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Graas "flames" God Discussion

“A poet can write about a man slaying a dragon, but not about a man pushing a button that releases a bomb.” –WH Auden

Imagine our surprise and delight when we found that after a year, SOMEONE finally read the "About this Site" page here on GodDiscussion. Up to this point, this section of the site had gone largely unnoticed by the millions of readers we have around the world. And the "About" page hasn't been read by just ANYBODY–it's been read and responded to by Lisa Graas, our neighbor to the right, a conservative Catholic from Kentucky, over on David Horowitz's site.

Lisa, we'd like to thank you for driving up our readership. After she posted her emotional reaction to our up-to-now ignored "About This Site,"  our readership went up another 300 unique hits.  We'd like to return the favor so that our millions of readers become familiar with Mr. Horowitz's site.   With his history, you'd think he and his bloggers would certainly know a dirty leftist when they see one.  You'd think, anyway.

Contrary to what Ms. Graas says in her site about us and our supposed "left wing bigotry/liberalism/<insert derogatory political affiliation here>,"  we have had guests from both sides on our radio show. Check out the interview we had with Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church. Despite our ideological differences, we and our audiences learned a lot, and a pleasant time was had by all.   We represent both sides in our authorship, having contributors from all sides of the political spectrum.

Graas' Bartonesque technique is a verbal assault on GodDiscussion that rather leaves one breathless–until one reads her argument closely.  Her argument technique is nothing more than what is known as an ad hominem attack, the attack of choice by certain members of the political right that distracts the reader away from noticing she actually has no argument at all. She refutes nothing; she simply calls Leah Burton names like "nutcase."  Nevertheless, the Christian Dominionist movement exists, despite Graas' attempts to deny it.  Cornell University's Joan Bokaer's site "Theocracy Watch" is an excellent, scholarly (i.e. extensively researched)  introduction to the Christian Dominionism movement.   Included below is a short list of conservative Christian groups who have shown concern over the dominionist movement:

Discernment Ministries–Heroscope article "The Coelescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism".

Heroscope article about the "May Day Prayers" event.

The Website of Mark D. Roberts, Pastor "Is Dominionism Behind the Activism of the Christers?" I thought this was a particularly thoughtful article; balanced, which acknowledges the activity of Dominionists, yet maintains a careful emotional distance in terms of "how many" Dominionists" are out there.

We also featured an article about Janet Porter, a conservative Christian who had a show on VCY America, a conservative Christian network.  She was dropped from VCY's showlist because of their concerns over what they termed as her "drift towards dominionist theology."

We should also reiterate that we do NOT believe EVERY conservative Christian is a dominionist.  There are thousands of denominations of "conservative Christian."  Each one of them practices their Christianity as they feel called to do.   Some practice their faith positively, helping others, and other denominations are irresponsible.  This is true for EVERY religion–not just Christianity.

While Ms. Graas attacks us as being "leftist" when any casually intellectually curious reader would see that we feature articles from every religious faith and creed, –Catholic and Protestant Christianity (liberal and conservative), Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, among many, as well as alternative faiths such as Spiritualism, Wicca and Native American spirituality–and we represent those who take the right not to believe–atheists–AND we feature articles from both the point of view of political left  AND the political right–she absolutely does not represent 'both sides' in her argument. Indeed, she is an exemplary example to us all– I believe Horowitz's site would be hard pressed to actually feature an article by anyone they disagree with.  Not featuring as many sides to an issue as possible is simply–irresponsible journalism at its worst, something award winning journalist Edward R. Murrow ("This is London" broadcasts, "See It Now,") warned against, which we noted in our "About This Site."

Insofar as attacking Sarah Palin for her Christianity, we have never attacked her "for being a Christian."  This is a favorite attack ploy of the right, and one reason why they believe they are "persecuted" by secular society if anyone merely disagrees with them. According to a recent Pew Research Forum poll, Christians comprise nearly 80% of American society. Nobody is being killed for being a Christian. Nobody is being forbidden from attending their church, including Sarah Palin. We have indeed questioned relentlessly Sarah Palin's public practice of her particular brand of Christianity–indeed, the way anybody practices their Christianity should always be questioned, by themselves, and others.  Jesus Christ himself says in Matthew 7:16 "By your fruits you shall be known," and Paul the Apostle admonishes us to Prove all things: hold fast that which is good."–1 Thessalonians 5:21.   There are genuine concerns about the relative lack of religious literacy in America today.   A recent "Religious Knowledge" test conducted by the Pew Forum found that evangelical Protestants who took the test were only able to answer 17 out of the 30 correctly about their own religion as well as other faiths, and mainline Protestants were only able to answer 15 out of 30 correctly. Catholics who took the poll fared worse than the Protestants,  having been able to correctly answer only 14 out of  30 questions correctly.  Interestingly, atheists scored best on the Pew Religious Knowledge test, answering 20 out of 32 questions correctly.  Boston University's  Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn't says that most Americans can't even name one of the four Gospels.  Yet politicians appear regularly on television attempting to be authoritative about the religion of Islam, which has misinformed the American population to a worrying degree. So yes, we question Sarah Palin's faith, Obama's faith, indeed, the faith of anyone who strives for positions of power over the American people.  The integrity and freedom of this nation depends upon an educated electorate, and so GodDiscussion is offered to our readers "to slay the dragons of fear" brought about by sheer ignorance as Ms. Graas so adeptly has illustrated.

Our news stories are not editorialized.  The only editorializing we do is in our personal columns.  We allow our readers the freedom to choose the things they like to read that align best with their beliefs.  We don't tell people what to believe; we offer a multitude of sides so that people may research for themselves.

Unlike Ms. Graas, who quote-mined a few words from our multi-paragraph "About This Page,"  we at GodDiscussion are pleased to feature the ENTIRE "About" section of Horowitz' NewsReal Blog with no editorializing or selective quote-mining out of context unlike Horowitz's blogger Sistah Toldjah who slams Islam for saying women cannot be raped in marriage but neglects to include right wing religious conservative Phyllis Schlafly who said the exact same thing in 2006:

William J. Hetherington has been incarcerated in Michigan prisons for more than 20 years for having sex with his wife Linda. In 1986, he became the first man in Genesee County convicted of the new Michigan crime called spousal rape…A man's life has been sacrificed, and three children have been denied their father by malicious feminists who have lobbied for laws that punish spousal rape just like stranger rape and deny a man the right to cross-examine his accuser. They have created a judicial system where the woman must always be believed even though she has no evidence, one in which the man is always guilty.  (Phyllis Schlafly's Townhall website).

Now lest you think too much was inferred into Mrs. Schlafly's article, Washington University's Student Life newspaper interviewed her about the above quote:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it. [emphasis mine]

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do. ("Questions for Phyllis Schlafly" article)

I dunno.  Schlafly's Christianity sounds an awful lot like the Muslims Christian extremists have been screaming about.

So, without further adieu, the COMPLETE, UNEXPURGATED "About" on Horowitz' NewsReal Blog.  We'd love to feature you on our radio show, Ms. Graas, and Mr. Horowitz.  Let us know, and we'll have you on, so people can learn about your point of view in relation to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  We'll even set up a panel so you can speak directly to the people you and the political right call "nutcases" and give you the opportunity to educate others about yourselves.

NewsReal Blog is the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Its focus is to analyze and critique cable shows, newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere to reveal the political Left’s methods and agendas. NRB tells who the day’s newsmakers on the political Left really are — exposing their track-records, their worldviews, their key affiliations, and their agendas. And it does so in a colorful, entertaining style featuring the voices of some of the most exciting bloggers on the web. You can read the “news” in many places. NRB enables you to understand what the news — glib chatter, easy assertions, partisan charges — really means. (http://www.newsrealblog.com/about/)

We encourage you to check out David Horowitz's blog, because at GodDiscussion, we enjoy featuring opinions that we may not agree with, because we believe that you, our readers should decide for yourself what YOUR truth is.  We believe in the wisdom of Voltaire, who said:

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

That's the America we at GodDiscussion believe in.

Dakota O'Leary

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About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • Good article, Dakota! Those were some excellent links on dominionism, too.

  • " NRB tells who the day’s newsmakers on the political Left really are — exposing their track-records, their worldviews, their key affiliations, and their agendas."

    I guess this is a compliment…have inferred through this that we are "newsmakers". Although neither Deb, Mikey Weinstein or myself are democrats. I have always been a registered non-partisan for the 34 years I have been eligible to vote.

    This type of rhetoric is echoed out there anytime we get too close for comfort. There is a practice in the Christian Dominionist Movement called "condemn & rebrand" for this precise reason. If too much attention is drawn to a particular name (organization or person) then they twist and reinvent. Unfortunately for them, we are realizing greater and greater success in educating people about Christian Dominionism and how to recognize it making it increasingly difficult for them to click their heels and declare, "No we aren't! You are making that up. There is no such thing…we are just persecuted Christians".

    A flaw in this denial is revealed, for example, when Mainline Christian organizations such as the California Council of Churches hires me to give an introduction so that their clergy members can wrap their minds around just what in the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on around them with these extremists emerging and thumping the Bible – crying hell and damnation!

    So, yes…I welcome a show with you – Ms. Graas, and Mr. Horowitz. I won't get too excited in anticipation, though. I have found that though I am barraged with unresearched, ill-informed and fabricated attacks…those who author this tripe are never brave enough to step forward and dialogue.

    Thank you, Dakota!

  • Barbara Rice

    This may be a side issue, but the history of David Horrorwitz needs to be taken into consideration. He used to be a Communist. Not an Obama-Democrat whom far right wingers call a Communist. No, a Stalin-Mao-Pol Pot-Kim Il Sung Communist. This was during the 1960s, when Horrorwitz hung out with Black Panthers and Weather Underground members. I believe that he used to write for Ramparts, which once published instructions on how one could construct an atomic bomb, after which they got into trouble with the Feds.

    Horrorwitz repented of his far left-wing ways. He repented so fervently, that he allied himself with the radical right.

    A lot of us get a little more conservative as we get older. Yet very few of us swing from insane left to insane right. I tend to question the sanity of such people.

    • Barbara, you are completely correct. This explains, perhaps, why bloggers on Horowitz's site don't recognize a moderate when they see one–he's been so far left and has swung so far left he missed center completely and his bloggers are so far right they're almost leftists.

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