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Sunday, January 21, 2007

God Hates Democracy -- 'Patriot Pastors' and Their Jihad

We know how good Pat Robertson is at making predictions. So this little bit from December of 2005 shouldn't really surprise us any.

Media Matters:

ROBERTSON: We've won the war already, and for the Democrats to say we can't win it -- what kind of a statement is that? And furthermore, one of the fundamental principles we have in America is that the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces and attempts to undermine the commander in chief during time of war amounts to treason. I know we have an opportunity to express our points of view, but there is a time when we're engaged in a combat situation that carping criticism against the commander in chief just doesn't cut it. And I think that yes, we have freedom of speech -- of course we do -- but this has gone over the top and I think the Republicans are -- well, they've taken advantage.

OK, so it's not so much a prediction -- "We've won the war already..." It's more of a completely incorrect assessment of the situation. Pat's direct line to God must've had some line noise or something, because that's so obviously wrong. At least, as Pat is likely to define 'win,' anyway.

What got me thinking about Pat's BS in 2005 was an article by Sarah Posner titled As Bush's War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse. The question it brought up to me was how all of these people on the 'rapture right' can get away with calling themselves patriotic (even going so far as to have a 'patriot pastor' movement), when they all hope that the next war will bring about the destruction of the United States and the end of democracy? And what sort of patriot is it who who believes they're working toward these ends? Posner's piece:

Christian Zionists are dancing the hora in San Antonio. Armageddon appears to be at hand.

As George W. Bush sets his sights on Iran, even Republicans are wondering how to constitutionally contain the trigger-happy king. But for an influential group of Christian fundamentalists -- White House allies that garner not only feel-good meetings with the President's liaisons to the "faith-based" community but also serious discussions with Bush's national security staff -- an attack on Iran is just what God ordered.

Biblical literalists, convened together through San Antonio megapastor John Hagee's Christians United for Israel (CUFI), are now seeing the fruits of their yearlong campaign to convince the Bush administration to attack Iran.

Two belief systems are at the heart of the evangelical right -- dispensationalism and dominionist theology (AKA, christian reconstructionism or theonomy). Dispensationalism is the belief in the 'rapture,' as illustrated in Tim LaHaye's Left Behind novels. Basically, it's the belief that the book of Revelations says that the righteous will be sucked up into Heaven by a holy hoover when the end of the world is near. Then the forces of Satan and the forces of good (but not, somehow, the righteous) will battle for the Earth. Think Ragnarak and the storm giants.

Dominionism is the belief that certain conditions have to be present before any of this can happen. And those conditions include a christian world, ruled over by an evangelical theocracy. This government would pretty much resemble the Taliban with blue suits and helmet hair. A few examples of a dominionist America from

-Civil laws must be changed to match the Bible's moral rules. That is, anything that is immoral (by their standards) is also to be criminalized.

-The only valid legislation, social theory, spiritual beliefs, economic theory are those derived from the Bible.

-In every aspect of life, there are only two options: God-centered or man-centered; Theonomy or autonomy. Their political goal is to ban the latter, everywhere. Each individual, family, church, government and society must be reconstructed to eliminate sin. Each Christian has the responsibility to contribute to this conversion.


-The use of the death penalty would be greatly expanded, when the Hebrew Scriptures' laws are reapplied. People will be executed for adultery, blasphemy, heresy, homosexual behavior, idolatry, prostitution, evil sorcery (some translations say Witchcraft), etc. The Bible requires those found guilty of these "crimes" to be either stoned to death or burned alive. Reconstructionists are divided on the execution method to be used.

-A church or congregation which does not accept the Mosaic Law has another god before them, and is thus guilty of idolatry. That would be punishable by death. That would include all non-Christian religious organizations. At the present time, non-Christians total two-thirds of the human race.

-The status of women would be reduced to almost that of a slave as described in the Hebrew Scriptures. A woman would initially be considered the property of her father; after marriage, she would be considered the property of her husband.

Where the Bible says someone needs to be killed, they would be killed. These are people who take verses like Deuteronomy 13:13-19 literally:

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him."

It's a call to jihad and these dominionists heed it. Obviously, democracy is out the window here -- these people advocate totalitarian theocracy. Some right wing beliefs that have absolutely no biblical basis get snuck in; like the elimination of income tax and requiring the government to have balanced budgets (You kind of have to wonder why God would have an opinion on that stuff). But mostly it's about eliminating the wicked.

For the most part, these people are profoundly undemocratic and, therefore, unpatriotic and unamerican. To be lectured about patriotism by totalitarian America-haters like Pat Robertson is outrageous. The man not only believes that the United States should be 'reconstructed'
(i.e., demolished and rebuilt) under his insane conception of 'christian principles,' but he believes he's actively working toward that goal.

Let's look at the legal definition of treason:

A breach of allegiance to one's government, usually committed through levying war against such government or by giving aid or comfort to the enemy. The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power. Treason consists of two elements: adherence to the enemy, and rendering him aid and comfort. Cramer v. U. S., U.S.N.Y., 325 U.S. l, 65 S.Ct. 918, 9327 89 L.Ed. 1441. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 2381. A person can be convicted of treason only on the testimony of two witnesses, or confession in open court. Art. III, Sec. 3, U.S. Constitution.

You'll notice that there's no requirement that the treasonous act have any possibility of actually working. A dominionist world just isn't going to happen, regardless of what the Bible says -- it's simply impossible. But the fact remains that, by working toward the overthrow of democracy in the United States, dominionists are guilty of treason.

In the war they see coming between the US and Iran, dominionists and dispensationalists hope the US loses (to be fair, they hope everyone loses). How patriotic is that?


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1 comment:

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