Ministry of Truth

How Orwell is this?

The newly-established unit would use “new media” channels to push its message and “set the record straight”, Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff said.

“We’re looking at being quicker to respond to breaking news,” he said. “Being quicker to respond, frankly, to inaccurate statements.”

A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit would “develop messages” for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to “correct the record”.

The unit would reportedly monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ “surrogates”, or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.

So the Pentagon are “correcting” news stories? Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked.

The Religious Right: actually pursuing an entirely new religion

(Hi, I’m Wood. I’m a friend of Bob’s. Bob asked me if I’d like to contribute to his fine blog. I’m British. That doesn’t make a bad person. Right?)

So. I came across this fascinating post from an alumnus of a seminary who has concluded that the Christianity espoused by the Religious Right in your fine country is not, in fact, Christianity, but is in actuality a bizarre folk religion.

Read it at God School: Christianity vs. American Christianity.

Go for it; look at it phenomenologically, look at it sociologically, and what do you see? Basically a syncretic folk religion, based primarily on American nationalism, an expression of the “pervasive religious dimension of American political life”… Its purposes are basically civil and political. Its morality is taken from a highly selective and individualistic reading of the Old Testament, and it mixes in bits of consumerism, Zionism, Republican political values, and corporatism for good measure. Add to this an almost romantic sentimentality concerning the person of Jesus, much like the contribution of Catholicism to Vodou religions, and suddenly it all makes sense.

More people need to read this. If only because it’ll wind them up. But from this outsider’s view, it seems really quite convincing.