Years ago I was part of an apostolic team of fathers who mentored, equipped and empowered radical youth. We believed then and still do now that we are to help define and lead a countercultural movement. It is our passion to upset the sinful status quo of society and the church. Youth are key!
In 1933 Hitler said, “If I can separate the youth of Germany from their parents I will conquer this nation.” He started a movement called “The Brown Shirts” in which 100,000 youth stood in Berlin with their right hand raised and screaming. “Hitler, we are yours!” Imagine our youth pledging that kind of allegiance to King Jesus!
It is rumored that, around that same time period, the Communist leader Joseph Stalin made the following statement concerning youth: “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore, there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of the citizens in general and the teenagers in particular. By making readily available drugs of various kinds, by giving a teenager alcohol, by praising his wildness, by strangling him with sex literature and by advertising to his and her psycho-political preparation, create the necessary attitude of chaos, idleness and worthlessness.” If demonically inspired men can affect our youth this way, imagine what divine inspiration will do!
Sin has wasted our youth. We’ve not given them something worthy to live for, and something worthy to die for. To do anything below what they were created to do will bore them. That is the reason many of our young people turn to drugs, alcohol, immorality and other sensual thrills. That is why they need to be awakened to their ultimate purpose in Jesus Christ.
In revolutionary countries youth are trained in combat and weapons. They are taught principles of Communism and the tenets of militant Islam. They give themselves wholeheartedly to the goal of world domination. Someone once said that Satan is preparing his army, but the church is entertaining her children. We need a radical departure from the standard method of training young men and women for ministry. We need a touch of wholesome extremism to launch a counterculture JESUS revolution!
Yes, just as a certain kind of passivity limits the ministry of God’s kingdom, a certain kind of extremism will expand it. The Bible is a book of extremes. Extreme acts of God and history-changing events (like the dividing of the Red Sea and the resurrection of Jesus Christ among so many others); extreme characters (men and women who changed the world); extreme demands to follow the Lord (denying yourself, taking up your cross daily, etc.); extreme blessings for obedience (Mark 10:29-30); extreme consequences for unrepentant sin and disobedience (Luke 13:3, Matt. 7:21-23).
By now, I am sure that virtually every reader of this blog knows about and has an opinion concerning San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick has been praised and brutalized in the press. I have been hesitant to give my opinion on the matter, fearing how some people might respond to my position. When it comes to the US military, law enforcement, the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and political/social movements such as Black Lives Matter, most Americans have strong positive or negative feelings. I too have strong feelings.
First, I fully support Colin Kaepernick. He has a First Amendment right to protest, speak his mind, and refuse to swear allegiance to the flag of a country that he believes directly and indirectly supports the oppression of people of color. All Americans have the right to voice their dissent, and I applaud Kaepernick for his willingness to voice his on a national stage.
Second, while there is some debate about the legality of Kaepernick’s unwillingness to honor the American flag, whatever laws might be on the books, the US Supreme Court has made it clear in its ruling on the constitutionality of burning the American flag that acts of dissent and civil disobedience are protected First Amendment behaviors. I’m astounded by the fact that many supposedly educated people think Kaepernick should be publicly and privately punished for his dissent. The moment we stifle or outlaw dissent is the moment when we cease to be a nation that values freedom and liberty.
Now let me state very clearly how I personally view these matters. I realize that some readers will be incensed by some of the things I say in this post. That’s fine. People are free to voice disagreement or even be angry or hateful towards my viewpoint. All I can do is live according to the dictates of my conscience.
While I understand the need for a military, it troubles me deeply that the US military has been used to promote colonialism, imperialism, and American exceptionalism across the globe. I find it beyond offensive that American troops (along with the CIA and NSA) have been used to overthrow democratically elected governments, wage wars against political enemies, and expand the iron grip of American capitalism. American soldiers since 9/11 are directly responsible for the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. This coming year I will be 60 years old. The United States has been at war somewhere in the world my entire life. We now rain unholy hell from the skies through a drone program that supposedly kills only the bad guys. We now know drone strikes do indeed kill terrorists, but they also cause what our political and military leaders like to call “collateral damage.” I wonder what we would think of the term “collateral damage” if it were our children, our wives, our parents, our grandparents, and our siblings that were being slaughtered with bombs shot from machines that are controlled by soldiers thousands of miles away?
Yesterday, President Obama authorized spending of $90 million for the use of eliminating 40-year-old bombs that were dropped in Laos during the Vietnam War. Thousands of Laotian people have been killed because they accidentally stumbled upon American bombs. These bombs are a perfect reminder of the senselessness of war and our inability to find ways to settle differences without the use of violence. The United States remains the only nation on the face of the earth to have used nuclear weapons against civilian populations. Instead of realizing the danger of nuclear weapons and working towards total disarmament, the American government is now working on improving its nuclear arsenal. Is there no end in sight to such madness? Fifty years ago a Trappist monk by the name of Thomas Merton said the world was on the precipice of a nuclear holocaust. Nothing has happened in the intervening years that has changed this fact. The doomsday clock continues to tick. Which nation will it be that pushes the red button and obliterates the human race off the face of the earth? Naïve Americans like to think it will never be the United States, but history tells us that our leaders have been quite willing to slaughter vast numbers of people for political and economic gain. It’s time we stop living the lie, the one that we were taught in school, that Americans are basically good people. We’re not, and quite frankly we never have been. Only by ignoring our history can Americans look in the mirror and see themselves as a good people. Maybe there was a time when we had good intentions, but those days are long gone. Naked ambition and a thirst for political power and economic supremacy is now the engine that drives our political class. Unwilling to die themselves, our overlords use US military power to advance their agenda.
It sickens me every time I hear someone say — usually before the playing of the national anthem — that American soldiers are dying overseas so we can enjoy the freedoms we have here. Let me be blunt. This is bullshit. Our invasions of Iraq (both times) and Afghanistan, along with our military interventions in numerous countries across the globe have become the fuel that fires the hatred terrorists have for America. While I think the teachings of the Quran play a significant part in the bloodthirsty actions of Islamic terrorists, I refuse to turn a blind eye to the fact that the country of my birth is somewhat culpable for the rise of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. The US military has killed countless civilians and used torture against combatants and noncombatants alike. Almost 8 years after President Barack Obama said he would close Guantánamo Bay, it remains open, an ever-present reminder of America’s use of torture and violence to advance its agenda.
I refuse to be cowed by demands that I blindly and without reservation support the US military. I do not support military interventionism, expansionism, or offensive wars. The US military should be used for defensive purposes only. So when someone tells me that US soldiers are fighting on my behalf, I say, not in my name! Not in my name! I have never asked soldiers to shed their blood or remain in some foreign land just so I can have the freedom to pursue the delusional American dream. I do not want one more person to die a meaningless, senseless death in wars that cannot be won. This does not mean that I am anti-military. It does mean, however, that I am anti-violence. When the Huns are at the gate, it’s time to fight. When Muslims are fighting against each other in the Middle East over whose religious beliefs are the right ones, the fight is theirs not ours.
I attend numerous sporting events each year, and I can’t remember the last time when the playing and singing the Star-Spangled Banner was not directly connected to American militarism. Wounded American soldiers are displayed for all to see as the national anthem is sung — supposedly as reminders of why we are singing the song. Sporting venues roll out huge flags that are manned by military personnel. Sometimes military jets fly overhead, reminding attendees that the United States is the meanest, baddest, and most powerful nation on the face of the earth. While the crowd claps and chants USA! USA! USA!, I quietly hang my head, waiting for the nationalistic masturbation to end. While I still stand, remove my hat, and even sing the Star-Spangled Banner, I do so not out of loyalty or respect, but because I am still grateful that I live in a land that affords me great liberty, freedom, and economic security.
I draw the line, however, on the Pledge of Allegiance. I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a country that plays an instrumental part in much that is wrong in the world. I am in no way saying that I want to live in some other country, but I’m also not willing to say that the United States is the single best country on the face of the earth. I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a God that does not exist or to a political and economic structure that now causes great harm not only to its citizens, but the world. As I do with public prayers and the singing of God Bless America, I refuse to participate when called on to swear my allegiance to the government bought and paid for by Wall Street. While I certainly plan to vote in November, I do so because I fear what a Donald Trump presidency might do to America. That a narcissistic psychopath could even be on the ballot tells me that our political system is broken. Bernie Sanders is right. We need a political revolution. Hillary Clinton is not the answer. She is a centrist corporate Democrat, who will have no problem continuing to use the military to advance America’s worldwide agenda and dominance. She is, sadly, more of the same.
On my more pessimistic days (this is not one of them) I think that our Republic is too far gone to be saved. We no longer have a representative form of government. An oligarchy controls the political process and the economy. Corporate influence and money has destroyed Congress’ ability to act in the best interest of the American people. Our political leaders are little more than whores and shills for whoever shoves the most money in their g-strings. Until lobbyists are run out of Washington DC, “he who has the most money” will win, thereby controlling the government. This is not a Republican/Democrat problem. It is systemic, and until we are willing to destroy the system, things will continue as they now are. What is needed most today is for tens of millions of Colin Kaepernicks to use their spheres of influence to effect lasting political change. I am willing to be one such person and I hope you are too.
This is the ninety-fifth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson comparing women who have abortions with ISIS.
According to the hysteria wing of the Republican party, also known as Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christianity, President Obama is anti-Christian. Some go so far as to say that he is actually a Muslim, even though he has publicly identified as Christian numerous times. President Obama spoke at the February 2015 National Prayer Breakfast. He stated:
And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ, In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
So it is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith…
…I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others. That God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others. That somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.
On Easter I do reflect on the fact that, as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.
The rabid religious right thinks these statements prove that the President is anti-Christian. As I read these statements, all I see is a man pointing out the obvious; that Christianity has a violent, bloody past and that many Christians don’t know the first thing about love. What is also obvious is that no matter what the President says or does , the religious right is going to twist his words and use them to make political hay. No matter what he says or how he tries to explain himself, he will be, in the eyes of many on the religious right, the Kenyan born nigger socialist Muslim who hates America, hates Christianity, and is secretly plotting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the United States.
Here are some of the comments left by Christians on the aforementioned One News Now articles:
You BHO are such a liar. You use every opportunity to twist the truth. Actually, you wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face. Jesus said,”I am the way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father BUT by me.” Can I be adamant about what truth is? You bethcha buster. I repeat, you wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face, and from Darryl said, I would say that it did slap you in the face, but you still went on reading your prepared, twisted script. You being at the National Prayer Breakfast is like the devil sitting at the last supper. IMHO
Obama’s comments trying to paint Islam and Christianity as morally equivalent in their teachings are infuriating. I am outraged by his efforts to downplay the utter horror of what ISIS is doing right now in the world– beheading, torturing, crucifying, burying alive small children in scores, and selling those who live into sex slavery for the depraved appetites of sick, demon-possessed Muslim jihadists– by drawing attention to crimes committed in the name of Christ many centuries ago. Nothing that is happening in the world today in the name of Christ can begin to be compared for cruelty and brutality to what the demonic savages in Iraq are doing to children in the name of Allah. Mr. President– where is your outrage? They are burying children alive! Professing Christians who committed acts of violence in the name of Christ centuries ago to advance Christ’s kingdom were violating Christ’s teachings; Muslim jihadis who commit acts of violence in the name Allah to promote the Islamic caliphate are fulfilling Mohammed’s teaching. Someone needs to tell our president that the “medieval” problem with Christianity was set right a long time ago; he needs to open his eyes and deal with atrocities happening today in the 21st century, and get off his high horse from which he would scold American Christians for criticizing Islam.
It seems Obama is determined to play down the religious aspect of the Islamic State by stating they are not unique. Bringing up subjects that many people do not have enough information about except for the rhetoric is dangerous, inflammatory and downright wrong. What does he hope to accomplish? Acceptance of his indifference and ineffectual strategy of what to do as our “leader”?
Wow! Are you serious Mr. President? Did you really just go back over 700 years to find an example of how Christianity is as bad as ISIS? Jim Crow? For real? A simple, brief look into Islam and the teachings of Jesus Christ will reveal to any honest seeker of truth that there are vast differences. Mohammed taught “I have the truth of God, convert or die.” Jesus taught, “I am the way the truth and the life, and no man can come unto the Father but by me. ” And to prov God’s love for man Jesus laid down His life for us! Big difference Mr. President!
Our nation is being led by a very confused and deluded individual.
That man…..he really rubs me the wrong way because of his deceitfulness and attempting with all his might to destroy America and lift up Islam. Obama is NOT a Christian! He could go and live in a garage but that doesn’t make him a car!
Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits. President Obama’s fruits are quite evident. He is condescending in his remarks to Christians but always lauds Muslims and the Islamic faith and refuses to link Islam with Islamic terrorists. The President is a Christian in name only.
President Obama’s inconsistency is as disturbing as his overt dishonesty and misrepresentation concerning many other things…. Obamacare, IRS targeting, “Climate Change”, Keystone pipeline, Iran negotiations, arbitrary accusations of racism, etc. His behavior seems, at least, “disturbed”, and unstable. There IS a pattern of anti-Christian rhetoric, as well as a larger pattern of vindictive behavior in reaction to all dissent, opposition, or criticism.
I be glad when black nword is gone.
If any of the eternal optimists out there think things are going to get better anytime soon, just remember this: On any given day, Obama’s approval numbers always remain at the 45-50% level, and he was elected not once, but twice by your fellow “Americans”. I’m no math genius, but that tells me that at least half the country is perfectly fine with the Anointed One’s policies and his performance. And THAT simple fact, my friends, is why the country is doomed.
The country is not doomed if we hold to our 2nd amendment rights and arm ourselves. The Obama government is afraid of us because we are capable of armed resistance in a meaningful way. When we disarm or allow ourselves to be disarmed then the government will cease to be afraid of us and all hell will break loose. Keep buying the equivalent of the 18th century rifled musket, aka the modern high capacity magazine AR-15 or AR-10.
Obama is the walking epitome of an anti-Christian bigot posing as a “Christian”. He hates God, His Chosen People, and the followers of Yeshua Messiah. He NEVER sides with Christians, ALWAYS sides with anti-Christ Islamic teachings, never sides with white folks, always sides with NON-white folks.
He has nothing between the ears , unless a barely disguised hatred against Christians . And the leftist politicians, has a pet hate for Christians . For example , gays and lesbians , persecute Christians , because of their religious values. Are of a very great evil .
The president has lied to us since day one. If he wasn’t a Muslim, then why did he say that the cross had to be cover before he could make a speech at the cathedral? Why did the have Franklin Graham pulled from speaking at the Prayer Breakfast? Why is he giving aid to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Clearly this POTUS is a foreshadowing of the anti-Christ, not the anti-Christ himself you understand, but a shadow of things to come. If he was truly of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and full of understanding given by the Holy Spirit, he would not say the things he says or do the things he does. He is what the Godless deserve and just may be a tool of God’s judgement of an increasingly and deliberately Godless America.
I cannot believe that any POTUS would take such opportunities to disparage Christianity at every chance he gets. His disdain for the Christian faith is incomprehensible. I have never seen, in my 70 years of living, a president who insists on undermining the very force that has been the backbone of our country’s social and moral fabric since 1776. Please, Mr. Obama, get out of the White House and out of our lives.
Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. According to the Qumran a Muslim who leaves the faith is to be killed. Since there have been no attempts on the President;s life I must assume he is still a Muslim. Perhaps that is why he does not care about Christians and likes to criticize Christianity.
Barrack Hussein is an anti-Christian bigot and a dispicable traitor to the country. Sadly this person is what the American people voted for…twice. I watched him deceive the nation as he spoke with John McCain at Saddleback Church and said marriage is between one man and one woman, then turned to become the first homosexual president. So is Hussein Obama the deceiver to blame or the depraved American society that lives with luxuries that the rest of the world could not even imagine. Do Americans love the darkness and depravity more than the light and goodness? I would have to answer yes. There is no turning back now, this is what America wants. Time for us to stand firm and be the light and lampstand while times and events continue to degrade, as prophesied.
It’s strange that for someone who claims to be a Christian, Barack Obama is the most virulently anti-Christian leader this country has ever had.
And there are a hundred more comments just like these. It is quite evident that many right-wing Christians hate the President. It is also quite evident that many of them are paranoid as hell and think they are being persecuted. I recently wrote about this in The Paranoia and Persecution Complex of the Religious Right.
Is President Obama really doing nothing to combat Muslim extremism? Of course not. We have boots on the ground in the Middle East, drones and bombers in the air, and are spending billions of dollars to combat terrorism.
Right wing Christians should spend some time learning the history of Christianity. Are the bloodletting years of Christianity ancient history? Consider how President George W Bush framed the two wars he started in the Middle East. He called them a crusade. President Bush saw these wars as not only a clash of civilizations, but a clash of religions. President Bush’s public comments were frequently littered with words meant to remind people of the superiority of Christianity and the United States. Perhaps President Obama doesn’t buy the American myth, that we are a chosen people, an exceptional people. If so, this is progress.
The United States is arguably one of most religious countries in the world. Is it any wonder the Muslim world views our war against “terrorism” as a religious war? ISIS, Boko Haram, and other such terrorist groups, should be hunted down and killed. While I am a pacifist, I am also a realist. ISIS is not going to stop until they have exerted their will on the entire Middle East. The President knows this and I think he is doing what he can to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians, regardless of their religious affiliation.
And let me be clear, the United States, through its decade and a half war on terrorism, has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom were innocent civilians. In fact, the United States is one of the most violent, bloody sovereign states in modern history. I will soon be fifty-eight years old and the United States has been at war for most of my life. We’ve not fought a just war in seventy years.
It’s time we be honest about our past and stop thinking that the United States is in any way exceptional or favored by the gods. While we might have good intentions, it is evident that our imperialistic, colonialist tendencies still drive the government and public discourse. As President Obama works hard to broker a nuclear deal with Iran, right-wing Christians and Republicans go out of their way to scuttle the deal, even suggesting that we bomb Iran. Somehow, they envision us bombing Iran and there not being any consequences for doing so. What I see is nuclear weapons being fired and the world being plunged into global conflict. Are those on the right so ignorant of history that they can not see the danger of their rhetoric? Will it take a nuclear bomb landing on Washington DC before they will wake up to the irresponsibility of their words and actions? By then, of course, they will have been vaporized.
As the above comments show, a large number of Christians are buying what Fox News, World Net Daily, and the various right-wing news organizations are selling. I fear that some of them will become so enraged that they really will exercise their so called second amendment rights. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, it is possible that some on the extreme right will go after gays, killing them, or take to the streets in violent protest. Why? Because many right-wing Christian really believe they are being persecuted. They really believe THEIR country has been stolen from them. Their passions are inflamed by war mongering pastors, TV preachers, and right-wing talk show hosts. Once inflamed, reason, responsibility, and tolerance go out the window.
Graphics found on Christian websites.
Anyone who uses the President’s middle name in a comment, article, or news show is revealing that they are a racist bigot.
Byron Paulus, is the executive director and president of Life Action Ministries, a fundamentalist Christian group that seeks to “ignite Christ-centered movements of revival among God’s people that display His glory and advance His kingdom throughout the world.”
It’s no secret. When black and white merge, they produce grey. Every time.
There is absolute white. There is absolute black. But there is no such thing as absolute grey. The color grey has an infinite number of shades. Not just 50. And that is exactly why this Friday could go down as one of the most morally destructive days in our nation’s history.
For us as Christians, the lightest shade of grey is destructive when we know it is a matter of disobeying the Word of God or the Spirit of God.
I heard one preacher say, “It could be the most destructive day globally since Eve took a bite of fruit in the Garden.” Eve allowed her curiosity to lead her to just one bite. Satan did not tempt her with the entire tree; just a bite.
One bite hidden and not resulting in brokenness and repentance will naturally lead to many bites. Don’t fall for it. The grey pathway is paved with increasing desensitization resulting in destructive behavior. This chart is the path David took regarding Bathsheba and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11.
Even a small amount of societal grey can be destructive. For us as Christians, the lightest shade of grey is destructive when we know it is a matter of disobeying the Word of God or the Spirit of God.
Even a seemingly small area of disobedience is sin. And the wages of sin is death, in some form or fashion. Therefore, this Friday will likely be remembered by godly people not as a “grey” day in history, but a “black” day.
When it comes to desensitization to moral perversion resulting in cultural disintegration, the release of the movie Fifty Shades may be more destructive than ISIS. Why? Because at least we are still on our guard fighting against ISIS at some level. But on many fronts, we quit fighting against sin in the sexual realm.
While we vigorously defend our geographical boundaries against physical aggression of evil designed to torture and kill the human body, we passively support and even promote soul aggression of evil that tortures and destroys the mind, emotions and human spirit.
Even a seemingly small area of disobedience is sin.
We must not forget that 50 of 52 major civilizations were destroyed because of inward moral decay … from allowing white to lead to grey and then to black…
…A nation of no black and white (absolutes) will become a nation where all shades of grey are acceptable. So this Friday is not only the opening of a movie but the opening of a desensitization like that could release unparalleled sexual immorality … UNLESS …
I believe using the name Christian Grey as the lead character in Fifty Shades is not coincidental. We must not allow “gray” to describe “Christian” and thus define our lifestyles as believers. We are Christians with absolutes, not Christians without absolutes…
…The church exists to glorify a holy God, a pure God who fully understands our temptations to invite gray in as a brief house guest. Regarding Fifty Shades of Grey, do not even go on a curious search. Not even one small “bite” of curious search…
The slide downward to a gray lifestyle can be countered by praying for supernatural protection from even innocent exposure, and taking steps to avoid temptation that is fostered by curiosity. Then biblical persuasion will be the tool to continue a pathway to avoid all shades of gray…
I ask you dear reader, what kind of mental gymnastics is required to convince yourselves that
is far more dangerous than
Does Paulus really believe Christian women reading mommy porn and going to see an R rated movie is going to bring Western civilization to its knees? Or is he just trying to gin up controversy and support for the Christian women who really, really want to go see the movie but can’t because their church/pastor forbids it?
Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, got himself in a bit of trouble this week with Team Evangelical. Russell is an Evangelical, and during the week before the Super Bowl, countless Evangelical blogs, website, and news sites, featured stories about Russell Wilson, the great man of faith. They were as proud as a peacock over having one of their own on such a prominent stage.
My take? It’s just a lame movie that will be forgotten about like the Passion of the Christ was when it was hailed as the greatest movie ever made.
Unlike Paulus and the horde of whining, offended Christians, I know that a book/movie like Fifty Shades of Grey, will have little to no cultural impact. A far more real threat to our culture and the world is the Muslim extremism of ISIS. Surely, anyone capable of rationally looking at the two things will conclude:
ISIS=big problem that could result in American military action and increased violence and bloodshed
Fifty Shades of Grey=mental diversion into the seedier side of life that will likely have no lasting effect on those who dare to watch