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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Onward Christian Soldier: Which Way America?

I was reading one of Nelle's recent entries about her alma mater, Keene State College, and some recent information about racist leanings of at least a portion of the student body. I responded to her along the lines that I believe that the mood in this country mirrors the fascist and racist sentiments of pre-Hitler Germany.

As I meandered through the net later in the morning, I stumbled across a New York Times article on this very subject. Not wanting to pay their ridiculous price for the article, I simply searched Fritz Stern and found this wonderul resource:

From World News Daily Information Clearing House

Warning From a Student of Democracy's Collapse
By Chris Hedges

01/06/05 "New York Times"

FRITZ STERN, a refugee from Hitler's Germany and a leading scholar of European history, startled several of his listeners when he warned in a speech about the danger posed in this country by the rise of the Christian right. In his address in November, just after he received a prize presented by the German foreign minister, he told his audience that Hitler saw himself as "the instrument of providence" and fused his "racial dogma with a Germanic Christianity."

"Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics," he said of prewar Germany, "but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured [Hitler's] success, notably in Protestant areas."

...He stops short of calling the Christian right fascist but his decision to draw parallels, especially in the uses of propaganda, was controversial.

"When I saw the speech my eyes lit up," said John R. MacArthur, whose book "Second Front" examines wartime propaganda. "The comparison between the propagandistic manipulation and uses of Christianity, then and now, is hidden in plain sight. No one will talk about it. No one wants to look at it."

He warns of the danger in an open society of "mass manipulation of public opinion, often mixed with mendacity and forms of intimidation." He is a passionate defender of liberalism as "manifested in the spirit of the Enlightenment and the early years of the American republic..."

"The radical right and the radical left see liberalism's appeal to reason and tolerance as the denial of their uniform ideology," he said. "Every democracy needs a liberal fundament, a Bill of Rights enshrined in law and spirit, for this alone gives democracy the chance for self-correction and reform. Without it, the survival of democracy is at risk. Every genuine conservative knows this."
[All emphasis mine].

I then crawled on over to the Revealer where I found this:

Notes from the War Room

05 April 2006
A historian of Christian martyrdom attends a Christian Right strategy session in the "War on Christians.”
By Elizabeth A. Castelli

A ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., was the setting last week for a conference called “The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006,” sponsored by Vision America, an organization committed to the project of “restoring the original American vision.” As Vision America’s president, Rick Scarborough, put it in his welcome letter to participants, “The goal of this conference is to contribute to a genuine revival of the Christian faith in America and to advance a proper understanding of the role of the church in American life.” There to help 400 Christian conservative activists achieve this understanding was Tom DeLay along with fellow Texan Senator John Cornyn and a stageful of conservative Christian powerbrokers, among them Rod Parsley, Phyllis Schafly, and Gary Bauer. Senator Sam Brownback was scheduled to speak but couldn’t make it, forcing former presidential candidate Alan Keyes to fill his time.

Several interlocking narratives and rhetorics are at work in the Vision America program. One critical piece of the puzzle is a traditionalist, triumphalist historical narrative in which the United States was given to Christians by God to establish a providential nation based on biblical precepts. (No apologies -- nor even passing reference -- to the land’s prior occupants.) Founded as a city upon a hill (the oft-repeated image deriving from John Winthrop’s 1630 shipboard speech to the English colonists he was bringing to the new world) and as a refuge for puritans escaping religious persecution, “America was not an accident,” as one speaker at the conference put it.

...these contemporary conservative Christians cast themselves as the rightful heirs to abolitionism (and the women’s suffrage movement and the civil rights movement and so on). The story passes silently over the closing years of the 19th century and opening years of the 20th -- years when American empire was, some would argue, coming into its own -- and moves quickly instead into World War II (“when the New World rose up to save the Old,” as one conference speaker put it), the Cold War, and America’s inevitable contemporary global role, “thrust upon it by history and providence.” The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution? Christian documents. The destiny of America? To be a Christian nation in possession of -- possessed by? -- a special, divine commission. It is, as we learn, a military commission: “God has,” as one speaker at the conference put it, “given us our marching orders.”
[Emphasis mine].

Later on in my search I found the REAL Christians. The people who wish to lead Christ-like lives:

The Pentecostals are Building a Covenant for a New America.

The conference will also serve as the launch of a new initiative, the “Covenant for a New America,” a solutions-based agenda for overcoming poverty that transcends ideology. The covenant is based on common-sense ways to end poverty, such as promoting a living family income for all who work, rebuilding neighborhoods and communities, strengthening families and renewing culture, and supporting the Millennium Development Goals to end global poverty.

Building this covenant and the movement to overcome poverty will happen because of people such as you, who care enough to put your faith into action. We hope to see you at the conference.

OK. So perhaps they aren't including me in strengthening families. But they aren't spewing hate and divisiveness either.

I am not old enough to remember World War II per se. But I do remember its effects on my family and on my world. There was no question of what Hitler and the Germans did to the Jewish population of Europe. And I am doubly aware because my maternal grandfather was a young German Nazi sympathizer who believed that Hitler would build a new Germany.

He left Germany before the war to pursue his educational dreams in the United States. He once said to me that early on, no one believed the stories of the death camps because it was simply too outrageous and horrific to imagine.

Later, he preached louder and longer than anyone else I knew about the inherent dangers of that sort of dogmatic thinking.

My legacy is to stand for what I know is right. My country was built on the separation of Church and State for very clear and specific reasons. It terrifies me to see us headed down that road. And lest we forget. It wasn't only Jews who went to the death camps. There were homosexuals, catholics, and political dissidents.

I don't know about you. But when I lay my head on my pillow tonight, I won't rest easy.


Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

They will not succeed. They are at most 25% of this country, and their fearless leader has fallen flat on his nose.

They certainly are scary, and they make us crazy, but we will stand in their way, and moderate Americans will see the extremism in their outlook.

America by and large is a moderate country. As they see the true colours of the extreme right play out, they are not happy. I suspect the House will be Democratic this fall, and while not an end, it is a beginning.

Nice postings Pam,and thank you. May we never be silent.

6:10 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Yes. May we never be silent. I hope that the more moderate elements in the population think about the principles upon which this democracy was founded and reflect that in their votes.

6:18 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Scarborough of Vision America in Lufkin is an absolute idiot, a hompophobe, moron, and fake Christian.

He scares me and he is spreading hate all over the United States.

Stay out of our lives Mr. Scarbourough grow a few more cows on your Nacanowhere farm, churn your own milk and get that Guyana Punch recipe ready for all of you followers to gulp down in the middle of a high hair revival.
Leave my ass alone sir, pretty please.

Maybe the Lesbian Trailer Trash and I could join forces and form a Militia? Lets take back America from the oppressed uber right wing Christians!


2:52 PM PDT  

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