TPM Muckraker asks: “But why did Hastert give a guy like Paul half an hour of face time to hear what plenty of other people have been more than happy to tell him?
Apparently this guy, who according to Houston Press has connections to Republican bigwigs, also claims credit for getting Charles Taylor to step down. (Apparently Condi Rice disagrees.) But “Dr.” Paul, who spends more money on jet fuel for his 747 than on “his” orphanage, got 30 minutes with Hastert yesterday. I wonder how the average evangelical activist feels about that? From Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney (who got Paul rolling in the US) to Pat Robertson’s Diamond Mines to Ralph Reed hangin’ with Abramoff, things look unscrupulous at the top Right.
Definitely visit Talk to Action to see the church-stormin’ fella hired by the GOP to hype candidates in red-state churches. Clarkson quotes Beliefnet:
“The Republican National Committee is employing the services of a Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a “Christian nation” and the separation of church and state is “a myth.’”
Danny Fisher, an American Buddhist Chaplain wishes Desmond Tutu a happy birthday.
And now that Focus on the Family James Dobson refuses to hold his friends accountable for Foley preying on kids, it’s starting to look like children might become all American again. The Rev. Deb Haffner points out the difference and Provoke Radio‘s got a show on all God’s children:
Jill Wrigley and her husband Michael Sarbanes are both lawyers by profession who have chosen to spend their careers in the non-profit sector. But it is what they do outside their jobs that is the real story. Living “intentionally” in a blighted city neighborhood, they have developed an important and compassionate ministry not only to their 3 children who are special in their own right, but to all the children in the neighborhood.
A former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Missouri and an ordained Episcopal priest, Danforth brings exceptional insight to the debate about the political use of religion and the separation of church and state.
He worries that Republican courting of the Christian Right is distorting notions of public and private morality. He laments that when Republicans voted to have federal courts overrule the state court in the Terri Schiavo case, violating long-held principles, it allowed the Christian Right to take over the party.
Sickened by the scandel? Spirit Blog posts a mediation called the Prosecutor.
Now, bring your sense of history over to Islamicate. He writes: “The October 2006 issue of Vanity Fair contains two important articles, which are worth reading: Empire Falls, by Niall Ferguson, and Under Egypt’s Volcano, by Scott Anderson.
In Empire Falls, Fergusson uses historian Edward Gibbon’s theories on the decline and fall of Rome to make an interesting, if not convincing, case for the same state of conditions currently in play in the West. Gibbon’s blamed Rome’s decline on external military overreach, internal corruption, social decadence, religious transformation, and barbarian invasion. Fergusson counters with the War on Terror, the cult of personality, superficiality, reality TV, cultural decline, immigration, and the rise of political Islam.”
Save yourselves from this corrupt generation writes: I Understand Opposing Abortion, but . . .. . . opposing contraception in general is going too far. Rethinking traditional religion, Johnny writes about Amish abuse. For Yom Kippur, Velvateen Rabbi writes about Philo and how Jews like to eat.
The abuse and cover-up scandal of Rep. Foley has shown once again that leaders of the Religious Right are out of step with the values of mainstream Americans. While Tony Perkins rationalizes the cover-up of Rep. Foley’s predatory behavior by saying members of Congress and their staffs were simply “fearful of acting because they would be seen as homophobic or gay bashing,” (see a similar explanation here from the “pro-family” Arlington Group) faith leaders around the country are speaking the truth that Perkins’ partisan loyalties prevent him from saying. Protecting vulnerable children can never be subordinated to the quest for political power. A group of diverse faith leaders made this points strongly in a letter to House leaders. African American Ministers in Action and the African American Ministers Leadership Council issues a joint statement pointing out that the scandal reveals the hypocrisy of politicians and religious leaders who claim to have a monopoly on ‘values.’
Click on the photos below for audio responses to the Foley scandal and cover-up from expert faith leaders around the country.
Rev. Jennifer Butler is the Executive Director of Faith in Public Life
“The failure of Congressional leadership to take swift action in response to Mark Foley’s behavior exemplifies placing personal power and greed above moral behavior.”
Rev. Joseph Darby is Senior Pastor at Morris Brown AME Church, Charleston, SC
“The Foley incident and the resultant fallout should be a cautionary tale for those who take a narrow view of faith and morality, with exclusionary moral absolutes which do not allow for what those of the Christian tradition call ‘grace.’ Those on the so-called “religious right” have been vocal, judgmental and mean spirited on issues of gender and have drawn a strict “us versus them” line in the sand.”
Rev. Debra Haffner is the Director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, & Healing
“How ironic that Rep. Foley was chair of the Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and that the bill he championed in July concentrated on registering treated sex offenders rather than the prevention methods we know keep children safe from abuse.”
Sr. Simone Campbell is National Coordinator of NETWORK: A Catholic Social Justice Lobby
What the Foley cover-up brings to mind is that the use of power to protect self-interest is inevitably corrupting….Congress must face its sins to come to redemption as an institution.