- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
- Netanyahu’s spokesman: Safe to fly to Israel
Left aims to smite ‘theocracy’ movement
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — Secular humanists and leftist activists convened here over the weekend to strategize how to counter what they contend is a growing political threat from Christian conservatives.
Understanding and answering the “religious far right” that propelled President Bush’s re-election is key to preventing a “theocracy” from governing the nation, speakers argued at a weekend conference.
“The religious right now has an unprecedented influence on American politics and policy,” said Ralph White, co-founder of the Open Center, a New York City institution focused on holistic learning. “It is incumbent upon all of us to understand as precisely as possible its aims, methods, beliefs, theology and psychology.”
The Open Center, founded 21 years ago, played host to the two-day conference at City College of New York called “Examining the Real Agenda of the Religious Far Right.”
People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group that opposes religion in the public square, co-sponsored the conference, which drew about 500 participants.
“This may be the darkest time in our history,” said Bob Edgar, general secretary of the left-leaning National Council of Churches and former six-term Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania. “The religious right have been systematically working at this for 40 years. The question is, where is the religious left?”
Speakers outlined such concepts — others would say conspiracy theories — as Christian reconstructionism and dominionism to a crowd that Mr. White said does “not understand the further reaches of religion.”
Dominionism is the theory that the account in Genesis in which God gave man dominion over the earth has become a political teaching advocating that Christians gain and hold power. Christian reconstructionism is the theory that Christian conservatives intend to impose Old Testament law in America.
The United States is “not yet a theocracy,” Joan Bokaer, founder of TheocracyWatch.org, said Friday night, but she argued that “the United States is beginning to fit the model of a reconstructed America.”
Tax cuts combined with increased funding for faith-based social programs and decreases in welfare spending, Ms. Bokaer said, were examples of “the theological right … zealously setting up to establish their beliefs in all aspects of our society.”
She compared the Federal Communications Commission’s threatened crackdown on indecency on television with the Taliban, the repressive Islamic rulers of Afghanistan who harbored Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network until toppled by a U.S.-led invasion.
“Indecency police are a major part of theocratic states,” Ms. Bokaer said, flashing a picture of Islamic women covered head to foot under the title, “Taliban: Ministry for the Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”
Such rhetoric turned the volume up on warnings of theocratic revolution issued by some Democrats opposing Republican efforts to override their Senate filibusters of Mr. Bush’s nominees for federal judgeships.
Former Vice President Al Gore said in a speech Wednesday that the move against judicial filibusters is driven by an “aggressive new strain of right-wing religious zealotry.”
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, asked in a speech April 15 about the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman: “Are we going to live in a theocracy where the highest powers tell us what to do?”
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq