The Uninspired Manifesto

Monday, August 20, 2007

"God's Warriors': Religion And Politics On CNN

I often seems that I'm being left out of the loop, through no one's fault but my own. I'll usually come across a story, think nothing of it, before it blows up around the web on multiple blogs, and it seems like I'm the only one who can't keep up. Such is the case with this story.

This is available from many sources, but I'll be quoting The Wall of Seperation
Tonight CNN starts delving into the volatile mix of religion and politics.

At 9 p.m. EDT, “Larry King Live” will preview a three-part series called “God’s Warriors,” which is scheduled to start tomorrow evening on CNN. The series’ chief reporter, Christiane Amanpour, and a panel of guests, including Americans United’s Barry W. Lynn, will join Larry to discuss the impact religious fundamentalists are having on politics worldwide.

In a press release previewing the series, Amanpour says that “As I report around the world, people often ask me about the rise of religious influence on political power within the United States, but in fact this true worldwide.

“Wherever I go,” Amanpour continues, “what the believers do all have in common is that they want to bring the politics of faith into the very center of public life – we are seeing this now on almost every continent.”

Lynn will focus on this nation’s Religious Right groups and leaders who have spent decades trying to destroy the First Amendment principle of church-state separation in an ignoble drive to force all citizens to live within the fundamentalist movement’s rigid moral codes.

Religious Right activists continue to argue that America was founded as a Christian nation and that our laws should be based on their literal reading of the Bible. A Christian Reconstructionist gathering in Asheville, N.C., earlier this year included an array of speakers who trumpeted this line of thinking.

Other than the example quoted in the article, many blogs are adding their own in Ron Luce, proprietor of a group called Battle Cry, whose call to action is to retake America from the "virtue terrorists" (gays, pro-choice supporters, etc.).

Rolling Stone did a piece on Luce and his movement back in April, "Teenage Holy War."
They rise, heartened; the crowd, en masse, swears off "harlots and adultery"; the twenty-one-year-old MC twitches taut a chain across the ass of her skintight red jeans and summons the followers to show off their best dance moves for God.

...

[T]hese 4,000 teens are about to become "branded by God." It's like getting your head shaved when you join the Marines, Luce says, only the kids get to keep their hair. His assistants roll out a cowhide draped over a sawhorse, and Luce presses red-hot iron into the dead flesh, projecting a close-up of sizzling cow skin on giant movie screens above the stage.

"When you enlist in the military, there's a code of honor," Luce preaches, "same as being a follower of Christ." His Christian code requires a "wartime mentality": a "survival orientation" and a readiness to face "real enemies." The queers and communists, feminists and Muslims, to be sure, but also the entire American cultural apparatus of marketing and merchandising, the "techno-terrorists" of mass media, doing to the morality of a generation what Osama bin Laden did to the Twin Towers. "Just as the events of September 11th, 2001, permanently changed our perspective on the world," Luce writes, "so we ought to be awakened to the alarming influence of today's culture terrorists. They are wealthy, they are smart, and they are real."

This is just sad. Not for the lack of supporters, but from the OVERWHELMING number of people who buy into this shit. If you want an example of his inluence, just check out YouTube and search 'Ron Luce Battle Cry' for a look at the sold out stadiums he preaches his hate to.
posted by Nick at 9:43 PM

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