Keep God out of public affairs - an article by A C Grayling, published in The Observer, London (Sunday August 12, 2001)
"If society does not secularise fully the result will be serious trouble; for as science and technology take us even further away from the ancient superstitions on which religions are based (a separation tellingly emphasised by the current cloning controversy), and as secular values continue to increase their influence, the tensions can only become greater. The science-religion debate of the nineteenth century is a skirmish in comparison to what we are inviting by allowing not just religion but mutually competing religions so much presence in public space. Now is the time to place religion where it belongs - in the private sphere, leaving the public domain as neutral territory where all can meet, without prejudice, as humans and equals."
Church and State in Britain - The Centre for Citizenship site provides a brief critical history of the Church of England, and outlines the case for disestablishment.
Huckabee Steps Back Into the Pulpit at Evangelical Church in N.H. (Washington Post - January 7, 2008)
Baptist minister and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (...) delivered a sermon of more than 20 minutes on how to be part of "God's Army" in the middle school cafeteria where the congregation meets.
"When we become believers, it's as if we have signed up to be part of God's Army, to be soldiers for Christ," Huckabee told the enthusiastic audience.
"When you give yourself to Christ, some relationships have to go," he said. "It's no longer your life; you've signed it over."
Likening service to God to service in the military, Huckabee said "there is suffering in the conditioning for battle" and "you obey the orders."
General Faulted For Satan Speeches (CBS News - August 19, 2004)
A Pentagon investigation has concluded that a senior military intelligence officer violated regulations by failing to make clear he was not speaking in an official capacity when he made church speeches casting the war on terrorism in religious terms
In one appearance, Boykin told a religious group in Oregon that Islamic extremists hate the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. ... And the enemy is a guy named Satan
Discussing a U.S. Army battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia in 1993, Boykin told one audience, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
American Torture, Religion and the Crusade of General William G. Boykin (Irregular Times)
General Boykin has become infamous for making public appearances, in full military uniform, during which he declares that America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a Christian Holy Crusade against Islam, a religion that Boykin suggests is aligned with Satan.
After it became known that General Boykin was making such declarations, George W. Bush stood behind him, defending Boykin's place at the center of what Bush himself has called "a Crusade". Bush and Boykin's description of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a "Crusade" is telling to those who are familiar with medieval history - the Crusades were wars waged on behalf of Christianity against Islam. It is significant that Bush's "War on Terror" is only against Islamic terrorist groups. Christian terrorists have been spared Bush's wrath.
Onward Christian soldiers.
Now, here's where that categorical morality gets really twisted: Bush and Boykin seem to believe that because their cause is a good one, whatever they do to support that cause is good. Thus, for them, killing civilians is not a wicked thing. It is a sign of moral resolve. Starting a war against a non-threatening opponent is not cruel for them. It is strength in the face of evil.
Bush and Boykin can perceive American torture as a good thing because they are incapable of believing that anything they do could be wicked. After all, they believe, God is on their side. God is good, or so they teach us in Sunday school.
Rev. Billy Graham: A Prince of War Exposed (Baltimore IMC - September, 2007)
The Rev. Billy Graham, a darling of the Evangelical Right, has never seen a U.S. war that he couldn’t bless. He once advocated that President Richard M. Nixon bomb the “dikes” in the north of Vietnam. He also criticized the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. for speaking out against the war. A new book, “The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire,” by Cecil Bothwell exposes the camera-mugging preacher as a serial warmonger.
We now know that Bush 2, although he may have stopped hitting the bottle, never did anything in the realm of therapy about his alcoholism problem. He’s known by the experts in the field as a “dry drunk,” a potential danger to himself and to others. (2) As for Bush 2 being “born again,” the question must be asked: “Born again for what?” To kill Iraqis? Invade Iran? Bankrupt our Republic? “Brother” Elliott Nesch, an Evangelical and Peace advocate, believes that pro-War Christians “should repent.” (3) I agree with him. The bottom line is clerics, like Rev. Graham, dominate today much of the Religious Right in America. Bothwell’s tome deals, however, with a lot more relevant issues than just the preacher’s disgusting war addiction. It’s an insightful book that I am highly recommending. It’s well documented, too, with 274 footnotes.
Finally, I wrote last year that “Rev. Graham wasn’t a Phil Berrigan.” The latter, an ex-priest, was a true apostle of peace, who spent 11 of his 79 years behind bars in the cause of justice. Unlike Rev. Graham, who skipped out of WWII, Berrigan was involved in the Normandy invasion and the “Battle of the Bulge” as a member of the U.S. Army. (4) I’m convinced that unless the Christian community in this country, Protestant and Catholic alike, opens its eyes to what Rev. Graham and his Establishment-serving ilk have been doing “in Christ’s name,” this nation is headed for a fall that will make the collapse of Rome look like a Sunday picnic.
We'll nuke Iran - Bush promises Israel (Presscue - January 10, 2008)
US President George W. Bush promised Israel's opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.
Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party's hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation's nuclear weapons ambitions.