Monthly Archives: March 2020

Betsy Gaines Quammen American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West

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In her book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West, just out from Torrey House Press, Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD, documents the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how their beliefs led to Cliven Bundy’s scoff-law actions, including decades of grazing his cattle on public lands without legal permits and refusing to pay over $1million in fines and fees, leading to armed followers in tense stand-offs with federal employees in Nevada and Oregon.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 1.42.07 PM.pngAfter environmental laws such as The Endangered Species Act, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) required the federal government to assess public lands and protect endangered species such as the Desert Tortoise, individuals such as The Bundys and groups such as The Sagebrush Rebellion and the so-called Wise Use Movement arose to defy federal protections encroaching on what they considered their traditional way of life.

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[Cliven Bundy and an endangered Desert Tortoise (Reuters/Jim Urquhart/AP)]

This led to armed confrontations at the “Battle of Bunkerville” and “The Siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

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Mormon prophecy contributes to the sense of religious righteousness and destiny, which motivate some to claim uniquely superior interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, considered to be a divinely inspired sacred text.

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[From left to right: Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy.]

We end the program with a brief discussion of the unfolding Covid-19 Pandemic, the anti-science response of the Bundy network, and the work of Betsy’s husband, David Quammen, who in his book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) predicted it was only a matter of time til a pandemic like this would occur.

Finally,  Dan Roberts reads his poem from 2006, “Helter Shelter.”

Past Forthright Radio programs referenced in this show include:

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https://forthright.media/2013/05/01/david-quammen-spillover-animal-infections-the-next-human-pandemic/

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https://forthright.media/2020/03/04/katherine-stewart-the-power-worshippers-inside-the-dangerous-rise-of-religious-nationalism/

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https://forthright.media/2019/10/16/christopher-ketcham-this-land-how-cowboys-apitalism-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-american-west/

Katherine Stewart The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

 

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Katherine Stewart is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, The Nation and more.

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Her earlier book is THE GOOD NEWS CLUB: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT’S STEALTH ASSAULT ON AMERICA’S CHILDREN. Research for that book led her to discover the insidious depth and breadth of Christian Nationalism and its determination to radically alter the democratic foundations of the United States of America. Indeed, she documents the global reach of the movement toward authoritarianism, intolerance, plutocracy and aggrandizement of money and power for the “elect”.

The result is her latest book, THE POWER WORSHIPPERS: INSIDE THE DANGEROUS RISE OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM, published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

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Articles cited in this interview include:

How a data-backed Christian nationalist machine helped Trump to power  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/03/bill-dallas-christian-nationalist-right-donald-trump

Don’t Let Trump Pay Back Evangelicals Like This   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/opinion/sunday/trump-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Russia’s Putin wants traditional marriage and God in constitution   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51719764

The multimillion-dollar Christian group attacking LGBTQ+ rights     https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/20/alliance-defending-freedom-multimillion-dollar-conservative-christian-group-attacking-lgbtq-rights

The Traveling Salesman Bringing Abortion Bans To A Texas Town Near You   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-traveling-salesman-bringing-abortion-bans-to-a-texas-town-near-you_n_5e4479aec5b671eafe1e3880

Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary, dies at 95   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ernesto-cardenal-nicaraguan-poet-priest-and-revolutionary-dies-at-95/2020/03/02/4baa213c-5c96-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

Ernesto Cardenal, poet and Catholic priest, still causes controversy at age 86   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ernesto-cardenal-poet-and-catholic-priest-still-causes-controversy-at-age-86/2011/05/26/AGSok0EH_story.html?itid=lk_inline_manual_26

Poet and priest who mixed religion and politics in his commitment to social justice in Nicaragua   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/06/ernesto-cardenal-obituary?

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