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.”
“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.
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.
In the ongoing wars over solar energy, one power company is consistently painted as the archetypal, mustache-twirling nemesis of clean electricity: Arizona Public Service. So you might be surprised to learn that this same company is about to become a big new producer of rooftop solar power.
APS is an unlikely solar patron: In the summer of 2013, the Phoenix-area utility launched a campaign to weaken Arizona’s net metering rule, which requires utilities to buy the extra solar power their customers generate and provides a major incentive for homeowners to install rooftop panels. A few months later, APS admitted giving cash to two nonprofits that ran an anti-solar ad blitz in the state. Early this year, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that a letter criticizing the solar industry’s business practices, sent by members of Congress to federal regulators, was originally authored by an employee of APS. And a couple weeks ago, APS asked state regulators to let the company quadruple the fees it tacks on to the monthly bills of solar-equipped homeowners.
“There, too, was the Human Roulette Wheel in the Steeplechase Park section of Coney. This bizarre contraption spun like a washing machine, kinetically throwing outside stragglers to the mercy of momentum! . . .”terrastories.com
Conservative disdain for the poor has reached new heights with the recent passage of the HOPE Act in Kansas earlier this month. This bill, signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback, prohibits those who receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) from using funds to go to movies, to go swimming, to go theme parks, to gamble, to visit strip clubs or bars.
Many Americans fundamentally believe that one’s income bracket should determine one’s access to fun, pleasure, and entertainment. The resentment and the lack of empathy that undergirds most of the social policy that emerges from the right prove just how out-of-touch and mean-spirited such social policy is.
Should poor people not have the right to go swimming? Swimming is an important survival skill. There are large swaths of Black people who do not know how to swim because of long histories of segregated swimming pools and subpar swimming facilities in this country.
also see via Alternet: America’s Disgusting, Boundless Hatred for Poor People
Their patriarchy is leaking.
Their misogyny is leaking.
And now, in a controversy that once again brings together technology, art, feminism and sex, Instagram is under fire for removing a self-portrait from artist Rupi Kaur that showed a small amount of her menstrual blood. Apparently having a period violates the site’s Terms of Service.
The broader message to women couldn’t be clearer: SeXXXy images are appropriate, but images of women’s bodies doing normal women body things are not. Or, to put a more crass point on it: Only pictures of women who men want to fuck, please.
As Kaur pointed out on her Tumblr account, Instagram is filled with pictures of underage girls who are “objectified” and “pornified.”
“I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in underwear but not be okay with a small leak,” she wrote.
The DC Council recently passed a very good bill called the Reproductive Health Non-discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA), which would protect DC workers from discrimination based on their reproductive health care decisions.
For example, it would prohibit an employer from firing an employee for using in vitro fertilization or birth control.
Sounds like common sense, right? Your boss shouldn’t be able to fire you for using birth control.
BUT THERE ARE TWO ISSUES FOR RHNDA
First, the DC Home Rule Act sets up a pretty complicated process for how a bill becomes a law in Washington, DC. Congress reviews all legislation passed by the democratically elected DC Council before it can become law, and if members of Congress decide they don’t like what they see, things can get a little messy.
Everyone knows someone who’s run the marathon. Today’s big-city races—in places like Boston, New York, Berlin, and London—draw Olympic hopefuls competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and hordes of weekend warriors raising money for their favorite charities or just hoping to check off “complete a marathon” on their bucket lists. Marathoning has birthed an industry of energy supplements and performance gear, training manuals and glossy magazines, corporate sponsorships and fitness expos. And nearly half of marathon entrants are women.deadspin.com morninggloria
It’s an incredible change from 50 years ago. The very few marathons that did exist - even Boston’s, the oldest continuously run marathon in the world - attracted less than one thousand runners. The entrants were all amateurs; finishers at Boston were rewarded with a bowl of Dinty Moore beef stew. Oh, and the runners were all male. Women were banned from running marathons.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, yet it’s long been considered a “man’s disease” in the popular imagination. This perception likely stems, in part, from the fact that coronary heart disease, the most common cause of heart attacks, is more prevalent among men—and tends to strike them at a younger age. When younger women do have heart attacks, though, studies have found that they are about twice as likely to die as their male counterparts—and more than 15,000 women under the age of 55 do every year.
But focusing on what individual women do—or don’t do—when they’re having a heart attack is a way of subtly shifting the blame for the deep and systemic failures of our health care system onto its victims.
For decades, studies have attempted to tease out the various factors that may contribute to that significant gender gap. Recently, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health published a qualitative study exploring the experiences of women under the age of 55 who had been hospitalized for a heart attack. The main take-away—according to most headlines summing up the results—seems to be that younger women may “ignore” or “dismiss” their symptoms and “hesitate” or “delay” in seeking care, in part out of anxiety about raising a false alarm.
On the personal front, I know a female heart patient that fell into this category. For years she presented herself to her doctors reporting unexplained lethargy, leg pain, & leg weakness. She was repeatedly treated for depression and anxiety. Not until she lost consciousness and was rushed to the Emergency Room was a heart defect found and corrected.
She was a very educated and professional independent woman. Perhaps that worked against her.
The point being that a person not considered to be equal is not afforded empathy and compassion by many professionals. This is a human problem.