Friday, December 29, 2006

Gods of Hebrews and of Cosmos


The question that you asked is an axis around which many of the most important issues in theology orbit. This is the careless, unstudied, almost universal assumption that the god of the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") is the same as the God of the Christian Scriptures.

It is quite easy to slide or fall into this assumption; most Christians do hold it as a matter of dogma. It is so commonly assumed, in fact, as to be invisible. Even most educators and religious teachers take it fully for granted.

But the assumption that Jehovah-Yahweh is God contradicts a few important historical issues. For it was the loyal, faithful people of Yahweh who conspired with the Romans to murder Jesus. It was also they who were among the most vicious enemies of Christianity during its first two centuries.

Wise and intelligent people can hold to no stupid or ignorant anti-Semitism because of this, however, for no one is ever responsible for the actions of her ancestors.

True, many Christians tried like mad to force Christianity into the mold of Judaism. These were called "Judaizers." They pretended that the Hebrew Scriptures were part of the "Bible" of Christianity, and they, too, made the serious mistake of identifying (and equating) the god of the Hebrews with the Lord of pure Love identified by the mystic Jesus.

In stark contrast, many of the earliest Christians, including the teacher Marcion (c. 140), taught clearly that the god of the old way was not the God of Love. Here is evidence: Although some form of the sacred name, written YHWH, was used nearly seven thousand times in the "Old Testament," no form of this sacred name was ever used a single time in all the oldest manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures.

But the very reason that Christianity split from Judaism is that it had an entirely different and incompatible set of Scriptures, the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament"); Christianity recognized its own, and separate, prophets; and it had its own teachings. These teachings did not concur with those of the "holy days," "feasts," "sacrifices," and other patterns from Judaism. Christians abandoned all these ceremonial commemorations despite the fact that they had been "commanded by Jehovah."

Christians ignored all of this fanfare, even though these celebrations and rituals were demanded by the Hebrew Scriptures. Even though the Levitical and other laws of Jehovah were included in the Bible of the Hebrews, their practices were simply dropped and abandoned by the Christians. It could accurately be said that many if not most Christians simply dropped and abandoned the Hebrew Scriptures as the "Bible" of another religion-- Judaism.

Christianity did not evolve from, or originate within, Judaism as a "splinter" group. No, it originated from the teachings of an enlightened man reared in Egypt-- Jesus. To prove that the religion did not have power over free Christians, Jesus altered many of the "Laws of Jehovah," as in Matthew chapter 5. In other words, he did not feel bound to those ancient laws.

Christianity did not hate Judaism. But it insisted upon total freedom from the "written law codes," as Paul made clear in Galatians. These law-codes were the Bible of the Jews.

It is most logical that a religion that has a different Bible, different prophets, different teachers, and different teachings has also a different God. The God taught by Jesus was Love, as reflected by his disciple John, who wrote simply, "God is Love," and he wrote it twice. (1 Jn. 4:8, 16)

The ancient god periodically showed a quality called chesed in Hebrew, "loving-kindness." But he showed this to only those who carefully obeyed all of his laws, and very rarely. Jehovah was a god bound by law, and was very concerned about "righteousness" and "obedience." The Christianity of Jesus was more concerned with a deeper, more authentic,

The whole idea of a priesthood, a temple, and a thousand religious laws, binding on the Hebrews, was simply deleted by the Christians. Also, the exclusivity of being the "chosen people" disappeared, as Christianity began to be a universal faith, open to non-Jews ("gentiles").

When you separate the God of Love from the ancient god, it clears up so many mysteries. For Jehovah, says the record, slaughtered women, men, and children. He was a creation of mad and murderous generals and kings of the Middle East, and naturally, he thought precisely as they did. These horrid activities are unthinkable to the omnipotent Lord of Love. They are hideous. So is Armageddon, a God-slandering myth, and so is eternal hellfire, another myth of nightmarish humans, not a creation of the stainless God.

If you have any questions re the misidentification of God that is common to our society and culture, let me recommend my book Jehovah, Good-bye: The "New Theism" of Love.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jews, Christians, and Muslims


In a fine country such as the United States used to be, before greed became its false god and war its religion, the people of this nation held fast to some great vistas and horizons of stainless and highest ideals.

As people of the Way (of Love), we must not follow the greedy in stealing from the needy. We must, as good, decent people, resist the cheap and anti-intellectual activities of judging people by the color of their skins, or by their religion.

Our most elevated nobility arises from the respect that we pay to all religious groups in the country.

This does not, of course, imply that we buy into, or accept as truth, every teaching of every faith. That would literally be impossible, as they are often opposites, or conflicting. We do not show "respect" for a faith by joining it! Instead, we regard its members with a kindly eye, towards forgiveness and tolerance. We are kind to the kind; we are kind also to the unkind.

Many Christians embrace three horrifying, anti-agapic doctrines, for example. The mass-murder of Armageddon, the existence of an everlasting hellfire, and pervasive Jehovism are but three out of many examples that could rather easily be derived from history. Despite the nightmarish degeneration of the teachings of Jesus, we can still use our individual freedoms to choose and select what we choose to believe.

Early Judaism suffered from a very similar Jehovism, a very serious religious disease. The worship of an inflated soldier-god, or war-god, marked especially its very early centuries. (This was the violent adoration of a war-god, the "proto-Jehovah.")

And, although it is not "pc" to say so, the Muslim sacred book, the Koran, teaches, several times, that Christians and Jews are "less than" Muslims, who have received the "latest" and "greatest" revelation.

Despite these ghastly follies in all three faiths, we can still maintain an attitude of respect. For the truth is remarkably simple: A good human being can belong to a "bad" or "imperfect" religious org. We must, then, look beyond history, beyond logic and reason, in order to love other imperfect human beings.

It is our conceptually simple, but enormously complex, mission to cultivate Love for all human beings. With some, this is clearly easier than with others.

What is the "least" Love, that we are drawn by God (Love) to love even strangers? Here it is: We can truly "love" them by wishing them, sincerely, peace, Love, joy, friendship, compassion, happiness, with enough material things to assure their survival. For Love is the attitude felt in the heart. It is not necessarily the Lovexpressions of a puppy. We do not grab onto the pantleg, never letting go, and squeal with unabated delight

And it is possible-- indeed, inevitable-- that we will recognize, and reject, a false and harmful teaching when we hear it.

Not to be able to discern the difference between good and evil is not high spirituality. It is abysmal ignorance.
So, when it comes to ideas and actions, we must take actions, both to embrace the good, and to avoid the evil. We can use discernment or discrimination to know when a teaching, or a group, is anti-spiritual, even though it might have a great disguise. For the truth is that many of our worst religions contain zero spirituality. We are supposed to help to educate each other in these areas of "traps" and "snares." This is not "judgment." If you say, "She's going to hell forever," that is judgment, for it involves the evaluation of her total being. If you say, "He has not a particle of goodness within him," that is also judgment.

But if you say, "That is an evil teaching," this is not judgment. Because you choose not to join the neo-nazis or some other extremist group, that is not judgment; it is your wise use of discernment and discrimination.

As is true of all societies, religions also come in various degrees of fineness. Most, but not all, have mystical cores. But, at the low end of the spectrum, are those "faiths" that contain zero mysticism. These are very shallow, and are all about money and power; they are not even about Good (Love). These primitive and backwards faiths have acted as a plague upon humanity. And that is how the wise avoids them.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Subnormal or Supernormal?

Our society and culture have always had a very tough time discerning the supernormal from the subnormal. All that our culture knows is that an Adolph Hitler and a Jesus Christ are "abnormal."

But, since society terribly lacks discernment, a spiritual being dare not measure herself according to the standards of a spiritually arrested culture. So, the people of Love (Spirit) do not measure themselves by what the "neighbors" think. They must measure themselves by a higher standard.

That is the standard of a fully "grown" human being-- one who has abandoned her human identity for a higher self-identification. This wise spiritual being identifies herself as an incarnation of Spirit, or Love. She is not just an "animal." She is not just a "human being." Instead, she is a mind, or part of a huge, vast, immense Mind. She is a manifestation (incarnation) of the Mind of Love, or God(dess). She is part of the Buddha, or Christ. This new identity is revealed to her deeply within her own mind, during altered states produced by meditation, in stillmind, crystalmind, or interior silence.

Meditation changes her in very practical ways, as she moves towards becoming "the Buddha," or "the Christ." A gnostic Gospel, the Gospel of Phillip, said that the goal was to become "not just a Christian, but a Christ." And the Buddhists are famous for their saying,"You are already the Buddha."

For, deep within your mind dwells the Mind of "Love plus nothing." This galactic Love is huge and gigantic; it is great enough to over-ride, an dto cancel, any errors ("sins") that you, or others, have made. It results in total forgiveness of all mistakes. This leaves a being free, for she has come to know the interior Reality of Love. This fulfills the famous saying of Jesus, "You will know Reality, and Reality will set you free." In mysticism, "Reality" is one of the names of God-- Love. It is Love for ourselves and others that "frees" us from the traps of illusion. In time, we come to know that only Mind is real, and the entire material world an illusion or dream.

After that realization, we are interested in "investing" in only Mind, and not so obsessed with the "material and external" world-- which is neither.

One tool which helps us to explore interior spaces is the mantra. A very famous mantra is from ancient Tibet. It is om mani padme hum. This is pronounced, "aum money pud-may (first syllable rhyming with "bud," "mud,"etc) hoom (rhyming with "room," or "boom.")

This and other mantras can serve as the wings to lift the personal mind into the great Mind (Lovemind, Godmind, Coremind). Using Love as our sole guide, let us continue to reach for the "supernormal" state of loving. For it is supremely normal for us, or "super-normal," and it is also above the everyday state, or "supernormal."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Take Their Troop Surge in Iraq - and Shove it!



It is astonishing to remember that, a mere six years ago, george bush campaigned on the accusation that the Clinton administration had let the readiness of our military deteriorate. Today, nearly all our military experts, even those speaking at peril to their careers, agree that our armed forces have been broken by the strategically idiotic occupation of Iraq. And yet the bush administration has now coined a new slogan for "stay the course," in utter and diffident defiance of the will of the American people. They are trying to sell us on yet one more "surge" in Iraq, perhaps the one that will finally break our own backs. What Germany could not do in World War II, what Japan could not do, george bush has nearly accomplished already-- the destruction of our armed forces.

There is only one possible outcome from more such bull headed obstinacy--a surge in casualties, a surge in red ink budget deficits, and, sadly, a surge in insurgency. At a time when many are worried about how to logistically extract the troops we have there already, what the bush administration is looking to do is to drive even faster, going the wrong way on the freeway. And IF there were to be a further increase now, it would push off prospects of any meaningful withdrawal for another couple of years, conveniently, until the currently scheduled end of the bush presidency. What is this silly talk about two to three months? It would take longer than that just to get more troops in. Are supporters of this idea nuts? They most certifiably are.

And worse yet, Harry Reid was just quoted as saying that he might go along with their surge lunacy. He really needs to hear from us. American deaths from roadside bombs in Iraq are even now at their highest rate ever. There is no honor whatsoever in sending our brave servicepeople into a rigged fight. There is no defense against such weapons, at least none which our troops are likely to ever be given. Our troops are in a shooting gallery where it is impossible to tell friend from foe. They are dying for absolutely no other reason but politicians who are too cowardly to admit that they were ever wrong, with the pathological liars in the White House at the top of the indictment.


They are talking about doing more of exactly what has not worked at all before. This is the "pouring gasoline on fire" school of foreign policy.There is nothing more that our military can do. Everyone knows this. More troops will not provide security. They will only exacerbate insecurity. Our military presence in Iraq is political poison, and the prescription is NOT to increase the dose. Their vain adventure was doomed from the start, and not because the American people lack the stomach for a just fight. What they don't have the stomach for are lies about war, and being played for suckers by their own presumptive leaders.

The good news is that moderate Muslim voices can make a comeback if we stop escalating the military provocation. In Iran, the cleric reformer Rafsanjani is regaining influence. And the ONLY reason that is happening is because we haven't yet assaulted their country also. But bush and cheney have been chaffing at the bit to do that too. It's long past time to get our troops out of there, to gain whatever diplomatic advantage we can from what little bargaining power bush has not already squandered. Otherwise, with 90% of the Iraqi people already wanting us just to leave, it is likely a matter of a short time before the rest of them DO in fact stand up, AGAINST us, all of them. And that would be the biggest surge of all, unless WE stand up first, speak out, and CONTINUE to press our demand that our troops come home NOW.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Sanity of Christianity

It has been fashionable, at certain times in history, to present various skeptical and cynical views of Jesus the Christ. And an openminded person must try to look at truth from every perspective, including the materialistic and even atheistic, which have presented Christ as having been off-balance, and even mad.

A person hearing voices and seeing visions is commonly regarded, in modern times, as suffering from schizophrenia. But this form of psychological dysfunction tends to destroy clarity pervasively, throughout the victim's life. A schizophrenic is marked by other, related, disturbances in thinking. If the case is serious, she might be even incapable of clear, lucid thinking.

If Jesus had suffered from a psychiatric disorder, in other words, it would very likely have been reflected in his teachings. It should have been perceivable in all, or almost all, of this body of knowledge. And it is true that religion has often made his teachings into something that looks suspiciously like insanity. But far from being "insane," his teachings, in themselves (without complex elaboration and "commentary") mark the highest sanity possible to human beings.The whole idea of exercising universal, unconditional Love is the very core and root of the highest sanity and clarity.

His teachings of forgiveness, kindness, non-exclusivity, learning, and wisdom mark his path as one that appeals strongly to the very best in the human psyche,and to the highest.

If, like some other mystics, he might have occasionally experienced a vision (as during the Transfiguration), he did not make "visions and voices" the center of his life, work, or teaching. Instead, the best Love was the Center of his fine teachings. He went so far, according to his disciple John, as to say that "God" was actually Love Itself. So, his God was no general, no killer, no psychotic, no king, no "person in the sky." No, he taught a far more psychologically sophisticated, elevated perspective of the Absolute, the Ultimate. For his God was Love; it follows that he worshipped Love.

Worshipping Love separated him from the"righteous, respectable" worshippers of Jehovah/Yahweh, the old anthropomorphic king of the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament"). They murdered him for, among many charges, idolatry: He worshipped, and taught, a different God than Jehovah, and this was, for them, the "unforgivable sin."

Ironically, his teaching included the very healthy premise that human beings were capable of loving all-- even their enemies. For if God was Love, Christ was also Love, being one with God. And if his disciples followed his path, which was his clear call and invitation, they too would, in time, become "incarnations" of Love.

It was because it had a different God that Christianity was a different religion from Judaism. (This word, by the way, is pronounced "Judah-ism," not "judy-ism." It is not the worship of judy!:)

To see, and present, God as Love Itself was light years ahead of the idea of God as a white-haired and -bearded old man, a "big daddy in the sky." It is also quite psychologically sophisticated, for the idea of a watching "big daddy" appeals to the immature, undeveloped inner child in all of us. It does not attract the inner adult.

If followed, Jesus' teachings lead to a life of peace, respect,compassion, kindness, and goodness. These qualities are the opposite of those so often manifested by people who are out of touch with reality. In fact, the teachings of Jesus are all about "truth." [In the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament"), the Greek word used for "truth" is the same word used by philosophers for "reality."] Since the goal of the Christ was reality, and insanity is all about losing touch with reality, a study of Jesus and his teachings creates the state of anti-insanity, or clear and lucid sanity.

Christianity cannot prove to have been a failure, said someone, because it has never seriously been tried.:) This is, of course, exaggeration. But it is meant to point out that the practice of Christianity, in its purest form-- the application of the excellent, superb teachings of Jesus-- is very rarely even attempted.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Impeach the criminals


First, the American people spoke in overwhelming numbers on November 7, soundly repudiating current policy, with ENDING the Iraq war/occupation at the top of their list. The bush administration heard nothing. Then the Iraq Study Group delivered its report, which, despite its timid recommendations on actual troop withdrawal, again sent the message that something had to change immediately. The bush administration did not get it. Instead we are told that bush is on a "listening" tour, apparently desperately trying to find some half-credible person somewhere who will tell him what he wants to hear, that no fundamental change of course is necessary.

...But at the same time, we hear that bush is "resolutely defiant," and in fact plans on sending even MORE troops to Iraq. So, what we are witnessing is yet another Karl Rove photo-op, a dog and pony show of "attentiveness," with absolutely no intention of taking any advice they would not have given themselves in the first place.

When our founders drafted our Constitution, the thing they feared most was that a despot would arise to arrogate dictatorial power, which is why they made repeated references to the procedure of impeachment as the ultimate check and balance. Most of all, they sought to guard against the kind of abusive, absolutist power that they had fought a revolutionary war to escape. And what bush and cheney have given us is a textbook example of what they strove so mightily to ensure against.

All the particular violations of law of the bush Administration-- which have become public knowledge already-- the illegal wiretaps, the authorization at the highest level of torture, preemptive attacks on other countries on flimsy and mendacious justification, these are just the inevitable symptoms of the root cause. The highest constitutional crime of all is to act as a king. And the confession to that crime was the exclamation, "I'm the decider." The instant charade of intense "listening" is nothing more than an attempt to lull, to stall, to buy time, and ultimately to defy the other two branches of government and the people of the United States. Every day, ten or more of our troops diefor nothing in an illegal war of hubris.


We no longer have any choice whether or not to press for impeachment. There is no other democratic way left for us to stop the runaway train of seized power. To NOT act as mandated by the Constitution is to toss that revered document into the same trash basket as bush and cheney have, smirking all the way. No matter what the disastrous consequences of their actions, they will never give up an iota of the power they have stolen without being directly confronted with impeachment. They would not hear any other message. THAT is the message we must send most urgently now.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Diet and Health

It is challenging to impossible to reconstruct the diet of Jesus from the current records. Although the Gospels do record him as having eaten fish, he very likely did not eat cow or pig. So, his diet was largely vegetarian, indicated by the fact that many of the very earliest Christian gnostics (mystics) were vegetarian.

Diet is only one factor that contributes to health. A moderate, reasonable perspective, based upon observation (empiricism), proves that good diet is a powerful healing factor in any condition. But diet alone cannot heal every condition. Diet and nutrition are a very important aspect of health, but cannot create a "perfect" body.

Out of selflove, we owe it to our bodies to feed them in as healthy a way as possible. But some people go too far with diet, and become unbalanced. They teach that diet can cure or heal all conditions. Science, in thousands of years of observations and record-keeping, has demonstrated that this is not so.

This is yet another aspect of the unhealthy "need" to control. Many health-factors can be controlled through altering nutritional intake, but not all. Some health-factors are "karmogenetic," or are created by the soul through genetics in order to create a test/exam for the bodymind or soul. If this kind of biochemical imbalance is part of your chemistry, you might not be able completely to "cure" it, no matter what diet you use, or how much prayer. This kind of condition can be healed only when it reaches its time, known by only the Spirit and soul. Ultimately, of course, God (Love) will heal every condition, but She/He does not promise to do so in any given lifetime. As in all other parts of our lives, we should follow moderation (avoid extremes) and pray, "Thy will be done," even if it is God's will that we manifest imperfections and/or weaknesses.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Buck Parker on our court victory for clean water

An important victory for clean water

Dear Friends, We just received exciting news about one of our most important cases -- a decision that can mean stronger clean water protections throughout the nation. For years, the South Florida Water Management District has pumped billions of gallons of polluted water directly into Lake Okeechobee --the states largest surface drinking water supply. The district had no permits to do this, and the results were massive toxic algae blooms, dramatic declines in fish and wildlife populations, and poisoned drinking water for communities that rely on the lake.

Earthjustice started fighting this problem in 1997, and on Monday, a federal judge in Miami ruled that pumping such as this, without the required Clean Water Act permits, is illegal. The decision has national implications. The court was clear: You need a permit to transfer polluted water. And that permit, of course, is going to have to impose pollution limits that meet Clean Water Act standards.

This is an important victory -- one that I wanted to share, since your support makes it possible. Sincerely,
Buck Parker
Executive Director

P.S. Click this link for more information on Lake Okeechobee.
© 2006 Earthjustice | 426 17th St., 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 |510-550-6700 |

Friday, December 08, 2006

Radical Islam plans War: Payback for the Crusades!

The Drudge Report on December 1st 2006 reported that thee Al-Fajr Information Center released the first issue of the Technical Mujahid Magazine on November 28, 2006. The magazine's self-proclaimed purpose is "to help prevent acts of aggression against Muslims [in cyberspace], and to assist the mujahideen in their efforts." The introduction explains that "the Internet provides a golden opportunity... for the mujahideen to break the siege placed upon them by the media of the Crusaders and their followers in the Muslim countries, and to use [the Internet] for [the sake of] jihad and the victory of the faith." Since the Internet also renders the mujahideen vulnerable, however, the magazine deals with issues of computer and electronic data security.

Inaccurate historical rhetoric from the era of the crusades provides the foundation for guilty conscience in westerners today. Therefore, in a twisted sense of reconciliation, somehow these injustices and outlandish crimes committed in the Islamic world and beyond, are justified in the Westerner's reasoning. And, in essence, they cleanse the "sins of our forefathers" from ages past. Westerners take an apologetic approach and communicate wearing kid gloves. Unfortunately,we do not understand the mindset of the Saudi Arab, and speak to him in Western terms. According to Sidik Aucbur, may 11,2003 in "the true meaning of Islam", Lying is permissible in battle if it is for the honor of the Prophet and his religion.

In the Western world, we are complacent when we hear threats made toward the West, but we need to take note. Hatred lies deep within the Arab heart. And many verses in the Quran call a Moslem to action against the infidel. "The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law. They must be converted, subjugated, or killed."-- An introduction to Islamic Law, by Joseph Schacht, 1982.

Islamic law calls forth a mandatory Jihad: "When non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one," Jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can.?-- Umdat al-Salik, 09.1.

Mary Doreen states, "One has to understand the mindset of these people in order to communicate. Deprived of creative thought as youngsters, forbidden to play and growing up in a society where there is no entertainment other than the hatred spewed from the mosques on a daily basis, one has to learn how to speak in exact terms, or become experts in deciphering parabolic symbolism. From molestation by Arab men to escaping kidnapping, Mary Doreen reveals her real-life adventures in Saudi Arabia, the attitudes, expectations and audacities of the Arab mindset in her novel, Surreal in Saudi. Written as a fiction, the intention is to alert the average person to the thinking, determination and the belief of a god-given right to force others into the Islamic Faith. If we don't take heed, our freedom and very lives might be at stake.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Recent religious right failures and more

Over the last six months, the religious right waged a massive campaign in hopes of influencing the mid-term elections. They aggressively sought to destroy the hope provided by embryonic stem cell research, deny equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans, and tell women what they can and can't do with their own bodies. But they failed.

This failure included:
Winning only one of the eight Senate races targeted by the religious right;
Losing the draconian, religious-right crafted, South Dakota abortion ban; and,
Failing to stop passage of Missouri's constitutional amendment protecting embryonic stem cell research.

Religious right leaders will continue to claim things turned out in their favor, but they knew this fall when James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer were met with empty arenas during their national get out the vote stadium tour that their agenda was in trouble. Keep up the amazing work everyone! If you'd like to make a gift to fight for more victories against the religious right, click here.

PERA Senate Alert
Earlier this month, James Dobson emailed his supporters, urging them to contact their senators and demand they bring the Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA) to a vote before the new Congress takes office in January. PERA, which passed the House of Representatives this September and is an integral piece of the religious right's agenda, aims to dramatically weaken our nation's commitment to the separation of church and state. If passed, it would undermine the ability of Americans to legally challenge infringements of the establishment clause - like prayer in public schools or the display of the Ten Commandments on public property. Just a month ago, this bill didn't have a prayer for passage in the Senate. Now, the religious right is hoping to capitalize on the lame duck session, forcing one more victory for the religious right out of this Senate before the new Senate takes office in January.
Thankfully, PERA has not been scheduled to be debated in the Senate's few remaining days. We will let you know immediately if that changes. Learn more about PERA and Dobson's effort at the DefCon Blog.

Bush Hands Religious Right Major Victory
One thing is clear: The religious right still has enormous influence over President Bush. On November 16th, the President handed the religious right a major victory, appointing Eric Keroack - an anti-choice, anti-contraception religious extremist - to head the family-planning programs of the Department of Health and Human Services. DefCon advisory board member and religious right expert Michelle Goldberg had this to say about the President's announcement: "As we all know, Bush has made some spectacularly bad personnel decisions, but even by the degraded standards of this administration, the appointment of Eric Keroack to oversee Title X is striking." Click here to read Michelle Goldberg's blog post on this dangerous appointment on the DefCon Blog.

Religious Right's Hypocrisy Hall of Fame - In the wake of the stunning scandal surrounding former National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard, DefCon launched the Religious Right's Hypocrisy Hall of Fame, asking members if they thought the revelations regarding Pastor Ted were the most hypocritical moment in the religious right's history. Well, the votes are in and you responded with a resounding YES!

Ted Haggard won with 54.4% of the vote. To recap, Haggard abruptly resigned from presidency of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals after a male escort alleged that Haggard had paid him for sex nearly once a month for the last three years. Haggard had long been a key leader of the religious right and a fervent opponent of same sex unions.

Ralph Reed is the runner-up with 22.3% of the vote. Reed duped anti-gambling Christians - with buddy and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff - into supporting his ploy to help casino interests. For his efforts Reed received millions from Abramoff and his Casino clients.

Jimmy Swaggart got 5.2% of your votes. Admitted during televised Sunday morning sermon to having extramarital sex with a prostitute only a year after chastising Jim Bakker - another Hall of Hypocrisy finalist - for his own adulterous behavior

Jim Bakker got 4.5% of ballots cast. Paid hush money to his secretary with whom he was having an affair. Served five years in prison for fraud, tax evasion, and racketeering. Now paroled, televanglist Bakker hosts the "Jim Bakker Show."

Thank you again for all your hard work. Be sure to stay tuned to the DefCon blog for breaking news.

Mass Murderer finds "religion"

The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe now a Jehovah's Witness:

YORKSHIRE Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has callously dismissed his 13 horrific
murders as "spilt milk" in a letter to a porn star girlfriend, the Sunday People can reveal today.

Evil Sutcliffe - who says he is now a Jehovah's Witness - claims he would never have committed the killings if he had found religion earlier in life.

But then he cynically rubs salt into grieving relatives' wounds by adding: "Ah well, it's no use crying over spilt milk as the saying goes!!"

The heartless remark, which shows the Ripper still has no sympathy for his victims, is one of a series of astonishing revelations about Britain's most notorious mass killer which the Sunday People has uncovered.


(Thanks to Ty Scharrer.)