The following is an adapted excerpt from Kevin Kruse’s new book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic Books, 2015).
In December 1940, as America was emerging from the Great Depression, more than 5,000 industrialists from across the nation made their yearly pilgrimage to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, convening for the annual meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers. The program promised an impressive slate of speakers: titans at General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, Mutual Life, and Sears, Roebuck; popular lecturers such as etiquette expert Emily Post and renowned philosopher-historian Will Durant; even FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Tucked away near the end of the program was a name few knew initially, but one everyone would be talking about by the convention’s end: Reverend James W. Fifield Jr.
Handsome, tall, and somewhat gangly, the 41-year-old Congregationalist minister bore more than a passing resemblance to Jimmy Stewart. Addressing the crowd of business leaders, Fifield delivered a passionate defense of the American system of free enterprise and a withering assault on its perceived enemies in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. Decrying the New Deal’s “encroachment upon our American freedoms,” the minister listed a litany of sins committed by the Democratic government, ranging from its devaluation of currency to its disrespect for the Supreme Court. Singling out the regulatory state for condemnation, he denounced “the multitude of federal agencies attached to the executive branch” and warned ominously of “the menace of autocracy approaching through bureaucracy.”
Reuters) - Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest capacity reservoir in the United States, is on track to drop to its lowest water level in recorded history on Sunday as its source, the Colorado River, suffers from 14 years of severe drought, experts said on Friday.
The 79-year-old reservoir, formed by the building of the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, was expected to dip below 1,080 feet on Sunday, lower than a previous record of 1,080.19 feet last August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Predictions show that on May 31, the reservoir will have dipped again to 1,075 feet, well below its record high levels of around 1,206 feet in the 1980s, according to Bureau of Reclamation data.
Lake Mead supplies water to agriculture and about 40 million people in Nevada, Arizona, Southern California, and northern Mexico.
The water source and several other man-made reservoirs springing from the 1,450-mile (2,230-km) Colorado River, have dropped to as low as 45 percent of their capacity as the river suffers a 14th straight year of crippling drought.
“Pagan Statism”: The Frightening corporate/Christian Alliance That Invented “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God”
In 1949, some of the country’s top advertising executives launched a national marketing campaign. They weren’t selling a physical product. They were selling religion. Before long, the Religion in American Life campaign was placing close to 10,000 newspaper ads per year, coordinating national radio marketing, and putting up thousands of billboards, all intended “to accent the importance of all religious institutions as the basis of American life.” Major corporations bankrolled the effort.
We tend to imagine public expressions of faith as rising spontaneously from the American people, for good or for ill. When a politician says “God bless America,” she’s trying to sound like a populist, not like a corporate pawn. But as Princeton historian Kevin Kruse details in a new book, “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America,” our country’s religious slogans owe more to corporate campaigns than they do to grassroots work.
LONDON, April 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sudan has overhauled a law that led to rape victims being put on trial for adultery, a crime punishable by jail, flogging or even stoning.
The change comes a year after a young Ethiopian woman in Sudan was convicted of committing indecent acts after being gang-raped, a case which sparked international outrage.
Lawyers say that when a woman in Sudan reports rape it is often seen as an admission of zina - the crime of sex outside marriage.
Once again we see that science denial is not limited to climate change. Also, unlike climate change, there is no evidence that this is a partisan thing. Unfortunately, issues like vaccines and genetically modified food show that liberals can be just as distrusting of science as conservatives.
Aspartame has been studied for more than 30 years and there’s no good evidence suggesting it causes harm to humans. The European Food Safety Authority recently completed one of the most thorough risk assessments of aspartame ever done, looking at all the available research evidence.
Its conclusion? “Following a thorough review of evidence provided both by animal and human studies, experts have ruled out a potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and inducing cancer.” They found that aspartame does not harm the brain, the nervous system or affect behavior or cognitive function in children or adults.
Similarly, the National Cancer Institute found that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, don’t appear to cause cancer. Whatever fears people might have of the chemicals, the NCI noted, likely come from early rat studies that uncovered links between artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer. Yet subsequent studies determined that these results apply only to rats, and large-scale human studies have never found good evidence of an association.
An Alabama Republican has an inventive new plan to shut down one of the state’s few remaining abortion clinics: Treat the building like a registered sex offender.
Rep. Ed Henry filed a bill on Tuesday that would allow the Alabama Department of Public Health to deny health center licenses to abortion clinics that are located within 2,000 feet of a public school, a move that specifically targets the reproductive health center in Huntsville, Ala. Representatives from the antiabortion group that crafted the legislation admit that it is based on the rules that apply to convicted sex offenders. According to al.com, the bill was crafted in response to a lawsuit that attempted — and failed — to shut down the Alabama Women’s Center last year.
James Henderson, the former leader of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said his anti-abortion group drafted the legislation that Henry introduced with the purpose of shutting down the Huntsville clinic.
“What prompted the action is the abortion clinic in downtown Huntsville that was forced to close and then relocated across from a public school,” he said.
Minnie the Moocher
But as Google’s actual announcement makes clear, saving money isn’t really the point of Project Fi. The service’s true goal is to change the way we think about wireless data service. The subtext of Project Fi is that traditional wireless carriers aren’t as important as they think.
There are a couple ways Google enforces this notion. First is through the actual connectivity, which is a patchwork of T-Mobile, Sprint, and Wi-Fi networks. Between the two carriers, Project Fi simply picks the fastest one, which is something no other wireless service can do.
But in many cases, users won’t need the carrier networks at all, because Project Fi can route calls and text messages over Wi-Fi. This routing not only includes home Wi-Fi networks, but public hotspots that Google deems fast and reliable. Project Fi forms an automatic, encrypted connection that doesn’t count against the user’s data plan. Whether it’s Wi-Fi or mobile broadband, Google is essentially saying that the best connection should win.
For nearly two years, ever since her brother Tyrone West died after a struggle with the police, a 35-year-old preschool teacher named Tawanda Jones has been in the streets here on Wednesday nights, protesting. Her message: “We need killer cops in cellblocks.”
Though the officers involved in Mr. West’s July 2013 death have been cleared of wrongdoing, his case and other police-involved killings here are woven into Baltimore’s psyche, part of what Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls the “broken relationship” between residents of this majority black city and a police department with a history of aggressive, sometimes brutal behavior.
That history helps explain the long-simmering anger that boiled over this week with the death on Sunday of Freddie Gray, 25, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody. Despite efforts by city officials to improve relations — Mayor Rawlings-Blake, alarmed by wrongful-death lawsuits, last year asked for a Justice Department review — thousands have staged protests that are expected to continue through the weekend.
A powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, killing at least 71 people as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches in the Himalayas. It was the worst temblor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years.
At least 30 people died in neighboring countries where the quake was felt including 20 in India.
The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck before noon and was most severely felt in the capital as well as the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours.
Dozens of people with injuries were being brought to the main hospital in central Kathmandu.