Friday, July 3, 2009

A Covenant With Death















Gory, gory hallelujah:
A "shock and awe" assault on Baghdad, above; below, right, a "liberated" Iraqi mourns a dead relative.



We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves. -- Isaiah 28:15 (KJV)



While the event bills itself as the "Treasure Valley God and Country Festival," it is the nation-state that plays the starring role -- albeit an officially uncredited one -- in the four-day event currently underway in Nampa, Idaho.


As will be the case at Fourth of July commemorations throughout the United State (spelling intentional)*, the God and Family Festival displays the trappings of a contemporary Christian worship service while channeling devotion toward the government ruling us, particularly its most potent instrument of lethal coercion -- the military.



Nampa's annual event was created by the actor and one-time minor league baseball player Chuck Connors
(no kidding) during the Vietnam conflict as a way of honoring veterans of that exceptionally foolish and unnecessary war. This year's edition was distinguished by the signing of a Pentagon-produced document called a "Community Covenant."


Various state and local political figures affixed their signatures to the document, which will eventually be displayed in the Governor's office. The purpose of this ritual is for communities to "do a public display and acknowledge support for the military," explained an Army officer to the Idaho
Statesman. Since the document was created by the Secretary of the Army in 2008, it has been publicly endorsed by the political leadership of dozens of "communities" -- both cities and states.



















Propagating the gospel of militarism: The Pentagon's official map of "covenant" communities. (Click to enlarge.)

The document refers to "America's Army" as "The Strength of the Nation," and calls upon those residing in "covenant" communities to help build "the strength, resilience, and readiness of Soldiers and their Families," and to help implement "the Army Family Covenant."


It's worth noting here that the choice of the term "covenant" -- a term with profound and even sacred connotations for those steeped in the language of Scripture -- was no accident. It was almost certainly the product of expensive and detailed opinion sampling by people adept in manipulating language and images in order to seduce unwary but otherwise decent people into suspending their capacity for critical thinking.


That second "covenant"
gives some substance to the hortatory language of the first by enlisting "covenant" communities as lobbyists on behalf of military benefits -- health care, housing, educational programs, child care, and so on.


Idaho is the reddest of the Red States, populated by industrious people who are expansively skeptical of government power unless it is deployed in the cause of murdering foreigners and occupying distant countries.


Many of the people who attend this year's God and Country Festival will arrive at the event in SUVs whose stereos resound with talk radio harangues denouncing the expansion of the welfare state under Obama. Yet those same people are blind to the ironic fact that the government institution they uncritically adore, the United States Military, has been the greatest factor in the growth of the welfare state.



As Bruce D. Porter explains in his valuable book
War and the Rise of the State, each American military conflict, beginning with the War for Independence, has expanded the domestic power and redistributive reach of the government through what he calls "Titmussian linkages" between veterans and their dependents on the one hand, and the central government on the other. That somewhat inelegant phrase refers to the work of socialist British academic Richard Morris Titmuss, "A vigorous advocate of social welfare reforms" and, therefore, of the militarization of society in the interest of expanding the welfare state.


In fact, as Timuss noticed and Porter points out, the very "origins" of the welfare state are found in the military. Veterans and their dependents, who are guaranteed pensions and various disability, health, and housing benefits provided the first permanent clients of the redistributionist state. Both world wars abetted the breakdown of conventional family norms, and offered valuable field experience for promoters of sexual emancipation and related social "reforms." And the WWII-era conscription of millions of men, and the recruitment of their wives into war-related industries, led to the enactment of the first federal child care legislation.



That the military would abet the growth of a huge and ever-expanding welfare state would not have surprised James Madison, who famously denounced war as "the parent of armies; and from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."



What Madison lamented -- the centralizing effect of war, particularly in propagating debt -- the execrable Alexander Hamilton frankly celebrated. Porter points out that Hamilton was delighted by the lingering debts accumulated by the colonies (and later states) during the War for Independence; he pressed for Congress "to assume the full debts, believing this would turn the debts into a potential `cement' of the Union. This, in the American case, as in the Dutch case before it, war debts helped consolidate a fractious polity by binding creditors across the nation to the fate of the central state."



The Empire Hamilton Built is racing toward the unpleasant end that awaits all imperial projects: Incurable, undisguised insolvency, the ruin of the official currency, political collapse, and -- most likely -- internal schism.
At some point the Power Elite will probably call most of the troops home from their far-flung garrisons, not because our rulers will have renounced aggression, but rather for the purpose of putting down internal resistance. This, too, was foretold by Madison in the Constitutional Convention, when he warned that "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive, will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense [against] foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."


Dr. Porter, a Harvard-educated historian and former Senate Armed Services Committee adviser, appears to believe that one major priority of U.S. foreign policy is to supply a steady stream of foreign crises that can provide a shared "national identity" for residents of our fissiparous country.


Writing in 1994, Porter suggested that growing unrest and even separatist tendencies within the American polity may inspire attempts by the ruling elite "to solve all these problems through foreign diversion; finding or inventing enemies ... against which united efforts can be directed. But unless the United States becomes embroiled in a srious war, the problem of keeping America unified in the face of profound centrifugal tensions is likely to be
the political problem of the 1990s and beyond."


Of course, the approach Porter foresaw -- and which appears to have been taken by the Power Elite -- accelerates the process of economic collapse and, with it, social upheaval. Which suggests, once again, that the same military establishment being exalted as a divine entity at the "God and Country Festival" and similar events this weekend may, in the not-too-distant future, be given the task of forcibly disarming and suppressing the political desires of the same people now singing its praises.



The program for the "God and Country" event briefly describes the "Roman Road" -- a potent condensation of the salvation message found in the Apostle Paul's Epistle to the Romans.


Much of the event itself, including the ritualized signing of the blasphemous, Pentagon-composed "covenant," seems built on the assumption that the Roman Road that really matters is the
Via Appia -- the main thoroughfare through which Imperial Rome dispatched its armies of conquest -- and that it is the duty of pious Christians to promote and sustain the Empire's military ambitions, whatever they may be.



As Richard Gambale documents in his indispensable study The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation, the militarist heresy is of relatively recent vintage. It was an outgrowth of the WWI-era "Progressive" conceit that the Christian Church had to justify its existence by playing a "positive" role in the expansion of the meliorist state.


Rather than playing the biblically mandated role of peacemakers, the progressive clergy eagerly supported World War I "as transforming event in the life of the church," observes Gambale. Many of them applauded the Wilson administration's war aims as a form of Christian "altruism," one that promised temporal redemption "at the sacrifice, if need be, of five millions of men and billions of wealth," as an effusive
Literary Digest editorial put it.



Nor would this righteous campaign to re-make the world through state coercion cease once altrusitic mass murder ceased. Writes Gambale: "The progressives longed for, and expected, the war for righteousness to continue after the guns in Europe fell silent." They would not be disappointed.



Again, one collides with an arresting irony: The most outspoken "conservative celebrations of militarism during what used to be called Independence Day a promoting a view devised by the leftist Progressives of the early 1900s, what Gambale aptly calls "the rhetorical sacralization of the nation-state."



The more pronounced our ruling elite's apostasy from America's republican origins, the more insistent became their invocations of our sacred national "mission" in the world. As Gambale notes, one particularly notable example was provided on September 11, 2002 by Bush the Lesser as he "appropriated the words of John 1:5 as if they described not just the Incarnation of Christ but the mission of the United States: `And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness will not overcome it.'"




To the extent that any radiance attends the labors of the Regime ruling us, it is the demonic nimbus of shock-and-awe, not
the divine radiance of the Shekinah. The true tragedy of our time is that so many American Christians are blind to that critical distinction.

On sale now.











Dum spiro, pugno!

50 comments:

Mimi said...

Another inspired post. I'm often bemused by those who invoke the name of the Prince of Peace as the guiding light behind our country's murderous ways. How can they reconcile their beliefs--or do they just leave them unexamined?

Broken said...

Mimi, without pretending to instruct you or anyone else, I want to answer from my heart. It is a peculiar feature of Western Civilization that we compartmentalize things, as you note. The Bible is an essentially Eastern document -- ANE (Ancient Near Eastern), to be specific. Whereas we in our Western rationalism set limits by abstracting things down to a crucial deifinition, the ANE mind abstracts things outward to find the full encompassing meaning of things. When we can learn to absorb Him fully into our lives, without compartmentalization, we can send our choirs into battle and let God do the fighting -- I mean that quite literally. No enemy can do real harm to the nation which embraces God's Laws. Jesus defined those Laws as, "Love God; respect your neighbor."

teddlem said...

Correction: Chuck Connors played MAJOR league baseball: One game with the Brooklyn Dodgers and a season with the Chicago Cubs.

More importantly, he played major league basketball with the Boston Celtics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Connors

marie said...

I really appreciated this post. I didn't realize that "celebration" was going on. I am a professing Christian and have a few family members who are marines and a brother who is a police officer. I often feel as if it is understood in my family that I support the military and what they are doing simply because my general uncle says that things are going well and we are doing good. It's hard to stand up for my belief that our military presence around the world is really not a good thing when I'm surrounded by very Conservative Christian, Pro-military family. Thanks again for speaking out about this. I look forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, as always. My gag reflex has been invoke recently by commercials promoting the families of service members as being an extension of the military's effort of bring peace and democracy throughout the world. The ads suggest we honor and support them as much as the troops in the field.

Being a former military member myself, I find it exploitative and dishonorable---Everyone in the military volunteered. They knew the score when they signed the dotted line. Besides, does that make them more special than those who put their lives in their hands every day scraping out a living to provide for their families, who are more likely to be killed or injured by auto accident (Check it out--The US military lost more members to auto accidents than ALL the wars combined!) or a random mugger? Those who have handicapped spouses and children, or help those in need, without fanfare?

No one holds parades, gives out medals, or salutes the common folk who suffer as much risk taking care of their family, kin, and neighbors, and sacrifice their whole lives and dreams daily till the end of their lives, than those who fight for spurious causes in far-off lands for an abstract concept called national security.
And no one needs to, because they do it for love, not for Empire building.

Watch the original Magnificent Seven. There's a great scene where Charles Bronson sternly rebukes a
child who complains his father is a coward because he did not stand up to the bandits like Bronson and his fellow hired guns did. Bronson spanks the boy and tells him how his father is braver than him, how his father carries a huge, grinding rock of responsibility every day to take care of the boy and his family, compared to hired guns who get the glory.

Barnabas said...

Broken

I would offer my two cents in my understanding of the bible.

Its not just an ANE document
Its not just a Hellenistic document.

Its both.

Throughout the bible, especially the new testament (see acts 6) there is really a co-mingling of both hellenistic thought (being as you say "compartmentalized", or as I tend to think of it, linearly ordered.) and the jewish (or as you say, the wholistic way of thinking)

Paul was raised in being exposed to both styles of thinking and his writing reflects both.

If you are a man who enjoys examining the contrast between discrete and continuous ways of thinking, you might check out david Bohms "Wholeness and the implicate order."

my .02 cents...

I Hate Bobby Flay said...

It’s sickening how military people are so exalted by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Ann Coulter calls them “the best of the best” as though they are superior to everyone else. I was in the Air Force for four years during the ’70’s and all I can remember is beer, beer, kegs of beer everyday, and drugs, back then being pot and amphetamines. Have things changed so drastically? Uh, nuhhh.

MoT said...

all I can remember is beer, beer, kegs of beer everyday, and drugs.... BF

Don't feel like you're alone, Bobby. I was in the Air Force in the early 80's and what you say was pretty much spot on even then with Ronnie Ray-gun at the button.

Idaho is the reddest of the Red States, populated by industrious people who are expansively skeptical of government power unless it is deployed in the cause of murdering foreigners and occupying distant countries.

Ooooh! There is truth to that. Even our local free paper reported on the towns recent celebrations, which I somehow missed, with National Guard decked out in full gear. Then again the police were praised to high heaven so no surprise I guess.

The family and I recently went to the Cherry Festival in neighboring Emmett and while there, smack dab in the towns central park, across the street from the county court house (where a vintage WW2 tank stands guard like so many other icons of war) amongst all the "carnies", was an APC and tables full of Army recruiting material. I mean, seriously, what the hell were they doing there? MMMMmmm lessee, cherries... cherry bombs... BOMBS! O.K. I get it now.

The tank, or old jet, standing sentry (the better to drive home the militaristic point of who you "owe" your freedom to) on the courthouse green with another monument listing the dead from foreign excursions, can be found almost everywhere. This isn't something unique to America because I'm reminded of my trip to New Zealand and how in every town where there was a park you'd likely find a monument or statue of a soldier for those fallen in "service" to the British Empires escapades.

D. Saul Weiner said...

Boy, it is bad enough being forced to financially support all of the mayhem, but the United State is not content with that. We need to continually profess our gratitude and admiration for these tax-feeders. And the booboisie cheers them on.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Mr. Grigg,

A beautifully crafted and profound essay. There is so much I want to say about the points you and other commenters raise, but don't know where to begin.

Humanity is a terrifying and magnificent species. Billions of us suffer and groan in profound ignorance, while a small number crush and squeeze the blood and sweat out of us. Individually, we are capable of being nobler than the angels, or more evil than the worst minions of Satan.

Everything you said is true. For now, I think I will leave it at that. No point trying to change any minds - those who know, know, and those who do not know are deaf and blind.

You are fortunate to have attracted a group of sober and rational thinkers to your blog, and not aggressive and incoherent malcontents, like so many other blogs.

Sincerely,
Lemuel Gulliver.

Brass said...

Nice post, Mr. Grigg.

The original Vulgate of the passage from John 1:5 actually reads, "Et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt." "And the darkness did not grasp (in the sense of 'understand') it."

It really brings it home: Christianity is simply either something you "get" or you don't.

It certainly is true, about people worshipping the police and military.

If you were to tell a Christian that Jesus Christ did not die for his sins, he might try to exhort the nay-sayer, at worst. If you were to tell the same person "No military man in the past 180 years has died protecting the freedoms of Americans," he would almost certainly insult you, he would very likely threaten you with physical harm, and possibly attack you with the closest weapon available.

This across-the-board reaction goes to show you which god most people in the U.S. really worship. Hint: it's not the Prince of Peace.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Broken,
Let me throw this out there - if you disagree, then OK, I'll drop it.

You are absolutely on the right path. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," which like so much He said had multiple meanings, one, that He was standing there showing the way, two, that the Kingdom is here and now all around us if we can only see it, three, that it is as close to us as our own hearts, and can only be found therein.

My advice: Do not read the Bible literally, as if every single word and saying was true. It is only a book, which has been much edited and amended throughout history. At 62 years old, even in this short span of life I have seen many "new" versions of the Bible which subtly but clearly distort the meaning of earlier versions.

Read the Bible, as you seem to do, from the heart. As Mr. Grigg obseved:

"[T]he Christian Church had to justify its existence by playing a "positive" role in the expansion of the meliorist state.... Rather than playing the biblically mandated role of peacemakers, the progressive clergy eagerly supported World War I."

People who blindly support "The Church" are little different, and often the same people, who blindly support "The State." The Christian Church was established as an organ of the Roman State in 325 AD, and from that very moment started to corrupt the message of Jesus, which it has been doing now not for 62 years, but for 1,684 years. You can only hear Jesus' message any more in the Bible if you listen with your heart, not with your ears. True, it helps to survive this world if you belong to a group of fellow-believers, but keep your own counsel, and do not let their literal interpretations influence you too much.

Sincerely,
LG

Tom Mullen said...

The usual excellence, Will. You make a wonderful point in linking welfare and warfare - what I have called the two statist pillars. I was not aware that many of the programs were started for soldiers, veterans, or their families, but it makes perfect sense. I have always equated warfare and welfare because they represent the same use of force to deprive people of their property - warfare just happens farther away (for Americans). Here you point out the actual historical link - very useful! It is funny that "conservatives" are pro-war and anti-welfare - until they get into office and are then pro-war and pro-welfare (Medicare drug program anyone?). Liberals are pro-welfare and anti-war until they get into office and are then pro-welfare and pro-war.

Mister Spock said...

Great post, as always, Will.

And to Brass, I don’t want to nitpick, since we (well, most of us) are all on the same side, but there is no "original" Vulgate. The Latin Vulgate is a translation, and in some places, a very poor one, from the original Hebrew and Greek. Your translation in this case is definitely correct - the Greek word katalambano does mean comprehend (pretty easy to see from the Latin comprehenderunt.)

Again, don't want to nitpick, but many have been led astray by the Latin Vulgate. In the 1490’s, an Oxford professor, and the personal physician to Kings Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing them to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.”

The reason was that the Latin had become so corrupt over the years that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin. It was part of the tyranny of the Roman Church - they allowed Latin to be the only written language – it was how they were able to control people.

Latin was not an original language of the scriptures, and it is best to go back to the Hebrew or Greek to find what they really say. Obviously there are good translations in many languages, so you can read them in English, French, Japanese, whatever, but going to the Vulgate is not a good source. No offense intended.

To "Lemuel", offense IS intended. Your attack on scripture can be traced to your father in Genesis 3:1, when he asked, "Indeed, has God said?" Your statement that the Bible is "only a book, which has been much edited and amended throughout history," is hogwash. The Bible is God's word, and the fact that people have corrupted its truths (e.g., the Catholic church as you mention), or printed poor translations (the JWs, e.g.) does not mean that the Bible itself is corrupt.

Paul tells us "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

"Lemuel" tells us, nah, don't believe that it, it doesn't mean that, just follow your heart, man. He neglects to tell you that scripture also tells us the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things. Of course, God was wrong about that, too, right? As a matter of fact, since it's just a book, been edited and amended countless times, and we shouldn't take any of it literally, but should just believe whatever our heart tells us, I guess we pretty much can reject the whole thing unless it gives us nice, fuzzy feelings. Certainly no truth to be found there. Jesus didn't really mean it when He said to the Father in John 17, "Your word is truth." Maybe He didn't even say that.

So,let's see:

Jesus: Your word is truth.

Satan: Has God said?

Lemuel: Do not read the Bible literally, as if every single word and saying was true. It is only a book, which has been much edited and amended throughout history.

Who ya gonna believe?

Marc Swanson said...

When I was in college "Report From Iron Mountain" was required reading. The book is essentially collectivist sophistry offering a multitude of reasons why war is beneficial to society. Apparently, society either does not include those individuals killed and maimed or they are statistically unimportant when the "greater good" of the beehive is the primary objective. There are many destructive popular fallacies firmly implanted in the minds of average people but the myths that war and some inflation (a large increase in the supply of money substitutes) are good for the economy are two of the worst.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Spock:

So right on!!!

AvgJoe said...

Will, I have a hunch you know it but I'll say it anyway.
The US holds more people in prison than Russia and China combine. Which I believe is 1 in 43 people in prison or just released on supervised release from prison. In the US the state that has the most people in prison or just released on supervised release from prison is GA with 1 in 17 people in that state's population. The number two state is our wonderful state of Idaho, with 1 in 18 people in the state's population.
We live in a police state in Idaho. The government lawyers and police are sending petty shoplifters who shoplift less than ten bucks worth of stuff to prison for felony burglary. Just yesterday in the Statesmen a story on a half brother and sister who are in their 30's are being held in Ada county jail and facing life in prison for having sex. In the last six months that same newspaper reported two different young men being charged with felonies for having 1 and 6.5 grams of pot. Look at all the cameras at every intersection aiming in all directions. These cameras are sending information to a federal fusion center. Of course its said that we don't have a fusion center in Idaho. Anyone want to buy a bridge?
So the statement of Idaho being Red and the folks don't take to government well may be a little off target. We have state government ripping us of big time to pay for this police state industry. We can't go to the store and buy Milk, Bread and Baby Food and not be taxed on it. Buy a set of glasses or a hearing aid and you pay sales taxes on that as well. We pay sales taxes on everything and the lawmakers want to charge sales tax on labor for even more money. State income, property, sales taxes, personal property taxes, and every stinking tax on everything you can slap it on, its slapped on. All to pay for the number one cost to the citizens of Idaho, the police state industry. In fact that the fastest growing industry in Idaho.
btw/ did you notice the billboards that Ada County Sheriff has that read, "be a super hero become a Ada County deputy Sheriff". You can't make this stuff up.

Broken said...

God forgive me, for I did not intend to start a debate on someone else's blog. Without any further waste of valuable space here, let me offer this link to clarify on what appears to be the point of contention in what I first posted above.

Brass said...

Mr. Spock,

When I speak of the "original" Vulgate, I speak of the original (first) translation from Greek by St. Jerome, however flawed his translation.

Doubtless, the original Hebrew and Greek texts can impart so much more meaning than the Latin text, and much more than the English text, certainly. I consider an English translation of the Bible analogous to a movie version of a book: the meaning present in the book can be very distorted in the transition from text to film, even though every effort had been made to preserve the core of the book.

As it is, I think more people have been led astray by English bastardization of the text, doubtless by very well-meaning individuals. In the Douay, we read Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God." In the "God's Word" translation, the text reads "Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn't been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God."

The Vulgate hasn't changed in about 1600 years. The same can't be said of the English translations.

As for threats of death from "The Church" for reading the Gospel in any other language than Latin? First, if it was the case that people were being threatened with death, it was not "the Church" doing the threatening. Some Popes may have threatened death. The Pope, however, is not himself the Church. Second, there were horrible, unauthorized translations circulating at the time, much like the delightful "God's Word" translation excerpt above. This certainly does not justify the use of force to coerce people into reading or not reading particular texts, but we must take the medieval mindset into account.

Official Church documents promulgated by the Magisterium teach that no one may be forced to believe anything.

Earlier in history, St. Jerome, in the 300's, for example, obviously had to read scripture in Hebrew and Greek before translating it into Latin.

In the 800's, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, with Papal approbation, translated Scripture into the Slavonic tongue (creating the written Slavonic language as they went) as a means of ministering to the Slavs.

So while some officials of the Church may have threatened death for reading scripture in other than Latin in medieval times, it was by no means "the Church" as an institution which threatened death.

Brass said...

Lemuel,

I see where you are coming from, yet I agree with Mr. Spock, for the most part, except for the part about "intending offense."

As for the Church being an organ of the State, I find it hard to swallow. When the members of the Church failed to operate in perfect synchronisation with its marionette strings, the State has always tried to snuff the Church.

During the exile of the Pope under the reign of Napoleon, a delightful exchange between Napoleon and the Papal Secretary of State (the only non-violent, non-tax-based State that exists in the world, I will add) transpired. Napoleon, being a bit put out that the Pope had refused to cede Church powers to a terrestrial ruler, blustered "I will destroy the Church!" The Pope's man (doubtless laughing out loud) responded, "Sire, if all the priests, and nuns, and bishops and cardinals and popes have in 1800 years been unable to destroy the Church, what makes you think you can?"

It is true that the worst enemy of the Church has been the fallible members of the Church Herself. Yet the Church's second worst enemy has always been the State. And the most damaging times were the periods in which a great number of members of the Church enjoyed a cosy relationship with the State.

The Church is a supernatural and spiritual institution. The State is a physical institution, and an evil result of the Fall. The Church works in the world through encouraging good works by convincing the intellect and forming the will. The State merely wields a truncheon.

Whenever members of the Church get involved with the State, ugliness invariably ensues. The reputation of the Church never escapes unsullied, while the State never loses its popularity among the masses.

Read Mr. Tucker's article on Lew Rockwell.com today. Wise words on the mingling of Church and State.

Mark said...

Mr. Grigg,

I am curious as to whether you believe the American Revolution to have been a just war on the part of the colonists?

zach said...

As the economy gets worse because of the corporate state's depredations, look for big staged terror attacks, "pandemics" and other crisis, real and staged.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article Mr. Grigg! Why isn't there a facebook fan page for you yet?

As far as the Bible thumpers debate regarding scripture goes...I feel fortunate to have been raised well enough by my father (a jesuit trained ND football playing philosopher) to not have to read books on how to be a good person. He taught me right from wrong, making Bible reading unnecessary. (I find it's used more for dramatic effect nowadays anyways.)

I did find the part about the manipulation of language fascinating though.

I welcome the entering of the Age of Aquarius :-)

Peace to all.

I Hate Bobby Flay said...

Good Lord, I’m sick to death of this barbarity!

From New Mexico:

A 14-year-old Tucumcari girl is recovering at an Albuquerque hospital after being shot in the head with a Taser dart by Tucucmari Police Chief Roger Hatcher.

After a CAT scan, a hospital resident told her the dart was “in her brain a little bit, but not much,” Akin [her mother] said.

She was in pediatric intensive care following the surgery, Akin said. “She seems OK, but she she’s in a lot of pain. Her head is hurting her real bad.”

Hatcher said he chased her, ordered her to stop and “then did what I had to do.”

William N. Grigg said...

From the article about the 14-year-old Taser victim:

Akin said she and her daughter were arguing over a cell phone.
Akin said she drove her daughter to the Tucumcari Police Department to seek help.While in front of police headquarters, her daughter walked away, Akin said.

Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never,
NEVER, in saecula saeculorum, call the police for "help."

Mister Spock said...

To Anonymous:

Your understanding of the Bible is seriously flawed. If you knew the Bible, you would know that it does not tell you "how to be a good person." Instead, it tells us, "There is none righteous, not even one…there is none who does good, there is not even one."

The Bible is more than clear that you are not capable of being a good person: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." And, "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight..."

So, if you think you are a "good person," and want to put yourself under the Law, good luck with that. On the other hand, you can receive the righteousness of Christ by an act of simple faith. One of the most amazing passages in the Bible says, "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them." 2 Cor. 5:18,19

That is truly incomprehensible – God is not counting your sins again you. And to complete Paul's words: "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

William N. Grigg said...

I am curious as to whether you believe the American Revolution to have been a just war on the part of the colonists?

The cause of independence from Great Britain was morally unassailable, in my view, as was the defensive combat at Lexington and Concord. It's hard to see how peaceful reconciliation -- attempted on numerous occasions by the Patriots -- was possible once the British effort to disarm the militia was repulsed.

It was pretty clear by 1770 or so that unless the colonies wrested their independence from Great Britain, the Americans were going to be reduced to little better than helot status within a couple of generations.

In recent weeks I've been re-reading David Ramsay's two-volume account of the War for Independence and reviewing some of Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty series on the Revolutionary War. I'm persuaded that this was probably the only truly just war in American history -- the War of 1812 being an ambivalent affair (vide the Hawks' designs on Canada) and the cause of Southern Secession being worthy in principle but marred in some obvious particulars.

MoT said...

Regarding AvgJoes comments I have to likewise comment. Having moved to the Gem State from Texas early last year I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the residents after having been conditioned to rudeness in my former domicile.

Not to say there aren't good people everywhere but I'd simply gotten used to a glass less than half empty. That hasn't changed but what has happened is that over the past year I've become aware that there is an unusually high police presence.

I once met an out of work Indian American welder who had just got out of prison after two years for drug possession who told me that Idaho was a "hanging state". Meaning that you'd best look elsewhere for mercy.

I constantly see Sheriff, Municipal and State cops with their pimped-out cruisers and have to always keep my situational awareness in top form because I "know" that they're pulling someone over for seatbelt "violations" etc. Safety has little to do with it but extracting FRN's from your wallet is.

A clear sign that so-called believers are addicted to militaristic crack was evidenced in the newspaper recently where the God and Country folks were moaning and complaining that they were denied a "fly-over". Good grief! And what exactly would that have served to reinforce? Hmmm? The God or the Country part of the equation?

On a sad footnote I had wanted to shoot off some fireworks with the kids not because I really care about July 4th, I don't, but it's one of those rare occasions you can actually make some noise... or so I thought. In Japan you can buy them year round no questions asked but here it seems you have to sign some paperwork stating the products for sale are not to be used "within the State"! How absurd and hypocritical. In essence everyone who bought anything was guilty of perjury. I sadly left empty handed as I told the family I wasn't about to be made a liar, but there you have it. Oh the irony of it all that we would make citizens into liars while raking in the tax receipts and then distributing that money to kill innocents abroad with true fireworks from hell.

frances snoot said...

The essay "A Covenant with Death" is absolutely essential reading for the deception our nation is currently abiding within. Once again Mr. Grigg is right on the money.

Anonymous said...

And we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American
He reigns from on high
He speaks to us through middlemen
And he shepherds his flock
We sing out and we praise His name
He supports us in war
He presides over football games
And the right will prevail
All our troubles shall be resolved
We have faith in the Lord
Unless there's money or sex involved....Eagles "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture"

frances snoot said...

@Mister Spock:

Your condescending manner in representing 'truth' is objectionable. Do you mean then to tell the world that if a man marries twice, he will go to hell? The Bible teaches that, Jesus said it according to the Bible.

If you believe the Bible literally, 99.98% of the people in the world will burn eternally. I can't believe that, and I don't think you do either.

There seems to be a disconnect between the Christian charity the Bible teaches and the actions of the Christians in today's churches in America. Mr. Grigg's essay addresses this issue.

frances snoot said...

Mr. Grigg:

We got help from France and German soldiers during the revolutionary war, right? Wasn't this a banker's operation? Rothschild?

William N. Grigg said...

frances, it was the Brits who relied heavily on German Hessian mercenaries (and according to Count Corti's biography, there was Rothschild money involved in paying the Hessians).

France got involved on the colonists' side, in large measure, to avenge its defeat in the recent war with Britain; the debts contracted in the war helped precipitate the French Revolution, alas.

Every war is a banker's operation, at some level, even ones fought for sound reasons. The Bible makes it pretty plain that even "just" wars are worse than plagues.

Anonymous said...

The Bible seems pretty relevant to me!

Will's Isaiah quote 'shines light' in the 'darkness' of the souls & minds of small-fry patriots as well as in the souls & minds of the power elite who manipulate their minions to believe that War is the only true God

"And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness will not overcome it." John 1:5

Ancient Israel rejected the Law based Judge System established from Mt. Sinai. Their vanity got the better of them.

" 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
1 Samuel 8"

Although the Lord had Samuel itemize the many ways 'a king' would oppress and enslave them, the people insisted,

"19 Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles."

so...

"8...the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king."

Finding no worth as productive farmers and working folk they were restless.

Philistine forges proved an overpowering fascination. In order to more closely admire highly skilled warrior smithies forging weapons the Israelites brought their 'broken' tools to be mended and sharpened.

"19 ¶ Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.
21 Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. 1 Samuel 13"

Sound familiar?

By the way, there is a response from the Lord to those who have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:"

"16 ¶ Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 ¶ And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. Isaiah 28"

One could hope.

Mister Spock said...

Frances - I apologize if you perceived condescension in my post. It certainly was not intended - and certainly not at you as you had not posted anything at that point. I did intend, however, to irritate Lemuel. Any time someone attacks God's word and/or Jesus' followers (this wasn't his first time), I don't have a problem with being blunt when pointing out their deviousness. For example, Lemuel: My advice: Do not read the Bible literally, as if every single word and saying was true. It is only a book, which has been much edited and amended throughout history.)

As to your question, no one goes to Hell because of the number of wives they had. They go to Hell because they rejected God's Son. As far as the percentage of people in Hell, I have no idea. I know that Jesus did say, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

I hope that helps.

Mister Spock said...

Will - it might interest you to know that less than two months ago, Larry Hatcher, the brother of the Police Chief who tasered the 14 year old girl, plea-bargained a deal and pleaded no contest to seven counts of child molestation - to reduce the original number of 143 counts of child molestation - and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. I guess it runs in the family. http://www.pntonline.com/news/molestation-33748-clovis-counts-hatcher.html

frances snoot said...

Mr. Grigg:

Is there a Biblical reference to "just wars being worse than plagues?"

Thanks for answering my question!!! Do you have a suggestion for reading material?

William N. Grigg said...

Frances, I was thinking of the perspective offered by Charles Spurgeon regarding war, how it is worse than famine or plagues. He was alluding to the punishments described in 2 Samuel 24 in response to David's "census" (which was a war preparation measure carried out in a way that defied the Lord's instructions).

Larry Vance has published a number of very good books outlining biblical and historic Christian teachings about war; his website is
http://www.vancepublications.com/

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Somewhere, I think I read the phrase, "unassailable ignorance."

There is a great deal of that in America. Unfortunately, the troopers who taser girls in the head and slam women to the floor are just as certain of their righteousness as many people claiming to have "religion."

People like the Mayor of Shreveport and his porcine armed thugs, plus a whole sanhedrin of sundry bishops, priests, ministers, deacons, archbishops, padres, church boards, pharisees, sadducees, televangelists, senators, councilmen, congressmen, mayors, deputy mayors, assistant deputy mayors, deputy assistant mayors, and their unctuous acolytes, all claiming to enlighten the rest of us satanic and uppity freethinkers with their own particular certainties and their books of rules for us to live and think by.

Protecting us from ourselves. Making our lives better, even if it kills us. Taking taxes from us so they can spend our own money "helping" us. Doing us the unasked favor of saving our souls. Expecting gratitude.

Anyone out there who is a seeker, get hold of and read the book, "Secrets of Mount Sinai: The Story of the Codex Sinaiaticus" by James Bentley. Also, Eric Hoffer is a good read - just two of his books, "The True Believer," and "The Ordeal of Change." His other books are just rehashing those two.

Since there is no space here to reproduce a library of books, and no right accruing to us observers to expropriate a forum which belongs to Mr. Grigg, let those who have ears to hear, hear. (PS: Broken, you are a good man.)

Have a nice day.
Lemuel Gulliver.

liberranter said...

The Christian Church was established as an organ of the Roman State in 325 AD, and from that very moment started to corrupt the message of Jesus, which it has been doing now not for 62 years, but for 1,684 years. You can only hear Jesus' message any more in the Bible if you listen with your heart, not with your ears. True, it helps to survive this world if you belong to a group of fellow-believers, but keep your own counsel, and do not let their literal interpretations influence you too much.

Perfectly stated, Lemuel! The question I find myself asking with more and more frequency is "Are 'evangelical Christian' churches in contemporary Amerika the newest mission field?" It certainly seems that these statist bastions of false prophecy are most urgently in need of healing.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Liberranter,

Thank you. People who think I am attacking Jesus and his message are very mistaken. I am trying to point out to them that the Bible we are presented with today by the churches and the career theologians is far, far from the original magnificent, glorious message of Jesus. Yet, if you listen with your heart, the message is still there. All the attempts of political churches and professional churchmen down through the centuries to twist it for their own power plays have failed, thank God, to extinguish that message. If you try to reason literally every word that is in there, you end up harming yourself and other people instead of helping them.

Just like the police, military, and politicians, who lose sight of the reasons for their own existence in the rabid application of their powers. The day the police disappear from our society is the day we all beg them to return. (Not so sure about politicians.) It is not the institution or the message we take exception to, it is the "unassailable ignorance" of those who would wield it like a club on our heads.

Kindly,
Lemuel Gulliver.

frances snoot said...

Origin of Afghanistan 'war' has roots in the UN, and the war continues under the same mandate:

Here is a site documenting the UN role in “Obama’s war in Afghanistan”. ISAF was set up in the year 2001 by UN MANDATE. The war is not new; it never ended because the UN objectives weren’t met. These are stated by Wikipedia as “to find Osama Bin Laden” and by the ISAF site as these:
“ISAF’s primary role is to support and assist the GoA in providing and maintaining a secure environment in order to facilitate the rebuilding of Afghanistan, the establishment of democratic structures and deepen the influence of the central government.”

Mister Spock said...

Gnostics like Lemuel, who know what Jesus really said and what He really meant, and constantly attack the inerrancy, inspiration and veracity of the Bible, are a dime a dozen.

And when their nonsense and lies are exposed, they resort to personal attacks. In Lemuel's case, he attempts to lump Christians in with a whole list of bums. Pretty pathetic.

Jesus said (well, maybe I better check with Lemuel), "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

Thanks for the blessing, Lemuel.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Mister Spock,

Is there any significance that your chosen pseudonym is that of a rigid man and self-acknowledged failed father, who was also an evangelical adviser to everyone else about warm and fuzzy baby care?

If you, the human pit bull of the Pro Libertate blog, were the only extant example of a "Christian," I think I would immediately become a Muslim.

Thank God there are many millions of better Christians than you.

Did you by chance convert to Christianity from some other religion? Maybe Judaism? Shinto? Mithraism? I think if I were you I would go back for another course of study and another baptism. Just make sure that next time they hold your head under water a bit longer.

Sincere regards,
Lemuel.

Anonymous said...

Mr Grigg, you wrote:

The Empire Hamilton Built is racing toward the unpleasant end that awaits all imperial projects: Incurable, undisguised insolvency, the ruin of the official currency, political collapse, and – most likely – internal schism.

At some point the Power Elite will probably call most of the troops home from their far-flung garrisons, not because our rulers will have renounced aggression, but rather for the purpose of putting down internal resistance. This, too, was foretold by Madison in the Constitutional Convention, when he warned that "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive, will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense [against] foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."


The inevitability in these statements is clear, as is their grounding in concrete historic realites. But of what suasive value are such demonstrations to people who believe (or pretend to believe, for practical purposes it matters little) that America is different from every empire that went before it? That the blessings of God (or of fate) rest upon the American experiment as they have no previous tyranny?

Can the lessons of history - which are plain, unambiguous, explicit, and unavoidable - be of any use to a people who have abandoned history as being unfavourable to their ambitions and pretensions?

Can the lessons of biblical history be of any use to Christians who have abandoned the bible as the source of divine wisdom and guidance?

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools"

Mister Spock said...

Lemuel -

I see you know as little about Star Trek as you do the Bible.

And I, too, am glad that millions of Christians are better than I. I'm a miserable wretch of a human being. When you realize that about yourself, please turn to Christ - it's Hell without Him.

And thanks again for another blessing.

Live long and prosper.

Brass said...

Mister Spock,

I don't think Lemuel is "speaking all manner of evil against you for My [Christ's] sake." I think he is speaking evil against you because you, while you may have intended to speak on behalf of Christ, came across as rather rude. I think the best course would be to apologize for being rude (or the appearance of being rude, for as St. Paul said, "Abstain from all appearance of evil") and move on, leaving all personal attacks in the dirt where they belong.

Steve said...

Will,

Not sure to whom you were applying the Isaiah scripture. From the context of the chapter it would seem to apply to the Northern kingdom in Isaiah's time or if he is using types, then it might apply to the leaders of the Lord's people in the latter days. In either case their agreement with hell, according to the Lord, will do them no good and the scourge, which they had hoped would bypass them according to their covenant, will have a devastating effect.

Mister Spock said...

Brass – Thank your for your comments. While I had written a rather lengthy reply to your post regarding your misinformation about the Latin Vulgate, the countless number of people the Catholic church burned at the stake simply because they wanted to read the Bible in their own language, and other issues (like putting the counsel of non-Christians over the admonitions of scripture), it turns out that Lemuel did get one thing right: we should not be taking over Will's blog with these arguments; important as they are.

And just so you know, this was not the first time I have tangled with Lemuel, so, as I said, I really don't care if I upset him. But what interests me is that you equate being rude with being evil and that I supposedly owe him an apology for being a little rude, but his wishing me dead elicited no response from you. Curious.

Brass said...

"But what interests me is that you equate being rude with being evil"

Mister Spock,

If being rude is not good, then it is evil. One can do good or evil to a lesser or greater degree.

"I supposedly owe him an apology for being a little rude, but his wishing me dead elicited no response from you. Curious."

He didn't claim to be a Christian, and he didn't invoke Christ as the cause of your insulting him. You did, on both counts.