Jerry Falwell

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

Ronald Reagan: The Unvarnished Truth! Myth Versus Reality!

Ronald Reagan is treated as a saint by the conservative movement and the Republican Party, as a man and a President who could do no wrong, but the truth is otherwise.

Of course, no President and no human being is perfect, and all commit mistakes or show lack of sensitivity, but the point is that the 40th President’s image and historical record needs to come down to earth, on this, the 104th anniversary of his birth, and a quarter century after his leaving office.

So what should Americans and others know about Ronald Reagan, that is not general knowledge?

As California Governor and as President, the issue of mental illness was dealt with by cutting spending, and throwing mental patients onto the streets of America, creating a great increase in homeless population.

As head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Reagan cooperated with the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigation of Communists; worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare; and was an FBI informant for J. Edgar Hoover, all to protect his own image and security as he had been a strong liberal Democrat, and supporter of the New Deal.

Reagan sold illegal arms to Iran, what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, as he worked to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, despite Congressional admonitions banning such activities.

Reagan backed the apartheid government of South Africa, despite its horrific violation of human rights, and vetoed a sanctions law, which was passed over his veto in 1986.

Reagan’s Presidency saw the greatest amount of scandals of all sizes, only surpassed by the administrations of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding in overall malfeasance.

Reagan’s record on the environment is regarded by scholars as the absolute worst of all Presidents since 1900, and a big letdown after Jimmy Carter, who had one of the top three performances on that issue in American history.

Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis until 1987, and ridiculed the “gay plague”, only taking any interest when young hemophiliac Ryan White, and actor Rock Hudson, were revealed to have the disease in 1985.

Reagan supported backing the groups which fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, including such future terrorists as Osama Bin Laden; and also gave support to Saddam Hussein of Iraq in war with Iran, while still supplying arms to Iran.

The high ethical and moral standard said to be part of Reagan’s persona has now been revealed to be inappropriate, as he has been shown to have cheated on his first wife, Jane Wyman, and to have had affairs with dozens of actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day, among many others.

For a man who professed “family values”, Reagan and his wife Nancy ignored their children, Patti and Ron, Jr; and hardly saw their grandchild from Reagan stepson Michael; and hardly ever attended church services, although flirting with the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority of the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

So the truth about Ronald Reagan is far from the myth that has been promoted!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!

Mitt Romney’s Pandering, And Cynical Appeal To White Supremacists

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, showed his true nature today in a way we had not seen before.

Romney went before the national meeting of The National Association For The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the original and most prestigious civil rights organization in America, which celebrated its centennial in 2009.

He told the delegates that he was going to work to repeal “ObamaCare”, the Affordable Care Act declared constitutional by the Supreme Court two weeks ago, knowing full well that they would boo loudly at that statement. He seemed to revel in being booed, as it was very obvious that he wished to antagonize that group as part of a ploy to gain white supremacist support.

Romney went into that meeting knowing that many evangelical Christians and conservatives really do not like him, and are suspicious of his Mormon beliefs. So the answer was to show them how unpopular he was among African Americans, so as to make them realize that they have no choice but to support him, as with his Mormon faith,which did not allow blacks in the church before an epiphany by the Church leadership in 1978, he might not be all that bad for them, and certainly better than a mixed race President named Barack Obama.

Romney has demonstrated once again, but more nakedly than before, that he has no scruples, ethics, or morals, and will sell his soul to become President!

He also has made it clear by his pandering and cynicism that he is out to take any possibility of hope of a better life for African Americans and other minorities away from them, as he is simply a very wealthy man who could not care less about the plight of people who are poor or struggling, and not even just minorities, but also whites, who are down and out in the present economic recession!

Mitt Romney may have been born in the Midwest, and served in government in the Northeast, but he has shown that the old Southern strategy pursued regularly in the Republican Party since Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 is still alive and well in 2012, a strategy that appealed to white supremacists and very religious conservative voters who were drawn to the party by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, starting in the late 1970s.

If Mitt Romney had any ethics, he would be totally ashamed of himself, but he is not ashamed, and that is ultimately the problem–that he has no conscience, but only a mad obsession with becoming President without any sincerity, and with no principles at all, except self aggrandizement!

A Very Scary Thought: Rise Of The Teavangelicals In The Republican Party!

The Republican Party has been plagued since the late 1970s by the influence of the evangelical Christian RIght, originally led by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, as the Moral Majority.

Then along came the Tea Party Movement in 2009 as an opposition to any cooperation with President Barack Obama on the economic crisis facing the nation after the meltdown on Wall Street in 2008.

Now the two right wing movements are combining together to take America back to the past, and has elements of religious extremism, nativism, racism, anti Semitism, joined together with promotion of Grover Norquist and his supporters who want no increase in taxes, tax cuts to the top two percent, no regulation of corporations, and the promotion of a theocracy in America, along with a libertarian bent along the lines of Ron Paul and Rand Paul.

This is modern day Fascism in America, a threat to progress and tolerance in America, as the goal is to restore a past that was far from wonderful, but has been romanticized as glorious!

Progressive forces must resist and fight the right wing, as they are a threat to the changing America which is, inevitably, coming on–a multicultural America, in which the white majority will be a minority by the 2040s!

Michelle Obama And Mitt Romney Give Commencement Addresses: The Massive Difference!

May is the season for commencement addresses at colleges and universities, and famous people, often political types, are recruited as a symbol of stature for those colleges and universities.

Today, Michelle Obama, the First Lady, gave the commencement address at Virginia Tech, the university which suffered through the worst murder rampage in the history of higher education, five years ago, with 32 students and faculty murdered.

Now, five years later, Mrs. Obama visited, and applauded the students who came to Virginia Tech since the massacre, and told them to be proud of their university, and how the school should never forget what happened, but continue to promote higher education and advancement as the best way to commemorate the tragedy. Her presence was inspiring to all who attended, a positive step to overcome hate and violence.

Tomorrow, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University in Virginia, the school founded by television evangelist Jerry Falwell, and now operated by his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr.

It would be great to say that Liberty University keeps the tradition of its name, and is an open minded, tolerant place, but it was not under Jerry Falwell, and is no more so under Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Instead, it promotes censorship, including the banning of a student Democratic Party organization on campus.

The school will not accept or keep students in residence who are declared homosexuals, and just as the father preached, the son and his school preaches that being gay is a guarantee of entrance into hell as a sinner.

The school also is vehemently anti abortion, and preaches strict sexual morality, and treats women as second class citizens, attacking, as Jerry Falwell did, the whole feminist movement, and the promotion of equal rights for women.

This is a propagandistic, narrow minded university, a disgrace to the concept of a liberal arts education, and instead promotes an intolerant view of Christianity, no change since the first Jerry Falwell riled many people with his prejudices, and hate filled sermons!

The question is WHY Mitt Romney would give ANY dignity to a university which is a mockery of the purpose of higher education!

Does he not realize that this bigoted university dislikes the Mormon beliefs that he so zealously advocates?

Does he not know that this university gets federal funding despite its violations of the Bill of Rights, including freedom of speech and press, banning free discussion and debate?

What kind of message does Mitt Romney think he is sending? Can he not understand that his presence at this university, which can only add status and stature to this so called place of higher learning, makes his public image among independents, women, minorities, and intelligent young people, look all the worse?

What is it about Mitt Romney that he cannot understand that his actions and words do matter, and that he is sowing defeat by his refusal to abandon the hateful right wing wingnuts in his party?

Mitt Romney is an embarrassment to himself, to his party, to his nation, and to decent human behavior!

Earth Day, The Environment, And Republicans From TR And Nixon To James Inhofe And Mitt Romney!

The Republican Party under Theodore Roosevelt a century ago promoted conservation and growth of national parks.

The Republican Party under Richard Nixon promoted the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and expanded on the air and water pollution legislation of Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Republican Party under Ronald Reagan, despite his wish to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency, and having a terrible record on the environment, possibly the worst of modern times, actually came to realize the dangers of global warming, which became part of the national security agenda in 1985 and after.

The Republican Party under George H. W. Bush, and then Democrat Bill Clinton, continued to deal with the issue of global warming.

It seems clear that once Al Gore, an environmental champion before, during, and after serving as Vice President under Bill Clinton, lost the Presidential Election of 2000 in the Supreme Court, it became the clarion call of those who would deny global warming and climate change, to push against any such crusade, and to condemn environmentalists on principle, much of it based on fake science promoted by right wing Evangelical Christians, with their leading champion being Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, but certainly joined by others in the Republican Party in both houses of Congress.

So we have even Mitt Romney now straddling the fence, refusing to take a strong stand on the environment, global warming, and climate change, and about to give a commencement speech next month at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia, where denial of environmental crisis, and even of evolution, runs rampant.

Look how far the GOP has fallen from the time of TR and Nixon to the present–a true national tragedy playing itself out, and certain to have a negative impact on the future of this country and the planet!

What Is Wrong With Mitt Romney? The Bethel Bakery And Liberty University Commencement Speech Controversies

What is it about Mitt Romney?

Romney has absolutely no sense of propriety, of what is right to do for his own candidacy!

Romney was in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area the other day, trying to relate to “ordinary people” at a gathering, sitting down at a table to have a snack of cookies, provided by a local bakery of reputation, the Bethel Bakery.

So what does he do? He questions whether the cookies are really made by a local bakery, thinking they are from the local 7 11, and thereby insulting the owner of Bethel Bakery, and making the incident yet another embarrassment, and slip up on the part of Romney, who has had so many, it is easy now to lose count! A basic rule of civility is to NEVER criticize food provided by a host!

Heads have to be shaking and eyes rolling over Romney’s ability to self destruct. YES, we are all human and make mistakes, but if Romney can make this many on silly, stupid things, imagine him making decisions on important matters!

Then, to top it off, it was announced that Romney will give the commencement address to the graduating class at Liberty University in Virginia, operated by the son and heir of the dead Christian TV evangelist, Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition.

Liberty University, now run by Jerry Falwell, Jr, is infamous for condemning homosexuality, and banning any known gay students or faculty. It is also where Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia wrote a masters thesis, condemning “cohabitors, homosexuals, and fornicators”, and also attacked feminists, working women, and contraception by unmarried couples. He also condemned unwed mothers, no fault divorce, the New Deal, the Great Society, and he called for punishment for pornography, homosexuality and drug abuse by the state! This is the man who is Governor of Virginia, and a front runner for Vice Presidential nominee with Mitt Romney!

This is the university that Mitt Romney has agreed to speak before its graduating class! The question is WHY, as this only contributes to putting Romney “in bed” with the extreme right wing Christian conservative fanatics who promote hate and prejudice! Is this the way that Romney wishes to look to the average independent voter, to the average woman, to the average Hispanic or Latino, and YES, to gay men and women, a substantial number who are registered Republican? Is this his way to overcome his Mormon faith, which many right wing conservatives think of as a cult?

What is wrong with Mitt Romney’s head, his thinking pattern, his wife even (who could convince him of the stupidity of doing a commencement speech for the Jerry Falwell school)?

This is why Mitt Romney is going to be a total disaster for the Republican Party in 2012. He makes one long for John McCain in 2008, Bob Dole in 1996, and get this, even George W. Bush in 2000, with his vision of a “Compassionate Conservatism”, before the disaster of the Bush Presidency had a chance to emerge over the next eight years!

Rick Santorum And Barry Goldwater Would NOT Be Friends!

Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was the MOST right wing nominee for President we have ever had, and lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

Barry Goldwater was an economic conservative, who was against the New Deal, wishing Robert Taft, the earlier conservative Republican leader, had become President, because he wished to repeal the New Deal, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower institutionalized the New Deal as the first Republican President since Herbert Hoover. Goldwater wished to make Social Security voluntary, rather than required as part of the tax collection, which it had been for a quarter century.

Barry Goldwater was also a foreign policy conservative, who believed in ultimate confrontation with the Soviet Union and any foreign enemy, including potential use of nuclear weapons.

Barry Goldwater appealed to states rights advocates, and although supportive of the broad concept of civil rights for African Americans, he criticized the civil rights movement and its leaders, and accepted the backing of Southern segregationists.

BUT with all of his faults, one thing Barry Goldwater was NOT–a social conservative a la former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Barry Goldwater was NOT a believer in the role of religion in government, and was a major critic in later years of the Christian Coalition, and the Moral Majority, led by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and other evangelical Christian ministers.

Barry Goldwater never believed it was the business of government to interfere in private life of individuals and their families, so did not support the Pro Life Movement against abortion rights for women.

Barry Goldwater never believed it was anyone’s business to condemn or vilify people because of their sexual orientation, and so supported the rights of gay men and women.

Barry Goldwater believed that all Americans should be allowed to serve in the military, so was against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” interfering with the right of gay men and women to serve our nation, asserting that he did not care what one’s sexual orientation was, as long as he or she could “shoot straight!”

Barry Goldwater would have been mortified to see a candidate who condemned sexual relations except for procreation purposes, and to observe a candidate speak out against the use of contraception by couples for their family planning and the health and welfare of women.

It is clear that were Barry Goldwater alive and active today, he would repudiate Rick Santorum as a social totalitarian, an extremist, a dangerous man to give power to, as there is nothing worse than a “Puritan” trying to promote morality by force!

Conclusion: Barry Goldwater and Rick Santorum would NOT be friends!

Barry Goldwater came across as whacky, extreme, untrustworthy to be our President, and he often “shot from the lip”, getting himself into major troubles that could be exploited by Democrats and President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. IF Rick Santorum ends up as the GOP nominee in 2012, the same weaknesses will get him in major troubles that could be exploited by the Democrats and President Barack Obama!

The Totalitarian Rick Santorum: Barry Goldwater Would Have Opposed Him Vehemently!

48 years ago, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona led the Republican Party to total disaster in the Presidential Election of 1964. He was seen as dangerous in foreign policy, and wishing to wipe out the New Deal of FDR. And he had a tendency to have a loose mouth!

But if Barry Goldwater was alive today and involved in following the political scene, he would be vehemently against former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum without any doubt. The question is why would this be so?

The answer is that Barry Goldwater throughout his life was a libertarian, who believed that people’s PRIVATE lives were just that, private! He would be opposed to any interference in the social issues that the Republican Party is so wedded to in today’s political environment.

He made it clear over time in his later years that he was opposed to the Religious Right, the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, led by preachers such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. He believed in total separation of church and state, and believed it was not the business of politicians to get involved in religious causes and promotion.

Goldwater declared his opposition to the so called Pro Life movement, believing in the right of women to control their own bodies, and therefore, to abortion rights.

Goldwater would have been shocked to have politicians wish to outlaw contraception, therefore effectively promoting poor people having children they could not afford, and which would impoverish them further.

Goldwater believed also in gay rights, and in no discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military, stating that in a foxhole, no one would care about another’s sexual orientation, as long as one could shoot straight!

Goldwater would be stunned at the support that Rick Santorum received in last night’s primary in Missouri, and caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado. He would condemn the totalitarian mind of Santorum, who complains about government interfering in any form in economic regulation, but has no problem in interference in social regulation!

Santorum has a wife who adores him, and gave up her profession of law to produce eight children for him. She looks at him as if he is perfect, a god like figure, in itself a sickening display! That may be fine for Rick and his wife, if she chooses to be like a 1950s “Ozzie and Harriet” or “Father Knows Best” wife. But it is NOT what a vast majority of women in America are going to allow in their lives, that the men order them around and control their very existence!

And gay Americans are not going to allow a hate monger, religious zealot like Rick Santorum to control who they love or marry, or any other aspect of their lives!

The candidacy of Rick Santorum will NOT be accepted by the nation at large, and if the GOP is smart, they will stop him as a danger to basic human rights and freedom, with his totalitarian ideas!