Jason Miller: The Iron Fist of Jesus
Jason Miller: The Iron Fist of Jesusby Jason Miller
The Inmates are Running the Asylum
How much damage will men like George Bush, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Sam Brownback, Ralph Reed, and Rick Santorum inflict before reason prevails and they are unmasked as the twisted, malevolent charlatans that they are? Fundamentalist Christians, adherents to a nauseating perversion of Christianity (conjured from their twisted imaginations and their distorted interpretations of the Bible) wield a significant amount of power in the United States, socially and politically. Fund-raising, promotional, and organizational skills have enabled these Corpora-Fascist Capitalists masquerading as practitioners of the Christian faith to gain pervasive influence over the Republican Party. Despite recent blows, Republicans still control the Executive and Legislative branches of government, and are well on their way to dominating the Judicial branch by appointing judges who zealously rule in ways which promote the Social Darwinism, elitism, bigotry, property rights, and corporate power the Christo-Fascist Fundamentalist Christians crave.
God Bless America? Surely You Jest
One of the rationalizations for the illegal occupation of Iraq (and the murders of over one hundred thousand innocent Iraqi civilians) is that the United States is engaged in a struggle of "good versus evil". In spite of repeated heinous acts committed for years by the United States in the Middle East, including state terrorism resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, installation and/or support of ruthless dictators (i.e. Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran), and enabling the Israelis to commit genocide against the Palestinians, these pseudo-Christians have managed to convince many Americans that the US is "good" and the "terrorists" (i.e. the Resistance to US occupation in Iraq) are "evil". As the US government continues to rape the Middle East, Christo-Fascists slap "God Bless America" bumper stickers on their gas-guzzling SUV's actually believing that the Father, the Son, and/or the Holy Spirit would bless a nation governed by murderers, thieves and thugs.
Yes, I can visualize a Christian God sitting on his throne in the kingdom of heaven gazing down upon humankind. As he surveys humanity, he "wisely and judiciously" decides to answer Jane Morgan's prayer for a 2005 Hummer to replace her two year old Navigator. After all, he can't have Jane driving a "jalopy" to worship him on Sundays, now can he? Spying eight year old Mahmoud, a Palestinian in Gaza, God decides to let him die of malnutrition because he is not a Christian, and in fact is an "evil" Muslim who could become "terrorist" someday. Jerry Falwell, who does not appear to be struggling with malnutrition, would be most pleased with his Maker.
Not the Jesus I "Knew" When I was Younger
Growing up Methodist, my indoctrination into the Christian faith was rather moderate. I do not recall our ministers preaching fire, brimstone, or eternal damnation. Somehow I missed the interpretation of Revelations in which the Christo-Fascists have determined that Christ will return to Earth to "judge and make war". For those of you not fortunate enough to be blessed with the knowledge that Jesus will smite you down "with a rod of iron" (or do much worse) if you are deemed unworthy, click on this link to learn of your fate:
Powerful leaders of the Fundamentalist movement in America have devoted a great deal of time and energy toward their goal of convincing their loyal "Christian" soldiers that they will be saved in the "impending apocalypse" while "non-believers" will suffer beyond the scope of human imagination. Their dichotomous view of Christ as a compassionate and merciful champion of society's victims returning as a vengeful warrior bent on inflicting misery on his "enemies" reflects their psychologically impaired tendency to employ black and white thinking almost continuously.
In April of 2004 (in the New York Times) David Kirkpatrick wrote:
Writers and artists have been imagining the Second Coming of Jesus for 2,000 years, but few have portrayed him wreaking more carnage on the unbelieving world than Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
In their new apocalyptic novel, "Glorious Appearing," based on Dr. LaHaye's interpretation of Biblical prophecies about the Second Coming, their Jesus appears from the clouds on a white horse with a "conviction like a flame of fire" in his eyes. With all the gruesome detail of a Hollywood horror movie, Jesus eviscerates the flesh of millions of unbelievers merely by speaking.
"Men and women soldiers and horses seemed to explode where they stood," Dr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins write. "It was as if the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin.'' The authors add, "Even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated."
Dr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins did not invent fire and brimstone. But some scholars who study religion say that the phenomenal popularity of their "Left Behind" series of apocalyptic thrillers - now the best-selling adult novels in the United States - are part of a shift in American culture's image of Jesus. The gentle, pacifist Jesus of the Crucifixion is sharing the spotlight with a more muscular warrior Jesus of the Second Coming, the Lamb making way for the Lion.
Match Made in "Heaven"
Desperately yearning to rule with the "Iron Fist of Jesus", the Christo-Fascists and Machiavellian toadies like Karl Rove were instrumental in thrusting a grossly inept George Bush into the office of the President to do their malevolent bidding. While Bush has certainly made decisions which have displeased the masters of the Christo-Fascists, and has at times distanced himself from them, “God’s Favorites” could not have conjured up a more desirable denizen of the Oval Office, even in their most gratifying wet dreams.
Under Bush (who believes he is fulfilling a divine mission), America's regime continues its ongoing military, economic, and social assault on the Arab world, which according to the Christo-Fascists, is populated by "evil" Muslims ready to slice the white, Christian throats of "good" Americans if given the chance. They point to the handful of beheadings of Western hostages by extremist Muslims as “evidence” of this “fact”. The US continues its complicity in committing genocide against the Palestinians to clear the way for Jewish inhabitation of the "Holy Land", the necessity of which is woven into Christo-Fascist mythology. Legislative and judicial actions continue to chip away at the gains made for social justice here in the US throughout the Twentieth Century. Christo-Fascists have their coveted religious war to set the stage for the coming of the Warrior Christ and their regressive social movement to crush the threats to their mythical beliefs (i.e. critical thinking, science, freedom of religion, separation of church and state). Consummating the marriage made in the Christo-Faschists’ horrifying version of heaven (one man's heaven is another man's hell, eh?), the corporations and politicians comprising the military industrial complex reap the huge financial benefits of perpetual war, a significant percentage of the American public to support their perpetual war (who do you think is still showing up in the polls as supporting the war?), and loyal voters to help keep them in office.
In the Land of Oz, Science and Reality Cease to Exist
Living in Kansas and having a child in a Kansas public school, I have been following the farcical actions of the six Christo-Fascists who represent the majority on the Kansas State School Board. They recently decided it was time to rewrite the definition of science so that it is no longer "limited to" searching for natural explanations of phenomena. The board is also implementing new standards which will open the door for the introduction of the so-called "theory" of intelligent design into science classes.
As an aside, I will say that as a Deist (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), I believe in an intelligent designer, but that in no way diminishes my acceptance in the Theory of Evolution, which is supported by evidence and has withstood the tests of time and scientific scrutiny. Evolution is by no means complete, but there is no true theory of which I am aware that rivals Evolution, and until one emerges, I want my child learning Evolution. Comparing intelligent design and Evolution is absurd. ID is a theological argument based on one simple premise while Evolution is a legitimate scientific theory which has much more to say about the progressions and history of life on Earth than about the possible identity of its Creator or Initiator. I embrace both the notion of intelligent design and the Theory of Evolution simultaneously. However, intelligent design is a spiritual concept and does not belong in a science class.
Thankfully, rational thinkers came up with an appropriate response to the school board’s insanity. The University of Kansas recently announced it would offer a religious studies course which would include intelligent design in the curriculum. Unfortunately, Fundamentalist Pseudo-Christians discovered that Professor Paul Mirecki, the faculty member assigned to teach the course, wrote highly derogatory remarks on the Internet about them. The Christo-Fascist response? Several of their members who have infiltrated the Kansas State Legislature are calling for an investigation into the use of public funds at KU. On 12/5, Dr. Mirecki literally felt the Iron Fist of Jesus as two “Christian soldiers” attacked and beat him in retaliation for his remarks about their dogma. Much to the delight of “God's Warriors”, KU has cancelled the religious studies course.
Tell me to Have a Merry Christmas, or Else!
Recently, the Christo-Fascists have been wringing their hands over the "liberal attacks" on Christmas. Even their faithful Evangelical champion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has forsaken them. Bush’s sin? He dared to send out cards that said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". This has created a significant uproar amongst the “Goodly Christian Fundamentalists”. Besides attacking their beloved president, they are threatening to boycott retailers (like Target) which do not include “Merry Christmas” in their marketing or store displays. The American occupation of Iraq has caused the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis, 2,000 plus American soldiers have died in Iraq, at least 1,000 Americans died (and hundreds of thousands lost virtually everything they owned) in Hurricane Katrina due to the federal government's abdication of its responsibility to "promote the general Welfare", 45 million Americans are without health insurance, over a million Americans are homeless, the CIA and US military regularly engage in abuse and torture, the Patriot Act has seriously eroded the Bill of Rights, and the US continues its neocolonial practices to economically rape nations around the globe. Christo-Fascist voters, leaders, and politicians bear a great deal of responsibility for these tragedies as they have supported, shaped and orchestrated the malevolent US government policies behind these violations of international law and human rights, war crimes, and instances of criminal neglect. Yet they have the hypocrisy to raise a significant issue over "Merry Christmas"? It is simply mind-boggling.
Frankly, I do not care if someone says "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" to me. As a non-Christian, I celebrate Christmas as a time for giving, family, and to place a particular emphasis on peace and goodwill. The Prince of Peace would have wanted it that way. While I do not worship him as the son of God, I do hold Jesus Christ in high esteem for his teachings, principals and act of martyrdom. I do not believe that Warrior Jesus will one day ride down from heaven on a white steed with eyes blazing as he prepares to ram a sword down my throat and obliterate my flesh with his devastating voice. However, I am convinced that were he alive today, he would be sickened by the greed, gluttony, commercialization, and over-consumption that comprise much of Christmas in the United States. Many of the Christo-Fascists are the first to shove their snouts into the trough to get their share of Christmas goodies. Since my spiritual awakening about twelve years ago, I have been doing a lot more giving than receiving, including to charities. In fact, donations to Oxfam (on my behalf) sit atop my very short wish list this year. The Christo-Fascist Jesus would pummel me to a bloody mass of unrecognizable flesh with his "Iron Fist" for not doing my part to support America by stimulating the economy. Somehow though, it seems far more reasonable to me to envision Jesus tending to the poor and down-trodden rather than preying on them like America's Social Darwinists do.
Terrorism, US Style
When the Higher Power set the universe in motion, they planned for the evolution of Christo-Fascists to lend balance to the universe. America has Pat Robertson, who has called for the assasination of Hugo Chavez, a leader dedicated to improving the lives of the impoverished in his nation. The Bush regime will probably answer Robertson’s call. The US capitalist aristocracy (built by stealing Native American land and resources, enslaving Africans, seriously exploiting American workers, and imposing neocolonialism and imperialism disguised as democracy and free market economics) can ill afford for a leader of one of its South American fiefdoms to threaten the prevalence of their exploitive system by rallying the serfs against them. For each Osama bin Laden in the fundamentalist Muslim world, there is a Pat Robertson in the Christo-Fascist world. The difference is that while the Pat Robertsons have the US government to perpetrate their acts of terror, the bin Ladens have little choice but to do their own dirty work.
Just How Does One Define a Christo-Fascist?
What qualities would one find in a Christo-Fascist? Greed, hubris, and self righteousness would probably top the list. Upon further inspection, one would find a streak of xenophobia, a significant amount of intolerance for those who do not fit the "traditional roles" of men and women and those who have not accepted Christ as their savior, and a passionate disdain for critical thinking. Lest I forget, Christo-Fascists are generally thin-skinned and highly hypocritical. A powerful persecution complex and an insatiable appetite for the revenge that they believe Warrior Jesus will one day perpetrate on their behalf arm them with conscience-blunting self-justifications for their mean-spirited actions. Hatred and bigotry gnaw at their malnourished souls like crows picking at the remains of a fallen soldier in the war for religious supremacy. Christo-Fascists wield their knowledge of scripture (and the commonly held Western belief that the Bible is sacrosanct) while performing unbelievable mental gymnastics to ensure they prevail in polemical discourse and successfully proselytize the weak and vulnerable. Narcissism and self hatred lie at the core of the personalities of the Fundamentalist Faithful. For a specific example of how the qualities of a Christo-Fascist manifest themselves, consider the Fundamentalist Christians’ support of the illegal imperial Iraqi occupation involving the murders of tens of thousands of indigenous people, the deaths of over 2,000 American military personnel, the destruction of much of the nation's infrastructure, and the waste of hundreds of billions of federal tax dollars while US citizens suffer at home due to inadequately funded domestic programs. Iron Fist Jesus would approve!
In short, Fundamentalist Christians are the people whom the real Jesus would have hammered with his Iron Fist, if he had had one, and if he had been inclined to use it. Fortunately for them, Warrior Jesus is simply a myth the Christo-Fascist masters use to keep their minions in line. Unfortunately for the rest of us, America's religious extremists are as dangerous as those in the Middle East and around the globe.
Just in case there is an Iron Fisted Jesus and an impending Rapture, I am signing off by wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Jason Miller is a 38 year old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. He works as a loan counselor in the transportation industry, and is a husband with three sons. His affiliations include Amnesty International and the ACLU. He welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com.