The Greek Debt Crisis
Bombing for Ethnic Cleansing
Edward S. Herman
Conflict in Syria
John W. Whitehead
The Great Obama Bailout
Good News Clubs
The Christian Right Quiz
Steel Workers March
Military Threats in Iran
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Can You Pass the Christian Right Quiz?
An understanding of the Christian Right, a loose coalition of politically conservative congregations and organizations, is critical to understanding the U.S. While the Christian Right has largely been frustrated in its attempts to reverse the cultural direction of America—it has failed, for example, to limit women’s rights, censor the media, ban abortions, and prevent gays from serving in the military—it has largely succeeded in influencing the national debate, the Supreme Court, and the Republican Party. This quiz seeks to explore the political influence of the Christian Right and to highlight the threat its radical fundamentalism poses to the majority of Americans who value pluralism and tolerance.
Q1. Approximately what percentage of U.S. adults is affiliated with the Evangelical Protestant tradition?
Twenty-six percent (http://religions.pewforum.org/maps). It is useful to distinguish between two broad groups of evangelicals: (i) moderate evangelicals who concede that there is more than one legitimate way to worship and serve Christ; (ii) traditional evangelicals—which include those identified as fundamentalists—who come closest to the “Christian Right” discussed in the media. Traditional evangelicals, approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, are overwhelmingly Republican, openly hostile to democratic pluralism, and promote policies that deny the civil rights of others (such as gays and Muslims). While they insist on tolerance for their brand of Christianity, it is clear that they would not provide the same tolerance to others.
A radical subset of traditional evangelicals includes strict fundamentalists called Dominionists, who make more than a few traditional evangelicals uncomfortable. It “is this core group of powerful Christian dominionists who have latched on to the despair, isolation, disconnectedness, and fear that drives many people into…traditional evangelical churches….
[The dominionists] can count on the passive support of huge numbers of Christians, even if many of these Christians may not fully share dominionism’s fierce utopian vision, fanaticism or ruthlessness” (Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America).
It should be noted that, since the mid-1970s, conservative Catholics, Jews and other non-evangelicals have been invited into traditional evangelical political organizations (K. Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right).
Q2. Why is the U.S. a far more religious country than the UK, France, Germany, and other economically advanced states?
Religious faith has flourished in America as nowhere else precisely because the government has (for the most part, at least) stayed out of the religion business. At the same time, allowing religious groups to function freely in the marketplace of popular discourse has tended to dissipate voices of political dissent…[And] no group has functioned more effectively in this marketplace than evangelicals…[This reality] makes the persistent attempts on the part of the Religious Right to eviscerate the First Amendment utterly confounding” (Randall Balmer, The Making Of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond).
If the U.S. had no proscription against religious establishment, religion in America today could look like the Church of England in Great Britain. The Church of England, “the established religion, draws less than three percent of the population to its Sunday services.... E]vangelicalism has competed freely in the American religious marketplace. And it has done so with intelligence, vigor, and savvy.… [E]vangelicals have understood better than anyone else how to communicate to the masses. The message they propagate is simple.... Come to Jesus. Make a decision for Christ. You control your own spiritual destiny” (Balmer).
Numerous television evangelists, including the disgraced Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker, got their start in huge, soulless exurbs. This destruction of community is one of the crucial factors that has led to the rise of the Christian Right. The megachurches, which have prospered in these environments, have become surrogate communities, places where people can find clubs to pursue common interests, friends, a sense of belonging, and moral direction.
“In these sprawling churches…believers are reassured, told that affluence is blessed by God—a sign of their righteousness and the righteousness of their nation—and that in the embrace of the church they have a place, a home. The abandonment of the working class by political leaders of all parties has been crucial to the success of the Christian Right” (Hedges).
Q3. In 2000, what percentage of evangelicals voted for George W. Bush for president?
In an extremely close 2000 presidential election in which Bush lost the popular vote and received a slim victory in the electoral college after the Supreme Court’s intervention, “Bush won 74 percent of the evangelical vote, and 84 percent percent of the votes of white evangelicals who regularly attended church.”
“At the time that George W. Bush took office, evangelicals accounted for one-third of the Republican vote in presidential elections, but that figure increased to nearly 40 percent by the end of his term. It became impossible for any Republican presidential candidate to ignore the Christian Right’s demands on abortion, gay rights, and other social issues.” However, because the majority of Americans did not want to revert to a time when abortions were illegal, gays closeted themselves and premarital sex was taboo, religious conservatives “found that they could win elections, but not change the culture” (Williams).
In 2004, “78 percent of evangelicals…voted for Bush.” The evangelical vote was crucial to Bush’s win as “the outcome…depended on only 120,000 votes in Ohio [where evangelical support for Bush was strong]…. Evangelicals were…well positioned for long-term influence over the nation’s culture.
“By 2005, there were nearly 14,000 Christian radio stations…and 16 percent of American adults said that they tuned in to these stations daily. The Left Behind series of End-Times novels that Tim LaHaye coauthored—in which Christians fought the Antichrist…had sold 60 million copies…. The Christian Right was also training a new generation of political activists [many of whom were working in the White House and Congress]” (Williams).
Q4. What was the main reason John McCain selected (a clearly unqualified) Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in 2008?
“Recognizing that he had not yet won the loyalty of the Christian Right, McCain made a bid for their support by selecting Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a strongly pro-life evangelical Christian…. He would have preferred to select Joe Lieberman for the role, but his campaign aides warned him that the choice of the pro-choice, pro-gay-rights senator from Connecticut would anger the Christian Right and doom his candidacy…. Palin…supported the teaching of ‘intelligent design’ in public schools, opposed abortion…and staunchly defended marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution…. Palin’s place on the ticket won over most of the evangelicals who had been skeptical about McCain” (Williams).
In the 2008 presidential election, 23 percent of all voters were white evangelicals and, although McCain received only 46 percent of the popular vote, he “won the votes of 73 percent of white evangelicals and more than 80 percent of white evangelicals who attended church weekly. In short, evangelicals had become the core constituency of the Republican Party (Williams).
Q5. At the January 2012 Republican Iowa caucuses, what percentage of caucus-goers were evangelicals?
Fifty-seven percent (abcnews.go.com).
Q6. Who was the first openly Born Again Christian president of the U.S.?
Jimmy Carter (president from 1977-81) “is widely regarded as the first openly Born Again president and, perhaps, the most Evangelical president in U.S. history. He is an active Sunday School teacher and has written inspirational Christian books. “Carter attended First Baptist Church in Washington, DC while he was president…. Carter was long associated with the Southern Baptist Convention and was a Southern Baptist while in office. Although he remained a devout Baptist, he renounced his association with the Southern Baptist Convention in October 2000” (a Christian, like Carter, can be Born Again and not be part of the Christian Right).
Evangelicals helped “sweep Carter to victory in the presidential election of 1976. His rhetoric about being a ‘born again Christian’ had energized evangelicals, many of whom had been resolutely apolitical until the mid-1970s…. [H]is pledge that he would ‘never knowingly lie to the American people’…resonated…especially after…Nixon’s endless prevarications” (Balmer).
Q7. Which religious group’s delegates passed the following resolution at their 1971 Convention and reaffirmed the position in 1974 and 1976? “We call upon…[the religious group] to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.”
Evangelical delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, passed this liberal abortion resolution. After the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court landmark Roe v. Wade decision—that effectively struck down all laws banning abortion until the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb—“the overwhelming response on the part of evangelicals was silence, even approval. Baptists, in particular, applauded the decision as an appropriate articulation of the line of division between church and state, between personal morality and state regulation of individual behavior” (Balmer). The conservative Baptist pastor, W. A. Criswall, “lauded the Court’s ruling in Roe. ‘I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had life separate from its mother that it became an individual person and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed,’ he said” (Williams).
The Roman Catholic Church, in contrast, had “longstanding arguments against abortion. As early as the Iowa precinct caucuses in 1972, the bishops were urging their communicants to support candidates opposed to abortion.” The Catholic Church even condemned abortion when the woman’s life was at stake (Balmer).
“Prior to the mid-1970s, no one would have associated the GOP with opposition to abortion. Republican politicians spearheaded some of the earliest efforts to liberalize abortion laws in California, Colorado, and New York…. If Republicans were reluctant to restrict abortion in the late 1960s and early 1970s, so were most evangelicals. They greeted the first state abortion legalization laws with silence and apathy” (Williams).
It should be noted that a very small contingent of fundamentalists who had condemned abortion before the Roe decision, made more concerted efforts on behalf of the pro-life cause after the decision (Williams).
Q8. If, contrary to myth, the Roe v. Wade decision was not the cause for the rise of the Christian Right, what was?
“In the early 1970s, the…U.S. government was looking for ways to extend the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [T]he Internal Revenue Service opined that any organization that engaged in racial discrimination was not, by definition, a charitable organization and therefore should be denied tax-exempt status…. On January 19, 1976, the IRS…revoked Bob Jones University’s tax-exempt status…. Bob Jones University [an evangelical institution with racially discriminatory policies] sued to retain its tax exemption, [it eventually lost at the Supreme Court in 1982] and conservative activist Paul Weyrich…sensed the electoral potential of enlisting evangelical voters in the conservative crusade.
Evangelical leaders, prodded by Weyrich, chose to interpret the IRS ruling against segregationist schools as an assault on the…sanctity of the evangelical subculture. That is what prompted them to action and to organize into a political movement…. O]nce these evangelical leaders had mobilized in defense of Bob Jones University, they held a conference to discuss the possibility of other political activities. Several people suggested potential issues and finally a voice…said, ‘How about abortion?’ And that…was how abortion was cobbled into the agenda of the Religious Right in the late 1970s, not as a direct response to the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision” (Balmer).
Paul Weyrich was a founder of the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank largely financed by beer mogul, Joseph Coors. “Weyrich…understood the abortion issue’s potential appeal to politically liberal pro-life activists who had shown little interest in the New Right’s other causes [such as tax cuts and business deregulation]” (Williams).
It should be noted that Jimmy Carter was not yet president when Bob Jones University was informed by the IRS in 1975 that its tax exempt status would be revoked. “And yet, according to Weyrich, it was ‘Jimmy Carter’s intervention against Christian schools’ that precipitated the rise of the Religious Right…. [W]eyrich succeeded in pinning this unpopular action on the Democratic president and using it to organize a movement to deny him reelection in 1980.” The result was that evangelicals, who had emerged to help elect Carter president in 1976, turned strongly against him just four years later (Balmer).
Q9. What explains traditional evangelicals’ comfort with conservative economics since the 1980s?
As evangelicals have experienced political success, it has been commonplace to hear evangelical preachers peddle Republican myths of trickle-down prosperity. While evangelicals over 50 years of age grew up hearing a lot of sermons about the perils of wealth—as Jesus did clearly identify with the poor—such is rare today. It is much more common to hear leaders of the Religious Right speak on the miracle of supply side economics. Is it mere coincidence “that the so-called ‘prosperity theology,’ a kind of spiritualized Reaganism, flourished among evangelicals during the 1980s?” According to the prosperity gospel, wealth, fame, and power are manifestations of God’s work, proof that God has a plan and design for believers (Balmer).
Fundamentalist leader Jerry Falwell “was just as conservative as the most fervent New Right ideologue” when it came to tax policy. As Falwell said, “I don’t think a guy who makes a lot of money should pay more taxes than a guy who makes a little…” (Williams).
“[T]he Christian Right has engaged voters on nonmaterial grounds. Moral values issues like abortion and gay marriage are the focus. And this concentration on moral issues has had a paradoxical consequence: It has aligned a large bloc of evangelical voters whose incomes are generally modest with a political party highly attuned to the economic demands of the wealthy, that is, the Republican Party. It has done so, moreover, in an era in which, over the entire electorate, economic issues divide the parties more sharply along class lines than in the past, with Democrats favored by less affluent voters and Republicans by more affluent voters….
“All this makes it more consequential that evangelicals have become such loyal GOP supporters…. [I]t means that Republicans attract far more support from lower- and middle-class voters than they would otherwise” (Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson; Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class).
Q10. Who said the following in 1958? “The true negro does not want integration. He realizes his potential is far better among his own race. Who then is propagating this terrible thing? We see the hand of Moscow in the background…. [We see the] Devil himself.”
Jerry Falwell. The best-known Christian Right leader in the 1980s, fundamentalist Baptist pastor and later founder of the influential Moral Majority, Falwell also defended the white apartheid South African government and assured “segregationists that God and the nation were on their side” (Williams). To airbrush his past, Falwell, sometime after 1970, tried to recall “all copies of his earlier sermons warning against integration and the evils of the black race.... In 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Falwell admitted the first African American family to his church” (Hedges).
“The ties by Christian Right leaders…with racist groups highlight the long ties between right-wing fundamentalists and American racist organizations, including the Klan, which had a chaplain assigned to each chapter…. By the late 1950s these radical Christians had drifted to the fiercely anti-communist John Birch Society…. Many of the ideas championed by today’s dominionists—the bizarre conspiracy theories, the calls for unrestrained capitalism, the war against ‘liberal’ organizations…along with calls to dismantle federal agencies that deal with housing or education—are drawn from the ideology of this rabid anticommunist enclave (Hedges).
Q11. True or False: the Bible, not to mention Jesus, says a great deal about divorce—and none of it good; yet relatively little about homosexuality and nothing about abortion.
True. “Jesus himself said nothing whatsoever about sexuality, though he did talk a good bit about money. Still, the preponderance of the biblical witness, which the Religious Right claims as formative, is directed toward the believer’s responsibility to those Jesus calls ‘the least of these,’ toward an honoring of the meek and peacemakers, and, on social matters, against divorce. Yet the Religious Right made no attempt to outlaw divorce” (Balmer).
The lack of attention toward divorce by the Religious Right is probably due to the fact that “the divorce rate among evangelicals by the late 1970s…was roughly the same as that of the larger population.” Also, the “Religious Right’s designation of abortion and homosexuality as the central issues of their social agenda allowed them to divert attention from their embrace of Reagan [a divorced and remarried man]” (Balmer).
“The so-called red states, which vote Republican and have large evangelical populations, have higher rates of murder, illegitimacy, and teenage births than so-called blue states, which vote Democrat and have kept evangelicals at bay. The lowest divorce rates tend to be found in blue states as well as in the Northeast and upper Midwest. The state with the lowest divorce rate is Massachusetts, a state singled out by televangelists because of its liberal politicians and legalization of same-sex marriage” (Hedges).
“[F]undamentalists are…not biblical literalists, as they claim, but ‘selective literalists,’ choosing the bits and pieces of the Bible that conform to their ideology and ignoring, distorting or inventing the rest. And the selective literalists cannot have it both ways. Either the Bible is literally true and all of its edicts must be obeyed or it must be read in another way.” While the Bible (Leviticus 18:22) says that a man who has sex with another man is an abomination and should be killed, a “literal reading of the Bible [also] means reinstitution of slavery…. Children who strike or curse a parent are to be executed…. [M]en are free to sell their daughters into sexual bondage” (Hedges).
Q12. True or False: the Christian Right, respecting the sanctity of human life, opposes capital punishment.
False. “The Religious Right’s opposition to abortion has been weakened…by its insistent refusal to be consistently ‘pro-life.’ Unlike the Roman Catholic Church…the leaders of the Religious Right have failed to condemn capital punishment or even the use of torture by the Bush administration…. [In fact,] when the Republican-Religious Right coalition controlled [the Congress and presidency]…from February 1, 2006…until January 3, 2007…no attempt whatsoever [was made] to outlaw abortion…. [Instead] the Military Commissions Act [was passed and signed into law]…which sought to legitimize the use of torture” (Balmer).
Q13. How many times does the word “God” appear in the U.S. Constitution?
Zero. The First Amendment to the Constitution does refer to religion, but not in a manner that fundamentalist Christians desire. The First Amendment does not privilege Christianity; rather it reads, in part, that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” As well, “Article 6, Section 3 states explicitly that federal officials ‘shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’ The addition of the word ‘affirmation’ is significant because it meant that officeholders could not be compelled to take an oath on the Bible….
[T]he founders, who did in fact live in an era when the states were peopled almost entirely by Christians, thought to include freethinkers and non-Christians…in their basic laws” (Washington Post.com).
Q14. Who, in 1994, convinced one million Americans to call the congressional switchboard to stop legislation that would have tightened regulations on home schooling?
James Dobson. One of the U.S.’s most prominent Christian Right leaders (Williams), “He [Dobson] has built a massive empire based on his advice to families as a Christian therapist. He is heard on Focus on the Family, a program broadcast on more than 3,000 radio stations; runs a grassroots organization with chapters in 36 states; and runs his operation out of an 81-acre campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a campus that has its own zip code.
“He employs 1,300 people, sends out four million pieces of mail each month, and is heard in 116 countries. His estimated listening audience is more than 200 million worldwide, and in the United States he appears on 80 television stations each day. He is antichoice, supports abstinence-only sex education exclusively and is fiercely antigay.” With respect to the roles of the sexes he is clear: “Genesis tells us that the Creator made two sexes…. He designed each gender for a specific purpose…. [T]he man is the master and the woman must obey.” According to Dobson, and many others in the movement, the principal role for women with children is to home-school the children (Hedges).
Dobson’s effort to hold Republicans accountable for their legislative record has led to Republican leaders introducing bills to ban human cloning, prevent gay couples from adopting children, and cut off funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Q15. Are members of the Christian Right anti-Semitic?
While dominionists regularly preach that Jews must rule the biblical land of Israel in order for Christ to return, they also believe, but rarely state, “that Jews who do not convert are damned and will be destroyed in the fiery, apocalyptic ending of the world.” Despite this blatant anti-Semitism, right-wing Jews embrace traditional evangelicals as they lobby persistently for U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support of Israel. (It is ironic that most U.S. evangelicals have never demonstrated the slightest interest in the welfare of Palestinian Christians who live under Israel’s harsh and illegal occupation (Hedges).
Q16. Who said the following at a major meeting of religious conservatives in 1980? “It is interesting at great political rallies how you have a Protestant to pray, a Catholic to pray, and then you have a Jew to pray. With all due respect to those dear people, my friends, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew…. How in the world can God hear the prayer of a man who says that Jesus Christ is not the Messiah? It’s blasphemous.”
Bailey Smith: Southern Baptist Convention president. “Falwell attempted to do damage control by arguing that God hears the prayers of all ‘redeemed’ Jews, which was what Smith had meant when he said that prayers must be offered in the name of Jesus to be acceptable” (Williams).“Hatred of Jews and other non-Christians pervades the Gospel of John…. Jews, he wrote, are children of the devil” (Hedges).
Q17. Was it an American general or a Taliban commander who said the following after leading troops into battle? “I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his God was an idol.”
American general, William Boykin, stated the above after leading American troops into battle against a Somalian warlord. “General Boykin belongs to a small group called the Faith Force Multiplier whose members apply military principles to evangelism…. Boykin, rather than being reprimanded for his inflammatory rhetoric, was promoted [in 2003] to the position of deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. He believes America is engaged in a holy war as a ‘Christian nation’ battling Satan and that America’s Muslim adversaries will be defeated ‘only if we come against them in the name of Jesus’” (Hedges).
“[M]any evangelical leaders portrayed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as a sign of Islam’s allegedly violent or ‘evil’ nature…. ‘We will rid the world of the evil-doers,’ Bush promised America….. Evangelicals’ view of politics as a spiritual battle between good and evil led them to support not only the military’s actions in Afghanistan, but also President Bush’s war in Iraq…. [T]he evangelical population…was more supportive of the war than any other demographic group…. Evangelical support for the war increased to 79 percent in May 2003, and it remained high long after other Americans had given up hope for success in Iraq” (Williams).
Q18. Why did the Christian Right begin to use the term “intelligent design” in place of “creationism?”
Intelligent design has been the code word of the Christian Right “since the Supreme Court ruled in the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard case that creationism cannot be taught in public schools. Intelligent design argues that the slow process of evolution could not have produced something as complex as the living cell. Rather, life was created by an ‘intelligent agent,’ one the proponents of intelligent design are careful to specify is unknown, in order to skirt the judicial ban on creationism.” The theory of “Evolution…shattered the comfortable world-view of many Christians, who saw themselves created in the image of God…. It dethroned Christians from their self-constructed platform of moral and ethical superiority. It challenged the belief that God intervenes in human affairs to protect and guide believers” (Hedges).
In response to a “2004 Gallup poll…38 percent [of Americans] believed God guided evolution and 45 percent said the “Genesis” account of creation was a true story. Courses on intelligent design have been taught at the universities of Minnesota, Georgia, New Mexico, and Iowa State, along with Wake Forest and Carnegie Mellon, not to mention Christian universities that teach all science through the prism of the Bible” (Hedges).
The highly respected Union of Concerned Scientists, noting the number of pseudoscientists peddling falsehoods inside the government (such as the claim that condoms are not safe), included the following in its March 2004 report, “Scientific Integrity in Policymaking”: “There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression, and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration are unprecedented” (Hedges).
“[E]vangelicals have been notoriously uninterested in environmental preservation. If Jesus is going to return soon to rescue the true believers and to unleash judgment on those left behind, why should we devote any attention whatsoever to care of the earth, which will soon be destroyed in the apocalypse predicted in the book of Revelation?... [President Reagan’s evangelical secretary of the interior revealed his beliefs when he] remarked to stunned members of the House Interior Committee, ‘I don’t know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns’” (Balmer).
Q19. Who distributed the following memo “How to Participate in a Political Party” to his supporters at the Iowa Republican County Caucus? “Rule the world for God. Give the impression that you are there to work for the Party, not push an ideology. Hide your strength. Don’t flaunt your Christianity. Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership whenever possible, God willing.”
Joan Bokaer, the Director of Theocracy Watch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University, was on a 1986 speaking tour in Iowa when she “obtained a copy of a memo Pat Robertson [a leading televangelist and Republican presidential candidate] handed out to followers at the Iowa Republican County Caucus.” In September 1986, Robertson announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for President. Robertson’s campaign got off to a strong second-place finish in the Iowa caucus.
“The Reconstructionist movement, founded in 1973 by Rousas Rushdooney, is the intellectual foundation for the most politically active element within the Christian Right. Rushdooney’s…three-volume work, Institutes of Biblical Law, argued that American society should be governed according to the Biblical precepts in the Ten Commandments. He wrote that the elect, like Adam and Noah, were given dominion over the earth by God and must subdue the earth, along with all non-believers, so the Messiah could return….
The religious utterances from political leaders such as George Bush, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson, and Zell Miller are only understandable in light of Rushdooney and Dominionism. These leaders believe that God has selected them to battle the forces of evil, embodied in ‘secular humanism,’ to create a Christian nation…. Pat Robertson…says he is training…students [at his Regent’s University] to rule when the Christian regents take power, part of the reign leading to the return of Christ.... Dominionists now control at least six national television networks, each reaching tens of millions of homes” (Hedges).
The Bush administration “diverted billions of dollars…from secular and governmental social-service organizations to faith-based organizations, bankrolling churches and organizations that seek to dismantle American democracy and create a theocratic state….These groups can and usually do discriminate by refusing to hire gays and lesbians, people of other faiths, and those who do not embrace their strict version of Christianity…. In fiscal year 2004, faith-based organizations received $2.005 billion in funding—10.3 percent of federal competitive service grants. [President Obama renamed the office, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He also established an advisory council that is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds]” (Hedges).
Jeffrey Rudolph, a Montreal college professor, was the Quebec representative of the East Timor Alert Network and presented a paper on its behalf at the United Nations.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.