Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The Real Cult Menace (Part Two): "Freedom" Through Submission (Updated)
Consecrating a collectivist child sacrifice: Hitler Youth and members of the League of German Girls gather for a Jugendfeier, or "youth ceremony" -- a type of National Socialist confirmation service, held at a German church, circa 1934.
"Never make the mistake of asking what is good for you. Only that is good which is gained through honest means and serves the people.... You must be comrades for your entire life, and must respect every citizen who works, or who as a soldier is ready to give his life for Germany, and you must yourself strive to become such a worker or soldier.... If you do not stand together, but become disunited, if you are not loyal, but disloyal, if you do not work and are cowardly, you will fall into terrible chaos and Germany will collapse. God will have no home in Germany any longer."
Instructions to German youth during the Jungendfeier
"Oh, Lord, stretch forth your mighty hand and bless our Fatherland," intoned the Lutheran minister at the beginning of his sermon. Invoking the name of "God our Father, whose idea government ... was in the first place," he urged his congregants to celebrate their "freedom to submit to the authority of [our] government."
All government officials form an unbroken chain of legitimacy that ultimately leads to God, explained the pastor, and are therefore entitled to unconditional support. It is God's will that all Christians be bound by that chain, and He is grieved whenever His people rebel or even criticize their anointed rulers.
Christian parents have a duty to instruct their children in this doctrine of submission -- unconditional obedience to those God has ordained to exercise authority over us. Children are to be taught to "respect" and obey police, municipal officials, governors, and all other political officials. After all, "how will they possibly respect God himself if they haven't learned to respect somebody right in front of them?"
Such instruction in the tenets of fuhrerprinzip (the Leader Principle) was entirely representative of state-controlled German Protestant churches in the 1930s. Which makes it somewhat remarkable that those words were uttered in a sermon delivered in Milwaukee last March.
Shoving the Prince of Peace aside, putting the Warfare State front and center: Actors pose as American soldiers from various eras during this January 2005 tribute to the military at Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
Pastor Mark Jeske, the author of that sermon, delivered it in a hypnotically bland voice of affected piety that acted as the aural equivalent of a dentist's contact anesthetic. If this hadn't been the case, at least some members of his audience would have displayed irrepressible outrage over comments such as these:
"[T]he authority of a government ... that authority structure is built and designed by God Himself.... Even bad governments carry God's authority.... Even bad governments do God's work by keeping some semblance of order in the streets. Even the government of the Soviet Union under Stalin was doing the work of God. Even China, under Mao Tse-Tung, was doing work for God."
Oddly enough -- or perhaps not so oddly, given the freighted politics of the question -- Jeske omitted mention of the "work for God" carried out by Hitler's National Socialist regime, which while not as prolific at killing as the governments of Stalin and Mao, did refer to its attempts to annihilate Jews and others as a providential task.
Stalin's regime did such "godly" work at maintaining order that it exterminated in excess of 35 million human beings, better than half of the total Soviet body count. Mao's frenzies of mass murder account for most of the estimated 75 million (or more) victims of collectivist slaughter in China.
Pace Pastor Jeske, these incomparably sanguinary regimes were doing "God's work" of maintaining order through official terror and concentrated violence.
This makes perfect sense -- if the "god" in question is Molech.
In Death By Government, his indispensable study of democide (the mass murder of human beings by the governments ruling them), Rudolph Rummel refers to the roughly 170 million victims of 20th century political murder (the figure could be as high as 360 million) as citizens of a spiritual land he calls "Golgotha."
Each of these human beings -- irreplaceable individuals made in the likeness of God, endowed by Him with rights, talents, and creative potential, known and loved by people whose lives were blighted by their loss -- was summarily murdered as a sacrifice to some ruling elite's vision of public "order."
Jeske would have us believe that God would extend His approval, albeit in a qualified fashion, to the work of such regimes: "There is something that God fears even more than bad human government. And that's anarchy and chaos."
Leaving aside, for the nonce, the novel notion that the Almighty "fears" anything, it's worth pointing out that anarchy and chaos are by no means the same thing. First of all, anarchy can co-exist quite well with spontaneous order; secondly, Jeske's formulation would have us believe that order is necessarily a product of coercion, rather than consent. Somehow it's appropriate that someone who envisions a "God" tormented by fears of various kinds would depict murderous, tyrannical human governments as holy.
"[T]here is the common and fundamental justification of government that it exists to protect citizens against the anarchic jungle that would otherwise threaten their lives and property," notes Professor Rummel. "Such archaic or sterile views show no appreciation of democide's existence and all its related horrors and suffering. They are inconsistent with a regime that stands astride society like a gang of thieves ... robbing all, raping some, torturing others for fun, murdering those they don't like, and terrorizing the rest into servile obedience."
The government ruling us doesn't -- yet -- kill as promiscuously as the regimes that led the roster of "mega-murderers" compiled by Rummel. But it otherwise matches Rummel's description of the conduct of such a regime. And Jeske is promoting "servile obedience" to such regimes as a Christian duty.
If Jeske is right, the early Christian martyrs were not only fools, but sinners for resisting decrees issued by Roman rulers:
"The early Christians were starting to get the reputation of being bad citizens. That they're weird, they're a cult. They're not like us. Stay away from them, they're really weird. It's one thing to refuse to offer at a heathen altar. But the Christians were refusing to pay taxes and refusing to serve in the armed forces. They were so publicly bad mouthing the Emperor that they were being perceived as being socially dangerous and God wanted nothing to do with that attitude."
Jeske allows that refusing to perform government-mandated acts of Emperor worship was a"good thing" -- what a relief to know that Jeske, in his wisdom, recognizes the validity of the First Commandment! -- but complains that this principled refusal to commit idolatry "morphed into all kinds of other separatist sort of activities as well."
Note carefully the use of the key expressions "socially dangerous" and "separatist." The latter is an epithet frequently deployed against those who seek to shrug off the tyrant's yoke, as well as principled people who mind their own business and prefer their own company. Criticizing such people for displaying "separatist" tendencies makes roughly as much sense as describing rape-aversive women as "unsociable."
Rebels. Malcontents. Separatists. "Socially Dangerous" Persons!
And Jeske neglects to mention that early Christians got their separatist notions from the Lord they worshiped, and the teachers He gave them.
Jeske's use of the phrase "socially dangerous" is what called the hairs on the back of my neck to stand at attention. This is because the earliest and most common use of that phrase was made by the Soviet regime under Lenin as a prelude to extermination of sub-populations to whom it was applied.
This idea, first deployed against the Don River Cossacks (who were disarmed, herded into concentration camps, and subjected to starvation and even crude biological warfare), was enshrined as Article 58 of the Soviet Constitution, which permitted the summary imprisonment, psychological and physical torture, and even summary murder of anyone deemed "socially dangerous."
It was the concept of "socially dangerous persons" -- the Soviet equivalent of the Bush Regime's concept of "unlawful enemy combatants" -- that served as "the legal foundation of the [Soviet] terror," notes the panel of historians who published a scholarly study entitled The Black Book of Communism.
This isn't to say, of course, that I think Pastor Jeske is a covert Communist. He seems to be a pretty typical contemporary Protestant pastor, whose approach is rooted more in marketing than ministry and who is more concerned with church growth than doctrinal clarity. I can't see how a doctrinally serious pastor could miss the fact that genuine Christians are of necessity "socially dangerous" people: Preaching and practicing Christian love, and acknowledging the unconditional sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ, will always precipitate trouble with the larger world.
Certainly, the "fears" Jeske imputes to God -- that Christians would be seen as weird and socially marginalized -- are the preoccupations of a growth-minded pastor rather than any hang-ups that could be suffered by the Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe.
I suspect that Jeske simply picked up the phrase "socially dangerous," along with trendy ideas regarding the "Doctrine of Submission," as a result of hanging around with people in the community of government-funded "faith-based" organizations. That likely includes at least a few of the clerical Quislings organized into "Clergy Response Teams" that have been prepared to tranquilize troublemakers in their flocks who may not react well if and when undisguised martial law is inflicted upon us.
Blessing the Beast: A Nazi military officer receives a benediction administered by a Bishop from that regime's equivalent of today's "Clergy Response Teams."
As Michael Hampton from the informative and witty website Homeland Stupidity points out, Clergy Response Teams (CRTs) were planted with federal seed money from the "Justice" Department in the mid-1990s, and began to sprout later in the decade. Funding has come through the "Justice" Department's Community Oriented Police Services Value Based Initiative and the Bush Regime's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.
The product of this process was on display during the post-Katrina military occupation of New Orleans. As "police" -- National Guardsmen freshly returned from patrolling Iraqi cities, Blackwater mercenaries, and militarized law enforcement personnel -- went house-to-house to roust residents and confiscate their firearms, CRTs fanned out to pacify outraged citizens by reciting a statist misapplication of Romans 13: Obey the State in all things, and you'll be blessed.
"The primary thing that we say to anybody [upset over martial law] is, `let's cooperate and get this thing over with and then we'll settle the differences once the crisis is over," explained CRT representative Dr. Durell Tuberville. After all, Tuberville elaborated, Romans 13 dictates that "the government's established by the Lord, you know. And that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in scripture."
For those nominally Christian clergy whose true "god" is the State -- particularly when embodied in the apparatus of military conquest and coercion -- May 1 has become a new High Holy Day, just as that date was sanctified for both Nazis and Communists.
Fifty years ago, President Eisenhower designated May 1 as "Law Day," which was intended to offset the Marxist celebration of Labor Day. Since 1988, the date has also served as an annual National Day of Prayer (which, at the time Harry Truman created the observance in 1952, was originally held on April 17).
In recent years, the National Day of Prayer has degenerated from a day of humble supplication for divine aid and forgiveness into an orgy of militarism. Today's commemoration, for instance, will include military flyovers at various locations, including a Calvary Chapel in Kent, Washington. Marine color guards will be present at events in Bakersfield, California, and Wheeling, West Virginia. Honor guards from other branches of the Armed Forces will appear at events in Wheatfield, New York, and various cities in Arizona.
And in congregations nation-wide, the military will doubtless be depicted as the indispensable priesthood of the divinely anointed government to which we owe unconditional servile obedience.
(My thanks to Doug Newman for bringing Pastor Jeske's repellent homily to my attention, and sending me the link for the video above.)
It's been roughly a month since the State of Texas began its attack on the mothers and children of the YFZ ranch near El Dorado. Although the victims have been spared the fate inflicted on the Branch Davidians of Mt. Carmel, this atrocity is, in a very real sense, Waco Revisited.
I'm just curious to know if these guys (the three at the top of that page, and this guy), the self-appointed "leaders" of the "freedom movement," will ever get around to saying something about the mass abduction of American children at gunpoint by the State, or if they're too busy trying to exploit marketable fears of poor brown people, treaties yet to be written, and the supposed threats posed by distant, and largely impotent, governments to condemn the crimes of the Regime ruling us right now.
I'm just asking.
Update: It's nice to know someone's listening....
Although they took pains to bury the FLDS child abduction scandal at the bottom of the story, carefully avoided mentioning that sect in the article synopsis, and let the fearless Andrew Napolitano do most of the talking, the folks mentioned above finally got around to saying something about this outrage ... about a day after I tweaked them for their shameful month-long silence.
I should point out that John Fisher, the author of the piece, is an extremely accomplished writer and academic and a really nice guy (I met him at a youth camp in Wisconsin in August 2005). Dr. Fisher is hardly to blame for the timidity of the people running that outfit.
On sale now!
Dum spiro, pugno!