Tonight we are going to take a bit of a road trip. While information gathering for the episodes (part 1 and part 2) concerning Kent Hovind and Mary Tocco, a story began to emerge. Andrew Wakefield's movie “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe ” was removed from the Tribeca Film Festival.
Now I am not planning - we all know how that can change - on a another tirade into the anti-vaxx movement (specifically Robert DeNiro or his views). Wakefield with his fabricated study (thanks to Brian Deer a copy can be found here) along with financial shenanigans have been thoroughly trashed by those better than I. What is at issue, have Wakefield's First Amendment rights been trampled on?
Brian Deer's available YT video concerning his investigation into Wakefield.
Published on Oct 10, 2014
This is the full version of Brian Deer's November 2004 film on Andrew Wakefield, "MMR: What they didn't tell you."It is an issue I was going to address in regards to Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty-A&E flap but destiny took me elsewhere. So today, probably next week, and maybe the week after we will take a look see - were Wakefield's (and Robertson's) rights trampled?
The award-winning investigation of Wakefield continued for another six years, leading to his erasure as a medical practitioner, and the retraction of research published in the Lancet in 1998 that, upon final scrutiny of the underlying clinical and pathological data, proved to be an elaborate fraud.
"Many people have had articles in the Lancet," Deer commented afterwards. "I've had one out."
Simple answer is NO. Simple explanation, neither Tribeca or A&E are considered government agencies. As we all know, I don't like simple. Makes for very short diatribes,,,
Of course, the First Amendment only protects against government restriction of artistic expression. It does not apply to the actions of private citizens or businesses.
While government may not shut down an art gallery because it disagrees with the viewpoint reflected in a painting, an art gallery owner can always decline to display a piece of art.
While government may not ban a compact disc because it is offended by the sentiments expressed in a song, a corporation like Wal-Mart can choose not to sell CDs with parental advisory labels.
First though we will have to take in a bit of history. While it deals with SOCAS, or Separation of Church and State, primarily, there are ramifications in regard to the other part of the First Amendment, that of Free Speech.
This is part of a show that I did while associated with another radio platform. It was initially geared toward the Pagan community and those that held non-traditional religious views (those that considered their talents a “gift” from god) - which, for all intense purposes, we as atheist also hold; or well, don’t hold. It was for those that felt themselves "safe" because in their minds they were "Christian enough". I have revamped it a bit to fit my needs for tonight because the information is valid regardless of religious affiliation. It is a primer on SOCAS that I tinker with in an effort to make my presentation better.
As I mentioned prior, its relevance will become important in the next couple weeks when I hope to discuss the movie Vaxxed and Andrew Wakefield's expression of persecution and censorship along with the CDC-Thompson debacle. But also it ties into the current election season as well.
SOCAS issues are again (or should I say still) in the spotlight. As many of you know I follow SOCAS issues pretty close especially concerning the faux "religious liberty" issue in regards to LGBTQI discrimination and the rise of the dominionist/theocratic movement. As non-believers the implications of SOCAS are quite obvious but what about the so-called liberal or progressive Christians that many within our community like to reach out to? The interfaith movement,,, How would the issue of SOCAS effect them? It does, and not in a round about fashion, as you may think.
I know many of you have seen some of the more egregious political and religious rhetoric I have posted on my Facebook page and blog from what I call the Reich (doesn't matter really how you label them Moral Majority, Religious Right, Tea Party, GOTP, assholes etc.). Many pundits, politicians, pulpits AND celebrities have been espousing their rhetoric and a return to what they call the "Biblical/Christian roots" of our Founding Fathers. The problem is, they have twisted and perverted what the Founders have said, a la David Barton, so that it is hard to know what the original intent was. (The two Barton books I am most familiar with: The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson and The Myth of Separation: What Is the Correct Relationship Between Church and State?)
[See also:: (Re)membering a Christian nation: Christian nationalism, biblical literalism, and the politics of public memory]
I would so like to play this entire clip courtesy of People For the American Way but time constraints will not allow for it. It is a 7 minute mini documentary entitled "The Religious Right Then and Now" that highlights the Religious Right “near the peak of their power at the 1992 Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome. The short film highlights the extreme views of the Religious Right and includes footage of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and numerous right-wing activists: Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, James Robison, etc.”
Now tell me, how have things changed?
And just so you get the bigger picture, so to speak, a brief timeline (in the show notes) to highlight the idea/fact that this "movement" is a well thought out and continuing plan taking advantage whenever possible. You have heard me speak of it before - the 15% solution.
The formula they've concocted has been called the "15 per cent solution" by the Christian Coalition. Even in a well attended presidential election, only 15 per cent of eligible voters determine the outcome,,, "We don't have to worry about convincing a majority of Americans to agree with us," Guy Rodgers, the Christian Coalition's national field director declared at the 1991 Road to Victory conference. Most of them are staying home and watching Falcon Crest.""They have acquired a very detailed and accurate understanding of how political parties are organized," says Craig Berkman, former chairman of the Republican Party in Oregon:
"We don't have to worry about convincing a majority of Americans to agree with us," Guy Rodgers, the Christian Coalition's national field director declared at the 1991 Road to Victory conference. Most of them are staying home and watching Falcon Crest."
In 1992, according to People for the American Way, the liberal constitutional watchdog, extremist Christian candidates racked up a 40 per cent win record in state and local races. And, to the horror of Republicans across the nation, they're dominating a number of state wide Republican Party committees. "What the Christian right spends a lot of time doing," says Marc Wolin, a moderate Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Congress from San Francisco last year, "is going after obscure party posts. They try to control the party apparatus in each county. We have a lot to fear from these people. They want to set up a theocracy in America."
Parties are very susceptible to being taken over by ideologues because lower party offices have no appeal to the vast majority of our citizenry. Many precincts are represented by no one. If you decide all of a sudden because it's your Christian duty to become a precinct representative, you only need a few votes to get elected. Increasingly, they have the key say so on who will be a delegate at the national convention, and who will write the party platform and nominate the presidential candidate,,,TIMELINE
[This list is by no means exhaustive but highlight incidents that I feel are important to the Reich. Pay attention primarily to pre-1995, as that is when the ball began to roll.]
1730-40s First "Great Awakening" (George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley)See also: Wedge Document or Wedge Strategy, Manhattan Declaration, Christian Manifesto
1820-40s Second “Great Awakening”
1942 National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)
1st "Modern" Iteration
1960 Coral Ridge Ministry Dr James Kennedy
1961 CBN Launch Pat Robertson
1962 Engel v Vitale (school prayer)
1966 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
1968 Nixon uses the Southern Strategy exploiting racism in the South
1972 Eagle Forum (Phylis Schafly anti-feminism); Free Market Foundation/Liberty Institute
1973 Roe v Wade; Heritage Foundation and American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - Paul Weyrich; Institutes of Biblical Law - Rousas John Rushdoony
1977 Focus on the Family (James Dobson); American Family Association (Rev. Donald Wildmon)
1979 Moral Majority (Jerry Fallwell); Concerned Women for America (Beverly LaHaye)
2nd "Modern" Iteration
1980 American Coalition for Traditional Values (Timothy LaHaye); Traditional Values Coalition (Rev Louis P. Sheldon); 1981 Schaefer's Christian Manifesto; Council for National Policy
1983 Family Research Council (James Dobson now Tony Perkins)
1984 School Voucher program first introduced
1986 Operation Rescue now Operation Save America (Randall Terry)
1987 Christian Coalition (Pat Robertson)
1989 Liberty Counsel (Matthew Staver, Liberty University Jerry Fallwell)
1990 American Center for Law and Justice (Pat Robertson); Discovery Institute
1992 Culture War Speech (Pat Buchanan)
This is the first Republican party platform to address sexual preference in some form or another.1994 Alliance Defense Fund (Bill Bright Campus Crusade for Christ, Larry Burkett Crown Financial Ministry, James Dobson)
1996 DOMA; Homeschooling included with school voucher program: William Martin’s "With God on Our Side" a companion piece to six-episode PBS documentary of the same name; Fox News launched (founded in 1985)
1997 Pacific Justice Institute
1998/99 Wasn't until the Wedge Document that things as we know it today came together
2000 Blackstone Legal Fellowship
2004 Born Alive Infants Protection Act
2005 Saddleback Church (Rick Warren) gained national attention; Terry Schiavo case
Manhattan Declaration; Kitzmiller Case
2006 veto of Stem Cell Research by Bush Jr.
2007 National Organization of Marriage NOM (Brian S. Brown PROP 8)
2008 Sarah Palin
2009 Rise of the Tea Party Movement
2010 Citizens United v FEC
2012 "War on religion"; Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
2014 Hobby Lobby case
2015 Obergefell v. Hodges; Kim Davis Affair
Before we continue, there are two very simplistic points to keep in mind while cruising through this topic.
1] I want y'all to do a bit of a fill-in-the-blank (hypothetically, since I am assuming I am preaching to the choir): Church/State separation doesn't effect me because I am a ________ (insert whatever traditional or non-traditional belief system you may practice)There are currently over 41,000 different Christian denominations/organizations worldwide with approximately 1500 different groups within the US
Now keep that in mind and consider this,,,
2] Which Bible? And which form/denomination of Christianity?
Altho the exact number of English translations is an unknown, since 1526 when Tyndale's NT began circulating, the number of translation/paraphrases, partial or full, is about 900. I have actually seen numbers as high 3300+
Do you see where this is leading??
This notion is what drives me bonkers, “they” do not realize that within the dominionists ideology, "they" are not the "right kind of Christian" and read the wrong Bile. More on that later, maybe,,, [I am using Ted Cruz as an example as he is the only dominionist left in the presidential race. Kasich, while still a candidate at the time of this writing is not viable nor is he as hard-core as Cruz.]
Fea maintains that Cruz’s campaign rests on the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation; therefore “restore,” “return to,” and “reclaim” has become Cruz’s special mission. Like his father Rafael, and many culture warriors of the Religious Right, Cruz believes that Christians need to reclaim the various aspects of culture—the media, the entertainment industry, education, government—and take dominion over them.So what exactly are we talking about here?
Very simple really, the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The part we are most interested in ATM: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,,, Keep in mind whom this is speaking of,,,CONGRESS!! Put another way, the government,,, whether it be local, state or federal.
As part of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments were ratified on December 15, 1791. Prior to the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Supreme Court generally held that the protections of the Bill of Rights did not apply to state governments. This is why some in the Reich want the 14th Amendment removed. It is the basis of many civil liberty cases currently before the courts. By virtue of the "due process clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, most provisions of the Bill of Rights now also apply to the state and local governments. This is part of the stink concerning the mRFRA of Indiana along with the idea of taking away rights. It is a foreseeable after effect of the Hobby Lobby ruling. See also: Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights.
As researcher and activist Jay Michaelson shows in this report, a coalition largely made up of Roman Catholic elites and right-wing evangelicals continues its battle to undermine the promise of the Affordable Care Act by pushing for an even broader realm of religious exemptions in the name of defending religious liberty. Michaelson names the key intellectuals, Religious Right organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and legal groups, like the Becket Fund, that are working together to advance a discriminatory agenda that would allow employers to put contraception coverage out of reach of their employees.
To date [March 2013], according to this report, there are 49 pending cases, many represented by the Becket Fund, of companies and nonprofits—including universities—claiming that observing the contraceptive coverage requirement is a violation of their religious liberty.
It wasn't until Everson v Board of Education (1947) that the "establishment clause" was fully incorporated (made to apply against the states). It was then that the phrase "separation between church and state" as attributed to Thomas Jefferson became the mainstay central to this issue.[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law (Section1)
[Just a brief note:: While much of the debate concerning the 14th Amendment ATM centers on “birth right citizenship”, it is generally held by some that the equal protection clause was not intended to prohibit discrimination as currently held by the courts. I’m not going to get into THAT debate ATM, but bear in mind some want the right to discriminate. And yes it does go back to the Brown opinion of 1947.]
Numerous court cases have been held throughout our history, as far back as 1879, the Court has always looked at our history as a Republic in deciding such cases. Justice Hugo Black, in the Everson decision, sums up the whole issue very succinctly:
The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining [p16] or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State." Reynolds v. United States, supra, at 164._What makes Black’s opinion so powerful, not only does Justice Black rely on Jefferson (letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802):
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State,,,but also the words of James Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments), who wrote the First Amendment:
In it, he [referring to Madison] eloquently argued that a true religion did not need the support of law; that no person, either believer or nonbeliever, should be taxed to support a religious institution of any kind; that the best interest of a society required that the minds of men always be wholly free, and that cruel persecutions were the inevitable result of government-established religions.As you can see this is not a new issue. It is not some recent atheistic/secular agenda. It is an issue with a long history in our country. If you ever have the time you should read Black's opinion, starting around page 8, he gives a wonderful history lesson concerning religious freedoms of our country and the why of our Constitution being the secular document it is. Contrary to what David Barton and his ilk may have you believe.
Reconstruction is the spark plug behind much of the battle over religion in politics today. The movement’s founder, theologian Rousas John Rushdoony, claimed 20 million followers—a number that includes many who embrace the Reconstruction tenets without having joined any organization. Card-carrying Reconstructionists are few, but their influence is magnified by their leadership in Christian right crusades, from abortion to homeschooling.The take away for this segment I would like to leave with is this, there is no gray area where the 1st Amendment is concerned. The Founders were quite adamant is regards to SOCAS. And SOCAS as well as issues of free speech only pertain to the govt.
Reconstructionists also exert significant clout through front organizations and coalitions with other religious fundamentalists; Baptists, Anglicans, and others have deep theological differences with the movement, but they have made common cause with its leaders in groups such as the National Coalition for Revival. Reconstruction has slowly absorbed, congregation by congregation, the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (not to be confused with the progressive Presbyterian Church [USA]) and has heavily influenced others, notably the Southern Baptists.
1] SOCAS is not new
2] the separation of powers refers to the govt not private individuals or business. In other words, you can have an opinion, but the 1st and 14th do not protect you from criticism or ramifications
3] in regards to politics, religious liberty is still a big issue.
So in light of Wakefield crying foul (along with Robertson and Chik-A-Filet drive-through guy), when one looks at the entire 1st Amendment minus the reconstructionist lens, it is fairly pain and simple.
With God on our Side [Video]
God’s Own Party:The Making of the Christian Right
Daniel K. Williams’ briefly reaches back to the 1920s, demonstrating how evangelicals possessed a history of political involvement that manifested itself as G.O.P. partisanship in the late twentieth-century.
What Forster seems to gloss over is the concerted rebranding of the RR around 2000 that began with Bush Jr,
Here is where I have to disagree with Daniel Williams’ groundbreaking new book, God’s Own Party. Williams has collected extensive evidence documenting evangelical activism throughout the last century, upon which I’ve drawn in both parts of this article (along with other sources). But Williams thinks the Religious Right was highly successful; his main thesis is that evangelicals are now essentially in control of the GOP. I agree with David Courtwright that it’s the politicians who have been in the driver’s seat.Lisa McGirr’s Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right
Darren Dochuk From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroot Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism
Axel Schäfer Countercultural Conservatives: American Evangelicalism from the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right
Moral Minority by David Swartz
28 minute video documenting the birth of the Moral Majority. This video, produced by People for the American Way in 1982, shows actual footage of the politicization of what has become the dominionist movement.
October 11, 2004 video of Joan Bokaer describing the rise of Dominionism in the U.S. government. Joan explains how the Religious Right took over the Republican Party, and how President Bush, along with his Religious Right allies in Congress, are attempting to transform the United States into a Christian nation.