Thursday, December 07, 2006

Katherine Yurica: The Plain Ordinary Born Again Christian

When I wrote about Dominionism, Progressive Christian Dominionists, on December 4th, I raised the question of why, if the definition of Dominionism, according to Wikipedia is...:

"Dominionism...seeks to establish specific political policies based on religious beliefs.

It is most often used to describe POLITICALLY ACTIVE conservative Christians WITH A SPECIFIC AGENDA. The term is rarely used as a self-description; many feel it is a loaded or pejorative term, and USE OF THE TERM IS PRIMARILY LIMITED TO CRITICS OF THE Christian Right." (emphasis mine)


...then why the term dominionism isn't used to describe progressive Christians who seek "to establish specific political policies based on religious belief" and are "politically active with a specific agenda," as well. I concluded that...:

"If politically active Christians who are seeking a specific agenda are "Dominionists" there are plenty of progressive Christian "Dominionists," as well."


...and I was right to conclude that. "Period. Dot. Bingo." (I heard that on Laura Ingraham's show the other day and I liked it.)

In the comment section of that entry, I was referred to an article written by Katherine Yurica at her website the Yurica Report, Katherine describes herself this way in the About Us section at the site:

"If someone were to ask, could two women senior citizens change the course of the political atmosphere in America today? I would say, “Not a chance.” Yet after I built this web site—after I looked at the “images for a corrupt time,” I began to believe that with your help we can change the course of history.

I’m not saying that my mother and I are special. We’re not. We are a mother daughter team. I’m the daughter—Katherine Yurica—...I’m in my sixties....Now we're* driving a 1993 Subaru I bought in April. Everything works on it! And it's got all wheel drive! It's name is Beeep! She's adjusting to life with us and learning how to counsel me on all important decisions! She'll only use unleaded fuel, and she likes to have her face and windows washed once a day! She'd like you to know that we're just plain ordinary born again Christians!...

I was educated at East Los Angeles College where I was elected the first woman student body president and earned an A.A. degree in English. I received my B.A. in English literature at U.S.C. I also attended the USC School of Law, where I was elected the first woman class president in the U.S. In 1966, I began the study of art in Mexico. I was shaken as an artist as I saw what others did not see: America was in trouble. Specialization was creating an airless vacuum where responsibility could not grow. Viet Nam began with a lie and ended with young and beautiful soldiers coming home in body bags. We learned nothing as a people." (emphasis mine)


*she and her mother, Kelly Leosis

Here's what the "plain ordinary born again Christian" has to say about America:

"Today, there’s a foul wind in the air. America stinks of open hatred, arrogance, greed and a lust for power. There’s a smug complacency brought about, no doubt by a sense of personal comfort that deludes millions into thinking that because they belong to the “in” group—hellish results will be visited only upon another class of Americans. So they live without protest, watching the Republican party become the instrument of the religious right, letting freedoms be torn away from the cloth—the very fabric of our country, and they say nothing. They will endure any hardship so long as they do not have to take a stand against the violent and corrupt among us. Satisfied with the twists and turns this country has made in the last two years, the fiddlers fiddle, while America burns its resources, its dollars, its credibility, its young men and women, and the very heart of our Constitution.

With your help, we can and will change the winds blowing in this nation. Liberty and freedom belong to all Americans, not just to a selected elite. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have spread poison all over America. It’s a worse poison than anthrax or nerve gas. Those poisons will only kill our bodies, but the poison of the right wing talk show hosts and the religious right can and does enslave the souls of a free people and destroys all that is good and pure and noble in this land."


I'm not sure when Ms. Yurica wrote her "about me" section but apparently it was before the November 7, 2006 election because clearly Americans sent a message of "protest" to the "Republican party and the religious right," because the Republican party failed to hold a majority in either the House or the Senate. Obviously, Americans exercised their liberty and freedom and the "freedoms" Ms. Yurica claims have been "torn away from the cloth—the very fabric of our country," are still being enjoyed across the country and were exhibited by the fact that American voters voted a majority of Democrats into power in both the House and Senate.

I also must question her when she implies that someone, presumably Republicans and the religious right, believe that liberty and freedom no longer belong to all Americans, as though "Rush Limbaugh and his ilk" have somehow taken that liberty and freedom away from other Americans simply by the exercise of their own liberty and freedom of speech.

Apparently, according to Ms. Yurica, if these "right wing talk show hosts and the religious right" exercise their own liberty and freedom, which she states belongs to "all Americans," they are spreading "a poison worse than anthrax or nerve gas."

Isn't it interesting that other people who exercise their liberty and freedoms are welcome regardless of their agenda, and let's face it, we ALL have them, but if it happens to be a right wing talk show host or the religious right the very active utilization of that liberty and freedom threatens to "enslave the souls of a free people and destroys all that is good and pure and noble in this land." One must assume that since Ms. Yurica works under the erroneous assumption that only right wingers can be "dominionists," progressive Christians and the left wing radio talk show hosts on our airwaves are no threat, no threat at all...nah, no poison streams from the mouths of those innocent, "plain ordinary born again Christians" or left wing talk show hosts, they are simply righteously exercising the liberty and freedom with which all Americans are blessed. As, no doubt is Katherine Yurica.

I was referred to this article written by Ms. Yurica, The Despoiling Of America, and which was noted at Wikipedia:


"Political groups and individuals that worry about how, and to what extent, dominionism influences the Christian Right include People for the American Way, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Interfaith Alliance, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Joan Bokaer[2] and KATHERINE YURICA[3]" (emphasis mine)


It is found directly above Sara Diamond's warning in the same Wikipedia entry:

"Sara Diamond warns, however, that while dominionism has influenced the Christian Right, liberals too often use hyperbolic language to describe the activities and goals of the Christian Right.[4]

The term "Dominionism" - with its close affiliation with notions of theocracy - can be used pejoratively to inaccurately describes the philosophical underpinnings of some individuals who identify themselves with the Christian Right. Very few of these see the Christian Right as an eschatological political movement designed to usher in the Kingdom of God; for them, the Christian Right articulates the traditional cultural critiques of paleoconservatives in the context of a worldview informed by orthodox Christian teaching.[citation needed] Moreover, many policies endorsed by the Christian Right contradict Dominionist notions. For example, the avid support of school vouchers by the Christian Right could lead to greater plurality in educational institutions, rather than a monolithic education system shaped by Dominionist ideas.[citation needed]"


Sara Diamond, also studies the agenda and methods of the "right wing" in American politics. She has written four books: Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States, Facing the Wrath: Confronting the Right in Dangerous Times and Not by Politics Alone: The Enduring Influence of the Christian Right. The fact that she moderates her language as cited in the Wikipedia piece, alone, gives me the impression that she, at least, considers what the Christian Right tells her rather than discounting and making blanket statements without consideration of individual conservative Christians she has interviewed. Apparently, this is not so with Katherine Yurica, who, in her paper, The Despoiling Of America, has this to say about how "Dominionism" began and who perpetrated it in America:

"Within a period of twenty to thirty years beginning in the 1970’s, Dominionism spread like wild fire throughout the evangelical, Pentecostal and fundamentalist religious communities in America. It was aided and abetted by television and radio evangelists. More than any other man, Pat Robertson mobilized the millions of politically indifferent and socially despised Pentecostals and fundamentalists in America and turned them into an angry potent army of political conquerors.[46]

But it would be a mistake to limit Dominionism to the Pentecostals and fundamentalists alone: conservative Roman Catholics and Episcopalians have joined and enlarged the swelling numbers.[47] Robertson, like other media preachers, used every form of communication: television, radio, books and audio tapes ...

However, it was the Pentecostals and fundamentalists who made up the core of Robertson’s audience. To a people who were largely uneducated and who often remained ignorant even if they went through college because of their fear of becoming tainted by the “world and worldliness,” Dominionism came as a brilliant light that assuaged their deep sense of inferiority. Pentecostals in particular could take comfort from the notion that no longer would the world think of them as “Holy Rollers” who danced in the “Spirit” and practiced glossolalia. This time, they would be on top—they would be the head and not the tail—and the so-called elite, the educated of the world, would be on the bottom." (emphasis mine)

I found it quite telling that Ms. Yurica describes Pentacostals and fundamentalists as "largely uneducated and who often remained ignorant even if they went to college" for whatever reason, though her chosen reason for totally dismissing educated Pentacostals and fundamentalists is that their Christianity, rather than being a guide in their lives, keeps them ignorant even if they receive higher education. Remember these so called uneducated, ignorant, fearful Christians cannot be educated due to their Christianity, while Ms. Yurika, self described as just a "plain ordinary born again Christian" CAN be a Christian and be educated too! And I'll bet she can even chew gum at the same time! Yeee Haaaw!

The problem with Ms. Yurica is that in her own zeal to promote her own political agenda and her own ideology is endeavoring to do the very thing which she accuses "Dominionists" of doing. She is an alarmist, seeing Dominionists around every corner, suspecting that every Christian who looks in the mirror sees the face of a Dominionist peering back at himself or herself. Except none of this applies to Ms. Yurica, herself, she has miraculously managed to be an educated Christian while other Christians remain ignorant, uneducated citizens "even if they went to college."

But she said a mouthful, I'll give her that, when she said:

"If someone were to ask, could two women senior citizens change the course of the political atmosphere in America today? I would say, “Not a chance.” Yet after I built this web site—after I looked at the “images for a corrupt time,” I began to believe that with your help we can change the course of history."


Bigotry takes all forms, people. Remember that. In the case of Katherine Yurica the many things she fears from the Christian Right she is guilty of perpetrating in her own liberally elite circles. Is she "changing the political atmosphere in America today?" Well, let's see...she's certainly being treated as a brilliant scholar among all the left wing web sites on the internet. She recently spoke at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on the topic of Religion and Politics regarding the "role of faith and secular humanism" in U.S. politics and on December 4 she spoke at UCLA's Center for Social Theory and Comparative History on "Political Religion and Religious Politics."

I once asked the Curbstone Critic in a Comment:

"It appears you are trying to redefine "Dominionism" as anyone who "will hang with Bush no matter what," and that's all speculative, as well. How do we know whether any person (or these you identify as 25%) would hang with Bush "no matter what" unless he does "no matter what?" What is "no matter what?"

At any rate, I asked you a question and though perhaps I could have phrased it better, like, say, "What is your opinion of what constitutes a "Dominionist?" You have given me an answer. I wonder if you are engaging in a kind of reverse (?)McCarthyism?... Wherein any Christian who has a traditionalistic world view is suspected of "Dominionism?"




Wikipedia on McCarthyism:

"Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated."


John Stone can cry foul, but I think I'm onto something.

Let's revisit The Despoiling Of America for a moment:

"Dominionists have gained extensive control of the Republican Party and the apparatus of government throughout the United States; they continue to operate secretly. Their agenda to undermine all government social programs that assist the poor, the sick, and the elderly is ingeniously disguised under false labels that confuse voters....

It is estimated that thirty-five million Americans who call themselves Christian, adhere to Dominionism in the United States, but most of these people appear to be ignorant of the heretical nature of their beliefs and the seditious nature of their political goals. So successfully have the televangelists and churches inculcated the idea of the existence of an outside “enemy,” which is attacking Christianity, that millions of people have perceived themselves rightfully overthrowing an imaginary evil anti-Christian conspiratorial secular society."


Yurica tells us that "Domininionists have gained extensive control of the Republican Party and the apparatus of government throughout the United States; they continue to operate secretly."

Yurica seeks to prove her suspicions by giving "credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence," and I believe that she "greatly exaggerates" the "level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed (Dominionist) associations or beliefs." It is the very essence of McCarthyism, substitute the word leftist with dominionist as I have done above and there you have it.

Moreover, she accuses televangelists of "successfully...inculcat(ing) the idea of the existence of an outside "enemy," which is attacking Christianity, that millions of people have perceived themselves rightfully overthrowing an imaginary evil anti-Christian conspiratorial secular society," in the process giving credence to the charge by actually becoming that anti-Christian conspiractorial voice set on labeling all conservative Christians with the loaded, pejorative, hyperbolic moniker of "Dominionist." Further, she offers no reference for her estimation of 35 million Christians who are supposedly adhering to Dominionism. I suppose we are simply to take her word for that estimation?

She is a projectionist of the highest order. Projecting widespread "Dominionist" conspiracies on a majority of "plain ordinary born again Christians" while pretending she is the innocent and immune Jesus follower herself, well-educated and savvy. How very elite.

19 comments:

John Stone said...

Just a simple question: using your definitions above, do you think Jesus would have been a progressive or conservative Christian Dominist?

Anonymous said...

great post--thanks...don't know if you've seen this video of Ann Coulter, but it's pretty classic:
www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

Jacke M. said...

Which definitions are you referring to, John? The definitions I used were definitions referenced from wikipedia and the elusively defined definitions of Ms. Yurica.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

ANY politician who seeks to use his/her religion as a bludgeon... bad news. That Muslim who just won an election... he'd best keep Sharia law out of any legislation he proposes.

Not that I liked Rick Santorum, either. I would not like to have my life run, 24/7, by him *or* Ted Kennedy.

John Stone said...

OK ... just change the "your" in my above comment, to "the" ... and have a stab at it.

Jacke M. said...

For the ripper:

You are welcome. Thanks fer stoppin' by.

For John Stone:

I really don't even have to think about your question. Jesus was not a "Dominist" of any kind.

For the cool Libertarian ;):

I couldn't agree more. No politician should use ANY kind of religion as a bludgeon.

It is a shame that certain of our population tend to view the GENERAL population of Christians as more of a threat than they do Islamo-Fascists.

Why do I say "more of a threat?" Certainly Rosie O'Donuts and John SAY they are a COMPARABLE threat when they say "as much" or "There is really not much difference between" them, but they spend much MORE time focusing on Christians whom they fear will "force down their throats, by the sword," their views than they do in exposing radical Islamic-Fascists doing the same, strangely this, even though Islamic-Fascists LITERALLY want to do so and there is tangible, global evidence of that, while they must come up with conspiracy theories as their proof of Dominionist Christians who want to do the same.

More often than not they PRETEND that an American Christian exercising his liberty and freedom somehow removes their own liberty and freedom while, at the same time DEFENDING suspected terrorists' liberty and freedom.

If there was any consistency in their level of alarm over totalitarian religious practitioners or if that level of alarm was appropriate to the actual threat posed by American Christians v Islamic-Fascists there would be no reason to discuss the bigoted hypocrisy they exhibit.

John Stone said...

"I really don't even have to think about your question. Jesus was not a "Dominist" of any kind."

I would tend to agree ... but since Jesus was God, why would he have made the comment in Genesis about "dominion"?

And does that mean that dominionists - of any stripe - would not be counted as followers of Jesus, who seemed to be interested in other things, like the sick, hungry, homeless, and poor in spirit, which the domionists seem to not care very much about? Unless they are rich hungry, sick, and homeless, of course.

Jesus as a club to beat others over the head with, rather than follow His example -- nice folks, these are.

Jacke M. said...

John, I'm no theologian, I'm just a stoopid, hillbilly blogger who happens to have gone to church ever since I can remember and was "born again" when I was about 12 years old.

In all my history of church going I have never heard the verse in Genesis concerning "dominion" to be interpreted by any Pastor or teacher to mean dominion of Christian MEN over non-Christian MEN. I was always taught that it meant that MAN (meaning ALL men, not just Christian men) was superior to every other creature (non-human) and was to have dominion over the EARTH (environment, nature, etc.).

We need to bear in mind, all of us, that there are fringy whackos of every order. I am not opposed to accepting the idea that there might be a few fringy whackos out there who believe in a different interpretation of that verse and might like to see America turned into a theocracy, but the definition of the term "Dominionist" is far too broad and used as a slander against RW Christians while excluding other Christians altogether, that alone should indicate to you that it is used as a club to try to beat back RW Christians and accuse them of trying to dominate others unfairly.

Christians should not be pitting themselves AGAINST each other. If Christians are to "take on the mind of Christ" then doesn't it only make sense that they would take on the SAME mind? Christ is not inconsistent, he is consistent.

Unfortunately, I fear that Christianity is being used as a political tool by some people, and they may even be Christians who have been confused, it's not my place to judge, but anytime politics becomes more important than God and His truth and His truth is twisted to reflect support of one POLITICAL agenda over the other then the Christian who does so should reflect on whether he/she has made his political ideology an idol and put it over God.

Jacke M. said...

John, one more thing you said that I should have addressed:

"And does that mean that dominionists ... would not be counted as followers of Jesus, who seemed to be interested in other things, like the sick, hungry, homeless, and poor in spirit, which the domionists seem to not care very much about?"

If we go by the wikipedia definition of "dominionism":

"Dominionism...seeks to establish specific political policies based on religious beliefs."

Then Progressive Christians who wish to legislate entitlement and environmental political policy using their religion as a guide are Dominionists, as well, and your blanket statement claiming that Dominionists are necessarily opposed to or unconcerned about aiding the "sick, hungry, homeless, and poor in spirit" is erroneous.

Further, it is a misnomer that those of a conservative ideology don't care about the "sick, hungre, homeless and poor in spirit," they simply disagree with the methods by which those people should be helped. It would behoove people to stop with the rhetoric and demonization of others with which they disagree and try to understand that they are AS concerned but disgree on the best solutions to the problems. In your own words:

"Jesus as a club to beat others over the head with, rather than follow His example -- nice folks, these are."

It happens on both side of the aisle. Unfortunately, it appears you have gotten caught up on the other end of the spectrum from me.

See:

http://jackehammer.blogspot.com/2005/12/on-jim-wallis-progressive-christians.html

vitocaputo said...

I think it's pretty safe to say that a website's quality of content can be somewhat measured by the audience it attracts. I'm not talking about the magnitude of the audience (that's a function of time and exposure)... I'm talking about the intellectual capacity of repeat visitors. That said...

Perhaps the most insidious form of propaganda is "Lying by Omission". .. and it's my fantasy that a reasonable proportion of your readers are familiar with this brainwashing technique. Simply put... there is a reason some authors purposely leave stuff out of their presentation. Call it "hidden agenda"... "intent to deceive"... "manipulate". It doesn't matter what you call it. The bottom line is they're dishonest... insidiously dishonest.

I'm hopeful that your readers are diligent enough to have followed the links you provided in your missive. That is... their intellectual curiosity caused them to actually visit the Yurica Report website... to see for themselves just how treacherous these two little old ladies really are.

You said, "I'm no theologian, I'm just a stoopid, hillbilly blogger who happens to have gone to church ever since I can remember and was "born again" when I was about 12 years old."... and I certainly have no reason to question your self-description.

What I'm curious about is this: What is "gone to church ever since I can remember and "born again" when I was about 12 years old" supposed to imply? Is it meant to provoke the reader to pin the Trust Me - I'm Credible ribbon on your chest? Is it meant to plant the thought into the reader's mind that you were a prodigy so mature, aware and sophisticated at the age of 12 that your decision to be "born again" had any basis in real thought? Well... I suppose you know your audience... but I wonder, how well do they know you?

Being a first-time visitor... I sure didn't know you... so I did the prudent thing - I went to the Yurica website to see what there was to see... and right on the same page you found the "About Us" link... there is a link to The Yurica Report: What It Is and Where It is Going. This link is in the lower left-hand frame and because it's behind a picture, I suppose a bit of curiosity is required to find it. Even so... as an author, I'm certain your sense of curiosity is still active. Still... you may have missed it. I found the strangest thing on this page:

" We are proud to say that over 316 of the world's best universities visit this web site regularly!"

I suppose this claim could be seen as totally misleading since its impact in terms of establishing credibility is totally dependant on who decided which are "the world's best universities"... which, at this point in time, is unknown. However... said at the very beginning of this post, a website's quality of content can be somewhat measured by the audience it attracts... and this claim about "316 of the world's best universities" being regular visitors to the Yurica Report appears to be in direct conflict with how you've described this website's content to your readers. As they say... whatever!

In no way does this omission imply that anything you've said is false... nor does it imply that everything Katherine Yurica has written is true. To determine who is closer to "the truth" would require a great deal of research... far more than I am willing to do - and my guess is that your readers are also not prone to invest uncountable hours either. In this post... that's not what I'm concerned about.

What should be of real concern to your readers, however, is whether or not you were aware of this claim when you wrote your critique of Katherine Yurica, the person... and the contents of her website, The Yurica Report.

On the one hand... if you were not aware of it, you failed to do your own independent research about something you read - you just blindly repeated what you assumed to be true. It would not be very difficult to relate this shortcoming to the concept of Lying by Omission. Specifically... the information was there and you chose to ignore it - you read precisely what you wanted to read... and no more. Consequently, you propagated your own ignorance onto your readers. For the most part, readers do in fact presume an author is somewhat knowledgeable about their present topic. Some call this behavior 'trust'... some call it 'lazy' - I call it stupid and dangerous. But hey... whadoo I know?

On the other hand... if you had seen this information and because it was antithetical to what you were trying to illustrate... you omitted it - with intent... it would be blatantly obvious that you knowingly used the technique of Lying by Omission to deceive your readers.

So... on the one hand we've got incompetence... while on the other hand we've got propagandist. Does it matter which it is? No! It's the bottom line that counts... and in this case... it's propagation of ignorance. The saddest part of this is that I know you can do better... and, as a "Born Again" Christian... you know Jesus would want you to do better.

Far be it from me to question your right to write whatever you choose to write. Lucky for both of us... we still do have Freedom of Speech. You're more than welcome to take your best shot at me. Frankly... I'd be thrilled if you could convince me (or your readers) that I've misread what you've written... that you're intentions were honorable and your presentation fair and unbiased.

I do commend you for including what may prove to be the most truthful line in your entire essay:

"I'm just a stoopid, hillbilly blogger who happens to have gone to church ever since I can remember and was "born again" when I was about 12 years old."

My only fear is that your audience probably thought you were just trying to be humble.

Momma Twoop said...

One question, Vito:

How is the statement, "We are proud to say that over 316 of the world's best universities visit this web site regularly!" in any way antithetical to anything Jacke stated? If you could provide that, I'd be ever so appreciative.

Wait...I have a second question:

Do you always couch your insults in verbosity and hyperbole?

Jacke M. said...

vitocaputo, I decided the best way to respond to your lengthy comment was to first look for any questions you have and do my best to honestly answer them and then follow up with some comments. So, I will scan your comment for questions first:

Q: "What is "gone to church ever since I can remember and "born again" when I was about 12 years old" supposed to imply?"

A: It wasn't "supposed to imply" anything. It was a statement of facts.

Q: "Is it meant to provoke the reader to pin the Trust Me - I'm Credible ribbon on your chest?"

A: No, I trust readers to make their own educated decisions about who they should trust and who they should believe is credible. I certainly am capable of making those judgements myself, why wouldn't my readers be able to, as well?

Q: "Is it meant to plant the thought into the reader's mind that you were a prodigy so mature, aware and sophisticated at the age of 12 that your decision to be "born again" had any basis in real thought?"

A: No, here is what I wrote and, since you are interested, I will seriously answer the question and give you my ENTIRE ulterior motive, I wrote: "I'm no theologian, I'm just a stoopid, hillbilly blogger who happens to have gone to church ever since I can remember and was "born again" when I was about 12 years old." (I WAS teasing about the stoopid part, I don't think I'm stoopid, in reality, if I really thought that I probably wouldn't bother blogging because I'd figure I was too stupid to be read.)

I wanted my readers to understand that I am NOT a theologian, meaning that I have NOT gone to a seminary, that I don't have any SPECIAL understanding of the Bible, other than the fact that I have attended church since I was too young to remember and I then went on to tell my personal experience of what I have been taught about the meaning of the verse in Genesis which John asked me about, none of my Pastors or teachers have EVER suggested that this scripture means that Christian men should have dominion over non-Christian men. That is what I have been taught, it is my personal experience.

As far as my being born again...the fact that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, who died on the cross for my sins and reconciled me to God the Father, when I was around twelve years old isn't intended to imply that I was a "prodigy," any more "mature" or "aware" or "sophisticated" than any other person...as a matter of fact I know many Christians who accepted Christ at a younger age than twelve and I don't consider any of them to be any more "mature" or "aware" or "sophisticated" than myself or any other person, either. I know that you are looking for some evil ulterior motive behind my simply sharing something about myself with my readers but it simply isn't there, sorry to upset your apple cart.

Q: "I suppose you know your audience... but I wonder, how well do they know you?"

A: As well as I allow them to, I suppose. Why don't you ask all three of them? Hehe.

No, seriously, I hope they see me as someone who does her best to be honest because I do, and someone who will admit a mistake when I am challenged and find I have made one. I like to be challenged, it forces me to learn. Do you like to be challenged? Some people don't, you know?

Q: "But hey... whadoo I know?"

A: Well, I did visit your link, lots of droppin's layin' around there and a few ponderin's but I couldn't say that I actually know what you know...know whad I mean?

Q: "So... on the one hand we've got incompetence... while on the other hand we've got propagandist. Does it matter which it is? NO"

A: I'm jest a stoopid hillbilly blogger but I'm a thankin' this here question wuz wun a them thar...what's they called?...uh...RHETORICAL questions, since you answered it yerself, so I'll jest move on past thet 'un if'n thet's okay by you.

That's all the actual questions I could find. Now, I will respond to some of your thoughts and other comments:

You said:

"Perhaps the most insidious form of propaganda is "Lying by Omission"

I couldn't possibly agree with you more.

You imply that I have intentionally omitted information about the Yurica website in either an effort to "lie by omission" or to "propagandize" or out of "incompetence." Yet you write:

"To determine who is closer to "the truth" would require a great deal of research... far more than I am willing to do - and my guess is that your readers are also not prone to invest uncountable hours either."

So, in other words, you challenge nothing I wrote, vitocaputo.

The fact of the matter is that one of my readers referred me to a specific ARTICLE written by Katherine Yurica. The comments I had were specific to that one article, I read about as much of it as my stomach could take without hurling and then I very meticulously and as honestly as possible responded to portions of that specific article.

I hope that my readers WILL go to Katherine Yurica's site as well, you did note that I provided a link for them to do so? I believe when they visit that article they will find that she seeks to prove her suspicions by giving "credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence," and I believe they will find that she "greatly exaggerates" the "level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed (Dominonist) associations or beliefs." I believe they will find the essence of McCarthyism at her web site. You may reference my original post for the Wikipedia definition of McCarthyism, which I quote here. If I didn't believe what I wrote, I would not have written it.

This brings a question to my own mind for YOU, vitocaputo. Do you challenge Katherine Yurica's trustworthiness and credibility as you do mine? If not, why not? Because college students read her site and I make no such claim? Gee, I hope these college students who regularly read her website aren't some of those Pentacostal and fundamentalist "people who were largely uneducated and who often remained ignorant even if they went through college because of their fear of becoming tainted by the “world and worldliness,” she spoke of in that specific article. What would that do to HER credibility!? :0

Should you decide to "invest uncountable hours" in researching her article and provide me with something therein of more substance that I was able to find, I would welcome it and welcome you to challenge me with something more tangible than blind insult, smuggly veiled . Far be it from me to ever be considered as prohibiting expansion of the mind.

John Stone said...

For some time I have been trying to get around to listening to the conference below. It is lengthy, I suggest watching the video of the first segment -- it's 1:48 long -- and then you can download the rest as .mp3s and be able to put faces to names.

These are some of those in science (including two Nobel Prize winners) who give a lot of thought to science and religion. It will either make you want to pull your hair out or it might make you think a little about the roles of the various thoughts of religion, and how they effect mankind.

In it you will discover that many people don't think of religion (small "r") as necessilarily being good for mankind, and certainly not for the betterment of mankind, either past or future.

http://beyondbelief2006.org/Watch/

It is very much a academic conference, not a political one.

Jacke M. said...

G'morning, John,

Thank you for the links, unfortunately my computer doesn't have the capability to do what you ask otherwise I would definitely watch it and take it into consideration. That said, the statement you make...:

"In it you will discover that many people don't think of religion (small "r") as necessilarily being good for mankind, and certainly not for the betterment of mankind, either past or future."

...is not a heretofore unknown idea to me. Sometime I may address it as a new blog entry because it is definitely worthy of consideration but THIS blog entry, is about whether Right Wing/Republican/Conservative/Christian Dominionism exists as any true, genuine threat comparable to Islamic-Fascism to the U.S.

I will say that religions which are radicalized, which are consuming to the point of offering to remove the free will of others, as exampled by Islamic-Fascists, as exampled by Hitler, are a true threat. No one, of whom I am aware, has been able to give real and tangible evidence that this American Christian Dominionist threat is anything but an exaggeration. As Yurica states: "Dominionists have gained extensive control of the Republican Party and the apparatus of government throughout the United States; they continue to operate secretly. ..." She claims these Dominionists "operate secretly," John...she has no tangible evidence, no real proof and you have never offered me examples of Christian Dominionists forcing adherance to Christianity by the sword in modern times, though I have repeatedly asked you for such examples.

All this means, John, is that you should provide evidence and back up your belief that "There is really not much difference between the Muslims that want to convert all of us by the sword, and the crazy Xtian Dominionist Americans who want to convert everyone by the sword," because if you are incapable of providing real, tangible evidence that they even truly exist you should stop misrepresenting and sensationalizing the issue. It is one thing to say I SUSPECT 25% of Christians are Dominionists who will kill you if you do not become a Christian, it is quite another to present it as fact with no ability to back up your claim. One who does such a thing ends up looking as foolish as those who would tattoo a crescent and star on the forehead of a Muslim. If you can't understand what I am trying to get across to you here, I'm not sure that there is much I can add to it that will convince you otherwise.

If you are truly concerned about the safety, security and preservation of America and American ideals then it would behoove you to spend less time railing against secretive, imaginary, unproven Christian Dominionists and more time on a real enemy for which there is tangible, real proof of existence and which threatens not only our country but every country on the planet, that real enemy is Islamic-Fascism, not Christian Dominionism.

John Stone said...

"She claims these Dominionists "operate secretly," John...she has no tangible evidence, no real proof and you have never offered me examples of Christian Dominionists forcing adherance to Christianity by the sword in modern times,..."

Surely you read her footnote and followed the references to that statement, did you not?

John Stone said...

BTW ... Any of the bowsers should enable you to watch/listen to this ... however, because of the size of the downloads you do need a broadband connection ... if you are getting a message that for some reason you can't view/listen, download something like firefox or the latest IE ....

You shuldn't have any problem ... if you still do, tell me what the error message you are getting and I will tell you how to fix it ...

Jacke M. said...

"Surely you read her footnote and followed the references to that statement, did you not?"

I made an effort to follow a couple of her footnotes. Clicking on the link in the body of the article took you to the link at the bottom of the page identifying the source, clicking on the link at the bottom of the page at the footnote took me back to the reference in the body of her post. I did not go through the entire post checking to see if ALL the footnotes were treated in the same way after having that occurence three or four times on other footnotes. Did you try to access any of the links identified in her footnotes, yourself? If you were able to access that one and have something to add to the discussion, then by all means, John, add it. :)

Jacke M. said...

"BTW ... Any of the bowsers should enable you to watch/listen to this ... however, because of the size of the downloads you do need a broadband connection ... if you are getting a message that for some reason you can't view/listen, download something like firefox or the latest IE..."

As far as I am concerned it is off topic, and that is what I told you before. At some point I might be interested in listening to it, I do not have broadband and do not have the time or inclination to jump through any hoops to access it anytime soon. I'll let you know if I need any assistence when and if I decide I want to hear it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Katherine is spot on. As was John Stones Comment. We are a secular society. You are free to worship your god, not create a tyranical government clothed in your religious doctrine. Americans take care of the ill, the poor the least of us, without regard to race creed or color. Thats what made us great. I am behind ANYONE of ANY or NO religion who embodies that ethos.