Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

August 4, 2010

YES, SHE CAN GET EVEN CRAZIER.... Depending on one's faith tradition, the wording of the First Commandment can vary a bit, but most folks believe it's the Abrahamic God telling his followers, "I am the Lord your God," and "thou shalt have no other gods besides Me." It's a pretty straightforward commandment, warning against worship of false gods and idolatry.

Sharron Angle (R), the extremist Senate candidate in Nevada, has her own "unique" take on the First Commandment, which may be the single craziest thing she's ever said. Jon Ralston reports on recent comments the lunatic candidate made on a Christian radio talk-show.

"And these programs that you mentioned -- that Obama has going with Reid and Pelosi pushing them forward -- are all entitlement programs built to make government our God. And that's really what's happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We're supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government."

This mindset will further reinforce to some that religion infuses everything Angle believes but also might explain her hostility to government programs, believing essentially they are produced by a false God.

Referencing her Senate campaign, Angle added, "I need warriors to stand beside me. You know, this is a war of ideology, a war of thoughts and of faith. And we need people to really stand for faith and trust, not hope and change."

Greg Sargent added, "Is it a stretch to conclude that Angle genuinely views the Nevada Senate race as a Holy War?"

It's not a stretch at all. Angle's argument, such as it is, constitutes pure madness.

Let's say we, the people of the United States, decide to form a more perfect union. We conclude that it's a good idea to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. In turn, we create laws and government institutions to establish a government, and craft a Constitution with governmental powers and limits (one of which, incidentally, guarantees religious liberty, allowing us all to worship as we please, or not to worship at all.)

To hear Sharron Angle put it, this is all a terrible mistake. Why turn to our democratically elected government and our chosen political representatives to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty when we should be turning to the deity Holy Warrior Angle believes in?

The Las Vegas Sun recently reported that Angle, who said she's running because God told her to, embraces a radical church-state philosophy that "parallels that of a religious political movement -- Christian Reconstructionism -- seeking to return American civil society to biblical law."

If you're unfamiliar with Christian Reconstructionism, it's quite literally analogous to the Taliban and radical proponents of Sharia law -- just as they want to replace secular law with laws based on their interpretation of the Quran, Reconstructionists want to replace secular law in the U.S. with their interpretation of the Christian Bible. In this vision, a radical take on Scripture would take the place of our Constitution.

Reconstructionists represent some of the most extreme elements of the American fringe -- and they seem to have an ally running for the United States Senate in 2010.

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

And she might win. I don't think she will but the mere fact her candidacy isn't a national scandal shows how deteriorated our democracy has gotten.

Posted by: walt on August 4, 2010 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what doesn't wash for me - if you think it's dangerous for government to trump religion, then you should want nothing to do with running for government, even if your single campaign is to replace the Constitution with Biblical Law. Because to succeed is to then be in charge of government and risk becoing the false idol you claim to hate.

My nice way of saying Angle's an a-hole and the world will be a better place when she ascends...or goes whichever way she's supposed to go.

Posted by: slappy magoo on August 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ummm... was it really necessary to explain why what Angle said was insane?

Posted by: Mary Contrary on August 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Walt is right! Now I understand the glazed/crazed look in her eye better.

It is truly pathetic how low the bar has become-thanks John McCain.

The new religious test for office-if you want the R nomination you must be a fundamentalist zealot!

Posted by: sue on August 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Obama, Reid, and Pelosi wouldn't have to run all those entitlement programs if Angle's god hadn't cut the manna program, which worked just fine for 40 years. Was heaven having budget problems, or has a repub senator in heaven been filibustering for 3000 years?

I'll leave to a future date the debate over which is more improbable: god, heaven, or a repub senator in heaven.

Posted by: Tim H on August 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute. I thought in Las Vegas, it was love of money that was the false god, not love of government. And wasn't it great how those God-fearing Christian conservatives built that Hoover Dam?

Posted by: artsmith on August 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Render unto Ceasar..."

Christ himself wanted the separation of church and state...

Posted by: golack on August 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

just [as the Taliban] want to replace secular law with laws based on their interpretation of the Quran, Reconstructionists want to replace secular law in the U.S. with their interpretation of the Christian Bible. In this vision, our Constitution would be replaced with a radical take of Scripture.

Worse than that, Reconstructionists want to replace the secular laws of the United States solely with Old Testament justice. That means harsh punishments for what we consider personal issues, including stoning for adulterers and gays.

Despite the sort of affable stupidity of people like Angle, make no mistake: this is a dangerous philosophy and the people behind it are dead serious about making their dystopian vision a reality.

Posted by: trex on August 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Angle and her ilk also believe that if the deity, otherwise known as God, does not provide for you, then you must have done something to deserve such a fate.

What is the unemployment rate in NV? Any unemployed person who votes for her is merely agreeing that they have caused their own dilemma.

Posted by: withay on August 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

so god will provide protection.....does this mean she is favor of eliminating the military?

Posted by: AJT on August 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, it should be noted that it has been precisely BECAUSE our state does not make claims to be a religion that Angle's Christian heresy is allowed to spread.

Posted by: anomimouse on August 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

The GALL of running for office on a platform of killing off the government that will be paying your salary -- and in which you clearly expect to be lining your own pockets!

Why Americans can't see the complete contradiction at the heart of all Republicans (wanting to be in office to render the office meaningless) is beyond me...

Posted by: jjm on August 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. That's some first class crazy.

This is why I'm an atheist.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on August 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Your morning aphorism

Never turn your back on someone who says "god told me to."

Posted by: koreyel on August 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Christian Dominionism: The goal is either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Dominionist)

It's odd that the people who scream the loudest about the threat poised by Muslims imposing Sharia law on America, are the most enthusiastic supporters of imposing Old Testament law on all Americans, Christian or not.

Many of the positions and statements from the Republican leadership are intended as "dog whistles" for Christian dominionists and their sympathizers.


The People for the American Way website Right Wing Watch (http://www.rightwingwatch.org/) monitors this movement very closely.

Posted by: arkie on August 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing how many libertarians turn out to be dominionists once you start listening a little closer.

Posted by: mcc on August 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

As a member of the Rich Wing of the Repubican party, I personnally decry those like Angle of the Reich Wing of the party.

They forget who is funding those political ambitions and they forget our Republican interpretation of the Bible.

From the Old Testament - Do unto others before they do unto you.

From the New Testament - It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a poor man to go to heaven.

Angle needs to spend some time learning from the Properity Televangelists.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on August 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

My understanding of the first commandment is that it was written before the Hebrews had become fully monotheistic. If the first commandment had meant false gods, it would have been a bit more to the point to say false gods. Instead the Bible calls the Hebrew god a jealous god who wanted exclusive worship. It's not about inappropriate worship, but about exclusivity, somewhat akin to monogamy. Not a denial of other gods' existence but a demand for exclusive worship.

Posted by: Raenelle on August 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Angle: My God may be the omniscient, omnipotent creator of all things, but for some reason he can't manage to offer his followers anything that can compete with the benefits of good government.

Believe it or not, Ms. Angle, it is possible to both be a Christian AND simultaneously love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Posted by: Kenneth Almquist on August 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

And these programs that you mentioned...are all entitlement programs built to make government our God.

If you were to historically compare the accomplishments of Angle's god versus the accomplishments of the US Government in providing for and defending their people, the US Gov wins hands down.

Judea got conquered several times when god was in charge. (The "he let it happen on purpose" excuse is just plain lame.) The US has never been conquered by another nation.

The OT god couldn't come through on the promise of letting the Israelites conquer the Jebusites because the Jebusites had iron chariots. The US M1A2 Abrams Iron Chariot is the reigning world champion.

The OT god's food supplement program (manna) has never been properly analyzed for nutritional content, while US school lunches have.

So maybe we should worship Government. Does anyone have the current list of proper animal sacrifices for each cabinet department?

Posted by: Tim H on August 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think I will try to explain to her what is truly a violation of the First Commandment, and that would be my worship of Lou Reed.

Posted by: SaintZak on August 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a pretty straightforward commandment, warning against worship of false gods and idolatry."

It does nothing of the sort. No mention is made of 'false gods and idolatry' in the Commandment. I don't read Greek, let alone Aramaic, but if your translation is accurate, then this so-called "God" is saying, "I'm Number One God, so don't worship any other gods, besides me."

Which begs the question: Did God think that there were other gods?

-Polytheists ponder. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 4, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Well, dang! While i was writing, Raenelle was posting. At least we are on the same wavelength. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 4, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

So what does Ms. Angle do when she is in a room and everyone stands and places their hands over their hearts and pledges allegiance to the flag?

Posted by: Blue Girl on August 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Chicken Lady's looking better and better with each passing day.

Posted by: jvwalt on August 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just want to point out how prescient Obama was a few years back in predicting the teabaggers:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Posted by: cr on August 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

re Tim H...

A partial list of proper animal sacrifices for each cabinet department:

Department of State - Goats (preferably Iranian)
Department of the Treasury - Sheeple
Department of Justice - Blind Owls
Department of the Interior - Any animal west of the Mississippi River
Department of Commerce - Fattened Cattle
Department of Labor - Children
Department of Energy - Seafood
Department of Education - Inner City Teachers
Department of Defense - Humans (preferably by the dozen or hundreds)

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on August 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

bluegirl: So what does Ms. Angle do when she is in a room and everyone stands and places their hands over their hearts and pledges allegiance to the flag?

She probably shouts the "under God" part that I always leave out.

Posted by: cr on August 4, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This religious group is also called dominionists who are working to take over the US Government for the benefit of corporations. Pat Robertson and James Dobson are also proponents of this, and The Family of C Street fame is working towards a Christian country with biblical laws, very much like the German Socialist Church did.

This is the biggest threat to America since, well, since ever. Sharon Angle is a rarity only because she tends to blurt out what she really believes, while most of them do not.

Read American Facists - The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges.

Posted by: P. McDowell on August 4, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Did God think that there were other gods?"

The usual explanation, confirmed by archeology, is that the early Hebrews were hentheists, that is, they believed that many gods existed but they worshipped only one of them. When they went to war with another tribe, it was our god against their god.

Posted by: rachelrachel on August 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Well, then, why doesn't Angle just turn to God for donations to support her campaign then. By the logic of her thinking, every TV show she appears on for the purpose of stumping for money is a TV show that should be added to her personal stash of false gods.

Posted by: June on August 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

OK, the time has come, I think, to have SANITY CHECKS before you're allowed to hold statewide or national offices.
What happened to the chickens-for-checkups lady? She was far, far saner.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on August 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

You can see these people in action, every day on sites like this one: http://www.resistnet.com/forum

I have been trolling there for months, trying to get a sense of what the Birther/Tea Party folks actually say to each other and profess to believe... It's truly terrifying. Many of the posters are simply, well, unhinged. The core fear driving nearly every post is that of a vast liberal conspiracy to destroy America. Nothing more, nothing less. And every news story or re-post of Newsmax tripe is presented as evidence of the conspiracy. It's absolute madness. Welcome to the GOP of 2010.

Posted by: Mowgli on August 4, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are missing an important point: The poor stand the best chance of going to Heaven, which lasts a very long time compared with a few miserable years here on Earth. So the super-rich are really making an enormous sacrifice: They are making sure that all those souls who can't afford decent meals or cars or gold-plated faucets in the john really do get to heaven, while risking their own immortal futures (at least according to Jesus)by removing from the pious that burdensome earthly treasure. They deserve the highest praise (and more tax-cuts) for their unselfish selfishness. Why hasn't Pat Robertson discovered this? Or Stephen Colbert?

Posted by: jrosen on August 4, 2010 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure about this, but I think Alexander Hamilton was behind the idea of an American deity, called Columbia.

We could drive the wingnuts completely batty if we started referring to "Columbia bless you." "May Columbia have mercy on your soul." "One nation, under Columbia. . . " Etc. Maybe we could bring back apoplexy along with Columbia. Plus, with Columbia, we could start referring to god as She.

Posted by: Raenelle on August 4, 2010 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

What happened to the chickens-for-checkups lady? She was far, far saner.
Posted by: c u n d gulag on August 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Not sure about that, since we didn't get as much chance to delve into more of her "aphorisms", what with her being angled out fairly early. But she sure was easier on the eyes than this one :)

We're supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government. -- Angle

Last I checked with God for a job, he wasn't providing minimum wage. And isn't Obtuse Angle mostly dependent on her rich husband for her daily bread and jam? Or was that the Chicken Lady?

BTW. TPM had an even better (though not as crazy and unconstitutional) Angle-gem yesterday. She said something (too lazy to go back for the verbatim quote) about being perfect for the Senate because, even as junior Senator, she could filibuster forever. Something like "I can talk most anything to death". So, for all those commenters here who want to see the return of real filibuster... Vote for Sharron!

Posted by: exlibra on August 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. That's some first class crazy.

This is why I'm an atheist.
Posted by: fourlegsgood on August 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Same here, fourlegs. As Woody Allen said: "If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he wouldn't be able to stop throwing up."

Posted by: electrolite on August 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don't like to say this, but this woman is an embarrassment to Christians and to the Christian faith. This latest example shows that she has no idea what she is talking about and has no idea what the Christian walk is about. The idea that government, particularly a government where the people governed are sovereign ( "We the people…") is an anathema to a Christian God is ludicrous. I would suggest Ms Angle specifically review the book of Romans 13:1- 2, 6 and 1 Peter 2:13-14. In short, this woman's worldview is not based on reality, either secular or Christian.

Posted by: Andrew on August 4, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I guess the fact that Somalia, which has a government small enough to drown in a bathtub, is a hot mess because most Somalians are not Christian but Moslem.

If the US had no government, because it's a "Christian nation," everything would run like clockwork, despite historic evidence of that not being the case in the past.

If Angle gets elected, I am definitely going to be expecting to finally get that pony Republicans keep promising.

Posted by: karen marie on August 4, 2010 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

"I sent two boats and a helicopter..."

Posted by: Redshift on August 4, 2010 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

sharon looks like samantha's crazy aunt from bewitched,only not as bright

Posted by: mark rogers on August 4, 2010 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

The irony here is that GOP worship of the free market is far, far closer to idolatry than most liberal and progressive views of government.

We *know* government is fallible and flawed; most wingnuts believe Free Markets can solve any problem, offer perfect justice, and deliver everything anyone needs, without any ill effects or damage to the environment or society. And it happens *every* time, without any human intervention.

Which is pretty much the definition of a golden calf, IMHO.

Posted by: NW grumpy on August 4, 2010 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think the wording is "thou shall have no other gods before me" - the idea being, I'm first, those other gods have to be second to me. Which, as Day noted, would imply that God thought that there were other gods, but for the people he was speaking to, he was supposed to be their number one god.

Posted by: KarenJG on August 4, 2010 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

So, if the government is supposed to be a false god, and Sharron Angle is running to be elected part of that government, how does that work?

Is Angle trying to be elected Angel?

She's certainly touched, I can see that.

(By the way, I don't know how it works in Nevada, but up here in Washington I have to work for my daily bread - waiting for God to provide manna from heaven wasn't working out so well for me.)

Posted by: biggerbox on August 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

As far as "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before Me," I've always read it as a command not to worship any of the other existing gods (whose existence He obviously acknowledged) one whit more than they worshipped Him, not a command to completely abstain from worshiping any of them.

Didn't He mention jealousy? If so, that would square perfectly with my interpretation.

Posted by: Bob Maurus on August 4, 2010 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I hope, (yes, HOPE) and pray (yes, pray) that Harry Reid knocks this woman off her pulpit and back to neverland... She is on her third communications director in a week! THAT says something!

To those of us rational thinking Nevadans who understand that there is a separation of church and state, who know that the BP fund is for those harmed by BP's actions and is not a "slush fund," who understand that women who are raped, including by incest, which results in a pregnancy should NOT simply take their lemons and make lemonade, who know that abortions do NOT cause breast cancer, who are intellectual enough to know that the Dpt. of Education and the EPA are NECESSARY, and who believe that Social Security and Medicare are NOT entitlements, Angle comes across as a complete WHACK-JOB! She is so far right of mainstream, that she is about to come full circle and enter from the left!

Posted by: lvshewolff on August 4, 2010 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

"...who said she's running because God told her to, ..."

Talking to God is prayer but hearing God's voice is schizophrenia.

Exactly how did God tell her to?? Did his voice come out of her dog's mouth? This woman is truly insane and I firmly believe the only way she has managed to get this far is because voters did not see or hear enough of her. The more she is exposed the more obvious it becomes that she seriously needs mental help. One page of her responses clearly demonstrates insanity.

Though voters may remain disappointed in their hopes for government they should always be motivated by "the best that can be achieved" rather than "the worst that could happen" Now which do you think applies to Angle?

Democrats remain stunned just watching this over the top republican insanity sweeping the nation. Seems there are no good republicans left at all.

Posted by: bjobotts on August 4, 2010 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Now I know why the Romans fed them to the lions.

Posted by: tomtom on August 4, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Once read a scifi story by Robert Heinlein about such people (the Christian Dominionists) gaining control. Didn't turn out well, if I remember...

Posted by: Doug on August 4, 2010 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get it. Why is she running for a govt. position when she could be a pastor instead?

Posted by: daphne on August 5, 2010 at 5:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly