Karen lee Wald
A Phrasebook Guide
NATO's War on Libya
Abbas's New Gambit
Women of Corn
The CIA Returns to Campus
Native Eskimos Fight for Lost Land
Mexico's Indignados Have Had It
The Jobs Crisis
Revolts in Syria
Omar s. Dahl
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The Campaign to Silence Critics o Religious Extremism
A number of conservative writers and political pundits have taken to attacking left-wing investigative reporters, researchers and journalists over their reporting about Dominionism, Christian Reconstruc-tionism and the New Apostolic Reformation—three little-known theological and ideological movements gaining ground on the Christian Right.
In a recent edition of USA Today, Mike I. Pinsky, a self-described “left-wing Democrat,” jumped on board the Stop-Picking-On-Dominionists bandwagon with a column titled “The truth about evangelicals” (www.usatoday.com). Thus Pinsky, a former religion writer for the Orlando Sentinel and Los Angeles Times, and the author of A Jew Among the Evangelicals: A Guide for the Perplexed, joined such conservative luminaries as the always-in-comeback-mode Ralph Reed, Michael Gerson, and Ross Douthat, and Lisa Miller, a religion writer at the Washington Post, in claiming that progressive researchers are spreading paranoid tropes about the religious beliefs of some of the Republican Party’s presidential candidates, notably Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann.
Pinsky’s defense of so-called common-sense all-American evangelism (the non-theocratic kind) contains a number of well-worn claims including: (a) most Christian evangelicals have no idea what Dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism or the New Apostolic Reformation are; (b) the paranoid left is overstating its case; (c) some of the figures named by critics are “marginal,” citing David Barton and John Hagee as examples; and (d) Jews need to be careful about “demonizing” Christians.
Let’s look at that last point first. In time-honored fashion, Pinsky warns: “If, as Jews, we replace the old caricature of hayseed fundamentalist mobs carrying torches and pitchforks with one of dark conspirators trying to worm their way back into political power at the highest levels, we run the risk of accusing them of doing to others what we are doing to them: demonizing. We didn’t like it when people said we had horns and tails, ate the blood of Christian children and poisoned the wells of
While many Jews have tended to feel more than a little uneasy about conservative Christian evangelical leaders and their anti-gay, anti-choice rhetoric and political activities, nevertheless, the Christian Right has, over the past few decades, claimed a special relationship with Jews. Much of this relationship is based on the right’s alleged support for Israel—exemplified by opposing any Roadmap to Peace with the Palestinians—and End Times scenarios that, in the end, don’t leave the Jews in very good shape.
Over the years, Christian Right leaders have picked out a few favored Jews and invited them to their seminars, demonstrations, and rallies, think Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who runs The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews; Rabbi Daniel Lapin, founder and head of Toward Tradition (before his association with the scandal-ridden Republican Party uber-lobbyist, Jack Abramoff); and Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who most recently blamed the Washington, DC earthquake on gays and their supporters.
While most Christian evangelicals may or may not be familiar with Dominionism, Christian Reconstruction, or the New Apostolic Reformation, that is hardly the point. Back in the early days of the Religious Right, most American evangelicals were probably not all that familiar with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, and Dr. James Dobson. It wasn’t until they emerged as leaders of a powerful movement that they achieved widespread recognition.
Pinsky claims that writers Michelle Goldberg, Rabbi James Rudin, Sara Diamond (an oldie but a goodie who actually left the right-wing watch scene many years ago) and Rachel Taba- chnick, are using what he calls an “Upper West Side hysteric” tone (a label that I believe is supposed to indicate something both elite and unbalanced) and a, “tenuous if not tortured connect-the-dots link to a presidential or congressional candidate.”
How “tenuous” or “tortured” is it to examine the speakers list at Rick Perry’s highly publicized “The Response” event in
As to David Barton and Pastor John Hagee: we should all be blessed with the multiple platforms, political connections, and financial wherewithal of both these men.
Longtime journalist Frederick Clarkson, author of the invaluable book, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, and the co-founder of Talk2Action, summarizes: “...neither Barton or Hagee are in fact, marginal figures in evangelical Christianity or in wider public life.... Barton was named one of the nation’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals’ by Time magazine in 2005 and for many years served as the vice-chair of the Texas GOP. Barton was repeatedly featured on Glen Beck’s Fox News show at its height.
“His books are widely used in evangelical Christian schools and home schools. For his part, Hagee is one of the best-known evangelists in the world. His show is seen by millions around the world and is carried by several networks. His organization Christians United for
In a conversation on her Facebook page, Tabachnick pointed out that Pinsky “has written repeatedly about Hagee in the Orlando Sentinel, in USA Today and in his own book.... This is not ignorance. This was willfully misleading readers.”
Bill Berkowitz is a freelance writer covering conservative movements.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.