Sunday, February 26, 2006

Christendom Prepares For Another "Hurricane Of The World"

Interesting thoughts from The Dark Age Blog. It highlights traditional Christendom's inability to forgo violence in a last gasp at the beginning of the modern 20th century. Within Christendom today it is the adherents of fundamentalist Rapture theory who support unleashing the dogs of war in a tragic attempt to maintain power and influence. Note that he correctly points out that Fukyama was wrong its not the "End of History" but the end of Christendom.

from The Dark Age blog
Spirit of Storm, Hurricane of the World
by longsword

The First World War occurred because a dying age did not know how to end itself in time. Not knowing how to end itself in time, it took the only option open to it -- fire, violence, conflagration, and twilight of the gods. A French general at the time, upon hearing that war had broken out, intuited its meaning and called it "suicide of Europe". He was almost right. It was really the suicide of the Modern Age. The Second World War was only a continuation of this process of Modernity's self-annihilation. All the "sterling" values of the Victorian Age, the Modern Age, were swept away in an orgy of nihilism. All its contradictions collided, not to produce a new "synthesis", but like the meeting of matter and anti-matter, annihilating each other. It was, in some respects, a mediocre age in any case. Warning signs had not been lacking. Samuel Butler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Dickens had mapped its hypocrisies and its disintegration and decadence well before the war. Nietzsche, however, presciently forecast what had to come as its fate -- the result of a culture unable to sustain itself or its contradictions. And Yeats wrote his great poem "The Second Coming" at the conclusion of the Great War in recognition of this fact: that the era of the First Coming, the Christian Era, Christendom, was finished. The Great War was only "two thousand years vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle". Only the lifeless corpses and the dead forms of its passing remain in the guise of our contemporary institutions, like zombies who also do not know how to die at the right time. It is called "whipping dead horses". Only now, in hindsight, can we recognise the meaning of the early years of the last century. The sins of the Fathers are visited down to the third and fourth generations. We, who are of the third and fourth generations, are at the tail end of this process of Modernity's exhaustion and self-annihilation. Even as this Spirit of Storm and this Hurricane of the World rages through the age at this "End of History", other forces have been slowly gathering strength, completely overlooked by Fukuyama, amongst others. The period immediately preceding and following the First World War are distinguished also by the gradual emergence of a new consciousness. It marks, for example, the ascendency of Nietzsche's life philosophy with its antipathy to "modern ideas" and its contempt for the bigotry of the single "point of view", which comes also to expression in the art of Pablo Picasso with his "cubist" deconstruction of perspectival consciousness. With the emergence of quantum theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Einsteinian relativity theory, it also marks the end of the hegemony of "classical physics", of Newtonian "single vision", and of the Cartesian "cogito". Carl Jung stunned his classically trained peers with his notion (regretable in some ways) of a "collective unconscious". Today, in every field of scientific endeavour, paradox and indeterminacy is the rule of the realm. The very phrase "classical" is a judgement on the Newton-Cartesian paradigm's growing impertinence for our self-understanding or for organising our consciousness of reality. In every field of young endeavour we see the collapse of what Blake called the "single vision". Yet the habits and defects of thought and an institutionalised false consciousness persist as dead formula and empty dogma and ritual -- even as neoliberalism, neosocialism, neoconservatism and, yes, environmental neo-primitivism. John Zerzan's neo-paganism is as much the child of a dying age as Adam Smith, Rene Descartes, or Karl Marx. I also count it as profoundly significant that recently, in Britian, William Blake's unflattering caricature of Sir Isaac Newton was selected as the model for a sculpture of the great man that now stands outside a new Museum of Science and Technology. The new scientist, apparently, has a sense of humour and a touch for the ironic. What unites these new forces is a holistic vision of reality, still in formation, as a transcendence of the limitations of perspectivism, the single vision, and the purely analytical mode of consciousness. Likewise all fundamentalisms (economism, "globalisation", scientism, religionism, modernism) which are also dead formula and hollow dogma, and which confuse totality for wholism. This is not to say anything new. Many have already realised this. Jean Gebser called the new global consciousness "aperspectival consciousness" or "integral consciousness" (also, Haridas Chaudhuri). Aurobindo called it "Supramental" consciousness. Nietzsche knew it as the mode of consciousness realisation of the overman. Others have called it "holistic consciousness" (Willis Harmon), "global consciousness", "ecological mind", "ecodynamic consciousness" (Rosenstock-Huessy), transhumanism, and so on. It goes by many names. In broad theme, holistic consciousness is ecological (which is something more than simply "environmentalism"). I will never tire of warning against this absolutely worst form of confusion, that of taking "total" and "whole" as being synonymous, since the first is a justification for all fundamentalisms and totalitarianisms. One should not confuse what are the remnants of a dead and dying age with what is vital and is a real principle of renewal and transformation. The dominant trend today is still fatalistic and nihilist, and it often misleads the unvigilant into evolutionary dead ends. Suspicion and mistrust of anything that claims itself "new" and "revolutionary", such as the "neo" ideologues and "new age" and all old growth that smothers out new growth, is still warranted. I advocate only mindfulness. The delusions, the hypocrisies, the propagandas, and the mendacities of our time is sometimes beyond belief, amounting to no more than shadows without substance and the weight of a dead hand. We need no more evidence that the old mode of consciousness has become a force for death, decay, annihilation and self-annihilation in the world than to know that more people died from war in the last century than in all previous wars of history combined, that we are now precipitating the sixth extinction event, that our environment is dying. With our own eyes and ears we see this. And seeing this, it is hard for us not to conclude that this catastrophe is linked to a mode of consciousness that has become deficient and false in its expression, that no longer even understands the difference between what is living and what dead, or what is good and what evil. Yet, it is this same spirit that the great physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer recognised when he witnessed the explosion of the first atomic bomb, and recalling the words of the Hindu god Vishnu, recited to himself "Now, I am become Death, destroyer of worlds".

Friday, February 24, 2006

Right-Wing Evangelicals And War In Iraq

This is the fruit of centuries of falling away from the truth. Christendom's right-wing evangelicals distort bible truth for political power.
Excerpts from the February 24, 2006 article "The Brutal Christ of the Armageddonites: Religious fanaticism in American foreign policy"
by Jon Basil Utley

A few educated evangelicals, however, are now questioning where their brethren are trying to take America. In January, the New York Times carried a piece by Charles Marsh, a self-declared evangelical, about how many ministers agitated for war on Iraq, even telling their congregations that it would help expedite biblical prophecy. Eighty-seven percent of white evangelical Christians supported the attack, and some even linked Saddam Hussein with wicked King Nebuchadnezzar of Biblical fame. Marsh:"Recently, I took a few days to reread the war sermons delivered by influential evangelical ministers during the lead up to the Iraq war. That period, from the fall of 2002 through the spring of 2003, is not one I will remember fondly. Many of the most respected voices in American evangelical circles blessed the president's war plans, even when doing so required them to recast Christian doctrine."Charles Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, whose weekly sermons are seen by millions of television viewers, led the charge with particular fervor. 'We should offer to serve the war effort in any way possible,' said Mr. Stanley, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 'God battles with people who oppose him, who fight against him and his followers.' … "Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the hugely popular 'Left Behind' series, spoke of Iraq as 'a focal point of end-time events,' whose special role in the earth's final days will become clear after invasion, conquest, and reconstruction. For his part, Jerry Falwell boasted that 'God is pro-war' in the title of an essay he wrote in 2004."The common theme is that America must do God's work, which is surely the sin of pride for real Christians. One of the "Left Behind" characters muses about how the few survivors in America after Christ's bloody return could "start rebuilding the country as, finally for real, a Christian nation." Their desire to violently reshape society brings us full circle back to Stalin, Pol Pot, and other secular horsemen of the apocalypse.

Marsh concludes,"What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness."Many influential evangelicals reject the Armageddon agenda. For example, Tim Wildmon's American Family Association's magazine, in its review of a movie about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, notes "the futility of Christian efforts to build the kingdom of heaven here on earth.""Such a 'war of the cross' should strike Christians as a contradiction in terms. A literal war in the name of Jesus – a 'Christian war' – is an oxymoron, like 'hateful Christian.' Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world, otherwise His followers would draw swords to defend Him – and presumably the kingdom itself (John 18:36)."The large World magazine doesn't promote the "Left Behind" mentality, and non-evangelical leaders of the religious Right also disagree with dispensationalism. One of the first critics to write about the phenomenon was Gary North. The Armageddonites, despite their self-proclaimed goodness, are a brutal, ignorant, and vengeful people. They have also become a major force dragging America to the abyss of endless war, a domestic police state (they care little for constitutional freedoms), financial ruin, and the enmity of the world.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Can A Genuine Christian Be A Soldier?

Lawrence Vance over at Lew Rockwell does not think so. Here is his review of Mansfields "The Faith of the American Soldier"

Can a Christian be a soldier? Stephen Mansfield thinks he can, and tells us so in his new book,The Faith of theAmerican Soldier (Tarcher/Penguin, 2005). But are the two "callings" compatible? Does the combination not rather lead to a cognitive dissonance from which there is no escape Mansfield is a former pastor whose "love of things military has moved him to earn a master’s degree in history and public policy and a doctorate in history and literature." This love of the military runs in his family, for we are also told in "About the Author" that "members of his family have been fighting for their country since the American Revolution." To write this book, dozens of "men and women who have heroically served in their country’s wars" were interviewed. Mansfield and "his research team" visited the battlefields of Iraq, "the plain" of West Point, the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and the headquarters of USCENTCOM at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The author has also written books about two war criminals: Britain’s Winston Churchill (Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill [Cumberland House Publishing, 2002]) and our own George WMD Bush (The Faith of George W. Bush [Tarcher/Penguin, 2003]). Mansfield introduces his book with the account of Lance Corporal James Gault cutting an Iraqi insurgent in half "almost exactly at the waist" with his .50 caliber machine gun. Gault watched in shock as "the man’s torso tilted forward, left his lower half, and fell to the street." But then we are presented with a paradox: "James Gault is a Christian and a warrior." Mansfield says of Gault: "He has killed, and he will kill again. In fact, he believes ‘the bad guys have to die.’ To kill in a righteous cause is what Gault has come to Iraq to do, and he does not shrink from the charge." But then we read that "Gault is also a Christian, a man who believes that Jesus is God, that He rose from the dead, and that the Bible is the truth of God for all men." Gault is a Christian killer. The fact that he attended church before he deployed to Iraq and heard his pastor exhort the congregation to pray "for our young hero while he is overseas" doesn’t change anything. And neither is anything different because Gault’s pastor, his family, and the leaders of his church laid their hands on his shoulders and prayed that God would make his hands skillful to battle the Lord’s enemies. Gault is still a Christian killer. Ripping a man in half perplexes our man Gault: "He knows he is a follower of Jesus, and he knows that he is called to be a Marine, but the violence he unleashed leaves him needing assurance that he has killed in a righteous cause, that his country is doing the will of God in Iraq." Gault is tormented. He wants his chaplain to tell him that "our enemies are the enemies of God." He wants someone to explain to him "how this is a war between good and evil." Gault needs to know that he is "a servant of Jesus." He needs to be sure that he is "a soldier of Christ." Gault is not alone. There are thousands of Christians who have faced the same dilemma. Christians in the military who can bomb, maim, and kill for the state without thinking twice about it have a seriously defective form of Christianity. Christian soldiers who reason that it is not for them to judge whether a war is just or unjust are deceiving themselves. "Soldiers must know, in clear terms," says Mansfield, "not only why they fight but also if their cause is just." Unfortunately, however, Mansfield never addresses these questions. He aims to explore and celebrate "the religious nature of America’s military heritage" while cautioning us that "this is not to be confused, though, with a celebration of war. Only the immoral or the deformed of soul can exalt war itself, with all of the grinding horrors that it brings." But can "America’s military heritage" and "a celebration of war" be separated? Not when the true nature of this heritage is one of invasion, imperialism, oppression, interventionism, hegemony, belligerency, bellicosity, jingoism, death, and destruction – things never associated by Mansfield with "America’s military heritage." The book fails to deliver on another point as well. According to the dust jacket: "New York Times-bestselling author Stephen Mansfield surveys America’s wars from a religious and theological perspective in order to understand the theological framing and spiritual rationale for each, where they came from, and what effect they had on behavior on the battlefield." Since the book has no index, I have carefully gone through it searching for references to the American wars that the author is supposed to survey. The results are disappointing. Aside from the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are references to fourteen conflicts (the only declared wars in U.S. history were the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American war, WWI, & WWII). Most of these references have nothing to do with surveying the war "from a religious and theological perspective." Mentioned one time each, but just in passing, is the Pequot War of 1637, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, the war "to win the American West," and the conflict in Kosovo. The Korean War is mentioned twice. The first time is just a passing reference. The second occasion consists of one paragraph in which Mansfield says that the war had a religious dimension because "the Communist forces of North Korea took pride in publicly persecuting missionaries and desecrating churches" and "subjected captured American chaplains to horrendous torture." The Civil War also comes up twice. The first time is likewise just a passing reference. Four and a half pages are then devoted to accounts of chaplains during the conflict. The Gulf War is cited as the place where "the first hint on the battlefield that a new brand of warrior was seeking a vital faith in the field." It is also mentioned one more time in the context of anti-Semitism. There are three references to the American Revolutionary War if we count the mention of someone fighting "under George Washington." The second mention is of "minutemen in the American Revolution." There are three pages about pastors and chaplains during the American Revolution – hardly a survey of one of America’s wars "from a religious and theological perspective." The conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia, merits four references; however, none of them consist of more than a bare mention of the place.

The Vietnam War comes up on five occasions. It is mentioned in passing three times. Russell’s father "had been a ranger in Vietnam." Vietnam vets were spit on. POWs in Vietnam had courage. The only thing of substance is a discussion of chaplains in the Vietnam War that takes up two pages. Mansfield brings up World War I six times. Twice we are told that a certain man’s father had been a chaplain in World War I. Two other times we are told something else about chaplains. World War I is just causally mentioned the other two times. That’s it. World War II is mentioned seven times. The "ghost of a soldier" from World War II would be amazed at the technology used in modern warfare. A soldier’s uncles fought in World War II. Others fought in World War II. The essential role of the chaplain was recognized "by the advent of World War II." During the war, "The chaplains’ corps ballooned from a few hundred to nearly ten thousand." This leaves one reference of substance to World War II. Mansfield devotes six pages to the account of the American transport ship Dorchester and its four military chaplains. Mansfield’s book is a fraud. It no more "surveys America’s wars from a religious and theological perspective" than the Secretary of Defense pays attention to the number of dead Iraqis. So what is The Faith of the American Soldier about? What is the point the author is trying to get across? Mansfield says that the book is "the product of a search for the meaning of the American warrior code and the faith that gave it birth." Because he considers a nation’s "warrior code" to be "an extension of its soul, the embodiment of its highest ideals," the "guiding dream" of the book is "to understand that code and to honor it as the distilled greatness of a people."

This is gobbledygook. Each of the book’s five chapters contains vignettes of soldiers in Iraq, with a religious element, interspersed with some historical references and psychobabble. The message of the book can be reduced to this: Some American soldiers have been religious, many are religious right now, and others need to be more religious. The first chapter introduces us to the Millennials – the generation who came of age around the dawn of the new century. The Millennial is "better informed about his world than any generation that has been called upon to fight its nation’s wars." He is a "new brand of warrior." Millennials serving in the military in Iraq "take hold of religion as much as any army had in the nation’s history." Their "unique approach to religion" is "changing American at war." Their religion is characterized by an "unchurched faith" that rejects "the structures, doctrines, and standards of traditional faith in pursuit of spiritual experience, loving community, and stories that have power to define their lives." Mansfield explains that Millennials are eager for spirituality but suspicious of institutions, hungry for truth but bored by systematics, inspired by stories but repelled by standards, desperate for religious experience but put off by religious style, hoping for spiritual family but disgusted by empty conformity, longing for God but wondering if he is there. The spirituality of the Millennials is "perfectly suited for adaptation to the battlefield." It is utilitarian, pragmatic, eclectic, and experimental. The second chapter begins with the story of the Shield of Strength carried by many American soldiers – a "God and Country" trinket with a picture of the American flag and the words "One Nation Under God" on one side and the modified words of a Scripture verse on the other. Mansfield calls it "almost the classic Millennial military icon." He claims that it is "the emblem most often carried by members of the military in Afghanistan and Iraq." The amazing diversity of the faith of Christian soldiers is the next theme Mansfield picks up. But they have a "new brand of faith," one that is "more effective in meeting the needs of soldiers than traditional chapel services." This "new brand of faith" results in some strange "Christian" activities like a tank crew quoting aloud the Scripture they have memorized. I wonder what Scriptures they would quote while they were cutting a man in half like the Lance Corporal at the beginning of the book? Isn’t it wonderful that the Christian American soldier today can listen to a sermon from his home church on his iPod or watch his favorite preacher on a mini-DVD player? A "simplistic, one-answer-fits-all kind of spirituality" is out and a "working, experience-oriented, ‘real’ religion" is in. But still the soldiers seek out the chaplains: "What do I want? Sir, I wanna’ know that Jesus is in my Humvee." This assurance is provided by various rituals: praying, saying a blessing, reciting a confession, listening to worship music, making the sign of the cross over a Humvee, and, of course, carrying the Shield of Strength. But after all this, Mansfield ends on a sad note: The diverse faith of the Millennials "cannot be relied upon to guide the conduct of warriors in any meaningful way." The Millennials "informal faith" leads to a "variety of warrior codes" that result in "an unevenness if not an inconsistency to the conduct of warriors in the field."The third chapter is about those "men of cloth and steel" – military chaplains. Mansfield considers them "among the noblest figures in the field." He compares them to the priests of Israel leading the Jews into battle, but also to priests in Roman armies sacrificing animals and reading their entrails. Military chaplains are said to be the successors of the colonial fighting parsons – pastors who led militias into battle. The reader is led to believe that the chaplains of today are doing a great service to the country like those who served under George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Mansfield writes as if all the wars that America has been involved in are created equal: "Chaplains continued to earn respect during the wars to win the American West and the Spanish-American War." It doesn’t matter how unjust the cause, chaplains serve the Lord by ministering to the troops. Thus, Mansfield can laud "one bold chaplain" who constantly urged Marines "courage in their task by quoting scriptures and praying aloud" as he accompanied them on their mission – going door to door looking for insurgents in Fallujah. Chaplains who do have doubts about the justness of a particular war certainly aren’t free to express their opinion, as Mansfield’s account of a private questioning his chaplain shows: I went to a chaplain and asked if he thought God was on our side and if we were really fighting evil by fighting the insurgents. You could see he wasn’t sure, or at least that he didn’t want to say. He hesitated. Then he said: "Well, the president says we are fighting for democracy and the values of freedom. So we must be doing a good thing." I thought to myself, Man, that’s the answer I expected from my government professor back home, not from a spokesman for God.The fourth chapter returns to the idea of a "warrior code." Mansfield explains: The warrior code takes a soldier and makes him a knight. It connects the natural life of a fighter to a supernatural understanding of the warrior calling. His duties are transformed into holy sacrifices; his sense of self is reformed into an image of the servant in pursuit of valor. He becomes part of a fellowship, a noble tradition that flows through him and carries him beyond the mediocre and the vain. But is this something that Christians should involve themselves in? Mansfield maintains that "the foundation of any religiously influenced warrior code is a theology of war." He then brings up "the moral basis for war," and insists that Augustine’s "Just War Theory" provides "the basis for any warrior code."

Mansfield claims that "there was some consideration of the Just War theory" before the Bush administration invaded Iraq in March of 2003. He specifically refers to a February 10, 2003, lecture by Michael Novak on Christian Just War doctrine with specific reference to Iraq. The speech was a "brilliant exposition of the Augustinian theory of war as it has been applied through the ages, the contemporary applicability of those teachings, and the moral moorings of the Bush Doctrine." Moral moorings? Bush’s war is one of the most immoral interventions in U.S. history. It is against every Christian Just War principle that has ever been thought of. Any "warrior code" that can’t discern the unjust nature of this war is not a code that any Christian should follow. The fifth chapter opens with "the basic facts of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal as they are presented in the Schlesinger Panel’s report and as they have surfaced in interviews with guards at the scene." But Mansfield considers "a refusal to learn the lessons of Abu Ghraib and thus allow such scandals to reoccur" as "perhaps a greater misfortune." Men and women under "dire stress" may "descend into barbarism" if they don’t have moral leadership, core values held before them, and a noble sense of mission. They need a "faith-based warrior code." Mansfield never even considers that perhaps we just shouldn’t put men and women in situations like guarding the Abu Ghraib prison to begin with. But even worse, he is not averse to war at all. A "heartfelt warrior code" provides the restraint "to immoral behavior under the stress of war." How about the immoral nature of the Bush doctrine and war itself? There is nothing wrong with this war that Mansfield can’t fix with his "faith-based warrior code." We are introduced to a confused, young Christian soldier named Bob Daniels who wonders if true Christians are on the wrong side of this thing. Maybe the terrorists are doing god’s will. Maybe God wants to destroy the America that secular humanism built and restore her to be that city on a hill she is supposed to be. I came over here all fired up thinking we were fighting against evil. Now I’m wondering if we are evil. And what is Mansfield’s solution? Does he tell this young soldier that he has been deceived by the president and the U.S. government? Does he tell this young soldier about the history of U.S. wars and interventions that have helped create terrorists and enemies of the United States? No, "what Bob Daniels needs is what a faith-based warrior code would give him: an assessment of Islam that would frame his fight against terror." It is in the Epilogue that we see in full bloom the real hypocrisy of the American Christian soldier. Mansfield describes how a band of Marines, fully dressed for battle, hold their rifles aloft "as though to say, ‘Here, O Lord, receive this weapon into Your service.’" Then they recite the doxology, quote a verse of scripture together, pause in silence for each man to confess his sins, quote another verse of scripture, sing a hymn, have a responsive reading (during which time some soldiers kiss their Shield of Strength trinket), say "Amen" – and then go out and fight and kill for the U.S. government. In the end, Mansfield is no different than the state-worshipping, Bush-idolizing, Republican Party-adoring, pious Christian warmongers who do all but call for my death as a traitor because I dare to criticize their leader and his war."The only defensible war is a war of defense," said G.K. Chesterton. Perhaps Mansfield ought to read him before he writes another book justifying Christian participation in U.S. wars.

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting and economics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. His new book is Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Christendom's War On Iraq

Again the major churches of Christendom are silent on the Iraq War. Belatedly the Methodists have spoke out but Christendom's efforts are halfhearted in the extreme. No measures like censure or excommunication are being taken to hold her members accountable for their actions. They attend their various churches in good standing and have their pictures taken with the leading lights of Christendom from the Pope on down. Same as it ever was....

From the Standford Hoover Institute
100,000 Iraqi Civilian Dead Since US Invasion? Who is Right?

Jon Kofas writes:On 28 October 2004, Emma Ross, AP Medical writer, reported from London that according to one household survey 100,000 more have died in Iraq than would be expected based on the death rate before the U.S. invasion. The unofficial estimates of Iraqi"war casualties range from 10,000 to 30,000. "In a recent response to my views on the costs of war and "terrorism", Istvan Simon argued that "terrorists" deliberately target civilians, whereas the armies kill civilians as "collateral damage" which is only to be expected. If we take the long view of history, we see that the ultimate terrorist machine, the ultimate machine of destruction is the state, not groups of people organized against the state. While there is no doubt that acts of political violence by groups organized against the state may be abhorrent, destructive, and futile as they do often target civilians, there is also no comparison between the hundreds of millions killed in the name of the state, versus the thousands killed by unconventional means in guerrilla or other unconventional warfare that may include civilian targets. Why do societies honor mass killings and justify them in the name of patriotism, but condemn the same acts on a much smaller scale when carried out by unconventional means? Both Gregory of Tours who wrote the History of the Franks and Einhard who was Charlemagne's biographer justified war only when carried out in the name of expanding Christendom, but they strongly condemned it when the Norsemen (Vikings) Saracens (Muslims) or the barbarians from the East carried out the same acts as Clovis and Charlemagne. The medieval Christian doubled standard is with us to this day, and regrettably even among people who have the capacity to reason and know for a fact that it is wrong to engage in such hypocrisy in the name of civilization and at the expense of humanity.

Fire On Religious Christendom

I'm fascinated in a horrified way by Christendom's bloodthirsty bloodguilty course.

But as a child I was overawed by all the stained glass, magnificent robes, huge cathedrals, ceremonies and mysticism. Once I had a chance to visit the Vatican. I was searching not only for a sense of the seemingly timelessness of the place but for a sense of God, would I sense his presence there? Would He know I was looking for Him, and would He let Himself be found? I remember being anxious to get off the tour bus. All I had to do was to get into His space and something would happen, I was sure. On a humourous note, that was in the 80's. I was decked out in the latest from Express and was sure my outfit showed the proper respect. I was badly mistaken because the guard at the door of St. Peters looked at me with a mixture of horror, amazement and pity. Nobody at the tour company had told our group that you could not wear shorts into St. Peters. Many were turned away however I felt that I had God's favour because I got in anyway. I think it was the pink tights that saved me, and I don't care what anyone says, the outfit was awesome by American standards. It consisted of a white shirt, pink sweater, pink shorts, pink tights, short pink socks, pink shoes and beautiful head of 80's big hair.

But let me tell you what I found, the place was cold, not the temperature but the spirit. Something was not right, and it began with a sense of being overwhelmed but not with happiness. The place did not have the respectful spirit of a house of worship but of that of a business, a very lavish one at that. Also I was amazed at the attitudes of the so-called "Princes of the Church". They were cordoned off in an area we peasants could not walk through. I say peasants because the way they looked at the masses gave me the feeling of being in one of those really bad medieval movies...It felt like we should have been bowing and scraping and "yes milord'ing/no milord'ing". Also what was up with all of the lavish artwork and the foreign art in the basement, from ancient pagan lands ? What was the purpose of the collection? To make a long story short, what I was looking for I did not find. And now I know why, someone else's spirit was there and I could feel it. The stones were crying out, but what were they trying to tell me I did not find out until later? At that time I was ignorant of the history of this organization and of its practices and of the history of all of the sects of Christendom. Now I know. Fire On Babylon (not the ancient Babylon of Iraq) Fire on religious "Babylon". For some reason everytime I listen to that Sinead O'Connor song I cant' help but think of Christendom's religious lies and bloodguilt...

Fire On Babylon She took my father from my life oh
Took my sister and brothers oh
I watched her torturing my child
Feeble I was then but now I'm grown
Fire on Babylon
Oh yes a change has come
Fire on Babylon Fire Fire Fire
She's taken everything I liked She's taken every lover oh
And all along she gave me lies
Just to make me think I loved her
Fire on Babylon Oh yes a change has come Look what she did to her son
Fire Fire Fire on
Life's backwards Life's backwards People turn around
The house is burned The house is burned The children are gone
Fire Fire Fire on Babylon Oh yes a change has come
Fire on Babylon Fire Fire, oh
Fire, oh Fire on Babylon Oh yes a change has come
Look what she did to her son Look what she did to her son
Fire, haha Fire, haha Fire Fire Fire, aha Fire on Babylon
Fire on Babylon

Christendom's Agreement With Nazi Germany

How did the Church respond to the violent unchristian doctrines and speeches of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party? They promptly signed a concordat with the Nazi government giving it legitimacy. Recognition not excommunication was the response of Christendom's church's both Catholic and Protestant. DragonSlayerWanted

As reported by the BBC, "For its part, the Vatican has always argued that its cautious, non-confrontational policy saved more people than if it had condemned Nazi excesses from the pulpit." . Hmm, kind of like the cautious non-confrontational approach that all of Christendom, not just the Vatican, used to save so many lives in Rwanda? (Which btw is a predominately Catholic country, go figure?) And what about Iraq, how's that non-confrontational approach working? The latest estimates from the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, puts the Iraqi death toll at approximately 100,000. Read their study at
But I digress...Nazi soldiers wore the phrase Gott Mit Uns on their belt buckles, meaning "God Is With Us". Gee, why would they think that? What role did their priest, pastor, bishop, cardinal, reverend or Pope play to make them think that God was with them during their bloody rampage througout Europe? Also were they thinking Gott Mit Uns while they were setting a precedent for Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo at Auschwitz? And which God? It is interesting to note from a Christian perspective that the bible says that Satan is the "god of this system of things" and that Jesus refused Satan's offer of political power on earth. "So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” Luke 4:5-8.

Unlike Christendom apparently Jesus trusted in God as the source of his power.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Christendom And The Holocaust

Musings on Christendom's role during the Holocaust

As noted from the previous post, Christendom was compromised from its inception by merging with the political state of Rome under Constantine in the 4th century. Since then it has continously sought and fought for political power over peoples and nations, drunk with blood and power. We all know about the Crusades and countless pogroms in Europe and Russia, but what about the Holocaust? Where did the Church stand? A picture is worth a thousand words....

Thoughts On The Death Of The Religious Empire Known As Christendom

Good Riddance!
So long!
Auf Wiedersehen!
Whew! That said, don't blame God, Jesus, or the bible for fake "christians". Genuine Christianity will survive its thousands of years long duet with paganism.

The Rise of Christendom from

The life and culture of Medieval Europe was dominated by a single institution -- the Church. Beginning with the coronation of Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor in 800 A.D., the political entity know as Christendom continued to exist until the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 when German princes were "permitted" to choose to be Lutheran, and therefore, no longer answerable to Rome (although the title of "Holy Roman Emperor" continued to be used until MUCH later). However, even by the 14th Century (the period in which the persona known as Barthel aus Pennswald is rumored to have lived), the cracks in the foundation of Christendom were beginning to show, as evidenced by these songs of Walther von der Vogelweide:
"King Constantine's Folly" "The Roman Shrine" . Any of Christianity's critics cite the abuses of Christendom as prime examples of everything that's wrong with Christianity. Some will even go so far as to say that the Church is itself responsible for the "Dark Ages", especially given the attitude of the Church toward the "new knowledge" that came out of the Renaissance. (Can you say "Galileo"?) Obviously, so the argument goes, the Church wanted to keep the populace uneducated, in order to maintain their power. Furthermore, the Church was not above using torture and threats of eternal damnation as a means to that end. Well, yes, that does sound pretty convincing--especially if you know a little bit about Galileo or the Spanish Inquisition. For that matter, I don't think any Protestant Christian can deny that abuses of authority and power did occur, since one of the goals of the Reformation was to eliminate those abuses. (Luther's "95 Theses", which sparked the Reformation, targeted one abuse in particular: the sale of indulgences.) The real problem with Christendom, however, was not Christianity itself, but the political power which the clerical heirarchy enjoyed. The issue is not Christianity or even "religion" in general, but the abuse of power and authority in the name of religion. But the political power of Christianity was not a medieval development: it was Roman. Prior to Constantine, Christianity was either ignored or actively persecuted in the Roman Empire. According to legend, Constantine was moved by a dream1 to legalize Christianity. This was accomplished on June 13, 313 with Constantines Edict of Milan. Within a few years, the Arian controversy threatened to split Christianity into two factions. Constantine quickly realized that his dream of uniting the empire under the banner of Christianity was futile if Christianity itself was not unified. So it came to pass that Constantine convened the first of the seven ecumenical councils, the Council of Nicea in 325. There, the bishops debated over the letter iota: whether whether Christ was of the "same substance" as God (homoousion), or, as Arius argued, of a "similar substance" homoiousion. In the end, the bishops decided that Christ was indeed of the "same substance": God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. The Arian controversy became the Arian heresy, and the original version of the Nicene Creed anathematized all who did not adhere to that creed. Thus, out of political necessity (or perhaps simply political ambition?) was born the pattern of intolerance among Christians. No longer was it sufficient to believe in Christ--you had to believe in Christ in the right way. In essence, the Council of Nicea was the betrothal of Christianity and Empire. In its best, Christendom was an attempt to restore the glory which was Rome, to rebuild the Roman Empire. (Hence the name "Holy Roman Empire". 2) At its worst, it was every bit as depraved and decrepit as Rome under Caligula. The tension between these two extremes cracked the foundations, and the walls of Christendom began to tumble, even during the height of its power. In these Modern Middle Ages, the crumbling of Christendom has continued to progress unabated. Some are desperately trying to rebuild the colossal edifice, proclaiming that we need the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Others, seeing the destruction that has come to pass, have proclaimed not only the death of "The Church", but also the death of "God", or at least, the concept of "God", since they're not even sure God existed in the first place. However, we must not confuse the death of a corrupted institution with the death of faith or the death of God.