"Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." —Randall Terry in the Indiana News Sentinel

“God has chosen, through his son Jesus Christ, this time, this place for all Christians, Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox to save our country and save our courts.” —William Pryor, newly confirmed Justice in June 2005 of the U.S. Appeals Court

"You and I can bring the rule and reign of the cross to America." —Bishop Harry Jackson of Bowie, Maryland

"(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." —Pat Robertson in The Washington Post

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle … I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped (Sept. 11) happen.'" —Jerry Falwell on The 700 Club

We’re in a religious war and we need to aggressively oppose secular humanism; these people are as religiously motivated as we are, and they are filled with the devil. —Tim LaHaye (of the Left Behind series) on Jerry Falwell’s show, Listen America

The Christian Exodus movement recruits people to move to South Carolina to take it over to make it a Christian nation as they define "Christian"; see more at http://www.christianexodus.org/

The Dominionists are trying to take over the government at many levels, and are strong in Focus on the Family; see more at these sites: www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm,

All of these persons and groups are conservative Christians and represent a minority of Christians in the U. S. and across the world. The vision of control of the "Exodus" and "Dominionists" is similar to the early American colonies that were theocratic before becoming democratic.

These echo George Bush's "If you are not for us, you are against us" attitude. America at its best has been not exclusive and narrow but welcoming and inclusive.








See Karen L. King: Gospel of Mary of Magdala and Cynthia Bourgeault: Meaning of Mary Magdalene and references in both books. Among the findings: was the first edition or draft of John written by Mary Magdalene?
















Jefferson's Extracts from the Gospels edited by Dickinson W. Adams and others. The book includes photos of the pages Jefferson pasted up. Jefferson did this twice, and called his books "The Philosophy of Jesus" and "The Life and Morals of Jesus." Reading what Jefferson chose for these books shows that he regarded Jesus very highly as an inspiration and teacher, but not a miracle worker.




















For insight into the significance of the spread of many religious organizations in America see the fascinating book A New Religious America by Diana L. Eck.



























For a wide ranging discussion of American values and divisive religious ones by many authors with widely diverse attitudes see the thoughtful book One Electorate Under God? edited by E. J. Dionne, Jr., and others from Brookings Institution Press.
















Medical review of Ms. Terry Schiavo:


















Ethicists like to pose this question to those who preach that frozen embryos are humans: if a clinic is on fire, which would you save first — a two-year old child or a vial full of frozen embryos? Embryonic stem cells are smaller than this period. Uncounted thousands are disposed of yearly. See Michael J. Fox's Always Looking Up for a factual, passionate discussion of this conflict.





















Members of these organizations were often leaders in legislatures and congress, but the organization's leaders (bishops, for example) were not usually conspiring within the government. For a thorough analysis of civic organizations and how they changed over time see Theda Skocpol's Diminished Democracy.



















Employed mothers and full-time mothers have vastly more in common than what separates them. Many full-time mothers go back to paid work at later times in their lives. In 2006 the U.S. Census reported that 75% of women with school-age children work for wages or are looking for work. When children are over 12, that becomes 80%. The "Mommy Wars" distract us from the real issues and unnecessarily divides mothers. Look into an organization called Moms Rising that works for all mothers. One of their concerns is that the U.S. is one of only four countries, out of 168 studied, that doesn't provide some form of paid leave to moms after the birth of a child — and dads as well. The book Mommy Wars edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner faces the ambivalence and difficulty of choices.

To read the differences between government support for parents and American non-support, read Judith Warner's Perfect Madness. Chapter 1 is her experience in France as a new mother. Chapters 3–5 trace the bizarre changes in emphases in American parenting.

To get accurate information about how children respond to child care because their parents work, see the book, Ask the Children by Ellen Galinsky, which is the result of careful research that examined many factors affecting working mothers and their children.

Child care varies widely in quality, so wise parents drop into many centers, without calling ahead, to evaluate their quality of care. Under President Johnson the government had child care standards that were abolished.

















Many people and groups in America teach that men must be in charge and must be strict disciplinarians, and that women, children, and workers must be subservient. They link these beliefs to trust in self interest and competition. For more see the small book, Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff, pages 6–13. For an alternate and humane view see Synergetic Parenting on this site.

For an insightful and readable history of the changing relationships between husbands and wives and of dominance and mutuality see Marriage, a History: how love conquered marriage by Stephanie Coontz.




















In the last six years over 1 million women and men have become survivors of domestic violence in Texas alone, due to the work of local agencies created in recent decades. In addition to responding to emergencies, these agencies do preventive work through schools and community organizations to help people find non-violent ways of relating and resolving conflict. These agencies help many more people because of state and federal funding. If you need help, telephone toll-free 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or click here and here for more information.



















George Wills in Newsweek Jan 29, 2007 wrote: "Jon (their Down Syndrome grown son) has season tickets for Nationals and Orioles baseball, Redskins football, Capitals hockey, and Georgetown University basketball. He gets to and from games and to his work three days a week by himself, taking public transportation to and from his apartment.

"Jon experiences life's three elemental enjoyments — loving, being loved, and ESPN. For Jon, as for most normal American males, the rest of life is details."

















Religious right groups teach that couples should have as many children as they can, based on Genesis 1.28. Two comments about that "command" — the Hebrew word actually means "word":

  1. "Multiply" was written to the Hebrew people when few in number in order to out-birth their neighbors to displace them, which was the situation in earliest Hebrew history and among those who returned from the Exile;
  2. "Fill the earth" has certainly been accomplished beyond imagination, producing poverty, hunger, wars in many parts of the world.

Decades ago I strolled slowly through a rural cemetery next to an old Church; I recommend every one does that! You may be overwhelmed by the death rate among young children and mothers a dozen decades ago. Many of their spirits may whisper thanks for medical science advances in the breezes!














Here are the Commandments (the Hebrew word means words):

  1. “You shall have no other gods to rival me” is Judeo-Christian and Moslem — the religions of Abraham and of the Book. Jews traditionally consider the verse before this the first Commandment.
  2. “You shall not make yourself a carved idol.…”
  3. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord.…”
  4. “Remember the Sabbath day.…” Sunday activities were limited decades ago, though the Sabbath is Saturday.
  5. “Honor your father and your mother…” is Judeo-Christian and Moslem; the nearest secular laws are recent ones against abuse of all elders.
  6. “You shall not kill.”
  7. “You shall not commit adultery” is a cause for divorce but how often a crime in courts?
  8. “You shall not steal.”
  9. “You shall not give false evidence against your neighbor” is not exactly perjury but close enough.
  10. “You shall not set your heart on your neighbors house…” is not a crime until you act on it.

This is Exodus 20:3–17 in the New Jerusalem Bible; Deuteronomy 5:7–21 is very similar.

So much for the ten commandments being the basis for our system of law!









A study done in 2003 by the Southern Baptist faith tradition found that the percent of Southern Baptists who divorced was nearly the same as the percent in the overall population. Another study found the divorce rate of born-again Christians was 2% lower than the rate of agnostics and atheists. While there are many measures of the quality of marriage, divorce is one of the most traumatic.



















Dr. Donna Lopiano says, "That's what sports does. It breeds strong, confident women."

Our daughter was helped by middle and high school athletics and her women coaches. Watch school and college women's athletics in your area to see team and individual skills; often women college athletes have higher grades and graduation rates than the males.

















Look at what women's bodies say
The clitoris and the Grafenberg spot that is on the vaginal roof both have only the purpose of enjoyment! The CREATOR wants women to enjoy sex! Evolution produced many mammals who enjoy sex! Biology and theology agree the purpose of sex is pleasure for women and men.

Year-round sexual co-pleasure
Conservative religious groups — like the American Life League I'll quote — say they believe in God the Creator. If sexual enjoyment was only to procreate, the Creator would have made these two organs dormant except at ovulation!

Many couples tell of more satisfying sex after menopause. So, clearly for humans sex is designed for very deep enjoyment and deepening relationships.

Sex is designed as sacred and communion
The American Life League quote (below) is in Cristina Page’s How the Pro Choice Movement Saved America that is an insightful and well-documented report on the religious right’s war against sex. See Rebecca Chalker’s The Clitoral Truth. "Sex communion" is a term my wife and I liked that we found in Margaret Sanger's writings. Sex communion can be and is deeply spiritual as both equally join in holy celebration. See Riane Eisler's Sacred Pleasure pages 284-286.

The anti-life Fundamentalist league
The American Life League is wrong when it says: "Couples having sex for pleasure and … using (anything) to prevent the conception of another human being are offending God. … Any action … which proposes to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.” This is a voice of the Fundamentalist religious!

Females created first?
What is the significance that the fetus until eight weeks gestation has no indication of being male or female? If the fetus has X and Y chromosomes, after eight weeks the fetus starts to produce testosterone and starts to develop rudimentary maleness. Does this suggest that Eve was created first and Adam created out of Eve – except in the patriarchal Old Testament? Let's have a painting of Adam coming out of Eve by the finger of God!








In Living Buddha, Living Christ Thich Nhat Hanh, known as Thây, explores the many similarities of these two insightful teachers and how they are synergistic. He was a monk in Viet Nam during the war ministering to Vietnamese who suffered from our attacks. He now has a retreat center in France.

















These American values are seen, for example, in good sportsmanship, in LBJ's frequent call to opponents, "Come now let us reason together," quoting Isaiah. These American values may be called the essential lubricant that keeps the complex machinery of America working at all, much less efficiently. They also are essential for churches and denominations to work cooperatively, effectively, and efficiently in carrying out their mission and avoiding divisiveness and schism.

















The George W. Bush administration used tax money to fund services provided by faith based organizations without requirements for non-discrimination and without accountability for finances and quality of services. For an analysis of the tragic results of this approach in Texas under then Gov. George W. Bush, read The Texas Faith-Based Initiative at Five Years by the Texas Freedom Network (P O Box 1624, Austin, 78767) or on the web. At that site you can quickly download the booklet in .pdf format. That web site also includes many more resources about religious freedom, the religious right, and theocracy. The Texas Legislature has also shown its "wisdom" by reduced funding for established Planned Parenthood clinics with a long record of service, and diverted that tax money to fund fundamentalist anti-abortion "Crisis Pregnancy Centers;" here are the facts.

















From Quinn's column in Newsweek, October 29, 2007, "The Kids Aren't All Right."















Our Founders particularly those from the South — Washington, Jefferson, others — are condemned now for being slaveholders and the hypocrisy of talking about rights while denying them to so many. Only land-owning white men could vote or hold office. I suggest considering ways in which Jefferson honored his wife and daughters, showing respect for these women that may suggest in later times he would have understood women's suffrage. Can we fairly judge these Founders by our current standards and insights? Can we appreciate how far they came in their own time? Please read Stephen Ambrose's last book, To America, chapter 1: The Founding Fathers for helpful insights.