Saturday, December 15, 2012

The anti-government attitude espoused by Lee is making America all feverish and sick

Soup McGee

Professor Dude
December 15, 2012
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee voted no on the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the speech justifying his no vote on the Senate floor was a clear view into the anti-government attitude that has infected the American process and threatens the integrity of America’s shared civic institutions. A Tea Party Senator who calls himself a ‘revolutionary’ and is an avowed protector of States Rights, Lee is just one of many signatories handcuffed to the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to never raise taxes. This is a group representing an interest that would rather grind the entirety of the American system to a screeching halt than raise one penny of taxes from the citizenry. Allegedly, the pledge is to never ever raise taxes, but effectively it prevents government from performing basic functions; in this case, from signing a standard treaty supported by both wings of the aisles. This pledge is shepherded by Grover Norquist, a long-time anti-tax advocate and arguably the most powerful man in politics.
Nearly every Federal Republican and most State level representatives on the Republican side have signed his pledge and no Republican has voted for a tax increase at the federal level since 1994. This alone might explain some of the obvious financial difficulties and the incompetent, partisan body politic that plague the US. However, the problem America faces is not merely a financial one, or a crisis of overexertion in the military. An illustration of the most important and least discussed looming catastrophe is that of a theocratic takeover of America, led first by the Federal Congress, slowly followed at the State level, and eventually supported by a religious military that will emerge to protect the new ‘republic.’ Sounds crazy? That is the stated intent of the leadership Senator Lee truly represents. To be clear, this is totally intentional, an attempt to win the culture war while dissolving slowly civil government. This is from Chris Hedges, whom Wiki calls ‘an American journalist specializing in American politics and society,’ writing for Theocracy Watch, a website that watches for theocratic behavior:
“…(they) obtained a copy of a memo Pat Robertson handed out to followers at the Iowa Republican County Caucus. It was titled, "How to Participate in a Political Party" and read:
"Rule the world for God."
"Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology.
"Hide your strength.
"Don't flaunt your Christianity.
"Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership whenever possible, God willing."
Please consider this idea thoroughly before disregarding it; use the following facts:
 Conservative society has long opposed the United Nations as a matter of principle, and this treaty was no different. Every major veteran’s organization supported the treaty and an agreement from the United States Senate would have sent the George W. Bush crafted, Bob Dole requested language to the President’s desk for signature. This would have made the Americans with Disability Act the standard every member nation would strive to reach in their domestic legal system. Veterans living abroad as well as children and others with disabilities in less developed nations would have benefited. The loudest opposition came from two longtime influential sources on the right, the Heritage Foundation and the Home School Legal Defense Association, ran by Michael Farris. The reasons given by each organization to their followers to oppose the UN treaty were the same as Senator Lee’s on the floor. It failed in the Senate and so will languish until another session. Why?
Understanding the convergence of  Reconstructionist and theologian RJ Rushdoony’s ideas on spheres of authority and the radical ideas of Austrian economist Ludvig von Mises can help new observers recognize and diagnose the hidden activities of the Americans for Tax Reform coalition and is key to the speech Lee gave on the Senate floor. The two men saw their ideas rise in popularity around the same time and in the same circles, and the power of their suggestions are still seen through the actions of Lee and his cronies. Hopefully, this brief history can expose the thought process of a group of people who refuse to accept the American system of government and aim to replace it slowly with a more theocratic one. This philosophy as exemplified by Senator Lee believes that man has no authority to govern man, and that God and their God alone has such Authority. By destroying the trust Americans had in the ability of the Senate to handle such a simple matter, those holding this anti-government attitude can celebrate this blow to the America’s image at home and abroad.
First, Rushdoony and Mises. Rushdoony believed that the UN was an institution whose role was illegitimate. From ‘The United Nations, a short article Rushdoony wrote in 1965:
“First of all, the U.N. holds as its basic premise a thesis which has a long history in both religion and in politics, the doctrine of salvation by law (emphasis in the original).” Understanding this distinction is critical to the understanding of Lee’s speech.
Rushdoony really made his mark in modern Christian Reconstructionism with his explanation of the spheres of God’s Authority. The following quote is from Humanist, Dominionist and Reconstructionist Views of Authority Compared, by S. Micheal Fort, writing here about the ‘major philosophical problem for non-Christians’ being their source of authority:
“A distinctly Christian society must necessarily have a distinctly Christian law code (that is, God’s Law) that binds the actions of it’s individuals, groups, and institutions.
A few practical examples of this idea follows:
1) Sphere of Individual Government. This is the seat of authority: the individual himself. This sphere has the authority to do everything that is not forbidden by God’s Law. This sphere is required to worship the Lord and serve Him by exercising Biblical dominion in his area of knowledge and influence.
2) Sphere of Family Government. This is the seat of authority: husband/father.
This sphere is the fundamental sociological group of society. A primary function of this sphere is to group a man and woman together for companionship and to work together for Biblical dominion. Another fundamental function is to raise God’s children according to Biblical principles so that they may grow to become godly adults.
3) Sphere of Business Government. This is the seat of authority: owner of the business and appointed managers. The goal of this sphere is the accomplishment of work, a fundamental purpose of man’s existence. A man’s vocation is his ministry.
4) Sphere of Church Government. This is the seat of authority: group of elders.
This sphere proclaims God’s message to the unbelieving world, builds Christians in the knowledge of God’s Word, provides a means of fellowship for the edification of God’s people, is a forum for the visible worship of God, and is the primary agency of mercy to the world.
5) Sphere of Civil Government. This is the seat of authority: regional judges.
This sphere is God’s agent of wrath and justice on the earth. Any lack of conformity to God’s Law is sin. Crime is that subset of sin that God has told us in the Bible to punish carnally. The punishment of crime (with restitution to the victims by the criminal) is the fundamental purpose of civil government. In this manner, the civil government is also empowered to provide for national defense (to keep other nations from committing crimes against it’s citizens).
A fundamental idea of spheres of government is the inability to transfer power between spheres. However, within a sphere, delegation of powers may occur if done so within a Biblical fashion. For example, a father cannot rightly give his disciplinary authority over his children to his church (transfer between spheres). However, he may delegate that authority to his wife in his absence (delegation within a sphere). As another example, civil government may not transfer it’s power of judgement to the business community (transfer between spheres). However, different judges as agents of the civil government rightly make judgements in its name (delegation within a sphere).
Perhaps a good way to visualize this is: God in the Person of Jesus at the top of all the spheres. These spheres would be horizontally placed adjacent to one another below Him. Delegation of Jesus’ authority comes directly from Him to each individual sphere to the extent of the earthly authority portioned to each. No power transfers occur between the sphere’s of any sort as this would be a usurpation of Jesus’ rightful position.”
The idea is clearly that man and his laws hold no authority to govern man. Senator Lee could not be more obvious in his expression of these beliefs, given his absolute disregard for reality. A Google search ensued, and had this helpful tidbit to add:
“Regardless of who non-Christians choose as their source of authority, it ultimately resides with man (whether many distinct individuals or one collective group). Christians, on the other hand, have a Trinitarian view of the one and the many. This view places as much importance on the individual as it does the group with no subordination or tension between them. The Trinitarian philosophy of the one and the many rightly holds the Eternal One and Many as the only legitimate source of authority. Since God created all that is, He alone holds ultimate authority over all creation. From this, it is obvious that all earthly authority is derived authority (that is, no authority exists which is not derived from God’s ultimate authority). He is the creator of all humans (individuals), human groups (sociological units: families, countries, etc.), and human institutions (churches, civil governments, etc.). It is He who decides the scope and form of authority for all human groups and institutions. This is very similar to the Christian theory of property. God created everything so He alone owns everything. However, He has decided to put His property under our stewardship (with specific people as stewards of specific portions of His property).
This website continues,
“Plainly stated, in Christian philosophy it is God who determines what functions an individual, family, church, business unit, civil government, and so-forth is to serve. God sets the boundaries on their activities – He determines what they can do, what they can’t do, and what they must do. These boundaries are revealed completely and perfectly to humanity through God’s Law contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Rushdoony spent a considerable portion of his life’s work explaining that the source of a society’s law is the god of that society.”
A plain reading reveals a mindset saying, ‘Man and mans law are not good enough for me.’ Rushdoony and his ideas on law are central to this viewpoint.

To better understand Lee’s speech though, a brief introduction to Ludwig von Mises and his definitions of state, family, and government is necessary. James Bovard, in ‘Government Equals Force’, masterfully describes the Mises philosophy, which is heard daily in America, particularly on the Religious right:
“What is the "STATE? ‘The State’ is something of a technical term. Political and Ecclesiastical "experts" may also use the term to justify their control over others. When most people think of the "State" they are thinking of "the government," e.g., Washington, D.C. We hear the phrase "the separation of Church and State." It refers not to a particular "State," but rather to all who call themselves the "State." What is a "State," and what gives a person or group the right to so call themselves?

Ludwig von Mises, the most influential political economist of the "Austrian" school of economics, gives us this definition of a "State":

The state is essentially an apparatus of compulsion and coercion. The characteristic feature of its activities is to compel people through the application or the threat of force to behave otherwise than they would like to behave. So what is Government? Easy. Suppose I come up to you and say, "If you murder anyone I'll kill you." I am compelling you through the application or threat of force to behave otherwise than you might like to behave; am I a "State?" Not necessarily; Mises continues his definition:

But not every apparatus of compulsion and coercion is called a state. Only one which is powerful enough to maintain its existence, for some time at least, by its own force is commonly called a state. A gang of robbers, which because of the comparative weakness of its forces has no prospect of successfully resisting for any length of time the forces of another organization, is not entitled to be called a state. The state will either smash or tolerate a gang. In the first case the gang is not a state because its independence lasts for a short time only; in the second case it is not a state because it does not stand on its own might. The pogrom gangs in Imperial Russia were not a state because they could kill and plunder only thanks to the connivance of the government.”

This sounded like familiar language. A random search through Google using key words like “Obama” Anti-Christ” “Jesus” and  “America” brought up an ecclesiastical website,
and this discussion which should by now sound familiar:
"Family vs. The State

In the Marxist scheme, the transfer of authority from the family to the State makes any talk of the family as an institution ridiculous. The family is to all practical intent abolished whenever the State determines the education, vocation, religion, and the discipline of the child. The only function remaining then to the parents is procreation, and, by means of birth control regulations, this too is subject now to a diminishing role. The family in such a society is simply a relic of the old order, maintaining itself only surreptitiously and illegally, and subject at all times to the intervening authority of the State. In all modern societies, the transfer of authority from the family to the State has been accomplished in varying degrees.

In scripture, the authority of the family is basic to society, and it is a God-centered authority. The authority of the woman as help-meet (Genesis 2:18) is no less real than that of a prime minister to a king; the prime minister is not a slave because he is not king, nor is the woman a slave because she is not a man. The description of a virtuous woman, or a godly wife, in Proverbs 31:10-31 is not of a helpless slave nor of a pretty parasite, but rather of a very competent wife, manager, business-woman, and mother – a woman of real authority.

In modern education, the State is the educator, and the State is held to be the responsible agency rather than man. Such a perspective works to destroy the pupil, whose basic lesson becomes a dependence on the State. The State, rather than the family, is looked to for moral decision and action, and the moral role of the individual is to assent to and bow down before the State. State education is at the very least implacably anti-scriptural, even when and if it gives the bible a place in the curriculum.

Basic to the calling of every child is to be a member of a family. Virtually all children will someday become husbands and wives, and fathers or mothers. The State school is destructive of this calling. It attempts to meet the need are essentially external and mechanical, i.e., home economics courses, sex education, and the like. But the essential training for family life is family life! It means scriptural education, discipline, and training in godly responsibility.

The State school, moreover, basically trains women to be men; it is not surprising that so many women are unhappy at being women. Nor are men any the happier, in that dominion in modern education is transferred from man to the State, and man is progressively emasculated. The major casualty of modern education is the male student. Since dominion is by God's creative purpose a basic aspect of man, any education which diminishes man's calling to exercise dominion also diminishes man to the same degree."
            Forgive the length; the accuracy and entirety of this quote is essential to understanding the worldview and what does any of this has to do with Mike Lee’s no vote.
            Lee, with his ‘government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem’ attitude represents people both literally and figuratively who are separating from American culture. This is a faction within American society goaded further by Heritage Foundation founder and Norquist hero Paul Weyrich. As Wiki puts it:
            “Frustrated with public indifference to the Lewinsky scandal, Weyrich wrote a letter in February 1999 stating that he believed conservatives had lost the culture war, urging a separatist strategy where conservatives ought to live apart from corrupted mainstream society and form their own parallel institutions:
I believe that we probably have lost the culture war. That doesn't mean the war is not going to continue, and that it isn't going to be fought on other fronts. But in terms of society in general, we have lost. This is why, even when we win in politics, our victories fail to translate into the kind of policies we believe are important.
Therefore, what seems to me a legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture.
What I mean by separation is, for example, what the homeschoolers have done. Faced with public school systems that no longer educate but instead 'condition' students with the attitudes demanded by Political Correctness, they have seceded. They have separated themselves from public schools and have created new institutions, new schools, in their homes. I think that we have to look at a whole series of possibilities for bypassing the institutions that are controlled by the enemy. If we expend our energies on fighting on the "turf" they already control, we will probably not accomplish what we hope, and we may spend ourselves to the point of exhaustion.
This was widely interpreted as Weyrich calling for a retreat from politics, but he almost immediately issued a clarification stating this was not his intent. In the evangelical magazine World he wrote:
...[W]hen critics say in supposed response to me that 'before striking our colors in the culture wars, Christians should at least put up a fight,' I am puzzled. Of course they should. That is exactly what I am urging them to do. The question is not whether we should fight, but how... in essence, I said that we need to change our strategy. Instead of relying on politics to retake the culturally and morally decadent institutions of contemporary America, I said that we should separate from those institutions and build our own.
Homeschooling indeed, is on the rise in America. According to the National Center on Education Statistics,
“The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003.”
Clearly, the separation call was heard.
From an article on Theocracy Watch about Schools,
“Christian schools and a strong home schooling movement are the foundations of dominionism. "Until the vast majority of Christians pull their children out of the public schools," writes Gary North, "there will be no possibility of creating a theocratic republic."  Gary North, it should be mentioned, is Rushdoony’s son-in-law, and though they did not agree on everything, the connection is clear. There is a possibility of creating a theocratic republic; protecting homeschoolers is the key to making this happen.
The Home School Legal Defense Association is headed by Michael Farris, and has been active since 1983. From their ‘About’ page,
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.
HSLDA advocates on the legal front on behalf of our members in matters which include conflicts with state or local officials over homeschooling. Each year, thousands of member families receive legal consultation by letter and phone, hundreds more are represented through negotiations with local officials, and dozens are represented in court proceedings. HSLDA also takes the offensive, filing actions to protect members against government intrusion and to establish legal precedent. On occasion, HSLDA will handle precedent-setting cases for nonmembers, as well.
HSLDA advocates on Capitol Hill by tracking federal legislation that affects homeschooling and parental rights. HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.
HSLDA advocates in state legislatures, at the invitation of state homeschool organizations, by assisting individual states in drafting language to improve their homeschool legal environment and to fight harmful legislation.
HSLDA advocates in the media by presenting articulate and knowledgeable spokesmen to the press on the subject of homeschooling. HSLDA staff members are regularly called upon for radio, television, and print interviews, and their writings are frequently published in newspapers and magazines across the country. HSLDA’s own bimonthly magazine, The Home School Court Report, provides news and commentary on a host of current issues affecting homeschoolers. And its two-minute daily radio broadcast, Home School Heartbeat, can be heard on nearly 500 radio stations.
HSLDA advocates for the movement by commissioning and presenting quality research on the progress of homeschooling. Whether it’s in print, from the podium, or on the air, HSLDA provides insightful vision and leadership for the cause of homeschooling.
Home School Legal Defense Association . . . tens of thousands of American families working together with HSLDA to preserve each other’s right to homeschool . . . together, “Advocates for Family & Freedom.”
According to RightWingWatch,
“Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and American Family Association head Tim Wildmon…to call on Religious Right activists to mobilize against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” and told the audience:
“So you never know what you’re signing up for, that by itself is a good enough reason to leave it alone and to never enter into one of these things. But in particular, you hit the nail on the head Tony, the definition of disability is not defined in the treaty. My kid wears glasses, now they’re disabled, now the UN gets control over them; my child’s got a mild case of ADHD, now you’re under control of the UN treaty. There’s no definitional standard, it can change over time, and the UN, not American policymakers, are the ones who get it decided.”
From the Heritage Foundation regarding the treaty,
“If the U.S. were to ratify the CRPD, U.S. policies would be subjected to the oversight and commentary of the CRPD committee, which could issue unlimited recommendations that the U.S. would be expected to implement. This prospect should be especially concerning to the parents and caregivers of disabled Americans, whose decision making authority would be subjected to the pronouncements of international “experts” and whose rights would be undermined by the CRPD’s language concerning the “best interests of the child” and its lack of explicit protection of parental rights.”
Together with the Heritage Foundation, the HSLDA, and the rest of the Norquist coalition, the Senator (whose father, Rex Lee, who served as the Solicitor General under President Ronald Reagan and so should have known better than to make the argument he was about to) headed to the Senate floor.
In his speech, Senator Lee begins by asserting that the Americans with Disability Act should be made the standard that other countries use to write their law, seemingly oblivious to the stated intent and plain language of the treaty. Lee’s entire case rests on the baseless claim that the best interest of the child provision will destroy personal and US sovereignty, which in turn will allow UN forces to remove children from their religious home schools. At 26:50, a thin slice of the discussion can be heard and is central to this contention:
“Many of my constituents…have justifiable doubts that a foreign UN body, a committee operating out of Geneva, Switzerland should decide what is in the best interest of the child at home in Utah or any other state…”
This is absurd. From,
“When the United States ratifies a treaty, (1) it accepts and is bound by the treaty's requirements as a matter of international law. (2) Not all of these international obligations, however, may be enforced directly. In the United States, treaties are divided into "self-executing treaties"--which can be immediately enforced in courts (3) and may create private rights of action (4)--and "non-self-executing treaties"--which may not be judicially enforceable or may have no status as domestic law unless Congress passes implementing legislation. (5) In light of this distinction, the political branches often ratify treaties with language identifying them as self- or non-self-executing. When the self-executing status of a treaty is unclear, courts examine its text, its history, and subsequent state practice to determine the parties' intentions. (6).”
Senator Kerry from Massachusetts makes this point clear in the following exchange:
Kerry: I’m having difficulty finding where the threat finds any reality…Will the Senator agree that there is no power to change our law?
Lee: No, I don’t agree with that.
Kerry: Can the senator show where it is specifically? When the Supreme Court has held this is not self executing, that there is no access to the American courts, it is clear by the statements of the treaty itself that no American law is changed…what is it that the Senator suddenly has that suggests otherwise that has any basis in fact?
Lee: First of all, whenever we ratify a treaty, it becomes law of the land under Article 6 of the US Constitution…It becomes part of the corpus of customary international law… is it direct? No. Does it directly undo US law? No. But that does not mean it has no effect. If it had no effect we wouldn’t be here debating it today, it’s the type of effect….but that is not to say it has no effect. We shouldn’t be ratifying a treaty that we think might offset US law as it exists now, and we believe this will have that impact. I can’t prove to you exactly where this will happen.”
            An extremely effective rebuttal can be read in the revised and extended remarks of that day’s floor speech by Senator Kerry:
“In five simple words, this treaty says to other countries that don’t respect the rights of the disabled, be more like us. That’s what we are asking people to do. It doesn’t require any changes to American law, zero. This has no tying of the hands of America. There isn’t one law in the United States that will be negatively affected, but it will push, it will leverage, it will require the countries by their commitment to be held accountable to the standard we have set and take our gold standard and extend it to the rest of the world. So there are three reasons that I've heard that we can't do this. When I hear them, I’m reminded what I learned when I was a prosecutor quite a few years ago now. I learned that, you know if – if the facts are against you, then argue the law. If the law is against you, then argue the facts and if both of them are against you, just make it up.
Well, that's exactly what's happening here, Mr. President. Neither the law nor the facts support any argument that has been made on the other side of this treaty. So accordingly we're facing an entirely fictitious set of arguments on abortion, on home schooling, on lame-duck sessions. All of their arguments have been contradicted by the facts and the law, let me document that. This treaty is based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. We passed that 20 years ago. In all those 20 years, the father of the act is sitting here, the senator from Iowa. Has any child been straight separated from a parent because of the A.D.A? No. Has home school been hurt? No. in fact, it's grown and flourishing across the nation.
How is it possible that a treaty that according to our Supreme Court offers no recourse, no change in American law, no access to American courts, how is it possible that such a treaty could threaten anybody in our country? The answer is simple, it doesn't, and it can't, but let's go through the arguments one by one. First they say it would undermine our sovereignty. I've heard several people suggest that. You know, the laws governing the disabled. Well, that's wrong and Senator Lee just admitted it doesn't affect any law in the United States. All it does is create a committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.

What can this committee do? All it can do is review reports and make a suggestion. Are we scared in the United States of America of someone making a suggestion to us about how we might do something? Has no recourse in the court, no legal standing. The Foreign Relations Committee even included language in the resolution of advice and consent to make it crystal clear. So what are we afraid of? That the committee would give us this advice?”
Despite common sense being for it, and Constitutional precedent being against the opponents, the treaty failed. America looked really bad as a result. Quite a number of observers agree on that point. From Foreign Policy magazine:
“As near as I can determine, critics don't like the treaty because... it's a treaty.  Most of the objections are either bogus or unsubstantiated by practice.  As Joshua Keating notes, "a perfectly reasonable treaty was just rejected based on a complete misreading of it." Or, as Tim Fernholz explains:  “The treaty’s critics, like the conservative Heritage Foundation, were left arguing that the treaty shouldn’t be ratified if the US already complied with its intent, since endorsing the treaty could lead to problems down the road by unspecified means. That dismayed the treaty’s advocates, who see the treaty’s value in the message it sends to other countries about the importance of protecting disabled people. “It’s a treaty to change the world to be more like America,” protested John Kerry, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, before the failed vote.
Dana Milbank notes that sometimes the treaties opponents contradicted their own arguments: 
[O]pponents couldn’t agree on how this box would be opened. “Do I believe that states will pass laws or have to pass laws in conformity with the U.N. edict?” [Rick] Santorum asked himself. “Do we have to amend IDEA?” the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. “I don’t have any fear anytime soon that IDEA will be amended. But I do have concerns that people will go to courts and they will use this standard in this convention.”
This was contradicted by the next man at the microphone, home-schooling advocate Mike Farris, who pointed out that the document has a provision stating that “you can’t go to court automatically. You must have implementing legislation first” — the very thing Santorum says he does not expect to happen.
Still, their spurious theory of a U.N. takeover of parenting was enough to lead Lee and Santorum to oppose a treaty that would extend American values worldwide and guarantee disabled people equal treatment, and freedom from torture and exploitation.
Now I'm honestly pretty dubious about whether U.S. ratification of the treaty would accomplish all that.  Unlike Law of the Sea, not ratifying this treaty doesn't appreciably harm U.S. interests.  It does, however, make the United States look pretty dysfunctional.  In essence, the U.S. Senate just rejected a treaty on protecting the disabled that would have globalized the status quo in U.S. law on this issue.  To use the parlance of international relations scholars, this is dumber than a bag of hammers.”

            An intentional misreading of the intent of the treaty as well as the power and enforcement ability of the United Nations on multiple levels is hereby uncovered. Understanding the why behind the fear mongering seen in Lee’s speech exposes the how.  This is from an expose in The Baffler on the money-making schemes used by the religious Right in America to fund their theocratic coup:
“The typical ploy ran a little something like this, from Heritage Foundation founder Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Research and Education Foundation:
Dear Friend:
Do you believe that children should have the right to sue their parents for being “forced” to
attend church?
Should children be eligible for minimum wage if they are being asked to do household
Do you believe that children should have the right to choose their own family?
As incredible as they might sound, these are just a few of the new “children’s rights laws” that could become a reality under a new United Nations program if fully implemented by the Carter administration.
If radical anti-family forces have their way, this UN sponsored program is likely to become an all-out assault on our traditional family structure.
Following the standard scare-mongering playbook of the fundraising Right, Weyrich launched his appeal with some horrifying eventuality that sounded both entirely specific and hair-raisingly imminent--Closer inspection reveals the looming horror to be built on a non-falsifiable foundation (“could become”; “is likely to become”). This conditional prospect, which might prove discouraging to a skeptically minded mark, is all the more useful to reach those inclined to divide the moral universe in two—between the realm of the wicked, populated by secretive, conspiratorial elites, and the realm of the normal, orderly, safe, and sane.”
            Since the problem isn’t the United Nations but in fact, man being governed by man’s law, how can this group remove a common enemy, the US government? Easy, says Grover Norquist, gleefully holding the American Checkbook in his vault, easy. End taxation. Limit severely the federal government’s ability to tax its citizens. From the Americans for Tax Reform Website, the following is from a letter Grover wrote to the conservative movement as a whole:
“The deficit was the difference between two more important numbers—how much the federal government took from the American people by force in taxes and how much the federal government spent each year. By the 1980s liberals discovered they could use concern over the deficit to oppose tax cuts and to push for tax hikes.
Now that the federal budget is in balance—indeed in substantial surplus—it is the right time for the conservative movement to establish a new goal. We said we wanted to balance the federal budget—we did. Now what? What is the measure of our success or failure in the years and decades to come?
I recommend that we set the goal of reducing the cost and size of government by half over the next twenty-five years—one generation. Why half? Because it is a large enough challenge to be worth the candle. Because it is eminently doable. Why a twenty-five year time horizon? Because it will take time to turn the nation around. Because we have to expect to have setbacks, lost opportunities, bad election years, wars and recessions. Certainly, we would welcome achieving our goal of "In Half" in a shorter time frame.
There are four measures of the size and scope of government. We should look to cut each in half over the next twenty-five years.”
Here is Grover’s description of those four measures:
“#1 – Total government spending as a percentage of the economy.
#2 – The cost of all government regulations as a percentage of the economy.
#3 – Total government employment: How many Americans work for the government at all levels.
#4 – Total assets controlled by government.”
            Please note that Grover mentions a ‘substantial surplus’ in this letter. America is certainly not holding a current ‘substantial surplus,’ thus the reasoning here is easily questioned. Further, this disrespect and disconnect from what is empirical is suggestive of Senator Lee’s steadfast refusal to accept Constitutional precedent as legal precedent. See, that’s man’s law, not God’s law. Find and read a list of signatories to this contract; by and large, the signatory holds these views and acts upon them as a member representative of the American people. Grover, as evinced by Lee’s speech on behalf of the noxious Norquist coalition, is the fulcrum modern American society wobbles upon.
Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, respected political observers from quite opposite ideological ends of the spectrum, early in 2012 made news and promptly disappeared. Blame the liberal media! The news? That the American political situation is worse than people think, and Republicans, not both Democrats and Republicans, Republicans , and a strict adherence to a tax-cut only ideology, Republicans and a ‘defeat Obama at all costs’ strategy is the problem America faces today.
To conclude, only one side of the political conversation focuses talks on, as Lee himself puts it on his website, ‘Congress’ spending problem.’ America can only have a spending problem if the belief is a), that America taxes and then spends those tax dollars with an illegitimate authority, and b), that America shouldn’t spend at all. The lack of revenue the Federal government has been starved of since 1994 is the consequence of such beliefs, and the current fiscal situation can be directly attributed to such nonsense.
 This paper ought to have made clear who supports the democratic system of man-made and man-enforced laws that make the American republic exceptional. Citizens who value democracy will identify by their speech and their actions those attempting the abortion of democracy. The threat America faces from men like the Senator is much more sinister and pressing than any threat the UN could make or follow through on. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been battling a particularly alarming front of this attack, on the First Amendment’s protection from state-authorized religion. From their ‘About’ page,
“The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
MRFF recognizes that military life requires individual adherence to shared patriotic principles. MRFF also recognizes the need for military personnel to at times temporarily relinquish some Constitutionally granted personal freedoms for the sake of military discipline and objectives.
However, MRFF believes that religious faith is a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom that must never be compromised, except in the most limited of military circumstances, because of its fundamental importance to the preservation of the American nation and the American way of life.
Additionally, MRFF adheres strongly to the principle that religious faith is a deeply personal matter, and that no American has the right to question another American’s beliefs as long as they do not unwontedly intrude on the public space or the privacy or safety of another individual.
Therefore, MRFF holds that:
No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
No member of the military may be compelled to curtail – except in the most limited of military circumstances and when it directly impacts military discipline, morale and the successful completion of a specific military goal – the free exercise of their religious practices or beliefs.
Students at United States military academies are entitled to the same Constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedoms and the free exercise of those freedoms to which all other members of the United States Armed Forces military are entitled.
No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.
It is the responsibility of the military hierarchy to ensure that the free exercise of religious freedoms of all enlisted personnel are respected and served.
All military personnel have the right to employ appropriate judicial means to protect their religious rights.”
According to the Nobel Committee’s 2013 nomination letter to MRFF President and founder Mikey Weinstein,
 “What Weinstein and MRFF are fighting against is nothing less than an evangelical
fundamentalist coup within the United States Armed Forces. This Christian extremist fifth
column has its roots in a Cold War-era alliance between the U.S. Department of Defense and
militant outfits such as the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade and the Church of the Christian
Crusade. However, successive generations of military leadership have preserved this alliance far
beyond its original Cold War/anti-communist shelf life. The result has been a U.S. military that
is steeped in a highly caustic brew of sectarianism, domineering religious bigotry, and an
arrogant, dehumanizing attitude towards the civilian populations of the regions where the U.S.
finds itself militarily engaged.”
Any lover of the Constitution and its protections ought to be frightened. What can be done? Robert Thurman is a Buddhist-studies expert, the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, and one of Time magazine’s 1997 25 Most Influential People. He has an excellent diagnosis and suggestion for what Lee, Norquist and the pledge coalition are up to, and what Americans can do to fight back. As he puts it, it is treason to make an oath to serve the people with mental reservations, which a disbelief in the American way of governance by majority and a pre-Congress pledge to never under any circumstances allow even a vote to raise taxes shows. Impeach signatories! he says. “People who take that oath cannot actually serve in the government with good conscience, because their real role is to act as a mole to destroy the government; they are “starving the beast.”
It might be too late, though; the anti-government attitude espoused by Lee is making America all feverish and sick.

Works Cited

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