Archive for televangelism

Democracy Under Siege

Posted in Atheist, culture, history, politics, random, religion with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by chouck017894

The founding fathers of the United States wisely set in place a system of checks and balances of government operation that consists of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches to protect the foundation of democracy.  Since the early 1950s, however, there have been perfidious factions that have systematically chipped away at these safeguards under the guise of some  divine directive.

By coincidence there has, in this same time period, been an alarming increase in what can only be termed religious hucksterism in the United States, and this can be traced directly to the advent of television technology.  (See also May 9, 2009 blog God’s Political Addiction.)  Affordable television sets in the early 1950s brought the means for enterprising religionists to tap into a lucrative source of self-promotion, and televangelism was born.  Unfortunately, the pulpit entrepreneurs can  only offer their version of ancient mystics’ interpretations of man’s place in the scheme of things, which did not then and do not now translate as ultimate truth.

In addition, no organized religion has ever been founded or conducted on democratic principles; they are always profoundly authoritative, martially oriented, swamped by self-righteousness, and heavily seeped with discrimination.  The promised “reward” that they offer for the  “chosen” or “saved” is always pictured as a “kingdon”—which supports their code of belief that there is no god-given right to self-rule.  Man’s brain, they seem to assume, was not intended by whatever power that caused it to evolve to be used for responsible self supervision.   By their calculations man is meant only to scrounge in a subservient state and god will provide man with enlightened overseers—meaning themselves

This brings us, in a very round-about way, to the United States Supreme Court and the six justices named by the court by Republican presidents through heavy behind-the-scenes evangelical manipulation.  Thus the placement of these justices became a highly questionable factor in the 2000 US national election when the court’s alleged nonpartisan reputation became compromised with an agreement to hear disputes over suspicious election tallying—not just one intrusion into majority choice  but two times–at Republican candidate Bush’s request.  Of course there could be no higher appeal in the question of fairness of the court’s interference: it was only coincidental that three of the justices were appointed by H. G. Bush or that three others had been appointed by Reagan and another appointed by Ford.

True democratic principles collapsed under the court’s ideological interference in the presidential vote recounts.  Glaringly obvious in the court’s suspension of hand recounts of thousands of questionable ballots was the fact that the Supreme Court failed miserably as the nation’s nonpartisan guardian of the nation’s laws.

After the Supreme Court’s interference with the vote counting in 2000 there was, according to the Washington Post and ABC News, a sixty-three percent loss of confidence in the Supreme Court.  The religious right, however, has steadily gained strength from this court’s ideological leaning, and evangelical pressure can now, with fair ease, taint issues presented to this court on items such as abortion, prayer in schools, marriage definitions, creationism, etc. 

The founding fathers must be spinning…

God’s Henchmen

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, history, random, religion, secularism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by chouck017894

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, May 1985 to be exact, Pat Robertson, the televagelical mogul, was featured in a magazine called On Cable. Robertson, filled as usual with eternal boundless self-righteousness (ego), declared that he sought to remake America into a “biblically based nation.” His fiery right-wing politics was characterized by him as the “conservative, religious, and biblical point of view.” That “point of view” had been so slickly packaged by the time of his 1985 interview that his organization was siphoning in more than seventy million dollars a year.

The long held ideals and the values placed on diversity and plurality by the American people were regarded by Robertson to be “extreme dangers” of a secular state. The rights of minorities were being threatened in his “conservative” view drawn from biblical inspiration (that just happened to see nothing wrong with slavery). In public schools, he insisted, the children were being taught “a collective philosophy” that would lead citizens toward Marxism, socialism, or a communisitic type of ideology. In his humble (egocentric) opinion it was logical to denounce the Department of Education as unconstitutional!

Never shy about telling the nation what God wanted, Robertson asserted that the U.S. Supreme Court of the time had departed from history and the constitution. He worried publicly about “encroachment” of the judiciary. Thus Robertson charted a course to “engage” in what he termed “advocacy journalism,” and his Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) “news teams” began grinding out propagandist mini-documentaries with heavy “conservative” messages. Perhaps the heavily tilted Catholic (5 of 9) Supreme Court of today is more to his approval.

The CBN “news team” at that time was headed by a man once the editor of  The Washington Times, which just happened to be owned by the “Reverend” Sun Myung with all his questionable North Korean connections. The “born again” population, Robertson averred, was seriously under-represented in government. The evangelical then tried to ease the minds of skeptics declaring,  “The basic thing people do not understand is that evangelicals in America are not plotting to take away the rights of everybody else.”

Robertson, the modern age version of the biblical prophets, then announced that “God is going to thrust his people into positions they never dreamed they were capable of taking on.” (Bush, Cheney and others that schemed their way into federal government positions did seem to fill the requirements as set down by most biblical stars.) If the heavy tilt of religiously obsessed persons in government positions in recent years has been any indication, and if their corruption of true democratic principles is an example of a “biblically based” nation, can we truthfully say the sly takeover that Robertson advocated was “fairly benign”? 

His prophecy was on the button though; the U.S. got a born againer thrust into a government position that he was incapable of taking on.  With the blessings of eight years of bible-based leadership and conduct now behind us,  is there any doubt that a “biblical point of view” raised the nation’s standards in corruption, spying, waging war, wealth dispersion, imprisonment, torture and similar biblical niceties? 

The rise of televangelism in America from the 1950s is assessed in Time Frames and Taboo Data: A History of Mankind’s Misdirected Beliefs.