[Re: Re.: Sharon, spearhead of the terrorist state]
Fajardos at SPAMix.netcom.com
Sun Oct 15 12:32:37 MDT 2000
Abu Nasr wrote:
> You've also hit on something very interesting when you pointed out
> how the religious right in the US sides with the Zionists even
> against the 10-15 percent of the Palestinians who are Christians.
> That is amazing, but also revealing of the fact that imperialist
> interests are what guide the right wing religious people, far more
> than "religious values." Of course they're the propaganda about
> fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that the Zionists encourage ... .
Except for the anti-semitic wing --as exemplified, for example, by the
Christian Identity church-- the Christian right in the USA has indeed
been staunchly pro-Israeli, and further, pro-zionist even at the expense
of the Christian communities in Palestine and elsewhere in the
Mid-East. That that is the case seems surprising, but with a little
examination it starts to seem less so.
The US Christian right is predominantly evangelical and charismatic in
nature, and by and large non-denominational. A great many come from a
Pentecostal or Baptist background, but that means little in itself as
both denominations practice congregational autonomy. Each congregation
decides for itself what it will do and say, and even when they meet in
convention and draft theological documents, no congregation is obligated
to follow them if they chose not to. That gives individual ministers a
great deal of leeway and influence over the members, and with so many
being new converts, or born-agains, there is a tendency to accept what
the minister says literally as the "Gospel truth." This allows these
churches to spread out in all sorts of zany directions without there
being anyone to censure or rein them in.
That dynamic leads to legitimacy and influence being gained, not through
stalwartly following doctrine, but through church growth, measured and
accomplished by the gaining of new converts and the drawing in of the
convinced from other denominations or congregations. That generally has
required flashy shows, rallies, faith healings, and the ability to
preach the verities to the people. The latter, in what is essentially a
nostalgic endeavor, requires greater nostalgia than your competitor.
One must be more fundamentalist than one's peers, more literalist than
one's peers, more free from "interpretarion" which might be questioned
than one's peers. Thus, those that rise to prominence in that segment
of US Christianity tend to be extremely conservative and inflexible, and
others follow suit in order to keep up and not lose their congregations.
That fundamentalism and that belief that everything that is written in
the Bible is the word of an infallible God and therefore exactly and
literally true. Thus, if it says that the Jews are God's chosen people,
it must be so. If it says that a war between good and evil will be
waged at Jerusalem before the Rapture, then it must be so. And, if it
says that the presage to the Christ's 1000-year reign is the rebuilding
of the Temple of David, then it must not only be so, but everything
possible must be done to hasten it. Thus, Jewish dominion over the
Temple Mount must be preserved, the Al-Aqsa mosque must be gotten out of
the way, and God's chosen people must be defended. There are even
Christian ministers in the USA who every so often ship cattle to Israel
as part of breeding programs seeking to produce the "perfect red calf"
that must be sacrificed as part of the temple's rededication ceremony.
The zionists need the Christian right to keep American dollars flowing
and political-military cover in place, and the Christian right needs the
zionists in order for Biblical prophesy to be fulfilled. Thus the
Jewish and Christian right wings find themselves as natural, if distant
and uncomfortable, allies.
The charismatic and evangelical right is,of course, Protestant. The
Christian communities in the Mid-East --the Maronites, the Copts, the
Chaldeans, the Catholic orders, etc.-- represent denominations in
communion with Rome or with other orthodox churches. The US Christian
right, like the Marxist left and rebellious teens, usually saves its
deepest distrust and most venomous vitriol for intra-family arguments,
whether the offender be Mom and Dad for the teenager, the SWP for the
left, or the Mother Church for the religious. There is no more bitter
person than the disappointed true believer, it is said.
One thing that might be difficult for those outside the US to perceive
is the extent to which the evangelical Protestant churches regard the
Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches as *non-Christian*, and even as
anti-Christian, groups with whom God will settle accounts on Judgement
Day. In the meantime, the job of true Christians is to oppose the work
of those misleaders, counteract the influence of papistry, idolatrous
saint veneration and Marianism, and to "save" as many Catholics as
possible. How can there then be solidarity with such people in the
Mid-East, the more so when they have "seized" control of Christianity's
holy sites and stand opposed to the dominion of God's chosen people?
Imperialism finds support among the Christian right in the US, but the
explanations for that support must be more nuanced than the assertion
that imperialist interests have primacy over religious ideology.
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