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Forum Post: Genghis Christ, General Boykin, and the Fundamentalist Christian Holy War

Posted 4 months ago on March 8, 2014, 2:52 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5854)
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Genghis Christ, General Boykin, and the Fundamentalist Christian Holy War

Saturday, 08 March 2014 09:56 By Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22336-genghis-christ-general-boykin-and-the-fundamentalist-christian-holy-war

Jerry Boykin has a grotesque conception of Jesus Christ. Most (non-fundamentalist) Christians practice their faith in a manner that holds aloft the treasured values of love, peace, and good will towards their fellow humans. Boykin, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and current Executive Vice President of the ultra-right wing, fundamentalist Family Research Council (FRC), will have none of that. Instead, Boykin’s avatar is a ravenously militant and militaristic one — a deity of universal destruction, bloodshed, rabid bigotry and unadulterated hatred.

Speaking to the WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislators Conference last fall, Boykin staked this claim:

“The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ’cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword. And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

…And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.”

Jesus Christ or "Genghis" Christ?

It is absolutely critical to understand and fully internalize that Boykin is far from alone in his nightmarish conception of the Prince of Peace’s (mainstream) redeeming message. Indeed, the retired General’s forces are literally legion with some estimating that the number of adherents totals approximately 38 million people, i.e. about 12 percent of the American public. A multi-denominational grouping known as “dominionists”, these Christian extremists see themselves as a martyred and besieged demographic. They thrill to the imagined drama that they are surrounded on all sides by, among many other constituencies of Satan, 1) sodomites (the LGBT community); 2) hellbound cowards (any non-fundamentalist Christian, non-messianic Jew, or adherents of ANY other faith group or non-faith entity); 3) domestic jihadis (pretty much any breathing Muslim American or fetuses in the wombs of Muslim American women), all of whom advocate “shariah law”; 4) demonic ‘feminazis’ (women who will not merrily submit to male domination in all matters of consequence); and, 4) godless commies (i.e. anyone who hasn’t manifestly absorbed Fox News’ talking points and/or isn’t politically to the right of Ted Nugent).

In the tortured minds of these dominionists, it stands to reason that, being conveniently beset by divinely predicted enemies from all sides, they must defend themselves to the death by all means at their disposal, including armed force. But that’s not enough. As late dominionist preacher Earl Paulk stated, “Christ in us must take dominion over the earth… the next move of God cannot occur until Christ in us takes dominion.”

Want more? The über-jingoistic words of the recently deceased dominionist Poster Child, Rev. D. James Kennedy, speak volumes: “As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government… our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors—in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”

You see, my friends, Boykin’s words of wanton war aren’t simply the idle spoutings of some crotchety, eccentric, harmless ex-soldier. They’re a de facto fatwa being issued to “American Taliban” coreligionists to forthwith forge the “Kingdom of God” through bloody sectarian armed struggle, as their twisted, dominionist version of the New Testament demands. How “bloody,” you may inquire? You want the metrics? No one describes Boykin’s dominionist wet dream with more exactitude of revulsion than the “Ragin’ Prophet” Rod Parsley who is the spiritual leader of the enormous (5,200 seat) mega-cathedral in Columbus, Ohio known as the World Harvest Church, which boasts 10,000 weekly congregant attendees. Parsley minces no words when he promises his vast flock of fanatical fundamentalists that there will be a 200 mile long river, 4 and half feet deep, filled with nothing but the human blood of those poor souls whom the weaponized Jesus has slaughtered at the Battle of Armageddon. Parsley will then remind his followers, energetically engorged with this blood orgy promise, to “rejoice, for the worst is yet to come.”

For Boykin and his wretched ilk, Revelation 19 (“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war”) is the mantra that supersedes turning the other cheek, loving thy neighbor, and other sanguine gospel messages à la The Sermon on the Mount. Per Boykin’s instructions, all good Christians need to literally become “warriors for God’s kingdom.” And they need to do it right now!

Sound familiar? Anyone? Well, it’s right out of the infamous playbook of religious supremacy and exceptionalism writ large in the blood of innocents by such villains as al-Qaeda and Anders Behring Breivik.

The Top General in the Dominionist “Army of God”

Boykin was one of the original commanders of the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force unit, which was formed in the late ‘70’s. Boykin, then 29, apparently saw his induction into Delta as a continuation of his walk with God: “God led me into Delta Force, and He said to me, this is where you ought to be.” Boykin must have been referring to the God of “blood in fury” and the “consuming fire,” described in the Book of Ezekiel.

Following September 11, Boykin, at the time the Commanding General of the sprawling Fort Bragg, N.C. military facility, would preach that the United States was engaged in nothing less than an all-out holy war. In paid junkets financed by influential dominionist entities, Boykin would appear onstage in churches and other locations around the nation in his full Army uniform, pointing to posters of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and stating that “Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army… [they] will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.” It was around this time that then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld successfully nominated Boykin for a third star, placing the dominionist fascist Boykin only one rank/grade below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From 2002 to 2007, Boykin served on George W. Bush’s team as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in what Bush referred to as “this crusade, this war on terrorism.” It was in this lofty capacity at the highest levels of the Pentagon that Boykin became thoroughly convinced that the opponents of the U.S. were “satanic” and thus less-than-human. He became Rumsfeld’s point-man on the secretive program to restructure the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison along the lines of Guantánamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray, or in other words, to “Gitmoize” it. It was not long before Abu Ghraib became infamously plagued by horrifying reports of systemic human rights abuses. Query the role played there as a result of Boykin’s dehumanizing sectarian rhetoric of weapons-grade, inflammatory Islamophobia? After all, Boykin has made it publicly quite clear that he believes that Muslims in America do not deserve Constitutional First Amendment protections.

Commanding Officer in the Domestic Hate Lobby

Now retired from military life, Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the FRC, one of the leading anti-gay dominionist organizations in the United States and a designated Hate Group according to the venerable Southern Poverty Law Center. Birds of a bigoted feather flock together. Indeed, the FRC (which I always thought stood for “Fascist Rally Center”) is a truly vicious organization that has supported Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s “Kill the Gays” Bill (now the “Imprison-Gays-for-Life” Bill), as well as the anti-LGBT crackdown in Russia. The FRC also furiously supported Arizona’s defeated SB1062, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which basically would have fully legalized the civil “right” to practice atrocious forms of discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian residents.

I head-up a foundation that comprehensively clashes with Boykin on an all too frequent basis. We wage these fights on behalf of our 36,000-plus active duty and veteran clients within the U.S. military, 96% of whom are practicing Christians themselves, who’ve had their Constitutionally-guaranteed, religious rights and protections egregiously violated by unconstitutional mafiosi such as Boykin. As Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I’ve even been the central subject of a scurrilous recent article entitled “One of the Most Dangerous Men in America,” published in the July/August 2013 edition of Decision Magazine, a flagship publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Ironically, the cover of that magazine featured a prominent photo of a coyly smiling Boykin himself juxtaposed with the incredibly duplicitous, deceitful and dishonest headline of “Religious Freedom Under Attack in our Armed Forces: Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin Warns of Efforts to Trample Liberty in the Military.” And, just so you know, this month’s issue proudly trumpets Russia’s anti-gay legislation and features Vladimir Putin on the cover.

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[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5854) 4 months ago

Dominionist Christian Extremism: A Dire Threat

Without the slightest tacit nuance of hyperbole, one can easily assert that the militant, dominionist fanaticism of Christian fundamentalism which Boykin, and his ignominious swarms spew, mirrors the explicit extremism of the Salafi-Jihadist monsters who’ve torn the Middle East asunder. Indeed, the cruel and callous fundamentalist bigotry of Christian dominionists isn’t limited to gays and Muslims. On the contrary, it is aimed at all “blasphemers” in general, especially including other Christians whom Boykin and his fellow travelers disparagingly deem to not be “Christian enough.”

Americans who value their remaining Constitutional religious freedoms should rail against Boykin’s incitements to his vast flock to arm as for war. The dominionist “faith” is a frightening, contorted vision of theocratic tyranny dripping with unbridled hostility towards the bedrock rights and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The damnable dominionists such as Boykin, the FRC and their awful fundamentalist allies are not merely wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. They are wolves in wolves’ clothing.

Our American brothers and sisters must recognize the seething and barbarous danger wrought by this sectarian theocratic cabal before it becomes too late and it engulfs our precious freedoms rendering the rest of us impotent to resist its terrible tyranny.

We cannot merely request them to stop. We must demand it, and remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5854) 4 months ago

America's "Bloodless" Civil War

Saturday, 08 March 2014 10:11 By Herbert J. Gans, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22292-americas-bloodless-civil-war

According to the pundits, the Republican party is engaged in civil war between its establishment and Tea Party factions. However, the civil war is actually a countrywide one. It paralyzes America's politics, stalls its economic growth as well as cuts its basic services. Only a few people and organizations may be hit by bombs and shells, but the civil war hurts many others all across America.

Like foreign civil wars, the American one has created its quota of displaced people, those who have lost their homes due to foreclosure, eviction and deportation. Although there are no refugee camps, the shelters are fuller than ever and the number of homeless is at a record high.

Admittedly, our civil war is distinctive, perhaps even exceptional, for unlike most of those now taking place all over the world, it is fought not by soldiers and militants but by politicians.

Still, there are similarities with the civil wars elsewhere. Here as there, the war is between the government and a set of rebels, each of them supported by loyal followers, in this country called "the base." The hardest fighting followers are fanatics, some of them engaged in an American-style jihad against infidels including government, liberals, abortion providers and an imagined foreigner in the oval office.

Their activities are supported by very rich individuals and groups that, much like warlords in other civil wars, have agendas of their own in addition to those in the rebel base.

The rebels mostly fight with words, strategies and tactics seeking to prevent the government from fulfilling its obligations. The most militant rebels aim to overthrow the government, by blocking legislation or more dramatically, by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. The ultimate aim, as one rebel warlord put it: "to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

In the process, the rebels' actions often impose serious hurt on ordinary citizens even though they are no more involved in the civil war than are the citizens of Syria in theirs. These actions even include terrorizing elected officials with Tea Party primary opponents, even as talk radio, cable television and internet figures secure the rebel base by feeding its paranoia.

As in other warring countries, America's rebels are strongest in the rural and small town hinterland. Even so, they are divided into several factions. Some are religious ones trying to impose their beliefs about sex and procreation on the rest of the population. Others are secular, seeking to restore an imagined past in which America belonged to them, making them the only real Americans. The richest rebels and the warlords just want the government to reduce their taxes and to leave them alone so they can become richer.

Religious or secular, the rebels are highly skilled tacticians, succeeding in part because they reject facts and opinions other than their own. This allows them to develop conspiracy theories that enable them to treat the government as an enemy.

Above all, the rebels have learned that making stubborn demands, refusing to compromise and legally breaking conventional political rules often allows them to get their way.

As in other countries, the civil war has both ethnic and economic components. The rebels are largely "Anglos" who are angry at, and fearful of, dark-skinned people, notably African Americans and Latinos.

Still, their most intense hostility is reserved for a subset of the population, 47% to be exact. According to a now-retired rebel leader, this subset seeks to live on monies obtained from the remaining 53 percent.

America's civil war is distinctive in a number of other ways. The rebels probably all own guns and are encouraging the rest of the population to do so. Still, they have not resorted to military violence, and their organized killing has been restricted to abortionists.

Most of the rebel energy has gone to sabotaging many government programs, although the sabotage is nonviolent. Because the rebels have not taken out their guns, the American government has not called out the troops. Local police activity has been largely limited to breaking up a group that opposes the Tea party rebellion and calls itself the Occupy movement.

Actually, the federal government has had difficulty even in taking the rebels to court. Their takeover of a significant number of state and local governments has enabled them to pass laws that make virtually all rebel sabotage projects legal.

Consequently, no one can now tell how long this civil war will last. The voters could end it at the next election and send the base back to its political cave. If government - and the voters - can then restore the country to democratic health, the rebels may stay in their cave, perhaps even until it collapses.

Copyright, Truthout.