frederickclarkson.com

The blog of Frederick Clarkson

On Christmas Day, in the Morning

In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a War on Christmas.  I can’t help but find the whole thing not only false, but tiresome, and anti-Semitic.  

As if to rebut the loathsome propaganda that goes back to Henry Ford, public radio has a quarter century tradition of rebroadcasting the  A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,  performed annually at King’s College, in Cambridge, and broadcast around the world on the BBC

It will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day, in the morning.  Check it out.

Written by fred

December 24th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

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Posted in Media Criticism

Taking the Catholic Bishops/Evangelical Alliance Seriously

Simon Brown, writing in the November 2013 issue of Church & State magazine, has picked-up on my recent article in The Public Eye.  He observes that far from the Religious Right being dead (as has been so frequently declared by people who really ought to know better) it is “alive and kicking” and epitomized by the regressive alliance between the Catholic Bishops and the Protestant evangelical Christian Right.

Written by fred

November 3rd, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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Kind words about my essay on the Catholic Evangelical Alliance

— from journalist Paul Rosenberg, writing at Crooks & Liars.

Rosenberg notes that a lot of writers have taken the view that the Religious Right is down for the count for a variety of reasons, and has little left because of the inevitability of marriage equality:

But is this hunker-down strategy really all that the religious right has left? Frederick Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy warns that it’s not. A taker of the long view, as the title of his book suggests, he reminds us, “It is easy to forget that much of Christianity is still emerging from the fog of religious war and the smoldering tensions of the Protestant Reformation.” That’s not exactly how most political observers — even on the left — approach trying to understand the Religious Right, and it’s exactly why they all should be paying more attention to Clarkson, and the developments he tracks — central to which is an unprecedented degree of cooperation between Protestant evangelicals and the Catholic Church.

Written by fred

July 24th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

Christian Right Seeks Renewal in Catholic-Evangelical Alliance

It would be hard to be awake in America and not sense that some deep currents are shifting somewhere beneath the surface of our our politics and religion — things that go unmeasured by sociologists and pollsters. But but we do get glimpses of these developments in the media and in the actual political behavior of conservative pols and religious leaders. Nevertheless, it can be hard to see, even when it is right in front of us.

Trends are often like that. We don’t really see them, until we do. And when we do, we are surprised that we hadn’t fully realized it before.

And that’s how I have felt about the growing alliance between the leaders of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the leaders of the protestant evangelical Christian Right.  I have written an essay, Christian Right Seeks Renewal in Deepening Catholic-Protestant Alliance, for the next issue of The Public Eye magazine about this and some of the implications.

Written by fred

July 24th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

My latest article for Spare Change News

Sudan and the Anti-Genocide Paparazzi

Crimes against humanity are best carried out in secret. Terror can be inflicted, ethnic cleansing can be waged, torture can be committed, and if it is not an official hot spot that the whole world is already watching then who in the world will even know? That is the way it has pretty much always been. But brutal regimes are now on notice that human rights activists with satellites may pop up at any time to document their crimes and haul them before the court of world opinion — and possibly even the International Criminal Court…

Written by fred

January 31st, 2013 at 10:07 pm

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Posted in human rights

Louie Giglio: Master of Deflection

It is remarkable how little has been written about Rev. Louie Giglio’s disingenuous statements on the occasion of his withdrawal from participation in the presidential inauguration ceremony. Suffice to say that he has not retreated one bit from the hateful statements that surfaced and forced his departure. But the real problem, you see, is not Giglio. It’s those crafty gay people who objected to the hate. Much more.

Written by fred

January 13th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

Creeping Religious Rightism in the Democratic Party — Still Creeping

Yes, for a number of years now, elements of the Democratic Party sometimes pander to the Religious Right to the point where its more like aping the Religious Right. Just when I thought the leadership was pretty much over it, the Rev. Louie Giglio imbroglio shows that I was wrong.

Written by fred

January 10th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Haiku by Martin Espada

A lone sheep cries out:
There are more of us than them!
The flock keeps grazing.

from Spare Change News

Written by fred

January 3rd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

Left/Right Alliances

When I was on The Sunday Show on KPFA-FM in Berkeley this afternoon, there was some discussion about potential Left-Right alliances in relation to the national conversation about gun control. People who are thinking about that will want to check out a 2006 article by Abby Scher discussing lessons learned from organizing against The Patriot Act.

Written by fred

December 30th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized

Follow Me On Twitter!

Once upon a time, I had a blog. And then a group blog. And I participated on other group blogs. And then there was social media, and I did some of that too. Oh God, thy cyberspace is so big and my blog is so small.

That said, you can follow me on Twitter.

Written by fred

December 29th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

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Posted in Uncategorized