How America Became a Self-Cannibalizing Nation for ‘God’
The Washington Post reported toward the end of February on an alarming report, composed by a Christian conservative group connected to Education Secretary Betsy Devos, revealing plans for the promotion of Christianity in public schools and putting a definitive end to the Department of Education. The group prefaced their recommendations with a précis: “We submit this report to the Donald Trump/Betsy DeVos administration with the hope that our organization may be of assistance with the restoration of education in America, in accordance with historic Judeo-Christian principles.” The Education Department is to be replaced with “Presidency’s Advisory Council on Public Education Reform.” The Council would:
- Restore Ten Commandments posters to all K-12 public schools.
- Clearly post America’s Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
- Encourage K-12 schools to recognize traditional holidays (e.g., Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) as celebrations of our Judeo-Christian heritage.
- Implement select bible classes, such as Chuck Stetson’s Bible Literacy Project.
- Encourage instruction on U.S. and world history from the Judeo-Christian perspective for middle school and high school history and civics classes.
- Develop and recommend in-service training on philosophy of education for K-12 faculty based on historical Judeo-Christian philosophy of education.
- Strongly push states to remove secular-based sex education materials from school facilities, and emphasize parental instruction.
The Washington Post sums it up here: “The five-page document produced by the Council for National Policy calls for a “restoration of education in America” that would minimize the federal role, promote religious schools and home schooling and enshrine ‘historic Judeo-Christian principles’ as a basis for instruction.”
In responding to this profoundly un-Constitutional move by the Alt-Christian-Right cabal currently in power, it is important to note a part of their cunning plan that they do not advertise quite so widely, though this ‘secret,’ only for the ‘initiated,’ is the basis for a multi-million dollar industry in religious tourism to Jerusalem every year, as ground-zero for the initiation of the End Times and the coming Rapture. “Millions of Americans believe that the Bible predicts the future and that we are living in the last days. Their beliefs are rooted in dispensationalism, a particular way of understanding the Bible’s prophetic passages, especially those in Daniel and Ezekiel in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. They make up about one-third of America’s 40 or 50 million evangelical Christians and believe that the nation of Israel will play a central role in the unfolding of end-times events. In the last part of the 20th century, dispensationalist evangelicals become Israel’s best friends-an alliance that has made a serious geopolitical difference.”
The desire to defend and promote an expanding, sovereign Israel is due to the Evangelical belief that only then will the ‘Third Temple’ be built on Zion (the Mount of the Rock, currently the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a profoundly holy site in Islam as this is where the Prophet is said to have flown up to heaven and down to hell on the back of his magical steed, Al-Barak, sort of a mixture of Pegasus and Chiron as she takes the form of a winged female centaur). The Third Temple must be built by a strong and resurgent Israel, who re-takes Zion, so that God can destroy it a third and final time as the kick-off to Armageddon, thus triggering the Apocalypse, the Second Coming of Christ, the Rapture, and all the other good things coming to Good Christians. This corps, greatly grown at this point, having been inflated and expanded beyond counting due to the stimulus of 9–11 having encultured apocalyptic belief in the Book of Revelations as prognostication, with many having been instructed from the pulpit, is who elected Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States.
Directors Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner captured, “…the apocalypse-obsessed wing of the evangelical Christian community,” describing “scenes of plainspoken faith, theological collision, and hubristic tourism,” in their documentary, Waiting for Armageddon. “The filmmakers follow Dr. H. Wayne House as he leads twenty-some evangelicals on a tour of the Israel and parts of the West Bank. The film portrays House and his tour as a busload of indignant, anti-Muslim and selectively naïve foreigners. On a boat tour of the Sea of Galilee, where Christians believe Jesus walked on water, they fly the American flag and pump “The Star-Spangled Banner” from loud speakers.” (Will Wlizlo, ‘Evangelical Christians Wait for Armageddon,’ in Utne Reader, 7/19/2010.)
Evangelicals have actually been at the business of making America over in their own image for a long time, since the 1980s. The Jr. Bush’s presidency advanced their aims to establish the post-Apocalyptic ‘Kingdom of God’ under the tutelage of Billy Graham Sr., geared up powerfully by Bush’s administrative hawks, Rumsfeld and Cheney. The Bush State Department advanced a secret agenda to de-stabilize Middle Eastern governments other than Israel’s, as revealed and documented by filmmaker-documentarist and historian, Olive Stone. Billy Graham Jr. delivered the Faith Community’s missive at Donald Trump’s inauguration, intimating that Trump had been sent by God to advance the political aims of Evangelicals.
In his 2004 book, “On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend,” Timothy P. Weber described how, in the early 1980s, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism recruited evangelical religious leaders for free “familiarization” tours. Hundreds of Evangelical preachers got free trips to the Holy Land. The Ministry of Tourism was interested in very much more than mere tourist dollars. Their aim was deeply ideological; “…here was a way of building a solid corps of non-Jewish supporters for Israel in the United States by bringing large numbers of evangelicals to hear and see Israel’s story for themselves.” (http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/end-times/on-the-road-to-armageddon.aspx#vTAZ01TCeFuoRPs5.99)
Getting American evangelicals to travel to Israel enacted only half of the Israeli strategy. “The other half was to create a politically-engaged, pro-Israel force among conservative American Christians in the United States. Shortly after the Six-Day War, elements within the Israeli government saw the potential power of the evangelical subculture and began to mobilize it as a base of support that could influence American foreign policy. The Israeli government sent Yona Malachy of its Department of Religious Affairs to the United States to study American fundamentalism and its potential as an ally of Israel.” (http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/end-times/on-the-road-to-armageddon.aspx#vTAZ01TCeFuoRPs5.99)
Malachy was enthusiastically received by fundamentalist conspiracy theorists and she was able to influence many of them to issue strong pro-Israeli manifestos. By the mid-1980s, there was a discernible shift in the Israeli political strategy. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish state’s major lobbying group in Washington, D.C., started re-aligning itself toward the American political right-wing, including Christian conservatives, and away from the traditional alliance of Jewish intellectuals with liberal, left-leaning groups. “Israel’s timing was perfect. It began working seriously with American dispensationalists at the precise moment that American fundamentalists and evangelicals were discovering their political voice.”(http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/end-times/on-the-road-to-armageddon.aspx#vTAZ01TCeFuoRPs5.99)
This is important because, while only 36 percent of all Americans believe that the Bible is God’s Word and should be taken literally, 59 percent say they believe that events predicted in the Book of Revelation will come to pass. Almost one out of four Americans believes that 9/11 was predicted in the Bible, and nearly one in five believes that he or she will live long enough to see the end of the world. Even more significant for this study, over one-third of those Americans who support Israel report that they do so because they believe the Bible teaches that the Jews must possess their own country in the Holy Land before Jesus can return. (http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/end-times/on-the-road-to-armageddon.aspx#vTAZ01TCeFuoRPs5.99)
The way to advance “God’s Kingdom” is to promote Armageddon and the Apocalypse, because only then is the Second Coming possible, with the 1,000-year long Kingdom of God coming in its wake. This Fundamentalist Christian, Betsy De Vos, and her brother, Eric Prince, want to bring on the End Times, as did their mother, who singlehandedly funded more anti-environmental Big Oil initiatives than any other single funder besides the Mercers, in their push to defend and uphold “Judeo-Christian values” through buying politicians and supporting Big Oil. Eric Prince is the mercenary militia corporate boss who founded Blackwater Ops, XE Services, and other shadow military organizations for hire. Prince currently heads Frontier Services, and was recently discovered to have brokered back door direct communications between Trump and Putin. He is called the ‘real’ power behind the throne in Washington, in league with Bannon and Kushner in a militant pro-Israel stance. This is why Kushner was appointed the person in charge of negotiating ‘peace’ in the Middle East, and has just been sent to Iraq to negotiate sovereignty issues, despite having NO experience in foreign policy or affairs of state. What he does have is an intensely, emotionally committed Zionism (since his idealistic teenage years), dating from his youthful immersion in an ideologically radical kibbutz.
For Evangelicals, the Earth, and her resources (her beauties, landscapes, vistas, living creatures, plants, ecosystems, and elements) are not important. Nor are they to be cherished, as they are mere, foul matter. A hint is given as to how we should regard physical beauty in Revelations’ description of one of the other major triggers of the Apocalypse, the one that prompts observant Christians to spout that the day women are equal with men is the day the world will end: “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.” (Rev. 17:1–5)
Our physical bodies are similarly not to be cherished, as that is both pride and vanity, for “all flesh is grass” (Isaiah 40:6). In any event, our bodies, the trees, animals, seas, the elements, and — in (“alternative”) fact — the entire Earth shall be destroyed in an instant and replaced with better ones by God upon the Judgement Day. Those of us who believe and who have accepted Christ, even the faithful dead, shall be ‘raised up’ in their ‘perfect bodies’ and piled around ‘The Right Hand of God’ (whatever that means in spatial terms for a phantasmological dimension consisting of no physical ‘space’) in the New Jerusalem (“Kingdom of God”). Everyone else, the unfidelitous unfaithful, the disbelieviers, the heretics, infidels and agnostics, the Jews (Muslims aren’t covered because, when John of Patmos wrote his “Revelations” in the 1st century A.D., Islam wasn’t around yet), the dross of Earth, and Earth’s base matter itself, shall be cast down into hell or ‘disappeared,’ depending upon their degree of ‘baseness,’ ‘sinfulness,’ or insubordination to the ‘New Order’ (a phrase reminiscent of Steve Bannon’s many little addresses to ultra-Conservative, Far Religious Right think tanks and secretive societies in the Vatican and elsewhere in devout Christendom).
The need to promote Israel on the parts of Evangelicals derives from the same philosophy as Fundamentalist Christian Secretary of the Interior under Nixon, James Watt, who opened up National Parks to oil exploration and development because he believed (and stated, many times, even though it was un-Constitutional, not to mention demented) that America, as a “Christian nation,” had the duty to exploit all of America’s natural resources and especially oil reserves in building a war machine and economy powerful enough to take down the “Great Satan” in the Apocalypse, which — to his and his fellows’ minds then, was the Soviet Union. Now, the “Great Satan” is Islam and its own corresponding Apocalyptic Fundamentalist militant fronts of ISIL and Al Qaida, et al, who, in turn, think that Judaism and Christianity are ‘The Great Satan.’
That this should be the case even though their own faith was derived from Judeo-Christianity, traced to the same patriarch, Abraham and his slave’s son, Ishmael, is a profound irony — one that we may expect could only have been born in the Hell all of the players in this sick scenario devoutly believe in. The connections among the beliefs are exact, with each camp projecting all the ‘bad’ bits onto the demonized ‘Other.’ Ishmael, himself, is a tremendously nuanced character. He was born from the female body-slave, or so-called ‘Handmaiden,’ of Sarah, the aged and infertile wife of the Judeo-Christian patriarch, Abraham. After the equally old Abraham had raped the girl, Hagar, at the behest of the (like De Vos and her mom) consummately male-identified, aggressively female competitive Sarah, Hagar conceived and gave birth to Ishmael. By this means, Sarah could ‘bear’ a son by proxy through her slave; the child, like his mother, both legally belonged to Sarah as human property or chattel.
The theme is echoed in the tale of Rachel giving her handmaid Bilhah to her husband, Jacob so that the girl could “…bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children.” (Gen 30:3) Some Bible historians interpret this to mean that the adolescent slave had lain down above her mistresses’ body, making a kinky Old Testament sex ‘sandwich,’ and the patriarch had impregnated her in that proxy position. This story is of course the Old Testament narrative Atwood used for her profoundly dystopian novel plot device in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’
Islam, in its most Fundamentalist readings, postulates the Apocalypse also, as the ultimate Holy War and Jihad, when that particular patriarchal persuasion of their culture’s Kingdom of God will be the reward to the faithful ‘martyrs and saints’ of the Jihad, and they shall reap their version of heavenly rewards and sit at the “Right Hand of Allah,” enjoying sex slaves aplenty (beautiful young Houri), rivers of milk, honey and wine, etcetera. This is only available to male faithful, of course, as no one supposes that virtuous female believers would like to party down with their own gorgeous young male sex slaves in Paradise, drinking and fucking and eating and so forth.
There is some ill-defined and confusing pap about women having their greatest joy in being reunited with their husbands, and being privileged to continually bear young in perpetuity so that they can continually experience the joy of motherhood, even while their husbands, with whom they’ve been joyfully reunited, are busy partying down with said houris. This part of the Islamic eschatological discourse, that deals with female believers and any ‘rewards’ they may expect to enjoy, seems to have been left intentionally vague. One gets the impression that this part — the women’s part — of the Islamic ‘Rapture” wasn’t very clearly thought out — perhaps inadequately or incompletely conveyed by the angel, Gibreel (Gabriel), during the recitations to the Prophet in the cave, while he was hurrying over the details in an effort to get on to the really interesting stuff, like houris and war, and so forth.
On the Day of Resurrection, most women are headed for the pit, in any case, owing to their innate foulness and inferiority. In the Sunnah, in the section titled, “On Women and Slaves,” women are given the injunction, “O assembly of women, give alms, although it be of your gold and silver ornaments; for verily ye are mostly of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.” Women should be eager to part with their wealth and avoid the fires of Hell, for they are certainly the most eagerly tormented by demons with hot pokers and whips in the fiery pit. Their vanities are as transient and immaterial (no pun — Ok, pun…) as vain flesh is for observant Christians. For Fundamentalist Muslims, as for Evangelical Christians, the day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and the dead will be resurrected for judgment by God. On this score, Gibreel (Gabriel) was very, very clear:
This day will be the beginning of a life that will never end. This day is the Day of Judgment. On that day, all people will be rewarded by God according to their beliefs and deeds. Those who die while believing that ‘There is no true god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God’ and are Muslim will be rewarded on that day and will be admitted to Paradise forever, as God has said: “And those who believe and do good deeds, they are dwellers of Paradise, they dwell therein forever.” (Quran, 2:82) But those who die while not believing that “There is no true god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God” or are not Muslim will lose Paradise forever and will be sent to Hellfire, as God has said [sounding anachronistically like Donald Trump]: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter.” (Quran, 3:85)
Islam is categorized as a Judeo-Christian faith and one of the Three Main Orthodoxies, as a part of the Abrahamic Stem. The contempt for the actual Creation among these ‘faith-based’ systems is astonishing. How much indication is needed, beyond the criminally insane and nihilistic (not to mention un-Constitutional) initiatives of Judeo-Christian Fundamentalists, that this — as toxic ideologies go — is the absolute worst?