The Terrible Price of Sacralism...Ignorance by Design
Historically the Sacralist impulse has led to the confusion of common nation with the Kingdom of God. The nation's agenda and policy are cast in theological and redemptive terms. Conflicts with other nations are not understood as two fallen nations in a fallen world fighting over control of the City of Man, they're not understood as rival evils, competing Beast-powers. Instead it's good vs. evil, one side is white and pure while the other side is corrupted, black, and thus evil.
One side, in this case the United States becomes a manifestation of Christ's Kingdom, or at least its proxy, and thus by extension the soldiers in its army become something akin to Holy Crusaders.
Speculative theology wedded to Sacralism can generate an argument or position for any occasion. Justification for war and violence is easy enough to come up with using twisted hermeneutics applied to Old Testament Israel.
When the population is uninformed, ignorant and highly subject to propaganda then it is no great task to manufacture consent. Our world has grown very complex and we have access to information like never before, but with that access comes a double edged sword. The powers that be can be called out much easier, it's harder for them to hide things. But on the other hand, medieval kings and Roman emperors would have salivated at the prospects of using something like television to promote and sell policy. More than enough information is available for us to discern what is happening in the world, but if no one knows how to think or work it out, then it does little good.
Generally speaking it's pretty easy to take a non-aggressive impotent country and paint them as a fire-breathing aggressor, an imminent threat to the very existence of the nation wishing to start a fight. The Establishment Media (wittingly or unwittingly) in 2002-2003 helped the Bush Administration convince the public that America's existence was at stake. Iraq was going to attack any moment and so by attacking them, we were actually defending ourselves, and preventing a mushroom cloud from appearing over an American city.
An absurd argument, but it proved an easy sell in the face of not just geo-political ignorance, but hysterical fear combined with ignorance. And though few in the media actually suggested or verified the extreme scenarios proffered by the administration, the imagery worked, the fear was at work among the masses.
The powers that be even recruited some leaders of the False Church to draft and sign a letter to President Bush assuring him that attacking Iraq would be defensive and in accord with "Christian" Just War Theory. The Land Letter represented a low point for the American Church as the Southern Baptist lobbyist Richard Land, former special counsel to Nixon and unrepentant felon Chuck Colson, Dominionist D James Kennedy, and perhaps one of the worst offenders of promoting the false gospel of Cheap Grace and Easy Believism, Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright, signed a letter that twisted history, promoted heresy and encouraged a war that has resulted in hundreds of thousands dead. Pope Urban II would have been proud.
The effects of the American invasion of Iraq have not ended. It has affected the whole region and will continue to do so for at least a generation.
Rather than understand America's imperial mission over the past century and its worldwide aggression, especially ramped up since 1991... rather than work through the theological implications of what was happening, most Christians went along with it all. I wonder how far it could have gone before some of them would have really started to question what was happening? What would have happened if there had been another attack and Bush had been granted unlimited political capital for several more years?
Rather than Churches teaching Christians to have a Biblical Worldview, these same synagogues of Satan lauded and praised American 'Servicemen' as they 'served and defended our freedom' by militarily occupying dozens of countries around the world and in March of 2003, by bombing a country that had already been betrayed and ravaged by the United States for over a decade... a country that many workers within the NGO community claimed had been subject to a genocide on the part of the United States with over 1.5 million dead between 1991-2003.
We weren't liberating the Iraqis. We'd been systematically destroying their country for over a decade. The illegal no-fly zones and the sanctions had only strengthened Saddam Hussein. Few were sorry to see him go in 2003, but you're hard pressed to find any Iraqis outside of Kurdistan happy with the results of the American invasion, few that would say life is better, or that they've been liberated. The Kurds are happy to have him gone but their feelings toward American can only be mixed at best. American ally and up until recently American proxy Turkey has slaughtered the Kurds in the tens of thousands. American policy calls the Kurds in Iraq freedom fighters, but just a few miles away in Southeast Turkey, they're terrorists.
The Iraqis have not been liberated, they're the victims of Imperial policy. The 6000 American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tens of thousands of wounded and maimed are not 'serving' the people of the United States, they are pawns in a great game, an Imperial strategy dictated by American political, military and business interests.
Rather than teach the commandments of Christ, these 'churches' encouraged and still encourage their young men to shave their heads, be brainwashed, put on the uniform of death, and wage war on other nations.
And when they kill, it is justified...the dead are either guilty parties or unfortunate victims of collateral damage. There's no sin, no crime. Invading another country and killing its people is not murder, it's service. Manipulating and conquering other countries isn't theft, it's defending our freedom.
Ironically, George Bush did more than any other president in recent memory to destabilize the world order. He generated a whole generation of new enemies who wish for revenge and an opportunity to strike back at the Empire which has spread a dark cloud over much of the world. America has been at this for a long time, and when the Soviet Union fell, the lust for power only increased.
For Americans the so-called and very misnamed War on Terror has only created more terror. As a result of Imperial policy both at home and abroad we've lost freedoms and are sliding toward a police state. Despite the hopes of many very gullible people, Obama has done nothing to pull America from this path. This would not be possible if the military was not 'serving' as the muscular arm of Empire. Are these men and women in uniform serving us? Are these pawns not actually doing us harm?
They're not 'serving' us in the least, nor are they making us more free...actually their willingness to participate in evil policy, or in many cases their ignorance of what they do...is actually diminishing our freedom.
Some in a previous generation understood this when instead of cheering returning soldiers from Vietnam they jeered them. I'm not going to spit on soldiers at the airport, but I will not under any circumstance stand on applaud returning storm troopers who are destroying this nation and the world and making me less free.
Why aren't the terrorists gunning for Sweden or Switzerland? Why aren't they setting off bombs in Cambodia, Uruguay, or Botswana? Because these countries aren't out trying to conquer the world. It's funny when you leave other people alone and don't steal their land and resources, kill their children, and corrupt their culture...they don't want to fly hijacked airplanes into your buildings, which itself was an act of desperation...a guerilla attack...a flea biting an elephant, trying to get its attention, scare it off.
America is brilliant at couching its agenda in terms of benevolence, justice, and altruism. It only takes a little bit of knowledge to see what's really happening. The Bosnians needed rescuing in 1995 and the Kosovo Albanians in 1999. Look how good the Americans are. Look how caring. It couldn't be that in post-Soviet Europe America was doing everything it could to gobble up the remnants of the Soviet bloc? It couldn't be that NATO and the EU were both seeking to ensure hegemony over as much of Europe as possible while Russia was on its knees in the 1990's? It couldn't be that the United States didn't want to see Orthodox-Muslim strife spread and begin to affect other areas of Eastern Europe and reignite tensions surrounded their ally Turkey? No, it was pure altruism, because America is good and noble.
But apparently, that goodness and selflessness didn't extend to the people of Rwanda, Sudan, the Congo, Turkish Kurdistan, or North Korea? Or were there other factors, other interests or lack thereof?
Why weren't our soldiers 'serving' us there? In 1995 why was I 'serving' while I was moving bombs and missiles around to kill Serbs...but not North Koreans, or Sudanese?
I just fail to understand why the public falls for this whole line about serving and defending our freedom. Fine I understand, people weren't happy with how American soldiers were treated during the Vietnam era, but they weren't serving us or defending us there either. Was Vietnam going to attack America? The United States failed in its objectives and what happened? Aside from destabilizing the whole Indochinese region, the Americans eventually learned Communism wasn't a monolith...nationalism never went away, and from the standpoint of the Vietnamese it wasn't about International Communism, but more a case of Civil War, a people resisting an occupier. Communism in so many cases was but a vehicle for the lower classes to express nationalistic sentiment.
Here we are 37 years after Saigon was abandoned, and now Starbucks and Kentucky Fried Chicken have accomplished far more than Agent Orange.
How were the American soldiers in Vietnam serving the country?
And when they die, both then and now, they are not only heroes but martyrs. The language used is often redemptive...our life and salvation is tied to their sacrifice, they died in order that we might live. It ends up sounding blasphemous.