so ignorant it is pathetic!!! They had to utilize the skills and intelligence of a Cain descendant to build the Ark and stock it with dinosaurs and whatnot. You absolutely need someone with a brain to build a giant boat, handle the logistics of the animal roundup, and figure out what to feed an aardvark, kangaroo, or dinosaur.

    Noah and his sons are of course, from the line of untainted super righteous morons. It was the wives who supplied the brainpower. The plan was to leave the girls behind at the very end but they pointed out that god wanted pairs of everything. And if they weren’t on the Big Boat, the recovery of the human race was going to difficult with only sheep for company.

  172. #172 szqc
    August 31, 2008

    As others noted, Bentley’s membership in Joel’s Army has been revoked for diddling subordinates. The one positive with these guys is that they always manage to self-immolate.

  173. #173 Katharine
    August 31, 2008

    DNA @167 –

    Whoa, touchy much? I’m not as rabidly anti-gun as most, and understand the importance of being able to protect oneself, and am still in favor of their availability (I support extremely stringent background checks, though), but I still think it’s easier to fuck up using a gun than other weapons via their projectile method, and that’s why I’m sort of anti-gun.

    Bob Vogel –

    You’re not rabid in the way that many people who aren’t anti-Palin are, but you forget the fact that she has advocated positions that bring her beliefs into government. I think she sides with McCain on much of this and from what I’ve seen has no problem pandering to the Dumbinionists. I do not want to risk losing my first amendment right to be an atheist.

  174. #174 raven
    August 31, 2008

    The end times rapture monkeys are pretty spooky. How miserable and full of hate does one have to be to desperately hope god shows up, destroys the earth, and kills 6.7 billion people?

    Desperate enought to start the process themselves. Sarah Palin, the Death Cult religious nut, would be one heartbeat away from control of 1/2 of the world’s nukes, roughly 5,000 warheads. McCain is 72 and could drop dead tomorrow.

    There are credible reports that the evangelicals have been trying to take over the US military for decades. Especially the air force which has control of most nukes.

    President Palin + military rapture monkeys + nukes = Armageddon. Why bother praying for the end times when you can just create them yourselves?

    The irony is that a platform of “helping god” destroy the entire earth would be a big vote getter in many xian Death Cult circles.

  175. #175 Citizen Z
    August 31, 2008

    Todd Bentley is a convicted child molester.

    The Report News magazine, 04-30-2001 by Rick Hiebert –

    Does forgiving mean forgetting? A faith healer comes clean on his young-offender conviction for child
    molestation.

    Todd Bentley has a confession to make. A faith healer who has attracted international attention over the past several months, Bentley presents himself as a reformed bad boy who was once jailed for 18 months for ” crimes of an assault nature” and breaking-and-entering in his hometown of Gibsons, B.C.

    The truth is, his most serious crime was more heinous: the molestation of a seven-year-old boy. “They were sexual crimes,” Bentley admits. “I was involved in a sexual-assault ring. I turned around and did what had happened to me. I was assaulted too.”

    “I don’t like to talk about it publicly because it would hurt [my ministry ].” he concedes. “I don’t whip it out in the newspapers or on TV because people will go ‘Whaaa?’ I’ll say ‘I was in prison, period. Let’s move on.'”

  176. #176 Matt Heath
    August 31, 2008

    Nick Gotts @170:
    Also “non-denominational” is referenced to an interview where she seems to have told an out-right untruth, stating that her church is not affiliated to any denomination.

  177. #177 Matt Heath
    August 31, 2008

    me @176: actually there doesn’t seem to be anything to this. She occasionally goes to the AoG church but her usual church is a non-denomination “bible-believing”-fundy thing (like Jack Chick likes).

    No dishonesty.

  178. #178 Mark
    August 31, 2008

    On YouTube, where clips of his most dramatic healings have been condensed into a three-minute highlight reel, Bentley describes God ordering him to kick an elderly lady in the face: “I am thinking, ‘God, why is the power of God not moving?’ And He said, ‘It is because you haven’t kicked that women in the face.’ And there was, like, this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and the gift of faith came on me. He said, ‘Kick her in the face … with your biker boot.’ I inched closer and I went like this [makes kicking motion]: Bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.”

    I’ve always suspected that the most potent vector for the evangelicals’ famous “power of God” was through head injury…

  179. #179 negentropyeater
    August 31, 2008

    McCain is 72 and could drop dead tomorrow.

    From the social security actuarial tables, an American male age 72 has a 14% chance of dying within the next 4 years.

  180. #180 David Marjanovi?, OM
    August 31, 2008

    Noah and his sons are of course, from the line of untainted super righteous morons. It was the wives who supplied the brainpower.

    Molly nomination.

    Also “non-denominational” is referenced to an interview where she seems to have told an out-right untruth, stating that her church is not affiliated to any denomination.

    Doesn’t this mean her church is a denomination (or sect or cult, if you prefer)? What kind of thought process or lack thereof does this weird American word “non-denominational” come from?!?

  181. #181 TerryKath
    August 31, 2008

    Very well put, Raven, with post #174. Back in the day I used to worry about ecological doom, or even nuclear doom during the Cold War. These pale in comparison to End Times nutjobs getting hold of our military. Somebody somewhere needs to run a two-minute ad on tee-vee exposing these fuckers and their intentions. Spell it out in very simple english: hey Americans! These people want to destroy the planet and everything alive on it! Do you want them waltzing in the corridors of power? They don’t give a shit about species extinction or health care or “alternative fuels” or Social Security or anything having to do with real “pro life” issues. They are a death cult, pure and simple. Stop sending them money, stop sending them to Washington, start protecting and defending the Constitution, remember we are a nation of laws, not Idols whom we are supposed to worship.

  182. #182 patrickhenry
    August 31, 2008

    I donno. This info comes from the Daily Kos, which isn’t terribly authoritative. I went right to the source — Answers in Genesis, and they have doubts about her commitment to creationism. They say she doesn’t want creationism in the curriculum. Anyway, that’s how I blogged it. I’m keeping an open mind.

  183. #183 Jim Lippard
    August 31, 2008

    I read dogemperor’s DailyKos piece that was linked to from the text “Sarah Palin’s home church is dominionist, with connections to Joel’s Army” but I see no support for the claim, apart from his assertion that the use of the word “destiny” on the church’s website is a code word for Joel’s Army.

    The same guy claims that Campus Crusade for Christ and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes are advocates of dominionist theology, which I don’t think is true.

    My understanding is that dominionist theology is limited to neo-Calvinist Christian reconstructionists and a small subset of charismatics, while the Assemblies of God have expicitly rejected it. The “Joel’s Army” article that P.Z. links to at the top of this post makes that very point.

    I distrust “A is linked to B and B is linked to C, therefore A has all the attributes of C” reasoning–that’s how conspiracy theorists go wrong.

  184. #184 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 31, 2008

    an American male age 72 has a 14% chance of dying within the next 4 years.

    And, fortunately, McCain doesn’t have any recurring health problems, has a mind like a steel trap, and is planning on having a nice, non-stressful retirement for the next 4 years.

  185. #185 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 31, 2008

    Answers in Genesis … have doubts about her commitment to creationism.

    Yeah, but to AiG, creationism = YEC.

  186. #186 raven
    August 31, 2008

    My understanding is that dominionist theology is limited to neo-Calvinist Christian reconstructionists and a small subset of charismatics, while the Assemblies of God have expicitly rejected it.

    Naw. Pretty much all the fundies are Doms. I’d never even heard of xian Dominionists a year or so ago. The difference between reconstructionists and dominionists is…nothing.

    Some are more explicit and up front about it than others. It has occurred to the brighter among them that setting up a theocracy and destroying the USA might not be real popular among some segments of the population. But none of them would pass up the chance to grab for power and twist the USA like a pretzel if they could.

    For example, Robertson claims to not be a Domionist. He just ran for president on a straight theocracy platform.

  187. #187 sni
    August 31, 2008

    I hope god makes it rain on them and they very very wet. !!

    i feel better now

  188. #188 dogemperor
    August 31, 2008

    Firstly, to PZ Myers, I’d like to thank you very much to the linkage to my article re Palin. I am deeply honoured. :3

    As to Destiny Church (I know at least two respondents have commented on it)–they are definitely Joel’s Army as well, and in fact do have connections to the Joel’s Army-linked Hillsong A/G in Sydney, Australia. (Destiny, much like many other Assemblies megachurches, does have a habit of falsely claiming to be nondenominational.)

    Re the issue as to whether Palin’s church is an “Assemblies church” or “nondenominational”–firstly, the Assemblies of God’s district headquarters in Alaska would appear to consider Palin’s present church as an Assemblies congregation, which is about as authoritative as it gets. Secondly, it is *extremely* common for large Assemblies megachurches to falsely claim to be nondenominational, only reveal their Assemblies affiliation in internal documents (internal to the Assemblies) and their own members, and specifically instruct their members *not* to reveal the fact the church is an Assemblies of God congregation. (Not only Destiny Church and the tons of “City Churches” linked with Hillsong A/G do this, but so does Palin’s church, and so does the very Assemblies church I am a walkaway from–which is the seventh largest Assemblies church in the US.) Thirdly, a non-negligible proportion of “nondenominational” churches are in fact essentially one-church “denominational daughters” of the Assemblies and still maintain extremely close links to their “parent” (good examples include New Life Church in Colorado Springs–which still maintains such close linkages to the Assemblies they host a Royal Rangers post; Royal Rangers is an Assemblies-run “Christian alternative” to Boy Scouting…yes, you read this right, the Boy Scouts aren’t Christian *enough* to them–and World Harvest Church in Columbus, OH; John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church also counts as a one-church “Assemblies daughter”).

    There’s been quite a bit of “whitewashing” of these links, including on Wikipedia, so I’m inclined to think I may have hit a bit close to home. :3

    In discussion of this particular branch of “Christian nationalism” it is more useful to talk of an entire “Assemblies *family*” of denominations and megachurches, as most have extremely similar theologies and have tended to split on things like worship styles and the like.

    Re Campus Crusade: Campus Crusade, unfortunately, does have quite a history of support for “Christian nationalism” and also engages in tactics of recruitment that have led the group to be considered a coercive religious group by folks who study such things. Space prevents me from giving a full discussion here, but I’ve written a rather detailed article on Campus Crusade’s history (which is, among other things, sourced in part from Sara Diamond’s “Spiritual Warfare”, one of the first books to discuss “Christian nationalism” within the neopentecostal movement and one of the first to delve into the Campus Crusade/Assemblies linkages–which are extensive enough that it’s hard even for researchers to tell if Campus Crusade should be considered an “Assemblies daughter” or potentially a recruitment front for the Assemblies).

    As for my own “authority” et al–as noted, I grew up in a “Joel’s Army” church and was forced to attend for 26 years–said “Joel’s Army” church being in fact the seventh largest Assemblies congregation in the States. I also was the party mentioned with the blog in Casey Sanchez’s article (I was one of several people who helped him out with leads and advise)–if anything, the SPLC report errs on the conservative side IMHO, and “Joel’s Army” theology is rather wider than suspected, but I’m extremely pleased that groups like SPLC are taking notice and warning folks about this.

    As for why I write on DailyKos rather than elsewhere–actually, I’ve been trying to space my writing out on multiple blogs (including Talk to Action and, more recently, NewsVine as well as my “home” community Dark Christianity @ LJ). I was pretty much suggested to write there as an educational effort on dominionism and it’s pretty much exploded from there. For those not necessarily wanting to use DailyKos as a source, though, I do tend to be on Talk2Action and the “Outing Dominionism” community on NewsVine. :D If anyone knows of any other authoritative places I can write on this, I’m all ears–the more exposure, the better. (I also have a few other friends who’d be all ears, too, who write on this sort of thing.)

  189. #189 dogemperor
    August 31, 2008

    My understanding is that dominionist theology is limited to neo-Calvinist Christian reconstructionists and a small subset of charismatics, while the Assemblies of God have expicitly rejected it. The “Joel’s Army” article that P.Z. links to at the top of this post makes that very point.

    This is, IMHO, one of those areas where the SPLC article erred on the side of being a bit conservative.

    The Assemblies has gone through periodic cycles of promotion of “Joel’s Army”-esque theology, followed by *official* condemnations whilst the practice is quite tolerated *internally*. The earliest cycle was with the “Latter Rain” stuff in the 40’s, when the Assemblies passed a paper against it in 1948–all this did was simply result in a rebranding. Similar issues happened with “Third Wave” neopentecostalism in the 80s, and now that “Joel’s Army” is becoming a household word, we’re seeing official CYA condemnations even as the movement is rebranding itself as “Kingdom Warriors” or “Elijah’s Army”.

    Even more troublesome, despite the official condemnations, this sort of theology has been officially sanctioned in the Assemblies under other names for the better part of twenty years and actively promoted for at least fifty–Paul Yonggi Cho (nee David Yonggi Cho) is probably the central figure here, but there are others like Rodney Howard-Browne, C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, et al.

    It is safe to say that any official condemnations from Assemblies H/Q are pretty much CYA measures; even as they do this, known promoters of “Joel’s Army” theology (including the pastor of the very church I walked away from) are regularly featured in Pentecostal Evangel (the official magazine of the Assemblies) and their bogosities promoted as “moves of God”.

    As for dominionism/dominion theology–this is an area where Christian Reconstructionism is being confused with the strain of “Christian nationalism” popular in neopentecostal circles (which has never really been given a name in-movement, or has been given LOTS of names, but which I have termed “neopentecostal dominionism”). This *is* based on a form of dominion theology, specifically, the same strain of dominion theology from which “word-faith” theology is based (and it can actually be argued that Christian nationalism in these circles is the ultimate extension of “name it and claim it”); I’ve written a rather in-depth article on the subject, and I’ve noted the connections between “Joel’s Army” and “word-faith” theology in a discussion of *another* political candidate connected to the movement.

    Again, I’ll admit I’m no Sara Diamond. It’s just something of more than a bit personal interest, namely, I’d rather not get forcibly put back into that hell, thank you very much. I spent thirteen years living with my folks trying to keep my sanity, and have been spending the nine years after that repairing what sanity I have left :D

  190. #190 raven
    August 31, 2008

    If anyone knows of any other authoritative places I can write on this, I’m all ears–the more exposure, the better. (I also have a few other friends who’d be all ears, too, who write on this sort of thing.)

    Maybe PZ will give you a guest slot. I’d barely heard of Joels Stormtroopers or Assembly of God yesterday. So many lunatics, so little time.

    Just did some googling, Sarah Palin and key words. She is Assembly of God allright, a Dominionist rapture monkey. They claim her as their own. Read of few of their comments on a creo blog and now I have to bandage my brain.

    McCain has got some ‘splaining to do. He is either absolutely desperate or senile. Even the MSM, which contrary to some thoughts, is generally right wing had some serious questions about Palin. As in “what in the hell is he thinking.”

  191. #191 Nix
    August 31, 2008

    Yeah, these guys really are batshit insane. Quoting a few words from the article, “Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion” seems rather a long way from the Sermon on the Mount: sounds more like a WoW character than anything else.

    They base their beliefs on an esoteric reading of the second chapter of the Old Testament Book of Joel, in which an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel. In their view, the locusts are a metaphor for Joel’s Army.

    They don’t once consider that the Israelites are the good guys and that modelling yourself after a swarm of locusts attacking God’s Chosen People might not exactly be entirely sane? (If god did exist, I’d expect a fry-up of nutters shortly.)

    As others have said, even the conservative Christians think these guys are nuts, although their major concern appears to be the competition.

    According to Joel’s Army doctrine, the enforcers of the five-fold ministry will be members of the final generation, for whom the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade constituted a new Passover.

    I suppose we should be glad that they’re so interested in legal affairs. In times of yore they’d have picked some invasion or, well, a huge plague or something: instead they picked… a court case. A famous, dog-whistle court case, but still. The stuff of inflammatory rhetoric that is not.

  192. #192 Troy Lacefield
    August 31, 2008

    Hey P.Z. you should check out the youtube video of this guy, he claim that he is bringing the dead back to life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMSGG9W5CNU&feature=related

  193. #193 Jim Lippard
    August 31, 2008

    raven: “Naw. Pretty much all the fundies are Doms. I’d never even heard of xian Dominionists a year or so ago. The difference between reconstructionists and dominionists is…nothing.”

    If you’re claiming that all fundamentalists are reconstructionists are dominionists, that is nonsense on a par with saying that all atheists are secular humanists are Marxists.

  194. #194 Jim Lippard
    August 31, 2008

    dogemperor: Your writing has an unfortunate tendency to make heavy use of the phrase “has links to” without specifying the nature of the link. Please take that as a constructive criticism–in my opinion, whenever you write that, you should consider it rewriting it to explain the nature of the connection.

    When I can read through pages of such descriptions that don’t once bother to define “dominionism” or show what a group is doing to advocate dominionist theology, I don’t think a good case has been made.

  195. #195 raven
    August 31, 2008

    Jim Lippard the Death Cultist:

    If you’re claiming that all fundamentalists are reconstructionists are dominionists, that is nonsense on a par with saying that all atheists are secular humanists are Marxists.

    Just stating a fact. There might be one or two who lie about it.

    You are one, obviously. The tipoff is the raging hatred of everyone especially those coreligionists who differ in minute details of theology. A liberal Dom is one who might let the Jews live if they keep a low profile and all convert to fundie Death Cultism. The other Doms all hate them as blashemous heretics and apostates, of course.

    So who is on your “To Kill” list? You all have them. Gays, Catholics, Episcopalians, Democrats, atheists, scientists, MDs, so many people to murder and so little time. The old record is Rushdooney, the founder of modern Dominionism who wanted to kill 297 million of the 300 million US residents alive today. The modern record is the “Nuke ‘em all now and let god sort it out” crowd. Sounds like you want to stop that fooling around with armies of religious fanatics with automatic rifles and just go for the quick clean kill.

  196. #196 PZ Myers
    August 31, 2008

    Um, no — Jim Lippard is one of the good guys. You’re reading way too much into what he says.

  197. #197 Jim Lippard
    August 31, 2008

    raven: I think you’ve aptly demonstrated my point that you are using terms to refer to people that they don’t apply to.

    I’m a pretty outspoken atheist, and if you think *I’m* a dominionist on the basis of what I’ve said here, you’re *really* not thinking things through. You’ve completely blown any credibility you might have had with me.

  198. #198 David Farley
    August 31, 2008

    I’m surprised the Kingdom of Muenster hasn’t come up in this discussion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_Rebellion

    Everything old is new again.

  199. #199 raven
    August 31, 2008

    So you Jim L. are just an idiot then. I could care less what an idiot not thinks.

    The leadership of the fundies are all Doms, Falwell, Dobson, Robertson, Hagee, etc.. Why else have they taken over the Theothuglican party and Texas? They are grabbing for power and have been for decades.

    Why else did McCain choose a very questionable VP, a rapture monkey Dom? For the lunatic fringe Xian vote. It is fair to say that anyone who wants a Death Cult theocracy is a Dominionist whether they say so or not and they can and will vote enthusiastically for McCain and his fundie VP.

    Watch what they do, not what they say. The brighter among them aren’t going to come right out and say, “we are going to make Stalin,the Khymer Rouge, and the Taliban look like kid amateurs and when we are done, finding a parking spot is going to be very, very easy.”

    old post, the Death Cultists have plans. Their enemies won’t object because they will be dead. In their own words.

    While the ignorance, lie, violence, and murder cultists are waiting for their theocratic hell on earth, they have a few hobbies. One is publishing lists of people they would like to kill. Another is killing them. The record is Rushdooney. By one reckoning, he would end up killing 99% of the US population. And this was one of their main theologians and leaders.

    How to identify fundie xian cultists. It is easy. They lie constantly. They are very, very good at hating. Dumb. They and their leaders frequently publish lists of groups they want to kill. They occasionally kill them.

    Pat Robertson: wikipedia
    Hugo Chávez” I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.

    We will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it.
    [Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, at the Aug 8, 1995 U.S. Taxpayers Alliance Banquet in Washington DC, talking about doctors who perform abortions and volunteer escorts My note. Terry’s sympathizers have, in fact, murdered more than a few health care workers.

    “Pastor Jerry Gibson spoke at Doug Whites New Day Covenant Church in Boulder.

    He said that every true Christian should be ready and willing to take up arms to kill the enemies of Christian society.

    bcseweb.org Rushdooney:
    Our list may not be perfect but it seems to cover those “crimes” against the family that are inferred by Rushdoony’s statement to Moyers. The real frightening side of it is the interpretation of heresy, apostasy and idolatry. Rushdoony’s position seems to suggest that he would have anyone killed who disagreed with his religious opinions. That represents all but a tiny minority of people. Add to that death penalties for what is quite legal, blasphemy, not getting on with parents and working on a Sunday means that it the fantasy ideal world of Rushdoony and his pals, there will be an awful lot of mass murderers and amongst a tiny population.

    We have done figures for the UK which suggest that around 99% of the population would end up dead and the remainder would have each, on average, killed 500 fellow citizens.

    Chalcedon foundation bsceweb.org. Stoning disobedient children to death.Contempt for Parental Authority: Those who consider death as a horrible punishment here must realise that in such a case as
    ….cut for length
    Rev. William Einwechter, “Modern Issues in Biblical Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children”, The Chalcedon Report, January 1999

    When The Hate Comes From ‘Churches’
    ASHLAND, Ore. – A recent spate of crimes points up a growing connection between hateful actions and organizations calling themselves churches.
    Two brothers from northern California reportedly linked to such a group were charged this week with the killing of two gay men near Redding. Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams also are suspects in the firebombing of three synagogues in the Sacramento area last month.

    According to personal acquaintances as well as law enforcement officials, the Williams brothers were involved in Christian Identity, a religion that holds Jews and nonwhites to be subhuman and is closely tied to the Aryan Nations white-supremacist group based in northern Idaho.

    Meanwhile, officials are investigating the links between Benjamin Smith and the World Church of the Creator. Over Independence Day weekend in Illinois and Indiana, Smith shot Asians, Jews, and an African-American (killing two and injuring nine) before killing himself.

    Fundie cultists frequently publish lists of groups they plan to or would like to kill. From above quotes, we have MDs, “enemies of christian society” (whoever they are), heresy etc., disobedient children but only by stoning, gays, Jews, nonwhites, the topic of this thread-scientists and others.

    If the truth is ugly, way it goes. By their words, ye shall know them, The Book.

  200. #200 Kagehi
    August 31, 2008

    There seems to be some logic problems here:

    1. Removing corrupt people can be a step in “replacing” them with people that are not, and therefor part of a goal to help some later march to war under real believers. This isn’t *out of character* with someone who believes in this sort of BS, any more than someone who honestly believes in animal well being can’t be a member of PETA.

    2. It does show severe compartmentalization, of the same sort of PETA members, where the “goal” is perceived as more important than the obvious insanity (or masks it in their perception) of the leaders.

    3. There is no certainty that she has bothered to take a hard look at the sanity of everyone connected to her church. Most people wouldn’t, especially if what they are doing is in line with the “perceived” good works suggested by such a “local” group, and their more dubious connections get overlooked.

    4. This means she may not be part of any grand conspiracy, but then **huge** numbers of people get drawn into the edges of such conspiracies by association all the time, due to their complete failure to realize that the people at the head of the snake are completely nuts, until their already standing in a troop, armed, being told to shoot someone.

    The true test of her awareness, ties, and personal character comes when forced to make that final choice of doing what the group *intends*, instead of what she *thought* she should be doing, based on her own perception of those goals.

    In short, her defenders can’t take, from her actions, anything other than that most of her actions have had positive consequences, since there is no logical grounds to claim that this “isn’t” precisely what someone might try to do, if they see the world corrupt, while waiting for the call to arms. And, her detractors can’t say for sure she isn’t like Obama, but maybe a bit more clueless, and generally following the path of her church due to the good ideas, while ignoring, unaware, or unwilling to see the corruption at its core as clearly as she has those government agencies she has helped clean up. The only thing we can say, with certainty, is that her churches connections, and the prevailing increase in people that think like that gaining political influence, makes such a connection disturbing, and possibly very dangerous for the well being of the nation. And without some indication of a change of heart, or real awareness of the flaws in her church’s views, or a denouncement of this kind of extremism (which might not be believable without clear evidence of opposition to such people, instead of vague, “Well, she did nice things that a true believer would have done anyway to fight corruption.”), we don’t know, and thus are probably better off not finding out by allowing her to “get” the power she would have as VP.

    Its simple pragmatism. If all she stuck to was ferreting out more corruption, it would have the effect of improving things, while unfortunately also bolstering the false perception that Republicans on a whole are not as or more corrupt, as well as too often mentally disturbed, but we can’t say, based solely on what she has had the time, influence and power to do in Alaska, that this is the “only” thing she would do as VP or as President, if something disabled McCain. And that, makes her entirely the wrong sort of wild card to be considering right now.

  201. #201 Ktesibios
    August 31, 2008

    @ Mike Allen (#89):

    Have you ever heard of the Snopes Web site? It’s run by two folklore enthusiasts here in the San Fernando Valley and dedicated to checking out the rumors, urban legends and other such crap that floats about the net.

    Interestingly, this year they’ve been spending a lot of time researching and debunking the anti-Obama chain emails coming from the Wingnut Smear Machine, which must be an interesting experience for a pair of conservative Republicans.

    The next time a talking-point blast fax comes in, or you receive another “OMFG! He’s one of them!” email, or some hate-radio talking head repeats one of these claims as if it’s something “everybody knows”, you might find it worthwhile to see if it’s been checked out on Snopes, or the Urban Legends Reference Page. Unless, of course, you enjoy shooting your mouth off and then being proven wrong.

  202. #202 hughie522
    August 31, 2008

    He’s a Messiah on the edge, who doesn’t play by the rules…

    Ryan Reynolds IS Jesus IN “Jesus Christ: Dread Champion”!

    Who WOUDLN’T see that movie? An on an unrelated note this is all very disturbing. Is the world really like this?

  203. #203 S.Scott
    August 31, 2008

    A poll:(bottom right hand side of page)
    “Do you think Sarah Palin will help or hurt John McCain’s bid for the White House?”
    http://www.news4jax.com/index.html

  204. #204 DNA
    August 31, 2008

    Katharine @173

    Yes, I’m touchy on the subject, especially because I think most of my fellow liberals are absolutely on the wrong side of this issue. I’m glad to hear you’re not completely irrational, sorry if I came on strong.

    I guess my point is that being “anti-gun” until the minute you need them doesn’t work, as thousands of California residents found out in 1992 during the riots when they discovered that the 15 day waiting period is still followed even in a cases of social breakdown where the police are not responding.

    That’s not to argue against waiting periods, but just to illustrate that being prepared in advance is far more effective than waiting until the shit hits the fan.

    Fully automatic, actual AK-47s are not available for civilians to own. You can, however, own a rifle that looks like an AK-47, but shoots only one bullet at a time since the “Assault Weapons” ban sunsetted in 2004.

    If you truly want to be prepared to defend yourself against the Christianist militants, I suggest you learn how to shoot and field strip an AK or AR type rifle now, rather than later.

  205. #205 DLC
    September 1, 2008

    Hm. say 1% of Christians are of this type, and believe that they must make war on whoever is not like them.
    As Christians (between all denominations) number around 65% (more depending on which surveys you rely on) of the population, this means about 195,000,000 of them in the United States. If just 1% of that 1% actually take violent action, we’re talking about 1.95 million acts of violence.
    pretty worrisome numbers, I think.

  206. #206 Jason
    September 1, 2008

    Yeah, BC is pretty bad. Vancouver and Vancover Island are probably the most progressive (very gay, atheist, socialist, anarchist, lefty strongholds) places in Western Canada (if not all of Canada) but venture more than 50 miles from the coast and you get alot of right wing retards in their secluded rural communities, filled with the faith-over-facts crowd.

  207. #207 Jason
    September 1, 2008

    ^^ And to illustrate what I mean; just remember that this is the province that elected the ‘social credit’ party to keep the NDP from winning a provincial election. To explain that for Americans, its about the equivalent of voting in Perot to keep a bunch of moderate leftists out.

  208. #208 Vidar
    September 1, 2008

    I find it incredible that cults like this can still exist in the 21st century.
    I suppose it would be a lot more frightening if this was happening on the same continent that I inhabit.
    That said, if those idiots get a firm foothold in Europe, I will move to one of the most secular/atheist countries around. Preferably one with Viking heritage and a history of not getting conquered.

  209. #209 biogeek
    September 1, 2008

    What she HAS done is her best to try to weed out corruption in this state and the people in bed with “Big Oil.

    And what, exactly, has Palin done to fight corruption other than denouncing and running away from the perpetrators after they had been exposed?

  210. #210 Holbach
    September 1, 2008

    Troy Lacefield @ 192

    Talk about abject insanity! And to think and realize that a few of those morons in the audience are in line with you at the supermarket, eating at the next table in a restaurant, and perhaps checking out books at the local library! This is almost another twilight for a sane society! We used to put people in asylums with mild schizophrenia, and yet these deranged morons are walking about and more than likely have responsible positions in the community. Scary?

  211. #211 zayzayem
    September 1, 2008

    Seriously, did no one else pick up that the Todd-ster has been caught screwing around with an intern:::

    http://realchristianity.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/todd-bentley-commits-adultery/

    “We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.”

  212. #212 Jim Lippard
    September 1, 2008

    According to Christianity Today, Palin attends multiple churches, and although the main two churches she attends (Juneau Christian Center and The Church on the Rock in Wassila) are both members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God of America, she doesn’t consider herself to be a Pentecostal.

    Harper’s Magazine blog reviewed sermons of the pastors of her two regular churches and didn’t find much in the way of overtly political content or support for the “dominionist” charges.

  213. #213 Jim Lippard
    September 1, 2008

    Sorry to belabor the point, but it turns out the claim that The Church on the Rock in Wasilla is her home church is a second-hand claim reported in the Christianity Today story, that came to an Associated Press reporter by way of “a business administrator in Pentecostal Assemblies of God.” It appears, based on reporting by Time magazine and the Boston Herald, that her home church is the nondenominational Wasilla Bible Church, headed by Pastor Larry Kroon.

    Is there any evidence that the Wasilla Bible Church is even a Pentecostal church, let alone one advocating dominionist theology or connected to “Joel’s Army”?

  214. #214 zy
    September 1, 2008

    Sorry but I’m not convinced by anything I’ve seen that Palin or her sometimes church are Joel’s Army supporters or actual Dominionists.

    A visit to the website of one of her churches revealed such insidious sermon topics as “Cast Your Cares On Him”, “Know God, No Fear”, “Persistence In Prayer”, “Defeating Procrastination”, “Money Matters”… OH NOES! truly scary stuff.

    Shades of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, here. Post the accusation again when you’ve got a smoking gun.

  215. #215 zy
    September 1, 2008

    And I can’t believe someone is bringing up Michelle Obama’s senior thesis again! Sheesh, does anybody even read? It was made available online by the Obamas, and there’s no excuse for calling it militant or “black separatist” – boring, maybe; separatist, no.

  216. #216 Keri
    September 1, 2008

    #203 – ugh, i’m daily embarrassed by my hometown news media, even when just flipping through the channels on the tv. There is a HUGE Assembly of God presence in the town, too – it’s partly how I started looking into this whole Dominionism thing.

    #213 – I asked about Bible Churches on LJ’s Dark_Christian the other day, and the way I understand it, if a church calls itself a ‘Bible Church,’ it’s a sure bet that it follows a “literal” reading of the Bible, and is likely Pre-Millenial Dispensationalist, which means Dominionist. Dominionists, in all that I’ve researched, are the only people who are PMD.

    So the Left Behind crew? They’re Dominionist, and the Joel’s Army people are a subset of the Dominionists. Actually, LB seems very Joel’s Army to me, from what I’ve gathered through the Slacktivist reading/analyzation.

    Also, I didn’t see it noted in this comment thread, but remember the movie Jesus Camp? That was a Joel’s Army camp for kids. It’s really horrid to listen to the way the kids talk and know that they’re getting brainwashed into nasty, unhealthy modes of thinking.

    (I believe the Duggars are Joel’s Army, too? IIRC, the Quiverful movement is directly related to Joel’s Army, as the whole point of it is to raise up the next generation to be the Army of God, and to make sure you have lots of kids to overwhelm the infidel children, or something like that.)

  217. #217 Kris
    September 1, 2008

    I’m not religious and not an Atheist. I think these nutjobs are scary but I think this elitist Atheist crap is just as scary.

    These scales that place Atheists in the highest plane of Sanity are just as lame and sad as these nutjobs who think themselves God’s Special Breed.

    Richard Dawkins is the Atheist prophet and is becoming a non-religious religious figure himself.

    Really, you don’t know whether there is or isn’t a higher power or powers. Atheist Elitists nor the nutjobs have any real clue.

    Having said that as much as your arrogance annoys me I’d be toting weaponry alongside the Atheists before the creationists.

    Just a secular dude.

  218. #218 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    Richard Dawkins is the Atheist prophet and is becoming a non-religious religious figure himself.

    /yawn.

    No one other than someone predisposed to needing an authority figure puts Dawkins on any level other than an author that they find intelligent, informative and entertaining.

    Get over it. This is pretty much the same thing the fundamentalists tell us all the time. Something that shows their projection of the need to have that authority figure.

    There is no atheist book of ultimate authority

    there is no atheist person of ultimate authority

    there is no atheist life style

    there is no atheist way of doing things

    There IS merely a shared lack of belief in a higher power.

    Any side bullshit is just that. Yes there are people that share the views of other atheists and are gifted in writing or speaking about it but they are not an authority in how one should live their life as an atheist.

    Sure atheists may share other beliefs and those beliefs may be influenced by their atheism, but they are separate from that atheism.

  219. #219 Bob Vogel
    September 1, 2008

    Kris,

    Try reading the excellent works Richard Dawkins has written (multiple books since the ’70s) Don’t have the time? Then watch some his documentaries on science easily found on Youtube or watch them online for free at RichardDawkins.net.

    If you are an intelligent person (and you sound like you might be), your mind about this may quickly change. He may be an atheist but he’s no prophet. (Pretty damnded good tho at figuring this stuff out from the past).

    Seriously, take the time. (and stop being so “shrill.”)

  220. #220 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Rev. BDC,

    Patricia was asking about you earlier. Everything OK there? Did it miss you? Weaken? Has it not hit yet?

  221. #221 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Having said that as much as your arrogance annoys me I’d be toting weaponry alongside the Atheists before the creationists.

    Why do I not find that particularly reassuring?

  222. #222 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    Patricia was asking about you earlier. Everything OK there? Did it miss you? Weaken? Has it not hit yet?

    Sorry missed that.

    I’m in Charleston SC so Gustav was never a worry for hitting us.

    Hanna on the other hand is aiming dead at us. And then there is Ike who is on a similar path as Hanna but much much Bitchier.

  223. #223 SC
    September 1, 2008

    I was talking about Hanna. When she expressed concern, I checked your blog, and saw the scary post. Glad you’re OK, but now I’ll be worried. When is it supposed to hit?

  224. #224 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    Needless to say, I’m hitting the NOAA page at every update.

    Things are not looking good, but we’re still 3-4 days off from Hanna landfall and even though I don’t wish this thing on anyone, I’d rather not have it hit us. It may be tending south but that still puts us on the “bad side” of the hurricane. Onshore winds will be hammering us. My house (that I hand build btw) is inshore but not that far. A big surge could be devastating.

  225. #225 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    Supposed to hit on Friday morning early, but that’s been changing a bit. Come tomorrow or Wednesday we should know for sure.

  226. #226 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Ah. That’s a while. A lot can happen in 3-4 days, but still very worrying. I’ll be checking that page compulsively now, no doubt. :) You hand-built your house? Cool.

  227. #227 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    You hand-built your house? Cool.

    yeah My father in law and myself. Which, as you can guess, makes me extremely concerned about hurricane season.

  228. #228 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Which, as you can guess, makes me extremely concerned about hurricane season.

    How stressful. I’ll pra

    …Just kidding. But I’ll be hoping for the best.

  229. #229 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 1, 2008

    How stressful. I’ll pra

    …Just kidding. But I’ll be hoping for the best.

    hehe

    Thanks! We built it way above code and used a lot of hurricane reinforcements but you just never know.

  230. #230 Stuart Kurtz
    September 2, 2008

    Ask Rev. Bentley and his Dominionists what they think of Bible scholarship, since they hate mainstream religion and intellectualism. To put forth a case for his select few among billions, they have to back it up with scripture. You don’t just pull out one quote to justify a church; you need hermeneutical research. You can’t say, “duh” when you do that. The Bible was written by geniuses, and, if you believe, God was speaking through them. Would God create such a brilliant tractate based on simple ideas? The Bible is not just on who begat whom. There is mysticism there, and that takes great intelligence and struggling with ideas. Hey, that seems to me to be at the heart of intellectual query.

  231. #231 Jim Lippard
    September 2, 2008

    Correction to my #213–it wasn’t the Pentecostal business admin who said that, it was the pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God church, which was apparently Palin’s church as she was growing up.

    Sounds like she gets around to a lot of churches.

  232. #232 Ranxerox
    September 3, 2008

    Jason #296 “Yeah, BC is pretty bad… but venture more than 50 miles from the coast and you get alot of right wing retards in their secluded rural communities, filled with the faith-over-facts crowd.”

    Jason, you must watch television…I can tell.

    You potato-head, what do you know about BC? It’s no different than any other place on this continent; except for being the most beautiful (look it up). Everyone’s IQ, north of Lotusland, is a lot higher than you ‘imagine’. I am proud to live up here where the pistol waving wacko’s are few (rifles more likely). You want scary, look South of the 49th.

    BTW it’s called 80KM around here…y’all

  233. #233 Ranxerox
    September 3, 2008

    Bloody fat fingers….

    That was #206 not #296.

    Doh…better git muh gun ‘n shoot sumpin’ muh eye-cue plum drawped outta muh heyd…yuk

  234. #234 Ranxerox
    September 3, 2008

    To be slightly more on topic; I find it funny to hear about this Todd Bentley character. I have lived all over BC for dozens of years. Neither I nor anyone I know has ever heard of the whacko or his ilk. We are obviously not feeding his delusions with enough enthusiasm and warm brainless bodies. Apparently he had to relocate his ‘supernatural healing revival’ to where…?

  235. #235 Nick Gotts
    September 3, 2008

    The Bible was written by geniuses – Stuart Kurtz

    Evidence for that?

  236. #236 Vittidinia
    October 27, 2008

    Interesting. The tip of the iceberg has since floated across the pages of the New York Times, but so far no whisper Joel’s Army – whom I would categorzable as Christian militants and under suspicion of domestic terrorism in the USA.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/25/us/politics/25faith.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all

    YouTube Videos Draw Attention to Palin’s Faith
    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
    Published: October 24, 2008

    In an interview this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican vice presidential candidate, was asked to “clear up exactly what you believe in” about her religious faith, including her involvement with Pentecostalism.

    [graphic caption]
    YouTube
    Governor Sarah Palin’s faith has come under scrutiny after two videos surfaced on YouTube, including this one from June in which Bishop Thomas Muthee of Kenya prays over her with his hand to her back.
    link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ccmRuCpFjY

    She responded by speaking generally, but extensively, about how she counts on God for strength, guidance and wisdom. “My faith has always been pretty personal,” she said. But she did not talk more specifically about her church affiliation or her beliefs.”

    etc etc

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