“What was there in the visit of those men that led to so complete a change in my life? One of the men present told a story of an immigrant boy he knew well who was studying at one of our Christian high schools. "Dr. Runner," this immigrant said, and he was obviously deeply moved, "this boy's father is sacrificing to send his son to this Christian school, but there is much in the attitude he comes home with which we of the older generation feel is not right. In particular, this boy comes home to his parents claiming that America became great because of the liberating democratic ideas of the 18th century." I wish you could have seen the man, as I see him yet, sitting forward in his chair, agitatedly telling me of his and his friends' concern for their children. "Dr. Runner," he concluded simply, "I had no higher formal education, but I went faithfully to Young Men's and Men's Society in a little Frisian city, and I know that those so-called liberated ideas of the 18th century were the corruptions on the part of unbelievers of ideas the Reformation had re-discovered. But if we tell our boys that, they laugh and say, Dad, you never went to one of these big American schools."
- H. Evan Runner in a speech addressing the Groen Club at Calvin College, 1963
Oh, boy, we’re getting into it today. There is absolutely no subject as touchy and explosive as that of religion. Since man first looked up to the sky and contemplated his own existence, we have fought endlessly over the religious dogma that it has wrought. Before I begin, I will preface this brief reflection on the role of evangelism in our culture by saying I am not Christian, at least not in the standard definition of the day. That does not mean I do not believe in Jesus, his words, their meaning and the grace they extend. But I do not believe in Christianity or any of our world’s organized religions. Most are built upon solid principles, strong ethics and wisdom we would do well to follow. However, none have survived the endless translation and twisting of language that has come from those who would use words of peace to justify words of war.
Jesus bid us to love one another without hesitation; to go forth into a world of the sick, the impoverished, the dispossessed, and, through love, heal. There are those who feel what he meant to say was that we should kill and maim anyone who does not want to forsake their chosen beliefs to accept the Christian church. This is religious persecution and it is woven into the history of this nation. Many such persecuted groups fled their homeland to be among the first to settle the New World. In that terrific snippet of language I quoted yesterday, the First Amendment, the freedom of religion it grants made sure that in this country, at least, we would be free of such persecution in perpetuity. Then came the Reformation.
As indicated by Dr. Runner’s quote above, the Reformation was founded on one simple principle: the “liberating democratic ideas of the 18th century” were in fact apostasy. This belief was fostered and grown in the fertile earth of Christian colleges throughout the United States, and here, generations later it is bearing fruit. It is no longer about some namby-pamby discussion involving prayer in school. It is about crushing the impudent spirit of an American people who had the audacity to formally declare their right to choose what path to follow for themselves. You see, that is heresy within today’s evangelical paradigm. You either are with Jesus or against him, and by Jesus I mean whichever minister has driven his hooks into you deepest. There is no choice. There is God’s will; a will dispensed through the mouths of liars and frauds intent on deceiving their flock to their graves.
You may feel that statement is harsh, and I agree. It is a generalization of our nation’s predominant religion, and it does not apply to all denominations or all congregations. Unfortunately, there are those where it is also true. Our government over the course of the last 20 years has fallen lockstep in line with this dogmatic worldview. Take a look at the list of Military Friendly Franchises, a seemingly benign list of business opportunities ideally suited for your homecoming soldier in search of his or her American Dream. Take a look at the judges and personnel that the Executive Branch has had to legally reveal in the last twelve years. Take a look at the insidious manner with which the corporate structure of the world has hidden the true decision makers and their agenda behind a tired mantra of free enterprise. If you dig just a bit into the CEOs and the conglomerates and their subsidiaries and the men and women who are really operating behind the shield of financial and legal red-tape, you will see the story. There is a cult in control of your nation America. It likes to baptize by water and smile for the camera, but when your back is turned, it surely baptizes by fire and the smile is revealed to be nothing more than the rictus grin of the Joker himself.
If you really look, it is plainly obvious. They used to at least try to hide it. But, they have been drinking their own Kool-aid for so long the Republican National Convention is the best face this cult can find to wear. They think it approximates normal. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are what they think you want to see. That is how out of touch with reality they have become. If that is their public face, how hideous is what’s behind the mask? How twisted, how maniacal, how caught up in slavish devotion to a doctrine of subjugation?
We look at the likes of Tom Cruise and John Travolta and we think we know what a misled soul looks like. Katie Holmes breaks free of Scientology and there is a collective cheer from the American peanut gallery. The problem is that Scientology, while most definitely a dangerous cult of its own, is really a small player in all of this. Their methods of control are severe. Their harassment of deserters is harsh. Their use of slave labor is rampant. Their abuse of the legal system to retaliate against its detractors is out of control.
But the United States Justice Department, despite reams of files and reasons to prosecute Scientology will not do so. Why is that? Because to do so would be to admit how complicit in these same techniques our government and their evangelical body really are. And if they did that, this scheme they have been working on since World War I, when they first won back Palestine from the heathens, will fall apart. They will have all of Jerusalem, come hell or high water. They will have it or die trying. Better yet, they will have it while you die trying. This crusade has happened before. Back then, though, there was not the means to artificially create the Four Horseman of war, famine, pestilence and death. We’ve got the tools now. And those who would use them aren’t only willing; they actively seek to unleash them in order to elicit their Second Coming. They are very close to getting their wish. Don’t let them.
“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence”
- President John F. Kennedy, 1961