Posted by: shannynmoore | October 23, 2012

An Unholy Alliance

By Shannyn Moore for the Anchorage Daily News

Someone called me a communist this week.

Pop Moore was a teacher and principal at Nikolaevsk, a Russian village near Homer, from 1970 until 1992. My mother taught school there. I grew up hearing stories from Old Believers who had escaped Soviet communism, about barns full of men, women and children burned to death for not renouncing their faith. I saw handwritten holy books that had been strapped to the heads of men swimming across rivers into China to escape, before China went communist.

I was about as tall as the post office counter when a clerk said to Pop, “You still working with those commies? I sure am tired of my tax money going to that school out there.”

Pop reached in his pocket and pulled out a handful of change. “This should cover your contribution to their education.” He turned to leave, stopped and said, “They’d be on the front line to fight communism coming here. They actually know what it is.”

The Old Believers knew communists didn’t believe in the separation of church and state — Russian churches had to serve the state. I eventually came to understand that the separation of church and state is what protects us from a government that wants to tell us whether or how to worship.

Our founders wanted to make sure we never had an American version of the Church of England. Theocracies are not all that different from communism. They are every bit as controlling. A nonexistent threat of theocracy has stampeded state lawmakers across the country to introduce “No Sharia Law” bills — a paranoid fantasy of Muslim bogeymen under every bed.

It drives me crazy when politicians use religion to push their agendas, or when the venal twist faith for political expediency or the ignorant to support their prejudices.

As a frightening example of the latter, consider Arkansas Republican Rep. Loy Mauch, who wrote, “If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it?”

I guess the exodus of slaves from Egypt wasn’t enough of an anti-slavery story for him. (I’m no Bible expert, but wasn’t there something about the Nile turning to blood, clouds of locusts, dead first-born children and a call to “Let my people go!”)

I learned in Mrs. Harris’ Sunday school class about the day Jesus walked into a temple where the investment bankers and Wall Street tycoons of the time were ripping people off. Jesus got mad.

I loved that story because I always thought getting angry was a sin. And good thing, because I’m experiencing some righteous anger.

Last week an unholy alliance between church and state had a party. Gov. Sean Parnell headlined a benefit for a shape-shifting “religious” organization that spends most of its time obsessing over free-range uteruses and “curing” the gays. The melding of Alaska’s “religious right” with its “fiscal conservatives” is now a done deal. (Personally, I don’t find the religious right to be either, and there’s nothing conservative about giving away $2 billion to oil companies in exchange for a guarantee of precisely zero new oil production.)

A poster of the Koch brothers greeted attendees. Jim Minnery of the Alaska Family Council and its new overtly political arm, Alaska Family Action, explained that the two organizations had identical boards and were both run by Minnery. Now, with a flip of the light switch they can go from “religious” group to “political” group.

Tricky! Hey, 38 other states had figured it out and now ours has too.

The event was to raise money to buy access to a new database sold by the reactionary Koch Brothers. The database actually marries church records and Internet shopping histories to better target voters likely to oppose — in the present case — the Alaska Senate Bipartisan Working Group. Minnery explained that this little invasion of privacy was for “the Glory of God and to get conservatives in power.”

The governor and Minnery want nothing to do with Sharia law, unless it’s their own flavor (which of course is the way every theocracy operates). All these two lack are the turbans.

So they’ll be buying and selling your personal information to try to get you to vote against senators who have risked their political careers to protect the interests of every Alaskan.

Parnell and Minnery are inviting the money-changing Koch Brothers right into the temple, doing all they can to ensure that the rich get richer at the expense of the rest of us.



Shannyn Moore can be heard weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. on KOAN 1020 AM and 95.5 FM radio. Her weekly TV show can be seen Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. statewide on ABC affiliates KYUR Channel 13 in Anchorage, KATN Fairbanks and KJUD Juneau.





  1. OH.MY.GOD!

    Those slimy Kochs got in! There goes Alaska…

    Mad Angel on FB

  2. Great article.

  3. Exceptional article. I appreciate all of your wonderful insights.

  4. SHANNON, Pease keep us enraged and engaged in these conversations, you ignite and address this topic with knowledge and powerful words…
    church and state, my goodness people….when does this thought ever go out of your minds….john kennedy did it for his speech way back in the 60*s, i was a young teen…… have people ( under what ever dome you go to on wat ever day of the week you go to that dome) become so dummied by the word of the man speaking at the front of the dome that NOW that man is telling you how to vote and where to put your money? i am amazed that the sermon of each week will contain more about who to vote for than, love your fellow man and love your neighbor etc etc..Where has this dome taken people? Is this a reality of life and full fillment ? I am surprised that when the dome had its rightful place helping the poor and getting people together to help each other get introduced to a new area new country…a welcome and nice to meet you and those days are far and few now…. its a welcome alright…but how much $$$ do you make and how can you help us get our local mayor elected and volunteer to get us more $$ ….Its oh so lost, and i am sure there are some domes that are helpful but why must we sign a pledge to give our $$ and follow the rules of said dome. i am stunned.

    Having the rich wind bags coming to a town you live in with giant bill boards
    to tell you who to vote for.?? people, if you have any kind of a mind…and thoughts of who you are…… No one NO one needs to even pay attention to these types of adverts….the rich wind bags have the $$$ and this is all they can do as they know they just want the BIG $$ guy in the white house to pass the BILLS THEY WANT….so wake up folks and lean forward and look at where YOU want the 21st century to go…..

    good luck and VOTE…

  5. My God you are good! Please keep it up. The people that are so fearful of Pres. Obama turning US into a socialist nation seem to have no problem promoting the Kochs and a plutocracy.
    Keep religion in the heart and out of my government.

  6. Killer article. Love it. I posted it to FB from ADN.

    I’ve not “Liked” your page simply for campaign reasons. But I did sign up for the emails. Will do the FB thing after Nov. 6.

    Thanks for what you do. It’s important.

    And, I hope this finds you well.

  7. It’s fascinating to see the growth of Freemarket Fundamentalism. By the standards of Koch&Co America was communist throughout the cold war, and anything that prevents them from running roughshod over the nation is pure heresy. Too many folks have been jumping on their cult and oit’s a damned shame to see it happen.

  8. To people like the Koch’s, anyone that doesn’t put money before everything are anti capitalist, commie, socialists. I’m not sure which I fear most. The Christian Taliban or the growing plutocracy. Either way the America that we know is in jeopardy.

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