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America TodayKenneth G. Ramey Salem-News.com
Between media, politics and religion, the place is getting hard to recognize...
(PASO ROBLES, CA) - In the state of Washington, a woman who lived in a million dollar mansion overlooking Lake Washington received welfare at the same time.
In Michigan a 24-year old woman who won a million dollars in a lottery continued to receive $200.00 a month in food stamps because, she said, she had no job and had bills to pay; she owns two houses and drives a new car.
Hardly a day goes by than we read of another killing and wounding of family members, or others by shooting. In fact in some states it is legal for anyone to carry a gun, as in Arizona where a year ago a deranged man killed many including a judge and a child, and seriously wounded a woman Congressional Representative. Her condition is questionable, the situation reminiscent of the wild west of yesteryear. But Republicans remind us that “people kill, not guns.”
Political Parties have always had periodicals favoring one faction or the other, but now Rush Limbaugh’s three hour rants against anything to the left of the very Far Right, has taken on women’s rights by attacking a law student who attends Georgetown University in Washington D.C., a Jesuit school. Because Ms. Fluke was not permitted to give testimony to a Panel of Republicans - all men and one woman - she was invited to testify before a Democratic Panel.
Rush Limbaugh was so deliberate in his insults of this innocent and well meaning woman, that he succeeded in suffering a backlash that soon will not be forgotten; for it has turned into a virtual war against him for what he did to the gentler sex which has resulted in them getting their backs up against Russ and the GOP. So far Rush has lost more than thirty of his sponsors and legislation against men has been introduced in Governments.
The GOP has become, as they say, the Party of God, which has as its Vatican the Evangelical Holy See that calls the shots, one of which is that no Republican shall speak ill of Rush Limbaugh. The Truth of what I say resides in the fact that except Ron Paul, no Republican has stepped out of line, as is true of the other the candidates who lack the gumption to denounce Rush openly because, it appears, they have received word from above that if they do, they will not be the Party’s Nominee. Have you noticed how, with very few exceptions, Republicans always vote as a block, or that virtually all Republican members of Congress have signed the Grover Norquist Pledge never to raise taxes? Who’s in charge here, anyway?
The Republican Holy See exerts its power both ways; certain individuals, such as Rush Limbaugh, is a mouthpiece that has been given free rein, and Grover Norquist is another who, I believe does as he is told to lend power to the Holy See’s objective to regain the Presidency and reduce Americans slowly but surely to obedience to its will.
The Holy See is what it is because it is the guiding light of Evangelism to which all Evangelists and members of mega sub-churches adhere. Rev. Parsley of Cincinnati fame preached during the Bush Administrations that it was God’s (Jesus’) will that American Christians destroy Islam, and America went to war against Iraq, preemptively. Ron Paul may be correct about Iran, and I encourage President Obama not to cave in to the Israeli desire to drag us into another war against an Islamic Nation bordered by both Iraq and Afghanistan. Islamic émigrés to our shores who insist on living as they did in their homeland, is the greater threat to America’s way of life, and should not be allowed to use Islamic law to kill first or second generation girls adjusting to their new lives in America which is supposed to be a melting pot.
The seed of the Evangelical Movement in America is the Puritan sect of old which is seldom mentioned today. Protestants won their war against Catholicism in the 18th Century, the same century in which Pilgrims and Puritans killed their last witch in America, and that our Declaration of Independence was declared, soon to be followed by the writing of the Constitution which separated Church from State as they should be. But Evangelists have added their own dimension to the concept and renounce what was written as being contrary to the intentions of the Founders. Pure nonsense of course, except to those who believe what they are told is true, the people who form the base of the Republican Party.
Jews, Christians and Moslems all profess to worship the same God, but it is not easy to discern how. Wars have been fought and millions killed in the name of religion, especially between Christian and Islamic religions, but also between factions within each religion. It is estimated that in the struggle for religious freedom between Protestants and Roman Catholics, ten million persons died horrible deaths over a period of three centuries - the 15th into the 18th. And who can ignore the Holocaust which killed millions of Jews in Christian Germany’s Final Solution.
The seed for the Evangelical Holy See of the Republican Party are Puritans who, along with the Pilgrims, believed in witches and killed the last of theirs in 1720 here in America. The practice was a holdover from the example in Europe - which killed its last witch fifty years later - and that the Catholic Inquisitions used extensively, copied by Protestants of Calvinist and Lutheran persuasion. Pilgrims immigrated from Rotterdam, a Lutheran country and landed near Plymouth rock in 1621. They were joined in their colony later by Puritans of the Calvinist faith. Pilgrims became the seed for the Congregational church in America, and the Puritans, being devout and of fundamentalist belief in the Bible and Jesus as Christ, became the seed for the Evangelical Movement.
Puritans realized the value of government, and worked their way up in a variety of Protestant hierarchies where eventually they controlled them. Organization and an insistent belief in Jesus as Christ, with all that pertains to such belief seems naturally to have elevated them to the level of Holy See of the Republican Party of God; namely, Jesus Christ. They do not waver from what they perceive as Gospel and seem determined someday to rule the world with their religious concept.
I believe Israel understands this better than do we Americans and would be delighted if President Obama and the Democratic Party was defeated in November, because Israel would then have better luck getting the War Hawks of a Republican Administration to make a pre-emptive strike against Iran. I am convinced that by re-electing Barack Obama to a second term such an error can be avoided, at least for the time being, for the good of America.
The campaign for a Republican nominee to challenge President Obama in November has revealed another instance where religion intrudes upon our American values. In the early stage of the Republican campaign you may recall that the Evangelist Rev. Jeffrees of Dallas fame pronounced that Mitt Romney lacked sufficient Christian righteousness to be considered for the presidency because he was a member of the Mormon “cult.” For that reason, the Rev. chose to embrace Rick Perry as his candidate, but Rick let him down. After further reduction of candidates, four remain: Gingrich, Romney. Santorum and Paul.
Ron Paul is the most reasonable of them, but he can never win the nomination. His plan is to collect sufficient delegates to permit him to play a part during the Republican Convention.
Gingrich has recently embraced his third wife’s Catholic religion which he’s tried to use to obtain support from the Evangelicals. It hasn’t work so far, but may in Southern States; so he persists.
Rich Santorum is a dyed in the wool Catholic who appeals to that contingent of his Party, but who acts too much as a priest. If he can stop Mitt Romney, I believe the Holy See would back him as its Nominee. For he should be the easiest for the Holy See to manipulate.
Mitt Romney. in an off the cuff remark, implied that God (he means Jesus) favored him in some way, to which Mr. Santorum responded that, if Mitt wants to talk about God, let’s get on with it - or words to that effect. He believes in God’s will, too. That could pit two Catholics, Newt and Santorum, against one Mormon to determine God’s true meaning, an impossibility, in my opinion. No man, including those of faith, can speak for God whose manner is inscrutable and impossible to interpret. God is what we are taught to believe is true, but no man is the true voice of God. Evangelists attribute Natural Disasters to the will of Jesus based on what they have decided is what they prefer to believe. It is they who want to bend our will to theirs for the power it gives them. I don’t see how such a contest could benefit the GOP. However, Roman Catholics beware!
Finally, the number of anti-American militias operating in the states now exceed 1200, four times greater than previously thought. They refer to themselves as Sovereign Citizens who are not subject to our laws, and who consider themselves beyond U.S. control. I cannot help wonder if they are affiliated with the GOP and are of the Puritan point of view.
Kenneth G. Ramey, Salem-News.com's Religion and Philosophy Writer, confronts the hard issues of politics and religion from a logical point of view that combines interesting insight with history into the truth, or lack thereof, that underlies the strengths and weaknesses of the Religious Right’s determination to use American politics for its own misguided, or selfish, interest. It’s rare for a writer to balance his writing between religious values and the secular guarantees of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with the knowledge that Ken possesses, and to do it so effectively.
Ken was born in Minnesota but was raised in California since 1932. He is the youngest of four boys raised by his mother alone during the dark years of the Great Depression. He Graduated from SFSU in the 1970s when in his mid-forties, majoring in Spanish North American History, and added three years of post-graduate study, much of it in Philosophy and Religion. We live at a critical time in history and believe Ken's views represent the view of many who are tired of the commercialism and false interpretations about religion today. Watch for Ken's articles on religion, philosophy, politics and history. View articles written by Kenneth G. Ramey You can email Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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