[Marxism] We must attack CNN
juancarloscruz at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 31 06:43:18 MST 2005
Hello all: Don't watch CNN in spanish, there is a little fat guy called Juan
Carlos Lopez and a terrorist right winger Cuban-mafia called Lucia Newman
(which i would like to PUNCH them real bad some day some day) that tells a
lot of B.S. about how the world works and the bad thing is that the
immigrants spanish speaking people living in USA literally buy all CNN tells
them, cuz the elitist spanish people living in USA own direct-tv, cable tv
etc. but they are dumb too, cuz they think that poverty from Latin America
comes from corruption (not really) it comes from imperial-domination (cuz of
the fact that corruption is universal, not specifically to a region of the
world, all nations are corrupted.
Rich Lang: 'George Bush and the rise of Christian Fascism'
Date: Monday, March 08 @ 10:10:27 EST
Topic: The Religious Right
By Rev. Rich Lang
The Imperial Presidency
The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States knew that if power
accrued into the hands of an elite the experiment of democracy (power spread
out into the realm of the people) would be over. So they created a system of
checks and balances which blocked access to any one person, or any one
special interest or elite gaining too much power over others. Thus our
executive, legislative and judicial branches of government "balanced" each
other. The media was yet another "check" on the accrual of too much power,
as was the Bill of Rights, and to some extent the Church (or churches). The
system wasn't perfect but it kept alive the possibility of true democracy.
It kept alive the dream that one day "we the people" could live in a
peaceful commonwealth where every person has what they need to survive and
That dream died in December 2000 when the checks and balances of our
Constitution collapsed and George Bush was inserted into the Presidency of
the United States. September 11, 2001 furthered the atrophying of democracy
handing the country into the hands of an emerging Corporate (and I say
Fascism meaning the collapse of diverse spheres of power into one. Since
that time we have witnessed, and have been unable to prevent, the emergence
of an Imperial Presidency that has the unrestricted power to declare war
against any country it chooses. The Imperial Presidency has brought to end
the Constitutional mandate that 'ONLY CONGRESS' has the authority to declare
war. It has furthered weakened international law and undermined the
potential of the United Nations to spread democracy throughout the earth.
The Imperial Presidency has also gained unrestricted potential to round up
American citizens incarcerating them in military brigs or concentration
camps for unlimited amounts of time. The presidency can keep the accused
from ever again communicating with friends, families, and attorneys, simply
on the certification that the incarcerated are "terrorists," as he has done
with Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi. The Presidency may also now kill
American citizens abroad solely on the basis of naming the one killed "a
terrorist". Just ask the family and friends of Ahmed Hijazi, anAmerican
killed with a U.S.-fired missile in Yemen. This nullifies the Constitutional
right: "no person shall be denied life, liberty or property without due
process of law."
Ominous signs are all around us concerning the accrual of power into the
hands of the Presidency. If Mr. Bush stays in office I think our future will
continue to witness shrinking political rights, financial collapse and
endless war. Part of the power and seduction of this administration emerges
from its diabolical manipulation of Christian rhetoric. I want to flesh out
the ideology of the Christian Fascism that Mr. Bush articulates. It is a
form of Christianity that is the mirror opposite of what Jesus embodied. It
is, indeed, the materialization of the spirit of antichrist: a perversion of
Christian faith and practice.
This country, like it or not, is overwhelmingly dominated by the ideology of
the Christian story. It is not so much that our founders were all
Christians. Rather, they lived in an atmosphere which was visioned through
the lens of Christian thought and rhetoric. What they saw was that America
had become the New Israel (the new Promised Land) of God. America was a
benevolent nation seeking only the good of all. Our wealth is a blessing
given to us as a sign that we are a "chosen, special people" whose larger
meaning is to help the world into an era of peace, prosperity and justice.
Every politician draws on this "civil religion story" of benevolence which
gives authority to the politicians ambition and agenda. Another way of
saying this is: every nation needs sacred legitimation. It needs the
authority of transcendence: of a story larger than itself ... a story that
connects past with present and future. An Empire needs an even broader
story: one that connects with cosmic and/or historical redemption and new
Martin Luther King understood this sacred American civil religion and was
able to wed it brilliantly with the prophetic religious teachings of the
Bible. He drew upon Biblical narratives which limited the power and
authority of the elite while calling for economic redistribution of wealth.
He drew upon teachings rooted in the personal morality of nonviolence and
compassion. George Bush, on the other hand, also understands this sacred
American 'civic gospel' and has brilliantly merged it with Biblical Holiness
and Holy War traditions. These traditions call for the emergence of the
Righteous Warrior who will cleanse the land of its impurity. These
traditions are rooted in the personal morality of righteous zeal and
Mr. Bush consistently sends signals to his right wing religious base. In the
2003 State of the Union he exhorted: "there's power, wonder working power,
in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people". It's a
phrase from a well known Communion hymn "there's power, wonder working power
in the blood of the lamb". Bush brings together the holiness zeal of
Christian evangelicalism with patriotic fundamentalism. The core belief
system of this 'civic gospel' goes something like this: The United States
was founded as a Christian nation with free enterprise as the only economic
system truly compatible with Christian beliefs. These religious values are
today under attack in America. The danger is that without faith in God
America will lose its blessing. Therefore, the government needs to act to
protect the nation's religious heritage.
Mr. Bush's teachings on terrorism: "you are with us or against us" cements
for the hearer the apocalyptic world of good versus evil. There can be no
neutral ground. You have to make a decision. Patriotism is now all or
nothing: it is either total agreement or a slippery slope towards treason.
In the Church you come to Jesus alone for salvation. In the state you obey
the God-annointed leader and are thereby secured.
Renana Brooks writes (The Nation June 24, 2003: Bush Dominates A Nation of
"Bush is a master at inducing learned helplessness in the electorate. He
uses pessimistic language that creates fear and disables people from feeling
they can solve their problems. In his September 20, 2001 speech to Congress
on the 9/11 attacks, he chose to increase people's sense of vulnerability:
'Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any
other we have ever seen. ... I ask you to live your lives, and hug your
children. I know many citizens have fears tonight ... Be calm and resolute,
even in the face of a continuing threat.' (Subsequent terror alerts .. have
maintained and expanded this fear of unknown, sinister enemies.)"
The terror threat itself can only be combated with increases in military
force, domestic security and curtailment of civil rights through Patriot
Acts. There are no other options nor any dialogue or debate that would
create an alternative way to deal with terrorism.
3.) Mr. Bush certainly sees himself as a Messiah figure. Listen to his
language after 9-11: " I will not forget this wound to our country or those
who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in
waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people." Or,
in his 2003 State of the Union speech: "I will defend the freedom and
security of the American people". He has become the nation. He is its
embodiment. According to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, - Bush
told him: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he
instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to
solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not,
the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." This is Biblical
language ... it isn't political script. This is Bush's soul language. He
understands himself as a man with a Divine mission. It also means that for
him leadership is not "representing the people" rather leadership means
transcending the will of the people. George Bush already knows the truth
before the evidence is presented. He is guided by God and must blaze the
trial even if the people are reluctant.
Iraq, for example, was a necessary war whether or not Saddam had nukes.
Saddam, for Bush, was a bad guy who tried to kill "my dad". The war, for
Bush, was holy and justified and necessary. Purging evil is necessary in the
Holiness/Holy War tradition of the Bible. The righteous will purge evil but
the unrighteous will be consumed by it.
Like all religions the Bible has various narratives within its pages: Jesus
drew on the prophetic traditions that called upon the people to change their
way of life even as it critiqued and called upon the elites to decentralize
their power. Jesus role modeled a lifestyle of redemptive suffering on
behalf of others. Mr. Bush, however, draws on traditions that call for
purity and cleansing. It is a language of hostility towards enemies and a
strident call for obedience. It calls forth a lifestyle of the RIGHTEOUS ONE
who will purge evil from the world through sacred violence. This religious
rhetoric, which merges Holiness Christianity with Imperial Americanism, is
"in sync" with a growing new movement in theology called Christian
Reconstructionism (or Dominion Theology).
First and most basic is that Dominion Theology wants to replace democracy
with a theocratic elite that would govern according to a very literal and
peculiar interpretation of Biblical law. The disciples of Jesus are to have
"dominion" over all of creation. It is the role of the Church to rule over
the wicked and bring them into the obedience of faith.
In a "reconstructed society" democracy would be heresy. The division between
sacred and secular would be abolished. A new insistence on conformity to
moral rules would replace the pluralism we now know. The purpose of the
Federal government would be to enforce morality through military and police
functions. Society would be regulated by a theocratic elite: in the words of
Pat Robertson: "just as the Supreme Court justices place a hand on the Bible
and swear to uphold the Constitution, so they should also put a hand on the
Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
We see this at play in the leanings of Supreme Court Justices Scalia and
Thomas. Against the common assumption that we are a secular state Mr. Scalia
has said (in a FIRST THINGS: May 2002 ) "government ... derives its moral
authority from God. Government is the minister of God with powers to
revenge, to execute wrath, including wrath by the sword."
Scalia is drawing from Romans 13. If taken literally the implication of
those verses would prohibit any resistance against the policies of a
government. No more peaceful demonstrations (the government would be
justified to do what it did to those recently in Miami and earlier here in
Seattle). Even writings of dissent and opposition could be labeled
treasonous (this is part of Ashcroft's passion for Patriot Acts and other
warnings not to say too much).
Scalia (and many of the conservative judges placed in Federal Courts since
Reagan) believe in interpreting the Constitution in its original intent. As
Scalia has said (same article as above) "the constitution that I interpret
and apply is not living but dead. It means today not what current society
..thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted." So, as
Katherine Yurica points out in her article THE DESPOILING OF AMERICA:
.. since the death penalty was clearly permitted when the 8th Amendment
(which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments) was adopted and at that time
the death penalty was applied for all felonies --- including, for example,
the felony of horse-thieving, "so it is clearly permitted today".
All a willing Dominionist Republican controlled congress need do to extend
the death penalty to those people who practice witchcraft, adultery,
homosexuality, heresy, etc. is to find those particular death penalty laws
existing as of November 3, 1791 and re-instate them.
Scalia further believes that democracy fosters civil disobedience and is
therefore a hindrance to the greater good of law and order. Our Federal
Court system is being packed with these types of Judges ... Bush himself
will try to fill Court vacancies with these type of judges.
Secondly: The good society according to Dominion Theology has men on top.
Society would be reconstructed into a strong patriarchy that would provide
the social pressure ensuring conformity. Women would find their true
function as supportive wives, mothers and homemakers. Those outside this
"patriarchal modality" would be exterminated. (Today the Gay marriage
movement is a true threat to establishing a patriarchal society. This
administration has no choice but to make this a MAJOR issue in the coming
Thirdly: Purity becomes very important. There is only one right way to see
the world. It is therefore of fundamental importance to control education in
all spheres of culture. We see this in the Bush administration's approach to
testing in schools; in his massive discounting of Global warming and in his
repeated refusals to engage in open, diversified conversation about matters
of importance: whether it be Cheney's Energy Task Force, the investigation
of 9/11; or the creation of an "in house" intelligence team which created
evidence for the Iraqi war after the other governmental agencies couldn't
provide it. The Bush team KNEW the answers before the evidence was even
Fourth: Dominion Theology denies history and spurns the modern. It is not a
conservative (conserving) movement. Although it might appeal to a nostalgic
and mythical past it is primarily focused on a radically, revolutionized
future of utopia. It assumes that the end will justify the means and it is
moral to work as "stealth agents" fooling the pagans. It sees the world as
engaged in spiritual warfare pitting "good Christians" against everybody
else. This HOLY WAR and HOLINESS rhetoric is foundational in Mr. Bush's
Now if you think that this talk is bit "hyper" on my part ... that I'm
Chicken Little squawking in the wind ... what then do you make of these
Texas Republican platform positions of 2002 ???
"The Republican Party of Texas reaffirms the United States of America is a
Government: We reclaim freedom of religious expression in public on
government property, and freedom from government interference. Support
government display of Ten Commandments.
... Dispel the "myth" of separation of church and state.
ECONOMY: Abolish the dollar in favor of the gold standard. Abolish the IRS.
Eliminate income tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, capital gains, corporate
income tax, payroll tax and property tax. Repeal minimum wage law
...Gradually phase out Social security tax for a system of private pensions.
UNITED NATIONS: We immediately rescind our membership in , as well as
financial and military contributions to the United Nations ... we should
evict the United Nations...
FAMILY: We believe that traditional marriage is a legal and moral commitment
between a man and a woman. We recognize that the family is the foundational
unit of a healthy society and consists of those related by blood, marriage
or adoption. The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral
training, conduct and property.
EDUCATION: Since Secular Humanism is recognized by the United States Supreme
Court as a religion ... Secular Humanism should be subjected to the same
state and federal laws as any other recognized religion.
ENVIRONMENT: Oppose the myth of global warming. Reaffirm the belief in the
fundamental right of an individual to use property without governmental
This coming election will not be decided because of political policy. It
will not be decided in a debate over free markets versus fair markets; tax
cuts or no tax cuts, Patriot Act or no Patriot Act; military draft or no
draft. None of these issues will determine the election because the
candidates are all for free markets, tax cuts, domestic security and a
strong global military presence. The election will be determined by the
candidate who can embody the deeply felt, often unarticulated religious
yearnings of the populace. Yearnings such as "who will save us, secure us,
lead us??? who will connect us with a power greater than the terrors of the
night?" Bush speaks this language. Democrats are stuck in political nuance.
Or, in other words, Democrats cannot speak the language of Martin Luther
King who understood that social transformation requires a transcendent
authority. And it is a vision of transformation, not nuance, that gives
people courage to risk alternative paths to violence.
The problem comes down to this: Democrats, liberals, and social progressives
have simply not grasped how afraid, insecure and how deeply in despair the
populace is. They keep speaking as if tinkering with the system is a vision
that can win the day. What Bush and Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and
Pearls, Abrams and Bolton, DeLay and Rice etc, have clearly understood is
that truth is perception. Image is EVERYTHING! Unfortunately, the inner
person of America today is a hollowed out consumer who lacks the will power,
stamina and imagination to do anything more than be overwhelmed by
appearances. Therefore, a politics of crisis, a politics of fear will keep
us locked into a state of conformity.
Fueling this politics of fear is yet another theological worldview of crisis
and insecurity. Apocalyptic theology is booming !!! Drawing from the
Holiness/Holy War traditions of the Bible it currently dominates the mass
media expression of Christian faith from which Bush draws his strength. It
is a theology of despair that has given up on the possibilities of
One of the most popular fiction series making the rounds these days is the
LEFT BEHIND series written by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins. Multiple millions
of people are reading these books which fictionalize the end of life as we
know it. It used to be that the Church could control people through the fear
of eternal damnation. Today it is through fear of the future. The theology
is basically this: The Bible is a code book that when rightly interpreted
reveals that we are living at the end of history. History is scripted and is
about to come to a catastrophic conclusion. The only hope is to accept Jesus
as your personal Lord and Savior so that you can be "saved" from the future
apocalypse. God will "snatch you up" (Rapture) right before a seven year
series of horrible events that will see the rise of Antichrist and the
rebuilding of the Jewish temple. There will be world war with most of
humanity dying. At that point Jesus will return to restore law and order.
This theology of despair "fits" our current culture of powerlessness and
fear. From SARS to weapons of mass destruction to the ongoing
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to ecological collapse, the whole world seems
to be on a "no exit" slide into an end times abyss. The theology of despair
is very seductive and it is shaping the spirituality of millions of
It has, at least, five political implications that affect each one of us
here today. FIRST: Israel is to be exalted and defended no matter what they
do to the Palestinian people. They are God's chosen people and must reside
in their Biblically anointed Land for the "end time clock" to tick to its
final minute. Israel has a Biblical mandate to conquer and control all of
the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates. Behind the politics of oil
lie the religious passion to fulfill God's will: Syria must fall.
Secondly: institutions like the United Nations are not to be trusted because
they are tools of the Antichrist. The Antichrist is thought of (not as a
spirituality or ideology) but as a personal embodiment of evil. The
Antichrist will be a living person who will come to power at the end of
history and proclaim himself to be god on earth. The theory has it that his
power will be generated from within a coalition of nations. Thus ...
America, as God's chosen nation, will need to go it alone so as not to be
duped by Antichrist. Our destiny is to take the gospel to all the nations: a
benevolent gospel of security and salvation for all.
Thirdly: since the world is passing away the environment is not of great
importance. There is no need to worry about issues of sustainability because
the world is in its final countdown. Part of the unconcern towards global
warming and other ecological crisis is the religious belief that we aren't
going to be around in 100 years. We're in the end times now ... every moment
is merely preparation for eternity. Whether Bushhimself believes this or not
is irrelevant. This is the religious worldview of those who exalt him and
the voter-bloc to which he plays. For Bush to act for sustainability would
require a major shift in his religious narrative. ... As an aside this past
summer the National Park Service was instructed to approve the display of
religious symbols and Bible verses, as well as the sale of creationist books
at the Grand Canyon National Park. In December 2003 the Park Service was
ordered to develop a "more balanced" version of an 8 minute video shown at
the Lincoln Memorial Visitor Center. Conservative Christians wanted the
removal of footage of gay rights, pro choice and anti-war demonstrations
replacing it with footage of Christian rallies and pro-war demonstrations.
Fourth: Apocalyptic theology believes that Jesus dying for my sins is far
more important than the teachings of Jesus. We see this in the recent movie
PASSION OF THE CHRIST. What this creates is a spirituality that can overlook
the teachings of Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount is re-framed as an
impossible this-worldly ethic. Teachings about nonviolence, economic
redistribution, compassion toward those who are thought of as sinners and
resistance to injustice are all discounted. Recently, the Governor of
Alabama in a fit of religious zeal wanted to take the economic teachings of
Jesus seriously: he tried to reform his state to benefit the poor. The
Christian Coalition led the charge against such thinking and foiled his
Fifth: a leader who loves Jesus is to be followed as God's man for the hour.
The Christian leader is God's shepherd over the American flock. When Bush,
who sees himself as a messianic figure anointed by God, decided on running
for the Presidency he called a group of evangelical Pastors together
announcing to them "I have heard the call" and then received from them the
"laying on of hands" which corresponds to divine ordination for the task
ahead. On September 14, 2001 he stated: "our responsibility before history
is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil". He
then launched the crusade Operation Infinite Freedom against Afghanistan.
Yet other messianic statements from Bush:
"History has called America to action. ... The great hope of our time, and
the great hope of every time, now depends on us." ....
"We must also remember our calling as a blessed nation to make the world
better ... and confound the designs of evil men."
"Our nation has been chosen by God and commissioned by history, to be a
model of justice before the world."
*** According to Vice-President Cheney: America "has the duty to act with
force to construct a world in the image of the United States."
In return for this messianic leadership evangelical Christians have poured
out an annointing of prayer. During the Afghanistan crusade thousands of
"Presidential Circles of Prayer" and "Wheels of Prayer" were organized on
the Internet, running 24 hours a day.
WHEEL OF PRAYER FOR OUR SOLDIERS
Lord hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the altruistic actions they are performing
for us in our time of need. This I ask in the name of Jesus, our Lord and
This prayer was so popular and was hit so often that the website crashed
Pastor Charles Stanley distributed among Marines as they entered into combat
thousands of pamphlets entitled "Duty of a Christian in Time of War". With
the pamphlet went a card instructing them to sign and send directly to Mr.
Bush. The card says: "I have committed to pray for you, your family and your
Administration." Specific prayers for the President were included for each
The point I'm trying to make is that we are not dealing simply with politics
when it comes to the Bush administration. The progressive left, which often
pays little attention to Christianity, and the moderate middle, which thinks
"these things will balance out"; will be making a huge mistake if they
overlook the religious ideology at the core of Mr. Bush personally and the
movement he represents. And we are talking about a "movement" (a movement of
'the people' not just the elites). We are seeing today the emergence of a
"fascist movement". It is bankrolled and organized by Corporations, and
articulated through the ideology of neo-conservatism. But the troops come
out of the right wing church. And that church, drawing upon the
Holiness/Holy War Biblical narratives of Apocalyptic-Dominionism theology,
is growing in this country. This is not a battle between intellectual and
institutional elites. It is far more intimate than that. It's a battle in
our homes, our families, friendships, neighborhoods and within our faith
communities. Let me make a rather audacious prophecy: WHOEVER CONTROLS THE
INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE WILL CONTROL THE FUTURE OF THIS NATION. In other
words it's the vision of Pat Robertson or Martin Luther King.
When Dave Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) says that we
need a "new story"; he is talking about needing a transcendent authority in
which we root our political culture. Human beings cannot live in societal
form without a sacred narrative. Neither anarchy nor atheism can construct a
house that will hold our future. The Republicans know this well. But the
Democrats seem clueless.
What we need is a movement of spiritual justice. We need the language of
those who can wed America's civil religion with Biblical prophetic
narrative. We need to expand that language so that it can include the
language and stories that are emerging from the antiwar, fair trade and
human rights movements. Together this language can form a unique new
narrative that has the power to inspire imagination and courage. A language
that can call forth a new coalition powerful enough to envision a new and
better world. It will be a language that articulates "we are the ones we are
looking for". A language that proclaims "God with us in our diversity" not
God above us threatening wrath and ruin.
Rev. Rich Lang is pastor of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Seattle,
This article comes from The Smirking Chimp
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