Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Road Up and the Road Down are One and the Same

...said Hericlitus.

It scares the shit out of me that so many American's are blissfully unaware of the awesome size and depth of the neo-Crusader brainwashing movement sweeping the nation. For whatever reason, I've personally noticed an increasingly persistent media presence of this movement in the last few weeks. Most noticeable are the recent top-news hits espousing ....and yeah, that's what you think it is (see 'Battle Cry' clip below) and a number of back-to-school stadum rallies (with the same 'Battle Cry' theme) broadcast all over cable. It's Billy Graham Revivals on Texas trailer-made crank.

Using the the truncated bible verse (quoting Jesus), "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword," they are holding stadium rallies with sheeple literally screaming 'battle cries' to the heavens while holding real swords. Now, of course, the first defense of their behavior is that the movement is one directed against "evil" and "principalities" and not against the flesh. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a child taught to carry a real sword and yell battle cries is well, violent, and in the flesh, and warped to boot. They fail to see the verse in context, which is that Jesus' message of peace was so radical, that it would split families and set country against country...which is true. I don't see how so many people see this as a charge to engage in "spiritual warfare" (their term). It can and should be read like any other parable, Zen koan, or verse from the Tao Te Ching. Its juxtaposition with his overwhelming message of peace and tolerance, should make you think deeper, not act in rage, and achieve spiritual enlightenment. In this case Jesus is saying, my message (all that other Red Letter stuff) is gonna fuck things up, even in your own familes - the love-your-neighbor-forgiveness train is bumpy, be prepared for a rough ride. It's also important to note that Jesus is carrying the sword, implying justice and vengeance is left to the divine and NOT man. It seems that modern pop-church interpretation is to just take up the sword...and yell alot apparently.

Here's the verse in better context:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:34-39

And it's also unfortunate that these fundies don't realize that angry fundamentalists are angry fundamentalists are angry fundamentalists. Whether you call them Jihaddists or Crusaders, they all think they speak and act as the sole agents of Allah/God on Earth. I think we have more than enough of those kinds of people in world right now as is.

So here's a clip of battle cries from godtube and then a clip from the phenomenally heartbreaking documentary Jesus Camp.


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