[The U.S. has been prone to cult surges such as that outlined by Paul Krugman below.  These come — and ordinarily dissipate almost as rapidly as they drink the cool aid.  That notorious image is too well known — the horrendous death toll of those slaughtered by their religious leader, James Jones, in Guyana

http://www.religioustolerance.org/dc_jones.htm

But how many Americans are aware that the Klu Klux Klan during the mid 1920s was thriving in all 48 American states with a women’s contingent of 300,000 — all dressed in weird white costumes?

http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0252071719&id=knHraIQE8YAC&pg=PA217&lpg=PA217&ots=-jGfYQ7PN3&dq=Klu+Klux+Klan+in+1920s&sig=1TaPI8EJ7jEf3bEggW1v6rayDqo#PPA218,M1

If this website does not show up, simply Google the “Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s” for a range of books on this weird American phenomenon.  The movement was killed off nearly as rapidly as it arose by a series of scandals.

Nevertheless, Americans need to remain alert to such destructive movements with their enemies lists — minorities, gays, women — all too frequently framed with devious slogans — protect our borders, protect the family, protect the embryo, abstinence — all really attack modes on both persons and critical supports for people (e.g. medical research, protections against infectious diseases increasingly resistant to anti-biotics, e.g. gonorrhea as well as the notorious viruses:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/health/13disease.html?th&emc=th

As one trained in theology under Reinhold Niebuhr who warned us of such cults, I am wary of more of the same emerging with the support of the Bush administration.  Ed Kent]

………………………….

OP-ED COLUMNIST
For God’s Sake
By PAUL KRUGMAN
The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers
of people seeking to impose a religious agenda  is one of
the most important stories of the last six years.

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/opinion/13krugman.html?th&emc=th

For those who cannot access Krugman’s column, send a request and I will forward the whole thing.  Here is his lead in:

For God’s Sake
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: April 13, 2007

In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement — the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right — suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. “Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,” he wrote, “and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.”

Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide “Christian leadership to change the world,” boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.

Unfortunately for the image of the school, where Mr. Robertson is chancellor and president, the most famous of those graduates is Monica Goodling, a product of the university’s law school. She’s the former top aide to Alberto Gonzales who appears central to the scandal of the fired U.S. attorneys and has declared that she will take the Fifth rather than testify to Congress on the matter.

The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.

But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to “dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.” And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CollegeConversation

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