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Semantic Confusion: “The Religious Right” Allies or Antagonists?

October 27, 2009
babel2

“What You Said Ain’t What They Heard”

I have noticed lately a serious impediment to any real communication across political lines.  It is something that can affect anyone writing or speaking about politics in America today.  The problem lies in the term “Religious Right”.

On the one hand Conservative Christians do not seem to understand that non-Christians, many just as conservative see the term as a negative if not a pejorative.  But on the other hand non-Christians, Moderates, Liberals and Leftists do not seem to “get it” that many sane, un-hypocritical Conservative Christians define themselves with that same term.

It seems that when used by the middle/left the term virtually NEVER seems to mean anything BUT a classic, Right-wing “I’m right because the Bible says so, you can’t be moral without Jesus, this is a Christian Nation and non-Christians should not be allowed to influence schools and government” hypocrite-in-Christian’s-clothing.

To say that this confusion impedes communication, compassion and compromise would be an understatement of monumental proportions.

Because of this confusion we recently saw Chris Mathews of MSNBC using the term in one way and offending NRB Columnist Paul Cooper who uses it in another.  Paul responded by light of his definition which caused me to misunderstand and I started to type a flaming reply.  Then I found out what Paul really meant by it: “those to the Right of middle who are Christian”.

The end result was that we barely missed getting in an argument over nothing.  Both of us would have felt attacked by and embittered toward someone who should be an ally on the subject.

This problem in definitions needs to be resolved in order for NewsReal Blog to have any chance of changing partisans into partners on issues that affect all of us.

The last few days I have been asking everyone I can who THEY think of when they hear the term “Religious Right”.

Overwhelmingly those that did not self describe as Conservative Christians seem to believe the term to mean “the folks who believe being Christian gives them a preferred political status and the right to impose an overtly Christian character on civil society”.

Not one person I talked to that described themselves as moderate or liberal (regardless of their religion) saw the term as referring to any other group.  ONLY the Conservative Christians I spoke with felt that it meant the “Right side of the spectrum of all religious Christians in the U.S.”

It is pretty clear that this confusion cannot be allowed to go on.  As a start I propose a poll. Not a “vote” for one definition by majority rule but simply a poll to make us aware of Whom thinks What means Which.

I self identify as:

a)      Non-religious (Atheist, Agnostic, Don’t Care)

b)      A Nominal Christian

c)       A Devout Christian (Liberal Politics)

d)      A Devout Christian (Conservative Politics)

e)      Jewish (Conservative politics)

f)       Jewish (Liberal politics)

g)      A Conservative Christian or Jewish far to the Right of the ones the public calls conservative. (“They call me Nut-case but Jesus/G*d will bless me for it”)

h)      A Nominal Muslim

i)        A Devout Muslim

j)        A Devout Muslim (“They call me Terrorist but Allah will bless me for it!”)

To me “Religious Right” means:

A)     Conservative Religious persons; i.e. devout religious people of any faith that fall to the Right of Middle in politics

B)      Religious hypocrites that believe the “unquestionable Truth” of their religion gives them a preferred position in the political process. (This description fits not only Christian chauvinists but also Islamic Supremacists etc.)

C)      Conservative Christians who use their religion as a guide in life. Including politics.

D)     Same as B but limited to Christians

E)      Something Else

The information this poll provides may well prove very valuable but we still need to agree on what the term means here at NewsRealblog.

I feel that being understood accurately by the largest number of people is more important than being clear only to compatriots. I cannot see that preaching to the choir is very productive. Therefore I propose this array of definitions:

For (A) I think the term “Religious Conservative” would be less likely to be misunderstood.

The subset of people described by (B) can be called “Religious Radicals” or “Theocrats”.

For (C) I can see no reason not to simply use “Christian Conservative” since it is clear and self-explanatory.

I suggest we try to refer to (D) as “The Religious Right”.

Being clear with these terms may not solve all our differences but it will certainly not hurt our efforts to resolve them.

Human Language is the Beating of Broken Rhythms On a Pot With a Spoon While We Long to Make Music to Stir the Gods

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73 Comments
  1. MaryAnn permalink
    October 27, 2009 8:42 am

    Good idea.
    I self identify as d:a devout (Catholic) Christian with conservative politics.
    To me, “Religious Right” means conservative religious persons of any faith that fall to the right of middle in politics. Although I would add, who also use their faith as a guide in life.

  2. Mark J. Koenig permalink
    October 27, 2009 9:26 am

    This is a discussion we need to have here at Newsreal. I would agree with Guy that his (D) definition of “Religious Right” is the one we should standardize on, as it’s the way in which most of our enemies on the left seem to understand the term. (Although many of them apply the term only to Christians, and assume that virtually ALL Christians who have beliefs to the right of the political center are theocrats).

    If we’re in the business of making precise political arguments, we need to agree on what our terms mean. It’s analogous to the “leftist” vs. “liberal” debate which many on which many on this blog, including Horowitz, have weighed in. I still think those terms are being employed sloppily in many cases, so I’d argue that’s another area in which we should standardize our terminology.

  3. October 27, 2009 9:27 am

    MaryAnn, does this help explain funny looks you might have received by people who are not in your demographic?

    I agree that you have a reaspon to use that term. But can you see that that majority of Americans seem to use a vastly differnt one? One that you do NOT want to be identified with?

    It seems to me that Conservative Christian is the best and safest term for someone of your convictions to use. Otherwise you run the risk of alienating yourself from people that should listen to you.

  4. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 27, 2009 10:10 am

    Any hyphenated descriptors (religious-right, African-American) are aimed at division, as in divide and conquer. The intent of such division is to ensure that conservative atheists not vote for the same party for which a conservative Christian might vote. I mean how could the enlightened side align with the unenlightened? (I leave it to readers to choose which side of the debate is the enlightened side.) What particularly irks me about this attempt at definition is that it is so clearly one sided. This self-declared mission to define religious-right without at the same time trying to define religious-left or communist-progressive simply shows that the right has bought into the left’s nomenclature hook line and stinker. I would take this opportunity to point out that this buy-in is antithetical to what this blog takes as its mandate, which is the adjudication of a leftist media and not to fall prey to its babble. Politics is never aided by myopia, and this is just that myopia. This is especially so given the left’s recent history of crawling into bed with Islamo-fascists. Does anyone reading this think that the left even gives a moment’s thought to this sort of silly handwringing? Please, give me a break!

    • October 27, 2009 11:47 am

      Whoa there! You are all off in a lather and are not even paying attention to what I said.

      First your initial premise is correct:

      “Any hyphenated descriptors (religious-right, African-American) are aimed at division, as in divide and conquer. The intent of such division is to ensure that conservative atheists not vote for the same party for which a conservative Christian might vote. I mean how could the enlightened side align with the unenlightened?”

      What you seem to miss is that BOTH extremes in this use the SAME TACTIC.

      The intent when used BY the Right is to make sure that Conservative Christians do not vote for the atheist candidate.

      The “enlightened” side is ALWAYS the side of the speaker when partisans are involved.

      I am puzzled by this bit too:

      “What particularly irks me about this attempt at definition is that it is so clearly one sided.”

      I made it clear that this came up as a result of a SPECIFIC incident involving the term “religious Right”.

      Frankly I have never heard “The Religious Left” used in a political context. Why should I feel it necessary to drag that term into a discussion of actual usage?

      “This self-declared mission to define religious-right..”

      Clarifying which terms to use for what group is hardly telling anyone what they believe. I am looking at what they believe and trying to use the most accurate term I can. Sorry If I do not pass your partisan litmus test.

      “without at the same time trying to define religious-left or communist-progressive simply shows that the right has bought into the left’s nomenclature hook line and stinker.”

      Now you are a PC enforcer? I am not allowed to speak of any religious subset in politics without speaking of all religious groups?

      ” I would take this opportunity to point out that this buy-in is antithetical to what this blog takes as its mandate, which is the adjudication of a leftist media and not to fall prey to its babble.”

      If your audience misunderstands your terms then you are not being effective no matter what your message. This is rocket science?

      “Politics is never aided by myopia, and this is just that myopia. This is especially so given the left’s recent history of crawling into bed with Islamo-fascists. Does anyone reading this think that the left even gives a moment’s thought to this sort of silly handwringing? Please, give me a break!”

      All you say just makes it even more important for the Moderates and Conservatives to hammer their points using consistent language that does not contain inherent misconceptions to the general public.

      I suppose if you were an Agnostic writing in the 1700’s you would be ticked off at having to use terms in the ways the Christian raised society understood them.

      In fact the writers of that persuasion became adept at using Biblical language to get their points across.

  5. Geofizz permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:07 am

    Great article! Myself, I self-identify with non-religious (an agnostic Christian, specifically, who respects the moral framework that religion brings to society). While I acknowledge that the term “Religious Right” is ambiguous and open to interpretation, I tend to associate it with DeWhitney’s “D).”

    I would go further and say that I see the Religious Right as being the fringe of the right. And just as the leftwing fringe possess a complete lack of open-mindedness or tolerance for other beliefs outside of their own (within the context of their own perceived moral superiority), so too do the rightwing fringe, aka “Religious Right.” The sense of moral superiority possessed by both fringe elements results in a predictable human behavior: imposing one’s own values on others. It is this concept which runs counter to the philosophy of our founding fathers, many of whom were Classical Liberals. The whole point of our form of government is to have a tolerant society that allows everybody the freedom to believe as they wish, within the confines of established laws (where justice is equal for all).

    I hope clarification of semantics such as this helps conservatives to focus on the basics. We need to get past these divisive elements and instead return to our roots: Classical Liberalism.

    • October 27, 2009 11:50 am

      BINGO!
      GeoFizz hits nothing but net!

      • betty boop permalink
        October 28, 2009 6:31 pm

        Yes! My point exactly. I have written to D.Swindle on this subject and I stand by my previous thoughts. I am sick of the nuts always taking over the whole damned cookie. (Sorry). But it does seem zealots overtake every reasonable cause, leaving the whole group open to parody and abuse. The American Constitution and our singularly proud and determined history are too important to risk fracture because part of the “right thinking people” group wants to turn every question into an excuse to argue religious dogma.

        • October 28, 2009 8:50 pm

          I am sick of the nuts always taking over the whole damned cookie.

          Fantastic!

    • Kenneth Hall permalink
      October 28, 2009 8:34 pm

      Let me ask a question concerning imposing values or beliefs on society!

      You said many of the founding fathers were liberals!

      Who?
      Which of them believed in voting to pass out money?
      Take from the rich and give to the poor?
      Entitlements?
      Welfare, Abortion, Gay Marriage, or any of the Liberal platforms of the 20th Century?

      If many were liberals, what were the majority of the founders?
      John Adams, George Washington, and such?
      Did you know in most states you had to be endorsed by your church to get on the ballet?

      SO why do we say they were liberals by who’s definition of Liberal?

      Do you think any of them would be labeled anything but Extreme Right and a domestic terrorist today?

      Let me ask this what religion was the basis for their belief that all men were created equal?
      That all men were endowed by their creator with a freewill not subject to opinions of other men?
      That all men must answer to God for the lives they live and thus must be free to follow their own conscience to the extent that they DO NOT PREVENT OTHERS FROM DOING THE SAME?
      Wasn’t it Christianity?
      Is that the foundation of Islam?
      Budism? Hinduism? Etc?
      Does Christianity permit men to force others to believe?
      Give me scriptures and verses!
      Does it permit us to kill the infidel or grant us privilege to belittle or take advantage of anyone who isn’t part of our sect or Christianity at large?

      On the contrary it restrains us to the use persuasion, inspiration, and example to convict men of the truths of God!
      To serve men by acting as He would in all occasions for the best interest of men and society as a whole!
      Not to usurp power or authority over men and to use force, fear, intimidation, manipulation, or the barrel of a gun!
      The problem is to many people describe a strong persuasive argument, or peer pressure as Imposing your values on others!

      But don’t worry your about to get a real education in IMPOSING YOUR BELIEFS ON OTHERS from the LIBERALS!

      Those are the methods of those who claim to be tolerant and liberal as we are beginning to see very clearly now!

      Those who have disdain for Christianity, absolute truth, or anything that would make them feel uncomfortable or convict them of sin!

      With out freedom from sin, (Selfishness) there can be no freedom in the end.
      If you can’t control your lusts and desires how can you keep from hurting others around you?

      We have taken the road you suggest of rejecting Christianity and the truths of the bible in search of tolerance, Enlightenment, justice and freedom!

      SO how’s it working out so far???

      While I can understand the frustration having been kicked out of several churches for challenging there pet doctrines!

      It isn’t Christianity that has failed us it’s those who have represented it!
      Corrupt Men have perverted it not the other way around!

      So what is the religious right?
      What is a liberal?

      People will use these terms any way they want depending on there agenda!

      Let me ask you do you really believe we have the time to fight this battle before it all comes crashing down?

      You have 32 states talking about state sovereignty, some preparing for the dissolution of the union, A President and His mob preparing to take advantage of the next big emergency. Probably to bring out His Civilian security force!
      Is anyone else thinking we’ve seen this movie before and it always ends bad?

      Anyone who cares about freedom and any form of conservatism better start treating and talking to the others who do as well with a Hell of a lot more respect, and remember what our founders said!
      If we all don’t hang together we will surely hang separately!

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 29, 2009 2:52 am

        Mr. Hall
        Your comments above in reference to the founders being liberals is exactly what I was wanting to point out but did not have the words or time. I had a busy day with doctors. I have in the past read the correspondence of several of the founders and it was obvious that they were men of great faith most certainly Washington and Adams also Madison. I have stated before that at one time actual church services were held in the congress on Sundays. Thank you for your comments. I doubt you could possibly be the Ken Hall I served with in Vietnam?

        • Kenneth Hall permalink
          October 29, 2009 8:34 pm

          No I’m afraid not.
          I just graduated High school in 76 a little to late. I took the test for the corp and scored real high so they offered me a lot of money to sign. But didn’t trust the politicians or the public to fight to win or appreciate the service of Good men like your self! Plus felt God was calling me in another direction at the time! SO I changed my mind at the last minute.

          Now I build carbon fiber stocks for the M1A/M14. Have some in Iraq and Afghanistan with the DMR’s. I do what I can to support those who serve and thank God for their dedication.

          Thanks you for your service!
          Especially for service under unjust conditions.
          I’m still ashamed of the way many of the American people and the Washington morons treat our finest!

          But God will render unto every men according to the deeds the committed in their bodies!
          For some that is encouraging and for others a nightmare that will become reality!

          • Jack Hampton permalink
            October 30, 2009 6:04 am

            Thank you Kenneth serving my country as my family has done for generations was and remains the greatest honor I have ever had

  6. MaryAnn permalink
    October 27, 2009 12:01 pm

    I do see your point, and have experienced the usage of some of those vastly different terms. All I can do is try and explain why the derision does not apply to the faith itself, or the majority of its’ adherents. If I can accopmlish that without being, or seeming to be self-righteous and/or arrogant, that’s a good thing for me and the faith. But I do have to try, without fear and without apology.

    • October 27, 2009 12:23 pm

      If you try using the term “Religious Right” the way the majorty does and call your self Christian Conservative you might find a better reception to your thoughts. among non-Conservatives.

      The RR term brings up too many images in peoples minds of Bible-Thumping hypocrites instead of genuine religious folks.

      Yes, It is the message that matters not the terminology. But we have to AGREE on the terminology.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 27, 2009 3:01 pm

      Superb comment.

  7. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 27, 2009 12:31 pm

    “Frankly I have never heard “The Religious Left” used in a political context” That’s the point, for there is a religious left, but the term is never used in MSM as it would connote negatively on the left as a whole. Have you not read the posts on Liberation Theology on this very blog? That you can write that you have never heard of the religious left in a political context should confirm to you what might be going on.

    “Clarifying which terms to use for what group is hardly telling anyone what they believe.” Not my suggestion. As for PC enforcement, it is specific definitions that actually come closer to PC enforcement than anything I wrote above.

    Politics is not religion and vice versa, that issues which go into forming party platforms may be freighted with religious significance is no reason to turn a political party into a church, or for that matter to compromise religion in the service of politics. Political parties should spend far less time trying to figure out who belongs and far more on what they want to achieve. It the religious- right, left, or center buys a vision that the atheists and agnostics of the world also adhere to, that’s fine. If you lose any of these subgroups along the way and the party stays true to its principles, who cares? Eventually those principles will out if they mark the right course. The business of leadership is to chart the way forward and not to continually check for who might be squabbling in the ranks and how we might semantically parse their words. What pray tell is so religious about a $1.4 trillion deficit, other than it has of late led many to see the light of fiscal conservatism?

    • October 27, 2009 1:20 pm

      I think you need to start your own blog. You obviously have axes to grind that have nothing to do with this article or this discussion.

      Who talked about a vision? The groups exist, they define themselves. All I am doing is trying to promote the idea of using language in the way our audience hears it.

      “It the religious- right, left, or center buys a vision that the atheists and agnostics of the world also adhere to, that’s fine.”

      No, it is not. If large numbers of Conservative Christians tell everyone they are of “the Religious Right” and end up with their opinion assigned to the hell of being associated with the likes of Fred Phelps is it not fine. Except to the likes of Fred Phelps.

      “If you lose any of these subgroups along the way and the party stays true to its principles, who cares?”

      If people who should be voting on your side do not simply because the term you use for yourself means “hateful hypocrite” to them who is to blame when you had a perfectly good term to use in its place?

      “Eventually those principles will out if they mark the right course.”

      On what planet? Did not you not hear about the Spanish Inquisition, The Civil War, The French Revolution, for that matter ALL “well intentioned” revolutions? What about the Cromwell interregnum? I could go on all day. Sadly, human history shows that it is far easier to implement principals than to be sure they “mark the right course”.

      How many years and how many dead adds up to “eventually” in your book? Seems a tad sloppy way to conduct politics to me.

      “The business of leadership is to chart the way forward and not to continually check for who might be squabbling in the ranks and how we might semantically parse their words.”

      This will be about my last response to this particular line of “argument”. You seem to be arguing simply to argue.

      Are you even taking the time to review what your words mean before posting them?
      Or are you applying your theories and just assuming that the righteousness of your principals will “eventually” cause me to see things your way without needing to debate the point?

      Having said that let me take my time and dissect that last little gem bit by bit:

      “The business of leadership is to chart the way forward”

      O.K. the “leaders” decide where the party is going. Who tells them what the people who voted for them think if they do NOT:

      “continually check for who might be squabbling in the ranks”

      And WHY they are squabbling I might add. And how does your hypothetical party’s sheep I mean followers know what the leaders are really saying if said leaders do NOT care how their sheep, oh sorry my mistake followers…

      “..might semantically parse their words.”

      So, to add it up you feel that a party’s leaders should not pay attention to factions that may be hostile to each other in the party while deciding on their own where the party is going.

      Then they lead the party to this noble goal even though they do not care if their words are misunderstood by their followers.

      The nobility of their prinicipals is simply assumed as long as they win the ability to enforce them on the public.

      Did I miss anything?

      Oh, “religious Left” and “liberation theology” are not synonymous. The religious Left is not a term used simply because there is no definable set of Leftists who are religious that have a common agenda as the Conservative Christians do.

      You seem sad that you can’t be thrown into a grab bag with all other Leftists who are Religious. You decry my supposed labeling of people despite their “real” feelings and yet are upset that you can’t have your own label to obscure your individuality. Go figure.

      (Note to quibblers, the American Revolution was a colony revolt, not an overthrow of the center of government for a nation.)

      • Cas Balicki permalink
        October 27, 2009 3:48 pm

        You miss the forest for the trees.

        • Jonathan permalink
          October 28, 2009 5:45 am

          Cas, I would like to see you offer an alternative list of choices for us to consider and contrast with Guy’s. I think it would serve an interesting and useful purpose. I honestly don’t see any choices in either list that I would choose for myself.

          • Cas Balicki permalink
            October 28, 2009 10:32 am

            Jonathan, my point isn’t so much about choices as it is about fragmentation. Political parties face the serious challenge of collecting a vast series of diverse interests and forming these into what might become a marketable commodity. The problems only arise after the party has been defeated, for that is when the navel gazing begins. It is this navel gazing that I take exception to when it leads the party away from founding principles and toward issues such as membership squabbles. If you look at the situation today in the U.S., what you see is an ideologically driven administration pushing policies that, if polls are to be believed, the majority of Americans do not want. Now, I grant that this is thin gruel on which to sup a party, but it is what people are coalescing around. Does it help to know that twelve percent of those opposed to a $1.4 trillion deficit are Southern Baptists and fourteen percent are agnostics or atheists? For the political party in opposition the answer should be that it does not.

            Electorates buy with their votes a vision of the future from the party selling that vision—hope and change, anyone—even if that vision is as poorly defined as the preceding example. Now, my intention is not to get into a debate about Obama’s campaign shortcomings, of which there were many, but to focus the issue on what is relevant to the electorate and why it should be considered so. The irony of political vision, by the way, is that all parties are elected on their vision and defeated on their record. The reason for this is clear in that electioneering and governance are decidedly two different aspects to politics. This is not hypocrisy, mind you, but the challenge of policy implementation. This is why a party’s principles are so important in that they must be easily understood and clearly enunciated that voters might grasp both the party’s ambitions and its progress toward them. That sub-groups of the electorate might not accept a party’s vision or its record is a given as there is always opposition in politics, but if the party’s vision is sound and based on principles deemed worthy, any move away from these to satisfy some faction, no matter how accurately defined, takes the party in the wrong direction, which is to say toward defeat.

            Jonathan I hope this helps clarify my recent posts.

            • Jonathan permalink
              October 28, 2009 4:45 pm

              As always Cas, you speak eloquently. I’ve actually saved your posts here to hard drive because I need to digest them more over the weekend.

              But, just for fun, how about your own version of Guy’s list? I’d like to see how you would design the choices.

              • Cas Balicki permalink
                October 28, 2009 6:21 pm

                Jonathan, I have to think about this, not because it shouldn’t be done, but I would not like to be accused of trying to steal another’s fire, this is after all Guy’s thread. On first blush it is also very difficult to distil such thoughts into planks that might form a platform, even an imagined one, without the party mechanisms around to provide support in the circumstance. Still, by the preceding sentence you can get an impression of where my head is at as far as your list is concerned. I’ll try to get something down tonight, but can’t promise, and if I do it will be as a response to a request and not as an attempt to supersede what has come before in this thread.

                • Cas Balicki permalink
                  October 28, 2009 9:26 pm

                  Jonathan, here’s my shot:

                  What Guy has done is taken personal observations gained from friends, acquaintances, and community and formed them into a description of a very particular political malaise. To write this is not to delegitimize the observations, but to stress their subjectivity. The adage all politics is local should advertise to one and all the temerity of relying on subjectivity in a country as diverse as the U.S., wherein merely by changing locales one, more often than not, changes the political landscape sharply. Again, this is not to suggest that the initial observations are wrong, but to aver in the strongest possible way that their extrapolation is. To go colloquial: This dog may hunt, but it sure don’t travel none too good.

                  If you look at congress what you invariably see is the Black Caucus, the Rust Belt Caucus, the Christian Coalition, the Eastern alliance and probably fifty other groups that I couldn’t name even in a broad based satire. Any thinking person would at this point ask why does America need all these fragmenting coalitions and caucuses? And the straight answer is that America doesn’t need them; its elected representatives do so that they might hustle each other for earmarks, concessions, and political favours. All of which inadvertently proves yet another business adage: Any fool can do it with money. Now, I know that principles in Washington are as rare as chastity in a whore house, but that is because the public has been sold a bill of goods, at least up to now. But the problem is not the salesman, for he’ll do whatever it takes to make the sale. The problem is the buyer, who has up to very recently bought everything the salesman sold. The next couple of elections will be unique opportunities to reverse this trend, for the buyers are experiencing a most acute case of remorse. The trend will not, however, be reversed by Conservative Christians, however defined, or by New York Jews, or Miami Hispanics, or Hollywood liberals. The trend will be reversed by voters who see the danger in continuing down the well trod path to serfdom.

                  So here are my suggestions for groups that need defining:

                  1) Starting from the very general, we should define the voters that see fiscal irresponsibility as the principal issue to be addressed by the next government. Let’s call them the fiscal fundamentalists, because they’ve seen the $1.4 trillion light bulb.

                  2) Next to be defined and quantified are the advocates of smaller government, who have seen the enemy in the Democratic takeover of the car industry, the appointment of czars, and the as yet incomplete takeover of 13% of the economy by way of single-payer health care.

                  3) Coming in third on the define-and-quantify scoreboard would be the people that feel illegal immigration is at a crisis level. Let’s call these folks the fence fundamentalist, because I have a weakness for alliteration and because fence-fundamentalists see no reason to subsidize those not paying taxes to support the nation when they can be stopped at the boarders with little effort.

                  4) Let’s call the last group on my list the promise-keepers, these are people who believe that America should stand by its allies and never apologize for being the world’s beacon of liberty.

                  This list is neither complete nor adequate, and any that choose may extend it at will, but it is up to America’s political leaders to bring these groups of disaffected together and convert them into votes by casting before them a platform that truly addresses the good of the country. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that underlying all political ambition is a sound economy, so even Nancy Pelosi might get the point.

                  The problem with the electorate at this point is that it does not know who to trust, which feeling is evidenced in the low esteem congress is held in according to recent polls. When confronted with circumstances such as these it is up to the opposition party to sweep the table clean and start from scratch, if for no other reason than the opposition party has nothing to lose. The obvious, at least to me, campaign over the next two to four years will have its leader pointing in the direction of a strong fiscally conservative America that will by dint of sacrifice and hard work return itself to economic prosperity. When a population sees the goal and deems it worth the effort, it will willingly sacrifice to achieve success without thinking twice about whether the fundamentalist this—or–that is on board with the deal. The problem with the campaign story, however, is that it will take politicians of courage to lead the way. But as with all problems there is in this, too, an opportunity for ordinary people to demand that anyone standing before them for election air his convictions and hold true to them while in Washington. Nobody’s vote should be taken for granted. In modern times there has never been as great an opportunity it reverse the flow of government ineptitude as is now before the American people. To succeed at the task a future leader must cling to principles and fix in the public psyche the overarching goals that transcend internecine squabbling.

                  • Jonathan permalink
                    October 29, 2009 3:26 pm

                    Thanks Cas. I’m going to ponder this over the weekend, along with those other posts.

              • Jack Hampton permalink
                October 29, 2009 2:06 am

                I know this is ignorance but when you consider that most of my experience with computers was running NCIC queries and a couple others till I bought these two puters for me and the wife I will ask it anyway. Jonathan how can I save commets like you do that I like to read again such as yours and cas when your responding to several different people?

                • Jonathan permalink
                  October 29, 2009 2:57 am

                  Jack,

                  If you are a post saving junkie like I am, the best and quickest way is to “cut and paste” the item using your mouse’s right click button, then paste it into your MS Notepad function or into your MS Word. If you do the latter, remember that it will save as a .txt document.

                  I use a USB thumb drive to store my stuff like this on, so I don’t clog my hard drive. They’re about $20 at Walmart for a 1 Gig.

                  • Jack Hampton permalink
                    October 29, 2009 3:13 am

                    Thanks Jonathan
                    I got a thumb drive for a present but never have used it now I know what I will use it for. Thanks for the help.

    • Jonathan permalink
      October 29, 2009 3:12 am

      There should indeed be a “religious left” terminology, and you can once again blame conservatives for failing to take the initiative in that regard. If they had been more active in this game in many, many areas for the last 50 years, we might not be facing such an overwhelming uphill battle now.

      Nice point, Cas. I can think of several “religious left” movements right off hand that are organized on accomplishing agendas in the leftist melting pot… at some level in whole or part.

      The Global Ecumenical Movement, the World Council of Churches, Liberation Theology, Metropolitan Community Churches, Black Liberation, The Uhura Movement, Gaia Environmentalism, The University of World Peace in Costa Rica, the Lucis Trust, the New Age Movement…

      They are part of literally hundreds of left leaning organizations around the world that are part of the vast network of global socialism.

      After following a number of socialist pubs and websites for several years now, I’m coming to the conclusion that the left has a new approach to religion. It’s still an opiate for the masses… but opium is a good thing if you are the supplier and the dealer.

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 29, 2009 3:22 am

        Do not forget the leftwing hack Barry Lynn that calls himself a minister and the Americans United For the Seperation of Church and State. evertime I see him I get the back door trots.

  8. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 27, 2009 3:00 pm

    Fred Phelps is not the Religious Right. He is a maniac. I have to agree with Mary Ann.

    • October 27, 2009 3:50 pm

      I picked Phelps simply as the most absoultly indefensible of the radical fringe.
      Anyone else and I will get attacked by people who are sure this or that person is not REALLY like that..even when their own words condemn them.
      Easier not to go there.
      No one argues that Phelps is a nut.

      • Jonathan permalink
        October 29, 2009 3:29 pm

        Just curious Guy. Why did you pick Phelps as that example? Why not Osama Bin Laden? Or Louis Farrakhan? Or Al Sharpton? How about the guy in the newslink I just posted here, who got busted in Ontario today?

        In fact, my favorite example would be ELF. The nature worshippers who burn down private property all over the Western Coast and advocate the elimination of half the world’s population, in order to save the planet…

        for the rest of humanity, or for the bugs and plankton, I suppose…

  9. October 28, 2009 5:30 am

    I do think attempting to define the terms is helpful because I don’t think everyone understands the words in the same way. However, I also believe that the term “Religious Right” has been used (mostly by the left, but probably even lately by the GOP) to denigrate and minimize Christians in particular. Therefore, I vote for the usage of the term Conservative which has a large umbrella beneath which both Christians and non-Christians ought to be able to come together. There will always be those calling themselves Christians who will refuse even that; they are most likely the counterparts of what I call the Far Left.

  10. October 28, 2009 10:28 am

    Kathy, your last two sentences are the most succinct statement of the situation I have seen! Gold star on your forehead for the day.

    “the term Conservative which has a large umbrella beneath which both Christians and non-Christians ought to be able to come together.”

    ” There will always be those calling themselves Christians who will refuse even that; they are most likely the counterparts of what I call the Far Left.”

    BINGO! I call them Partisans whichever side I find them on.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 28, 2009 11:18 am

      Mr. DeWhitney
      I agree as well anyone christain or athiest should be allowed under any conservative political party but no one should have to suffer abuse or scorn also it should not effect the basic principals that is the parties platform. I hope you can agree with that? I will be for any umbrella as long as it gets the job done with decency honor and truth, By the way your poem was beautiful kind of like a waltz but with words.

      • October 29, 2009 8:09 pm

        Thank you very much. It took me years to realize where I got a lot of my rythm in poetry.
        Then I remembed the old TV sign off with the F-104 Starfighter; High Flight.
        His cadences influenced me greatly when I began to write.
        That is still the best reading of it I have ever heard.
        http://current.com/items/76391002_the-pilots-poem.htm

  11. tim greenswight permalink
    October 28, 2009 11:58 am

    I am a pagan but I do believe that the left or liberal movement has done nothing but hurt this country. Many pagans serve in the arm forces we do not get up set with the terms under god. We do not get upset at the cross. All we ask is to be able to believe what we believe to worship the way we wish. Bad thing is I have been on the beating end of what some far right in the arm forces call a witch-hunt. Did you know if you die in the arm forces and you are christen, Jew, or Islam your symple of your religion is put on your tome stone but nothing if you are a pagan. My dog tags do not even list my religion on them. Still I fell this is the greatest country on the earth and I will still give my blood, my breath, and my life to defend her. Therefore, I ask everyone not to label any one. One way or the other based on the belief. Take time and find out if there a good man or woman. Rather they will stand by you when the liberals have sold us all out and we are all fighting for our freedoms.

    • October 28, 2009 1:52 pm

      Your first comment puzzles me.

      It is not to be denied that every social “Improvement” that this country has experienced has had its START in the Liberal mindset(the revolution itself was an essentially Liberal undertaking). Even when taken over by Leftists the impetus was Liberal.

      Child Labor, Slavery, Worker Safety, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights. All started in Liberal minds. In fact all started in Liberal CHURCHES.

      Also, why you would think that and then go on to list things that are done by RIGHT-wingers in the military to abuse the rights of Pagans?

      By the way you will be happy to know that the Veterans Administration has finally caved in (a year or two ago actually) on the tombstone issue. As of last year a new symbol has been made available for them.

      I am aware that there are groups in the U.S. military dedicated to making an aggressive evangelism mainstream in the leadership.

      One of these groups got in trouble last year trying to smuggle Bibles to Afghanistan to pass out(against local law and military regs and simple sense in a Muslim land). They where printed in Afghani languages. The military confiscated them but a year later the story got out and it was a HUGE public relations disaster.

      The military had done the right thing but the blatant violation of regulations and common sense by the religious group gave credence to the rumors that the Bible distribution had been an official activity. Needless to say this put everyone in the area in danger.

      And then we have the scandal involving the Air Force Academy.

      I have written on all of these at my own Heretics Crusade blog

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 28, 2009 2:36 pm

        “It is not to be denied that every social “Improvement” that this country has experienced has had its START in the Liberal mindset(the revolution itself was an essentially Liberal undertaking”

        I would disagree.

        • Jonathan permalink
          October 28, 2009 4:59 pm

          True.

          And then there’s the relative meaning of the world “liberal”.

          In the 19th century, America was rooted in the predominance of a Judeo Christian culture that by today’s standards would be regarded as far, far, far right wing. That would seem to fit with the extremely modest behaviors, dress codes and moral codes of the day that informed the minds of even the unbelieving. And molded the behavior of all but the most scandalous wretches. Even prostitutes in 1890 dressed with more modesty than the average high school teenager today.

          The most common statement of the 1800s abolitionist churchman regarding slavery was that it was an evil which would surely bring the judgement of God upon America. And many of them viewed the Civil War as God’s judgement on America.

          • October 29, 2009 8:35 pm

            All of whch bears not one whit on my contention that the churches that led the way were LIBERAL churches for THAT TIME.

            On each of these issues MORE churches opposed the changes we now take so for granted at first. Changes that the most conservative of modern Christians embrace as “Common sense decency”.

            When the abolition movement started it was a few lonely voices, mostly from the pulpits.

            As the movement gained power many conservative pastors and priests began to dedicate their message to MAINTAINING slavery in the name of the scriptures.

            One does not have to be a Biblical scholar to know that the OT demands good and fair treatment of slaves but has no problem with the insitution. The NT is pretty much silent on the issue but also can be seen as not having a problem with the concept.

            But the Liberal churches had more compassion than the tribal folk who wrote those passages.
            Whatever Biblical language was used to promote the idea abolition itself is NOT Biblical.

            I do feel that the MESSAGE of Jesus though, which is what the abolitionist preachers were responding to, makes it a natural evolution in thought for anyone who takes His words at all seriously.

            But what made the Churches ready for this idea? For something like 1600 years it was not an issue to the Clergy.

            I think it is no accident that the more liberal churches took up such ideas shortly AFTER the Enlightenment had developed the the whole concept of “Liberality” and unleashed it all across Europe.
            Call it America’s second fruit from the the Enlightenment. The first being the Revolution itself.

            • Jonathan permalink
              October 29, 2009 8:58 pm

              I would still be interested to know what would have defined those as “liberal” churches. Certainly you don’t mean “liberal” in the context of today. And what would have defined “conservative” churches in that time period?

              Obviously you’ve done some study on this history. What books would you recommend, Guy?

              • November 2, 2009 2:45 pm

                All of them. : – )

                No one book can give all the nuance of any age. I have liked “old stuff” since I was 5 years old. I absorb whatever “color” I can from any period I look at.

                For general stuff that is not too politically charged Wikipedia is great to play with.

                Start with the first king of England and work your way forward. I promise you will learn a lot that interests you.
                Then look up stuff about The Enlightenment and the Founding Fathers.

                Any writings of the period under study can be a help. It is good to see how THEY saw themselves. I once got to look through an actual Elizabethan actors journal. You learn thngs you never expected. From the journal I found out that written Elizabethan used very different conventions for abreviations and contractions.
                I also found that my studies in theater of that periods accents helped me to decipher his spelling; Elizabethan having been phonetically written. I would speak the line out loud and it would suddenly make sense.

                You will find books with Left bias and those with Right bias and occasionally ones with almost no bias. You just need to collect as much info as possible and unspin your own analysis.

        • October 29, 2009 8:12 pm

          O.k. you are free to do so.
          Are you going to share with us your reasons now that you have made that annaouncement?

      • Kenneth Hall permalink
        October 29, 2009 9:34 pm

        I find it interesting how people take religious tenants written down in the bible centuries ago and as letters copied and passed around for thousands of years. And try to claim them as their own!
        AS though their particular group had discovered them on their own!

        Wasn’t it Jesus who said about children ” Offenses must come but WOA to that man by whom they come. It would be better that a mill stone be wrapped around His neck and He be cast into the Sea than to offend one of these little ones! For the Guardian Angels are constantly before the Face of God.”
        SO how many angels have had to go before God to report that their newest assignment had a pair of scissors stuck in His, or Her head and it’s brains sucked out with a vacuum tube!!!!!!
        Or been chemically burned Alive or torn to pieces in His or Her mothers womb!!!

        Even in the Old testament there were laws governing how everyone was to be treated including Women, Strangers, Unbelievers, and it was always with respect, Dignity, and Justice.

        Exceptions were those who were burning their first born in the fires as an offering to their Gods! They were to kill every living thing to stop the insanity from spreading!

        Child labor, Slavery, Women s rights, Civil rights, all these were dealt with by those who were faithful to the teachings of Judaism, and Christianity centuries Ago even before the Romans existed! They are not liberal Ideas!
        They are Judea o Christian Dogma!

        Liberals clung to some of them that became convenient declared themselves to be more righteous that the hypocrites in church! A toss up in my book!
        Then proceeded to bring us the total abandonment of self control and morality in every other area of life!
        Like Drugs, Sex, Rock& Roll, Teen pregnancy, immorality that would rival Sodom and Gomorrah! When the consequences began to surface they preached!
        Tolerance and gave us Abortion and having offered up between 40 & 60,000,000 babies to the God of convenience they still call them selves enlightened!

        2 Peter 2: 18. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
        19. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome , of the same is he brought in bondage .
        20. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome , the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
        21. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
        22. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

        Just as Johnathan said the civil war was God’s judgment on America especially the south for not upholding the principles of the declaration of independence and constitution for all those in their care!

        What will OUR JUDGMENT BE WHO HAVE SPIT ON THE WORDS OF JESUS AND THE PRINCIPLES LIBERALS PREACH FOR EVERYONE WHO THEY DEEM WORTHY!

        HOW WILL WE ESCAPE WHO TALK ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL BUT THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US! YOU TALK ABOUT CHILD LABOR SO YOU SOLVE IT BY KILLING THEM RIGHT?

        WELL NOW LIBERALS ARE SELLING THEM INTO SLAVERY ALL OVER AGAIN WITH $347,000.00 of debt per person and counting!

        SO FORGIVE ME IF I DON’T SEEM TO HAVE MUCH RESPECT FOR LIBERALS THEY REMIND ME OF THE CHURCHES THAT THREW ME OUT!

        IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS YOU BETTER READ THIS BECAUSE IT HAS ALREADY BEGUN!

        * 1.
        * But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

        * 2.
        * And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of .

        * 3.
        * And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

        * 4.
        * For if God spared not the angels that sinned , but cast them down to hell , and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

        * 5.
        * And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

        * 6.
        * And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly ;

        * 7.
        * And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

        * 8.
        * (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

        * 9.
        * The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished :

        * 10.
        * But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

        * 11.
        * Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

        * 12.
        * But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not ; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

        * 13.
        * And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

        * 14.
        * Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

        * 15.
        * Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray , following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

        * 16.
        * But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

        * 17.
        * These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

        * 18.
        * For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

        * 19.
        * While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome , of the same is he brought in bondage .

        * 20.
        * For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome , the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

        * 21.
        * For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

        * 22.
        * But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    • betty boop permalink
      October 28, 2009 6:56 pm

      Holy Cow. (to Tim Greenswight) Whatever you are, if you are fighting for this noble experiment, then I pray that my God will bless you and keep you safe. To my mind, it should not matter if you are a Christian or a Jew or a (freakin’) Scientologist, but if you love this country, and the ideals that it was founded on (that were, after all, intended to protect the freedom of the INDIVIDUAL, Christian or not), then you may be a true Conservative.

      The Founding documents were written within a Christian framework, as many Christian principles had proven successful to those spectacularly well informed gentlemen. There were also other sources for their revolutionary ideas. We just need to remember that the American Constitution is a truly ORIGINAL document, aligning an astonishing variety of brilliant historical resources with an astounding variety of amazing intellects. Hyperbole upon hyperbole? Perhaps, but entirely justified.

      thank you for your service.

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 29, 2009 2:20 am

        Betty
        Most of the some what heated dialogue in regard to religion I have seen on this blog has come in response most of the time byfaith and religion being attacked in the first place and then the people responding. In most cases it involves swemson who has an agenda and he states it very well. I do not like the name calling but there are very good comments to read on both sides. If it gets to rancorous then Mr. Swindle steps in.

      • October 29, 2009 9:11 pm

        As to the rest of your comment I could not agree more! BUT I want to ask about this part:

        “The Founding documents were written within a Christian framework, as many Christian principles had proven successful to those spectacularly well informed gentlemen.”

        Not to argue with you but can you give examples? Given that about half of my past writing has been on theology I consider myself to be mostly “up on” mainstream Christian history and precepts.

        I was under the impression that most of the basic concept for the founders came from Locke’s “Social Contract” concept and other Enlightenment ideals.

        I do agree that Biblical LANGUAGE was in common use amongst all European writers secular or religious. It was a shared language of metaphor and morality. It was also self-contradictory enough to allow just about anyone to find some way to use it to illustrate any point. (still is and still can be. I do it myself.)

        I do not see that as being the same as founding their concepts in Christian principals.
        (note: for it to be a Christian Principal it cannot be shared in general by other religions or philosophies already in existence in or before 33AD. Whoops, make that 90 AD, must not forget the late Paulian Greek influence on the early Church.)

        I always got the impression from the overall ministry that Jesus was, not apolitical, but ANTI-political. Didn’t Simon Zelotes make a plea for Jesus to become “political”? And didn’t he get the standard reply to such efforts? Something to the effect that The Big J was not a used King salesman and had a higher message to give?

        Correct me with verse and chapter if I am wrong but did not everything Jesus say about politics and those that play with it add up to:

        “co-operate with the secular authorities while getting on with the life that is important. The one you live seeking God.”

        Was not part of Jesus’ message that it was not POSSIBLE for Humans to “fix” politics by God’s standards but that his followers were supposed to look to a “higher” kingdom” while not adding to the mess by getting involved?

        I am not saying a Christian cannot get involved with politics! I am saying that nothing in the words of Jesus tells anyone to impose ANY ONE of his ideals on anyone who does not accept them. Doesn’t that ELIMINATE the idea of a religiously based government as far as J.C.’s ministry is concerned?

        Do you actually have verses that establish your initial statement?

        • Kenneth Hall permalink
          October 31, 2009 11:34 pm

          Judeo Christian principles as in Judaism!
          Starting with Abraham!
          Actually acorrding to the book of Jude with Enoch. read the book of Enoch!
          A book left out of the original King James bible by protestants!
          But quoted by the disciples as scripture, which they obviously read and studied as such which explains their reference to it!
          You will find it resembles the New testament especially the book of revelation!
          It also fills in much of details about Heaven only alluded to in the rest of the bible!
          Enoch lived before the flood of Noah!

          The principles Jesus taught were not new they were the same taught from the beginning of Man’s rule of the earth!
          Men have been given 6,000 years to rule themselves and how is it working out so far!

          “co-operate with the secular authorities while getting on with the life that is important. The one you live seeking God.”

          “Was not part of Jesus’ message that it was not POSSIBLE for Humans to “fix” politics by God’s standards but that his followers were supposed to look to a “higher” kingdom” while not adding to the mess by getting involved?”

          Didn’t Jesus say “You are the salt of the earth” Speaking to His disciples?
          Wasn’t salts purpose to stop the spread of bacteria and thus disease, as well as improving test?

          How about the parables about the disciples occupying tell He comes back to take control of His Kingdom while He is away receiving another?

          How about the fact He regularly disobeyed authorities as did His disciples when commanded to violate God’s law?

          As did numerous saints in the old testament even to their peril on occasion.

          Didn’t His disciples do the same?

          How about when His disciple was confronted about paying tribute and Jesus response was, “WHO PAYS TRIBUTE THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM OR STRANGERS” Peter answered strangers. then Jesus said “THEN ARE THE CHILDREN FREE” Making it clear He believed Himself and His disciples above HUMAN AUTHORITY!
          Yet commanded them to live peacefully with all men as much as possible!

          Why because He feared they make a bigger mess? Or because as you rightly stated they had a more important role to play?

          SO are you suggesting Christians have no right or aren’t smart enough, or to dangerous to participate in politics?

          Yet you concede our founders were for the most part religious men!
          If fact more so than your average church patron today by far. As evidenced by the lifestyles of a major portion of those who claim to be Christian!

          But as Jesus said “NOT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ME LORD WILL ENTER INTO MY KINGDOM”

          As the scripture says I posted before their are many impostors among us!

          The cases you sighted of abuse were they real Christians following the tenants of the faith?

          Or impostors posing as Christians?

          They could be both as God has for the last 6,000 years tolerated and winked at men’s sin as He had to start somewhere!

          Men have been so corrupt it is literally impossible to shine the light on all their evil with out overwhelming them and making their task of breaking free from it seem impossible!
          So what Should God do Destroy all men and start over with a good handful?

          Already done that!
          Start with a few who show promise and build precept upon precept one step at a time!
          Showing them and convicting them the next level of corruption as they begin to get the upper hand on what they have been shown!

          Such is the history of the last 6,000 years!

          I believe you fail to see the big picture God is proving His ways are the only ways that work by allowing men to try all their great ideas and fail!

          Like Gay rights for instance!

          You claim this as a step forward into the light!
          Yet we see already the right to be treated with respect and with dignity as we should all men!
          Has become the right to Disciple and impose their ideas and values on grade school kids!
          The petafiles are already jumping on right on there Heals demanding the same “RIGHTS”!
          WE also have the paligomists, “Animal lovers”, and every other degenerate imaginable getting in that line for their RIGHTS!

          So do you suggest we let everyone do what ever makes them happy?
          Should we let adults seduce children when ever or where ever they wish?
          WHY NOT?
          Because their aren’t enough of them yet for them, to count?
          Really have you looked at the news lately?

          SO where do you draw the line and say these people should not be allowed to do what they believe is right?
          Are you a religious bigot?
          You hate monger you telling the adults the kids are off limits!
          How about just the young boys after all they can only benefit by being sexually active and they don’t have to worry about being punished with a baby!

          See that’s the problem with WISDOM OF MEN, they don’t look very far ahead or very far behind either do they?

          Like SODOM and GOMORAH!
          Remember the story the SODOMITES demanded that the angles they took to be men be put out of Lot’s house so they could rape them!
          Even refused to rape Lot’s Virgin daughters instead!
          That is the end result of men who’s lusts and passion are allowed to run wild!
          And if you really believe we are very far from that today go to a gay parade or your local gay hook up spot!

          Like I said before we are living your idea of the perfect political scenario at least until Obama!

          Most of the church or at least those who claim to be are either so corrupt themselves are have been asleep and here we are!

          They have become salt with no Saltyness as Jesus said and thus “are good for nothing except to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men”!

          And so it is, instead of Christians following the example of our founders and leading are nation by example, inspiration, and persuasion!
          With the balance taught in the bible of only using the force necessary to maintain enough order to prevent evil men from imposing their will on others by force!
          They have done as you suggested and stayed out of politics to a large degree and look where your kind has lead us!

          You can’t blame our present condition on the church’s involvement, Well you can to some degree because of so many simple minded heart bleeding morons who claim to be or are just immature in the faith!

          It is SECULARISM that has lead the way to where we are and if you deny that you are in denial!

          You can sight all the errors of the past failings of Christians you would like and I’d agree with you as they keep kicking me out of their churches for berating them to!

          But that doesn’t matter any more does it the fact is your just like them in your own way!

          Not willing to admit your own shortsightedness and your own prejudice toward the religious right!

          You don’t know me yet you lump me in as a partisan even though I have no group to be a part of!
          You assume you have me figured out by a few comments I’ve made and so you judge me JUST LIKE THE CHURCH FOLK you criticize for doing the same thing!

          You imply me I’m dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the political process and should just go back to having my head in the clouds!
          Along with all those other Partisan religious nut jobs!
          Like SAM ADAMS, GEORGE WASHINGTON, ETC>

          It was the founder John ADAMS who said “This Constitution was intended for a moral and religious people, it is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.”

          SO you reap the benefits of a society founded by religious men, maintained for the most part in spite of the many deviations by corrupt men and generations!
          Until Religious men set us back on the paths Christianity put us on!
          Religious men like Martin Luther King JR A Reverend if I’m not mistaken even if imperfect, a religious men of Godly character for the most part!
          Yet you can’t seem to speak or and talk about your fellow man with the respect you would a GAY PERSON if their religious!
          The word HYPOCRITE comes to mind!
          I feel like I’m back in church!

          As I stated once before on this site!

          Everyone who cares about freedom better start talking and treating the others that do with a hell of allot more respect!

          And I don’t want to frighten you but when Jesus comes back in the NEAR future He will be bringing those HE DEEMS RELIGIOUS AND THEY WILL BE RULING OVER EVERY WHO SURVIVES WHAT’S COMING NEXT FOR 1,000 Years!

          But I know you’ve heard that for years right!

  12. Anneke9 permalink
    October 28, 2009 1:46 pm

    I am a “Devout Christian (Conservative).”

    As for the thread:

    – “I suggest we try to refer to (D) as “The Religious Right”.”
    – “D) Same as B but limited to Christians.”
    – “B) Religious hypocrites that believe the “unquestionable Truth” of their religion gives them a preferred position in the political process. (This description fits not only Christian chauvinists but also Islamic Supremacists etc.)”

    I think you still need to narrow your definition a bit. If you base “Religious Right” on (D), that is religious hypocrites but limited to Christians, the description would still include the Religious Left.

    Yes, the Religious Left does exist, and no, the Media doesn’t talk about it because the Media is so far left that it doesn’t recognize itself (let along any other group) as such. I strongly disagree with you that “the religious Left is not a term used simply because there is no definable set of Leftists who are religious that have a common agenda as the Conservative Christians do.” Folks like Jim Wallis, Michael Lerner and Brian McLaren have sizeable followings and get favorable Media coverage. Lerner was a guru of Hillary Clinton in her White House days. Now that Obama is President, the Religious Left is trying to insert itself into politics and become what the old guard “Religious Right” once was (“Jim Wallis holds conference call to tout healthcare” http://www.theird.org/Page.aspx?pid=1140)

    I work on the UC Berkeley campus. The Christian churches that serve the University community are every bit as left-leaning, if not outright Marxist, as the Professors. They use the same indoctrination techniques and spout the same nonsense. Their sympathies lie with terrorists (i.e., Palestinians) and their venom is focused on Israel. For anyone who’s interested, The Institute for Religion and Democracy (theird.org) monitors the activities of the Religious Left in mainline Christian denominations.

    To me “Religious Right” is and always will be a perjorative. It brings to mind a particular subset of Christian activists who rose to prominence in the 70s and 80s (e.g, Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones, Pat Robertson, etc.). While I agree with some of their principles (the undeniable value of all human life, educational choice, the special role of Israel and the Jews in history and in G*d’s heart), there are many other principles that I disagree with (e.g., creationism and prayer in schools). “Religious Right” conjures up the boogeyman cariacatures that the Media and political machines have made of these men.

    Because of this connotation, I would never refer to myself as being a member of the “Religious Right.” It would be like painting myself with a broad brush filled with sour milk.

    • Anneke9 permalink
      October 28, 2009 1:50 pm

      P.S. You might also want to read Michelle Malkin’s column at Townhall.com: How the FCC and Liberal churcses are scheming to shut you up (http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/10/28/how_the_fcc_and_liberal_churches_are_scheming_to_shut_you_up)

    • October 28, 2009 2:01 pm

      How fun for you!

      Isn’t that the town that decided in the week following 9/11 that all the Fire and Police units must take those potentially offensive American flags off of their vehicles?

      I call that Berkeley’s Jane Fonda in Hanoi moment for the decade.

      I have a cousin up there at the Haas school. She used to work for the Clinton administration.
      I have emailed her about the current admin but she won’t respond to me. She is probably afraid of being found to be “Not of The Body”.

      • Anneke9 permalink
        October 28, 2009 2:38 pm

        She’s wise to be cautious. The Pod People are everywhere.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 28, 2009 2:13 pm

      Anneke9
      I agree with just about all your post But I would like to say though I am not a follower of Jerry Fawell I am Catholic he was viciously smeared by the left and was falsely accused of being a hater. I once met the man and when I was recovering from surgery listened to many of his sermons many years ago. He was bitterly denounced because of his faith and his belief that homosexuality was sin but he understood it was no greater sin than adultry. The accusation of hater was false. I do not believe there was any hatred in this mans heart nor Billy Graham as well. Fine comment. But I cannot get the link to work.

  13. Jonathan permalink
    October 29, 2009 3:25 pm

    This is an example of the “religious left” and it should be obvious why you never hear of them from the Main Stream Media…

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/10/29/fbi-detroit-ummah-ontario193.html?ref=rss

    • October 29, 2009 9:24 pm

      Actually I would call that a Non-Christian example from the far Religious RIGHT.

      Do not be fooled into thinking that anti-Christian Leftists would never ally with Non-Christian Religious Rightists. The Lefties think the Muslims are simply convenient to beat the West and Christianity with while the Muslims KNOW that as soon as they win the Lefties will be for the headsman.

      Rule of thumb #247
      Leftist Totalitarians look to Human sources for their “ultimate Truth that will solve all our problems if those evil pukes will get out of the way” while the Rightist pretends it is God that gives them their right to oppress the rest of us into an Earthy Paradise.

      Their tactics are the same, their strategies are the same. The only things that change are the terms used to justify their tyrannies.

      • Kenneth Hall permalink
        October 29, 2009 9:57 pm

        I’m sorry how many babies have been murdered under the direction of the religious right?

        How many people have been beheaded in the US by them?

        Wasn’t it the churches that began to teach kids to read write and such to help them escape poverty, and child labor?
        They called it SUNDAY SCHOOL!

        How many church folk have come and dragged you to their service and threatened to beat you or kill you if you didn’t listen and obey?

        Maybe your parents did!
        Quick Some one call Child protective services! OOOOH the ABUSE!

        Get a grip there is no threat from the right of a theocracy!
        They can’t even agree on which day to have services!

        You obviously aren’t paying attention if you think there is any real threat from the religious right of a state sponsored and mandated religion!

        Which of the 300 different denominations of Christianity is going to give up their power base and perks!
        That’s like thinking Obama and Congress are going to take a pay cut and give control back to the states!

        You have to be kidding me!

        You are right about seeing Tyranny! We’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg from the So Called Liberals!
        Isn’t that Ironic?

        • October 30, 2009 11:53 pm

          Why oh why do Leftists and Right-wingers always INSIST on pretending that if anyone anywhere has ever done things significantly worse than their own side’s “peccadillo’s” it makes everything kosher?

          What is this evil fallacy that partisan fools keep throwing on the table as though it meant something?

          It never fails, all I have to do is make a strong statement that does not support the “official truth” (Left or Right) and partisans masquerading as Liberals and Conservatives flock around to ask highly intelligent things like “how do you justify the devastation wrought by the White Man on the world”? Or in this case today:

          “I’m sorry how many babies have been murdered under the direction of the religious right?”

          The game is that if I respond and give examples of Right-wing “religious” groups, even some in U.S. history, then I prove myself an atheistic Jesus-hating Marxist. Of course if I respond to the first example then I prove myself to be a Rabid Right-wing deathmonger who seeks to torture gays in the name of Christ.

          Either way I end up on the wrong end of a Phillips screwdriver while the partisans bray to the crowd of Conservatives that another enemy has been exposed.
          To say it merely gets boring would be to insult drying paint.

          “How many people have been beheaded in the US by them?”

          Alright I will bite. Have you ever read up on the epidemic lynching’s and church burnings and murders that occurred in many places in America from the end of the Civil War right up to the 50’s? Are you aware of how many of those mobs started with an angry pastor?

          Just because things are not what they used t be does not mean that we are somehow immune to the influences that produced evil once out of a supposed “church”.

          “Wasn’t it the churches that began to teach kids to read write and such to help them escape poverty, and child labor?”

          What? Yes..Sunday schools taught children to read and write where there were no schools established yet. What this has to do with FIGHITNG the child labor problems of the time I do not know. “Hey kid, take a few months to learn to read and maybe you can get a job that has a bit lower fatality rate! Who knows in a few years you might even be able to have a better than 70% chance of living long enough to shave.” You claim that is the reasons Sunday Schools were established? okaaaay.

          “How many church folk have come and dragged you to their service and threatened to beat you or kill you if you didn’t listen and obey?”

          You obviously have never spent any time in the Deep South. I have seen many sweating, slavering hate-preachers come out to where families are having a good time on a Saturday, even a holiday like New Years, and viciously berate the crowd threatening Hellfire and Damnation to all who do not hew to their creed.

          Is that close enough? Or do I have to talk about “christian” children’s relief agencies that only educate and feed those that are members of their church? OR look on tsunamis as “opportunities” to convert victims in need.

          Face it my friend, bottom feeders exist in ALL socio-political subsets, even yours.

          “Get a grip there is no threat from the right of a theocracy!”

          Threat? No, I don’t see it as nearly as important as it was in the late 80’s. Nowadays the Islamists are much more of a “danger”.

          BUT, I do not think that just because a serial killer is in the neighborhood you should allow Cousin Ed to steal your family jewels.

          It is not to be disputed that there have been and are “christian” groups in the U.S. that have a very similar vision to the Islamists of a “properly” Biblical society with all the authoritarian trimmings that the Founding Fathers rejected. They just espouse a Westernized, Mr. Rogers version of it is all.

          Remember that only some of the colonies favored freedom of Religion. There was more than one that was explicitly theocratic even to the point of exiling and executing people for……APOSTASY!!!

          Let me make one thing clear though. The Western version of the Islamists have been gelded first by Christianity, which denies them the easy scriptural backing that Islam has for aggression. And then by the Enlightenment that mellowed the politicized Christianity of Europe.

          No, what we have left of that mindset in 21st century America is not a danger. Not half the danger they would LIKE to be. But they do bear watching. Just like Obama and HIS partisan cronies should have been watched before he got nominated!

          “You are right about seeing Tyranny! We’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg from the So Called Liberals!
          Isn’t that Ironic?”

          No, to me it is ironic when we think we can defeat one enemy only by letting their equally evil opposite have more power.

          I prefer to stand on our founding principles and fight both extremes.

          That is why I write for David Horowitz. Whatever differences might exist amongst the various columnists here all of the NewsRealblog team stops well short of the political extremes.

          I have found that David takes the terms Conservative AND Liberal seriously. He also takes the Left and Right realistically.

          I would not be here if I did not think we were on the same side.

          • Jack Hampton permalink
            October 31, 2009 6:54 am

            Mr. Dewhitney
            I am sixty years old I was raised and worked a lot in the deep south your comment I find perplexing
            “You obviously have never spent any time in the Deep South. I have seen many sweating, slavering hate-preachers come out to where families are having a good time on a Saturday, even a holiday like New Years, and viciously berate the crowd threatening Hellfire and Damnation to all who do not hew to their creed” I have of course seen street preachers I also seen one in Chicago as well but you paint a picture of the south I never witnessed. You seem angered by the questions that were posed I think they are part of an exchange of view points.

            “Or do I have to talk about “christian” children’s relief agencies that only educate and feed those that are members of their church? OR look on tsunamis as “opportunities” to convert victims in need” Could you identify those agencies so we will know not to contribute to them. I really would like for you to point one out.

            I hope this is not evolving into a gotcha game because someone is a traditional conservative or christian.

            • October 31, 2009 2:15 pm

              Did you even look at the post I was responding to? Are Muslims are the only ones that are supposed to admit the idiocy of certain elements in their midst?

              As to the South; try going to New Orelans tomorrow and hanging out at Jackson Sq. for two hours. You might see what you have avoided seeeing for all of your 60 years.
              I saw one hateful S.O.B. plant himself on the steps of the Catholic cathedral and rant at the top of his voice about hell and damnation and idolatry.
              Then there was the group that came to town promoting abstinance and all that. I saw one of their members with his sign on Royale. A beautiful girl walked by him and as she passed his eyes locked on her butt and a look of naked hunger filled his face. IF she had seen that look she would have run in fear.

              The list is endless and the South is only the easiest place to find them. If you want the Leftist version the best hunting ground is San Francisco.
              They are like cockroaches, anywhere man goes fanatics come along for the ride.

              • October 31, 2009 2:16 pm

                I forgot to mention. That protestant “preacher” at St. Louis catherdral was doing his bit DURING SERVICES.

                • Jonathan permalink
                  October 31, 2009 6:06 pm

                  Guy,

                  You know as well as I do that the big cities breed bizarre behaviors and off the wall antics. This is the NORM for big cities. And let me be the first to say. Christianity works best when it is a decentralized faith, confined to individual parishes and churches and to the rural life. Try to put Christians into the wilderness and the semi-barbarism of the big cities, where leftism runs amok, is asking for trouble. They either become leftist themselves, or they go crazy trying to figure out how to stop the sinning.

                  Remember the story of Jonah and the whale? That’s how God wanted to save the big city of Ninevah!

                  I favor eliminating the big cities all together. Big cities are only breeding grounds for leftists and parasitical powerbases that subvert elections while robbing the resources out of the heartland that generally opposes them. They become unbalanced philosophically by the influx of too many non-producer types with leftist tendencies. And they become worse by losing touch with the rest of the world.

                  Get rid of the megacities. They serve no useful purpose in the modern world of universal utilities and rapid travel. Use a more environmentally friendly, humanocentric model of small state capitals, medium sized towns and villages. The enviro-left would be pushing deurbanization if they were really serious. Instead, they cowtow to the leftist political machine that puts gerrymandering votes above all else.

                  Besides. You can’t operate a country with only one-third of one percent of the folks involved in agriculture. We could easily feed the world if we wanted to.

                  But, if you are upset by the guy on the cathedral steps now. What will you do when malls and schools and football stadiums begin to be targeted for suicide bombings 50 years from now? What will you do when you no longer have the option to “not believe”? Soon, you or your children really will be living in the post-American dream. Where liberal values like freedom of speech have given way to third world values of might makes right. There is no comparison between the Christian world and the Islamic World. One is much worse than the other. Just as there is no comparison between many other comparisons.

              • Kenneth Hall permalink
                November 1, 2009 12:39 am

                SO are you equating an example of someone preaching about hell and damnation, Idolatry, and such to teaching kids in grade school it’s OK to be GAY?

                Have you looked at the direction we have been going for the last 50 Years?

                DO you honestly think life is getting better for most people?

                Have you seen what’s happening to the youth of the last few generations?

                Do you know many?
                I can tell you I talk to quite a few regularly and I mean really talk and they haven’t really had much of a childhood!
                They are continually being confronted with situations, battles, and choices they shouldn’t have to deal with until they are much older!

                And their not happier because of it!

                My kids in fact are angry about it!
                Many of their friends have a subconscious sense of fear of what is coming even though they aren’t sure what it is!
                They have a sense that disaster is on it’s way!
                I suppose that’s those nut job preachers fault though right!

                I experienced what it was like to be surrounded by people who had no fear of GOD or Eternal punishment and can say from experience my life was screwed up by them!
                And several of them spent much of their life in the Pen!
                I thank God for the preacher who scarred the Hell out of me with that kind of preaching it straightened me out and gave me what I needed to build a stable family, with my wife of 30Years just 1! My 5 kids all strait and 5 Grand kids with their 1 wife!
                I had that feeling of dread as well when I became a teenager and left the values I had as a kid to follow my lusts.
                Buying into the secular BS justifying what I wanted to do I started to make my own rules to live by!
                I quickly became someone I didn’t respect or like in many ways!
                I also had to check my apartment for Vampires, Warewolves or what ever it was that was going to kill me and send me to hell!

                Then that Nut job preacher told me about Hell and that God didn’t care much for being called an idiot! Or told He didn’t understand or know about this or that!
                After fighting it for a while I gave in to God and let Him have control of my life again and starting listening again!
                And what do you know all the fear was gone like a magic pill!

                DO I have fears?
                Yes but not of death, or Hell at least for me even though I know I could still choose that fate if I wanted!
                I don’t fear it because I can choose my fate by following God by believing what He teaches not just that He exists

                So pardon me if I don’t cry for you for being subjected to such hateful speech!

                Someone call the Wamnulance?

                Not to mention all the other people who’s lives and souls who have been saved by those you can’t resist mocking and ridiculing!

                Are their nut’s in the church?

                I would guess 50% of them in both political camps!

                But I don’t consider myself wise enough to pick out them from the ones who are just immature so I treat both with respect as much as they allow me to!
                Only confronting their stupid ideas and trying not to make it personal as much as I can!

                But judging from your examples and the lack of respect you’ve shown me you better leave it up to Jesus to judge His own servants because you suck at it!

                You better follow His advice and concentrate on your self!

              • Jack Hampton permalink
                November 1, 2009 5:39 am

                Mr. De Whitney
                Yes Sir I read it all I have been to the very places you mentioned and more. I was involved in serving FFJ warrants in Metairie and have had to Work in New Orleans as well I have filled out many arrest reports in that great and wonderful state. I believe these preachers are to be found most places as I stated they are for the most part ignored. Now I am a fairly good at observation and trained to do so but another comment I find amazing.

                “Then there was the group that came to town promoting abstinence and all that. I saw one of their members with his sign on Royale. A beautiful girl walked by him and as she passed his eyes locked on her butt and a look of naked hunger filled his face. IF she had seen that look she would have run in fear” You were able to deduce that and interpret it? I am humbled by your powers of observation Sir. Of course if they are disrupting other services they should not and the proper actions taken to put a stop to it through the legal process nor do I approve of there bad conduct if that is the case. I hope you are not confusing these people with churches and religious and other groups that teach abstinence to young people teens and those not ready for that responsibility also I would still like to know the names of those agencies that withheld support and treatment for anyone children or adults if they were not Christians during the Indonesian tidal wave disaster. We contribute to several of these organizations and do not wish to contribute to any that would engage in that kind of unchristian action.

  14. Jonathan permalink
    October 29, 2009 10:35 pm

    Guy said:

    “Actually I would call that a Non-Christian example from the far Religious RIGHT.”

    I could see where you would say that. For my part, I tend to view Muslims, and black nationalist Muslims especially, as the “religious left”. And I agree with your following statement wholeheartedly:

    “Do not be fooled into thinking that anti-Christian Leftists would never ally with Non-Christian Religious Rightists. The Lefties think the Muslims are simply convenient to beat the West and Christianity with while the Muslims KNOW that as soon as they win the Lefties will be for the headsman”

    I think the future is still foggy on this proposition – who will double cross whom. And it is possible that there is no double cross in the offing, despite our presuppositional tradition of regarding Marx as unalterably atheist. But I don’t think the Muslims have the might to face down the Russians or the Chinese. Especially in the post-American world where gentle diplomacy and appeasement and WMD proliferation treaties no longer exist.

    http://newsrealblog.com/2009/10/27/semantic-confusion-%e2%80%9cthe-religious-right%e2%80%9d-allies-or-antagonists/feed/

    • October 31, 2009 12:03 am

      That actually bears some thought!

      I COULD imagine the hard Leftists starting to convert en mass if things got seriously confrontational in the West with islamist Muslims livng here.

      But then I have always maintained that it you go far enoug Left OR Right you end up on the other side.
      Example:
      The original Nazis in Europe were hard left. But many of the Neo-Nazis in America relate themselves to the Rightwingers!

      One side has God and the other has Man, both use “authority” to back up their pretend “truth”.

      It is not hard to switch from on extreme to the other.

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 31, 2009 7:01 am

        Neo Nazis that I have been forced to deal with I would never consider a traditional rightwinger as Ronald Reagan was. Neo Nazis are extreamist and fringe nuts that some how try to justify there hate through the bible and they always fail because well they are nuts

      • Jonathan permalink
        October 31, 2009 8:22 am

        I once did a web search on William Ayers and Bernadine Dorn and their children. I was curious to know if they had kids and what they did for a living. It seems to me I discovered their kids had Islamic first names. This was about a year ago. Obama’s parents seem to have been both socialist and Islamic.

        Islam and Marxism fit together like a hand in glove. I won’t write out all the reasons why I say this, unless we get into a discussion about it. All Marxism has to do is give up the official atheism, and they are good to go. And, it does seem that through the last few decades, with the concurrent rise of liberation theology, and the fact that so many downtrodden minorities are nearly inalterably religious….

        Religion is the opiate, but that’s okay if Marxists control and distribute.

        Islam is the perfect vehicle for Marxist cultural control.

        Most neo-Nazis in America may think they are rightwingers, but they aren’t. And most neo-Nazis in America and Europe are anti-Christian and anti-semitic. Whatever they are NOW, they will fall on the side of the left when it counts.

  15. MaryAnn permalink
    October 30, 2009 9:55 am

    Maybe your next poll should be about defining liberalism. Classical Liberalism or the liberalism/progressive/leftist ideology of today.

  16. October 31, 2009 12:16 am

    To me a good rule of thumb is that if a person firmly embraces the idea that protecting free speech means ESPECIALLY to protect speech you disagree with then they are Liberal (they can also be Conservative in the strict sense.)
    But if they feel that the “wrong people” should not have an equal voice then they likely are a Leftist or a Rightwinger in outlook.

    Two examples:

    1) Obama attacking Fox in an attempt to blacklist them as an official “Free Press” source.

    2) “Christians” using the courts to force a school to allow them to include their tracts in non-curriculum “backpack mail”. THEN coercing the schoolboard into eliminating the entire backpack mail program when an AGNOSTIC organistation sent out an invite to an event.

    Opposite sides, identical mentality.

    Liberals have no problem with personal responsibility. In fact they see it as essential.

    It IS something we could write about. There is way too much confusion of Liberal and Leftist. Just as much as the confusion over Conservative and Right-wing.

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