Toxi Faith: Liberal Cure
A Reasoned and Judeo-Christian Response to the Alarming Assertions of the Religious Right
by Daniel C. Bruch and Thomas Strieter
“Compassionate, well-rounded and persuasive.” These are some of the choice words Buzzflash used in its review of Toxic Faith: Liberal Cure, written by Dr. Daniel C. Bruch and Dr. Thomas W. Strieter. One thing that impressed them is how stranded the book is in arguing against the Biblical squabbles of Fundamentalist Authoritarians making it practical and compelling in nature.Published July 2006, Toxic Faith: Liberal Cure takes a stand against the assertion that being liberal comes with immorality, using cautious and logical Judeo-Christian context response to controversial issues such as patriotism, war, abortion, homosexuality, poverty and the environment.
Read the BuzzFalsh.com review.
About the authors:
Daniel C. Bruch, residing in Hudson, Wisconsin, is a retired pastor, professor, and activist. He has earned six degrees and served as a college, university and seminary professor. He is an activist in civil and human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, just war and economic justice. He became a liberal by conviction, not by birth. Dr. Bruch is a founder and President of LiveLiberal (www.liveliberal.org).
Thomas W. Strieter is a retired Lutheran minister and with an STM and a PhD in Theology. His years in the ministry have been divided between the parish and academia. He has served as a professor of theology in both Protestant and Catholic colleges and universities. He is a certified counselor in mediation and conflict resolution and has served as an elected public official in a multi-racial Chicago suburb. He has twice served in Bali as a teacher and pastor.
Toxi Faith: Liberal Cure
Ann Coulter is stunned. How is it, she asks, that she could go through 12 years of public school, then college and law school, and still not know that it was Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution that fueled Hitler’s ovens.
Coulter is among those who appear on Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, a disturbing look at the historical impact of the theory of evolution and the shaky scientific ground on which it rests.
Ann's new Teamate: D. James Kennedy- Tele-Evangelist.
“To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler,” said Dr. Kennedy, the host of Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. “Hitler tried to speed up evolution, to help it along, and millions suffered and died in unspeakable ways because of it.”
D. James Kennedy.
Don't forget to get Ann's latest book:
at 9/02/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
For months, I have railed against the absurd neocon averment that Islam constitutes the embodiment of a new fascism. I have insisted the phrase “Islamofascism” is nothing if not a trite neologism, a meaningless political epithet. In effect, the term is used in a simplistic way to crank up the fear quotient.
“Islamofascism is nothing but an empty propaganda term,” notes Joseph Sobran. “And wartime propaganda is usually, if not always, crafted to produce hysteria, the destruction of any sense of proportion. Such words, undefined and unmeasured, are used by people more interested in making us lose our heads than in keeping their own.”
Read more @ Another Day In The Empire.
at 9/01/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
"Anonymity is the enemy of civility, and produces insensitivity and callousness. The nice thing about small towns is everybody has to be civil to each other. You can't live that close without being civil. Nobody in our hometown suppressed arguing something on the merits, but it was done in a civil fashion. I think there actually tends to be more independent thinking in small towns. It helps develop individuality to be in smaller communities."
I found the above quote by Gaylord Nelson, while read a biography on him by Bill Christofferson titled "The Man From Clear Lake." It got me to thinking about the concept of "small towns" in today's world. Technology has changed the whole way we communicate. As the world has shrunk into a "global village," has the concept of a "small town" vanished?
Do towns like New Richmond and Hudson still count as small towns? How about Roberts, Burkhardt, Boardman or Houlton? Hudson definitely has morphed into Woodburian-like suburbia. New Richmond is transitioning into that model faster than anyone will admit. The porches on today's new houses face the backyard. Air conditioners muffle the sounds of the outside world. There's no corner grocery store to walk to. Moms don't send kids to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar or a couple of eggs. The telephone party lines are long gone. The fences are too high to lean on and talk over. Face-to-face communications been replaced by cellphones, the Internet, Blackberries, etc.?
Do we even know who we are communicating with these days?
at 9/01/2006 Posted by JPN
"Profits know no patriotism..."
Socialist and leader of United Auto Workers (UAW)
He built the benefits package that workers now take for granted, from health care to pensions. But his agenda was bigger than unionism.
Walter Reuther, the son of a trade union and socialist activist, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, on 1st September, 1907. At sixteen he became an apprentice tool and die maker and three years later moved to Detroit.
In 1929 Reuther enrolled at Detroit City College to study law. He became president of the Social Service Club (the campus arm of the Socialist Party). While at college Reuther arranged for leading socialists such as Norman Thomas and Scott Nearing to speak at meetings.
Reuther joined the Ford Motor Company but his union activities resulted in him losing his job in 1933. Unable to find work during the Great Depression, Reuther left the United States and eventually found employment in an automobile factory in the Soviet Union. Unhappy with the lack of political freedom in the country, Reuther returned to the United States where he found employment at General Motors and became an active member of the United Automobile Workers (UAW).
Reuther remained active in the Socialist Party and in 1937 failed in his attempt to be elected to the Detroit City Council. However, impressed by the efforts by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to tackle inequality, he eventually joined the Democratic Party.
Reuther led several strikes and in 1937 and 1940 was hospitalized after being badly beaten by strike-breakers. He also survived two assassination attempts during this period although one attack left his right hand permanently crippled.
Read more about Walter Reuther.
Read Time magazine's Time 100 profile on Reuther.
at 9/01/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
"Which shall rule -- wealth or man; which shall lead -- money or intellect; who shall fill public stations -- educated and patriotic free men, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital?"
Edward G. Ryan
Wisconsin Chief Justice
Read more about Edward G. Ryan.
at 9/01/2006 Posted by Our Poop
1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery
2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
4. "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
at 8/31/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
Sometimes it is important to step back, take a deep breath, relax and take stock of the beautiful St. Croix river valley. With the passage of time, life changes. People grow. Seasons come and go. Flowers bloom and fade. A beautiful sunrise greets you in the morning, as you slip on your shoe and realize there's a cricket in it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you knock over the chess board when you realize your going to get check-mated again. There's an ebb and flow to life that we all experience. Change brings diversity. Diversity brings challenges. Challenges can bring strength and wisdom or ignorance and revenge.
With this in mind, I asked some of the participants on this blog to submit a favorite quote on diversity. Along with these quotes, I found some recent quotes on diversity over at the ontheborderline.net blog site. So in the spirit of diversity, I put the following post together to give you a feel of the where the light shines in the St. Croix Valley and where the darkness pools...
From Above The Borderline:
Maya Angelou said:
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
Michel de Montaigne said:
“There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy said:
“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
"Variety is the spice of life.”
"Spice is the indigestion of life."
Robert Bateman said:
I am a possibilist. I believe that humanity is master of its own fate... Before we can change direction, we have to question many of the assumptions underlying our current philosophy. Assumptions like bigger is better; you can't stop progress; no speed is too fast; globalization is good. Then we have to replace them with some different assumptions: small is beautiful; roots and traditions are worth preserving; variety is the spice of life; the only work worth doing is meaningful work; biodiversity is the necessary pre-condition for human survival.”
Jane Austen said:
“Well! Evil to some is always good to others.”
From On The Borderline:
August 30th, 2006 at 1:10 pm
Now we see that by fiddling with words we can fit a definition to the word diversity. Who selected the attributes of skin, intellect, talent and years to ignore when valuing each other? Muslims might like it because religion is not mentioned for “valuing” others. And what’s wrong with “valuing” someone for intellect?
I’m sick of diversity. I learned in parochial school to respect and treat with dignity every human being because they were made in the image of God. Cut the diversity stuff.
August 30th, 2006 at 1:18 pm
Rock on z. It sure caught my attention. My question here is what is implied by “valuing each other.” Does this mean to value equally or un-equally? If not equally, then how and under what moral and ethical system?
To ignore our differences is to ignore our minds and uniqueness as rational humans.
I agree, cut out the diversity stuff - it is bull as in bull, sh!# as in sh!#, and merely perpetuates racism and promotes balkanization.
August 30th, 2006 at 2:23 pm
I practiced diversity today. I had a piece of pizza that had no meat on it. I embraced vegetarians. That’s as far as I’ll go.
August 30th, 2006 at 3:07 pm
This is how I Celebrate Diversity. You can get those on a T-Shirt at ThoseShirts.com
(Please note: cub, of course, is referring to the picture with the guns.)
at 8/30/2006 Posted by Our Poop
"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."
George William Curtis
Author, Editor, Orator, Reformer
at 8/30/2006 Posted by EastWing
Admin's note: We have a new addition to this blog. A multi-talented escapee from the Hudson public school system with a talent for cartooning, guitar playing, creativity extrodiare. I believe he also did a stint as cartoonist for the Minnesota Daily. He forwarded this original cartoon with a note and a link to the blog he started:
"I'll go ahead & use this e-mail address for ya, since
it's for hammering Jethros, which is what I like.
Anything I send ya (of mine,) go ahead & use on yer
blog if ya like it. If ya wanna use it fer anything
else, whatever that may be, just lemme know & you'll
get my OK pronto. Always cost-effective (free) for
buds & fam, of course. I might be doin' me own
cartoon-blog in near future, if I can keep it up. If I
do, link me & gimme free advice, 'cuz I'm still purty
Check out Fat Jon's blog@ oggtoons.bloggspot.com.
at 8/29/2006 Posted by Jon Paul Nilsen
"Ahh, motive. There are those who now have to live lives of desperation. There are those who in the past who had unfettered and considerable influence with very little accountability. There are those who think they can get away with virtually anything they please. There are those who believe that the outcomes are more important than the ethics of how they got there.
The changing of the guards to accountability, transparency, ethics, and absolution is slowly taking over and leading the old guard to suffer in desperation. They just can’t help themselves and the longer accountability is the victor; the more desperate the acts of the old guard will manifest themselves."
at 8/29/2006 Posted by Lit'l Bill Almighty
WESTERN WISCONSIN (AP) Scientific study released by joint effort between the Hudson and New Richmond schools districts has determined the source of hot air leading to the global warming hitting the valley. Counter culure research was presented on the local ontheborderline.net blog site questioning the findings. A major source for the the OTBL agrument against global warming came from information found on the Junkiescience.com website.
For more details, tuned into Radio OTBL at 1776 on your wing nut dial for updates every 6 minutes and 66 seconds.
at 8/29/2006 Posted by EastWing
At An Advanced Age, The OTBL Bloggers Are Starting To Learn The Facts Of Life
I have a suggestion for the bloggers at ontheborderline.net -- change the name of your blog to either the Sludge Report or the Blind Hypocrite. The evilness and hypocrisy making up the agenda at OTBL is really starting to show is mossy, yellow fangs. There are numerous fresh posts on that blog outlining my charges.
Post example 1:
"Newspaper Editors Drive Their Agenda" by Our View
In this post a whole laundry list of conspiracy charges are leveled against the Hudson Star Observer and the New Richmond News. From the post comes the following quote:
"We believe the editors of our local papers, including Jeff Holmquist, Doug Stohlberg, and Steve Dzubay continue to drive their agenda by twisting facts on items that print and by purposely not telling the whole story. And in some cases their agenda is pursued by what they DON’T print. "
Now let's see...these local newspapers are private enterprises working in a capitalist system and the OTBL'ers are staunch defenders of the type of laizze-faire/no regulation capitalism that allows corporate America to poison our drinking water, pollution our atmosphere and melt our ice glaciers for the maximum amount of profit. Yet, the OTBL'ers who pursue their agenda by not printing information contrary to their agenda, say about the HSO and the News that "in some cases their agenda is pursued by what they DON’T print." So should we assume the same standards that the OTBL'ers set on a private blog -- viewable for free by the entire blogosphere -- don't apply to a privately owned newspaper? Does this smell like hypocrisy to you? Is what's good for OTBL bad for the HSO?
What really bugs the OTBL'ers is that their agenda isn't playing well in the St. Croix Valley. This must be very confusing to them, considering that they are locked-and-loaded on the disillusion that they are absolutely correct and everyone with a different view is totally wrong and part of an ever-expanding conspiracy theory.
From the same post, the OTBL'ers write:
"Jeff Holmquist has reported about the large crowds that have been coming to the New Richmond school board meetings. What he hasn’t stated is that the majority of these crowds are the teachers and liberals who are unhappy with the election results. Instead of stating that these people are simply sore losers and should allow the duly elected representatives to do their work, he purposely tries to create in the mind of the readers that there is “controversy” in all of the decisions that the board is now making."
They used "liberals" is this post. Usually they would use "socialists." They must be softening their John Birch Society rhetoric, i.e., they're wimping out on us and starting to pander to public sensibilities. Anyways, the "large crowds" didn't show up until Bill Brennan, NR school board member, made an unexplained example out of Adam Swanda's coaching contract. This drew in a large, dedicated group of hockey parents and boosters who showed up to support their very successful coach. This was four and a half months after the election.
As far as "controversy" in the decisions that board has been making, the OTBL poster follows up the above statement with this comment:
"Yet when $100,000 was being spent on needless architectural work and $9000 was being spent on sessions with a psychologist and over $100,000 was spent buying out a contract of an incompetent and shady superintendent."
Maybe I confused, but those look like some of the controversies OTBL'ers like Jack Bauer and Jack Junior have been repeatedly posting on the OTBL blog since last fall. Obviously, the OTBL ostriches have their head in the sands of hypocrisy. There is controversy. The New Richmond school board is showing a lot of motion but no momentum. For months, the board has been popping each others bubbles as various collective egos in the community turn up the soap-opera bubble machine.
Also included in this OTBL post were a list of these other conspiratorial charges leveled against the HSO's Doug Stohlberf and the News Jeff Holmquist:
"A prominent businessman flips his car on Trout Brook Road while speeding and being intoxicated. This prominent businessman happens to have strong ties to the Hudson Police Department and Doug Stohlberg. Not one word was written in the HSO about this incident. A police report was never filed and this individuals name was never printed in the paper at all."
OK, OTBL has a chance to publish the name of this person. Who is it? What's the holdup OTBL? If there is not police report filed and no charges filed, the HSO might be erring on the side of caution and avoiding the printing of gossip and speculation. It's not the National Enquirer. You got the soap box of your blog, tell us who?
"A prominent businessman forces his wife to sign a sex slave contract and this ordeal is front page news in the Pioneer Press, yet this incident is never printed in the HSO. This prominent businessman happens to be the first cousin of Doug Stohlberg."
The OTBL post uses the word "forces" concerning the allegations levelled against Kevin Anderson by his estranged wife in a divorce suit. There is no evidence of any force. Put "sex salve contract" into Google and you will get a copy of said contract. Anderson is a cousin of Stohlberg's. Do you see other stories in the HSO about unsubstantiated, divorce related gossip. I don't. The fact that the Pioneer Press prints something doesn't mean the HSO has to print it. There are many things reported on CNN that are not reported on FOX News.
"At the last school board meeting Sandy Kovatch, who replaced Chuckie “The Clown” Sambs as curriculum director gave a presentation on how dismal certain test results were for the Hudson children when compared to similar districts throughout the state. Yet the newspaper printed not one word about these dismal results. It was as if reporter Meg Heaton was sleeping during the presentation. What did the headlines read instead? “Enrollment May Exceed Projections”"
Maybe Meg Heaton thought the enrollment angle was the focus of the meeting. A reporter's judgement doesn't constitute conspiracy. I suppose the HSO should also be called on the conspiracy carpet for not inserting sophisticated nicknames like "The Clown" between first and last names?
"Last summer it was front page news in the HSO that the Hudson City Administrator was “threatened” by some anonymous person. Yet there has been no follow-up whatsoever by the HSO in this manner. Since most people can see that this was some hoax perpetrated by someone close to Mr. Willi, one has to wonder was there has been absolutely nothing done by Doug Stohlberg to put this matter to rest. Could it be that Mr. Stohlberg is close friends with members of the Willi family?"
The above paragraph is rather speculative. Obviously, the OTBL'ers desperately want to make sure that "most people" think that "this was some hoax perpetrated by someone close to Mr. Willi." -- especially when a considerable number of people suspect the letter might have come from someone connected with the OTBL blog site.
Do the OTBL'ers expect a headline every week stating "Origin Of Threat Letter Still Not Solved?" Obviously, to the OTBL'ers this is the JonBenet Ramsey case of St. Croix Valley. Considering the fact that the OTBL'ers are constantly pounding on the table for across-the-board tax cuts, is it any wonder why the Hudson police department can hardly get the FBI to investigate bank robberies. Maybe the lack of resources related to OTBL-advocated funding cuts might have lowered the priority of the Willi threat letter on the HPD "to do" list. But of course, I'm forgetting the soapbox hypocrites at OTBL are in always in favor of spending public resources -- as long as it benefits their agenda. Otherwise, as the OTBL'ers say, taxes are illegal theft committed at the threat of death by our government.
The OTBL'ers close this post with the following statement:
"We think it’s extremely naive for people to think that local newspaper editors don’t drive their agendas when deciding what they do and don’t print and how they coax the information that does finally make it to print."
Facts Of Economic Life:
As a former small town, weekly newspaper reporter, I can tell you the main agenda of a local newspaper is to make enough money to keep the paper in operation and feed the families working for the paper. Doug Stohlberg was born and raised in Hudson, has worked at the HSO all his adult life and the allegation that the misdemeanors of certain individuals in the community don't get reported go way back. The idealists at a blog like OTBL don't understand the pragmatists at the local newspaper. The OTBL might gain readers by posting gossip and speculation that might cause the local newspaper to lose important sources of revenue. If any group should know that money makes the world go round, it should be the self-righteous, sanctimonious defenders of the virtues of selfish and personal greed at ontheberline.net. But yet they whine...
The HSO and the NR News are not the Washington Post or the New York Times -- an, of course, the OTBL'ers wouldn't want them to be because those papers also have an agenda. HSO reporter Meg Heaton won't be spliced in between Woodward and Berntstein in the staring role of the remake of All The President's Persons. The number of muckrakers employed at newspapers is few and far between. Historically, most muck raking journalists who worked to expose corruption and greed were called "socialist scum" or "commies" by the backers of laizze-faire capitalism, i.e., the OTBL'ers heroes. If you care to read about today's crusading journalists, check out the Columbia Journalism Review. You will find there are weekly papers and reporters who do this kind of reporting and you will find out the economic realities they face.
Here's a couple of personal experiences where I learned about the agenda at a weekly newspaper. After graduating from college in 1981 with a degree in journalism, I took a reporter job at the Polk County Ledger in Balsam Lake. On my second day on the job, I was assigned to go down the local hardware store to take a picture of a guy who won a lawn mower in a local fund raiser. I was instructed by the editor to make sure, if the hardware store owner was in the picture, to have him far enough off to the side so we could crop him out of the picture. Why? "Because that son of a bitch is too cheap to advertise us."
On Friday of my first week, I was at the Angle Inn with a couple co-workers drinking beer after work and in walks Senator William Proxmire. He's making the rounds and I'm thinking there's a story and picture for the paper. I asked Proxmire if he'd wait long enough for me to ran to the office, get the camera and take his picture. Sure. On Monday I showed the picture to the editor and the brief story I wrote. He said, "We can't put that in the paper." Why not? "Because he's a goddamn Democrat."
At another paper, I would get visits after dark from the mayor, ex-mayor, policemen and anonymous notes dropped into the office slots with all kinds of "background" information. Some of it humorous and a lot of it cruel and viscious and hardly any of it to be printed.
So the OTBL bloggers are learning the facts of life about local weekly newspapers. Growing up in Hudson, we started figuring this out in our mid-teens. The criteria for what stays out of the local paper is most often based on these three points relevance:
1. How much money does the individual or their relatives spend on advertising?
2. Is there a political connection?
3. Is it involving a friend, family member, close relative of the newspaper management team or a member of the staff.
You would think a wily group of capitalist entrepreneurs like the OTBL'ers, with their computers skills, vast understanding of free-market economics and their agenda would take their time, money and energy and start their own newspaper. They could go out, solve all the crimes, print all the gossip and fill the paper with all the news that fits in the St. Croix Valley. Certainly advertisers would jump on their band wagon of truth, liberty and justice for all! Finally Hudson and New Richmond would become shining examples of perfection glittering above all other towns in America.
But then again, the OTBL'ers might have to get off their blogging asses and put their money where their typing is. Could those Quixote chameleons change out of their brownish colors of cheap shots, innuendo and slander that smear the stall of their blog walls and embrace the concepts of "fair and balanced" reporting? Concerning these idealistic possibilities, I say don't hold your breath. Considering the history of OTBL, I say continue to hold your nose.
at 8/29/2006 Posted by JPN
MADISON, Wis. - A promising University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who has won millions of dollars in grants says he is leaving the school, citing its lack of health insurance benefits for his domestic partner.
Rob Carpick, associate professor of engineering, said he will depart for the University of Pennsylvania, which offers domestic partner benefits, at the end of the year. He's taking with him a research portfolio that has won $3.4 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, branches of the U.S. military and private companies since 2000.
"After six and one-half years of working very hard, I found it's problematic to work in an environment where you are not treated equally," Carpick, 37, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Fortunately there are other entities that are more enlightened than the state of Wisconsin on this issue and the University of Pennsylvania is one of them."
at 8/28/2006 Posted by Nathaniel Branden
Led by their fearless leader Jeff Holmquist, the thugs took over the New Richmond school board. They’ve been there ever since they lost the election. They crowded the chambers, not looking for improving the quality of education, creating adequate competition for a failing system, or demanding consequences for incompetent teachers and administrators. No, they were there to hang the newly elected school board members and others on the board with which they disagree.
For more details on the ever expanding conspiracy theory surrounding the New Richmond school district, check out your local Internet sleuths at www.ontheborderline.net.
This just in from one of the OTBL Columbos -- of which there are many -- Jack Bauer found a thumb print smudged piece of toilet paper while getting a drink of water in the restroom at the New Richmond school district office. Bauer, after consulting with OTBL'ers Luke and O. Nonimous, concluded that the thumb print might be tied to the Willi threat letter mystery.
Stay tune for more details at our 17:76 edition in 666 minutes.
at 8/27/2006 Posted by 666