|May 18, 2006|
G.I. Jesus? Denouncement of Right-Wing Christian BattleCry
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
There is no military draft yet because the Christian Right is doing the recruiting on behalf of the government.
Ron Luce and his co-conspirators in the far right-wing Christian fundamentalist camps, are out there busily glorifying war as if it were godliness. They are having youth gatherings in stadium arenas called BattleCry. BattleCry is so filled with military metaphor and rhetoric that you would think it was a giant pre-boot camp designed to entice troubled youth trying to do good in the world to join the military. Ron Luce is applauding the Bush Administration's atrocities when he brings Navy Seals on stage and talks about how noble it is to be a soldier. Christian rock bands are used to entice the youth to come to these events. Otherwise, I doubt they would be willing to go. It is like being at a rock concert one moment with feeling happy and open, then a speaker is brought in to brainwash you. George W. Bush even sends an endorsement to be read at BattleCry. Virtually all of the propaganda used in the BattleCry literature is utilizing military rhetoric; from a hummer sporting a red revolution flag on stage, to dog tags, posters with youth carrying automatic weapons and Navy Seals giving Christian testimony and making "BattlePlans." Militarism is the epitome of misogyny.
My question is this: If Ron Luce claims he is trying to guide the youth around an evil culture, then why does he openly support the US military war machine with its dumping of weaponized radioactive uranium, known by the misleading name the Pentagon gave it, Depleted Uranium, all over an entire continent, rendering it uninhabitable forever? This, in the name of their God?
The BattleCry Christian youth movement is supported by big money from the Christian right-wing Fundamentalist industrial complex. They are not only promoting war and thereby military recruitment, but also homophobia and severe sexism by advocating the relinquishment of the right of sovereignty of women over their own bodies and firmly denouncing sexual diversity.
They have proclaimed they are the definitive deciders as to what God wants, and they are furiously working their literal biblical interpretations into the government.
Since the early nineties, through the leadership of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed's Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, the Christian right has taken working control of the Republican party and now the House, Senate, Judicial and Executive branches of government. It is the far Christian right, with the common thread of the belief of the inclusion of the military state with free market corporate influence, which is the type of Christianity in question here.
These leaders are the fathers of the BattleCry movement. Jerry Falwell himself is a guest at BattleCry events. Remember Jerry? He's the one who said 9/11 is the fault of the gays and feminists.
These Christians believe we are in the end times as prophesied literally, that wars are inevitable, that they must fight Satan and become Christ's soldiers in their own lives and in the world. They are creating a demented circular argument and self-fulfilling prophesies.
The Bush administration, being Christian Fundamentalists, have made sure that all of their appointments, if not neoconservative, are persons of Christian or Catholic right-wing ideology. Even Condoleezza Rice is upfront about her end times beliefs, saying in a church in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina that the hurricane was a sign that Jesus was coming. It is no mistake that they are taking their message to the steps of city halls across the country. These people mean to take their biblical values deep into the government. Religious doctrine trumps personal freedom. I'd say this would make us a Theocracy, wouldn't you?
In March, before the San Francisco BattleCry gathering, San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Tom Ammiano and California State Assemblyman Mark Leno proclaimed an official citywide condemnation of "BattleCry" on the basis of the homophobic rhetoric on its website. The SF Chronicle denounced their condemnation saying we were not being tolerant. Ammiano and Leno are right. The fundamentalist Christian "homosexuality is wrong" stance clearly demonstrates an adamant lack of toleration of sexual diversity and promotes a hate filled public homophobic backlash. They are contaminating the commons with hate-inducing attitudes. Homophobic hate is way up, just ask any school student.
I heard it over and over when questioning them. "The government is put in power by god and if you question the government you are questioning God. So don't."
This type of indoctrination insures a free ride to all kinds of governmental abuses, from dumping tons of weaponized radioactive genocidal uranium, to the unauthorized and secret wiretapping of millions of citizens, exactly like a KGB, to the abolition of Habeas Corpus, to torture committed by the US military. This behavior of the Christian right makes Nazi Germany look like a side show! Let's fact it, The Right-Wing Christians are the western world's religious extremists.
The effort we are undertaking of confronting this monstrous wolf in sheep's clothing is a controversial one because we are challenging the youth and we are challenging organized religion.
People generally think it is part of freedom of religion to be able to believe whatever you want. Ron Luce talks as if he is offering redemption by believing in this hate-filled militaristic view of Christianity. Then he makes us out to be intolerant for taking a stand.
We would like to make it clear; we are not suggesting infringing on their religious beliefs. They can have their beliefs, but they cannot force them on us and the world. They make up about 3% of the population. They certainly do not believe in a pluralistic democracy.
What we are saying is if they are going to use your religion to wreak havoc and destruction on the world, we stand adamantly and forthrightly against it. We will not candy coat our opposition. We will not condone sexual orientation prejudice and unrealistic and destructive abstinence-only sex based education. Abstinence-only sex education is a proven abysmal failure. They are pumping this up inside BattleCry, scaring the kids into thinking if they have any kind of sex except as sanctioned through marriage, they are sure to get an STD.
We will not condone the glorification of war and brainwashing of our youth, fooling them that they are fighting for God. We will not scare our children into thinking it is the end of the world because it is God's will.
If it is the end of the world it is because the Bush administration, through the leadership of the Christian right, is on a global crusade claiming to be a regent for God, of establishing economic and environmental dominance by way of this brand of militaristic Christianity. We will not stand idly by and watch, pretending that Luce and his movement are meant to help society. Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing, this is the defining example.
If they want to use it for good, to work for nuclear non-proliferation, for tolerance of sexual diversity, for realistic sex education, to feed and care for the poor and disadvantaged, we stand right with them, but if they use it for oppressive and militaristic ends and claim they are righteous, we stand squarely in opposition.
Debra Schaffer Hubert
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
These remarks were prepared as a counter protest for a BattleCry rally. A longer version of the article appears on Counterpunch. Further background on the BattleCry group is offered at Truthdig in Battle Cry for Theocracy by Sunsara Taylor.
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