Archive for Christian

At Florida Town Hall, Rick Santorum Cowardly Panders To Woman Who Alleges Obama Is ‘An Avowed Muslim’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by loonwatch

At Florida Town Hall, Rick Santorum Cowardly Panders To Woman Who Alleges Obama Is ‘An Avowed Muslim’

By Faiz Shakir

At a Rick Santorum town hall meeting in Lady Lake, Florida moments ago, a woman stood up to declare that she doesn’t like to refer to “President Obama as president because, legally, he is not.” While the audience gasped and clapped at the comment, Santorum restrained himself, refusing to utter a critical word.

The lady continued, Obama “totally ignores” the Constitution, prompting a nod of approval from Santorum. Then she went even further with her conspiracy rant:

He is an avowed Muslim. [applause] And my question is: why isn’t something being done to get him out of our government? He has no legal right to be calling himself President.

In an exemplary show of cowardice, Santorum did not tell the woman that she had her facts wrong or even bother to distance himself from the previous comments. Instead, he did the opposite, giving sanction to her views. “I’m doing my best to get him out” of office, Santorum said, “and you’re right about — he uniformly ignores the Constitution.”

The tail continued to wag the dog as the lady pressed Santorum for tougher language about Obama’s unconstitutionality. Santorum meekly responded, “I agree with you in the sense that he is – he does things that are against the values and the founding principles of our country.” Watch it:

First, of course, Obama is not an “avowed Muslim.” He is a Christian.

And he certainly has every right to be calling himself President as he was soundly elected by the people and has sworn an oath (twice) to uphold his duty to serve and protect the United States.

For Santorum, who frequently touts the need for strong “leadership” in this country, today’s profile in weakness shows he’s unable to stand up to his own right-wing fringe.

Dutch Mosques Defaced 117 Times

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by loonwatch

Dutch mosques defaced 117 times

Between 2005 and 2010 mosques in the Netherlands were defaced 117 times, according to research by social researcher Ineke van der Valk. The acts of vandalism were motivated by a hatred of Islam, the researcher is quoted as saying on VPRO radio programme Argos.

In 43 cases, the mosques were daubed with offensive symbols or slogans. In 37 instances, the mosques sustained material damage. In 99 of the incidents the police failed to find any of the culprits. In the United States there were 42 similar incidents during the same period. Most of the vandalised mosques in the Netherlands are located outside the major cities.

There are some 450 mosques in The Netherlands, which has a population of more than 16.5 million. Some five percent of the population is believed to be Muslim, some 44 percent Christian and over 41 percent agnostic. As a percentage of the population, the Netherlands has Europe’s second-largest Muslim community, inferior only to France, which has a Muslim community of more than nine percent.

(cl)

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin: If Tim Tebow Were Muslim, Would America Still Love Him?

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by loonwatch

If Tim Tebow Were Muslim, Would America Still Love Him?

The phenomenon that is Tim Tebow has extended outside the realms of the gridiron and into pop culture. Does he have God on his side? Would America love him if he was just as conservative and just as vocal, yet a member of the Islamic faith?

A version of this question was posed by Fox News recently. It was wrapped under the banner of their yearly “war on Christmas” with the subheading of a “war on Christians.” They argued that the voices calling for him to pipe down about his faith were anathema to a war on the Christian faith and that this is a growing and disturbing trend. They argued that the founding fathers initially came here for religious freedom and those freedoms were under attack.

To that last point I agree. Religious freedoms are under attack. Lots of freedoms are under attack. As a Muslim in this country there are countless examples of religious freedoms being questioned by the majority the least of which is this current fracas where the Lowe’s hardware store has pulled its money from ads on the “All-American Muslim” reality TV show. A show, from all accounts, that is neither universally reflective of American Muslims, but also, to right wing (nut) groups, does not expose Muslims for the real threat that they are.

So, it is in this cultural moment that we come to see Tebow Time every weekend. He plays terrible for three quarters and then, when all hope is lost, when the game is down to the wire, and the amazing defense of the Broncos (that love to watch him play instead of sitting when the offense is playing) puts him in a position to drive the team down the field, score to win or tie to go to overtime. They have done it consistently all season. The undefeated Green Bay Packers are now a side story to all that is the Denver Broncos led by Tim Tebow, probably the first home-schooled quarterback in American history. At the end of every game, Tebow, the child of Baptist missionaries, says the following: “First I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

I talked about this recently on Public Radio’s “The Takeaway.” It’s not like he is the first athlete to be vocal about his faith. In reality, football is a very faith-filled sport. The Lord’s Prayer is recited in almost every locker room in the country (save one town in Michigan that says the opening chapter of the Quran). As a Muslim, I know the Lord’s Prayer by heart because I played football for 13 years.

No, faith and football are not a new combination. What is new is Tebow.

What makes him irresistible is this collision of a series of factors: the media-saturated world we are in makes it so that we know far too much about athletes and public figures than ever before. Tebow is unique because he is both an underdog and a winner. He is both humble and non-judgmental — a dynamite combination for any human being. FInally, his fellow teammates love him, he does not drink, smoke or do drugs, he is celibate, unmarried, and he has a winning smile and personality.

People of faith should be cheering this model Christian on. Anyone of any passion should be exalting his independent thinking and supporting his right to speak freely about what he holds dear.

But what if he were Muslim? Americans look to people who are successful and they want to be like them. So, in some ways, young people want to be like him. If he were Muslim, would young people want to be Muslim? Would that scare people?

If he was Muslim would it be, as Fox News suggests, that everyone would be more careful when attacking him because the world is more sympathetic to Islam and on a march against Christianity?

Perhaps guilt that exists within Christians that were raised Christian but aren’t “practicing” Christianity in a particular way. They are uncomfortable about their faith. They see him out there with his public proclamations and it makes them feel like bad Christians. Would a “Muslim” Tebow, with all the qualities of humility and grace that Tebow exhibits, then make reactionary, and self-absorbed, Muslims feel like they were bad Muslims?

Tebow makes people that are faithful feel two ways. Some want him to be private about his faith and simply live by example. Others are like “Yes! That’s awesome!”

In general, some of the best people of any faith are too concerned about their own development and that challenges of living in this intensely secular culture to be worried about telling others what they should or should not be or do. That’s Tim Tebow. He’s concerned about his own development. That’s what everyone admires him for. He does not really care about what you think and you feel like he wants you to be as ecstatic about what you believe as he is. But would it be the same if he were a Muslim?

Finally, the big question: Is God on Tebow’s side? Obviously we will never know the answer. I will say this: If the Broncos continue at the pace they are going, make it to the playoffs, have a miraculous run all the way to the Superbowl, and if their defense is good enough to keep the game under 10 points and you give Tim Tebow the ball at the end of the game, then you might see Tebow as the Superbowl champion. Would we think he had God on his side this whole year?

And what if he did all that and the first thing he said in the interview was: “First, I would like to thank Allah and send blessings upon Prophet Muhammad.”

Would America think God was on his side then?

Follow Ibrahim Abdul-Matin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ibrahimSalih

Pastor Says Yoga Is ‘Demonic’; Warns Christians To Reject It

Posted in Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by loonwatch
Yoga_Devil“Your Yoga Instructor For Eternity”

(via. What If they were Muslim?)

This story reminds us here at “What If” of the Malaysian Fatwa against yoga and the Islamophobes who rallied against it. Robert Spencer’s writers proclaimed:
“Why should we look for other alternatives to exercise and search for peace? Yoga could cause (Muslims) to stray from their faith because its movements are according to the style and traditions of Hinduism.”
Will Spencer and his cronies repeat the same thing in a Christian context?

Pastor Says Yoga Is ‘Demonic’; Warns Christians To Reject It

In his blog, Pastor Mark Driscoll from the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says that “yoga is a religious philosophy that is in direct opposition to Christianity”. Because of this, he believes that “yoga cannot be simply received by any Christian in good conscious”.

Say what?

Not that this is the first time we’ve heard such rubbish about the conflicts between yoga and religion, but for the last time, can someone please tell these people that yoga is not a religion?

But even if we did tell him this (and other people have), the good Pastor refuses to believe it. In fact, he says yoga is downright demonic and he compares it to being as bad as adultery–which is nothing but a huge stretch (pun intended):

There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing. But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible. By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure. But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus.

Pastor Mark goes on to say that we just don’t understand what yoga really is. To which I say, do you, Pastor? Have you ever tried it? Have you experienced the true goodness that can come to your mind, body and spirit when you start flowing in some of the awesome poses and vinyasas? Doubtful, because he believes that we simply cannot get down on our mats while “ignoring the religious aspects of the practice of yoga”.

Yes, some people choose to incorporate spirituality into their practice, which is completely fine. To each yogi, her own. But since when does spirituality equal religion? Can’t we just open our hearts and our minds to the possibility that we can express gratitude and thanks and creativity and acceptance without a particular religious belief being a part of that? I, for one, have never had a yoga teacher quote from the Bible or any other religious readings during class, but even if I did, I’m pretty sure I’d be OK with that.

Yet Pastor Mark still rejects the idea that we can grow spiritually without church. In fact, he says the only real way to do so is through Christianity.

Sigh.

I say we all get down on our mats today and send some hearty “OMs” to the good Pastor.

Photo: lululemonathletica.com

Islamic Center Hosts Free Clinic

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by loonwatch

Islamic Center Hosts Free Clinic

Carla Lewis had never been in a mosque before and she wasn’t sure what to expect.

“Because I’m a Christian, and you hear all this propaganda that if you’re not Muslim, you’re their enemy,” she said.

Still, she entered, a little confused for a moment about where to go and how to behave until someone showed up to assist her.

“Are you here for the clinic? Let me show you the way,” someone offered.

Lewis, a 47-year-old truck driver, said her private health insurance lapsed in April after she took a leave of absence to care for her ill child. She needed a physical exam before returning to work, so a flier in the library piqued her interest.

It was advertising a free medical clinic at the Islamic Center of Tucson.

“I came and found it was not what I thought,” Lewis said. “People were very friendly and professional and welcoming.”

When organizers first conceived of the clinic, they hoped to reach people who, like Lewis, never had direct experience with Tucson’s Islamic community.

The clinic was the brainchild of Yahya Nomaan, 20, a pre-med student at the University of Arizona and the son of a pediatrician.

With hostile rhetoric about Islam growing to a crescendo in recent years over the building of mosques in communities from New York to California, Nomaan saw the need to highlight the contributions of Muslim Americans.

“You go to any hospital, you have a Doctor Khan, you have a Doctor Hassan,” he said. “Clearly medicine is our forte.”

So Nomaan and his father, Dr. Mohammed Nomaan, decided to start a free monthly medical clinic. The Islamic Center of Tucson offered its space, and local doctors from the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America volunteered to staff it.

During a recent clinic, the younger Nomaan and other volunteers circled the brightly lighted waiting area, taking vital signs and making small talk with patients.

Maryam Tanbal – an earnest 17-year-old with a disarming smile – greeted patients and gave them the requisite paperwork.

She said sometimes people seem a little hesitant when they first arrive because they’re unsure how to behave in a mosque. They wonder if they need to take their shoes off, for example.

She assures them that while shoes should not be worn in the rooms where prayers are held, the clinic is located in a separate area, and patients should keep their shoes on.

October marked the sixth clinic at the Islamic Center, and the younger Nomaan said the operation goes smoother each time. In the past, tiny glitches have arisen – one of the rooms in the mosque was locked, or a blood pressure cuff broke.

“Today was the first clinic with no hiccups,” Nomaan said. “We have God to praise for that.”

If you go

• Clinic location: Islamic Center of Tucson, 901 E. First St.

• When: Last Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Contact: 329-1428

• Cost: Free

• Appointments: Recommended but not required

Anissa Tanweer is a University of Arizona student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at starapprentice@azstarnet.com or 573-4117.

“Strong Christian” Gunman Opens Fire, Killing Three

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by loonwatch
Shareef AllmanShareef Allman

A quarry worker opened fire on his co-workers on October 5 in California, killing three and wounding six others. The man, Shareef Allman, was shot and killed by police officers the next day. The gunman was described as a “devoted single father of two, a strong Christian and the author of a novel about the evils of domestic violence.”

As the article said:

When Allman started shooting, Ambrosio said, he shouted: “You guys want to (expletive) with me? You want to (expletive) with me?”

What if he was Muslim? What do you think the Islamophobes would have been screaming?

TERRORISM!

SHARIA!

ISLAM IS EVIL!

THE QURAN IS VIOLENT!

But, when a “strong Christian” opens fire and kills innocent people…it is just an aberration. He is certainly not a terrorist. I smell double standard…don’t you?

Threat to America’s Freedom? It’s Not Islamic Law

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by loonwatch

Imagine, for a minute, that Muslims in America were openly advocating at meetings and conferences to take control of major sectors of public life, such as the government, media, and the law.

Imagine further that Muslims had built law schools, accredited no less, with the agenda to teach its students that America should be governed by Islamic law.

And imagine a little further that the leaders of this Muslim movement to Islamicize America were openly calling for America to become a Muslim nation.

And just imagine that all of the above was being absorbed into a major American political party and that some members of this Muslim mission were in Congress and were also looking to become the next President of the United States.

Of course, there would be mass hysteria and panic at such a notion. But none of the above is actually happening. Instead, replace Muslim with Christian and that is precisely what is currently occurring in America.

But of course, certain Islamophobes would have us worry about an imagined threat from Muslim-Americans–who make up a measly 2% of the U.S. population–rather than the Christian groups out there who are actively working to Christianize America, and who have been working at this for over three decades with the aid of one of the two main political parties.

Many of these evangelical Christian groups are actively looking to restrict the rights of women, members of the LGBT community, and to force their religious viewpoint on to the rest of the country.  Worse yet, advocates of Christian dominionism call for world conquest, to subjugate the infidel nations of the world to Christian domination.

Here is an excellent article from Sarah Posner on dominionism (emphasis added)–just imagine how utterly insane Islamophobes would go if Muslim were substituted for Christian here:

The Christian right’s “dominionist” strategy

by Sarah Posner

An article in the Texas Observer last month about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s relationship with followers of a little-known neo-Pentecostal movement sparked a frenzied reaction from many commentators: Dominionism! Spiritual warfare! Strange prophecies!

All the attention came in the weeks before and after “The Response,” Perry’s highly publicized prayer rally modeled on what organizers believe is the “solemn assembly” described in Joel 2, in which “end-times warriors” prepare the nation for God’s judgment and, ultimately, Christ’s return. This “new” movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, is one strand of neo-Pentecostalism that draws on the ideas of dominionism and spiritual warfare. Its adherents display gifts of the spirit, the religious expression of Pentecostal and charismatic believers that includes speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing and a belief in signs, wonders and miracles. These evangelists also preach the “Seven Mountains” theory of dominionism: that Christians need to take control of different sectors of public life, such as government, the media and the law.

The NAR is not new, but rather derivative of charismatic movements that came before it. Its founder, C. Peter Wagner, set out in the 1990s to create more churches, and more believers. Wagner’s movement involves new jargon, notably demanding that believers take control of the “Seven Mountains” of society (government, law, media and so forth), but that’s no different from other iterations of dominionism that call on Christians to enter these fields so that they are controlled by Christians.

After Perry’s prayer rally, Rachel Maddow featured a segment on her MSNBC show in which she warned,

“The main idea of the New Apostolic Reformation theology is that they are modern day prophets and apostles. They believe they have a direct line to God … the way that they’re going to clear the way for it [the end of the world] is by infiltrating and taking over politics and government.”

Maddow’s ahistorical treatment of the NAR, however, overlooked several important realities. For anyone who has followed the growth of neo-Pentecostal movements, and in particular the coalition-building between the political operatives of the religious right and these lesser-known but still influential religious leaders, the NAR is just another development in the competitive, controversial, outrageous, authoritarian and often corrupt tapestry of the world of charismatic evangelists.

Before the NAR came along, plenty of charismatic leaders believed themselves to be prophets and apostles with a direct line to God. They wrote books about spiritual warfare, undergirded by conspiracy theories about liberals and Satan and homosexuality and feminism and more (my own bookshelves are filled with them). They preached this on television. They preached it at conferences. They made money from it. They all learned from each other.

Before the NAR, Christian right figures promoted dominionism, too, and the GOP courted these religious leaders for the votes of their followers. Despite a recent argument by the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg that “we have not seen this sort of thing at the highest levels of the Republican Party before,” it’s been there since at least 1980. Michele Bachmann is a product of it; so was Mike Huckabee. Ronald Reagan pandered to it; so did both Bushes; so does Perry.

In 2007, I saw Cindy Jacobs and other “apostles” lay hands on Shirley Forbes, wife of Rep. Randy Forbes, the founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which boasts some Democrats as members and many of the GOP’s leading lights. “You are going to be the mother of an army,” they told Forbes, prophesying that she would “speak the power of the word into politics and government. Hallelujah!”

The idea that Christians have a sacred duty to get involved in politics, the law and media, and otherwise bring their influence to bear in different public spheres is the animating principle behind the religious right. If you attend a Values Voters Summit, the annual Washington confab hosted by the Family Research Council, you’ll hear speakers urging young people to go into media, or view Hollywood as a “mission field.” That’s because they insist these institutions have been taken over by secularists who are causing the downfall of America with their anti-Christian beliefs.

A few days ago, the Washington Post’s religion columnist, Lisa Miller, took Goldberg and Maddow to task for overhyping dominionism as a plot to take over the world. Miller, though, misses the boat, too, by neglecting to acknowledge and describe the infrastructure the religious right has built, driven by the idea of dominionism.

Oral Roberts University Law School, where Bachmann earned her law degree, was founded with this very notion in mind: to create an explicitly Christian law school. Herb Titus, the lawyer converted by Christian Reconstructionism who was instrumental in its launch, describes his mission in developing a Christian law school as a fulfillment of a “dominion mandate.” After ORU was absorbed into Regent University in the 1980s, Titus was the mentor to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who last week was elevated to chair of the Republican Governors Association and is widely speculated to be a possible vice-presidential pick.

Christian Reconstructionists, and their acolytes of the Constitution Party, believe America should be governed by biblical law. In her 1995 book, “Roads to Dominion: Right Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States,” Sara Diamond describes the most significant impact of Reconstructionism on dominionism:

“the diffuse influence of the ideas that America was ordained a Christian nation and that Christians, exclusively, were to rule and reign.” While most Christian right activists were “not well-versed in the arcane teachings” of Christian Reconstructionism, she wrote, “there was a wider following for softer forms of dominionism.”

For the Christian right, it’s more a political strategy than a secret “plot” to “overthrow” the government, even as some evangelists describe it in terms of “overthrowing” the powers of darkness (i.e., Satan), and even some more radical, militia-minded groups do suggest such a revolution. In general, though, the Christian right has been very open about its strategy and has spent a lot of money on it: in the law, as just one example, there are now two ABA-accredited Christian law schools, at Regent (which absorbed the ORU law school) and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. There are a number of Christian law firms, like the Alliance Defense Fund, formed as a Christian counterweight to the ACLU. Yet outsiders don’t notice that this is all an expression of dominionism, until someone from that world, like Bachmann, hits the national stage.

John Turner, University of South Alabama historian and author of “Bill Bright and the Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America,” said that the NAR’s “Seven Mountains” dominionism is “just a catchy phrase that encapsulates what Bright and many other evangelical leaders were already doing — trying to increase Christian influence (they would probably use more militant phrases like ‘capture’) in the spheres of education, business and government.”

Bright, like Perry’s prayer cohorts, believed America was in trouble (because of the secularists) and needed to repent. One of the most well-known evangelicals in the country, Bright had agreed to let Virginia Beach preacher John Gimenez, a charismatic, organize the rally, despite evangelical discomfort with charismatic religious expression. In his book, Turner describes the Washington for Jesus rally of 1980:

From the platform, Bright offered his interpretation of the source of the country’s problems, asserting that “[w]e’ve turned from God and God is chastening us.” “You go back to 1962 and [196]3 [when the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer and Bible-reading],” Bright argued, “and you’ll discovered a series of plagues that came upon America.” Bright cited the Vietnam War, increased drug use, racial conflict, Watergate, and a rise in divorce, teenage pregnancy, and alcoholism as the result of those decisions. “God is saying to us,” he concluded, “‘Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!’” … “Unless we repent and turn from our sin,” warned Bright, “we can expect to be destroyed.”

Unlike Perry’s rally, Ronald Reagan the candidate wasn’t present at the Washington for Jesus rally. At a 2007 gathering at his church, Gimenez recounted how he and Bright later met with President Reagan, and Bright told him, “You were elected on April 29, 1980, when the church prayed that God’s will would be done.”

In August 1980, though, after Reagan had clinched the nomination, he did appear at a “National Affairs Briefing” in Texas, where televangelist James Robison (also instrumental in organizing Perry’s event) declared, “The stage is set. We’ll either have a Hitler-type takeover, or Soviet domination, or God is going to take over this country.” After Robison spoke, Reagan took the stage and declared to the 15,000 activists assembled by Moral Majority co-founder Ed McAteer, “You can’t endorse me, but I endorse you.”

That was also a big moment for Huckabee, who worked as Robison’s advance man. It was even imitated by then-candidate Barack Obama, who met with a group of evangelicals and charismatics in Chicago and repeated Reagan’s infamous line. Obama’s group included publisher Stephen Strang (an early endorser of Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid) and his son Cameron, whose magazines Charisma and Relevant help promote the careers of the self-declared modern-day prophets and apostles. Huckabee appeared with Lou Engle at his 2008 The Call rally on the National Mall (like Perry’s, billed as a “solemn assembly”) in which Engle exhorted his prayer warriors to battlesatanic forces to defeat “Antichrist legislation.”

When I interviewed former Bush family adviser Doug Wead for my 2008 book, “God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters,” he gave me a lengthy memo he compiled for George H.W. Bush in 1985, to prepare him for his 1988 presidential run. In the memo, he identified a thousand “targets,” religious leaders across the country whose followers, Wead believed, could be mobilized to the voting booth.

In my book, I examined the theology and politics of the Word of Faith movement (also known as the prosperity gospel) and how Republicans cultivated the leading lights of the movement. Primarily because of television, but also because of the robust (and profitable) speaking circuit these evangelists maintain, they have huge audiences. All that was in spite of — just as the scrutiny of NAR figures now is revealing — outlandish, strange and even heretical theology. What’s more, Word of Faith figures have endlessly been embroiled in disputes not just with their theological critics, but with watchdogs and former parishioners who charge they took their money for personal enrichment, promising that God would bring them great health and wealth if they would only “sow a seed.”

At Gimenez’s 2007 event, Engle and the other “apostles” were not the stars; rather, the biggest draw was Word of Faith televangelist Kenneth Copeland. In 1998, writing to Karl Rove, Wead called Copeland “arguably one of the most important religious leaders in the nation.” At Gimenez’s church, Copeland, who has boasted that his ministry has brought in more the $1 billion over his career, preached for two hours. The sanctuary was packed, with the audience hanging on every word. Gimenez introduced him as “God’s prophet,” and Copeland urged them to “get rid of the evening news and the newspaper,” study “the uncompromised word of the Holy Ghost,” and take “control over principalities.”

The commenters who have jumped on the NAR frequently overstate the size of its following. Engle’s events, for example, are often smaller than advertised, including a poorly attended revival at Liberty University in April 2010, where one would expect a ready-made audience. When I’ve covered these sorts of events, including smaller conferences by local groups inspired by figures they see on television, it’s often hard to see how the often meandering preachers are going to take over anything, even while it’s clear they cultivate an authoritarian hold on their followers. I meet a lot of sincere, frequently well-intentioned people who believe they must be “obedient” to God’s word as imparted by the “prophets.”

Most chilling, though, is the willingness to engage in what’s known in the Word of Faith world as “revelation knowledge,” or believing, as Copeland exhorted his audience to do, that you learn nothing from journalism or academia, but rather just from the Bible and its modern “prophets.” It is in this way that the self-styled prophets have had their greatest impact on our political culture: by producing a political class, and its foot soldiers, who believe that God has imparted them with divine knowledge that supersedes what all the evil secularists would have you believe.

Last week CNN’s Jack Cafferty asked, “How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to dominionism?” That worry crops up every election cycle. If people really understood dominionism, they’d worry about it between election cycles.

However, it’s the Moozlums we’re supposed to worry about.

To clarify though, LoonWatch is not pressing the panic button: the threat from the religious right is very real, but we don’t think it’s a doomsday situation.  All we’re saying is that the threat from the Christian right is certainly greater than this imaginary threat from Muslims and all this Sharia-nonsense.