Saturday, January 20, 2007


Religious zealotry, dominionism, sexism ... now coming to a computer near you. Two instances in the last week at clients of mine showed me exactly how deep religious indoctrination goes and how it ties into unbridled consumerism.

The first instance was a client asking me if I listened to a local talk radio station, the Patriot. I demured, not wanting to offend. See ... The Patriot spews a non-stop river of bile and calls it patriotic. There was no way that I could say anything nice, so I said nothing. Their daily shows include Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt ... so you can imagine the intoxicating right-wing push of it. She then specifically asked if I listened to Michael Medved. The very same Michael Medved who used to only annoy us with his movie reviews, but now has turned to being a parrot for the Right. Evidently, Mikey had recommended on his show BSafe Online filtering software, which my client bought.

Protecting your kids from objectionable content ... a noble enough pursuit.

Where it gets dicey is in who endorses it:

Rebecca Hagelin, VP at the Heritage Foundation

Mike Gallagher, conservative talk radio host and frequent FOX News contributor.

Evangelical pastor, Chuck Swindoll

Christian author, Stephen Arteburn

Christian apologist, Josh McDowell

American Family Association
Family Research Council

Very fishy. I was beginning to get suspicious. If Christian and Republican organizations want to endorse some product, that's their right, but there seemed to be something else going on here. So I dug deeper.

A Bush even endorsed the company:

BSafe to relocate to Florida

“I welcome this high-tech, pro-family business to Florida,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “

But here's the kicker:
... Bsafe is a critical component of American Family Online, Inc., a company founded to help serve families with Internet filtering. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Family Association, an organization with twenty-three years of experience protecting families ...

As they say, follow the money. AFA and the Family Research Council are Dobson fronts. I never want a single dime of my money (or any sane person's) to come even close to benefitting that bigot James Dobson. There are better software alternatives for filtering that don't benefit a madman that believes that you can cure homosexuality, that women should be submissive, and that the Mark Foley scandal was an innocent prank.

The second instance of religion gone wild in the marketplace was today, when I saw the following game installed on a kid's computer in the house of one of my clients:

Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

Most of us know what Left Behind is. Well, this game makes it enjoyable for the younger set. And who doesn't love a game that can teach these valuable "family values":

- equates the United Nations with the Antichrist

- "indoctrinates children into the ideology of religious warfare"

- teaches the proper role of women in the workplace, as nurses or musicians

The synergy of religious indoctination, commerce and politics -- a site to behold.


Laura said...

Religion is so embedded in our social structure that it's impossible to separate it from politics and economics. Our entire system is based upon white, male, christian values and those values drive our politics and economy. It's very frustrating.

You seriously need to pick up the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (it won't let me paste the amazon link for some reason) - you'll get a real kick out of it. I just finished it last week and it at least gives you a perspective about all this God stuff that will make you chuckle instead of scream.

dbackdad said...

Thanks. I'll definitely look for it.

greatwhitebear said...

the comparison between the workings of 1930's fascism and early 21st Century evangelicalism is just scary.

Sadie Lou said...

Not much I can say in defense of some the stuff you posted on here: Good research is always impressive--you did a great job!
But I do have to ask you what you understand to be the "submission of women".
I find that many people have the wrong idea about that.

dbackdad said...

Hi Sadie,

As always, I appreciate and enjoy your input.

I guess by submission, I mean the classic patriarchal definition: From Wikipedia, James Dobson:

James Dobson is a promoter of patriarchal marriage. He believes men have the divine obligation to lead their families, and women have the divine obligation to submit to their husband's authority. As such he supports the conservative Christian men's organization Promise Keepers, which also believes women should submit to the authority of their husbands.

Sadie Lou said...

I can't really argue that definition but I can add to it to personalize it a little.
God created both male and female separate but equal. We are the same as far as how God sees us as his children and we submit to the Father equally as humans.
There is no race, creed, gender, etc. when it comes to salvation.
However, in our equality, we are also given different roles.
God has asked specific jobs of men that he hasn't asked of the woman and vice versa. It is obvious in our genetic make-up. We can clearly see that women are the softer sex. We tend to be more nurturing and sensitive.
Men are the physically "stronger" sex. They tend to want to provide and protect.
I see these roles played out very naturally in my children without any extra coaching from me or Dan.
Can you agree with this?
After you say yes or no, I can move on with my point. I love the environment you provide here for discussion. This is the only place I can come and voice my faith.
I have abandoned dialouge on several other blogs just because it wasn't a "happy place". I feel comfortable here.

dbackdad said...

Sadie said, "... We tend to be more nurturing and sensitive.
Men are the physically "stronger" sex. They tend to want to provide and protect ..."
-- No big argument there. I just don't think that it should be ordained to be so. Certainly it doesn't apply to all families. Many women are just not the nurturing types and there are a lot of men who gladly fill the sensitive role. You have obviously settled comfortably into the maternal role but I submit that you are certainly not a shrinking violet (and we are better for it!) and I'm sure that Dan is very much a sensitive male.

But that being said, I understand to those of faith that it is comforting and natural to settle into those roles. And I don't begrudge them (or you) that. I'm just not a big fan of things that box us into certain roles. If things come about organically, great. My criticism of Mr. Dobson is that he believes that all women should fall into the classic roles instead of just those of faith.

BTW, thanks for the kind words.