23 February 2014

The Shared Worldview of Albert Mohler and Bob Costas


Albert Mohler suggests that his news commentary is guided by a Christian Worldview. Every day he sets out to highlight a few stories he believes are pertinent and offer observations which will help his audience gain a more Biblical perspective on news and current events.

The Cold War was in many ways a comfortable time for Christian Conservatives. The world was pretty simple. Everything was (to them) black and white, good and evil. And of course the United States was the nation on God's side fighting the evil empire.

Christian conservatives were not alone in embracing this narrative. Most Americans embraced this in some form and the media and educational system did all it could to steer their eyes away from the truth.

The American system made it citizens fat and happy but at a great price. Around the rest of the world, proxy wars were fought, dictators supported and many social cancers were developed during that time in order to support the American model. In the name of Capitalism some of the social bedrocks (such as local economics) were subverted and the public was taught to embrace an economic and social model which basically promoted militarism.

Our society today is rooted in retail consumerism and the financial industry, but we still have one strong manufacturing sector. And that would be arms. The United States is the world leader in manufacturing and exporting armaments and this economy is closely wedded to its foreign policy. The arms themselves are but tools in the larger geo-political arsenal.

In hindsight many have seen the Cold War as something of a farce, a cruel and unnecessary trick that empowered and enriched many people and led to unwarranted suffering and destruction in the process. But others unwilling to question the Establishment and the philosophical outlook which has shaped their lives have been left floundering. The supposed victory of 1989-91 has left some wondering what to do next.

Power players will even admit this and grant that in a unipolar world the United States (or any empire) needs enemies. Tensions are healthy for those who seek power and wish to profit from it. In the 1990's, Somalia and the Serbs didn't really do the trick. Al Qaeda filled in for about a decade but is waning in its grip of fear on the public. But these are small tension-models. George Bush tried to turn the war on Al Qaeda into something global. The war has really been on the American people and has provided a blueprint for the militarization of society.

A larger macro-model is needed and not a few policy planners and commentators have been pushing for what will in effect be a new Cold War.

The need for tension has shifted attention and policy toward China but some have found a much more familiar and perhaps convenient venue. The new villain is Vladimir Putin of Russia.

While certainly not a wholesome character, he has for many Russians been the leader they were looking for. Of course I would suggest that no world leaders are wholesome or moral but that's a point most Americans would reject. Many citizens of this country venerate their presidents even though they have a long track record of moral ambiguity, hypocrisy and worse.

In fact I would be part of the camp that would view the American presidency as a study in evil. I cannot think of a single one that I would regard in any way as being some sort of model of leadership or moral standing. Some are certainly worse than others, but the notion of a 'good' president let alone a 'great' president is something (I would argue) completely alien to a Biblically shaped worldview.

A few lone voices mostly outside the United States decried American policy in the 1990's, especially as it was directed toward Russia. A few more brave voices decried America's policies during the Cold War. These policies which must be described as Imperial have not changed. In fact they have only grown worse over the past decade.

Putin's actions must be seen in light of American actions during the 1990's. Many thinkers (even those with chips in the game) do not accept the American narrative concerning Reagan and the end of the Cold War. Rather the Russian system imploded, and while it was trying to regain its feet the Americans did everything they could to destroy them.

At that point it was not the Soviets they were kicking, but the Russian people.

The United States collaborated in the destruction of the Russian economy, and geopolitically sought to destroy Russia's traditional spheres of operation. The United States did all it could to reduce Russia to being a Third World nation. This was not mere revenge or a victory dance. This was a process in setting the United States up as a global power and a force at work within the continent of Asia.

Many Americans have felt right at home learning to hate the Russians anew. Putin is cast as a dictator. This charge is levied by people who know nothing of Russia's history or political situation, let alone its recent troubles under Yeltsin.

Russia is excoriated and cast as an aggressor simply because it won't let the United States do what it wants to do. America has been using its various tools (NATO, the EU, the UN, Multinational Capitalism etc...) to box Russia in and completely eliminate its ability to function.

It is not Russia that is the aggressor, but the United States.

Russia is cursed for supporting the Assad regime in Syria when the average American commentator is unable to explain both the demographic and political issues within Syria, Russia's interest in the conflict, nor American action within the region. The problems are deeper than simply declaring here's a bad dictatorship and bad Putin supports them.

The public is in even greater ignorance and completely subjugated to the media narrative. It's unfortunate but in this grouping I would also include the Christian Commentators of the Establishment. They have repeatedly demonstrated their adherence to the same general framework in their conflation of the interests of the American Church with American Patriotism and Military expansion. In fact the American Church is often worse and more aggressive.

The only reason there has been some hesitation with regard to Syria is because the president is Barack Obama. Some are war weary and a bit sceptical after the debacle in Iraq and all the lies that went with it. But I am confident and have no doubts that if George Bush was the president and wanted to go into Syria he would be solidly supported by the American Church.



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