Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id XAA20363 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Wed, 2 May 2001 23:40:23 +0100 Subject: Re: Dance craze Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 18:36:09 -0400 x-sender: firstname.lastname@example.org x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, Claritas Est Veritas From: "Wade T.Smith" <email@example.com> To: "Memetics Discussion List" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable Message-ID: <20010502223610.AAA7096@email@example.com> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
Hi Douglas Brooker -
>What trip? what pond? where? was he over here?
>oh Wade, tell us it isn't true
>hope he knows the difference between a question of fact and a question of
The (memetic) trip any rumor takes. The Atlantic Ocean. Over to your side
from my side. I don't know. So far, it is not in evidence that people
actually have to follow the rumors about them.
I haven't heard such a thing, that Ashcroft was against dancing, although
some of the things I have heard, being a resident of the People's
Republik of Cambridge, have been pretty harrowing, let me tell you. But I
ain't heard that.
I just did a search of the Village Voice, a strident left-leaning
newspaper that would spare no vitriol over our AG, and nowhere did I find
a reference to a statement about dancing.
But, I can see where such a fabrication could come from, as he does
indeed sound quite proselytizing at times, witness this article-
Ashcroft to Christian Crowd: Use Government to Sell Jesus The Gospel
According to the A.G.
by Ward Harkavy
In a speech that never surfaced during his confirmation hearing but
reveals much about his agenda as attorney general, John Ashcroft clearly
laid out his dream of government-sponsored social programs helping
convert people to Jesus. Behind the scenes, his Justice Department is now
helping make that possible.
Government "gives only half a gift when it doesn't give the spirit of
Christ," Ashcroft, then a Missouri senator, told the dinner crowd at the
Washington Court Hotel on September 18, 1996, as he received the
Christian Statesman of the Year Award. "It doesn't give the spirit of
God, it doesn't give the spirit of forgiveness, it doesn't give the
regeneration of healing with its gift."
Those sentiments, captured on tape and obtained by the Voice, don't
surprise Ashcroft's critics. "That is a statement saying the government
must evangelize," said Barry Lynn, the liberal minister who's the head of
Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "He views the goal
of a politician to be an active agent of religious conversion."
What threw Lynn and others was Ashcroft's insistence during the Senate
hearings last January that he could keep his well-known religious beliefs
from affecting his performance as the nation's top law enforcement
officer. "In the past, unlike during the confirmation hearings, he
couldn't separate the secular from the religious," said Lynn. "He never
even suggested that he could. And I couldn't believe him when he told the
Senate that he could."
For good reason. In the summer of 1996, Ashcroft managed a last-minute
insertion to a welfare "reform" bill that authorized the government to
recognize "charitable choice." That key provision, Section 104,
encouraged states to use faith-based organizations to serve the poor and
needy, prying open a door that the religious right had always found
But the Justice Department under Janet Reno dragged its feet on writing
regulations that were necessary to turn "charitable choice" into reality.
With Ashcroft at the helm, however, the Justice Department, with no
fanfare, is now writing those regulations for five major federal
agencies, said Lynn, and activists are quietly, but vigorously, lobbying
members of Congress to slow down the process.
Ashcroft's critics brought up several of his past speeches during the
confirmation hearings, including his 1999 statement at Bob Jones
University that Jesus is "king" of the country. No one brought up this
1996 speech, which minces no words in its basic criticism that government
social programs don't work because they don't carry the message of Christ.
"I think the nature of God is giving, the nature of God is sharing,"
Ashcroft told the Washington crowd. "That's what the redemptive,
forgiving, healing mission of Christ is, that he would share with us his
nature. And when we turn the nature of God, which is our responsibility
to respond to need, over to government and we say we put that behind us,
and we contain it in a secular vessel and we expect government to do it,
the giving isn't the same. The Bible says that if you give a cup of cold
water in my name, it makes an eternal difference.
"Water isn't just water. It needs the value with it; it needs the spirit
There was no doubt which "spirit" he was talking about. Ashcroft received
the award from D. James Kennedy, who runs a worldwide evangelistic empire
out of his Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Kennedy stated flatly in his introductory remarks that America is a
Christian nation and approvingly quoted John Jay as saying that it was "a
duty and a privilege of Christians in the Christian nation to vote for
and prefer Christians as their rulers."
The future A.G. couldn't have agreed more, effusively praising Kennedy
and saying, "I want to thank all of you for your support of the concept
and the understanding that we serve more than our fellow men when we
serve in government. Government is indeed ordained of God, and Jesus came
that people might have life and have it more abundantly."
Unfortunately, he said, America is wallowing in sin and secularism and in
what he called "governmentalism."
"Yes, we are a Christian nation," he intoned, "but we are found wanting."
The goal of faith-based welfare, said Ashcroft, is not just to get
government off religion's back but to make government help evangelicals
spread the Word. "We need to provide a basis for unleashing the community
of faith to do what it does well, to share and manifest the love of
Christ in all that we do and say."
Reverend Lynn pointed out the seeming contradiction that Ashcroft "has
contempt for government, yet he now wants to enmesh this 'corrupt'
institution with churches."
And not all faiths, but only an evangelical Christianity. Kennedy is well
known by religious-liberty watchdogs for his strident preaching against
homosexuality and abortion and for his active political involvement. His
massive church features stacks of voter registration information,
detailed instructions on how to lobby politicians, and brochures filled
with tips on how to campaign for office. His connections with the
Republican elite are solid. Among the buildings on his sprawling campus
is the DeVos Chapel, named for Amway cofounder Rich DeVos, one of the
biggest soft-money donors in the history of American politicsˇall of it
going to Republicans. Ashcroft also counts DeVos as an ally, so the
Missouri senator was all but preordained as Kennedy's first Christian
Statesman of the Year. The list of politicians who have since been
honored includes Kansas senator Sam Brownback and House Majority Leader
"It's one thing for Kennedy, a preacher, to talk about Christianity and
government," said Lynn, "but it's another thing for an official to come
down and be honored and to talk the way Ashcroft did. It ought to make
people very nervous."
And in fact, it did make Ashcroft's ex-colleagues skittish last January.
Initially, the criticism of him as a potential attorney general was
harsh. But as Lynn pointed out, "politicians are always nervous about
bringing up religion. They don't want to be seen as making fun of a
person's religion. And then the right started throwing around the phrase
'religious profiling.' After that, the Senate just shut down. Members of
Congress get terrified by the topic."
Kennedy's propaganda machine, the Center for Reclaiming America, wants
some credit for that. Incensed that Dubya's first three Cabinet nominees
were pro-abortion, the center lit a "Grassfire Petition Drive" that it
claims produced 20,000 petitions to Bush in just two weeks. As the
Ashcroft nomination went forward, "anti-family forces wasted no time
launching a smear campaign against him," according to the center's
Christian Alert Bulletin. Kennedy's troops responded with a petition
drive aimed at the Senate.
"In a God-sized answer to our prayer," center director Janet Folger wrote
in her Bulletin, "over 6000 petitions were submitted on the first day
alone and were coming in at the rate of more than 600 petitions per hour.
In just a few days, more than 60,000 new petitions were received, proving
once again that, with God, all things are possible."
Tell us what you think. firstname.lastname@example.org
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