Thursday, August 11, 2011

A call to Action for the Clergy

Dear fellow Clergy,

It is clear that fundamentalist clergy are hostile to human liberty. Today we have the very real threat of the “Christian” dominionists who seek to cement their religious values into federal statute.

It is the separation of church and state that tends to preclude an American propensity toward fanaticism. Should this 'wall' be allowed to tumble the consequences for our society will be catastrophic. If we allow religion to be enshrined in law, fanatics to sip at the cup of power, the progress of generations will come to naught.

It matters not your religious proclivities, Christian, Jew, Islamist, Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist, all must now stand together and face this new ‘National Security’ threat, one that seeks to etch the cancer of religious bigotry in our legal code. If we allow the marriage of faith and authority, we bind our children to be combatants in the fight to resist the tyranny that will surely be born of the union.

This is not a conservative agenda as Berry Goldwater observed decades ago,

“And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism."

Dominionists seek to enslave the entire nation to their religious values for their own good. This brings to mind another often quoted passage used in support of conservative principles:

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” “Clive Staples”

The first targets of these groups are those most vulnerable due to their status on the fringes of society. However, if we neglect to stand for the rights of the most maligned in our society, it is our own rights that will be eroded before we take the opportunity to act in their defense.

It is time for ministers of all faiths and political persuasions to take a stand, say something, be counted, or risk leading our congregations and all that we hold sacred quietly into the night.

Rev. Peter Dybing
National First Officer
Covenant of the Goddess

13 comments:

  1. I have to say I do agree with you. Your statement here reminds me of the quote from Martin Niemoller in the text of an Address he gave to the United States Congress in 1968:

    "When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.
    Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church -- and there was nobody left to be concerned."

    It is the same issue with different names. Taking the liberties away from one group in the name of moral and religious legislation is the beginning of the removal of the liberty of all.

    Blessings,

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  2. I so agree with what you said! I am glad CoG has made this an official statement as many people will hear of it and hopefully act upon it. Count me in Peter!!

    Well said and thank YOU!

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  3. Thank you for spotlighting this issue. Many people are unaware of how Dominionists differ from other Christians. It's a very important distinction. I've commented on it on my own site -

    http://www.theprovocation.net/2011/08/kingdom-of-god-on-earth-some-want-us.html

    I will be adding you to my blogroll!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. Knowledge is power!

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  5. Cindy,

    This is a statement from me, COG did not debate this letter. I would hazard a guess that you would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with the gist in CoG. This piece identified me with title and position in order to establish my place as part of the clergy to the recipients.

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  6. This is nonsense. Religious proclivities themselves are an obstacle to "standing together" with "non-believers". Only when we leave childish superstitions behind can we move forward. Your intentions are good, but your anachronistic worldview dooms those intentions to failure.

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  7. Religious proclivities aside we need to have a separation of church(any/all) ideology from federal statutes. The few can not speak for the all. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the only dogma I want to see.

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  8. Carolynn thankyou for the confirmation. Martin Niemoller's words have been haunting me for the past week. You are so right.

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  9. As a member of a local interfaith ministerial coalition, I've watched this cult gain strength and numbers since 2005. It's grown slowly, but it has been noticeable because it plays the 'Jesus' card to the poor and poorly educated through fear and lies.They're scaring people into joining them with the ridiculous message that 'true' Christianity is under attack, that "pagans and non-believers" are trying to take Christ out of Christmas, etc, and that a secular society is out to get them.

    Of course, nothing could be father from the truth but that's a difficult message to get through to people who are already frightened and paranoid about the economy and convinced that the US government is out to enslave them.

    The New Apostolic Reformation, and related groups with a variety of similar names, have been working the public like a carnival barker works a crowd through its hollow promises of prosperity and respectability for those who feel disenfranchised and marginalized. It's marriage to certain GOP 'stars' such as Perry, Bachmann and Palin has made it's malefic intention politically respectable in many quarters. The Dominionist projection upon a confused and fearful public that their version of religion is as American as apple pie will gain them success at the polls unless the clergy of this country unite- Pagans, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and mainstream Christianity must go into our pulpits and lecterns and counter this attack on civil liberties and human rights before it is too late.

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  10. Anonymous,

    By indicating that all others must first accept your position before we can effectively work together you become part of the problem, not so different than those who would force their world religious views on us. The nonsense is your post!

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  11. I have been writing about these Dominionists for months and criticizing their influence frequently. I'm glad we're on the same team.

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  12. 1st Anonymous:

    Your derisive attitude aside, your assertion that Peter's concern for a very real problem is "an obstacle to "standing together" with "non-believers"" is based on how much experience with Dominionists and NAM adherents?

    Ameth Jera is dead on. I've watched the early Charismatic Fundamentalist movement of the 60's and 70's morph into the Seven Mountains doctrine, and heard this rhetoric preached and discussed in my family's churches. The political power grabbing and infiltration of our armed forces has been in the works for decades, training a generation as spiritual warrior pawns who cannot question their God-ordained mission. They started small, at local and ground levels, and moved up, giving each other a leg up as they rose higher. They believe that civil law and information must conform with their unBibilcal version of "God's law", and push for legislation to bring anything they don't agree with in line. Now they are reaching for the presidency and Congressional majority, and the highest echelon of these who all claim to be God's Anointed Apostles do not care who they bulldoze in the pursuit of power. There are no casualties for them, only trophies to prove Yahweh has "given them the victory".

    The only members of this affiliation of groups that you'll ever "stand together" with are the ones who've been chewed up and spit out of the DomNAM world for not being orthodox enough, or ones who simply can't swallow the bilge and walk away. You're reading the words of one of the latter. DomNAM dogma teaches that anyone who doesn't toe the line is possesed by Satan or demons or a spirit of evil, and compromising, tolerating, or even listening to such a person means the listeners are infected by evil and their souls may be lost as well. Furthermore, people who are "possessed by evil" can't be trusted to think for themselves or make their own decisions about what is good for them, so anything that "heals" them and brings them to repudiate their failing and "be right with God" is acceptable as a desperately needed intervention.

    At least among the fairly nice ones. There's another element in the movement that ascribes to the literal side of spiritual warrior dogma, touts the belief that we are living in End Times, that a full-on material world war is inevitable, and that they are instruments of wrathful divine justice in that conflict.

    You can claim all this as a childish superstition if you want, but the child's tale of the boy who has pity on a snake only to be bitten by that snake is not the work of a fool.

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