Saturday, July 4, 2015

Speaking of July 4th...

I came across an article today at that was written by David Hathaway. He "is a  former supervisory DEA Agent. He is a cowboy and aficionado of Latin America where he has lived and traveled extensively. He is a homeschooling father of nine children and maintains the website"

His post entitled "American Freedom" lists 7 things that are required to be a patriotic, freedom loving American in our age. The entire post is a bit tongue in cheek and sarcastic, but he has some very good points. Two of them directly concern his perception of American Christianity, particularly the evangelical variety. I reproduce them here and encourage you to follow the link to read the entire article.

"I continually hear the words freedom and liberty chanted around me and prominently displayed on American homes and vehicles and in social media, so I know this must be something important.  I’ve also noticed that individuals, groups, and political candidates that oppose government intrusion into our lives are treated as social pariahs, so we have to dig a bit deeper to see what this American Freedom actually is.
It is a package deal that has primarily been assembled by neocons.  Mix together the various ingredients for the recipe and then add some red, white, and blue stuff that says “freedom” on it and you should be well on your way to American freedom.  It involves the following:
  1. Brand yourself as a Christian. But beware; the precepts of Christianity may get in the way.  So, the branding should not be accompanied by a practice of the faith.  Confusing?  Well, it’s not actually that hard if you apply yourself to a diligent study under an apt tutor.  To accomplish this, it is beneficial to seek out a subset of “Christianity” that concludes – through theological somersaults – that the actual practice of the tenets of Christianity when dealing with your fellow man is inappropriate manifesting “legalism” or “salvation through works.”  This really is the key which allows you to subdue the objections of your conscience and to strive for a relaxed mindset while carrying a Book around that says to not steal, to love your enemies, and to live peaceably with others.  Actual practice of the teachings of the New Testament must be portrayed as trying to “earn your way into heaven.”
So, to be clear on this point, call yourself a Christian, but to avoid the practice of the faith and to have a relaxed mindset with your hypocrisy, adopt a convoluted intellectual argument  – surrounding New Testament verses negating Old Testament rituals – that concludes that those verses require you to avoid New Testament teachings as well.   I know that last sentence is complicated, but you will need to grasp this complex doctrine in order to put your mind at ease to fully implement your unique American Freedom.  It’s hard to do if you have an un-seared conscience, but work on it.  You can probably get there if you make fervent efforts to beat down the feelings of hypocrisy.  There are plenty of paid ministers of the fallen one to help you arrive at the uniquely American sweet spot on this bundle of spiritual issues.
And, since we are talking about freedom and liberty, call this new libertine aspect of your faith “Christian liberty” or “Christian freedom.”   There are no requirements to subdue bloodlust or covetous tendencies since we, after all, must sin all day every day.  To work in another direction would be evil.  Advocating goodness and the Golden Rule would be gross heresy.  Go down the wide easy path and preach continually – lest you forget – that true faith means that we must all sin continually, and that this realization is what makes us true Christians.  Easy peasy.  Behave horribly and wretchedly because this, in essence, is your new “Christianity.”  See how easy that was?  Good is evil.  Evil is good.  If it gets confusing, drop some more money in the plate and get a refresher.   In short, call yourself a Christian, but don’t act like one and you will have this one covered with plenty of lucre-generating theological literature and preaching to back you up.
  1. Give vocal and ballot box support to the police state and military industrial complex. Now that we have Christianity out of the way and we have numbed our conscience into accepting perpetual evil in the name of our faith, it should be easy to ignore verses saying things like, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”  We can’t do right anyway, so we might as well get all our basal urges to shed blood and enrich ourselves blessed by the state by claiming  that the American state, unlike us, is capable of taking the moral path.  Distorting Romans 13 to make the state into a god is key here.
If “we the people” vote for politicians that want to kill a lot of people and lock everybody else up, then this is a theologically endorsed expression of “Christian” freedom – which is actually a need to perpetually commit evil – if you were paying attention to item 1 in this list.   Get it?
So, to wrap up this point, “we the people” rule the government.  We vote for war-mongering politicians.  Violence and vengeance is not bad because the orders come from the state as per our ballot-expressed desires to kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.   It takes some refreshing to remember how all the doctrinal pieces fit together into a cauldron of death and thievery.  If you accidentally stumble onto the Sermon on the Mount and read the Prince of Peace saying “love your enemies” and you need to get your evil spirit rekindled and re-justified, there are plenty of paid servants of hell who will re-shape your simple-minded reading of a doctrine of love, and get you back on the road to obligatory personal destruction – as a theological precept.    You know, so you can be “saved” from your confused thoughts that Christianity somehow relates to goodness."

He seems to understand the inherent, nationalistic contradictions within American conservative Christianity. Go read the whole thing. If it pisses you off, then stop and consider that he might be on to something and while I am here, let me add this...Most of the founding members of the neoconservative movement are Zionists or Jews or both. They are the Pharisees of our day. Should we as Christians really be following their lead? Our future is not with Israel. Our Kingdom is in Heaven. Just sayin'.  

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