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Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 1:00 AM
The "religious" right REALLY wants Judge Sam Alito on the Supreme Court. But why? How might Judge Sam help advance their agenda? And do you know what Jesus of Nazareth actually SAID about two of the "religious" right's hot-button issues?
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The so-called "religious" right is REALLY enthusiastic about Judge Sam Alito.
With the full U.S. Senate now debating the nomination of Judge Sam to the Supreme Court, leaders of the "religious" right are urging their followers to call their Senators in support of Judge Sam. (For a couple examples, check out Dr. James Dobson's "Family News in Focus" at www.family.org/cforum/fnif/ and Rev. Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition at www.traditionalvalues.org.)
Why would the "religious" right be so excited about the "conservative" Judge Sam? How might Sam help promote their "religious" agenda? And what might that agenda mean for you, your friends, your family, and every U.S. citizen's privacy?
The following facts may help you draw some conclusions:
FACT: Some within the "religious" right believe the U.S. was founded as a "Christian" nation and actively seek to establish theocratic rule in the U.S., with "God" as the source of all law and government and with Old Testament law essentially replacing our Constitution.
(Read up on this at www.theocracywatch.org, in Mark Crispin Miller's book "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order," and in Bill Press' new book "How the Republicans Stole Christmas: The Republican Party's Declared Monopoly on Religion and What Democrats Can Do to Take it Back." Also, do a web search on "Dominion Theology" and on "Christian Reconstructionism.")
FACT: Proposed legislation--the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005--has been introduced in Congress which would advance the goal of theocracy.
The legislation says, in part: "...the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review...any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'" The legislation also goes on to bar lower courts from having jurisdiction in these matters. (More info on this is attached below.)
FACT: The "religious" right (including some Catholic and some Protestant Christians, some Jews, and some of other faiths) rails against homosexuality and abortion as if these are the two greatest problems facing our society and/or the two issues most central to their "religious" faith. As Mark Crispin Miller has written, some on the right even believe that homosexual behavior should be punishable by death; death by stoning.
FACT: If Judge Sam Alito, a Catholic, becomes a Supreme Court justice, FIVE OUT OF NINE Supreme Court justices will be Catholic.
FACT: The 2004 platform of the Texas Republican Party "affirms the United States of America is a Christian Nation," calls for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposes the legalization of "sodomy" (i.e., homosexuality), and supports the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act." (See www.theocracywatch.org for more on the party's platform.)
FACT: JESUS OF NAZARETH, according to the New Testament gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), NEVER SAID ONE WORD ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY OR ABORTION, even though both homosexuality and abortion existed in his time. Bill Press' book, noted above, addresses this in great detail. (But Jesus DID speak loudly and clearly against religious hypocrisy and against compassionless, cold-hearted religious legalism.)
FACT: The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, states that “THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION."
(See the excerpt below from www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/12/great_debate.html and see also www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm)
FACT: As noted in the article "Fascism, Anyone?" (see excerpts below), fascist regimes, historically, have "attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and [have] chose[n] to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the 'godless.' A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion."
FACT: Hitler's speeches, writings, and propaganda campaigns made frequent reference to "God", "faith," and "Christianity." For example, from an April 12, 1922 speech in Munich: "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. . . As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."
(For more quotes and analysis, see Maureen Farrell's 12/7/04 article "God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of 'Moral Values'" at www.buzzflash.com/farrell/04/12/far04041.html)
FACT: Hitler so opposed homosexuality and abortion that he created a Gestapo "Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion." As noted in the article "Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era, 1933-1945" (see excerpts below):
"Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all homosexual and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. ...On May 6, 1933, Nazis ransacked the "Institute for Sexual Science" in Berlin; four days later as part of large public burnings of books viewed as "un-German," thousands of books plundered from the Institute's library were thrown into a huge bonfire. The institute...sponsored research and discussion on marital problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and laws relating to sexual offenses, abortion, and homosexuality. In 1934, a special Gestapo (Secret State Police) division on homosexuals was set up. ...In 1936 Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: Special Office (II S), a subdepartment of Executive Department II of the Gestapo. The linking of homosexuality and abortion reflected the Nazi regime's population policies to promote a higher birthrate of its "Aryan" population.
...an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, and of these, some 50,000 officially defined homosexuals were sentenced. Most of these men spent time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of the total sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps."
IN CLOSING: In "How the Republicans Stole Christmas," Bill Press cites John F. Kennedy's speech to the (conservative Protestant) Greater Houston Ministerial Association as containing "the best statement of the proper respective roles of government and religion," when Kennedy said "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me."
Press also notes, on page 59: "In the end, we've had to depend on the courts, not the politicians, to keep both politics out of religion and religion out of politics."
Do you think you can depend on Judge Sam to do this? If not, please urge your Senators, NOW, to fillibuster.
(And please tell a friend or two what Jesus of Nazareth said about homosexuality and abortion: nothing at all.)
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Constitution Restoration Act of 2005
Sponsor: Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL]
Cosponsors: Sen Allard, Wayne [CO], Sen Brownback, Sam [KS], Sen Bunning, Jim [KY], Sen Burns, Conrad R. [MT], Sen Burr, Richard [NC], Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID], Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK], Sen Lott, Trent [MS]
`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.
`Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the district courts shall not have jurisdiction of a matter if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to review that matter by reason of section 1260 of this title.'.
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Treaty of Tripoli
(see also www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm)
“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”
THOSE WORDS, PENNED IN ARTICLE 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, are as succinct a statement as we have from the Founding Fathers on the role of religion in our government. Their authorship is ascribed variously to George Washington, under whom the treaty was negotiated, or to John Adams, under whom it took effect, or sometimes to Joel Barlow, U.S. consul to Algiers, friend of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, and himself no stranger to the religious ferment of the era, having served as a chaplain in the Revolutionary Army. But the validity of the document transcends its authorship for a simple reason: it was ratified. It was debated in the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Adams without a breath of controversy or complaint concerning its secular language, and so stands today as an official description of the founders’ intent.
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"Fascism Anyone?" by Laurence W. Britt
(see also "The 14 Points of Fascism" by the Project for The Old American Century at
...Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi.
...For the purpose of this perspective, I will consider the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.
Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. ...usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.
6. A controlled mass media. ...The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
7. Obsession with national security. ...Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment. ...Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.
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"Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era, 1933-1945"
"As part of the Nazi's attempt to purify German society and propagate an "Aryan master race, " they condemned homosexuals as "socially aberrant." Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all homosexual and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals.
...On May 6, 1933, Nazis ransacked the "Institute for Sexual Science" in Berlin; four days later as part of large public burnings of books viewed as "un-German," thousands of books plundered from the Institute's library were thrown into a huge bonfire. The institute was founded in 1919 by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935). It sponsored research and discussion on marital problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and laws relating to sexual offenses, abortion, and homosexuality. The author of many works, Hirschfeld, himself a homosexual, led efforts for three decades to reform laws criminalizing homosexuality. (In 1933 Hirschfeld happened to be in France, where he remained until his death.)
In 1934, a special Gestapo (Secret State Police) division on homosexuals was set up. One of its first acts was to order the police "pink lists" from all over Germany. The police had been compiling these lists of suspected homosexual men since 1900. On September 1, 1935, a harsher, amended version of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code, originally framed in 1871, went into effect, punishing a broad range of "lewd and lascivious" behavior between men. In 1936 Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: Special Office (II S), a subdepartment of Executive Department II of the Gestapo. The linking of homosexuality and abortion reflected the Nazi regime's population policies to promote a higher birthrate of its "Aryan" population. On this subject, Himmler spoke in Bad Tölz on February 18, 1937, before a group of high-ranking SS officers on the dangers both homosexuality and abortion posed to the German birthrate.
...An estimated 1.2 million men were homosexuals in Germany in 1928. Between 1933-45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, and of these, some 50,000 officially defined homosexuals were sentenced. Most of these men spent time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of the total sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps.
How many of these 5,000 to 15,000 "175ers" perished in the concentration camps will probably never be known. Historical research to date has been very limited. One leading scholar, Ruediger Lautmann, believes that the death rate for "175ers" in the camps may have been as high as sixty percent.
...Research on Nazi persecution of homosexuals was impeded by the criminalization and social stigmatization of homosexuals in Europe and the United States in the decades following the Holocaust. Most survivors were afraid or ashamed to tell their stories. Recently, especially in Germany, new research findings on these "forgotten victims" have been published, and some survivors have broken their silence to give testimony."
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