June 20, 2005

Christians of Convenience

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
-- Matthew 5, 44

DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU the spirit of Christ is not being made manifest in American media today. If you wish to see it in action pick up almost any newspaper on any day. Reading the headlines and the editorial concerns, you will be able to discern a core Christian precept in every edition.

Nearly four years into a war that began with the death of 3,000 of our fellow citizens, a situation has evolved within these United States that is without precedence in the annals of war and religion. It would seem that, even with our troops engaging the enemy wherever he can be found, and even with our troops dying daily from enemy action, that a large and substantial portion of the American population has learned to truly "love thy enemy."

What is even more remarkable about this unexpected apotheosis of one of the central tenets of Christianity is that this large and growing segment of our fellow citizens is composed of people that are, for the most part, either indifferent to or openly hostile to Christianity.

And while the hatred, disparagement and fear of Christianity is a theme of long standing among this cohort, their open and embracing love for those that have killed innocent Americans by the thousands and who seek methods, means and opportunity to kill us in the millions is a relatively new development -- at least in its brazen openness.

The latest expression of this love is the latest of a long string of loving moments and perhaps the clearest. We have, in the last few weeks, seen an almost hysterical concern for the sanitary condition of our enemies' holy book. This rambling collection of verses about this and that is invariably called by our fellow Americans in love with our enemy, "The Holy Koran," while they are careful never to refer to the Bible as "The Holy Bible."

Unlike the boring old Bible, The "Holy Koran" -- in many ways a jazzy riff on large segments of the "Not-Quite-Holy Bible" -- is, it would seem, the holiest book ever. It is never, even in the smallest and most insignificant way, be besmirched with dirt, urine, feces, saliva, dust or a disrespecting look or glance, real or imagined. To do so, it seems, would unduly upset people whose idea of religious tolerance ranges from the banning to the burning of Bibles in large lots, or the saving of the infidel by the severing of his head, or the use of a car bomb to convert men, women and children wholesale to a state of bloody mist.

Truly, the love and peace that our fellow Americans wish upon this book and its radical worshipers is a love and peace that passeth all understanding.

It is a love that is especially admirable in that the leaders of this cohort that live or work, in the main, in New York City, a place that has had a dramatic demonstration of the willingness of our enemy to kill us in mass quantities. Indeed, the primary newspaper of this city spent months in 2001 and 2002 running thousands of pocket biographies of its fellow citizens killed in the attack that launched this war, yet its love for our enemy is clearly in the top ten. Being a poor Christian myself, I find myself unable to love the enemy that is now so admired and praised by this newspaper. But I must admit I am encouraged by their love since, if Christian love is present, can conversion be far behind?

Well, in this case, yes.

What may look like and read like and sound like the love of our enemy by our fellow citizens is, I fear, a false and hypocritical expression of a Christian principle. It is merely a beard, and a shabby, poorly-fitted and glued-on one at that. As everyone can tell that takes a moment and looks at this "love" straight on and without blinders or bullshit, their love is merely a way of masking their hate. They care no more for the Koran and the treatment of prisoners than they care about the Bible or the status of our own soldiers fighting on foreign shores. What they like is the fact that the uncaptured and unkilled comrades of the terrorists in captivity continue to kill our soldiers at every opportunity. If "the enemy of your enemy is your friend," then surely the killer of your enemy must be your lover. If that is so, it is the least you can do to get the Red Cross into Guantanamo's cells so you can give them a hug.

This goes double for the suicidal and cowardly thugs that kill American troops. Indeed, our fellow Americans don't believe our soldiers are "our troops" (although they are careful to invariably talk about them in this manner). Instead, as you can see by both their actions and their words, these loving Americans care deeply for the radical theocracy that motivates our enemy. After all, it seeks to kill and eradicate Christianity and any religion other than itself. For our fellow Americans both the killers and their religion are seen, in their dreams and at their dinner parties, as useful allies in their own quest for power.

For although American, the social goals of our overly-educated and self-replicating elite have long since strayed from any path that would maintain the hegemony of their country in the world. A hegemony that has kept a global war from erupting for sixty years and that has created more wealth for the people of the world than any other system in history. This is, to our fellow Americans, just no good enough and it will never be good enough. They would vastly prefer to turn weapons and power of the United States over to the rest of their cohort in Europe and parts of Asia perhaps in the form of the United Nations or similar establishment.

In either case, they plan to be among the progressive elites that seek to control, dominate and redistribute resources in such a way that their own utopian fantasy can appear on earth. If you would see a rough sketch, look to Brussels and the European Union. That none of this works or has ever worked is irrelevant to our fellow utopians. They simply explain that it "hasn't been done right yet." All this is an old fire in men's minds that burned hundreds of millions of souls -- only a few of them the elite -- in the last century and looks to be rising again from the embers to take its toll on this. What you can see acted out daily in our media is only the American wing of this global melodrama.

Since these elite Americans are strong in the control of various organs of influence, but weak in actual armies and the means to direct them, the rise of radical Islamic shock troops across the world will have to do for them for now and if their support is essential, the release of those in captivity -- known to be among the most committed -- takes an even higher priority.

Unfortunately the committed radical terrorists have not been doing all that well lately. While it is not a public figure, the daily attrition continues apace in Iraq and around the world. Either hidden within "civilians killed," or officially unreported, it is fairly clear that we are killing off trained and dedicated terrorists more quickly than they can be minted. Should another serious attack come to the American Homeland -- perhaps in the form of a large, radioactive explosion on 43rd Street in New York City -- there is little doubt that this country would shift from the surgical tactics of retail slaughter to the wholesale.

This would not only be bad for the forces that seek to destroy this country from without, but to those who seek to convert it from within. Denied their proxy armies, the One-Worlders among us would be driven back into the strategic redoubts of their opinion factories. This would difficult since the output of these factories is being bought by fewer and fewer of their fellow Americans with every passing day. In the wake of another attack, these factories would be bankrupted utterly as a new and terrible American beauty is finally born.

At that point, after their current unceasing love for our enemy has failed to bring forth the desired fruit, our fellow Americans will have to drop their pretense of loving our enemies and retreat to the real foundation of Christianity, prayer.

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Posted by Vanderleun at June 20, 2005 8:30 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


Posted by: mrp at June 7, 2005 10:07 AM

I really enjoyed this. It seems to have gotten some attention over at The Anchoress as well...

Posted by: Jon Connor at June 7, 2005 11:19 AM

Thank you.

Posted by: Sara Thomas at June 7, 2005 11:35 AM

Gerard, you really should think about publishing your recent essays in a dead-tree edition (even if the book publishing industry is in a bad way). Thank you once again for a memorable post.

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at June 7, 2005 12:32 PM

Wow. Your prose has as much power as your poetry.

Wonderful dissection.

Posted by: Bill at June 7, 2005 12:54 PM

Perhaps the Old Testament's entrity to take 'an eye for eye' would be better reverted to amigo?

Posted by: Steel Turman at June 7, 2005 1:46 PM


I'm reading it again just to savor every 'lovin word.

Thank you Mr. VdL, for another fine essay perfectly timed for my psychological needs.

Posted by: SallyVee at June 7, 2005 5:18 PM

And as kudos roll in, it is a worthwhile exercise to wonder whether Jesus of Nazareth MEANT for His 3 promises to point toward Him Who came May 23rd, 1844.

For if Jesus WAS invested with Absolute Knowledge and if Jesus IS the Truthful, the All-Wise, then the One Whom He foresaw coming in 1844 must have come to prepare the way for the Lord of Hosts, with us (as prophecied by Micah 7:15) 40 years, and Who triumphed over decades of exile, torture, derision and imprisonment!

Today's whiners and the rise of the Left were all predicted, and their brief visibility sets the stage for the near-universal recognition of Him to Whose commands we are all conforming! He brought the one-ness of God, the one-ness of humankind, the equality of men and women, the independent investigation of truth; and justice for all.

When your essays touch on these, they resonate powerfully within your readers, GvdL! Thank you!

Posted by: Carridine at June 7, 2005 5:56 PM

"Perhaps the Old Testament's entrity to take 'an eye for eye' would be better reverted to amigo?"

This actually meant that the defendant would have to pay the value of an eye for an eye, rather than, say, be executed, or have to pay huge sums not proportionate to the crime, or have his relatives punished, etc. It was a metaphor for keeping reparations proportionate to the loss.

That might be the most misunderstood verse in the entire Hebrew scriptures.


What gets me is the frantic attempt to love the enemy by my fellow Jews, since we don't even have much of that in our tradition. It's a very practical way of life. Plenty of pursuing justice and protecting the weak, but none of that gauzy romantic "turn the other cheek" stuff.

We have a whole series of lessons about the Amalekites, which I think is meant to teach us not to become romantic and naively conciliatory about really evil people. Progressive Jews don't like the Amalekite material because there is a justifiable fear of calling the wrong people Amalekites and using those commandments as an excuse for genocide. However, refusing to confront and eliminate evil behavior is overcompensating in the other direction.

I think most of these Jews have been brainwashed by the majority Christian Lite culture, and bought into the whole myth that the "Old Testament" is about vengeance and punishment and the "New Testament" is about love and puppies.

Posted by: Yehudit at June 7, 2005 11:18 PM

Fabulous writing. You are so right-on about the media's appropriation of the word Holy for all things religious yet not Judeo-Christian, the "Holy Koran" becoming the most eggregious example (but also things like "the Holy City of Najaf", etc.). One other minor amendment: while it is true that no *infidel* may so much as sneeze in the same room as a koran, the 'holy warrior' himself may do anything to it in the name of Jihad, up to and including flushing it down the proverbial toilet. (I had some reflections on the utility of this difference between infidel and muslim urine on my own site if you're interested). Great post!

Posted by: AbbaGav at June 8, 2005 7:17 AM

You write that the progressive elites, because they think it helps their utopian fantasy to control, dominate and redistribute resources, like it when comrades of the terrorists kill our soldiers.

You believe this?

Posted by: Abbar at June 24, 2005 10:13 AM

i think he just got carried away

Posted by: sam at July 2, 2005 6:48 PM
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