Ironies of History, Current Events, and Strong Delusion
So why do I prefer the label of Proto-protestantism? Because I don't wish to identify with many aspects of what happened during and as a result of the Reformation. I remember being rather proud of my Reformed heritage and talking with a couple of ex-Amish guys outside of a supermarket. We were talking a little theology and history. They know very well how their forebears were treated by the Protestants. And they know that they are excoriated within the Reformed Creeds. I remember feeling not so proud of my faction when I considered they murdered and waged war in the name of the Kingdom of Christ and sought to destroy the ancestors of these men. They did the very same things that the Roman Catholics had done to them and to the Underground. The Reformation has a Beastial political legacy as well.
When I see the little woodcuts of Anabaptists being drowned by Protestants…I think of modern Israel.
Starting with Herzl but coming with purpose after Auschwitz, backed by the then and still American dominated UN, they took the Palestinian's land. Their claim to it was no more valid than we Americans of English ancestry would have claim to Normandy or Schleswig-Holstein. Since 1967, they have the Palestinians locked up in ghettoes and the settlers cry for more settlements so they can take more land. More Lebensraum. It's true. History is sometimes stranger than fiction. Israel today is a tragedy. They of all people were the most to be pitied and yet who now in the name of justice cannot help but despise them and what they do? They treat the Palestinians like they were treated. I tremble to think what they would do, if the world wasn't watching. I've heard some Dispensationalists say some pretty startling things about what the Israelis should do to the Palestinians. History is stranger than fiction.
I think of one man I used to know…simple and kind hearted, he had come to Christ and wanted to live for God, change his family, and they way he thought about things. He had become a child of the Kingdom.
What does he do now? He's joined with the Sacralist Constitution Party, he's running for office, writing letters to the paper to defend Christian America…attack those liberals. He wants to be a mover and a shaker. He took off one yoke to be free and put on another.
I think of Pennsylvania, the haven for those trying to escape European Sacralism. And now, the man I mentioned in the Constitution party…that's his home. That's the legacy, and now for me to advocate the position of the original anti-sacralist sects, I am no Christian at all apparently! He's the one defending William Penn's vision! This is what America was all about, the Sacralist vision. I'm an enemy because I won't sign onto their Kingdom principle. We're Gnostics, enemies to the church. I will admit the views are in such diametric opposition, someone is not just wrong….someone has misread the Bible on a massive scale. You can't make this stuff up, it's like a science fiction novel.
Speaking of Israel, we're told that our left-wing media is pro-Palestinian. Yet when I watch the news I find clips of screaming Palestinians often made to look foolish and ruffianly…and the one Israeli guy who has a bottle rocket land in his yard gets a human interest story. Gilad Shalit is an Israeli held in captivity by the Palestinians. A constant news item.
And yet the fact that the Israelis hold thousands of Palestinians in jails…and Gaza is the largest most densely populated prison-Ghetto on the planet…largely ignored. The Palestinian people are portrayed as terrorists and the Israelis as reasonable…and the true story of what's happening there is never told. Somehow this Middle Eastern Superpower with their American jets, helicopters, tanks, bombs, financial and political backing is portrayed as this victimized and altruistic bastion of liberty. While the Palestinians with their starvation, deprivation, incarceration, fighting with naught but bottle rockets and kids throwing rocks most of the time are somehow the aggressors. Have they gone and blown themselves up? Absolutely, and if I wasn't a Christian with an ethic to hold me back, I probably would as well. If you bother to look into the plight of these people and what they have endured, it is heartbreaking. Gaza may not be a Treblinka, a death camp, but it is just shy of a Dachau, a concentration camp. It is obscene. People are dying every day from deprivation.
And what do you find, what sort of people are they? Criminals? Do you find women in chador and religious fanatics?...there are some. More than a few have been made by the Israeli's actions. What's amazing is you find teenage boys with spiked hair and cell phones, girls with posters of Miley Cyrus on their crumbling walls. Women with rather modernist notions, and men that just want to live and support their families, see the children go to school, and have some hope. They're people. Lost people, but no more or less than the Israeli's. Bear with me...
I'm not talking about conspiracy news…I'm talking about stories that all other international news channels cover, but American networks ignore or downplay. From my perspective which is shared by many in the international community the American media is completely pro-Israel in its coverage. And since Israel's ability to function in the middle east is dependent on American backing, it makes perfect sense that the American public is to be kept in a degree of ignorance and oriented in a general manner toward if not a pro-Israel position, at least neutrality. Many reporters have talked of this…how a newsroom or organization they had previously worked for suppressed news about Israel or edited stories to make them look better.
Who are the biggest cheerleaders for Israel in the United States?…Christians. Christians who either hold to a heretical theology regarding Israel…
or Christo-Americans who identify the threat to the Church in geo-political categories and culture war. The threat right now in 2010 include: Muslims, illegal immigrants and Nancy Pelosi…..
They’re not a problem for the church. The problem, the threat, is from the likes of Pat Robertson, Falwell, and Colson.
Sacralist commitments not only shape how the church views the world…they've even left a legacy in our culture that we've got lost people reporting the news with Sacralist tendencies or sometimes to appease the Sacralist audience. The culture Sacralism has created, and the corporate and political machine which it has contributed to has created a climate in which we, the public are not told the truth, and it's largely because we want our version of it. We are more than a little guilty for what's happening in Palestine right now. We, the citizens are more than a little guilty for a great many evils in the world. Others have tried to tell us with violence, with dramatic terroristic display. Poor fools, they don't understand how the American mind works. That won't get through to people here....
This is strong delusion at work.
This really struck me around the time of the Iraq invasion in March of 2003. I had been monitoring the Iraq issue since the nineties and had come to the conclusion as did many in the UN and various international NGO's that the post Gulf War policies of the United States toward Iraq were illegal and arguably genocidal. I'm familiar with the geopolitics and history of the region and sat in incredulity as throughout 2002 I watched Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Powell, completely fabricate the basis for an invasion. And who cheered them on? Christians. Richard Land even put together a letter and got other evangelicals to sign it urging Bush to invade and sanctioned it according to the Sacralist theory of Just War.
I remember saying in the summer of 2002 as did many others…there are no WMD's…Saddam has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or 9/11…and they will not greet Americans as liberators. The Kurds will be happy to have the Americans oust Saddam but they've been betrayed by the Americans too many times to trust them. It happened in 1975 with the American backed Shah and it happened in 1991. You are going to alienate your ally Turkey. The Shia in the south won't miss Saddam, but they don't want the American's there. The Sunni will fight to the death…and they did for awhile, until the American's paid them to quit. Now they are just waiting.
And where was I getting my information from? Well since I haven't had television for about fifteen years I get my news from international sources and domestically…usually from NPR, and of course I read books. Now the funny part is during the build up to the Iraq invasion I would go the websites of CNN and FOX and they were obviously pro-America, pro-war. NPR, the supposed liberal one, was also pro-America, pro-war…but was the only major domestic outlet that was even giving some voice to the opposition, although they gave many neo-cons free passes in weak interviews.
Then later we listened to Bush warn about pulling out of Iraq, and he drew parallels to the Vietnam withdrawal and how that led to the Khmer Rouge ascendancy in Cambodia. I wanted to scream.
The Khmer Rouge was able to take power in Cambodia because America had so severely bombed the country that the movement gained support. It didn't help that Cambodia was being ruled by an American proxy, Lon Nol. So the people there had every reason to rise up in 1975 join with Pol Pot, and march on the capital. Then things got so bad in Cambodia that the newly unified and ascendant Vietnam invaded the country in 1978 to throw out their fellow communist Khmer Rouge. Communist movements in the Middle East and Asia have always been misrepresented in our media right down to today. I'm not saying the Communists are good, not for a second. But they are portrayed monolithically when in fact the communism is often just a rallying point for poorer people to express nationalism against an oppressor. It's people revolution, and culture war against the ruling class values and often their tools. Sacralism exists in other cultures. Other people, even lost ones see it, and yes, they sign on to ideologies that will help them overthrow it. The difference is, they have no gospel or Kingdom vision to substitute, so they come up with some other false gospel.
The Vietnamese weren't fighting for the ideals of Marx. They were trying to get a foreign power out of their land. When they attacked Cambodia it was to end the insanity and destabilizing effect it was having on the region, the legacy of French and American colonialism.
The Khmer Rouge were actual fanatical communists applying the doctrine in a harsh Asian literalistic manner. So when the Vietnamese drove them out and the Khmer Rouge took to the jungle, what happened? America backed the Khmer Rouge. They gave them aid. They even maneuvered in the UN to allow the Khmer Rouge to keep the seat in the General Assembly as the legitimate government of Cambodia. Why? Because they liked Pol Pot? No, because they were trying to thwart the Vietnam that had defeated them. If that isn't Realpolitik, what is? And yet, the Christians were so offended at Kissinger's version, but who was the American ruler while we were backing Pol Pot in the jungle? Ronald Reagan. So under the administration of the Christo-american hero, US tax dollars were supporting not just the death squads and wars in Central America, both sides of the Iran-Iraq proxy war in the Middle East, mujahidin like Hekmatyar, whom we are today fighting against in Afghanistan… but even Pol Pot in the jungles of Cambodia. Wow, that is something to be really proud of.
I ask again…strong delusion? Why are the Christians the most duped people in American Culture? Oh, we're not duped, we're on to the liberal media…..we know they're trying to fool us right?
But then George Bush, the Christian president is going to stand up and have the audacity to suggest that pulling out of Vietnam LED to the Khmer Rouge? And draw comparisons with the Iraq situation? Where was the liberal media? They should have been all over him. What an outrageous gaffe, what a prevarication, what an embarrassing incident. Where was the protest? There was silence.
The media in America is not liberal or conservative. It's pro-establishment. It tilts a little left-center on social issues but is pretty hard right when it comes to American foreign policy and especially since Vietnam it is off the scale to the right (as in fascist zone) when it comes to the military.
George Bush got more or less a free pass from the media. Bill Clinton was raked over the coals for his past life and evangelical Ken Starr led the charge…with another hero of the Christians…Newt Gingrich, who was in an adulterous affair at the time. And yet, Newt's back with us again hanging around the perimeter, ready to sign back on if he can, and who do you think will support him?
So am I saying I am a democrat? If you think that, you've not understood me. I'm saying the whole thing from top to bottom is completely rotten, and the biggest supporters, dupes, and buffoons in the whole apparatus are the Christians. And, I'm trying to argue there are theological reasons for this.