Exploring the radical roots of Roy Moore’s theocratic Christianity

From Salon:  https://www.salon.com/2017/12/01/exploring-the-radical-roots-of-roy-moores-theocratic-christianity/

Former judge is aligned with Christian Reconstruction, a radical ideology that wants to end secular government

Amanda Marcotte
Dec. 1, 2017

Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate and alleged high school girl enthusiast, was part of a fundamentalist curriculum on law and government that taught that women shouldn’t run for office — and hinted it would be best if they weren’t allowed to vote. On Wednesday, ThinkProgress published a piece examining “Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course,” which promised that in “addition to learning concepts of civil government and public policy, students will be strengthened in their understanding of biblical principles which govern us and which point us to the Lawgiver who governs us all — Jesus Christ.”

Moore was one of the lecturers and a co-author of the curriculum, which appears to be part of the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy, which is not a school in any formal sense, but rather a program of four-day seminars teaching a fundamentalist Christian interpretation of the law to male-only audiences.

The ThinkProgress coverage, which is worth reading in full, focuses largely on what this course teaches about women’s rights, which is basically that feminism is “a false ideology” and a “heresy.” But as Julie Ingersoll, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, explained to Salon, the implications of this curriculum go far beyond Moore’s opinion of women’s rights. This discovery is more evidence of Moore’s links to Christian Reconstruction, a far-right, borderline theocratic ideology that has radical views on women’s rights, religious freedom and the role of government.

Christian Reconstruction is an obscure far-right ideology developed by a man named Rousas John Rushdoony. In her book, “Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction,” Ingersoll writes that Rushdoony “started a movement — Reconstruction, which sought to remake the whole of society to conform to his reading of the Bible — that didn’t attract much support, but the movement’s ideas became a driving force in American politics.”

Moore doesn’t identify openly as a Christian Reconstructionist, but then again, hardly anyone does. Rushdoony was, among other things, a Holocaust denier, a slavery apologist and a virulent racist who opposed racial integration and called for the death penalty for gay people. Openly calling oneself a follower of his is unwise even in the Deep South, and Christian fundamentalists understand this. But Rushdoony’s ideas, Ingersoll told Salon, are pervasive in the Christian right.

The Reconstruction movement, Ingersoll explained, teaches that the role of civil government is to ”

The libertarian bent of so much evangelical thought, then, owes a lot to the pervasiveness of Reconstruction, even as the word itself has fallen out of fashion. But the curriculum that ThinkProgress dug up, Ingersoll noted, is “run by the Vision Forum, which is about as close to pure Rushdoony-style Christian Reconstructionism as you get.”  The Witherspoon program, she added, even included Rushdoony’s best-known book, “The Biblical Philosophy of History,” in its reading list.

Vision Forum collapsed in 2013 after its head, Doug Phillips, was publicly accused of sexual and emotional abuse by a woman named Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, who said Phillips used his religious authority over her to move her into his house, bully her into sexual encounters and tell her that he that he expected her to be his new wife when his current one died. (His wife, Beall Phillips, is 50 years old and appears, from her blogging activity, to be in good health.)

The view that women shouldn’t run for office and possibly should not even have the right to vote, Ingersoll explained, is part of the concept of “Biblical patriarchy” that Phillips taught, which flows from Reconstructionist views about the proper roles of family, church and civil government.

Continue reading at: https://www.salon.com/2017/12/01/exploring-the-radical-roots-of-roy-moores-theocratic-christianity/

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What Is ‘White Sharia’? Alt-Right Blogger Doesn’t Want Women To Vote, Drive Or Work

No to any brand of Sharia.

From Newsweek:  http://www.newsweek.com/what-white-sharia-and-what-does-it-have-do-americas-sexual-harassment-problem-725163

By
11/28/17

White supremacists want to take over everything — even the thing they hate the most: Islam’s Sharia Law.

White Sharia—as coined by a former Marine blogger—is still anti-Muslim, but seizes on orthodox Islam’s ideal of obedient women and turns it into its own movement, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

White Sharia started as an online meme by Sacco Vandal, the ex-soldier and white supremacist, who wrote on his blog that feminists and a falling American patriarchy are resulting in men losing their “barbarity.”

“Whites did not conquer the entire Earth by being nice or civilized; Whites conquered the world by sailing into foreign lands and taking those lands by force,” Vandal wrote.

And he says White Sharia can help white men become men again, and that the U.S. needs to regain its “extreme patriarchy.”

But what started as an online trolling mechanism to bring attention to the idea that feminists are hurting the alt-right movement turned into something much more aggressive.

“They don’t like Muslims, but they don’t have a problem with what are regressive treatment of women,” Heidi Beirich, the director of Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told Newsweek. “They have come to the position that Sharia law is turning women into baby factories and turning them back into the home, and they’re fine with that.”

This phrase begun gaining popularity only in the past few months. Many believe its rise to popularity is due to the #MeToo movement, in which dozens of women have come out against powerful men with sexual misconduct allegations.

“The reason you’re seeing [white Sharia] a lot more recently is this social movement against sexual harassment,” Beirich said. “These are people who don’t believe the concept of sexual harassment exists.”

Vandal seems to agree with Beirich. He wrote on his blog that men should be able to “rape, pillage, and plunder” once again.

“The Muslim world is the only civilization left on Earth today where an extreme and rigidly codified patriarchy still exists,” he wrote. “Sharia law, though practiced today by some of the world’s most despicable races, is the only living example of anything that even remotely approximates the patriarchal society that Western man once had himself.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.newsweek.com/what-white-sharia-and-what-does-it-have-do-americas-sexual-harassment-problem-725163

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Black People Are Being Openly Bought and Sold in Libyan Slave Markets

From Alternet:  https://www.alternet.org/world/black-people-are-being-openly-bought-and-sold-libyan-slave-markets

This is happening today.

By Kali Holloway
November 22, 2017

Black Africans are being sold like inanimate objects in slave auctions across Libya. Like so many modern horrors, there is video evidence of this atrocity.

Cellphone footage from August, captured in an unidentified Libyan town, documents an outdoor slave market during a sale in progress. In the video, below, an auctioneer describes two Nigerians as “big strong boys for farm work,” before he begins calling out increasingly larger bids to an audience off-camera. The price that is settled on for both men comes to 1,200 Libyan dinars, or roughly $800 American. Two young men—two human beings—have just been sold at a price of $400 apiece.

For refugees fleeing violence, poverty and oppression in parts of Africa to its east, south and west, Libya has become a temporary landing point; a gateway that ultimately leads to the shores of southern Europe. But Libya has been torn apart by tribal warring and violence since 2011, when U.S.-led forces overthrew Muammar Gaddafi while making little effort to stabilize the region. This leadership vacuum has left Libya in a state of chaos in which “modern forms of slavery prosper,” according to human rights organization Walk Free.

Libya currently ranks among the top six countries on the Global Slavery Index, a result of its rampant “conflict, corruption, displacement, discrimination and inequality.” Longstanding North African racism toward black Africans is a contributing factor to the mistreatment of migrants. Shokri Agmar, a Libyan lawyer and journalist, told the New Internationalist in 2016 that sub-Saharan refugees are disadvantaged at every turn.

“They’re in a state of complete and utter helplessness,” Agmar explained. “Us Libyans rely on our own militias to protect ourselves, but migrants lack a militia of their own so they are defenseless against the constant threats. Whatever happens to them, no one will lift a finger, and they cannot keep a low profile because of the color of their skin.”

Add to these conditions rising racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in countries like Italy, where hundreds of thousands of African migrants seek refuge. Early this year, Italy, with EU backing, agreed to pay the Libyan coast guard to stop migrant-filled vessels from reaching Europe. Once seized, those boats are redirected back to Libya, where their occupants are placed in detention centers and camps often run by corrupt entities. The migrants are often subject to physical attacks and sexual abuse, while others are sold as human chattel. Those abuses are so common that earlier this year, UNICEF designated the Libyan path to Europe “among the world’s deadliest and most dangerous migrant routes for children and women.”

CNN, which posted the slave auction video in October, verified the footage and launched its own investigation that turned up yet more evidence of how common this scene is in towns across Libya. At a nondescript private home outside the capital city of Tripoli, a team from the network secretly filmed a similar market where CNN reporters watched “a dozen people go ‘under the hammer’ in the space of six or seven minutes.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.alternet.org/world/black-people-are-being-openly-bought-and-sold-libyan-slave-markets

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