Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Two Theocratic Dons

I don’t normally venture into religious discussion, but I will do so today for two reasons — both named Don.

First, my fellow political opinion blogger hosted at LubbockOnline.com (Dr. Donald May) has launched into PART ELEVEN of his theocratic diatribe, and I feel obliged to point out that it’s getting way past ridiculous over there.

Secularism in government is essential for democracy to work. Our founding fathers knew this, and they created a system where any one religion does not dominate through the power of government. It’s this very concept that guarantees our freedom of religion in the US, and it should be celebrated even among the theocrats who enjoy that same freedom.

Without secularism, people get caned for drinking beer.

And speaking of beer, a second Don (Don Workman) is one of two parties who have submitted protest forms to the TABC to delay or defeat the sale of alcohol in Lubbock. Chad Hasty over at KFYO has been covering Don Workman’s petition to void or delay the availability of alcohol in Lubbock County (part one and part two) despite a two-to-one election result in favor of county-wide alcohol sales.

To learn about Don Workman’s possible motivation for delaying or denying alcohol sales in Lubbock, I did “the Google” and learned more than I ever wanted to know about the split between the General Baptist Convention of Texas and the “more doctrinally pure” Southern Baptist Convention of Texas, in which Workman played an active leadership role.

Incidentally, Workman recently wrote an A-J letter to the editor saying how wonderful Alberto Gonzales will be for Texas Tech:

I hate to take exception to all my fellow Red Raiders who have written letters to the A-J criticizing Albert Gonzales, but to the contrary, my experience with Mr. Gonzales has been excellent through my 15 years on the Texas Youth Council. He was always available, courteous, and quick with a response. He was a state employee who was consistent and reliable.

What kind of work might Workman have been doing while interacting with our state government? Here’s a quote from Don Workman at the 2nd annual Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in November 1999:

“We let your legislators know there are Southern Baptists in Texas who believe Scripture should be legislated,” he reported.

I have never met Mr. Workman or his wife, both active Republican Party leaders in the area, but those are the words of a theocrat. I believe Mr. Workman’s interpretation of scripture may be at odds with the results of the alcohol election in Lubbock County.

There are those who want to throw out our American systems of law and governance and replace them with their interpretation of a holy book. It just so happens that two of them are named Don and live in Lubbock.

Thursday: Religulous in Lubbock

Lubbock Democracy for America is screening Bill Maher’s film “Religulous” this Thursday, March 26th at 7pm at Democratic Party HQ.

Here are the details:

Event Date: Mar 26, 2009
Event Time: 7:00 PM CDT
Venue Name: Lubbock County Democratic Party HQ
Address: 2809A 74th St
City: Lubbock
State: TX
Zip Code: 79423
Phone: 806-749-8683
Website: lubbockdemocrats.org
Hosted by: Lubbock Democracy for America

And you can RSVP on the Lubbock DFA site as well.

I have not yet seen “Religulous,” so I am really looking forward to it. Our post-film discussion should be interesting, to say the least. We will keep it civil even if the film doesn’t.

Athiest Soldier Denied Promotion Based on Religion?

Yahoo News has a story about an athiest soldier who alleges he was denied a promotion based on religion. Spc. Jeremy Hall wanted to hold a meeting between athiest and Christian soldiers in his MP unit.

According to the lawsuit, Hall was counseled by his platoon sergeant after being informed that his promotion was blocked. He says the sergeant explained that Hall would be “unable to put aside his personal convictions and pray with his troops” and would have trouble bonding with them if promoted to a leadership position.

Hall responded that religion is not a requirement of leadership, even though the sergeant wondered how he had rights if atheism wasn’t a religion. Hall said atheism is protected under the Army’s chaplain’s manual.

“It shouldn’t matter if one is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist,” said Pedro Irigonegaray, an attorney whose firm filed the lawsuit. “In the military, all are equal and to be considered equal.”

I am interested to see what becomes of this lawsuit. The armed forces and constitutional rights don’t always get along with each other.

Our military is not a Christian organization. But, like many of our institutions in the US, Christians seem to think they run the show. This is one of those silent assumptions that must be challenged publicly.

Druids Routed In School Board Election

Happy Solstice Everyone

In what could produce ripples through the national educational system, voters in Maine have ousted over 2,000 years of educational doctrine. In a vote of no-confidence, locals have voted out the Druid majority from local school boards. In an overwhelming vote, the communities of Samhain and Cuithe have decided that the time has come to end the Druidian stronghold over their communities.

These communities as well as others scattered across the northeastern seaboard have seen a rapid decrease in Druidian representation. Starting with the defeat of 237 time elected mayor Gaelen the Round of Bath, the Druidian influence has taken a dramatic downturn. “We were simply looking for a different, more enlightened approach to education” said Pierre DeMarco, head of the Samhain Parent Teacher Association.

Under the Druidian school system, students were forced to learn topics like metallurgy, herpetology, stonemasonry and astrology. Senior Douglas Young believed the Druid curriculum was a valuable addition to his core classes. “I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not like we killed dogs or anything.” The use of canines for incantations was replaced by felines in the late 1720’s.

The news could not have come at a worse time for the Druid community. “We’re all pretty tired from the Solstice Ceremony and concert and then we get this news. Everyone is a bit disoriented by these turn of events”, said Nigel Tufnel, founder of the band Spinal Tap and Northern 35th Level Druid. When asked about the future for the Druids in Maine education, Tufnel added, “We’ll just have to see how the bones fall but we are not ruling out litigation.”

Putting Christ Back In XBox

Disclaimer: From time to time I enjoy writing from a more whimsical perspective. The following is for your entertainment. In no way is this an attack on Microsoft.

The latest salvo has been fired in the culture wars, this time by James Dobson. The founder and chairman of the board for Focus on the Family has announced the latest initiative set forth by his Christian based organization. On his daily radio talk show, Dobson encouraged his listeners to boycott the letter “X” until the American public “fully appreciates the power of the Christian community.”

The controversy surrounds the unwillingness by Microsoft the replace the “X” on it’s popular video game console Xbox with what Dobson believes should be “Christ”. Dobson stated on his nationally syndicated radio program that, “everyone knows this is just another attack on the Christians of this land. If Microsoft will not put Christ back in Xbox, then we will have to take the X away from them!”

The plan calls for a national referendum on replacing the letter “X” with the word “Christ” with a potential Constitutional Amendment on the horizon. “Unless the good Christians of this land stand up for their rights, they will eventually erode away. We must take our stand on this issue now before the liberals destroy any more of our way of life” Dobson concluded on Thursday.

An expansion on the basic plan will call for the boycott of “eXtra” gum and “EXTRA”, the entertainment TV program. Some are concerned with what this will mean in the long run. “When my kids wander into a “Christ, Christ, Christ” video store, they may be exposed to material that is less that Godly” stated Bill Parrish, head of Children First, a child advocacy program at the University of Notre Dame.

Revolution in Jesusland

I was checking out BoingBoing today and came across Revolution in Jesusland, a blog about emerging progressive evangelical movements. It’s pretty amazing to behold, and it turns out that I know the guy running the blog.

Here’s a sample of a speaker at an 11,000+ evangelical conference:

With governments that kill…
…we will not comply.

With the theology of empire…
…we will not comply.

With the business of militarism…
…we will not comply.

With the hoarding of riches
…we will not comply.

With the dissemination of fear
…we will not comply.

But today we pledge our allegiance to the kingdom of God…
…we pledge allegiance.

To the peace that is not like Rome’s…
…we pledge allegiance.

To the Gospel of enemy love
…we pledge allegiance.

To the poor and the broken…
…we pledge allegiance.

It feels great to see progressive born-again Christians once again fighting for progressive goals.

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp

Last night, Lubbock Democracy for America hosted a public screening of Jesus Camp. This is a very important film, and it is difficult to watch. My heart goes out to the kids in the film and others like them who are being broken down and indoctrinated with cultish ideals all over America.

This film describes a phenomenon that I have seen many times here in Lubbock. I have been approached in the mall by trained children (with teenage minders waiting several yards away) asking me if I have accepted Jesus as my personal savior and if they could pray for me. As a kid, I remember friends who would go away in the summer to church camp and come back… different. I really wonder if the parents that send their kids to these camps know exactly what happens there. I imagine some do and some don’t.

Watch the trailer and see for yourself what can happen at Jesus Camp.


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